Since I have been on my own personal quest to eat right and be healthy it occurred to me that many of my new mommies are dealing with some of the same issues but for different reasons. So here’s a few tips to help you I hope.
With your amazing — and exhausting — new 24-hour job (feed baby, change baby, burp baby, rock baby, and repeat), you barely have time to change your clothes, shower, or think about anything that’s not baby-related. It’s natural to be completely focused on your new little bundle, and completely unfocused on your own needs — like your diet after delivery. The problem with forgetting to eat, though, is that skipping meals deprives you of energy. And as you’ve certainly figured out by now, parenting takes lots of energy — even more energy if you’re fueling a milk-making factory and need a solid breastfeeding diet.. Here’s how to get the best nutrition after pregnancy when eating’s the last thing on your mind (or your to-do list):
Postpartum Diet Trick 1: Snack when your baby snacks.
Your little one is eating every two to four hours now — and so should you. Sneak in small bites of fruit, yogurt, low-fat cheese, or whole-grain bread or muffins whenever you prepare to feed your baby — or, if you’ve mastered the one-handed feed already, while you’re feeding your baby (talk about multitasking!). Stash healthy snacks within arm’s reach (almonds and raisins next to your favorite nursing chair, a banana and a bag of crackers in your stroller bag) so your diet after delivery keeps you satisfied.
Postpartum Diet Trick 2: Just say yes!
When friends ask if there’s anything they can do to help, suggest they pick up a roast chicken, a tray of lasagna, prewashed bags of salad greens, a giant carton of fruit salad, a platter of veggies and dip, or a dozen whole-wheat bagels (melt a slice of cheese on top of one of those babies, and you have yourself a healthy mini-meal staple for your diet after delivery). Try to keep your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare foods you like, so that thinking about what to eat takes no thought at all.
Postpartum Diet Trick 3: Befriend your freezer.
If you cooked in quantity while you were pregnant, now’s the time to defrost those homemade goodies and enjoy them. If you never actually got around to following through on your make-ahead plans, stock up on frozen dinners and snacks (look for healthy ones — your store should carry plenty) for your diet after delivery. More nutrition after pregnancy shortcuts: Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh, and a lot faster to prepare, and frozen fruit makes a quick smoothie when blended with yogurt.
Postpartum Diet Trick 4: Dial up a delivery.
Nobody deserves deliveries as much as someone who’s just made one (a significant one). Tap into every delivery option available to you — groceries (sure, you won’t get to squeeze the peaches, but at least you’ll end up with some), delis, restaurants of every kind from sushi, now that you can, to pizza. (In fact, getting good nutrition after pregnancy should be a breeze compared to your taboo-ridden pregnancy diet!) Consider ordering ahead a few meals, so that you’ll have something to reheat tomorrow (or tonight, when that midnight feeding leaves you starving).
Postpartum Diet Trick 5: Plan ahead.
If you’re boiling an egg for lunch, boil six so they’re ready and waiting for you tomorrow. If it’s salmon salad you crave today, crack open a large can so that you’ll be able to fish for an easy snack the next day. Bake a half-dozen potatoes at once — it’s quick and easy to warm them later (with some pre-shredded Cheddar and leftover broccoli). Ditto brown rice — make a box, and reheat it all week. And if you actually manage to get to the market, linger where the prepared foods hang out (bag a rotisserie chicken, sliced roast turkey, turkey meatloaf, ready-to-eat veggie and fruit salads). And don’t forget to visit the salad bar — heap a few dishes high with your favorites (but keep the dressings on the side so you don’t end up with limp lettuce tomorrow).
Postpartum Diet Trick 6: Drink, drink, drink.
Keep bottles of water in every room of the house, so no matter where you and baby are, you can grab a quick drink. To keep yourself hydrated (dehydration leads to postpartum fatigue something you’ve got plenty of already, thank you), make sure you have a drink every time baby does.
Do you think these tips are helpful? I’d love to know if they worked for you.
In honor of my daddy - Gary Markham
The most interesting thing happened to me on Friday. I still get chills when I think about it so I decided I should share this one.
It’s Fathers day today and I know many of you have lost your dad’s. So have I. My dad passed away too soon. He was only 70 years old and I hadn’t really had enough time to spend with him. It’s important for you to know this little background before you read the story.
My parents were divorced when I was 18 months old. My mother moved out of state with me for many years to put distance between me and my father. When we returned to Virginia, she made every effort to continue to keep me out of my father’s life. I did not really get to know my dad until I was in my twenties. It was my choice then to reach out an find out just who he was and to get his side of the story. I had a thousand questions for him.
Now why he never tried to get in touch with me in another story all together but that’s not what this story is about. This story is about what amazing things can happen with the powerful love between a father and his daughter.
This is a miracle story to me – in more ways than one. See if you don’t agree once you read it.
A friend of my father’s, called me Friday and said “Cathy, I ran across a letter you wrote your dad for fathers day, years
ago, that he kept and I thought you might like to have it.” It was dropped off at my studio that afternoon and even though I didn’t sit down and read it until later that night I can tell you it had a profound effect on me.
As I unfolded the faded and yellowed sheets of paper, it became obvious to me that my father had taken great care to preserve the letter that I had written to him back in 1979. You could see it had been typed on a dot matrix printer (some of you will know what that is). I could see the tear stains on the paper but I honestly can’t tell you if they were mine or his. It didn’t really matter. I knew in my heart that my words had touched his heart very deeply – otherwise he would not have saved the letter over all these years.
Even though I’d love to share every word with you (not sure you’d want to read it all) I’ve decided to share just a small part of what was in the letter…
When I was a little girl living with Mama away from you – I remember when friends would ask me about my father. I remember taking a very deep breath and very proudly telling them about you. It usually went something like this:
My daddy is a very strong and kind and gentle man. He is proud and smart and has a strong sense of family. My daddy, well, you know, he’d move a mountain if it needed to be moved. And he can make the sun shine just by saying it’s so. My daddy doesn’t live in our house. No, he lives in my heart. And whenever I need him I know he cares because I feel it – here in my heart”…
I bet I said those words a thousand times in my youth. I grew up in a time when divorced parents was an oddity not the norm as it seems to be today.
I went on to say “It took me nearly 20 years before I had an opportunity to spend any time with you.
And I am so grateful for the time we have together. My love for you is difficult to express. Even this letter
is hard for me to write. These feelings are very deep within and like most things with deep roots – they are hard to surface but are steadfast and strong. These feelings have weathered many storms, many battles, many doubts. In my lifetime, I have fought many things and many people who have tried to keep you out of my life and I have always prevailed because we have a bond. The bond that only a father and a daughter can know”
The letter goes on from there but just remember, I did not really know my father. I had spent little or no time with him. This was the man I had imagined in my head and in my heart. This was how I dealt with the profound loss I felt by not having him in my life. And it comforted me many times over the years to simply think about what kind of man, I just knew in my heart that he was.
I have recently been dealing with some difficult things and I have been missing my father even more than usual because I knew he would always reach out and help me be strong. He had a way of believing in me that made me rise to the occasion. He truly was my bridge between failure to success many times and I needed him now.
Then what happens?
This letter reappears in my life. As if my dad had a hand in making sure I knew he was with me – even now. It was a voice from the afterlife. A strong and loving voice – encouraging me to continue.
I can hear my fathers voice just as clear as if he were standing before me saying “Cathy, everything’s going to be okay. Remember, we are Markham’s, we are strong and we don’t give up. You can do this babe – you can get through this!”
People ask me all the time what my license plate means (It basically says “I expect it”). I always say it means I expect all things are possible. After receiving this letter (a voice from the past to today) I believe it even more.
Do I believe in miracle’s y’all? Yes in deed I do – they happen every day but often when you least expect them.
Please share this with family and friends.
You never know who it might touch.
You never know who might need to know that our angels are among us and they love us still.
Fathers Day salute
Allowing Dad to Help with Baby
Letting your partner find his own way is part of the parenting process.
I know I was really guilty of thinking I was the only one who knew what to do for our son – even daddy couldn’t possible know what I knew right? Wrong! It was a big mistake and I hope to help you not make the same mistakes I did.
When I finally broke down and let daddy help it was a relief to me and our son. I was exhausted and I needed help. The real blessing was that daddy WANTED to help. I had no idea how glad I would be until I finally let him into our world. We were all better for it. Today, some of my fondest memories of my husband and our son together. I still remember seeing them sleeping together on the sofa (since they both were tuckered out) and I still laugh right out loud when I think of two diaper changes. One my husband was sprinkled with the fountain of youth as the diaper came off and the cold air hit our baby boy and the other was the first time my husband had to change a really soiled diaper – oh that memory really makes me laugh.
Maybe you need a quality nap or you’re dying for a hot bath, or you just want to see a flick with a friend — sans baby. Who better to watch your critter for an hour — or the duration of an afternoon matinee — than the guy sleeping right next to you: Daddy! Even if he hasn’t had much experience in baby care (without you looking over his shoulder, at least), now’s the perfect time to help him get up to speed.
The first step toward getting Dad on duty? Ask him. It’s okay to acknowledge you need help or just a couple of hours to yourself. He may actually relish the chance to do things his own way (at least when it comes to changing a diaper).
The next step: Back off, Mama, and let Papa have some fun. Let him give the baby a bath or handle a few feedings (or if you’re nursing, ask him to put the baby to sleep). Welcome all questions but try to zip it on the backseat driving. Daddy may seem to have ten thumbs when it comes to wrestling junior into a onesie, but that’s just because he hasn’t had nearly as much practice as you. If you’re hypercritical or bossy, he might just decide to throw in the towel (and the diapers, bottles, and washcloths) and that’s not good for anyone involved, including the baby.
Hey, if your husband really wants to triple bag every poopy diaper, let him. In the past, the two of you have managed to mesh your differences (you’ve got that cute baby to show for it), and parenthood is no exception. Remind him (and yourself) that you’re new at this too — you learned by doing and so can he. Plus, change is good — a different style of playing (perhaps more physical or high-energy than your usual way) will stimulate your baby in new ways.
Keep in mind that your spouse is your partner, not your helper, and should be as fully involved in childrearing as possible (even if he’s the type to need a little shove to get going). You wouldn’t think of leaving him out of the big decisions and events that’ll shape your baby’s future, so why exclude him from the everyday stuff that also makes up your life as a family?
reaching out from a deep dark hole
You never know what I’ll come up with to write about. Most of the time, the blog post come from experiences I have in life. This is going to be one of those post.
Recently, I had three separate conversations with three different people and each conversation seems to echo the same sour note. They each, in so many words, said “some days I asked myself what’s the point?” They were speaking of living. What’s the point of living? Now none of them were suicidal or anything like that. They were just sort of down in the dumps for various reasons. I get calls like that from time to time because, as one of them said, “I’m in a funk and I knew you’d be able to get me out of it” I suppose that’s one of my many talents -lol.
Okay, back to the point of this post. Even though I took the time to listen to them and encourage them and coax them out of their very dark hole – it occurred to me (a few days later in fact) that perhaps part of their problem and struggle was that they are so wrapped up in themselves and all that is going on in their lives that they have lost perspective. And to me the easiest way to gain that perspective back again – quickly- is to do something for someone else. Help someone else and don’t expect ANYTHING in return!
If you have forgotten “what the point” of living is -then take a step back and get out of your own way. Reach out to someone else. Feel their struggle and their accomplishments. It’s so enlightening to do so. You don’t really have to do
anything more than simply listen to them most of the time.
Our lives have become so over stimulated with the pressures of delivering and being a certain way for certain people that we begin to think we are no good because we can’t seem to do it all to please everyone. Well, actually that may be another blog post altogether but it certainly is part of this one.
I happen to believe that one of our most profound purposes in life is to help one another. Don’t judge
them, don’t expect anything from them, don’t do it for them – just reach out to them and listen. You may be surprised
how quickly you will rediscover your “purpose”.
By the way, is there someone that you always turn to when you need help or need a sympathetic ear? Why not
try calling them and asking them how they are today? Resist the urge to tell them about your troubles today. My experience is that those people usually carry the special burden of always listening but never having someone they can
confide in. It can be very lonely for that person – they have to be strong for you and everyone else around
them. After all that is one of the reasons you unload your troubles on them. These special, strong and wise people still put their own needs aside – to be there for you. You know who I’m talking about don’t you? You’d probably refer to them as a hero to you.
My father was one of those people for me. Bruce Hobbs, one of my dearest friends in the world was another. They were my hero’s. They would remind me “everything’s gonna be alright” no matter how bad I thought things were. I miss being able to pick up the phone and call them knowing they would always be there for me and always pick me up, no matter how far I had fallen into that dark hole of despair and doubt. I miss them both. They have both passed away.
I wish I had taken the time to pick up the phone and just say
“Hey daddy, how are you doing today?”
Or “Hey buddy, what’s new with you. How’s life treating you today?”
and then just shut up and listened.
Boy, do I miss hearing their voice… If only I had taken the time
to think past myself.
Dance night. Come on out. Shall we dance – Witchduck rd. 8:00 – 10:00. Great fun. Great new friends.