Choice, Empowerment

How to Enjoy Life When it’s Hard

I know personally, I had a pretty rough couple of days before my weekend. I just felt super down and in a funk. There’s things in life that I just wish I was “further ahead” in and when I don’t feel that way, I can get really discouraged.

Discouraged that:

  • We don’t have more money
  • Student loans still exist
  • Haven’t lost every bit of baby weight — it’s starting to just be “me”
  • Don’t own a home yet — we are (pause) RENTERS

It sounds so petty, but you know those moments where you just feel like you aren’t “there” yet, wherever “there” is, so you get yourself into a mental tailspin? I mean there’s more than enough things to be grateful for:

  • Living in the USA
  • Having a healthy family — having A family
  • A nice place to live
  • Two full-time jobs
  • Health insurance
  • Food, clothes, indoor pluming…

But yet, we all desire PROGRESS. We all want to know that we are getting somewhere and that our efforts aren’t for nothing. And you know what I think? I think we do see progress every day. But maybe it’s not the massive changes we are looking for. We lose a couple pounds a month, not 10 in one week. We pay off a bill every month or two months, it’s not all gone immediately. We make progress in our day to day struggles. And that’s totally okay.

Maybe we should start making a bigger deal out of our accomplishments. When we lose that weight, celebrate! Paid off your student loans? You go girl! Rented a new place while you save for a house? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Go out and get some coffee and celebrate the wins! It’s the best way to beat the “funk.”

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Choice, Personal Development

The Pressure to Grow a Family

Right after you have a new baby, it feels like seconds later, well-meaning people want to know… “So, when are you have your next baby?” I really couldn’t believe it. I was still in stitches (not the good kind) and hearing some interesting verbiage regarding our new little family, assuming it would thus continue to grow. And I know — no one means anything wrong by this, and we are becoming increasingly more “touchy” as a society. But it does deserve a pause and to understand why the question gets asked.

I myself, before having had my first child, figured I’d have more than one — it just seemed like the American thing to do. White picket fence, one dog, two kids, and a husband, right? Well, that was before I actually was a mom. I didn’t know what was involved in being a parent, the work, the sacrifice and the dedication. It’s more involved than just “looking the part” or posing for a family Christmas card, so everyone can see, how perfect you are. No. It’s the tiredness, the late nights working, and the drives to work with a less than happy passenger.

I’ve heard people say to just have all your kids close together so that you “get it out of the way”. I’ve also heard it said that you should space them out so that you aren’t paying for two daycares at once. But I think here’s a problem with motherhood. If you’re just having more kids because someone else wants you to, or you think it’s just the next thing to “cross off your list”, that’s not fair to you or your family.

Having more children is personal and individualized. If you know in your heart, you want a growing career and one child is enough to fill your heart, I think that should be allowed. And if you are the mom who delights in the idea and the happy mayhem of many children, you should also have no retribution from others. You are both right. What’s right for one person, may not be right for another — and that should be okay.

I used to feel pressure to have a bigger family, because it was the right thing to do, “be fruitful and multiply”, all that jazz. But I don’t want to do something because of the pressure of others ideas or because I’m trying to get something “done”? A family, and life, it’s not a to-do list, it’s not a rush. It’s a cup of tea, to be enjoyed, and to be lived. I enjoy my little buddy, every day. I sniff his hair, cuddle him close, and enjoy his life and that he’s ours.

Live the life you designed, and don’t feel guilt or shame of the decisions you make for your family. They are yours alone to make.

 

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