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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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Hello Again!

Jul 31, 2016 by

Hello Again!

As I’m sure you can see, the summer got away from me and I took some time off from the blog. Mostly because I traveled A LOT! (More on that to come!)  I wanted to appreciate each moment and not be caught behind my computer screen. I was able to spend some time with my grandparents, distract myself from hubby’s deployment and deal with some life changing things going on in our world.

So, this particular post has to be one of the most emotional and wonderful blogs I have EVER written…. because it’s about time we share our happy news with you.   This blog and its followers has become more than just a community of army wives and teachers, it has become an extension of my life. Your love, support, questions, worries, and shared frustrations have lifted my spirits so many times. You’ve supported me during some of the crazy heartbreak along this pathway to motherhood, and so–it is with overwhelming joy and tears streaming down my face that I get to tell you WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!

Love the Everyday: Pregnancy Announcement with pets www.lovetheeveryday.com

I want to close by saying thank you to all of you who have supported us (and me for so so soooo long). We love you guys and are so grateful to share this experience with you. I plan to recap the first trimester in a future blog post, to be able to share with you the ups and downs of pregnancy and all the emotions that go with pregnancy after miscarriage. But at the same time, I hope to remain sensitive to those of you who are still trying, and still waiting on motherhood. My prayers and thoughts are constantly with you, and I hope to be able to celebrate your joy in the very near future.

 

 

 

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Day 20: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Share the Movement and Celebrate Love)

Mar 4, 2016 by

Day 20: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Share the Movement and Celebrate Love)

Day 20: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge

(Share the Movement and Celebrate Love)

After TWENTY days of challenging myself to #spreadlovelikejelly and working on reinforcing the ideas of love and kindness in my life, I realize that in doing so I have become happier as a result. There is something about doing an act of service or kindness for another person that just makes your own life infinitely better. I’ve reflected on a bunch of things lately and come to a few really important conclusions.

  • When I’m nicer, other people are nicer too. Love has some really amazing powers! That’s pretty great when days just roll along like conveyor belts of kindness, one right after another.
  • I’m happier when I focus on being loving toward my husband. We both laugh more, and fight so much less. When I am thinking of ways to make him happy I am, in turn, making myself happy.
  • All this love going around makes me kinder and more patient with my students.
  • Blogging about it every day allows me to be more reflective in all areas of my life. I really loved going back and reading some of my older blog posts about when I was serving with AmeriCorps to reflect on the ways that we spread love as a team.
  • It’s really fun to tell people you love them.

#spreadlovelikejelly #spreadlove www.lovetheeveryday.com

Today, I challenge you to continue the movement. Share the hashtag #spreadlovelikejelly. Share a blog post. Research other ways to be kind. (Start Here). (Or even HERE). Share it on Twitter or Instagram. Reflect on your own lives, where can you be more loving? Pin it and share on Pinterest. Be a champion for kindness. Comment on someone’s blog. Leave a message for a loved one on Facebook. Share. Spread. Choose Love.


 

Did you miss the beginning of this series? Not sure what I’m talking about or why? Pop back over to the instructions page to see the brain child behind #spreadlovelikejelly

Day 1: Love yourself

Day 2: Compliment Someone

Day 3: Send a handwritten note

Day 4: Writing Challenge

Day 5: Have Patience

Day 6: It’s the Little Things

Day 7: Random Acts of Kindness

Day 8: Speak Love

Day 9: Find Inspiration

Day 10: Choose Love

Day 11: Put Others First

Day 12: Speak Kindly

Day 13: Be Present

Day 14: Feel the Love

Day 15: Love Your Pets

Day 16: Embrace God’s Love

Day 17: Leap Day Love

Day 18: Grant Grace

Day 19: Tell Someone


“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” –Tolstoy

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Day 19: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Tell someone!) | Say I love you

Mar 3, 2016 by

Day 19: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Tell someone!) | Say I love you

Day 19: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Tell someone!)

Today is easy.   Today is important.  Today is fun.

 

 

On the almost-last-day of the #spreadlovelikejelly challenge I am prompting you to make sure that you tell the people in your life that you love them.

Tell your mom. Call grandma. Tell your coworkers and your former teachers and your baby sitter. Send an email to the lady who was the secretary of your first job, tell her she made your day every morning. Tell the person who walks your dog and your sunday school teacher. Tell them, tell them, tell them! Tell them so that they can reciprocate. Tell them because it feels good. Tell them because life is short and love is sweet. Tell them because one day you’ll be sorry that you didn’t.

I’m going to share my list of people. The ones who I plan to make it a priority to tell that I LOVE THEM this week. I’m going to make a list for next week too!  Its going to take a few days to check people off, but I’ll work on it over the upcoming weekend. I encourage you to make your list too. Treat it like a check list and tell them how much they matter. Start. Start right now. #spreadlove

#spreadlove #spreadlovelikejelly Tell people you love them while you can.

  • My mom who is awesome in all ways
  • My grandparents who can take credit for most of what I know about life
  • My little sister who has so much life to figure out
  • My nieces who should be told every day how fiercely they are loved
  • My assistant teacher who works her butt off for me and our students
  • My 1st boyfriend Joe, who taught me what it means to love someone
  • My step-siblings who have accepted me as one of them
  • My students, who need so much love
  • My 5th grade teacher who inspired me
  • The ladies in my bible study who have become my family
  • My best friend Kate
  • My husband who puts up with all of my nonsense
  • My cousins who were my very first friends
  • My best buddies from high school who supported me through all the awkward that is adolescence
  • My coworkers who are like sisters
  • My aunts and uncles
  • My little brother who has always been one of my favorite people
  • My bridesmaids who are amazing
  • My college roommates
  • …the list goes on.
Tell the people in your life that you love them. Tell them right now! #spreadlove #sayIloveyou… Click To Tweet

Who will you tell today? Who will you tell tomorrow? Who will you tell every day?

Go on! Get started and #spreadlovelikejelly.


 

Did you miss the beginning of this series? Not sure what I’m talking about or why? Pop back over to the instructions page to see the brain child behind #spreadlovelikejelly

Day 1: Love yourself

Day 2: Compliment Someone

Day 3: Send a handwritten note

Day 4: Writing Challenge

Day 5: Have Patience

Day 6: It’s the Little Things

Day 7: Random Acts of Kindness

Day 8: Speak Love

Day 9: Find Inspiration

Day 10: Choose Love

Day 11: Put Others First

Day 12: Speak Kindly

Day 13: Be Present

Day 14: Feel the Love

Day 15: Love Your Pets

Day 16: Embrace God’s Love

Day 17: Leap Day Love

Day 18: Grant Grace


“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” –Tolstoy

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Day 18: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Grant Grace)

Mar 1, 2016 by

Day 18: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Grant Grace)

Day 18: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Grant Grace)

One of the things that shows those around me that I love them is when I give them grace. It’s important to note here that I am terrible at this particular skill. I have a really bad tendency of pointing out to my students when they are falling short of my expectations, I am quick to tell my husband that he’s wrong, and I find myself regularly using the words “I told you so”, even though I know better. I know that it’s unkind and yet, I do it anyway. I’m sometimes a jerk.

How to give grace to others | www.lovetheeveryday.com | #spreadlovelikejelly

Giving grace to others is not easy. It’s showing kindness to someone even when (especially when) they do not deserve it. I’m specifically focusing on showing grace with my words and actions today. More specifically, I’m focused on showing grace to my husband. (Because lately I’ve kind of wanted to kick him.) (Not hard.) (Ok, maybe a little hard.)

I know that true grace can come only from God. I’ve heard sermon after sermon reminding me not to misuse the word grace…. But I think that granting grace to others is something that, as a Christian, needs to be a priority. It is how we show others that we are different. It’s how we model our life after Christ’s…

In doing this, I have found it is helpful to remind myself that my heart is filled with love. That way, when I am responding to the incorrectly loaded dishwasher, I’m less likely to respond in an unkind way. Instead, I will simply be thankful the dishes made it off the counter and into the dishwasher to begin with. Really…. I’m trying. I’m trying to not be irritated that the knives are wrong side up and that plastic is on the bottom rack. I’m trying not to notice that there would be room for 10 more coffee mugs on the top shelf if only he would have done it the way I showed him just last week. I’m trying not to call him in here and ask him to redo it… I’m trying…. I think I need you to pray for me.

Marriage is hard work. Grace is hard work. Both are worth it.

Marriage is hard, so is showing my hubby grace when he doesn't deserve it. #spreadlovelikejelly… Click To Tweet

Being gracious isn’t a miraculous new theory on how to live life. I obviously know that. The bible tells us to be gracious and to use an outpouring of grace to spread the love of God. I’m being conscious of how I respond to and speak to my husband today and working toward showing him grace in my words and actions even if I’m pretty sure he loads the dishwasher wrong on purpose.

How will you show grace to others today? Today I challenge you to think about how you react to those around you. Do you grant them grace?

 

Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

 

 


Did you miss the beginning of this series? Not sure what I’m talking about or why? Pop back over to the instructions page to see the brain child behind #spreadlovelikejelly

Day 1: Love yourself

Day 2: Compliment Someone

Day 3: Send a handwritten note

Day 4: Writing Challenge

Day 5: Have Patience

Day 6: It’s the Little Things

Day 7: Random Acts of Kindness

Day 8: Speak Love

Day 9: Find Inspiration

Day 10: Choose Love

Day 11: Put Others First

Day 12: Speak Kindly

Day 13: Be Present

Day 14: Feel the Love

Day 15: Love Your Pets

Day 16: Embrace God’s Love

Day 17: Leap Day Love


“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” –Tolstoy

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