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New Mommy Monster

Jun 23, 2017 by

The first few months of new motherhood have been harder and yet more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined. When that little girl smiles at me, I feel like I have won the lottery. It doesn’t get better than that. But it does get worse. Much, much worse.

No one can really prepare you, or at least they choose not to—and so you don’t know what you’re getting into until you are properly sinking in the quicksand that is parenthood. I think it’s partly because you get absolutely zero sleep, like none, that maybe people forget what it’s like and thus forget to tell you. Everyone just offers the same bullshit advice: sleep when the baby sleeps. Well, the baby never f-ing sleeps, so there’s that. And if I did sleep in the glimmers in which she has her eyes closed, the rest of the family would be starving and running around naked because the laundry and grocery shopping would just go straight down the shitter.

So, combine the lack of sleep with utterly ridiculous mood swings, crazy  hormones, clothes that don’t fit, bleeding nipples, and the sudden realization that life will never, ever be remotely the same…and new motherhood can start to seem a lot like a horror movie. The thing is, mixed in with all that rot, is this tiny creature who has changed your heart and ability to love into this huge, gigantic mess of a thing that you didn’t know was possible. Man, I love this kid. Who knew you could feel like that? (Especially now that she is sleeping through the entire night.)

The thing is, now that I’m getting some more sleep, I think it’s important for me to reach out. I need to draw back for a moment into those first few weeks and let you know that I totally get it.

Come back with me for a moment:

So there I was. Sitting in the dark nursery, by myself (ok, the baby was with me, but still), with torrential tears streaming down my face. Its week two of this tiny creature’s existence and I am clearly not cut out for motherhood. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I sit there in the dark trying desperately to get my child to eat. Allow me to set the stage for you—crying child at 2am; my husband needs to get up and leave the house early in the morning for work and my mother is sleeping soundly as a guest in our home: happily lapping up her role as new gramma. So I tiptoe with the baby to the nursery, where I can nurse and she won’t wake daddy or our other house guests. Only, breastfeeding is the single most frustrating and horrible thing I have ever tried to do. As I unhook my nursing bra from the shoulder in the dark, I can hear the skin tear before I feel the warm blood start to trickle down. You see, my nipples are chapped and raw from trying to nurse, and in my hurry earlier I tucked those suckers back into my bra before they were completely dry. Rookie mistake. The breast milk had hardened onto my nipple and quite literally glued my skin to my bra, so that when I removed my breast from its confines, I also peeled off a layer of skin. Clicking on the light only confirmed what I already knew, and pissed off the baby.

So, I grimace and move her over to the other side. “The bad side”. I don’t know if this is true for everyone but I have one good, rule following tit, and one that sucks. One side, my child will willingly latch onto and go to town. The other? Not only does it produce less milk, but the baby hates it. She simply hates eating from that side. Then, she begins to scream like one possessed by demon spawn.

That’s when it happens. I start counting how many hours of sleep I’ve had in the past several days and comparing it to the hours my husband has had. And then, I hate him. I wonder how many cups of coffee I can really have before it starts to infuse my breast milk. I start to wonder if I will ever feel normal or joyful again. I contemplate the idea that my body is not my own and has belonged to this tiny human for the last nine months and the foreseeable future…. And then I start to cry. I am an ugly crier.

So, the baby is crying, I am crying, and everything sucks. I feel more alone that I have ever imagined feeling, and to top that all off I feel guilty to boot. In my head I know I am supposed to be enjoying every tiny moment of this. That, too soon, she will be a child and no longer a baby. I shouldn’t be preparing to battle with my husband over his lack of help (or inability to breast feed as the case may be….it turns out he was incredibly helpful with said infant, but this is a dark moment here so bear with me) but I was feeling hateful and unjustly burdened… I felt guilty that I wasn’t swimming in euphoria. I was terrified that this new, hateful, tired, lonely person was the new me. I was so often cloistered and alone in the baby’s room to pump or feed that I was cut off from everything else. It was…awful.

So allow me to assure you, if you’re having feelings of doubt, hatred, homicide….. you are not alone. And, this feeling doesn’t last forever. (If it does, go. Go now. And talk to your health care provider because Postpartum Depression is a very real thing). Now, I’m all for wallowing in self-pity, but the angry tornado of emotions that I was during this time I was not a fan of. Every time my husband was contentedly snoring next to me in bed, and I lay awake obsessing over if the baby was breathing, I wondered if I was strong enough to place a pillow gently over my husband’s face. How long could I hold it there if he started to struggle? Someone should have warned him.

As the days pass I begin to feel a little more me and a little less an exhausted pile of crap. I like my husband a lot more too, and watching him become a really awesome daddy has been a lot of fun…You will too. This too shall pass. I wish we, as women, would band together to help each other through this whole child rearing nonsense. So much wasted time Mommy shame-ing one another. What we really need is each other’s support because this stuff is hard.

Today, I was able to get up, shower AND brush my hair before my daughter woke up for the day. (Write that success down in the baby book!) You’ll get there too. But for the moment, take a look at that sweet bundle of adorableness that you created. They grow and change so fast. This chapter will end. So, take a second and revel in the cuteness that is your kid. Do it now. Before they have a diaper blowout or something.

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What are you waiting for?

Sep 2, 2016 by

What are you waiting for?

Being pregnant has been, far and away, the most life changing event in my life. Working through the days, weeks and months without my husband’s help has led to a ton of self-sufficiency I did not know I had. Some days I feel like a super hero, others more like a wimp. But mostly, I feel like I have been plunged into an alternate reality where sleep doesn’t happen, cake is perfect breakfast food and I’ve forgotten how to relate well to others. This is especially true when it comes to interactions with strangers. I feel like I should be handing out pamphlets to strangers explaining why it is not ok to spontaneously rub my tummy or why they maybe should keep their terrifying war/birthing story to themselves. (I’d rather go in blind, thank you very much).

Everyone. EVERYONE. Everyone wants to know how I’m feeling. I can’t decide if they want to hear “I’m great, thank you”, or if they really want to know that I have a giant gas bubble in my abdomen that will not move and I’m afraid will erupt at an inopportune moment. Any. Minute. Now.  Obviously, my friends and family are genuinely concerned. It’s those other people who are the problem. Some people, I think, are truly interested in hearing all the gory details about my current size (whale) and symptoms (exhaustion) so that they can offer all their unsolicited advice.

So, they press for information. “Craving anything?” –Nope.  “How are your ankles? Your feet? Swollen yet?” –Nope.  “You’re having a girl? Is your face breaking out? You know they steal your beauty!” –Nope. People in grocery store check-out lines are always the worst. I don’t know what it is about the grocery store. It’s always there I get the most ridiculous remarks: “Just wait till you see how bad your stretch marks are!” “Enjoy her now, just wait till she’s up all night crying!” But nowhere is safe. I get unsolicited advice in line at the coffee shop, when I’m walking my dogs, and at the post office too. Last week, at the post office a woman congratulated me on having the nerve to be single and having a baby (my wedding band no longer fits on my swollen fingers), but then chastised me over driving a pick-up truck because “Where did I plan to put the car seat?” She left me, smiling to herself and said, “Just wait for the terrible twos! You’ll wish you had a partner then.”  Ugh.

It’s funny because when I googled “unsolicited pregnancy advice” there are hundreds of pages featuring women complaining about this same thing. How do we not understand this then? All the new mothers out there were recently pregnant mommies-to-be, logic insists that they should then understand the complexities of being pregnant and the rules surrounding speaking to pregnant people! Right? Am I missing something?

My pregnancy is a happy one. We tried for a long while to get to this point. We dealt with our fair share of heartbreak before happy news and two pink lines. So, when someone tells me to “just wait: it gets worse”, I kinda want to sucker punch them in the throat. It’s almost like people are surprised that I’m not miserable, or they’re slightly disappointed I’m not uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong: there are definitely bad days, it’s not all sunshine and roses. But, its still pretty damn amazing.

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“Just wait” they say. You know what it is I am waiting for?

That moment when my poor, sweet husband has to see his 7 month pregnant wife for the first time in real life, and not make a horrible face!

The first time my husband can put his hand on my tummy and feel his daughter kick. (She’s got good rhythm and a particular affinity for James Taylor.)

I’ll “just wait” until my husband is here to rub those inevitable swollen feet for me, while we re watch Disney movies to ensure we are up to date on all things kid related. (I still haven’t seen that frog one.)

I’ll wait until I can have that first glass of red wine after nine months of sobriety. Did I say glass? I meant bottle.

I’m perfectly happy to “just wait” for that moment when we suddenly realize we’re officially a family of three… or the first time she smiles at her daddy. I’m so excited to see the amazing father my husband will become.

The rest of all that nonsense? That’s just part of the journey and some things are totally worth waiting for.

 

 

 

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Do you know what this weekend is?

Apr 20, 2016 by

Do you know what this weekend is?

I am so excited for Sunday night. Are you?

I’m a super nerd. I know this. However, I’ve been marking weeks off my calendar in preparation of the new season of Game of Thrones. Those of you who know a bit about the story and follow my blog might be a little bit surprised by my obsession given the violence encapsulated in this story….but if you can get past that, the story line is addicting, the character development is fabulous and I am totally engrossed in the “what’s going to happen next” feeling I get as I watch it.

Not only that, but it is something that my husband and I like to do together. We love to get comfortable on the couch and line the coffee table full of yummy snacks as we discuss what happened in the last episode and make predictions about what will happen next. In the past we’ve even held a GOT premiere party with all of our friends, eating themed snacks in preparation for the show to air. Nerdy? Yes, but so much fun.

Premiere party ideas for Game of Thrones! #gameofthrones #GOT #excited Click To Tweet

So, if you’re wanting to throw your own GOT party let me recommend these incredibly yummy Lemon Cakes in honor of Sansa Stark. This was such an easy recipe and I loved both making and eating them. Especially eating them. Let me know what you think.

 

Game of Thrones Food| Sansa Stark's Lemon Cakes | www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

Do you have any TV shows to recommend that you love to watch with your spouse?

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Baby making and other TMI

Mar 14, 2016 by

Baby making and other TMI

“It will happen if you just relax.” –The Librarian

Hellllloooo entire world! Allow me to, yet again, share too much information about my personal life and baby making practices with the entirety of the internet. Bare with me.


 

I went to the library. You know, the place where you can check books out, read them and return them. The place that is supposed to be silent. The place where no one is supposed to chastise you in loud, judgmental voices.  I was balancing a precariously tall stack of books about fertility in one arm and digging for my library card with the other.  In this moment I secretly (not-so-secretly) wanted to drop said stack of books on her pointy little head.

If that were the case, hand me a margarita and come screw me poolside baby! I’ll show you relaxed!

But on a serious note, the process of deciding to start a family and the emotional turmoil of not being able to when we want to, is exhausting. It’s heart breaking. It’s hard. Obviously, Madame Librarian, I do not want your advice.

I had already avoided the pitying stares of the women in the children’s book section, which tragically hysterically ironically is located directly next to the child-rearing how-to section, which in turn, houses the tombs on fertility, or my lack thereof.

It tests your patience you know? What with the waiting month after month and the single pink line when you’re hoping for two. Librarians who think they’re know-it-alls can certainly keep their opinions to themselves. And they should…because I’m hormonal and cranky.

It’s not that I don’t already have enough children. Fifty-six, 12 year-olds, in my 7th grade classroom should be enough for any one woman to handle. They fulfill my need to parent. They make me smile and make me crazy, but that doesn’t stop me from checking my calendar and counting days and keeping lists. It doesn’t stop me from tracking temperatures and vitamin schedules and watching my diet. And it also doesn’t stop the twinge of disappointment. It doesn’t waylay the tiniest bit of envy I feel at the pregnancy announcements and baby announcements dotting my fridge and monopolizing my Facebook feed.

There are days when we talk about the reality of starting a family, and we discuss that maybe we aren’t even ready. Maybe we don’t necessarily want to have kids. Maybe we’d be happier without them. Maybe we will just be satisfied being the greatest aunt and uncle ever, but that’s more just us pretending, pretending that we will be okay with it if it isn’t in the cards for us.

It’s the timing part of the whole ordeal that stresses me out the most, and the looming deployment in our future.  Knowing that we have less time than other couples have together makes me jealous, and angry and bitter at the unfairness of it all.Fertility and waiting for God's timing | www.lovetheeveryday.com

It leads me to the little voice in the back of my head that says: you only have two cycles left before he leaves again.

…and the even smaller voice. The quiet and persistent one in the background saying “Will you trust me?

Struggling with relying on and trusting God’s timing has always been a weakness of mine. I wonder if some of the trials of this journey are designed to cause me to lean into him. And so this week, if you’ll help me to pray for patience, pray for me to rely on God’s timing and not my own…. Or bring me margaritas I’d be much obliged.

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Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

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$300 Target Card Give Away! | give away

Mar 14, 2016 by

$300 Target Card Give Away! | give away

Today I have teamed up with some awesome bloggers to bring to you a great give away! (I am so excited! This is gonna be great!)


 

We’re giving away a $300 Target Gift Card to one lucky winner!

That’s right THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. I don’t know about you but Target is one of my weaknesses and I’m super excited to be a part of this group and offer this to you! The lovely ladies who are participating are wonderful and you should take a moment to check out their blogs too!

Complete as many tasks as you can to up your chances of winning! The giveaway starts on Monday, March 14th and runs until Saturday, March 26th. The winner will be contacted on Sunday, March 27th. All entries will be verified. Please enter fairly and have fun!

Click below to be taken to the Give Away page! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Today I have teamed up with some awesome bloggers to bring to you a great giveaway! #giftcard… Click To Tweet

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