13 Experience Gifts To Give On Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is just around the corner. In my opinion mother’s every day of the year. But because we live in a consumerist world, this day has been claimed to be mothers day by the commerce industry. With advertisings everywhere about mothers day, it is hard not to think of it and give nothing. If you want to make this Mother’s day a green one, try to give an experience instead of a physical thing. The research proves it, experiences makes you happier than things. I have gathered some ideas for you. Here they are:

High-tea
Invite your mom, or mom friends to spend a couple of hours with you while eating the tastiest cakes, scones, and cookies.

Brunch
If the person you are giving the gift is not a sweets lover, going for brunch is a better option than high-tea. This gift is a great option to catch up and spend time together. My favorite brunch place in the city I live in is Het Lokaal.

Museum tickets for two
Get cultural and go with your mom to a museum.

Movie tickets for two
Is there a new movie coming out? Go watch it with your mom or mom friends. At the cinemas, you can grab some candy, popcorn and invite the drinks.

Yoga/Dance/Sport passes for a month
Depending on the interests of your mama, you can give a monthly pass to their favorite activity. It can be yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, hip hop, etc.

Spa day for two
Spend the day with mom relaxing in the sauna. Or chilling in the swimming pool.

Facial
A great gift to pamper someone you love. My favorite beauty salon is Frank and Olive.

Cooking classes
Take a class with your mom and learn how to cook a different type of cuisine.

Music try-out lessons
Has your mom always mention how much she would like to learn how to play the violin? or the piano? Surprise her with a month of classes. Book the best piano teacher in Amersfoort here.

Photoshoot
Give your mom pictures she would like to hang in the living rooms. Starting at €70 you can book this talented photographer.

A food subscription box for a week
Give your mom well-deserved time off from going grocery shopping by giving her a meal box. Try for example the vegan box.

Beauty workshop
Learn with your mother how to make your own makeup. O maybe you prefer to learn to mix your own perfum? Check the difeerent DIY workshops you can go to in Amsterdam here.

Let her sleep in
This one is for the partners. Especially for those with little kids. The best mother’s day gift? SLEEP IN. Every mom it’s been desperately craving a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Grab her a lavender eye pillow to make it extra relaxing.

With Love,
Alisson

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A Letter To Soon-To-Be Moms

It’s ok…

It’s ok to feel nervous and anxious about giving birth,
It’s ok to want to have a natural birth, it’s ok if you prefer a c-section,
It’s ok to want to get pain reliefs during birth, it’s ok if you don’t,
It’s ok if you despair and lose control, it’s ok if you are zen,

It’s ok to want to give breastmilk, it’s ok if you prefer formula,

It’s ok to quit breastfeeding after 2 weeks, it’s ok to continue breastfeeding after 2 years,
It’s ok if you are too tired to take care of your newborn, it’s ok if you are energetic,
It’s ok to have your newborn attached to your breasts for hours,
It’s ok. your breast milk is ok. Your baby is ok. You might be experiencing your first growth spurt,

It’s ok to co-sleep with your baby for one day, it’s ok to still do it after 5 years,

It’s ok to feel insecure, it’s ok if you don’t,
It’s ok to feel exhausted, it’s ok if you feel fresh as a daisy,
It’s ok to be jealous of your partner, it’s ok to ask him for help,
It’s ok to feel hungry all the time, it’s ok to eat all the time,
It’s ok if your clothes don’t fit, it’s ok if they do,

It’s ok to lose the pregnancy weight in two weeks, it’s ok if you lose it in two years,
It’s ok if you never lose the pregnancy weight,
It’s ok if you don’t like your new body, it’s ok to be kind to your new body.

It’s ok to hold your baby all day long,
It’s ok for your baby to be clingy, it’s ok if you enjoy it,
It’s ok if you get tired and ask for help,
It’s ok to sleep-train your baby, it’s ok if your baby sleeps only on top of you,

In the motherhood road, everything is not only ok, but it’s normal. If you think and feel that what you are doing is the best for your baby and for you, then you are doing the right thing.

You can do this, I believe in you.

Picture Marisa Elisa Photography
A peek into my baby’s closet

With Love,
Alisson

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Things You Can Do While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful but exhausting jobs as a mom. It requires physical and emotional strength. In order to be more successful at the job, the best is if you are in peace. Breastfeeding gives moms a chance to sit down and relax. The first months are very beautiful. You keep on wondering how lucky you are to be able to feed your baby by putting it on your breast. As time passes it might get a little tiring and the wondering stops been a good motivation to keep it up. In order to make the breastfeeding sessions more fun, there are some things you can do. You can bond with your baby, write down your to-do list or just have some time for yourself.

Here are some things you can do while breastfeeding:

  1. Talk or sing to your baby. You can invent a song if you don’t remember any lyrics.
  2. Listen to your favorite music and sing if you feel like it.
  3. Read a book. In silence or out loud. Remember that your baby loves to hear your voice.
  4. Listen to audiobooks.
  5. Meditate. An easy app to this is ‘Headspace’.
  6. Eat a snack. Nuts, crackers, yogurt, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches. Grab an easy snack that you can eat with one hand. Now that you have the time :).
  7. Bond with the family. If the close family is visiting you, you can feed your baby in front of them. ( Only if you feel comfortable) That way you get to interact with them and your baby will hear and get used to their voices.
  8. Catch up with your friends and family. Send them messages to keep up the relationship.
  9. Watch your favorite series.
  10. Write down your thoughts in a diary.
  11. Write down your blessings.
  12. Rest with your baby.
Breastfeeding is beautiful
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Each month is getting easier but it never stops being challenging. How is it for you? What do you like to do while you are breastfeeding?
Let me know in the comments below.

With love,

Alisson

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25 Things I Didn’t Know Happened After Giving Birth

Nine months I spend preparing myself for the day of giving birth. I was mentally and physically ready (Although, I thought I was. But that topic deserves another post) I went to centering pregnancy, took breathing technique lessons and read about hypnobirthing. The big day of giving birth came and after a sixteen-hour rollercoaster of emotions and pain, my baby was out. I survived the most anticipated day. I knew it was going to be hard, painful and intense and I thought that was it. I finally made it to my last chapter of the childbirth lessons book. But, it turned out that a lot of things happen before you even leave the hospital that I didn’t learn in class, and no one ever mentioned. I’m going to share those things with you. Not to scare you, but to prepare you. Here they are: 

  1. As soon as my baby was out and on my chest, I felt overwhelmed. Tired of pushing and not understanding what was happening.
  2. The umbilical cord was still attached to the baby and placenta. The cord feels very warm and weird.
  3. I immediately lose my heavy pregnant belly, but I still looked like when I was 20 weeks pregnant.
  4. The black line which divides the belly decided to stay with me. I have read that it might stay for some indefinite time. I still have it after 15 weeks PP.
  5. After the nurses and doctors have seen me naked and vulnerable, I lost all the modesty. I wasn’t ashamed of anything anymore.
  6. As soon as the baby is out (actually since the pushing part begins) I started to lose blood. A lot! The bleeding doesn’t stop up until six weeks PP. Some women are lucky and bleed less, some other bleed longer. But you will bleed for sure.
  7. The first time walking from the hospital bed to the shower feels painful and shaky. It might be only five steps but it can feel like hundred meters.
  8. Showering feels actually very good. It might be painful to shower standing. You can ask your partner or a nurse to bring you a chair and put some towels to sit on.
  9. The first-time peeing. Not only pee but also blood and a lot of other weird looking stinky fluid comes out of your precious body. It doesn’t hurt, and the water just comes out without needing to put any pressure. But it can be surprising to see where all those fluids come from. At home, it might be more convenient to pee in the shower and clean yourself with water afterward.
  10. The first-time pooping is scary. The muscles are very sore and because of the pushing work, you will lose sensibility on your back door. This causes that you won’t really feel that you are pooping but you are actually doing it. This sensation (or lack of) can last a couple of days or even weeks. My tip: eat a lot of fiber in order to have a good digestion. And not have any constipation problem.
  11. You won’t be able to control your farts. So yes, the farts will come out without you even noticing. Only the smell will betray you. The smell is worse than when you have a heavy stomach disease. I guess the smell is a combination of blood, poop and your body recovering. This situation can last for weeks. At some point, you will get used to it and let the gas out without apologies.
  12. Sitting down on the bed or on a chair is very painful. If you had an episiotomy it’s going to be even more painful. The pain might take days or even weeks to go away completely.
  13. A couple of hours after giving birth, a nurse will help you to hand express milk for your baby. Because you don’t have any modesty you just let her hand press your tender breasts.
  14. Breastfeeding might be painful in the beginning. You can have blisters and it can get bloody. Everyone will tell you to just hang in there and you will like to punch everyone in the face. But the pain will go away indeed. My tip: shower with warm water and massage your breasts. Before wearing your bra put some Lanolin on your nipples. If you still have a lot of pain, try a nipple shield.
  15. The first days PP you will still feel little contractions every time you are breastfeeding. This is because the uterus is slowly shrinking back down to its pre-birth size.
  16. Breastfeeding is exhausting. The first days, you will need to feed your baby every three to four hours. This is in order to get your production going on. You wake up often because newborns normally sleep just a little. If you are lucky, your baby will sleep longer at night for a couple of days on. I wasn’t so lucky and my baby woke up every three hours (day and night!) to eat until she was around twelve weeks old.
  17. The lack of sleep and the hormones will make you think that you are crazy. You might wake up in the middle of the night and not remember if you already fed your baby or just dreamed it.
  18. Some nights you might be so tired you’ll consider letting your baby cry a little bit longer to wake up feeling like the worst mother in the world. Just remember it’s not you. It’s the lack of sleep talking. Consider asking for help so that you can catch up some sleep during the day.
  19. You will get hot. Not the good looking hot, but the one that makes you wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat.
  20. Your breast might leak while you are sleeping. Since you are already in a pool of sweat why not add more liquids to it, right?
  21. You won’t be able to sleep on your stomach for a couple of days or weeks PP. If (like me) this is what you miss the most while you’re being heavily pregnant, I have bad news. The first days PP it’s very painful to sleep on the stomach due to the engorged breasts. If you continue breastfeeding it stays uncomfortable to sleep on the stomach.
  22. If you got an episiotomy, around the fourth day PP, the stitches will hurt a lot. More than the days before. So much that you will wake up crying thinking that you can’t deal with this anymore. As soon as the stitches start healing they pull the skin together and this feels like a burning sensation. This pain will eventually go away. Make sure you put cold compresses and leave your wound aired.
  23. You might miss your pregnant belly and won’t be able to make the link to the baby and the missing the belly.
  24. You might not miss your pregnant belly and be the happiest person again. And that is totally fine. (My case 😉 )
  25. You might feel depressed and find this is too much for you to handle. This is totally normal. Try to recognize these feelings and ask for professional help.

 

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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

This list is made out of my postpartum experience. Remember that this is different for every woman. Don’t be freaked out by my list, but be prepared for some heavy days full of discomfort and pain. After the pain is gone and you can fully enjoy your new family it will feel like it was all worth it.

With Love,

Alisson

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