Improve the Quality of Your Friendships
Happy Monday Lionesses!
I recently watched a Ted Talk (linked at the bottom) about the transition to motherhood and how there really isn’t a name for this transition. She actually compared it to becoming a teenager because of all the hormone changes and the mood swings! I think we can all agree, maybe there are some similarities!
For me, this transition has been somewhat smooth. And I think that is mainly because I was blessed with an easy baby (currently knocking on wood.) Everyone always tells you that your motherly instincts will come naturally, and personally that has been pretty true for me. But I don’t feel all that different as a person. I still like the same crazy horror movies and have a deep obsession with true crime. I still have a passion for working with and helping women feel empowered to be themselves. And I still enjoy spending time with my friends.
The most difficult part of this transition has been the guilt part of it all. Am I holding him enough? Am I holding him too much? Do I let him spend too much time away from me? Is he tired of me? Am I helping him enough developmentally? Am I talking to him enough? Am I reading to him enough? I could go on and on with the questions, believe me!
I think one of the things that has helped me the most is that I have made efforts to not lose myself in my son. I take the time to nurture myself as well as him. I work on my business, I read, I exercise, and I spend time with my people who make me happy. I’m not just a mother, or a wife or a teacher, I am a combination of all of these things and more! Plus I have amazing parents and in laws who love me and Braden and who help me to be able to take care of myself and for that I am SO grateful!
I am a good mother because I ask for help AND I take help when its offered, most of the time at least! A support system is so important for us as women and mothers, we MUST take care of each other!
Nearly four years ago I traded in my 8-5 job to be a Stay at Home Mom to my then one-year-old. Even though I loved my job and I loved working, the thought of staying home with my son was much more appealing. While I knew there would be a few challenges and hiccups during the transition, part of me also thought this would be a walk in the park. And it was……. Jurassic Park. (Just kidding!) Being at home definitely isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds though. You don’t just get to sit around all day cuddling the littles and watching soap operas (or trashy reality television in my case). Just like everything else, there are precious moments & hardships that come along with this job (see my post ‘Surviving Two’ for a little more on that!). Here is a little glimpse into my life and some of what I have learned and experienced as a full-time Stay-at-Home-Boy-Mom.
I quickly learned that being a SAHM means that in addition to keeping your tiny human(s) alive and well, you will also be cleaning…pretty much all day long. When I started this job I had twice the house I have now. Naturally, I thought when we moved to a smaller house I would have less to clean (WIN!). Nope! That’s false. I still clean just as much and maybe even more because I have two tiny humans now and back then I only had one. If I’m not just doing general house cleaning (ie: vacuuming, sweeping, wiping of surfaces), I’m doing laundry, cleaning up toys (I’m ALWAYS cleaning up toys, pick one up and 4 more are tossed down!), cleaning up after a meal, cleaning up after the dogs, cleaning something I missed the last time I cleaned that area, cleaning fingerprints off of all the windows. ENDLESS CLEANING. It never stops. You would think with all that cleaning my house would be spotless all the time, too. Nope, more untruth. There are days that I vacuum the whole house and by the time I get from one end of the house to the other end, you can’t even tell I have vacuumed. (I make cleaning fun by incorporating my kiddos. They are too young right now to realize that cleaning is a chore, it’s still fun to them, so why not let them help!)
Another thing I quickly learned, my days of getting dressed up and “ready” were mostly over. Kinda. I still straighten my hair most days and get blush and mascara on. However, if you find me in something other than a velour jumpsuit or yoga/workout pants, consider yourself lucky! In my opinion and as the ‘doer of all the laundry’, there is no need for me to get dressed in pants or jeans and a cute top and then later that evening when I go to workout, change into my workout gear. I’m not going to see anyone except for my husband and kids so I’ll just dirty up one outfit with snot and lunch particles and save the other for a day when I am out in public trying to blend in with the rest of the world. I call this life lesson, Embracing the Yoga Pants and I challenge other SAHM’s to this as well. You will thank me later!
Playing off the last lesson, I’m also guilty of doing this with my kids. Yeah, I said it. On the days that my oldest doesn’t have preschool and we don’t go outside of the house, I may or may not change my kids out of their pajamas! They don’t seem to mind and my thought is, “why dirty up another outfit and create more laundry?!”. Many of our days are pajama-casual days!
I learned that there would be plenty of days that NOTHING gets accomplished. Some days I had intentions of being so productive and the stars just weren’t aligned in my favor. I’m really hard on myself on these days because I have my own expectations of what I should get done and I’m a creature of habit, so when things don’t go as planned it makes my head spin and throws my whole day off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how crazy those days make me, they still happen.
In all the madness, I have learned how thankful I am for my friends. I am especially thankful for the friends I have that are in similar situations as me and know the struggle. You know the one(s). The one you can take the kids over to their house, pop open a bottle of wine and vent to in your yoga pants while the kids play in the other room. THAT friend! Friends are essential in getting through not only motherhood but life and I feel so blessed to have great ones.
I also learned that panic and anxiety doesn’t stop when you become a SAHM. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and I was sure when I left my 8-5 job I would be leaving that behind as well. Wrong again. I still have anxiety and panic attacks, maybe not the same way I did when I was working outside of the home, but it hasn’t gone away completely and why would it? I’m still working… I still have a job. I just went from servicing insurance policies to full-time housekeeping, chef, teacher, accountant and chauffeur to my much younger bosses. The lesson: every momma has breakdown moments and a SAHM is no exception.
The most important lesson I learned is that this time with my children is priceless. It’s not always going to be perfect. Crankiness, teething, diapers and meltdowns (seriously, Surviving Two <– Read it) will get in the way sometimes. But still, occasionally,
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October 16, 2017
Today’s Mommy Monday post comes to you from Rachael Freeland! Rachel has a blog called Werifesteria: To Wander through the Forest in Search of Mystery. Rachel is from Melbourne, Australia originally, but is living in Amsterdam currently. Before Rachel became a mother she was a therapist and yoga teacher, which is super cool since I’m a therapist and I love yoga and really wish I had the time to get the hours to become a yoga teacher! So anyway clearly we have a lot in common! After she had children, however Rachel became a blogger and writer! So now she shares stories from her life on her blog and she does a fantastic job doing it! I found her blog very enjoyable to read and you’re going to love her Mommy Monday story!! Just for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Pram,” a pram is a stroller or baby buggy. So on with the good stuff!! Rachael Freeland
I pulled a book out of the shelf, and flicked through the pages, desperately trying to ignore the fact that my children were far more interested in the bouncy balls the bookstore sold than the books themselves. When did bookstores start selling toys anyway? I added the book to the pile of books I was buying and then suddenly, my nose detected a very distinctive smell. I looked at my daughters, the youngest had adopted the full nappy waddle. I bit my lip, looking around for a bathroom, but there was not one. We were at least a twenty minute walk from the apartment and nowhere near a public rest room. Where did people go to pee in London?
I thought briefly about putting her in the pram and hot footing back to the apartment, but Grace doesn’t do quick, especially not when I need her to and Ava Rose has the most delicate skin. If I didn’t get this nappy off her now, her bottom would be red raw in minutes. I looked around, there was no one, not even a staff member. We were completely alone on the top floor of the bookshop and had been for the last 10 minutes. I scooped her up, holding her slightly away from my body and pushed the pram around, nope, definitely not in the art section. Fashion, mmm, maybe. Magazines? No, too risky, too close to the glass hand rail and the happy shoppers on the ground floor. I spotted the service elevator, perfect. It hadn’t opened since we’d come out of it 20 minutes ago.
I lay Avarose down in the pram, whipped off her pants, undid the nappy, rolled it up and pushed it to the side. Quickly, I wiped her soiled bottom and put on a new nappy.
The elevator pinged and the doors slid open. I looked up, guilt smeared all over my face, the foul smelling stench still emanating from the pram, but it was just an empty trolley riding between floors. I breathed out. I grabbed her pants, pulled them on and then picked up the soiled nappy. The tabs, oh my god, the tabs. The nappy unrolled, and the little ball of poo flew through the air. My daughter, wondering what all of the excitement was, lifted her head up to have a look. The little ball of poo bounced off the back of the pram and landed right where her head had just been. The next bit happened in horrifyingly slow motion. My daughter, having decided there was nothing of interest to look at, lay her head back down.
I emptied the packet of wipes into the pram, trying desperately to remedy the situation, but poo, it turns out is very, very difficult to get out of hair. I pulled at the strands of her fine, blonde, curls but all that did was rub it in further. I looked around, trying to figure out what to do. If Grace caught sight of it, she’d surely vomit, and then we’d officially be blacklisted from every bookstore in the UK, although to be perfectly honest, if that little black box in the ceiling, that I’d only just noticed was actually a camera, I was pretty sure we’d not be welcomed back in a hurry.
I scrabbled around the carrier of the pram, desperately seeking inspiration. Finally my hand seized upon her hat. There was nothing for it, but to shove it on her head, leave the books we’d been going to buy and walk nonchalantly out of the store.
I think we’ll steer clear of bookstores for a little while.
If you would like to get in touch with Rachael you can find her on:
And of course, her blog, Werifesteria
Let us know in the comments if you have had a similar experience, or if you would like to share a story of your own for Mommy Mondays!!
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