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Friday, July 2, 2010

BFF: Can We Ever Do Enough As Moms?

Week Four of Blog Friend Feature introduces you to a mom that I think that we can all relate to. Still a new mom, with a 7 month-old. The tagline from her blog is Searching for Sleep and Sanity: Balancing Work, Motherhood, and Red Wine. If I'm not mistaken, I was among her first followers and have watched as she'd learned how to balance these things. Even cheering her on as she finds ways to keep her marriage a priority with a baby in the house(you know how I love that!) and finding her way with mom friends, too(probably even need to use my word for some of them!).

Jenn, from Baby Steps in High Heels, is another fabulous example to me of how blog friends are real. I think you'll love this post from her, as she talks about what she's learned so far as a mom and her worry that we might never feel like we're doing enough for our kids.

In the few months that I’ve been a mom, I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and even impressed myself from time to time. Looking back now, I laugh out loud when I remember how daunting the thought of diaper changing was before Baby arrived. If I had only known then … that diapers, even dirty-grisly-blow outs, would be the easy part!

Mothering is a perpetual job, from worrying to loving, one we’ll all likely take with us into the next life. It’s amazing, rewarding, and … hard. I love my little girl. I love all of the new experiences motherhood has brought into my life. Well, most of them anyway. But, I do feel pretty overwhelmed a lot of the time. Some days it’s just a thought in the back of my head. Other days, I feel like I’m drinking from the fire hose (too bad those hydrants aren’t stocked with a good pinot).

Seriously though, lately I’ve been wondering … is it ever enough?! Do we, as mothers, ever just sit back and feel like we have all of our bases covered? Is there ever a moment where we aren’t frantically running through the endless checklist in our heads? I’m not talking about feeling like our job is ‘finished,’ but whether or not we ever have the ability to take a deep breath without feeling guilty for taking that split second for ourselves.

Forget diapers, feedings, teething, and naps. That too is the easy part. My baby is a BPA-free bottle drinking, EWG-approved sunscreen wearing, organic homemade baby food eating, possibly about to be cloth diaper wearing child. I’m doing my best to teach her English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Shapes, Colors, Numbers, Animals. All while working a full-time job.

I actually just cut out 50 damn faces of people with varying ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds for a homemade book of ‘Faces’ to increase her chances of maintaining good facial recognition skills into adulthood, all because I read an article that this peaks at 6-months and wanes at 9-months.

If my seven-MONTH-old isn’t burnt out by the time she hits pre-school, I just might be!

Believe me, I love doing a lot of these things. I love to cook, so making my own baby food was a no-brainer. Even with all that I do, I still feel like I could/should be doing more. Shouldn’t I learn to sew and make Baby’s clothes? Should I be making more of an effort to stay at home with her? Day care socializes her, but would she get more/better/happier attention if she had me one-on-one all-day-long?

Agh! The questions. The thoughts. So many things run through my mind all day long, every single day. Maybe this is just the plight of a new mom, and I’ll know peace of mind again one day soon (if 18 years from now is soon???). But, I’m thinking that we all go through this. Maybe you’re not all as neurotic as me. Maybe you all have everything figured out. If you do, could you please email me? Immediately! Thanks!

Don't you just love her? You can tell she's trying her best but also that she'd never be one of those moms who annoys you with telling you that her way is the only way. A very real mom. One I'd kick back with at the end of a busy day and drink a glass of wine with as we laughed over the crazy things that happened during our days.

Please leave Jenn some comment love her on this post and then go show your support by following her if you don't already!

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Blogger Unknown said...

Great BFF, Shell!

Jenn, I love this post. It's an honest peek into the busy mind of a mother! On most days I go to bed thinking about my motherhood list, wake up the next morning running through it in my mind, and stay preoccupied with it all day long! UGH! Man, we are exhausting. You're doing a great job! No one has all the answers(If you do get any emails though, I would love to hear them) LOL I always say being a bad parent is easy. If we're working as hard at it as you are how can we go wrong? Have a good one! Thanks for sharing. :)

July 2, 2010 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I've been following for a lil while now. I love her posts and her takes on Motherhood.

July 2, 2010 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Too funny! I can totally relate to the bpa free, homemade organic, etc etc baby. In fact the bpa scare came out when my oldest daughter was just a few months old. What did I do? I threw out ALL of her Dr. Browns, which cost a small fortune by the way, and went out and bought even more expensive Born Free {the only BPA Free bottle at the time}. My husband was so confused!

July 2, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Life Without Pink said...

Oh I LOVE a new blog find. As Moms we always feel like we have to do so much and I know I always feel like I'm not doing enough. With my first we were involved in lots of activities and I had so much time to devote to just him. Now with two not so much. But they are healthy, happy and growing each day. Guess I'm doing something right? Heading over to visit you now!

July 2, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a blog I would love to read! On my way now :)

July 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh honey you're so right about the diaper part. I was so freaked about that BEFORE i had my son i practiced on a teddy bear!
and of course, diapers are easy and I was doing it like a champ within 24 hours of bringing him home.
Please do take it easy on yourself. You've set the bar so high for yourself with all of activities/cooking etc.
You've got a lifetime to nuture that child. You don't want to burn yourself out before she turns one.
Especially with a job too. I work too and to put it plainly, the balancing act is a bitch. I actually just wrote about it in my most recent post.
Stay strong girl!

July 2, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

Heck yeah I love her. We raised our kid the same way. She's awesome and more than deserving of being a BFF!

July 2, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Lift Like A Mom said...

Love this post!! And will go follow.

I am totally there with you! Nothing in my life has ever been so rewarding, stressful, exciting, nerwrecking, and amazing all at the same time as motherhood!

July 2, 2010 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

I'm already following her! I love her blog! :)

July 2, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger ♥ Brittany Ciara ♥ said...

I've been following her blog for a while! :) Lots of mommy tips ;) hehe

Hope she gets to 100 soon!

Have a great day!

July 2, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger JennRawks said...

on my way to her blog!! love her post. and i definitely don't have it all figured out.

July 2, 2010 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

This was so honest and true. And it never is enough. WIth each child, you get smarter.

July 2, 2010 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think I am going to have my husband read this post. She summed up in a way I haven't been able to why at times I can't even remember my own name much less remember where I dropped off the dry cleaning.

July 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Jenn, So nice to meet you!! ;0) I'd love to tell you it gets easier when they're older (mine are 10 and 13). Physically, you'll be less exhausted, but they will keep your emotions spent like a rung-out dishrag! ;0) I'm certain none of us moms will ever feel like we're doing enough, but that's probably what makes us good moms. ;0)

July 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

She sounds great! Off to check her out.

July 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had me at high heels!

July 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I started following her today!! I LOVE these BFF posts- it's a great way to "find" new blogs to read :)

Also, all of these things you are worrying about? I do too, even without the actual child!! When i started freaking out about cloth vs. disposable diapers, i thought my husband was going to have me committed. He just keeps saying we have to have a child before we worry.... poor guy :)

July 2, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger MissCrystal said...

OMG She sounds adorable! And as Boobie-Licious J said... You had me at high Heels! Can't wait to follow this new blogging diva! Thanks so much for such a fantabulous BFF idea!

MissC-Keepin the Hateration out of the Bloggernation!

July 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Love it... great post, Jenn!

July 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Jenn, I felt exactly the same way as you do when my daughter was that age. Take some deep breaths and enjoy the journey. It does get easier until you add another baby to the mix...but now with my kids are 10 and 7, I am finally getting those breathers...

I don't think I follow so am going over right now.

Shell...you have some of the best hidden gems in Blog-o-land! xoxo

July 2, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger chele said...

Great post Jenn. We all go through it but I've learned that kids (eventually) appreciate the simple things that you did for them. You are and do more than enough!

July 2, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I love when you BFF is someone I follow!

July 2, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooohh, I am going to check her out. I love meeting new friends! Thanks Shell. :)

July 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Loukia said...

Love this post! Love your blog!

July 2, 2010 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Jenn, you wrote what we all think. But remember to take a deep breath, too. I know it seems like we have SO much "work" to do to make them perfect and intelligent, just take it in due time and in steps.

July 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

The answer is No, you'll never feel like you're doing enough. Which is a good thing. It's a sign of a loving, caring mother.

However. Relax! She's going to be fine. More than fine.

I did all kinds of stuff with my first child I didn't do with my second. And guess what? My second somehow learned the alphabet - and how to read - without me even teaching her.

My third? Hey, he's fed and happy. The rest will take care of itself.

July 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Daisygirl said...

K love her...this is so me! Was so me! Jenn: I finally realized after 6 years that I need time to myself I need minutes, crap I sometimes need hours! With my first I did everything! All the books, read everyday, Baby Einstein up the wahoo....I was exhausted all the time. I did the mommy and me classes, the swim lessons, the baby dance lessons!

Seriously if they invent a fire hose full of anything with "fun juice" in it...please email me!

Headed over to follow ;)

Happy Friday Shell!

July 2, 2010 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Beth Zimmerman said...

Any friend of Shell's is a friend of mine! :) Delighted to meet you Jenn! And take my word for it from the other side ... those 18 years go way faster than you expect!

July 2, 2010 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger The Drama Mama said...

Nice to meet you Jen!! I think you have a fabulous perspective already. I'm of the opinion that if God wanted us to be perfect parents, he would have left us an instruction manual. ;)

Happy Friday, Shell!! Fabulous guest!

July 2, 2010 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Love this post! Going to go check her out.

Peace of mind? NEVER! My oldest turned 27 today and I still worry about her all the time.

July 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh Jenn, you're awesome! We are all in the same boat girl! Thanks for bringing Jenn to us Shell!

Have a great 4th of July.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

July 3, 2010 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

I have one who is 18 and one who is almost 5 months and several in between. I still don't have it figured out, so if you get that email could you send them my way too?

Great BFF post Shell!

July 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Mommyfriend Lori said...

Such a great post, I ask myself if it will ever be enough daily and I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Try as we might I think we will always believe we could have done more and better. Our hearsts are in the right place and we do this to ourselves because we care so very much. Thanks for posting this.

July 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I can definitely relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed (especially in that first year or two). Little ones are SO dependent on you... and I don't do very well with that.

Although Jenn is doing a lot more than I was with all that homemade baby food and cutting out pictures. I am impressed. I am now going to check out her blog.

July 5, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger moosmamma said...

I completely identify witht this post... I was a baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby food making, nursing, attachment parenting, flashcarding kinda mom...heck minus the nursing and diapering... (since my FP is 4..lol) I still am : ) Wonderful post : )

July 5, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

Um, I do not have anything figured out. Seriously. And I've been doing this for a lil over 5 years. I constantly feel like something isn't getting enough of me: work, wife, mom, sister, friend. It's never easy. But we all do our best - and the number one thing for the kids is love. Mine may get chicken nuggets once (or twice) a week - but they know i love them more than anything else.

July 8, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Crystal Escobar said...

Wonderful post! I know just how you feel, and I think you're right, most moms wonder these same exact things. It's constantly weighing on my mind. I don't want to regret anything, and all we really want is for our children to be happy and loved, and remember their childhood as a happy time.
I'm heading over to your blog now to become a follower. It's great to meet you!

July 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

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