figuring it out.

eleanor and her first doll from sweet carissa.
i’m still figuring this all out. sometimes i think i can do more than i can and try to take on the world in impossible ways. i don’t like when people assume you are stuck at home because you have a baby so i’ve pushed and pushed to continue living life how i did before eleanor arrived. and sometimes, those days work out just beautifully, but sometimes not so much (it can feel a bit overwhelming at times, no?) sometimes, all i can do is just rock my little girl all day and feel lucky if i leave the house just once to walk kingsley. and i am learning that sometimes that is ok. it’s still a day well spent.
  1. Michele

    AWWWWW…how CUTE is she! I love all the colors on her and the strips…oh, the stripes are so lovely! It's a great thing that you can still appreciate a day, whether you're inside all day or out. The best part is that you get to spend it with an adorable person, like Eleanor. :)

  2. gee

    i can not even imagine how hard motherhood is..but i bet you are a wonderful motherl and eleanor is lucky to have you and you & your husband's beautiful genes..

  3. i couldn't have said it better myself. i try to keep my daily life the same as it was pre-baby and sometimes it works out great and sometimes not so much. what i've learned is that when you have a baby no two days are the same. some are good and some not but at the end they are sweet blessings and all we can do is try our best.

    p.s. Eleanor looks so cute with her new doll!

  4. IIDA

    I really admire you for continuing to do the things you did before you had Eleanor. Blogging, meeting friends, picnics – I'm sure it's not always easy, but it's very inspiring. I don't like the assumption of mothers not being able to do things because they have a child. I'm sure you're doing a fantastic job with Eleanor, I hope to be able to take some cues from you if I ever have children. :)

  5. Liz

    absolutely!! just enjoy your time with your little girl, no matter if you're spending it alone all day and out and about with friends. you are already an amazing mama, I can tell :)

  6. Amelia

    Just had my third baby and it is the same for me. Some days all you do is take care of the basic needs of you and a tiny human and that is just a-okay. Life will never be the same, it will be wonderful in lots of different ways. Hang in there.

  7. Meg

    you're amazing for trying! and i bet e will grow up with a big beautiful view of the world because of your efforts. as long as you're together, every day is a great day. love is the most important thing :)

  8. Amy

    Being a new mom has it's ups and downs and it definitely gets easier as the months go by. My baby girl got easier once she hit around 4-5 months (not saying yours is hard) and life got better around that time too.

  9. Jamie

    there's a magnet on my fridge that says, "if the kids are still alive at the end of the day, i've done my job!" of course we do much more than that each day, but the truth is life ISN'T the same as before the baby came and some days it's all about her and you'll be in the rocking chair all day (or nursing so often you want to moo)and the best moment of motherhood is when you accept that with all your heart. being there and doing what SHE needs to do is more than enough to make it a good day (but don't feel bad about handing E off to josh and clocking out for a bit when you need to, either!) well spent, indeed, sister! you're doing so great.

  10. Laura

    I always have a huge list of things I want to get done. It's always been that way. When I had my first child, I still tried to accomplish all those things. When I was expecting my second, my cousin shared this little rhyme with me –

    Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
    For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow
    So quiet down, cobwebs
    Dust, go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

    That really help me put things in perspective. I still get frustrated when I can't or don't get my long list accomplished in a day, but my two little sweeties are by far the most important. Cherish the days you spend just holding your sweet little one. They go by before you know it. My kids are only three and one, but change so quickly. Hugs.

  11. Joan

    this is a precious time. enjoy it while you can. there is nothing more wonderful than rocking your newborn. she will be up and moving around before you know it!

  12. This is so true! You have to take the days as they come! What a precious blessing you have!

  13. :) i've appreciated the honesty you have shown us as a new mother. and you give me hope.

  14. The thing that amazes me about motherhood, is the fact that we get to experience it….all of it! Some days I am so exhausted and stretched so thin and somehow simultaneously completely filled up and overflowing with love. Nothing teaches us love like being a mother, and I am so blessed to know what that feels like.

    P.S. where did you get the beautiful yellow bedding?

  15. Alivia

    She is beautiful, thank you for sharing this with us.

  16. Alisha

    I love being at home with my baby! He does great when we go out but most days I would rather lay on the floor and play with him. I guess it's because I'm a working mom and that time we have together is so precious. Value every minute! And don't let what other people say bother you, you're doing great!

  17. Sonja

    Awww, well first of all she is adorable!!! (still! hehe) and so is her dolly.
    And I wouldn't know, but it certainly doesn't seem like a crime to spend the day inside with her. You seem like you're amazing with her! she's gotta be one happy girl. :o)

  18. Yes, very much so! I didn't leave my house for 3 months (well a walk or two outside) but really, I didn't do anything major because it really is a life changing time and you should just enjoy it and give yourself time to get to know that little one and them you.

  19. How does the saying go? The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. I believe that wholeheartedly.

  20. Kristen

    Love the picture of lil E! Thank you for sharing and don't worry about feeling overwhelmed at times, thats just life. Your doing great!

  21. Autaven

    Beautiful picture, I always love her little bows so much. Thanks for this, I think the other mother's can understand theres good and bad days :)


  22. I'm the same way, I hate when people act like once you have kids your life is over. So I will probably be just like you and overdo it sometimes. But I'm sure you are an amazing mom!

  23. these little baby days will be over way too soon & you will never ever regret the days you did "nothing". we really can not "have it all" because some thing has to give, but we can have "all of something" & it is most wonderful when we get to choose.

    i always ask myself, "what will i regret the most three years from now if i do not spend enough time on it" & that helps me figure out my life. xx

  24. Bri

    i admire your ability to adapt to the life of a mama but still cherish the simple things many moms forget in the rush of it all. hope you're having a happy day :)

  25. Shalini

    you know naomi, the way you've been out and about, especially so soon after having baby e was so surprising/inspiring to me! so i can't believe ppl assume you're stuck at home since you have her… i'm the exact opposite. i think you are and will be a great mama to your little girl. you love her so much, and from all my work with kids, really that is the biggest thing they need. you do your thing girl! cuz you do it well!

  26. She is adorable!

  27. {B}

    Enjoy every minute! Every day is a learning experience. Your baby girl is ADORABLE!

  28. A momma recently of three here. Baby boy is turning 6 weeks on Sunday. It is a never ending cycle of figuring it out I hate to say, however you are in amazing company of mommahood *smile*

  29. Elle

    I'm nearing the end of my first trimester, with my first baby, and your tales of motherhood are refreshing for me. Keep up the good work, please!

  30. Hey Naomi…I've been following little E's progress since she was born because my little guy is about the same age. (He's only 2 weeks younger.) I'm so amazed at how well you are handling things. Just a few weeks ago I was thinking, little E gets to go out to breakfast with her parents at such and such weeks and how come my little guy can't? He's still cranky and unpredictable and we are not comfortable taking him out yet. Then I realized that we'll get there one day. One day, I'll be one of those parents with him in the stroller going places. He's only 6 weeks old, we'll have many more years to go out and about with him. So don't worry! Give yourself a break. :) I had so many expectations of what life should be after the baby comes too but I have to let it go. That's just too much pressure to put on myself on top of being a first time mom. I now take it one day…or sometimes one hour at a time. Don't judge yourself so harshly. You are doing great! :)

  31. Linka

    I understand girl!Each day I'm learning that it's okay if taking care of my little one 100 percent consumes my day, because he's worth it!

  32. Liz

    I'm impressed you get out to walk the dog! A good friend once told me that my goal for the first three months (after giving birth) is for me and the baby to still be alive. If I could make it that far I was doing great. :)

  33. Our girls are about the same age (mine was born Jan. 28) and I've been thinking this whole time that you must be supermom because I can't get my baby to sleep at all. Not for naps, not at night. I never get out of the house, and if I do I have to prepare for a screaming match at Target. Just sayin'! Be glad you can get out periodically. :-)

  34. Naomi, I've been astonished at all that you *are* doing these past two months (out of the house)! I think for a first-time mother of a newborn, you are doing an absolutely stellar job!
    I can't believe anyone thinks you aren't getting out, because to me, in these two months, you have been an inspiration in what I hope motherhood will look like for me.
    p.s. I'm coming to D.C. for the cherry blossom festival and my friends and I have planned to visit some of the restaurants I've seen on your blog! We're so excited!!

  35. I think I get what you mean. I have 2 babies under the age of 2 and a lot of people automatically assume that I am always tired, always stressed, and always overworked. That's pretty ridiculous. I guess that's "normal" for them, with their lives revolving around their kids' various school/sports/art schedules. But guess what, getting out of the house with the kiddos is SUPER important, not only for me, but for them!

    The best advice I ever got for nursing applies to new motherhood also, "Just listen to what people have to say, and do whatever feels right for you." I have strong feelings about where women should be when their kids are young, but it's not my place to decide it for anybody but myself.

    I feel like so many peoples' sole validation in life comes from their career. We should be grateful for our eternal perspective. Because guess what, try as hard as you can, but you WON'T be able to do everything you did pre-pregnancy without making some serious sacrifices that ultimately will cost you. Remember that you can't do everything you want to all the time. There are seasons in life that come and go.

    I wish that new motherhood wasn't such a hard phase. I'm pretty sure it's because of the culture we live in. Anyway, I'm rooting for you.

  36. Em

    When I am feeling like a bum, my husband tell me something like this:
    "You are doing the most important job that there is, and that is mothering our boys. Who cares if you kept the house clean or went to lunch with the ladies, or got the shelves organized? Did you interact with our kids? Did you change a diaper or wipe a nose or teach something or learn something? Ok, then you've been successful."
    It always makes me feel better.

  37. How gorgeous is she!!! Though I am not a mother yet, I know that it may be hard some days and you might feel crazy. But it is so worth it and you are doing a great job.

  38. Oh, Naomi. Some days I feel overwhelmed leaving the house and I don't even have a little bebe. xo! Kathleen

  39. MellyB

    Been there sister. Looking back, I would relive those rocking the baby 12 straight hours times any day of the week. But it's such a hard adjustment the first few months.

  40. Lisa

    You know what I love about being a mother? That I am the mother. Not anyone else. I decide. When I had my first baby, I called our shots during the day. If I wanted to wear pajamas all day and cuddle my baby, I did. If I wanted to get dolled up to go to the grocery store (because it was my only outing all week) then I would. Loved it.

    Just remember you are doing it right because you are the one doing it. She is yours and your way is right for right now. It may change tomorrow when you figure out something new. But, that is what I think is important for new mommies to remember. To not be too hard on ourselves and let it be okay to figure it out as we go.

    I now am due to give birth to cherub #5 and life is sooo busy. I love where we are now, but there is nostalgia for those quiet (mostly), slow days where it was just me and her figuring out our new lives together.

    Enjoy your little daughter and, oh my, but she is beautiful!

  41. this is adorable, and you are going to be a great mommy!

  42. Izzy

    With a baby, our priorities change, and we notice what is truly important. Keep rocking that sweet baby of yours. She is beautiful!

  43. AaReAn

    oooooh i know what you mean. today consisted of me being in my pj's until 2 PM…playing with my baby girl. Folding laundary…getting the mail. Playing more with my baby girl. Feeding my baby girl. Then before I knew it…it was bed time. Tomorrow. Do it all over again. ha. except maybe I'll get out of my pj's earlier then 2. But how well you put it…def a day well spent indeed!

  44. you're a star and little E is so lucky to have you. xo

  45. Nanda

    Love & support coming your way. I'm going to be there really soon and feel the same way. Xo.

  46. Heather

    You are so so right. A day very well spent. We aren't meant to be the same as we were before our children came. Our children challenge us and force us to become different. The changing part hurts quite badly, the becoming part is awfully painful. But oh, just wait until you see what you will become.

  47. Sarah

    Totally agree! I've had some days like before I had my baby and it works out and then other days are definitely more baby centered. =) All of it is worth it and wonderful though in it's own way. Thanks for sharing

    – Sarah

  48. stella

    new to your blog, but a little piece of mom advice…always have your diaper bag ready–maybe even have a spare one in the car, get up before the baby and do your hair and put your makeup on, then if you want to go anywhere, you are ready

  49. It definitely is overwhelming at times! Don't push too hard, days at home are still busy and tiring in their own ways, and it's good to just be at home now and again! Just be thankful you didn't have your baby on the brink of winter.. you'd probably really have cabin fever!

    Your blog is so cute by the way, I'm a first time mom, too, and love reading about your adventures with/stalking pictures of your little one!

    Good luck to you! One thing I learned in the first couple of months is to take any kind of pressure to be any kind of certain mom off! Anyway, she is beautiful!


  50. Meliss

    Oh goodness. My little nugget is 6 months old, and while things are admittedly much easier with each coming month, we still have these kinds of days. TODAY for instance, was a whiney, nappy, bottle refusing, 2 outfit changing, never leave the house type of day. But, as Scarlet O'hara says, "Afterall, tomorrow is another day!" We get to start all over tomorrow, and hopefully and most likely it will be better.

  51. camie

    i'm sure you have lots-o-advice from your prior 55 comments… but what has stuck with me most looking back is that it does not last. the sleepless nights make it feel like it will last FOREVER- but it does not. so cherish every second.

    such a cutie-pie baby. and darling tights! where can i get my hands on some of those?

  52. Sounds like you have it figured out. We took our little guy to Eastern Market on a busy Saturday when he was just a few days old, I was getting questions about when I was due because my belly was still big! And we try to travel and do fun stuff with our little one as much as possible. But I also love those days where we are home bodies and stay in our pjs all day. It's all a part of the fun.

  53. Em

    Kids are always quick to teach us that the more we learn, the less we know. It's a proven formula for wisdom and humility. (sort of like marriage, only moreso).
    Just remember that the goal isn't to arrive at having it all figured out. The goal is to be open, moment to moment, to learning what God's ready to teach you next. We're all mere mortals, we'll never get it all figured out in this state.

  54. This photo is absolutely lovely.
    You can try in so many ways to have the same life than before a baby arrives, but the reality is that everything chances. Not just with the baby to come, it became bigger and bigger and your life will become more different and more different. But that all happens in a very positive way I think ;)

    All the best to you!


  55. She is adorable! Thank you for putting into words exactly how I have been feeling lately. I try to enjoy each day as it comes. Especially the ones when I am a human pillow for my little girl because I know those days won't last very long.

  56. kira3

    you are doing great, and are a rockstar mom! I'm so thrilled for you and Josh, I remember your announcement post that a baby was on the way, and it has been so exciting to see you two come into parenthood. Just love and enjoy every day as you always do, everything will be just fine :)

  57. Betsy

    this photo is beautiful, like eleanor. dont worry about what people assume, you know what you are doing and eleanor will love you for all the love that you give her. enjoy these precious moments. work will always be there!

  58. Mmmhmmm, just gotta do what works for you! We stayed home a lot, and I don't regret a single moment of it. Now we're out and about every weekend and weekdays, and it's nice, but I still love when we just get a day at home swinging the backyard.

  59. Don't push yourself too hard. Adorable tights by the way!!!

  60. naomi… it's ALWAYS alright to do that. even if you do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. one day (very soon) you will look back and think "did i hold her enough, did i read enough stories, did i snuggle her enough, did i…" and you will be able to say YES. trust me… i dont' think i did and i would give anything to go back and hold my babies again.

  61. emily

    yeah so this is probably my biggest goal with having children— being determined to keep up my everyday life. seems like you are handling it well. keep track of tricks and tips for me when i have a baby someday!

  62. You have all the time in the world to figure things out … my little N is one and I'm still working on it. There are days (today) that we're at home because I simply can't fathom the thought of showering, getting her gear together, and putting her in a "going out" outfit. There are days that I can't get out of the house fast enough!

    Mamahood and all that it contains is a learning journey. You're doing great! And she is a cutie. :)

  63. Sharon

    This post is so close to my heart! I could write you a whole letter relating to it, with the thoughts running through my head right now!

  64. i did the same thing! i refused to be a shut in after my son was born. here's a lil something i didn't know…babies travel much easier when they're brand new. now that my baby is a toddler, some days i don't even leave the house out of fear of what baby/child i will have today, an angel or a monster! enjoy this age, it goes by sooooooo fast! and enjoy the passing out in the stroller, because eventually they refuse to even go in!

  65. Bilbo

    awww, little E is just so extraordinary cute, i love to stare at her pictures! :)

  66. Rachael

    I love this post.
    Of course you're figuring things out! You're a first time Mom! And don't worry, I'm sure you're doing better at it than you think you are. NO ONE can do it all, so don't think you have to.
    All long as you and your baby are happy during the day, with whatever you do, that's all that matters.

  67. PJ

    I hope this question isn't too invasive… but what was your life like before you had Eleanor? Did you have a full time job?

  68. Three weeks ago, when Trevor left for work on Monday morning, I thought, "This is it. I'm a stay at home mom." Yesterday, that meant cleaning the bathroom, taking a walk, running an errand, seeing a friend, finishing laundry, and still having plenty of time to spend with Iris.

    Today looked very different. We barely made it out the door before her 1 p.m. doctor's appointment, I didn't answer emails until 5 p.m., and Trev just took our poor pup on his first walk of the day.

    I'm the kind of person who wants to "have it all together" and who can't wait for things to be "normal." But then I realized that my baby is fed and clean and loved, and that whether the laundry is done or not, we go to bed every night a happy little family. And maybe that's normal now.

    Still, it's nice to be in the same place as another mommy, reading that it's also "normal" to feel this way!

    Thanks for sharing! Hang in there and I will too. :)

  69. Lauren

    Amen, it totally is x

  70. tRiSh

    I'm really happy you can share those moments too: every time people talk about having a baby, everything seems so perfect but we all know that we have our ups and down. I wish you more ups than downs of course.
    Thank you again.

  71. stacy

    absolutely that a day well spent.

  72. Girl, you have amazed me since you've had E. I feel amazed at all the new moms who go out with their babes so early on and really do as much as they can with their babies on tow. With my first daughter, I did not go out that often. We had troubles with nursing for the first couple of months, but once we got into a routine, it was nice to go out to a weekly mother's group, or go for a small walk outside.

    I loved cuddling her, reading to her and just being close to her. All the other moms who write to you saying that it goes by quickly, are telling the truth. I now have two girls, one is seven and the other is four. Trust me, once you have a second one, quiet days like the one you just had will be rare (unless you wait when E is in kindergarten before your next child).

    When your next child comes, you will have plenty to do, running around to preschool or play dates. It's 100% okay to spend a day enjoying E's little toes and tiny hands, and her nice baby sounds. ☺

  73. I identify with this so completely. You are gorgeous and your blog and baby are beautiful, and I am happy to stumbled upon it. I have been thinking of and writing about this topic and dancing and babies quite a bit lately. Good luck on your adventures. They look joyous. It is a wonderful thing to be a new mother with a new baby, dancing through life.

  74. I identify with this so completely. You are gorgeous and your blog and baby are beautiful, and I am happy to stumbled upon it. I have been thinking of and writing about this topic and dancing and babies quite a bit lately. Good luck on your adventures. They look joyous. It is a wonderful thing to be a new mother with a new baby, dancing through life.

  75. Chessa!

    this is so normal…only I didn't know it when I first had my baby. one thing I have definitely figured out is that I just have to take it and live it day by day…which really isn't all that different from before she was here. it just means so much more now.

  76. Chaucee

    That is definitely MORE than a day well spent : )

  77. It looks like you are doing a great job :) Honestly, life is SO different after you have a baby- but in the most wonderful way! It's ok to let go of the days that used to be and adopt a new normal. Sometimes that new normal will look a lot like the "old" normal and sometimes it won't. I agree that it is hard when you sometimes feel like you are trying to prove that life with children can still be as great as life pre-babies, but most of the time I realize that I am putting the pressure to do so upon myself. If distance develops in friendships or you lose them completely because of the change, take comfort in God's promises and remember that sometimes friendships are only for a season. The lifelong ones will definitely hang tough, even if they are with girlfriends/couples that don't have children yet.
    Give yourself a good six weeks and you will start feeling like you are coming out of the fog and things are "normal" again! And do your best to enjoy the days- they fly by so fast! Parenthood is one crazy ride, but definitely the best one you will ever board :)

  78. BSJ

    I love those dolls! My SIL gave me a cute pattern to make them, which I'm looking forward too =) You seem to be doing a wonderful job at figuring it all out. While other people's opinions shouldn't matter to oneself, it's hard to avoid the effect they have on you. YOur family is most important, so what's best for you. I'm sure you've heard that before though ;) You're a great example to lots of young women out in this world, myself included. Thanks!

  79. Love the baby bedding! where did you get it?!

  80. Amy

    I am a new mama myself and feel the same some days! You have put it so well, as even things that can seem so mundane at the time are actually so so important. Those day of just staying at home really are the most special times in hindsight.

  81. Hilary

    hey i know you get these questions all the time, but i was wondering where you got E's little striped tights? I've been looking for some but never small enough.