Transitioning from Working Mom to Stay-at-Home Mom (or Dad)

Humans were created with the ability to feel emotion, so it’s entirely okay to feel all the feels when you decide to leave a career to become a stay at home mom. It’s new, it’s different, and it’s sad to leave familiarity. Read this guide for tips to help you make the transition from a working mom (or dad) to a stay-at-home mom (or dad).

Don’t underestimate your value

All changes are hard. There is an adjustment period and perhaps even somewhat of a grieving period as you face giving up something you’ve done for so long and worked so hard to attain. It is normal and expected to feel mixed emotions, so let them process. However, don’t ever give in to the notion that being a stay-at-home-mom is less important than any other job. Different doesn’t mean unequal.  Just like society depends on jobs in every sector of the market to keep things going, society needs mothers to raise the next generation into good, responsible adults. There’s a very strong argument for parenthood being one of the most important jobs you can have. After all, if we all decided there were more important things to do than having and raising children, we would be the last generation on earth, wouldn’t we?

Take care of yourself

Even though you’re leaving your job, you don’t have to leave your hobbies and the rest of your routine. If a regular yoga class was important to you, keep it. If a monthly girls night out was always on the schedule, maintain the tradition. It’s important to take care of yourself, for you are important as well, despite how demanding a baby can be. It may be hard to find a balance between juggling the responsibilities of taking care of a baby and self-care, but remember that there are others in your shoes. Create a support system of other new moms to share advice, tips, and favors as you all try to navigate this big change in your life. There are a lot of online support groups on Facebook, Instagram, etc. where you can share advice, stories, or just vent.

Consider at-home work

If you have plans to return to work in the future, perhaps you can work part-time from home or volunteer occasionally to maintain your skills and an updated resume. It may not be in the cards for a few months or even years, but there will always be work to be done and help that is needed in the world and your willingness to serve and experience as a mother will be valuable.

Show Gratitude

One way to help you adjust to the changes and overcome the feelings of grief from leaving a career is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Realize that there are many parents that must return to work shortly after baby is born out of necessity, and wish they would stay at home. Consider your routine before you came home – waking up, drinking coffee, getting to work on time, taking a scheduled lunch break, coming home in traffic, unwinding with Netflix, etc. Chances are, your new routine with your baby is a lot less predictable and, what’s more, it’s full of amazing milestones! You get to watch a human take their very first steps, speak their very first word, and literally watch them grow before your eyes. That is an incredible miracle.

Keep perspective

This will become your “new normal.” You will get into a routine, learn what to do, and become an expert at raising your child, and after a while, you will probably realize you can’t imagine doing anything else. Life is too short and childhood especially is too short to spend a single minute worrying what anyone else is doing or what anyone thinks about you. Nobody else in the entire world or history of the world is the same as you or your children, so the way you live your life should not be compared to anyone else. Trust your instincts and realize this precious time is so short. I mean, do you remember much of your childhood? Especially the early years fly by so quickly, so realize that this is just a phase of life, and give it your best shot.

Treat it like a job

Every job requires continuing education, consistent training, etc. Parenthood is no different. It doesn’t always come natural, and other people do have advice and techniques you might not know about that could help you. So read books and articles, and devote time to learning more about this job to be the best mom you can be. After all, no other job in the world was as tailor-made for you as being the mother to your own child.

 

What helped you adjust from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Share with us below!

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World Breastfeeding Week: 10 Benefits of Breastfeeding

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we’re sharing ten benefits of breastfeeding. Let’s dig in…

1. Increases protection from illness
The cells, hormones and antibodies found in breast milk help protect your baby from illness. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of the following:

  • Asthma
  • Leukemia (during childhood)
  • Obesity (during childhood)
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • SIDS
  • Type 2 diabetes

2. Lowers the risk of chronic illnesses
Breastfeeding your baby also reduces the risk that she’ll develop chronic illnesses such as, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

3. Breast milk is adaptable 
Another amazing thing about breast milk is that it changes as your baby grows. You start off with nutrient and antibody-rich colostrum, which then transitions into mature milk. And that mature milk will adjust to meet your baby’s changing needs.

4. It’s cost-effective
Two words: no formula. That, by itself, is a huge cost-saver. (In the ballpark of $1,600 to $5,800 per year!)

5. Breastfeeding burns calories… a lot of calories 
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you can expect to burn around 400 calories per day. Which is roughly equivalent to running four miles.

6. Aids with postpartum healing
Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly than if you don’t breastfeed. (About six weeks versus ten weeks.)

7. Increases the effectiveness of vaccines
Research has shown that breastfed babies have a more effective antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.

8. It can delay menstruation 
Exclusively breastfeeding your baby (sans bottles or formula) will delay ovulation and menstruation. Many breastfeeding mamas can go six months to a year before their periods return.

9. Provides health benefits for you, too 
Research shows that breastfeeding mothers have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

10. It’s friendly to Mama Earth
Formula cans and bottle supplies create excess trash. By breastfeeding, you are tapping into a renewable resource that doesn’t have a carbon footprint.

Want to read more about breastfeeding? Check out 5 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Breastfeeding and 10 Must-Have Breastfeeding Accessories and Tools.

*At Owlet, we’re advocates of you making the best choices for your situation. So, while this post celebrates the benefits of breastfeeding, we acknowledge that fed is always best. Please make the best choice for you, and don’t feel guilty! Ultimately, you know what will work best for your family.* 

 

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How to Feel Better About Your Postpartum Body

“What a cruel scheme to keep a woman from knowing her power. To put the focus on what pregnancy did to her body rather than focus on what her perfect body just did. Here we sit, creating and nourishing the future and we are diminished to “baby weight.” I will not succumb to your demeaning ideals.” – Amethyst Joy

That. ^

That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

But how do we do that? How do we look past the unrealistic ideals that society has set? The distraction from what our amazing body did to what became of our body?

Here are some concepts and realizations that may help you shift your mindset from one of shame to one of pure amazement and gratitude.

Forget the concept of “normal”

There is no such thing as “normal.” Not a single person is the exact same as another, so rather than try to look like someone else or be like someone else, embrace the unique individual that you are. Your body is yours – there is nobody else like you now, and there never will be. Be 100 percent true to yourself, because this is your time on earth and the only shame comes in wasting any time of your life trying to change who you are.

The naked bodies you’re used to seeing are not the norm

Trigger warning: we’re talking about naked bodies, here.

Society has done something interesting to our mindsets.  We’re generally taught to cover up our bodies, protect our nakedness, yet we stand in line at the grocery store and see nearly naked models line the shelves of the magazine racks. We walk past huge banners of nearly-naked, very skinny women without loose skin or stretch marks at the mall and then go into a dressing room and feel bad about ourselves because we don’t look like them. Why is it okay to plaster uncovered pictures of a very specific body type but not others? We MUST realize that body type is not the norm.

If only from a young age we saw a true representation of bodies on these covers, or better yet, we didn’t see bodies being the focus of covers at all. This may seem like an unconventional suggestion, but educate yourself about the truth of the human body. Study art. Go to a women’s spa, or the beach or the pool, even the grocery store, where you can see various body types. (Obviously not in a creepy, staring way, but just look around and take notice of how different every single person is from the next. And not everybody is a cookie-cutter copy of those on the magazines).

That is the norm. These are the regular people in your life, in the world, and our bodies are all different. The body types propped up on display are not, although yes, some women look like that, too, and hopefully they are happy in their skin like everyone else should be. However, one thing to point out is that more people than not have stretch marks – men and women, mothers and non-mothers, people of all sizes, shapes, ages, overweight people and people who have never been overweight. They aren’t worth a single thought of shame, so don’t waste a single minute worrying about them.

Without the weight gain your baby MAY have been less healthy, be grateful

Healthy weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy. It is usually essential for your baby to grow and your body to regulate the growth of the baby and still take care of itself. If your baby was born healthy, realize that your body did its job, and be proud, and grateful. Realize that there are several women whose bodies struggle during pregnancy to provide for itself and their baby, and women who struggle to get pregnant at all. Your beautiful, postpartum body is a testament to an incredible, miraculous feat and opportunity not afforded to everyone.

*Talk to your doctor about healthy weight-gain during pregnancy, as the weight gain and medical needs for each woman is different (because our bodies are all different, whaddyaknow?!)

What would you say to your own daughter? How would you want her to feel?

Perhaps the most eye-opening train of thought when I find myself in a body-shaming mindset is how I would want my own daughter to feel. My heart breaks at the thought of her staring in the mirror at her stretch marks or loose skin while her new baby sleeps in the next room. I cringe at the thought of her scrolling through the internet at these idealized body types with a sad expression on her face as she realizes she doesn’t look like them. Thinking about my own daughter snaps me back to reality real quick and empowers me to set an example of self-love and acceptance, with the hope that she never questions her worth or abilities based on her appearance.

Our lives are short. We each have a mere 100 years, give or take, on earth. Then that precious baby of yours has their time, and so the world goes on. Change is an inevitable part of life, so rather than spending our time and efforts focusing on changing what we look like for our short time here, do what makes you happy. Spend time with those you love, serve those around you, travel, read books, engage in your hobbies, and become so caught up in what your body can do that you never get caught up in what it does or doesn’t look like.

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Swimsuit Guide: For Expecting Moms, New Moms & Babies

Moms, your bodies are miracles. Seriously, the ability to bring life into this world is amazing, and there is absolutely no shame in any part of the process of pregnancy, including the changes your body goes through. That being said, change in general is simply uncomfortable. Just like a new haircut that takes time to get used to, you might not feel like yourself for a while during pregnancy and after you give birth as notice the changes in your body, especially in a swimsuit where the changes are more visible. Begin embracing your strong, changed body by jumping right back into your usual hobbies and activities, including spending time at the pool or beach in the summer. Here are some very cute and functional swimsuits for pregnant moms, new moms, and those perfect little babies your incredible body just created.

Maternity Swimsuits

This suit from Nordstrom is timeless, with its classic black silhouette, supportive bust and stretchy ruching. This will be your go-to suit during pregnancy, and would also be flattering for your postpartum body!

 

This wrap tankini from Target features ruching and a removable strap for comfort and style! And that royal blue color is gorgeous!

 

If you already have a bikini or tankini top that you love, these foldover maternity bottoms from Nordstrom are perfect to adapt your current swimwear to your current body.

 

This high-neck one-piece from Target is everything. When you need that extra coverage to feel secure, the recent high-neck trend is your best friend.

 

Draped tops create the perfect silhouette for pregnant women, and give you more room to move without tight material. This crochet tankini from Target is a winner.

 

Postpartum Swimsuits

This high-waisted bikini with a draped, flowy top is perfect for that postpartum, recovery time. It’s flattering and stylish with plenty of coverage. Get it on Amazon here. 

The perfect postpartum tankini: maternity AND nursing friendly, adjustable straps, and two color options. What more could you want? Get it on Amazon here.

 

Swimdresses are a great option for postpartum swimwear to achieve comfort, security, and coverage. We love these swimdresses on Amazon, and can’t decide on our favorite color combo. What’s yours?

 

Have you ever seen anything as cute as this bow swimdress? We can’t get over the bow detail, the flared skirt, and the accentuated waist that makes this the perfect postpartum swimwear. Get it on Amazon here.

 

 

Baby Swimsuits

Boys

This print is adorable, and your little guy will be the most stylish guy at the pool in these from H&M.RuggedButts sells exclusively baby boy clothes, and their swimwear is unbearably cute. Check out these geometric plaid swim shorts, we can’t get enough of them!

 

The contrast print on these shorts are to die for, and at only $10 it’s Target for the win again!

 

Keep little mister safe from the sun with the coordination rash guard/swim short combo, also from Target.

 

 

Girls

Ruffles and polka dots are staples for baby girl fashion. This swimsuit from H&M has them both.

 

Stars, stripes, and bows. A rashguard/swim bottoms combo for your patriotic baby girl this summer. Get it from Target here. 

 

RuffleButts (the girl version of RuggedButts) has the most adorable seersucker peplum swimsuit for baby girls that you’ve ever seen. And you can choose to add your baby’s initials if you want.

 

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