We couldn't wait to connect with Kayla Dene. This lovely lady who set up an artist collective (SLUSH) all about finding and living your passion soon followed by a Love Yourself Campaign, because let's face it, self love is hard. Kayla's journey is beautiful and we can't wait to share it with you.
How did your parenting journey start?
My parenting journey started after getting back from a road trip with my boyfriend. He was the one that told me “I think you're pregnant.” I shrugged it off until one day it hit me that I may actually be pregnant (lol. So I took two pregnancy test that same day. We just kind of looked at each other afterwards because we didn't know how to feel. The next morning we went to the doctor to confirmed. After confirmation I couldn't stop smiling! Like literally started planning a baby shower and picking names….
What were your expectations?
Wow, I really had no idea what to expect. I knew what everyone told me, but I didn't really feel anything myself. I felt all types of emotions. During my pregnancy I felt great, but I was told many horror stories during it (even at my baby shower) that I was just nervous and so ready to have my baby. It's crazy the stories people told me, even after I asked them not too. They had me terrified! I was ready to just have her in my arms, knowing she is safe. Then the day I had her I realized everything my parents ever told me. I then understood why they were “strict.” I couldn't let myself sleep for the first month because I wanted to watch her at all times.
How do you feel about those expectations now?
After 8 months with my baby girl, I see that every baby truly is different. Everyone hits me with advice, but not all of it can pertain to my daughter because she is different. Every baby sleeps, eats, and acts differently so it's all about just learning my daughter. I no longer Google… ok maybe just not as much but it's gotten better.
What has been the easiest part (or parts)?
Seeing her smile. Riley Blake can throw a fit, but smile afterwards and I instantly feel happy. Her laugh and smile change everything for me.
Where have you struggled the most?
I have struggled with not listening to everyone else. When we go out and she cries, I instantly try rushing out because I am afraid of what others may feel from her crying. Then when I visit family and they all tell me how to raise my daughter, I get super frustrated. It has been hard to respectfully decline unasked parenting advice, attention from strangers, and staying calm when Riley throws a fit in public.
Have you always felt supported?
Totally! At first I wouldn't really let myself feel supported because I never wanted anyone to think I was putting my daughter off on them, but as soon as I started saying yes to help I felt so much better. My family has been so amazing.
What helps you get through the tough days?
Still trying to figure this out. I had a tough day recently at the airport. Riley Blake already throws tantrums. Like literally pushes herself back and screams…. at eight months old. Well, she was doing this at the airport and during the whole plane ride while we sat in the middle seat. It was very hard and I didn't have my bf/her dad with us to help. During that moment I kept reminding myself to stay calm, but boy I was so ready to get off that plane and back with dada!
What makes you smile?
When my daughter is happy I smile. When she is peacefully sleeping, I smile. When she is doing something new, I smile one of those big cheesy smiles! When she falls asleep in my arms, I smile. When she gives me kisses, I smile like no other.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to add that there is always a new day. Some days are out right cray cray, but other days are the best thing ever. Remembering that although I may be alone physically in certain moments, I know there's a crew of other moms or dads who have just as crazy, if not crazier days yet they still get through it. It is all so worth it!
Kayla Dene is an advocate of self love and shares how to live life through love and passion in order to inspire, encourage and connect. You can follow more of Kayla Dene's beautiful journey over on her website by clicking here. She can also be found on FB, IG and Twitter.