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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