The Space Between

For the women trying to live life in the space between it all.

Tag Archives: coffee life

Self love and all that.

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Lately I’ve been recognizing the importance of self love and self care. I’m realizing that although those two things go hand in hand, they are far from the same thing. I’m also realizing lately how important it is to have someone on your side, supporting you and encouraging you to practice self care. My husband is a rockstar. Seriously. An absolute rockstar. He steps up daily and helps in anyway he can. Lately he’s been encouraging me to take time for myself and leave him with our four, yes FOUR, kids. I almost always offer to take one kiddo with me but he always tells me no and that I need time to myself. He has been fully on board with me getting my nails done regularly because if my nails are done, I feel complete. He encouraged me to find a babysitter once a week so I can have a day to myself. And let me tell you, hiring a sitter for four kids isn’t exactly cheap. He’s been fully supportive of it all. I have had to completely let go of the guilt I’m feeling because I really feel like a better mom when I have a break. I have longed to be a stay at home mom since we first had kids and because of my husband, that has been a possibility for me for the last year. I am so thankful that I have this opportunity and I’m so thankful my husband works so hard to make it happen.

I have really been working on dropping the guilt associated with leaving my kids. I’m a mom. It’s my job to be there and raise them everyday. This is why we decided for me to stay home. Why should I get a break? |Disclaimer: This is not a working mom shame post. I was a working mom for 2.5 years. I get it. I’m not in anyway shaming moms who leave their kiddos with someone to provide for their families. This is about me and my own personal issues and guilt so please hear that, first and foremost. I have so much respect for working moms. I sometimes feel guilty about that and wonder if my family would be better off if I did work so please, please, hear that above anything else.| I sometimes wonder if people will judge me for needing a one day a week break from my kids. But I’ve worked really hard to drop that feeling because what people think about me is none of my business.

The past few weeks I’ve worked really hard on developing self love and good self care habits. It’s so hard. It’s hard to look in the mirror and see my giant bags and tired eyes. It’s hard to put myself first some days when I have so many other things and people pulling me in different directions. I have felt extremely spread thin most days. However, I have to remember that those giant bags were up late with a baby and the tired eyes will get rest again some day and I’ll long for these days again. So for now, I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the mess and the chaos. I’ll embrace the dry shampooed hair and yesterday’s clothes. I’ll embrace the crumbs on the floor and the van that will never be clean again. img_8094.jpg

“Self care can be as simple as taking 10 minutes a day to read a book or enjoy your coffee while it’s still hot. Self love can be as simple as telling yourself you are worthy everyday.”

I’ll embrace it and remember that this momma bear gets up and fights for her kids daily. This momma loves herself and the woman God made her. She will love her husband and her kids but also work on taking care of herself so she’s not trying to pour from an empty cup. She will praise the Lord daily and thank Him for all the incredible things He’s provided in this life. Self love is pushing yourself everyday to be better than you were yesterday but also understanding it’s okay to make mistakes. Self care can be as simple as taking 10 minutes a day to read a book or enjoy your coffee while it’s still hot. Self love can be as simple as telling yourself you are worthy everyday. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be intentional. I urge you to talk to your support system if you’re struggling with this. And if you don’t have a support system, find one. It’s vital for your well being, sweet momma! And always remember, you are incredible and so worthy of self care and self love.

For the exhausted momma.

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You are super mom. You run around all day, cleaning up after little hands and little mouths and you don’t ever have time to care for yourself. The mornings go so fast then all of a sudden it’s lunch time and you’re making lunch and feeding the baby then it’s everyone down for naps and when you finally collapse onto the couch and you feel your body relax for a split second you realize you didn’t eat lunch. You look around and realize everything you worked so hard for the last 6 hours was undone just as quickly as you did it. I’ve heard the analogy cleaning up with kids is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. While a very gross analogy, it’s accurate and it makes me laugh just thinking about that thought put into action.

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Actual photo evidence of my messy kitchen that I swear was JUST SPOTLESS. How does it get SO messy SO fast? 

You spend your days cleaning and organizing toys and books and unloading the dishwasher just to load it again and then you do it all again the next day. Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. You sweep and mop the floor just for a tiny helper to spill applesauce everywhere. You change your sheets just for the baby to spit up on them within 5 minutes. You dust and you vacuum and you do it again. You finally get all the laundry done! It really happened, all the baskets are empty! For about 5 seconds then someone tosses something in and you start the pile all over again. You change a diaper just for it to be pooped in immediately. All. Day. Long.

Everything you do all day just keeps getting undone. It’s exhausting. Why do you keep doing it? Because you are momma. You are a superstar. You are amazing. You are exhausted but you wouldn’t have it any other way. You do it all for everyone and you keep redoing it just as soon as it’s undone. You go, super mom. You keep redoing the undone things. You were made for this. Nobody else can do this like you can. You may be exhausted but you’re still rocking it. At the end of the day, your kiddos may remember that momma was exhausted but above everything, they’ll remember that momma did it all. She was exhausted, but she did it all. And she did it all for them.

Can we just all be super moms?

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I’m a chewy, granola, crunchy, silky, helicopter, unicorn mom.

Oh, the labels. There are SO many ways to parent your child nowadays. I’ve been a mom for a mere 2.5 years and so much has changed since my first was born. I feel like we so easily label moms as something and then that’s who they are. You’re either crunchy or silky. What about those of us in between?

I formula fed my first and am breastfeeding my second. That alone makes me scrunchy. What? It’s all so confusing. I make my own baby food, except prunes – prunes, I buy. I cloth diaper and use cloth wipes – yay environment! I baby wear. I don’t co-sleep. I vaccinate. I use essential oils (a lot!) but I also use Tylenol and ibuprofen. We buy a lot of organic food but we also eat Goldfish. We extended rear face. I chase my kid around the playground with sunscreen and hand sanitizer, reapplying as needed. No shame in my pale, germ-free game. I combo fed both of my kids with purees AND baby led weaning. *gasp* No! Yes, I did. It worked great for us. We play outside a lot but we also have a lot of movie days. We do a lot of crafts but we also sometimes do nothing. I try to cook all meals from scratch but sometimes we have a frozen pizza. I had an epidural for both deliveries – I don’t regret it at all. I really wanted to have a home birth but my husband said no…and as it turned out if I had, I probably would’ve died. I don’t spank but sometimes I yell. I count to three a lot and say, “Use your big girl words” way more than anyone ever should.

My point is that NO mom is the same. Everybody raises their kiddos differently. These mom labels are great and all but we all really just need to do what’s best for our families and our kiddos. I think the fact that I fit into six different mom “categories” proves that. And these are just the first ones I could think of. I’m sure there are more. It doesn’t matter where you fit in, or if you even fit into any at all. What matters is you’re doing the best you can and what’s best for you and your sweet angels. Just keep being a super mom. That’s the only label that matters. Keep going, momma! You’re doing great.

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For when you tried your best.

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Oh sweet momma, today you rocked it. You kept the kids busy. You didn’t turn on the TV once. You painted, you danced, you played doctor, you played with playdough, you colored a card for someone who’s sick, you let them paint some more, you kept your cool, you didn’t let the series of unfortunate events get to you. Thing after thing happened but you didn’t break. Not today, Satan. Nothing seems to go right but you’re trying your hardest to make the best of it. But you’re only human and you’re only one person so naturally, it gets to you. Time for a mini meltdown. Or a huge one. Doesn’t matter.

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Why do I even try? Why is this so hard? Why can’t things just go how I want them to for once? Why does it seem like the universe is against me? Why can’t this just be easy?

 I have had those days. Trust me, I’ve had them. However, tomorrow is a new day. You get to start over again! Looking back, I know we had hard days when my second was first born and even my first was born, but I truly cannot remember the details of them. I can’t remember a specific bad day. I remember the good ones, oh do I remember the good ones! But the bad ones? Not so much. This is just a moment. An hour. A day. A week. A season. It always gets better. Sip on some coffee, snuggle with your kiddos and know that tomorrow will be better. Each day holds new hope and promises. You’ve got this.

You are capable. You are amazing. You are super mom. You are radiant. You are a rock star. (You totally rock!) You are incredible. You’ve. Got. This.

My first week as a stay at home mom was a nightmare.

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I’m going to preface this by saying, I’m SO thankful I get to stay at home with my kids. It’s such an answer to many prayers and truly a blessing for us. However, I expected our first week to be sunshine and rainbows and it wasn’t. Not. Even. Close. It doesn’t even make any sense because I stayed home before, I just had additional kids to watch. You’d think it’d be easier! Nope. It wasn’t. My kids lost their routine. They lost their friends. Now we wake up when we want, we eat when we want. We’ve been doing the same thing every day for a long time and now everything is changing. Why did I decide to use this huge adjustment and transition period to potty train my two year old? Apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment because holy moly it was the worst idea I’ve ever had.

It’ll be so great. I’ll be able to clean my house and go outside all the time and potty train Audrey and have dinner on the table when my husband comes home. The laundry will always be caught up and I’ll be able to meal prep and make gourmet breakfasts. What was I thinking? Why did I think this would be easy?

Audrey is a mess because she’s trying to adjust to a completely new day to day life and Quinn has done nothing but scream and cry all day every day since Monday. Genius idea to schedule 6 month shots that first week. Good job, Alli.

My poor husband didn’t come home to a clean house or a meal on the table or a happy wife. He came home to a tornado of a house after Hurricane Alli came through trying to do her home cooked meals and a shell of a very defeated wife. I haven’t even had time to write a blog post until now because I’ve been so busy adjusting and figuring things out.

I’m going to share a screenshot of a text my amazing husband sent me and hopefully he doesn’t get mad – just kidding, he won’t! I’m so thankful for his encouragement and support. He has made this difficult transition much easier with his encouraging words and being willing to clean our disaster house after his long work days.

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Can we all sing together? What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. Good job, guys! But seriously, how awesome is he?! I’m such a lucky lady!

Stay at home moms, I don’t know how you do it! We just finished up week 2 and it was much better but not any easier. My house is still a wreck. I’m hoping the ability to balance things and juggle will come with time. It does, right?!

Why self-care is so important.

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Mom. Mommy. Mother. Momma. Madre. Mum. Mama. Mummy. So many titles for one extraordinary person.

Moms put everyone before themselves. There’s a running joke lately that talks about how many times moms have to reheat their cup of coffee because they’re too busy to drink it or they forget about it. I even saw something the other day where a mom said she just prefers it cold now – which for me, ironically, is now true.

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It’s currently 3:20pm and I’m sitting on the floor with my 5 month old next to me as I continually bounce her in the bouncer in hopes that she’ll fall asleep for the first time today. She won’t. But I’m trying anyways. I stop to type and she rings out again so I start bouncing again. The cycle continues. She’s been fed, changed, I gave her gripe water and Tylenol for her mean old teeth, all that’s left to do is sleep. But she won’t. As I sit with my naked face because I didn’t have time to put on makeup today and my “mom bun,” I look down at my unshaven legs and my leftover pink nail polish from my last pedicure that was in October of last year. Wow. I try to think of the last time I had a hair cut or color as my grays are growing with a vengeance. I can’t remember. I was pregnant at the time and my baby is now 5 months old. Yikes.

Self-care. It’s a phrase we hear a lot but do we do it a lot? I sure don’t. I tell my husband all the time I want to do this or that but I never get it done. I’m always so busy chasing my toddler or nursing the baby. I’ve “needed a hair cut” for the past few months. I even messaged a friend about getting in to get my hair done but I never followed through. Why do we always put ourselves last? As moms, we have to wear so many hats but sometimes I think we forget that we were a person before we were a mom. I was Alli long before I was Brandon’s wife or Quinn and Audrey’s mom. You may think this sounds selfish and that’s the stigma I’m trying to break. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. You can’t pour into others if your cup isn’t full. I always think of the “you have to put your oxygen mask on before helping others if the plane is going down” analogy. Have you ever tried to pour water from an empty cup? It doesn’t work very well.

Self-care doesn’t have to be a 7 hour trip to the spa or a mani/pedi or anything fancy. It can be waking up 15 minutes before your kids and drinking your coffee hot and scrolling through Facebook or reading your Bible. It can be as simple as ordering your favorite takeout or running through and grabbing a coffee. It can be as simple as doing a movie day so you can relax with your sweet kiddos. Take a break. Take a shower. Take 15 minutes for yourself every day. You deserve it. You’re worth it.