Family, Mom Life

Learning to Let Go

I swore I’d never be “one of those moms”. You know, one of the ones that gets upset when their kids go away or aren’t with her. The one who will have perfect balance instead. I thought I was immune to missing my child. But truth is, none of us are.

So today I pack my baby’s bag for a week to spend with Grandma. It’s great that family wants to help, it’s great that we have some family still around. But yet, it doesn’t feel like a vacation, it doesn’t feel like a “break”. It feels, at least initially, like my heart is ripping out. Because for all the blow-out diapers, for all the food spilled and the sleep lost, I wouldn’t trade in my little guy for anything. His giggles, his farts, the way he snores like an old man when he sleeps, I’ll miss it… for the next week, I’ll miss it. And mamas, that’s okay.

Our day in and day out routines are filled with many things, but it all really revolves around raising these little people. We are responsible for these little humans all the time. It’s a hard switch to turn it off, for me at least, probably you too. It’s a paradox; I want a break, but I want my baby too. But sometimes letting go and getting some time to ourselves, once we cry a bit, is a good thing.

So here’s what I do to make it easier:

  1. We meet during the day so it’s not super heart-wrenching.

I found it really hard to wake my baby in the night to go into a family member’s car and drive away. It felt like someone was taking our baby. I know it wasn’t the case, but it felt that way. So if you have to be away from your little people for work, or so they can see family and you can’t come along, do it during the daylight hours so it feels less gut-churning.

2. We meet in a place that’s not a home, a restaurant or a store.

When we met at our home, it felt like someone was taking him from us, yet again. Meeting somewhere felt like we were going to an outing and would “see him later”.

3. We make plans for the next week so we distract ourselves with being, primarily, a couple again.

Sometimes looking forward to the non-baby activities you can now do, is a great way to distract yourself. We found planning a dinner date, going to the movies or doing something else, really helped us to reconnect and feel less upset.

4. If you’re not ready, it’s okay.

And most importantly, if you’re not ready, you’re just not ready. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your kids around. Or perhaps, they have a shorter trip to visit family. Sometimes, that’s a good way to ease into it. I know there was a time where I really wasn’t ready, but I didn’t want to disappoint family members. But mamas, that’s not okay. It’s you and your baby and your spouse FIRST. The family has to work around you guys. Sometimes that involves using a confrontational word. No. But it’s your new family, your new schedules, your feelings. Ya’ll come first. Listen to your instincts.

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Mom Life, Personal Development

If We’re Being Honest…

If we’re being real, we all lie to people in our lives more than we realize.

  • We say that we can go to a meeting, when we really don’t want to.
  • We offer services and help to friends when we know we really can’t.
  • Sometimes we say we think our friend or family member has a great idea, when we think it’s horrible.

As women, as moms, we do a lot of “white lying”, trying to please other people.

Well you say, wait, that’s not really lying… I’m just protecting someone’s feelings.

Whatever the reason may be, if we aren’t being honest with others, we aren’t really being honest with ourselves.

Let me explain.

We want to make everyone happy. We want to avoid confrontation, and we desperately want to be liked and accepted. So that desire to feel comfort and conflict-free makes us sign up for obligations that we have no business or time to do/fulfill. It may just be something you don’t want to do. Later on, we become resentful at those with whom we’ve set up said obligation with. Because all we wanted was to say, “no” but because we didn’t do that we are now rotting inside and feel horrible.

Instead of committing to things we can’t commit to, or telling others what we know will make them feel good, we have to start being more proactive. We have to protect ourselves and say no.

There’s nice ways to do it, but to fear others responses to our boundaries, just isn’t an acceptable excuse anymore.

Because if we are being honest, we haven’t been being honest with ourselves. And that’s just about the worst feeling of all.

Impact, Mom Life, Personal Development, Self Help

The Little Changes Add Up

I think as moms, wives, women, people, we assume that if we can’t “eat the whole elephant” or accomplish the big goal all at once, then we have somehow failed. It’s not true. The true wins are in the everyday, the ordinary, the habits we form daily. I don’t think we are supposed to have “made it” quite so quickly. It’s the little tweaks, the small improvements and corrections that really make the biggest differences.

I may not have time to run five miles a day but I can walk before work.
I may not have time to spend with my baby all day but I can spend two hours of focused moments after work.
I may not have time to travel where I’d like to right now but I can go on a trail I’ve never been to.
I may not have time to do lunch with my relatives but I can give them a call to check in.
I may not have time to get my masters but I can read every night.
I may not be able to give millions to disaster relief but I can give something.

It’s so not about my limitations, it’s about doing what I can do, enjoying what I do have, and being who I can be.

Awareness, Family, Female Entrepreneurs, Mom Life, Persevere

Best Days

“Oh, honey… enjoy this. These are the best days of your life.” Falser words could not have come flowing from anyone’s lips than these did when they hit my ears. And yet I heard this, all. the. time. My ears still ring when I think about it. Talk to any new mom, any mom at all, and tell her how awesome new motherhood is, go ahead, I dare ya. Then just watch her face. I promise you, if she’s anything like me, she’ll twitch. And I hear ya, these well meaning folks, they want you to treasure your time and your family. But statements like these, feel about as awkward to me as putting on last years’ bathing suit.

I guess what bothers me most about the sentiment is how dishonest it is. New moms hear a lot of weird garbage if we’re being real, and we are pretty thick skinned. After all, we did go through 9 months of beyond awkwardness and unwanted belly-touching. But to have a place of candor to talk about how weird it all is, really refreshes me and maybe you too. When I think about the truth of new motherhood–I think of massive changes. Every change that could possibly happen, your marriage, your money, your work, your friendships, your body,  your home, your career… it is ALL different. You wonder if you’re doing it right, you wonder if you’re co-workers will think less of you, if you’ll get fired, if your spouse still feels the same way, if you’ll lose those final and stubborn 10 pounds of baby weight… it just keeps going. And all day, every day, there’s a television screen in your mind just swirling with all the changes and things you need to do. And when we tell that same mom who underwent massive changes in such a short period of time, the woman who can’t remember if she brushed her teeth today or who just cleaned up a massive blowout diaper in her car on the way to work, “These are the best days…” no wonder she doesn’t get it — she’s a finalist in the series of Survivor. She’s the zookeeper to the animals– making sure they stay safe and no one throws any poop.12141658_1026342174076669_3828444627179536575_n

So in the spirit of being truthful, tell her something different perhaps. Say something like, “It’s hard to be a new mom–I remember, but it will be worth it,” or maybe, “Is there something I can do to help?” Better yet, ask to get her some coffee. Because when you’re brand new to all of this change, and it hits you like a truck full of bricks, all you really want is to be understood and for some genuine heart-felt help.