Mommy Guilt

You may or may not have heard of this before or never paid too much attention to it. And why would you? Unless you've experienced it personally, there's really no need to care too much about it. As a new mom, everything is a new experience. Even things you've done your whole life are completely different now that you're a mom. And inevitably, someone, anyone, will try and make you feel guilty about the way you do things.

My goal in writing this is not to put anyone down but merely to educate and give others a different perspective about this sensitive issue.

So let's first go through the types of mom guilt that I've come across. Now when I say "guilt", I'm referring to other people voicing their comments to in turn try to make you feel guilty for your actions. You moms out there know what I mean…

1. The stay at home guilt– whether you decide to stay home permanently, a year or a few months, you should never, I repeat, never feel guilty for it. It's a decision to be made by you and your spouse, if you have one, and no one else. I have a hard time with this one since I'm currently staying home with my baby, who's about to turn one next week. I have definitely felt the guilt for this one. Whether it's someone saying "wow you got to stay home that long! I had to go back to work after 6 weeks!" Or "what do you do all day? I mean babies sleep a lot right?" Or even your spouse who may not entirely understand everything that goes into being a stay at home mom. Add in the "wife" duties like dinner and laundry and cleaning….it can take your sanity and throw it right out the window. In fact, I find myself so delirious at times that I become easily aggravated and short tempered. I can't help it. I can't control it. It just bubbles out of me. Every other day I feel like what I'm doing doesn't matter to anyone, when in reality it's one of the hardest and most important jobs anyone can have. Raising a child is hard and not just raising any child but a well adjusted, decent and nice human being. I'm not throwing shade on working moms. I'll be one soon and we all know them and love them (see #2 below 👇🏽) and I know not everyone is able to stay home. Lots of moms have to go back to work sooner because of the enormous financial impact having kids puts on families. I consider myself and others who were able to stay home extremely lucky and I think we all know it. That doesn't, however, give others the right to project their jealousy onto the stay at home mom. I think if it came down to it, given the choice, all mothers would pick staying home with their babies for an extended amount of time over going back to work. Every. Single. Time. So until we have a health care system that enables family leave as a necessity versus a luxury, let's uplift and support our stay at home moms rather than tear them down because they can do what others can't.
2. The working mom guilt– on the flip side I know there are moms out there who feel like they should be at home with their babies. For whatever reason they can't be and they feel like they're missing out. I applaud those who juggle both, because it's hard to even get out of the house to run to the store much less get up and have to look presentable for work. Moms who work are no better or worse than those who don't. It's a choice that not everyone gets to make and it has to work for your situation. We also shouldn't feel bad for those that have to work. Lots of people don't want to stay home. They feel bored (I don't see how that's possible) or they miss their work. Whatever the reason, supporting the decision of moms and their rights to pick either option should be the only thing we talk about.
3. The breastfeeding vs. formula guilt– ok this one seems to be one that lots of moms are facing these days. I think about 50% is how you were raised and the other is random circumstances that happen once you try to nurse i.e. once you try to nurse the baby has trouble latching or there's some medical reason that hinders the natural ease of breastfeeding right at birth. In my situation, I was breastfed until I was 2, my sister nursed both her boys until they were 2 and 3 so I just assumed it would be super easy for me. Well it wasn't, and it was way more challenging than I thought and in the early days, that first week, I had to supplement with formula and I felt like the worse person in the world. Why? I have no idea. As long as your baby is eating it shouldn't matter. Well the guilt rears it's ugly head again. I abandoned my preconceived notions about formula vs. breastfeeding and came to the realization that as long as you're doing your best to make sure your baby is getting the nutrients he or she needs, don't listen to anyone else. No one should feel guilty for breastfeeding and no one should feel guilty for using formula. It's easier said than done. I know.

As a mom you do what you have to do. And I've found that things almost never go the way you planned when it comes to pregnancy and beyond.

What challenges have you faced with having a newborn? I would love to know I'm not the only one out there!

Healthy snacks for the breastfeeding and the non-breastfeeding 

It may seem weird that I’m posting about breastfeeding tips as my little one is almost one and pretty much weaning himself off of breastfeeding, but it’s never too late, right? Plus some of these recipes can carry me over even when I’m done nursing and wanting a healthy snack. 

I find myself needing these tips because the more he eats regular food, the less milk I seem to be producing. He mostly nurses at nap time and at night but I still have to pump for when my mom watches him. And maybe it’s my stress about pumping and nursing that’s slowing my flow but I find these tips really help and felt the need to pass it along. 

I’m starting to work out more and gearing up to go back to part time work, so as I said before some of these are perfect healthy snacks for anyone.

Lactation Smoothie

1 banana

1 cup of milk or almond milk

1/3 cup of rolled oats 

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp brewer’s yeast

1 tbsp flax

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

{To make it a non-lactation smoothie, take out the brewer’s yeast. I mix it up and add strawberries and other fruit to it and omit the peanut butter and cinnamon. It’s really good!}

Lactation Cookies 

{I used the same recipe that I posted about previously}

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal 
4 Tbsp. water

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. Brewer’s Yeast 

3 cups quick oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. 
2. Mix together the flaxseed and water and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars.
4. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla.
6. In a medium bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, salt, Brewer’s Yeast, and oats.
7. Add to the butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time.
8. Once the dough is mixed together well, add chocolate chips.
9. Bake for 9-11 minutes.


Overnight Oats
1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of milk, yogurt or kefir {whatever you want}

☝🏽That’s the base and you can add fruit or whatever you like from there. Mix the oats and the milk together and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, mix in whatever you like. Berries, apples, nuts, etc. Here’s a good link to check out: Overnight oats recipes

Some other tips for increasing your supply are things you should be doing anyway:

  • Drink lots of water 80-100 ounces. Just drink water as much as you can. 
  • Make sure you’re eating enough small meals throughout the day. 
  • Some healthy snack options: bananas, granola bars, Greek yogurt, trail mix, cottage cheese, pretzels, nut butters, fruit

Now for those that are breastfeeding the above works for you as well as these:

  • Pump!
  • Try the recipes in this post! 
  • Try some foods that boost your supply- asparagus, oatmeal, quinoa, fennel, flax, whole grains, berries, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, milk, cheese, chicken

I have to admit I’m a little late on trying these tips. Like I mentioned before, my son is almost 1 but this would have been a lot more helpful had I done these things from the beginning. So I’m passing this on to those who may need it! 😉

Making the Most Out of Mealtime

As a new mom, there never seems to be enough time in the day. Time stands still when you’re trying to put the baby to sleep. 10 minutes feels like 10 hours. Then there are some days where I wake up, and the next thing I know it’s 5:00!

So basic things that I need to do like, I don’t know, cleaning the house, making dinner and well showering, become an afterthought. That’s why I’m always looking for ways to save time and make life easier. Which brings me to my latest venture-one pot wonders i.e. red beans and rice.

You may be thinking 💭 hmmmm…a blog post about red beans? Don’t knock an oldie but goodie. I totally understand why it’s a recipe that’s passed down from generation to generation. It’s easy, it’s filling and it’s a perfect leftover meal.  And when you’re short on time, but still need to make dinner, this has become my favorite (and my husband’s favorite) weekly meal.

The hardest part I’ve found about being a new first time mom is trying to meet your own unrealistic expectations. I had so many pre-conceived notions about motherhood and none of them turned out to be true. This has forced me to prioritize my routine and just do what I can when I can. You don’t have to clean the whole house everyday and make a 4 course dinner all while trying to run after your crawling baby. Make a meal that gives you leftovers, clean one room of the house when the baby naps and well, you still have to run after the crawling baby, but at least you’ll be prepared for it.

Red Beans and Rice a la Nola Fit Chick

  •  1 lb bag of Camellia red beans (or any brand you want)
  • Creole seasoning (found in the produce section and consists of onions, bell peppers, garlic, celery, green onions and parsley-makes life easier)
  • 3 packs of turkey and/or chicken sausage (depending on how much meat you like in your beans)
  • spices (use whatever you like, I use Tony Chachere’s and Mrs. Dash. I try not to use any extra salt)
  • instant rice (don’t judge, we’re saving time here)

So the cooking process is basically an all day affair, so be prepared for that.  First, I soak the beans over night and the next day I rinse them until the water runs clear. Then I fill the pot with water and start it to boil on medium heat. Keep and eye on this because you do not want to burn your beans or you will have to start all over which defeats the whole purpose!

Next, I blend maybe a cup to a cup and a half of the creole seasoning in my food processor. Then I add it to the pot with the beans and let the seasoning incorporate in with the beans as they boil. After the beans cook down a little, I add more water and keep cooking them. I fill up the pot maybe 2 times before I add the meat.

In a skillet, I add more creole seasoning and enough water to fill the bottom of the pan. I use water instead of oil or butter so that I don’t have to drain it before putting it in the pot with the beans. I let the seasoning and water cook down a little before adding all my chopped up sausage. Then I season my meat with whatever spices I want and when it’s done, I add it to my beans. I use turkey sausage and chicken sausage but most people flavor their beans with ham and pork sausage. The good thing is you can use whatever you want, but I usually opt for the healthier option since I don’t eat pork. Completely up to you. 

Now all you have to do is keep cooking it until it gets to the thickness that you like. Red beans cook pretty fast so you don’t have to keep adding water if it looks like it might be done. Taste your beans often and make sure it’s got the flavor you want and the consistency you want.


And then, voila! Add rice if you want. I use the boil in a bag instant rice and you just follow the box directions on that. It’s pretty much idiot proof. You now have a meal for the next few days. So when your husband comes home and asks what’s for dinner, you don’t have to punch him in the face. Tell him dinner is done and leave you alone. He knows how to use a microwave, right?!

What kinds of meals do you make? I’m always up for a new recipe!

For all the Mamas…

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to write about the newfound respect I have for all moms. I always appreciated them, don’t get me wrong, because in my opinion I have the best mom in the world. She raised my sister and I by herself after our father passed away, and now that I have my own family, I have no idea how she did it. Being a mom is harder than anything I’ve ever done. Including graduating from college. Because up until now, that was the hardest thing I’ve done in my adult life. It’s also the best and most fun thing I’ve ever done. My son brings so much joy and happiness into my life, it’s hard to express. 


I think most people take for granted the role a mother has in someone’s life. Taking care of someone other than yourself for the rest of their existence (because let’s face it, it’s not just 18 years. I still depend on my mom) is hard, hard work. But I understand why people say it’s the most rewarding. It just took me finding out firsthand to understand completely.  I just hope I can be there for my children like my mom is there for my sister and I. To tell it like it is whether we want to hear it or not. To be our biggest fan whether we believe it or not. And to love us no matter what. 


So this Mother’s Day I encourage everyone to not only tell the mother figure in their lives how much they mean to them but try and show them everyday. Because a good mom is a terrible thing to waste. 

Happy Mother’s Day!! ❤️💛💜

Pinterest Win: Lactation Cookies

Not everything on Pinterest is easy. In fact, 90% of the things I’ve tried end up being much more difficult than just buying it or hiring someone else to do it. But what’s the fun in that, right?

As my baby is eating more and more regular foods, my milk production has dropped a little. My plan was to nurse for at least a year, so I was looking for some ways to increase my milk production. This led me to lactation cookies. I found some that I planned on buying online already made but  a friend of mine suggested I check out her Pinterest board for breastfeeding. She had recipes for all kinds of things, so I picked one and gave it a go. Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought. 

 Here’s what you do 👇🏽

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
4 tbsp. water

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla {I like to use a little more for that extra flavor.}

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. *Brewer’s Yeast {This was hard for me to find. I ended up going to a vitamin store like The Vitamin Shoppe to get it.}

3 cups quick oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. 
Mix together the flaxseed and water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars.

Add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Add flaxseed mix and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, salt, Brewer’s Yeast, and oats.

Add to the butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time.

Once the dough is mixed together well, add chocolate chips.

Bake for 9-11 minutes. (I did it for 10 minutes.)

– recipe from Lifestyle Hunting


This recipe made so many cookies. Well worth it to make instead of buy. Pinterest=win!!

Not only did the cookies taste good, but it worked. 


Check it out! ☝🏽The milk was a-flowing! 

So for all you breastfeeding moms who are looking for things to try to increase milk supply, I highly recommend this recipe. I also used Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk tea (tea and cookies, what could be better!)

I’m always open to hear what you did to help with milk production. 

But first, coffee

I’ve found a new summer drink…and it’s perfect for anyone who loves iced coffee and somewhat healthy drinks! 

A couple of days ago, my husband brought home Cool Brew decaf coffee for me and Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea for himself. I’m nursing still so I try to limit how much caffeine I’m taking in to either just decaf or one 8 ounce cup of regular a day. Well, that day I decided to mix the two and see how it tasted. It’s heaven! And it’s got 9 grams of protein. It’s not perfect though. There is a bit of sugar but it’s still a better option than that Starbucks you would have normally picked up. 

Yum!

Try it iced or hot, you won’t be disappointed! 

The Ever Changing Post-Partum Body

In an earlier post I talked about some of the things I was doing to workout post baby. Now that’s it’s 8 months later, some of those things have fallen by the waste side. I always feel like something else is in the way.  I blamed the holidays, Mardi Gras, the rainy weather. Not to mention when you live in Louisiana and there’s crawfish season and festivals approaching, procrastination is inevitable. 

However all is not lost. I’m making some progress…this is me at 6 weeks, 11 weeks and 6 months post partum ( I can’t look 👀):

This is me today. Compared to the other pics on the right.

I haven’t done a traditional workout in about 6 weeks but I am very active around the house and in my garden. I’m trying not to be discouraged! And for those that are breastfeeding, it really does help shed some pounds. It’s not as drastic as a cleanse or anything, but every week I drop another pound or so. However, I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, so I need to step my game up. Everything I do now is such a hassle though. Jumping in the car and going to the gym requires a week of planning…pumping, packing a bag for the baby if I’m dropping him off at my mom’s or making sure there’s enough milk and/or baby food. Whew. It’s enough to make me give up on leaving the house. So I’m coming up with some things to do at home along with some fun outings with the baby. 

Play date in City Park once a month with another mom friend

 

The main thing is finding my motivation and not giving up. As a “pre-pregnancy” fitness professional, how can I help others if I’ve given up and won’t help myself? Every time I put on leggings (because I refuse to buy jeans since I can’t fit the ones I used to wear), I think “ugh, it would be nice to switch it up”. And every time I put on my maternity jeans (yes, I can still wear them and it pains me to look at them now considering I’m NOT pregnant), I think “ugh I shouldn’t be wearing these”. So that’s my motivation. I’m taking each day as a new start. Summer is coming and it’s too hot in Louisiana for leggings. I’m not giving up on using my treadmill everyday either. It’s a goal that I haven’t stuck with because it seems so daunting. Our workout room has become baby storage center and it’s not very conducive for exercise motivation. The treadmill still works though and it’s been staring at me and giving me the evil eye. So I’m setting a small goal for just 30 minutes everyday where I can adapt as I go along. 

Being with my baby these past months has been amazing and I wouldn’t trade a second of it, but now it’s time to get back to my old body. If I can’t do anything about the giant breastfeeding boobs, I can lose the 5 month pregnant looking stomach, right? It’s not entirely unrealistic. You just have to be patient and take your time. It took 9 months to get there and you can’t lose it overnight. 

What are some things that have helped you lose the baby weight? I’m always open to hearing new things. 

Stay healthy!