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motherhood

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Motherhood.
 It can be isolating at times.

Most days, I'm just sitting over here on this island, wondering how many mamas feel the way I do. My feelings regarding motherhood go pretty deep (we'll save the deep stuff for another day).. but currently, my thoughts are pretty basic, and (I'm guessing) universal:

Being a mom In this world of social media can really bring you down. All of these (seemingly) perfect lifestyle/ mom bloggers have got me feeling like crap ALL.THE.TIME. While scrolling through their bright images of their adorable, well dressed babies and their gorgeous, perfectly decorated homes.. I have to remind myself that everyone struggles and has shitty days. I have to remind myself that they are probably struggling just like me.

There really are days when I feel like I am just crappy at being a human. Even though everyone has struggles, I know that there are moms out there that are great at keeping it together and can always find the sunshine on a rainy day. I am not one of them. I get consumed with my own issues and my own insecurities. I lose my cool, get frustrated, fall down the rabbit hole that is my jumbled, emotional, overthinking brain. Kudos to the mom that is just naturally good at being a mom. Kudos to you If you're a mom who really DOES almost always have her shit together and manages to find the sunshine on the dark days. Your child will probably grow to be a stellar human being because of your positive attitude, while mine will probably be just as messed up as I am (kidding-sort of).

 I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that If you're someone whose just not nailing this mom thing as much as you think you should be, you're not alone. On an average day,  I'm worrying about why my child is clinging to me too much (or won't nap, or both), surrounded by piles of clean laundry sitting in baskets waiting to be put away,  trying to hide from two dogs that want to be fed at freaking noon, not keeping my shit together.
 

Here's to the imperfect momma's raising perfectly imperfect human beings.  (and the first photo- for the sake of keeping it real with you all.)











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Dear Arlo | 7 months

Dear Arlo, My girl. Seven months old. You are officially closer to one year old than you are a newborn and that reality is hitting me like a ton of bricks. Time is cruel and fast and I know that soon enough, you will actually be one year old and I'm just not ready for you to grow up. SPOILER ALERT: your momma does not deal with change well, so this whole "growing up" thing might not happen for you. If I had it my way, you would stay a baby forever.

We've been going through a lot of changes lately. You and I have been trying to find a balance between Mommy getting work done at home, and spending time/playing/taking care of you. It's more often than not that I spend the day feeling guilty that you're playing in your bouncer or in your walker while I stare at a computer screen, editing.. emailing.. posting, not always giving you my full attention. The balance between being a stay at home and a work at home mom Is new for all of  us, and even though I'm SO thankful that I get to stay home with you and work at the same time, the struggle is real. Though I am admittedly a protestor to change, I do love watching you grow and learn. You are sitting up pretty well on your own now, eating LOTS of grown up food, and you've really mastered the art of being a drama queen. You still love love love doggies, (grandma and grandpa's morbidly obese corgi is your favorite creature to ever walk this earth), you're a bit of a momma's girl, and you dance and smile whenever we sing you songs with your name in it.

I'm learning with each month that these little letters are not only for you, but for me, too. To be able to look back and see how we've both grown over this past year Is something so special. Sometimes I can't believe how overwhelming this love is. Or how awesome you are.

Love, mom

 

 

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Things that no one tells you about Parenthood | Part 2

 Here we are, guys. Some three odd months after my last post about how crappy things were and how nobody warned me, but how happy I was. Looking back, I was pretty much lying to all of you and to myself. (Sorry! I think i was trying to trick myself into thinking I was having fun to get through that rough patch?) Everyone kept telling us that things would get better after the first two weeks, then it was six weeks, two months and three months.. and for the most part, it did. It wasn't even Arlo being colicky that was so bad. Yeah, she never wanted to be put down, cried all the time and barely napped unless being held.. but it was much more the adjustment to being a new parent that got me.  Who am I kidding, I am STILL adjusting. I'm not sure you ever stop adjusting once you become a parent.

The internet is a funny place where everyone picks and chooses what they share with the world, shaping their {internet} lives into shiny, perfect places for everyone to marvel over. Well, I'm calling bullshit. I find it much more comforting to read or view the real, unedited version. So, know that my blog posts are never intended to sound whiny and/or full of complaints. They are much more meant to make you feel better about your life, by looking into mine (ha- you're welcome?).

Things nobody tells you:

Mommy (or daddy) guilt is real, and it sucks. I am still feeling some major guilt for the first three months of Arlo's life. At times, I felt like the hospital sent me home with this stranger that I knew nothing about, who just cried and pooped all the time.  I know I've mentioned it before, but It makes me so sad that post partum depression got the best of me in those first few months, and I really didn't bond with her like I should have as her momma.

Nobody tells you how awesome you'll feel when you get some free time from your child. This will immediately be followed by guilt for feeling so awesome, and then an insane amount of miss for them. It's a funny thing, this love.

 It is SUCH a crazy thing to watch your child grow into an independent little human. You can't imagine the pride you'll feel when you watch your child learn something new. ("She just rolled over?!, Our baby is the smartest baby in THE WORLD!")

EVERY baby is different. I wish someone would have tattooed this on my forehead the day we were discharged from the hospital as a constant reminder to myself. At 4 months old, Arlo's bed time was anywhere from 10:30- 12pm, and she was still waking up every two hours at night to nurse. Nothing would feel crappier than waking up the next morning to find someone instagramming about how their two month old just slept through the night. All I could think was "WHYYYY can't this happen for us??!" Every baby is different, comparing your situation to another's will just drive you crazy.

Everyone has an opinion about how you should parent. About three weeks ago, when I had reached the point of complete frustration and exhaustion, we decided to let Arlo 'cry it out' for bedtime. I was so opposed to it, mainly because I have turned into this granola-crunchy mom that I never really thought I'd be, but also because I had heard and read so many  opinions from other people telling me how 'wrong' and 'harmful' it was. In the end, you really have to listen to your gut and do what you think is right. And for the record- bedtime for us is SO much less stressful, and she actually falls asleep at a normal time (8-9pm). A huge part of parenting is finding what works for you and your child, and telling the naysayers to shove it.

To go along with that, Parents are judgmental. It seems like the first ones to shame parents are other parents. You cloth diaper? Hooray for you. You use formula? That's great. You co-sleep? Cool, bro. Don't judge me, I won't judge you. Like I said above, whatever works for you. I've got bigger and better things to worry about than being put down by other moms for my decisions as a mother. Back off, lady.

This parenting thing is no joke.  As soon as you think you've got it figured out, those little humans go and change the game up on you. I'm assuming no one really tells you ALL of the ups and downs that come with parenthood because the good will always outweigh the bad .. but sometimes it's nice to know that when you are in the bad, you aren't alone. This is the fiercest, craziest, most heart exploding love I've ever felt, so really, even the shittiest of days are pretty awesome.

(Yeah, still working on that swearing thing..)

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Dear Arlo | 2 months old

Dear Arlo, I can't believe you are two months old! I hate to admit it, but I spent the first 1.5 months of your life so consumed with hormones and sleep deprivation that I forgot to stop and marvel at you. I am so sorry for that. With a clear head and a little more sleep, I'm now trying to soak in every moment . To be brutally honest with you, kid, the two month old you is a lot more fun than the newborn you. You are so alert! Daddy and I are starting to get a feel for your personality, which we think is a mix of both sassy and stubborn (no surprise there). Your days are spent in a cycle of eating, cooing and talking to momma, crying, sleeping and repeat.  You love to stare at ceiling fans and find it pretty funny when your doggies give you kisses. We sing crazy made-up songs, play you country music, and speed walk with you around the house when you get bored and start to cry... which is pretty often. (We are finding more and more that you like to make mommy and daddy work pretty hard to keep you entertained and happy! Daddy called you a "diva" the other day, which I think is pretty accurate.)  You are weighing in at 9.5 lbs, all of your brown fuzzy hair is falling out and you are looking more and more like daddy with each passing day. It has been so fun watching you learn and grow over these past weeks, and just when I think I can't love you more, you go and do something adorable that makes my heart explode. We love you so much and can't wait to see what this next month brings!

Love, Mom

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Dear Arlo | 1 month

Arlo,

 Our little baby bird. How can it be that I've only known you for four short weeks, yet it seems like you've always been there? You have completely changed our world and I know that I will never love anything as much as I love you. But let's be honest, little girl. I am completely overwhelmed. I am a little bit ashamed to tell you that I've spent this past month so consumed with sleep deprivation, frustration and tears, that I've forgotten to enjoy every little second with you. I am so sorry for that. I'm hoping these letters to you will help me remember all of the tiny pieces and moments with you that I otherwise, would let pass by.

Your little hands, your long finger-toes. In a deep sleep, you often let out little 'coos' that melt my heart. When you came into this world, the nurse put you on my chest, and I was in complete shock. Daddy and Grandma had tears running down their faces and all I could think was, "you can't be real". I still can't believe you're mine. Each day with you seems to bring a new challenge, and a new joy. We've probably both cried the same amount in the last month, but I still look forward to every new day with you and can't wait to watch you learn and grow.

I love you, sweet girl. Momma

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