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Listen to your baby

yes even when they are crying!

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I had a really difficult time breastfeeding Kennedy. My milk supply was low. He had some tummy issues. I was stressed out. It was all full circle and HARD. They say it’s hard, and it is hard but now I realize how difficult I made it on both of us. I realize now how much stress I added to the equation by worrying on top of the difficulty. Looking back, I realize he had colic. He would scream for hours on end without any signs of being sick. Now that we have Miles, I quickly saw the same symptoms in Miles as I did with Kennedy and started adding things up. After hours turned into days of research, I realized that it was likely dairy that was the culprit.

So I stripped my diet of dairy and anything that would be acidic to the body: yes, even COFFEE. UGH. I LOVE COFFEE, especially my keto coffee! But, this time I didn’t want to give up nursing. I wanted to tackle this by figuring it out and I knew my body was capable of providing for this child. Slowly but surely the screaming on hours on end stopped. He started going to the bathroom regularly and relaxing easier. Car rides became a breeze. Nap time got easier. He stretched into 6 hours of sleep at night. Wow. Could it have really all been dairy? It seems like it.

My point is, I could have easily given up. I could have thrown in the towel and decided that I wasn’t going to nurse him anymore, but this time I felt like superwoman. I did it. I watched his cues when he would pull hard off my breast squirming in pain with his fists tight together. I paid attention and got quiet for him so I could understand his pain. Our babies will tell us anything we need to know if we just get quiet for them. I’m so grateful I listened to Miles and helped him through this process. Now I can effortlessly say that I look forward to many many months of nursing him through his first year!

Be Present

As moms I feel like it’s easy to add too much to our schedule and I was doing way too much too soon with our first born – or trying to do too much without really getting anything done. You know what I mean? I needed to chill out, be fully present with Kennedy and embrace motherhood! Instead, I went too hard too early on. I overwhelmed myself. Without regrets, I look back and realize that time goes by way too quickly for that. So this time around, being present is my middle name! I’m taking the time to focus on both of my boys now, simultaneously.

Of course, we know that the first few weeks to a month are rough. It’s difficult to even get a shower in because it’s all about the baby! But even among the chaos I would still take him to sit with Kennedy and play a game, build a puzzle or even just watch a movie between naps. Once I felt like going outside of the home, I would start taking him to school – even if it meant the extra step of getting Miles out of the car and attaching him to the stroller so we could walk in together for drop off. I could literally feel the sense of relief and excitement from Kennedy when Miles and I took him to school for the first time. It was completely worth all the “work” to get there.

This awareness has centered me so much this time around. I’ve been more present in the household. I typically like to go go go. I feel as moms we need to stop, take a deep breath and re-center ourselves as much as possible throughout the day. We need to give to ourselves so the world around us responds best to us – our spouse – our kids – our family – our friends – our coworkers – even strangers. Even in this newborn phase, I’ve realized the importance of just taking a few moments to stretch, breathe and meditate – even if it is at 3 o’clock in the morning – even if my nipples hurt like hell, my eyes are closing shut and my head is spinning.

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Take Time for R&R

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Being a work at home mama certainly has it’s huge gains, but one thing we don’t get is maternity leave. It’s really easy to fall into a work trap when you love what you do. Over these last few years I’ve realized that Mom Guilt is totally a real thing!!! I would feel this internal struggle going on and would hear whispers from my inner voice “you can do it all…work work work” or “no, you need to relax and enjoy your babies.” UGH, WHAT?! Two polar opposite pieces of advice, coming from my own self, ha! Y’all know what I mean and if you don’t, then you’re the crazy one, ha! We all have that inner voice. That inner struggle. That inner self talking to us non-stop. It’s our job to follow the voice that matches where our heart and our head combine, you know, when two become one.

So instead of getting crazy with work from the start, I’ve learned to let our family of four inspire me as I gain knowledge and awareness on this journey through motherhood; especially as a mama of two! I’ll never ever get these months back, ever, so it’s about embracing these moments. 

If I have any advice for a new mom…whether it’s your first, second or fourth, take some time to rest, relax and spend quality time with your family – even if it means a staycation. Over Mother’s Day weekend, we had the opportunity to go out of town for a family friend’s wedding. We could have easily said “no, it’s too much too soon” but instead we decided to embrace it. We packed the car up and headed north on 75 to Greensboro, Georgia. 

We stayed on the gorgeous Lake Oconee at the Ritz Carlton. I mean, who doesn’t love a Ritz property!? They do it right!!! Kennedy rode up with my parents while Scott and I drove Miles. We had such a smooth ride with only 3 quick stops to feed, yeah! We arrived to the most perfect weather – clear skies and the sun shining high. The property sits up overlooking the lake on the most exquisite piece of land, with plenty to do for adults and kiddos. Kennedy especially loved the infinity pool and playground! For our stay, we rented a cottage nestled between the pine trees looking into the golf course. Amidst the spring heat, we would still get a breeze every morning and evening! It was divine. The entire weekend was about family, togetherness and the celebration of our friends. We rested. We reset our clocks. We truly felt like we got a great vacation. As hard as it seemed in our minds to get away, it was completely worth the expense, time and energy. I’m thinking a Mother’s Day retreat is needed every year, ha!

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