Categories
Maintaining Me

Confessions Of A Working Parent

My husband and I decided to write out how we felt about our own roles within our family and create a vlog about it. He is the main provider and I have been at home with the babies these past years.

Let me tell you, the first time he shared his feelings about his role in our family I couldn’t help but get emotional.

I felt like a jerk for not realizing all of the stress and pressure he has been under. And selfish for being so wrapped up with my struggles at home with the girls.

Whether you are a part-time working parent, full time or even a parent in school. It is hard to find a balance in it all. While I do not feel that it is possible to have everything truly balanced, I do believe in prioritizing your attention to what is most important at that time.

For my husband, his top priority with his time has been school and work to better our family financially. Here’s how he feels about his current role in our family as the main provider.

Hi everyone,

My name is Tom. A husband to an amazing wife, and a father to two beautiful daughters.

I love my family so much and will always do whatever I can for them. That is why I make sure I go to work all that I can for them.

As being the provider I take great pride that my long workdays are going to make my family finically stable. It gives me great value in what I do, and helps give me that “I’m needed feeling.” 

Also, going to work gives me the opportunity to meet different kinds of people and learn about different backgrounds. With working at a hospital, it is usually nice having healthcare types of discussion with my coworkers.

With going to work, school, and having a few days, I am also able to switch up what I’m doing which is nice not to be bored.

So overall everything is pretty positive for being the main provider for my family.

That is very easy to say until you weigh the negatives.

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How can one stay so happy when they want to be home with their family but need to be away at work almost every day?

I spend about 50-56 hours at school and work every week. Think about that for a second. That is easily more time then I get to be home each week.

I am one of the lucky ones where I enjoy my job. Other people live their lives like this and hate their work.

Don’t get me wrong I love it when I get home from work and I get to hear a little two-year-old scream “Daddy’s home!” But I would much rather her wake up and ask me “What do you want to do today?”

I would much rather be giving my wife a good morning kiss, then a goodbye kiss.

When I am gone at school or work all day, I try to make sure to cherish and enjoy the last few hours in the day I have with my family. Some nights though this is a lot easier said than done.

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There are some weeks where the constant waking up early makes me very exhausted, This makes me feel that somedays my body never truly wakes up.

I get home from work and will get a burst of energy from seeing three girls with the most beautiful smiles, and one crazy dog that is jumping with joy. That’s all it is though, a small burst.

As soon as things slow down it is like my body is shutting down, preparing for the next day.

I start to feel like that hamster on a wheel, doing the same thing but not feeling like I’m getting too far.

I would like to tell myself that this doesn’t happen but some nights I just feel out of my own head. I’m sure my wife notices or can feel it.

It’s not that I’m not there physically, I am just not as engaged.

Sometimes it is as if that feeling of being needed as the provided, turns into pressure. The pressure to take no days off, the pressure to get the best grades I can. All of a sudden everything that was giving me the value is turning into stress.

Stress usually leads to me not acting that way I should, which at times can cause me and my wife to fight. This is where everything can go bad since my one safe place when I feel stressed is to be with my family. And if I can’t feel unstressed there than, that can really affect my mood.

That is how fast things can change.

I am sure I speak for most providers when I say I wish I could be home with my family every day. The funny thing is most stat at home parents probably wish they could work a few days a week.

I guess that is why they say you want what you can’t have. The constant looking for greener grass. 

I’m sure at this point you are wondering what helps me get through this and that I owe to my wife.

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When I’m gone at work, thank you, Chelsea, for taking care of our children and raising them up right.

Thank you for all the dinners you make, laundry you do, and cleaning of the house so that when I am home I can enjoy our family time we have.

Thank you for allowing me to be the crazy dad I am to our daughters.

Thank you for all of your hard work to keep this family going.

I cannot imagine how it feels chasing around a toddler all day, stopping her from climbing all while tending to a newborn, while being able to keep the house in order.

I will never be able to thank you enough for all that. But I do want you to know I truly appreciate that when times get tough, I know I can always count on us to figure it out together.

Yes, I do not prefer to be at work as much as I am. But I will always feel better knowing you are the amazing mom you are to our daughters.

-Tom

To read my confessions of a stay at home mom click here

 

Categories
Maintaining Me

Confessions Of A Stay At Home Mom

My husband and I decided to write out how we felt about our own roles within our family. He is the main provider and I have been at home with the babies these past years.

It is important to take the time to check in with your partner to see how they are feeling. No matter what role you have, you encounter different stressors that may be hard to handle sometimes. Being there to listen and support one another is so important to keep your relationship strong and maintain a healthy relationship.

I am hoping that some mothers can relate and realize it is okay not to enjoy every moment of motherhood but still being in love with our role in our family.

Below are my honest feelings about being the stay at home mom. We also did a vlog about our different viewpoints here.

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Hi everyone,

My name is Chelsea, and I am a stay at home mom to two little girls, Melina and Delilah.

This November marks three years of being a stay at home mom to my daughter Melina.

Three years of watching her fall asleep.

Three years of being the first face she sees when she awakens. 

Three years if learning her toddler language and translating to everyone else.

Three years of learning I have no idea what I am doing but giving it my all.

Three years of accepting my new role as the homemaker, and not the provider. 

I spend my days answering to mom/mommy 3,000 times a day! The days seem to drag on but the years are fleeting.

When I envisioned being a stay at home mom, I thought of all the amazing moments making memories of providing my children with the best childhood possible.

I thought of doing crafts, being silly together playing, and going on fun playdates. Basically the Pinterest mom. 

Let me tell you, I have learned that those crafts are only fun for five minutes, being silly together sometimes ends in a tantrum, and those playdates are sometimes more stressful than fun.

I know that this is just a phase like all the other ones we have experienced.

I never imagined motherhood to be such a rollercoaster. I never envisioned loving someone so much and yet becoming so overwhelmed with them.

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When Melina was a baby I would look at her and be filled with so much love and joy that tears would fill my eyes.

I couldn’t imagine how challenging the next two years would be transitioning into toddlerhood. And I don’t even want to think about the teenage years.

This motherhood business does not come with a manual. ANd to be honest, sometimes I feel like I do not know what I am doing.

Most days, from the moment I wake up, I am met with demands from a wannabe independent toddler, growing baby, and playful pets.

My role in our family is based on servitude. It is my responsibility to make sure all basic needs for survival are met and more.

Delilah needs to be nursed every 3 hours and soothed continuously. 

Melina needs constant attention with what she finds interesting and wants to explore. 

Tending to the house with the never-ending meal prep, cleanup, laundry, and routine cleaning. 

At times these demands can feel too heavy.

I become overwhelmed and frustrated. Frustrated for feeling like I shouldn’t be struggling with my role.

After all, I am the one who gets to stay home all day. But it is hard work to constantly put someone else’s needs in front of yours.

It is difficult when you have an active toddler that wants to be a monkey in the house and climb everything, while you are trying to nurse your hungry baby. At the same time as you are realizing that you are starving and have to pee.

Mothers are constantly putting their needs second, third, or even dead last.

At times, I know I can take my frustration out on Tom when I am feeling overwhelmed.

He will come home and ask how my day is. Some days, I can share all of the fun memories we have made from playing, adventuring, and just being together.

Other days, it all seems like a blur. He can’t tell that I have picked up the floor three times and finally gave up. Or that the screaming tantrum that she is having, is the tenth one today.

It feels as if we have been busy all day but didn’t accomplish anything that was on the list of needing to get done.

On the good days, I can’t fathom the idea of having to leave my children daily and dread the idea of school. It is amazing to be able to watch your children discover how to do something for the first time. Whether it is how to roll over or how to ride a bike. These moments are truly magical.

My heart aches in happiness when I catch a moment of pure joy in their face or hear that giggle.

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I am grateful for all that Tom does to provide for us.

On the challenging days, I envy his freedom. His freedom to drive in the care to work by himself. Worrying only about him. And of course, listening to whatever music he wants, however loud. Boy, do I miss my car jam sessions. 

I envy his social world. Even though it may only be his classmates or coworkers, they are adults. Engaging in real conversation having similar interests as him.

They are not demanding more food or their butts be wiped…At least I sure hope not!

I have learned that after these hard days, I need a time out. A time out from the constant demands, to-dos and just to have at least one hour to myself.

Whether that is a bath, a coffee date, Target run, or simply a drive. I need that time to refresh to come back to serve my family to the best of my ability.

While I sometimes loathe Tom’s freedom, I am forever grateful for his efforts.

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For the past three years, Tom has worked alongside going to school. He does his very best to show up and be present with us in the time that we have together, making us a priority,

I can’t imagine how exhausted he must feel waking up before all of us, and sometimes the last to sleep.

I know I do not tell him enough how thankful I am for all that he does for our family.

It can be so easy to get caught up in my own day to day stuff that I forget all that he has on his plate. 

Thank you for getting up early every day to provide for us and even on your days off so that I can sleep in.

Thank you for your willingness to better yourself with schooling so that our family can become more financially secure.

Most of all, thank you for giving me this time with my children. Thank you for not pressuring me to do any different than what my heart wants.

There will come a time when the house stays clean, the social life comes back, and the job offers are accepted, but the days of raising my babies will come and go.

And thanks to your hard efforts I am able to be present for the most important work in my lifetime. 

Being a stay at home mom s hard. No doubt about it. You are tested in ways you never imagined.

But there is also nothing more rewarding than being there for your children and providing them with your service of love.

Don’t ever doubt the importance of your role!

-Chelsea

Check out Tom’s viewpoint as a working parent here: Confessions Of A Working Parent

 

 

 

 

Categories
Maintaining Me

15 Affirmations For Moms

Affirmations are such a powerful tool to transform our mindset. It is a tool that I wish I implemented more into my own life because I believe in the potential power they have.

The words we speak and the thoughts we think are crucial for the type of life we are going to live.

It is so easy to get stuck in that negativity trap. One thing goes wrong and the next thing you know, you are just having a bad day with everything else going wrong.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

You can stop the negativity cycle.

You have the power to transform your day and energy.

Focus on the thoughts that are going on inside your head and the words coming out of your mouth.

Are they helping you create the life you want or are you just complaining?

I know I get stuck in this negative mindset sometimes.

I was scrolling on Instagram the other day. Frustrated and overwhelmed with the lack of control I felt over my time because of how my demanding my toddler and newborn were being that day.

I know sounds silly right, of course they are demanding! It is the phase of life they are in. But this particular day I was having a hard time keeping up. And I was getting frustrated with myself.

Related Content:

Perfectionism In My Motherhood

How To Make Time For Yourself

15 Quotes That Will Inspire You

10 Tasks That Improve Your Mental Health

Anyway, I read a post about another mom complaining of all her to-dos and responsibilities that she too had for her family. She was saying how she was complaining to her husband about it all. His response to her is what got my attention.

She wrote that his response was to stop thinking that you HAVE to do anything. Start thinking that you GET to do all of those activities that you are complaining about.

I let that sink in for a few moments.

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Instead of: I have to entertain my toddler all day.

I transformed that thought into I get to be with my child all day. 

Instead of: I have to clean the house again.

I transformed that thought into I get to create a warm loving home for my family.

Instead of: I have to cook dinner tonight.

I transformed that thought into I get to prepare nutritious food to fuel our bodies. 

 

See how powerful words can be? They make a difference.

The key to affirmations is to use them often, daily preferably. You are working on retraining your brain to think the way you want it too.

In the past, I have even written down my affirmations and posted them around my house. Sometimes this is easier than reciting them.

Or I make pretty wallpapers for my phone so I see it every time I use my phone. Use the graphic I made below and save it to your photos!

Here are my current 15 affirmations that I use to transform my thoughts about my motherhood.

  1. I am an amazing mom, even as I work hard to become a better one.
  2. I am capable of amazing things.
  3. My dreams and desires matter too.
  4. Motherhood has revealed my strengths.
  5. To my children, I am the perfect mom.
  6. Taking care of myself is not selfish, it is necessary for me to be a great mom.
  7. I am leaving a legacy of love.
  8. I find joy in the everyday moments of my life.
  9. I will let go of how I think today is supposed to go and accept how it imperfectly happens.
  10. It is okay to ask for help.
  11. My home is a safe place.
  12. I will laugh with my children today.
  13. I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my children.
  14. I will be present and in the moment when talking to my children.
  15. I am more than just a mom.

Check out: 30 Affirmations Every Child Needs to Hear

If you feel like you need a change of mindset, give affirmations a try. Find a routine that works for your lifestyle and let the repetition do the magic.

A few months from starting, you will have more positivity and confidence within yourself.

15 Affirmations for Moms

Comment below with your favorite affirmations! I am always looking for new ones!

Categories
Maintaining Me

Perfectionism In My Motherhood

Perfectionism by definition is the refusal to reject any standard short of perfection.

When I sit back and think about it, perfectionism is the main trigger for my anxiety. It is the main reason why I say I have had a “hard day” with my kids. Or why I get frustrated with my husband.

The need for perfectionism has stolen so much joy from my heart.

You see I have set all of these unrealistic expectations in my head that I feel pressured to carry out.

When I fall short of these expectations, feelings of guilt and doubt of worthiness creep in. Some days even anger.

The saddest part about this whole situation is I am the only one that is placing these expectations upon myself. It is all from my own inner dialogue inside my head.

I am definitely one to envision what the future looks like, or I should say, how I expect it to play out. But when the actual time comes and the reality alters from what I have planned out, I freak out.

The let down from not meeting my expectation becomes heartbreaking, ultimately Mothering with Anxietystealing my joy. It is a frustrating habit that I have had most of my life.

After some time of working with my therapist with dealing with my anxiety, I have come to see how so many of my emotional problems are my expectations. If only I could get rid of them completely. 

Read more about my journey with anxiety here.

When I became pregnant I envisioned what motherhood may be like, the type of mother I would be, and also how my kids would behave. I know I am not alone in daydreaming about these situations and hoping they play out just the way I hope them to be.

Well, obviously life does not always work out as we have planned. In fact it rarely ever does.

Here are some hard truths that I have realized:

Motherhood is a lot harder at times than I thought it would be. Because I am not in control of my time and my daughter’s behavior, 

Sometimes I am not the mom I wish to be, I can be impatient, angry, and short with my daughter. These are the feelings I experience when I am disappointed or feeling out of control.

My daughter is not perfect and has her mama’s temper. My daughter is her own person who observes how I handle difficult situations. 

During my three years of motherhood, I have gained plentiful knowledge about myself that I wish I would have observed sooner.

Perfectionism and the need to control situations are not traits that I am proud of. But they are traits that I have learned and been living with for some time now.

Luckily I have been able to identify how these traits truly impact my life and how they make it difficult for me to enjoy life in the present moment. Perfectionism makes it hard to accept life as is. Without trying to force the outcome that I wanted in the first place.

 

I think all moms can agree that being a mom is hard, brutally hard in fact.

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You do your best at making sure all of your family’s needs are met, the house is in order, financial responsibilities are met, and then after all that, THEN you think about your needs.

After having some difficult days adjusting to being a mom of two young children, I started observing why I was having these feelings.

Most of the time it came back to the desire to control and perfectionism – things not going how I felt they should have. 

My oldest daughter, Melina, is almost three. Let me tell you, she is full of personality and opinions! She knows what she likes and what she does not. Melina has her ideas of what is considered fun and what is not.

She has feelings from situations that occur that differ from the feelings that I have from the same situations.

Melina is her own person.

She is not a puppet or a barbie doll under my complete control. She is human, experiencing her own desires, interests, emotions, and actions.

Related Content:

Dealing With Challenging Behavior Using Positive Discipline

Basics of Positive Discipline

How To Make Time For Yourself

Can I be honest with you?

I forget that sometimes.

I forget that it is not my job to control her.

I forget how awful and annoying that would feel to her. 

When I sit back and think about our difficult days I see that they are difficult for both of us. We had different emotions, intentions, and both were disappointed with the others.

It saddens me to observe how many parents act as if they should be their child’s dictator. It’s even harder for me to realize that I too fall into this pattern.

The desire to control our children steals our joy from parenthood. It makes our children feel as if our love is conditional. “If you don’t listen to me I won’t treat you respectfully.” We are not directly saying these words to our children but we are communicating it through our facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language.

That is not a message we want to send to our children.

Lately, I have been trying to take a step back to remind myself that the only person I am in control of is myself.

I must work on me in order to transform my mindset. Setting unrealistic expectations is a sure way to have bad days filled with disappointment. If you to catch yourself doing this, call it out. Realize that it is okay not to have everything the way you want it.

Goodbye Perfection!

In order to let go of perfectionism, you must get over the idea of comparing yourself to someone else.

I never realized all of the social pressure in motherhood. But let me tell you it is heavy!

Here is where I am letting go of the perfectionism in my motherhood right now…

It is okay if the house gets messy. 

Better yet it is okay if people see my house messy…this has been a real trigger for me. Ask my husband! I used to rush around cleaning before someone came but now I try to resist that urge.

My daughter is in the stage of dumping her toys out and then in five minutes moving on to the next task. So if I compete with her of cleaning up after her every time that happens, I am most definitely going to lose that battle and become irritated.

Instead, I have agreed to two pick up times, before naptime and bedtime.

Letting go of being so strict on the food Melina consumes.

My husband and I have tried our best to make sure that our daughter is consuming healthy foods. It is very frustrating trying to guide her to select healthy choices in a world of some many temptations.

Sometimes I think we have stressed ourselves out more than it is worth, especially when we are out. Now I am okay if we splurge here or there as long as I know she is eating nutritious foods majority of the time.

I am not in control of what she eats when she is in someone else’s care and that is okay.

Restricting TV time.

Gosh, this one is hard for me. I have extreme mom guilt on the days that we have a lazy movie day. Even though most days we are out and about or playing intentionally at home.

I seem to get hung up on those few days where the TV is on a bit longer than normal. Since having Delilah, we have had more screen time to occupy Melina during Delilah’s feeds. Setting realistic expectations and realizing this is only a phase helps me eliminate the mom guilt.

Being the Mom I Wish To Be

I have read several parenting books informing myself of different parenting styles. Somedays I feel like I got this whole motherhood gig down and then other days I feel that I am failing miserably.

I get discouraged that I can’t respond to my daughter’s needs the way I would like to. I still lose my temper, I still seek control, and I still react emotionally.

But I am learning. I am proud of far I have come and the habits that I have changed in order to become a better mom.

At the end of the day, I am human, just like my children. My children are fed, provided a safe home, and loved unconditionally. That is what truly matters.

We are going to have bad days. Our tired days. Our days where it feels like nothing is going right. It is okay if somedays I am just there to cuddle and love on them on the couch instead of being the “Pinterest mom”. 

Life is messy. And I am learning that it is okay.

Remember everything is about balance.

I will continue to learn to let go of perfectionism in motherhood and choose joy instead.

I will choose to see the good in the chaos. 

What are some areas you struggle with perfectionism? Comment below!

 

 

 

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

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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

Stay_Close_To_People_That_Feel_Like_Sunshine-min[1]

“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

 

When_you_start_taking_care_of_yourself_you_start_feeling_better,_you_start_looking_better,_and_you_start_attracting_better.-min[1]

“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

Your_Busy_Doubting_Your_Thoughts_While_Some_People_Are_Intimidated_By_Your_Potential-min[1]

“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

Your_Life_Only_Gets_Better_When_You_Do._Do_The_Work_And_The_Rest_Will_Follow.-min[1]

“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

style for kids

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
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:

natural labor

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.

natural birth

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
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.