So we did A Thing: We moved across the country…. to California! I can’t believe we did it, but we did. It wasn’t easy–that’s for sure; and it’s not over yet! It has been stressful, both physically and emotionally.
Normalcy is right around the corner–I can feel it!
My cleaning routine has been dramatically shortened, thanks to this little wonder. I use The Cloth for basically everything: kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, the floor, sink, refrigerator, the bathroom sinks, counters, and yes–even the toilet!
I could sit here and bore you with the science behind it all. But I won’t. I’ll just quickly say that Norwex’s Antibac EnviroCloth is a combination of polyester and polyamide that’s 1/200th the size of a strand of human hair! When used wet, the micro silver antibacterial agent (a.k.a. The Secret Ingredient) works to self-purify against, and inhibit mold, fungi, and bacterial odor.
Now if only it could fold my laundry…
Did you know I’m on Facebook?
I have a favorite child. There! I said it!
If you don’t have any kids, or you have an only, you may be saying to yourself right now: How on earth could she say such a thing? She’s a terrible mom…
But, if you have multiple little ones running around 24/7/365, then you may be singing: Yes! Yes, me too! I’m not the only one! Finally, someone said it out loud. I’m not crazy…
Do you want to know who my favorite child is?
My eight month-old.
Because she doesn’t sass me. She doesn’t leave a mess all over the floor for me to trip over. She doesn’t scream in my face when I tell her she cannot have eleventy more crackers. She doesn’t throw herself on the floor when I tell her she cannot watch four more hours of Sheriff Callie. She doesn’t say things like, It’s all your fault! or I don’t want to brush my teeth–stop touching me! or my favorite, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Nope. My eight month-old doesn’t do any of that.
Instead, she’s sweet and smiley and cuddly and laughs at all my jokes and animal noises. And she doesn’t run away when I sit her down on the floor.
But. Then comes nighttime, when my eight month-old is tired and fussy and plays The Don’tYouDareTakeMeOffTheBoobOrIWillScreamEvenLouder Game. Oh you know it? It’s a Classic.
That’s when I pass her off to Daddy and climb in bed with my SassyPants (a.k.a. my four year-old) and read books to her. That’s when she gives me butterfly and Eskimo kisses and says things like, Today was the best day ever! or Daddy and I are getting married ‘cuz we’re in love! or my favorite, I love you the biggest much of all, Momma!
And that’s when my four year-old is my favorite child.
My emotional well-being is important to me, and I’ve come to realize that in order to take care of my family, I have to start with me. I cannot let myself become an afterthought. If I don’t take care of myself, how the heck am I suppose to take care of anyone else? I’m not just talking about eating healthy and exercising frequently, but about A Mother’s Sanity.
Do you find yourself being pulled in many different directions? Do you feel obligated to make beautifully homemade and hand-crafted cupcakes for your child’s birthday celebration at school, to be the Room Mom, the coach for your child’s basketball team, and the first to volunteer to go on every field trip?
Why? Why are you trying to do it all? Is it so you won’t look bad to the other mothers? Are you worried about disappointing people?
Let me ask you this: Who the hell cares?
No one–that’s who!
The only pressure you feel is the pressure you put on yourself.
Do you want me to tell you what trying to do it all will look like at the end of the road?
SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t end well. It ends with gray hairs, wrinkles, and dark circles under your eyes. It ends with missing out on enjoying the small things in your child’s young life. Or even worse: stress-related symptoms such as depression, constant colds, and rage.
YOU matter. Homemade cupcakes don’t.
YOUR sanity matters. Being Room Mom doesn’t.
Buy the store-bought cupcakes. I guarantee the kids will be just as happy. They totally don’t care that you spent hours searching for the p e r f e c t picture on Pinterest, then spent an hour or more meticulously putting them together.
Why are you trying to make your life more difficult than it already is?
Let me ask you this: If you say YES to something, what are you really saying NO to?
If you say yes to spending over an hour baking and decorating cupcakes, what are you saying no to? You are saying no to spending an hour playing with your daughter’s new doll house. You are saying no to an hour of quality time with your husband. You are saying no to an hour of sleep.
Isn’t your emotional well-being more important than trying to impress other people?
Let me answer that for you: YES!
Quit making excuses for not taking care of yourself.
Your sanity is more important than pleasing other people. I know you’re having a hard time letting the guilt go. I know you want to be there for everyone who could use a helping hand. I know you want to do it all. But the truth of the matter is, Is it worth your own sanity? Is it worth your own health and happiness? Is it worth missing out on time spent with your kids? If it is, then by all means, drive yourself into the ground.
The saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a bunch of croc, if you ask me. Do you know what no sleep does to a person? Crazy things! Your body needs sleep to fight off illnesses, to have a clear mind for making critical decisions, and to stay healthy overall so you can be your best you.
So stop trying to be a martyr. Stop trying to impress other mothers. Stop worrying that you’re letting other people down. Because you’re not.
You are taking care of YOU, which in turn, is taking care of your family. And that’s the most important thing there is in life.
You are four years old.
I am in awe of the little girl you’re growing into.
My favorite moment over the last year has been watching you become a big sister to Adelaide. You jumped into your new role seamlessly, as if you were always meant to be a big sister. Sure, there have been trying times, where you poke her in the ear or pull her socks off. But mostly you just love too hard. You squeeze her with hugs and suffocate her with kisses, but I know it’s because you love her so much. I know this because nearly everyday you make up songs about loving her “sooooo much!” She is quite lucky to have you–to look up to you, always, for life.
Three was both fun and difficult. It was trying because you learned how to push my buttons and polished your tantrum skills. There are things you did and said that I never imagined my own child saying. But you served me up some fresh humble pie and taught me to never judge another yelling mom at Disney. I’m excited to see what interests you develop over the next year. Right now it’s pretty clear you don’t like soccer, but love gymnastics and dance. You love putting on nightly dance recitals before bed for Daddy, Adelaide, and me, and it warms my heart every time.
You are super girly and say things like, “Shirts are ugly. Dresses are beautiful.” I swear I didn’t push you to be stereotypically girly. It’s all you, baby. You had your mind set on a Frozen Tea Party for your fourth birthday party with your girlfriends (and best boy friend) and there was no stopping you! You do jump on opportunities to get dirt under your nails, too, though!
You have gotten super close to your daddy over the last several months, and it’s incredible to watch. At such a young age you already exude kindness towards others, and make me laugh multiple times a day, every day.
I know without a doubt you were born into this world to make me a better person. Before I had you, I was repeatedly stressing over small stuff; I could never just “go with the flow”. But you have put things into perspective for me. You have made me realize that dirty dishes and laundry rank very low on the To-Do list when there are much more important things like saving the princess from the scary dragon in the castle.
Yesterday you told me, “Mama, you’re a good teacher for teaching me.” Emmalyn, I know it’s the other way around.
I love you so much, sweet angel baby. More than you’ll ever know…
Have the happiest fourth birthday!
If you would have told me five months ago I would be nursing my baby in the middle of ballet class, I would have thought you were a crazy person!
Five months ago I was struggling so much with breastfeeding. Every other day I wanted to quit. Practically every other day I was visiting my lactation nurse. I was constantly text messaging friends for support. I was telling my husband, “Don’t let me give up!”
And look at me now:
It brings a whole new meaning to “The Boobie Barre”!
I also didn’t think I would be getting back into dance at three months postpartum. But I did it! I was determined to stick to my mantra of “just get moving!” I’m so thankful that my ballet class allows me to wear Adelaide, and bring Emmalyn. This class is something I look forward to each and every week. Sometimes I am super stressed leading up to it (…Emmalyn doesn’t want to get her shoes on, I accidentally take a wrong turn and end up on the interstate, Adelaide’s crying, etc., etc.) BUT I leave it all on the dance floor!
I couldn’t do the class without the amazing women and teacher who help and support me each week. They help me schlep my
entire house baby stuff into the studio, and hold Adelaide while I do pirouettes across the floor.
Oh! I could easily make excuses for not going. I could easily say: “It’s just too much work… It’s too far of a drive… I’m too tired…” because let’s face it–all the latter are completely true.
But it’s so worth it.
The hour-and-a-half my feet glide across the dance floor is therapy to me. It’s hot and sweaty therapy! For that hour-and-a-half I get to be me.
I never foresaw nursing my baby at the ballet barre in my future. But looking down at her sweet cherub face, catching her smiling at me mid-plies, is quite magical. Sharing my passion with my littlest one is special and unique, and well–just magical.
Five months ago I would have thought you were crazy for saying this was in my future.
And now? I’m the crazy person.
And I love it!
P.S. Do you think So You Think You Can Dance will add another genre of dance next season called Boobie Ballet? 😉
*TELL ME: What do you like to do for exercise post-babies? What *excuses* are holding you back? I encourage you do go after what you want–and make it happen! You are way more capable than you think!