Family

Mama Things: September

 

Jennifer Bennett Malcolm

So¬†much of my life these days is focused on Malcolm, so I thought it might be a good exercise for me to share about myself on a regular basis. I’m going to start with sharing 5 little things going on with me (Mama) lately. (And don’t worry, I’ll still share about Malcolm too. How could I not talk about that adorable little guy?!)

Loving:
We were blessed with so many gifts and clothes for Malcolm, but most of them were in smaller sizes. I’m excited that I now get to pick out some adorable and local clothing for him. I just received orders from The Stitched Arrow and This Kid Clothing Co. and the items are just so adorable!

Eating:
We mostly stick to our usual meals aka nachos and pizza, but lately I’ve also been trying out some recipes for cheap meals. Tonight I’m going to give these veggie tacos a go. I came across this free downloadable cookbook as well. All the recipes are designed for a $4 a day food stamp budget – so this book is great for saving some money and eating on the cheap.

Wanting:
It’s about a month to my birthday so I started updating my Pinterest wish list at Jordan’s request (does anyone else do it this way?). Right now this letterboard is at the top of my list. All I need are some sassy quotes ūüôā I’m also hoping to get my hands on some beautiful linen fabric (and some freetime!) to sew myself this blouse. By the way, if you sew you should check out Seamwork Magazine. They have beautiful new patterns every month and helpful tips for building your own custom wardrobe. Use this link for $3 off your first month (it includes a pattern of your choice as well!).

Struggling with:
Sleeeep…. I know, I know, it’s definitely gotten better, but some nights are still tough. This week we were able to cut out one feeding for a couple days in a row so we’ll see if it lasts. We’ve also started testing out sleeping in our living room (on the pull out couch) in order to give Malcolm some space, but I am not finding it all that comfortable. I probably wouldn’t complain about it though if it means we could all sleep through the night! I also have a problem with going to bed on time. That doesn’t help…

On my mind:
I’m trying to deplete the massive pile of stuff in our hallway/living room. How do we collect all this clutter so quickly?! Now that we are sleeping in the living room it feels even smaller and more cluttered. I have an ongoing list of things to deal with so I can forget about them. Somehow I never seem to get very far down my list. Anyone else have this problem…? After I finish writing this post I think I’ll attempt sewing some crib sheets/duvet covers so I can make use of those silly flat sheets we never use. How do you make up your bed? We are all about simplicity over here and make do with just a fitted sheet and duvet.

Thanks for letting me share about myself. I’d love to hear about what’s going on in your life lately. Comment below or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook.

How being a mother changed me in ways I didn’t expect

How being a mother changed me in ways I didn't expect I was going to title this ‘Malcolm Update’, but I think ‘Mom Update’ is probably more appropriate. I have been growing so much, perhaps even rivalling Malcolm. Malcolm has changed and shaped Jordan and I, and we are quickly realizing how much he responds to the way we do things too. Becoming a mother has been a journey much like I expected, but it is still a challenge to learn to become a parent through immersion.

Mother to MalcolmSometimes I find myself feeling bitter about my lack of sleep until I remember that this is what I signed up for. I signed up for sleepless nights, headaches, crying babies, and an aching back from rocking little ones to sleep. I signed up for a sink full of dishes, a messy house, stepping on toys, and a rumble in my belly as I feed a hungry babe. I signed up for stinky diapers, getting spit up on, loads (and loads) of laundry, and bedsheets with all sorts of bodily fluids spilt (just small amounts – don’t need to throw them in the wash quite yet…).

Mom life is far from glamorous, but it’s great. Sometimes I think I’m crazy. I knew motherhood came with all these things, but I wanted it anyway. Maybe there is some sort of hormone that makes us forget all these difficult things and desire to become mothers, otherwise the human population would die out. There must be! Motherhood is such a crazy thing to do to yourself, but it’s also so worth it in a way I can’t even describe.

How being a mother changed me

Malcolm is an incredible boy, and it’s so crazy to watch him grow and discover the world. He recently showed us that he can roll over, and is beginning to use his movement to get to the things he wants. It’s so neat to watch him figure out that one day he will be able to do things for himself. In some ways it might be bittersweet for both of us. He is constantly throwing his toys off the high chair tray, seeing how quickly he can cause me to abandon preparing dinner and rescue his rattle and Zips the bee. We have recently started feeding him food, and it’s been fun to see his eagerness to try eating and to watch him discover new flavours. He makes some hilarious faces!Malcolm 4 month collageHe has grown so much physically, but I don’t always notice it until I look back at older photos. In the first 4 months of his life he changed so much. He continues to grow into a little person and I enjoy watching his personality come out.

How being a mother changed me

Sometimes I find myself longing to be self focused again. I’m struggling with bitterness about the transition I’m in. Sometimes in my own passive-aggressive way I bend over backwards so that others will notice how much I am neglecting myself. In these moments, instead of finding the comfort from others that I had desired, I’m finding peace and strength in myself. I’ve tried to break myself, but I found I was much stronger than I thought.

This brings me back to realize the selfishness of of my self neglect. I was missing out on the joy of serving my family because I wanted things to be about me again. They aren’t. They might never be. But that’s okay. It’s not meant to be that way anymore. I realize that my body is already adapting to my new role. My heart sometimes falters, but it follows close behind. Becoming a mother is an interesting and magical thing.

My favourite family

This family photo may be a bit out of focus, but I treasure it anyway. Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. But the imperfections are a beautiful and important part. I may not have the most photogenic life, but it’s completely perfect in my eyes. Mom life might not be as glamorous as it appears on Instagram, but it’s worth documenting. I hope to continue to share my life with you here.

You can read more about Malcolm and see his cute little face here.

Welcome Baby Malcolm

Welcome Malcolm Terence Bennett

Last week we welcomed our little Beanie into the world. Malcolm Terence Bennett was born at 4:11pm on January 27th at St. Pauls Hospital in Vancouver. He weighed a surprising¬†9 lbs 4 oz and measured 21″. We have been getting to know him this week and have fallen very deeply in love with him.

Bennett Family Baby Malcolm Bennett Family Baby Malcolm

We’ve made it one week as parents! We are trying to savour these precious moments with a newborn in between some small chunks of sleep. I never imagined I would function this well on so little sleep. After one week together, I feel like we are starting to get the hang of things and get into somewhat of a schedule… for now.

We’ve been blessed by the generosity of family and friends, and we have been able to thrive as a new family because of their help. Thank you to all who have brought us meals, washed our dishes, and picked up miscellaneous items for us. We really appreciate the support of our community, and we can’t imagine doing this without it.

Baby Malcolm BennettBaby Malcolm feet Baby Malcolm holding daddy's thumb

If you are interested in reading about my pregnancy with Malcolm you can click the links here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I’m hoping to write out his birth story before I forget all the little details and share it with you here.

Baby Malcolm Terence Bennett

What a cutie! Am I right?!

Pregnancy Update: Baby Beanie at 38 weeks

Maternity photoshoot Pregnancy

Time is just flying by! I can’t believe I’m 38 weeks today. There’s only 2 weeks left to go until our due date and Beanie could come at any time now.

We enjoyed spending a lot of¬†time with family and friends over the holidays. We are trying to get out as much as possible while we still can. I hope we can still¬†enjoy a few date nights together while it’s just the two of us. I’m dreaming of going to Burgoo for some delicious comfort food. Yum, I love their soup and salad combo! We recently visited Guilt and Co. with a few friends to see some live jazz, and I love the vibe there. If I wasn’t twice my usual size and off balance I might have tried to join in the swing dancing. I love the 1940’s feel.

Jordan took some photos of me just before Christmas when I was 35 weeks. Time is flying by so quick. I can’t believe I’m already 38 weeks. This baby will be here in no time! We have been doing a bunch of prep around the house now that the holidays have passed. I’ve been doing some sewing and organizing, and I’m working on putting together a binder of all the helpful information we will need to access come time for labour and parenting. We bought a carseat last week, and I’ve started packing our bags for the hospital. It’s getting close guys!

35 weeks pregnant maternity photoshoot

Everything is starting to feel real. I’m still having trouble getting my head around the fact that there is a little person inside of me. Soon this babe will make their appearance, and I’ll get to hold them and care for them.

I think the transition to motherhood will impact me more than I expect. Pregnancy seems easy in comparison. Yes, throughout pregnancy there have been physical struggles where I have¬†felt less like myself, but I have generally felt very special and taken care of. I’ve been told to enjoy and take advantage of this time. I feel entitled to massages and special treatment. As a mother, I will need to give all of that up in order to care for someone else. It will be this little¬†babe who is helpless and who receives all the attention.

I imagine I might be filled with joy and pride knowing that I was able to participate and create such a lovely, complex, and intricate¬†human being. It’s really the most incredible thing I will ever make in my life.

But in the selfish place inside of me I realize that everything will no longer be about me. I will need to transition from entitlement and being loved and cared for to tiredness and loving and caring for someone else. I can imagine this will be quite difficult, and compiled with exhaustion and hormones I understand how many women struggle with depression postpartum. Luckily Jordan has always made me feel special and loved, and I have a great community of family and friends who I know will be there for me too.

How did you other mamas survive the transition? Was there anything you experienced that you didn’t anticipate?

maternity photoshoot pregnancy 35 weeks

Click here for my other pregnancy posts: Our announcement and 32 week update.