WHAT I FEED MY BABY

Pictured: HIPP Formula , Baby MUM MUMS, Peter Rabbit Organics, Plum Organics, PUFFS, Earth’s Best Baby Food

Photography by Shadi Garman

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I don’t know about you guys, but I HATE daylight savings! It never bothered me so much until I had a baby. I felt so bad last night because we tried to get Charlee to go to sleep an hour early, but of course she had no interest in that. I let her cry a bit and after 15 minutes I felt so guilty that I took her out of her room and let her play with her toys for another half hour. We ended up getting her to fall asleep  20 minutes early which is a good start. We are going to try for 15 minutes earlier tonight. If you have any tips for handling daylight savings with babies send them my way!

Anyways, moving on to today’s post! I always thought I would be the kind of Mom that cooked and stored all of my baby’s food. I had visions of myself prepping and steaming and cooking and freezing all her food. Well, then reality set in and I am simply not that kind of Mom and that’s OK! Luckily, there are so many INCREDIBLE food options for babies out there and I can honestly say that Charlee is getting such healthy and delicious foods that are maybe even a little better than what I could prepare.

Let me start off with which formula we feed her. Charlee has always been a spitter. Our Dr. likes to call her a “happy spitter” because even from the moment she drank breast milk she would spit up so much all day and not even seem to be phased by it! It was just an annoyance for me really since I ended up changing her outfits multiple times a day. Charlee was breast milk fed with one bottle of formula for the first 3 months of her life. Then I stopped exclusively pumping and we started her on formula for every bottle. We went through SO many formulas and the one that seemed to make her spit up the least was Similac Sensitive. Since she spit up a lot, we used the premixed formula which seemed to have less bubbles. It was a little pricier than normal formula but it worked. We stuck with Similac for close to 5 months until a friend recommended a Dutch formula called HIPP that really helped her baby from spitting up. We tried it and oh my gosh what a difference it made! I sort of hate that it works so well because we have to import it from EUROPE! HA! Anything for our babies, am I right?! Once Charlee was 4.5 months old, we slowly introduced a few purees. She started with Earth’s Best baby cereal and once she started figuring out how to eat off the spoon (about a week later) we gave Charlee her first food, peas by Earth’s Best! They make awesome baby food in stages and I bought the large variety pack of both veggies and fruit in stage one. It was the perfect amount and I stuck with this for about a month. My Dr. told me to feed Charlee the same food three days in a row to make sure she wasn’t allergic. Luckily (fingers crossed) she hasn’t been allergic to anything yet. Her favorites are peas, carrots and apples.

I have slowly started to introduce some mixed purees now that Charlee has had pretty much every veggie and fruit. I really like the organic pouches by Peter Rabbit Organics and Plum Organics. I also give her a package of MUM MUMS or a handful of PUFFS every day. These are a great way to bide more time between feedings or to distract Charlee if she is fussy. They are also a great activity to use when at brunch with friends ;).

My plan for food going forward is to continue to offer Charlee mixed purees and eventually share with her what Matt and I are already eating. I really want Charlee to love food as much as we do! I also am slowly introducing nut butters and so far she hasn’t been allergic! Yay!

It’s so crazy to think that only three months ago, Charlee wasn’t even able to hold her head up, let alone eat anything more than formula and breast milk. It really is so true what they say! It goes so fast!

Xoxo-J

 

A LITTLE LACE

Photos by Shadi Garman

Dress: Tobi C/O Heels: INC Brand Earrings: Nordstrom Rack Coat: Club Monaco

Shop all Tobi here

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic week. I’m excited for a very low key weekend. Matt and I have a date night planned for Saturday and other than that we are just excited to be together as a family. I love weekends and hanging out just the three of us :).

I recently collaborated with a new brand called Tobi. They carry a ton of fun and flirty pieces on their website for a great price. This gorgeous lacey number is currently 50% off with code TOBI50! I was super excited to try out their clothing but was worried about the quality with such a low price tag. The fit and quality is actually great and I highly recommend !

This dress would be so fun for a spring wedding. I just wish I had some fabulous place to go! I love the lace and how the skirt underneath is shorter so you can really see the lace detail.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo-J

 

OUR DAYCARE EXPERIENCE

^^Photograhy by Shadi Garman (Mommy and Charlee on their way to daycare!)

^^Charlee with her baby friends at Daycare! She is on the top left with the bow 🙂

I want to firstly preface this post by saying that I now, today, LOVE daycare. My daughter is thriving and happy and learning SO much daily. The other day I walked in to pick her up and she smiled at me and started clapping her hands. I didn’t teach her that! Her amazing teachers at daycare did. Charlee has little baby friends, is stimulated by books and songs all day, and has learned to nap in a noisy and bright environment. Despite all the frustrating parts of making the transition into daycare that I am going to discuss in this blog post, I couldn’t be happier that we have Charlee in Daycare. I also want to say that this is 100% my own perspective and reflects no one else’s. I want to share with you all my experience and hope to offer some insight and perhaps even calm your nerves if you are going back to work and putting your baby in daycare!

Going back to work after baby is probably one of the hardest decisions a new Mother has to make. Continuing to work was important to me but I certainly didn’t feel ready to go back as soon as I did. Unfortunately for American parents, FMLA only requires 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers of newborn or newly adopted children. This is one of the lowest levels of leave in the industrialized world! None of this leave is required to be paid. This forces a lot of Mother’s to head back to work way earlier than they would prefer and sadly, makes the transition that much harder. I was able to take 13 weeks off of work. When I filled out my FMLA paperwork (literally 4 days after giving birth), three months felt like a good chunk of time. Let me tell you that three months was definitely NOT enough time to be home with my baby and within the few weeks before heading back to work my anxiety started to flood in.

Even before Charlee was born, I knew I wanted to be a working Mom. Matt and I had decided that daycare would be the best route for our family. We had heard amazing things about the benefits of daycare including the socialization and engaging activities. Daycare was also always open and never took sick days which a Nanny could potentially do. Daycare is also more affordable than a nanny, and to top it all off, the daycare we wanted was literally in the same apartment building as ours! All fingers pointed to DAYCARE! NYC is kind of nuts and waiting lists are a real pain so we had Charlee pre-enrolled when I was only 12 weeks pregnant and pre-paid months in advance to make sure she made it in. Pretty nuts right?!

Fastforward to a few weeks before heading back to work and me realizing how hard it was going to be to go back to work and leave Charlee in daycare. I decided to put her in for a few half days before going back to ease into it. The first day, I had Matt come with me to help with drop off and setting everything up. It was the hardest moment of my life you guys. I literally didn’t speak to anyone because I thought I was going to throw up! By the time we left the building I was dry heaving and sobbing! Needless to say, I went back to get her two hours later haha! I also think I may have traumatized my husband!

I put Charlee into daycare on a Wednesday and by Friday I was SO ready for the weekend and to have time with my baby. I was dreading Monday and going back to work, but I felt at least more comfortable having done the drop off three days in a row. Monday morning came, and I was able to keep my composure and go back to work. It was an emotional morning, but by the time I got to work and saw all my old co-workers, took myself to lunch without worrying about my baby, I started to feel OK! It was actually really nice to be at work and be talking to adults and using my brain in a different way. I watched the clock by the mid-afternoon and shot out of my office at 4:59 P.M. to pick up my girl. When I arrived, she was doing tummy time with other babies and as happy as a clam! I was so relieved.

Seems great right?! Well, fast-forward to three days later (only a week after being in daycare) and Charlee woke up with her first fever. I will spare you the stress and all the details but after a day of fever and a horrible cough she ended up being admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. Charlee had contracted RSV from daycare and they needed to monitor her oxygen levels. This meant that not only was my poor baby sick, but I had to stay home from work to care for her. It was extremely stressful, terrifying and it completely freaked me out. I felt like a HORRIBLE mother leaving my baby at daycare with all the germs! Over the next few months, Charlee was sick more than she wasn’t to be honest. It took about 10 days for her to get over RSV and then the next week she had another cold. It was so stressful. I’m not telling you guys this to freak you out, but I wish I had known that this is common and happens! I knew babies get sick from daycare but I just didn’t realize what you need to do in order to keep your family and YOU from the stress of it. I put together a list of tips and tricks as well as things I wish I had known before starting the daycare track. I really do love my daycare now and just wish I had been a little more prepared before I enrolled Charlee for what was to come. Hopefully this will help you guys!

Tips and tricks for daycare:

  1. Have sick day care lined up. As I mentioned in my anecdote above, I had no idea how sick babies get in the first few months at daycare. We don’t live near family so when Charlee was sick, I had to take a day off of work to stay home with her. My husband has a very intense and demanding job so it always fell on me to be home with her. This was extremely stressful because not only was I dealing with a poor sick baby, but I also was neglecting my work! I eventually was able to set myself up with a fabulous rolodex of sitters to take care of Charlee when I needed to go in to work. I would have them come for a half day so I could run into work and get some things done. It was really helpful!
  2. Have a conversation with your Boss. Heading back to work full time is a transition and it’s important to be honest and forthcoming about the flexibility you will most likely need in the first few months of Daycare. I was so lucky to have a boss that was super supportive and understood when I needed to work from home or step out early. I think being pro-active and talking to her first helped a lot. She knew that I cared about my quality of work and appreciated that I came to her.
  3. When you go back to work, try to enroll your baby a few days before your back to work start date. This will let you get used to your morning routine as well as emotionally help prepare you. You’d be surprised how much of a circus it is to get everything ready and packed. Having practiced a few days in a row really helped me feel confident on my first day back to work.
  4. Don’t go visit your baby during the day unless you are picking them up early. I know this sounds really weird, but this is just my advice. One time, very early on after I went back to work, I decided to go visit Charlee over my lunch break. I came in and scooped her up (she was doing tummy time) and we had a little snuggle session. It was magical! Then I went to put her down so I could get back to work. Well, she was NOT happy about this and started sobbing. I tried to soothe her but she was just not having it. I started stressing because I had to go back to work for a meeting! One of her daycare teachers picked her up and was soothing her by the time I went to leave but I was so shaken up! I could barely make it through the rest of my day! That was the last time I went to visit. Instead, if I am missing her, I just go get her early.
  5. If you can, prep the bottles and pack your baby’s items for daycare the night before. I have plenty of time in the mornings to do all that I need to get Charlee ready for daycare, but I love to spend that time playing with her instead. Sometimes I do the bottles that morning, but I always pack her bag the night before so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
  6. Your daycare will tell you to do this but spend a few days labeling your baby’s clothes, bottles, spoons etc. I recommend these labels for clothes and these labels for bottles.  Both sets are waterproof and I have used them every day with no problem! The clothing labels actually work on bottles and I use those to date and label what is inside her bottles every day since it changes daily.
  7. Get to know the teachers! In the beginning, I was so worried and wrapped up in whether or not Charlee was OK, that I forgot to get to know who was watching her! These wonderful women were caring for my daughter and I was running in and running out wrapped up in my head! Once I got to know the teachers, guess what?! It was SO MUCH EASIER to leave Charlee because I felt comfortable. I try and do really nice things for the teachers as well. I bake for them and always bring them all holiday presents from Charlee. I think they really appreciate it.
  8. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Just because your baby is in daycare doesn’t mean you can’t ask for certain things do to be done a certain way for your child. There have been days where Charlee struggles to nap, or comes home a little cranky from lack of sleep. In the beginning, I just figured it was out of my control in that environment. Then I decided to ask what was up! I spoke to the main teacher and asked her what they do to help babies fall asleep. I gave her some pointers on what worked for Charlee and low and behold, her naps got better with some of my directions.
  9. Remember that it gets easier!! I like to compare your first days of Daycare to the first days of Motherhood. The more time passes, the more comfortable you get! I am so comfortable with daycare now and what is even better is how much my daughter loves it. These days, when I take her out of her stroller and she sees her teachers and baby friends, she starts to clap and is just so excited. I couldn’t ask for more!

I hope this gave those of you considering daycare a real look into what it’s like. Nothing about leaving your child in someone else’s care is easy, but seeing my child thrive in a new environment has made it all worth it.

Xoxo-J

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Glasses: Warby Parker Sweater: Tobi C/O Jeans: ASOS Socks: Matt’s HA!

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Guys! I did a poll on Instagram last week on what kind of content you all wanted to see on my blog and I was super surprised to see how much you all love my Mom and lifestyle content! It motivated me big time to bring you guys what you want to see so get ready for lots more on the blog under that category. I also had a lot of you ask me to do a “Day in the life” post so here it is!!

7:00 A.M. Wake up! Charlee wakes up pretty consistently at 7:00 A.M. ISH. We get the occasional 6:30 A.M wake up, but she knows she stays in her bed until 7:00 A.M. no matter what.

7:15 A.M. Feed Charlee. Charlee takes 7 ounces of HIPP formula 5 times a day. She loves her bottle (and food for that matter) and her morning bottle is my favorite. We snuggle up and I feed her. She’s so happy to see us in the morning! Matt usually gets her out of bed and plays with her for a little bit before she eats. He leaves for work really early so I give him that special time with her before he is off to work.

7:30 A.M. Prep Charlee for daycare and Shower. I prep Charlee’s bottles and pack her food and snack for the day. I label everything and get her organized for her day. Once she is packed and ready I will hop in the shower for a rinse and to wake myself up. I pop Charlee into her bouncer and she bounces while I get dressed and showered up.

8:30 A.M. Drop Charlee off at daycare. Charlee used to be in daycare all day when I worked a full-time corporate job, but now that I’m focusing on my styling business and blog we have her in daycare part-time from 8-3 P.M. This gives me time to get my work done, workout and tackle the household.

9:00 A.M. Breakfast! I usually have my favorite peanut butter protein pancakes, a bowl of cereal, eggs and GG crackers or if I am feeling like I deserve it, a bagel! I get caught up on the news, read emails with my cup of coffee and figure out my plan for the day.

9:30 A.M. GET TO WORK. If I’m not working with a client, I am working on my blog in some capacity. I am either shooting content, editing photos, writing a post or working with my Engineer J.A. on the back-end. It takes a lot of work to keep up a blog but I love it!!

11:00 A.M. Workout. I just recently started the BBG program and I am obsessed. It’s been a wonderful program that I’ve been able to keep up with and I’m excited to see the progress. I completed the initial 4 week beginner BBG and now I am on week 3 of the BBG 1.0. I usually just head down to the gym in my building and use the equipment there. Once or twice a week I will take a class, but the BBG App (Sweat in the app store) is like having a personal trainer on your phone! I try and workout 6 days a week. It’s how I decompress and relieve stress.

12:00 P.M. Shower and get ready for the day. I know it sounds like I get a late start to my day, but by this time I have done a LOT. You can get so much more accomplished when your day starts at 7:00 A.M.!

1:00P.M. This time of day varies from day to day. I usually do a ton of laundry, clean the house and make dinner for the family. If I have more work to do, I’ll also do it at this time. I use this time to get organized and tackle something different.

2:00-3:00 P.M. I pick up Charlee from Daycare! Depending on the day and my to-do list and workload, I’ll pick Charlee up anywhere between 2 and 3. I miss her all day so it is rare that I actually leave her at daycare until 3:00 P.M.

3:00-4:00 P.M. Play with Charlee! I try and be 100% present when it’s just Charlee and I. She is so active and into everything so playing with her is so much fun. I like that I am able to get all of my stuff done during the day and be totally present and with her when I pick her up until bedtime! Sometimes we head out for a walk or to the park if it’s nice.

4:00 P.M.-4:45 P.M. Charlee usually takes a nap around this time. She is taking three 30-45 min naps a day. I am trying to get her to take two but because she is at daycare she gets very stimulated and likes to take her last nap in the late afternoon. During this time, I’ll unpack her bags from daycare and start on dinner.

5:00-5:30 P.M. Daddy is home! Our evenings are really chill. Matt rushes home from work to see us and play with Charlee. He loves spending time with Charlee and will play with her for a while, give her a bath and feed her. He is such an amazing and hands on Dad. Around 6:45 he heads down to the gym for a workout and I read Charlee a book and put her down to sleep at 7:00 P.M. We have dinner around 8 P.M. and then I usually pour myself a glass of wine and we watch Netflix or a new movie! Nothing too exciting!

I hope you enjoyed getting a little look into my everyday life. My days vary but one thing is consistent and that is spending special time with my beautfiul girl. I feel very blessed!

Xoxo-J

 

 

IS IT SPRING YET?!

Top: J.Crew Boots: Stuart Weitzman Purse: Gucci Skirt: Vince

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Man do I love a weekend! I just love having the family all together and being a bit lazy. During the week I am so productive and it’s nice to chill together on the weekends!

I was so excited about the nice weather in NY this week that I ran outside and shot this neutral spring look. I really need a tan but otherwise I loved how it all came together. A very popular trend right now is having one color scheme paired together. I love a monochromatic look and was excited to put together a look with this in mind. It can be tricky because you don’t want to end up looking like a crayon in one color! It’s important to break up your look with a pattern, accessory or to bring in another neutral to keep it balanced. I picked up the piping in my blouse and added in black with my boots and in the details of my purse.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Here’s to hoping this weather gets better soon!

xoxo-J

MIXING PATTERNS

Photography by Shadi Garman

Earrings: Nordstrom Rack Jeans: J.Crew Blazer Coat: Banana Republic T-shirt: B.P. Bag: Henri Bendel Mules: Steve Madden

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Matt and I had a lazy night in on Friday and then Saturday we had brunch and a double date night. Sunday we took it easy and played with Charlee all day. This age is SO fun! She is turning 7 months next week and I just love it! She is so responsive and just wants to play. It’s a blast and every day it gets better and better.

I put together this look the other day and love how it all came together. I consider leopard print to be a neutral and love pairing it with different colors and patterns. I pulled the leopard print in by pairing my look with these AMAZING statement earrings which are currently 50% off! I have found amazing jewelry at Nordstrom Rack recently. Have you guys checked out their jewelry selection?

My Mom is currently at the airport in Charlotte and on her way to NYC to spend three whole days with us! I can’t wait to have her here!! Make sure to follow along on my Instagram to see what adventures I have planned for us :)!

xoxo-J

3-6 MONTH BABY ESSENTIALS

Now that Charlee is officially 6 months (closer to 7 now eek!) I can confidently share with you all my absolute must-haves that we used from when she was 3-6 months old.

  1. Bumbo changing table This was a part of my newborn necessities post. I love love love this changing table and don’t know how I survived without it for the first month. It’s a lifesaver! It wipes clean so any messes are easy to handle. It’s also cheaper than the keekaroo and is basically the exact same product.
  2. 50/50 Love to Dream Swaddle This product was amazing for transitioning Charlee out of the swaddle. It weirdly looks like it would be incredibly uncomfortable for a baby and I felt a little weird putting Charlee into it, but it totally worked and she loved it. We used it as is with the wings attached for about a month around 4 months old. Then we took one wing off for a week, and then the other side the second week. It was a totally seamless transition! I was so worried about transitioning her out of the swaddle and this product made is so much easier. Once she transitioned we used the swaddle without the wings as a sort of blanket. I highly recommend this product!
  3. Baby Bjorn Soft Carrier We have been through SO many carriers it’s embarassing to admit. We started with the Solly Baby Wrap which was awesome when Charlee was super tiny. That lasted about a month MAX ha! I couldn’t wear that wrap after she was over 10 lbs, it really killed my back! We moved on to the larger Bjorne but for some reason Charlee really didnt like it! She was uncomfortable and I guess a little too small for it. We finally found this wrap and I still use it today! It’s soft but sturdy and really easy to put on. It will only last you around 7-8 months from birth but it’s worth it.
  4. Muchkin Latch Bottles These are great bottles and Charlee took to them easily. I know bottles are a very “by baby” item but these worked great for us!
  5. Baby Bjorne bouncer seat God bless this seat. I can’t tell you how much use we got out of this seat. I only JUST NOW am not using it. It lasted us a full 6.5 months.
  6. Skip Hop Activity Center Charlee loves this activity center. It’s also not an eye sore which selfishly was something I was concerned with. We have a two bedroom apartment and no playroom and the activity center in on display. This one is sort of chic looking lol and she also loves it. A WIN WIN!
  7. My Breast Friend Pillow I have used this pillow every day for every feeding since Charlee was born. It makes it so comfortable to feed her and offers that arm support you need.
  8. 7 A.M Enfant stroller bag I hate that I am STILL using this because that means it’s still cold outside, but this stroller bag is the best. It’s SO warm and I swear just radiates heat. I can put charlee in a light sweater and a hat and she is almost sweating by the time I take her out of it. I feel really comfortable that she is super warm when we go on walks when it’s cold outside. It’s expensive, but worth it!
  9. Noggin Stick  This toy will always have a special place in my heart :). It was her first toy and she still LOVES it. Can’t say enough about it. We call it “Mr. Noggin” and every time I pull it out she starts to bounce and flap her arms. It’s a great toy to throw in your diaper bag for walks and trips. Charlee loves her “Mr. Noggin.”
  10. Take Along Tunes Toy Not sure why every baby loves this darn toy, but they do! This has been in the toy rotation from the beginning!
  11. Nose Frida The woman who invented this thing is a GENIUS! I swear Charlee has had a runny nose every week since she was in daycare. I have used this thing so many times and it really does the trick!

Ok that’s it for my 3-6 month essentials. Did I miss anything you can’t live without?! Leave a note in the comments!

xoxo-J

LAYERED

Sweater: Chicos Blouse: Gap Jeans: J.Crew Shoes: Sam Edelman

Hi Guys! Happy Wednesday. I love a short week but it gets ahead of me so quickly. I had a billion things on my to-do list and haven’t gotten through half of it but here we are and it’s halfway through the week. Oh well! I snuck Charlee out of daycare early yesterday and took her to the playground for her first time on the swing! She LOVED it! I have been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather. It makes me so happy and excited for spring. I need Vitamin D in my life!! Those moments make it worth skipping items on your to-do list, am I right!?

I found this beautiful cream sweater at Chicos when I was down in NC shopping with my Mom. I NEVER shop at Chicos but I went in there with my Mom and I saw this sweater and loved it! I wanted to add some depth to the look so I added a blouse underneath and a cute statement necklace. I am all about layering these days.

What are you guys doing this weekend? Matt and I have brunch with friends and their 6 month old. We are major brunchers lol. I feel like it’s the thing to do as new parents!

I have some fun projects and collaborations coming down the pipeline so make sure to keep following along and sign up for my newsletter!

xoxo-J

 

POPS OF RED

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Banana Republic Coat: Asos Similar: here and here  Boots: Stuart Weitzman Earrings: Baublebar

Hi Guys! I’m super excited to share this look because I am absolutely obsessed with this dress. I found this gorgeous dress at Banana Republic on super sale a few weeks ago shopping in NC with my Mom and I couldn’t wait to style it. I have been home with my sweet girl this week but absolutely love seeing all the amazing looks from NY Fashion week. I got inspired and put this look together.

I hope you all are having a great week. I am SO excited for the long weekend. Matt has been traveling for work these last few weeks and so we can’t wait to have much needed family time. What are you guys doing this weekend? We are going to have a belated Valentine’s Day date and spend lots of time with our sweet girl.

Xoxo-J

POSTPARTUM ANXIETY-LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

Photography by Shadi Garman

Becoming a parent is one of the most life changing experiences a person can go through, in my opinion. Every single part of your life changes! Your body, your responsibilities, your relationship dynamic with your partner…etc. etc. etc. the list goes on! On top of these changes, we as mothers are challenged with hormone imbalance which is super tough. After I had Charlee, I was so happy. I remember being just euphorically happy. I say that because I didn’t realize that while being so happy, I was actually suffering from postpartum anxiety.

I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety when Charlee was about 12 weeks old. At Charlee’s three month appointment, my pediatrician asked me to fill out a standard questionnaire that she gives to all new Moms. The sheet was basically a rating of how you have been feeling recently. I filled it out honestly and didn’t even think twice about it. After the appointment, my Dr. came out to the waiting room and asked to talk to me about the results. Apparently I had scored pretty low on this test and she recommended that I go talk to someone. She gave me a referral of a local therapist that specializes in this sort of thing. To be honest, I was actually pretty surprised and it took me a few days to wrap my head around talking to someone. I just was super happy and knew I wasn’t depressed. I did, however, know that something wasn’t quite right. I want to do my best to explain how I was feeling because maybe you are feeling this way too. I guess the best way to describe how I was feeling is is to say that I was just constantly “on.” I had a very difficult time relaxing because I was always worried about something. Something as simple as packing the diaper bag to take Charlee out of the apartment had the potential to sort of put me over the edge. I would talk to myself out loud and question myself. I would walk through every single possible situation that could arise and make sure I had what I needed to handle it. You can imagine my diaper bag was pretty heavy haha! It was difficult to just be present and in the moment because I was so wrapped up in my thoughts. Even when Charlee slept I would have anxiety and constantly question if she was breathing. It was not good! I was so deep in the middle of it that until our pediatrician said something about it, I didn’t even realize how much I was suffering. I decided to take my pediatrician’s advice and made an appointment with a therapist. I can’t tell you how amazing this decision was for me. I have been seeing her for over three months now and I can’t even put into words how beneficial the therapy has been for me. We use cognitive therapy and I have learned how to control my thoughts in a more productive way. She has taught me ways to manage my anxieties and has truly made me a better and even happier Mom. I was able to recognize that there was nothing weird or wrong with me for having these feelings and I had nothing to be ashamed of.

I think postpartum anxiety and depression is way more common than people realize. I don’t know why we as women don’t talk more about it. I wish I had been able to talk about this even earlier than I am. I guess it’s easier to talk about it now that I am on the other side of it. I know I still have work to do, but I am so much better than I was before. It’s so important to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. I think I am an even better, more present Mom because I took the time to work on myself. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, don’t be ashamed to ask for help! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your family!

Xoxo-J