Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reality of a stay at Home Mom

First, let me tell you about my expectations of being a stay at home mom. When we made the decision for me to stay home with our little one, I was ecstatic! I knew it would be hard, I knew sacrifices would have to be made, but think about all the positives. For instance, I would clean every day. Yep, floors mopped, tables dusted, kitchen wiped down, and things put away every single day. On top of that, I would have dinner ready shortly after my husband walked through the door in the evenings and a homemade dinner at that! I would shower, do my hair and ready myself everyday. I would have time to cuddle my baby, play and teach her new things. We would have play dates all the time and go on walks when the weather is nice. I could just imagine us sitting on a blanket in the yard playing on a nice spring day. I would run all of our errands and make sure we had nothing to do but relax on the weekends. Sounds perfect, right?

Yes it does! But, that's not reality. That's a complete dream. If you live like that and are able to keep up with it all and remain joyful through it all, then major mom props to you!
Instead, I've learned to live in a home with that "lived in" look. Things aren't always put away and tables aren't dusted every day. I may have dinner ready most days of the week. That's thanks to my dear husband for doing 99% of the grocery shopping and a freezer full of freezer meals that we prep every month or so. Dishes may be left in the sink to be tackled the next morning and floors may be left unswept. I've learned to master a 5 minute shower or I choose to shower in the evenings after the little one is in bed. My hair is rarely fixed and if we don't leave the house, yoga pants or sweats is my outfit of choice. I may not get many errands run throughout the week and weekends may be spent doing some cleaning, but I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, some days I wish there were more hours in the day, and that I had time to do everything I imagined myself doing, but it was so unrealistic.
I've found joy in our day to day simple life. I am able to snuggle my baby, we play and giggle throughout the day. She's able to nap in the warmth and comfort of my arms. We do have an occasional play date and go on walks when the weather is nice. However, there are days where she isn't the happiest baby, days where she refuses to nap and days where I feel like I've exhausted myself trying to make her happy. Those days are tough! As a stay at home mom, sometimes I find myself yearning for a little adult interaction, someone to talk to...someone who talks back to me. Just today I joked about inviting the Jehovah's Witness in to have an adult to chat with or maybe I'll befriend the mailman. These past several months, I've learned how so very important it is to get out, make friends and set up walks or play dates. So, I'm thankful and grateful for all of my mommy friends, whether you're a working mom or stay at home mom, know that you have a special place in my heart. We are all in this together.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

It's All Happening So Fast

Oh dear sweet sweet baby girl, you are getting closer and closer to you 1/2 birthday (6 months old). I sit here and wonder where the time has gone, knowing that I'll be sitting here this time next year wondering this very same thing. I'll spend many many days, months, years wondering where the time went. How does it pass so quickly? You're growing so fast, learning more and more everyday and developing the most beautifully intoxicating personality. There's just some things you won't understand until you have a baby of your own, or at least I never did.

Time passes, I mean time passes so quickly! One minute your wanting and needing 24/7 cuddles, the next you are wanting to play by yourself. I know soon will come the day where you don't depend on me for your nourishment, you won't need me to hold you until you fall asleep and you aren't going to want all the cuddles I have to give, and that's ok. I truly mean that's ok. Yes, I'll look back and probably cry wondering where the years have gone. I'll probably even wonder how I let so many minutes slip through my hands. I sit here and tell myself that I'm fully embracing you and your tiny little body. I am! I said this same thing when you were fresh out of the womb. I embraced those newborn cuddles, those early days where we were still figuring each other out. Now, I sit back and struggle to remember what it was like. How were you that little, how did I manage do get through those early weeks, how did your father and I survive the newborn phase? I'm really not sure the answer, but you were that little! I have pictures to prove it! We survived and made it through that newborn phase! You my darling are wonderful, and though I may not remember every fleeting moment, I vow to take pictures, to truly, I really mean it, embrace every moment. I know I'll sit here years from now and watch you run around this house and think to myself where's my baby, my itty bitty baby, but truth is, I want you to grow. I can't wait to see the sweet child you become, the hopefully not so drama filled teenager (ha), and the beautiful young woman that you'll one day be. Sitting here, with tears in my eyes, I want you to know that I'll love you forever and though you won't depend on me 100%, I'll snuggle with you when you need me, I'll wipe away your tears and I'll always hold you close to my heart, my dear because I know these moments, the ones I'm clinging on to and trying to slow down are fleeting little blips in this little thing we call life.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I want my body back...

Wait, I'm not even sure what that means. I never lost MY body. Why sure if I lost it , I'd want it back, but I don't see how one could simply lose their own body. Yeah, sure I spent a loving 41 weeks 3 days sharing my body with a tiny human being, but I never lost it. My face, was still my face, my hands were still my hands. Those legs, yep those were mine too. And that belly, most definitely still mine. Sure it changed, a pudge here, some sagging there and maybe even some new stripes, but I never lost my body.

I'm not exactly sure why our culture is so focused on getting the pre-baby body back. Why must we put that stress and pressure on a new mom? Why can't we lift up a new mother, let her know how beautiful and wonderful she truly is? New moms are having products, diets and weight loss advice thrown in their face, whether through face to face, books, magazines, or social media. So, when a new mom doesn't fit in to her old jeans by two weeks postpartum, you know how she feels? Defeated. She may wonder why she can't fit in to her old clothes, while others do. She may be struggling to find the time to go workout, while others are at the gym everyday. I feel the postpartum experience is stripped from so many mothers in America.

Postpartum shouldn't be spent analyzing our bodies, doing the most recent fad diet or worrying about squeezing in those skinny jeans. While I'm all for health and wellness, feeling comfortable in your own skin is so important. I wish our culture would allow new mothers to truly soak in every moment with their newborn babies. Those early days and weeks pass by much to quickly. Mothers should embrace their bodies, be in awe at what they have endured and hold that little tiny squish close to their hearts, because those days will soon be just a memory.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What's your favorite thing about Motherhood?

This question has been posed to me in multiple ways over the past 4 months and to be honest, I don't know how to answer it. I know I can't be the only mama out there who feels she has to rack her brain to come up with one thing to say.

Now, this may sound like I don't have a favorite thing and that's be correct. It's all my favorite, snuggles, baby laughs, breast feeding, baby wearing, the way she makes eye contact with me like I'm her person. I love her sweet little yawns, her funny faces, and even those fussy times. Yes, even getting up in the wee hours of the morning is a favorite. Those late night/early morning wake ups are our time. While the rest of the world sleeps, it's just the two of us, baby and I. She curls in to my body and I feel her warmth. I know she's ok, that she just needs me. She nurses and her suckling slowly tapers off as she gently falls back to sleep. I watch the moonlight shine on her face and know that all too soon these nights will be gone.

So, when I'm posed with the question, "what's your favorite thing about being a mom?". I can simply respond, everything.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reality Hits

Motherhood has been a roller coaster ride. I'm talking ups and downs, flips and turns, we've gone through some dark tunnels and had moments where we enter back in to the beautiful sunlit sky.

Eventually, the hormones begin to level, your house isn't filled with family every day, you aren't having meals brought to you and life returns to "normal." As life begins to gain some consistency, you realize this tiny human that came home with you, is yours. That little baby is your responsibility, it's your job to care for, nurture and love this baby. This is when motherhood became real, I realized I am actually a mom, this isn't some crazy dream, this is my life.

There are great days, there are days with ups and downs, and there are those days where you wish you could go on a vacation all by yourself just to catch a break, or hiding out in the bathroom for a few minutes might work too.  Tough days, are the days where I spend much time sitting and rocking my fussy baby. There are moments where we both cry. I find myself wishing these moments away, wanting them to pass and for my sweet, happy, smiling baby to be back. Then, I sit back and realize these are fleeting moments, mere minutes in a lifetime filled with love, laughter and the purest joy one could ever experience. So, I sit back, hold my baby, inhale her sweet aroma, lay soft kisses on the top of her head and relish this little life that I hold in my arms. These are the moments I never want to forget.

"Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servanthood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are awake at night nursing a baby, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves."
-Charles Stanley