Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

📣A “Day-Off Work” For A Mom 📣

I woke up around 5:45 a.m. and considered if I should get up right away, or enjoy the silence and my cozy bed. But I knew I had things to do, so I put my feet on the floor, grabbed the baby monitor and my phone.
 
.
 
First things first, I brewed the coffee for the morning and read a morning devotional. I thanked God for the day and asked for help.
 
.
 
Once I was done with my morning quiet time, I got to work. I first checked the monitor to verify Chase was not yet up… yes I still have time, I thought.
 
.
 
I bent down to pick up socks on the floor for what seemed to be, the hundredth time. They were adult sized and not mine. After I was done picking up jeans, socks, and unloading the dishwasher, the dryer stopped spinning with Chase’s clean sheets. He was sleeping on a blanket on his mattress pad because I just hadn’t gotten to it sooner… another “mom fail”.
 
.
 
I went to sort through a pile of bills — some to be paid, some to be paid “later”. After folding the laundry and running the dishwasher, I heard some angry noises on the monitor and went to get Chase. He sat up in bed looking at me with the biggest puppy-dog eyes. I picked him up and he snuggled to my neck. I appreciated the moment and breathed in the baby smell, and maybe some poop. We changed his diaper and gave him a bottle to play on the floor of his room. And I went back to work.
 
.
 
I made the beds, swept the floor, and got out the vacuum… I looked under the couch and found an old bottle of Chase’s and wondered how that got there? I folded clothes and put them away. By this time, Chase was annoyed he wasn’t getting any attention and I went to him. Did I eat this morning, I thought? Did I shower? I hadn’t but I couldn’t remember. I played with Chase and put him down for a nap.
 
.
 
While he napped I tried to: shower, eat, read an entire book I meant to finish two weeks ago, work and watch re-runs on Hulu. I accomplished hardly any of those things.
 
.
 
That night while my husband worked the night-shift and Chase was in bed, I cried. I was tired, burnt out and feeling so neglected. Because I was. But I’m a mom, and you are too. And we do “all the things”. Anything that needs to be done we do. There is nothing too gross or too hard that doesn’t somehow get thrown into our “job description”. We just do it. We’re tired, hungry, a bit cranky, and even lonely. But we do it.
 
.
 
And I want to take this post not to offer a solution. Not a top 5 list to make it better. But to just LISTEN. 🌺😊
 
.
 
So if you’re a mom, and this is your experience, like it, share it, or comment your mom moments below. ⤵️
Advertisements
Fun, New Motherhood

The Day I Took A Shower — Childless

Today I had the pleasure of getting Election Day off from work. However, I still kept on my childcare for today so I could enjoy the day a little more fully. Any other moms understand? You love your little people, but it’s not truly a “day off” with them at your heels all day.

What did I do with my day off you ask? Well I’ll tell you. My most memorable and best part of my day was getting into the shower in peace. There wasn’t a little person protesting in the next room that I wasn’t playing with him. I went in, I could shave both of my legs (wow!) AND rinse all of the shampoo from my hair without pretending there was a water shortage.

It’s amazing how we moms suddenly appreciate all the little “freedoms” everyday now versus pre-baby. Taking a shower in peace, getting your laundry put away without your son taking it back out the drawers, or simply unloading groceries without a baby carrier…

And I’ll tell you moms, when I got out of that shower and put on my robe, I felt like a million bucks. I couldn’t believe how much good that time was for me. My brain felt lighter, my body felt renewed, and I was super peaceful.

If you have the chance to get someone to regularly take the kiddos for a day here and there, do it. Because the crying, the wiping the noses, the poopy diapers — they wear on us. And we so desperately need that shower moment. To jump in and take the day to decompress and find ourselves again. To remember who we are and blow off the steam and anxiety.

So do it.  Call up Grandma, Grandpa, or the family friend. Set it on the calendar if you have to. And take your shower, paint your nails, see your girlfriends — without your kiddos. You’ll feel like a much better mom when you do. Trust me.

Photo Credit

Growth, Reading

What I’m Reading & You Should Too

Nothing makes me want to read [or take  a nap] more than a rainy fall day. And with the weather being so perfect for sweaters, apple pie, and warm coffee, what’s better than to snuggle up with a great read.

Here are some books that I’m working on or have just completed. I hope  you consider checking some of them out for yourself.

  1.  Settle For More. With all the controversy regarding Trump and herself, I just had to check it out. I felt that the beginning was really solid and I could connect with her story. Toward the end I wasn’t so sure what I thought. But the general message of the book I appreciated and felt like I was maybe more informed for reading.
  2. Boundaries. This book I picked up because I had heard it advertised by Dave Ramsey the money guru. Since having a tumultuous upbringing, I wanted to read something that might help me improve my current relationships and realize why some people are the way that we are. I also have issues saying no to others, and this book teaches us how. Highly recommend.
  3. Do Over. Jon is hilarious. He is the kind of author that can make the truth sound so funny in such a non corny way. He’s genuine and down to earth but also talks about what is necessary to get a job doing what you love and living in your purpose. Loved it.
  4.  And The Good News Is… .Working in the New York State Legislature, I really wanted to read a book based on the ins and outs of working in the White House. Dana does just that. But she also paints the picture of the American Dream and how a small-town girl from Wyoming can go to hold a high office position in the White House.

This piece contains affiliate links, to read my disclosure policy, click here.

 

News, Tragedy

Even Texas

As I’m sure you’ve heard, there was a mass shooting in Texas. It was in a Baptist Church, no less, nothing anyone ever wants to think about. It caused me to reminisce about Sunday mornings as a child with my family.

As a little girl going to Sunday service, I never really imagined the idea that some madman or woman could walk into a church and inflict murder. I knew we had a security system but other than that, I always felt relatively safe. It was a place where families gathered and most of my first friendships formed — it was a loving community and safe.

Nearly twenty years later, I don’t have that same feeling. I see the guarded police at the door and the entrance of our house of worship, and I wonder if he’s there for more than just “directing traffic”. I know that they are there for the potential of much more… and I hang my head at the somber reality.

But this morning, after hearing the news of Texas, was eerily different. I stood during the service and had the same fleeting thought I usually have nowadays. What if a killer opens fire in here? What will I do? Drop to the floor? Run to the nursery for Chase? Run with Greg to the exits? I find it so uncanny that this thought plagued my soul this morning, where shortly after many were shot in the south.

After the numbing effects of tragedy after tragedy, I think we have two choices. We can either become obsessed with how horrific this world has gotten and discuss it at length, feeling worse about ourselves and the situation. The second choice is to understand the limits of our own humanity. We are only flesh and blood, sent with a purpose in this life. To become obsessed and bitter doesn’t help us live a fuller life nor does it fulfill our purpose.

The pulsating sound of a bullet, and the image of dropping to the ground should be our every morning thought.

If I die today, can I say I’m at peace? At peace with God, with my family, with myself?  The realization of our finite existence should provoke us to live with the end in mind.

Photo Credit

LifeHacks, Self Help

What I Do To Stop Always “Hurrying”

There I was, sitting in rush-hour traffic and waiting for the light to turn GREEN so I could merge over the the left. If you know me, you’d know I’m usually calm and don’t get too upset about traffic. But today, it was different. I found myself talking out-loud, “Umm… lady, you see my blinker you see I have to merge! What’s the face for?” I really couldn’t believe how angry I was. After we all merged and I got behind her car, I followed a little more closely, and had to check myself. What has gotten into you? It’s just traffic, it’s not the end of the world. 

I’m the kind of person who always has a to-do list. The kind of person who, plans, organizes, and wants things done. But when I cram my schedule so full, I become another person. When I place the importance of my “list” higher than my peace that day, I always lose. And maybe this has happened to you too. Where you just want to get things done that you lose your cool, you snap, and turn into a totally different person.

So here are some practical tips to keeping your peace while you need to get things done:

  1. You create your schedule. Sometimes you need to figure out what you need to do versus what you or others place on you to do. Your schedule is your own. If there is no “down time” and it’s a constant frenetic pace, you’ll eventually burn out.
  2. Outsourcing, it’s not just for businesses. If you can have some family or friends do some of the things with the kids or help with some cooking or laundry, let them. And if you have the means to pay a part-time housekeeper, do it. It’s worth your sanity.
  3. Not all meals need to be chef quality. While I firmly believe in a healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean your meals need to be they way Grandma did Thanksgiving. A can of soup with a dinner roll or a tuna or chicken wrap on the go is just fine.
  4. Your [mom] friends get it. When I’m overwhelmed or having a rough time, many times I’ll call or message one of my girlfriends who have been through this motherhood thing. Because they totally get it. They understand the exhaustion and the work. And you don’t realize just how much you need them until you’ve reached this point in your new mom world. But just talking and laughing with them, can be such medicine to your soul.
  5. Proper, prior preparation — makes for perfect presentation. I remember my Uncle Dave saying that to us as kids in a funny way, but it is true. There’s some level of preparing ahead that makes the unexpected in life more manageable. Using time that you might be spending online to pack lunches the night before, or using your lunch break to take a walk to get in your exercise so you don’t “miss it again”, can be huge. Use that time wisely to prepare for those things you know will have to get done. It will cut down on the Monday morning mayhem — always.

Your peace and your sanity is important. You can’t enjoy your family, your work, or your home without being peaceful and calm. When you constantly feel like one wrong thing is going to “send you over the edge” (and I’ve been there), you’re not a pleasant person and you don’t feel great either.

Learn yourself and what sets you off. Learn the things that bother you and tick you off. If it’s being late, maybe tip #5 of preparing ahead is for you. If it’s feeling lonely or overwhelmed maybe #4 and your friends are going to be your biggest support. Whatever it is, take care of you. And keep your peace.

 

Family, Growth, New Motherhood

For the Mom Who Misses Her Freedom

I sat in the nursery, looking at the blank walls and the sleeping baby in the crib. I saw all the mess on the floor from clothes tags that had been ripped in a hurry, to an empty formula bottle. And I sat on the rocker in a state of complete exhaustion.

As I sat there, I looked at my precious boy in the crib, in his napper. He was swaddled sweetly, sleep peacefully, breathing to a hypnotic rhythm. All the beauty around me, a beautiful mess, if  you will, and I felt horrible. IMG_1340

I wouldn’t call it post-par tum depression. I wouldn’t call it baby blues. But it was this deep and knowing feeling that my life, as I knew it, was over. It was the death of the old me, very much like marriage, and the birth of something new, a new life.

In that moment, that moment of feeling upset about all the changes, I felt guilty too. Shouldn’t I be so in awe of my baby that it doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t I be so in love with him and our new life that I’m overwhelmed with happiness? The thoughts of how I should have felt caused me to feel guilty.

Sitting there, I’d think about how my life was now reduced to feeding and nap schedules. I couldn’t just go on a date with my spouse without having a sitter lined up. I couldn’t just get in the car and get groceries without carrying what seemed like 10 million bags and bottles. The simple ways that my life had changed began to suffocate me, as this realization dawned on me all at once.

I think it’s fair to say that when you’re expecting, you’re super excited and maybe a little anxious. Everyone tells you to enjoy it, and how quickly it’ll all pass away. But no one really preps you for the insane amount of change that will hit you. all. at. once.

Once the epidural of the “in love” baby phase wears away, and the sleep-deprived coma sets in, don’t be shocked to hear yourself say, “What have I done?”.

And moms, it’s okay to feel that way. I’d venture to guess we have all thought or said the same thing. It’s totally normal, and it will wear off, just like the “in love” baby phase. There’s so many great adventures waiting you and your baby, and it’s healthy to allow yourself to feel upset or disappointed from time to time. Sometimes phoning a fellow mom friend or getting out for a girls day can really help. But don’t allow yourself to think what you’re feeling is wrong or selfish. It’s all changing and all normal.

For more articles like this click here: —->http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb

Health, New Motherhood, Wellness

How to Love Your Body Again, After Baby

I remember the one thing I told myself when I had my son. I will do my best to stay healthy, I don’t want stretch marks, and I will NOT have a C-section. All the things I told myself because I didn’t want to “lose” the body I had grown to be so comfortable in. However, as new moms, we really don’t get the choice of what we look like post- baby.

I was waking up in the OR after having Chase. We had to have an emergency C-section due to some complications. I felt relieved to have my baby, but I knew I had been cut open and feared what my scar would look like.

  • Will I ever feel the same?
  • Will I ever get to wear a bikini again or to look “normal” again?
  • Will my body “bounce back” or be less squishy?

Some women give birth, and they immediately look like nothing happened. I can tell you that that was not my experience, nor is it the experience of most. While I was very healthy before delivery, my body had been through Hell. I looked like I had been mowed over back a Mack truck. I couldn’t bend because of my stitches or use the bathroom. I was pretty stationary for a while. I longed to hold my new son, but I also longed to be “me” again.

I think this issue of loving our bodies goes deeper than the scale. You’ve been in your body for a long time, you’ve grown comfortable in your own skin. Until pregnancy comes, and everything changes. Suddenly you’re forced to make peace with a whole new body.

These are my tips to trying to love your body again, after your baby:

  1. First, take the necessary time to heal. Don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle. Enjoy a cup of tea when you feel weepy — your hormones have been all over the place and it’s completely understandable that you may feel “off” for a while. Enjoy some Netflix and quiet times with your baby. Focus on healing — that’s first.
  2. Once you feel yourself again and heal (and have doctor approval), try to start walking your baby with the stroller. It usually feels impossible to leave the house at the beginning, there’s just so. much. stuff. But invest in a great walking/jogging stroller.
  3. Accept the things that are different and love the things that make you proud. I know when I had Chase my stomach line separated a little, diastasis recti. Even when I lost most of the weight, I noticed my stomachs width was wider. But I also got very strong arms. I carry a baby and his essentials and I became so strong. And so have you, and so will you.
  4. Give yourself permission to feel less than perfect.
  5. Once you’re ready to lose the weight, and have talked to your doctor, refer to my pots on Losing the Baby Weight.

While facing that your body isn’t quite the same, it’s also true that it’s not “destroyed”. By eating right and exercising, a lot of the changes, they disappear over time. The platitude that “you’re awesome and just gave life” didn’t really work for me. I wanted to love myself and my son. So I focused on what I could control and how I could feel good about myself again. And so can you.

It is possible to love your body again, in time.

Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

My Biggest Pet-Peeve: “Mom Brain”

Here it is everyone… One of my most detested phrases of all time.

“Don’t worry, Betty. You just have “mom brain.”

_____

Let me explain why that makes me super annoyed, and probably may annoy you too. Let’s face it, before becoming a mom, no one really understands or appreciates just how much they do. It’s not until you wake up at 3 a.m. with a screaming child that you really understand “motherhood”.

______

Yet those who use the term “mom brain” are usually not mothers at all, not even close.

______

For those who don’t know what moms do, let me just explain what happens in their brains, all day long. You know how the credits play at the end of a movie? Well imagine that happening in your head. all. day. long. Yup — that’s what happens for us mothers. It’s a litany of lists that never ends. Only there’s no fun music in the background.

______

Odds are, that every single day, a mother is doing the following:

-working full-time outside the home
-picking up and dropping off children
-driving home with a screaming child
-wiping butts that aren’t her own
-calling the insurance company
-cooking meals
-assuring Verizon wireless that the bill was sent
-calling spectrum to reset the modem
-emailing her colleagues
-laundry…laundry…more laundry…

And … so much more.

______

If any other “non-mom” human was responsible for the amount of things that moms have in their charge, they’d be given an award. No other person is required or expected to “have it all together”. But somehow moms are… because they term “mom brain” exists.

______

So maybe next time you hear the term, you’ll understand why these ladies deserve something better. They do more than anyone else and outwork even the best of employees.

_____

Moms are superheros, rock-stars, and they deserve way more slack than is given.

Who’s with me?

#nomombrain #momsrock

For more articles like this click here: —->http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb

Faith, News, Tragedy

Terror in NYC — Again.

Terror ripped through Manhattan yesterday –literally– and I’m less than stunned. Terror seems to become more common place these days — a cyclical pattern, similar to the weather. It is the “hurricane season” that never really goes away. And every time it blows it’s howling winds through our country, we all feel a little less of it’s destruction. Regular terrorism is a poison that is it’s own anesthetic.

I’ve watched the television screens before and thought, “Thank God it’s not me.” It’s selfish, but I take a moment to distance myself from the event. Maybe you feel that same. The Boston Marathon bombing, the attacks in Paris, the concert in Las Vegas… “Not me.” I’m still struck with the sadness for those who fell victim, but out of the interest of self-preservation, I’m grateful that my friends and family made it out of “this one.” But yet– there’s still that nagging reality that hits and makes you realize, even you aren’t invincible.

Post-attack, sentiments like “what is this world coming to?” and “wow, how horrible to raise our babies in this?” And I understand those thoughts — I have many times thought the same.

This is when I remember we are on Earth and it is imperfect. As real as good is on the Earth, so is evil. I don’t believe it will ever truly go away, that’s what Heaven is for and our souls long for it. But this Earth is flawed, as is humanity. But the awesome news is that good always wins. Maybe that’s what we need to tell each other.

Good always wins.

We may not see it right now and it may look like all there is in our world is destruction. But evil won’t persist forever. The things that are wrong will be made right. And those who are responsible will have a Judge to decide their fate.

And good always wins.

For more posts like this follow —>http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb

Photo Credit

Empowerment, Struggle, Work Freedom

There’s No “LinkedIn” For Moms

Moms have a super tough job. There’s no on-boarding process, there’s no manager to tell you if you’re doing it right, and everyone is a critic. It’s all volunteer, you won’t be paid. You don’t go to get a four year degree to help you understand your new job, and there’s no prior job-skill experience for motherhood. It is something that we choose and then the weight of it gets thrust upon us in our most vulnerable moments. It is a thankless job and one that never really gets the credit from society that it deserves. Why is that?

As a mom, I struggle with the fact that there is no concrete tangible reward for what I do. When I go to work, if I do a good job, perform well, and put in the effort, I will most likely move up and be promoted. I will maybe even get a raise. My superiors might even tell me that I handled a situation well — there would be appreciation and thanks. But when I’m at home and clean up a dirty diaper, there’s no fanfare. When I finish what seems like the 100th load of laundry, no one is doing “the wave”. It’s simply expected as, “this is what you do”, “this is motherhood”.

In the working and professional world, we have something called LinkedIn. It’s a great networking tool that helps other professionals to connect and observe others’ skills. They can list all the places they have worked, projects they have been involved in, and recommend others for certain positions. But there is NO LinkedIn for motherhood. In a world where accomplishment and professionalism is so celebrated, why is it that one of the most tough and necessary jobs gets little to no recognition?

I think sometimes this is why moms have a hard time. They have a hard time staying home or working because they never feel like they are truly enough. The world says you need an impressive LinkedIn profile, you need ten degrees and glowing recommendations. So we find ourselves tired, burnt out, and feeling inadequate.

What’s the solution? How do we get the recognition we crave while also not neglecting our roles as mom/wife/employee? I think we start by making ourselves happy first. I think we start by understanding we are enough as we are. I think we start by recognizing our own self worth and letting the world see how necessary we are. I think when we start believing we are impressive, society will join us. By filling our cup, we can then show others our dexterity.

Photo Credit