Today is one of those days..

The one where you feeling like you’re going to lose your mind and drive off a cliff somewhere because every time you try to accomplish something, someone acts like their dying (yes, the toddler.) So far today, I have gotten up, cleaned poop, got dressed, nursed both children, ate three bananas for breakfast, took them to the playground (got kind of lost on the way there because I never go to this one) for a play date, came home to a husband who was like OH MAN WHERE DID YOU GO I WANTED TO WALK TOGETHER, made everyone food, prepped meals, and was mostly yelled at because the toddler (again) needed milk RIGHT NOW.

I need to meditate. So, now that the children are asleep…here I am trying to find some kind of peace and maybe some mothers who relate to just re-validate that I am NOT the only one going bat shit crazy here…

I love my children. They are amazing, intelligent, hilarious, beautiful, tiny little people. I enjoy them most days and some days, I think “oh..man…” but, I love them. I love them more than the days are long, more than the skies are blue, more than I love Stabucks coffee (and that is a lot.) Being a mother is the most amazing and precious gift the universe has given me and sometimes I might not be the best i can be but, I do appreciate it.

So any other moms out there thinking they might die today.. Let’s sit together, turn up the music, and laugh for a while? We need it sometimes…Maybe add a glass of wine to that too, ay?

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Following your children’s needs & personal schedules.

This is a hard one for me. I’m still working on it…I want to be able to follow my toddler and babies cues as much as possible but also still make sure that I have “me time” and “husband and wife time.” I follow my toddler’s schedule mostly. She is pretty much a free-range child…when she wants to go outside, we do, if she isn’t hungry in the morning and isn’t ready for breakfast, she eats when she wants to, bed time is pretty much the same every night but sometimes it may be later or sooner and sometimes I may be sleeping with her and sometimes she may be sleeping with just Ollie.

Bed time is rough for me. I can’t seem to just relax because the whole time I’m so anxious for that alone time I crave with my husband. I honestly get very short tempered and irritated because I am just like, “OKAY! THE DAY IS OVER! PLEASE GO TO BED!” This is obviously a horrible way to end the day so, I am working on that, too. I’ve started just backing off and if she isn’t ready for bed, I try suggesting like “hey! wanna read a book with me?” or “do you want something to eat before bed?” and usually those things help transition her into bedtime smoothly and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes she eats and asks to watch TV and doesn’t want to sleep until 10pm or later. It drives me nuts but I’m trying not to lose my mind over it. You can’t force a child/person to sleep if they aren’t tired. A lot of moms will disagree with me and will put their babies in their crib before they are ready for bed and let them work it out but I can’t do that with my toddler nor would I want to.

When giving your child free range of their schedule, I think it helps them to understand themselves more. My daughter for example will tell me, “hey, Im tired and I want milk so I can go to bed.” This is a great thing and what is greater is when I say, “hey, I think you are tired…let’s have milk and go to sleep” and she says, “No. I’m not tired yet.” She understands that even though I think she should go to bed, she doesn’t have to feel tired. She gets her body and how it works. So, I usually say okay and we play until she tells me she is tired.

I think that this is just another way to teach self regulation. If there aren’t as many restrictions to what she has to do in a day then she is more willing to understand when she should do them without having to be told. I think my favorite part about following Aubrey’s schedule (even though sometimes it isn’t my favorite thing, in general) is that she has a voice and that voice is heard. She gets a choice in how to live her life. When I was growing up…my father insisted that I shower every night. I HATED it. Even if I had done nothing but sat in my bed all day, I had to take a shower and it wasn’t the shower that bothered me but the fact that I literally had no say in the matter, even as a teenager… It was miserable. I had no voice or control over my own time, my own body, and how completely sad is that?

What do you guys think of following your children’s schedules? Do any working moms practice this? I’ve always wondered how that would work because I’m sure you have to have some kind of schedule in order to get kids to school/daycare and you to work..? What do your children’s schedules generally look like? I plan to share ours another day because it is late but please share with me!

Triggers: How to recognize them and move on.

I have lately found myself getting more upset and becoming less understanding/gentle with my toddler now that she can really express herself and it’s taken me a while to realize that it is because of triggers… I have decided that I really need to name these triggers and see exactly why it is I am triggered by them so that I can stop myself ahead of time from saying things or doing things that I eventually regret.

  1. Being yelled at – When Aubrey is screaming at me to do something for her. This makes my blood boil. I just hate being yelled at and I’m going to say that it’s from my childhood *my dad was a huge yeller amongst other things* but this is not an excuse. My father does not have the power to yell at me anymore. He has no control over my life. My daughter isn’t yelling at me, she is just trying to communicate and maybe if I would stop what I am doing and get to her level and just listen she wouldn’t feel the need to be so overwhelmingly loud.
  2. Whining & crying – I feel like this being a trigger for me is horrible. I completely understand what it is like to be told to stop whining or stop crying and I should never want my daughter to feel the way that makes you feel. For some reason both of these things just drive me crazy and I really just need to get over it and instead figure out what the problem is… I have been reading a lot about how I should deal with my daughter’s intense emotions and I have been looking to this for help and also this to just remind me how I need to just calmly take action instead of reacting and making things so much worse…(just an FYI, we don’t believe in crying it out and that isn’t what she is talking about in this article – she is saying they thought she needed to CIO but really it was meant as a “giving space” technique.)
  3. Not listening – This is something I am really just getting over. I realize that she cannot really listen and that I need to stop expecting anything from her. Some days I am lazy and tired and would just really love for her to be able to play independently without climbing up on the counter, taking the vegan parmesan and dumping it all over the floor…but she needs to be supervised instead of me sitting on the couch and not knowing what she is up to and I need to realize that her doing that thing even though she was told not to, is not something she can grasp yet. For the most part that I can deal with…where I usually lose it though is when I am saying, “Aubrey, please stop climbing on me because you’re really hurting me by doing that” and she looks at me and laughs. I know it is silly for me to become ridiculously angry over that because obviously she is just trying to play but IT HURTS! Having to remove myself from the situation when I may be nursing her brother or not feeling well is just extremely annoying for me & also I think I take it a little personally, like “why are you wanting to hurt me?” which is even sillier because she isn’t! I know she isn’t! She just wants to play and is finding any way to get my attention so she can connect with me and here I am freaking out about it.

Now that I have determined (in writing) my triggers and why they are triggering and how I can deal with them, I need to put it to practice. I feel like this is the hardest part but I am going to take some basic things that will help me calm down and do them whenever I feel overwhelmed with emotion due to these triggers and hopefully with a lot of practice it will become more natural for me. Here are some things to do before speaking to your child while dealing with triggers:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Remove yourself from the situation for a minute to re-group
  • Remove everyone from the situation – Sometimes just taking a break and running around outside or going for a walk really fixes everything!
  • Dance party. Just stop and turn on some music and get you and your toddler or baby moving!
  • Find a mantra and make it YOUR mantra. Something loving and supportive you can say to yourself to remind yourself that you can do it and you and your child will be happier if you do.
  • STOP what you’re doing and just sit and listen.

I hope you guys can use this to help you out too. Being a parent is hard but we can all improve and find ways to make it more fun and less stressful. Let’s all find our zen together, ay? 🙂

Husband & Wife Time.

Being in a happy place in your marriage while being an attachment parent is hard! It is a lot of work with a tiny amount of “free” time. I say this as I’m nursing our son back to sleep since he woke up right as we were putting on a movie….it is rough to say the least. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed and watch that episode of TV and cuddle up on the couch…because I’m exhausted! Then when I don’t, I miss my husband like crazy.

At one point though I think he felt like he wasn’t a priority in my life and I won’t lie, I don’t think I was putting enough effort into our marriage for him to be a big priority at that point. I was just focused on our daughter, on sleeping, on exercising… It’s so easy to get caught up in motherhood and forget about yourself and the side of you who desperately needs your spouse. I think we were in a fairly crappy place at that point and I just hadn’t realized it and I’m not sure how I didn’t..

I did realize it though and now we are happier than ever, I feel. We spend more time together, we communicate better, we are more of a “team” than before and it has become easier because we are both willing to put the work in and make each other top priorities. When the kids go to bed, we are together. We are not on our phones, we are not on our computers, we are not focusing that small end of the day amount of energy on anything else but each other.

We play, we laugh, we watch TV, we eat together, we clean up and we go to bed together. Sometimes there may be some interruptions where I have to go back into the family bed and nurse our children back to sleep but it’s not for long usually and then we just continue on with our night. When we go to bed we sleep upstairs in our bed and usually I can sleep with him there for half of the night before having to move back into the family bed. I never used to sleep with my husband. I was just too tired and lazy and I think that us sleeping together is a huge thing that we absolutely need. I need to sleep next to him for some portion of the night. It just makes me feel like we’re still connected and renews it after a long day where maybe we hadn’t seen each other much. I always feel weird when I don’t get to see him much like something is missing and it really makes me sad but crawling into bed with him is just so comforting and kind of washes away the parts of my day that were not the best.

Being an attachment parent will never become less work. You are always going to be “on call” when it comes to your children and their needs and emotions but everyone needs to find balance. Your spouse…and yourself matter. I know that I get caught up in what the kids need, what the kids are saying, what the kids want to do but we need to stop and also remember that our spouses are here too and they matter. I’m constantly trying to make sure that everyone is feeling like they are a priority and I feel like after 2.5 years and two children later, my spouse is finally feeling like they are all equals in my world and that makes me pretty happy. 🙂

How do you guys make time for your spouses while practicing attachment parenting? Has it been hard for you?

OkayRelax? WHAT!?

This is amazing and everyone should have this service because why not? Literally moms… Who has time for crappy phone calls and extensive research? I don’t. This company is ah-mazing! Please…Do yourself a favor and sign up okay?! I could go on and on about how much stuff this company does for me, like researching things for us to do, what the best toothpaste for my toddler is, vacation planning, scheduling doctor appointments, and even dealing with long hold times and patching me into them so I can deal with the quick part of explaining and the rest is done for me! I can’t rave enough…If you do happen to sign up, please let me know what you guys think!!!

Baby & Toddler Wearing: What is your favorite?

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I am a HUGE supporter of baby wearing. It literally keeps me alive most days. My son (Ollie) will hang in the Tula ALL DAY if he has to going from nursing to fast asleep on my back. He is probably the most content baby I (and my friends) have ever seen. I could not make dinner, do laundry, or chase after my little girl without my Tula/ring sling/wrap. My Tula is my go to for most things, my wrap is my go to for long outings especially things like walking around Manhattan or hiking, and my ring sling is for quick trips to the grocery store, etc. I wear my toddler in a Girasol #26 wrap conversion toddler Tula (when she lets me) and it is probably my favorite baby wearing piece I own. It is buttery soft and so beautiful. Girasol #26 happens to be my daughters legacy wrap (which I will keep for her when she has children) so this Tula is just love. I also love accessories. I HAVE to have suck pads and something for my little baby hands to play with and thankfully I have an awesome friend who makes said things! You can find her here. Her and her mom are just the nicest people ever and even made Aubrey the cutest Hello Kitty baby-carrier for Easter! Do you guys baby wear or toddler wear? Have a favorite wrap, tula, ring sling, etc? The community for baby wearing is awesome too. Facebook has so many groups and it makes my heart sing.

I need some creativity in my life.

WHY?? Why does creating have to be so emotionally and physically draining when you have a family? There is just no time! There isn’t and it is something that I really NEED to do in order to make myself feel better. Even if it is five minutes of my day, I need it. So, I decided that I would start bullet journaling because it seems like I will get what I need from the creativity spectrum, doodle here, be productive there, and it’s quick and practical for my lifestyle? Maybe? So, we shall see. I’ll update everyone soon.

Identity crisis? what?

So, I’ve kind of been going through a lot of things lately. I mean, not just recently but I’m going to say since I’ve had Oliver it has just been rough… It’s not his fault but my brain has just been in such a rough and negative space and I’ve really just not been myself…honestly, I’ve just started realizing how totally un-myself I have been. I had taken having two children really poorly. Aubrey has been neglected, Oliver has been neglected, I have been neglected, even my husband has been neglected at one point or another and it seems like just now it is finally getting better. I had decided I wanted to get more involved and make some friends and kind of get out there because I was just feeling lonely? I guess? If even that is the right word; I’m not sure…

Anyways, I have made some great friends and they have been a good thing and a bad thing for me. This isn’t to hurt anyones feelings or really put anything on them or against them but it is mostly for me to get it out there and kind of situate really how I feel…I think the friendship scene might not be for me. I’m not sure that I can deal with anyone else’s baggage or negative energy when I am in constant battle with my own.

I had lunch with a friend who I hadn’t really connected with in a long time and when I was there it was like she put my entire life into perspective because she is the mom I used to be/dream to be again. I have lost my footing and I have become a mom that I really don’t want to be and it was something that hit me so strongly that everything in my life just finally came directly in front of my face and I thought “what am I doing?” I have a tendency to go with the flow in a very extreme way and this doesn’t mean I give up everything I believe in but it does mean I may sway here and there and it makes me so disappointed in myself and especially because in some ways I think it has severely damaged my relationship with Aubrey.

So…I guess to get to my title here, I think I’m having (or was having) an identity crisis but I’m done. I’m over it. It’s time for me to get back to me and what I really want to do and what I really believe in. Some people might not understand, believe in, care to be around me, etc but I am okay with that now. I am and have always been that attachment/gentle parenting, cloth diapering, extended breastfeeding, vegan, baby wearing, freak of nature. I am going to let my kid run in target. I am going to let her jump off furniture, I’m not going to shame her, I’m not going to make her share, I’m not going to force her to do things she doesn’t want to do and I’m going to go back to really respecting her and how she feels. I will not apologize for her behavior or her inconvenience towards others or for her teaching children things there parents didn’t want them to know or any other things that society has kind of made me feel like I should be doing. It’s not because I have anything against the people I’m friends with it’s purely because I can’t. Since making friends I have been more tense than I have since leaving my abusive home as a child.

I need to re-bond with my children. I need to re-ground myself with my own energy. I need to hit a restart button and maybe one day there will be a time where I can have friends and I can be strong in my ways and maybe people will accept them or maybe they won’t and I will learn to be okay in myself and myself alone but that isn’t today so I’m going to take a step back and be with my children as myself until I can be everything I am in front of the world even if I am criticized.

I’m sorry to anyone who has gotten close to me and may feel like I don’t care about them but I can say that it is the opposite. I think you are wonderful mothers and wonderful people and I love everyone (including your children) and I’m not saying we can never hang out or never be friends…I’m just saying I’m going to hang back. I’m going to be less involved and really just take a breather. If you need me, I’m here. If you think of me, let me know. If you want to come over, come over. I just need it to be less right now.

I know I have been seriously lacking content wise…

BUT. We have been really busy with this whole “easter” business. We don’t actually celebrate easter because we’re not religious and I’m a firm believer that you should spend time with your family on more than just holidays BUT (I know the buts.. haha) we took Aubrey to an easter egg hunt with all our friends mainly because they didn’t have candy in the eggs and they were doing age groups so Aubrey wasn’t going to get pushed and shoved… SHE LOVED IT. I didn’t think it was all that great but she was so pleased! We went with 4 friends and their kids so all together I think there was 11 of us? After the egg hunt because it was a really quick kind of thing, we took the kids to the park and played from 10:30 – 12:30! It was really great. Then this morning we went to the pool (5 of us) and then off to my moms house because uncle Dillon was over (My brother) and Aubrey doesn’t get to see him as much as the others so she was SOOO excited to play with him (He is 17, haha.) We also made her an “easter basket” which is a book, playdoh, and playdoh things (a knife, some stamp blocks, etc.) She hasn’t opened it yet but I’m sure she is going to love it. Joey had to work today so I’m waiting until he’s off to give it to her :). How was your easter? Do you celebrate? If not do you still do little things for your kids? Enjoy the last of the weekend!!! (Im off to the dentist tomorrow…YUCK.)

The Beach & Family.

Today we spent some time at the beach. This is one of Aubrey’s favorite places to be especially when all her favorite people come with us. We got lucky and there was a drum circle going on with belly dancers! She was so in love… It was amazing. She danced, ran through the water, met a cute snail, & scared some birds away (oops!) I hope you guys enjoy the pictures! 🙂

P.S. We don’t share pictures of our children on the internet anymore (except for my private Instagram which I only allow people we personally know view) just because they aren’t old enough to give consent and people are creepy…