To The Mom Who Is Constantly Denying Herself

It never really seems to slow down. Whether it be the constant sleep interruptions in the middle of the night from a hungry baby or a kick in the face from your toddler who never learned to sleep in his own bed. The day constantly goes, and momma doesn’t seem to get to lay down and breathe in.

The morning starts for most, but for you it’s not much different from when you try to get the kids to go back to sleep constantly in the middle of the night.

Then the chocolate milk and Lucky Charms demands start as your toddler whines for you to get up and turn the TV on! You get up, running on 4.5 hours of interrupted sleep, pick up the baby who’s trying to climb off the bed and head towards the living room.

After you have turned on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, you head towards the kitchen and pour a bowl of cereal for your whining toddler. Or rush to whip up some pancakes at his request. Of course, always rushing because he must have them NOW! Thankfully, the baby is much more understanding and entertains himself. When he’s finally bored, he will crawl into the kitchen with the most adorable face you have ever seen. Then you remember to prepare his baby cereal. Once they are both fed, then the fun starts!

I don’t know if it’s because I have two boys, but there always seems to be wrestling and smashing of toys. But my favorite is the jumping on the couch and body slamming mom. Yes, pure joy. Playtime continues throughout the day and in between time, I’m picking up toys, putting baby down for nap time, preparing toddler’s lunch, washing the piled up dishes, picking up baby who has awoken, feeding newly awoken baby, preparing bath time, vacuuming crumbs off the floor, washing and or folding laundry, etc.

Nap time can not come sooner but both of their nap times do not always overlap which can be frustrating because I could really use that hour to just sit down and breathe. I’m constantly going, constantly doing and by the time my husband comes home, there’s never any visible proof that I’ve really done anything. New dishes will pile up, more dirty clothes will add up and make new piles of laundry meanwhile I think I’ve worn this tshirt and pajamas for two days now and my hair remains in what seems to be a permanent messy bun. And it’s not one of those cute messy buns you see on the tv shows.

It’s been months and I haven’t had a day to myself, my husband works so many hours that he can’t really alleviate any of my “mommy shifts.” And when I finally do get the opportunity to branch off and do something on my own, I don’t end up doing so because my kids start crying out for me as soon as I walk towards that door. I mean, I can’t jump in the shower without my toddler having a panic attack- later I realize that he just jumped in fully clothed. Either that, or I’ll go to the store and see someone else’s kids and immediately miss the crap out of my children. Sometimes I feel like I’m the cause to a lot of the stresses of my motherhood journey. I’m either always wishing to get away on my own for a little bit, but then I end up glued to them in fear that something may go wrong or end up hurting their feelings because they rather me stay home with them.

And don’t get me wrong, loving up my babies is probably the best feeling in the world. Nothing could ever compare to the silent giggles I see when my toddler giggles at his favorite cartoons, or the joy I feel when they are finally getting along and playing together. Or when I get mad at one and they defend each other. When my toddler is feeling cranky and only my mommy kisses make him feel better, or when the baby is tired and only my arms will bring him the soothing comfort until he drifts off to sleep. It is the most rewarding and exhausting job I have ever had. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But some days, I feel dizzy. Dizzy because I haven’t slept in months, haven’t stopped going in circles. Haven’t gone out to have any kind of adult time, whether it is a date night with my husband or just to go shopping at Target by myself without a screaming child. You see, I want to do so much but I don’t have the time or capacity to do so. And like most mom’s, I struggle with my identity outside of being a parent.

The world makes you strive to be more than “just a mom.” Oh, you’re just a mom? It’s probably the most gut wrenching part of a conversation for me because not only does it downplay all the hard work I put in into being a mother but it suggests that I am unfulfilled and need to be striving to be more. I feel like I will always struggle with this as I have so many goals and aspirations that are outside of motherhood for me. But for now, they have to be on hold. Yes, for now I am “just a mom.” But for now being “just a mom” is more than enough for me. Because my babies need me now, and everything else can wait because I promised to put them first when I chose to become a mother. And as long as the Lord will allow me, I will do just that. For God promised me that if I put my trust in Him, He will supply all my needs. (Psalm 84:12) (Proverbs 3: 5-6) (Philippians 4:19) (Matthew 6:31 -32)

So, for you momma’s who are struggling with getting time for yourselves, just to feel like a person again. Remember that your sacrifices are accounted for and one day you will have all the time in the world. Because babies become adolescents, and adolescents become young adults, and young adults venture off to college and leave mommy all alone. In this moment, you are tired and it’s hard but this too shall pass. So hang in there and don’t loose hope. It’s something I have to constantly remind myself as I’m running on fumes constantly and refilling my coffee cup. But their sweet little faces are worth it. I find my worth in them and in what Jesus has called me to be for them. A selfless, devoted (and sometimes very cranky) mother. (2 Kings 4:30) (John 3:30)

What you do is more than enough. Who you see in the mirror might not look like the person you used to be, but to your children you are everything. And that is more important than how the world may see you now.

Life With 2 Under 2: First Month

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to sit down and actually write a blog post. Every day is different and I definitely have my hands full so writing or posting has become less of a priority. To say that I get busy is an understatement because, I can add more busy to my currently extremely busy…if that makes sense?

My first month of having two under two has definitely been memorable. Your emotions range from happiness, to sleep deprived, and spiral into guilt really quickly.  One of the things I have struggled with the most is mom guilt. When I had my first son, I was able to devote all my attention to him. All my love was freely poured into him and now that I have added to my family, it is very easy to see where I start to fall short.

My second son does not get all my attention, he sparingly gets mommy snuggles and smiles. Aside from nursing him, he doesn’t get much mommy cuddles because his older brother needs me too – which constantly makes me feel very sad. My older son is getting close to turning two (ah yes, the terrible two’s are coming) and he seems to be requiring everything “right now” and all my attention  at all times – which can become very exhausting. Some days, when the baby is colicky and needs more of my attention, my toddler – even though he hides it very well – starts getting a little jealous. He starts acting out, jumps on me while I’m holding the baby, and can just be very difficult to be around. As soon as I put the baby down for a nap, there he is, waiting for me with his hands up in the air asking for me to pick him up. And how could I refuse him with his cute little face and big brown eyes as he looks up at me? Even though I may be exhausted and have to pee, I hold it in and just pick him up for a little bit. He’s still a baby. My baby.

It gets tougher when he starts to act up and I have to scold him or put him in time out because he doesn’t understand why things have changed and why I can’t tend to him right away. “Mommy has to pick up the baby because the baby is crying” as he cries while holding on to my neck, screaming “no momma, no!” It can truly be heartbreaking. If I get lucky enough to have them take a nap at the same time, momma finally gets to take a nap after only getting possibly four hours of sleep that night! Ah yes, the night time feedings of the newborn stage – cant say that was something I missed.

To sum it up – life with two under two kind of feels like a tag team match. Once you put one down, the other one tags you right back in. It’s a constant push and pull, a never ending guilt trip but at the same time, there are so many touching moments. Like when your oldest stops running around while the baby wakes up and gasps “ah, baby…cute!” Or when he comes up to the baby and gives him a big hug and kiss. Lights up my heart. Just knowing that one day, these two will be the best of friends is what gives me the fuel to not bash my head in at 3 in the morning while the baby wakes up the toddler and they are both crying for me to come get them. Sheesh! But most importantly, how they have helped me grow as a person, helped me see my strengths and weaknesses – and even with those, I have maintained being able to keep them alive? Thank you sweet Jesus for not only the heartwarming times, but also for the ongoing struggles that help make me stronger. A stronger mother, a better mother, a hot mess – but even with my weaknesses, they still love me, they still need me. Amen to that!

A Letter to My First Son

My brave little AJ,

Ever since you entered this world, you were a force to be reckoned with. You let yourself be known, told everyone who was boss, with your little Chewbacca rrr’s.

You’ve been strong willed since you were in my belly, never letting me eat anything you didn’t approve of. Heck, I couldn’t eat until around 6 months! You and I have always had a journey – it was just us two for two months or so while your daddy made a way for us in our new home in Washington.

You see, you have always been in my heart and on my mind. It was you I held on to when I was lonely, and I still do. I rely on your gentle hugs and kisses, you seem to understand me in a way I can’t describe.

You were the one I was hoping for, the one who healed my broken heart when I lost your first sibling…who now rests in heaven with Jesus. The hope of you got me through it all, and when you came into this world – you changed me more than I would ever know.

I held on to you, every step of the way. Impatiently waiting for your arrival. The bond that we share is beyond my simple understanding as I would shield you with my body, with my very own life I would anything to protect you little man. I love you with all my heart, soul, and very existence.

And now here we are, mommy expecting another little and you are soon to be a big brother! Mommy never expected in her wildest dreams that she could have another and although I am beyond excited for this wonderful addition, my heart breaks for the days that you will miss just having all of me – because now you will have to share me.

Although I know you are going to make an amazing older brother, I know some days will be hard for you. It breaks my heart that you will have days where you might feel alone, or left to the side. But know that you are irreplaceable to me. Having another baby will never change the love that I have for you. While watching you be a loving brother, I know my love for you will only grow.

So please remember, on the days where you feel sad because mommy couldn’t get to you as soon as you needed, know that it’s not because I love you less. Don’t believe that, find comfort in the fact that mommy knows you are an independent little guy and mommy relies on you now through this journey. You are becoming a big boy now, and as hard as that is for mommy to accept – I know you are only going to excel and do great things.

You will always be my baby, my first baby, the one I prayed for the most. The one that I shed countless tears for, the one that I was the most cautious with. God blessed me with you and I know He knew what He was doing when he brought you into my life.

Thank you for helping me realize who I truly am during all these trying times, thank you for bringing so much love and joy in to my life. Thank you for forgiving me when I loose my patience with you, you are so forgiving and loving with mommy – I honestly don’t deserve you.

I love you more than words could ever describe.

Love,

Mommy

 

Sunday Sentiments and Target Mini Haul

Lately, I’ve been really thirsting for the word of God. As a mother, you tend to forget about yourself and the things that you need. You loose your sense of self because you get used to putting your family before you and because it becomes a routine, you start to ignore the things that remind you of who you are.

Well, I am not ashamed to say that I need Jesus. When my son was younger, I felt very uncomfortable leaving him alone in the church nursery that we used to go to, only because he was so little and I was scared that for some reason – something would happen to him and I wouldn’t be there to protect him. Maybe it was first time mother syndrome, who knows. But I had a tough time letting him go, especially because I am his sole caregiver at home for the most part – he’s never had a babysitter. Anyway, because of this inability to let go, I missed a lot of sermons and didn’t always get “fed” the word of God. Something, I feel that I desperately need.

On Sunday, we visited a new church and for some reason – maybe because my son is now older, I was able to let him go to the nursery a little more confidently. I was finally able to listen to the word and my soul felt delighted. It was a feeling that I missed. I miss hearing the word of God, I miss being apart of a church family, I miss being delighted in the Lord and worshipping. I am so excited to be getting back to church and I am so happy because I feel in a way that I am getting back to God. I know that you should never get too busy to forget to meditate on the word of God but it does happen. You have to remember that instead of dwelling on it, just get up and finally do something about it. There will always be a reason not to go to church – I know I have many: my son is too difficult to deal with in public, I’m pregnant therefore I am too tired and stressed, I overslept, etc. I am just glad that I finally put my excuses aside and went.

Psalm 43:4

Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God

After church, we went on a little Target run for the little man because since we will be taking our trip back to California soon – little man needed some new summer clothes and swimming trunks! Target honestly has the cutest things for kids – although I wish they had a larger selection for boys! Girls seem to have the majority of the selection. Preggo even tried to find some cute maternity swimsuits.

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Expectation VS Reality

As a mother, you deal with your fair amount of disappointments and failures. You battle with who you used to be before you had children, and who you are now. I like to be somewhere in between the person who I used to be and who I am now. Although I truly admire who I have become, sometimes I miss who I used to be. A go getter, an entrepreneur, a singer, a project coordinator, etc.

Some days I feel like a failure. I’m not as energetic as some of these mom’s out there, I’m not always as friendly – sometimes hiding behind my sunglasses shielding my bare face that has no touch of make up. I’m not the yoga and Pilates preggo mother that I thought I would be. I don’t have a lot of mom friends in my area so as far as setting up play dates for my son, I definitely feel like a failure.

I think, I can at least rule at managing my home because that is my “office.” But reality sinks in, that no matter how many schedules I make, how many planners I own – life will happen. I can schedule laundry day, or grocery day or this is when I sit down and finally write my blog post day but life will happen and then I’m left with what I feel is nothing to show for.

In between trying to get the dishes done, chasing my toddler from playing with the electric chords, making breakfast, wrestling my son from swinging the dog from her tail, prepping for lunch, putting my pots back in the drawer from when my kid pulls them out to play, etc. Nothing ever seems to get done. I can schedule in between his nap times, IF he decides to nap today – life is as unpredictable as wintertime in southern California, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.

An unpredictable schedule can be so disappointing when you have a desire to meet expectations. I am the type of person who, as soon as I get an idea – I like to test it out right away.

Expectation: I want to open an Etsy shop!

Reality: It actually took me about 6-9 months to finally put my idea into reality. My son was a newborn when I WANTED to start but I had to wait MONTHS before I got the ball rolling because I had no one to help me with him and it was really difficult working one hour at a time, in between his naps. Especially because he refused to sleep on his own until he was about 9 months.

Expectation: I want to start blogging!

Reality: I didn’t get to fully dive in to blogging until about a year after wanting to do it. I started with a journal, story telling about experiences in my life as a way to maintain my sanity. I have to say, I just re-started this venture maybe 3-4 months ago when my son was finally able to play independently. I still have to chase him around, mid paragraph to make sure he didn’t jam a toy in the DVD player. And on most days when I get on my laptop to write a post, he likes to psych me out and play with the power chord, occasionally pulling it out of its outlet and then laughing. -_-

In the end, as long as it gets done – you’ve still reached your achievement. I think its natural to try and put a time frame and deadlines to certain personal goals that we have in life, but its important not to live by them.  I think most successful people have experienced a fair amount of failures and met their own expectations in later times than expected – but they at least got there. You will get there, I will get there. It might not be at the time that I expected, but God always pulls through. He gets me there when it’s time for me to get there. You have to take the positives in life or else, you’ll constantly feel like a failure. You have to remember that YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You are just going through another hurdle, so keep on persevering and finish climbing that mountain!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12