one foot in front of the other

I hesitate to even open up the floodgates of my emotions on this blog…if you manage to make it through this long, rambling post and your a guy…chances are you will officially deduct that I am insane.  And you probably will avoid me in public.  

If you are a woman…you *hopefully* will be like “yeah girl!  me too!”

Either way, I just have to get some of this *out there*.

 

Ya’ll, I’m not depressed but it sure feels like it sometimes.  I get so irritated when everyone asks “how I am” or “how my day was” as if a blanket good or bad will do.  

I feel like it is a lot of just one step in front of the other, crazy chaotic, never ending being NEEDED.  Hard. Brutal. Ugly. 

And then there are moments that are pure and blissful and there is no word to describe the joyfulness in my heart.  

These moments are just perfectly placed throughout our regular day to remind me to be thankful and to remind me what all the hard is for.  

Nursing LM while the boys play “battle of Egypt” (a made up game where all I can deduct is that they beat each other up and laugh)…the tiny giggles between feeding, the sweet kisses from big brother.  I SOAK those moments in.  I treasure them up in my heart and I am totally in the moment.

I like this about myself.  I’ve discovered not all moms are like this and that many wish they were.  I like that although sad as my babies grow, I have zero regrets about enjoying them.   

I’m glad I can admit I like things about myself.  

 

But on the other side of the coin is things I pretty much suck at…

housecleaning, meal planning, disciplining, doing anything regularly, having patience, not raising my voice, working out, not eating whole pints of ice-cream in one sitting, budgeting…honestly things a lot of people struggle with.  

I’ve become kind of apathetic about them all in attempts to enjoy my life and not hate myself.  

I can honesty have such a good life in midst of some serious chaos.  I also like this about myself.  

BUT I want to be better.  I don’t want to be apathetic about things that I don’t rock at.  

I need to be better.  I am called to be better.

Since the baby was born I’ve kind of just closed my eyes to what’s going on around me and focused on the joy and love of loving my babies and being thankful for who I am.   

My husband has been on the road to major self improvement and I have been so annoyed with him. (ugg just typing that out hurts my heart that I haven’t been happy for him).  And every time we are together he wants to talk about how to be better at a million and I just shut him off.  My brain just can’t handle it.  

But I have to pop the bubble and realize that I am not doing myself or my children any favors by existing like that.  I have to just do my best and stop the excuses and put one foot in front of the other instead of sitting back, throwing up my hands and saying it’s impossible.  

I will never be perfect at everything (I don’t know why it irks me so badly that this is true but it does!)

I will never be able to be a fully present mother who cooks organic meals, brings her family to the table, works out and has self control with food, has a successful blossoming business, always treats her children kindly and answers there incessant, curious questions with joyful patience…but I can try!  And trying is better than not trying at all.  

I’ve gotten SO much support from the community of women around me (physically and virtually).  What a blessing!  A lot of “me too girl! “, or “I was there and it gets better!”  and a lot of “be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up.” and “cleaning can wait, babies grow up”.  All said with love and support.  It’s a hard balance between encouraging me to keep trying and giving an excuse to not try at all. 

 

I’ve decided that on this random Monday afternoon (after I’ve already failed at pretty much all of these today) to put a few goals of mine out there.  For encouragement, for accountibility and simply because typing them out makes them *real*.

 

1.Loose weight.  

Yes I just had a baby.  Yes I’m curvy.  No I don’t want to be one of those women who can’t have a good day if I miss the gym.  

My midwife with Barclay told me before I left the hospital, “Babies like soft squishy mommies.  Don’t try to loose weight while nursing.”  Wonderful, sage advice.  And I’ve never had a milk supply problem.  BUT this excuse is always in the back of my mind as I have watched myself gain 30 pounds since giving birth.

Yes 30.  That’s my normal post pregnancy weight gain.  I was so going to fight it this time…and then I just gave in.  

For the first time in my life, I’m feeling self concious all the time.  NOT a good feeling.  

I’ve always had great body image.  In fact, I mostly feel drop dead gorgeous all of the time, and then I catch a glimpse of myself and it all comes crashing down…

YES I’m still beautiful!  Yes I can rock a good angled selfie.  No I am not expecting to ever have a six pack or thighs that don’t touch.  No I don’t want that.  

What I do want, is to feel strong.  I want to run when I feel like it and be able to wear clothes I love and already own.  I want to be active.  I want to hike and run and play tennis and not keep track of “workouts”.  I want my children to learn the same.  

I want to be able to miss my favorite monday morning yoga class because of sick babies and not feel like the week is a loss and I might as well wait till next week to “get it together”

I want to enjoy food…slowly.  I eat at record speed.  I don’t know why but I do.  It’s unhealthy and I feel like I excuse it with “I have to eat fast because of the children”.  

Not true.

I want to have a balanced diet.  When I eat those 8 chocolate covered cherries I got from trader joes (swearing I would enjoy one a day for a month), I want to be able to balance that out with a wiser choice instead of mentally failing and giving up on better choices for the long run.  

I want to be able to feel good and wear a beautiful non jersey dress for some family portraits in December (with Joy Prouty!!!!).

That’s my simple, room for mistakes, goal.

 

2.Move away from bribing and punishing my children for every little thing.

I can see it.  I can see as if I’m looking from above at this crazy mom bribing and punishing for every little deed my children do or don’t do.

“If you smile for this picture, I’ll give you *insert bribe*”

“If you do that, I will take away your bike today”.

“If you do this, I will take away the bribe that I formally gave you for doing something good…”

It’s a bad cycle and I know it doesn’t work.  And it’s so much mindless WORK!  And I swear I’ll change but then that perfect picture is set up and all I need is someone to indulge me and look my way and out pops the bribe.  

It’s not teaching them anything!  It’s teaching them to act according to what they get.  

I want them to do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do.  And I don’t want them to fear me that everything can be taken away based on their actions.  Yes I will continue to take away privileges sometimes but 45 times a day…no thank you.  

I don’t need parenting book recommendations (I’ve probably read them all anyways) I just need to have some self control and remove my face from my iPhone and just handle it (even if it takes longer).  

 

3.Brush our teeth!  

Seriously that’s embarrassing to type but I seriously struggle to brush my and my children’s teeth every day.  We’ve all been blessed to not have cavities and we all have good teeth but I seriously feel like I have an aversion to doing anything every day.  It’s mostly my children.  It’s the last thing I want to do after a long day.  But geez, one day it’s gonna catch up to us…

I’ve made charts, I’ve made check lists but to no avail. I know I need to just do it.

 

4.Read the Bible every day.

Man I was rocking this for a few months and it felt SO GOOD.  It made a huge difference in my mindset, in my attitude and in my daily day.  But then I missed a day and then next thing I knew I’d missed a month.  

Check out She Reads Truth, ya’ll.  It’s amazing.  

This is just like the teeth, I know I need to do it, it always feels better to do it, but yet I just don’t.  

 

5.GET OFF MY FREAKING PHONE

I feel like I don’t have time for anything.  I don’t have time for cooking, I don’t have time to read the Bible but it is all lies!  I spend SO MUCH time on my phone.  It’s embarrassing.  I justify it because I feel connected to community and keeping up with friends or just for inspiration and encouragement but I would say that 50% of the time it is just a plain waste of my life.  I secretly take those “which disney princess am I” quizzes secretly and read those shocking articles that turn out to be made up…What a waste!  

And I’m giving up being present with my children, having intimacy with my husband, have real life conversations for CRAP.  

Steps I’ve taken to help get me off my phone more (because not having one isn’t an option)

-taken FB off my phone (I’ve done it 5 times and always re-add it for one excuse or another).  FB is a huge waste of time for the most part.  I can catch up with my friends on my computer.

-plug my phone up away from my bed at night.  

(I did this for a while but it crept back in).  

Maybe I’ll talk to my husband, we might even *cough cough…you know…Maybe I won’t buy random 4T dresses for LM in my sleep (TRUE STORY).  Maybe I will actually go to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Maybe I could allow myself time to just be, and think and listen to my heart.  

6. Eat at our dining room table.  

We do this sometimes but not enough to say we do it regularly.  We don’t watch TV with dinner but we do eat in that room because our dining room table is usually full of laundry/camera equipment/stuff we don’t need.  I just need to make it a priority to keep it cleaned off.  I probably won’t be serving instagramable gourmet dinners 6 nights a week but at least we can eat our rotisserie chicken and cheese sticks in one place together.  

7.Have 2, 10 minute pick ups a day.

(again, I’ve done this before and it works WONDERS for helping keep clutter down) 

Maybe with my nose out of my iPhone I’ll have a chance to make it more regular.

I really want to make it fun (maybe choose three fun songs to do it too) and have the kids help out.  It seems cheesy but I know it’s doable.  I just have to make it second nature.  

 

8. Blog

Maybe no one will like it,  maybe there a million blogs that say the same things I say, maybe I will only get one comment a month from an Idian guy trying to sell diet pills, maybe I will only write once in a month and then 20 times the next month.  Maybe people will be annoyed, maybe people will think I’m trying to be something I’m not.  Maybe I’ll annoy myself with my deep thoughts when looking back, but boy do I love it.  And boy does it help me process.  

9.I don’t want to yell at my kids.

It’s one of those things I always said I wouldn’t do but it comes so naturally to me.  I don’t do it as much as (insert person) or (insert person) and that makes me feel better.  But I do it, and now my kids do it to each other and others around them and it is wrong.

I’ve read the viral article on how damaging it is, and I’ve sworn a thousand times that I will stop, but eventually I get tired, and selfish and frustrated and break down and then it’s over.  I’m a yelling mom and I can’t stop it.  

The thing is, it doesn’t matter that I am perfect, it matters that I’m trying.  Every time I breathe and remain calm is a victory and a step away from alienating my family from me long term.

10.  Break my addiction from STUFF.

I grew up very poor and when i got married felt I was so much better than my materialisic husband.  Money and stuff was evil.  Then over the past 9 years, my love of stuff has crept up on me.  

Even though we don’t have as much stuff as (insert person), or shop as much as (insert person), and even though I only wear one pair of shoes and take bags to Goodwill every other week, I still can’t get enough of stuff and the false happiness it brings.  

“maybe if I buy those super cute work out pants, then maybe I’ll finally start working out regularly”,

“I will order this special organizer (or chore chart, or meal plan, or (insert a billion things) and then everything will become organized and chaos will subside”

It.never.ends.  

I feel happy and content with our blessed lives, but right off the bat I could name probably 100 items that *I think* would make our lives even better.  

This is why our 2 bedroom house feels impossible to live in.  This is why I am unable to find my keys regularly, this is why we haven’t paid of certain debts.  

But I am not as bad as (insert name)…this is how I justify it.  

And since I probably will not get a child free, obligation free week to sort through ever…I just have to work at it every single day.  And I have to remind myself every single day that just because it feels good and just because I can justify it, doesn’t mean I need it.  

(ok I’ll start this after I buy the rice cooker I know will compete our lives…)

see?!?!

 

If you’ve read this far, wow,  I’m amazed by you.  But if you did and you are my real life friend, could you pretty please encourage me not to give up?  Could you remind me how worth it it is to not give up?  Could you gently check in with my goals?  

And if anyone has similar goals, could you pretty please raise your virtual hand and leave a little comment?

 

Thanks friends.  

 

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2 thoughts on “one foot in front of the other

  1. I love you and your sweet, active, wild, genuine spirit and I am encouraged by your conflict. It means you are aware! And I know you are able. Remember when we used to make those short-lived goals to keep our clothes off the floor or to not eat all the cheese and pickles and green tea and tomato juice from the fridge all at once? It makes me laugh to remember ourselves back then and it makes me happy to see how far we’ve come. I’ll pray for you and your self control and family and encouragement. I know you can do it (especially the phone thing, which is sooooo hard!)! Love you, friend ❤

  2. HJ, what a blessing to read your posts! I love how you are taking it one day at a time 🙂 I’ll join you as I monitor my own phone/internet time! So much time is truly wasted as you said 🙂 Thanks again for taking the time to write 🙂 God bless you and your precious family 🙂 hugs and prayers being sent from Brazil 🙂

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