Friday, March 20, 2015

guest post // new mom must haves with tomorrow with a smile...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Katie of Tomorrow, with a Smile take over. 

Hey guys! I'm Katie and I blog over at Tomorrow, with a Smile. {You can also find me sharing daily snippets here}. I started my blog a long time ago as an online journal, but its slowly become a fun place to share recipes and DIYs and heart things. The basic details about me? I'm closer to 30 than 20. I've lived all of my life in Indiana {despite my best efforts to move towards the coast}. I married my college sweetheart. I am a social worker, by trade and by heart. I have two dogs that I am really in love with. We welcomed Caleb last summer, but I really became a mama a few years ago after a miscarriage.

But really? Those are just details. I love people. I love Jesus. I love finding ways to reach out and love on others. I am passionate about choosing joy, no matter what life looks like today. Also, I'm far far from perfect at all of those things, but I keep working at them.

There are probably a hundred posts about pregnancy or newborn must-have's. You know, with favorite pregnancy and baby gear. So, why not add my own to the mix? Similar, but different. This one is focusing on new moms. During these last seven months with our little guy, I've found a handful of things to be invaluable. Yes, I do have a particular baby carrier I love and putting Caleb to sleep in his own room from the very beginning has been such a blessing. Those aren't the things on my list, though. I wanted to share the non-baby gear things that, as a brand new mom, I've loved. I started this list a few weeks after Caleb was born and have added to it now that he's older and I've found my groove. Maybe these will help you, too? Or maybe you have some things I should add to my list? Do share!

//a great pediatrician. Well, duh, right? This seems like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning. We love our pediatrician. We chose her based off of lots of recommendations from friends, but hadn't met her until a few hours after Caleb was born {at 6am, when we were both trying to squeeze in some sleep and our baby was in the nursery- parents of the year.} We hit the jackpot with her. She is so, so reassuring but honest. When I had a mini breakdown in her office {well, with the NP} while I was battling mastitis {high fever, chills, body aches} and feeling like a terrible new mom- she stopped me on my way out of the office and gave me a big hug. And let me know I'm doing great and so is Caleb and that I would get through it- and she was right. Most recently we've been battling RSV and she's stopped me after each appointment to put her hand on my shoulder and simply say, "You're a great mom. Keep doing what you're doing." I don't know, maybe all doctor's are that kind and intentional. But either way, she has been key in reassuring all my new mom emotions and concerns about our baby. With so many doctors to choose from, I think it's worth working to find one that is the right fit for you and your baby.

//worship music. {my current go-to is the Rend Collective pandora station} In those really early newborn days, I found that I loved the time Caleb and I got while I nursed him. Really early on {our first night together maybe?} I found that playing worship music was relaxing for both of us. It gave me a chance to take time to pray and just unwind from all the busyness and goings on {think hospital rounds, visitors, hosting out of town visitors}. And in those early days, there were a lot of mornings I didn't crawl out of bed early enough to get time in the Word, and on those days I especially loved my quiet time with Jesus and Caleb and worship music. 7 months later and that hasn't changed much. He's a much faster eater and it's tempting to watch the news or scroll through my phone while he eats, but I make myself slow down for at least one feeding or just for some quiet time with him each day. It changes and effects my whole day, truly. 

//food. No matter what season of life I find myself in, food always seems so important. Adjusting to parenthood has been no exception. Between my mom stocking our freezer with treats and homemade meals, goodies from my cooking club ladies, and our amazing friends and family who have jumped on this website {if you know someone having a baby, sign them up for this!!!} to bring us meals in those early weeks- we didn't really have to make a single meal for the first couple of months after coming home from the hospital. That was such a blessing, especially since Justin went back to work after one week {and we had out of town visitors that entire week before he went back= no alone time}. He only gets a few hours with Caleb each day, so coming home to a delicious homecooked meal without either of us having to put it together was really special. It protected our evenings and let us focus on family time instead of cooking and cleaning. 

//friends. Having a small handful of friends {who are also moms} has been so helpful for me. From the million newborn things to crawling and laughing and sleep training- this has been so great. Not everyone wants to hear about your hormones or milk supply, but having people to talk to about those things is essential. I think that becoming a new mom can be isolating, if you let it. Some of my mama friends and I get together a couple of times a month for 'play dates', which really means we wrangle our kids {who don't play with each other at all because, babies} while talking about every single mom thing we can think of because we've been waiting for that very afternoon to have someone to talk about it with! Even outside of playdates, I have friends I can text or call about any silly baby thing and it's been the best.  

//getting out. I'm sure everyone is different, but I loved regaining a sense of normalcy pretty quickly. I love, love, love hanging out with my little guy all day and I'm glad that, from the beginning, we tried to keep doing our regular life things with him. When you have a baby, your need for intentional community and self care don't change. 15 minutes trips to Target, dinners out with girlfriends, whatever it is. I think it's good for mom and dad- dad's gain more confidence in being alone with the baby and mom's get a breather they didn't realize they needed. I've kept up with my monthly book club and cooking club and that has been so, so good for my heart. Every month, the ladies ask if I'm bringing Caleb and I never do. After seven months, I've found that it does my heart a world of good to be me {not mom me} for an evening every once in a while! 

//self-care. In the same vein as making an effort to get out and maintain normalcy after baby, I think overall self-care is essential. And looks different for everyone. I found that still making daily time for Jesus was necessary for me after Caleb was born, though it looked different from day to day. Some days it looked like praying while nursing or taking a walk, and then as we got into more of a routine I could get back to Bible study and prayer in the mornings. But self-care is so so important for everyone, and especially so once you have a new life that depends solely on you. What is you do to recharge? Bake, read, exercise, spend time with friends? Whatever it is, you have to keep making it a priority after baby. Especially then! And while it is so tempting in those newborn days to put those things off, I say don't. Find a way to ever so slightly include them in your new normal. 

//time with your man. In the first week or so, it was hard to find time alone with Justin. Between visitors staying at our house and time in the hospital, we were just rarely alone. Once the dust kind of settled, though, it was so nice. We both really need regular time to connect and just be together. Now that our little guy is in bed early every night, we make that our time to talk and catch up. Even in those early days, we'd make ourselves turn off the TV or stay up a little later no matter how tired we were. We had our first date without baby only a few weeks after he was born, and it was the best. It has been really important to us both that we not lose each other in our new roles as parents. It just seems like if we keep investing in our relationship and making it a priority, we'll be better parents to Caleb, you know? No matter how much we love time with him, we want to keep making regular time for just us. 

What did you find to be lifesaving in the first days and weeks with a newborn? Any other essentials Christina should add to her list?

Thank you so much Katie!! Holy cow are these tips and suggestions great. I so agree with you on the worship music and food parts (actually all of them, really, hehe)! For more on motherhood and fun DIYs, please check out Tomorrow, with a Smile!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!


  1. Amen, amen, amen, amen, and amen!! I agree wholeheartly with everything on your list!

  2. Could almond or coconut flour be used instead of all-purpose flour?

  3. You know that's a really good question. I know for a fact that coconut flour wouldn't work because it is SO much more absorbent than regular flour, but I've read that almond or cashew flour can sometimes be exchanged cup for cup! SO that's worth a shot! I can't verify as I haven't tried it out yet, but if you do, try please let me know how it turns out!

  4. Hi Christina, have now made several batches of these cookies and they are superb. Nice and simple, and they do actually melt in the mouth. I found that the dough I'd left in the fridge over night to be be that touch meltier in the mouth when cooked. I plan to gift some this Christmas they are that good.


  5. Oh that made my morning! SO happy to hear!


Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

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