Finding support and community is an easy thing to do with all the resources new moms have access to these days! And I believe that it’s owed to the millennial mom — she’s tech savvy, educated, driven to find her place in the world, and lives for community. She’s heavily invested in the it-takes-a-village mindset, and has turned motherhood into a lifestyle. After becoming pregnant, it was as if I had been suddenly initiated into a secret club that I had no idea even existed — one that brings women of all walks of mothering together. One that supports, educates, enriches, and provides countless women to simply be there with you during this journey!
I wanted to share five great things I have learned to utilize and do since becoming a mom over a year ago, and meeting the little one who made me a mom 8 months ago. Gleaning off other mamas who have gone before me has totally helped me in my own motherhood journey, and I wanted to share my experiences with you all! So below, I’m sharing five ways to make it easier for yourself as a new mom during the first year 🙂
1. FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE FOR ALL THE THINGS
With Facebook marketplace around, you can say goodbye to buying full-priced baby items for good! I’ve found so many great deals on quality toys, playpens and rockers, brand name strollers, and baby clothes/accessories on marketplace for up to 90% off the retail price — and the majority of those items are in great condition but sit unused in another mom’s house. It’s the second best way to put brand name items to the test with your little one without having to purchase everything for top dollar.
2. BORROW, SWAP, AND LOAN WITH ALL YOUR MAMA FRIENDS
This by far has been the best way that John and I have tested and tried which baby items are perfect for our growing Izzy! Of course, you can and should register for all the big ticket items like strollers, rockers, pack n’ plays, swings and etc. But, you may not receive everything and/or not every baby will love or respond well to every rocker or swing they’re in. Luckily, I have a couple of mama friends whose babies are a bit older than Izzy that let us borrow their rockers and swings that their baby had grown out of. It saves that mom space in her own house, and allows us to save money and use that type of item just for the duration our baby needs it. Then when our baby outgrows it, we can simply give it back. It’s a win-win for everyone 🙂
3. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WHILE BABY WEARING
Baby wearing totally changes the game for living your best new-mama life. Especially as a stay at home mom, I have a lot of free time on my hands during the day. Before I started carrying Izzy around in the carrier, I only had one arm (…actually, usually no arms) free to get stuff done. But when she was big enough for me to feel comfortable baby wearing all the time, I was able to do the following freely: wash/dry/fold laundry, watch TV, cooked dinner, bake cookies, feed the cats, brush my teeth, do my makeup, clean out the car, work out, clean and organize the house, hang out with friends, eat lunch, work from home, nurse, take my time while grocery shopping, go to the beach, etc. Baby wearing in a sling/fabric carrier allows you to finally have both hands/arms back, and thus nothing is too much for a stay at home mama to accomplish!
4. TAKE IT BACK TO BASICS WITH MONTESSORI TOYS + PLAY
Instead of buying all the latest new toys that can add clutter, excessive noise, and hard plastic to your space, I’ve learned quick that improvising with what I already have and/or sticking with the Montessori philosophy for toys is more than enough to entertain my quick learner. Plus, the benefits of Montessori toys allow for natural, self-led discovery and skill development 🙂 If you’d like to take a less-is-more approach to your tot’s toys, think stacking cups, Tupperware, tennis balls in their case, rice or colored lentils in small recycled juice bottles (just make sure the cap is firmly closed), textured rubber balls, wooden toys, and mirrors.
5. USE YOUR RESOURCES
There are so many outlets for moms these days that we really need to take advantage of! Such as: lactation centers and groups that support and educate breastfeeding mothers, books and podcasts that encourage, empower and support mothers throughout all walks of parenting life (my favorites are talked about here!). There are also huge masses of moms who support moms on Facebook groups — local ones to San Diego includes: Badass Breastfeeders of San Diego, North County Moms, Respectful Sleep Training/Learning, and WAPF Traditional Moms of San Diego to name a few groups that are local to where I live. Even on Instagram, there are several amazing mamas to turn to for emotional and mental support. Such as @theeverymom, a new motherhood community on Instagram (branching off from @theeverygirl) that focuses solely on empowering and supporting mothers. And this amazing and refreshing faith + grace based podcast/Instagram community I found today, @risenmotherhood.
I have totally enjoyed immersing myself into motherhood and turning it into a lifestyle, and hope that I can encourage you in your own journey of being a mom by sharing some of my experiences! We’re all in this together. ❤