Teagan's Sandbox

Mom Life

Mother Your Way

As I nursed my baby to bed tonight, with her first birthday just a few days away, I thought a lot about life. To first finding out I was going to be a mother, to finding out I was going to be a mother to a little girl, to thinking how terrified I was to give birth, to understanding the true definition of unconditional love, to looking at this little person and realizing I loved her so much that it actually hurts sometimes.

I also thought about how I’ve done so many things ‘wrong’ in this first year of her life. So many things you read that you aren’t supposed to do. So many things your friends say they’ve done all this research on. Things your parents say you should or shouldn’t do. Things your doctors tell you not to do. Things science tells you not to do. So many things people judge for. Let me just name a few of those ‘wrong’ things.

I drank coffee throughout my pregnancy. My whole pregnancy. And then during breastfeeding. Sometimes multiple cups a day. Still do.

I also ate like crap the majority of my pregnancy.

When I was pregnant, I took a hot bath, every.single.night.

I had my baby in a hospital after being induced and getting an epidural.

I am totally guilty of overstimulating her and keeping her up past her bedtime some nights.

I let her use a jumper for months. Many months. Sometimes more than 30 minutes at a time while I pumped.

She used a walker when she went over to my parents’ house.

I initially went back to work after maternity leave, so I put her in daycare for 8 hours a day. And not just any daycare. A daycare center. GASP.

I have accidentally hit her head on the car door while putting her in her car seat more times than I can count.

I drank wine and then nursed on more than one occasion.

I have woken a sleeping baby.

I let her cry it out. Both naps and bedtime. But she naps now and we both sleep at night.

We started baby led weaning at 7 months old because spoon feeding her was for the birds.

I sleep trained her. Gasp.

She has used a pacifier since the very beginning.

She was bottle fed while I exclusively pumped for the first two months of her life. Maybe longer.

I am guilty of looking at my phone too often when I am around her.

I make Cary do all the hard stuff like clip her nails and saline her nose because I don’t want to be seen as the mean parent.

Our dog has given her one too many kisses. On the mouth.

I cuss in front of her. Way more than I’d like. We are working on that.

I let her watch TV.

I don’t always feed her organic foods.

I also proudly vaccinate her.

I have and continue to do a lot of these things that I know so many people will judge me for. Because that’s what people do. They judge. But a year in and I am so proud of the mother I have become and the sweet girl I am raising. She is loving, happy, so chill and has met every milestone thus far. Every single day she has her own way of telling me what is working and what isn’t. A lot of things work for us and a lot of things don’t. Isn’t that what this motherhood journey is all about? Learning and growing alongside your tiny humans?

The real honest truth is I don’t care who judges my mothering choices because it isn’t about them. It isn’t even really about me. It’s about her and what works for her. God gave me this precious little human to mother and I am the only person who can do that. Because of that, I trust my instincts and don’t take this whole mothering thing too seriously.

I believe you should always mother the way you want to mother. Mother the way that feels right and natural to you. If 20 minutes of TV gives you a sanity break, do it. If an all organic diet feels right, do it. If you want to be a SAHM, WAHM, or a working mom and put your kid in daycare, do it. Never let anyone make you feel like you are less than. Don’t let mom guilt bring you down and definitely don’t let mom wars or know it all moms make you feel like you are less than the best mother your child could ever have.

At the end of the day, none of us are perfect mothers. None of us have all the answers but we certainly have the best answers for our lives and our own children. So always mother your way.

    3 COMMENTS

  • Hannah June 12, 2017 Reply

    By baby turned 6 months old today and I have done so many these things.. and I don’t even worry about it. Keep doing your thing!

    • jennw076 June 12, 2017 Reply

      Amen to that! Glad I’m not alone in being guilty of all of these ‘wrongs’. Moming is hard but so much better knowing you have a community of moms all going through the same things!

  • […] So always mother your way.” – an excerpt from an awesome blog post by Jennifer at Teagan’s Sandbox (I highly recommend […]

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I've partnered with some of my favorite accounts to give {ONE} lucky follower a $1000 Target gift card! 
To participate:
1: FOLLOW ME
2. "LIKE" this picture
3. Go to @thetaylorhouse and repeat the steps
4. Follow the same steps on every account until you're back here. 
5. Comment with your favorite kind of cookie!
Details: The giveaway will run for 72 hours from 10/15 to 10/18 at 10PM EST and the winner will be announced within 48 hours after the giveaway has ended. Winners must have a PUBLIC account at the time of drawing so we can verify you are following everyone in the loop. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Winner needs to fill out tax documents to claim. International entries welcome- may be responsible for shipping fees if chosen. Host: @instaloops1 
Please note: This loop is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. Inc or any of the companies in the photo. If you've won a giveaway with the prize amount over $500 you are not eligible to win Another in a six month period. By entering you are confirming that you are 18+ years of age, that you release Instagram of any/all responsibility and that you agree to Instagram's term of use. No purchase necessary. Disclaimer-void where prohibited by law, no purchase necessary.
  • It's been over a week since I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and having to start what feels like an extreme diet list of "no's" and I started out feeling so defeated. The first few days I felt awful. Headaches to the point of nausea and vomiting as my body was detoxing all the things I now couldn't have. Today I'm feeling like I'm getting so much energy, I don't feel as foggy or heavy with that blah feeling. I have been really strict and not "cheated" because cheating now feels like I'm failing myself and my health. Ironically enough, I'm eating MORE at every meal and drinking more water. I've been using my essential oils as the doctors ordered on my thyroid area as well as for other wellness purposes, cooking, cleaning and in my beauty regimen. I feel like the direction of this page and my blog is now shifting. It will always serve as a place to share my motherhood journey but part of that journey is now much more about health and wellness and less about testing and reviewing free stuff. I'm still genuinely angry and upset about the diagnosis but sometimes the bad stuff we go through serves to be beautiful life lessons and good in the end. Here's to one week down and forever to go to restoring my health and life from the inside out! I hope everyone has a great weekend☀️
  • Happy Birthday my sweet KDK! Things sure have changed over the years but one thing that hasn't is what an amazing person and friend you are. Thank you for always listening to me rant, being there unconditionally, and bringing the sunshine and happiness to every early morning! I hope today is as special as you are 😘😘
  • I received some pretty devastating news regarding my health this past week. While it's left me feeling so sad, it's also been a wonderful reminder that we are only given one body to live this amazing life and we need to treat it that way. I decided to open up #ontheblog about the whole ordeal because it's too long of a story for an Instagram post. As @s.chilva would say "one life, one chance." 💕
  • My heart is so heavy with the news from Las Vegas today. I feel sad that my sweet daughter is growing up in a world so full of hate. We are not born to hate. Hate is a learned behavior. Remember that our children are watching every single thing we do and listening to every word we say and from us is where they will either learn to love and respect everyone equally or not. I hope that Teagan always treats everyone how she wants to be treated. 💕 #prayforvegas .
.
.
📷: @celticgrayphotography
  • You belong among the wildflowers 🌼🎼
.
.
.
📷: @celticgrayphotography 💕
  • Anyone else? 🙋🏼😂
.
.
.
10% off your letterboard order with code JENNY10 💁🏼
  • When your sweet friend is also the best photographer in the area, sometimes play dates get documented and it's the sweetest sight ever 😍
.
.
.
📷: @celticgrayphotography