Here’s To You, Stressed Out Mama – You’re Not Alone

Many of us women long for the customary path of engagement, marriage, a good career, a “forever” home and babies, at least at some point in our lives. Some go on to have one or two of those things, others – all of them. Some do them out of order. Some have some of them and then lose them. Some can never have some of the ones they want.

Getting engaged younger than all of my friends was strange…Not in a “I don’t want to be engaged” kind of way but more of a “No one I’m friends with can relate to me at this phase of my life now” sort of strange.

I was pregnant shortly after our engagement at just 25 years old (may seem young to some, old to others) but for me, I felt insanely young. It had just been months before where my “boyfriend” and I were out at all hours of the night in Miami, having the time of our lives and now come to find out that a placenta would come out of my hoo-ha after the baby (they clearly don’t teach these things in sex ed). What? You deliver a baby and then something else comes out? I was horrified at the thought of the entire process.

Well, 2 kids later, I now know what a placenta looks like first hand thanks to my husband taking one picture and one picture only during the birth of our second son. I almost died looking at the picture he took (none of the birth, just the one placenta picture (ha!)) Do guys share placenta pics after birth like they share IG model pics with their bros? Ew, I’m getting grossed out, next topic.

It’s been all but easy raising 2 kids for the last 4.5 and almost 2 years.

We followed the customary order of operations (sort of)…engagement, pregnant, wedding, baby #1, house, started our careers….

Career meaning a 9-5er for me and my husband took the entrepreneur path.

The entrepreneur life is an interesting one y’all. It not only sucks the life out of the entrepreneur while they build the company up, it also eats the spouse alive too. Entrepreneurs eat, breath and sleep the business. You are the business. You start at 0 every month. Sink or swim. Ride or die. If you’ve never been one or been with one or know one, it’s not for the faint of heart if you don’t want to fail 2 years in. I think I’ll dedicate another blog post to this topic. Let’s move on.

Back to you and us, Mommas.

Life after kids has been anything but easy, I have to admit.

I love my sons with every last ounce of my heart and being but seriously, no amount of prep work, career work, homework, none of it can prepare you for the Mom life that comes after kids. There are different types of mom lives (the career moms, stay at home moms and a mix of the two moms).

I’m the mix of the two mom.

My days look a little like this: My youngest wakes at around 7am (which is usually in my bed). I’m normally already up because 1. My kids take up my entire bed (yes, I know – need to fix this ASAP) and 2. My internal body clock just says wake up at this point. The second he wakes up he says “eat eat.” Who in the world wants to eat the second they wake up 😂 I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m a foodie and love that he is but pancakes and a banana are certainly not on my mind 45 seconds after opening my eyeballs.

Get him dressed, teeth brushed, hair geled and shoes on. He’s easy, so lovable (most times) except for lately…those terrible 2 tantrums. Not sure what’s up but a storms brewing, inside of his tiny body…waiting to come out in the form of tantrums…at the drop of a hat…multiple times a day.

Prep breakfast, get him into the high chair and turn on the same episode of Mickey Clubhouse he requests every morning.

Next chore: waking my oldest up for school, which seems harder than life itself. I’m genuinely concerned about August, when he goes to Kindergarten. He’s been this way since he was born, super stubborn, loves sleeping, hates being disturbed while sleeping. We have videos at 2 years old of him saying the exact same thing! Looking back, it all makes sense now!

I have to carefully choose my words when waking this one up. It’s like a teenager crept into his little 4 year old brain 2 years ago and never left. “Luca, it’s time to wake up for school.” “eghhh no, get out, 5 more minutes, shut the light off (whining voice).” OMG! Then he’ll finally agree for me to carry him to the couch where he needs to lay on our velvet comfy blankets until he drinks his chocolate almond milk, eats 1 bite of a pancake and then whines some more about not wanting to get dressed. Finally, after I’ve asked, asked and then yelled 35 times to put his shoes on, brush his teeth and I’ve given up on letting me gel his hair so he doesn’t get head lice (ew), we’re ready to get out the door.

I also throw the lunches together (the struggle is real when you have a child who doesn’t like to eat anything but snacks). I love cooking but really despise making lunches – am I strange? Never mind, don’t answer that.

Somewhere in that timeframe I get dressed (not presentable, just well enough where I don’t look abysmal and can run them into school).

1.5 hours before my work day even starts feels like a lifetime. I’m mentally exhausted at this point.

I drop the kids at pre school (no car pool line so have to park, bring each into their respective classroom).

Whew, on my way home now…to work.

I work remotely. It seems nice in theory, maybe. The lines are blurred for me since I’ve been doing it this way for so long. You have to be very disciplined. I repeat, very! I’m trapped in my home office all day on conference calls, putting together massive excel sheet and PowerPoint reports, budgets, analysis… Am I thankful to provide monetarily? Yes, of course! I’m also human though and sometimes wish I was a SAHM.

After work, I rush out the door to get my kids, most times while still on a work conference call.

Grab the kids, come home. The fighting starts the second we walk in between my two kiddos. Oh and snacks, can’t walk in without immediately wanting a snack (but half of lunch wasn’t even eaten). I’m exhausted, I give in. “Yes, go get a snack.”

Almost dinner time. What to cook tonight? Oh yes, a gourmet meal because clearly I love torturing myself 😂 75 ingredients? No problem!

Also 2 other meals because my oldest doesn’t eat anything and my youngest is allergic to a bunch of stuff.

Clean up time. Anyone else feel like it’s a job in itself cleaning the damn high chair, especially after giving them pasta with butter or sauce? Dishes galore, all piled into the dishwasher. My youngest apparently likes the feeling of running his greasy cheesy hands through his hair. I find bits of Parmesan cheese throughout the strands.

Bath time: If I didn’t force my kids out of the bath (tantrums included), they’d stay in for hours!

Pjs and teeth brushed, Time to watch a TV episode and bed (never goes as planned with 2 kiddos because “mom life”)

I’ve already been up for 14 hours at least at this point – it feels even longer than that.

In my head I’m thinking, will I get to shower tonight before I go lay in my clean bed smelling like a garlic clove? Will I get to watch my 2 hour stint of the Bachelor before my kids wake up and come strolling into my room?

Days are long, nights are long, weeks are long. Mom life is also not for the faint of heart, just like entrepreneurship. You have to be up for the challenge, except if you fail…well, that would be a lot bigger deal than with a business. We are our kids rock, their hero, their mentor, their supporters, their life lines, their biggest fans.

I wouldn’t change being a mom for anything but there are days where I am stressed, angry, tired and emotional, like I assume we all are at times! It helps that I have lots of other Mom friends who can relate on some level to what I’m going through.

While I’m normally feeling stressed out a good portion of the week, I love being a mom more than anything I’ve ever done before in my life. It gives me purpose. I’ve grown up with my kids over the last 4.5 and 2 years. I’ve learned about myself while helping them learn.

The next time you’re feeling stressed out, just remember. There are lots of us that can relate. I always try to remind myself, “things can always be worse” and it brings me back to reality!

Xo,

One stressed out mama to another!

I Was Just About To Call My Husband To Complain But Then Something Stopped Me

Backtracking to this past Tuesday since mom life has delayed my posting (better late than never, right?)

My day sucked (or at least I thought it did before so stumbled across something that snapped me back to reality).

I tried for 3 hours last night to put my kids to bed. First, I went into Landon’s room (my almost 2 year old) and laid down in his new big boy bed, next to him, where he usually falls asleep quite fast. Only this time, he would doze off and each of the 3 times I tried to sneak out, he woke up crying “mommy mommy.” – I finally put him in my bed, he started to fall asleep and then I moved on to Luca, my 4 year old. I turned his TV off and he started crying that he wanted to watch more (what is with kids and YouTube? I think I need to take it off of his TV once and for all). Anyways, I tried to sneak out of his room after he cried that he needed to watch more TV, it was too dark in the room even with a nightlight, he was cold, hot, didn’t want a blanket, didn’t want to sleep alone)…the whole nine. 5 minutes later he showed up in my bedroom saying he didn’t want to sleep in his room.

Okay, no biggie. This is nothing new to me. But neither would stop fidgeting, hitting each other (boys) and Luca was tattling every 30 seconds “my brother hit me, Landon’s kicking, Landon’s talking”). In my head I’m thinking of the book my best friend got me as a joke a few years back called “Go the Fuck to Sleep,” wishing it would be my reality right now!

Fast forward to the morning, I’m exhausted as Landon starts rubbing my face at 6:45am “mommy mommy” in his cute little voice.

Okay, I’m up. Let’s start the day.

My husband worked until 4am so not atypical, I’m on my own in the mornings. I got both boys up (mind you, Luca is impossible in the mornings – it’s like someone stuck a 15 year olds brain into my 4 year old child’s body). “I’m tired, I want to sleep 5 more minutes, I don’t want breakfast, that shirt isn’t comfy, don’t let Landon touch me”..the list goes on. I got them dressed, fed them, made lunches, cleaned up and got them out the door and on their way to school. I walked both boys in and got back in my car to head home.

Wednesday’s are when I have the most client calls so from the second I wake up until the time I get back from dropping the boys, I’m already in a mass panic sorting out in my head which reports I need to review, what items I need to put into my call agendas, etc.

Fast forward to about the time I go to get the boys (survived my 2 client calls at this point). I get a message from our Digital team that we had an issue with one of our accounts.

Great news to end the day…so I dealt with that and then got my boys from school.

I truly don’t understand the amount of energy my kids have upon arriving home from school. The second we walk in they run (and I’m not joking), maybe even sprint would be the correct word to our pantry where the snacks are kept. My 1 year old will just repeat over and over “nack nack nack.” (I have to laugh while writing this because I get mad but it’s somewhat funny lol). My oldest climbs onto a little stool we keep under the desk part of the counter in the kitchen to unlock the lock from our pantry (guys, I have to keep a lock on our pantry…if this isn’t mom life, I don’t know what is). They’d be getting snacks out of the cabinet 100 times a day instead of 20 if I didn’t have it. They then proceed to ride on their little cars around the house popping wheelies and making insane car noises (I think they both have secure future careers as voice over professionals for Dodge in making the HellCat rev up sound, not exaggerating).

Fast forward again to dinner, which is always a struggle with my oldest. I’m considering food therapy, recommended by our pediatrician. My youngest is pretty easy when it comes to eating – he’s a variety is the spice of life kind of guy and will generally eat whatever I made if it’s not too over the top lavish.

Bath time and then bed routine (I use the word routine very openly because it’s not a strict down to the minute routine).

I went to lay down and put Landon to bed (same deal as last night) while Luca was in his room watching TV. Another night of Landon popping up every 5 minutes to see if I was still next to him. I think I need to hire a sleep trainer (some of my friends have had success with it). An hour went by…now I’m really annoyed telling Landon to go to sleep but angrily, like he was a 10 year old who knew what I was even talking about.

I was on the verge of tears. All I wanted to do was sit my butt down on my couch or in bed, catch up on a few shows (I haven’t even gotten to turn my TV on this week, that’s how hectic it’s been) and type up a blog post (this one!)

I almost called my husband to complain how stressed I was (while he was out working).

Before I hit the call button, I was just scrolling scrolling on my phone on Instagram hoping he would finally fall asleep and then

.BAM.

I stopped scrolling when I came across a few popular baby clothing brands I follow who had re-posted a story about a beautiful baby girl who had experienced a seizure a few months back, later to be diagnosed with brain cancer. The parents were so hopeful with radiation treatment and their long hospital stay that their baby was improving (months in the hospital – they had pretty much readjusted their lives and were living in a hospital). The little girl pictured is so beautiful and innocent. A few days ago they found out the cancer had spread to her spine and the hospital sent them home for her to be on hospice, to be made as comfortable as possible in her final few weeks.

I have the chills all over my body writing this and tears in my eye. If you’re a parent, you understand.

I can’t even fathom what this family is going through. You bring a baby into this world praying and hoping for the best life for them.

My thoughts about calling my husband to complain about our kids not sleeping evaporated into thin air. I started crying reading the post about this little beautiful girl whose life is going to be cut short, taken from her family at a way too young age. My thoughts about my kids not sleeping seemed so irrelevant at this point.

All I kept thinking was, my kids are here, home, with me, safe, healthy. Are they annoying sometimes? Without a doubt. Am I probably a little too jumpy at times? Absolutely.

It’s in that moment that I realized I needed a kick in the butt from an Instagram post of someone else’s sick child to realize mine were right in front of me. In that moment, I felt peace and content (but also heartbreak for the little girl’s family) .

My heart goes out to the family of this little girl. Lots of people are thinking about you right now during this tough time.

-Jo