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Finding Yourself

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I haven’t written in a while. Things around here are busy, stressful and I haven’t been able to find the time to write anything. I honestly haven’t even had the motivation to write anything about parenting. But this week, I got to thinking about myself and how I don’t feel very ‘me‘ lately.

Being a parent can take a tole on your body and your mind and your spirit. It is a wonderful experience that changes your life forever for the better, but at the same time, it can make you wonder how you will ever get back to the person you used to be. In my opinion, you change with each child that is born and for the most part, it is normally a good change, and you may never see your former self again. I, myself, know that I am not the same person I was before my son was born. I am perfectly fine with that. I have learned so much, and have grown as a person because of being a parent. But, at the same time, being so consumed with taking care of my family has made me realize that I haven’t spent much time for myself since my first was born.

I am sure that I am not the only person that feels like this. Taking care of your children, your husband and your house can be awfully time consuming, and taking time for yourself can make you feel guilty. I know that I went out with my friends one time after my son was born and the entire time I worried if my child was okay, if he needed me, if I was having too much fun when I should have been watching my child, and so on. Everything was fine, and I did have a good time when I wasn’t watching my phone for a phone call.

Even though I was worried, I’m glad that I went out. I have already gone out twice since my daughter was born, both times with my husband. I followed my grandmother advice. She said, in order to keep your relationship healthy after children, you need to make time for yourself and your husband. So, we have both decided that we need to try to at least have one night a month to ourselves. A night of going out, having a real conversation that doesn’t revolve around our children, and enjoying an entire night alone. I’ve already gone through the stages. I get excited to go out, then that excitement begins to wear off. I feel sad, and miss them. That’s when I call my babysitter. My husband finds this funny, that I can’t go one night without making sure they are okay. For me, I can’t understand how he can. But, I know it comes with being a mommy. plus I worry enough for the both of us.

It’s important to keep your spirit up. It’s even more important to make time for yourself and your significant other, but the days can be stressful, and without that time, things can fall apart quicker than you can blink.

 

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Parenting, Uncategorized

It is time!

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As Rafiki states in Disney’s The Lion king, this is the only line that can express the significant toddler milestone that we are about to tackle: Potty Training!!!

I was afraid to start my son too early on potty training because of the move and the new baby. I heard that starting children when there are significant changes in their lives can make potty training more challenging. But, after this past week, I realized that starting potty training is a must.

My little bugger, three days in a row, decided to take off his diaper. Now, it wouldn’t have been so bad if two of the three days worth of diapers weren’t filled with poo. It was disgusting, especially since he decided to take his diaper off in his room around nap time. His room has carpet. It was a mess, and I’d like to never have to scrub human shit off the floor again (though it wasn’t the first time).

I researched different ways to potty train children, particularly little boys. Obviously, you need a training potty, that way they can get the feel of sitting on a real toilet. Letting them customize the toilet can be helpful, with stickers and writing their names on it. Letting them run around without a diaper so they can get the feel of not wearing one. And of course, encouragement is very important, and is a must when trying to teach them. I did all of these things and we had a very successful day Friday. He used the potty, understood what it was used for, and he was a very happy toddler when I encouraged him and congratulated him.

I don’t know if I am ready for this step in his development, but I know that he is. It’s about persistence and continuing to remind them about using the potty. I can’t tell you how many times we go through it in just one day. It can get exhausting, but I highly suggest a schedule. It truly helps, especially in the beginning stages.

Parenting, Uncategorized

Bad Day #3

Today the kids aren’t the problem. My son is taking an early nap today, and my daughter is finally sleeping in the bassinet without my arms wrapped around her. No, today is a good day. So why do I say bad day #3? Well, I am finding that my own thoughts and feelings are the problem now.

I was doing fine when I woke up. I was thinking positively. My postpartum bleeding stopped, it looked like it was going to be a cool day, and my kids were doing well this morning. Then my thoughts ran away from me. I started thinking about the arguments that my husband and I have been getting into, and how much I have lost myself since before my son was born. I love my kids, and I would never want to change the fact that I have them. They are both a blessing to my life. There are just times when I wonder if I can keep it together and be the best parent that they need me to be.

I think my husband thinks that it is all in my head, my depression. I have suffered from depression for most of my life, but I feel like that would come and go. Postpartum depression seems to never leave, even when you are having a good day. It remains in the back of my head, waiting to reappear at any moment. It jumps out when one thing is said the wrong way, or something sets off the little bomb inside my mind. I have no control over it, or my emotions when it goes off and I become an ugly, crying mess that thinks the world hates me. I have not had any suicidal thoughts, thankfully. Every time I get to a bad place in my episode, I always remind myself that I love my children too much to do anything stupid. I do, however, wish that I could just stop the uncontrollable feeling of unhappiness and self doubt. My husband and I talked about my feelings last night and we both agreed that for our lives to be better, and for me to be happier, I need to call my doctor and go in for a checkup before my six weeks are up. I know for a fact that I can’t handle these feelings for another three weeks.

Parenting, Uncategorized

Bad Day

Everyone has bad days, but you can always count on the days getting better. Well, my bad day has turned into bad DAYS and I am beginning to wonder if there is a good day in sight. It started yesterday with my daughter. She was a very needy baby and requested, via screaming, that I hold her. That went on for most of the day. She has also been gassy for the past week, and has been fussy in general when shes not sleeping. Imagine that, plus the need to be held consistently, which equals a very loud little girl. My son added fuel to the fire when he continued to whine, because he couldn’t get what he wanted. When my son cries, my daughter cries and vise versa. The word ‘no’ did not register for him yesterday, and he was more than happy to throw himself on the floor and cry until there was no tears left in him. When nap time came around, it took m e two hours to get him to stop walking out of the bedroom and actually go to sleep. It was a rough day, and all I wanted was a few minutes to get my barrings, but I had no few minutes to spare for myself. This began from sun up to long after dark. It was becoming too much for me to handle, and I felt myself slowly breaking.

It has gotten so bad that I began to ask myself what I was doing wrong, and then I had a break down, in which my husband had to hold me through because I couldn’t stop crying. I was surprised that I lasted the day without a tear. It wasn’t until my husband got home that I began to feel more and more like something deeper was wrong with me. I felt my innards twisting with each time my children cried. Eventually my husband finally took our son to bed. Our daughter woke up, started crying and I couldn’t take it. I gave my daughter to my husband and began to walk to the bathroom. When I passed my sons room, that was when I began to break down. His clothes were all over the floor, everything out of his dresser. I fell to my knees and had my breakdown.

I guess it was the image of seeing the mess, (and realizing that my house was dirty from days before because I haven’t had the motivation to clean anything, or do anything for that matter), that made me sob. This is one of the ugly truths about postpartum depression. You don’t have the motivation for anything, you feel lost, and the pressure of the world is on your shoulders. Eventually, you will break and it really is okay to cry. I have found that crying, and letting out your emotions out helps.

Today hasn’t been that much better than yesterday. The only time I get peace is when my children are both taking naps. It’s hard to do that when my son thinks its funny to keep walking out of his room, slamming the door behind him. And when I tell him it’s nap time, he throws a fit and that wakes up his sister, then both kids are crying. He does this to me often, especially when he is tired. I finally get him into bed, calm her down, and when I think everything is good, he does it again. He did this to me over five times yesterday. It was very frustrating and very hard to keep my head level.

Enough of my rambling. Point being, there are good days and there are bad days. Some days will be bad, some days will be good, and other will be downright horrible. Just remember to take some time for yourself. It helps immensely.

Parenting, Uncategorized

The ugly truth

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Postpartum depression.

It is a very real thing that I wish a lot of people would understand is a serious issue with mothers. It happens to even the strongest of people, and can be a very hard experience to get through.

I had postpartum depression with my first child, though I kept denying the signs. I have had issues with depression since I was a child, and I knew the risks for postpartum depression were high with me. I kept denying the signs, kept telling myself that I was stronger than that. I kept trying to convince myself that it was a faze, that I was loosing too much sleep, and that I still wasn’t used to the difficulties of taking care of a child. But despite myself, I knew that there was something deeper wrong with me. When I expressed my feelings to my doctor, they made me take a test. Answering the questions truthfully, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. They gave me some pills and told me to check back in a month. After that month of taking the medication, I decided that I was going to stop and work out my problems myself. Although this worked for me, I do not suggest doing so without telling your doctor. I told my doctor what I planned to do, to work on things on my own, and even though they said that sometimes that doesn’t always work, the told me to call them if I was feeling suicidal and I went on my way.

I did work on things myself, because I have always dealt with my depression on my own. I more so ignored it than faced it, and I think that it’s coming back to bite me in the ass this time around. I have bouts throughout the day where I feel like I am alone. Some days are good, but some days are bad. Some days I feel sad, and angry and lost and sometimes I can’t control my own emotions. I have never once hurt my children during these episodes, but I know they can feel my frustration and it affects how they react to me. That’s when I have to walk away from them, to give myself some time to handle the stress.

Last night I had a melt down. I was crying, hard, and started fighting with my husband for no reason but because I was hurt and feeling lost. I felt alone and pressured into being a perfect mother, with this perfect family, and trying to uphold the perfect life. I put that pressure on myself, and it was too much for me to handle. I should have remembered that there is no such thing as the perfect mother, the perfect family, and the perfect life. Not even the seemingly perfect family truly is perfect. My husband has promised to try harder with helping around the house, to relieve some of the pressure that keeps building. I am grateful that no matter what I throw at him, he stands by me, despite the arguments we get into. It helps a lot when you have a support system. I hope that others that go through this have a support system as well.

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No, No, No!

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No is a word that I have come to know very well. It has become the word that I say most through the day, even though I get tired of saying it and wish there was something else that could catch the attention of my toddler. It has gotten so bad that I swear, every other word that comes out of my mouth is ‘no’. Its exhausting, especially since it has lost its touch. ‘No’ used to mean tearing your hand away from what you were touching, or run before you get into trouble. Now, all ‘no’ means is ‘I am going to push my mothers buttons and see how far I can get into trouble before she comes to slap my hand’. I especially love it when my devil child looks at me, smiles and then continues to do whatever he started, even though I’ve yelled at him to stop. Even if he listens, there is no winner in this situation because he will throw himself on the ground like the sky is falling and fake-cry his little heart out. At that point I just ignore him until he gets it out.

But no matter how many times he throws a tantrum, it doesn’t get any easier listening to them. Someone asked me once for advice on how to deal with toddler tantrums. I laughed and told them there was no easy way of dealing with them. You just have to be patient, wait them out, don’t give in and cross your fingers that they don’t last longer than a few minutes. Normally, if you distract them enough, they will get out of them quickly and move on to the next thing until they find something that they can’t have. It’s amazing how easy it is for children to get distracted, and then right back into the tantrums that drive you crazy.

Honestly, I know it may seem like the days are long and tiring now, but if you give yourself some time, and can ignore the fake cries then I can promise you that this stage will pass. It won’t be long before the tantrums turn into attitude and back talking, and then you will wish for the screaming back.

Parenting, Uncategorized

Adjustments

It’s been almost a week since I have been home with the newest addition and so far most of my fears have disappeared. The fear of my eldest hating his sister. The fear of not finding a routine. The fear of having too much on my plate. The fear of falling into depression, like I did after my first pregnancy. I let these fears get the best of me at the hospital. The fear of my son rejecting his little sister got me so panicked that I worried about whether or not I would feel the same for this child as I had with my first. I instantly felt guilty and terrible for feeling this way because a mothers love is never divided and shared equally among her children. After doing some research, I found that I am not the only parent that has felt this way. And after spending some quiality bonding time with my daughter, I was able to get rid of these feelings pretty quickly.

As for my son, it took him a lot less time to get used to his sister than I thought. A few days in and he went from cringing away from her to kissing her and wanting to share his toys and his food with her. He now calls her sissy, smiles and laughs when he sees her. Now he won’t go anywhere without her and makes sure that we never forget to take the baby with us wherever we go.

As for the routine, I have already come to the conclusion that routines come and go and change constantly throughout life. Right now, we might have a good routine going, but in the long run, I know that it will change eventually. Its about learning to adapt to new things and new situations and embracing change. I was afraid of that change for a long time while pregnant. Yes, I was excited to meet her, but at the same time, I was dreading the day she would come, because I knew everything would change. But I also knew that I needed to embrace that change because it was going to happen whether I was ready for it or not. And in the end, things have worked out well and for the better.

Parenting, Uncategorized

Welcome the New Addition

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Evelyn Fae Speelman entered the world at 12:04 pm, May 22, 2017. She weighed at a wopping 8 pounds 8.6 ounces and is 20 inches long. She has the dark, native American features of her father, which is a big contrast to my pale skin and blonde hair. If my assumptions are correct, she will have her father’s dark brown eyes as well, since they are already so much darker than my son’s were when he was born.

Late Sunday night, I thought my water broke, so my husband and I went to the ER just in case. I was in there for an hour before they decided to send me home, since there were no contractions and my body was no longer leaking. Well, low and behold, right when I stood up to get dressed, I drenched the floor. Needless to say, I was back in the hospital bed. My contractions began, and soon went the process of having a baby.

Already she is showing how stubborn she is. My contractions were doing fine when they suddenly stopped, like she changed her mind about coming out. Well, they ended up inducing me (something that I was hoping and praying they wouldn’t have to do). A few hours later, she was born. Now, I had never planned on having a natural birth. Call me what you will, but I wanted that epidural and I wanted it badly, but she came too quickly and i had no time.

It was one of the hardest experiences I had ever been through. There was an insane amount of pain, so much so that I can’t even describe it. It was definetely something I will remember forever, and my body has definetely felt it’s better days. My recovery time, though, is going pretty well. I thought that by having a natural birth it would make my recovery more difficult, but it feels the same as my first pregnancy did, sore, aching and bloated.

All in all, my baby is healthy, I am recovering well enough and my husband is enjoying his time with his new daughter that he’s already nicknamed princess. I have a feeling that he’s already wrapped around her little finger.

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Due Date

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Well, here we are. It’s my due date and there are still no signs of baby Evelyn. Yes, my body aches and I have been having braxton hicks like no other, but there is no sign of labor. I had thought a few days ago I was going into labor, but to my dismay, it was false signs and nothing else came out of it. Now I am here, on my due date, still patiently waiting for the baby to come. I never thought that I would be so excited and ready to go into labor. With my first child, I was afraid and didn’t know what to expect like most first time parents. But with this being my second child, I know what I am getting myself into, I know what to expect and I know what I want to do differently than the last. I am just very impatient and hope she comes today and not wait until the doctor decides it’s her time. I have even tried the different things that some women swear work for them, but nothing has changed. I’ve tried teas, foods, walking, and yoga and still nothing. I guess this is my punishment for saying that she was coming early. Now she is going to be stubborn and wait until I am about to burst before she decides my punishment has been enough. If she is anything like her parents, she will be just as stubborn, if not worse.

Parenting, Uncategorized

Nerves

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I am 2 days away from my due date, and even though I was hoping she would come early, it seems she is keeping herself occupied in my uterus by cramming herself against everything she possibly can. Besides being uncomfortable in every position known to man (both while awake and sleeping), these braxton hicks are killing me. As long as I am moving during the day, they aren’t so bad. It’s when I toss around at night and wake up to pee for the third time that its unbearable. Don’t get me started on  what it feels like rolling out of bed in the morning. Within these last few weeks, it’s been harder and harder running after my energizer bunny for a toddler, and especially harder trying to keep up with the housework. Bless my husband and his wonderful heart, but he has no initiative to help after coming home from work. Don’t get me wrong, he does a few things that have helped out, like taking over for dinner and doing the dishes (I still have yet to get him to put away the laundry for me), but what he does do helps, even if it’s only a little. Point being, I am ready to have this baby, and I’m ready to have it now.

Now, to the point of the title of my post, nerves. Mine are on edge, and I know my husbands are. I thought that after already having a baby I would get used to the idea of being a parent to another child. But then I realized that with every child comes different worries. With my first child, I worried whether or not I was going to fail as a parent. With this one, I’m worried about how my son will take to her, and how I plan on getting a schedule down for both of them.

Fingers crossed that she comes soon.