Everything Baby On Motherhood

Working to Stay-at-Home

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedemann

Today I made the wonderful decision to leave the workforce after the school year and become a stay at home mom. It took my husband and I about three months to officially decide this was the best for us.

I love my job being a preschool teacher. I love interacting with the children and adults. For me this was the best part of coming back to work after having a kid. I could finally interact with adults that I knew and liked and get a few hours away from being Mommy. I needed that short break everyday for my sanity. I love what I do even if it pays super awful.

My husband and I sat down and cranked out all the numbers one night. We sat there and looked at each other and saw that we would save even more money if I stay home. Then we had to weigh the fact that work is my only outlet at times. We finally, after countless hours, we said this would be beneficial to all of us. I would be able to know exactly what is going on with the baby. My husband wouldn’t have to listen to me vent about work issues every night. The baby will be able to be on a normal schedule that we see fit.

At first, I was so excited. I’m going to be able to do something that I’ve wanted to do for so long. I will be able have relaxing days doing fun baby projects and helping her grow strong. I have already made plans to join in the Mom and Me class at the local school district. That way I can have socialization with other people and hopefully the baby will make friends eventually. Then after about a week of it finally hitting me it hard. I will be with her all day EVERYDAY no breaks included. (Let’s be real nap time really isn’t time off)

I then started the conversation with my husband about how I was nervous to be a stay at home mom. I was scared that he would just assume 1950 rules would come into play. I am not that type of person to have dinner on the table when he comes home and get him what he wants. Yes, I plan on doing laundry but don’t always expect it to be folded every day. Yes, I plan on doing dishes but I might not get around to it after every meal. Yes, I plan on keeping the house tidy but also I’m not going to disrupt the children’s fun. I still expect him to help out at night, since the baby still wakes up at least once. I still expect him to help out with the house chores. These conversations went on for weeks till we both came to an agreement.

As I only have two weeks left in the school year and begin this wonderful new adventure I feel excited and nervous all at the same time. I am beyond thrilled to spend quality time with the baby and build memories that will last a life time for both of us. Any new adventure wouldn’t be complete without a little hesitation. It just means your trying something new.

Pregnancy and Your Newborn

My Daughter’s Name Is the Result of a Bet

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedemann

I can’t wait for the day my daughter comes up to me and asks where we got her name. Most people will being telling a tale of how they are named after someone in their family or a close friend. Well, our daughter won’t have that.

She follows in my footsteps.

My first name was some random “hot actress that was on TV after I was born,” as my father would put it. It would always make me laugh, because, in reality, I was just named after some random actress. Then my mom would chime in with, “Well you have my middle name; that is a family name.”

As I got older, I had learned that my Mom without knowing almost named me after my Dad’s ex-girlfriend, until my Grandma said something. That story always makes me laugh. Who else in the world would have a funny story like this?

So naturally, when I found out I was pregnant and told my husband, I started throwing out names. Every one of those names got shot down. I told my husband that I had a boy name that was not up for debate at all. When I have a son, he will be named after my favorite hockey player of all time. It was a unique name, which is what we wanted.

Then came my husband’s negotiation skills at their finest. It finally ended up with a bet. I bet we were having a boy, so I agreed with my husband that if we had a girl, he would be able to name the baby whatever he wanted, no negotiations. If we had a boy, I would name our son what I wanted, no questions asked.

Everyone thought I was crazy. “Who on earth makes a bet on their unborn child’s name?”

I wasn’t worried one bit – I was convinced we were having a boy.

That day in the ultrasound room, the lady had already yelled at us for laughing because she couldn’t get perfect pictures. We were just sitting their in silence when she joyfully said, “It’s a GIRL!”

My husband smiled. I’m still not sure if it was happiness over it being a girl like he wanted or that he won the bet. I faked a smile. The panic set in…he gets to name her, no questions asked. What on earth was I going to do? How could I get out of this bet?

Now let’s get one thing straight. I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t a boy, yes, but I was also happy to have a girl too. It took some time, because I had convinced myself so much that I was having a boy. I had everything planned out for a boy and never thought about what I would do if the baby was a girl. After some time I got very excited for a girl and now I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

Now back to this name bet. As you could imagine my husband felt powerful! I tried my best to get out of the bet. I knew if I did, he wouldn’t let me live it down or let me have my boy name if we ever do have a boy later. We had already gone over the rules:

  • The child shall not be named after any family members due to people getting upset.
  • I get one veto and one veto only.
  • I must know all the names that are in the running before going into labor.
  • The name can not be a name of any of my students that I have taught.
  • The name must be unique.

Believe it or not, we did abide by all the rules. I used my one and only veto right out of the door of the hospital, as he was seriously wanting to name her Alice. Next came the wonderful 15 weeks of him throwing around names. Some he would be serious about other he would say just to see my reaction. One thing we knew for sure was that our baby girl would be born before her due date. Every doctor appointment, we walked in knowing it was a 50/50 chance of getting induced. This meant my husband had to throw out every name he could.

After 5 weeks of him joking around and me getting upset with some of the names, he narrowed it down to four that were serious. A week before we got induced, he had narrowed it down to two first names and the middle name was already decided. I actually loved both of the names he was debating and agreed that he could decide when she was born.

The day she was born was magical. The first thing out of my mouth after her being born was asking my husband what her name was. Our doctor was also waiting to hear what it was, as she knew about the bet. So now my daughter is named after my husband’s favorite singer and childhood crush and her middle name is after a comic book character. Now that I look back about the bet I still laugh. I might have been a bit crazy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now I get the honor of telling my daughter that her name came from a bet that daddy won.

**Please note, if we do have another child, there will be not bets placed on the name. Lesson learned! Husband had way too much power!

Everything Baby Parenting Pregnancy and Your Newborn

I Don’t Have To …

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedemann

Being a Mom is one of the biggest excitements of my life. Watching my baby girl grow and learn new things is a wonderful blessing. Now that my baby is almost 6 months old I have had time to look back at all the thing I thought I had to do but in reality, yup – nope, I didn’t have to.

I don’t have to send out announcements

One thing I thought I had to do was send out those cute fancy baby announcement cards. Over the past few years have received some extremely cute and detailed birth announcements. I had planned what I was going to do, with all the cute and decorative bells and whistles. Well, after having a baby, I have no clue how people get those out. Even if you can do it at Walmart and just add pictures, I would rather just catch up on sleep than do that. Then, by the time you do have time to do them, the baby is already 3 months old. What’s the point then? So yes, I never did that, and I have no regrets. My sanity and sleep those first few months were way more important than getting out cards to people who got pictures from my phone the day she was born.

I don’t have to cut my hair

The Mom Haircut. Oh, this one just makes me laugh so much. I LOVE my long hair. I have cut my hair short twice before, and it just isn’t me. When I was pregnant, everyone would always tease me when I said I wouldn’t cut my hair. “Oh just wait till she can grab it and pull it out!” “You think spit up is bad now, just wait till it gets in your hair.” Well people, let me give you some facts. Yes my child has pulled on it; yes she has pulled out chunks out; spit up has been in my hair more times than I can count. After all that, I still refuse to cut it. I rock a mean ponytail most days. On days that I want to look elegant, I love letting my hair down. Just because I am a mom now doesn’t mean that I have to follow what society thinks I should look like.

I don’t have to pay for professional photos

I really thought that I needed to get newborn photos done professionally. I searched for hours and days to find someone to take them at a reasonable price. Ha! What a joke that was! Most people out here were asking for $200 or more for just one hour. Who knows how many pictures would actually turn out that great in a hour? Plus, how am I suppose to find someone that I LOVE in a place I just moved to a year ago? For a long time, I was upset I never had those cute pictures to post everywhere. After a few months I could not have cared less. I have TONS and TONS of pictures of my newborn baby on my phone. I posed her for some, and others were candid shots that no one other than my husband and I would be able to get. These photos have more meaning to me, as they show a milestone, a memory, and laughable moments. So there is nothing to be upset with saving some money and not having professional photos done. Every photo that you do take will be meaningful.

I don’t have to take advice about what, when, or how to feed my child

Fast forward…my precious baby turned 4 months. At this month, I found out that EVERY human being on earth who saw me had an opinion about food. My husband, doctor, and I decided as a team what was best for my child – and that was waiting until she was 6 months old to start any type of food was best for her. We have our reasons, and we don’t have to explain them to anyone. I know many people who started food with their kids at 4 months, and if that works for them awesome! My child is not going to be missing much. She is still gaining weight, and learning new things. But the minute someone found out our decision to wait until she was 6 months old, they would jump down our throats with how we NEED to feed her real food. So to all you Parents out there, just know that you don’t have to start at 4 months.

I don’t have to be a supermom

After months of struggling with this , I also realized I don’t have to be a Super Mom 24/7. I can break down at times. This time of life things are hard; I am still learning. I can put the baby down for a while to play a video game when I just need a few to collect myself. I have a husband; we are a team! I can easily let him have her for a few hours so I can go out with my friends or just go to the store child free. I don’t have to dress my kid to the nines everyday. There are mornings were I can say,“Well at least we made it in one piece” … even if that means she went to daycare in a onesie from the night before or she is wearing a shirt she spit up on, at least we made it there! Don’t get me wrong; I do try my hardest to do my very, very best. There are just some days were the morning just starts off with a screaming tired baby, and I have to remind myself I don’t have to be Super Mom at the moment.

Learning that there are things I don’t have to do has been awesome. I am an AMAZING MOM, and I will continue to crush this Mom Life and raise a wonderful child.

Breastfeeding Everything Baby

I Am Pro-FEEDING Your Child

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedemann

Before I had my daughter I was all excited to breastfeed her. There are so many benefits from it, and like all moms, I wanted what was best for my baby. I did all my research on how to properly breastfeed. I bought a pump just in case she wouldn’t latch for a while or latch properly. I planned on pumping to save up on extra milk for when I went back to work. I bought all the breastfeeding accessories that everyone told me I would need.

Never once did it occur to me that my child would have a hard time breastfeeding.

In the hospital, she had a hard time latching, but when she did, oh boy did that hurt. After hours of trying to figure out a way that was less painful, I needed a break from it all. At that point, a nurse suggested that I try just pumping. As much as it pained me to even have to consider this, I began pumping, and what a relief it was. No pain whatsoever.

I enjoyed pumping; it was more comfortable than putting my baby on my boob. The nurse would come in regularly to help me try over and over again, but it was just so painful. At the end of the first day, I decided that pumping is what I would do with her. She would still get my milk and the benefits from it. I saw no wrong in it. I would still try here and there to get her to latch without pain, too, with hope that one day it wouldn’t hurt. When one of the nurses got wind of this, she made it her goal to make me feel awful about the whole situation. I cried the entire last day I was at the hospital. My husband kept reminding me we needed to do what was best for us and not worry about the haters.

Pumping was not easy at all. I would have to pump before she would wake up hungry or right after she ate. Then I would have to bag it and store it properly in the fridge. This would often cut into my sleep – and every mom knows how rare and precious sleep is to new moms. Then there were the emotions that came flowing out like a waterfall about the whole situation. I felt like I was constantly connected to a machine all day, every day. I felt like I never got even a minute to myself to breathe.

Just when I could get myself to calm down and look at all the positives of pumping, everyone came in with there opinions on what I should be doing. “You’re not breastfeeding. Pumping is not breastfeeding!” “You must have been putting her on your boob wrong.” :She must have a tongue tie and you need to fix that ASAP!” “You need to visit a specialist!”

I just wanted people to shut up!

I was exhausted from all of it. I decided at that point that I needed to cut people out who were not supporting me at all, and that included some family as well. I needed support, not to be cut down during an already fragile situation. This worked well for a month and a half.

After she turned 6 weeks old, my baby was demanding more milk than I could provide for her. My goal was to pump for as long as I could to save money, and to keep pumping since that is what is considered best for her. Here was the thing, though: I was tired emotionally and physically from everything. At 6 weeks, we started supplementing with formula. It was amazing for us. Our once-colicky baby was now sleeping more and not being as fussy. I was able to have my husband help with the feedings so that I could get some much-needed sleep. At 7 weeks, we went all formula. It worked out perfectly for us. We were planning a 16-hour road trip and formula would be much easier than pumping in a truck. I was going back to work in 3 weeks and formula is easier to prepare. I could try to get my milk supply to dry up faster and wouldn’t have to pump at work.

Then the haters walked back into our lives telling us how we weren’t giving our baby the best. I was prepared this time to fire back. It felt so personal at this point to have the same people jumping down our throats. It is not uncommon at all for babies to be on formula this young.

My new saying has become, “I am pro-feeding my child.” It doesn’t matter where she gets her nutrition from at this point. She is eating, gaining weight properly, and happy.

What more could we ask for?

On Motherhood Stress Management

9 Mom Hacks for Moms Who Teach

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedeman

I recently had to return to work after having my baby. I’ve developed these hacks to help me survive.

1. So you’re at work and notice there is spit-up on your shirt. Normally it doesn’t bother you, but let’s say you have a big meeting or are being observed that day. A wonderful, pretty sticker will do the trick. Is the spit up too big for one sticker? Jazz it up and use three, or ten. My personal favorites are the Disney stickers.

2. Accidentally forgot to leave your daughter’s headband in the car because daycare says it’s a danger? Can you say, fashionable new bracelet for the day? No one will even notice it’s a headband and the students will enjoy your new fashion statement because, let’s be honest, they notice everything.

3. How many times have you been in your classroom dying to pee but can’t find someone to watch your students for a few minutes? Wear a pad or panty liner just in case you leak. Please note, don’t actually pee fully or you will wet your pants.

4. So many times throughout the day, I seem to find myself missing my daughter. Now, I keep something small of hers in my pocket to hold onto when I start to miss her. It can be something small, like a hair bow or pacifier clip. Just something you can keep in your pocket.

5. Did you just give birth a few months ago and your body is transforming back into its beautiful self and a student tells you that you are fat? Well, just laugh it off. Those laughing calories will help you lose all that “fat.”

6. Have you ever been in the situation where daycare is calling you to update you on your child? Walk over to the dramatic play area and answer the call. If anyone comes into your room, they’ll just think you’re playing with the kids. Little do they know you’re making sure everything is ok. Don’t do this too often or people will take notice.

7. I don’t know how many times I have forgotten my lunch, even before having kids. Well, at my school we have snack time with the kids. Eat snack with them. Everyone will compliment you on being a good role model for them, but they don’t know that it was your lunch and boy were you hungry.

8. I hate it when some parents pick up late so now you’re late to pick up your kid and you have to rush out without cleaning up your classroom. I have a TOMORROW bucket for just that purpose. I quickly throw everything into the bucket so that when the last kid is picked up and I get out the door more quickly and my room looks like it is still put together. The next day, if I don’t have time to put the things away before class, I have my students help me.

9. Some mornings are just rough. Maybe the dog ate your breakfast and your child was acting like a sloth getting out the door. Hugs from your students are the best! They do understand that some days are just sad. Plus, if you work with young kids like I do, I just tell them the baby was crabby and they will run up and hug me.

What hacks help you survive those early days of easing back into it after having a baby?

Everything Baby On Motherhood Raising Healthy Kids

Leaving My Child at Daycare

They say the first day of daycare is the hardest.

“They” lied.

It’s week three here with daycare, and it is still so heart-wrenching leaving her every morning. Trust me, my husband and I took months to find the perfect daycare, and honestly, it’s hard to find a place even with an infant opening. Our baby goes to a very nice daycare, and everyone there is very friendly.

That first day was the hardest day so far in life.

Having to hand over my baby to a stranger to watch for more than two hours was not my cup of tea. I cried as I walked out the door, and that was after the ten thousand kisses that I had given her. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, and like any mom, it tore my heart apart. I was also that mom that sat in the parking lot crying as I was watching her through the window.

That day, it seemed like work would never end.

3 Weeks Later, Leaving My Child at Daycare Is Just as Hard

Fast-forward three weeks. It’s still hard, even if she isn’t screaming when I drop her off. She loves her daycare lady and smiles when she sees her some mornings. It makes me happy that she enjoys who I am leaving her with, but I also still fear that she will at her more as a mom than me because she sees her more. I still sit in the parking lot like a creeper, watching through the window as she smiles as they play peek-a-boo. As much as it kills me on the inside, it’s so nice to see her playing games. Work still seems like it takes forever to end, even on busy days. I constantly wonder what she is learning, and and if she misses me like I miss her. I dread the day she learns to roll over and I am not there to witness it first. The smiles that I get occasionally when I pick her up melt my heart and make up for it in the end.

Daycare has been amazing in ways too. I know they have a wonderful schedule for her that we made together. That has made the nights easier for us as a family. Some nights she sleeps the whole night through, while other nights she just wants to hang out and play with us. I know as she gets older, I’ll still be that creeper of a mom who watches through the window for two minutes before leaving for work. I know that she is in great hands and that they love her so much.

Leaving my child at daycare is beyond hard, but to everyone who said the first day is hardest, “they” can put a sock in it.

Everything Baby On Motherhood Parenting

A Note to All My Non-Mom Friends

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedmann

I have a lot of non-mom friends. I am one of the first in my group of friends to have a baby. Everyone was so excited for us and ready to spoil the baby as much as possible. Gifts came right and left from them with so much excitement. Fast forward to now… the baby is here and it has been 7 weeks of me adjusting to her and my new life as a mom. While trying to figure everything out, some things have been put on pause for minute. This note is for all my non-mom friends:

1. Text Messages

No trust me I’m not ignoring you, I promise! Things can escalate in a matter of 10 seconds now. I might have started to read the message and BOOM the baby starts to cry. By the time I finish changing, feeding, and getting her back to sleep, I have completely forgotten about that message. Not only that, but a few months ago I would have texted back at all hours of the day. These days, I am constantly falling asleep randomly when the baby is asleep. I’m not trying to go out of my way to not say hi or respond; I have a tiny human now that needs my constant attention and with all the lack of sleep I forget very easily.

2. Conversations

So now that I did answer that call or text you sent me, please understand a few things:

First, please don’t get upset when I say that I have to go. Once again, things get crazy really fast. Plus you can’t do many baby things with one hand. I tried changing her diaper while on the phone once; it didn’t turn out great. We ended up having another load of laundry to do. Sometimes I just want to hang out with the baby when she’s awake. Now that she is starting to be awake more, I want to spend that time playing with her. She’s only little once and I want to enjoy this time with her.

The second thing is that I don’t always want to talk about the baby. Please, ask me how I am and mean it! Don’t get me wrong – I love to talk about my baby. She is the center of my world right now. Sometimes I just need time away from talking about her. I would love to talk about how your day was or how funny something was on the TV. Heck, I could carry on a conversation about Flex Seal! Please don’t make the whole conversation about the baby. I need some love too.

3. Hanging Out

I’m a package deal now! If you ask me to hang out, please be aware the baby is going to come too. I can’t leave her home alone; she doesn’t know how to put the pizza in the oven yet when she’s hungry. She has to be around my husband or me to survive right now. Yes I want to hang out, and I will come over to your house, but please remember that I am bringing my favorite tiny baby with me and what seems like my whole house to come hang out. Along with hanging out, please be mindful of asking what we should do. I have a baby I am not going to go out and have a few drinks. Trust me, I need those drinks – but I also have an alarm clock going off at 1 am, 4 am, and 7 am – and this is one  alarm clock I can’t ignore or snooze. As much as I want to go out to the bar with you, I can’t. Plus, what am I suppose to do with the baby? Yes, I can leave her with her dad, but sometimes that is not an option for me. My husband has a rotating schedule and works 13 hours when he is working, so I can’t always count on him to watch her so that I can go out. For right now I want to play it low key if I do hang out with friends.

So please, friends of mine, don’t get upset with me. I’m just a sleep deprived hot mess trying to figure out how take care of my new tiny human.

Everything Baby Making Memories Parenting

Tis the Season … Baby’s First Christmas

Getting Real with Brittany Tiedmann

This year will be the first Christmas with our new baby. Since we had her in October, my husband and I had agreed that because she is so small we wouldn’t do gifts for her this year. Now before you jump down my throat here let me explain.

She will be around 2 months by the time Christmas is here. She doesn’t have the dexterity in her hands to open a gift – heck, she can barely control her head movement. She’s not wanting anything other than a bottle full of formula or her binky in life at the moment. On top of that, both my husband and I know that our families will go above and beyond with Christmas gifts for her because it has been a long time since there was a baby in either family.

Both our nieces and nephew are older and have gotten to the point of just wanting the gifts. So why should we bother in looking around for that PERFECT gift for her? It’s not like she will even remember it, plus my husband has to work on Christmas.

We did both agree to do the whole picture with Santa thing. They might be overly priced bad pictures that you get after spending an hour of your life waiting in line for just to sit next to some creepy old man, but we are doing them for her grandparents. I mean what grandparent wouldn’t love that for Christmas? We aren’t trying to be scrooges; we are just thinking practically.

Having a newborn is stressful enough; we don’t want to add to it. Along with that, the money aspect comes into play. We already have to buy gifts for those nieces and nephew, parents, and each other. We are NOT rich and have a lot of trips coming up in 2018.

But then it happened. As I was setting up the Christmas tree, I fell into society’s Christmas trap. I went and bought her some books to “open” on Christmas morning. I decided that even if she doesn’t remember it, I will, and I want to remember it as a first for her not just another day in December. I didn’t go crazy on the books, though; I just got a few. Plus, I try my hardest to read to her once a day so it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

Even though she won’t remember it, I will remember that first Christmas cuddling up on the chair with her reading a book as she has her bottle.