The Space Between

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

Tag Archives: two two and under

For when you tried your best.

0

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.

28279635_10160032828725483_2286892174143045796_n

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.

0

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.

IMG_9747

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?!

Mom Pressure

2

It’s 7pm the Saturday before Easter Sunday. I realized I didn’t get dresses for the girls for Easter. What kind of mom am I? Major mom fail. Ugh. I rifle through Audrey’s closet and find a cute, fancy schmancy dress in the back that a friend gave us last summer. It’s in her size. Score! I trot out to our back garage and dig through 70 billion totes to find Audrey’s old spring clothes from a couple of years ago. I find her first Easter dress and it’s 9 months. Score, again! Pretty Easter dresses – check. Now for the perfectly staged Easter picture. Not so check. Trying to get a sassy toddler and a 5 month old to both look at the camera and smile is near impossible. I couldn’t even manage to get Little Miss Sassafras to look at the camera.

IMG_8565

There’s so much pressure on perfection. Living in the social media world that we do makes it difficult at times to not play the comparison game. How does she get her kids to always smile for pictures? How does she get the sunlight to perfectly shine on her children’s faces? Why does her house always look perfect? How does she do it? Why is she so perfect? Here’s her secret. She’s not. Nobody is. It’s so easy to make social media our highlight reel and let everyone believe we’re perfect. But where’s the fun in that? Life is messy, raw, real, chaotic and a little bit sticky. (Or maybe that’s just my house – stinkin’ toddlers.) Why make it seem perfect? Why allow someone else’s highlight reel to put so much pressure on you? So what if you didn’t buy your kids Easter outfits? So what if you don’t realize until 7pm that your child only had goldfish for dinner – big, fat oops. So what if you forget about trick or treating and order their costume 2 days before? (Guilty – I also did that. Thank God for Amazon Prime.) So what if you forget about show and tell and your child takes the obvious last minute choice? So what if you shamelessly turn the TV on while tossing chicken nuggets in front of your child for the second night in a row?

None of it matters. None. Of. It. Matters. Period. I promise that all your child will remember is that momma tried. You tried. You did your best. At the end of the day your sweet baby still snuggles into momma because you are their safety net. Nothing bad can happen with momma around. You protect. You love. You provide. You cherish. And guess what? Despite the messes and the chaos and your crazy dry shampoo mom hair, your sweet angel looks at you and sees nothing less than pure, beautiful perfection.

Why self-care is so important.

2

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.

IMG_8705

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.

You pushed my buttons today.

0

Toddler moms. HOW DO YOU DO IT. Man, oh man. I’m the mom of a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old. Two kids, two and under. Whew. I end my days questioning everything. Did I handle that situation correctly? Did I love them enough? Did they get my best self or just my leftovers? Was I patient enough?

 Why is being a mom so hard sometimes? Why do we question ourselves so much? My sweet and sassy toddler got in my face today, crinkled up her nose and said, “No momma!!!!” My emotions went from upset to angry to sad to dumbfounded. Oh, Audrey. You pushed my buttons today. I’m sitting, nursing Quinn and Audrey walks up to me. IMG_6097“Fruit snacks and water,” she demands. So I ask, “Can mommy have a hug?” “FRUIT SNACKS AND WATER!” she yells then runs away. OKAY. You pushed my buttons today. We pull into the garage, I go around to the driver’s side to get Audrey out. “DADDY GET ME!” Alrighty. You pushed my buttons today. “Audrey, I love you.” “No say I yuv you!” Sigh. You pushed my buttons today. And it continues. And yet somehow, at the same time, she has the sweetest heart of any toddler I’ve ever met. Tonight, we sang our bedtime songs and we get ready to pray so we ask Audrey if she’d like to pray. “God, thank you for mommy and daddy. Thank you for Kinnie. Thank you for our food. Thank you for cheese.” She peeks open one of her eyes, “What else?” she whispers. “And thank you for our blessings.” I’m constantly in awe of her amazing heart.

 

IMG_8628I find myself frustrated on a daily basis simply because I’m a strong-willed momma raising a strong-willed toddler. But days like today when she snuggles into momma and falls asleep while I rock her, I realize I must be doing something right. Days like today when her sister is crying, and she lays down next to her and rubs her head and tells her everything will be okay, I realize that in the midst of the hard, daily battles she makes my life complete. She pushes my buttons daily but she’s constantly pushing me to be better and she doesn’t even know it. She’s helped make me the person I am. Her sweet kindness and tender heart inspires me daily. She makes me a better person.

I think we go into parenthood thinking we do all the raising but in so many ways, we do a lot of the growing. I never thought I’d look at my 2.5 year old daughter and see the person I want to be. Someone who prays for others. Someone who thanks the Lord for cheese. Someone who consoles her sister instead of being jealous of the attention she requires. Someone who loves so incredibly well. I pray that she never loses that sweet and tender spirit. And I pray that she never stops teaching me how to love others and have that sweet child-like faith. I pray that she never stops pushing my buttons because I don’t ever want her to lose her fire – even though that fire may leave me grumbling to myself most days. I pray that she turns this world upside down and continues to love unconditionally. I pray that someday she realizes that she can change the world.

Poop in the Tub

0

23658923_10159604866015483_1742143518331014243_nThe other night, my husband and I were getting ready for bed. I told him to go ahead without me because I had to pee. I walk into the bathroom and…disaster. Ugh. I forgot to clean up after bath time. I quickly grab the dirty diapers and dirty clothes strewn across the floor, wring out the wash cloths in the tub and pick up the bath seat. There was poop under it. Poop. I did that thing where you blink really hard trying to make sure you’re seeing what you’re actually seeing. I was. Poop. In the tub. I was so confused. Did Quinn poop in the tub? No, I would’ve seen it. Did Audrey maybe poop in her diaper and I didn’t notice? No, she would’ve said something. Did one of the dogs climb into the bath tub, lift up the bath seat, poop under it then put it back down? Probably. Just kidding, nope. I sat there confused and trying to make it make sense in my head how I could’ve spent 20 minutes giving my girls a bath and not notice that one of them pooped. Neither one of them had any on them when I got them ready for bed. There’s no logical explanation.

There’s a huge stigma in todays society that moms, wives and women in general should have it all together. We’re expected to cook, clean, keep the kids entertained, take care of ourselves, keep our husbands entertained, take care of our homes and families and apparently keep poop out of the tub all while keeping a smile on our face and looking seemingly perfect. We don’t ask for help because we’re either too stubborn or we’re afraid we’ll be judged. We live in a really tolerant society but so judgmental at the same time. It’s funny, isn’t it? Or maybe sad is a better word. Why is it SO easy to judge other moms? McDonald’s everyday? Bad mom. Work outside of the home? Bad mom. Unexplainable poop in the tub? Bad mom. Screen time? Bad mom. Formula feeding? Bad mom. Bad mom. Bad mom. No, no, no. NO. I have yet to meet one mom who has it all together. I decided a long time ago to embrace my inner bad mom. I used to be afraid to let people see I didn’t have it all together. I’m not afraid anymore. I don’t have it all together. I don’t know anyone who does. I’ve done all of those typical “bad mom” things. Yep. All of them! No shame. It’s no wonder postpartum depression and anxiety are so prevalent in our society. It’s impossible to be a mom nowadays.

Being a mom is so unbelievably hard. Sometimes it might feel impossible. You may feel tired, stressed, judged, annoyed, angry and a lot of other emotions. On your very hardest days – the days you think you’ve won the award for Worst Mom of the Year, just remember – I found poop in my bath tub and I still don’t know why, how or when it got there. You’ve got this.