The Space Between

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

Tag Archives: Mom Life

Sweet, simple faith.

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Every night, my husband and I pray with our daughters. One of us usually starts and Audrey jumps in and asks if she can pray instead. It usually goes something like this, “Dear God, thank you for mommy and daddy. Thank you for Audy and Quinn. Thank you for Dez. Thanks for my friends. Thank you for Sofia the First. Thank you for our IMG_7857blessings. In Jesus’ name, Amen!” Sometimes it’s super short and sometimes it lasts for minutes. She will usually add in thanking God for MawMaw & PawPaw and Nana & Pop or her aunts and uncles and cousins and other family members’ pets. I remember very specifically when we were praying for someone to get better she prayed, “Please make her all better because she’s sick.” What if it was actually that easy to pray like that? What if we actually believed that the Lord could make someone sick better?

Childlike faith. We’re called to live like little children and have faith like a child, but do we actually do it? Do we truly believe the Lord can heal like a momma’s kiss on a boo boo? Do we thank God daily for all of the things we are blessed with? Is it difficult? Do we feel silly? Do we think it matters? I think we could learn a lot about prayer and faith by watching and listening to children. It’s so sweet and simple. I think as we get older, we become calloused to things because we go through so many trials and the world is so full of hurt. We become less likely to believe in things we can’t see or experience firsthand. Maybe we begin to take things for granted. Maybe we don’t see the miracles and provision in our own life. Maybe we don’t see the little blessings we are given every day. We become so jaded that we don’t believe the Lord can perform miracles. Miracles are happening around us every day, we just need to change our perspective a little bit. My sweet three-year-old sees the world in such a different way than I do. She thanks God for everything, and I do mean everything. A few weeks ago she thanked God for cheese. She thanks God for the park. Imagine if we had gratitude for everything in our life? Even something as simple as the park or cheese. Imagine what our life would look like. Our lives would fill up with so much gratitude and contentment. As we enter into the season of giving and thankfulness, I challenge you to have faith like a child. Thank the Lord for the little things, pray for others, ask for miracles. We just might be able to change the world.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

A real, honest and raw article about anxiety. 

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Please let me preface that this is unbelievably hard for me to write about and admit. Anxiety is real and terrible and it affects more people than you could ever imagine. Some of what I’m about to say is going to sound crazy but I know there’s some of you out there who can relate which is why I’m willing to share part of my journey.

I haven’t always struggled with anxiety. I’ve always been kind of shy and introverted but I used to be extremely carefree. Things didn’t bother me. I could drive without breaking a sweat. I could pretty much do anything. But something over the last 5 years completely changed me. I’m not the same person I used to be. Let me tell you a few things that anxiety has done to me.

Anxiety has…

  • Made me stay at home instead of going out with friends.
  • Led me to question my marriage and if I should even be married to my husband.
  • Made me question if I was a good mother.
  • Made me wonder if I’m capable of snapping and hurting my children.
  • Caused me (in the past) to be an extreme people pleaser.
  • Made me question if my own parents and husband even liked me.
  • Made me wonder if this world would be a better place if I wasn’t in it.
  • Made me think I’m stupid and incompetent.
  • Never allowed me to completely let my guard down in relationships.
  • Never allowed me to completely be myself in any situation, ever.
  • Forced me to be on guard no matter where I am – anyone that walks in the park or by my house is out to get me or my kids.
  • Caused me to lose friendships.
  • Caused many fights and arguments.
  • Caused me to question if God really exists and why He would put me on this earth just to fail.
  • Made me question if being a wife and mom is truly what I’m meant to do.

This is actually a really short list compared to what all I’ve dealt with. If you’ve never struggled with anxiety, this probably seems absolutely crazy toIMG_4112 you. But if you have, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Anxiety is ugly and mean and it brings out the worst versions of us. This is a topic I’ve never really talked about. I finally found the courage to talk to my husband about it a couple of years ago. He was extremely supportive and caring. Another topic that people are afraid of…I struggle with intrusive thoughts. Thoughts that I never would’ve imagined I’d be capable of thinking. If I’m carrying my baby, I’ll have a vision of me falling with her. If I’m driving, I’ll imagine what it’d be like to get into a car accident. There have been times that I’ve been so unhappy with the way things were, or rather, my brain was telling me I was unhappy, that I wondered how everyone would handle it if I just ran away. Now, let me be perfectly clear here – I’ve never felt capable of ever actually running away (or hurting my children, for that matter) but there are many times that I can’t control my thoughts. If I read an article or news story, my mind will wander and create these thoughts, then they creep in and consume me. I have to completely shift my mind and not think about them and even then, they still loom. I’ve questioned if being married is truly what I want. I’ve questioned if my girls would be better off without me. There have been times where my brain is telling me, “That person doesn’t like you.” And I believe it, even if there isn’t any proof or reason to believe that to be truth. I’ve thought it about my husband and even my own parents. I always think people are mad at me and I read way too much into stupid little things. I have made myself literally physically ill over things completely out of my control. And anxiety is to blame. It’s caused crippling fear and terrible thoughts. It’s caused me to lash out over minute things that nobody would ever understand. And as the freak out is happening, I can feel it not being me but I can’t stop it. I can’t control it.

Over the past year, I decided to face my anxiety head on. I was done. It had consumed me for so long and I wanted my life back. It has taken me many steps and lots of prayer and conversations but I feel more like myself every day. I still have days that are very tough but I have some days that don’t consume me. I caIMG_4113n finally drive without feeling sick to my stomach constantly. I can take my kids to the park or go for a walk without
constantly looking over my shoulder for a serial killer. I now greet at church without
breaking a sweat – BIG step but I’m doing it. I can leave my kiddos with grandparents and other family without leaving a schedule or a huge long list and without feeling guilty. The girls and I go to the store without my husband regularly, whereas I wouldn’t even go by myself when I was pregnant. My husband and I fight a lot less and I’m able to let more things go. The past year has been a complete rollercoaster of emotions and working through this. I’m nowhere near close to overcoming anxiety and I honestly don’t think I ever will but it’s gotten better.

 I know exactly what you’re feeling. Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD or some other form of mental illness, I want you to know you’re not alone. It’s pretty common for anxiety and OCD to be linked and sometimes depression can sneak in there especially post-partum. I’ve dealt with all of those. I had severe post-partum anxiety (PPA) after my three year old was born and mild post-partum depression (PPD). I’ve always struggled with OCD, but that’s a topic for another time. I want to urge you to seek help if you’ve been dealing with any of these feelings. There are healthy ways to deal with them and while they may not be curable, they can be manageable. Whether it’s PPD or PPA or even just anxiety/depression you’ve always dealt with, please seek a healthcare professional. Talk to a pastor, talk to a friend, a doctor, message/email me. Seek help. You’re not alone in this journey. You are seen and loved, even if your anxiety is telling you otherwise.

If you need to talk to someone, here are some resources available:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
National Postpartum Depression Hotline – 1-800-PPD-MOMS
Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-SUICIDE

Living in doubt.

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This is going to be extremely candid and not very well rehearsed as I’m writing this from my phone while nursing my 8 month old. I’ve felt the Lord pushing me to write this for a few days now and I’m finally doing it very causally and quickly. I’m praying the Lord paves the way and these words are truly from Him.

I’ve officially been a stay at home mom for two months now. I’ve been struggling big time with only living on one income. I love shopping and spending money and I love serving others and being able to help others out. I like nice things and coffee and smell good things. I’ve been struggling with not being able to willy nilly buy whatever I want. Talk about selfish. We have a beautiful home, beautiful children, beautiful things. Of course there’s things we want to improve or buy new but that’s not a reality for us right now. Why am I so focused on the things I want rather than what I already have? Why do we do this? I want. I want. I want.

I started applying for jobs last week. Brandon and I talked and we came to the conclusion that God was just trying to teach us a lesson about money and being grateful for what we have. Yes, that’s it. We’ll be different this time. No, no we won’t. We’re still spending left and right and haven’t learned anything. I told my mom I was applying for jobs and she told me that it was just a case of the “I wants.” She was right. I had a very eye opening conversation with a friend who is in a similar situation last night. She’s struggling with some of the same things. But she’s trusting the Lord to provide and they’re doing everything they can to make this work for them. She told me we’re always chasing something. We’ll always want more or new or different. I’m currently wondering what I’m going to do come fall and I can’t spend $200 on Bath & Body Works fall candles like I do every year. Is it even fall if your house doesn’t smell like pumpkins or fresh leaves? Maybe not. Just kidding, yes it is. And at the end of the day, I’m staying at home with my kids for my kids. Do you think they’re going to remember what our house smelled like? Will the pumpkin smell be their fondest memory growing up? It might be. But probably not.

I’ve spent the last month doubting God’s plan for our family. One of my dear friends received a text from me at 2am one night because I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop crying over this. She encouraged me to pray. I’m truly grieving the life we used to live but I truly believe (and am working on living it out) that the Lord has a great plan for us. I may get a job soon. I also might not. But I’ve had some strong convictions lately and if it does happen, it’ll be for the right reasons. I don’t know what the future holds. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a God crystal ball? I’d love to see the future but that doesn’t leave much room for faith, does it?

Today I’m praying for anyone living in doubt of what the Lord has planned for you. Having faith can be so hard but I’m letting Jeremy 29:11 ring true.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬

Such powerful words. The Lord has great plans for our lives. Maybe you’re in a season where you just don’t feel that. Hold tight. It’s coming. He will always provide and in the midst of the good and the bad – He remains constant and good. Shake that doubt away and hold close to this promise He made to us. He has us. He has me. He has you. He won’t let any of His children slip through the cracks. I know it’s hard but rest assured this is only a season. I’m praying for you, friend.

To my tribe.

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My momma tribe…first, let me say you guys are AMAZING. I never could’ve imagined the bond we’d have and the friendships I’d develop. Right after I had Audrey, my mom told me to search on Facebook for a group for babies born in the same month as Audrey. Sure enough, there it was. It changed my entire life. This group of women has been the most loving, encouraging, supportive and relatable group I ever could’ve imagined. I’ve found some of my very best friends in this group. There are a few I talk to on a daily basis.

I remember when my 2.5 year old was about 7 or 8 months old, she got this awful stomach flu that had her throwing up for WEEKS. We ended up in the ER, we had numerous doctor appointments, different medications, all kinds of things. My mom tribe was there. They helped me, advised me, encouraged me, prayed for me, they were there for me. Some of these women have 4 or 5 kids, some are nurses, some run daycares and all of them helped me without making me feel like a new mom or like I didn’t know what I was doing.

When I was featured on Scary Mommy, they shared it in one of our spinoff groups. The love and support within this group of women is so amazing.


When I got pregnant with my youngest, they were the ones chomping at the bit to find out if she was going to be a boy or a girl. They messaged me, posted on Facebook, Snapchatted me – they did what friends do. They celebrated with me when we found out she was a girl and they helped me decide on her middle name. When I had her, they checked on me constantly and got worried when they didn’t hear from me in a while. I couldn’t ask for better friends.

This is a group of almost 1500 women and I’m telling you, we’re a family. We’ve raised money for women in need, sent meals to new moms, we’ve prayed for each other, some of the moms have met in person, we’ve helped buy groceries or sent formula to moms who needed a little help, we’ve sent each other Christmas cards and birthday gifts. I could go on and on about all the incredible things that have come out of this group.

I think I’m most thankful for the friendships and the community that has been created. Through my darkest of days, my mom tribe has been there. They’ve celebrated the highs and walked me through the lows. They continue to encourage, love and support me. They love my children and ask about my husband. I’d be lost without them. The friendships I’ve found in this group will last me a lifetime. This group of women has been the most incredible blessing to me and my family.

Thank you, dear friends. My life would not be the same without you. I need you. I love you.

Cloth Diapering Tutorial

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When I started researching to begin cloth diapering I was super overwhelmed with all the info that was out there and with the estimated starter cost being $500-750, I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to do it! I talked to a couple friends who encouraged me and helped me figure out what to get. Everything I read suggests getting 30-45 cloth diapers to start your collection. (WHAT?!) Now, this is very much dependent on how often you want to do laundry. I ordered 19 diapers and I do a load every day or every other day. I also got 24 additional inserts that are ruched because they hug the body better than the flat inserts. I use cloth wipes so I also ordered 45 reusable wipes. I got 19 cloth diapers with inserts, 24 ruched inserts, a wet bag and 45 cloth wipes for $211.86. That’s AMAZING and so much cheaper than I originally thought. I did the math and between the cost of disposable diapers and wipes, the cloth diapers and wipes pay for themselves in 8 months. That’s CRAZY! We’re 6 months away from our investment paying itself off. So cool!

Cloth Diaper Dos –

  • Wash all diapers and inserts at least three times before using them. This helps them become more absorbent so you have less leaks.
  • Change them every two hours (with the exception of nighttime) or they’ll start to leak and smell.
  • Double up inserts at night to avoid leaking.
  • Buy a wet bag. This is vital for going out and about.
  • Rinse them out after each use.
  • Use a free and clear detergent.
  • Use dryer balls to help with static. I even put a couple drops of lavender on them to help them smell good AND help sooth baby’s bottom.

Cloth Diaper Don’ts –

  • DON’T use fabric softener or dryer sheets. This starches them and they become less absorbent.
  • DON’T use detergent with fragrances.
  • DON’T use bleach. This breaks them down more and they won’t last as long.
  • DON’T leave used ones laying around the house all day during the summer. They’ll smell. I speak from experience.
  • DON’T wash them with hot water every time, this will wear them out faster.
  • DON’T dry them on high heat. This also wears them out faster.

Helpful Tips –

  • I wash them in cold the majority of the time with an extra rinse. Every once in a while I wash them on hot just so they can get really good and clean and kill any bacteria.
  • I dry them on low/medium. Never on high as that wears them out faster.
  • I rinse my diapers and inserts after each use and soak them in water mixed with ½ scoop of OxiClean all day.
  • I put ½ scoop of OxiClean in each load of cloth diapers and add an extra rinse cycle.
  • Some people wash the diapers alone, some people wash them with everything. I only wash them with small items like the girls’ clothing. I don’t wash them with blankets or sheets or anything big. I generally try to wash them by themselves but sometimes will throw some of the girls’ clothes in if it’s not a full load.
  • I’ve tried three different brands – Nora’s Nursery, SimplyLife, and Mama Koala. Mama Koala is my favorite. I really do like them all though. They’re all great quality and pretty affordable. Nora’s Nursery sends 7 diapers with inserts and a wet bag which is awesome. Mama Koala’s are super soft and so easy to stuff. They seem the most comfy because they’re so soft! Plus, Mama Koala has a Facebook page and they do giveaways all the time and they let you vote on what patterns you want for their next bundle! Such a cool, fun company.

Cloth diapering can seem really overwhelming, expensive and difficult when you’re researching it. Hopefully this helped some moms feel a little more at ease if they were considering making the switch. We’ve really enjoyed it. It’s SO good for the environment. Plus, their little baby booties look so cute in the adorable patterns. I hope this was helpful to someone! Happy diapering!

The power of essential oils.

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Before you roll your eyes and think this is another promotion post. Let me preface by saying that I don’t sell essential oils and I never have. I probably never will. I just really, REALLY believe in the magic within them.

At 6 months old, my oldest started suffering from terrible night terrors. We tried EVERYTHING. Putting her to bed later, putting her to bed earlier, white noise, night light, we tried baths, we tried waking her up, we tried taking her outside, etc. NOTHING worked. Her night terrors still came every night and she would scream and be incoherent for at least an hour, most of the time longer. I had a friend recommend diffusing lavender. I kindly thanked her and went on my way not thinking it’d actually work. You guys. IT WORKED. She stopped having night terrors. She did have one when we were on vacation a few weeks after the lavender but I blame that on the time change and sleep deprivation. She hasn’t had a night terror since! That was two years ago.

That got me hooked. I started researching a little more and asking people about them. I have horrible anxiety (I suffered awful postpartum anxiety after my first was born) so my mother in law gave me a grounding blend and a joyful blend to diffuse and wear together. I can’t tell you how much it helped me. Skeptics will cry placebo affect and maybe that’s the case but I honestly don’t care. The point is, I felt better. Now I’m not saying my anxiety went away completely or that I didn’t have bad days – the oils aren’t a cure all but they helped tremendously. During my second pregnancy I was SO nauseas. It was terrible. I carried peppermint with me and anytime I felt pukey, I inhaled my peppermint deeply twice with 10 seconds in between each inhale. Did my nausea go away completely? No. But it kept it at bay and tolerable! This past year was the first time I used a protective (a germ be gone) blend constantly and none of us got the flu!!! We don’t do flu shots and we all stayed relatively healthy this year with the exception of a mild cold. AND we had a newborn during cold and flu season and she stayed healthy other than a runny nose here and there. We wore it, diffused it, sprayed it, we did everything. This stuff WORKS. Maybe you still don’t believe me, that’s fine. I have plenty more stories to share but I’m only going to tell this last one. My 7 month old started the beginning stages of night terrors a month ago. Dread and anxiety set in because I know how awful they are. She wasn’t completely unresponsive or incoherent like my oldest was but just screaming and still asleep so I started diffusing lavender. Guess what. They stopped! She was still whimpering in her sleep every once in a while so I start diffusing a stronger restful blend and now she sleeps so great! It’s AMAZING.

I know essential oils don’t work for everyone and that’s okay! They’ve worked wonders for our family. Maybe you’ve been considering trying them out and this was the push you needed. I don’t really think one brand is better than another – I obviously have my specific brand I use but I think any brand – DoTERRA, Young Living, Eden’s Garden, Plant Therapy, etc. is fine. Just please don’t buy them from a grocery store. Only buy 100% pure essential oils. Do your research before you buy. Enjoy the oily life! It’s completely changed my entire world.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I do not claim that essential oils are to be used in place of medicine or medical treatment. I do not ingest them and I do not suggest that you do. I am not affiliated with any company aside from purchasing them. Please consult your physician and/or do in depth, research from a reliable source before diving into the world of essential oils. They are wonderful and helpful but can be dangerous when used incorrectly especially with young children. Most oils need to be used with a carrier oil when applied topically. Again, please do in depth research before using essential oils.

Below are linked pictures of my favorite oily items from Amazon! Just click the pictures and it’ll take you there. (Affiliated links.)

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.