The Parenting World is Frightening

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Seriously tho. Other parents and other soon-to-be parents, across the generations are notoriously judgmental and condescending. This fact is compounded by the fact that social media is such a huge part of our lives, and with the ability to hide behind a computer screen, people feel the need to say anything that comes to their heads, without any consideration or tact (or regard for grammar or spelling).

It’s a disaster.

With our little Ace, i had an epidural. Not part of my plan. I was “supposed” to do this all naturally, my high pain tolerance working for me, and everything being challenging but feeling motherly, like a “true woman” and empowered, like everyone says you do. But, after writhing around in bed, ready to rip the bedrail off with each contraction (which were 1-3 minutes apart from the second my water broke, so i had that going for me at least), i asked, and they gladly gave it.
As a result, Ace’s delivery was amazing. I may definitely have not felt like a “true woman” in the sense everyone else refers to, but i felt like me. It took the experience from traumatic to “I might potentially want to have children again.” I pushed for half an hour and with the help of a small epis, Ace was here, in just over 9 hours. 🙂 He was perky, lifting his head up and trying to nurse right away; a picture of perfection. Despite it being different from what i planned/wanted, he was here, and there was no signs of him being worse for wear. (Also, how can you truly know what you want, when you’re in the comfort of your home, NOT feeling like your pelivis is coming apart from the middle out, and you’re being impaled thru the back…every 1-3 minutes?)

The night we took him home, he refused to sleep in our room, or by himself at all for that matter; we found out later it was too cold. I was paranoid about co-sleeping in a bed; i was worried I’d be too comfortable and sleep too deeply already being so sleep-deprived. So i slept upright in a chair in the spare room for two weeks, and then i would sleep downstairs on the couch with him on me, and we’d sneak him down for naps in the pack-n-play in the living room. I started him sleeping up in his big crib in the spare room for naps at 3 weeks old because he was doing so well, and we were excited to return to our bed. That resulted in nothing but stress and crying (both him and me) and sleepless nights, every single night until finally, after i had spent the night with 2 and a half hours of sleep, at 6am, i took him out of the room. Marth asked if he could help and i said “i just want to f****** sleep.” And walked downstairs, turned on the tv, and we slept together on the couch until 9:30. It was then with a heavy heart at my progress going backwards, that i had to move BACK downstairs and start over again essentially. Not what we had planned, and i can hear the co-sleeping and lack-of-routine judgment already. But I NEED. F******. SLEEP. I wasn’t sure what else to do, as pride-crunching and frustrating as it was. (Is it even “right”??? I still don’t know.)

He breastfed amazingly, right from the start. Even the pediatrician told me I should give lessons. Until week 2, that is. It was like he’d never seen a boob before. It became BEYOND painful for me. When we were alone in the house, the two of us would sit and cry and sweat and struggle; it was awful, and i couldn’t believe this was happening. Long-story short, i switched to exclusively pumping, for the next 2 and a half weeks, which then caused us to over feed him and he was bloated and cranky. Even when we figured out the problem, and we started limiting him to an ounce an hour it resulted in him not getting enough hindmilk, so he wasn’t pooping enough and still always seemed hungry and like his stomach was upset.
Literally took me until last night at 10:30pm, after my husband had been holding him for an hour trying to get him to sleep, I attempted again to breastfeed him and braced myself.
It was nothing short of a miracle. For real tho; i couldn’t believe it. He latched instantly, and fed from both sides until he fell asleep.

Both of these situations summarize the last month for me in a nutshell: Having a plan, and an idea and doing research and wanting to stick to it, but ultimately changing in order to accommodate what works. I have no clue what I’m teaching him to be comfortable with, and i may be kicking myself later for teaching him bad habits i don’t even realize I’m doing, all because I’m young and clueless and tired.

I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen from here, but man, All this said and done, the last thing i want to do is be judged for any of it, or have anyone say “well, *I’M* going to do it this way…” (Emphasis on the tone; people are allowed to do whatever they want) but it’s just one of those things that you’ll have no idea about until you do it for yourself. I’m thankful that unless I’m in a crappy mood or sleep-deprived, I’m able to look at other parents/soon-to-be parents and give a beaming smile and say “well, this is why we were each given our own kids, so we don’t have to agree! ^_^ ” but other times it really brings me down and i just want to say “Oh, just you wait until yours are born/such-and-such an age, and you’ll find yourself making difficult decisions, and wanting to die too!” It’s far easier to say “oh, screaming is the only way they know how to communicate; you should be more patient with your poor baby, you should do _____, ______, ______ and ______ and maybe then you woulnd’t have these problems.” And I’m just like “AAAAAND MAYBE I SHOULD PUNCH YOU IN YOUR FACE AND THEN YOU WOULDN’T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS.”

The only thing that makes it better is learning that children are a cross that everyone will bear, because no matter how easy we make it look, how badly we want them, or how good of people we seem to be. Every parent will end up at a boiling point, no matter who they are or whether it’s their first or 9th child.

Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. And I’m learning not to punish other parents with my words, opinions and judgments, because their children will do it for them, and far better than i can.
As each parent spends their own sleepless nights, and deals with the doubts, fears, and frustrations they cause, the issues other parents have with your decisions are the least of our worries.

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So I’ve Picked up Blogging Again…

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Wow, it’s been a long time. I don’t quite have a ton of time to update my entire life, so I’ll cut to the chase for right now. I am the Mummy of a 4-week-old little boy right now, and its definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. According to a quiz my insurance company gave me, I’m “moderately depressed”. As a result, i’ve been looking up a lot of inspirational mom quotes and intentions and such, to actively keep myself positive, because i really find myself frustrated daily with my child, and in tears at night because he won’t sleep. On particularly bad days when i finally allow my husband to help me, and i collapse onto the couch or bed between 6-10am after getting 2 hours of sleep all night, i find myself crying for hours, because it comes easier than falling asleep.

I’m not a fan of diagnoses. Call me stereotyping. Call me judgemental. But i am here because i at the very least, have heavy-duty baby blues, and i don’t want anyone knowing about it. At the very most, I have at most, moderate maternal depression, and i *definitely* don’t want anyone knowing about it. I don’t judge anyone else with mental or emotional illnesses, but i judge myself for them, and i don’t want anyone else thinking i need to be taken care of, or I’m going to hurt my child.

The reason I’m back here. I need to communicate my thoughts and hurts and frustrations in a place where no one i know in person will know about it. I want to see if taking this time for myself, even if it’s 20 minutes to midnight, will improve my attitude and my stress levels. If i can take a moment to climb myself out of the hurting, frustrating and tired hole i fall into thru out the day, and remind myself why i do what i do, and the big picture i face as a mom, which is totally worth everything i go thru in a day, I’m hoping…maybe it’ll make me a better person. Because right now…
– I won’t let anyone, including my husband help me, and he finally forces the issue when I’m bawling my freaking eyes out and begging my child to sleep. I won’t let any of my inlaws hold him when he’s cranky, and even when he’s not, i wait patiently for him to start crying or need something and i promptly take him back. I’m not showering, I’m not cleaning, I’m not doing anything for myself; I’m simply waiting until he needs something to resume my only focus for these last 4 weeks.
– I get frustrated with him, simply for crying or being awake, because then i actually have to think about what to do with him, and it’s always inconvenient times like 2:30 in the morning that he decides he’s going to be wide awake and/or start screaming because he pulled his own pacifier out of his mouth and doesn’t understand why it’s not there anymore or how to get it back. I’m frustrated with my 4-week-old. What the fuck is the matter with me?
– I’m basically waiting around to be medically cleared to work out again, for the weather to be warmer so we can walk outside more often, and for when we move on the 24th of this month, back to Maine with my family where we will have more support and basically be starting fresh. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, except that I’m basically saying my happiness hinges upon my circumstances, and when things don’t go how i want, I’m going to allow it to get to me, until the things around me change. I’m absolutely crushed by this. I thought i was better than that.
– This isn’t as big a deal because it IS hard, but i can’t even get out of the house for a gallon of milk. Everything’s cold, everyone’s sick, and it wasn’t always something i had such a hard time with, but it is now. That makes me a little nervous, because i feel like in that aspect, I’m getting worse instead of better. In theory, i don’t mind, but the actual get-up-and-go is nonexistent.
Even worse than that, i don’t want anyone else over my house either. I want to be left alone.

That’s all i can think of off the the top of my head. I’m just…struggling hard, and I’m not comfortable letting people know on Instagram or Facebook. I’m content to post pictures of my perfect child, and be positive, happy and funny like i always am. Nobody need know anything else.

So that’s why I’m back.

Today’s Fitness 10-25-16

When i was growing up, my best friend ran track and field for the district. Whenever we’d see her after practice and ask how it went, she would just look at us with this pained expression and say “…I’ve been killed.”

Thats basically how today’s workout went. XD

Pretty much since the beginning of August, before the wedding, i’ve been doing exclusively yoga. I really just wanted the tone and the strength training without altering my body at all, because i already had my dress done and such.
Now, almost three months later, i think i finally have my diet for my thyroid deficiency squared away and i have had loads of energy and focus the last couple days. I decided i really want to get back into weight training.

So today…

i’m doing SarahBeth’s #MorningYogiChallenge this week. This one was a shorter one and it was great! I definitely felt awesome and pumped for whatever i got next.

Same deal. Got my heart rate up and ready to go.
I started with Autumn Calabrese’s Dirty 30 workout from the 21-Day-Fix. It’s one of my favorites and a good hard-hitter for everything so i could kinda see where i was at.
The good news definitely was that the consistent yoga has definitely helped with my consciousness of my body; i’m not just flailing around 60 seconds at a time with a 15 second break in between. I really focused on form and breathing, “taking my yoga off the mat” as Sarah says! I also saw great improvement in overall muscle tone, ease in holding positions and focusing on what my body can handle on a given day and not forcing my way thru with bad form. Modification is okay, especially when you haven’t done something in 3 months!

By this point in time, i didn’t even want to cool down. My stomach hurt and my whole body felt like it was dying. I really struggled to be calm, slow my breathing and focus on relaxing my body after an hour of work. (10-15-30) Once i got towards the end, i was all set, but during the first couple minutes, i definitely felt myself rushing, and pushing and preparing my body for it, and i didn’t need to at all! I just needed to relax.

I’ve also recently discovered that my low thyroid causes my muscles to be extra sore, even after a normal workout, so i’m writing this from the comfort of the bathtub with some Biggs and Featherbelle bath salts in it. 🙂

I’ve had 16 oz of water already, and i’d like to get in at least 20 more before i leave for work in a few hours. My post-workout go-to recently is hot detox tea with a couple splashes of coconut milk in it, for the fat. (I’ll be posting more about my low-thyroid diet and how i’ve been trying to compensate for that without the use of synthetic thyroid hormone pills).

So, all in all, a 10/10!! Nobody ever regrets working out. I’m super thankful for new motivation and the focus will definitely be to stick with it:

Yoga every day, per the norm.
New full-fat, low-processed-sugar/artificial-sweetener diet
Weight training with the 21-Day-Fix videos three times a week, to start back into it.

Why a Coffee cup is Important to my Life Right Now

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G’morning all 🙂 Feast your eyes upon my breakfast this morning!!
– 4oz cup of Wildberry kefir
-1/2 bagel with low-fat cream whipped cream cheese
-biotin capsule (one per day, with food)
-HydroFlask of water for thru-out the day. (always start fresh!)
-Coffee cup of Starbucks Harvest Spice Blend with stevia and International Delight coffee creamer.

 

There’s really not anything special about this unless you know how my life has been the last couple months.
My dear Marth and I were married on August 27th, and we zipped off on our honeymoon the day after. We were gone for a week, came home and started moving the rest of his stuff over, and i began my life-long-love-affair with the government agencies that are the Social Security office and the DMV (also, don’t even get me started on all the doctors and dentist appointments i’ll have to have as soon as we get his work insurance straightened out.) Also frequent trips to the bank, Amvets to de-clutter the tiny studio apartment, and we won’t even talk about the fact that i’m training for a new postion 30-38 hours a week, Marth works full-time, and we, and the cat, need to eat at some point in life.
Long story short, I’ve been racing around like a crazy person, and this is my official, second-day-off since the honeymoon a month ago, where i can actually stop…and breathe… and sit down to plan a productive day that doesn’t involve going to work later/when i come back from work.

The coffee cup:

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Since three days before the wedding, my daily coffee went into a travel mug. I just ran around too much, and it would get cold too fast while i was distracted with other things, or i’d have to leave; basically, my life just isn’t conducive to having a normal cup of coffee to enjoy in the morning.
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Today i decided would be different. I am up and moving later than i’d like, but i’m glad, because i needed cuddle time with Marth before he went off to another long day of work (being married is awesome; you can even justify sleeping in, and nobody makes a fuss! XD ) I made him breakfast, said goodbye and i’m settling in to what i’m hoping will be both a refreshing, and productive day, where i don’t have that weight or anxious feeling of “Being lazy”, but without burning myself out or frustrating myself.
My yoga teacher calls things like that “balance”, and, on a yoga mat, it’s referred to as a “healthy edge”, where you can stretch, bend and explore a pose without risk of injury, but KNOWING where your limit is. That’s a way to live life, too, and it’s something new i’m trying to work on! 🙂
Of course, regardless of how busy my days are, i always try to squeeze in an hour walk or so (in the dark if i have to) and/or at least a 15-minute yoga routine.
These are not things that come easily or that i realize “hey, i have some extra time today; why not do that?”
These are things that i’ve had to MAKE time for, push aside other things that aren’t as important, and focus on what i need, that day.
One of my favorite phrases is “Take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
It negates the “selfish” attitude that i worry about portraying when i say i’m just not up for something or i just can’t squeeze it in today, and focuses on the fact that i -and you- ALREADY do so much to help our loved ones and everyone around us, usually by just being us! If we intend to keep up that lifestyle of a giving heart and listening ear and flexible life, we need to take that time for ourselves, to ensure that we won’t break or become selfish when we lose our temper or aren’t able to give our full attention because we’re tired or unfocused.

That is what my coffee cup meant to me today; that i could take this time, this day, to organize my house, and my life, and take care of me, and that in itself IS productivity 🙂 Because taking care of yourself isn’t always sleeping, or long bubble baths or chocolate or all things of that nature.
More often than not, it’s that feeling and the actions taken to be in control what you can be, and letting go of what you cannot.

So take the time, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to do something that will spur you forward and guide you throu-out the rest of your day. 🙂

Some good examples to help you get started – I plan on doing a blog post for each with in-depth info as to why i like them so much! For now, if you’d like, claim what speaks to you today, and make it happen 🙂 

-Yoga – even just for 15 minutes of your day. Doesn’t have to be hot, sweaty or crazy; but focus on the relief you need today. (back, neck, stress, anxiety, tiredness, detox, etc)
-Purchase a probiotic drink and sip it thru -out the day.
-Prayer/journaling -Again, nothing special required, and it doesn’t have to be for hours.
-Healthy snacks/meals – Go out and purchase it if your budget will allow, or learn how to make some at home too! Even planning these things gets me excited!
-Go for a walk – Last time: It doesn’t have to be 5 miles. One, or a lap around the block is plenty, if you’re doing it mindfully and not just trying to get it over with.

i do hope some of these help; again, i will be putting up a blog post for each of these things and more specifically and practically why i find them so helpful!

Have a wonderful day 🙂

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Old Soul 

“What’s the matter with the car I’m driving? ‘Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?’ …

‘Let me tell you about the new-fashioned, honey, all you need are looks and a whole lot of money…’ ”

As someone with an old soul, these lyrics always speak to me. I’m proud of the old things I have and I plan on holding onto them for as long as they’re useful. I’ll take a chunk of solid metal over sleek plastic any day.

This Sunday Afternoon…

I planned on taking a cutesy picture of myself and my elephant pants I got from my cousin, sitting with my bare feet out the window in my husbands Buick today. It was sunshiny-beautiful out, not too hot or too cold, and I was blasting classic rock hits and eating a $5 fill-up-cup of frozen yogurt with strawberries, caramel turtles, mochi and Nutella on it. Just relaxing, outside with the windows down in my favorite section of town.
I thought about taking a picture (cuz let’s be real, it was gosh-darn picture-perfect) but then I realized, if i did, it would be thru Instagram, and I’d spend the last few minutes I had there filtering and checking and rechecking the likes and I just thought… “No. Some moments are meant to be enjoyed just by you. So enjoy it for real, and don’t think about anything else until this moment is over, and you’ve gotten all the happiness out of it you can possibly get.”
So I did. 🙂 and it was really awesome.
Tbh, I wasn’t going to post it to social media at all, but it’s late, and I wanted to remember it and write it down while it was still fresh before it faded away with the rest of my good memories.
Make the most of good memories, gang. Just do it.

via my tumblr @meyla3839 🙂