The Up Hill

 

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The thing about depression is there is no black and white. No yes or no. It’s a journey. Some days the going is hard and other days just treading water is a success.

5 days shy of 8 months and I finally feel like things are on the up for me. You see, getting better does not really start at getting help. Some times it gets significantly worse after that. Getting help is like clawing at the sides of the hole you are in to slow down the rate at which you are falling. You are either going find something that saves you, or you’ll hit the bottom. And for some, that is the only time they are able to climb out.

For me, I did not quite get to the bottom. I am adult enough to know that things could have been far worse. For me, reaching out meant a small dose of medication, counseling and a ton of support from the people around me. I am not embarrassed about postpartum depression. I have a ton of friends that are pregnant. If they start having symptoms, they know exactly who to talk to.

My PPD was not a disconnect from my children. It was different. It was not even triggered by pregnancy and birth, but exasperated due to the hormone changes that go along with it. I’m depressed because I hate the way I look after these beautiful creations clawed their way out of me like Ace Ventura out of a rhino butt..

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I am sad because I will never be 20 again. I will probably NEVER fit any of those jeans in the blue tote in my basement. And I will NEVER reach my fitness goal of wearing my old bras again either.. I have so many cute ones, this in itself is depressing. You can tell me I am ridiculous and to go easy on myself because I just had a baby. But when have you ever known me to go easy on myself? It’s one of my quirks and everyone secretly loves me for it. If I was not so hard on myself, people would not get paid, and my son would smell like farts. All.The.Time. So you are welcome for me holding myself to high standards.

Back to what I was saying. I am glad you think I am beautiful. My husband is still attracted to me after this transformation, but I am not attracted to me. Nope. I struggle with the state of things. I know how to fix them, but I have not been able to sleep because babe wakes up at least every two hours to nurse, I work full time and I solo parent a lot of the time.

And I have been so tired that I would cry when my alarm went off. It was bad.

This week has actually felt like I consistently kept my head above water. I was even faced with something that would have completely derailed me, but it did not. In the past and with everything I have been through, I thought I was pretty resilient, and I guess I still am. I did not stop fighting to be happy. I knew that if I was unhappy, my children would be effected. My marriage had already taken a huge hit. But I made it through. We made it through. I could not have done it with out them.

But you know what the big turning point was? Moving the baby to her own room and sleep training. I stopped nursing in the middle of the night. She protests adamantly in the beginning but no more than an hour of crying and falling asleep and crying again cycle. After one week, I am a brand new person. I could, and plan to, conquer the world. Now I can enjoy my coffee instead of survive on it. Maybe it is selfish of me not to want my baby close at night, and I have noticed that as I get older, I am less and less willing to compromise on things like sleep. Selfish? Fine. I will own that. But I am also getting back to a personal state of better health. Which is far more important to both of my children at this point.

So thank you darling. I know when you grow up and read what your mama wrote about you, you might not like it. But if we could help others by sharing our experiences, then I’d say we’re already a pretty darn good team.

 

via Daily Prompt: Better

Teething: The Cold Hard Truth

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Imagine, if you will, an ache. A small swollen pain that is constant and further irritated by doing the one thing that soothes you. Then remove your ability to fix it, or even articulate your need for assistance aside from screaming bloody murder and thrashing around. You have become a miniature angry octopus-banshee creature that is utterly inconsolable. This is my child.

You have become a miniature angry octopus-banshee creature that is utterly inconsolable.

No, I did not get lip injections, I was somehow kicked in the face multiple times. While I tried to pretend  it was a massage, my muscles were not fooled. Yes I did shower today in a desperate attempt to wake up, however this hair style is called the my-eyes-were-still-closed bun. If I had not set my kids clothes out last night, they would be wearing pajamas to the sitter. I also sincerely apologize to the gentleman that I MIGHT have cut off today on the highway. Your middle finger was very much warranted. Thank you for not retaliating in any other way like tailgating, honking or the like.

Normally I am that annoyingly chipper morning person, so I’m just guessing this is Karma coming back at me. Well played, life. Well played. I am far too nice to not smile back at everyone I see, but it is seriously exhausting to do so.

I cannot taste my coffee. It is having zero effect. I desperately wish it was Friday instead of Wednesday but it is feeling so much like the third Monday of the week. Oddly enough I will probably be far more productive today in attempts to compensate for my lack of motivation.

But after such a torturous night, waking up to happy kids puts a nice buffer on the rest of the day. Pulling myself out of bed after only hitting snooze once, made for an easier morning and less rushing.

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It is amazing what an hour nap does for a baby. I love you, Pumpkin, but you have made Mommy’s day suck really bad. And there does not seem to be an end in sight. I’m scared to google “how long does teething last” because my four year old now has molars coming through. Heaven help me.

 

Just Jump

There was one time, I jumped out of an airplane. I had been on many before, even over a war zone when the turbulence was questionable to the pilot’s skill and flares shot out the back to ward off enemy fire. I would sometimes ask my fellow passengers if they would jump. Some looked at me wide-eyed and green-faced and shook their head no. Others would consider the question and without too much thought claim they would. I, however, had spend some time mulling the question over. I decided that if some one shoved a parachute in my arms, and had full confidence that I would live through the experience, I would absolutely do it. I think this is pretty consistent with most things in my life, though only a few where failure would mean certain death.

There is never a perfect time to have kids, buy a house, change jobs, get married. I mean sure, looking back everything fell into place, but at the time it was hard work and incredibly scary. I struggled and got hurt along the way, but every single thing in my life has placed my in the seat I am in (attached to this damn pump). Through all of these changes, one thing has remained consistent: my resilience. I never stopped looking up. I never kept trying for inner peace in the situation. I never let things consume me. And when it was hard to do on my own, I got help. I have been through some of the most horrible things. But I still smile and play with my baby girl when she wakes up, I still hug my son and tell him how handsome he is before school. I tell my husband how much I love him every single day. I come to work and put pride in every thing I do.

The other day I watched a video about Will Smith describing the time he jumped out of a plane. He said something like how complete and utter fear precedes unimaginable bliss. If you have children, those moments before that little person arrive are riddled with fear and anxiety. But the moment you hear that perfect sound of their cry, nothing ever comes close to the happiness and relief of that moment. Separated by milliseconds. Sometimes they are even all smashed together into one.

If this does not personify my message today, I don’t know what would. Thank you Kellie for letting me share this moment.

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This photo was taken by Jennifer Mason of Jennifer Mason Photography. The photo is of my friend Kellie and her brand new babe. (So many feels)

So if you’re on the fence of something incredibly scary and life changing I encourage you to take a chance for the better. (If you are on a literal fence and it’s a long way down, maybe you should reach out for some help like I did). Either way, change might be scary, but I think living the same day over and over is far worse.

 

Tug of War- The Daily Struggle of a Working Mom

I resent my breast pump. It talks to me the longer I sit in my office. Today its says F@#% You, F@#% You. Over and over and over again. Maybe subconsciously that’s what I want to say to it. My little Mini-Me just turned 7 months old and I really think I miss her more today than I did my first day back to work.

Four months ago (yes, American mothers must go back to work 3 months after birth for fear of reprimand or the loss of employment) I thought it would assist in my transition if I posted pictures of my two littles all over. It would be like they were always with me and I would not miss them as much. Geez-Louise was I wrong. I spend 55 hours a week wishing I was home with my family (that’s 8 hour days, unpaid lunches and an hour commute five days a week). My husband gets frustrated that I will switch vehicles in the middle of the week so I do not have to stop on my way to and from work to get gas. The sooner I get to work, the sooner I can come home.

Now here comes a new challenge my good friend just brought to my attention. My son’s preschool class is taking a field trip next Friday and a parent must be present for him to go. In order to ride the bus with him, I must pass a security check at the front office and attend an in-service class before next Friday. Now I have quite a few options here. I could come to work for 10 hours a day for 4 days then on one of those, leave to take the class, come back to work and finish ten hours. Then I would have to come to work after the field trip for how ever many hours I have left to make 40. I could send him with his little friend’s mama (who I am so incredibly thankful for) but it breaks my heart that I cannot be there. Or I could just take time off work and be S-O-L if something comes up that I HAVE to take time off for.

There have been a couple of times when I have surprised him and picked him up from school. The teachers are also surprised and make a big deal that I am there. But nothing beats my son screaming “MOMMY!!” at the top of his lungs and running to me. He hugs me and says “I’m so happy to see you.” It melts my heart.

Then there is my little Miss. In the morning for her last feeding before I get ready for work, I lay her in my bed and kiss her face at least a million times. Somehow she does not wake up, but some times she does. Then she smiles and coos and I hit snooze five times before giving her her favorite toy so she does not wake her daddy. By the time I finish getting ready and go back to check on her, she is sound asleep. Then I work all day and see her two or three hours before she’s asleep for the night. It almost does not bother me that she wakes up every two hours after midnight to eat. I spend that extra time with her even if it means an extra coffee at work.

On the weekends, I do not want to do a thing. I do not want to grocery shop. I do not want to play date. I don’t even want to really get dressed. Just stay in my night gown all day and nurse my little girl. I never pump milk on the weekends. It just takes away time with her. My son is so smart and loves to draw. Right now his favorite thing to draw is the GhostBuster’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, ghosts, and GhostBusters saving the day with their proton packs and traps. He’s so funny and creative.

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Something Strange In the Neighborhood…

 

So I come to work and surround myself with everything I love…

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New Born Pictures Above My Phone

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Photo Collage and the Most Adorable Screen Wallpaper EVER

 

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And Much Much More

This week I have decided two things. I either need to 1. Keep writing as much as I can everyday so that one day I might be able to hang out with the people I love most in the world. Or 2. Take some of these things down and focus more on the practical things in life like work and paying bills and giving my children every opportunity I never had growing up. I should be thankful that I have the luxury to work and actually miss my children. I’m lucky to have a network of other moms that support me and help me raise my children. You know who you are. I’m not a mushy person, but I love you ladies.

My internal need to stay busy, constantly engaged, and support my family is definitely the winner of my life right now. I don’t necessarily resent it, but it is hard. I hate leaving the house to go anywhere without my kids, even if it’s far easier to leave them home with my husband. I know the grass is always greener. I know I would hate being a stay at home mom and begin to look for things to fill my day possibly away from my kids. But today, right now. There is definitely somewhere I’d rather be…

*turns off the F@#% You machine*

She wants coffee, not roses!

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My little dude is 4 and loves Ghostbusters, Nerf guns, and Team Umi Zoomie. My 6 month-old is breastfed and wakes up no less than 3 times a night. I work 40 hours a week, Monday thru Friday and on weekends we try to cram some kind of family outing. I share in cooking and cleaning. So let me tell you what I want for Mother’s Day… A NAP!!!! Or a tall hot mug of coffee. Or BOTH.

If you are at a loss what to get that special woman in your life for Mother’s Day here are some ideas.

  1. Her favorite bottle of wine (Beer or liquor for you classy ladies. I have kids. I get it.) This needs to occur the night before Mother’s Day (May 14th, 2017… It’s a Sunday. SO.. on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 you need to present Mother with her beverage. Go ahead and mark your calendar.) You must also give full and nonjudgmental permission to drink the entire beverage before the actual beginning of Mother’s Day. Leave some Motrin and a glass of water on her night stand in case she forgets along with the book she has been wanting to read for months, but has never had anytime because she’s been raising children and working full time. If she’s giving up on this dream, leave her a magazine that she might want to read but would never buy herself because of stated reasons.
  2. On the morning of Mother’s Day, prepare for her a hot mug of coffee prepared the way she likes it. If you don’t know how she likes her coffee ASK HER NOW AND WRITE IT DOWN WITH THAT CALENDAR REMINDER! Kudos to you if you have purchased her a new mug with a snarky saying on it. Like this one:

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“If you don’t know how she likes her coffee ASK HER NOW AND WRITE IT DOWN WITH THAT CALENDAR REMINDER!”

3. Then LEAVE HER ALONE!!! Take all of her kids and occupy them quietly in some other part of the house. Please for the love of everything, lock the door when you leave!!!

4. If you plan on making her breakfast, which you should, be sure you have a way to unlock the door from the outside. Try it out the night before (again put it on your reminder). And make her favorite breakfast. If she likes bacon… MAKE HER SOME BACON!!! Is she dieting?? Does she like bacon?? Make her bacon.

5. Then LEAVE HER ALONE!!! Take all of her kids and occupy them quietly in some other part of the house. Please for the love of everything, lock the door when you leave!!! (notice a trend?)

If you are feeling like maybe you owe that special woman in your life a little more than a nap, along with step 1., book her a hotel room, even if it’s just down the street. Tell her she can FaceTime as much as she wants but you will NOT bring her kids to swim in the pool or over for snuggles. Tell her she should absolutely NOT feel guilty for having time to herself, because she will. She will be uncomfortable in silence and she might even cry because she misses her little monsters so much. But she needs this. She needs to take a bath, watch something other than cartoons, walk to the vending machine without a parade following her, and she needs to maybe have a chance to drink and not have any responsibility to anyone for just a few hours.

Order her room service for breakfast and hot coffee at a decent hour, like 10am. Call and extend her check out time by a couple hours. Maybe clean the house while she is gone. Have flowers waiting for her (I know I said she does not want flowers, but it is still a nice gesture).

Seal it with a kiss. Then apologize. For anything. It does not even matter. Reassure her that she was right all along about something and tell how successful she is and will be. Tell her she is beautiful and remind her what outstanding humans she made with her body (or someone else’s. They are hers regardless).

Lastly, DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING IN RETURN!!!! Maybe all the love she gets might make her want to thank you in some way, but do NOT ask or pursue any kind of collateral for your efforts. You know darn well she deserved it.

No clue why I decided to write this today. Maybe because I need more coffee and really do not feel like making it myself. Who is with me???? lol

Stretch Mom-strong

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Who else? You? Your bestie? Your Sister? Who in your life is pulled in so many directions they are forgetting the most important thing of all… Themselves. This is me and where I live right now.

I honestly do not care if SAHMs or working moms have it rough… I am having it rough. Right now. And maybe you do to. Stop shaming other moms for having a tough time juggling their own impossible life. Stop comparing yourself to other mamas. We are all fighting our own battles. And some beat the ever living crap out of us.

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Yeah, that’s me after my second surgery. But this is very much how I feel. Deflated, over worked, stretched thin, beat up and fat. I feel really fat. But you know, I’ll keep smiling even if it hurts to. Because sometimes that is what it takes to keep from dropping the ball. At the end of the day, I just feel defeated.

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I don’t lay in bed at night thinking of all the ways I messed up or fell short because I am so freaking exhausted from giving far more than I had to begin with that I get to bed and wonder how I even made it there. How did I manage to get through the day? By some grace of God, I did not completely lose my shit and made it to a place that I should be safe to forget about everything… BUT NOOOOOOO…. Baby. I have to wake at every noise in case the milk she had an hour ago was not enough to hold her over long enough for me to actually fall back asleep.

Hello 2am, 4am, 5am, 6am, 630am. Good Morning Job and people and adulting. And as I pass people leaving for the night I beg them to take me with them.

“Oh no, you JUST got here.” Yeah. I know. I think the point of this post is that I am tired and so are you. And it’s okay. We will stand together in solidarity with our eyes closed and our mouths hanging open, maybe a little drool. Okay we’re asleep. Mama needs a nap. It’s only 8am.

Crossroads

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Little Miss is creeping up on six months and so is our breastfeeding journey. My son was only 2.5 months when we transitioned him to formula for a number of reasons but mainly lack of support. This go around has been exceptionally better.

But I want to stop.

Well, I do and I don’t. This is where I am at today. I know that if I supplement a little formula that I do not have to completely cut out breastfeeding but God knows I want to.

I need my life back. I need my body back. I need my bed back. I need my sleep back. I am a slave to this machine (and its running in the background as I type). Sometimes I swear it’s talking to me. Today it’s saying “Let go. Let go. Let go. Let go. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let go.”

-If you’re laughing it’s because you know what I am talking about. If you’re not, you’re either a man or have never pumped yourself like a cow.-

SO is the end in sight? Or will the guilt of formula feeding my child scare me into a deeper depression? I know there is middle ground here. I know that there is compromise. Today is just one of those day that I did not sleep and is directly effecting my mood.

Have you been here? Did you stop breastfeed before the magical 12 months? I would love to hear your take on this.


There is still time to enter into the Give-Away!

How do I enter???

First- Follow my blog by clicking the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen.

Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.
You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀