Has it really been over a year since I've done one of these posts? I've been saving up some reader questions to answer, so today I'm going to do just that.
What do you miss most when you're not blogging?
I definitely haven't been blogging as much as I used to (or even as much as I hoped to after Sophie got here), and I think the thing I miss the most during this time off is just sitting down to write--it doesn't have to be a full essay, even just a quick list of things I believe right now or answering questions like this one. Instagram has been great for filling that desire to share, since it can be done a lot faster and without having to sit down at a computer.
Since you identify as an introvert, how do you maintain a healthy relationship with social media?
I love this question--people are often surprised when I tell them I'm an introvert, but it couldn't be more true. I think social media and blogging has been great for me because it allows me to put myself out there in ways I otherwise wouldn't--like there's a shield between me and the world that allows me to share with more confidence. I'm almost embarrassed when people I actually know in real life read my blog. Sometimes it feels easier to write for strangers.
As far as a healthy relationship with social media goes, I try really hard to be aware of how much I need the gratification from likes and comments and all that. I'd be lying if I said I didn't refresh Instagram too many times throughout the day, hoping for that acceptance. It can be exhausting. Taking a step back every now and then and reminding myself that I don't have to share every detail has been a good thing for me, even if it's easier said than done.
What are some things you wish you'd known before about birth or the first few weeks at home with a baby? Any advice for other first-time moms?
Surprisingly enough, Rob and I didn't take any birth classes, and I tried to actually limit my reading about labor and delivery. I felt really strongly that whatever was meant to happen would happen, and that my body was going to do what it needed to do. It helped to have my aunt as our doula, because I kind of went in blind. I knew what to expect on a very basic level, but I got too anxious when I tried to hammer out the details.
I still barely know anything about being a mom, so I guess my advice for others is to keep your expectations low and just roll with it. You probably won't sleep very much at first and that's just how it is. But you'll figure it out a little more each day.
(I've gotten lots of requests for more motherhood posts: my breastfeeding experience, birth story, etc. and I'm working on them! Thank you all so much for your interest and questions.)
How is Ender adjusting to the baby, and what did you do to prep him for the transition?
He's doing really well! Ender is a sweet but pretty anxious, high-energy dog, so we were a little worried about him with Sophie, but he really seems to like her and want to be near her as much as he can. We started going to a private trainer every week a few months before our due date and worked on obedience and agility training, which interestingly enough helped Ender trust us more as his leaders.
We also stopped letting him on the furniture the whole month before Sophie got here, and we originally intended to keep it that way but changed our minds when we came home from the hospital. The trainer wants all his clients to keep their dogs off the bed and couch, but to us it felt more important to remind Ender that he's still part of the family even though we have a baby.
He sleeps in his crate because she's in a bassinet on our bed and I don't feel comfortable letting him be out and about if we're asleep and she's available to him (he loves licking her and it freaks me out). We never leave him unattended with her and if I have to go to the bathroom or throw some laundry in I put her in her crib, which is currently in the living room and high enough that he can't get to her (although he usually ends up staying on the couch or will lie down on the ground next to the crib).
I take him on a walk every day and try to run with him a few times a week. He's so much more well behaved when he gets enough exercise, so that's a big priority for us.
We'll see how he does as she gets more mobile and starts making more noises--she babbles a lot now and he was freaked out at first but is getting much more used to it. Poor pup--babies change so fast that sometimes it feels like he's getting used to a new thing every day! But he's doing great and I'm so proud of him.
Thank you all for your questions--I love answering them! If you have more, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll include them in a future post! You can also DM me on Instagram.