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    Who Takes Care of Mom?

    The day my daughter was born, I let myself go. I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. The second my doctor put my 8 pound baby on my chest, I unconsciously told myself I now come second. I won't eat until my daughter's food is ready. I won't shower until she's been bathed first. I won't work unless she's napping (I'm only able to write this because she finally went down for her second nap, praise Jesus). 

    Everything I do is for her. Everything I do NOT do is for her. I'm basically a slave to a one year old. And I'm totally cool with it, because I love her more than anything on the planet...here comes the big BUT...Who takes care of me? Who will put ME first?

    If you're a mom, I'm sure you've asked yourself that question before. Want to know the answer? YOU! You have to put yourself first. Have you ever asked your children, "Is it okay if mommy goes to the movies without you?" Of course you haven't, because you probably won't like the answer. We can't expect alone time to come to us, we have to MAKE the time. If you don't, you'll start to lose yourself. I know I did. I started to forget the old me. Who even was I? I started to believe my name was Mama, not Kristin. Man, I missed that girl. She was a cool chick.

    Remember when your baby was first born, and you forgot what the inside of a shower looked like? I'm kidding, kind of. Those first few weeks are brutal. Your hair is a mop. You have week old stains on your sweatpants. God only knows when the last time you shaved your legs was. If you got to sleep for more than 45 minutes it felt like winning the lottery. Now that your baby is sleeping through the night, and you pretty much have a routine down, why not spend some time focusing on yourself?

    Oh right, mom guilt. Mom guilt can suck it. Me and her are not friends. Don't let her get to you! She is not real! She doesn't have your best interest at heart. That's your responsibility. Want to have a "me" day? Let me tell you how.

    As the poetic Shia LaBeouf would say, "JUST DO IT!"

    Okay but for real, here's what you do:

    1. Get someone to watch your children.

    This is the hardest part, especially if you don't have family around. But a "me" day is about YOU, so if possible, get your spouse or partner to stay with the kids. They don't need to tag along.

    2. Relax.

    If you don't, you won't enjoy yourself. The baby is fine. Your kids are fine. This is your time to focus on YOU.

    3. Figure out what to do.

    Get a massage, get your nails done, get a tattoo, whatever floats your boat. The last "me day" I had, I got a pedicure and two new piercings. (Mom-life crisis, anyone?)

    If you don't want to spend money, you can do your own nails at home, do a face mask, take a bubble bath, read that book that's been sitting on your shelf, or even take a glorious nap. 

    Whatever you do, treat yourself with kindness and grace, because you deserve it!

    Comment on this blog post and tell me what plans you have for your next "me day!"

    -Kristin, owner + creator of Free the Mother


    A Mother's Worst Fear

    My baby has been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. Not sure if it is from teething, or if the seven month sleep regression turned into the eight month sleep regression. Either way, this mama is tired. 

    It was around midnight and it was the second time that night she woke up crying. So I picked her up from her crib and put her in bed with my husband and I so I can nurse her back to sleep.

    Around 3:30 in the morning, I heard something hit the floor, followed by crying. I never jumped out of bed that fast in my entire life. I turned on the light and I see my eight month old daughter lying on the floor screaming. I immediately started bawling. I couldn't believe I let her roll off the bed. 

    My husband and I held her, rocked her, and told her everything was going to be okay. After maybe two minutes of crying, she stopped. She started smiling and giggling. It was like she forgot anything had happened. We checked her entire body to see if she had bruises, scrapes, or bumps. There was nothing. I couldn't believe it. 

    Soon after that, she went back to sleep. I, however, couldn't sleep. I was up researching signs of concussion and head trauma. I kept thinking if we should take her to the ER, but my husband didn't think it was necessary, plus she seemed completely untouched. Regardless, I felt like a failure.

    The next day, I was on and off crying. I felt like I damaged her. The mom guilt was hanging over me like a dark rain cloud. I checked her entire body again to make sure nothing came up. Still nothing. She was perfect. Why did I have a hard time believing that nothing was wrong? I think the fact that we have carpet and had some clothes on the floor was our saving grace. 

    That night, during her bedtime routine, my husband and I were talking to her. I pointed to him and asked our daughter, "who is that?" And she said, "da da." When he pointed to me and asked her, "who is that?" She said, "ma ma." That was the first time she had ever distinguished the two of us as mama and dada. It was one of the most incredible moments of my life.

    In that moment, I knew she was perfectly fine. I told myself to let the mom guilt go. Easier said than done though, but I need to stop beating myself up for every little thing that happens. This won't be the last time she gets hurt, even if I hate to admit that. This is all just apart of motherhood.

    -Kristin, Owner/Creator of Free the Mother