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    How I’m Reclaiming My Time After Having A Baby

    Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.

    I recently started to reconsider how I was allocating the seconds, minutes, hours of my days and thinking about the different ways that I could be reclaiming my own time. As a mom to my final baby, it’s time for me to start to the reclaiming my time process.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Finding Who You Are Outside Your Roles

    I wouldn’t say that motherhood has made me forget who I am as a woman. I mean, I’m fairly confident who I am outside of being a mom. But towards the end of last year, I began to forget who I was outside of being an entrepreneur. The things that once started out as hobbies and fun turned into deadlines and stress. I forgot to enjoy myself and how to just have fun. I didn’t realize it until I was reviewing the answers for the end of the year survey and someone said they wanted me to write more about myself outside of being a mom or wife.

    It really took me by surprise because:

    1. Someone wanted to know about me.
    2. I didn’t know who I was outside of being an entrepreneur.

    This is so problematic to me and it made me want to cry! How did I get to this place of not even knowing what I like to do for fun or who I was outside of working, nursing a baby, teaching these kids, and being a wife? I know how I got here. I forgot to pay attention to me and my needs so now I’m reclaiming my time.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Reclaiming My Time As A Nursing Mom

    As a nursing mom, there’s only so much I can do right away. I’m not picking up and heading to Bali for a week tomorrow. But I am making a more concerted effort to get out of the house by myself without a baby attached to my boob or checking social media. Leaving my baby is hard. I’m not going to lie. I love snuggling him and smelling his little head and I absolutely love our nursing relationship. But I need to know who I am again.

    I’m not picking up and heading to Bali for a week tomorrow. But I am making a more concerted effort to get out of the house by myself without a baby attached to my boob or checking social media.Click To Tweet

    I’ve been pumping and building a supply so that when I leave BC, I know that I have enough milk. I’m so low maintenance when it comes to pumping and bottle feeding so I need something that isn’t going to deter me from doing it.

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    The Truth of Bottle Feeding

    Bottle feeding hasn’t come as easily as we would have liked it to. Mini was the only to take her bottle like a champ with no issue. But BC is finicky and will typically only take a bottle from daddy, but he eventually takes it and that’s reassuring–I’m not trying to starve my sweet boy! We’re currently using the new Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent that was recently released. I like this bottle because it’s easy to clean and makes it so that BC doesn’t swallow as much air when he’s nursing reducing colic, reflux and gas. This bottle was designed to mimic the breast as much as possible with a softer nipple, flexible spiral designed for easy latch, and making it easy for them to hold. While BC is hesitant on taking the bottle, he is realizing it is close to what I would provide him.

    Leaving my baby is hard. I’m not going to lie. I love snuggling him and smelling his little head and I absolutely love our nursing relationship. But I need to know who I am again.Click To Tweet

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three. I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    Philips Avent

    Philips Avent isn’t new to this whole baby bottle game. They’ve been around for more than 30 years working to make products that help moms in reclaiming their time by providing bottles that meet the needs of both moms and babies. The new Anti-Colic bottle reduces colic and fussing by 60% while offering different flow rates as well. Interested in learning more? Check out Philips Avent here!

    I am reclaiming my time and redefining what it means to just be me with the help of the New Philips Avent bottle! Read here to find out just what that means as a homeschooling mom of three.

    So moms, how do you go about reclaiming your time and making sure that you take time for just you?

     

    Happy 2018: Shoot Your Shot

    All those who were ready for 2017 to end, raise your hands! grabs a couple peoples hands to grab because I was way over 2017 Guys, 2017 was a clusterf— and I’m so happy that I made it to 2018! Did you choose a focus word? I didn’t. I chose a phrase: Shoot Your Shot.

    I know, that almost seems like it’s too broad but whatever. I spent 2017 watching people achieve the greatness that I wanted for myself because I didn’t make an ask, follow through, etc. But that’s not going to be me this year. This year I’m going for it all in all areas of my life.

    Bye, Bye 2017!!!

    Ok. So 2017 wasn’t ALL bad but it was some bad. Change dominated our lives around the TCM household. At the end of 2016, we made the decision to homeschool the girls when we moved. We moved back to civilization BUT the school system in our area was no bueno so instead of worrying about the quality of education they would be getting, we decided I would just do it.

    We also found out that we were expecting BC! I love the idea of pregnancy but the reality is that pregnancy doesn’t fit me so well. I spent the better part of 2017 tired, in pain, cranky and puking. Yeah, not good at all. I ended 2016 ready to make 2017 my year and that didn’t happen AT ALL.

    Hello 2018!!!

    Now I’m not expecting 2018 to be perfect. That would be silly. But our family is pretty much done making changes. We’re done having children so our family dynamic is finished. This year we’re focusing on buying a house (finally) and really just fine tuning some things, i.e. behavior, schedules, and really getting into a rhythm.

    Shoot Your Shot

    This is almost like a version of Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” except I’m being more proactive. In sales, there’s a concept that’s taught to not out sell yourself. What does this mean? Meaning don’t assume what the customer needs and that you can’t provide it. I spent 2017 telling myself I didn’t know enough, I didn’t take good enough photos, my content wasn’t good enough, my videos weren’t good enough but then I would see others just out here being great.

    2018 is my year to be great. That’s what “shoot your shot” means. I’m just going to be as great as I possibly can giving my best and knowing that it’s good enough.

    Are you ready to take 2018 by storm? What’s your word or theme for the year?

    Making It Through The Fourth Trimester With Baby Wearing

    Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy!

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    Baby wearing is an awesome tool for new mamas transitioning through the fourth trimester. Find out why in this sponsored posting.

    Did you know that both babies and moms experience a fourth trimester? I know, four kinda negates the whole tri–I get it but it’s true. The first three months of a baby’s life is considered the fourth trimester. This is also the hardest time for recovery for moms. As I wrap of my third fourth trimester, I’m sharing the secret to an easy transition–babywearing.

    If you follow me on social media (which you totally should be!!!) you’ve already seen the candid shots in my Instagram Stories of both my husband and I wearing BC. We wear him to do all the things–literally. In fact, as I type this right now, I’m wearing BC in the very same Ergobaby™ Omni 360 that I’ve worn him in since he was born. While he’s changed drastically weighing in at a whopping 16.9 pounds and 25 inches–more than double his birth weight–my use of carrier hasn’t.

    Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy!

    How Does Baby Wearing Help In The Fourth Trimester?

    Our babies go from being held and hugged for 10 months (if you make it full term) in the dark and warmth to the bright, colder world. There are all these really awesome and amazing pieces of baby gear for us to put our babies down in but once we do, what happens? Most of them cry. All of mine did–except abc when I would put her in her rocker. But both Mini and BC love their snuggles and in truth, I love giving them. And that’s what the fourth trimester is. It’s that transition from the constant snuggle of being inside our wombs to now being snuggled outside of it.

    Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy! Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy!

    Baby wearing helps this so much because you can still hold them and snuggle them while being hands-free. This isn’t so much of a game changer when it’s your first and you don’t have other kids to juggle but it’s also a huge help in the healing process for mom. Walking and being active helps and the weight distribution of baby while wearing them makes it easy on your back to me mobile while snuggling with them.

    Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps–Right

    I wish. I have two very active girls that I’m the primary caretaker of. I have taken some naps with BC in the beginning but not recently. Why? Because I literally have all the things to do. Not saying that I don’t have time to snuggle with him but mom-ing multiples means being able to balance loving more than one child at a time. My Ergobaby™ Omni 360 allows me to do just that.

    Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy! Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy!

    Whether I’m teaching, grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, working, or <insert everything else that working moms do> I can do it without sacrificing my sanity because he’s crying to be held. I love having the flexibility to “do all the things” while nurturing one of the most important things.

    Tips To Baby Wearing Through The Fourth Trimester

    I’ve been blessed that all 3 of mine have liked to be worn or I wouldn’t know how to function but not all baby carriers are made equally. Here’s how to choose the best one:

    Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy! Did you know that babies have a fourth trimester in their development? Well it includes lots of holding and snuggles and baby wearing makes this easy!

    • Adjustable from birth: Unless you’re balling you probably don’t want to buy multiple carriers. There are only a couple of soft carriers that are made to be used from newborn. Don’t just use any carrier from the newborn phase because it may not be good for their hip health.
    • Easy to put on: I love the baby wraps but honestly, they don’t work for my lifestyle and they may not work for yours. The faster and easier the carrier is to use, the more use you’ll get out of it–no one has time to fuss with ties!
    • Comfortable for you: Just like not all carriers are comfy for baby, they aren’t all comfy for you! Make sure that the one that you choose feels natural for your body.
    • Easy to adjust for different people: I love that my husband wears our baby. There’s nothing sexier than a hands-on hubby! But chances are you guys don’t have the same measurements so you’ll need something that adjusts easy.

    What are some tools you wish you had or loved through your fourth trimester?

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ergobaby™ Omni 360.

    Quality Mommy & Me Time With American Girl®

    Big thanks to American Girl® for partnering together for this post!

    Becoming a mom of three has been the most insane roller coaster that I could have ever imagined. We have these amazing days where I feel like the most awesome mom and there’s days where I feel like I’ve failed everyone. One of the things that I’m really working hard on has making sure that my girls get quality mommy & me time. I don’t want them feeling replaced by our new addition and I want them to make sure that they know I value their place in our family.

    Getting Mommy & Me Time In

    It’s hard. I would be lying if I said that I was doing an excellent job at it. BC is 13 weeks old now and still quite dependent on me. And I’m back to work again which makes things more difficult. But when I put him down for naps, I try and get some one on one time with each of the girls. I’m learning that although self-sufficient, they still really need mommy.

    I've always wanted three kids. But I never factored in the mommy & me time with them! It's so important and American Girl® has helped!

    One of my favorite dolls growing up was my Addy doll from American Girl®. My dad actually worked on the original advertisement for her. I loved her story and that she looked like me–representation matters. Now that Mini is old enough to respect her things, American Girl® and I gifted her the Gabriela doll–a doll that she was excited looked like her.

    I've always wanted three kids. But I never factored in the mommy & me time with them! It's so important and American Girl® has helped!

    Incorporating American Girl® Into Our Time

    It’s no news here that I’m a seamstress and if you follow me on social media then you know that Mini is a budding seamstress herself so we use this time to hang out. She’s made herself a couple of skirts in the past but this time I thought it would be fun to make Gabriela a dress to match a shirt that I had made her (that also matches one of my dresses). One of my favorite pattern groups Made for Mermaids just came out with the Catherine pattern that I had the pleasure of testing.

    I've always wanted three kids. But I never factored in the mommy & me time with them! It's so important and American Girl® has helped!

    Sewing With My Girl

    Let me say this, sewing clothes for myself is pretty easy and I though that it would be easy to make tiny clothes–I was wrong! Mini did a great job in cutting out the pattern and then piecing it together. Seeing her in this capacity shows me how much she’s really grown and it’s crazy to me that I have an almost 8 year old. I’m constantly in teacher mode courtesy of homeschooling but when we’re sewing I get the opportunity to be more of her friend.

    I've always wanted three kids. But I never factored in the mommy & me time with them! It's so important and American Girl® has helped!

    Sewing is something that we both really enjoy and making clothes for Gabriela was pretty fun. I love taking an interest in the things that she enjoys and I can really see a difference in her behavior after we’ve had time together. Though I wish it were more time, our mutual love of American Girl® has made our mommy & me time quite fruitful!

    I've always wanted three kids. But I never factored in the mommy & me time with them! It's so important and American Girl® has helped!

    Mama’s of multiples, how do you get your mommy & me time in?

     

    How To Build A Breast Milk Stash When Baby Is Home

    Whether you're a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, having a breast milk stash is a must. Here's how to build one while baby is home with you.

    As I get ready to head to my best friend’s wedding next week, I realized that this is the first time that my freezer isn’t overflowing with a stash of breastmilk. BC is only 12 weeks old but by this point in time I’ve normally been back to work and not had to battle a baby’s belly for time to pump. While my freezer isn’t full of milk, I do have a big of a breast milk stash for when I need some time away.

    Wondering how to build your breast milk stash so that you can take some mommy time away from baby? Here’s how.

    Boost Your Supply

    Water

    Make sure that you’re getting a minimum of 100oz of water per day as a bare minimum. If you’re working on boosting your supply, you need more than this. More water = more milk.

    Beer

    Yesssss!!! Beer helps your milk production! This is one of my favorite things because I’m a huge fan of Blue Moon Beer. Oh, it’s so divine! I’m doing myself a solid WHILE investing in my baby!

    Supplements

    There are the pill forms that you can take (Brewers Yeast, Fenugreek, Tumeric), make a delicious treat, or buy snacks that are for milk production. I was given an Oat Mama bar at a recent Ergo Baby event and fell in love. When I was pregnant with abc, I tried a cookie that was meant to help boost your milk supply. When I tell you that it was beyond gross I mean it. I was really hesitant to try the granola bars from Oat Mama but figured they were free so why not.

    Listen. These things are chewy bars of deliciousness. After I gobbled down my bar I contacted them to see how I could get more. Not only do they taste delicious but they work. Twenty minutes after eating my bar I had a let down and this was just 30 minutes after nursing BC. Right. Insane. Because I’m a drinker I had to try their Chai Lactation Tea. I use this as the base of my Chai Tea Lattes and feel fancy while boosting my supply!

    Whether you're a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, having a breast milk stash is a must. Here's how to build one while baby is home with you.

    Get to Pumping

    Because baby is always with you it may be hard to pump so here are some of the best times:

    In the morning

    I know my supply is always overflowing in the mornings. He’s a pretty late sleeper so I get a pump session in between nursing him when I get up and a couple hours later.

    Immediately after they nurse

    This will not only give you some great fatty milk but it will help increase your supply because it’ll trick your body into thinking baby needs more milk.

    After they go to bed

    I typically will pump about an hour after he goes down and after I’ve had some tea.

    Because I’m not pumping to replace many feedings, I just use a manual pump. My favorite manual pump is the Medela Harmony.

    I started to travel with a pump as well just for convenience and because I’d heard so many good things about this pump here:

    While pumping and building your breast milk stash isn’t easy while baby is home, it’s totally doable and a must so that you can begin to reclaim your time!

    Fellow breastfeeding mamas what tips do you have for building your breast milk stash?

    How To Build A Breast Milk Stash When Baby Is Home