Protect The Mama’s

I’m not yet sure if it’s new motherhood specifically or motherhood as a continual journey that finds us at the point of needing to protect ourselves, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, from the struggles of the demands of life that pulls at all angles, but I can tell you that so far in my 9 months of being a mother, I have found this to be evident.

I almost have to argue with myself, to protect me from running myself ragged.
Whether that is giving myself some slack for not having the dishes or laundry done,  encouraging myself to eat more, start exercising, or to set aside the time to pray and be alone, I seemingly have to protect myself from me and  the world that constantly pulls from every direction, including online pretenses.

Go away, Pinterest-perfect, absolute shams and façades of a perfect life, Facebook and Instagram posts I see from my friends.
Go. Away.
I KNOW you also are struggling.
I have seen where you live and have met your family – and things are not always what they appear.

I see through your perfect photos and filters and I refuse to try to hold myself to an unachievable pinnacle of Stepford Wives domestic perfection.

What is a magazine-worthy home, with children addicted to phones and iPad’s, a commonly absent spouse to support the cost, and an anxiety-ridden mother run ragged trying to keep up with the next issue’s subliminal pressure of perfection anyway?

I see the photo of your combination Hello Fresh/ Papered Chef/ Le Crusét meal in your beautiful kitchen… But I know you’re eating alone at your counter with dishes in your sink, tracking the likes and comments on Facebook, while your children eat on TV trays or not at all. (And that’s okay, because we’re all in the same broken world just trying to make it.)

I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.
I love eating, but I hate cooking. (or rather planning to cook)
I’ll wear makeup, but have 3-day-old-hair.
I love my little family, but I am also tired.
I love people, but the general public can be taxing on a soul.

Every extrovert needs their re-charge time – and I have to protect me, from me! So help a mama out and be real. We can share in the joy and beauty of life – but also addressing the mundane and relatable struggles we all face are imperative to our friendships and relationships. Whether we see it or not, our social media presence is a form of camaraderie and fellowship. Take away the smoke and mirrors sometimes and be real, for the sake of the tired mama’s out there at least.

140 Days of Motherhood…

If you would have told me then, that only a short THREE weeks after I posted my last blog post I would be holding my baby in my arms, I think I would have melted with anxiety on the spot.

Because I value the birth story information that the big ol’ interwebs has to offer to first time mama’s-to-be, I will shamelessly be posting my labor and delivery experience soon in a different post, but in the meantime… just a few things I have learned over the past 140 days of motherhood…

  • I have fed our baby over 1,200 times with. my body. since the hour he was born. IMG_4590It takes about 30 minutes each time… which has been the total equivalent of 36,000 minutes, 600 hours, or TWENTY FIVE FULL DAYS  …however you choose to process that information best. Basically, growing a human inside, and outside the womb, is impressive, amazing, and commendable – so CONGRATULATIONS to all mama’s out there.
  • Nothing is comparable or the same to anyone else. Your body is different. Your baby is different. Your marriage is different. Your house is different. And Lord knows.. your (my) extended family is definitely different.
  • Time goes so fast! Everyone says it, and they do because it is true. It’s like BOOM – it’s almost July and I just had Christmas. I need to be planning Christmas events again, and I am in complete shock from this.
  • Pack. Extra. Clothes. For both yourself and baby. Trust me.
  • Do NOT put off for tomorrow what can be done RIGHT NOW! Don’t! If baby is sleeping and you need to start making supper- Be like Nike and JUST DO IT.
  • People remember and speak most about the negative things. Breastfeeding is hard. But it is not terrible and is manageable. Which brings me to:
  • Ask for and accept all help.
  • (Side note: If you can’t breastfeed YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE and are still an amazing mama! Find and befriend the lactation consultant in your area, and get all the advice you can, but if feeding your baby formula is going to take that elephant of stress off of your shoulders – A FED BABY IS THE BEST BABY. My little guy had to have formula for the first time last week (while at his first week of childcare during my work day, while I pump my stock milk supply back up..) and I was entirely way too stressed out over it for some weird reason. He didn’t notice a difference whatsoever from breastmilk to formula – much to my secret annoyance and disappointment. Also – Pumping is annoying, whatever the lady-term for emasculating is, and super hard to figure out where it fits into your day.. but you’ll figure it out. Ask for help and advice!)
  • Walk away when your husband starts to help. Let him figure it out on his own and don’t micromanage. Husbands are tender things and they need their pride – which involves their wives not making them feel like a kindergartener who has been given a special duty for the day.
  • Multi-use items are the bomb.
  • Don’t over buy, and don’t buy everything new. They have been manufacturing childcare items literally for centuries. Stuff is out there for second-hand purchase, and so much will be given to you by those sifting through dusty store-rooms of their treasured and long-past baby-raising years.
  • WRITE THANK YOU CARDS. So you can sleep at night and face charitable friends and family when you meet them again.
  • People who give diapers and baby wipes at baby showers are SAINTS. Do not look at these presents with contempt and thoughts of lacking originality – they will SAVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY. And you will truly use them!
  • Schedules and needs literally change day to day. Roll with the flow and figure it out as time goes on. There is no normal.
  • Do what you gotta do to maintain your sanity and life! Do you need to order pizza because it is 9:00pm, you finally finished feeding the hungry monster called a baby, and you haven’t eaten all day?? DO IT. Do you work best by using an app to keep track of your grocery shopping list, or are you a wander-the-aisles-and-figure-it-out kinda person? Doesn’t matter – Just survive! Do you need a few hours to yourself to soak in the tub, catch up on the ever scrollable facebook feed while drinking a few glasses of wine and (finally) shave your legs, and then update your deprived blog website?? Hahaha…. Guilty. :)

 

Are you a mama? What advice do you have??

Settlin’ in.

Hello there, 2nd week of 2017.
How you doin’? (In the Boston accent)

Going pretty dern good so far. I am getting my head above water in the new job – still so much to do though. So, so much. Oy vey. Pray for me, y’all. (I’m pretty sure the voicemail system may give me a hernia.)

As far as the resolutions go…. meh.
It’s only the second week though, so lets give ourselves a break.

I have gotten the meal planning thing down purdy good – even bought all my groceries for each meal this week from my handy dandy app, Paprika. What I have not accomplished once is working out or running. Ha. Surprise? I think not.
But, in case you haven’t heard, we did recently have a Texas blizzard.
No, not like you’re thinking. No snow or anything – it just got so cold here (18*F) that we Texans didn’t know how to function anymore. But that’s okay – clear skies and sunshine into the high 70*’s later this week. Hallelujah!

We have gone to church every Sunday so far, and have tried out a new church closer to home. So far we have really enjoyed it and look forward to next Sunday. Instead of attending my super-awesome girls bible study group tonight I went to a Jr. High basketball game to watch my little cousin, Kaylea, play. It was much more entertaining than I anticipated. The coach of the opposing team was hilarious – I can’t even explain his erratic body language and odd comments. He had everyone, including his own team, in awe of his demeanor- some with stifled giggles and others with shocked faces that just couldn’t look away. Throughout the game I reflected on how thankful I am for my former athletic career, as well as the impactful and respectful coaches and teachers I had the opportunity to be molded by. We were a great team. Aggressive, but also full of sportsmanship. If we ‘accidentally’ or otherwise knocked an opposing player down, and didn’t offer a hand to help them up, you better believe we were on the bench the rest of the game. That mentality was certainly not the case here, and it disappointed me very much.

Not too many updates today.
Until next time. Night night!