26 Jun 2014 1 Comment
Life with 3 children-ages 4, almost 2 and 7 weeks…what can I say!?! Sometimes I feel like I am on a reality show as I run around my house half naked, nursing my newborn while cooking eggs and trying to get my other two kids dressed. I seem to always have spit-up on my clothes and my idea of a good time is being able to pee alone…with the door closed- what a luxury! Many times throughout the day I don’t know if I should laugh or cry…sometimes I do both! I have a new skill to add to my resume: Multi-Tasking Master! The truth is, my newborn is the “easiest” of the bunch. All she does is eat, sleeps and poops, what a life! Thank G-d for baby-wearing, because I sure need to have my hands free for my other two, who seem to make it their mission to run in different directions, at the same time. People ask me,”Is it getting easier with 3?” and all I can say is I am getting more acclimated to my “new normal”. I still feel pulled in 100 different directions at one time but I am having less “losing my shit” moments.
There is sometimes a sadness I feel lately, which I didn’t experience after having my first or second child. I think this feeling comes from the guilt associated with not being able to give to each child what they need, when they need it, because they all seem to need me (all of me!) at the same moment. My oldest is having the hardest time with this new transition and it breaks my heart to see him not acting “right”. I am trying to be there for my children, meet their needs, run them around places, cook and clean up the house so it doesn’t look like a complete disaster. Not to mention trying to find the time and energy to connect with my husband (which is so hard when you are giving all day long) and trying to build my business…some days I just feel like I’m failing! People keep saying that I need to not be so hard on myself or take it easy because I just had a baby. Even thought this comment comes from a good place, my blood boils when I hear this because I am not trying to be “super mom”, I am just trying to be there for my kids and be the best mommy (and person!) I can be.
One of my biggest struggles is to be “fully present” with my children. I get so stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of laundry that needs to get done, the dishes in the sink, the messy playroom, the emails I need to reply to etc. The way I cope with being overwhelmed is by getting out of the house by 9:30am (if not, the kids and I go stir crazy and I run the risk of using the TV as a babysitter because I want to get things done). Once I buckle the kids in their car seats I check the trunk to make sure I have my double stroller, single stroller plus standing board, my Ergo, Toddler Tula and diaper bag ( I also need to double check that I have diapers for both my girls, change of clothes and a burp cloth). Yeah, I know I am a baby-gear junkie…they make my life easier, what can I say! I also pack a lunch and snacks for the kids so that I can stay out until 12:30-1pm and then we come home for nap time. Once they are all down for a nap I sit on the couch and take a long deep breath. I feel guilty for not taking advantage of the moment by getting things done but all I have the ability to do (both physically and mentally) is sit and “waste time” by watching a crappy show like, “So. you wanna marry Harry?” while I eat my lunch . Several days a week I tutor, blog or meet with clients during nap time.
When my kids wake up from their nap until my husband comes home I am not the best mommy because I have “hit my wall”. This is the hardest part of the day where I feel like I am just trying to “hold it together”, as my kids play in the playroom, basement or backyard. Not suprisingly, this is when the most meltdowns, tantrums, time outs, yelling happens. When my husband walks in the door I greet him with a look of, I HAVE JUST BEEN HIT BY A TRUCK! I fantasize in that moment of running out of the house, screaming “FREE AT LAST!” I know he has had a long day at work and I do feel bad that I have very little to give when we only have two hours (before they go to bed) to get a lot done: play with the kids, clean, cook dinner, give kids a bath and get ready for bedtime. Once the kids go to bed I feel like I just crossed the finish line of a marathon race…what a day, I need a drink! Wait, I still have all that laundry and dishes to do, Oy! Thank G-d I have my Hubby with me to tackle this mess!
Transitions are challenging and soon I know things will get easier (I hope and pray!). These three little ones fill me up with so much love, in ways I can’t properly express in words. I am so blessed and I wouldn’t trade this crazy life for anything! Besides being a mommy, I am a person with needs and a wife so finding time to connect with my husband, being able to give to myself in some way and focusing on the positive aspects of my life are crucial to my happiness and something I strive to do everyday (some days I fail miserably at this…but with each new day it is a goal I have).
These are the 5 things that give me SANITY and help me to re-charge:
1) Connecting with other mamas! I have joined some mama groups and I have learned the importance of meeting up with like-minded mamas who “get you”. To know that there are others out there that understand my life makes me feel somewhat sane.
2) Focusing on the happy moments! I love using Facebook to connect to my friends and family who live afar. I know that when I post a picture or talk about my day it brings them joy because then the distance doesn’t seem so bad and it also helps me to focus on the happy moments of my life (instead of focusing on the stress). When I take a picture of my kids smiling at the park or petting a goat at the farm or something healthy we ate, it isn’t to say “Look my perfect life!” because it is far from it! It is to remind myself of the beautiful moments and by capturing that via a photo or an update status, it makes all the craziness subside….for a little while! That is the reason I started #100happydays on my Facebook page This American Mama, so that I can share my gratitude with others, by connecting to my happy moments.
3) Self-Care! I try to go to a yoga class, take a bath, write, go to a networking event or meet up with friends whenever I can. I have learned how crucial it is to put on my own “oxygen mask” first so that I can be there for others and not burn out.
4) Eating healthy food and exercising! It is so hard to find time to juice or make a healthy meal or exercise nowadays but when I don’t, I start snacking, having sugar/carb cravings and making not smart food choices. When that happens I feel tired and bloated, which really brings me down. So it is crucial that I make this a top priority for myself so that I can function properly!
5)Drink (responsibly…of course)! When the kids are asleep, opening a bottle of wine really helps my husband and I to unwind, bond and celebrate getting through another day…with everyone’s limbs still intact
How do you re-charge? What brings you happiness and serenity throughout your crazy day?
Please share in the comment section below