Isn’t Isaac just adorable? This little man hails all the way from New Zealand – he also just celebrated his first birthday last month. I met Isaac’s mom Melissa about 8 years ago through work but not too long after that her family decided to move to New Zealand. This is one of the reasons why I love Facebook and other social media…. it helps us keep in touch with people who are not so close by and yet it feels as if you haven’t missed out that much! I chatted to Melissa recently and picked her brain about how she has coped the past year. This is what she had to say.
- What would you say has been the most challenging part of the past year for you?
The biggest challenge for me was trying to juggle both work and being the best mum I could be. Isaac caught every bug out there so was sick quite a bit which meant my time at work was both limited and precious. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed him everyday during my lunch break which for the first few months was awesome however when Isaac was about 9 months old he started suffering extreme separation anxiety. I was at a crossroads and had to figure how to deal with him being so unsettled without me. About 6 weeks before he turned one I decided to drop the lunch time feed and left work early instead. It worked! He is now much more settled and independent.
- What has been the most rewarding part of this past year for you?
The most rewarding part of Isaacs first year was being able to breastfeed him, and it didn’t come without a few hiccups. Unlike with my first son my milk took some time to come in and my supply was initially quite low. However once things improved the bond we shared was so amazing. We live in New Plymouth New Zealand which is a small seaside town of about 75,000 and that meant we live, work and school close-by. This meant I could breastfeed Isaac everyday during my lunch break too.
- How do you juggle working while being a Mommy?
Sleep deprivation has been the hardest on me as a working mum as Isaac was not a very good sleeper at night due to being a very windy baby. Also, still having to cook and clean (without much family support as they live elsewhere) has made working full time extremely taxing! Here in New Zealand domestic workers and nannies are not affordable for the middle-class either. In order to cope I ensured I took a good multi-vitaman and vitamin B complex each morning and then a magnesium vitamin before bed at night which ensures I fall back to a sound sleep once woken by Isaac. Also, taking time out on weekends to just chill out helps heaps. 4. Issac is your second born – how did things differ this time around with Isaac and how different is it to be a Mom of 2 kids?
This time round I was so much more prepared for motherhood! I was blessed enough to follow my birth plan and give birth naturally without pain meds…I just so much wanted that experience as a women. I was also able to form a bond quicker with Isaac as my recovery was quick and I knew what having a newborn entailed. Having two children is very busy and I now understand how mums of two or three complain of not having any time to themselves. There are more spills and less cleaning and the demands have doubled.
5. Have you done anything special to record baby’s milestones (sitting up, crawling, first tooth etc) throughout this year? I was given a book from my sister Michele which records all milestones and has been very helpful in keeping track of all the little things one can so easily forget. It has prompts for pics and milestones and now contains a pic of Isaacs first smile, hand and foot prints and much more.
6. Is there anything new that you’ve learnt about yourself since you’ve become a parent? Like so many parents I have learnt how it feels to love unconditionally! With each child I have been blessed with, I become more of a women and more secure in my identity as I discover more about how to love others.
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 🙂 ?
The toddler years are the cutest but the hardest for sure! I do feel more equipped this time round however and I am more confident that I will be able to strong boundaries for Isaac. 8. Tell me about your little ones first birthday party… how much planning went to it? Did you have help or did you do it all on your own? Did you have a theme?
I started planning Isaacs birthday party about 6 weeks out…just started thinking about it really. I usually plan the birthday parties on my own – its much easier that way. I thought about a theme and decided on the party being sailor influenced. I then sent out a save the date to our friends and family here in New Plymouth. Two days prior I took off work to prepare as I do all my own baking for the boys parties. We were so lucky that even the weather played its part and we had a awesome time celebrating this special milestone in Isaacs life.