Thursday, August 28, 2014

I wish someone had said something helpful


To be honest- I had completely forgotten about this post! I wrote it last November (2013) when Charlotte wasn't even 6 months old yet. It was really funny to find this a read through it. It's still true! No photos: Just words.

Before Charlotte was born, I knew motherhood was going to be hard... but I didn't think it would be this KIND of hard. Does that makes sense? I expected motherhood to be challenging and difficult... I saw all the crap my mom had to deal with from us girls. But I really didn't expect it to be like this. 
I just wish someone had told me something that I felt was helpful...
All I got were, "Oh, you just get ready for sleepless nights!"
And, "Motherhood is the most amazing thing in the entire world! I love being a mother ALL THE TIME." 
And, "Oh, you think you're life is hard now. You just WAIT until your baby is born!"
How the heck are any of those statements helpful to a new or future mother? Hint. They aren't. 
So... to my new mom friends, soon to be mom friends, and already mom friends... here are some things I wish people had said to me...

#1. There are parts about motherhood that just plain suck.
My good friend Cherie told me this the other day (she is a mother of 3) and it's just a fact. I do not enjoy getting spit up on. I hate it almost MORE than poop. Because at least poop can be contained as long as you have a good diaper on your kid. But spit up can get everywhere... and then everything smells like cheese. And the crying. The crying really sucks. Especially when you have no idea why they are crying or how to fix it. 

#2. Yes, you will be exhausted. But you can do it.
I hated when people told me that I was tired and that it would pass. That never made me feel better. So I'm not going to tell you that it will pass (although it does... eventually they learn to sleep through the night). I am just going to tell you that you can do it. You can be exhausted and only run on a few hours of sleep. Just hang on until dad gets home so you can get some relief and take a nap. 

#3. Life does get harder... but also more fun.
I would be lying to you if I said there weren't times where I missed being able to just pick up and go to the store without taking everything and the kitchen sink (and that also didn't required planning to make sure we go at a time when C will be happy). But oh, her smile! And her giggle! And watching her learn and grow. It's pretty awesome. 

#4. It's OK to feel overwhelmed!
Look, there have been days when Devin comes home and I tell him I need to go hide under a rock for a week. Devin (carrying Charlotte) and our dog all follow me around. All. The. Time. I tried to go to the bathroom the other day and they all followed me. I said to Devin, "WHY do you keep following me!?" And he said, "Because you're the Mommy..." Being a mother is a lot of work, but being a wife, a friend and all the other hats you wear can all pile up and make you feel overwhelmed and that's OK! Take some time for yourself. Do what you need to do to get recharged. Call your mom, take a bubble bath, cry it out... and move forward.

#5. It's OK to cry. 
The honest truth about me and motherhood... There have been days when I called my mom and told her that I just couldn't do it anymore. I have told my friends that I just don't now how I am going to be a mother. There have been times where I have woken Devin up early in the morning and had him take Charlotte so I could have a break and a little nap. I have cried and cried and cried. I've been selfish and cried at the loss of my "youth" and our carefree days. I've cried because Charlotte is crying and I don't know what to do. I have cried because I need my mom. I have cried because I have felt so completely alone. I have cried because I have desperately needed a break and a date with my husband but haven't been able to afford to go on one. I have cried about money and the lack thereof. I have cried about whether or not I am ruining my child with my inexperience. 

But you know what? I wouldn't change my life now for anything. Yes, I still cry. Yes, I get overwhelmed. Yes, I still need breaks. But this tiny little love, is the love of my life. I have an amazing husband (who is also a love of my life) who gives me relief me I need it most. I have a mother I can call and vent to. I have friends who understand!
So keep on keeping on mama- you CAN do this! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

On not being present



If you know me, then you know that I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as balance- only juggling. 
I have heard it said that there is no balance, only family first- which I also agree with.
I'm just having a hard time giving up my time with my family these last few weeks. 
I am gone for over 12 hours 3 days a week and I get home after 6:30 4 days a week.
That's a lot of time being away from my sweet husband and sweet baby girl.
I never regret the time I spend with my family
I do regret the time I feel that has been wasted (with classes that are not necessary for my education but we still have to have our "butt in the seat" time) 
And finally- FINALLY I get why I am doing this.
My first clinical rotation has just started and I am at a long term care facility (read: nursing home)
And my first day there was so depressing- I came home 100% drained.
I won't go into too many details but it's just flat out sad and heart wrenching. 
My second day- it clicked.
I give up my time with my family to help others.
I give up my time with my family to care for others.
I give up my time with my family to spend time with people who sometimes don't have a family.
I am their advocate when they have none.
I am the one who cares when maybe no one else does.
I give up my time with my family... and it's really really hard to do. 
Often I have looked at my Charlotte and thought, "where did this time go?"
My time has gone with her. She is my time thief. 
Even though I'm not with her as much as I would like, my time still goes with her
I am always with her and she is always with me.
I find myself, however, being "here" but not being present too much of the time.
I have never been one to "find joy in the journey"
HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
I am constantly thinking about what come NEXT
What I have to do NEXT
What tasks need to be done NOW...
How do I stop that? 
If I lay down for a few minutes I feel like I'm wasting time that I could be studying...
I am trying SO hard to be HOME when I am home
The phone goes away until Charlotte goes down for bed and I try my hardest to be present- here and now. And worry about tomorrow (and the next day and the next day...) after she has gone to sleep.
Because as much as she is my time thief, my worry and planning and list making is also a thief...
A thief of being present. 

"Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes...
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly. Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us." 
My messy house means that I have people to love... And I will be here and present for them... even if it means not getting everything done on my list. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Let's talk about eyebrows...


I remember the day I started plucking my eyebrows. It was a bit before most of my friends started doing it (I also started shaving my legs at a very young age.) Blame it on my ridiculously dark hair but the unibrow started creeping on me early. I snuck my mom's tweezers out of her drawer while she was at work and I went to town on those bad boys (once I even shaved, SHAVED! between my eyebrows). 
A few weeks ago a discussion was started by my HS friend Erica about whether or not girls filled in their brows. 
I was one of the few who did fill in their brows.
It's true, my hair is dark and my brows are dark so I never really thought of filling in that random hair above my eyes. UNTIL my friend Katrina did it (HEEEEY) for a photo shoot I did with the always amazing Tonya Joy Photography. It was like, a whole new world. 
My eyebrows suddenly took on a personality of their own.
Flash forward to my very first nursing clinical this week (exhausting!)...
My patient and I started discussing eyebrows and how she scares her grandchildren until she "puts on her eyebrows" (this is how I knew we were going to get along).
I even helped her fill in her eyebrows!
Faaaaaaaabulous.


Eyebrows my friends... they make a difference! 
They are, of course, sisters and not twins (in case you were wondering)
Now, I'm definitely not suggesting that everyone NEEDS to start sculpting their eyebrows ASAP
What I AM saying is that if you haven't tried it-don't knock it. 
TRY IT!
You just might become a huge fan (like ME!) 
I am easy peasy when it comes to filling in my brows because I am super limited on time.
Read: I pretty much do the same thing to my face every day during the week. 
In fact, I was only doing it every Sunday when I had the time to REALLY focus on my makeup
Now, I have become even more "brow-lazy" and started to use benefit's "gimme brow" and I LOOOOOVE it. Someday when I have more time- I will be investing in the Anastacia Brow Kit (stencils and all!) because having good eyebrows is like beauty crack.