Friday Favorites: Work, Play, Blog Love

Related to Work

Working from home: There’s nothing quite like rolling out of bed and logging into your work computer while sipping coffee in your PJ’s.  (I get to do it every Friday!)  No rush hour traffic, no scramble to get yourself, a baby, and 3 dogs ready for the day, and when I’m done for the day, I’m already home!

Standing desk: I don’t know about any other mamas out there, but I definitely jacked something in my tailbone up when I was giving birth.  Since then, sitting for extended periods of time has really bothered my hips and tailbone.  In December, it reached a point that was pretty excruciating, to the point that I couldn’t handle sitting for a full day.  When I heard we had some sit/stand workstation setups floating around the office, I jumped at the chance to get one. I now stand for a couple of hours every day, and being able to switch it up has made all the difference.

 

Related to Play

Having a 16 month old:  She’s pretty awesome. She is curious, bright, social, fun, and loving.  She’ll sit at the table and color, dance to music, and mimic almost anything we do.  She is past the helpless baby stage but pre cranky toddler stage. Yeah, Mom Life is pretty good right now.

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Summer: Even as a working adult who doesn’t get summers off, there’s still something special about it.  Summer seems to bring more time with friends, sunshine, laughter, sand and water, tasty drinks, and so much joy.

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JD on light duty: We leave at the same time every morning.  We arrive home at the same time every night.  He has every weekend off.  There is something almost uncomfortable about the normalcy of it all, but it’s been such a blessing in disguise.  It gives us time to enjoy all those wonderful summer things I just mentioned, as a family, 100% of the time.

 

Favorite Bloggers and Blog Posts

I love, love reading blogs, and I’m always looking for new ones.  For any of you looking for new blogs to follow, here are my favorites.

One thing I will mention is that I follow several police wife blogs, but none of the ones I follow have posted recently.  Maybe someday I can do a post completely dedicated to police wife blogs.  In the meantime, suggestions welcome!  Post your favorite blogs in the comments 🙂

 

Ain’t No Mom Jeans– She is my blog crush. (Is that a thing?  If not, I’m making it a thing.  In a non-creepy way, of course.)  I love her blog so much because she takes such an honest look at motherhood, and a practical approach to being a fashionable mom, whether pregnant, postpartum, nursing, or just chasing young kiddos around. (Also, she recently battled breast cancer and still manages to look fabulous all the time.)

She recently posted about a trip to a conference without her kids, and the comments she made about returning home really resonated with me. I could have written it myself, really.

“Mamas home, where she belongs. And I do belong here, right here, with them. But part of me wants the expansive me, the one with vision, and personal goals that are very different from the goals of a mother. I guess that’s the trick, right? This balance of what you can give vs what you need; I want it all.”

 

Working Mom Magic– I feel like most mom blogs out there are by stay-at-home moms.  I’m not trying to demean what they do in any way, but it is very different than being a working mom.  It’s nice to read a blog from another mama who’s out there, like me, doing the work thing.

I really, really enjoyed this post where she talks about the dangers of the “everybody wins” attitude.

I also really enjoyed her post about following your mom instincts, which sometimes means ignoring what the books and “experts” tell you.  So.  True.

 

Airing My Dirty Laundry– Her husband is in the Air Force, and while I feel a sense of camaraderie towards her for being a military spouse, it also reminds me to be thankful that JD is ONLY a LEO and not a LEO in the military.  Her husband deploys.  A lot.  And she has 2 kids.  Yuck.

She posted recently about people who tell her that the military lifestyle is “easy.”  A big WTF to that.

 

Hands Free Mama– In today’s world, it’s so easy to get caught up in the constant hustle and bustle of work, school, activities, and the distractions of cell phones, iPads, and TVs.  She is an absolutely beautiful writer who reminds us to focus on the things that really matter in life, like our kiddos.

 

A Game of Diapers– Two full-time working parents and 3 kiddos, 2 of which are twins?!  Oh my, I have no idea how she does it, folks.

 

Healthy Slice of Life– A good blog, especially if you like cooking and focusing on feeding your family with nutritious, healthy foods.  I hate cooking, but for some reason still really enjoy this blog.  That must mean something 🙂

 

 

 

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Postpartum Body Image and “Bouncing Back”

You wanna know what REALLY makes me mad?

This.

 

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And it’s not just celebrity gossip magazines.  It’s everywhere.  All the time.  Losing all of the baby weight in 2 months is NOT NORMAL, and we’re sending an unhealthy message to new moms.

Minimum recovery time before you’re cleared by a doctor to go back to the gym is 6 weeks, and that timeline is longer if you had a C-section or complications.  I had a healthy pregnancy, worked out regularly until the 9 month mark, had a complication-free delivery, and I can tell you that at 6 weeks, things still hurt- a lot.  I eased myself back into the gym, but it wasn’t like I was going full intensity like I used to.  I did struggle with my body image for a while, which I wrote about here.

Instead of encouraging new moms to rest, recover, and enjoy their new babies, we’re pressuring them to prove how quickly they can “bounce back” by setting unrealistic postpartum expectations.

Nursing moms especially should not be stressing about weight loss, they should be concentrating on getting enough calories from nutrient-rich food to feed their babies.  There’s so much focus on how nursing will “help new moms lose the baby weight” but not enough focus on the fact that nursing moms actually need MORE calories (500 extra per day) than they did while pregnant (300 extra per day).

It can take up to a year to take off the baby weight, and a healthy goal is to lose 1-2 pounds per week.  Realistically, not all moms will return to that exact pre-baby weight.  Post-baby, your boobs may be bigger, your hips may be a little wider, and that’s okay. You created a life, your internal organs completely rearranged themselves, and your body’s purpose for nearly a year was to grow a person and prepare to bring that person into the world.

So please, let’s stop this obsession with bouncing back, and shift our focus to rest and recovery.  One look at a face like this, and the number on the scale shouldn’t matter.

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Dear Loralai- Before Birth

A couple of weeks before Loralai was born, I wrote a note to her so she would always know how I felt as we anxiously awaited her arrival.  Since then, I’ve decided it would be cool to write her a note every year on her birthday and compile them all when she turns 18.  So, here is her pre-birth note.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the 1 year note…

Dear Loralai-

It’s hard to believe that you’re almost ready to join us in the world, that the familiar rolling in my belly will soon be gone, replaced with a tiny person I will watch grow. A person who will change my life in a profound way I don’t even understand yet.

I’ve spent 9 months preparing, but soon those little choices I made- which crib sheet matched your room the best and what brand monitor to buy- will be so insignificant. They are nothing compared to the choices I will spend the next 18 years making.

I’m overwhelmed with love for you and overwhelmed with the responsibility of molding you into the person I want you to be. No, not a ballerina or a rocket scientist or a tomboy who loves dirt bikes. You can be anything you want to be as long as you live a life full of love, kindness, compassion, integrity, and appreciation. That’s the person I want you to be, and I will do my best not to fail you in that, no matter how many mistakes I might make along the way.

This time for your father and I is both exhilarating and scary.  For 5 years it’s been just the two of us, and now we’re adding a whole new dimension to our family.  Mostly, we’re anxious to get to know you, and learn all the quirks that will make you uniquely you.

I would say that it’s been a long journey, but it hasn’t really felt that way.  Every day I marvel at how quickly time has flown by.  It feels like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant.  I was elated, and at that time 9 months felt like an eternity, but here we are making final preparations for your arrival.

I hope you know how loved you are already.  Not just by me and your father, but by your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all of our friends who love you as if you were family.  I hope that you can sense everyone’s love and excitement in there, and it makes you just as excited to come out and meet us as we are to meet you.

Love,
Mommy

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Thursday Tip- Maternity Tanks from Target

This time last year, my belly was really starting to pop out, and I was investing in maternity clothes to fit my ever-changing body.  Here I am at 20 weeks, right after we found out we were having a girl.

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These tank tops from Target were by far the greatest investment of my pregnancy. They lasted from the beginning of my pregnancy through my third trimester and beyond. Confession: I actually still wear these tanks. The material is durable and stretchy, so I can wear them to yoga even today because they haven’t lost their shape. Since they’re maternity tanks, they’re nice and long (plus the ruching is flattering), so they’ll keep my belly covered during a yoga session, which has always been a problem for me because of my long torso and larger chest (now even larger, post-pregnancy).

Here I am early in my third trimester and the tank is still going strong.

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Pregnant or not, I recommend these tanks for workouts or to wear under sweaters and stuff. They’re the best!