greyandscout_baby_home_tour-007Let me begin by saying this is my opinion, based on my experience. I fully respect and understand that everyone has their own thoughts and experiences that may be way different from mine. So, with that said, here’s how I see it – from pregnancy through the first year of motherhood, following my gut, using patience, listening to my OB and Isla’s pediatrician, and indulging in long baths and good wine was the recipe for success. And I don’t mean that every day was a success, I mean making it to Isla’s one year birthday was a freakin’ success.

I was anxious about becoming mom – between all the scary stories about labor, the internet, and some parents instilling fear that the first couple of years is not much to be excited about (insert you’ll never sleep again, endure endless tantrums…) So I made a conscience decision not to use the internet to search anything about pregnancy. I took my time finding a doctor that I trusted and meshed well with, and used him for all my questions (yes, HIM, no one is more surprised than me that I chose a male doctor, but he was more compassionate than any female OBGYN I had ever been to). Online medical information is nothing short of petrifying. What good comes from googling “weird feeling in stomach” and finding out that you are very likely carrying a baby with 12 legs. I ate well, exercised, and had a normal pregnancy with the common aches and pains towards the end. I went on with my normal day-to-day activity and consulted my doctor with any bumps in the road. I heard so many horror stories from friends and co-workers about pregnancy, and none of that happened. I slept well, never had cravings or smell aversions, pregnancy brain, or heartburn. The biggest annoyances were peeing every 37 seconds and Isla’s hiccups. To be really honest, one of my concerns before becoming pregnant was weight gain. Vain, but true. I exercised and maintained a healthy diet, and the weight came off much easier than I thought it would. And labor was not the shit show movies and tv make it out to be. I got an epidural, things were calm, there was no screaming, Isla came into this world healthy, and the rest was history.

I thought the pregnancy advice was bad, but NOTHING compares to the unsolicited parenting advise. No offense, but I didn’t ask how you’re raising your kid. All the “wait until…” and “you totally need…” and “you should do it this way”. Shut up and please give me a chance to figure it out. And the milestone comparing, some is normal chitchat between parents, but some of it seems like competition. I don’t care that your kid is already walking. As long as I’m not carrying Isla into her first job interview, I’m not concerned with when she starts walking. And I don’t think you need to get on the horn with Harvard because little Mary started waving at 6 months.

Some people looked at me like I had two heads when I admitted we didn’t buy a lot of the normal registry stuff. But we didn’t, and still don’t. We buy some of it, but not a lot. When I take Isla to the store, I don’t load up her stroller with food and toys (remembering to bring all that stuff seems more stressful). It’s always been our thought that you eat at the table. When we run errands, I engage her in whatever we’re doing, whether it be choosing produce at the grocery store, or interacting with people at the coffee shop. I keep a backpack full of diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes in the car. I still haven’t found the need to carry around a mammoth diaper bag full of things that would get us through an apocalypse.

Sometimes I think people make it harder than it needs to be. Isla has plenty of toys, but we don’t buy all the latest and greatest gadgets (the baby industry has to have the wedding industry beat with all the crap they market as “must haves”). Currently, she’s into books, poking the dog in the eye, pushing all the buttons on the tv remote, and pointing at every single lightbulb in the house. All the toys in the world can’t bring on the belly laugh she belts out when she corners the dog and tries to lick her face (monkey see monkey do). I could buy the FORTY FIVE DOLLAR teething toy someone suggested, but a spoon and a remote have been the teether of choice.

And all the people who told me not to expect my kid to be a good eater until she was much older. Why not? When it came to introducing food, at 4 months I started puréeing a combination of fruits, vegetables and spices that sounded good to me, and now we have an 11 month old that devours salmon, green beans, burrito bowls, spinach and goat cheese omelets, blueberries, pico de gallo, curry chicken, chili, and banana splits like it’s her biznass (we also have a dog that’s put on some baby weight with all the things she makes clear she hates by chucking it on the floor). It was easy (and cheaper) to purée food for a few months so that we could eventually feed her the same food we eat (I used the food processor and made a weeks worth of meals, then froze it in ice cube trays).

I can say this after nearly one year, some days take an abundant amount of patience and self-forgiveness to get through. And there are days I’m running on fumes. But that’s not every day. Like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I give a lot of myself, but nothing compares to the kind of love I get in return. Being a mom has been pretty spectacular.



  1. January 27, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    I have an almost 10 month old, and couldn’t agree more with everything about this post!!

  2. January 27, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    I absolutely love this post! Our kiddos are the same age, and everything you touch on about motherhood always resonates with me. I am sick of seeing girlfriends and hearing “Oh, so and so is doing this…” You’re right, who cares?! They all end up walking one day. And eating. And sleeping. And the list goes on.
    I love your idea of a bag with essentials left in the care. I wish so badly I hadn’t splurged on a nice diaper bag that I loathe carrying around 😉
    Can’t wait to hear more about mama life with miss Isla!

    • Liz
      January 27, 2016 / 5:14 pm

      Right? I have yet to hear about a 16 year old crawler. Sometimes I think the milestones are more for the parents. A cute purse of any kind is hard to pass up 😉

  3. Kelsey
    January 27, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Your post is such a breath of fresh air! I hate typing in “baby” to Pinterest and endless amounts of “must have” lists that try to make a new mom feel bad for not buying all the latest gadgets. And I couldn’t agree more on the milestones– each baby will progress at their own speed! I love your blog, keep up the great work!

    • Liz
      January 27, 2016 / 5:15 pm

      I’m pretty sure if we bought all the “must have’s” we’d be broke 😉 xx

  4. Joo
    January 27, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    I actually kept my pregnancy completely silent on social media after I read your birth announcement post. It just felt right to do it that way for me too. I went with an OBGYN whose AVVO rating wasn’t stellar (turns out it was due to some admin issues!!) but I liked her and trusted her immensely after meeting with her. I think there’s something to be said about parenting our children without too much outside noise (which I think is one of your points made in your post). Thanks for being so honest!!

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      You just gotta go with what feels right 🙂 Finding that perfect doctor fit makes such a HUGE difference, and makes the experience so much better. And totally agree, some of it is words of wisdom, and like you said, some of it is noise.

  5. Karen
    January 27, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    You are a smart cookie! Could not agree more and Isla is a lucky little girl. I’m so glad you’re enjoying motherhood so much, it’s how it should be. 🙂

    P.S. I’m SO glad there was no Internet when I was having and raising my kids.

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      Thank you, Karen 🙂 Means a lot coming from you. xo

  6. Liz Magee
    January 27, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    People love to freak you out about parenting and I’ll admit, it worked for a bit but now that we’re 11 months in as well, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much fun motherhood is. It’s equal parts exhausting and wonderful. Great post, Liz!

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      SO exhausting sometimes, but rewarding and so fun to watch them grow! 🙂

  7. Erin
    January 28, 2016 / 4:14 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m 11 days out from my due date and I couldn’t align more with your personal beliefs. My husband and I didn’t register and didn’t have a shower. That alone was hard to get across to people! And I finally had to calmly ‘lose it’ on family if I heard one more phrase begin with “just wait…” or simply argued with my current opinion about my pregnancy or plan on child rearing. Anyway, refreshing to r we your post and encouraging to just keep going my own way. Thanks!

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 1:10 pm

      Oh, I know. I didn’t have a traditional shower. Not something most of my family understood. Some parents are quick to project onto others what they experienced. Just because it happened to you, doesn’t mean it will happen to every one. Every kid is unique, and everyone parents differently. From sleep regression to feeding, nothing has happened that everyone said would. Tune it out 😉 Congratulations, and enjoy that baby! xx

  8. January 28, 2016 / 10:22 am

    YES YES YES! I felt the exact same way when I was pregnant and feel the same way now that our little one has entered this world. I especially agree with the “Wait till…” comments. I tried to remain positive about my experiences while pregnant and the birth and the experience was mostly positive. I am aiming to stay that way about parenting…and my guess is…it will remain mostly positive, I refuse to listen to all the negativity about my baby’s stages…we will cross any bumps when we get there, but for now…I am looking forward to it all! Thank you for posting–it is a breath of fresh air!

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 1:05 pm

      It’s always interesting to me how negative some people are about their kids, and they’re the ones that have multiple children!

  9. January 28, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Amen sister!! I don’t have kids yet, but I totally enjoyed reading this because you are the type of mother I want to be! 🙂

  10. Anne
    January 28, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    You mention above in one of your comment replies that some parents are quick to project onto others. So I guess I’m a bit perplexed in regard to that as your entire “blog” was dedicated to projecting your experience and methods onto others. I’m such a fan, but you lost a follower with this one. And hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s not polite to say shut up?

    • Liz
      January 28, 2016 / 8:17 pm

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you for commenting. I respect that you see things differently. My blog is a place I periodically share my thoughts, opinions, and sometimes vent. I don’t project my thoughts onto anyone who hasn’t made the choice to read a post. I wish the shut up comment didn’t offend you. I didn’t tell any particular person to shut up, as I didn’t mention any names, it is merely a generalization to describe a feeling. My intention is never to bother someone so much with my personal experience that they would unfollow, but I respect your choice.

  11. Laura B.
    January 29, 2016 / 9:21 am

    ^It’s so true, your motherhood posts are such a breath of fresh air! The sappy mommy blogs (that make me depressed), the milestone comparing, and allllll of the advice; it gets so tiring!! It took me quite a while to learn how to tune this out and just do it my way with my baby. As I read this post I thought to myself, “This is my girl! She keeps things REAL!” So THANK YOU for your thoughts, Liz!

    • Liz
      January 31, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      Aw, thanks 🙂 Some days you’re like “this is awesome!” and some days it’s like “are you freakin’ for real kid”. I think taking a chill approach (or having that bottle of wine on hand) is the best way to do it. It’s more stressful to wonder if you’re doing it “the right way”, do it your way, and if it works out, high five, and if it doesn’t, ya figure out a different way the next time!

  12. January 29, 2016 / 10:38 am

    This was so great. I’m not a mom, and am just now starting to consider the possibility of having a baby eventually, maybe. (I’m not hesitant at all! HA!) So many of the things you listed here, like all of the must-have stuff, the comparisons from other parents, the non-stop “advice”, etc. is what has mostly contributed to my hesitation. It’s so great to hear an honest assessment of all of those things and to know that it’s possible to just say screw it. Thanks again Liz, this meant a lot.

    • Liz
      January 31, 2016 / 1:05 pm

      I totally get it. It took me three years to wrap my head around having a baby! And lemme tell ya, it’s a heck of a lot more fun if you just do it your way 😉 xx

  13. Amanda
    May 28, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Thank you for this post! Moms to be and new parents don’t see this feedback enough and it can make you terrified about what you’re getting into!

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