1. Lock them up.

2. Put them in a fenced area, no bigger than 5′ x 5′.

3. Stay awake all night to clean. 

4. Live in a house likes it’s moving day. Either have everything in a box, or better yet, just have nothing at all. 

5. Just don’t. 

But seriously. I am coming off of two weeks of waking to the filthiest kitchen and still scratching my head wondering what I am doing wrong. I just can’t keep on top of it. 

And then, after I make some delicious steel cut oats for my children who are at the table “eating” I try to get the dishes done. One child is using every excuse in the book of why she is above eating the oatmeal, while the other is standing on the chair, spoon feeding himself, the dogs, the chair, the floor, and his PJs. So I assess, threaten, clean and try to continue the dishes. 

As I’m trying to do the dishes, they start to pull everything off the bottom shelf of the pantry. I weigh my options and figure, who cares? It’s keeping them busy. I can kind of see the bottom of the sink so I know the home stretch is coming. 

Then a heavy canned food item falls on a toe. 

I assess, kiss boo-boos, and give them an empty box and some washable markers. I go back to doing the dishes. I hear some arguing so I go to check and see pen marks all over children and carpet. I assess, wash and then have to hold my youngest who is now incapable of walking.

I start the dishes again, one handed (love challenging myself!) and hope that everything stays calm for just like 2 minutes. All I’m asking for. 

I hear the sudden panic of a need for a potty and running to the bathroom. Then I hear the sound of an “uh oh”. There is pee on the carpet and part of the bathroom floor. I sing the potty song through clenched teeth, reminding my child that we “…better get to the tooooilet, BEFORE it comes oooooout!” She smiles. 

I assess, grab the Lysol wipes, clean and go back to the kitchen. The dishes have grown. I swear. And here is the thing. I now also have to shampoo my carpets (from the pens and pee), which means I have to vacuum first (since having two labs requires constant vacuuming), which means the dishes will have to be abandoned. 

If the rest of the day, which is like any other day, goes how the morning has gone, I’m guessing I won’t be too successful in getting these tasks done. So, my tips above you see for keeping a clean house make perfect sense. 

I assess, consider if 8:30am is too early for a glass of wine, pour another cup of coffee and just sit on the couch. I mean, the dishes, dog hair, pen and pee are just going to have to wait.

I meant sweat. I meant sweet. No, I meant swear.

I really don’t swear. Blame it on the Catholic upbringing or just the fact that I prefer not to, because I instantly feel guilty afterward (also, blame that on the Catholic upbringing), but swearing has always been something that only happens when I’m overly stressed, panicked, and some type of emergency may be happening. Or, as I like to call it: Mother(f*ing)hood.

It’s been an eye-opening thing to realize how little you actually knew about yourself once you become a mother. And different sides of you, or I suppose just a new you, start to evolve as you go through different seasons of motherhood. New mom, mom to multiples, mom to toddlers, mom to many…So sometimes, you pick up a new habit that you maybe don’t love.

I don’t love swearing. And, just to be clear, I definitely do NOT mean my kids make me swear at them. Never. Not okay, ever, in any circumstance. I just mean in general. It’s like I’ve become too tired to sensor myself.

There have been far too many days of loud cry-screaming, determined will to not eat a single bite of that food you just slaved over, hitting/biting/punching/squeezing/licking/holding-beyond-will moments that have made the little sailor come out of me. Some mom’s handle these times differently. I think some days I handle things differently.

But my go-to seems to be a little bit of laughter at just how insane it all is, and a little more cussing to somehow bring me through it. It’s like its a deep breathing exercise, but instead of a deep breath, its a sighed “sh*t” instead. It helps on those days where I’m also the “angry mom” and snapping those damn five hairbands off my wrist faster than I can say “sh*t happens”.

Can we all just agree that being a parent is really challenging when the kids are little? It’s precious, moves too fast, not fast enough, and all happens when we are also trying to figure ourselves out. It’s exhausting, labor-intensive, and really f*ing hard.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS. I’m not going to apologize this time for how long it’s been since my last blog post and make a big deal about it (okay, maybe I will passive-aggressively) oh, and hi Kate!! ?

Does the title make you think six months ago I was in prison? It’s part true. Prison doesn’t have to be tangibly “behind bars”. It can mean trapped, inescapable, desperate, lonely, scary…And many other things. For me, my prison was post partum depression. And I’m proud to say I’ve been going to weekly therapy for six months, and I’m slowly doing much better.

I should have never gotten post partum depression. 

I always wanted to be a mom. Go to college, marry the boy, make the babies. That was the plan and I was going to be amazing at it. I was going to find perfect peace and joy in being a mother. So much so, I knew I wanted to quit my successful career and stay home with my babies. Sounds ideal, right??

After my first child, I continued to work full time. I had zero signs of post partum with her. Not while home with her right after she was born, not four months later when I tearfully dropped her off at daycare full time, and not as she became a noticeably strong-willed toddler. I was happy, challenged, successful, proud and joyful.

But I still had dreams of staying home with my babies.

It was what my mom did. It was what my sister did. It was what I should do. I even felt God tell me in a moment of stillness that I should stay home, before I was pregnant with my second.

So I obeyed. We set things up so I could stay home with the kids. I was going to start this new lifestyle the day my son was to be born. Crash course. With a strong-willed toddler staying home now too. With a new baby. While recovering from a C-section. I’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. It’s great. I’m being obedient.

Things turned fairly quickly for me. My sunny disposition, faded to confusion, loneliness, stress, anxiety, fear, incapability, overwhelm, anger…(I had a long list of symptoms, I’ll spare every detail). I will say, I never felt suicidal or felt I wanted to harm my children (Thank God). I wrestled with all of this for far too long on my own. Spiraling deeper and deeper into my symptoms, barely functioning day to day.

I made the call. 

I needed out. I needed someone professionally trained to help a person through this to pull me out. I called a helpline through my insurance to talk with them. To find help. To find a therapist. It happened quickly and efficiently. I started going every Tuesday.

Tuesday’s became my favorite day. Something I really look forward to. It’s the day I get to focus on ME. Something, I’ve learned, that is imperative to making this whole mom-sanity thing work. Something, I’ve also learned, that I struggle to do. That I know a lot of mom’s do. Everyone, everything, comes first. Then mom. But there is never enough time left for mom. So we must make time.

Therapy isn’t perfect. Some sessions I leave more confused, some sessions I leave frustrated that I didn’t get where I wanted. Some sessions I’m irritated with my therapists advice or homework.

Finding yourself is a long and hard process. Coming out of depression is a painful and tedious process. 

But I’m here to say that it is a process so absolutely worth taking. Even if you’re not sure what is going on with you, but you just “feel off”. Go talk to someone. Take the time to figure things out. You may come out of it on your own over time, but that isn’t always the best road to take. Push the pride aside, and get the help you deserve.

**If you need help, specifically post partum depression help, or know someone you think may need help, please visit http://www.postpartum.net/ and reach out to your local helpline.**

 

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There have been quite a few times in the last months of my blog-silence that I have thought “Oh I should write about that…” or “That’s a good tagline, write that down somewhere…” all to the dismay of instantly being distracted by another thought that spirals into a fury of more important to-do’s; “Did I feed the children?? Are they wearing coats? Is their coat too puffy to be strapped into their car seat with them? Should I take a CPR class? You never know when you need to know the Heimlich…” This all ends with the overwhelming feeling that I am just not getting enough done.

I’ve also spent the last few months incessantly reading through random articles, blogs, scrolling through Instagram and skimming Facebook to try to inhale better parenting/wife/friend/cleaning/organizing/designing/DIYing/dieting tips, hoping that just by reading these things or staring at a picture long enough of the perfect kitchen, it will somehow transform my own 70s shamble.

I took a long break from writing for many reasons. None of which were really intentional. I love to write. It is freeing for me. It allows my never ending trail of thought to S L O W  D O W N for a few minutes. It allows me to remember how to spell. (Not having time to read books or write has made me worried I’ve become dyslexic, just one more thing to worry about). But mostly, I’ve been lost as to what I want my voice to be here. I’ve been so consumed by the thought that I must find my “niche” in this blogging world, that I’ve forgotten that it shouldn’t really matter. I need to write – its therapeutic and that’s all that really matters right now. It is a space for ME. There is very little space for me in my life right now it feels, so this is a space that I can come to and just let go.

Sometimes I want to share something that we’ve made, sometimes I want to share a recipe like I know how to cook (I assure you, I absolutely do not), and sometimes (most times) I want to write about my life as it is currently. The struggles, survival and real times so that maybe someone else reading can say “YAAASSS girl, me too!!” and I can make them grin a little and be thankful this madness is not just happening to them.

BEING is hard. Being a wife is hard, being a mom is hard, being a mom to a strong-willed FOUR year old is hard. And the boy. ALL BOY. Smacking heads, black eyes, mischievous grin, eating playdoh and crayons like he’s starving but chucking all properly edible food, hugs and cuddles so you melt and forget all the above mentioned things… Being a stay at home mom and not working in the corporate world is hard. Being someone that can’t even jump out of the car to do that one tiny errand in the store is hard, since the thought of wrangling two kids in and out of the car just to pick up prescription makes me want to gouge my eyes out. (Too intense?)

I am working on finding time to be still. To be able to calm my ever running mind to a very quiet place so that I can recharge. Do you know how hard it is to quiet a mind that seems to be screaming things you need to write down, check off, clean, do, do, do, do….??

Today’s blog post is one of exhaustion. I want to jump back in the saddle, to free myself by writing. I apologize in advance if you were hoping to find another DIY project…today, and for the next couple times, it will be mostly about my life and how I am getting through it.

Oh heyyyy! Have you missed me? Its been a rough few months, heck year, and my motivation and creativity have been seriously lacking. We are all in the sick house right now and by some miracle my son slept the whole night through last night since the day he was born. That’s right. I haven’t slept an entire night of sleep (consecutive 6+ hours) for an entire. Year. Straight. 

It’s a wonder what a whole night of sleep does! You guys, I sewed today. With my sewing machine. The sewing machine has been sitting out for months, as I thought having it out might motivate me. My duvet cover has been sitting out next to it for months, also trying to trigger my urge to do something. Anything. Besides everything. 

I love our duvet cover. It was one of those amazing Costco finds that came and went faster than that big Seattle storm we were supposed to have last month. That didn’t happen. I wrote about this duvet cover much earlier in the blog. However much I love the look of this duvet cover, the way it shimmies down the bed, and the actual down comforter comes alive and gets trapped in the bottom left corner every night didn’t really produce feelings of love in me. It wasn’t unconditional, let’s say that. 

So, today I finally conquered the duvet project I had imagined months, maybe even a year, ago. I made a little loop-and-tie system for both my duvet cover and down comforter that I actually don’t know why isn’t standard on all of these items already. Super easy. Cheap. Just takes a little time and effort. Something that I have had zero of the past year, but today. Today it came. While brief, it’s done. Thank ya Jesus. 

I used some white 1/4in. double fold bias tape. I didn’t know that it comes unstiched, so I put a single stitch down the fold of this to create a thicker, stronger piece. 

I sewed a loop onto each top corner and the top middle of the inside of the duvet cover and then sewed two tie straps to each corner and top middle of the comforter. Simple. 


I tied three knots to secure the strings to the corresponding loop, and voila! I’m so ready for not having to tug and fluff and wrestle a down comforter in the duvet all night. Now to put the seeing machine away….