Mother’s Day: Last Year & Now

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers!

I wrote up something on my facebook last night and I wanted to share it here:

Happy mother’s day to all the hard-working, sometimes under-appreciated, dedicated and loving momma’s.
Our job isn’t easy. We’re grossly under-paid and can never call in sick.
We fight monsters, kiss boo-boos & try our hardest to keep it together when we feel like falling apart.

Happy mother’s day to all the grandmother’s that give themselves so tirelessly for their family.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that lost a child. I hope you can somehow find comfort today.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that hold their baby in their hearts instead of their arms.
Happy mother’s day to the step-mothers that love their step-children like their own.
Happy mother’s day to the dads that play both roles.
Happy mother’s day to the ones that have to get through today without their own momma here on Earth.

I see you all and I appreciate every one of you.ūüístNot just today, but every-day!

 

 


Before I became a mom, I never knew the special connection that I would share with not only my children, but with other mothers. I feel that connection even more-so with strong mothers that have/currently are struggling with their own battles. As mothers, or just humans in general, we can be our own worst critic but we truly are doing the best that we can.

Mother’s Day 2017

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I was just shy over 1 month postpartum and feeling so much inside….

i was overwhelmed. we had two kids under two.

i was lonely. i was with my kids all day every day but i felt such an isolating and lonely feeling. like nobody knew what i was going through.

i had extreme feelings of sadness that i urged myself to forget about.

i lost who i was as a women. who i am besides a wife and mom?

i lost all interest in things that made me happy. i only cared about making it through the day.

i had so much guilt. like i wasn’t enjoying my babies 100%.

i just felt like a failure.

On the outside, I may have looked happy and like I had it all, but on the inside I was deeply depressed and I couldn’t hold it together. Ricky snapped this photo of us on our chair and I remember thinking “I probably look like a busted can of biscuits but I know I need a picture to capture this moment because maybe next year…..It will get better.”

it did get better.

Mother’s Day 2018

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To the mommas that are currently fighting in the storm, hold on. A year from now, your life will be so different. So hold on because it’s worth looking back on that picture and seeing the storm behind you.

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

Motherhood is overwhelming and it can be downright scary when your holding your very own helpless baby for the first time… so for any mama out there that may be going through what I did, here are 5 things I want moms with postpartum depression to know.

When I first became a mother, I had all of the emotions… but I was mainly happy; that little bundle of joy brought me so much happiness I felt like I could explode. It came easy for me(except for breast-feeding)…the late nights that turned into early mornings, the swaddling and the constant demands of motherhood. I had it all together.

And then I had my second son and things felt….different. So different. I didn’t just feel pure happiness this time around. I felt a sadness so deep; I felt more anxious and worrisome. I remember laying up in the hospital bed after he was born and crying because I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay right there and continue to let the nurses care for me but mainly….for my baby. You see, I didn’t think that I could do it…take care of a newborn and a toddler…I felt completely overwhelmed. I felt angry. I was depressed. I had postpartum depression.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

According to WebMD the early signs of postpartum depression include feeling sad or hopeless. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can feel like yourself again.

The health-care system fails us as mothers due to the fact that after we have our babies, we aren’t given ANY support or therapy towards postpartum depression. It’s not even really talked about. It’s like…..here’s your new baby, good luck! There are so many emotions coursing through our veins and often more times than not, we feel embarrassed or shamed for these feelings.

Here are 5 things that I would like to tell other moms that may be experiencing postpartum depression.

1. Having postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad mom. This was my first¬† thought in the beginning and I’m telling you right now, you need to dismiss that from your mind pronto. You’re not a bad mom if you don’t want to make a craft with your kid. You’re not a bad mom if all you can manage to do on a daily basis is feed and bathe your child. And you’re not a bad mom if you feel sad and if your baby doesn’t bring you complete joy. You’re not a bad mom.

2. Having postpartum depression doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby. You can have postpartum depression and love your baby, even if right at this moment you feel indifferent. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. I also want to tell you that if you ever have thoughts about harming your baby, that’s not okay so PLEASE seek help if it’s getting to that point.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

3. Reach out to someone. I assure you, there is ALWAYS someone out there that understands what your going through so reach out to them whenever you need to; you don’t have to go through this alone. There are also crisis hotlines (listed at the end of this post) that are always available to you.

 

4. It will get worse before it gets better. I won’t sugar coat it…things normally get worse before they get better. I had a pretty low “low” with my PPD where I felt like things were never going to get better and my life would be in a constant fog. I want to tell you that it DOES get better…it won’t happen over night or maybe even a month from now, but there’s hope. There is a rainbow after the storm.

 

5. You have purpose. You were put on this Earth for a reason. Right now, you may feel like you don’t matter but I want to tell you that you do. You’re in the trenches of motherhood and you feel overwhelmed and broken but trust me, you have purpose. You are a warrior, a fighter, a strong and beautiful women! You have purpose, mama. You will be alright.

 

I wanted to share this with any new moms out there that may be at their lowest right now and to be a voice that says: you’re not alone!

 If you or someone you know may have postpartum depression, please know that there are resources out there.

 

Hotline crisis phone numbers:

Suicide

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Postpartum Anxiety

If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.

 

 

 

 

Before & After: What Having Kids Did To Me

I recently came across an old picture of me from a few years back. Let me tell you…the world always has a way of humbling you.

I was in my early 20’s and about 50 pounds lighter. This was BEFORE I had my babies. I was skinner, well-rested & actually had the time to care about my appearance.¬† I mean, I actually had the time to selfie.¬†Obviously, time & babies will change a person. I’ve lost a lot of sleep in the course of 2.5 years.

My before picture was taken in spring 2014. Since then, I’ve moved four times (two times internationally), had two healthy baby boys, and gained around 45-50 pounds.

I’ve seen something a little while back about parents posting their before & after photos detailing how parenthood has changed them.¬† So, I decided to take an after picture of myself; for sheer amusement and torture, and did a side by side comparison.

 

 

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2014 & 2018.

You guys. Time really sucks.

 

Granted, on my before, I was getting ready to go out and had my makeup and hair all nice…you know, because I didn’t have children to run after. And on my after, I was only on my first cup of coffee and my eyebrows haven’t been touched in like 5 months. Anyway, you can clearly see the difference that only 4 years have done. 4 years. 2 kids. And battling postpartum depression. This is what it looks like. #nofilter

Perhaps someday I will get back to my before picture…back to my before weight. That would be amazing. In reality, it will probably take years….so for now, I’ll enjoy my babies while they’re still babies. This is real life, you guys. No nannies, personal trainer or someone to do my makeup. It’s all me. Au-naturel. I better learn to embrace it because I still have many years of toddlering to get through.

 

 

This was fun but…can I hand in my mom card now?

I’m going to be very honest in this post & let it all out.

I’m failing as a mom. There, I said it.

This week has left me broken. I’m at the end of my rope & I don’t know what to do. My boys, whom I love dearly, are leaving me burnt out. My toddler, who is a very sweet & kind soul, is leaving me doubting whether or not I’m doing this mom-thing the right way. I feel like I’ve lost my way with him. I don’t know how to handle his tantrums, his outbursts, or his demands. I feel so annoyed at every little thing he does and jeez…doesn’t that make me sound terrible? But I’m being completely honest right now so pardon me because I don’t believe that there’s ANY parent out there that doesn’t get slightly annoyed or frustrated at their children from time to time. And if you tell me otherwise, well quit blowing smoke up my butt. Anyway, my toddler…. he’s a lovable child but he’s grown insanely jealous lately. He will rip toys away from his baby brother and go up to him and pull his hair for no reason. He will scream when he doesn’t get his way. Yes, these are all toddler-like behaviors but good lordy I was not prepared for it. And he doesn’t sleep. I dread the night-time routine because it feels like a literal torture-sentence having to deal with his little routine quirks – (he needs fresh toothpaste applied to his toothbrush twice and needs two books read…then he needs this night light on…. and this pillow here..now he doesn’t want THAT pillow, he wants the other one…. but wait..he doesn’t want this blanket on but now he does….) And then it takes negotiating and reassurance for me to be able to leave his room so he can go to sleep. Most nights, he will scream and lately I’ve found that Ricky coming up to calm him down really works. And he doesn’t sleep through the night anymore. He wakes up and finds his way into our bed… which is nice until he’s laying on top of me and my legs are numb so I move him over but he wakes up and screams for me to lay a certain way. It’s all very exhausting. He’s extremely needy for me and while it may sound like that’s not such a bad thing, I have to say that a person has their limit on how much they can be touched/climbed on/hanged on during the day. You can say that I’m lucky or blessed or maybe say that I’m ungrateful…and I can’t deny any of that. It’s just hard for me right now and very draining.

There have been days, especially this week, where I’ve lost my patience way too quick; where my voice was raised a little too loud; where I’ve needed to walk away because it was just too much. These days get to me….because at the end of the day, I’m sitting on the couch, kids in bed, and thinking to myself: thank god we just all survived today. we just made it through this day. And I know, oh do I know, that I was just barely skimming the surface at being a mom today. That I met just the minimum requirements of being emotionally there for my kids. I half-assed it. I kept the kids alive & that was it…but it was a freaking marathon. I absolutely believe that my boys deserve the world, and then some, yet every-day, I feel like I’m failing them.

For me, being there is just simply not enough. I want to give them everything I have and the whole nine-yards but most days, I’m just exhausted. And I’m not talking about physically exhausted because obviously two small kids will drain a person; I’m talking about emotionally & mentally exhausted. I’m suffering from PPD and every day is a literal struggle. I struggle to get out of bed every morning. I struggle to make my kids meals. I struggle to get outside to play with them or go on a walk. I struggle to sit on the floor with them & play. I struggle with finding the every-day joys of life. It’s really hard. It sucks. It isn’t fair….but it’s what I have to deal with. I’m struggling with depression & yes, my kids are very much getting the brunt of it. It’s totally not fair to them. Yes, they deserve a mom that is perky, enthused and patient. My husband also deserves a wife that is those things as well. I live with this every-day and the guilt is gut-wrenching. It’s a never-ending turmoil & I feel like I’ll never be better…be good enough.

I completely believe that my depression affects my kids but especially Beaux. I believe that he can sense my feelings and perhaps that plays a big impact on his own emotions/why he acts out. And I have no idea how to make it better. I’m taking the medication, I’m going to the therapist. I have my good days and I have my bad days. I was on the up & up for a while there, but in recent weeks, I’ve been battling the depression HARD. It’s funny because it just doesn’t go away….even on my best days, my depression is peeking around the corner at me, reminding me that life can never be too good.

I love being a mom and I can’t stress it enough how much I love my boys. But it’s hard. SO SO SO OOOOOO hard. I don’t have a village. I live in another country, 1,000+ miles away from any family. I have a handful of friends here that are very helpful & supportive, but I have a huge problem with asking for help when I need it the most (and feeling guilty for throwing my kids onto other people.) Being a mom was so much easier after my first was born. Sure, there were many sleepless nights and breastfeeding woes, but it was just….easy. I could bask in newborn cuddles all day long. I could dress him in the cutest, matching baby clothes and take pictures of him all day long. It was easy. And I thought (at the time) that it was hard. I LOVED being a mother back then. I felt like I gave my 110% every single day. Why is it so hard for me now?

Will it get easier?

Many tell me yes yet, many tell me no. I guess that’s just the life of being a parent.

 

I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone. I know how fortunate I am. I have many things to be happy for. This was a hard week, as I’m sure you can understand. We all feel defeated from time to time and believe that it will never get better. Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is better & sunnier.

Stay happy, my friends. <3

Why Grocery Shopping is my Hell

Out of all my adult-y responsibilities, the one which I loathe the most would be grocery shopping. Ugh.

It’s kind of funny though (or ironic) because when I was a kid, I would LOVE to go to the supermarket with my mom or dad. I would hang on the back of the shopping cart, pick out the best goodies like Dunkaroos and colored fruit juices shaped like barrels, and pull out as many coupons from those red coupon machines. It was bliss. I also loved to sneak those little candies that were set out- surprise- that is actually illegal. Moving on.

Now that I’m an adult that’s nearing 30 and a mom to two toddlers, I have realized one and true thing: grocery shopping is my Hell.

There is hardly anything cute or fun about taking a trip to a supermarket with toddlers. Heck, even when I go by myself it’s a struggle! Once again, my faith in society gets lost when I realize how rude people are over a $1.99 CHIPS AHOY sale. It’s also such a daunting process of making a list, actually driving to the store, finding your groceries, checking out, loading up your car, then driving home and unloading it all AND FINALLY putting it away. I’m tired thinking about that.

My late-Grandmother {bless her heart} used to get her groceries delivered to her. She was a genius. Sadly, not every grocery store offers this AMAZING luxury {but uhm, why not? they could make A KILLING. Because I know a lot of tired and overwhelmed mamas that would devour this option.}

Ok. Ok. So getting to my point here. My recent grocery trip inspired me to compile together the reasons why I loathe doing the weekly grocery-thing.

You want to make sure to read to the end so you could score a free grocery shopping checklist that will save you mega-time in the store with your tiny humans.

 

 

The car shopping carts for kids.

Those things are like GOLD and in the rarity that there is one available (and you better pray you can get one), it’s anything but fun to push around a crowded store. But it keeps my kids sane…for the first ten minutes. Soon enough, all hell breaks loose because they’re sitting too close to each-other and a screaming/fighting battle ensues. O, and did I mention how SMALL those car carts are? Can’t plan on buying too much that day or one kid will end up walking beside you so you could fit your Charmin Ultra-Soft in.

It’s not possible to just get in and out.

I ALWAYS vow to myself to buy what’s only on my list….to go straight to what I NEED to get out of there fast. That never works because nine times out of ten, I can’t find what I’m looking for (stop changing your shit around!) or my oldest is begging for cheese at the deli and now I have to wait twenty-minutes for freaking cheese.

The never-ending begging from the tiny people.

Now that my oldest can communicate fairly well, he ALWAYS points out stuff he wants at the grocery store. He will say please..I will say no…he will say please again…and whine and I will cave. I’ve gotten tired of constantly telling him no, so we agreed on “one treat per shopping visit” and that lasts for twenty seconds…until he sees a dog toy soccer ball and wants it. Good lord.

My realization that people are oblivious is mind-numbing.

I can be a real people-person….but if you’ve seen me in a grocery store, then probably not. My anxiety is at an all-time high when I’m food shopping and my kids aren’t the only humans that set it off. PEOPLE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, you do not need to stand in the middle of the aisle. Also, Alice, can you please let me squeeze in there to grab a box of Kraft? Your five-minute meandering over which flavor of cup o’ noodles you should get is a little overboard.

STUFF ISN’T WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

So this one time, I was on a never-ending quest for sun-dried tomatoes and I looked ALL OVER supermarket land. Much to my dismay, I became impatient and frustrated, and left the store without them. The next time, I was determined to locate those freaking sun-dried tomatoes. I finally did. And they weren’t where {I} assumed they would be at. THEY SHOULD BE NEXT TO THE PASTA SAUCE!

CHECK-OUT HELL.

Most of the time, waiting in the check-out line can be just as worse as battling off my kids from the cookie aisle. There’s about 10 people behind me in line YET only ONE register is open. This is when the tiny people begin to melt-down because, bless their hearts, they don’t understand the concept of time and waiting. Self-checkout has become my BFF.

BAGGER HELL.

Ugh. Ultimate pet-peeve right here. MY CHICKEN DOES NOT GO IN WITH MY VEGGIES. This should just be baggers-101 or something but I KNOW I’m not the only person that feels strongly over this. There’s also a very fine line of putting way too many canned items into ONE plastic bag OR putting one, single box of granola bars into a bag by itself. I don’t get it. Again, self-checkout. BFF.

Arguing with the self-checkout machine.

Ok. I know. I said that the self-checkout and I were BFFs, but only up until the point when it repeatedly tells me to move my item to the bagging area. I DID!! And that’s when I find myself arguing with a self-checkout machine that I know I need a mental time-out.

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