Own where you are and work it, girl.

The weather stinks. I am usually covered in baby puke. I desperately need a hair cut. Yes, I have the baby blues. I am getting better but I know it is still there.
I know I am blessed. Both of my girls are cute as heck and healthy. Healthy… thank goodness. I think this actually makes me feel even more guilty. Why am I so damn sad all day long when I should be happy and having fun?
One word – control. I have not had control over my day. I needed to take the reigns. We need more of a routine. Kids thrive on it. We need some flexibility of course but some routine just feels good.
We have been having a hard time with the girls sleeping over the last few weeks. When I don’t sleep, I tend to lose my patience, cry and cry some more. I am overwhelmed. I feel like a failure. Not fun. As a stay at home mom, this is my “job.” It is my job, my responsibility, to figure this out. Our sweet little Juliana was a great sleeper for the first 3 months. She slept so soundly in her bassinet all night long. She would wimper and I would gently reach down and nurse her, put her back in her crib and she would peacefully sleep until 8 AM. We were loving life. Well, around 3 1/2 months, she became more aware of her surroundings and was awake more – including nighttime. We moved her into her crib down the hall and nights later I found myself as a human pacifier – nursing her every hour.
Well, last night it all changed. I had that breath of fresh air – a new perspective – that I so desperately needed. We met with the girls pediatrician. I cried. As a family, our doctor, which we adore, sat us down as a family and we came up with a sleep plan. No one wants to hear their baby cry. It gives me terrible anxiety. However, I know that this pattern can not continue. I haven’t slept in weeks and I was beginning to resent my kids. I wanted sleep so bad. Our pediatrician sat me down and told me, “Let’s get control of this. You need your life back. You deserve sleep. You need it. Your kids need you to have it.” Brian looked at me and said, “OK, this is it. We are doing this.” She recommended that Brian take the lead. What, wait? Not me? Nope. I had to let this go.
Last night, our daily lives changed in a positive way. Brian did take the lead and everything went amazingly well. Yes, Juliana fussed a little. There were some tears. However, she never was hysterical. She calmed herself. She self soothed on her own. All I needed to do was give her the change. I was so against “crying it out” but it never lead to that anyway. Just letting go a little allowed her to learn something new. Hope tonight goes just as well.
A few weeks ago, my sister Katie and I had a great talk about being moms. She works a couple days a week outside the home. I stay home with my girls all week and have help come in to give me a few hrs to work on my health coaching business. She said to me, “You just have to own it, Bets.” I loved that and think about it often. Sure, some days I wish I worked outside the home. Sure, some days the house is a mess, neither child naps and I just want to run. However, before I had Madilyn, I made the decision that I wanted to be home with my girls until they go to school. That was my personal decision and I need to own it and work it. There is plenty of time for regular blogging, plenty of time for the live cooking classes I want to do, plenty of time for writing a book… the world can wait. It’s OK, really.
I know that this is just one challenge in motherhood. Any small success feels like a huge achievement.
Own your food too. Add some great ingredients to packaged pancakes. Go ahead, have pancakes for dinner this week.

“Healthy” Pancakes
Follow the directions on the box but consider some of these ideas:
– read the ingredients on your packaged pancake mix. Buy one that has minimal, real ingredients.
– fry in coconut oil instead of canola oil. Canola oil is a cheap oil which lacks in nutrition.
– add in some ground flaxseed or chia seeds.
– add in some grated cooked carrots.
– add some mashed bananas or leftover sweet potatoes for added moisure and nutrition.
– consider using coconut or almond milk instead of cows milk.
– use real maple syrup.

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  1. Betsy, you just described 5 years of my life. I can remember being a little girl watching my mom hold my little brother and thinking, I want one of those. Then I grew up and had 3 and there were times when I would have traded it all for a full night’s sleep. I used to cry to my husband over the phone, telling him to stay out as long as he could, to save himself from the madness of clingy, tired cranky babies and an overwhelmed, puke on, weepy wife. I don’t think I ever owned it, just waited for better days to come. And they did get better. And this weepy mama came out of the sleep deprived fog a better, way more humble person. When I look at my 3 loving, caring, healthy kids I know I’m getting my reward for hanging on, even if by a thread, when things were tough. It’s worth it!
    Thank you for your awesome blogs. I love your honesty and the reminders to continue to take care of myself so I can take care of those I love.

    1. Awe thanks so much Mandy. You made my day! I am trying to be as real as I can when I write. Motherhood is a wild ride as you know. One that I was never prepared for. As I go through these things, I think, “I can’t be the only mama going through this!” P.S. tell that awesome hubby of yours I said hello! Somedays, I miss that crazy consulting life!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Bets,
    I LOVE YOU!!! Thanks for sharing and know that you are doing everything perfectly!!! As moms, we do the best we can do at each given moment. Of course I have my moments too…especially with 2 babies. The other night each of them were getting on my nervous and I hated to admit it but the boys were both crying and Chatham would not stop talking:) Usually I find it endearing but that day I found it annoying..haha. I am sure you would agree that this is the HARDEST JOB in the world but also the best and I admire you for being home with your kiddos. This is a season that will soon fade from the present and Madilyn will be calling you crying cause her baby girl won’t sleep at night. I keep reminding myself of this season that will soon pass. I know you do this as well. I love ya and look up to you in many ways!!! Hugs

    1. Oh Chaley, you know I love you too! You inspire me so much. Twins!!! Girl, you are owning it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know what you mean. Somedays, I just want them to both be quiet. I need a moment. Jen told me one day though, “at least they are crying.” That made me tear up. At least they are alive and happy and ABLE to cry. Totally the hardest job I have ever had. Hardest by far. Oh my, can you even imagine our kids having kids… Ok now I am crying. LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Thank you, Betsy! You always have great timing for me and my life. For some reason, I always feel MUCH better to know that I’m not the only one going through this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I can totally relate. Even as my boys grow and I am able to get some more sleep (and napping at the same time most days) I find myself anxious to get out and be in the world. I feel guilty that I should be so grateful to be able to stay at home with my children but there really is no break… ever! And that is something no other “working” person can understand. Being a stay at home mom is a 24 hour, 7 day a week job. And yes, springtime should improve things for me. Getting out of the house, letting the boys get more fresh air, and most importantly, our amazing vegetable CSA… I cannot wait to taste those fresh fresh fresh greens, strawberries and so much more. So remember, you are never alone. There are many of us going through the same thing.

    1. No break… well very few breaks. Right now, both of the girls are asleep but I am waiting for one (or both) to need me. I know, I can not wait until the weather breaks and we can get outside!! It is nice to know I am not alone. Lets stick together mama!! XOXO

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