Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The "F" Word

As mothers I think we all feel guilty about things ... most of the time for no reason.  We all work so hard, putting everyone ahead of ourselves and never thinking twice about it.  It's just what we do as mothers.  I don't think I'm alone -- sometimes when I do something for myself I feel so guilty, even when it’s well deserved.  From spending money on myself to time away without the kids, there’s always a little feeling of guilt and that I should be spending the money on my family instead or should be there to tuck my babies in at night.  But those are things I know I need to do for myself once in a while. THIS TIME however, it’s a BIG feeling of guilt that I have, more than ever before.  I feel like the worst mom today. 

Yesterday I made the decision to stop breastfeeding and to give my son formula. 

I've been struggling since day one with breast feeding.  Not physically though.  Supply, latch, feedings in general ... it was working out great -- for Xavier.  But for me? Not so well.  To be honest, I despised the time I had to feed him. I would put it off as long as humanly possible before breast feeding him.  I don't know what it was, but I almost resented him. Am I nothing but a milk factory?  I never felt the "bond" that mothers talk about.  I never got the "warm fuzzies" when breast feeding him. It made me feel depressed and I just plain dreaded having to breast feed him.  Sometimes I’d cry while feeding him because I wanted so bad to enjoy the time with him like all the books said I was supposed to.  Those books painted this picture that there was no greater joy than to breast feed your child.  Why didn’t I feel this way? As the days went on I was getting more and more sad, upset -- angry even. 

But how can a mother make a decision like this based only on her?  It was only not working for ME.  HE was perfectly content with it all.  I debated with myself daily for the last few weeks.  Is it right for me to stop only because I want to? In my 2 years of motherhood with my first child I never made a decision based on my own needs.  Everything was for her and our family. 

He's now one month old and I just couldn't do it anymore.  There I stood with my son in my arms.  He was crying from hunger.  I knew it was time to feed him.  So purely for my own sanity I decided enough was enough.  I fed him a bottle of formula.    

I love him more than anything and was breast feeding him because I knew it is what's best for him.  But in this situation I guess I just needed to be selfish for once.  I really couldn't continue with the breast feeding.  The last few feedings now, with a bottle, I was able to look down at him and smile.  I could look into his eyes and feel happy to be holding him.  The late night and early morning feedings weren’t that bad.  I didn’t feel so tired and was almost excited to be able to pick him up and feed him.  Before, I would drag myself out of bed dreading the inevitable breast feeding session. It was an instant emotional shift though from the first bottle I gave him. Now I feel so much better already.  

I learned a little lesson from all this and the support I’ve received from friends.  I think as mothers we owe it to our children to make sure we’re happy as well.  They’re very fine tuned little beings and for their own happiness, they need their mommy’s to be happy also. 

Mother to Avaya (2yrs old) and Xavier (4 wks old)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Call Me Crazy..

So Friday night I went out for dessert with an old friend that I haven't seen in a while, and we got to talking. This friend doesn't have any children yet, but of course she asked how Gabrielle was. I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time talking about how hard being a mom is. Funny, because I love being a mom. There's nothing I love more than my  job as a mom. But I think sometimes it's nice to just ....well, if we're calling it what it is...whine.
              I whined. Yep. I told her how I hadn't slept in 3 days, how I expected for some strange reason that once babies slept a reasonable amount of time that meant that they'd CONTINUE to sleep that long. HA. HA. HA. I laughed (and whined) about how my lovely child was about to get teeth, and I'm hearing one horror story after the next about babies biting their mothers until they bleed. And I told her how Gabrielle just discovered that if she stops eating and squeezes my boob, milk shoots everywhere. Okay, that one's funny. I then proceeded to whine about how hubby just told me me my boobs are just "food objects" so it's not weird that they're everywhere all the time. LOL. Oh man. The life of a mom. And then we talked about television and kids, and I whined about how I wished I had cable so that just once in a while, I could plop my baby in front of the T.V. to give myself 20 minutes to breathe. And I went on about poop, and diapers, and on. And on. And on. At some point, she told me I was scaring her, and laughed. We continued talking about other things not baby related, and I thought nothing of it.
                   As I was walking to my car, I thought about how my stories probably sounded very scary to someone who doesn't have kids....to us mamas all of that is just another day, something we'll laugh off in a few days after we complain and have a giggle to each other about it. But then I thought, "Wow, I kind of scared ME." Lol. Wow, what a thought. Why on earth would I want more children if being a mom is this crazy? Really, I probably made it sound exhausting. Well, I thought, I didn't lie then. Okay, so I was crazy to have children. That's what came of that conversation.

              And then I got into my car. And the first thing I thought? I miss my baby. I want to wake her up when I get home, get a hug, and a kiss, and a snuggle. And then I want to see her big gummy smile and big blue eyes looking at me like I'm the most loved person in the whole world, and then my night will be complete. Then when I wake up in the morning, I get to play and cuddle and LOVE all day.  Everything about being a mom is funny, and scary, and overwhelming and.... amazing. And worth every second. That little girl is the greatest, most interesting, humbling, amazing, best thing that has ever happened to me.   Wow, do I ever love my little girl. And I want a whole bunch more just like her....call me crazy ;).

Your momstown Edmonton North mama,


Friday, November 25, 2011

Are YOU a Horse?

For our November Scholastic story time, we read the very exciting book Are you a Horse? by Andy Rash. Keeping up with the Wild West theme at our story time we made ourselves sheriff badges before we dived into this awesome book.

Are you a Horse is a great tale of a cowboy receiving a saddle for his birthday but not knowing what it is for. He learns that the saddle is for a horse, and so his adventure begins. He sets out to find a horse to fit his saddle. Along the way he encounters different creatures that do not fit his saddle. Andy Rash writes in such a way that it engages the children to participate in finding the horse. Again the kids loved the book so much they sat as close as they possibly could!

Congratulations to our winner of Are you a Horse, Liam!

Hope to see you at the next Story time! Your momstown mamma Kandice

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Story Time At Our First Playgroup!

During our first playgroup since becoming the new owners of momstown Edmonton North, we read Story County by Derek Anderson sponsored by Scholastic Canada. We are very lucky to partner with Scholastic as every month we get to read and give away one copy of that months selection. Story County was Octobers book, however we thought it would be a nice treat for our first playgroup. 
The children were enjoying the book so much they were climbing over each other trying to help me to turn the pages! Story County is a tale of friendship and team work, everyone gets together to make a farm. This silly adventure has cows wearing shoes and chickens planting corn and dog putting up the fence instead of the farmer. This story brings giggles and smiles.

A huge congratulations to our first story time winner Ivy!

Momstown was able to get an exclusive Q&A with author/illustrator Derek Anderson, click here to read his insights into the wonderful world of Story County.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Momstown Conference!

This weekend, Kandice and I attended the momstown National Conference in Toronto. And wow. All of the momstown chapters in one room, learning about and creating this amazing vision for our chapters, and momstown as a whole. It was powerful. 

It is so amazing to see where momstown's beginnings started out and where their big plans for the future stem from. We learned about momstown; what it was, what it is, and what we want it to be. We had workshops, corporate meetings with Fisher Price and CBC Kids, a wine tasting, and a fantastic dinner out. It was a packed weekend that motivated us and connected us as a complete team.


The momstown mamas at CBC in front of Mr. Dressup's Treehouse!

Our Wine tasting, after a long day of work!

Gabrielle had a blast playing with all the toys in the Fisher Price boardroom!

Some of the key things I took away from this weekend:

1.   Momstown is a kind of a big deal. With the new partnerships we made with companies like Red Cross, Toshiba, and CBC Kids, we have access to some amazing resources. We also carry with us a name that means something to people. It won't be long before momstown is everywhere in Canada, and it's a powerful thing to be reaching out to moms nationwide. The influence that momstown has is evident when you look at all the amazing companies that want to partner with us, because our moms and their feedback are valuable, especially looking at it from a national level. Canada wide, we represent a LOT of mamas. 

2. Our members set us apart. It's our members that make us so fantastic.  On their own, moms are influential- in their families, in their community, in the world. But together, our momstown mamas make up this amazing force of influence, support, and love both to each other and to the community. 

3. Momstown is about connecting real moms. It's connecting each and every one of us to a support system that we need. Whether it's because you need a night away from your family to breathe, or advice about something, or somewhere to bring your kiddos to tire them out before nap time while you chat with other mamas, momstown is it.  It's not about the desperate housewife mom, or the crafty mom, or the supermom, it's about all of us. We all need support. And we can all offer it. 


           All in all, an amazing weekend, and a priceless learning experience that brought tons of motivation to this momstown mama to "bring it" this next year. As our team would say, "WOOHOO!"

Your momstown Edmonton North mama,