Mom struggles and homemade baby food
There are a ton of articles, blog posts, Facebook posts, and unsolicited advice givers out there that are going to be in your face from the moment you get pregnant, until pretty much forever. Their sole purpose is to make you overwhelmed, anxious, and have an unsettling feeling of failure before you even pop out your little bundle of joy. Some of it is helpful, some of it is overkill and unnecessary, and most of it is just complete bullshit. Before I was pregnant, before I even found a man to call my husband I always imagined myself being the mom who was going to be that asshole who makes all other moms feel like they aren’t doing enough. Not in a competitive or malicious way, I just thought I was going to be that super mom who had it all together. I consider myself a decent planner and I’m fairly organized and in my pre-mommy brain I thought to myself, “I got this!” and “I’m going to be fabulous!” I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a complete asshole. My kid is 11 months old and I’m exhausted, behind, overwhelmed, and being “fabulous” is when I can make it out of the house without getting baby snot, dog slobber, or breast milk on my clothes while running late towards daycare drop off. Even then, I’ve either forgotten to pack my own lunch, forgotten to put on deodorant or remember to put in my nipple pads. Motherhood is the most rewarding and the most agonizing thing you could ever go through, at this point I think that my 36 hour labor was the easy part.
On a daily basis I have one of those, “So, thats what they were talking about…” moments when I look back at my friends complaining about how they can’t get things done or organized post baby. I didn’t think it was going to be a walk in the park, but I also didn’t think it was going to be a whirlwind of emotional terrorism. One moment you are so overwhelmed with happiness and joy and the next moment you are bawling your eyes out because you think you are screwing up your kid and can’t manage to get anything right. There is no mother or child alike out there and though some of the articles and advice come in handy, its a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of situation when you’re trying to figure these little people out and manage your time and maintain your hygiene, let alone your sanity. It is a lot of work, and I feel like our society has put so much extra pressure on what makes a good mother these days; working, breastfeeding, making homemade baby food, teaching your baby sign language, doing arts and crafts, baking, keeping up with chores, being an awesome wife, friend, employee, etc. The list goes on and on, and the pressure and struggle to be the perfect mom is overwhelming. Hearing my mothers and grandmothers generation talk – you were doing okay and considered a decent mother if you just kept your child fed and alive. Now, I feel like you have to be healthy and fit by the time your maternity leave is up, be America’s Top Chef, President of the PTA, and know what preschool your kid is going to be attending before they are even born to even be considered a decent mother. All while doing the every day tasks of keeping your kid fed, alive and happy. That doesn’t even include the responsibilities of having a job, being a wife or even a friend.
Besides being fortunate enough to have a partner who is very supportive and helpful, the only way I’ve been managing it all is jotting down a few things a week to put on the priority list. From finishing a project, organizing a closet or cabinet to finding the extra minutes during a shower to shave my legs! If life, with all of its craziness allows me to get it done, awesome. If not, I just have to remind myself of all the things I did get done throughout the week. So I don’t break down and cry thinking I’m just sucking at life. There is one thing that I’ve managed to keep up with that I’m very proud of and when I’m having one of those, “I’m the worst mother on the planet,” moments it makes me feel a little better knowing I’ve managed to keep up with one of the things that was very important on my list of Motherhood priorities. Since my little chunker was 7 months old I’ve been making her homemade baby food.
Even before we were married I knew that I wanted to give making homemade baby food a try. We even registered for a Baby Bullet on our wedding registry and I’m so glad that no one got it for us. Registering for it just made people think we were pregnant before our actual wedding date. However, that wasn’t the case and for the folks who know me, know I’m an obsessive planner, and I was just doing a little foreshadowing. Fortunately, we never received a Baby Bullet for our wedding or our baby shower. We decided to use our Vitamix instead. Once we got the go ahead from our pediatrician that she was okay to try solids we made a trip to our local farmer’s market and stocked up on fruits and veggies. We spent about $15 on food for the baby, and it lasted about FOUR months. For any new parents trying to save money and be health conscience about what your baby is eating, I would suggest giving this a try. It’s very easy, and for me, someone who loves to cook it has been a lot of fun. They have a bunch of fancy baby food making gadgets out there, but I’m certain that anyone with a decent blender or food processor can get it done. All I do is wash the fruits and veggies, steam them, blend them, and freeze them into trays. I bought a Mumi & Bubi Solids Starter Kit, but there are several other trays you can use to freeze the food once its pureed. Once we went through most of the fruits and veggies on their own to see if she had any reactions to it, we started making fun mixtures for her and the combinations are simple and endless. Her favorite mixture to date is a chicken-spinach-kale combo that I sprinkled some rosemary in. It’s actually so good that Mommy and Daddy make chicken salad sandwiches out of it.
Baby food making aside, I realize now more than ever that Motherhood will be the hardest thing that I ever have to do. However, she is absolutely the best part of our lives and the best decision we have ever made. When I get anxious and completely overwhelmed I just need to remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can. That’s all we can ever really do, isn’t it? If all else fails, I know that I’m giving her 100% of me every day with all the little and big things that we do for her. It may not all be perfect, it may not always be right, but she’s happy, she’s fed and so far we’ve managed to keep her alive even though our entire house screams danger zone. I’ll just have to keep working on my to do lists, keep my priorities in line, and learn how to function on hot tea and handfuls of cheerios as I run out the door. It’s the breakfast of Mommy Champions.
Link to the Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit: http://a.co/asZpG8G