Mama Realness

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I've tried to be as transparent as I can on this blog.  I struggle to blog consistently, as balancing life with 3 kids keeps me going all the time.  But this society of "show and tell" on all forms of social media makes me want to just highlight things that make me human.  And that you don't see on my Insta Stories.

1. I stay up too late and struggle with mornings still.
I tell myself to go to bed at 10:00 each night and always end up finishing up my favorite shows on Netflix, cruising on my phone, painting my nails or just spending time with Alex.  Either way, I stay up too late doing things and regret it in the morning.  We always spend our mornings the same, twins have milk and dry cereal and get morning cartoons,  Maggie has her bottle and floor play, and I lay on the couch, waking myself up and having what are some of the funniest conversations with a couple of very energetic, very awake toddlers.  Guys, I have never been a real morning person.  I love coffee but I struggle in the mornings.  I am a "9:30am get my day going" kind of girl, and my kids can sense that.  On mornings that we don't have big plans, we lounge until around 9/9:30 (typically the time when MJ goes down for her first nap.  That's when I can focus on getting the twins dressed, brushing teeth, getting breakfast for them and starting them on an activity or project.  I know I have some work to do to be a better morning person.  Having kids is definitely a good start.

2.  I don't drink enough water and have a wicked sweet tooth.
I drink lots of coffee in the AM.  Lots.  And I always end up warring up my coffee 28 times before I finish it and its actually a rare day that I completely finish a cup.  I hate New Year's Resolutions but I know I don't drink enough water and I should.  Thinking about getting an app or something to help remind me.  I know I would feel better.  I don't beat myself up about this one, but I want to be better at it.  And at the end of the day, if I can't have a glass of wine, chocolate is my weakness.  It sometimes seems like a congratulatory treat for the day we had and keeping my children alive and safe.  You gotta do you.

3.  I yell at my kids.
I'm not perfect.  I don't yell all the time but I have lost it.  I've read countless articles on the effects of yelling at kids and one of my favorite reads was this one.  If you've never lost your cool as a parent, then honestly I want to know your secret.  Parenting is hard, and it's hard because of how much we care and want the best for our kids.  One of the most important things I do is sit my kids down and apologize if I lose my cool.  We talk about what happened, what we could do to avoid it and how it's ok to be frustrated at times.  When Emmy gets worked up about something, she tells us she needs to cool off and goes to her room, shuts the door, cools off and comes back downstairs to apologize for loosing her cool.  Guys, she just did this on her own one day and I was blown away by her ability to realize, I need to step away.  I've learned that maybe we all need this.  It works for her and I'm going to try and implement a version of that for myself (obviously not leaving all my kids alone while I retreat to my room, but you get it).

4.  Body adjustment is real and it takes me awhile.
After each pregnancy, I have had a period of "I won't ever wear normal jeans again" and "get rid of all my tight-fitted clothes."  A woman's changing body after kids is an emotional and physical rollercoaster, and I've been on it twice (and am still on it currently).  You are adjusting to your new role of taking care of a tiny human (or in some cases, multiple humans) as well as trying to accept your new body (that likely is being used to keep the humans alive) and it's a lot.  And again, in this world of "look how fast I bounced back to my pre-baby-weight" on all forms of social media, it is hard to not compare and look at where you should be.  Luckily there are accounts out there that highlight true postpartum life and there are people sharing how they are embracing their new body's.  But it's still hard.  And still a learning, growing and moving process for me.

5.  I question a lot.
Am I feeding my kids well?  Do I give them enough "different" and "educational" experiences?  Is this more than just a cough?  Am I feeding MJ enough solids?  Are my kids learning what they need to be learning?  Am I showing my kids a good example of being a good human being?  I could go on and on.  Being a Mom has led to lots of internal debates with myself about what to do next and how to raise my kids.  I know my ability to make a decision has become worse and worse as I've added kids and it's because I question things more.

There you have it.  These things make me human.  And while I am not proud of them at times, they make me who I am.  I am head over heels in love with my babies.  BUT, there are always areas of improvement in my life.  Areas to grow, learn from, etc.  I just want to share what is real in my life.  It's not always sunshine and rainbows over here, and that is MORE than okay.  It's okay to have those moments of being vulnerable, feeling like things are not in control, we've all felt that, its more common than you know.

One of my dear friends sent me a text with this link to an article.  It's about how asking for help, creating and curating relationships that help you and empower you as a Mom, and remembering that you are not alone in this "momming" thing.  She thanked me for being part of her village.  I don't think she knows how much I value her friendship and her steadfast consistency for always being there for me.  I remember trying to do everything on my own when the twins were born.  I don't know if it was because I wanted to prove I could do it?  But it got hard.  It got real.  And it got lonely.  Once  I pushed aside my feelings of pride, I was able to see life was better being part of several "villages" and I opened myself to it.

Alex and I recently watched the movie Eighth Grade on Netflix and it was so crazy to watch the life of an eight grader in this day and age.  It's not something I worry myself with now, the fact that one day I will have two eighth graders myself, but I do think often about the world they are growing up in.  I try to not let it run my life but I try to limit my time on my phone and social media, remain patient with them, be happy and positive, etc.  I try.  It's hard.  And I don't always succeed at those but I am trying and that is enough for me right now.

Be easy on yourself Mama's.

Until next time!  Below are pics to update you and get you through the week!
Lauren
















Library Fun!  We absolutely love the library and we have been exploring them all for the past 2 years... highly recommend for kiddos (even babies).  My kids LOVE going and we've made some awesome friends.







Where is T I M E going?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

It's been 2 months since my last blog post, and it feels like it.  But I am back, and jumping in.

Life with 3.

Twins will be 3 in December.






Maggie is 6 months old.









Alex and I are 2 years away from 30 and will have our 10 year High School Reunion this year.


WHAT.  IS.  TIME.

Life is what you see on social media, funny, entertaining, draining, adorable, full of energy and already decorated for Christmas (no shame).  But so much of our life isn't on Instagram stories/ posts.  And hence, the blog. So I am already setting the intention for 2019 (feels SO STRANGE to say that) to blog more.  I know I've said that before but now that MJ is older and I can plan out our days more, it seems more attainable.  We will see.

LIFE UPDATE:

Winter has hit KC and hit us with two snow falls before Thanksgiving.  I think it's more snow than we've had in the past 4 years.  The twins absolutely LOVED every snowflake of it.  It's been fun seeing them experience it with a more energetic view (last year they were scared of it) and an excitement about it.


 They are L-O-V-I-N-G school this year.  And by loving, I mean once I peel them off my leg and sneak away, they do great.  This past week they both reluctantly got in the car, and held onto my neck tightly and screamed bloody murder as I tried to leave.  It was, not fun.  But when I go back to pick them up, they are always all smiles and can't wait to show me their art projects and tell me about their day.  So it all makes up for it.  The one day a week without them has been a GODSEND for me, as bad as that sounds.  But time alone with MJ is really priceless these days.  She is such a sweet, funny, attentive little girl and she's so young still.  Strange to already see so much personality in someone so small.  Having more than one kiddo is challenging to "split your time" and life starts to feel like you're "running a race" and will never reach the finish line, but this time spent with just my youngest is giving me life right now.

As MJ gets older, things get somewhat more "manageable" than they were when she was a newborn.  I feel like I can plan for our days a little easier, knowing she eats 4-5 times a day and normally takes two naps (morning and afternoon, and sometimes evening, depending on the day).  I was a ROUTINE, SCHEDULE mama with the twins.  I was able to write down when they ate, napped, pooped (not really) but basically I could leave them with a sitter or family believing that my tiny notebook with the written routine would guide the sitter to a perfect day/ evening.  With Maggie, she is all things flexible and really sticks to no true routine.  She sort-of has to be with twins for siblings.  If she wakes up at 7, I plan a nap for around 9:30/10... if she looks tired.  If she wakes up at 8:30, we plan a trip to the library or park and hope to get her down for a nap upon returning home.  Each day is different and each day she is content to "go with the flow".

I have good days, amazing days, bad days and really bad days.  No week is the same.  I can't even begin to write down every little funny thing the twins say...trust me, I wish I could.  There's a couple of things that stick out in my mind that my sweet babies ask me weekly.  "Are you frustrated?" and "Are you happy?"  Excuse me while my heart melts on the floor.  Yes, I have my frustrating days.  Emmy still struggles with potty training, and that drains me most days.  But my God, YES YES YES I am happy.  And I am so blessed to say that to my babies.

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  We are spending it with family and we can't wait to eat everything.

See you soon.

Lauren


 Maggie has been getting her time in with some futures besties, one born a few months before and one two days after.  I really do love having friends (new and old) at the same stage we are at in life.


THIS GIRL.  THIS SASS.
Such a happy happy girl.  And huz. 
Alright.  This librarian.  She is just the best.  And the twins LOVE her story time.  We are hooked and will probably go until they are ready for Kindergarten. 
This year we went to Boo at the Zoo... and so did 10,000 other Kansas City residents.  It just so happened to be a 70° and gorgeous, so we knew what we were getting ourselves into.  But, it was worth it.  So worth it.  And KC in the fall, may bueno.
Emmy has started to ask to feed Mags, and my heart melted.  And she grabbed the bottle and jumped right in.  My girls!
Auntie spoiling them with donuts... there's nothing better.



3 vs. 1

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Overwhelmed.  Exhausted.  Pulled in different directions.

My life dramatically changed when MJ arrived and changed the daily dynamic of 2 v. 1 to 3 v. 1.  I've heard it MILLIONS of times: "I don't know how you do it/ did it with twins."  And my thoughts are always the same.  That was "easy" compared to this outnumbered feeling.

Alex and I always planned on having a big family.  We still want more (if you can believe it) and we *somewhat* thrive in the madness.  It's busy, its fast paced, there are many tears shed (from kids and adults) but our lives would be so bare without these crazy little babies that invaded our home faster than fruit flies.

I decided to write this post, not to scare people but to offer my sage advice on self care for the mama. And to include my personal journey of coming very close to just loosing my mind with the lack of control I felt in my life.

The beginning was the hardest.  When Maggie was a newborn and feeding all the time, my biggest struggle was finding the time to entertain and busy 2 active toddlers while staying very close to home and caring for a brand new baby.  When I had the twins and they were newborns, things felt in control, quiet, clean and structured.  This has felt very much the opposite.  I'm in no way saying that having one baby is perfect, you just have time for things that you just WILL NOT have time for when the household shifts and toddlers are involved.  We also started potty training when Maggie was like 10 weeks old... not her... the twins... and that was insane.  But we survived.  And you will too.  But again, many tears shed.

As MJ got older, things got better because she was feeding less often and the twins were more experienced with potty training.  I also felt like we could leave the house and try the park and library more since I felt better about them telling me when they needed to use the toilet and Maggie took great carseat naps.

Recently, the most helpless I've felt has been when I was at a park, breastfeeding Maggie and Emmy gave me her "I have to poop but we are too far from the bathroom so I'm going to hold it in" face and I saw her across the playground.  There was nothing I could do.  Helpless.  So, after she held it in and I got through not my proudest moment of motherhood (telling her to hold it in) we made it up to the bathroom and she tried again.  My thoughts on this?  It happens.  Shit happens.  Things happen and will my kids remember how flustered I was in that moment?  Probably not.  Will they remember that we were at their favorite park after a long week of inside play?  Hopefully yes.

Parenting is one of the hardest and emotionally exhausting things I've ever done.  Mothering *3 under 3* day in and day out can be mundane and I often feel like I'm in another version of Groundhog Day. But I am CONSTANTLY reminding myself: stay in this time period.  Don't wish it away.  Take pictures when you can.  Love the mess you are living in because it can all be taken away so fast and you'll wish for it back with all your might.

I'll share a few of the things that help me take care of myself during my states of overwhelm.

Self Care for an Overwhelmed Mama

1. Yoga/ Exercise

When I can get this in, its my favorite form of release.  I have tried to schedule it during the afternoon naps (where hopefully all 3 are asleep) and I have to force myself to skip all chores.  It's so tempting to finish those dishes that have been there since the morning, or start that laundry, put toys away, etc... basically things I can't do with all 3 babes awake.  I push the 36 toys on my living room floor away and I start a workout.  Here are some of my go-to at home workouts.
  • Any Jillian Micheals DVD's.  Her workouts are typically 20, 30 or 45 minute workouts and she WORKS YOU.  I always feel satisfied after.
  • Yoga With Adrienne.  She is such a calming presence.  This was the main way I took control of my workouts after the twins were born.  It was a way to slowly rebuild my muscle, gain strength, practice breathing and calming techniques during my moments of overwhelm, etc.  I highly recommend her.  Start with her 30 days of Yoga.  She will take you from beginner with no experience to feeling comfortable to attend regular yoga classes.
  • Rebecca Louise.  She is amazing.  Her accent is beautiful and her energy is addicting.  I love how quick her workouts are and how real they are to accomplish.  Sometimes I'll choose 3 of her 10 minute videos (abs, butt and arms) and my 30 min workout flies by.
  • Insanity.  This one is rare for me.  But I have it in my back pocket for days I need my butt kicked.  Even if I do 40% of the total workout, I feel better.
2.  Lists of Goals
  • I just recently bought this planner.  It's life changing for me.  I can look at my week ahead, plan my to-do lists, grocery, meals, and feel like I'm accomplishing things.  It helps to sort things out in my mind and makes the weeks seem more structured.
  • Just write it down.  Whenever I feel scrambled and overwhelmed, it really helps me to just start writing the things I would like to do.  I don't let that list get too long because that's not attainable.  Just 3 things a day and it can be as simple as, unload the dishwasher, write a thank you note and check my work email.  Once I've accomplished those 3 things anything else I add onto my day is *extra*.
3.  Masking/ Nails
  • Invest in some nice face masques to do in the evenings after the babies go to sleep.  I've been loving the ones from Eminence.  I use their cleansers too, so when I tried their masques I found my new favorite weekly unwind.  Some of my favorites are the Bright Skin, Coconut Cream and the Eight Greens Phyto.
  • Do your nails or get them done.  This always makes me feel better and more put together.  I can't explain why, but a pretty fall color on your nails will cure all states of stress and overwhelm.
4.  Food
  • Eat well.  And I don't necessarily mean eat healthy 24/7.  Ya'll deserve an oreo (or 7) after taking care of tiny humans all day.  There are some days that I'll hit 12:30 and realize I haven't eaten a single thing.  DON'T DO THIS.  Force yourself to eat something... anything and eat it well.  Even if it means packing the kids up and running through Starbucks to get yourself a Bacon and Gouda sandwich (do it, it's worth it).  Go to Trader Joes, buy that expensive greek yogurt you like.  Get yourself nourishment.  You need it to feel you and to take care of babies.  I know this is dumb, but like I said, I don't always eat and I think that can add to me feeling unwell and inadequate as a mama.
5.  Blogging
  • This outlet hasn't been used as much as it was when I had the twins, but it's still in my lineup of go-to's.  I love blogging.  I love having an idea and running with it.  I love being able to write and express myself and hopefully hit on something YOU could use in your life.  Even if it's just a laugh.
Hope this helps!  Hope you can find ways to spoil yourselves and please remember... if a mom ever tells you they aren't overwhelmed.... they are more than likely lying.  It will happen and has happened to all of us.

Thanks for reading, thanks for loving us and thank for allowing along in our crazy life.

Be back soon.

Lauren
My guac making/ guac eating helpers
First day of Pre-Pre school!


Making new friends and eating at our favorite place in the entire world: Chik-Fil-A
Trip to the Eye Doctor for Mom's "sick eyes" ///   Took all 3 babes.  And we survived.
Minnesota for my cousins wedding!  Took a boat ride and we found out Emmy has some sea sick issues.  She was very happy to be back on land. 

Buddy was living his best life though.

4 month old MJ!
Sass to the 5th Degree 



Park Day!
We are READY for FALL!




 
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