Tag Archives: Parenting

Do you kiss your kids on the lips?

Do you kiss your kids on the lips? | R.Simple Life
Sweet kiss photo by Christy Nicole Photography

Saturday morning Harry and I were awake and laying in bed before Jon woke up. His peaceful sleeping face was too tempting for me and I told Harry to give his Papa a kiss on the lips, and Harry went for it. He woke his Papa up with a nice wet one, smack dab on the lips. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal, except Jon doesn’t kiss Harry on the lips.

I mentioned this in the caption of a recent Instagram of mine and the reaction was interesting. Most people didn’t understand how or why Jon resists those sweet little Harry lips. But he’s said it since before Harry was born, he won’t kiss our kids on the lips. The head, the nose, the cheek, but not the lips.

Let’s just preface this with: I am not from a kissing family. I don’t kiss my parents on the lips and I don’t really ever remember doing so. But there was never a question whether I’d kiss Harry on the lips, and the moment I saw that sweet little pout, it was all confirmed. I’d be a lip-kisser. And I plan on being a lip-kisser until the day Harry is done with it.

I’m curious, do you kiss your kids (or will you) on the lips? Also, do you kiss your parents on the lips? I think it’s interesting that I don’t kiss my parents, but can’t get enough of those baby lips.

xoxo Mallory

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Looking Back on a Year of Motherhood

R.Simple Life | The first year of motherhood

Well, tomorrow is my first son’s first birthday and I have about a million emotions running through my veins today. It’s impossible to make sense of them all, but they are all facets of either excitement, disbelief, or a strange kind of sadness. It’s insane to think that one year ago Harry was still living inside of my body, getting ready to take one of the biggest, hardest (quickest) journeys of his young life.

The last year has been the very best year of my life. It’s held some of the most rewarding moments, some of the happiest tears, and some of the toughest times. I’ve slept less than ever, smiled more than ever, and shed enough tears to fill a lake, but it really, really has been the best year of my life. I feel like I was born to be Harry’s mama. Not born to be a mom, no, but born to be Harry’s mama. I don’t question my instincts with this boy, and so far, they’ve all been pretty good.

I’ve changed in so many ways over the last twelve months – some predictable, some surprising. I can only imagine this little boy is going to continue rocking my world and changing me for the rest of my time, and I am so thankful for that. He has made me a better person, without a doubt. That’s the thing about the people you love, they make you want to be better. Harry did it and his Papa did it before him.

So tomorrow I’ll put on the dress I wore the day I met my little boy for the first time, and take about three million pictures, mental and digital. I’ll probably cry more than once, and I’m sure I’ll laugh the whole day through. But today I’m thinking about all the ways motherhood has changed me, and I’m here to share just a few.

My heart grew. I’m serious. I’ll admit the thing we all feel but don’t want to say when we’re thinking about having children: I was worried I wouldn’t be able to love this little baby enough because my heart was already full of love for his father. But boy, was I wrong. My heart grew enough to not only hold all the love I have for Harry, but all the extra love I have for Jon. That’s something they don’t warn you about – the second you have a baby, the love you have for that babies other parent quadruples by the minute. Sometimes the love spills out in tears (for no other reason but how much love I have for the two of them) but somehow my heart grew.

My pant size shrunk. I was not expecting this. Sure, the first few months where I lost the baby weight, I expected. But due to the change in my diet, the discipline in my workouts, and the breastfeeding, I’ve shed the baby weight plus 10 pounds and my butt is higher. I really have a much healthier diet and my new (this year) squat rack to thank for those extra 10 pounds and the lifted booty, but Harry brought on the healthy diet and the need for a squat rack in my garage, so I’m chalking this one up to parenthood too. Plus, breastfeeding.

I started eating healthier. It began with cutting out dairy because Harry was having a bad reaction to it, and realizing I was lactose intolerant. Then I cut out simple grains and realized I feel about 100 times better while sustaining a healthy diet. If you can pick it from a tree, dig it from the ground, or find it on a farm, I’ll eat it. And having a clean diet of whole ingredients only (read: no processed foods) really makes me feel so much better. I even have more energy now. And the extra bonus? When Harry started eating, he was able to eat everything I was already making – because I was eating so healthy.

I cried, a lot. I cried because I was happy, I cried because I was sad. I cried when I was proud, frustrated, in love, overwhelmed… I just cried so much. As a crier, I’ve always been prone to watery eyes, but there’s just something about sending your heart to live outside of your body that makes you want to cry even more.

I became more disciplined. There is nothing like a baby to rock your schedule like nothing else. I learned to do things quicker and more efficiently. I learned that unless I make the time for something in advance, it’s probably not going to happen. I learned to have a routine and a schedule, but to be ready to break it at a moments notice.

I became more flexible. On the other hand, having a baby teaches the most rigid Type-A’s to break up the routine and be a little more go with the flow. The minute I felt like I had a finger on Harry’s schedule, he’d change it up. So I learned to be flexible.

I started living for someone else. I’m selfish, I’ll be the first one to tell you that. Before I had Harry, I was legitimately worried about how I would handle the lack of sleep and early mornings when I was so used to my 8-9 hours of beauty rest. I worried that I’d miss doing things on a whim, seeing movies, choosing activities based on my wants and needs. When Harry and his sweet little dinosaur arms reached for me the first time, that all changed. Everything I did, I did for him. The midnight  (and 3am, 4am, etc.) feedings didn’t bother me. Waking up early was fine, if that’s what he needed. I will drop everything to dance with the little boy who pulls on my shirt when the right song comes on. It was like someone flipped a switch and I was completely selfless when it came to my son. And I love that feeling.

There are so many more ways my little boy has changed me, all for the better, but this post is veering on the rambling side and I’m ready to sit here and dream about the last year. If you take one thing from this post, take this: being a mother, being Harry’s mother, has changed me forever – in the very, very best way possible. I can’t thank my little guy enough for that.

xoxo Mallory

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I Swore I’d Never

There were a lot of things I swore I’d never do before I became a mum. I was so convinced I knew it all. Well, here I am to eat my own words. Luckily, I’ve got a big jar of peanut butter to help them taste just a little better.

R.Simple Life | Things I Swore I'd Never Do (as a mother)

I swore I’d never…

…call the toilet and/or bathroom the potty. But I did.
…let my kid sleep in my bed. But I love it.
…give into a whine instead of a request. But I did it without even realizing.
…let my kid wear clothes that had poop/puke/pee on them. But check, check, and check.
not leave my kid with a babysitter. But… still haven’t.
…consider not going on vacation with my kid. But I have no clue how I’d leave him.
…forget to shower. But there have been a few smelly days.
…let my laundry pile up. But I’m sitting next to a mountain now.

I have, however, refrained from using the double poo or double pee’s. Just goes to show, no matter how much you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, there’s nothing like a baby to teach you how much you don’t know. What did you swear you’d never do?

xoxo, Mallory

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Favorite Child

R.Simple Life | Favorite Child

You know who it is. Think about your siblings. One of them was the favorite. She maybe got to stay up later than the rest of you. Maybe he always got a little bit more on his birthday. She got special “dates” with your parents. Admit it. One of you was the favorite.

A recent study suggests this is not uncommon. In fact, a third of over 2,000 parents polled admitted to having a favorite child. This is crazy. My opinions on this are twofold. Being a mother to one baby, hoping for another at some point, I worry, as I know a lot of us do, that I will not have enough love to give if and when we are lucky enough to have another baby. I think it’s pretty common to wonder how the heck you’re going to open up your heart and love yet another person just as much as you already love your older child and your husband. From what I hear, there is no question. Once that little guy or girl shows up, it’s love at first sight and your heart grows exponentially. BUT. For now, I just can’t imagine how my little heart is going to have enough room. That part of me thinks Harry will always be the favorite (sorry potential Baby Number Two).

But on the other hand, how can I have a favorite? I look at my relationship with Jonathan and my relationship with Harry. Sure, I’d rather do certain things with Harry and certain things with Jonathan, but that doesn’t mean I like one more than the other. I just have totally different relationships with either boy. And even though this is a bit different than having two KIDS (it’s the teeniest bit different… if you haven’t met my husband yet, just know he is a kid himself) I just can’t imagine favoring a child over another. Is it possible?

So spill. Were you the favorite? Was your sister/brother? Parents, do you have a favorite? I do. My favorite child is Harry (insert winking face).

xoxo, Mallory

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On Co-sleeping

R.Simple Life | On Co-sleeping

I’ve had a big response to the slight mention of co-sleeping in one of my comments. It seems that everyone wants to hear about this. And I don’t blame everyone. It’s such a hot  topic, which was, indeed the reason I was avoiding it on the blog all together. Everyone has an opinion and people tend to get pretty vocal about it. But because so many of you are interested in what we’re doing, I’m talking about it. I’m even going to leave the comments on, because I love hearing from you. But please be respectful of me and my family, as well as anyone else who comments. Otherwise I’m turning them off. How’s that for my Mom Voice?

Okay co-sleeping. Before I had a baby, I was 100% against co-sleeping. I thought it was dangerous. I thought it was setting your child up for disappointment when they move into their own big, lonely bed. I thought it took away time, intimacy, cuddling, love from your marriage. I was not going to co-sleep. If my child had a nightmare, he could sleep in my room, but not my bed. If he was sick, Mum or Papa would cuddle with him in his bed for part of the night, but again, our bed was going to be off limits.

Fast forward to January 9th, 2013. I had Harry. This sweet little boy who stole my heart in a way I never even knew anyone could. But I still wasn’t going to co-sleep. He could sleep in his rock ‘n play next to our bed. He could even cuddle in our bed while we were all awake. But still, no co-sleeping. Until he was about a week old. And we all napped in our bed together. It was magical. Some of the best sleep of my life. But, I told myself, it was a one off.

Again, hit that fast forward button, this time to about one month in. Harry was still sleeping next to us, yet in his own space. However, he started waking up at 5:30, an hour after eating, and the only thing I could think to do to get more sleep was to pull him into bed with us and cuddle him. Worked like a charm. He fell asleep the second he felt my warm body next to his. We started doing this a few mornings a week.

The co-sleeping really started picking up. We would put him to bed in his own crib, then move him to his bassinet when we went to sleep. Then sometime between 4-6am, he’d come into our bed to finish out the night’s sleep. I never second guessed myself. I wasn’t worried about rolling over on top of him. It’s just this biological thing. I can’t explain it, but it’s just not going to happen. I’m ultra aware of him being there, yet I sleep soundly. We don’t have big fluffy blankets or pillows on the bed that could suffocate him. He’s safe.

I don’t think it takes a single thing away from our marriage, either. Sure, we’re sharing our bed with another person, but it’s our son. Our son who is a wonderful extension of us. We still have our time, Jon and I. I don’t feel like we’re missing anything, on the contrary, I feel like it has brought us together.

And because Harry spends his naps and a large part of the night in his own space, I don’t think it’s going to be a terrible adjustment when we decide co-sleeping is done. He’s used to his crib. He sleeps in his rock ‘n play just fine. It’ll be an adjustment, yes, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be all that terrible.

Will the co-sleeping stop? Yes. We need to have boundaries, and there will be a point where Harry doesn’t sleep in our bed anymore. But for now, it works for us. He’s still waking up 2-3 times a night, and having him that close is great. I get so much more sleep having right next to me in the rock ‘n play, or even closer on the bed. Plus, I’m under the impression that there is nothing sweeter to waking up smooshed into the 8 inches in between the love of your life and your life’s love. That is my kind of snuggle.

I’ve learned so much in these past four months. About parenting, about Harry, about Jon, about myself. So many things that have surprised me. We always think we have it all figured out, right? It’s times like these, though, that remind us that we don’t have a clue. And I love that. So consider this my giant apology to anyone who received an internal eye roll when they talked about co-sleeping with me before I had Harry. I’ve really learned that you just do what is best for your family. And only you know what that is.

Okay. Remember to keep it nice guys. But I’m curious. What do you think about co-sleeping?

xoxo, Mallory

PS This article inspired me to sit down and write this all out. It’s a very different approach to co-sleeping than ours, but it’s kind of amazing. And the pictures, ugh. My heart melted.

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