Celebrating Baby’s First year – Cal

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Next up in the Celebrating Baby’s First year series is Cal, who will be celebrating his First birthday on the 29th of October. His Mom Kim has certainly had an adventurous first year with many ups and downs. Kim is a Work at Home Mom (WAHM) making AWESOME felt mobiles (seriously you need to check it out) and also blogs on over at Asher Love.

I picked her brain on her experience over the past year and this is what she had to say.

1.What would you say has been the most challenging part of the past year for you?

The most challenging part of the last year has definitely been the process of walking through and overcoming post-natal depression.  I had pre-natal depression (suspected to be connected with the loss of our first child, Asher, the year before nine days after birth), and so when Cal was born we just carried on with life and anti-depressants.  It was tough trying to bond with Cal in those first weeks, I had almost no emotional connection with him, and my maternal “instinct” wasn’t what I thought it would be.  I must admit though, without the help of the anti-depressants it could have been a much different story.

The struggle to stay connected emotionally daily with life in general was real, but the shift came for us when he was 6 months old, I heard a scripture in church and it just stuck with me Romans 15:13 “ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It was profound, I could feel my thought process shifting and changed dramatically from the negative, nothing is working, no-one cares, I’m never going to make it as a mother etc etc started to change to thoughts like “I can make it today”, “I’ll survive this”, “I love my son”, “we can get through this” and after consultation with my gynea, I slowly went off the anti-depressants.  I’ve been off them now for almost three months, and the change has been phenomenal!

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My relationship with my son has deepened as I’ve been able to connect with him emotionally, I can “feel” my emotions again, and am able to face them and deal with them without falling to pieces.  I will say that if it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive spouse this first year would have been hell! We still have our sleepless nights, and teething issues etc, but coping is much easier now that the PND has passed. The challenge to stay connected with people, family, friends and God was real, and I’m grateful that I’m able to experience life to the full now again!

2. What has been the most rewarding part of this past year for you?

The most rewarding part has been, ironically, that I AM a mom, I am a capable mom! My son has truly shown me that being a mom IS natural for me, and that even though we had to fight through some ugly stuff in the beginning, we have bonded so well now! Our family is whole!

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3. Tell me a bit about your business and how you got about starting it up and how do you juggle working while being a Mommy?

My business is basically felt animals and nursery mobiles made with those animals.  It started with Cal, I wanted a cloud mobile for his room and struggled to find anything along the lines of what I wanted anywhere in stores or online in SA.  So I decided, heck, I’m a creative person, let me see if I can make one!  That’s how it all started, I made his cloud mobile and then with the boredom of pregnancy sat making other little animals, and then eventually started making mobiles…it just snowballed from there!

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Juggling work and being a mommy is tough, when Cal was smaller it was easy because you could just plonk him in his pram or lay him on the couch or in his crib and then carry on with both hands free.  As he got older though it has become a little tougher, and now he is crawling, so it’s virtually game over for me outside of naptime.  The problem is now I can’t catch up on lost sleep during the day either…lol.  You roll with it when you can, I use naptime like a furious crafting weirdo and try to blitz through as much sewing as I can before he wakes up!

 4. You are also a blogger – tell me more about it…why you started it… and how you manage to keep it going.

I started blogging as a personal outlet really, in 2011, my first blog was called Words, Sighs and Beautiful Things, I would post about things I liked, stuff I found online, food, recipes, life… it was fun.  I enjoy writing, and story-telling, so it was the perfect platform for me to express that.  It didn’t get such a massive following over the years, and kind of became a little just me talking to myself, and in the end I closed it down.  I blog now as part of Asherlove, my small creative business, sharing the creative journey as it comes along, recipes (cause I love food) and the odd story and peek into my life, just to keep my wheels turning more than for anyone else.  If some of my life can help or encourage someone else that’s awesome, if one of my family recipe’s bring joy and yumminess to someone then I’m stoked.

5. Have you done anything special to record baby’s milestones (sitting up, crawling, first tooth etc) throughout this year?

Sho, when I was pregnant I always looked at those “1 month old and I can…” posts that people make and thought, wow, I’d love to do that for Cal,  but reality is I’m not such a good planner with milestones, my wedding was planned by others cause I had my head in the clouds hahaha!  I post on Instagram his monthly age milestones, and as life happens I will post about his progress, but it’s more for the family and friends abroad than an actual calculated “recording”.  I’m bad, I know, I’m working on it.IMG_20141105_132204

6.Is there anything new that you’ve learnt about yourself since you’ve become a parent? 

Coffee is definitely your friend! And that there are so many other mamas out there that are going through the trenches with you, connect with them and make friends with other mamas and you’ll be able to face your kiddy struggles so much better when you have people around you.

7. Your baby is now officially a toddler! Are you ready for what this new chapter has to bring – walking, running, talking and the good old tantrums 🙂 ?

Oh sweet Lord Jesus help me! I live on the first floor, and have put up mesh all along the balcony and a safety gate, we’ve pulled everything up off the floor (including the cats) we’ve tried to make our home as crawl/toddler friendly as possible, but I’m pretty sure there are going to be some hectic moments ahead!

8. What plans do you have for your little ones first birthday party (if you are having one)? Are you going with a theme or not?

Plans for his birthday are quite simple, as he’s only 1 we are going to do afternoon tea and cake with family and close friends, there will be cake, hopefully this mama can pull of a miracle and do the dinosaur/monster theme that’s been rolling around in my head, and hopefully we won’t have too much of a sugar headache after it all!

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