Growing Pains

I’m sitting here nursing my baby, thinking. I’ve been sitting here for roughly 3.5 hours, so time to think is something I have a lot of.  All this cluster feeding better result in the loss of 3.5 pounds (that’s EXACTLY how that works, shaddup).  I’m wondering – when are you “allowed” to outgrow something? A person, a career, a lifestyle. What’s the breaking point, the point in which you’re not giving up or giving in – you’re just letting go?

I’ve been feeling my anxiety increase and I know I need to make some changes. Although I’m having trouble grasping exactly what to change, I know something’s gotta give.  I saw a therapist for the first time in a while (sidenote – not because I didn’t want to go but due to a backlog in our healthcare system. My doc has a 300 person waiting list and had to stop taking names. Sad times for many who need help.) One of her suggestions was to get back on medication.  I have nothing against them at all, they were extremely helpful before but I’m not sure if that alone is what I need. Just because I was on medication before is that necessarily the lifestyle change I need to make?

There’s a loneliness that comes with the isolation of being a parent with little kids.  I think part of my issue is combating that. Getting out is key.  Being with friends who are supportive and who I can support right back (lifting each other up and all that jazz). I’m fortunate to have great friends but I think we all have people in our lives who weigh us down rather than raise us up. Do you let those relationships slide and maintain them as acquaintances or drop it completely and move on?

Another piece of loneliness postpartum is the restrictions imposed after giving birth. I was advised to take it easy for 6 weeks.  No high-energy exercise.  I can walk with the kids/walk the dog but it’s not the same as breaking a sweat. I break a sweat carrying the toddler up the stairs but you know what I’m trying to say.  I think some exercise/activities will be helpful for some mental clarity and anxiety relief.  If anything, I think having something that’s just for me will give me some peace.  I haven’t been committed to anything physical in a while, does that make me a poser if I pick up a new sport? I played soccer during my youth and have always enjoyed (slow) jogging and most recently have taken up snowboarding in an attempt to keep up with my stepkid.  Maybe I’ll take up kickboxing and kill two birds with one stone. I’ll get some exercise and kick some bad habits to the curb.

MAYBE I need to get more sleep. But if I don’t stay up after the baby (finally) falls asleep when will I write without interruption or eat cookies. I talk about cookies a lot. Hint – bring me (dairy free and super healthy) cookies.

Thanks for reading my midnight (1am) ramblings friends, acquaintances, and potential workout buddies.

There’s a Baby in the House

I had my baby. A baby girl. The newest member of my gang is the chillest and the illest.  I know you’re thinking it, she’s sleeping well, thank you for asking!

I want to do a really thoughtful post on my birth but this baby is a month old so that means I’m sleep deprived and a hot mess. I’m going to get some sleep (ha-ha-ha) and then get writing.

In the meantime, here are my truths so far about life with the new addition.

Note – I didn’t proofread this and I’m not going to because aint nobody got time for that.

1.Having 2 little kids is a shit show.

When my son was born 3 years ago, my step-daughter was 5. She was relatively self-sufficient so spending days with her and my son weren’t insanely demanding. Also, most months that I was on maternity leave were school months so she wasn’t home in the mornings (kindergarten was half day).

  1. Being home with a 3-year-old and  3 week old has me running around like a crazy person. I generally have on boob hanging out to feed baby girl while trying to tend to the boy. Again, the oldest is in school most days but when she is here she’s doing her own thing with her friends, being helpful with her brother, or looking terrified to see aforementioned boob dangling free. I love having my kids home with me, don’t get me wrong.  The toddler keeps me busy. But the show I am hosting is wild and crazy.

2. My self-worth as a mother is inherently tied to my child’s weight.

Everyone asks how much my baby weighs. I dunno if you know this but your child weighs x amount at birth and then can lose up to 10% of their weight shortly after. I didn’t know this. Or, I’d forgotten. Both are possible. Either way, when I went to my first appointment with the pediatrician and found out my daughter lost weight, I panicked. MY EYES WELLED UP WITH TEARS. Because what is wrong with me that I can’t make my kid fat and roly-poly with the milk from body?! WHO AM I AS A MOTHER! The nurse could clearly see the panic in my eyes and the wild train of thought behind them and calmly told me to simmer down.

If you’re concerned and curious, she’s gained all the weight back and then some. At my most recent appointment, the nurse looked impressed. I’ll pick up my mom of the year award any day now.

3. All the shit you hear like “sleep when the baby sleeps” only applies if you have one kid.

Unless I want to let my toddler roam freely while my baby sleeps, that ain’t happening. Double nap times are a rarity that you should not take for granted.   If my spells actually worked, the blue moon is in sight, and both kids are actually sleeping at the same time, you best believe I am not wasting that precious time I have alone on sleep. Oh no. I am watching Netflix, folding laundry, or having a shower. Or maybe, eating cookies.

4. I’m all about Law & Order now, so don’t come to my house without checking in first.

My survival rule is structure. I have designated times for eating and sleep. With my son, I was pretty flexible.   Eat between a general range of times, same for naps. Whatever! I’m an easy-going mom!

NOT ANYMORE. Yes all caps. I mean it.

I need to be organized so I don’t lose my marbles.  I’ve lost most of them but the few I have left, I intend to retain. So don’t show up at my house 10 minutes before nap time/quiet time expecting to hang with my kids because you will not be happy. Nobody. Will be happy.

5. I really love being a Mom.

It’s hard. It’s so fucking haaaaaard.  Everything you do is wrong by someone’s account, you can’t win.  The internet is a blessing and a curse. I don’t have a lot of close friends in Edmonton and I’m a pretty anti-social person so I don’t see the ones I have here a lot.  The internet helps me stay connected to my village, I’m so grateful for that. But man. There are a ton of parenting sites with conflicting ideology’s on how to parent your child and they’re all more than happy to tell you how you’re doing it WRONG.  I try to take it all with a grain of salt.

But I love it.  I love the first “Mommy” of the morning. The endearing and loving feeling attached to that kind of diminishes by the 400th “Mommy” around lunch time but you know how it is. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

That’s all I have for now. Someone pooped their pants and another someone is having a super meltdown because he has to wash his hands after going pee and it’s all hands on deck.

Photo cred – Carissa Marie Photography