on motherhood // being stella mommy

it’s the hardest job in the world, but also the most beautiful and rewarding.  it’s called parenting.  everyone has their tricks, tips, and their swear-by secrets, but at the end of the day...us parents just do the best we can {fingers crossed we will get a good night’s sleep}.  parenting is also a very honest job.  this new role as a mommy has made me reflect on who i really am, what we as a family value, and how we can do our best to raise our daughter in a world where everyone, everywhere, is competing with everything.

as a new mommy, some days i feel like superwoman.  after having had worked 9+ hours with hormonal teens, there are evenings when I have managed to get a home-cooked meal on the table, all of our laundry done {and put away}, walked the dog, given stella a bath, read her favorite stories, watched a movie with andrew, with enough time to read my book before bed.  and then there are some day where I feel like nothing, literally nothing went the way it was supposed to.  those are the days where spilled milk can literally make me burst into tears.  parenting is a messy juggling act, but you know what, my husband and I have acknowledged this, and think it is more than just “ok” to feel this way.     

parenting has always been a comfortable topic of conversation for andrew and i.  before we became pregnant two octobers ago, we would think about what our future little ones would be like.  we loved to dream together as a newly married couple and paint the scenes of our future as a family.  this is something we still continue to do. 

apart from what our wee ones would look and act like, one thing we also talked a bit about was how, exactly, we would parent.  were we going to take the relaxed and carefree approach, or be uptight and protective???  heaven forbid we become helicopter parents...but how would we act when our child had a meltdown in public, or start to bend around on the floor like gumby in a restaurant???  or what the heck will we do when our baby can’t fall asleep in the middle of the night??? and what if our darling refuses to eat dinner i so lovingly prepared???  my hubby and i would talk said hypothetical’s all the time, for fun, because we are dorky like that. 

but all hypotheticals aside, and to be completely frank with you, andrew and i had no freaking clue as to what parenting really entailed.  who really does anyway?  8 months into it, we are confident in staying that we are still beginners trying to figure out the basics of this amazing gig we have as parents to stella vivienne.  but that is the beauty of it.  andrew and i enjoy figuring things out and learning from our mistakes each and every day.  we are definitely not glued to the latest baby guide that tracks our little lady’s progress each and every week.

that being said, we did read our fair share of parenting books before baby girl arrived.  but a funny thing happened once she was born; we sort of stopped reading the famous parenting milestone books and started focusing more on our intuition and educating ourselves on how others around the world raise their kiddos nowadays via news articles, blogs, and daily observations. 

as new parents, we have taken a different approach by following our mommy & daddy instincts.  i haven’t picked up what to expect: first years in 7 whole months, and am totally cool with it sitting on stella’s bookshelf collecting dust just incase i ever need it.  andrew and i have been acting on what feels right, what makes sense, and by going with “what works” for us.  so far, that has been our mantra, and for us it has been wonderful.

i feel that there is no “one way” or even a “right way” to raise your children.  andrew and i have discovered through various reading material {outside of the baby book realm} and real conversations from other parents, is to do what works for you, and to not hold yourself and your child to some silly standard or unrealistic ideal.   

here are a few things that andrew and i have decided to do for stella as her parents based on what we value in life: {if you’re interested}

as parents, we are doing our best to...

...make homemade baby food on a weekly basis to keep it healthy and fresh {I shall be posting on how to do this is in the near future…it’s so worth it and saves $$$}.

...make it a priority to read to stella everyday and surround her with books, no matter what.  sometimes I read my books to her out loud while she plays.

...listen to different types music and make dancing as a family a priority.

...let stella explore our home and let her learn play on her own.

...actually talk to her, not at her.
...eat dinner at our dining table as a family as much as we can.

...get stella toys that require imagination, we have gone old school with colorful wooden blocks and felt vegetables.

...expose her to places we love that celebrate the arts and creativity.

...travel as a family and take stella with us everywhere we go.
...laugh at ourselves and savor the goofy moments.

...practice patience {on all of our parts}.
...have fun outside.

...show stella what respect and love looks like.

being a parent is the real deal.  it’s hard stuff, i mean really hard, but i am confident that andrew and i are doing the best we can.  and you know what?  i am proud of us for that.  if you are a parent, celebrate the wonderful moments you have created with your family, and congratulate yourself for crying out loud, you are doing the hardest job in the world. :)  

...if you are interested, check out...

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