Categories
Maintaining Me

How To Make Time For Yourself

Why is it so difficult to prioritize making time for yourself as a mom?

I am almost three years into mom life and I suck at scheduling time for myself. 

Sure I think about it all the time. Really like daydreaming about the time when I was able to do whatever and whenever I wanted.

But I never seem to take any real action in guaranteeing that time to myself.

Mom burnout??

Nope, that doesn’t happen to me because I am superwoman…at least I like to pretend I am.

Related Content:

Guide To Ditching Mom Excuses

How To Stop Being Such A Serious Mom

My Top 10 Mom Quotes

10 Tasks to Improve Your Mental Health

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Truth is?

I am not superwoman. I am human. Sometimes things become too much to handle.

The kids. The house. Maintaining a strong connection with my husband. My own thoughts.

I cannot thrive in all of these areas of my life when I am drained from not fulfilling my own wants and needs.

One thing you need to know about me is I hate admitting that I can’t do something. I refuse to ask for help…for anything. 

It seems that if I ask for help, I am admitting that I am incapable of something I know that someone else can do.

The problem here is not that I do not have any freedom or time for myself…it is my mindset regarding the process of obtaining alone time for myself. 

Change In Mindset

I am sitting here at Starbucks writing this post while I am actually by myself.

I have not been completed by myself in months. No babies. No husband. And no pets.

Just me in my own company enjoying this delicious Maciouto. 

You see I did something different today. I prioritized myself. I asked for help.

And damn does it feel good.

I stopped believing that it makes me incapable. Instead, I believed that it empowered me.

I am not a burden by asking for help. In fact, I am providing an opportunity for my mother in law to bond with her grandbabies.

I know I will come back a better version of myself. One because I have some afternoon caffeine in me, but two because I am refreshed. I have been relieved for a short time, providing me a mental break.

If you are a stay at home mom, I know you understand what I mean. It can feel like we are trapped at times.

I love my girls more than anything but I hate the trapped feeling that comes with motherhood. I hate the guilt that comes with doing anything for myself.

Maybe it is a phase during the little years when their needs are so demanding and plentiful, And maybe it is my fault for not prioritizing myself enough. Sometimes that mom guilt gets the best of me.

But whatever the reason it is, it has to stop.

Ensuring alone time for mom is essential for creating a happy and healthy motherhood.

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I am determined to continue to make motherhood as joyful as I can for myself and for my children. Even during the hard seasons.

Motherhood should not be remembered as all the sacrifices made for our identity as “mom”. But rather adjustments to who we are now, making sure we make time to continue to nurture who we are as individuals when we are not in the “mom” role.

Prioritize Time For Yourself

So do me a favor mama, schedule alone time for yourself right now after reading this. Don’t wait because it will get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list and never get done.

Need some ideas of what you will do during your “mom” time?

  • Have a lunch/coffee date with a friend
  • Have a coffee date by yourself
  • Go to a cafe and read
  • Get your nails done
  • Get a haircut/color treatment
  • Spa day
  • Go to a yoga class/workout session
  • Go shopping for YOU (Solo target trip??)
  • If it is summer or sunny by you, layout by the pool (remember relaxing outside instead of running laps around the pool after the little ones? Yeah I miss those days too girl.)

Whatever you do, don’t waste it on doing stuff around the house. Make sure it is something you enjoy and that it is for YOU!

Put it on the calendar now.

Prioritize yourself.

You are worth it…I am worth it.

Categories
Maintaining Me

15 Quotes That Will Inspire You

Quotes can be powerfully inspiring to change your mindset and take action towards leading a positive life.

Read through these 15 quotes to inspire you to create the life you are craving.

It helps to save these as a background of your lock screen or wallpaper so you are constantly reminded! 

Repetition is key to changing your mindset.

It all starts with you!

Quotes That Inspire

 

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“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” -Unknown

quotes to inspire

“Be such a beautiful soul that people crave your vibes.” -Unknown

quote inspiration

“Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself.” -Unknown

If_you_don't_heal_what_hurt_you,_you_will_bleed_on_to_those_who_didn't_cut_you-min[1]

“If you do not heal what hurt you, you will bleed in those that didn’t cut you.” -Unknown

Feeling stressed out lately? Maintaining in a good mental state is crucial for living your best life.

Read my post about improving your mental health with these simple 10 tasks.

quotes motivate

“Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons.” -Denzel Washington

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“Stay close to people that feel like sunshine” -Unknown

quotes motivation

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” -Unknown

quotes inspiring change

“This is how change happens. One gesture. One Person. One moment at a time.” -Unknown

Related content: Podcasts That Have The Power To Transform Your Life

 

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“When you start taking care of yourself you start feeling better, you start looking better, and you start attracting better. It all starts with you.” -Unknown

 

quotes inspiring positivity

“You gotta train your mind to be stronger than your emotions or else you will lose yourself every time. ” -Unknown

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“Your busy doubting your thoughts while some people are intimidated by your potential.” -Unknown

your_joy_cannot_be_found_in_a_person,_possession,_or_profession-min[1]

“Your joy cannot be found in a person, possession, or profession.” -Unknown

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“Your life only gets better when you do. Do the work and the rest will follow.” -Unknown

quotes that inspire

“Your only limit is your mind.” -Unknown

Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.Radiate and give love, and love will come back to you.

“Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Radiate and give love, and love will come back to you.” -Unknown

Looking for quotes that inspire moms?

Read my post: My Top 10 Mom Quotes

I hope the quotes listed above sparked energy inside you to make changes in your life. 

What are some of your favorite quotes that inspire you to live your best life?

 

 

Categories
Maintaining Me

10 Tasks That Improve Your Mental Health

Ready to imporve your mental health? Have you been feeling extra stressed lately? A little anxious? Maybe even depressed? It happens…to a lot of people.

You are not alone. 

Nowadays it seems like a lot of people are pouring from empty cups.

Especially moms

We are giving so much of ourselves away and forgetting that we need to replenish ourselves. Often leading to grumpy moods and mom burnouts.

If you are a mom check out 5 Self Care Tips Every Mom Should Do Daily

Our society is trained to move at such a fast pace that we are forgetting to take care of our basic needs. Our body and mind are trying to tell us “hey, slow down, take care of me!”.

This is also true for children.

Most of the time our children’s tantrums are a sign that something needs replenishing in their mind or body as well. Don’t forget your children’s mental health matters too.

Implement these 10 tasks into your self-care routines to improve your mental health.

Get Outside

Feeling a bit off? It’s time to head outside! Simply being outside for 20-30 minutes a day can drastically reduce your stress levels.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), children who spend more time outside are often less stressed, physically healthy, more creative and are able to concentrate better.

That goes for us adults too!

Being in nature does wonders for our brain. Our brains need a break from our fast-paced living to just process everything.

In the past year, I have really started to implement this in our lifestyle.

I have a hard time handling stress and I have found that the outdoors helps me a ton!

My favorite place to go is a nearby beach. We go pretty often, I would say about once a week when the weather is nice. Our beach is in a small town and is rather small but that is why I love it.

My daughter loves it too as it has a playscape right off the beach. We spend many evenings here as a family to just unwind together and take in the beauty.

Activities to do while outside:

  • Play with your kids
  • Sit on a porch & read your favorite book
  • Go to the beach
  • Music in the park events
  • Go for a walk
  • Have a picnic
  • Ride a bike

Get Moving

One of the best things you can ever do for your physical and mental health is to move.

MOVE YOUR BODY.

It doesn’t matter in what way or how fast as long as you are being active.

I used to think that physical exercise had to be exhausting in order for it to be effective. But that is simply not true.

Some of the calmest ways of moving your body, like yoga can be the most beneficial for your mind and body.

Physical movement allows our body to release oxytocin, which is a hormone, that lowers stress and improves our mood.

Activities that get you moving:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Cycling
  • Lifting Weights

Drink Up Water

Have you ever heard of Rachel Hollis?! She is an amazing author and motivational speaker that gives some good advice on this topic.

She says we should be drinking half of our weight in ounces of water per day.

So if you have 140lbs you need to be drinking 70 ounces of water per day!

Sounds like a crazy amount right? When I first heard this, I thought that it was crazy! I would be peeing all day! And night probably.

But that is the point. Our bodies need to be flushing out all of those toxins that are being absorbed into us. The only way for the body to be able to effectively flush is by hydrating.

If our system is bogged down by toxins we are going to feel like crap.

Go get yourself a water bottle with the ounces of it and start keeping track how much water you actually drink per day.

I bet it is safe to say it is a lot less than what you should be drinking!

Put Down Caffeine

There is something heaven-sent about my morning cup of coffee. I don’t know if it is the delicious smell or the warmth I get from the cup when my hands are hugging it.

But I get all of the happy feels from it. My morning cup of coffee is one of my favorite things, especially in the winter months.

If I could, I would drink coffee all the way until lunchtime. Then maybe have a pick me up cup later in the afternoon. But I can’t.

My body would literally be shaking and my heart would be racing. Which is crazy because I grew up on sipping Diet Pepsi ALL DAY. (Thank goodness I got out of that habit.)

Caffeine can wreak havoc on your nerves. It acts as a stimulant in your body and initiates the fight or flight response in the body. 

Often increasing anxiety systems or even triggering an attack for individuals that have a sensitivity to it.

The best thing is to pay attention to how you are feeling.

If you are an individual that is a bit anxious try stepping back from the caffeine for a bit to see if there is an improvement.

Eat Clean

I think it is safe to say that the majority of us could clean up our eating habits a bit. Busy schedules can make it challenging to make sure meals are prepped and ready to be cooked at home.

Often times we are looking for convenience rather than quality, especially moms that are moving from one thing to another.

Our nutrition and our children’s nutrition should be one of our top priorities. What we nurture our bodies with determines our mental and physical health.

To make healthier eating choices easier to implement, try finding a meal plan routine that works for your family.

We have just started doing this in our home and it has been a huge help. We eat out less, save more money on our groceries, and the best part is that I am not always wondering “what should I make for dinner tonight”.

I seriously hate deciding meals every night!

Tips on Eating Clean:

  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible
  • Limit red meat
  • Limit sodas
  • Increase daily servings of fruits and veggies

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Limit Screen-Time

Ah screen time…where do I start?

First off, I believe technology is such a blessing and a curse.

There have multiple studies saying that excessive use of technology leads to poor mental health and less satisfaction in life overall.

However, there have also been studies to show that individuals feel less anxious and depressed when using technology often.

Then there are studies about the effects technology has on child development.

Basically, there are a lot of variables in determining the effects of technology.

Technology has exploded so fast that research on the effects are still new and need further studying to be sure.

What we do know is moderation is key. 

Set limits and boundaries on technology use.

Think about if you are using your phone purposefully or mindlessly. 

Remember it is okay to put your phone away for a bit and be free from the notifications. It might feel weird at first, but once you do it a few times it will feel relieving.

Looking for motivation to change your mindset and live a positive life? Check out: 15 Inspirational Quotes for a Positive Life

Connect

My mom recently told me that she heard on the news that 30% of millennials feel lonely and that they don’t have friends.

In a time where we can be connected to each of more than ever, we feel lonelier! Mind-blowing right?!

But that is because our technology can sometimes act as a barrier to forming real authentic relationships.

Screen-free time allows you to build deeper connections with the people around.

Real connection is crucial for our mental health as we all crave a sense of belonging.  

How many times do you see couples or families out to eat and they all have a device in their hand?

Too many people are doing this all the time. Those individuals are missing out on quality time with people that matter most in their lives.

Now I am not going to lie, we give our daughter our phone once in a while when we are out to eat to calm her down. During that time my husband and I are making sure we are communicating and having intentional conversations.

I don’t know about your toddlers, but our’s hates when we try to talk to each other. It seems it is impossible to get a word into each other at times so we take it when we can.

Next time you meet up a friend for brunch, go on date night or meet a colleague for drinks be intentional about the time you spend with them.

Ask questions to get to know them better and LISTEN.

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Lighten Your Load

Before I had kids I was famous for filling my schedule with work. Work was my number one priority. I allowed it to occupy the majority of my time, robbing myself of everything else that mattered to me.

Since my panic attacks and having my babies I realized how precious my time is.

Read more about my journey with anxiety here.

I no longer overschedule my time. I re-evaluated my commitments and started saying NO to tasks that didn’t serve my family or me.

Identify your values and review your calendar. Is your time aligning with your values?

If not, it is time to make some life changes.

If you are looking at these tasks and thinking you do not have time to incorporate these into your life, it is time to make a change.

Rest

Do you have a hard time sitting still?

Geez I know I do. My mind goes crazy thinking of everything I could be doing instead. It is a real problem for me. 

If I decide I am watching some TV, most likely I will be folding some laundry while doing it.

I have the hardest time just being still.

But our bodies and mind need it.

As much as it is beneficial for us to get moving, it is as important to be still. 

It allows our brains time to unwind and process everything that has been happening. Allowing the stimulation from our senses to calm down, especially from technology.

Try meditating five minutes a day to give your mind that break. Or sit outside for five minutes in silence with your eyes closed.

Be still and recharge! Any little bit will help.

You will resume feeling lighter and refreshed ready to continue taking on life.

Self-Care

I saved this one for last because I believe all these tasks are forms of “self-care“.

Self-care is any activity that we do to reduce stress and enhance our well-being. 

These tasks do just that. They make sure you are physically, emotionally, and socially fulfilled.

In order to maintain good mental health, ALL of our needs must be met.

Other forms of self-care:

  • Reading a book
  • Engaging in a hobby
  • Being creative
  • Soaking in a bath
  • Trip to the spa
  • Mani and Pedi

Maintaining self-care is important for everyone to incorporate into their daily routine. Because when you feel good, you do good. 

This is especially true for moms!

If you are not feeling like you are your best self, you will not be giving your children the most patient, loving, and fun mom that you could be to them!

Go invest time into yourself, for it will be relayed to the rest of your family!

Categories
Raising You

Our First Month as a Family of 4

As I sit down to write this post, it amazes me that it has been a whole month since my daughter, Delilah, was born and we became a family of 4.

Check out our beautiful birth story here.

Time in your parenting journey is a funny thing, it seems as if the days go by slow but before you know it, the weeks fly by.

Our first month of a family of four has felt like a rollercoaster ride. It has been such an exciting time filled with an abundance of joy and love but also a very stressful and somewhat chaotic time.

Not to mention the frequent poop explosions and adorable milky baby smiles.

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Someday we will look back on our hardest days and laugh at what we found difficult…like our first few outings with both girls. They were disasters!!

We went to Delilah’s two-day check up and on the way there we were stuck in 40-minute traffic where we learned Delilah was not a fan of the car seat or stop and go traffic. She screamed ALL.THE.WAY!

Melina decided she couldn’t wear her flip flops because they started hurting, so she needed to be carried through the doctors. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but our double stroller was not in our car yet and I was still recovering and couldn’t handle the weight of Melina or the carrier. 

We looked like a hot mess in that doctor’s office!! After all those frustrating moments we finally made it back in the car and my husband and I just looked at each other and laughed…“So this is what a family of four is like?!”

I hope that other new Mama’s will read this and relate instead of feeling like they are alone with the challenges that motherhood may bring.

Seasoned Mama’s of more than one…I am all ears for your advice!

First Born’s Reaction

If you don’t know already, we have a little girl that is 2.5 named Melina. Melina is the typical toddler, a lot of energy and a whole lot of personality!

She has shown Delilah so much love ever since she first met her in the hospital, just like I thought she would. It is one of the most precious things to witness your baby love your other baby.

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She loves trying to be mommy’s helper and is the first one to check on her when she wakes up. Whenever we are about to go somewhere she will say to us “what about sissy”. We have asked her if we should leave Delilah behind and she always says “NO!”

But since we have settled in at home the first few days after the hospital, she has seemed different. Not different with Delilah, but different with my husband and I. I remind myself that she is still adjusting to our new family dynamics but it has been hard to handle her.

Our Reactions

To be honest, so am I. And I am sure my husband would admit the same thing. For some reason,

I thought going from one to two kids would be a piece of cake. A walk in the park. We were so good with Melina that we didn’t think we would have issues adding another one.

Boy, did we get a wake-up call those first few days home. Two kids are the real deal! Our whole routine and flow have been off and we are still finding our rhythm a month later.

The hardest part for me has been maintaining my patience. Especially when I am breastfeeding Delilah while I am home alone with Melina.

It seems that five minutes after I sit down to start a feed, Melina is either finding trouble or has to go potty right now! (We recently potty trained her so we are working on wiping and pulling undies all the way down)

You may be thinking well why don’t you ask her if she has to use the bathroom before you start a feed…I do, but she refuses to go until she feels the urge.

When I take a step back, I see that this is most likely happening since my attention has shifted to Delilah during this time and she’s grasping for some attention on her.

I do my best to make sure we are playing before and after feeds. I have even attempted trying to play while feeding or snuggling up with her. Some days it feels like no matter how much attention we give her, it doesn’t make a difference.

I am praying that this is just an adjustment stage for all of us to work through. For now, I am planning on reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to get a better understanding of how to connect with my daughter and fill her “love bucket”.

Wish me luck!

Breastfeeding Journey

You never know how breastfeeding will go until you start your journey, even if you have been successful in the past.

Our first few feeds in the hospital were a little challenging. Delilah took a while to figure out how to get a good latch. Leaving me with some sore nipples…yay mom life.

Luckily the discomfort was eased by my Earth’s Mama Nipple Butter within a few days that I made sure to include in my hospital bag.

Here’s my hospital bag essentials checklist!

Newborns are commonly sleepy the first few days after birth, but Delilah seemed extra sleepy which meant very short feeds. During this time I had to pump A LOT to remain comfortable since my milk had come in.

For all the moms that exclusively pump…I give you a ton of respect! I HATE pumping. It takes forever, it’s uncomfortable, and you’re stuck to the machine. But it is worth it to get that liquid gold for your babes.

Now we have a good freezer stash for mom and dad to have date nights every now and again to keep our sanity!

A month later, my milk supply has finally evened out with the demands, making me only pump once in a great while.

For more breastfeeding advice click here.

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Mama’s Hormones

Postpartum recovery is not only physically taxing but also emotionally. I am so thankful to have had an easy labor, making my postpartum recovery a breeze compared to my last birth. (I had postpartum hemorrhage that resulted in a blood transfusion and a longer recovery).

This time around, we were released from the hospital after 24 hours and I was feeling great! Yes, I still had all of the bleeding and cramping but nothing that felt too restricting.

The hardest part of recovery for me has been handling my emotions. There have been many days where I am overwhelmed and become emotional.

I wouldn’t go so far to say postpartum depression but I would probably guess I am on the border. Lately I have felt more like myself in the past week which has been a relief.

I have been battling anxiety for a few years now so it is important I keep an eye on my mental health for my family and myself.

Read more about my motherhood and anxiety: My Journey With Anxiety

I do not feel depressed or hopeless but frustrated that my days haven’t been how I imagined them. The lack of control of my days leaves me feeling angry. Then I feel guilty that I am not loving every moment of being a mother of two.

It is a vicious cycle inside my head. 

The demands of motherhood are hard. Little did I understand the struggle until I was knee-deep into it.  At times it feels like I constantly have one baby on my boob and the other is bouncing from one activity to another.

Yes, I was one to judge other mom’s before I even knew what they were going through and this experience has humbled me.

Just like other mom’s don’t know or see my struggle I do not see theirs. 

Making some time for myself has been a huge help in recharging myself and allowing me to handle my tough days. My husband does his best relieving me when he comes home which has been really appreciated.

I have decided to resume seeing my therapist and am looking forward to seeing her within a few weeks.

I have no shame anymore admitting that talking to someone helps me process all of my difficult feelings. In fact, it is one of the best feelings when I walk out of there after our session.

I drive home, put on whatever I want in the car because yes I am alone! (Gangsta mom comes out) More importantly, I am more relaxed and at ease with my thoughts and emotions and can show up better as a mom with I am reunited back with them.

Adventuring Out

Our first few experiences out were pretty nuts and frustrating but we are not ones to sit home often. I don’t want to call us “busy” because that makes it sound like we are busy with commitments. Instead, we fill our time with activities that we enjoy as a family.

Since my recovery was pretty fast, we figured it would be best to continue our lives like normal so Melina doesn’t feel like everything has stopped since Delilah. We continued our library routine, often visited the park, met friends at our favorite beach, and even had a big family zoo trip!

Doing all of these outings have helped Melina get her energy out and have time to socialize, which is something she loves! This also gave me time to get out and about and help from feeling lonely.

Let’s face it, sometimes I need a bit more conversation than baby coos and explaining “why”. 

Our first month as a family of four has not been as smooth or easy as I thought it would be.

But it is our journey as a family and for that it is beautiful.

Even on our hardest days, I wouldn’t give it up.

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There is nothing that can compare to those moments when you look at your children and feel that rush of love that brings tears to your eyes. 

Each season of parenting comes with challenges and this is no different.

I am excited to continue to find the routines that help our family thrive as a family of four…for now we take one day at a time making adjustments where we see fit.

Most days our primary focus is making sure both girls hearts are full of love and their bellies full of good food. 

 

 

 

Categories
Raising You

Honest Breastfeeding Advice

Hey Mama!

Are you considering breastfeeding your new babes or already on your breastfeeding journey and need some honest advice? I am here to help!

I recently just had my second baby about a month ago who I am currently nursing and previously breastfed my first daughter until about 14 months old.

Read more about my birth story here: Natural Hospital Birth – Delilah’s Birth Story

When I was first pregnant I knew I wanted to attempt to breastfeed my babies but had no idea what it was going to entail. In fact, I was unsure if I was even going to be able to do it.

Luckily, shortly after Melina was born, we attempted our first feed and we were successful! I had been so worried that I wouldn’t know what to do or that I would be uncomfortable with how it felt while feeding her. I didn’t come from a family that nursed their babes and for a while, the thought seemed a little uncomfortable for me.

When the time came, everything came naturally. I didn’t think twice about any of that and just started to nurse her.

If you are expecting and hope to breastfeed your baby, the best thing you can do is to keep an open mind.

Be accepting of either way to feed your baby. Remember fed is best!

Here are some realities about breastfeeding:

YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE DOING

And that is okay!! Some women feel very pressured to make sure that they can successfully breastfeed and I think that can make it a lot harder. It can make the situation much more stressful and unenjoyable.

Give yourself and your new baby time to figure out how to get a successful latch and determine the most comfortable positions for both you and baby to nurse in. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

There are lactation consultants that you can reach out to help assist you. I am a firm believer in trial and error throughout time.

Remember that each baby is different, so what may have worked with one is not guaranteed with the rest.

YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED HUGE BOOBS BUT NOW THEY ARE HARD AS A ROCK

Hey there boobs! Your milk has come in and your boobs are most likely huge and hard. Seriously pump as much as you need to remain comfortable.

Try to have your breast pump when you leave the hospital to prevent engorgement. Newborns usually eat about 2-3 ounces and your most likely going to produce a lot more than that.

If you are feeling like you just can’t empty your breasts, try taking a warm shower and then nursing or pumping right after. I also find it helps to massage the breast while nursing, especially if you feel a hard lump in your breast. A hard lump in your breast usually means a milk duct could be clogged.

LEAKY BOOBS ARE NO FUN

Since you will be producing so much milk at first you are going to have some leaky boobs. I know sounds fun right? I hate this part of breastfeeding.

In the beginning, I feel that I have to constantly change my clothes from leaky boobs and baby spit ups. I constantly feel sticky and smelly. Daily showers are very appreciated during this time.

Nursing pads are a must to slow down the turnover rate in clothes. I use both reusable nursing pads and disposable pads depending on where I am at. Reusable pads are for mainly when I am at home.

When my supply is really intense or I am behind on laundry I even use washcloths as nursing pads. Nothing more attractive than some square boobs…my poor husband. Disposable pads are great for when you are out and about and want to quickly swap out pads.

NURSING BRAS AND TOPS ARE NICE BUT NOT A MUST

Do not feel like you have to completely change over your wardrobe and lingerie because you are breastfeeding your babe. That would be pretty depressing and expensive!

I would say it is nice to have a few nursing bras and tops for when you are out in public feeding that way you are not completely exposed.

BUILD YOUR MILK SUPPLY EARLY

When you are pumping, to remain comfortable, it is the perfect time to get your milk stash started. Just make sure to properly label and date your freezer bags so it’s easier later on.

Building a milk stash allows you to have some freedom away from the baby at times. Trust me, you will need this after a while. 

Plus it gives your partner a chance to be involved with feeding your little one. I know my husband feels left out in the beginning because of how much the baby is on me. We have introduced the bottle with both babies fairly early, probably about a week after birth because of this.

Some women report that their babies won’t take a bottle which is why I recommend attempting earlier so they are more accepting of the bottle.

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CHAPPED NIPPLES ARE A REAL THING

Your nipples may become chapped and bleed or just be sore from the constant feeding every two hours in the beginning…invest in some nipple balm and pack it with your hospital bag.

Read more about what I included in my hospital bag here: Hospital Bag Essentials – Second Time Mom

My first time around I only had one period where my nipples became chapped to the point of bleeding and that was within the first week when she was learning how to properly latch on.

This time around I applied my nipple balm, Earths Mama Organic Nipple Butter often and only had minimal discomfort the first few days. No bleeding!

As painful and uncomfortable as it is, feed through it Mama! Make sure to continuously apply your balm/cream to heal the chapped area faster. Within a few days, it should feel back to normal.

Decreasing your feeds because of the discomfort may hurt your supply or even affect how your little one nurses. A lot of women will end up giving up breastfeeding because of an issue like this. 

YOU MIGHT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BINGE EATING

You may feel hungrier due to the extra calories you are burning. Most women burn about 300 calories from breastfeeding. This is great in the beginning when you are trying to lose the baby weight. But make sure you are getting enough nutrients to fuel both your body and the baby as time goes on.

By the time I was done breastfeeding my first daughter I was under where I was prepregnancy. While some women would kill to have that happen to them, I started to lose my womanly figure and became insecure about how skinny I was.

Remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. 

This time around I have some major sugar cravings. I am not sure why but am assuming it is from all my hormones. My toddler doesn’t mind my daily ice cream craving though!

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!

It is said that nursing mothers do need additional fluid intake other than the recommended daily amount.

The general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.

So if you are 150lbs, it would be ideal for you to consume 75 ounces of water.

Dehydration can cause havoc on your body and mental state.

Trust me I know. On days where my water intake is low, my energy is drained and I am more irritable.

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BURNOUT IS COMMON

Breastfeeding is often a difficult journey for Mama’s to go through. It may feel like your baby is on your boob 24 hours a day in the beginning and you don’t have any time to yourself. Or that you feel like you are not in control of your time because oftentimes you are nursing on demand. I know I have felt like that this time around.

It is important to remind yourself that these feelings are okay and completely normal. I mean we are human and need some time to ourselves too.

Whenever I am going through a difficult time in my motherhood I remind myself that it is only a stage. This too shall pass.

In the meantime, make sure to schedule a time for yourself. Whatever you want that to look like. Whether its a lunch date with your friend or a mani and pedi trip to unwind, go do what makes you feel good!

Read my go-to self-care ideas here: 5 Self Care Tips Every Mom Should Do Daily

Self-care is so important to ensure we stay in a positive mindset in our motherhood. 

All of the discomfort and frustration breastfeeding may cause, I believe it is still a beautiful journey. It creates a bond like no one else has the chance to experience with your child. Moments are filled with adorable milky smiles and their arms hugging around you.

But that does not mean this journey is for everyone, and that is okay too.

If breastfeeding ends up causing you too much stress and unhappiness, consider giving it up. Your baby needs you to be the best mom you can be, not the most stressed.

Categories
Maintaining Me

Hospital Bag Essentials – Second Time Mom

We finally reached the point where we should be carrying the hospital bag with us and yet I still did not want to pack it. It’s not that I did not want the baby to come but I felt like if I was too prepared then she definitely wouldn’t come early. I know crazy thinking but that’s how I am!

Well, I waited until about 36 weeks to pack our bags and she decided not to arrive until close to 41 weeks!!!

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Read more about my natural birth story for my second labor here! Natural Hospital Birth – Delilah’s Birth Story

Since it was my second time packing a hospital bag, it was much easier to include what I know I would be using. But that also meant that I needed to pack a bag for my daughter for when she would be with her grandparents while we were at the hospital.

Everyone’s hospital bag is going to look a little different because it should include what items you want to have there to comfort you.

Here is what I included in mine:

Clothes Included In My Hospital Bag

1 pair of Black Cotton JoggersI specifically chose a dark color because of the amount of bleeding that happens after. In case no one warned you – yes there is a lot of postpartum bleeding. Imagine the heaviest period you have ever had!

1 pair of Black Leggings I am delivering in June so I wanted a lighter option to lounge in at the hospital or come home with.

1 Black Nursing Short Sleeve Shirt & 1 Gray Nursing Tank Top – If you plan on attempting to breastfeed I recommend nursing tops for convenience. I purchased a couple from Old Navy that feels super soft and I feel are great quality.

I only used the black shirt as the gray tank top crossed in front and was too small for the first few days after delivery for me.

1 Pink T-Shirt – I wasn’t sure that I would want to be wearing black for our hospital pictures so I made sure to add a pop of color to my selection. It ended up being the perfect contrast for our pictures so I am happy I included it.

I would say it was snugger than I thought it would be on me (I forgot how much of your belly stays the first few days) and my husband’s nephew made the comment of why my belly was still big.

I love how honest kids are! While this really did not offend me, I would keep it in mind and pack a shirt that was a bit loser fitting next time around.

Mama’s do not get discouraged if your body is not what you thought it would be after birth. Some women are able to get right back into their pre-pregnancy clothes, while others it may take a few weeks to a month.

However long it takes, remember that it took you nine months to grow that amazing baby! Even though it may be frustrating, give yourself time to get back to yourself.

HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS (1)

 

2 Nursing Bras Nursing bras make breastfeeding more convenient but are not a must. A regular bra works just fine. Just make sure to pack your largest bras as you will be coming home with full breasts. Even if you decided not to breastfeed it will take some time for your milk to go away.

2 Cotton Panties – I choose my softest and stretchiest panties that I did not mind if I ruined from bleeding. Some women even choose to come home in the disposable underwear the hospital gives them depending on their condition after labor.

2 Pairs of Socks Hospitals are always freezing and the floors are gross. I packed two that way I could change them if we were there a few days. Some feel it is necessary to throw out the socks after wearing them during their stay. If that is the case, make sure not to pack your favorite ones!

1 Silk Floral Robe I packed this with the intentions of changing into it when guests came to meet our sweet girl after the labor or the next day. Of course, after the labor, my head was nowhere thinking about my clothes. I just wanted to soak up all the baby snuggles.

If you want to make sure you are wearing something other than a hospital gown than I recommend packing a robe or your own pretty gown. Obviously, this is not a necessity but more of a comfort item.

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Baby’s Essentials For Hospital Bag

I may have overpacked clothing for our sweet girl. I am the worst at making decisions beforehand and it is so hard to pick the right outfits when not knowing exactly how big the baby will be. I recommend packing both newborn and 0-3 month clothing items.

1 Newborn Jams – Possible going home outfit

1 0-3 Months Jams Possible going home outfit

1 0-3 Months Side Snap Long Sleeve Shirt with Matching Pants Possible going home outfit

2 Short-Sleeve Newborn Bodysuits For layering under jams

INFANT CARRIER/CAR SEAT – This one is the most essential item you need to have! You can’t bring a baby home without their car seat! Make sure your seat is properly installed in vehicles and you are familiar with how to use it. This way you will not be panicking if you have a fussy baby while strapping them in.

23B41A11-6273-4027-AE81-EA45FACE60C2-min[1]1 Lightweight Floral Cotton Swaddle I got a 3 pack of these off amazon because I thought these were so cute and perfect for a summertime baby!

1 White Muslin Swaddle Blanket Perfect for hospital pictures and a nursing coverup if the family is visiting.

1 Pink Polka Dot Cotton Blanket Used for hospital pictures as well.

1 Burp Cloth 

Mittens – Babies come out of the womb with some pretty long nails! Mittens help prevent any scratches.

Lots of Bows! – Of course, I couldn’t decide ahead of time what bow I wanted Delilah to be in so we brought a few options. Sticking mainly to pinks and whites that went with all of the other clothing that was brought. It’s a good idea to bring a few as some bows might not fit just right yet depending on the size of baby’s head.

Letterboard & Letters – This is super trendy & cute right now for announcing baby. We picked up this cute pink letterboard pictured above from Target’s value section for $3! 

 

Check out my post for everything you need for baby! Everything You Need For Baby For First 3 Months

Toiletries For Hospital Bag

  • Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner & Face Wash – I find the first shower after labor heavenly! After your body has endured such hard work and you have a ton of bodily fluid leaking everywhere it is amazing to freshen up and feel like yourself again. I splurged and tried some new products from Method and Love Beauty & Planet that I will continue on buying!
  • Razor
  • Hair Ties
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant – I prefer aluminum-free deodorant. Mama, if you haven’t looked into how aluminum affects your body now is a good time to.
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Earth Mama Nipple Butter – If you are breastfeeding this is a must! Chapped nipples are painful and often happen when babies are learning how to nurse. It is non-toxic and safe for application before and after feeds. It can also be used as a balm for lips, hands, feet or anywhere with dry skin.
  • Nursing Pads – Going home with leaky boobs is no fun. Disposable nursing pads are great for on the go to prevent several outfit changes but I suggest getting reusable ones for when you are at home.

Hubbies Items For Hospital Bag

If your husband is anything like mine he will say he is going to pack his hospital bag but really ends up throwing random items together at the time we are supposed to be heading out the door for the hospital.

So do him a favor and just throw in a few items. Heres what he needs:

  • Clothes to sleep in at the hospital
  • Change of clothes to go home in & for hospital pictures
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant 
  • Charger
  • SNACKS! – Yes, your man is going to get hungry while you are in labor and after. Make sure to pack snacks that both of you like as you will get to join him once your bundle of joy has arrived. I was starving after my labor since I couldn’t eat all day while I was laboring.
  • Blanket
  • Laptop/Tablet for Netflix

I hope my list of essentials helps get you inspired to pack your own hospital bag for your little one’s arrival.

Try not to think of it as a chore but one step closer to holding your new baby! 

 

 

Categories
Maintaining Me

Natural Hospital Birth – Delilah’s Birth Story

Every mom imagines what they want their baby’s birth story to be. The last few weeks leading up to your due date can be some of the longest weeks of your life.

Lucky for me… my daughter decided to come almost a week after my due date so it felt even longer!

During this time, I imagined a hundred different scenarios of how my daughters birth was going to go. Some scenarios best case and others were the worst cases. I think it is pretty natural to worry about this amazing process us Mama’s get to go through as it is really out of our control and up to our amazing bodies and the baby inside us. Realizing how little control I have over a situation gives me major anxiety!

I knew that I wanted to try natural labor this time around but was terrified of actually going through with it. I didn’t prepare myself for having a natural birth like most mothers do reading all of the books, listening to podcasts and educating myself of how it would go so I really didn’t think it was a possible option.

I still planned on laboring in a hospital but this time I wanted the freedom to move around and labor comfortably if safe for me and baby. I was not dead set on not having an epidural, in fact, I expected that I was most likely going to get it.

I figured I would not have my mindset one way or another but just be open to see what I felt was best at the time of delivery.

Delilah’s Birth Story:

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Our due date was June 30, 2019, and that date had come and gone. I showed up to my next doctor’s appointment on July 1 where they decided it was best to get an induction date scheduled just in case she decided not to come out on her own.

We were scheduled for July 6 and I was dreading it. I never had this problem with my firstborn, Melina. In fact, everyone told me that I would most likely deliver early and much faster since this was the second child. Obviously, that doesn’t always happen!

I didn’t understand why she wasn’t coming out already! My cervix was still high and no dilation. Why wasn’t my body preparing for her birth? I desperately tried all of the “natural” ways to induce labor like eating a ton of pineapple, spicy foods, and bouncing on the exercise ball. Yes, I even increased my intimate time with my husband,

STILL NOTHING.

I had so many questions and just felt hopeless like she was never going to get out of my belly! I know that sounds silly but it just felt like I was never going to meet her.

And then finally…I woke up throughout the night on the fourth of July with some moderate cramping. I didn’t think much of it until about 5 in the morning. I could tell that these cramps were in fact contractions that seemed to be pretty darn close together.

Trying not to get too excited that I was in labor I decided to get up and shower. During my shower, my contractions seemed to grow in intensity but still bearable.  I also realized that I had most likely lost my mucus plug after using the bathroom.

I really did not want to go to the hospital until I knew the real deal had started and the pain was getting too much to handle. My last labor lasted around 17 hours in the hospital and I felt bedridden once I was admitted. So I figured I would stall as long as I could this time around before heading in.

I started to time my contractions to see how close they were together. To my surprise, they were about 3-5 minutes apart. Yes! I knew then that I am most likely in early labor and would be seeing my baby soon!

So while I was observing my contractions I decided to look up labor breathing techniques.  Leave it to me to wait until the last minute to think of this! During my last labor, I had a hard time breathing, I was so focused on pushing that I literally forgot to breathe at times causing me to be exhausted and not pushing as strong as I could have been.

Natural Hospital Birth

I started practicing the breathing techniques during my contractions to help ease the discomfort. As soon as I felt the contraction start, I would inhale a deep breath and just relax exhaling out of my mouth a long, drawn out-breath. After a few times of getting the hang of it, I realized how effective this was. It was easing the intensity of my contractions and relaxing my entire body.

After getting around and learning my new breathing skills, I woke up my husband to call into work and get our stuff around to head to my in-laws to drop our daughter off.

Read more about what I included in my hospital bag: Hospital Bag Essentials – Second Time Mom

I started realizing that I was having a bloody discharge which concerned me a bit so we picked up our pace and headed over to triage to get assessed.

I was trying not to get my hopes up as we had some false alarms prior in the week. But I could tell that this time was a bit different. At least I was praying it was. I was 24 hours away from my scheduled induction and I  wanted more than anything for my body to go into labor on its own.

After getting assessed at triage, to my amazement, they determined I was dilated to a 5 and my water had broke!

Yessss! It was finally happening! I was being admitted and on my way to the labor and delivery room! My husband and I could not have been more happy and excited to hear that news.

I cannot tell you how relieved I felt and proud of my body I was for finally being ready to bring this baby into the world.

Of course, I was terrified of the next few hours that were in store for me because you never really know how your labor is going to go.

We have all heard of the horror stories of women having the most painful labors or all of the scary things that could possibly go wrong for you or baby.

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I was lucky enough to have a ton of family support while I was laboring to ease my mind of these anxious thoughts. My inlaws had come up with my daughter and my mother, grandfather, and brother came up to sit with us while we labored. For some women, this may have seemed a bit much but I enjoyed the company to help pass time.

After I was introduced to the team of doctors that would be delivering my baby, the question that always followed was: “What are you thinking for pain management?”. I cannot tell you how many times I heard that question the first few hours of being admitted.

Every time they asked the question, I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I had received an epidural with my last labor and was assuming I would do the same this time.

But I was not in enough pain to need it yet. I made it clear I did not want to be bedridden this time so we held off on the epidural.

I also learned that you are not restricted to receiving an epidural at a certain point of labor. At least this is what my nurse shared with me. She made it clear that if I labored without an epidural and then needed it when I was almost pushing they would be able to administer it to me.

Everyone I share this with is amazed. Honestly, I don’t know if that is always the case or if my nurse was just trying to ease my mind. I was terrified that I would get to a point that the intensity was too much for me to bear but I was stuck without an option of help. Knowing that I could have it helped me relax and take one moment at a time.

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For about four hours I labored on the birthing ball, using the breathing techniques that I had just learned earlier that morning to soothe myself through the contractions. I used the birthing ball to do pelvis rocks during my contractions and to help move the baby down the birth canal.

I felt empowered with every contraction that passed and I breathed and rocked through it. The nurses were amazed that I was up and talking still and not in much discomfort with being so far along in the labor process.

I decided to get re-evaluated to see where I was dilated to now since it had been several hours. I was dilated up to a 7 but I still had a sac of fluid remaining that needed to be broken so the doctors went ahead to break the sac to move the labor along.

After not much progression it was suggested to try hands and knees on the bed instead of the birthing ball. By this time my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. After about 20 minutes in this position, the intensity really increased. The hands and knees position is good for lowering the baby into the pelvis and thinning out the cervix for the transition phase of labor.

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I had read about how the transitional phase of labor is often the most difficult for mothers to handle. I really couldn’t recall this intensity with my first labor but again I was on the epidural.

This time around I could tell my body was heading into the transition phase of labor as my contractions grew closer together and seemed to never fully relax. I became hot and cold continuously. I even started to feel very nauseous. All I kept thinking is “please don’t start throwing up!” I couldn’t imagine handling the contractions while puking.

I became pretty silent during this part of my labor because I had to be so focused on my breathing or else the discomfort would take over and become unbearable. I would look at my husband occasionally to let him know I was okay and that I just needed to be in my own head for me to handle this. I found that keeping my eyes closed helped me stay focused and calm.

For anyone that is thinking of having a natural birth, it is crucial that you do not get discouraged and let negative thoughts inside your head. Whenever I started to doubt my ability or focus on the pain I was experiencing, everything became much worse.

I constantly was telling myself encouraging thoughts such as:

Every contraction I feel brings me closer to my baby.

I am not afraid of the discomfort I am experiencing.

You can do this without any medication just like women do all over the world.

I will get through this.

There is nothing wrong, this is the natural process of the body bringing a baby into the world.

I am so proud of far I have come in this labor.

I am ready to meet my beautiful baby.

My Breaking Point

I was stuck at a 9 for what felt like forever but it was most likely about 2 hours. It was determined that her head was not angeled the right way and my cervix still needed to be thinned out a bit more. My nurse was able to reposition it to a safe angle for her to be ready to travel down the birth canal.

At this point, I was completely exhausted. Feeling like I might not make it through this labor if it was going to be any longer. I really started to think maybe it was time to get that epidural if it was going to several hours longer. My sweet nurse kept saying a “few more contractions and then you can push” which I soon realized meant possibly another hour but her words kept me hopeful that it would soon be time to push.

I had this insanely tingly feeling all in my face and hands. It was the weirdest feeling I experienced throughout my whole labor. I kept asking the doctors if this was normal and they said it was from breathing. I am pretty sure they said I was getting too much carbon dioxide? But not really sure as I couldn’t focus on what anyone was saying. I think it could also be from my anxiety as I was getting pretty anxious right before it was time to push.

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I got the urge to push and I told the doctors that I need to start pushing, hoping that they weren’t going to tell me to wait any longer. But this time they said my cervix was thin enough where it was safe for me to begin.

Pushing without an epidural is so much easier and I would also say probably more effective. I could tell exactly the right time to begin pushing and bear down through the contraction to push the baby down as much as I could. After a few big pushes, the head was visible to the doctor, one more push and they said she would be out!

Fortunately for me, I pushed for about 15 minutes total and my sweet baby girl, Delilah was placed in my arms. 

There is nothing like the first few moments after your baby arrives.

It is the most magical and surreal feeling in the world.

The pain, the discomfort, the bleeding, and all the waiting faded away as I adored my little girl for the first time.

My labor experience with Delilah was so different than my experience with Melina. I only lost 100mL of blood during labor compared to 750mL last labor, no tearing when I tore 3 places last time, and I felt like superwoman!

I realized that my strengths are much bigger than my fears and with the right mindset, I can conquer anything. I am forever grateful for the experience of laboring my daughter naturally.

I was over the moon with adrenaline and so grateful that my daughter and I were both safe and healthy through our delivery process.

Our journey as a family of four starts now.

first born meets new baby

Check out how our first month of a family of four went here!

Categories
Raising You

Letter to my firstborn, Melina

My dearest Melina,

We are days away from welcoming your baby sister into this world and I have so many mixed emotions. I am so excited to meet this little angel that I have had the privilege to carry and nurture for the past nine months. However, I am nervous about the changes that it might bring to our family.

Your dad and I have talked a lot about sissy and have tried to prepare you for her arrival the best that we can.  It will be confusing at first I am sure. Mommy and daddy will do our best to be patient with you while you adjust to the changes that will be coming your way with becoming a big sister.

It is my hope that you two will share a special bond throughout your lives and make memories that will last a lifetime. I never had the chance of having a sister but sibling bonds are truly something special. Even if they seem like a pain sometimes. As you grow older, you will understand why they are so special.

I promise to continue to have special time with just you. At times that may be hard but we will make sure we still get our time together. Some days that will be cuddles when sissy is sleeping or doing each other’s nails. Others it might be a solo trip to Jungle Java or the movies to get your favorite, popcorn and juice!

I often find myself feeling guilty that your sister will not have me to herself like you did these past two and a half years. I worry that I won’t be able to balance my attention the way I hope to. And even more scared at how mommy’s patience is going to be when times are tough and I am worn out.

But then I think about how sissy has you to look up to and love her also. It is not just me, it is me and you that will spend most of our days with her.

How lucky is she to have such a kind-hearted and adventurous soul to follow? I can’t think of any other little girl that could be a better sister.

I feel so blessed that God chose me to be your Momma. You are the light of my life sweet girl. You have made me a better person and inspired me in ways I can’t thank you enough for.

I think God knew I needed you first to help me be the best mom I could be.

As much as I want time to speed up and bring us, sissy, I want it to slow down so I can soak up your snuggles and laughs. When you catch mommy staring at you a little longer or kissing you more, don’t push me away. Let me love your little soul before you transform into a big girl before my eyes.

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I am forever grateful for our beautiful journey together. Our journey as a family of four will soon begin and I know it will be just as amazing.

Love always,

Mom

 

 

 

Categories
Maintaining Me

My Journey With Anxiety

Being a mother that struggles with anxiety can be exhausting and downright defeating.

There are some days where I feel like my world is crashing around me. And most of the time it is for no good reason. I try to do the best I can to be fully present with my daughter and husband but my thoughts and worries are so loud that I can barely focus sometimes.

Instead, I am caught up in the worries and irrational thoughts that are circulating my head causing my body to release the physical response of fight or flight.

These times remind me that I still have work to do dealing with my anxiety.

To most people, I probably seem shy or a bit reserved but the truth is I just have really bad anxiety, especially around new people.

I have come to realize that I have had anxiety since a young child. And I see now how it has affected many of my most valued relationships.

It all started…

About a year and a half before I had my daughter I had the first panic attack that landed me in the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than my heart and the intense fear of death.

It was beating out of my chest and the sheer panic that ran through my body caused me to feel in a daze. I felt as if I had lost all control of not only my body physically but also the thoughts in my head. I didn’t know what was happening, I just felt as if I was dying. I know that sounds dramatic, but that is literally how it felt.

Unfortunately, during that time, I suffered several of these panic attacks that sent me back to the ER, convinced that the doctors had missed something. I was convinced something was being missed and I was experiencing some serious medical issue.

I had endured some pretty stressful life events and never had panic attacks so why now all of a sudden?

I guess I hit my breaking point in a way. I was overstressed with personal issues that were going on while dealing with the pressures of a new job.

Anxious Motherhood

But honestly, I think it was the fact that I was heading down a path of living a life that was not meant for me and my body knew it.

I think that puts a lot of stress on your mental state when you are not living a life that is true to who you are.

That was November 2015 and here we are March 2019 and anxiety still shows up in my life and now motherhood.

Ever since experiencing panic attacks I have been hyper-aware of every little change in my body, causing even more anxiety about my health. It is very true when they say you become what your thoughts are about.

When I became pregnant, I was a few months in to giving antidepressants a try and made the decision to get off for the safety of the baby.

I was determined to tackle anxiety naturally with the help of a professional and seeking out all of the information I could.

I am proud to say that since then, I have not gone back to medication to treat my panic and anxiety attacks. It has been a long process to learn how to accept and cope with the attacks, realizing that fear fed the feelings even more.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still times where I feel robbed by my anxiety.

Looking back I can see that I suffered from postpartum anxiety, yes that is a real thing. I know the doctor’s screen for depression but often postpartum anxiety goes untreated just being classified as “mom worries”.

There are many days that I struggle with being fully present. My thoughts are relentless and I have this need to be constantly doing something to keep my mind off my worrisome thoughts.

In a way, I guess it is nice because I am a pretty productive person. Although it saddens me how hard it is for me to just be still and enjoy the present moments, especially with my daughter.

I know our time together while she is this little is short and I want to soak up all of these precious moments that I have with her. But there are so many times when my anxiety gets in the way of me fully enjoying motherhood.

There are days where I am just in an anxious state of mind and become irritable at the littlest of things, especially on the days that I did not sleep well.

Trust me, an anxious person does not get the best quality of sleep.

I know it is not fair to her, especially during these trying toddler times where every bit of my patience is needed. I can’t help but become angry and guilty for how I respond to her in those times, but I cannot help it.

Somedays, that is just the best that I can do.

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I am learning that it is okay not to be the perfect mom. I do my very best to try and make sure that I am pushing forward in all areas of my life.

Pushing to be the do it all mom, maintain a peaceful home, and build an extraordinary marriage with my husband. While trying to dive deep into my own personal development journey and overcome my anxieties.

But the truth is, it does not always go that perfectly. And I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay.

All that matters is that I am continuously striving to become a better woman, mother, and wife each day.

Even if I just make a little bit of progress in one of those areas.

Because the reality is, I am the only one that has put all of this unnecessary pressure on myself to make sure everything is perfect. Those expectations are all in my thoughts, and I am learning to let those go, and fill myself with grace and gratitude for the progress that I make each day.

My daughter does not know what a perfect mom looks like. She just knows me and wants me to be there for her to snuggle and kiss her boo-boos and run around the house chasing her because I turned into a crazy monster.

I know I am not the only Mama that holds herself to these high expectations only to get frustrated when we cannot accomplish them all the time.

If you are a mom struggling to get by somedays, remember that tomorrow is a new day. For today, hug your little ones a little longer and notice their smile and laughter in moments of pure happiness. Try to be present as much as possible during those times because that is the best fix for your stress and will help get you out of an anxious state.

My journey with anxiety and motherhood is the reason I started this blog. I know I am not the only Mama that deals with anxiety or depression in motherhood. In fact, I fear that so many of you are suffering in silence, not letting anyone see your struggles.

My hope for starting this blog is to help moms that feel overwhelmed by the pressure of motherhood and to remind you that it is okay to take the time to work on yourself. Just because we are on the journey of motherhood, does not mean we can’t achieve anything else.

I am determined to continue my self-development journey while raising my daughter. I want to show her that even when we are struggling in hard times, we have the choice to overcome our burdens and create a life we envisioned.

I know that the more effort I invest in creating the best version of myself, the better of a mom I become as well. I will not let my anxiety continue to rob my motherhood and you shouldn’t either.

Join me in building a community that helps women become the best versions of themselves while raising beautiful children as well.

 

 

 

 

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Maintaining Me

Mother’s and Daughter’s Show Grace Today

As Mother’s Day is approaching, I have been reflecting on my relationship with my daughter as well as the one that I have with my mother.

Ever since I found out I was going to have a daughter and soon to be two, I was determined to nurture that relationship to the best of my ability. 

You see, my mother and I have a very complex relationship. When I was younger I would say that it was a very cold relationship. But I just think we did not understand what the other one needed from each other. 

To some people, my childhood would be considered tragic, to others, it is just the typical “American story”. My mother had me when she was 19 and soon separated from my father when I was three. I have no memories of my mother and father together but a lot of her dating other men to which I hated with a passion.

My father had a lot of health issues from having Type 2 Diabetes since a child and ended up passing away when I was 12. With my mom having to work a lot and still being “young” my grandmother took on the primary role of raising me for most of my childhood.

When my mother and I talk about my childhood we both have two very different views on how it went and why it was like the way it was. But since becoming a mom I have come to realize that most people feel that way about their childhood.

I was unaware of a lot of the hardships my mother had to go through and never thought about how she felt when I was younger. I was just so angry she wasn’t like “all the other moms”.

To be honest, I did not make it any easier on her. I would be so cruel with my words just to try and get a reaction from her. Even to this day I sometimes fall into my same old habits with her when we are experiencing a hard time.

What I have come to learn through my self-development journey is that she did the best that she knew how to do at that time. We all have our own demons we are working through and raising children through that time can be tough.

No, I do not agree with all of her decisions but I have learned to accept them and believe that she did the best she could do.

She often said “just wait until you have children of your own” or now she says “just wait until Melina is older”. I am not going to lie when I first had my daughter I had these expectations that I had to be the perfect mom and that I was going to be.

You want to know the truth? I am not. But I still love my daughter more than anything. 

My mother was not the perfect mom, but I can see that she loved me very much and still does.

No matter what life throws at us, we have been able to work through it together. Sometimes we are walking through life very angrily and hurt but we always find our way back to each other and know that we are there for each other.

In the past couple years we have experienced some very trying times with each other. Accepting one another for who we are and continuing to move forward has been a game changer in our relationship.

I like to say that we have a very open communication policy between the two of us, good and bad. My mother has most definitely seen my ugliest side and heard my cruelest words.  While I am ashamed to admit that, it is the truth.

And yet she would drop anything in a time where I really needed her. The same goes for her, there have been times where I swore I would not talk to her and then I realized she needed my help and I was right there with her.

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Because that is what mothers do. They are always there in the best way that they know how to be.

I hope my daughters can one day realize too that even though I am not a perfect mom, I love them with all of my heart and have done the best that I can do for them.

If you are going through a difficult season with your mother or daughter, choose love. Choose to love each other even though your opinions might be conflicting. Choose to love each other through the pain of the past.

Choose to love them anyway and show grace.

Happy Mother’s Day to every Mama out there!