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.

Knocked Up and I’m Just Not Feelin’ It

Congrats, you’re knocked up! Now that you know your missed period is not just a fluke have fun navigating the utterly endless, contradictory and mostly non-factual information about you and your new wombmate.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally stoked about meeting our little person and was relieved as hell when my midwife said I could continue doing any and all activities I had already been doing. I was really looking forward to keeping the regular workout regimen I had build for myself. But at almost half way through I feel like pregnancy has been another tale of, things people don’t tell you because if they did you’d never go through with it.

Take the first trimester for example. All you ever hear people complain or sigh in relief about is morning sickness. But they grossly (and I suspect, purposely) failed to mention the resemblance of the first trimester of pregnancy to PMS. Yes, you read correctly, PMS. I swore in those first few weeks I was giving life to the worlds largest cheeseburger because that’s all I wanted to eat. Pair that with a certain all around whiny and complaininess about me and yea, pretty much sounds like PMS to me.

At about 14 or so weeks I started to feel like myself again. Phew! I’ll start working out now, I said. Not so fast. I read on a list somewhere that pregnant women are lazy, but never in my life have I been so compelled to do nothing but make a dent in my couch for hours on end. Don’t get me wrong, there has been some working out. Walking, a couple pre-natal yoga classes and some weights because I know it will make for a better labor and recovery. I try to rationalize with myself and find balance between carbs and cardio, but man, it would be easier to get a nun to go to a bar!

I thought for sure I’d feel more like Heidi Powell given my recently found ‘fit chick’ status, but sadly I feel more like Honey Boo Boo. It’s kind of motivating at this point, I am making a real effort to just move more and try not to define my workouts so much. Just find things that feel good, that will help me sleep, (I may write a whole other post about pregnancy sleep) and that make me feel normal.

I’m hoping to feel more like this picture as my pregnancy progresses, if for no other reason than I know I will feel like Wonder Woman when I can catch my little bean in my arms at birth.

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Did you ever feel like no one ever told you something about pregnancy, kids, marriage or anything? I feel like it happens a lot! Share your horror stories and giggles alike!

A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

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Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo