Being a mother is probably the most exciting, ruthless, exhausting, rewarding, terrifying, out of body experience you could possibly have. Whoever said that multi-tasking is a dying art and isn’t a real thing has never had a child, needed to get out of the door at a certain time and found spit up, food, vomit or any other substance that could resemble possibly anything on themselves right before doing so. Oh, and the cell phone is ringing while trying not to leave the purse, and child bag on the kitchen counter. Never mind the fact that the brewed coffee 45 minutes prior, even though the coffee cup is on the counter, the coffee never makes it from the pot. I can feel your head nodding and maybe possibly you want to stand up from the chair you are in and scream “YES GIRL” but the sleeping child that currently has your legs numb helps you reconsider.
There are times where I’m sure you are scrolling through your news-feed or you see a coupon in the mail and think “I should really do that” or “that would be nice” but you never ask a family member or babysitter to come and watch the small babes for something so small so you can go and enjoy yourself, even if that massage is only a half hour long. I know, I know. You don’t want to burden someone or you feel guilty for indulging in yourself, even though you know that the callouses on your feet have seen better days and we won’t speak about the hair that could probably need some scissors taken to the ends. I felt that way too for a long time. I would always feel guilty asking my family to take Daniella so I could go do something fun. Matter of fact, the first time I let her stay overnight somewhere, I cried half of the night and thought I was a terrible mom for leaving her. I couldn’t wait to get her back. That lasted for a good six months.
Then I found myself in post-partum depression and wondering how the hell I got here and gained what seemed like a million pounds. I never knew what post-partum depression was until I was clinically diagnosed with it. The only way that I identified with needing help was when it was almost too late. I remember Daniella’s father and I lived in a little house we rented for $400/month. It had two bedrooms, one upper and lower. The walls were sponge painted 4 shades of blue and the bathroom had the stair landing in the shower. True story. We always joked that you could shower, use the toilet and wash your hands all at the same time because of the size of the bathroom. I was pregnant in that house and we brought Daniella home in that house all managing with this bathroom. I remember Daniella’s dad went to his friend’s house for the evening and I was going to stay home with Daniella. It was pretty warm outside so I didn’t want her in the heat. Instead, I was going to clean up the house, finish getting the clothes off the line and run her a nice cool bath before settling her down for the night. As I did just that, I remember starting to get angry, at nothing, while taking the clothes down. I could hear Daniella on the baby monitor as she slept in the swing just inside the door and the noise of the swing creaking back and forth increased in irritation. I finished folding the clothes, walked them upstairs and started her bath. As the water was running, the swing was creaking, and the sound of her breathing got louder in my head, it started to feel like my brain was going to combust. Again, pushing the sounds aside, I took Daniella from her swing, undressed her and placed her in the baby seat for her to sit upright in the tub. The washer was washing, the water was still filling the tub, she was giggling and the back patio door was clanking with the wind continuously opening and shutting the door just a little. With all of those noises, I broke and had my head in my hands. For a split second I thought I could eliminate all noises (even the giggles of Daniella) and maybe it would all just go away, the noises, I just needed them to all go away. I snapped back and I was in tears because I knew it had hit me. For that split second that I thought I could possibly harm her to make all noises go away and it terrified me. I called my doctor’s hotline and spoke to the nurse about making an emergency appointment right away. Seconds after that I called my mom to ask her to take care of Daniella so I could go to the doctor.
The reason I share this terrifying story is because I didn’t leave the house until Daniella was 6 months old. I didn’t leave the house to do anything for me until I went to my doctor appointment and he said to me “when was the last time you did anything for yourself?” When I replied: “since before I got pregnant.” He insisted that I find something, anything to relieve myself and do something just for me at a minimum of once a month. I committed to that. Soon after, I found myself feeling better and eventually stopped taking the medication prescribed to me. I will never forget that evening but most importantly, I will never allow myself to feel so stressed and in such a way that I forget about myself.
I often think that most mothers forget about themselves. Sure, they may not have the depression set in but the principle still stands that we, as mothers, need a little time to ourselves. Most importantly, for someone to provide a service to us, even if it is for a half hour massage. I am sure that often times we forget because we are set on auto-pilot and focus on our child(ren) needs before our own, which is what being a parent is about, but PLEASE don’t forget about you.
You are special and you deserve to have YOU time. I don’t care if it is going to the coffee shop with a warm cup of java to people watch, going to a park and YOU taking YOUR own turn on the swings, sitting at the bar top at your favorite bar or tavern BY YOURSELF. Do something that makes YOU happy and that YOU have wanted to do. Most importantly, commit to a minimum of once a month. Take yourself on a date. Commit to yourself. When you start to feel better, your whole family and even you child(ren) will feel better and everything that was once stress, falls to the way side. Personally, when I started going to the gym, taking care of me, I found it to be a big difference in how Daniella feels about herself and the way that we interact with each other.
Get a pen and paper, keep it in the same place you keep the secret chocolates (even if it is in the farthest back corner of the freezer ) and when you eat that chocolate, dream of what you will be doing next month and make your plan of action. Schedule the babysitter, aunt, grandma, uncle (use with caution) ahead of time, remind them a week out and when they show up at the door or you peel out of their driveway----YOU ARE FREE!!!!! You do you; girl and you tell yourself the most important phrase of all- YOU DESERVE THIS! You work hard for it!
So what do I mean with that? What I specifically mean is, when is the point reached that you finally decide that enough is enough and you are going to start making time for yourself and live YOUR life and rid of all the negative things, bit by bit in YOUR life.
Let’s talk more about that.
I have been called condescending, selfish, disrespectful, useless, worthless, and a slur of other defaming words that have been intentional to either express someone else’s jealousy, hate or trying to help me understand a situation. To be honest, I probably have been all of these at some point in my past. Let me just repeat the rest of that sentence. At some point in my past. Moving forward, I made huge changes to my life that have upset some people, including family and left them to wonder what the hell is going on with me. I have always heard “life is too short” and “this is your only life”.
At the ripe age of 30, I decided that I will do both of the quotes to the fullest. The problem with that is there have been relationships (friends and even with family) that have been lost. Is it sad? Sure. Will you be sad for a while and lonely, sure? But the beauty of that is when you discover YOUR purpose and YOUR life, those who don’t encourage you in a way that is truly encouraging, will not need to be in your life to try and make your credit, theirs.
What do I mean about this? Let me just recap some recent events that have occurred that encouraged me to “not have time” for negativity. Through an event, it was made known that there was money borrowed and instead of the integrity of the situation being upheld, it was relayed to others so that the person could spin it in their favor and made to look like they were superior in my situation. With that being said, a few weeks later, confrontation was taking place via text. While engaging, I finally had my ah-ha moment and disengaged the conversation. Meanwhile, continuously it was trying to be made known that this person “had done so much for me” and basically stated that my life would not be where it was if it weren’t for so much help. Let’s not discredit the truth in which I can say, sure, some situations would be different but with the current situation and it be presented as such, which actually was a total lie, meanwhile continuing to engage in such hateful words towards me, I finally decided to walk away.
The important lesson is this: do not engage. Do not engage in hateful words, losing the integrity of you and ultimately “giving the person what they want”. The reason for this is because when you start to lose you in conversation with such a toxic person, you have to work twice as hard reel yourself back in.
So really, that time was a really good time to not have time. I really don’t have time to wonder if I am doing, saying, of participating in ways that people want me to participate in their life. I don’t. I have my health, my child, and those in my family who will not try to overcast what I am doing to spend my time with. Do I wish this situation would have ended differently, sure. The fact is though, that there have been other situations that had the same outcome and because I was too busy trying to be a people pleaser, I took the abuse and never shared my thoughts and spoke like an adult. Sometimes when you fail to see anything wrong with yourself, you often times see how your actions affect others. That is what I don’t have time for.
Don’t settle and mettle in other people’s affairs. Don’t ever tell someone that the reason for their success is you. Also, don’t ever make people feel like they owe you something because you have done something nice for them. Finally, don’t ever expect anything in return for things that you choose to do for someone else. It doesn’t work that way.
****I will note that it took me a long time to finally sit down and express myself. This post is to not create drama but create awareness to look at your life and where you should be putting your energy.****
Love you all.
For the past couple weeks I have been lazy. There, I said it. I haven’t frequented the gym, nor have I trained for any of the 5k’s that I have signed up for this year. All three of them. Each weather condition and course has been completely different from the other, which I appreciate. It really allows me to focus on what strengths my body has and where I still need to get better. They all lead back to motivation and eating. Motivating myself and eating well will keep me pressing forward.
A while ago, I gave up running. I thought that running races was not where my passion lied and that I wanted to lift, and don’t get me wrong, I still do. However, through these past three races, I have discovered that running is “me time”. It’s my place to re-focus my center and re-discover things about me. Finally, on race number three, I get it. I need both. I need the time in the gym to lift all the heavy things but I also need to be free, running, sorting things in my head. I lost a big part of that when I just stopped and didn’t think I needed to keep running. Silly me.
My first race of the season was beyond cold, a steep hill and a little bit icy. Race two was sunny, flat, out and back twice. This race was a mixture between road race, trail race, rain, wind and I was wet. Welcome to Michigan. Which I love.
My time officially was 40:34. My time didn’t change but I found it to be pretty impressive considering NO TRAINING since the second race, and absolutely no running for a week and a half, on top of the conditions. So, with me not regressing but also not making improvements, it encourages me to continue on and fight for where I want to be, with also accepting my body in its current state.
Let me just put Addie on a soap box for a minute. She fought today, longer than I had, with the rain and the conditions actually worsened after I had finished. We had a conversation prior to race start about her dropping down to a 10k. But, when the race started, she decided that she would figure it out with the turnaround was presented. That girl finished a half marathon today. And guess what? She was not training for that either. She amazes me every day. Blisters on her feet, soaking wet and STILL smiling at the end of it. She encourages me to take care of myself and press on. I could not ask for a better example as a friend and I am so very proud of her.
Below are some pictures, enjoy!
There are a few blogs that I keep up with frequently. All have a different kind of focus but all of them focus on things that I love. Blogs are my healthy obsession and quite honestly, when I am feeling like I want to binge, I will immerse myself in blogs and often times it helps to get me through my cravings. Weird for some, completely reasonable for me. I try and read as much as I can to make my mind work in a different way than always focusing on my corporate job. That, I might add is the terrible thing about having a company phone. Sometimes the whole email at your fingertips thing makes me want to scream, I digress.
One of the blogs that I love to completely indulge in, is called “The Queen Princess Says…”. Jodi is witty, fun, real AND a mermaid. Yep, truly. I know her personally and she tells shit like it is, whether or not you think you need to hear it, she tells you and at some point in every post, you will find yourself nodding your heard, crying and screaming “preach!” through your screen. It’s ok, don’t feel bad, I do it and it is completely normal. She is a writer, poet, college professor, mom, wife, spin instructor, AND mermaid (this was worth repeating)….the list will keep going. Read it, indulge yourself in it and when you figure out the words that I can’t express to you how amazing this blog is to me, you will thank me. I promise.
The second blog is a woman I met in an online weight loss group website called Calorie Counter. When I “met” her, she was losing weight to get married to her love, worked at a law firm and had similar struggles like many of the other women in my group when it came to losing weight. Through this process, she expressed that she wanted to start a photography business, trying to figure it out and planning a wedding was challenging. Now, some years later, she is married, has a photography business and has two BEAUTIFUL children. Her blog is so sweet, kind, loving and really takes you into her family and allows you to see how beautiful having children can be. Attached to it is her photography blog which I thoroughly enjoying looking at her art work. She truly is beautiful. Laura Kelly and "We are the Kelly Family" blog is simply amazing and she is from Canada, so that is pretty rad.
The third blog that I love to read is called" Binks and the Bad Housewife ." I honestly can’t remember for the life of me where I found her at, but I am glad I did! She is also a Michigander, from down state and she is a farm wife! She also owns a business with vintage things that I have now put on my Michigan bucket list. Her blog is quirky and fun. The adventures she takes you on and the invitations she extends to peek inside her home, fashion, and everyday life makes me happy inside. Maybe it is still the country girl in me or maybe it is the freshness of a modern woman still enjoying country air that makes me love reading her almost daily.
These three woman are the best coffee break in my day and allow me to experience, learn and grow within myself in so many different ways. I highly encourage everyone to check them out and let me know your thoughts.
I am about to get real honest right now. Being a woman is high maintenance. Truly. I am not talking about shoes, clothing, accessories, make-up or even the monthly that seems to just show up whenever it feels like to control my body(still a little bitter—are we). I am talking about screenings and making sure my body is firing on all cylinders and I have all the knowledge of how my body is functioning. Sure, that may have been an over-rated statement considering men have screenings as well that they should be keeping up to date on but SHEESH!!! Keeping this ‘ol body up to date is starting to prove to be another full time activity as I crept up and am now dominating (ha! Right…..) my thirty’s.
I started to do some research about things I should be doing as a woman my age to determine if I need a little extra TLC for this broad. Below are some things that may be helpful for the dirty thirty women in order to identify if you are in need as well. I decided to also take it one step further and look at the year ahead (those come fast) to identify what I should be preparing for.
If you are anything like me, you are TERRIBLE at calling the doctor to make appointments and you probably dread carving out the time from the normal routine to go. Don’t delay. I have made it kind of a yearly thing to call in January, shortly after everyone settles in from the New Year and make the appointments, and then I can plan life in the next few months ahead accordingly. Take care of your vessel. You are only given one.