Small Things, Big Impact

I didn’t plan it this way but it would appear this week has a theme for me: small things to make a big impact. In my previous post I outlined some small and attainable goals I set for myself this week, now I know it’s only Tuesday but I am pumped to say, so far so good!

I already cleaned my room and doing so lead me to the next goal of being more intentional with myself and giving myself some space that was clean and full of good energy. Some of that energy is found in trinkets from loved ones and some in these Alex & Ani bracelets. My small collection of bracelets had sat hidden in my nightstand drawer for way too many months and I was very happy to dig them out yesterday.

Today with intention I put three on with the hopes that the clink of their metal against each other would remind me of what kind of energy I began my day with so I could carry it with me.

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I chose the lotus, which is a symbol of our ability to bring new life out of the muck. Next was the Buddha who reminds us to go quietly within ourselves to seek wisdom and peace. Finally the LOVE charm because we should always walk through live with love. Love for ourselves and love for those around us.

Here’s hoping I can carry this momentum with me all day and through the week!

Weekly Goals

They say you can stay on track with a personal journey by setting small and attainable goals. When the days run together and you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth, that can be a challenge.

But here goes:

  • This week I will prepare delicious but SIMPLE meals that will not take me six hours to prepare. (Dinner time is challenging as almost any mom of small people can tell you, so I need to make an effort to make this time of day easier on me.)
  • This week Jackson and I will try new things. (Like story time at a different library)
  • This week I will clean my room!

It’s a small list, but I think accomplishing these items will help me make the most of my days this week. I hope you have a great week too and feel free to share your goals with me!

Self Care Can Suck It!

I am really happy for everyone going out there and finding time to pursue passions, veg out or refill their cup however they see fit — I really am. But for all intents and purposes I am going to ask that self care as I know it to go suck it!

All this awareness about how important self care is to ensuring you are your best self has given me anxiety. Self care has become the latest thing I need to do on my to do list that never gets marked off. It’s something I think about, ok, something I daydream about doing and how wonderful I will feel after I do it. Only it doesn’t get done, then I feel like shit. I feel worse than if I hadn’t spent all that time trying to plot how I would do it while still keeping all other balls in the air; then I resent (if only for a moment) those around me who hinder me from getting this time for myself and I don’t like that feeling.

So I’m not going to think about self care anymore.3o72evjcawoa1jaflw

I know some day I’ll figure out how to go to the gym or read a book in less than a month but until that day comes I’m not going to continue giving myself a hard time about it.

Let’s Remove Some Cobwebs, Shall We?

I’ve got a million excuses about why I haven’t touched this blog in over a year. A million excuses named, Jackson. The toddler years are proving to be their own certain flavor of challenging. Did you know 2 year olds have likes and dislikes and opinions about things like pants? Mainly not wanting to wear them.

Anyway, I am going to try to visit my blog more frequently and write about the billion and one things we have going on. Inspiration has come from my needing to write things down (that’s why I started a blog in the first place right? ) and from my beautiful friend @rubyjnkie her blog, The Hungry Mother, is amazing and she is an inspiration to moms trying to keep their sanity everywhere!

Here’s to trying to blog with a small person around! I imagine it will look a lot like this… 3tplifyjlhpv6

You May Not Be a Pediatrcian, But You Are a Good Parent

I have a confession to make, I am a member of a lot of mommy groups on Facebook. I have probably exceeded the recommended number of groups one should be a member of and I won’t tell you just how many I belong to — trust me, it’s a lot. As you imagine a bunch of moms in groups on Facebook talk about their kids a lot. I like this part of the groups because I value the input other mothers bring to my questions. I prefer to talk to typically like-minded moms who may have already had the same question, experience, concern or issue I have had. It is part of my village. In today’s world the village that once existed in our neighborhoods now exists online, but that’s another post entirely.

In little mommy enclaves all over Facebook there is one statement that drives me insane. One antiquated mindset that just will not die. Day after day, post after post women are driven to anxiety and sometimes tears by these three words, “My pediatrician said…”.

It has to be said that I like my pediatrician just fine. This isn’t some I know more than my doctor about ear infections or chicken pox post. I like doctors, I am not trying to say we don’t need doctors, because at one point or another we all do.

But when it comes to breastfeeding, baby food and sleep I don’t think my pediatrician has all the answers. Maybe yours does. Maybe your pediatrician has done a lot of continuing education and is not afraid of not night weaning or you trying baby led weaning. But they probably have not read up on these things and would like you to give your baby rice cereal at four months or just feed them pureed foods have you introduce cow milk early or they think your baby is small. Regardless of their sometimes out of date advice moms are running to Facebook groups desperate for input from others who have been there. Someone to tell them they haven’t scarred their kid for life or worse.

So my real issue lies in the fact that in 2015 with the abundance of information, the village of parents available at your fingertips and the simple fact that no one knows your baby like you do, we are still so reliant on the word of someone who got a degree some thing like thirty years ago!

When did we become our parents? When did we go back in time and begin to think that only doctors and other medical professionals know what our children need more than we do? Or that their ‘expertise’ should go unquestioned because there is a diploma on the wall? I am so frustrated by recent articles like a few from the NY Times dishing out terrible parenting advice on the backs of, “my pediatrician said”. From the question of sleep training to what to feed baby and when, we are reduced back to our childhood selves as we sit in those brightly colored rooms waiting for the man (or woman) with the coat to come in with their diagnosis or expert opinion on the little human we have been caring for 24/7 since birth.

Help me think here people!  How do we help each other build back our confidence as parents? How can we help one another understand that we actually know our children better than the staff that sees them once every few months at well visits? We have to be able to get to a place where the words, “my pediatrician says” no longer strike fear and a sense of inadequacy into the depths of our souls.

Can we look at each other compassionately and understand that our choices are made from a good place? We don’t all take the same route or use the same methods but we should know we are all we have in this club of parenting. If we continue to let ourselves be divided by the experts around us and labeled by the following or not following of their advice we are only separating ourselves from the people who can truly empathize and help us.

I get it, information comes at us from all directions and it is hard, at times, to decipher good advice from bad. But that is no reason to take advice from the guy in the coat just because he’s wearing a coat.

I Double Dare You

A meme for good measure

Joe’s Brew Club, a monthly box I can get behind.

It seems the monthly box craze has really hit its peak. With subscriptions including make up, snacks and even a box for your dog, surely there’s a box for everyone? Well, there wasn’t a box for me, that was, until I found Joe’s Brew Club!

My box arrived and I was so excited to dig in!

Here’s what came in the box:
1lb Coffee

1 bag of chocolate covered espresso beans

1 bar of dark chocolate

4 biscotti

Box Contents

Box Contents

As a big coffee drinker the most exciting part of this whole box was, of course, the coffee! So I set my tools up and got to brewing! We are a house divided when it comes to coffee, I am a cafe au lait or latte lover and my fiance is a cold brew dude. So we each had our coffees prepped our favorite ways and neither of us were disappointed!

My favorite coffee contraption

My favorite coffee contraption

Everything else in the box was equally enjoyable. There’s nothing quite like dipping biscotti into a steaming cup of joe. I would definitely recommend signing up if you’re into trying new things, especially new caffeinated things.

Thanks for sending this box my way, Joe’s Brew Club, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

My Version of New Motherhood or Why I Look Tired

I always thought it was customary for new moms to look a bit tired, disheveled even. Typically a new mom has just pushed or had a human surgically removed from her — doesn’t that sound tiring? She has endured a world-wind of emotions, pain, hormone fluctuations and survived all that to have a human or in some cases, a machine systematically suck milk from her breasts — yep, sounds tiring to me! While breastfeeding is a beautiful bond between mother and baby, the bond between mother and pump is not so picturesque, but I digress.

Aren’t people always griping about the ‘fourth trimester’? Did I misinterpret the message from the moms that came before me? No, I’m sure I didn’t. So it must be me. I must be some sort of fake new mom, right? The surprised tone in your voice when you tell me how tired I look certainly conveys that message. I get it, it’s confusing because you haven’t actually seen me and my baby together. I don’t have the typical complaints about cluster feeding, diaper blowouts and how many times the baby woke up the night before. But I’m not faking new motherhood, folks.

I am no different than any new mom I have known, but my tired is different.

Here’s a glimpse into my version of new motherhood:

I look tired because I don’t have the luxury of experiencing new motherhood in my home. The place where I feel safest and most secure is the place I spend the least amount of time. I look tired because despite the fact that I don’t hear my kid crying for me at 2 or 3am I am up at my pump making sure milk will be made available to him when he needs it. I look tired because I have to go to work every morning despite only getting a few hours of broken sleep. I look tired because I lug around the weight of a baby but instead of an adorable cooing creature, it’s a bag full of equipment I need so I can stop what I am doing every two hours and sit at my pump. I look tired because despite the best intentions of friends and loved ones I still have to do dishes, lug the laundry to the laundry mat and try to keep my home together.

Mostly I look tired because having a baby in the NICU is the single hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Worrying about O2 saturation, Brady’s, feeding tubes, and nasal cannulas is how I spend my days.  I look tired because I was at the NICU until late and back again bright and early. I look tired because the moment my son’s chest meets mine it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted and I finally feel at peace.

It won’t be this way forever but right now this is exhausting. So yes, I  look tired.