no such thing as the “best way” in motherhood

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I feel like when you become a mother you suddenly get bombarded with ideas and opinions on “the best way” to mother.  The best way to feed your baby.  The best way for them to sleep.  The best way to give birth.

I think its all rather irrelevant in the greater scheme of mothering, which as far as I can tell…lasts a lifetime..

Breast vs bottle.  Attachment parenting.  Co-sleeping.  CIO.  They’re choices we make as parents.  But do they yield a better bond, a better future for our children if we chose one over the other?  I don’t know that they do.  For me they don’t matter.

To me there’s no such thing as the best way to mother a child.  For the most part we do the best we can with what we have, and the information we are given.  But I think the guilt of thinking perhaps we made a mistake in how we raise our kids can leave a lasting impact.

I’m completely guilty of all of this.  I too used to think that there was a “right and wrong way” to do certain things.  I suppose that is why I felt so much guilt after I had Johannes via emergency c-section.

But its changing.  With this pregnancy I was hoping to have a VBAC.  But not because I wanted to prove something to myself, or anyone else for that matter.  I wanted a VBAC because the doctor advised me that it was the safest thing to do.  Now I face the prospect of another c-section.  This little boy is breech.  I get to have an ultrasound tomorrow to check and make sure that all is ok, and then I’m free to try various exercises and massages to try and flip him into position.  Even then there is a 50% chance that he won’t flip.

I thought I would be more or less upset about it but I’m not.  I guess I feel somewhat indifferent.  My goal is to have a healthy baby and the means by which he lands in my arms is not as important to me right now.  I look at Johannes and how he’s grown and I feel proud.  I know that some of this is as a result of my parenting, even if its only a small part.  I don’t think I would be any closer to him had I had a natural birth, a water birth, a vaginal birth.  Its just a product of our relationship and our connection is organic.

I nursed Johannes for a year, but before he was born I was dead set against nursing.  I didn’t think it was for me.  I thought it would feel unnatural.  And who knows, maybe the second time around I won’t want to, or maybe I won’t be able to nurse.  But I know with certainty that I will love this little boy just as much as I love Johannes.  So as moms we just do our very best.

I’d love to hear your thoughts?  Have you ever been made to feel like maybe your choices as a mom weren’t the right ones?

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Stripes and More Stripes

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I am admitting that I have a problem with stripes.  On babies, baby bumps, toddlers…I don’t discriminate, I LOVE striped clothing.  I am also getting down to the wire now, 34 weeks into my pregnancy, head first into the 9th inning, not much fits other than stretchy dresses, skirts and leggings, so I’m layering a lot to try and make up for perhaps wearing the same skirt or pants 5 days in a row.  I am wondering in another few weeks what, if anything at all, will actually fit me. I guess we’ll see!

Roasted Potato and Macaroni Salad with Greek Yogurt

roasted potato salad with greek yogurt potato and macaroni salad recipe

I loooove potato salad but I hate when there’s too much mayonnaise being mixed in.  So I decided to try a different version using greek yogurt and mayo mixed together.  To make it a little bit tastier I roasted the potatoes instead of boiling them, and I mixed in some macaroni too.  It was super tasty and perfect for a summer BBQ.

Ingredients

5 medium yellow potatoes washed and cut into cubes with skin still on

2 cups cooked macaroni

4 cloves of garlic chopped

4 tbsp fresh minced chives

3 green onions chopped thinly

3 hard boiled eggs coarsely chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

1 cup of 2% greek yogurt

1 cup of mayonnaise (not miracle whip)

4 tbsp yellow mustard

salt + pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt+pepper and garlic.  Roast on lined baking sheet, turning every 10minutes, until a fork can pierce right through them and the edges are brown.  In the meantime boil the macaroni.  Once boiled rinse with cold water and set aside.  When the potatoes are roasted, mix them with the macaroni and the rest of the ingredients.  Add a little more salt and pepper if you need it.  And voila! Enjoy!

quiet

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For now our afternoons are quiet and reflective.  After finishing work and picking up Johannes from summer camp I’m usually exhausted and in need of 20minutes of quiet time to lie in bed and let the swelling and aches subside.  Johannes usually reads his books beside me or opts to watch a fishing show.  I’m trying desperately to hold on to these final moments because I know in a just a short time it won’t be just him and I alone after school or camp is over.  It will be three of us.  Each with our own agenda.  Johannes and I have, for the most part, a seamless existence.  We get each other, we know what works and what the routine ought to be.  Soon though we will figure out a new routine, and new needs of a brand new member of the family.  The signs of his imminent arrival are visible all throughout the house.  His room, the car seat, baby toys and now the bassinet that my friend was so kind to lend us for the first little bit.  I have no doubt that once the little one comes he will fit right in.  We will adapt and adjust and I will love every minute of our new version of quiet.

M O M // Danni

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Today’s stunning mom is Danni.  I live vicariously through her bright Instagram photos and often wonder if I should quit everything here in Toronto and move my family down to LA for some much needed sun and warmth.

Here’s what Danni had to share.

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Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.

I‘m Danni, the Mum to two littles Edie (5) and Tommy (3), and wife to Rick.  I’m also one half of Fawn Shoppe a children’s online creative concept store. 

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How do you start your morning?

I’m up and making coffee with the birds. I love to get an early start and try to squeeze in a couple of hours of work with my business partner who’s on EST. more coffee follows, then we start our day. My day is bookended by fawn shoppe fun, while the days are family filled. My husband also works from home and is a night owl, so we’re lucky enough to squeeze in some mid week hang outs.

If you had to pick one holiday to be your favorite, which one would it be?

I love the lead up to Christmas more so than even the day. Visiting Santa, making decorations, I’m rather sentimental and love these new traditions we’re acquiring each year. Taking Edie to the Nutcracker has become one of those moments that I had really wanted before I had a daughter 

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What would people be most surprised to find out about you?

After College, I packed a backpack and left England to be a camp councelor in New York, with no intent to go back. I grew up in a small village and couldn’t wait to go on adventures. I still love to move around.

Who inspires you?

My husband has an amazing amount of drive and will to succeed. He’s a force, and I’m hoping some of it has rubbed off on me.

Describe your personal style?

I’m rather down with the classics. I love a beautiful ballet flat and trench coat, but love to add a cocktail ring or something a little less subtle. I’d live in dresses above all else. I’ve spent this summer pining for Ulla Johnson and Ace+Jig, they’re perfection.

Favourite room in the house and why?

My favourite room is always the kids. They just went back to sharing again, and I have equal parts frustration and complete love for those, can’t get to sleep nighttime giggles. 

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Is it easy making friends in your community?

We just moved up to LA from Newport Beach where most of our friends are. With us both working from home, it’s been so important to have a supportive group of families close by, hence the move. So far so good!

What surprised you most about motherhood?

I think that strong motherly instinct where you’re constantly concerned. Driving to LA from Newport Beach filled me with paranoia every time I hit the freeways. I’m the mum who stills chops up her big kids food and will potentially be driving her to college in a car seat. It’s overwhelming to continuously meet these milestones where you have to loosen up the reins a bit.

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What’s your go to meal after a busy day?

Honestly? In and Out burger. But I’ll give you the good Mummy answer too:) Probably homemade enchiladas or Breaded Salmon. Both of my kids are great eaters and would choose sushi over most everything else.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and who would you bring along?

I would love to go to Greece with just my husband. I mean I wouldn’t because I’m paranoid, but it would be nice to adventure together again.

What role does Instagram play in your life?

It’s a window to creativity and cute babies. The difference with any other microblog, is it’s visual. I love the stream of pretty I can look through in my day, and babies!

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What have you found most surprising about Instagram?

The genuine relationships you can get from it. I have some really lovely and creative women in my life who I’ve met though IG.

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Thank you so much Danni for sharing your family and you life with us today.  I am certainly on the overprotective side too, I’ll likely be one of those moms who runs a background check on every one of my kids’ friends and their families too.

You can find and follow along with Danni on her beautifully curated shop and her lovely Instagram feed.

 

the best and worst parts of being pregnant

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I won’t really bring up the first trimester nausea and fatigue because I think those go without saying as being some of the worst parts of being pregnant.  But the heartburn and sciatic pain that accompanied my entrance into the third trimester have got to be a close second.  I didn’t know it was possible to have heartburn from water, but it is.  I sleep with a bottle of TUMS by my bed side every night, and have a wide assortment of antacids in each one of my bags or purses.  I do remember both of these … heartburn and sciatic pain… from the first time I was pregnant, but I think I forgot just how bad they really were.  I imagine I may have done the same with the memory of labor pains.  But we will deal with that later.

I’m now into my 33rd week, I have less than 2 months left of being pregnant and even with the heaviness and discomfort of the third trimester I’m a little bit sad that this pregnancy will end for me so soon.  I can’t wait to meet my son, don’t get me wrong.  I just know that once he’s here time will start to turn at warped speed and he will grow and grow and grow.  This is likely my last pregnancy, and being able to carry babies is not something I take lightly.  I feel blessed and thankful that I am able to experience this miracle, that I’m able to give life to someone who 10 months ago did not yet exist. It may sound strange or crazy but sometime I am in awe of what my own body can do.  How it can change and morph to live for two.  It makes me a little sad to know that I only get to experience this closeness and this bond with my son for only a few more weeks and then just like that I’m on my own again.  Not really obviously I’ll be surrounded by my boys, but this little human won’t be within me anymore.  I remember pretty vividly missing that after Johannes was born, and this time will be no different.

So for me that’s the best part of being pregnant….the life.  I have never felt more useful and more alive than I do when I’m pregnant.  And the smoothie flavoured TUMS are pretty great too.