maternity leave 4.0

how sweet are the sisters?!
Speaking of sweet, today’s guest post is from Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet. This girl has quickly become one of my favorite blog friends. So glad I stumbled upon her site! I’ve gotten to know her on Twitter and via email. She’s so kind & thoughtful! Be sure to check out her blog.
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Hi all, Danielle here from Sometimes Sweet (http://sometimessweet.com).  I’m super excited to do a guest post for the lovely Rachael, and I’m even more excited to “meet” the girls so very soon. I have a four and a half month old baby boy named Henry, and it truly seems like only yesterday he was a tiny little newborn. It’s crazy how quickly the time goes, and with that in mind, I thought I would share a few important things I learned while being a new mama! 

1. You don’t need as much as you think. When I became pregnant I fell into this panic that I needed to get it ALL, and I needed it NOW! It’s funny now looking back, because in those first weeks all you really need are a few onesies, a safe place for the baby to sleep, and food, be it breast milk or formula. I had rushed around like crazy to get everything set up- stockpiles of diapers, tons of toys, the nursery done just so. In the end, we never got a chance for Henry to wear half of the tiny clothes we bought him, and I’m sure he didn’t notice the meticulous organization in his closet. My point? You don’t need all the bells and whistles, and there is no rush to get it ALL done. All you need are the basics and you’ll be just fine.
2. Don’t try to do it all. By nature, I am a perfectionist, and with this comes the urge for me to do it all myself…since I do it best anyway, right? ;) When Henry came along, I tried to get it all done, all the time, all me. I finally realized that it is okay to ask for help, and this doesn’t make me a bad mama. In fact, it makes me a better one!
3. Savor alone time before baby comes. I can’t even tell you how glorious it feels when I get an hour or two to myself out at the store. These days I do everything with my little guy, and I love it, but at times a girl just needs some alone time in a Target. Shopping now consists of grabbing everything I can quickly before H. wakes up and then rushing to see what I like or don’t, rushing to pay and getting out of there. Everything in my life now fits into very distinct boxes between naps and feeding. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but the pre-baby me didn’t savor the alone moments enough, in my opinion.
4. Be kind to yourself. I’ve always been really active, and since I ended up having an emergency c-section, it was hard for to accept how easy I needed to go easy on myself. There were days in the beginning were all I wanted to do was go on a run, but obviously that was absolutely out of the question. I finally got to a point where I accepted that I needed to give myself healing time, and it was so nice to just accept my body for what it could do at the time. Being kind to yourself also goes along with your post-baby body, and realizing that you just went through an incredible 10-month transformation. Give yourself time, and love your body for what it just accomplished…it’s a beautiful thing!
Looking back over the past four and a half months, it’s hard to imagine life without Henry in it, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be his mother. It’s been fun relating some things I’ve learned along the way- I feel like I could go on and on!  Thank you Rachael for having me!

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