Book review “kids these days” – Dr. Jody Carrington

A few months ago one of my dearest friends from Alberta, Cam, told me I needed to look up Dr. Jody Carrington.  Cam told me I needed to watch Dr. Carrington’s video, that I would not regret it. She was right. That night I watched Dr. Jody’s live video and I’ve tuned in to most Sunday night lives since. When this book went on presale I couldn’t type in my payment information fast enough. I’ve since read it twice. Each time not being able to consume quick enough.

At first it’s easy to judge a book by its cover and think this book isn’t for you because you’re not an educator or don’t work in some aspect in Education. I find myself quoting this book on a regular basis in daily conversations in regard to children in my life, and people in my life in general.  Although yes, Dr. Carrington does promote her amazing program this book is relatable for just about anyone. I was not raised in traumatic environment but I found myself relating to it in ways of growing and changing in my personal life. As a mother this book really gave me delicious bites of importance in the power of connection, foundation and proximity. Dr. Jody is extremely, extremely, brilliant in the realm of child development, and child healing processes but this book is so much more than that.

As a mother reading this book made me re think the way I approach and think I should be raising my children. Remembering daily to take off my amour and be conscious of the fact we don’t necessarily need more space in order to be happy within our family. That proximity and a small home may be my own children’s advantage in terms of children these days.

Throughout this book you will be hit with truth bombs, things that will make you read it, and re read and re read piece by pieec so you can really let the message sink in. Some of these truth bombs are simple shifts in the way we think and the tone we use when we speak to ourselves. To remember to take ourselves, the change makers, as important pieces of each child’s life. The things I really liked were the direct quotes from other change makers, from psychologists and theorists who are experts in the field of child development. Not only does she quote and refer to books she’s found helpful in this realm she includes a list of beneficial resources she’s used throughout her book in the end pages of her book.

Dr. Jody keeps it real. I can hear her narrating this book in my head each time I’ve read it. The bolded words and quotes made sure you knew the key components of what she was trying to get across to the reader. At the end of each chapter there is a game plan highlight reel. This basically summarizes and reiterates the key learning pieces in each chapter. I found these especially helpful because it really helped me bite in to each key piece and digest it piece by piece. There are so many exceptional quotes, acronyms, words to live by throughout this book I caught myself saying what a great idea for a tattoo, especially her acronym for the step by step plan to have each member of your team be a part of.

Follow Dr. Jody Carrington on Facebook and Instagram if you’re not already. She’s currently travelling all over Western Canada spreading her message and amping up educators to really know the power of the magic they hold. I’ve been crossing my fingers and toes it won’t be too much longer before she comes East to speak. Her book is available online via her website and in Chapters stores in Alberta. I’ve messaged her team and it is there hope that they’ll be distributing across Canada soon as well. If you can’t wait for that grab a couple friends who you can split shipping with.

Dr. Jody Carrington is-equal parts factual, relatable and honest. She gives all the research based facts in a simplistic enough way that you can clearly relate to the message while also learning beneficial information. She gives it to you straight. If you were a kid, you have kids or work with kids this book is for you.

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Learn & Lean

I’ve seen something circulating lately that says something like “if you see someone struggling don’t tell them to reach out, or tell them you’re there for them, just help, just show up, do something “. It really resonated with me.

As deep as my roots it goes back generations to be fiercely independent. A family of problem solvers and do it yourselfers and fixer uppers. Much to the frustration of my father (the one who is responsible for my inheritance, sorry dad) my husband and most other people in my life this trait means I’m most likely to take the hard way, tricky way, the do it myself way. I’m not likely to reach out. It’s very much the reason why I struggle with the weight of anxiety and depression nearly 2 years before reaching out for help. I found ways to manage, to make my way through.

I’ve learned since having children some times you have to lean in a little. I eat my own words because I’m forever telling my friends to do just this, but I’m terrible at it. Leaning in a little gives you just enough room to take a deep breath, re center and go back at the non stop life that is being a mom. A micro manager. Learning to lean means learning to expose a certain sense of vulnerability which I’ve never been good at. Once I attempted to go to a psychic and she even told me she couldn’t really read me because I shut myself off. I’ve spent years building walls and I’ve been spending years breaking them down. But I’ve learned to lean in ways I still feel secure and I can feel as if I’m not bothering anyone.

I’ve worked on communication, self awareness and self limiting beliefs to allow myself the space to lighten the load. It’s an arduous journey but I continue to march forward. So when this meme or quote starting circling I really liked it. When I’ve said to you what I’ve needed, what I’m feeling in my soul is missing even in a passing way it’s taken great courage and a lot of work to do so. If I’ve said these things and they don’t come received I find it frustrating. If you’ve offered something and don’t follow through the person isn’t going to have a solid foundation to lean in. If a person has leaned in and been left to sway in the wind the chances are they’re not going to lean in. It takes a lot for some people to lean and so for a lot of people they won’t lean in. Don’t expect a healing person to muster the energy to come to you and ask if what they need is evident. Even if they really want it they can’t always find the air to breath the request. If something or someone is important to you do them a solid and meet them where they are. Do the things you know they need, help them in ways they’ve asked for help. If you’ve offered your time, space, energy, assistance, whatever it may be then follow through. Make your offer authentic, I can guarantee you a person who is faltering will not come back to the person that has offered to help and ask for that help. They will walk away discouraged and disappointed for exposing their vulnerability and being met with unmet promises. They’ll lean not to lean in to you, they’ll withdrawl to find their own strength, yet again. If you wait for them to come to you, or you watch them struggle waiting for them to ask when they’ve identified their needs they’re not going to accept your help. Accepting help from someone who waits until you ask or waits to see you struggle is a place where you expectations feel unmet and resentment festers and once it does it takes a lot to reel it in. Add in the other mental load the person carries, other struggles they have, the lists they carry they aren’t too likely to see that person as a solid in their circle. If I need your help, if I’ve communicated what I need, even once I will not ask you to help me again. Unfortunately Leaning in isn’t easy for me, if I lean in and I’m left to solidify my stumble I’ll just do it myself.

Expectation is the root of most evil and when you’ve come to expect the least from the ones who you need it from the most you’ll gradually start to trim away the people who aren’t really there to lift you higher. If not, you should. The people who love you the most are the ones who are supposed to have your back to your face and behind your back. If that’s not the kind of circle you have, how can you make more room in your foundation for people that will be your bottom hands. As Dr. Jody says the rest don’t score. Lean in. Find the faults in your grounding and build the best of you. Lean in, check on your strong friends, check on that friend who’s always smoothing the wrinkles for everyone else. Hold the hand of the fixers and the doers. They may not know they need you. They may not know how to set their load down and allow someone else to carry. We’ve stepped so far away from community as a society that we often forget that it is not our job to leave others hanging in the balance. We’re tapped in and plugged in but we are more disconnected than we’ve ever been before.  Reach out, lean in, learn to be vulnerable, learn to crack open someone else’s vulnerability. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Losing to Gaining

As I continue to walk toward my goals of weight loss this year after having my third babe I have a lot of goals and expectations for myself. I’ve not lost what I wanted as quickly as I thought. I’ve struggled with nutrition. I’ve slacked off on exercise. I’ve beat myself up thinking to myself if you wanted this you’d do it. The guilt weighing heavy on my shoulders. What I realized the biggest piece to this whole puzzle was my mind.

The inches, the numbers, the calories, the rings on my watch they all don’t move unless my mind is strong. Strength in my thoughts, my beliefs and the way I communicate with myself is the only way to strengthen my legs, my arms, my core. To melt away inches, and see numbers shift. It all starts with a greater shift than the one you can see physically.

You see when I didn’t have children I often tore my body apart, it’s something a lot of us commonly do. We nit pick at flaws that are only seen by us. The reason these flaws are seen by us and not those that see us most is because the flaw does not come from a materialistic feature, it comes from our mind. The cracks in our foundation are not seen on the surface. The negative thoughts we feed our soul our self limiting beliefs we’ve grown, nurtured, and came to commonly believe are deep in our soul. Deep in our mental health. It is not until we exercise that muscle of powerful thinking, let go of those limiting beliefs, and start to fuel our mind with positivity that the rest of it falls in place.

It stems from our brain and it works its way down our spine, we build our backbone, we swallow it in our core and it becomes a seed planted in our soul. When that seed is able to bloom, blossom and thrive that is when the chips don’t score. The cracks break away to show a gem inside the rock that is encased around it.

I’ve been working on this and keeping myself in check with what does losing those inches really mean. A smaller number on the scale what does that really mean. What is the common denominator in the equation?

My body is never going to look the way I see it in my head, in pictures from the past. I’ve carried four babies, I’ve birthed three. My body, this body has held me upright when my mind was broken and anxiety tried to break me. This body that carried four babies, carries three babies flawlessly up stairs, down trails, in rocking chairs when they just need me.  I can do tasks that require two free hands,one handed while holding one or two babes at the same time.  When I think of all the things I can’t, all the things I won’t anymore I shift my thinking to all the things I CAN. All the things I will with this body, just as it is right now. I will be someone’s solid rock, a foundation of ages. Even if I squish and jiggle in places I didn’t know capable.

Back to that common denominator. In the big scheme of losing weight, all it takes to get there what is the one thing I gain from losing. It is health. By losing all the self limiting and self loathing, the self destruction I stand to gain health. Within this shift, there is focus. Sure smaller numbers are great, and smaller clothes fit more comfortably but the real reason why those matter is not just superficial it’s beneficial. Everyone can stand to be healthy.

With this focus, reiterating to myself time and time again that there is no bad food, there is no more guilt trips I’m more motivated to stay on track. It does not mean deprivation and sitting out while my family eats treats. After all I am raising girls who I want to have a positive relationship with themselves and food. It means everything in moderation. It means instead of focusing on what I can’t have I focus on what I can give to my body to keep it healthy and happy.

I’ve stopped counting calories, I’ve started counting colours. Where can I get nourish. What foods can I find that are going to fuel my body right down to the marrow in my bones so I’m able to keep up with my girls today, tomorrow and 10 years from now. The short term pay off and high of the mindless and not intentional eating is great but what does it give my body. At the end of the day, doing what is ultimately good for my body is bigger and better than all the things I’ve been focusing on losing.

Wading in the deep end

Wading beside my husband I notice he’s edging further and further from the shore. I follow in eager pursuit. He leaves home every day, he carries very little mental load. He’s successful, hard working, the definition of grit. I want to join him. He’s much taller then me. I decide to match him stride for stride. Then he stops, he turns to shore. But I can’t. I’m screaming at him to help me, I scream at him how I cannot do it all on my own. I’m flailing with red hot anger. I’m cursing the ground he walks on. And effortlessly he walks to shore. He nonchalantly says “just put your feet down, you’re fine”. But I cannot put my feet down. I am not fine. I flail and flail until my body decides it’s had enough. I become buoyant, one with the water. Complacent in the very thing I fought against. Nothing matters. It’s all good. I cannot move from this spot. I cannot stop my mind from racing to resentment. I cannot get back to shore. But I do not care. So my husband drags me in again, with the rope that’s carefully tied to my feet for moments like this. We speak nothing of it. We go home. The day is done.
The next day I see my best friend. I come to her seeking refuge. From the weight that’s hanging over me from yesterday. My mind won’t stop hashing it over and over. She’s got 4 kids, an ex husband and a new husband. She’ll understand it. She’ll see that something is aloof and she’ll set me straight. She starts talking about her new husband. She starts really giving me the gears about how awful he is, lazy and under appreciative. I sigh a sense of relief. Misery loves company, I decide now is the time to finally let go of the weight from yesterday. I pour my heart out. She won’t tell me to put my feet down, she’ll be empathetic and understand the water is over my head. I let it all out. I dump out my deepest worry. This is the person who loves me and has stood by me always. Surely she’ll understand and we can move forward. She says “you’re so negative, I’m going to have to smudge this place when you leave. You’re clumsy and bad joo joo”. Then she laughs it off and continues talking about her self. Oblivious to the fact that she’s walking the talk she just set me ablaze for. I tell her I have to go. I walk out. Ready go home. But the words racing in my head become spewing hurricanes of how terrible I am, how stupid I was to think someone would actually agree with me. How crazy I am. Maybe I have lost my mind.
My husband takes me back to the water. Hell bent on living our normal life. Not phased by the protest in my voice. The hesitation. The bags I have packed and ready to run. Except today is different. I wade a little further and it becomes harder for him to pull me to shore because of the weight I carry from the conversation from the previous day. My head becomes a swirling whirlpool. Yet I still become stagnant with exhaustion. I’m buoyant but I’m weighted. Before my weight finally anchors the wind sweeps me further from shore.
And in and out and in and out. Day over and over again we do this. Toxic people, worried mind, well meaning family, deep water, stronger wind, more weight. Fraying lines that connect me to reality. The voice that confidently boomed for help becomes silent. Everything hurts. So tired. So worried. So careless, so over thinking. Over. And over. And over.
Until one day, so far away from shore now that blowing away has become “normal”. A boat sails by. Aboard is the images of the things that matter most. You see, I’ve never wanted to drown, I just wanted to be far enough from shore that my family would stop seeking me to rescue. But seeing this boat makes me realize I’m not the only one who is suffering there’s so much left at the picnic that I need to be a part of. In a hoarse voice, a frail spirit I say. “Enough”
Of course saying enough isn’t enough. I’ve carried this weight for a while. I ask the man on the boat for help. He carefully cuts the weighted words that keep me docked so far from shore. I can feel my mind start to shift. It’s still racing, but without the weight there is less worry that I might completely drown. Without the careless mind I realize I’ve known how to swim all along. The same as time took me away from shore I know it’ll take time to swim back in but slowly I make my way there. Some days I feel as if perhaps I’m always going to be treading water, I can see the shore but can’t quite reach.
I continue to cut the ties that tear the line connecting me to those who love me most. I ditch the toxic friends, I fuel my body with all the proper foods. I prioritize sleep. Instead of getting lost in my head I search and yearn for positive health. I’ve even begun holding my husbands hand at the waters edge. I no longer feel the heavy chains that used to surround me and squeeze out all my air. I no longer fear the disorganization. I have strategies to help me when I feel as if the water is just too deep. But everything that got me here has made a mess of everything that came before. Some days the mess sends me far from shore, some days the mess doesn’t matter. I’m focused. I’m working through the quick sand. Until one day the sand is like flakes of the dessert and I realize I really feel like me. Really, really feel like me. I find joy in joyous moments again. I feel thankful, appreciative. My heart has grown by 5 sizes. I’ve over come the storm, the darkness, the turning tide, the tsunami.
I’ve over overcome. Does this mean I’ll never face the storm again. No, but I’ve got tools and tricks and all the right people who will pull me to shore.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My daughter was almost 2 years old and I had been suffering for much of those two years. I pulled myself further and further away from my family. Never did I feel I wanted to die but I wanted to be far enough away I would no longer be a burden. I was angry, easily agitated. Exhausted. Worried about everything but not caring about anything. It was a chore to get out of bed, to eat. To function. I did not seek help. I did not understand why I always felt the way I did. I was too scared to admit that I was failing because I didn’t want to lose my daughter. I didn’t know what would happen to me if I admitted that I was not perfect. Until one clear day, my mind worked well enough to realize that I was really missing out on so much. I made an appointment with my doctor and I finally said “This dark cloud is bigger then me, and I’m ready to dance in the rain”. I was put on a low dose of an anti anxiety medication. Sent a referral to mental health and started walking forward. Dancing my way out of the storm. I’ve seen naturopaths, to help with things that were out of balance that could be contributing. I go to a chiropractor,for acupuncture and a massage therapist on a regular basis. They’re all huge things that make a difference in my overall well being. If you’re reading this and thinking my husband sounds awful, please don’t. My husband only ever wanted what was best for me. He stood beside me and stands beside me every day. He may not have known how to fix it for me. He knew me well enough to know I’m headstrong and fiercely independent saying anything wouldn’t have been any help. And I’m sure he probably did try to tell me, I probably was not ready to listen. As hard as those two years were for me, I’m sure they were just as hard for him. It’s been a journey. I really hope everyone finds someone to love them when they’re at their lowest darkest moment like the people I’ve been blessed to have and keep in my circle. The best part of the storm? It blew away all friends who were toxic and selfish and not really friends at all. Life has been so much better.
In the last 3 years as I’ve been overcoming and finding wellness there’s been really good days and really crappy days. There’s been a lot of days where I’ve dealt with acceptance of the change in who I am. Gone is the crazy, outgoing, up for Anything girl. It was hard but I was sure the person in pictures of the past would always remain unrecognizable to me. But, she’s not anymore. I’ve found something I’m passionate about and mixed it with my previous career to start a fire of excitement and happiness within my soul. Running my own business teaching and working with children I have fun every day love learning more and more. I’ve allowed myself grace and time. I finally can look at pictures and say that girl is me!
Mental illness does not discriminate. It is not something that can be paid off or bought away. It catches you in its grip and it tosses you out for the sharks. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be the person you once were. It just means you may be a different version. I’ve been wide open about my struggles since I started walking toward wellness. I’ll continue to get up on my soap box and preach. Let’s not shy away from the messy conversations that are hard and heavy. Let’s talk.

Worldly Possessions

I am a mama. That’s basically the thing I identify myself as these days. First and foremost I am a mama. I’m also a wife, sister, daughter, friend and childcare provider among other things. The thing that consumes my being, my waking, sleeping, breathing hours is mama. There is my oldest Quinn and my youngest Cooper. I’m also expecting a third girl this fall to add to the spice in this mix.
Cooper never lets me forget I am mama. She spends most of her day calling for me even when I’m sitting beside her. Reaching for me if I walk away from arms length and finding me no matter where I try to hide. That’s the thing with being mama, it doesn’t take a moments pause. Even when you really need it. I am her whole world. That’s heavy. Her whole world weighs on my shoulders. Honestly, it’s been a bit too much to carry the last little while. That is until this past weekend when I finally decided I needed to take time to be alone.
Alone I sat in reflection. Reflecting on choices, chances, patience, love. Taking time to replenish my cup so I’m able to give the best of me back to these littles who love me as their whole world. Reflecting on this summer and the changes that are coming our way. That’s when it hit me. Changes.
Quinn goes to school this fall. We have four weeks left where it’s going to be her and I at home. Then she won’t be here daily anymore. Of course I’ve said how exciting this change is and how we’re both going to be needing this break apart and it’s true. Time spent apart is great. But in four weeks her world explodes. She meets teachers, friends, classmates. She will no longer just be mine. I will share her with this world she’s so determined to master and become a part of. For four more weeks I am her world and then I no longer wear that spotlight and that is heavy. Beautiful and exhilarating, but heavy. Thinking of this change makes me realize how lucky I am to be the world to these humans. Even when it all becomes too much it is a job not to be taken lightly. They’re learning and leaning and trying and experiencing through my lead. No pressure. It can be easy to be consumed with guilt at the thought of slip ups and mishaps. Short fuses and sharp words sometimes happen. We’re all human. We all need to take the time to reflect. Lean in to the universe and let it hold us weightless while we think about who we are in this whole big world. If you wear this title of mama, let me tell you, we all see you. All the other mamas around, we see you. Loving and learning and growing this tiny humans while all the while growing and learning to love yourself and understand who you are in this role. Give yourself the grace to breath and bend. Give yourself the space to be real and fall and breath if you need to. You’ve only got so long before the world opens up and the weight you wear readjusts and becomes just a little lighter. We’re all in the same shoes as you not sure what we’re doing but sure we are screwing it up. I’m here to tell you, you’re not. The best person to love your littles is you. You know the way they like their toast, the snack they need right before bed, how they like their hair to fall on their head. All of those little finite details, you mama, you’re the only one who knows them inside and out. These sweet things, they’re your worldly possessions. Take the time to refill your cup and appreciate who you are. You’re so much more than the weight you carry. Thank yourself mama, for all you do every single day.

Waltz

Another from my old blog of random writing
She dances with the devil, across the hardwood floor, their waltz creates a heat like I’ve never felt before. Her shoes are made of leather and they keep time to the beat, legend has it if you’re not careful she’ll hypnotize you with her feet. And they’re spinning round, round and round, while the fiddle goes faster and the banjo picks up it sound, round and round they go never slowing down. The Devil he wears a smile, it’s frozen on his face, as he leads her on the dance floor I can feel my heart begin to race. I’m hot under the collar, my hands they start to sweat, I can feel the heat taking over, all cards on the table, I’m folding all my bets. The one two of their toes creates a thunder, and their waltz creates the wind, it’s the perfect storm to get swept in to and before you know it you’re never seen again. If you see her dancing with the devil, if you see that smile upon his face, you better run like hell my friend, run like hell and never make a mention of this place.

Book Review “Girl Wash Your Face”

IMG-5864When I saw everyone and there dog posting about this book on social media I knew I had to read it. When I posted to my social media that I too was jumping on the bandwagon there was mixed reviews from people who had read it before. Some people said it left them lukewarm and after reading I can understand that.

There was a lot of hype wrapped around this book once it got out. Rachel Hollis is a social media mogul and it is her job to market online. She has years experience doing it. So by the time it came time for her to publish her first non fiction book she had lots of experience marketing and advertising under her belt. This alone worked in her corner for it spread like wild fire. Mix in the fact that as a society we are very big on growth mindset and fixing ourselves it was bound for this book to really speak to some people. I think this hype and the instant fan base made the book seem like it was going to be that fire lit under your tush.  For me the hype mixed in with the message I can understand why some people may feel lukewarm. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book.

With the culture this book has created and the fan base around it’s message I expected more. I expected more of research, facts based, more of step by step. I didn’t get what I expected but I ended up getting exactly the message I needed. Rachel gets real and honest, cracked wide open in this book with her own personal experience. She breaks it down for you at the end of each chapter, which really drives home her message and keeps your wheels turning. It’s those juicy small bites that really get the wheels turning and the fire started to change, to challenge, to create whatever your soul desires. This ability to hit you with the facts, and make you swallow your own truth is without a doubt the reason why so many people swear by this book and recommend each and every one of their girlfriends read it.

Rachel Hollis is real and extremely relatable. We can all see something of ourselves in her story. Be it her up bringing, her desire to get out, her drive to reach her goals unabashedly, her experience as a parent, her ability to come from the bottom and climb her way to the top. Each and everyone of us are forced to open our eyes to our excuses and swallow the bitter pill that we are the only thing truly in our way.  I expected it to come at me hot like coals from a fire and it didn’t but it sure smouldered the fire in my soul to stop selling myself short.

If you’re finding yourself in a crossroads in your life and needing a push to be honest with yourself to take whatever risk it takes to get to the other side of your goal I recommend this book. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to do something, maybe you’ve been selling your fitness goals short, perhaps you just need to learn to lean in. This book really cracks the surface of how we sometimes sell ourselves short. I’ve purchased her newest book “Girl Stop Apologizing” and can’t wait to dive in to it once I’m done re-reading “Kids These Days”.

 

Provider, Parent, Partner

Recently while scrolling through IG stories one of the amazing ladies that I follow was looking for someone to write about some things that most women face during the postpartum period.
Dr. Gillian Sawyer is working on a 12 days of motherhood post that she does each year over on her IG stories. If you’re not following her you should be, she shares the real side of motherhood and has been a saving grace as I enter this period of being a new again mama. Gillian was looking for someone to write about postpartum body image and/or what the changes of parenthood have had on your relationships.
The latter stuck out to me as I’ve struggled with the change with all three of my girls. The transition with Quinn was probably the most difficult because she was my first and in 2013 it still wasn’t as common place to talk about the messy bits. As a new mom I knew to be prepared for the scary thoughts but I didn’t know how many other issues bubble up when you become a new mom. The truth is much like an animal shedding it’s skin when you become a mother you shed an entire layer of who you are to become someone totally new and in some ways different and that transition can feel raw and vulnerable. with vulnerability comes a whole new slew of emotions and feelings.
Let me get started with the fact that I love my husband huge amounts. He has the softest heart and the hardest work ethic of anyone I know. He’s been with the same company since they started close to 10 years ago and he is immensely passionate and dedicated about what he does. It’s really admirable. That being said when you’re a new mama it can feel so heavy, so deep, so all consuming and extremely isolating. Your partner to some degree will also go through their own changes and transformation but their role doesn’t change as drastically as a woman’s. As a woman you’re also dealing with your birth experience; whether it went as planned or not, you’re dealing with healing; having a baby is a lot like being in a car accident it takes time to heal, you’re dealing with hormones, you’re dealing with no sleep, breastfeeding or bottle feeding struggles, you’re dealing with new body image, you’re dealing with finding your new rhythm, you may be dealing with postpartum depression, anxiety or rage As new mama’s it can feel like a lot. A lot of those things you’re dealing with aren’t things they talk about and discuss in baby books. They aren’t things you can prepare for and most likely aren’t prepared for.
This can feel extremely isolating especially as your partner seems to bounce back and go back to normal life oblivious to the fact you’re feeling so overwhelmed, not seeming to care at all that everything for you is changing. Let me start by most often, they have no clue because they are not and never will experience the swift change that the postpartum experience is for mama’s. Even if your husband is a fantastic partner before baby comes along it can seem as if he totally slacks off once there’s someone new in the mix. What I’ve come to realize is that being a provider, parent and partner are three different things that don’t always go hand in hand. Your husband is most likely working and therefore feeling as if he’s being a partner by providing for his family. In my experience this type of partner is great but when you’re in the trenches deep in the thick of it it’s not enough. For a long time I felt as if we were on totally two different pages. During this change with my first I seriously considered leaving. I felt that alone and just assumed he knew. He didn’t because he didn’t know the depths that come with motherhood.
Before Quinn came along it was fine that he worked a lot and I could manage most everything else at home on my own. I could do things to fill my cup when I needed. I had time. With a new baby I felt like all I was doing was giving and feeling completely burnt out on the brink of resentment and that is a scary place. I’d never had to ask for what I needed and my pride tried to tell me I didn’t need help but mama’s you are so important, you matter, you need the help. Unmet expectations can be a real cause of heartache. Often with expectations they’re more about us and less about the people around us because those around us are often ignorant to what we expect from them. This was very much the case. I just expected him to know what I needed and to know to pick up the slack. I had to learn to be very specific with what I needed and to ask for help or time or to have him plan something out of the blue so I didn’t feel as if I was deciding everything and everything was on me.
Motherhood and parenthood is not only ours to carry as women and we need to remember that our partners can carry some of that for us. I’ve spoken to my husband about the difference between the three and how it’s important to make space for all three in order to create a sense of balance in our home. Sometimes I need him to change the garbage without me asking, and sometimes I just need him to keep the kids quiet for an extra hour on Saturday morning and a lot of the time I need him to be my partner and remind me to take time for myself or plan nights out without me having to think about them.
Communication and grace I’ve learned is key with the change that takes place in your relationship. Realistically you’re adding a new human to the mix and this new human is all dependent on you. It’s important to give yourself grace to allow things to go as unexpected for a bit and to give yourself grace to iron out the flood that comes with it. This too shall pass it isn’t always going to feel this all consuming forever. They do grow and you will get your space and time back. Time flies. Communication has been the essential piece in my post partum experience to ensuring that I can enjoy the time I do have while they are snuggly and little. Take time to breath in your partner loving on your little because this time will change all too soon. Allow him the space to love them and juggle a little bit of the challenge with you. This is not all yours to carry. I can promise you that it won’t feel as if you’ve lost each other forever, you’ll learn new ways to fall in love differently but all over again, again and again. If you’re feeling like he just doesn’t get you he likely doesn’t but that doesn’t mean he’s meaning to. If you open your heart and allow yourself to be just a little vulnerable he may be able to better understand and meet you closer to the middle. Learn to lean in and let go. dishes can wait, laundry can wait, the house won’t fall to pieces if it’s not perfect for a period. They’re only so little for so long.

Finding Footing

After two babies in three years my body has been feeling depleted and defeated. At one point in my life not that long ago I rocked meal planning, prep and staying organized and on top of it. With baby number 2, starting my own business, pregnancy and baby 3 it was a train that quickly became derailed. I’ve followed a few influencers in the health and fitness field, read articles and googled till I was blue in the face. Despite knowing better I was not doing better. I would get back on track for a few days and fall off. I’d prep foods then a busy day would happen and I’d be grabbing for whatever was delicious and quick and not necessarily nutritious.

This moving forward hitting a block, moving forward hitting a wall, moving forward falling in a hole is where most people say to hell with it I clearly can’t seem to get beyond the stall so I might as well stop. The thing is this is the typical path of wellness and healing. Very rarely is it a straight path, it doesn’t just happen. It takes work, sweat, trial and error. It takes shifting your mindset from “I’m failing” to “I’m finding my footing”.

I’ve had bits and pieces of plans and fitness that I was biting from but never putting it together. The inability to have it all in one place made it extremely difficult to follow through because it was too much to juggle. To say my life is a little busy is an understatement.  I need it to be mindless. I realized I wasn’t able to successfully push through on my own.

I’m finding my footing by leaning in and making myself accountable to other people. I’ve reached out to professionals in this field about supplements I can take to support what I’m not always necessarily capable of getting through nutrition alone.  Admitting that you need just a bit more redirection and focus isn’t failure. We need to accept that as a society we don’t have to do it all, and be it all even if we are capable and really, really want it. Mindset is so essential and the base all growth sprouts from. If your mindset is telling you what you need to do and you’re not getting there find someone who can give you a plan to follow to get going and stay on track.

Find your footing even if it doesn’t look like the way you planned. You can be capable of finding your footing on your own just fine and ask for help you keep you going.

 

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