Pregnant not Dying

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“I’m Pregnant I’m not dying”

Looking back over 5 years later I see I was right in only one regard, I didn’t die! But the things I used to do, the places I used to go and some of the people I used to spend my time with all changed. I couldn’t put my high heels on and head out for a drink with the same people anymore. First time motherhood, even second time motherhood, can be daunting, it can be isolating, lonely and downright hard. The world doesn’t prepare you for those parts. The media shows you the happy celebrities doting on their little children, they write nannies into story lines and babies right out of the scenes it would be inconvenient to have them around for. Our parents recall the happy times of becoming a mom, they tell us of the love they had for us and remind us not to let the moments pass by because the go by “so fast” our friends with older children remember the baby snuggles, the happy belly giggles, they share photos of when their children were little looking longingly over them as they catch a whiff of the teenagers gym socks and remind us to enjoy the less stinky stage.

But so little of this prepares us for what its like in the moment. So here are some of my honest opinions and to do’s:

Becoming a new mom is HARD. If you don’t have a mommy support system get one, go to the mommy and baby groups and meet other moms who are there in the trenches too, they are literally the only people who know how hard it is to get the baby or babies out to the grocery store today! Sometimes we need to vent to someone who is there too, and not be told to enjoy it! Even now, I know I am not the best form of advice or listening ear to brand new moms; you really need someone who is right there with you feeling the same things as you at the same time.

Becoming a new mom is BUSY. In the first few weeks and months life will be a blur. I honestly do not have much recollection thru the first two weeks. I look back on pictures and think wow I really don’t remember that part. Apart from being tired, there were doctors appointments, mine and the babies, healthcare workers visits to the house, a whirlwind of people coming to see the girls and get their snuggles in. There were newborn photos and family photos, baby showers and so much laundry. Its all new and there isn’t really anything you can do to change it, and if your baby requires extra support, or is in the hospital for an extended period, or there is anything that throw a “hiccup” into the mix then its likely that your busy is even more busy than others.

Becoming a new mom is LONELY. Put yourself out there, its tough on day one, its scary, it’s intimidating, but it’s necessary. Find out where other new moms are hanging out, sign up for mommy and me groups, join online groups, locally and internationally, it makes life a lot easier to vent together about how HARD this whole parenting journey is, than sit and think all that stuff to yourself.

Becoming a new mom is EXHAUSTING. We are tired all the time; there is no measurement to adequately describe the exhaustion a new parent faces. Nap when the baby naps is literally the worst advice you can receive.

Do however do what you can do to rest, and try not to feel guilty for just sitting down for a while. Hire a cleaning service, or other support so you don’t accidentally put the milk in the cupboard, or inadvertently mop the floor with the cat! Here we have a postpartum service that is subsidized to support new moms with cleaning, grocery pick up, and light meal preparation. Something like it might be available in your area too if you do the research! Ask for help. I know better than anyone that its hard to ask for help, but if you leave a clean laundry basket on the living room floor it will get folded, with out having to do the actual asking part. Grandmas and neighbors do want to help and if its there they will just go to the folding naturally! And STOP scrolling Pintrest – There is no way to have a magazine worthy house and nursery and have a brand new baby or babies at home, (if you do and you are not exhausted I commend you and please share your secrets!!) Seriously those receiving blankets DO NOT need to be rolled or shaped into a swan in a cute basket in order for them to do the job of receiving puke. (A lesson I learned too late) seriously shove those things in a drawer and put your feet up because laundry done!

Becoming a new mom is CONFUSING. There is a rush of information flooding toward us, even reading this is putting bias and opinion on you as a new mom. There are constant reminders that no matter what we do there will be an opinion out there that contradicts it. Breastfeed or bottle, co sleep or crib, Cry it out or soothe, and the to do lists are endless, read to your baby, listen to classical music, pierce their ears before they can remember, cloth diaper your baby, start food at 4 months, 6 months 1 year.

Becoming a new mom is FULL TIME. There is no break; of course your doting husband, friendly neighbors, and adoring family are all there to help you. They’ll hold the baby so you can take a minute to eat alone, but that baby is going to cry and need to eat too, insert boob here. They will offer to sit with baby so you can have a nap, insert nightmare of rolling on your baby in your sleep, even if you don’t co-sleep, like, ever!! They will offer to stay at the house with the baby so you can go out for a quick coffee run (like the real stuff with the steam and the flavors and all the jazz) or grab a few groceries sans crying baby in the grocery cart with the broken wheel. Insert every worst-case scenario and fear all the while continuously checking the rearview mirror gasping as you think you’ve forgotten the baby in the frozen foods isle.

Becoming a new mom is AMAZING. I can’t leave out the joyful parts, because we get wonderful times too even in all the new scary parts. We get snuggles, the connection to our new baby. We get to look down at this amazing little human we created and see their unconditional love stare back at us.

Of course all this might not be the truth for all new moms, or dads, but it was my reality. It was my husband’s reality too, waking up in a panic asking where the babies were? Even though they were soundly sleeping tucked in to their cribs when we drifted to dream land. It’s a tough job and not one for the faint at heart; it’s all of these things and more. No one solution alone is the answer to the equation. New moms will always look back and think about things they could have done differently. We all just have to muddle thru it and realize that one day it will change again. Soon we will discover all the ways being an “old pro mom” is all of these things too!

Above all this is just a small part of what becoming a mom is like, it’s a small piece to an ever growing and changing puzzle, new research will come out tomorrow to tell us we’ve done it all wrong. All we can do as new moms, dads, veteran parents, grandparents, and caregivers alike is what is best for the little being we are raising, take from that ever growing puzzle the pieces that fit into your own story and leave the rest.

-A

 

Awful Day!

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We had an awful day today…

Then at supper my girls started singing, “I love my mom, I love my mom, I love my mom, she is so brave”

I have no idea where this came from, perhaps lyrics to a song they heard? They couldn’t have been talking about me, it couldn’t have come from today, it couldn’t have come from the events of this day. Everyone cried today, everyone yelled, screamed, fought, hit, and made messes only to refuse the clean up time at the end of the day.

They know how. We clean up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I yelled today, I cried today; I counted down the minutes until bedtime today. I didn’t wash a dish or fold a single load of laundry, instead I dug out towels from the bottom of the dryer for bath time and I made lazy meals all day, PB and J anyone? I didn’t sweep the floor, not even under the table where it really needs to get done after each meal. I ignored the nagging feeling inside that said I should take them outside, the one that says if they get out there they might burn off some of this fighting energy and the day might go better, it was beat out by the exhaustion I was feeling inside.

I had lost control, it was three against one and they were winning the day. I took 4 time outs for my self and gave out even more. I drank a whole pot of coffee to myself; and then I contemplated something with a little more kick. We had a “family meeting” half way thru the day about listening and getting along, sharing and turn taking, all things they are normally so much better at and yet still it continued, they managed to beat me at today, today!

So how? How were these tiny little monsters that invaded my house today managing to sing a song about loving me? How were they finding these words to express bravery after my behavior today seemed so cowardly?

Because, they are my children, they love me unconditionally, for now! They are three and two years old they are learning understanding of their own emotions, they are not judging mine. I might not always be a good example of emotional regulation, which is likely why we butt heads sometimes. They are often behaving exactly as I have taught them, along with other typical toddler behaviors like hitting your sister with a giant block just to see what happens! And some days having three of them gang up on me with all that learning gets the best of me.

So what do we do? We talk about a re-set, we figure out a plan for the next day, I apologize for my behaviors and acknowledge the things I could have done better and we move on. We read a story before bed we snuggle in early and say good night, we say I love you and we talk about the fun things that the next day has to offer.

Then I contemplate my actions, the things that I have done differently, my reactions to the days events, and where I need improvement and then I too move on.

Will we have more bad days? Yes

But that is okay, we can’t be perfect, we can’t be on top of everything100% of the time. These little people are tough, we want them to be tough, we want to raise strong willed, emotionally ready, and able humans who are going to go out there and shake this world up, so we have to know that it isn’t personal, its just learning.

They are going to get the better of me some days but I wont give up, I will keep fighting to make sure they keep fighting too, fighting to be the best they can be.

-A

In My Opinion…

img_9740.jpgNot that you asked for it.

I read something recently that made me very sad, a lady wrote about her marriage and insinuated to many things about the obligation of women in marriage that I just could not get on board with.

In fact it made me sad! 😦

– I changed my last name with honour

– I moved into our home and had equal choice and decision in the purchase of our home

– I “left” my family for education first, not him, I met and chose to spend my life with him, we built our life together for us not him!

– I got pregnant for me/us and our growing family

– Pregnancy changed my body because it did an amazing thing, it grew and cared for three beautiful children that are just as much mine as his as ours and I AM NOT FAT ( I refuse to use that language to describe my pregnancy during or after)

– The delivery and recovery was worth every minute for the beautiful children we created, and not one minute was it specifically for him

– My children will proudly grow with OUR last name and carry it on how they see fit in their adult lives!

It is my house too, they are my children too, we both have parents that may need support one day too, I do not do anything for someone else at a cost to my own health, beauty, or hobbies! My husband and I are a team we chose each other we love each other and we will create this life we have chose together! I feel appreciated and I hope he does too!! 🙂

I hope they others are living the life they have chose and not one out of obligation!

-A

 

To the Moms who got me thru!

 

thank you text

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We might not get together as often now, we may have busy life’s, work, and growing children all going to different schools and signed up for different activities.

But you were and are so important to me.

Our lives intertwined so closely for a period of time. My children are better for these friendships I have and having met you when I did

It was tough transitioning from high heels to running shoes, from dress clothes to stained t-shirts and yoga pants. It was a struggled transition from meals out at lounge enjoying a beverage, to babies screaming on the “family side” of a restaurant. With boobs exposed feeding a baby or two all the while choking down the last cold bites of the meal ordered over an hour before.

But you were there with me for it all.

Our lives were simpler before children, we had all the time in the world, and we could connect with anyone, any time of the day. Our schedules were our own.

When my babies arrived I swore nothing would change, I told everyone “I’m pregnant and going to be a mom, I’m not dying and leaving this earth.”

Naïve!

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am lucky to have had a couple of amazing women by my side, new moms too.

One I met while working, her and I became close because of how close our jobs intertwined. We were both pregnant and I count myself lucky to have shared part of our pregnancies together. The other I met at a baby yoga class the first and I signed up for after our babies were born. We became fast friends, making sure to keep each other accountable to get out of the house, even in our yoga pants.

It would have been so easy becoming a new mom, especially to twins, to just camp out at home isolated and alone. Leaving the house was hard, it was a lot of work, but these ladies didn’t let me come up with excuses, they encouraged me and made sure I made it in for our weekly walk, or swimming lessons, baby book club, baby yoga, anything mommy and me we could find, the list goes on and on. We supported each other to brave the restaurant and the grocery store. We supported each other through tough times in our parenting journey, we figured out how to do it together.

I know I am a better mom because of these women. I know my children got the best of me during a time that was scary and new because I got to navigate the scary parts with two brave women by my side.

To both I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know that no matter how busy life gets, I will never forget the support during that time in my life.

 

Happy New Years Resolutions…

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I have taken a year off blogging. Intentionally or not I have stepped away to live this life rather than write about it, and although it was a wonderful year I miss this outlet of writing, and sharing so here I am, back at it! I have spent my time writing to my children in the form of their journals. I have written journal to myself thru calendar and notebook. We had a busy year, full of lots of fun and adventure. But I miss this. I miss the forum to write thoughts about random ponderings, I miss the outlet for parental thinking and collaboration, I miss sharing my recipes, crafting, and travel adventures, and I miss sharing with you what we have been up to here on our little farm.

New years always come with new years resolutions. Even if we don’t come up with specifics, or write it down January 1st is the ultimate Monday. So here I am back at writing. I guess I am writing it down so maybe it’s a “new years resolution”, maybe its just a plan to get back to my blog and spend a little time, what little I have, doing something that I truly enjoy!

For those of you who are new here I thought I would start out the year sharing a little about me, and a little about why I write!

I am a mom to five-year-old twin girls and a three (soon to be four) year old boy yes they are close in age – 16 months apart. For those whose jaws are down right about now, yes this was planned, yes I am busy, and for those in the same parenting boat, yes we love it – not every minute, of course that would be a lot to ask, but most of it!

I love wine! See above Nuff said! I have amazing family and friends who are my support system above all else.

I am a wife to an amazing man, who encourages and supports me; I couldn’t live this crazy life without him! Even on the days I complain I know I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here raising our family in our own little wild world on this farm!

I have journaled since I was in grade 3 when my grandmother gave me my first blank note page book with a beautiful flower print for my birthday. At that time I wrote things about my friendships, sleepovers and daily things that came up and were important to me. Nobody read it so I could write anything! As time went on so did my writing, I kept a Journal or Diary for the rest of my life, I still do now, although now its less journaling and more private thoughts and emotions that I cant share or am not ready to share here! Since my children were born I began journaling for them, a compilation of first times trying or doing new things, funny things they have done and said. Mostly letters and notes to them as they grow, these books I will leave to them when they are all grown up, kind of a keepsake of their lives thru my eyes.

I believe in reading, reading to our children, reading to ourselves, and reading about anything and everything that interests us. I feel strongly that when you read you grow, I love watching my children “read” now it melts my heart when my son flips thru a book reciting lines he remembers from the time I have spent reading to him, it is one of the most amazing things to watch.

I am actively involved in our small community, because I believe in the power of a community, a community that comes together and accomplishes amazing things. I believe giving of my time teaches children to think of the big picture, the world and other people around them. We can go nowhere alone, everything we do in life we do thru and with other people.

-A

 

 

And Just Like That The Year Is Done!

christmas letter 2018

Fall on the Farm

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

Fall is here and for the last few years I have said how it is my favorite time of year. Now after the crazy summer we had I think I know why.

As much as the fall routine makes us busy and takes up our time it really is a slow down, the garden is out, the chickens are butchered (almost), the pigs are grown and ready to go, or gone, the horses are out to pasture, the cows are coming home soon and the calves are sold.

And I’m not just bailing on you guys; I finally picked up my journal again last week and started writing again… as therapeutic as it is, summer just never allows me a moment to sit and write, we are busy, much of the time is spent growing our farm, garden, and children. I do find and choose other ways to relax and spend my time enjoying the things around me in the summer though. I spend my time in the sun on the deck, in the garden, in the yard playing, and taking in everything around me. So although I’d like to have made time to write more, this past summer has proven that sometimes priorities make them selves.

So now even though it’s fall and the snow has already shown itself a few times, the weather is cold and I have more time inside I have more structure to my day now that the kids are in their activities; they are going to school and during the week we have a schedule. I hope to write more, to you and for me.

I’m not complaining about the summer I love the heat and the spontaneity summer brings. I love when my house is filled with people unexpectedly, when the barbecue gets lit last minute to roast some hotdogs and hamburgers for an unexpected deck party, when it rains and we have a day of crafting and reading inside or when the sun shines and we find adventures outside.

Those of you who know me you know I don’t like being cold but fall brings on a different kind of cold it’s a cozy feeling and I can turn the fireplace on, I can light candles, I can decorate I can keep up with the dishes and the laundry although my husband would probably disagree! It brings a sort of structure and expectedness to daily life that isn’t there in the summer.

I love cooking meals that I’ve grown it’s always a goal to try and plate everything from my own garden, my own barnyard, my own home! Everything that sits on our plates is grown right here from our own efforts, from all the work and chaos of summer.

Fall for me is the time to reflect, it’s a time to enjoy the calm and the quiet. Even if it’s getting colder we can still play outside we can collect leaves and pinecones so we can build crafts, we can clean up and get ready to start fresh again. So although I would love to live in a warmer climate somewhere where it’s summer all the time and I never have to bundle up because I’m so cold where I never feel chilled to the bone I love that there is a reset and when the leaves turn and the sun sets sooner and it’s beautiful.

-A