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Motherhood

    “you have a…….beautiful body mommy”

    mini said this as she watched me shove my stomach into my jeans. yes, after having two babies, i now “shove” my stomach into things.

    this wasn’t what she wanted to say and i could tell by the look she gave me that her thoughts of mommy’s body were a little less than the beauty that she spoke of but my little miniature self has been working on her tact and what she came up with was beautiful. i initially wanted to be hurt. i’m dealing with some of my own issues having to do with seeing my body as being beautiful after the birth of my second daughter. things just aren’t quite the same. i’m a work in progress though.

    instead of being hurt and showing my little sponge the self-conscious nature that little girls are taught to have about their bodies, i said “yes, mommy’s body is beautiful. i have birthed two of the most beautiful little girls and have managed to sustain them with my body as well. it is beautiful.” and this is the truth. my body, though not what it was last year or last decade, is beautiful nonetheless.

    in a world where body shaming women is sport, it’s really hard to look in the mirror and see my body for it’s worth. i have curves, though some of my curves have curves. and in all honesty, i love my shape. i just wish i could do some fine tuning on it. suck some fat out here, there, well….everywhere. but it’s not a bad body. it’s not one that shows my battles with a pretty hush hush eating disorder when i was 12. it’s survived being abused twice. the evidence of heartbreak isn’t there. nor does it show my chronic injuries because i’m the second clumsiest person i know (mini being the first… she gets it from her mama).

    but it does have a road map of life on it. i have marks that show the parts of me that spread during puberty at 11. my stomach shows the evidence that i created life within my womb. my boobs aren’t nearly as perky since this is the first thing that your babies don’t put back in place after nurturing them. and i’m soft. i’ve snuggled many babies to sleep–two of them my own. my arms are jiggly but strong. they’ve picked me up when i’ve fallen, hugged my mini so tight she’s forgotten the pain, and held on to others so they’re reminded they are never alone. my “thunder thighs” could use some firming up but they have a strength of their own. they’ve kept me moving when all i wanted to do is sit still and mourn.

    my body is not that of a super model but i’m learning to see it as beautiful.

    Moms cry

    Like a lot.

    I think I cry more now than I ever did as a child. That may be an exaggeration as I sit here trying to hold my tears in now.

    Raising a preschooler is hard. Raising one while having an infant and fresh marriage is even harder. Everyone says that they’re at the age of testing limits and learning boundaries. Well I’m convinced mine just isn’t learning and I’m at my wits end.

    My mom thinks that the cure is to just send her to her. No. That’s not the answer. She needs to learn to have some sense–here and I’m not giving my child to someone else to raise. That just doesn’t make sense though after tonight, I’m giving it a second thought.

    Yesterday was a decent day. She was great up until she got sleepy and needed a nap. Her thing now is that she doesn’t want to take naps and our afternoons/evenings are hell because of it. She loses control over her mouth and body. It’s the craziest thing. And no, it’s not because she needs more exercise. She runs and plays and it just hypes her up even more.

    While yesterday she was a star child for the most part, today she was an embarrassment. At church she was reckless then I had D take her to the fresh beat band concert where apparently she was even worse. Then after D had given her some directions to go to bed she decided to try and break loose and run. Where? I have no clue.

    She acts out and I feel like the terrible mom. I’m sitting her trying to figure out where I went wrong. I took no drugs when having her, she was breastfed then put on organic baby food, I did the conservative immunization schedule. And still, she acts like she’s got no fucking sense when I know she has it!!!! She’s the best big sister, has a great sense of humor and is so smart. She’s got the greatest smile and is an awesome helper. But I just can’t for the life of me understand why she chooses this behavior.

    Am I a bad mom? Is this normal?

    i’m back at work

    hence my lack of writing.

    instead of writing and really fine tuning my craft, i opted to spend time snuggling with my baby before i returned to work. it’s been 2 days and i think we’re good. i haven’t freaked out–well, outside of the first time i left her and i cried till i got to starbucks and then cried a little in my coffee before going off to enjoy chaperoning mini’s field trip.

    but i want to be “that” mom. you know, the one that goes on the field trips, comes to the school parties, and does all that stuff that involved moms do. i want to be an involved mom. more importantly, when i’m not being an involved mom, i want to be doing something that i love.

    what does that look like right? welp, at 31 i finally know what i want to be when i grow up–a writer and motivational speaker of sorts. i have a message. i figured out what it was. i have an audience. multiple ones in fact. i have the drive, now more than ever. i’m going to make it happen.

    i had a great conversation with a mentor about how to get these things started. being back at work is just the start. i’m going to make this work for me so that i’m no longer working on someone else’s schedule outside of my own. i’m excited for things to come!!!

    friday funny: the thing baby abc doesn’t have time for

    my husband and i working on our connection.

    yep, abc made this perfectly clear last night. what do i mean right?

    backstory: i believe in most of the principles of attachment parenting. this was an easy philosophy to adopt when i was a single mother. i would wear mini all.the.time. she slept with me until she was 1–like literally her first birthday was the first time she slept in a different room than me. so naturally with baby abc i’ve been going the same route. but things are a little different because i’m not single and i’m newly married. the hubs and i still have some newly wed bonding to do!

    current story: i’ve been working on getting baby abc to sleep on her own. she is probably the inventor of snuggling. she takes expert snuggling to the next level so getting her to sleep in her own space on her own is a challenge. this should really be read as mommy loves snuggling with her baby and isn’t 100% ready to have her sleeping on her own. i digress…

    last night we did our nightly routine: she screams and hollers at me and her boob till she finally calms down and lets the effects of nursing and snuggles take place. i put her into her co-sleeper next to bed. boom. she’s sleeping wonderfully. the hubs comes upstairs–i was getting my thursday night tv fix– and we snuggle, have pillow chat and really connect. it was great to just have some alone time with my husband! so great that we stayed up till her first nursing talking. but this was good! i nursed her, put her back in her co-sleeper, the hubs and i snuggled up and finally fell asleep around 12:30.

    here’s where i messed up……. abc starting rustling to nurse again around 4ish. i was half sleep and kinda woke her up when i put her in the bed to nurse. she latches, i fall back to sleep, she doesn’t. i wake up horrified as she begins boxing my nipple. major ouch. and then she wouldn’t go back to sleep! she was looking at me all cute and bright eyed with a look that said “i don’t give a single damb about you and daddy reconnecting!!! get your lazy butt up and rock me to sleep”.

    and i did.

    she had no regard for me trying to bond with my man… the nerve of her.

    i don’t want to go back to work

    i think that most new moms battle with this feeling. don’t get me wrong, i’m extremely grateful that i have a job to go back to. unlike after having mini, this time i actually have a source of income. i’m very happy that i don’t have to worry about how i’m going to pay for food, diapers, clothes, etc. but again, unlike after having mini, my mom isn’t going to be keeping abc.

    at the time, i really slept on the importance of having a family member–someone you trust–take care of your newborn child. now on the verge of having to send my newest baby into the arms of a potential stranger, i really appreciate having my mom and my network in myrtle beach keep mini until she was 7 months. at 7 months i wasn’t worried about her going to day care. i was grateful for it in fact. she went to school with the first baby she’d ever met, my friend’s son. i trusted them. it was good.

    this go round is very different. unfortunately we don’t have friends or family that could keep her for the first couple months of her life. and the anxiety is building about having to leave her. it’s not so much that i don’t want to go back to work. i like my job. i like the people i work with. in fact, they’re all parents and will understand if i’m mopey my first week back because i’m missing my baby like crazy. i’m tearing up now just thinking about it.

    i really want abc to go to the school that mini goes to. i love them. i trust them. my first born goes there and they love her, hug her, discipline her, and genuinely care about all the kids that go there. but you get what you pay for and believe that this school is an arm and a leg. it’s affordable, but expensive. there’s a “babysitter” that my co-worker uses that’s significantly cheaper that i’ll be calling on to check out soon but gosh, my anxiety is so high. i really don’t want to leave my baby with someone i don’t know and don’t know if i can trust.

    *le sigh* the joys of parenthood.

    sometimes being a mom sucks… and i guess that’s ok too

    i’m sitting here beating myself up because after a long week of talking back, screaming, crying, tantrums, and a smart mouth, i’ve finally lost my temper with mini. i feel guilty about my thoughts and it hit me that tonight i felt like it sucked being a mom. i’m not sure if this is ok because so often i read the FB status updates of “being a mother is the best job in the world” or “my child is so perfect/smart/charming/whatever” that i wonder if it’s just me and a handful other people who are having a smidge of trouble with these little people we’ve been assigned.

    i’ve decided that yes, motherhood is awesome but you know what? it sucks a lot of the time too. like when you’ve been battling with your 4.5 year old about bed time for the past week and on friday you finally lose your shit because you just want some adult time with your husband and you finally have the screaming baby asleep but is awakened because you’ve had to yell at the 4.5 year old about not being in their beds after they got tucked in. that sentence was the very definition of grammatically incorrect but i haven’t the energy to go back and re-write it because if you’re reading this, you’re probably a parent and totally understood what i was trying to say. i digress… sometimes parenting is awesome but it normally sucks ass right after a grandparent leaves.

    today was a particularly hard day. i’ve returned to working out which normally has my happy endorphin’s flowing but since this is my first week back, i’m a little sleepy with the early mornings. i had a great workout this morning. abc stayed in a nice slumber for me for the workout and a shower. we had a nice day surprising daddy at work with lunch and then kicking it with some of my work friends. i took a moment to pause from the things currently stressing me–where we’re going to send abc when i go back to work, how we’ll afford childcare and rent, if we should move or stay, if we move where do we move to, what’s going on with my STD payments, why haven’t i received my reimbursement for my dependent care, should we continue to switch banks, etc. There’s obviously a lot on my mind. but it was a nice day.

    which made it worse when i picked mini up and the meltdowns began. the first one was because she didn’t get to keep charlie the classroom stuffed animal for the weekend. they send the stuffed animal home with the kid and we’re all supposed to do these fun things, take lots of pictures, and look all happy. yay. she was really disappointed about not getting him and really let the waterworks flow once she got in the car. this i understood though i thought it was a little funny. i mean, she was really emotional about it. we talked through that one. then she had a full out tantrum when i told her that we wouldn’t be going to the disney store and buying any of the “dress ups” they have there. whenever she does this i always try to figure out who these tantrums work for. but we talked through this one as well. i felt good. she felt good.

    we get home. she’s bouncing off the walls. i settle her down. it’s now time for bed and shit hits the fan!!!! i really wish that she would just understand that life would be better if she would just listen. either way, i flipped my shit. she cried. i feel like a bad mom. and now the night is over.

    sometimes being a mom really does suck.

    play date fun

    when you become a parent, you learn that play dates are part of the plan. now, my oldest daughter has had plenty of “play dates”. i use this term loosely because they are dates in which my daughter played but they were with my friends and their kids. i don’t know if these qualify as official play dates because it was really just me hanging out with friends of mine that happened to have kids.

    but mini has a best friend at school. she has been wanting to have a play date with her forEVER. at a recent birthday party i finally exchanged information with the bff’s mom. while we were there we set up a tentative date. i went into a borderline catatonic state smiling and nodding. contrary to popular belief, i’m super shy and have a lot of trouble getting comfortable with new people.

    naturally i want her to have the play date. it’s great for her to play with more than just the kids of my friends. plus i really do want for her to have a best friend. i think all my friends i went to school with and i really do want her to have a friend that she’s made as a youngster and she grows with. but i don’t really know her mom. of course i’m open to getting to know her but it doesn’t seem like we really have much in common. she’s older than i am and definitely comes from a different background. i don’t want to just drop mini off with someone who’s a stranger to me. gah!

    of course i’m open to getting to know new people and have been anticipating this happening for sometime but sheesh, i guess i’d been putting off arranging play dates for so long that now i’ve got the anxiety! but i’m sure that everything will be fine and i’m fretting for nothing. i mean, these are both our first kids and we have that in common if nothing else. i absolutely cannot wait for mini to hang out with her friend and i’ll definitely be doing some research on getting to know people via google before then–don’t judge me!

    Having Two Kids: What They Don’t Tell You

    Having two kids was the most life changing event to date--not only for the good. There are so many things people just don't talk about. I did though.

    Let me start this post off by saying that 2 things:

    1. I love my girls and love being their mother.

    2. It’s taken an entire month to get to the place where i can finally put my finger on this to be able to share.

    It’s Scary In The Beginning

    Being a mom of two is scary in the beginning and no one really says that but that’s the truth and it’s ok. When I had mini, I was a little nervous but I’d been raising other people’s children for awhile. Things are very different when it’s your own but it wasn’t crazy. Having abc was a little different because my situation was different. I was already a mother to a crazy 4yo who is dealing with her own things in her life, I was a new wife to the man of my dreams and now I had this new person that was dependent on me. I’m a worrier and this new life was another person for me to worry about. And I worry A LOT. I wanted to stay home with abc as long as I possibly could so we cancelled mini’s after care with school. So from 3pm until 6pm I’m on my own with them.

    It’s Overwhelming

    Initially I had no idea what I was going to do with both of them. I was in a lot of pain from having abc and then I got some badly infected cysts that caused even more pain. But kids don’t really get that. I didn’t want mini to come home and park in front of the tv but at the same time I didn’t know what I would be able to handle. I cried. not a whole lot. But I cried with my husband who helped me make a plan which made me more comfortable.

    Having two kids was the most life changing event to date--not only for the good. There are so many things people just don't talk about. I did though.

    Your Kids Are Smarter And More Adaptable Than You Think

    I’d heard crazy and insane stories about how people would take both of their kids out at the same time and how overwhelmed they were. This wasn’t my experience and i’m quite happy about that. Mini, with all her excitement and energy, picked up on the behavior that I needed from her when we were out. I’ve yet to have an uncontrollable trip out with the two of them. Now, when my husband gets home, all bets are off. She returns to her wild, rambunctious self. and honestly, the only thing I can feel is appreciation because during the time I need her, she manages to be the biggest help that I can expect her to be.

    You’re Going To Cry

    Whether it’s the hormones, the overwhelming feelings, the sleepiness, or the pain, you’re going to cry–even if you’re not a crier. I felt so foolish sitting at the dinner table after excusing mini to her room play. I sat and I cried. And I didn’t know what I was crying about but I just knew I needed to cry. I cried about feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I cried about feeling like a bad mom to mini. I cried about feeling like a bad wife to him. I cried about the fact I was sitting there crying. I didn’t want company. I didn’t want anyone but my husband with me. And I cried about being a bad friend, daughter, daughter-in-law because I just wanted to be alone with my man and my babies. Yeah, there were a lot of tears. but then they stopped.

    You’ll Get Into A Groove

    After you’re done crying, you realize that you’re ok and you’re going to make it. This feeling is an amazing one–one you want to hold on to for forever because you’ve finally realized that everything is alright. You aren’t a terrible mother. You aren’t an awful wife. your friends are more understanding than you expect. And your mother(s) have been there so they don’t expect crazy things from you. more importantly, you’ve realized that being a super woman doesn’t mean having the house cleaned everyday, an organic dinner made every night, an afternoon full of activities for your preschooler. it means loving your family, loving yourself, and doing the best you can every day.

    **Images courtesy of CreateHer Stock.

    sunday = goal setting day

    i’ve been home with abc for a month now. i’ve loved every minute of it. unlike most, i really love this newborn phase. they do so much growing during this time and i really enjoy the snuggling. but even though my (awesome and amazing) husband is insistent that i do too much and need to rest, i really want to return to being an active contributor to our home outside of birthing our new addition and being a human cow.

    so i’ve come up with a way that will not only allow me to contribute, but it’ll allow me to tap into my creativity and hopefully continue to push me in the direction that i ultimately want to go in–teaching and being a life coach. i’m working on balance though and not burning myself out. i’m such an extremist that my thought process is normally geared towards all or nothing. if i can’t spend 4 hours cleaning straight, i don’t want to do it period. but being a mom of 2 and a new wife and having responsibilities in all aspects here, it’s crucial that i get a little done a day so that i can be successful.

    here are my daily goals:

    monday – meal planning/grocery shopping, bathrooms, iron 5 things

    tuesday – vacuum downstairs, mop, handle sock situation, iron 5 things

    wednesday – mini’s room, master bed, vacuum upstairs, iron 5 things

    thursday – organize living room, iron 5 things

    friday – iron 5 things, relax

    saturday – iron

    sunday – relax

    i’m also addicted to pinterest, working on a book, returning to blogging, and attempting to return to exercising. so this means that i’ll have to incorporate these things in as weekly goals. i love to create things–this truly feeds my spirit in a way that non-creatives wouldn’t understand so this is a big must in my book. and i love writing and exercising. this is how i’m able to destress and express myself. pregnancy and postpartum thus far has shown me that i’m not as productive without these things so they also must be incorporated. but these are more weekly goals than daily.

    weekly goals:

    creative – “est. 2014 cole” sign, 1 t-shirt upcycle project, sweet potato butter

    writing – 3 blog entries/1 hour of writing

    exercise – 150 minutes of exercise

    in my head i want to do more but i have to remember that although i love the infant stage, they’re super needy and normally just want mommy at this phase. so these are my goals. boom.

    what goals do you have for the week?

    Pregnancy Etiquette 101: What Not To Say

    Pregnancy brings out the great and ignorant in people. Being pregnant twice, I've been hit with some pretty offensive words so I figure why not educate?

    While i was pregnant with both my daughters i heard my fair share of rude and insensitive comments. it seems like once you become pregnant, you wear a sign that says “insult me please” when in fact it should be the exact opposite. pregnancy is certainly an ice breaker, especially once you start showing. but if you’re breaking the ice, you should know what not to say so that you don’t end up sending the pregnant person into a fit of tears.

    Pregnancy brings out the great and ignorant in people. Being pregnant twice, I've been hit with some pretty offensive words so I figure why not educate?

    Pregnancy Etiquette 101: What Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman

    Wow! You’re Huge

    yes i am huge. and the funny thing is this morning when i looked in the mirror, i thought that i was looking something like a svelte twig instead of a beached orca which i clearly look like to you. pregnant women are aware of their size. just because you become pregnant doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden through your mirrors away and suffer from body dysmorphia. when you’re pregnant you’re growing a person and it’s not like they’re fake people. pregnant women grow differently and some barely grow while others grow a lot. that doesn’t mean it’s time to become president of the the obvious club and make her more self-conscious.

    Are You Pregnant With Twins/More Than Just One? Are You Sure?

    i was asked this once when i was checking out in target. and the lady asked me with a super concerned look if i was sure there was just one. my husband was with me and shot me the look of “babe please don’t curse this woman out…” and i didn’t. but i was 8 months pregnant and almost fresh out of niceties. people, we go to the doctor every.single.damn.month. i’m sure that if there were sextuplets housing in my belly then i would know about it. and when did people become street doctors? like are you the expert on how my belly should look when pregnant with one versus 17?

    Can I Touch Your Belly?

    this i got a lot. i think that curly hair must make me appear friendlier than i am. but with baby abc i worked hard at being the glowy, friendly, sweet pregnant woman. it was work. but randoms asking to touch my belly was always super weird. i mean, it’s my STOMACH for goodness sake! it’s not normal to just go around touching strangers bellies! like that’s the epitome of NOT normal. i understand that it’s exciting to see someone who’s making another person but in reality, what do you achieve by touching their stomachs? the chances of you catching the baby move are slim to none and even if you do feel them, it means nothing to you! you’ll probably never see this person again! stop being weird.

    When’s Your Due Date? Oh, You’re Not Making It That Long.

    this is essentially saying the same thing as “you’re huge!”. human women become full term at around 37 weeks. so we can be pregnant for 10 whole months and that’s considered normal. here’s the crazier thing, we can look as big as octomom at 30 weeks but we’ll more than likely still be pregnant weeks later. baby size doesn’t always have a direct correlation to when labor begins for women. sometimes it does, most times it doesn’t.

    people can be rather insensitive to pregnant women. it’s as if when you’re pregnant, you’re walking around with a target that says “please say mean and insensitive things to me that would also offend just about anyone if you were to say them but because i’m growing a life inside me i’m now free game.” it’s annoying and sad but the awesome thing is between 9 and 10 months we’ll drop a baby as well as the baby weight but they’ll be ignorant forever.

    What other things did I miss?