How MomFriends Make or Break your #Momlife

Momfriend: A friend you make with the common bond of both being moms

The term “momfriend” didn’t enter my vocabulary until I had my first baby. Before that, I just had “friends” or “girlfriends.” Fast forward four years and my “momfriends” are just my friends, because the only friends I have left are moms (with the exception of a few).

“A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands.”

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized the crazy bond momfriends have. I literally feel like I could not live without my momfriends even though I know I technically could, but it would really, really suck. Because mommin’ ain’t easy.

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A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands. A good momfriend is there for you to vent to whenever you need it and it’s judgment free; sometimes it’s via text, sometimes it’s a phone call, sometimes it’s over Snapchat with a funny filter. If you need her, she’s there. A good momfriend is down for a night out and sometimes it’s at a moment’s notice because you’re losing your sh*t and need a break. A good momfriend loves your child almost like they are an extension of their own kin – they treat them with genuine care and understanding. At a BBQ with a bunch of people and your kid trips and hurts himself/herself? A good momfriend swoops in and plays the mom role if you’re not around. Did your child accomplish something? A good momfriend is genuinely proud and excited for him/her – and there’s zero passive aggressive comments made about how their child did it earlier and is so advanced, blah blah blah because a good momfriend would feel sick if she knew she made you feel anything other than happy and proud of your child. Is your child struggling at something? A good momfriend finds the silver lining and helps you to see it in a more positive light. She encourages, supports and loves and you give all of that right back to her. Making a medical decision for your child? A good momfriend never ever criticizes it because she knows those types of decisions can only be made by the mother/father. She tells you to trust your mom gut – and she definitely does not send you links from .org websites to argue her point that what you’re doing is harmful to your child.

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You know what’s sad? Finding good momfriends like this isn’t easy. If you’re new to this mom life, don’t be discouraged! You’ll find your mom tribe, but you may have to weed out the not so great momfriends, or learn to tune out their garbage. But once you find even just one true and genuine momfriend, the amount of enrichment you’ll get from that relationship is immeasurable. Yes, husbands and family are super important too; not trying to belittle those relationships. I just want to spotlight the female bond of motherhood because is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. So let’s all strive to be the very best momfriends to each other: whether you work outside the home or inside the home. Whether you’re “just a mom” (that phrase irks me) or your child spends their weekdays at daycare. Let’s do less of the snarky/passive aggressive comments. Let’s do less Facebook posts of articles that say our way of mothering is the better way. Whether you get an epidural, have a home birth, elective c-section, breast-feed, pump and bottle feed, formula feed or a combination of both, let’s all be good momfriends and give nothing but support, love and encouragement. If moms were all besties, we’d take over the world. So let’s make that our goal, shall we? 😉

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How Momfriends can make or break your #momlife - tips on how to be a good Momfriend

How I Sleep Trained my Baby by Accident

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Before I get started with this, I think it’s important for me to make clear that I do not consider myself to be an expert mother. I get frustrated and yell sometimes (although yelling is something I’ve been MAJORLY working on). I do things I probably shouldn’t, like let my three year old have fruit snacks at 8:30 a.m. just to get him out of my hair; I let my BABY watch his big brother’s TV shows; I forget to send thank you cards after my son’s birthday (or I just never get around to it); I force my baby to skip his morning nap because I selfishly want to get all my errands done while my oldest is in Preschool; I prop my baby up on a boppy with a bottle so I can get some stuff done while he eats; I could go on and on about everything I do that I know some moms consider deplorable.

Today I’m going to share with you one thing I did right, but it was by accident.

My second son, Preston, started sleeping four hour stretches as early as two weeks old and I felt very optimistic that he was going to be one of those freak babies who sleeps through the night at two months old; and then he was and I felt like I hit the jackpot.

Then came his first cold, which lead to his first ear infection…then another, and another. It was downhill from there and we were back to waking up every two hours. After numerous failed antibiotic treatments, he had his ear tubes surgery when he was about eight months old. I naively thought that would be the magic flip of the switch to get him sleeping through the night because that’s how it went for my first son. I. Was. So. Wrong.

Preston had sleep regressed to the point where waking up was ingrained in him, even without the ear pain. After a couple weeks post op, he still wasn’t sleeping well and it occurred to me that we might have to actually “sleep train” our baby. Then Preston got sick again, and that idea got shelved. He ended up with a double ear infection despite the tubes, but this time the antibiotic treatments actually worked. Once again, I naively hoped that would do the trick and he would start sleeping.

Eeeeehhhh. Wrong again.

We were so desperate for sleep it never seemed like a good time to “sleep train.” We would instead just pop a bottle in his mouth to get him back to sleep as quickly as possible. It didn’t help that our toddler shares a wall with him and we were always afraid he’d wake up.

Then one random night when he was nine months old, I sort of snapped. He woke up at 2:30 a.m. like he always did, and something changed in me. I got up and instead of making a bottle, I went into his room, gave him his paci and Little Unicorn swaddle blanket that he likes to nuzzle his face in and I told him to please shut up shuush and left the room. The screaming intensified when I left and Ryan asked me if he should go make a bottle. My response: “NO! He’s almost nine months old; he does not need food anymore during the night and hasn’t for a while. He needs to shut up and go to sleep! I can’t do this anymore…he’s fine. He needs to figure it out. Humans sleep at night and he will do it too.”

After 15 minutes of crying, it intensified and I decided to go reassure him. I gave him back his paci and swaddler he had thrown, gently rubbed his back and told him it’s time to go night night. I went back to bed and the crying continued.

This time I waited 30 minutes. Reminder, none of this was planned.

30 minutes later, he was still crying. I went in and did my reassuring thing and went back to bed. Still crying.

This time I waited an hour. In my head I thought, “He’s fine. He’s safe in his crib, he doesn’t need to eat every three hours at this age.” 45 minutes later, he was silent. He slept until 6AM.

The very next night, he slept from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Same story the following night every night since barring one or two exceptions. I’m sure I’m jinxing myself by writing about this, but I’m excited and feel like I need to share this for any tired moms out there who are hesitant to “sleep train.”

I just want to say this: It doesn’t need to be a big complicated deal. You probably don’t need to read an entire book about it. You might just need to let him/her cry a little. And yes, it sucks. It’s like nails on a chalkboard and your heart aches and you feel like you need to rescue your little one. But what are you rescuing him/her from? You’re not! You’re enabling their poor sleeping habits (in my opinion). That’s what helped me realize that it’s ok if he cries a little in order for me to start getting some sleep. Sleep deprivation is a real form of torture and my tirednesss was making me a worse mom.

So, I sleep trained my baby by accident. I have no clue if this would work for any of your babies, but I thought it was a story worth sharing.

 

 

*photo credit: Hilary Blair Photography*