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How parenthood changed my life, myself, and beyond

January 25, 2013

Do you ever think about all the ways that becoming a parent suddenly transforms you in SO many ways you never knew was possible?  And the quickness in which it all happens?!?  Pre-baby my life was in a transitional phase.  I finished college a few years prior and was floating around from job to job struggling to find the right fit for me.  I wasn’t 100% sure about what I wanted to do as a long-term career but I felt I was on the right path, given the tough economical times our country was enduring.  So I was just enjoying life and taking it all in, seeing what all the world had to offer.  I met a bunch of fun new friends along the way and was loving life!

I met my fiance at a popular local watering hole (bar) one weekend before the holidays and we instantly connected.  From there our friendship turned into a more serious relationship and the rest is history.  We were living together with another couple for about three years before we ended up getting our own place together because we discovered we were pregnant!  Even though it wasn’t a planned pregnancy per se, we had discussed our future life together and knew we wanted to be together for a long time.  And from there, the rest is history!  🙂

DSC00761D arrived into this world and transformed our lives for eternity!  He’s been such a blessing in countless ways!  Becoming a mom changed me in many positive ways.  I was headed down a very unhealthy path in life before I got pregnant but after D was born my life path was re-directed in countless positive ways!  I often wonder where my life would be if I never had a baby when I did but then I realize it doesn’t matter either way – I love where my life is currently at and the promising future it bestows me.  My life now is overwhelmed with SO much love, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment – it’s perfect!  They say that things happen for a reason and it’s very true – they do.  I feel like D was brought to this earth to turn my life path around and I wouldn’t change a thing.  🙂

 

What’s Changed for Me

There’s endless things that have changed about my life and myself since D being born but some of the major changes are: eating healthier and becoming more conscious about what I use on my skin, and making my own products to use as well.  Another major change is the fact I have a lot more local friends, most of which are moms too.  Of course I could go on about all that’s changed about my life since becoming a mother but I’ll stick with a few major ones worth sharing.

The first homemade products I made was laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.  I was SO surprised at how EASY and CHEAP it was to make them and I haven’t bought laundry detergent or dish detergent in two years and LOVE it!  (At $.01 per load, you can’t beat the price and savings!)  From there, I have made my own liquid hand soap, eye make up remover, herbal facial astringent, bathroom cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and the list is ever changing.  I also changed to a natural deodorant two years ago and wish I done so a long time ago!  DIY products are my new passion and I LOVE it!  🙂

1.  Homemade Products

Once I learned about all the thousands of chemicals we put on our skin daily and the top chemicals/ingredients to avoid, it was hard to423965894_f330565f61 continue using brand name products knowing the harm it causes to my body.  Check out this alarming factoid: “More than 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in personal care products — and the average woman wears 515 of them every day, according to a 2009 British study that looked at the routines of over 2,000 women.” [http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal]  So each day, we’re slopping on over 500 chemicals on our skin, which is the largest organ in the body – Pretty alarming!  Check out that site for further details about certain tested chemicals to steer clear of, very informative.

So when I was pregnant my mom was actually the one who bought me this lotion that was paraben free and had no artificial colors.  When I asked her why I should use that lotion instead of the Bath and Body Works lotions I was using at the time, she said that all those chemicals in lots of lotions seep through the skin and are shared with the baby as well and aren’t good for our bodies in general.  Parabens actually are used in many products as a type of cheap preservative and have also been found in many breast cancer tumors too.  So, even though the link between the two has been found, no direct links have been scientifically established or proven yet.  So after learning about Parabens it sparked my interest and from there has ballooned into a passion for me.  My mission is to eventually use only homemade products.  I’ve learned SO much in a short two year time span about natural cleaners, toiletries, and remedies to make and use in place of the ones most households use and I’m always learning more!  D’s babysitter, just by random chance, is also into homemade remedies as well so we’re always sharing our latest discoveries – it’s a lot of fun.

We’ve also saved a LOT of money as well by making our own cleaning products, toiletries etc. and made our house chemical free, for the most part, too.  So D’s barely been exposed to any harsh cleaners like Mr. Clean floor cleaner for example, that emits chemicals in the air when used that aren’t good to ingest anyways.  I only use water and vinegar to clean the floors, counter tops  and other surfaces and it works just as good as the expensive brand name cleaners (and 10 times cheaper too)!  (I could go on and on about this topic so I will stop myself there and write about this further in another future post. 🙂 )  When I did a quick Google search I stumbled upon this informative page that covers a wide array of topics when preparing for a baby in your house, check it out here.

2.  Healthy Eating

I have also changed my eating habits too.  I wasn’t a huge junk food eater previously but now I care a lot more about what I’m eating and feeding D.  So I try and steer clear of heavily processed foods now and buy/eat organic produce as much as I can.  I follow the dirty dozen list for the most part to eliminate the heavy chemically treated produce like strawberries (only buy organic) and buy regular produce if the skins are thicker (less seepage of chemicals into produce).

baby food collectionI wanted to make sure that D was raised with healthy eating habits from the start.  So to do this change I had to start with myself first.  I tried my hardest to eat healthy as he quickly grew so my breast milk was filled with lots of good nutrients.  I also made all of D’s food from the first bite he ever ate.  (Read more about that here in a previous post I wrote about this subject matter.)  It was a lot of work but totally worth it!  As he’s gotten older we still do our best to feed him wholesome foods but sneak in a few treats once in a while.  🙂

I think this has been my area of constant struggle because I still want to reach for junk food but as long as I keep it out of the house then I don’t eat it.  The whole idea of “out of sight, out of mind” holds the most truth in eating healthy and keeping that up.  But I can feel the difference if I don’t eat right and I love the feeling of eating healthy, so it’s worth the extra time to eat healthy and pass that onto D.

3.  Making more friends

I moved to Arizona not knowing many people and have made plenty of friends throughout college but there’s not many people I have 417720_2770966077910_1777663391_nkept in contact with.  I have my wonderful friends from my homeland in Minnesota which I keep in touch with, including my best friend that still lives there.  But through the years, friends have come and gone in my life.  So after I gave birth to D I was amazed at how many women I became friends with and clicked with quickly as well!  I always struggled with keeping female friends because I just never clicked with many of them.  But I met SO many great women through a local breastfeeding support group I attended and we have all kept in close contact for over two years (mostly via Facebook group).  So having such a strong support base was huge and I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t met such great people!

So for any new Mom out there, reach out to as many moms groups, breastfeeding support groups, etc. in your local area.  Keep in mind that it may take a few tries to really find a group of friends that mesh well but you’ll love having that support beyond your close nit support system.

Conclusion

All in all, I LOVE being a parent and all the fun and exciting adventures that go along with it.  We all have our image of what we believe life will be once we have a child, once we are married, graduated college, moved out on our own, etc. but until we actually experience all of the amazing life events, time will only tell how life will actually be.  Life is SO short, so no matter how our life unfolds, we all must remember to enjoy every moment as it is delivered to us and just go with it, trust your instinct, and don’t forget to smile!  🙂  There truly is ‘No day but Today’!  (From the musical, RENT)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2013 1:32 PM

    Whioooo! You’re a great mom. What an awesome post. Totally inspiring!

  2. September 27, 2014 2:20 PM

    Great post about parenhood!!! 🙂

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