It Takes A Village: 3 Lessons I learned in the First 4 months of Motherhood

It Takes A Village: 3 Lessons I learned in the First 4 months of Motherhood

And just like that Baby Jah Jah is 4 months old. As often said, time moves quickly. In the first few months of motherhood it seems it doesn’t move quick enough.

Life as a new mom is amazing! It’s also crazy, frustrating, and rewarding at the same damn time. I frequently catch myself trying to prolong the amazing moments while fast-forwarding the frustrating ones. One thought that has helped me cherish and appreciate each moment for what it is, whether good or bad, is knowing that “this too shall pass”. As a result of each fleeting moment, I thought it best to document my journey thus far.

Here are a few lessons I have learned these past few months since becoming a mother.

  1. Motherhood is Hard AF!

Yes, they told me. Every single mother that I came in contact with while I was pregnant told me how hard being a new mother would be and the ways in which i’d find myself wondering what I’d gotten myself into. And yes I knew it wouldn’t be easier for me but something in the back of my mind was like…it can’t be THAT bad! Can it? For those women who are expecting or see themselves having children in the future. Let me be the millionth person to tell you, IT IS THAT FRICKEN HARD!!! It’s Hard AF. Nothing can fully prepare you for the sleep deprivation that will smack the shit out of you or the multiple sudden cases of OMG I DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL I”M DOING! Not to mention the isolated feeling you get because it feels like it’s just you and baby all day every damn day. Nothing. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for all the emotions, new and old, that will catch you off guard and have you questioning your sanity. One new mother warning/advice that made a huge difference for me was from my sister-in-law who said “accept all the help that is offered you because you will never know fatigue, like the fatigue that will hit you when you are 3 weeks in with baby”. I chuckled a little when she said that but I also had no clue what she meant. All I know was that I was looking out for this life changing fatigue before baby was even born. When baby finally got home each day I would gage how tired I was and try to see if this was the “fatigue” my sister-in-law was talking about. And for several days, I was like, man I’m tired but it’s not that bad. I think I can handle team no sleep for a good while. Then week 3 1/2 reared its buck-teeth aliens from mars attacks head and I was finished. Like DONE. To the point where I’d catch a 5 min snooze on the toilet just to say I rested my eyes and actually really rest my eyes. I remember my sisters offering to watch baby and I practically hail-mary passed him to them with no shame and ran to my bed. I became one with the bed almost instantaneously. It was when I woke up after having a full nights rest and STILL feeling like I hadn’t slept in weeks that I knew what real fatigue was. Fatigue is just the tip of the iceberg. Your emotions will uppercut you to the moon and back. The pressure of wanting to be a great mom from the moment you popped that baby out will have you wanting to pull out your hair. Then out of nowhere your hair falls out without you even touching it. My take home message…You think you know, but have no idea.

I am now used to functioning on limited amounts of sleep and because of co-sleeping, I’ve now found myself taking unnecessary naps with baby just to keep him asleep during nap time. All in all, the fatigue isn’t that much of an issue now but the extra energy is being used to keep up with Baby as he is staying awake for longer periods of time and requiring more of my attention.

2. It’s Not Just You and Baby.

This for me has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during these past 4 months. Mostly because it made me realize that I am fortunate enough to have a third person who is also immediately affected by and involved with the addition of a new baby. It’s so easy to get caught up thinking it’s just you and baby. I had to be reminded that I have a loving husband who is also going through his own adjustments as a new father. For the first few weeks after our families left, it did seem like it was me and baby ALL THE DAMN TIME. Hubby was putting 15+ hours at the office and out of town a lot. I had to remind myself that Hubby is an active member of this new family too and to give him as much attention and time with baby as possible. Once again my sister in law advised me to allow hubby to bond with the baby solo and not be “Ms. Super Save A Baby” and rush to baby’s rescue at any sound he would make. It was like I would watch him like a guard dog every time he would interact with the baby. My husband must have thought that I was a creepy mom. I didn’t know I was doing this obviously, but once I got called out on it, I realized it the moment it happened again. It’s funny, I had to be reminded to share the baby with my husband. I’ll never forget that lesson and I make it a point to find me something to do whenever hubby is hanging out with baby no matter how limited or extended that time may be.

This is also true for family members and friends who have genuine love for you and have been eager to meet baby from the moment you announced your pregnancy to birth. Give them the opportunity to support you and show this love in any capacity with baby. Since I live in a different country, It was especially important for me to share baby with my family. It’s hard on them to want to be active in the life of the baby but not be able to because of distance. That’s why every moment they spend with baby should be their own and should be maximized by any means. This leads me to my final and most important lesson so far.

3. It takes a Village

I 100% believe that motherhood is a collective effort. Being away from my family and close friends made me realize just how true the cliche statement is. I grew up watching many women transition into motherhood with an incredible amount of support and I expected this same support for when I made my debut as a new mom. I had never imagined motherhood any other way. I would not have made it through the first 6 -12 weeks without the help of my family and friends. Especially the first 6 weeks. We were blessed to have various members of our immediate family fly in to help us out with the new baby and I will forever be grateful that they did. I’m sure I would have survived without their help but I cannot imagine going on this journey otherwise. With a C-Section delivery, recovery is important for the health of Mom and baby. There were mobility limitations that restricted how I’d care for baby and do household tasks. Even though I still tried to do everything out of sheer pride and inexperience, having someone around to help with baby during the recovery period allowed me to not over exert myself and made me be at my best for baby. It also made me recover fast. Veteran moms and people who have been around new mothers just know what needs to be done without being asked. These following examples are how I benefited from having my tribe around:

  • Getting foot rubs and massages from my mom and mother in law
  • Assistance with getting in and out of bed in the early days after surgery
  • Looking after baby while you get your whole life together in the bathroom or any random place in the house
  • Giving you a needed break to take a 4-hr nap!
  • Groceries
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Running errands or whatever you cannot or do not want to do, they will do. HAPPILY!

There were times I’d wake up starving and to come to the kitchen with my favorite breakfasts prepared. Jesus is on the throne! I’d even have an endless supply of freshly fried plantain to feast on throughout the day. I literally gave birth and went straight to plantain heaven!! I seriously believe it was these moments that heed to keep the baby blues at bayIt’s the little gestures of kindness and care from the people who know you the most that make a world of difference. Trust me, whoever you consider to be a part of your village, enlist their advice and help. Their presence and assistance are invaluable.

As hard as being a new mother is, it definitely gets easier. I do say this somewhat lightly. I’ve found that as I begin to get the hang of a certain skill/habit, something new pops up that will need some adjusting to. Meh. Such is life. Honestly, these past four months have been an adventure. I’d would never guess in a million years how my life would change as a mother. I’m sure the lessons will not end. I hope they don’t. I am grateful for every diaper explosion, projectile spit up, sleepless night. and joyous experiences I’ve been blessed with so far. Being able to watch baby develop and grow makes it all worthwhile. As I raise my cup filled with another lactation smoothie, cheers to another lesson filled 4 months!

I would love to hear some of your experiences and lessons as new Moms and Dads. What have been some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned as a new parent?

 

 

REPOST FROM STUDIESSHO.COM: http://www.studiessho.com/2017/03/21/it-takes-a-village-3-lessons-i-learned-in-the-first-4-months-of-motherhood/ 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Women’s Pampering Day

Women’s Pampering Day

On Sunday, March 19th, 2017, Rebecca Nobrega founder of Aspire to Inspire with bbnobrega organized a magnificent Women’s Pampering Day event that took place in Downtown Toronto. The day brought joy and flawlessness to a group of lovely women from a women’s shelter, who took part in getting pampered by a series of beauty experts. The event room was set up with multiple beauty booths sponsored by varies companies and businesses who specialize in nails, hair, makeup and eyebrows, and a fun play station that consisted face painting and arts and crafts for the children.

Aspire to Inspire is Rebecca’s way of inspiring other people to make a difference in the world, making her an inspiration to women everywhere and although the event was not a simple task to organize she is grateful she gets the opportunity to help the twenty women who attended.

IMG_7701

“Today is a day to celebrate them, women’s empowerment making them feel good and beautiful and to spark a light in their hearts that was dimmed by someone else” – Rebecca Nobrega.

The purpose of preparing a Women’s Pampering Day, Rebecca explains is that it is a way for women to love themselves despite the unfortunate past they have endured because they deserve to recognize their inner and outer beauty. Simply getting your hair and makeup done can boost confidence and change someone’s life forever.

IMG_7698

“There is no better feeling than seeing a smile on someone’s face” – Rebecca Nobrega.

I sat down with an inspirational woman who was a resident at the women’s shelter and attended the event, Jessica, a single mother enjoyed every moment of Women’s Pampering Day and wishes to participate in future functions. Jessica attended the event with her two beautiful daughters and expresses that, “Everyone is so friendly, I love it here. Today was the first time I got my eyebrows done and I’ve never felt better. I am happy that I have the chance to spend a day with my girl’s do these things”.

Rebecca was not alone in planning the pampering day, after reaching out to plenty of sponsors to donate for the cause, the room was happily filled with delicious treats from a variety of bakeries in the City, lunch was served, refreshments were handed out with entertainment provided by a life DJ throughout the day. Accompanying the DJ was a live singer, and a photo booth was set up to document the fabulous event.

The day ended with a motivational speaker who shared her personal experiences, expressing her fight to success. This is not the end for Rebecca, as she will continue to #aspiretoinspire and

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
How to Get People to Fall in Love With Your Brand

How to Get People to Fall in Love With Your Brand

You work hard to build your brand and you shouldn’t be the only one who loves it. In fact, it’s important that your target customers do. They are the ones who continue to make you successful. Some brands have managed to make people fall in love with their work and obsess over the effort they put in giving them huge popularity. Having an emotional connection to a brand sparks interest for the customer and allows them to stay engaged in your work.

Shoutout to the loyal fans who are committed to your brand, but in case you’re in need of more love, here are some tips to get customers to fall for you and what you do:

Make your work relatable
People love to know they are not alone. Connecting to your audience builds attachments and a sense of belonging that people seek out in their lives. Know who your audience is and understand what they like or don’t like so that your brand suits them.

Bring joy in your message
Happiness is a MUST in your work. Happy work makes for a happy customer, which will impact the way people perceive your brand. Not only will your customers be happy, but this will increase profits, especially if they recommend you to other viewers. A loveable brand makes their audience feel valued and respected, making for a happy you, as well.

Show people what you got
The first impression is everything and people will connect more with your brand if they like what they are seeing. Organizing a clear and compelling platform will lure customers in and keep them interested in what your brand has to offer. Allow your social media to do some of the talking for your brand by displaying eye-catching and inspirational images /designs that your audience can identify with.

Let your audience see you
Don’t hide behind your brand. Show your costumers who you are so they can have a stronger connection with the brand they love. Put your personality into your brand and prove you are just as emotionally involved as you are professionally.

People LOVE a brand they can trust
Your customers are relying on you to be genuine. It is up to you to make sure your work benefits your audience and is a reliable business for them to be invested in. Forbes released a list of ways to help build trust in your brand including listening to your audience and keeping your messages concise. Trust is hard to build but do not let that discourage you. Be patient and let your customers grow to love what you have to offer.

Don’t make love complicated, use these tips to encourage and engage your audience into falling in love with your brand. But don’t forget to fall in love with it too.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
How to Get Him Under the Mistletoe This Holiday Season

How to Get Him Under the Mistletoe This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, sleigh rides and smooching under the mistletoe. Every year my family puts up a mistletoe, and every year I am reminded about how single I am during one of the most romantic season of the year. As much as I would like to treat the mistletoe like a piñata, I can admit the holiday tradition is actually a pretty magical one. Secretly I wish to be standing under the love plant with a special guy, and waiting around doesn’t seem to be working out anymore. Thankfully, times are changing, and we ladies don’t have to sit around waiting for Prince Charming to sweep us off our feet. If want to spend this holiday season snuggled up with the cute guy down the street, be the hero in your own fairy tale and go get him girl. Follow these tips to be the one smooching under the mistletoe this year.

(more…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Hilary Clinton Knows A Girl Boss Never Quits

Hilary Clinton Knows A Girl Boss Never Quits

It may have been a difficult time for some people after the results of the election this past week. For me, hearing Hilary Clinton’s concession speech brought tears to my eyes because even though she lost, she didn’t let the defeat stop her from fighting.

Clinton concluded her speech stating that she hopes young women everywhere stand up for what they believe in and I agree wholeheartedly. I have discussed the presidential election with many people and have been constantly asked, how does this change affect me, being a Canadian? For a while, I could not properly answer the question because I had no thorough knowledge of the economy. I then realized my feelings had nothing to do with that, although, these issues are serious topics and should be considered. For me, it has more to do with who we are as human beings despite the distance. This election affects me because I want to live in a world where people are being acknowledged for being able to successfully get the job done, regardless of gender, race, religion and class.

I remember at 18 years old knowing very little about politics and having no interest in voting whatsoever, but my mother emphasized my right as a woman to vote. For a while, I laughed at my mom’s constant speeches, but it was not until recently that I understood what she was saying.

I hope that after this election someone with Clinton’s mindset, strength and heart will one day run for president. It hurts me knowing that a lot of things people fought for may be taken away. But I won’t let it discourage me, and I hope you won’t let it discourage you. Although your work might seem insignificant now, it made a difference. I look at Hilary Clinton and see an absolute girl boss because, throughout her setbacks, she never gave up.  I know I will continue to fight for my rights as a woman, and the rights of those who are not able to get their voices heard.

If you’ve been feeling discouraged this week, I think you should watch Seth Meyers giving his opinion of the election on his show. I found it really encouraging and I could not be more hopeful after watching what he had to say. I hope that hearing him speak and watching Hilary’s concession speech that you feel as inspired as I am to work harder every day.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Girl Power Only Works If We Stick Together

Girl Power Only Works If We Stick Together

My girl power heroes are fallible. From time to time, whether by words out of their own mouths or revelations from some news outlet or another, the women I admire remind me they are, in fact, human. And that’s not always a bad thing. Heroes should have flaws. Shonda Rhimes is a workaholic. Erykah Badu has some uncomfortable ideas about school girl uniforms. And Chimamanda Nogozi Adichie, the woman whose feminism speech is featured in “Flawless,” thinks having to talk about Beyonce in interviews is a bore.

 

Before you go thinking I’m calling that a flaw because I’m just another Beyhive stan with my stinger out in defense of Beyonce, hear me out. My issue isn’t with Adichie not wanting to talk about Beyonce. My issue is with why. Adichie, one of my favourite authors, shared her thoughts on the whole Beyonce experience in an interview with Dutch paper, de Volkskrant.

She laughingly told the interviewer she was surprised and resentful that so many of the interview requests she got after the song’s release revolved around discussions of Beyonce. I can’t imagine why she was surprised. Beyonce is arguably one of the most famous celebrities on the planet. News outlets damn near report her every breath. The resentment I could more understand, seeing as Adichie was a well-known success in the literary world before “Flawless” made her speech viral. The idea of her entire body of work being shadowed by four minutes and ten seconds of trap is understandably irritating. (And we know the internet is quick to do this. Remember when a bunch of teeny boppers said Kanye was going to make Paul McCartney famous?) I get it. I do.

Beyoncé casts an enormous shadow. Ask Solange, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. And Adhichie rightfully wanted to avoid getting caught in it too. She didn’t want people to attribute her success to that one time she was on a Beyoncé song. But I think she mishandled this situation. She ended up coming off petty and missing a golden opportunity to amplify her voice and her message.

She could have set the record straight in every one of those interviews. She could have sat down across from every one of those reporters and let them know the full breadth and depth of her success and pull the receipts to prove it. She could have continued the conversation Beyonce she started with audiences who previously wouldn’t have called themselves feminists. She had the chance to show the collaborative power of women having a discussion on an important topic from their respective platforms and genres.

 

I agree with the definition of feminist that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gives in her speech: a person who believes in the social, political, economic equality of the sexes. But for me, that means being willing to swallow my pride for the collective good of my fellow women. Girl power means being eager to promote their goals, support their business, amplify their voices We don’t have to compete or compare, we can collaborate. There is space for all of us in the spotlight. There is room for all of our voices and all of our messages, and we can acknowledge the greatness in one another without diminishing the greatness in ourselves. And most importantly, when others try to pretend there isn’t space, we must tell them how wrong they are.

I really wish this is the road Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had chosen instead. But my heroes are fallible.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail