Thursday, November 17, 2016

The sounds of our lives

We lay in bed.  Both spent from the day.  Arms draped over our heads.  And someone says it.  Someone dares to say it out loud.  It echoes in the dark room, in our heads.  “Where is the baby’s monitor?”  It is ALWAYS downstairs.  And someone ALWAYS has to get it.  Every night.  You would think we would learn.  You would think we would bring the thing upstairs when we go off to bed.  But, no…we ALWAYS forget to. 

Almost like the recycling.  “Is tomorrow recycles?”  Another Tuesday night banter sesh…

And then he gets up and trudges downstairs.  Trudge, trudge, trudge.  I hear the door open and close.  The wheels of the recycling can grumbling along the driveway.  A far off noise of unrest. 

Yes, tomorrow is plastics.  Yes, of course it is.  Of course it is borough wide recycling tomorrow.  I get up and sneak a glance at all the cans lined along the curbs.  Why is ours always last?

I’m watching those mannequin challenges online and I’m laughing because we have played this game for years.  You know, the baby cries and everyone stays as still as can be.  Mannequin-like.  We OWN that game.  Who will be the one to break the stillness?  The one eye is open.  We take a peek at the clock.  Who will give in?

Not me.

Not him.

And then someone gets up fast and throws the blanket off as dramatic as can be.  Whish.  They lost.  Whoever it is.  They (him or me) stomp down the hallway.  STOMP!  And they go and rock the baby.  At this point and with three children, the game is completely and utterly TIED.  We have done our fair share of rocking and rocking and rocking…….

Domestic Bliss.

We all get to a point where we live in our routines and it is hard to break out. 

“Click, click, click.”  I hear him setting his alarm for 4:45 am. 

“KLONK!” the sound of my stroller opening up too quick as I go to pick up the girls from school.

“BUZZZZZZZZZZ”  I hear him making a protein shake before he leaves for work and the door closes, but not tight enough and some days I go down to shut it tight and lock it.

These are the sounds of our lives.  And they are completely routine.  When we have children and we “grow up,” (notice the quotes), we must play adults.  It kind of stinks.  Sometimes I see people going somewhere easily and I think to myself.  How nice?!  I see young people on Instagram just having fun.  For us adults with kids, it is hard to kind of get up and just go.  Everything changes.  We cannot fly by the seat of our pants.  Things have to be planned in advance, with enough notice.  And if it isn’t ON the calendar, it doesn’t exist.  “SQUEAK,” the sound of my marker on the board. 

Dance, 3:45

Birthday party 4:30-6:30


But, it is ok. 

Because I also hear the laughter behind the door of my two older children playing Barbie’s before bed.  Heeeheeeheee.

“Hi mama,” my little one says when she does ANYTHING.  “DADA, DADA, DADA,” she sings when she hears the train whistle.

“HI GIRLS,” he brightly says as he walks in the door from a long day, even when it isn’t a good one.  His voice always rings with happiness.  And right now, I tear up thinking about how hard that might be for him, some days. 

These are also the sounds of our lives.

And as the recycling truck comes down the street and our can lines the curb just like the others; I wonder if they know that the sound of their truck does not overshadow the blissful sounds in our hearts.


Monday, August 8, 2016

The Catalyst

“Isn't it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?”
Sean Covey

Part of my journey is my honesty.  It kind of all started when I heard someone say something about me.  It wasn’t something that can wreck another person, but it was just enough to make me question everything.

This is mom life.


Hi.  I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. Part of my authentic self is this and I’ve been neglecting it.  In fact, I have been neglecting a lot of things that make me happy.  And further, I have found moments and pieces of time where I actually feel lost.  You know why, because I’m human.  End. Of. Story.

Without going into too much detail, I left my kids with another mom for 5 minutes and then as I walked back up, I heard her berating me for it to someone else.  I had to put my baby down for bed.  My 7 and 5 year old were perfectly capable to be with a friend, without me.  But, it was said.  And, it was a catalyst for me.  I went home and cried.  Not for being talked about, but more so for all the times it might have happened and maybe I didn’t hear.  I cried for the separation between moms that will always be there as much as we try to change it.  I cried for myself.  I let myself have a little pity.  And then I kind of felt down on myself and people.

This mom life is even harder than high school and college combined.

But, the reality check is this.  It happens…

To all of us.  I wish it didn’t, but it does.  There is gossip.  There is FOMO.  There are clicks.  There is so much to deal with along with being a mom and a wife, a daughter and the CEO of our own lives.  We all have so much to deal with.     

There comes a point in your life when you must decide to change yourself.  You cannot change anyone else.  But, you can change how you view things and how you talk.  That is where I’m at now.

A mental shift.  For me, it happened yesterday.  (Even though this happened a few weeks ago).  I got to a certain point with people.  And I decided…we cannot let anyone else’s crap affect us.   

I just read this great post about how life is too short for crappy friends.  It is unrelated.  I’m not saying this person is a crappy friend.  She just made a crappy statement.  Even if it was taken out of context by me, it was still said.  It still had a negative connotation.  It was still wrong. 

But anyway, the post I read is one of those posts that I wish I had written.  Because it made me remember that in this life, the only thing we can do right, is be our authentic selves.  That is the only thing we should focus on.  The other stuff will always come; the friends, the wishes and wants, and the blessings.  Everything tends to come to you when you become who you are meant to be. Granted, I have had a lot of life changes going on.  I moved.  My baby turned into a toddler.  And, I had extra stresses of boxes, and permits, and trip-able sidewalk slabs that had to be fixed.  But I have neglected myself and what makes me happy.  And I have lost sight of who and what is giving me the most happiness.  I think I was focused on the wrong things amongst those pesky everyday problems.  And I kind of focused on the catalyst that allowed me to change my mind set.  I refuse to let it.

Nobody can have power over you unless you let them.

This person you are, this authentic person, will be a good teacher for your children.  This lesson I learned about my catalyst, is something I can use to teach my girls how to toughen up when there is talk.  Strength comes from WITHIN. 

Talk is cheap.

And you and your children will always be disappointed by people.  But the only way I am comfortable moving forward is with my forgiveness.  And I hope I can teach my daughters to forgive. 

And I hope they also know, that it is their hugs that can stop any rainstorm in my heart and engulf me with warm sunshine.  We are one.  We are family.  Nobody can break that.

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”




Friday, January 29, 2016

The Mom Code

When my first daughter was 9 months old, I had her in a Gymboree class.  I took the class with an acquaintance from a neighboring town.  My daughter loved it.  That is where she learned how to walk, throw, and climb. One of the days, my daughter threw a soft, plush ball in the direction of another kid, which obviously wasn’t intentional at 9 months of age.  She was just learning how to manage that throw.  The mother took the ball and put it in her face and said, “That’s not nice.”  I looked around the room trying to process the situation in front of me, almost looking for someone else to give me the eye.  You know, the ‘I’m with you’ kind of eye.  Did that just happen?  Isn’t there some sort of Mom Code against this?  I was a first time mom so I just didn’t know if this is what happened; if moms threw other moms under the bus like that.  I wasn’t sure if the high school mentality was coming back with a vengeance, shaking its finger, taunting me.  It’s not oveeeeerrrr!!!!” 

And so it was there, my first example of someone breaking the mom code.  6 years and 3 kids later….oh I am seeing and I am learning; what is appropriate and what is not?! 

Here are the top 10 Mom Codes to follow.

1.      Reciprocate.  If another mom picks up your child from school, at some point you should definitely reciprocate with a pick-up or a drop off.  Ditto for the playdate.  If someone takes your child at their house, have them at your house the next time.  We can only do what we can do though, so don’t break your back.  We all understand sick kids, new babies, and out of the ordinary situations.  But, if all is going fine, make sure you give back.  We should all try and make it a little easier on each other. 

2.      Don’t judge.  This is such a hard one because it is so easy to.  Just remember when you see a kid having a meltdown; that might be you tomorrow.  Or, maybe that was you yesterday.  We are all on the same train, heading in the same direction.  We all want the conductor to ring the bell in our honor when we are doing well.  But remember when we aren’t, the last thing we need is the chuckle, the wide-eyed look, or the under the breath comments. 

3.      Sick kids should stay home.  Maybe you don’t want to miss the party, but if your kid has a fever, stay home.  If your kid is puking on Sunday but wakes up feeling like a million bucks on Monday morning, keep them home.  You don’t want to spread the virus.  It is selfish to bring sick kids around other healthy kids, especially babies.  We, of course, don’t want our kids to be sick, but the biggest thing is the fact that it really messes up our sleep and our days if we are up all night with a congested/puking/coughing baby/child.

4.      Don’t discipline other people’s kids in front of their parent.  (The infamous Gymboree situation)  Your kid gets slapped by another kid at the park.  You aren’t sure if the parent sees it.  They probably did, but they pretend they don’t.  They don’t want to deal with it.  What do you do?  This is a hard one.  I always ignore the first time.  I tell my child to play somewhere else.  If the child follows my child and does it again, I will go up to the mother and tell her.  At that point, it is up to her.  If she doesn’t discipline her child right there, I don’t think I can judge.  Maybe she will at home.  Maybe she has a “no discipline” rule.  I don’t know.  I can only control my child.  I would hope they would fix the situation and try and raise a decent human being.  But, I am not sure it is my place to teach them that lesson.  I’ll just probably blog about it.  Ha!

5.      Don’t steal babysitters.  Friday and Saturday nights are always up for grabs.  But, if you know someone has a babysitter every Friday morning.  Don’t try to snag that sitter for the same time without asking the person.  Sometimes babysitters can be part of the family.  And sometimes it takes a while to find someone you trust.  It is easy to take a sitter from someone after they spent the time doing the grunt work.  Nobody owns anyone else.  And of course anyone (babysitters/moms) can go anywhere else.  But as a mom, you should ask first.  Most moms would say, “Well, I have her on Fridays but if you need her Mondays, go for it.”  Right?!  Most moms should share if they aren’t in need.  Just know that if you are sneaky about it or do it behind another mom’s back; it breaks the mom code. 

6.      Don’t brag.  Ok, we all have super, wonderful amazing kids.  We all think they are the BEES KNEES.  My kid can read at level Z!  “WOW,” we all think sarcastically.  Who cares?  If someone asks, share.  But, if nobody asks, nobody wants to hear.  Some kids might excel in sports.  Others might be great at art.  Some kids might be great dancers or gymnasts, readers or writers.  Every kid has strengths and weaknesses.  Tell the grandparents.  Tell the aunts and uncles.  Tell the people who really want to hear.  But to other moms, have a glass of wine and talk about something else.

7.      The food/drink code.  ALWAYS ask parents before offering food to their child.  I always ask if there are any allergies or anything they shouldn’t have if I have someone over for a playdate.  This hits close to home because my daughter has food allergies and I always pack her snacks.  Also, don’t judge anyone else for what they do or don’t feed their child.  If someone feeds their kids all organic beets, amazing.  If they feed their kids hot dogs and French fries, more power to you.  It’s all good.  Same goes for breastfeeding vs formula feeding.  Who cares what people choose to do?  Worry about yourself.  See Number 2.

8.      Let other moms vent without judgement.  I have a few friends who let me VENT for at least an hour each week.  The important part about letting other moms vent is that you cannot hold anything against them later on.  This is all a part of being a mom.  Sometimes it is HARD and the only other person who can understand is another mom with kids the same age.  So, let your mom friends have at it.  It doesn’t mean you don’t like being a mom.  It doesn’t mean you are a bad mom.  Everyone needs an outlet.  Be an outlet for someone else without judgement.  As a mom, that is the best code you can follow. 

9.      INCLUDE.  Make sure your kids include other kids.  Make sure you include other moms.  Bring someone else into the conversation at pick up.  Invite.  Plan.  We are all in this together.  Being a mom binds us.  Maybe we wouldn’t necessarily have been friends in college, but you better believe we have a tie that binds us all now.  So, remember that.  Be good to your fellow moms.

10.   Last but not least, Love yourself.  Being a mom means there will be times when you can’t shower or work-out; when you might miss the party.  Being a mom means your house will be a mess after breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Being a mom means there will be times when you have to put your needs aside for the sake of your children.  Being a mom means following a code and that code says that you have to put your children first.  You put them in front of everyone and everything else.  And never apologize for that!  You have to do what is right for your family.  If you miss a birthday party, a bridal shower, a vacation, a wedding, and/or you decide that you can’t make something work, it is your RIGHT to make the BEST decision for your family.  And, if they don’t understand, then that is their problem.  But, as a mom, it is part of our code of honor.  Remember that everyone has to do what is best for their family.  That is our code.  And love yourself along the way.  Because we are all doing our best and are all beautiful.

Being a mom entails so much.  We all see and interpret the world through our own pair of eyes.  But, if we can be kind to each other and remember to respect one another, we will be able to follow the Mom Code and we will all being able to feel united.  And when all else fails, choose love.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Brace for Impact

Having a baby changes your life.  I feel like I can’t put into relationships like I could before, right now.  I feel like I might miss out on things.  (FOMO!!!)  My body is taking a back seat to my baby.  I’m trying to talk myself out of nursing because I feel like I’ve done enough, but something is keeping me going.  But, with that, my body won’t go back to where it was.  My baby is almost 10 months but she is still getting up between 4:45-6:30 am so I’m tired.  Some days I’m BONE tired (a phrase my mom uses).  You know it is bad when you hear, “BONE!”  “Oh NO, BONE….it’s going to be a long one!”  The baby is at that stage where she is in need of constant supervision; my mobile Houdini.  She is a delightful handful.  It’s hard. But, nobody ever said it was going to be easy.  I think that was just the pregnancy hormones.  “Another baby?  Piece of cake.”  I know these are not real problems and are short term, (for the most part) but still, on those bone tired days, I might be/feel a little negative at times.  Like today, when my other two girls were with friends and I walked my baby up and down the block in a push toy for an hour.  1 hour.  I had to pinch myself.  Am I alive?  I’m so bored!  I was peeking in the windows of my neighbors.  Anyone out there?  The sky was gray.  The trees were bare. 


It’s me.

For some reason I was thinking about wine….and then I thought about that flight that went down on the Hudson River. (As you can see my train of thought). I remember being obsessed with that story when it happened.  I listened to the tape from the flight cockpit over and over again.  I got chills when Sully said without passion or fear, “Brace for Impact.”  After hearing so much negativity and seeing so much sadness in the news, this story resonated with me, because it was heroic and positive and had such a happy ending.  When I brought it up to my husband, he was convinced it happened 10 years ago.  January 15th is the 7th anniversary.  When I searched it, of course it magically showed up all over my Facebook newsfeed.  I (of course) clicked on a link to a video from a man who was on that flight.  He was a motivational speaker and talked about his experience on that flight and what he took from it.  It was a long speech and I (of course) didn’t watch the entire thing.  Who has time for a 45 minute speech?  What I did take from it was one thing.  He decided to take the negativity out of his life.  He said that there wasn’t time for negative thoughts in his life.  And, he didn’t fight with his wife for 2 years because of it. (The video was from 2011).  I thought to myself, how can I get there?  (I said that to myself through my tears as my baby screamed from the back of the car and I had to turn up the volume on my YouTube).  She hates the car!  What baby hates the car?  And my second thought was, “where is this guy?  You can’t tell me he still hasn’t fought with his wife….”


Change our thoughts, change our life.  Flip the switch.  Is it that simple? 

That is my goal in 2016.  I don’t make resolutions.  I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself.  What I will do, is try and look at the positive side, especially as I’m knee deep in the grunt work of parenting. I’m in it.  But I think it starts with everyday decisions.  Like who we surround ourselves with.  Who we let into our life.  Who we let get to know the real us.  Who understands us?  I have a few friends that have stayed so near and dear to me through all my kids, especially my third.  They understand how hard it is when a new baby comes.  They come visit me.  If they want to see me, they know where to find me.  But mostly, they understand ME.  I want to surround myself with people like that.  I want to be with people who want to be with me.  It sounds simple, but I am not sure it is.  Because sometimes the balance of friendship is so fragile.  I want to be with the ones made of steel.

It also starts with our everyday talk.  What are we telling ourselves?  Sometimes my inner dialogue is so negative about myself. (Especially on days that I don’t shower).  I’m so… (Insert negative thought).  If we tell ourselves these things, we will feel it.  We have to tell ourselves positive things.  Look at how I just ROCKED dinner time.  Nobody screamed.  Yay me!  Look at these funky PJ pants that I have been wearing for two days.  At least they are colorful. 

I need to stop that talk and take action for myself.  I need to find time to take the class, the shower, see the people I want to see.  Find things that lift me up.  Because it is hard.  It is a balancing act.  And I need to embrace the moments of pure happiness.  Maybe it is a pedicure, a dance class, or having a little alone time with one of my kids.  Maybe it is sleeping in, a cup of coffee with REAL creamer, or seeing how happy my daughter is when she gets flowers from her daddy before their Girls Scout dance.  Maybe it is sneaking a little chocolate bar hidden in the back of the refrigerator. (even though I have cut out sugar).

Maybe it is just having time to be me.  I want to be me with no apologies.

Because I don’t have to be the perfect parent or wife or friend.  Nobody does.  It isn’t realistic.  But I can be me.

In 2016, let’s all just vow to be ourselves.  Even if we have spit up on our black shirt.  Even if we are up a few times a night.  Even if we have more moments of lugging and shlepping, and wiping our 4 year old’s poopie butt.  Even if…..

It doesn’t matter.  Because there is always time to be happy.

It all starts with ourselves.  We have the power.  2016 is going to be a great year! 

“Brace for Impact!”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gingerbread House Fail

Some things on my Facebook newsfeed can give me anxiety if I allow it.  Currently, it is the gingerbread house.  Pictures of perfectly constructed houses with icing and candy decorations.  Snap.  Click.  Send.  Upload.  Me, cold sweats.  I didn’t grow up making gingerbread houses during Christmas and I have lovely memories.  Why do I feel pressure to do this?  Back in the day, before social media, we could just NOT make a gingerbread house and wouldn’t really know or care if anyone else did.  Maybe if we happened to talk to another parent at the pick -up line at school and they happened to mention it, we could say, “Oh that’s great, I bet the kids loved it.  We just hung and watched Rudolph by the Christmas tree, it was so nice.”  Now, one is better than the next; as if there is a silent competition.  I mean, I could probably be the judge since my entry resides only in my heart of good intentions. 
It goes along with parenting in 2015 and the pressures we feel to do it perfectly, gingerbread house making kit and all.  I know it isn’t just me because I read articles about it.  And I know my mom didn’t feel the same pressures that are around today.  And my grandma, bless her soul with her 6 kids would just send them outside with helmets and try to survive the day…the week…her life.  The only pressure she had was to try and make one pot roast work for a family of 8.
I mean, you know I’m half serious.  I can own the fact that I won’t make a gingerbread house.  “I’m not crafty,” I say.  It is so true.  I have never even LOGGED on to Pinterest and I am sure it will stay that way forever.  And I’m sure I could get totally into a gluten-free gingerbread house if I desired, but I don’t.  I would rather let my kids play with the nativity set while I blog in a corner.
The point of the matter is that we live in a world where gingerbread houses, Elf on the shelf doing a snow angel in the flour, and pictures of the kids on Santa’s lap are the norm and they get embedded in our psyche.  They make us feel like we aren’t quite ahead of the game.  And at times we feel like we need to keep up.  And it especially feels closer and more prominent during the holidays. Well, I’ll raise you a gingerbread house with a homemade Santa sleigh made out of candy canes and kit kats.  Bam!
I might feel like this because I have a baby on the move and I don’t really have time for anything.  I kind of follow her around and save her from head bumps 50 times a day.  If I decided to use nap time to make a gingerbread house, that would be the time she naps for 45 minutes instead of 2 hours.  I would prep the whole thing and then look at it on my kitchen table for the next 5 days while my 4 year old begs me to finish it by pulling on my sweatpants as I grab yet another leaf from my baby’s hand.  (Don’t ask why there are leaves in my house). 
So, that is my point about gingerbread houses.  It is not a reality for me.  But the real point is not lost on me either.  My reality.  Our reality.  The real point is that we all do what feels right to us for our families.  Some of us can make an amazing gingerbread house with our children.  Some of us like to snuggle up and watch movies together.  Some of us go to see santa.  Some of us light the menorah.  Some of us rush around last minute to get all the gifts and wrap them the night before.  Some of us are organized and some of us are not.  But most of us are trying to make magic.  And we find our magic and show this magic in different ways.  A night in NYC, a Christmas pj party, a cocktail party, a decorated house, an Elf hiding in a stocking, or a beautiful red twirling dress.  We make our magic every day and that is evident in our children’s eyes during this season.  It is there.  Look for it.  I’m sure you will see it.  And if you do, you know, you’ve done it right so far.  So I will walk right by that gingerbread making kit at the grocery store and I will not feel guilty about it.  Because when I turn toward my daughter and smile, she will smile back.  And when we get back home and pull into our little house with our white lights on the trees, she will say, “I love this time of the year.”  To me, that will always be enough.   

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Imperfect Perfection

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

My 6 year old daughter has food allergies.  A lot of them.  She is allergic to peanuts, eggs, strawberries, gluten, sesame, and JUST grew out of her dairy allergy.  (I feel like I’m even missing something).  I always say, it could be worse.  She is healthy and thriving and we make it work.  I try my best to make her feel included.  A few weeks ago, she went to a birthday party.  She decided last minute that she wanted to go and I realized that I didn’t have “her” pizza in the house.  I usually cook the pizza first and send it along in a separate bag.  I had a friend bring her to the party so I could run to the store, buy the pizza, go home and cook it, and then bring it to the party.  There was traffic, lines at the store, (yada yada yada) and I got to the party at 5:25.  The party ended at 5:30.  The baby screamed the whole way there.  I was high anxiety.  My daughter got in the car and was upset with me.  I don’t blame her.  She had to sit at the table while everyone ate with no pizza or dessert.  But, if she could have seen me running through the store.  If she could have seen me nursing the baby while the pizza was cooking.  If she could have seen how hard I tried, in the pouring rain, she wouldn’t have been upset with me.  I burst into tears.  I tried. So. Hard for her.  I always try so hard for her.  I don’t want her to feel different.  I want her to belong…
With that said, how hard is it, for me, to teach her how to accept this?!
I am never that mom that makes a big deal about her daughter with food allergies.  I silently pack a snack.  I silently tell her not to eat anything unless it is approved by me.  I silently bring a bag to every party, every gathering, every dinner out, every weekend away, and every single thing that involves food.  Every single thing.  It’s a lot.  I decline birthday parties at the ice cream place, at the chocolate factory, baking cookies, etc.  There are some things I just don’t want her to have to deal with.  
More than this, I have to teach my daughter that it is ok to be different.  I have to let her be authentic and imperfect.  I have to teach her that everyone has “something” that they have to deal with.  This is her thing and she accepts it.  That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t get sad.  I look at her face when she looks at the cake at the birthday party and I DIE, literally.  I can cry for days thinking of this.
But I try to teach her that we eat to stay alive but it is family that fills us up.  And I got her back!!!! If she doesn’t want me to eat a piece of cake when celebrating someone’s birthday, I won’t.  If she wants a bagel on bagel day at school, I got her back.  If she wants a cupcake at the party, I got her back. 
To me, this is a big concept to deal with at 6.  The sense of belonging.  Self-acceptance. 
It is also a big concept for us.
The start of the school year was tricky for me.  I tried to lay low because I was letting things get to me.  It took a long time for me to pinpoint what exactly was going on with me.  I started to let things, opinions, and people, seep into my brain and change how I felt.  I started to question my decisions and focus on the wrong things.  I couldn’t find my groove.  I started to feel inauthentic.  I was having a hard time accepting myself.
I took cues from my 6 year old.  I love her because she is truly herself.  Sometimes I feel like I try to change her and make her friendlier, less shy, more this or that.  I might try to overcompensate for the allergies; for the differences.  But then I realize that we should all be so lucky to be able to be free to be ourselves.  What a concept?!  .  I love when a new friend of my daughter “gets” my daughter, truly.  I think to myself, “Ok, they will be friends.”    With my oldest, there is more than meets the eye.  I love when a friend is concerned for her food allergies.  When the mom says, “my daughter wants to make sure that your daughter can eat this.”  I love when other people have her back.  I get humbled to the core. 
Acceptance comes when we stop trying so hard.  When we stop trying to be “everything,” I think that is exactly when we become “everything.”  It is easy to get wrapped up in the wrong things.  If I have to change myself to belong, then I don’t want to belong.  This is what I have to remind myself to teach my daughter.  Accept yourself.  Others will accept you when you are truly yourself.  People who love you, will love you regardless of what you can or can’t eat. 
I love people who “get” me too.  Because let us face the truth, this isn’t just about our kids.  It never was and never will be.  This is about all of us.  We all want to belong.  We want our children to belong.  So let us belong by being our true, authentic, imperfect self.  I bolded the word imperfect because I don’t think we can relate to one another unless we show our imperfections. 
And whatever you think may stand in your way, is actually something that opens up your life, because it makes you who you are.  So I think we have to embrace it, whatever it is.  Being imperfect, is actually what perfect truly defines. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Post Partum Depletion

I think the hardest thing about having a baby is everything.

I really do.

Between the pregnancy, the morning sickness, the giving birth, the recovering, the range of emotions, and the new, more voluptuous body, I just don’t know why or how everyone does it so dang much?!

Speaking of range of emotions, my husband wouldn’t drive with me to Starbucks the other day and I could cry tears of pain for 30 minutes straight based on that alone: like someone took my favorite pair of shoes.  I didn’t.  But, I could.  I could also cry as I pump in the corner of my house, sitting on the floor, looking at my IPhone.  If someone took a picture, it could be considered a low moment.  This so called “low moment” happens 4-5 times a day.  And it doesn’t happen quietly or without judgement.  When my pump is on, it yells at me.  I swear it says emphatically, “Let it go, let it go, let it go” over and over again. 

I’m trying pump!  Jeez.

On the flip side, I will laugh so hard that I fall on the floor at times.  At any other time, this could be construed as crazy, but it’s not.  Thank goodness I just gave birth.  That’s my out.  I think I have about 6 months of this “out.”  I’m more than half-way.  I actually feel like the post-partum emotions peek around 3 months.  I think I read that.  I’m definitely reading too many articles about it all.  I blame Facebook.  They keep putting articles about breastfeeding and post-partum on my page.  How do they know?  Yesterday I convinced myself that I have “post-partum depletion.”  Basically, I’m too tired to go to the gym.  It must be that.  Yes, I have that.  Thanks Australia.  I think you can find any article to support how you are feeling at any given moment.  I’m a new mom and I’m tired.  Post-Partum depletion.  Done. 

I’m also trying to embrace this new body.  It’s funny because I feel depleted but I don’t look it.  I look very well fed.  I know I’ll get back to the slimmer me, but I am old enough and much wiser than I was before, to know…it just doesn’t happen overnight.  At least not for me.  I’m looking at you BeyoncĂ©…

I’m having trouble doing a sit up, still.  I’m more hunched over than usual, from holding the baby.  I can hear my mom in the background of my thoughts, “Stand up straight.  Be proud of those tatas.”  She didn’t say that exactly, but she always tells me to embrace them.  A DD never hurt anyone.  I agree, to an extent.  They never hurt anyone except me as I’m pumping and nursing the days away. 

I used to be able to do my barre classes without a problem, but now it is like I’m the new kid in class.  We are talking 4 months post C-section.  I’m a nursing mom so I’m telling myself and everyone who will listen that nursing moms need to keep extra weight on themselves.  You know, like bears hibernating in the winter.  I am a summer bear confused about logistics, keeping this weight on to ensure I have enough milk for my baby during these hot months, and to keep me modest.   It actually turns out that I can feed an entire nation.  I’m thinking it is the Oreos.  When I complain to my husband that I can’t get these last 10 pounds off, he says, “Maybe instead of a whole sleeve of Oreos, you should try one or two.”  “You are supposed to tell me I don’t need to lose any weight,” I respond.  And around and around we go. 

But, I have a beautiful baby.  I say that without the slightest hint of anything but pure and utter love.  She is the best thing to happen to me, this me; the older, wiser me.  The me that understands the path that I’m on; one that involves continuous self-sacrifice with a drop of self-love.  The one with no post-partum depletion in sight.  I know I’ll get to that other place.  I know what I have to do to get there.  But I can also be aware of the struggle that it brings.  There will always be dribbles and drabbles of struggle in heavy, drowning rainstorms.  Meaning, when something is pouring love and happiness, it will get you wet.  There is always a downside during an upswing.  But I know where I’m going; I’m moving up up up.  I’m grateful for that, right now, in my life and at this time. The Oreos, my lacking sit-up, and my self-diagnosed Post-Partum depletion have nothing on where I am, where I’m going and eventually where I will end up.