“In The Trenches”

We have all been there – that moment where nothing seems to be going right or as planned. That moment you are running out the door and everything happens at once – one child poops their pants; one kid pours everything out of the diaper bag; the dogs run into the yard because one kid opened the door; you lose your keys in the midst of repacking the diaper bag (only to find you actually put them in the diaper bag); you get everyone loaded into the car; you run back into the house to grab a sippy cup and the favorite toy of the week; you finally get the dogs back inside; a child unlocks their carseat; you get everyone re-strapped into their seats; you start the vehicle and realize … I’M ALREADY EXHAUSTED AND I HAVEN’T LEFT THE DRIVEWAY?!

Throughout life as a mom, there are challenging phases with children – I like to refer to these as “in the trenches”. Most moms and parents can appreciate this comparison and being “in the trenches” can sometimes feel like a lonely, never-ending phase.

Like when your little one is a baby – you are running on zero sleep and can’t remember the last time you took a real shower or slept for longer than 3 hours at a time. Or when your toddler is screaming at the top of their lungs because they can’t communicate and you clearly didn’t give them the right dinner. How about those Pre-K years when all the kids do is bicker over who gets to play with Elsa or they scream when you refuse to buy them strategically placed candy in the checkout aisle. Or the dreaded teenage years where there’s a 90% chance your child will hate you at some point if not all the time.

IN THE TRENCHES!

Ever been to the grocery store with 3 small children? I tend to wear workout clothes because I know taking my small army of strong willed children to the store does not usually teeter in my favor. One usually begs for that princess cup in the breakfast aisle; another is trying to climb out of the cart; while the other isn’t able to comprehend you have to buy the food before you eat it. By the end of the shopping trip (after the epic battle to get out of the driveway), I usually look slightly disheveled and understandably frazzled. Occasionally another shopper will smile and say “you have your hands full.” But there are also moments when moms gently smile and say something like “Oh honey, you’re going to make it. It’s just tough right now but I promise you will get through this. You’re doing a great job!”

Those women get it; they’ve been in the trenches at one time or another, raising babies, surviving the chaos and sleeplessness that is the very definition of motherhood. I am so thankful for these no judgment women, who even though are strangers, can relate to public survival with children.

Inevitably I am told moms do survive what I can only describe with a war term. During life in the trenches with our children we create those memories we will “laugh at someday” – but in the moment you just aren’t sure if you will make it. Someday you will be able to get out of the driveway without feeling like you are competing in an Olympic decathlon. Better yet, you will be able to go to the grocery store without having to explain to your child why you aren’t buying all the boxes of princess gummies. And when you do feel alone, trust me, you never will be – other moms are fighting the good fight right next to you. We are all muddy wishing for a long, uninterrupted shower!

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DIY Nursing Bra

(Disclaimer … You don’t have to breast feed to be a good mom!)

My biggest fear before giving birth to my first child was breast feeding – how the heck was I going to do it? Would I make enough? What if I hated it? I didn’t realize how completely exhausting and physically uncomfortable I would be 24 hours a day.

I asked my husband the other day if he would rather give birth or breast feed a baby – he quickly responded, “Birth. I would definitely give birth.” Keep in mind he has been there every step of the way with each of our three babies, one of which was delivered without pain meds (due to labor being only 40 minutes). A man who has seen it all, chose birth over breastfeeding!

Nonetheless, I made a whole hearted effort to breastfeed/pump with each of baby. And by the third go around, I absolutely despised my nursing bras and tanktops!! They were so uncomfortable and looked ridiculous under all my clothes. I could never seem to find anything that cooperated with the expanding and “deflating” joys of breastfeeding; and I was not about to spend $50 on a bra I wouldn’t make a staple in my future wardrobe.

So I set off on a mission to make my own perfect nursing bra and here’s how I did it.

First, I decided sports bras are the most comfortable thing in the world (for me) because of their elasticity and ability to hold the cannons in place while they get bigger and then suddenly smaller. If you are making your own nursing bra, decide what kind of “regular” bra you like best before you go and buy! I then went to my favorite place on Earth, TJ MAXX, and found a great deal on an amazing sports bra. (The pads in it were removable!)

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The reason I liked this one so much is because of the clips!

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The next thing I did was rip the seam out of the bra where the front clip was attached. I do not own a seam ripper (sewing might be my next Everest) so I used the itty-bitty scissors from my manicure set.

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I then took one of my old nursing bras I hated (and wore once) and used my trusty manicure scissors again to remove the nursing bra snap clip.

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I attached the nursing snap clip onto my new “nursing bra”

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Even though I’m not a sewing pro, I used some heavy duty thread and of course a needle to attach the snap-clip in the very same spot where I removed the sports bra’s original clip. I even trimmed the original rough looking seam a tad.

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Here’s my finished DIY nursing bra!

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Don’t be intimidated if you can’t sew! This DIY nursing bra is so easy (coming from a non sewer) not to mention it is super affordable, durable, and COMFORTABLE!!

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You can also use this method with regular bras and tanktops.
**I recommend getting fitted for nursing bras when you are around 8 months pregnant!**