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So I’ve Been Pretty M.I.A.

As you can see it’s been a hot minute since I last posted. I think I needed a break from life to let my mental state recuperate. I haven’t really been doing anything outside of taking care of the sweet little one and spending time with my husband. I did, however, quit my job. Aside from a few loose ends, I just decided it was time to move on. I’ve never felt better about leaving an opportunity. It was just too far away from my passions and it was draining me. I couldn’t be a good mom when all I could think about what the dread I felt for work.

So from there, I’m not sure what my next move is. I’m currently working on my real estate license and just kind of enjoying life. I’d like to find more outlets to be creative and work with my hands. I find that I’m happiest when I can create things.

I suppose the point in sharing all of this is to illustrate how important mental health is in relation to parenting. I needed to “reset” for the sake of my daughter. Since taking the step back, I’ve realized I was selling myself short and it was hurting both of us. I’m so grateful my husband has a job that allows me to kind of retreat inward from time to time. I just want other moms to know it’s okay to not have a 9-5 CAREER. It’s okay to not buy into the rushing around lifestyle. Some people, introverts especially, need that downtime to re-energize and discover themselves again. Life is too short to stay in the career you hate just because being busy is glamorized.

Parenting With Anxiety 

So it’s been a while since I posted and I could lie and I could lie and say I’ve just been having a wonderful time with my baby and I’ve been enjoying motherhood. However I’ll spare you from that. The truth is, I’ve been struggling to write this because it comes from a dark place. For the last month I’ve been navigating through symptoms of depression and intense anxiety. I’ve always experienced anxiety and I suppose you could just say I was “high functioning”. Now, however, it is debilitating. 

Parenting with anxiety is exhausting. My baby is what some may refer to as “high intensity”. Some days her cries feel like the stings of a hot cattle iron on my brain. I know she’s not intentionally doing this but as someone that absolutely needs quiet time to recharge, it is sometimes too much to cope with. I love her. I love her so much it consumes all of me. So dealing with the frustration I feel and the absolute admiration for her is confusing at times. 

Along with intensifying anxiety, I’ve also noticed some depression creeping in. Recently, I haven’t wanted to leave the house. I’m angry 90% of the time. I no longer enjoy my favorite pastimes. With a background in psychology, these red flags are obviously alarming. The realization that I’m probably dealing with postpartum depression hit me like a wave. I remember the panic I felt as I called my mom to vent the issues I had been facing. She worries for me now and I don’t blame her. I’m very isolated because I live 600+ miles away from any family. 

I suppose I’m coping a little better now. I’ve been trying at least. The main reason I’m sharing this now is because of some slim hope that it may help someone else. If someone is feeling this way, I want them to know they aren’t a horrible person. It’s entirely possible to love your baby and still feel these things. I see you. You can feel better. Please practice some self love when you can. Take that walk alone. Paint your nails. Enjoy that coffee. You deserve it and so does your little one. 

Taking a Moment to Brag on My Husband 

I would like to precede the following post with the motive behind it. I find myself complaining about my husband on a daily basis and I just feel that I need to recognize the positivity he brings to my life and try to recognize it on a more regular basis. 

Ordinarily, I’m ranting about my husband not helping with the baby, leaving messes, ignoring me to play video games, neglecting yard work, etc. See, there I go again. I do feel like I carry the weight of the household most days, but I need to recognize that he does leave the house everyday and work at one of the most stressful jobs in the world (air traffic controller). He provides for us and would do absolutely anything to make us happy. 

I’m reminded of his kind heart on special days. My birthday was just a few days ago and he rewarded me by taking me out to buy a nice camera. I’ve been begging for one so I could take baby pictures without shelling out the cash for professional pictures every other month. He also took the time to take us hiking all afternoon so I could play with my new toy and enjoy some quality time together as a family. I can’t even express how much that day meant to me. As a somewhat peculiar female, I do not enjoy shopping sprees, fancy dinners, or trips to the spa. That day was exactly what I needed to feel special and only he could do that for me. 

I suppose I should summarize the point behind this long-winded brag session. Husbands may frustrate us to no end, but at the end of the day maybe we need to put ourselves in their shoes. I can honestly say my husband has no clue what he’s doing as a parent, but I don’t either. He’s learning right along with me. He doesn’t have the advantage of staying home with her every single day and I need to recognize the learning curve and help bring him up to speed, not belittle him for his inexperience. 

Baby Must Haves at 5 Months

So, my little Millie girl is 5 months old tomorrow. That alone is enough to blow my mind and I’ll probably cry a few bittersweet tears when I take her monthly photo tomorrow. Since she’s growing so fast and her favorite activities are changing by the week, I thought I’d share and commemorate what her favorites are for this month.

  1. BOBA WRAP: I cannot sing enough praises for this invention. My Boba has been a lifesaver since she was two weeks old. It contains pure sleepy dust. Okay, maybe not but it might as well. Anytime she is fussy, tired, or just pissed off for some unknown reason, the Boba will save the day. It’s comfortable for me to wear around the house and some days that’s the only way I can accomplish anything. Also, it’s low key stylish for when I have to make a Target run with spit up on my shirt.
  2. Skip Hop Stationary Activity Center: She loves this! The toys simply snap into place and the entire station evolves for your growing/developing baby. I love the fact that it doesn’t have cartoon characters. No Nemo or Pooh messing with my living room decor  🙂 Now if those guys are you jam, more power to you. I prefer the minimalist design Skip Hop has given us.
  3. Munchkin Mesh Feeder: We’re doing baby led weaning and this little gadget is perfect for transitioning into that. She’s still a little young to be chewing real food but has been showing some real interest in food so the mesh feeder is perfect for to start sampling fruit and veggie flavors. I highly recommend purchasing this!
  4. Munchkin Teething Ball: Munchkin also has this little gem on the market now. My mom picked this up and I initially thought it would be too awkward and she would never chew on it. Well…let me tell you this is her favorite teething toy to date. We bring that ball everywhere and if she isn’t chewing on one of the textures, she’s latched onto it. Nursing babes lol.
  5. Aquaphor Diaper Rash Cream: Okay this last one is more of my favorite. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t care less which cream I’m plastering her backside with. This stuff has really been phenomenal for any irritation she gets. A few months ago, I was still using Desitin, which actually made her skin look worse. I picked up some Aquaphor Diaper Rash Cream on a trip to Target and haven’t looked back since.

At 5 months, these are our main squeezes. I’d love to hear what other sweet babes are loving at this age and what other moms can recommend as she gets older! As always, much love to those that stumble across my humble blog posts ❤

 

What NOT to Say to a New Mom

Since becoming a mom, I’ve encountered a wide array of strange, intrusive, and even rude comments. This is a tribute to these awkward situations and a warning for those contemplating their next dumb statement to a new mom. Just don’t. 

1. “Don’t worry. You’ll lose all that weight.”  ( I don’t need anyone to tell me I’ll lose ALL THAT weight)

2. “I can’t believe you’re using a pacifier.”

3. “But don’t let her suck her thumb either. That’s  even worse!”

4. “Be sure to start her off in the crib. You want her trained from the beginning”

5. “You should be sleep training.”

6. “You’re spoiling that baby.”

7. “I think you’re nursing her too much.”

8. “Can you get a sitter so you don’t have to bring her?”

9. “When are you starting daycare?”

10. “Will you be weaning her soon?”

11. “You can be successful OR have a baby.”

12. “Can’t you wait to feed her til you get to the car?”

13. “Why are you so tired if you didn’t work today?”

14. “Thinking about a another baby already? It’s too soon!”

15. “Did you have a normal birth?”
Okay, notice a common theme? All of these comments cross a crucial none of your damn business boundary. I’ve heard each and every one of these since having my daughter. This is a problem. So please, for the love of God, just stop. Women deal with enough criticism. Leave your mommy instruction book at the door and let us mommy our own, individual way in peace. 

The Struggle Behind the Struggle Bus

The history of the struggle bus goes way back for this girl. My husband used to call me “Murphy” as in Murphy’s Law when we were in high school. At times, I’ve also been called “Grace” as an ironic nod to my clumsiness 🙄. It seems that every single day has a moment where I just have to sigh and say “seriously?!?” in reference to my unfortunate circumstances. 

For instance, this week alone, my car was hit in a Hobby Lobby parking lot hit & run, my baby is teething and an absolute monster, and my dog puked enough to fill a football stadium and almost died. (She’s fine now btw…the dog. The baby is definitely still moody) 

I suppose the point in me complaining about this nonsense is to demonstrate the constant knot in my stomach that is my life. This blog has become somewhat cathartic for my stress but I feel like I need to break this string of bad luck somehow. I mean, was I just a shitty person in a past life? What the hell? If anyone that stumbles across this post has any thoughts on ways to attract positivity, please share. Until then, I’m going to try every superstition, horoscope, rabbit’s foot, and four leaf clover to make me feel less like a chronic hot mess. 

Thoughts I Have Since Becoming a Mom 

1. “You’re sleepy. Why wont’t you just take the nap?”

2. “Take the f#%*!~g nap…sweet child.”

3. “God, I’m an awful mom for cussing at my kid. Even if it was in my head 😣”

4. (To stranger) “DO NOT touch my baby’s head. She is asleep. Move along.”

5.  “Great, you woke her up. Now I have to murder you.”

6. “Is this normal?!?”

7. “When’s the last time my husband changed a damn diaper???”

8. “I might as well just change it. At least she won’t have a blowout if I do it.”

9.  “When will I get to go to a movie again?”

10. “It’s totally fine. Elena of Avalor is quality entertainment.”

11. “All my hair is falling out. Maybe I should just chop it.”

12. “But then I’ll have a mom haircut.”

13. “I feel less like an adult now. Why do I have a child? I can barely feed myself as it is.”

14. (To doctor) “Don’t ask me where she’s sleeping I will lieeeee like a sleepy hound dog.”

15. “I love you little sweetie. I love you so much I could just eat your face 😘”