Because sometimes the mom life has me looking like this.
Oversized T-shirt, shorts, messy bun, sports bra, coffee, and a walk to Target. But you know what? I don’t care about those haters. I love living this life.
So we’re in Michigan this week visiting family and taking some time off from the regular craziness back in Florida. As I was feeding Eli lunch today, I got to thinking that in a year from now we will be stationed somewhere else. And in a year from now I will have to start all over from nothing and make nothing into something. I will have to reestablish my life elsewhere and pick up in a completely new place with totally new faces and also adjust to my husband’s new schedule.
This is the military life. Sometimes it’s really not easy, such as leaving behind the life you made in one place and having to make a new life somewhere else. I now have such sweet mommy friends and let me tell you something. Mommy friends ARE important! I try and get together with at least two or three mommies every week and have mommy conversations while the babies play. And honestly, most of the conversations go something like this:
“How’d yours sleep last night?”
“Um, he did a three hour stretch!”
“Oh my gosh, guys mine is fixing to crawl!”
“Girl, just you wait until he walks. Your life will change in every single possible way!”
So yeah, we’re moms and we’re still talking about our babies but that’s because it’s our life. My kid is part of me and if you can’t accept that, then sorry we won’t get along. And so, in a year from now I will have to search for those friends again. I will have to use my extrovert self (maybe that’s why God created me with an outgoing personality!) and make new friends. It’s hard. It sucks. And somedays I wish things wouldn’t have to change. But that’s how life goes. Life isn’t always sweet, rosy, sugary, and perfect. There are plenty of bumps in the road and some of the bumps require you to make a change.
In a year from now I’ll be in a different house. An additional 100 miles away from my family. And life will bring adjustments and challenges but also positive aspects such as Sam being home for a whole year!
I guess my point is that mommy friends ARE important. It’s healthy to have those goofy, silly girl conversations that sometimes mean nothing but feel so good. Oh and it’s okay to share the load with your mommy friends and tell them you can’t do it all and somedays you feel like a zombie walking on the face of this earth. Let’s be real. THEY WILL TOTALLY UNDERSTAND! Every time I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I text my one mommy friend who always gets me and you know what? She’ll be going through a similar situation too.
Find those mommy friends and make an effort to have some chit chat time together.
Believe it or not, you need it. Because honestly, your hubby doesn’t always get you. It’s impossible. He’s a dude, with a dude mind, and a dude perspective on EVERYTHING. He doesn’t understand that nursing is sweet BUT exhausting. He doesn’t understand that taking a shower alone or peeing alone is AMAZING. He’s wired differently.
But your mommy friend? She gets it. And she needs you too!
Eli and I have our favorite dessert and y’all, it’s super easy and deliciously yummy! All you need is two ingredients and a food processor. Oh and a hungry tummy. 🙂
Add all of this to your food processor, blend until creamy, and enjoy on a warm summer evening. Eli and I literally clear the food processor cup and will lick the corners of our mouths. It’s that yummy!
Leave a comment below for some of your favorite healthy treats!
Because sometimes you want to take a nap with your 10 month old but then you look around the house and remember that the dishes haven’t been washed since Friday, the counters are hiding, and I haven’t showered since who knows when. And so what does this mama do? She hurries around the house and wipes the counters, loads the dishwasher, fills the washer up, sweeps the floor, and puts the toys away. Finally the place is presentable and time to kick back with a chocolate peanut butter smoothie (because hello, who doesn’t like that?) and then a “waaaaaa!” echoes through the hallway and this mama is back on her feet.
Mamas are heroes. Mamas are stronger than Superman, Batman, and Spiderman all together. Mamas are champions and they manage to do some of the most amazing tasks given. I have a friend who is almost 38 weeks pregnant and she has a 16 month old. We decided to hit up the beach this morning so the boys could wear off some of their energy. My friend chased her son around the whole beach and I could tell that she was wearing thin and in pain. I handed her my chub and took her place for a bit and chased the one year old around. But seriously? Mamas are warriors. She has a huge ol’ belly and feels every single pregnancy ache possible but she still made it possible to provide some kind of entertainment and activity for her child.
Somedays it gets tough. Somedays I don’t want to mama. Somedays I want to stay crummy and lazy and not shower. But then I remember that my baby needs me. He needs mama and that’s when mama decides a trip to Starbucks is in store!
It’s okay to kick your feet up for a few minutes and RELAX. A burnt out mama is no good of a mama. And remember, it’s perfectly okay to sit in your pi’s all day long, eat a candy bar after a candy bar, but tomorrow will come and don’t let that day kick you in the butt. Get up and show tomorrow who’s boss.
You got this mama. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are a mama.
When people told me “Enjoy your baby, it goes by fast!” I tried to ignore that thought and told myself, “Yeah, whatever that won’t be my case!” Well, we’re almost 10 months into this whole baby thing and I can’t even explain where those 10 months have gone. In most ways it feels like yesterday when I found out I was pregnant. Those first emotions and the overwhelming tears of excitement, fear, nervousness, and joy flooded me and now a year and a half later some days I feel like a mommy expert, but let’s just say most days that’s not the case. But gosh, I definitely believe the comment that it does go by fast. And when I mean fast I mean like I snapped my fingers and poof, here we are 10 months later with the happiest, most adorable, and chubbiest baby boy.
And then I begin to think that I expect my son to have it all down and be an expert with sleeping. Heck, I wake up a few times throughout the night just because and I’m 23. He’s not even 10 months and I have set this expectation for myself and for him to sleep through the night. Oh and that naptime schedule and routine should be down and working like clockwork. But to be completely honest, it’s NOT like that. A few months ago he would wake up often 5 times in one night. There were days when all I did was rock him to sleep. Fast forward a few months and he did a phase of sleeping 11 hours a night straight and nap all on his own. Now fast-forward a few weeks and we are back to waking up 1 to 2 times at night and naptime has become a bit more challenging. Mommy has to rock him and forget about getting him in the crib without waking up. Little man is now taking naps in mommy and daddy’s bed. And you know what? I’m okay with this.
It won’t last forever. I met a 10-week-old precious bundle of joy this morning at bible study and I found myself saying, “I miss that cuddly age!” But then I looked at my sweet boy and he needs his mommy. He longs for the middle of the night cuddles. It’s no wonder he wakes up in the middle of the night freaked out. He fell asleep in my arms, warm and cuddly and somehow woke up in a cold, dark crib. I would freak out too if I didn’t have a clue what happened within the past few hours.
Yes, I’m exhausted most days. Some nights I don’t get more than 4 hours of sleep but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because in a year from now I’ll look back and think how this was only a season of my life. And it to will go by so fast. Even though the nights are often draining the life out of me, the days with my son go by fast enough and I want to hold onto these precious nighttime feedings and these sweet cuddles, and the soft baby breath. He’ll grow up on his own soon enough. And he won’t need mommy. Ah- such a heartbreaking thought.
No doubt, some mornings I wake up with a foot in my face or a poopy diaper pointing right in my way. But I know I will look back and tell a young mom this too someday: “Enjoy your baby, it goes by fast!”
Mamas, do you ever feel judged or almost to the point of being condemned? And when you really think about it, the reason is because of something you’re failing to bring across or “fix” as a mama. You see, my son is almost 10 months old and when you google “ten month old baby” one of the first recommended search options that comes up is “ten month old baby sleeping”. Immediately I feel the urge to click on those sites and read up on a bit of that information. Well before long, I feel judged, pressured, and criticized and I’m the only one giving myself those feelings. Because the truth is, my baby DOES NOT sleep through the night yet. In fact, he’s only ever slept through the night maybe 2 or 3 times. And you know what? When he did those all-night-sleeping-alone, I missed him terribly. I woke up maybe 10 times just to check on him!
So my son doesn’t sleep through the night. He still wants to nurse at least 2 times during the night. He still wants to cuddle. He still wants to feel mama’s skin. He still needs mama next to him. He still needs mama. But when I hear about other babies already sleeping through the night at 2 months old and being on a rigid schedule from 7pm-7am, a little bit of pressure builds up inside of me and also this spirit of “what the heck am I doing wrong?” It almost gets to the point that I think I need to just let him cry at night. And so the other night he woke up at 11:30pm and I was still up. I decided to let him cry. After 20 minutes I couldn’t take it anymore. I was getting frustrated and my heart ached so bad. I wanted to go in the room and save him. But instead, a little voice in my head kept telling me, “No, if you get him now he’ll never learn. He’ll be 10 years old and still going through this struggle of falling asleep alone!” And so I tried to ignore him for a little while longer. Midnight pushed through and he was still up and screaming even louder. I finally had enough, pushed those thoughts out of my mind and grabbed my baby. Mamas, this truly broke my heart. My little man grabbed my shirt, dug his face in my neck, sobbed from the bottom of his soul and fell right to sleep. We crawled into bed together and cuddled the rest of the night.
He’s not ready. I’m not ready! So the problem with my son is that I’m not ready. I’m not ready to give up those nighttime feedings. I’m not ready to have him sleep alone and in another room. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my baby. I need him to be baby a little while longer before I’m ready. I don’t care about the criticism anymore. I don’t care about the pressure anymore. I just care about having a happy baby who feels safe and loved.
And for me and my little dude, we are happiest when we can cuddle and sleep together. Because honestly, I never heard of a 20 year old still sleeping with mama. It just won’t happen. These days are short and seldom and I want them to last as long as I can help it.
It’s okay to not be okay, right? Then why do we live in an age where everyone has to have it all together? Because let’s be real, when that old lady at Wal-Mart asks how you’re doing and you say, “fine thanks” you’re a BIG FAT liar. Heck, I haven’t showered in how many days? I haven’t had a full night of sleep in months, I have food on my shirt and dried up breast milk on my shoulder from burping a baby and then rocking him to sleep for the 100th time last night. And then I walk through the store and smile at every stranger and say I’m fine when asked. Why am I afraid to say I’m not okay? Because of the judgment that comes along with it. I’m afraid of criticism and what everyone else out there would say or think if I truly said what’s on my heart.
Let’s be real for a second. I can’t even go to the bathroom alone without a little human being on all fours chasing after me. Sometimes I barely finish peeing before tiny hands pull up on my leg. Don’t get me wrong. I love my son. I love him to death, all the way around the world, to the moon and back, but sometimes mommy needs a moment to breathe. And so when I either go to church or the store and that random little old lady asks how I’m doing and I say “fine, thank you” I’m a liar. I’m not always fine. In fact, most times I’m not fine at all. My husband has a crazy work schedule. I can count on one hand the amount of days I’ve seen him the past couple of months. That doesn’t make me feel okay. I haven’t styled my hair in months. I take a quick shower, brush out the tangles, throw the dead hair in the toilet, and put it back up in a bun. By the end of the day my hair is falling out, it’s frizzy, and an unmanageable mess. I’m not okay.
I’m sorry but what if I start saying, “no, I’m not okay. I need help!” Wouldn’t that be the honest truth? But is that what people really expect to hear? Or would the little old lady at Wal-Mart be shocked? What about church people? It’s okay to need help, mama. It’s okay to NOT have it all together because quite honestly, none of us have it together. I can’t even figure out who I am most days and after being around myself for 23 years, you’d think I’d have it somewhat together.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to say you can’t do this anymore. It’s okay to feel inadequate and weak because in your weakness Jesus is strong. He wants us to feel broken so he can mend, heal, and repair what’s been broken. I have to remind myself this all the time. I can’t be “mom enough”. I can’t do it all on my own and expect to have the perfect life. You know why? Once I have something somewhat figured out, another area of my life will fail and I’ll be back at the beginning with all my little messes.
If you’re feeling low, weak, and incompatible today, it’s okay mama. Crawl to the corner for a second (I know, it sounds impossible but you need it!), cry to Jesus for help, and the next time someone offers to help you, take it. Accept the help. A tired and a weak mama can’t focus on her babies. She needs the strength of Jesus and maybe that little old Wal-Mart lady is your hand to Jesus this week!