7 Things to Keep in Mind when Visiting a Newborn

New babies can be an exciting time for both Mama & friends! Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting your friend and her newborn.

(1) Go visit, love, then leave.
Don’t overstay your welcome. Between lack of sleep and the time it takes to feed (anywhere between 8-12 hours/day in the beginning; basically a full time job) mom & dad are short on time. While they’re excited to see you & show off their new babe, it’s likely they don’t have the same amount of time for you as they have in the past. Love on their new baby, then leave.

(2) If you’re going to bring a gift…
…my friends and I have a rule that says, “Friends don’t buy friends snaps” Stick with the zipper option when buying jammies. Snaps get to be a lot, especially in the middle of the night
Consider bringing clothes that are 6+ months in size; it’s likely the newborn size is already covered between the baby showers and other visiting friends. If you’re going to do this, think ahead about the seasons (ex: A baby born in July will not need a size 6 month summer dress because it will be winter when that baby is 6 months old).
don’t forget Mama! A bag of coffee or a few new K-Cups go a long way.

(3) Offer to help around the house
While you’re there, ask if you can load the dishwasher, switch over the laundry, or take out the trash. First time parents will probably refuse, but you can gently ask a second time. This doesn’t need to consume your entire visit (remember – it’s going to be short!), but something small like this is very helpful and will go a long way.
(New moms: if you’re reading this, just say “YES!”)

(4) Bring (healthy!) food
This might be best to set up ahead of time, but ask if you can bring a prepped meal or some sort of dish/side/snack so they can grab when short on time. (These banana bites and this quinoa side are awesome options!). I say “healthy” mostly because they probably have enough other sweet treats from others.

(5) Offer support…which doesn’t necessarily mean advice
It’s true new parents are overwhelmed and you’ll often hear them say something like, “I have no idea what I’m doing!” but this is not necessarily a window for you to offer your unsolicited advice. Remember that every parent & baby are different, and just because they’re doing something than what worked for you & your baby, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If they ask for advice or mention something they’re struggling with, then share your experience….but beyond that simply offer support & encouragement.

(6) Don’t forget the big kids! 
If the baby has older siblings, be sure to take a little time to play with them, too. Mom & Dad will really appreciate it.

(7) Remember, this visit is about them (not you!)
While nuzzling a newborn will probably bring back so many fond memories of your own baby, but keep this visit about THEM. Complement THEIR baby, ask questions about THEIR birth, tell them THEY’RE doing a great job.
There’s no better way to make them feel special, and talking about yourself & your experience takes away from that. (For example, when they tell you their baby was 7lbs 8oz at birth, immediately responding with “Oh, [your baby’s name] was only 6lbs 5oz when born” takes away from their experience. Instead, try something like, “Aw that’s perfect! I love when they’re this little!”).  Pocket all your thoughts about your own newborn life for now, there will be time to have a more mutual conversation down the road.

Enjoy your newborn visit! I know mom & dad are excited you took the time to come over…they’re excited for you to meet their new babe!

That first year was a complete mess.

 

boot camp

I still consider us the newbies…4+ years in.
.
…but this weekend I was chatting with not one, not two, but three other girlfriends/wives that are in a very similar spot I was in this photo at graduation. Two reached out to me (see – I must have some experience & be approachable) and those two convos lead me to reach out to one more gf just to say hello.
.
You guys. That first year was a complete mess.
.
It went something like this…
…I quit my first big girl job.
…Got married.
…Moved across the country where I knew nobody.
…My new husband was gone/training often.
…The job hunt was draining.
.
I hadn’t even lived there two months before I went back home for a two week “break”…
.
For the first time as an adult, I felt like I had almost zero control over anything. I wasn’t contributing financially. I had no local friends. Job searching in an area with zero networking was exhausting.
.
Living that way was NOT what I was used to.
I needed routine.
I craved just one area in my life that I could control.
.
I made the decision that “one area” was going to be my health. (After all, I surely had time. Remember? no job. a couple acquaintances, but no friends. busy husband.) Where did I start, though?
.
In high school, I was a three sport athlete. When college rolled around, I had no idea how to train because I was used to the drills and workouts my coaches made for me; I never had to put any thought into it before college. If I made it to the gym (that’s a big IF)…I sort of puttered around on whatever machines were open, never making progress.
.
Right about the time I made this decision that with all my extra time I was going to lose my college flub, this girl I barely knew was posting on social media about these “online fitness groups” …I was confused about how I could get fit online, but intrigued nonetheless.
.
Now, it makes so much sense.
Think about it: we’re always DOING LIFE on our phones (I mean, I’ve been to MULTIPLE weddings thanks to Tinder) …so checking in, tracking my progress, building a support system, completing daily tasks, and learning about health fits right into this 21st century lifestyle. I had all that in the palm of my hand, a professional trainer in my living room, and superfoods in my pantry.
.
That was in 2013, and the system has only improved since then.
.
NOW…you can stream over 40 fitness programs for LESS than I bought that first ONE when I needed it the most. (ask me how- it’s just a conversation for another time)
.
During that 3 month program, I dropped 11 overall inches & 5% body fat, and totally reshaped my body….and that wasn’t even the goal. Obviously it was a super nice perk, but the REAL WIN was how I gained so much confidence in myself, felt drawn to a community that I knew genuinely cared for me, and learned about nutrition & how to cook for the first time in my life.
.
I kinda forgot about that part of my story until I chatted with those 3 lovely ladies this weekend. It brought back a whole bunch of feelings I don’t exactly like to remember, yet also reminded me of the time life presented me with the opportunity to focus on myself, and ultimately changed the entire trajectory of my career (but that’s another story for another day).
.
If you’re going through tough stuff…look for the opportunity in the situation to learn & grow🌱 It’s probably there, even if it takes you another year to realize it.

My world got ROCKED tonight.

My world got ROCKED tonight.

I’ve always viewed my independence as a fairly beneficial and generally positive trait.

For example…

…I can handle and take care of things on my own- Robert has specifically told me on multiple occasions he’s grateful for this because he can leave me for months at a time and never even have to wonder if bills get paid, it his child is being well cared for, if I use my best judgement when the dryer breaks/faucet leaks/dog needs meds/all the other crazy things that happen when the guys leave. Apparently that’s not true for other guys he knows.

…My independence kinda feeds into my introverted side- I tend to best “recharge” & fill my cup back up when I’m solo.

👆I still think those are okay things.

BUT GET THIS.

{If you’ve ever worked through a Beth Moore study, you know that lady is off her rocker in the best possible way & she says it like it is}

Tonight she told me this:

“Independence is a sign of immaturity” (as in: underdeveloped)

We can accomplish A LOT on our own. But UNIFIED, we can do that much more all while building maturity, knowledge, and expertise within the subject.

She, of course, is specifically speaking about our relationship with God and how much stronger our faith can be in a group setting.

But I instantly thought of quite a few ways in many different circles where I could easily develop relationships and/or leadership further by collaborating…tapping in…opening up…reaching out…listening.

In my marriage. At church. With my team. In my friend group. With other moms. Toward my business partners. Other wives from the command.

Dang, that sounds uncomfortable.
But I think it could be good for me, too.

Thanks, Beth. I needed you to show me this tonight.

blog sign

The Best Basic Day

[originally written July 8, 2016]

I have a dear friend that sits in her closet with a cup of coffee (but I bet sometimes it’s wine) when she needs a sec.

13626491_10103479607151438_4636610858089396313_n

I can’t fit in my closet, but the corner of my bedroom floor is working very well tonight. Yes, that’s a glass of wine.

Today was basic. 
Almost as basic as it could ever get, yet somehow one of the best days I’ve had in a while.

My daughter is becoming my most favorite human. It really wasn’t overnight, but all in one day she learned how to give kisses, blow raspberries (hilarious!), knows what you’re referring to when you ask her to find the puppy or baby (her toys), was fascinated with the ball pit for her birthday party, and is taking 3-4 steps on her own.

She is such a neat tiny little human.

I didn’t get nearly enough work done, but what I did do was structured and organized.
I’m very happy with that…I wish I could say that was normal.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence I had the best workout in a while.

I took the dog for a walk in a new neighborhood; I do that sometimes. Our same old block gets boring for both of us, sometimes driving a short mile in any direction first is just what we need. It might be one of the best walks we’ve had together—I don’t think she realizes how much I cherish those times, too.

My house is a mess. Not even just a mess, but actually dirty. Somehow, though, it still seems like a comfy home…even as I sit in the corner of my room.

You see.
Super basic.
The me five years ago never would have claimed this to be one of the best days. Yet somehow today was just that.

Beyond blessed to be in a place in my life that is filled with so much love & happiness…no matter how ordinary. I like this life we’re building.

Alright- picking myself up off the floor to go spend the remainder of the evening with the best man I know❤️

Thanks for being my listening eyes & ears. I hope you’re in a happy place, too, no matter how ordinary. If you’re not, I hope this chaotic moment you’re going through right now makes you appreciate that place of basic contentment when the time comes.

Cheers🍷

WEEK ONE RECAP: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae

It might not have been until 10:00pm on Day 7, but I am still on track after one week!
WEEK ONE RECAP of my experience reading Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae.
 IMG_2120
If it was just completing the reading/studying/MARY portion of this book, I’d probably already be done. It’s how I roll…I love to read and absorb knowledge, often at a pretty quick pace.
It’s that execution/follow through/MARTHA portion that always has me stumbling…and this pretty much rolls over into every area of my life!
{Amazing how different aspects of life roll over to each other. Nonetheless, I’m on track!}

Here’s how the study works:
Each day there is a short 3-4 page reading on a life lesson. Maybe it’s about personality, or the author’s story with an applicable theme.

These quick pages are followed by the “Mary” portion of this study. Typically there is just 1-2 verses to reference followed by a short 2-3 reflection points. Sometimes these points encourage you to reflect on yourself along with the bible reference, other times it’s a place to make a list or schedule for the day.

Finally, the “Martha” tasks come. And now that you feel rejuvenated from reading & reflecting…you’re ready to tackle your house! Each task has a step-by-step process laid out in very BASIC bullet points.

I’ve learned a few things about myself in this first week of this book. The BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned is that I can be just as effective (if not more effective!) by doing smaller things all the time.

Generally speaking, I tend to be somewhat of an extremist; both my husband & I are this way. Either we’re not getting off the coach OR the entire house gets renovated in one day flat – haha. In terms of housework, this typically means the entire house is spotless and everything is crossed off the list OR everything is disheveled.

Clearly I need a little “smaller tasks all the time” mentality. {enter this study!}

This week, I’ve followed the execution portion step-by-step (even when instructed a different way than I’m used to…no matter how basic!) and guess what?! IT’S WORKING.

The one change I did make from the beginning of the week is how & where I study the Mary portion of this book. In the beginning, I’d grab my coffee, settle in on the couch, get cozy and open my book. My coffee would barely be at a drinkable temperature before the chapter was over (because they’re short!), but I wasn’t done with my own “relax” time. You can see where this is going. I wasn’t ready to get up and move on to Martha section, which completely defeated the purpose of this study!

Now, I actually just open the book and my bible while standing at the kitchen counter. This makes it much easier to hop to it!

Excited to see what week 2 brings!
blog sign

“Picking Up” a New Book: Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae (& progress calendar information)

I stumbled across this book on accident; an acquaintance on social media shared she just finished it and is happy with the way her home looks (& soul feels!) for the first time in quite a while.

It’s titled “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” written by Sarah Mae.

MarthaHomeMaryWay-Cover-719x1024

I was intrigued.

I run my own business from home and have a standing joke with one of my partners that “Either my house is clean or my business is doing well…never both!” Haha- isn’t that the truth.

I wonder, though, if I could have both?

If I’m being COMPLETELY honest, I feel as though delegation of house cleaning will happen in the near future, but it’s not a reality yet so this book obviously caught my attention.

If I was going to do this, though, I knew I’d need a calendar (read: instant gratification) to stay on track. There’s just something about those ✔️s that get me excited!

first calendar photo

{Send me an email (alischroeder.fit@gmail.com) if you plan on reading this yourself someday & would like the PDF of my calendar. I am NOT selling this; I’d love to simply pass along a free resource that I think will work well for me.}