some thoughts for new mamas.

July 14, 2013

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My sweet girls. 
Both have birthdays coming up... Apple turns one next month and Ainsleigh turns three in September. I have been such a different mom with these sweet little ladies. Being a first time mom is so hard... I was so nervous and just so worried the first time. I didn't want to share him and I was listening to everyone's opinions and everyone's ideas of how to be a mom and a family. I carried the weight of it all at the beginning. 

I figured it out though. 

I figured out that mamas know best and that every child is different. I figured out that it is okay to be confident in those decisions and it's okay to love your baby so much it hurts. 

The second and third time have been more quiet and less anxious. There is an easiness to my spirit...a confidence this time. Something else I have figured out is that things come in seasons.

Aiden never slept in a crib one night. We co-slept every single night with that little guy. Then I had Ainsleigh who adored her crib and Apple who has followed in those foot-steps as well. And we just rolled with it...where-ever anyone wanted to sleep, whatever is best for each one...great! No labels. No judgements. Just doing what feels right. Then, with Aiden and Ainsleigh...for awhile they were night owls and napping and sleeping in and it worked for a season and then we implemented a bedtime routine and schedule and pulled the naps for a 7:00 bedtime and that is working amazing now. Both were great plans for different seasons. 

I wish that first year I hadn't worried so much. I wish I had trusted myself more. And not second-guessed myself when people made various comments...because now, as a third time mom I am confident in my decisions. Things feel so much less "heavy".

In a way I felt like writing this out because I wish I had prepared my own heart better. I didn't know I would be so emotional and that it would be so hard to hear all the different opinions. I knew before I had Aiden that sometimes women struggled to connect with their new babies but what I wasn't prepared for was the opposite. The panic of sharing him. The not wanting others to hold him or watch him. I found an old diary I had written in when Aiden was 5 weeks old and here are a few raw emotions from that time....


"My new lesson I am learning is to love this precious baby with open hands. This is harder for me than most...I guess? I need to share him better. Why is it that I feel so uncomfortable to see others give my baby love and affection...that should be a huge joy in my heart, right? It is strange how often times it makes me feel out of place. Like that special love is a sacred thing...only for Chris and I. I feel as though I was robbed of our first moments. The nursings and the diaper changes and all of those precious, first moments. And now.....all I want is space. "

No one prepared me for that. 

And obviously NOW it is the greatest gift on earth to share my babies with friends and family. I love watching them bless others or make someone else laugh or feel special. I adore to share their fun personalities and see others delight in them and for them to feel loved by others as well. 

Seasons. 
Whatever it is you are going through....it's just for a season. 

60 comments:

  1. Ok -- I have just recently discovered your blog and it keeps striking such a chord with me, I had to comment. I just now realized, in reading this, that I have had the same emotions with both my babies...especially my first. I needed to share her better, too and until recently (she's six now) that was a real issue for me. And of course, I had no idea...until now :)

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    1. Its so hard that first time!!! Thanks for sharing mama :) xoxo

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  2. Yes! I feel so much more confident as a mom 9 months down the line than I did in those first fragile weeks when everyone was beating me over the head with their opinions. I wish I prepared myself better before my dear son was born.

    xx
    josie
    www.straightnochase.com

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  3. Love your blog. You are awesome and so refreshing with your honesty. This was just what I needed to read tonight as a new mama to my growing way too fast 9 month old:)

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  4. Casey, I felt the same with my first. It was so very hard to share him. No one prepared me for that, either. It's been easier with my second and third, but sometimes I still find myself struggling with that. Glad to see that I am not alone and that you can overcome. :) Thank you for your beautiful words as always. Hope you have a very happy and blessed week, friend! :)

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  5. awww love!! thank you so much for those sweet words :) xoxox

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  6. I now have four kids, and I'm dealing with anxiety. First time around I had no problem sharing my baby. I wonder how to let go of all the things in my mind, and just feel free again. Seasons. I like that. It gives promise of better times ahead.

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  7. I type this as I lay in my bed, holding my sweet one year old who, for some reason, wouldn't go to sleep in her crib tonight. This is a girl who always happily plays in her crib until she falls asleep and likes a few minutes to play before you go get her up in the morning or after a nap. As tired as I am, I am savoring every second because just the other day I was thinking back to how badly I missed her napping with me when she was just a little baby. She is peacefully sleeping in my arms and it is such a special treat. She is our first and we waited almost 10 years to have her. Not because we suffered heartache and loss, but rather just because we chose to wait before starting a family. I am 31 now and have been surprised by my confidence as a first time mom. I was just thinking about seasons during my long drive to work this morning. I was putting together all of the little puzzle pieces that have gotten my husband and I where we are today and how the rough seasons we weathered made s grow in ways I never knew possible. I thought about the seasons that are full of pure joy, too and how I've learned to recognize and appreciate them when they come. Thank you for sharing your heart, and especially for doing so tonight. These were words that I needed to hear to confirm what has already been on my heart.

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  8. I'm not a mom but I always enjoy reading your post about motherhood because it makes me excited for Someday when I will become a mother. I enjoy reading your post because you were so honest and you have to train with words. you are so honest and real in everything that you write and you don't try and sugar coat things which I appreciate it a lot I hope that it's okay that I come in on this post even though I'm not I have always enjoyed reading your blog and will continue to read for many years to come orange long as you blog. you for giving us a glimpse into your life in for giving us advice well giving us a godly perspective into things its so beautiful.

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  9. Thank you thank you THANK YOU! We are expecting our first little one, a baby girl, in November. And I find that along with my excitement and joy has come intense anxiety over not knowing what to do...or, worse yet, knowing what to do and not having the courage to do it. I love your heart and it is always such an encouragement to me! I'm sure I'll come back again and again for some more advice in the months to come.

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  10. thank you for sharing this... i have felt the same so many times with my first -- anxiety, stress, panic -- but feel i'm slowly relaxing and learning to trust myself. to trust that i do know what my kids needs. your post brought me to tears.

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  11. thank you for sharing this... i have felt the same so many times with my first -- anxiety, stress, panic -- but feel i'm slowly relaxing and learning to trust myself. to trust that i do know what my kids needs. your post brought me to tears.

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  12. Ah you are so right...in the midst of it all, when it all gets too overwhelming, we need to keep telling ourselves that it's just for a season and that this season, like all seasons, will eventually pass. I am so in love with your photography. Please come to my house and teach me how to use a camera!

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  13. Beautiful Casey,

    I can relate to nearly everything you said. With my oldest I feel like I missed out on a lot of joy by being anxious about everything. Being anxious that I wasn't 'doing it right'. Love love this post, will have to link to it! Hope that is okay x

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  14. Such beautiful children! And I love these photos! They are just lovely! :)

    x
    Tagg

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  15. I am two days past my due date with my first and more anxious than ever. Thanks so much for this post it was a perfect relief to another anxious night. :)

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  16. Thank you for sharing. I'll be holding my first baby in about a month and all I can say is thank you.

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  17. Thank you for your post. In about a month I'll be holding my first baby and all I can say is thank you for your inspiring words.

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  18. This is so refreshing to read. I do share my first with others, but am relieved when she's all mine again! I love your openness and honesty. I can totally relate to feeling completely anxious and panicked- with worrying over every little thing. Thanks for the reminder that it's just a season and that we are always growing with time!

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  19. This is so refreshing to read! I (with my first) have been experiencing lots of anxious feelings and worry with every little thing! And though I do share her with others, I am relieved when she is back with Mama! Thank you for your honesty and openness. I love (and have loved) reading your blog! Your babies are beautiful!!! XO

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  20. well said. i am a much better mom the 3rd go around ... i learned a few tricks of the trade along the way :)

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  21. Beautiful children you have ! :)
    Are so lovely !

    xxx
    M.

    butterflyeffectbymarina.blogspot.ro

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  22. Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing a peak of what you were feeling at that time. I am a first time mom to an 8 week old little boy and I find myself feeling the same thing, and I feel bad about it. I am normally a super laid back person, but I've had to intentionally tell myself to calm down and relax. It is not that I do not trust other people (especially those who are close to me) and I truly do want others to find joy in my baby, but I think you hit the nail on the head - it seems like a sacred love that you want just for you and your husband.

    Your words encouraged me so! Thank you.

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  23. Thank you so much for your honesty. I am a first time mom to an 8 week old baby boy! I found myself feeling the same way that you are describing I just did not know how to word it. I'm usually a super laid back person, who finds joy in living life with others. It's not that I didn't trust others (especially those close to me) or that I did not want them to find joy in my baby (because I do want that very much), but you hit the nail on the head - you feel like it's a sacred love that only you and your husband and baby should share. Maybe it's because its the first time I'm feeling this depth of love and I don't know how to handle it, so it manifests itself in that way.

    I so needed to hear these words! Thank you so much.

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  24. My little boy is 9 month old now. I struggle with wanting space and wanting to be the one who does everything for him. It's hard for me to give up that control, and to know that someone else can do the job I do.

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  25. Loved hearing your words. I am now pregs with our 2nd! So exciting, but so scary too! I was a nervous flippin' wreck with our first- all of the time, pretty much. I dread that happening again, but I try to assure myself that this time around I will do better. It does all come in time :).

    x.

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  26. Amen to all of this! I sometimes wonder if God intentionally made us be a bit anxious with our first ones to prepare them for their siblings. My little man just turned 1 and my sweet girl will be 3 in September too. Fun times <3

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  27. Great post! We all have to make our own rules. Do what works for us. xo

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  28. Beautiful.

    I'm hoping the infertility struggle 'season' I am going through will soon pass.

    xo

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  29. My boys are two and a half and I STILL have a hard time sharing them. I'm having the hardest time letting go and letting them do things. I have to keep reminding myself that they'll have a blast and I can't hold on just for me. Thank you for this.

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  30. such a beautiful post casey! i am 2 weeks away from my due date with my first babe and i hope to remember your words! thanks for sharing

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  31. Beautiful Casey. I was going to tweet this to you but it would take up too much space. My oldest is 17 now. I so wish I was a new mama reading this post. I regret so much of what I allowed myself to feel due to other's "well meaning" words. The funny thing is, now looking back, 17 years later, NONE of it matters a hill of beans. The only harm done was to ME for causing anxiety and doubt. Well, live and learn, right?

    I like the whole idea of "seasons". I am going thru that now, since my gorgeous girl is 17, driving, working her first job and flying with the wings that I gave her. But it is bittersweet and makes me cry sometimes.

    Thank you for your heartfelt words.
    Roselle

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  32. Ugh, so true! I read so many books, had so many rules to follow. Then they didn't work. I stressed out. Felt anxious all the time. I am learning to feel confident in mothering. Learning to feel confident in knowing my child and what he needs. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear it gets even better. That more confidence comes. That there are seasons. Be blessed, friend!

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  33. i COULD NOT agree more. i had my second child a month ago, and it's been 100% easier, not because the baby is more laid back, but because i'm not nearly so anxious, worried, on edge. the great thing is that it frees me up to enjoy this itty bitty baby rather then spending all my time worrying.
    (i blog a little about it here: http://www.thekriegers.org/2013/07/one-month-2/)

    after my first child i kept thinking, "i could NEVER do this again" and i'm only a month in and i'm already thinking, "yeah, i could do this again."
    it's not easy being a first-time mama.

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  34. Pinning this for the day that I become a mom I can reread it, and sharing for all my new mom friends!! Makes me feel all warm and tear-y just reading this!!

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  35. You just seem to write the feelings of my heart too! I love this post, every baby is different, as well as the seasons that go along with parenting/kids :) All my babies are different, and not one way always works for all 3. Couldn't agree more, just wish I too knew all this in the beginning, but it's a learning and growing process :)

    xo,
    Shio

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  36. i can SOOOOO resonate with your feelings towards aiden. i had the hardest time handing parker over for even a moment.

    this was a beautiful post, friend.

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  37. My favorite thing to remind myself is that "this too shall pass".. good and bad. it keeps me grounded in the bad and extremely grateful in the good... thank you for this beautiful post

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  38. I went through a HUGE season of mourning the "first's". I can most definitely relate to those emotions. Loved reading that tid bit from your old journal.

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  39. I just found your gorgeous new blog. I'm a new follower. I hope you will follow me back at www.mysaturdaysmiles.blogspot.com Thanks! :)

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  40. thank you for the reminder!! This time last year I was potty training my son and I remember thinking he would NEVER get it...now he goes on his own. All that worrying for nothing!
    Now I have a 9 month old that won't give me more than 3 hours of sleep at a time and only wants to be nursed to sleep. I needed the reminder that it's only a season.

    I often wishing I could do things over with my son. I would have enjoyed it so much more if I hadn't worried about doing it "right"....there isn't such a thing! Like you said, each child is different and mama knows best. I wish I would've just trusted myself more :-)

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  41. I was so happy to read this!!! I am due with my 1st (a boy) next week!!! Thank you for sharing your heart!

    xoxo
    Jacquelynn

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  42. ah, so true. I felt like I missed out on a few first moments with my baby due to the nature of delivery, and I was sort of out for a few days after, milk delayed, and off to a rough start. When we got home, my in-laws hovered and I felt liked hogged my baby - I just met him myself after all, and I still wanted to bond. After all, he was mine and my husbands. I had carried him for 9 months and only just had him. It still makes me sad to think back on that time. With this next baby... I hope to be more at ease, but also be ok with setting limits for others to let us have our time at first.

    Megan from Chasing Davies

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  43. Ai, coisa mais linda! Amei as fotografias! Beijos
    Lola
    http://antonellaesuaboneca.blogspot.com.br/

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  44. I'm working on letting go of the judgements of others over how I'm raising my daughter. It's difficult when a lot of the decisions we've made for her are different than what our families "typically" do. I do know that I feel confident in my decisions for us though because I really feel that I know what's best for her.

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  45. Wow! I felt the same thing with my first daughter! I just wanted her all to myself. I remember people bringing us dinner and realizing after they left that I had never let them hold the baby. I just could not get anough of that sweet girl.

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  46. It is so, so hard to share your little one. I totally understand how that goes. Especially when I was the one nursing her and I stayed home with her while Cory went to work. Poor guy! And to this day, Alea's never spent a night away from both of us... and she's almost 3 and a half!

    That bond that you developed with your littles is just amazing to me. I know I have that similar bond with Alea, but through your photos and your blog seeing it is just so beautiful. I love that you share that with us!

    Chelsea from Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles

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  47. Thank you for this beautiful post. I am currently pregnant with my first, and I have had some major health issues this past year, so I can already feel the eyes judging me. But like you said, mamas know best and every child is different. So even though others may question wether I will be a good parent or not, but I already know I will be an amazing mother. Thanks for the confidence boost! -Jessica

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  48. I love this. It's so true that everyone has opinions of ways that you should be raising your little one. My first baby is five months old right now, and it is hard to share him. Or at least share him when I'm not there. I've only been away from him a handful of times, and it was harder than I could ever imagine. I love having him spend time with other family and friends, but I want to be there, too.

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  49. I really feel the same as you Casey. With my first I was so so so over-protective and I still hate sharing her which I know is weird but I also trust it is just part of being a mom. I like your season ideology, I definitely believe in it. My second daughter is 2wks old now and I already feel much more relaxed, confident and secure in leaving her with my mom for short periods of time.. you live and learn :) Love your blog.xoxo

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  50. I really feel the same as you Casey. With my first I was so so so over-protective and I still hate sharing her which I know is weird but I also trust it is just part of being a mom. I like your season ideology, I definitely believe in it. My second daughter is 2wks old now and I already feel much more relaxed, confident and secure in leaving her with my mom for short periods of time.. you live and learn :) Love your blog.xoxo

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  51. Such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing. I'll definitely have to bookmark and come back to it after my little one is here!

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  52. I have 2 little ladies and I can relate entirely! Thanks for sharing!!

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  53. i completely relate to your post! i currently have 1, and i was so over protective and (maybe over bearing) the first year! i am coming to terms now in "letting go" because i should be glad love is coming from others! it was such a weird jealousy feeling! thanks for posting, i'm glad i'm not the only one...

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  54. Casey,

    I could give birth to my first baby any day, and I can't tell you how much I relate to your words. I was crying to my husband yesterday and saying how I wanted space and felt like people are going to want to take the baby away from me. It's a powerful and terrifying feeling for me already. I hope when she gets here that I'll be more willing and ready to share her joy. Right now the thought of anyone taking her out of my arms is almost more than I can stand.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and that it is okay to feel new emotions with such a new experience.

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