Let it Rise

This is a piece I wrote last Summer – on why I started to write again…and reminds me to pay attention to the signs…they’re all around.  Hope you enjoy!

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Last year I found myself facing unexpected anxiety following the birth of my second child.  I’m not sure if I had just presumed we would all adjust seamlessly in this new transition?  Or maybe I figured since I already had this parenting thing down, another kid was no big deal.  How much work could one more child be, really?  A lot.  I honestly had no idea how hard it would be.

Continue reading “Let it Rise”

Mom Misconceptions

MISCONCEPTIONS I HAD BEFORE KIDS

I read this a few months ago, and it had me laughing so hard!  I sent it to my expectant brother and sister-in-law, and my brother responded he was having heart palpitations after reading it.  It is, of course, an exaggeration but pretty funny nonetheless and much of it does ring true.  Since then, I’ve been thinking of my own misconceptions I had about parenthood.  I honestly had no idea it would be so difficult but I also thought I knew so much when I clearly didn’t!

  • Snotty kids – why can’t their mother just wipe.that.nose.  Before children, I looked at kids’ snotty noses and thought, “Really – can’t you just clean that?  How hard can it be?”  Now, I’m on the other side of it.  When mine have a cold, I think, ‘for those noses to be perfectly clean at all times, it would require me wiping it every five seconds.’  It would literally be all I did all day long!  Sorry, moms, for judging you before I knew better.
  • You stay out late one night – no big deal, right?  Why would you work around your child’s schedule instead of your own?  Oh – because there is only hell to pay if you don’t.  All day long the next day.  They don’t just ‘sleep in’ because you stayed out late.  In fact, they often wake super early on those days!  And they’re generally not happy campers following nights like that.  So, we stay in a lot.
  • Hard for moms to find time for a shower?  No way would a day go by where I would miss one.  Ha!  I had absolutely no idea of the constant demands kids place on a mother.  I’ve had many a shower-less day.  Too many to count actually.
  • I always felt like little kids were in my way.  Now I’m on the other side – probably being a nuisance to everyone else.  Telling them, “Don’t touch that!” and apologizing to random people in the grocery store.  I wish I had been more understanding to those mothers before I had my own children.  It requires so much multi-tasking to keep them happy and manage your list while shopping for what you need.
  • Babies and sleep – can’t be that bad, right?  There’s the phrase “sleep like a baby” – but then I heard later that it should really be “sleep like a husband” which totally makes more sense.  Enough said on this one.
  • On the sleep subject, I always envisioned rising before my little ones, brewing some coffee, maybe reading a bit or making some breakfast for us all.  Nope.  They’re my daily alarm clock.
  • There would be payback someday for all I did as a child to my parents.  I was a pretty well-behaved kid (or so I’ve been told) but I was quite a chatterbox.  And so, numbers 12 and 13 on the above-mentioned blog certainly ring true for me these days!  Wow, can my daughter talk!
  • I had no idea the days would be incredibly long as a stay-at-home mom.  I find myself thinking of things to do to pass the time.  Yet the days are long and the months are short, as the saying goes.  I really can’t believe how quickly they’re growing.

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Clearly, I’m still learning in each new stage we enter – and I’m sure many more surprises are coming my way!

Birds of a Feather

A couple of girlfriends contacted me personally following my Find Your Flock post on surrounding yourself with other mommas. They wanted a little more depth on the subject.

Why do I need other mom friends, you ask?  And why do you?  Because if you’re staying at home with your children, you need adult interaction.  You’ll go crazy without it!  Also, it helps to ease your mind when you talk with another mother who knows exactly what you’re going through with your child’s current stage.  Having someone else to share in both the hard times and the joy helps so much!  The question my girlfriends also posed in response to my post is how to go about finding these friends. These girls in particular recently moved across the country with little ones.

When I first moved to Orange County, I had only two or three girlfriends down here.  I was commuting up to my job in Los Angeles, so I was still able to see my friends up there quite a bit and didn’t “need” to find any down here.  Once I had my baby and quit my job, all of that changed.  I instantly craved the support of other moms.  I remember googling “mom and baby yoga in Orange County” and seeing Granola Babies at the top of the list.  I immediately signed up for a weekly class and that’s where I met two mothers right off the bat.  Our babies were all born within two weeks of each other so we had a ton to talk about!  Besides the mommy/baby yoga class, I attended a weekly breastfeeding support group and I also started doing a mom/baby bootcamp soon after that.

I’ve made friends throughout the years in other ways too.  Below is a small list of ideas and places I’ve found to be good ways to connect.  Please feel free to share other ideas in the comments!

  • Go to parks.  There was a park I walked to almost every day in my old neighborhood when my daughter was smaller.  I would see the same moms again and again and we started doing playdates at each other’s homes.  The key here is going to the same park or parks consistently – otherwise you won’t see the same people.
  • Enroll your little one in a Gymboree class or some other local music or Mommy & Me class. It’s another great way to meet people, as you’re in the same place for a set amount of time week after week.
  • Check out local churches for mom groups – I did one of these when my daughter was almost a year and it was heavenly (no pun intended).  We were placed at the same table each week so we really got to bond with one another throughout the year.  It included breakfast and childcare, so we actually got to talk without our kids present!  We did playdates on the side quite a bit too.
  • Check out local baby boutiques as mentioned above for mom and baby classes and support groups.  Again, you’re all in the same boat if you’ve shown up to the same place.
  • Work out with your baby – sign up for a baby boot camp or stroller strides and bond with your little one while getting some exercise – and hopefully meeting a new friend or two.
  • Check out story time at your local library and keep going!  Again, consistency is key if you aren’t good at talking to people right off the bat.
  • Malls that have play areas are also a nice spot to connect with other parents, especially in the winter or rainy season.  Pottery Barn Kids has a regular story time and so does Barnes and Noble. If your mall has a Land of Nod, there are a million things for your kid to do in that store!  The moms usually stand around and chat while the little ones play.

If you’re hesitant to reach out to other moms to see if you connect, just remember you have the same things in common – your kids!  That’s a huge conversation starter.  It’s always good to ask how old the other child is, and then (hopefully) the mother reciprocates, and before long, you’re sharing birth stories.  The conversation seems to progress organically after that.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet anyone you click with at first.  Keep at it.  I remember my first attempt to meet mothers at a breastfeeding group didn’t go so well.  I didn’t relate to any of the moms there.  But I was persistent, and soon I met my mom friends I was meant to be with.

I hope this has been a helpful follow-up and that you’re able to connect soon with other mommas.  It’s so, so important to not go through this journey alone!

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Welcome to my blog!

TAKING.  BACK.  MONDAY.

Three words.  So powerful.  As a stay at home mom, I constantly find myself dreading Mondays (as most people do).  Gone is my help, my companion, my adult conversation and here I am, back at it – wondering where to go and what to do and solely meeting the demands of two little children all day long again.  And again.  And again – until Friday comes.  The dreaded feeling of Monday approaching used to send me into a tailspin.  Then I decided to reclaim it.  Break free from the agony and dread of it and dive into a new era.  One where I spend some time focusing on taking care of me.  Now I find myself somewhere in between – a grey space.  Taking Back Monday means breaking free from the mundane – changing things up so that things feel more doable.  For me, this has become about self care, something I have to really work hard at making time and space for in order to thrive instead of just survive.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

-Maya Angelou

For more about what self care means to me, click here.