I Struggle With Motherhood When

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I struggle with motherhood when I feel lonely and yet I’m absolutely never alone, not even when using the bathroom.

I struggle with motherhood when I am so tired I just want to sleep past 5:30 a.m, and most days I can’t, because my son is awake and demanding attention. Now.

I struggle with motherhood when everyone expects me to be happy and grateful 24/7 because my son is handsome and happy and healthy and shouldn’t that just be enough?

I struggle with motherhood when I just want to talk about the darkness surrounding motherhood and whomever I’m talking to just changes the subject because talking about the darkness isn’t done. I am a mother, after all, to a happy and healthy boy; shouldn’t that just be enough?

I struggle with motherhood when nobody tells me that it’s okay to feel bad and that I don’t need fixing.

I struggle with motherhood when I’m pregnant with my second child and I’m so tired that I give my first child my iPhone so I can lay on the couch for a few minutes with my eyes closed.

I struggle with motherhood when childless friends complain about boyfriends and work problems that just seem so trite and irrelevant.

I struggle with motherhood when my boss pretends to understand what it’s like to be a working mother, but doesn’t really, because his wife stayed at home with the kids. And he really just wants me to answer his email now.

I struggle with motherhood when I don’t feel like smiling at my son, but I do anyways, because I feel like shit if I’m not constantly trying.

I struggle with motherhood when my husband goes out occasionally, and urges me to do so as well, but the thought of meeting up with my childless friends or my mother friends just seems like a ginormous task that’s too difficult to follow through with.

I struggle with motherhood when I know I should socialize more, but I don’t even have time to spend by myself, so it constantly feels like I’m shortchanging absolutely everyone, but most of all, myself.

I struggle with motherhood when I carry the guilt of the working mother, like a cross on my shoulders, and don’t take too much time for myself on the weekends because the hours, the days, the weeks, the years are passing me by and one day I’ll look back and believe I didn’t enjoy my child enough when he wanted nothing but me.

I struggle with motherhood when I believe that family should help out more than they currently are.

I struggle with motherhood when I feel like I don’t have enough energy in my pie for the rest of my family.

I struggle with motherhood when I believe that I’m just not doing enough.

I struggle with motherhood when people ask me if I’m pregnant when in fact I just don’t have time to exercise now that I have a baby to take care of.

But most of all, I struggle with motherhood when I feel lonely, and yet I’m absolutely never alone, not even when using the bathroom.

(Photo Credit: Kristen La Valley)

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The Amazing Side Of Pregnancy

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Sometimes, pregnancy gets a bad rep. Whether you’re the one who is pregnant, or you know someone who is pregnant, it rarely is or looks like much fun (especially towards the end). But Bored Panda managed to compile a list of pictures showing mothers before and after birth, and these portraits show how mind blowing and life-changing the journey really is.

You can check out the whole series here.

The Passage Of Time

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Happy Monday Everyone! I’ve been thinking about the passage of time over the last few days, and how we all at one point or another say, “I can’t believe another year has gone by,” or “It’s almost July, how did that happen?” In my twenties, I used to measure my years by the achievements I accomplished, and in my thirties, I’ve focused more on moments, simple pleasures, and trying to fill my days with things that I love. Here are a few pictures of Colin that show how much he has changed in just six months. With his language exploding daily, I just want to hold time in my hands and enjoy him every moment.

Three Things Thursday

  1. ‘I’m Sorry, No More Ducks’ is a beautiful written article about how to cherish some of the inconvenient phases that children go through.

    Sometimes it took 30 minutes; sometimes it took an hour or more. Each time, I wedged myself into the chair in the corner of her room, angled for her comfort and not mine. Once she was curled up on me, I’d sit very still in the darkening room. The ground rules were clear: No talking, no coughing, no checking my phone. My legs would go numb. If I made even a small move before she was completely unconscious, she would jolt awake and grab my shirt like a baby monkey. “Hug!” And then, more quietly, like an echo of herself, “Hug, hug, hug.”

    That first week, I literally counted the seconds. I was desperate for dinner and had work to finish. I’d become used to a routine that gave my wife and me an hour or two to ourselves in the evening — a luxury for parents of young children. Now I spent most of that time motionless in the dark with a toddler draped over me.

    Was she finally asleep? It was hard to tell. Twenty minutes of silence would pass — 1,200 seconds — then I’d move too soon and we’d have to start all over again. The fatherhood manual didn’t include instructions for this step.

  2. Colin turned 26 months yesterday. I received this picture from his nanny, yesterday, after he jumped into the ball pit and was upset because he didn’t realize there was water in there. I couldn’t get enough of his face. Last night before going to bed, he said, while flipping through a book “I see a car,” “The cars,” amazing us with how his language is developing on a daily basis. Some of his favorite things right now are Yellows (Rocks), Pretending to Fall and having us make a big deal, and obviously, Choo Choos and Trucks. Things that are super debatable are: teeth brushing, bath (depending on what mood he’s in), and food variety.IMG_6316
  3. I participate in an Online Book Club called The Art of Activism with Patti Digh. That’s why a lot of the books I’m reading this year are historical and deal with inequality and issues that a lot of people just rather not talk about. When I stumbled upon these pictures by Cape Town-based photographer, Johnny Miller, I was heart broken, and at the same time hopeful, that he’s sharing a reality that’s quite common in many countries at the moment.

Napping Child

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Looking for something to do while your child sleeps? Meet Sioin Queenie Liao, a freelance artist living in California, who began to take pictures of her sleeping three-month-old son Wengenn after being inspired by the works of Ms. Adele Enersen. A Chinese version of her book Sleepy Baby was published in Taiwan in 2012. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to do something aside from catching up on stuff while Colin sleeps. 🙂

What do you do while your child naps?

P.S. Check out another wonderfully creative mom, PJ Mamma, interviewed by Little Observationist.

 

The Stages of Motherhood

Motherhood is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is clearly lying through their teeth, or getting loads and loads of help (and there’s nothing wrong with that). One thing that happens again and again is that I seem to get the hang of a stage Colin is going through and then BOOM! Colin moves unto another stage and I’m taken aback and frustrated. When this happens, it takes me a few days to get into the swing of things.

For example, here’s a status update from facebook from when Colin was seven weeks old.

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I thought I had it all figured out, when in fact the last two years have been more of a shuffle where I take two steps forward, and one step backwards.

When I remember that Colin is JUST two years old (or 790 days old), my frustrations, most days, just disappear. And so does my exhaustion. I’m of the mindset that Colin won’t always need me to stay in the room while he falls asleep, so why not provide that support while he desires it?

I do love to read up on child behavior and child development. I recently finished reading Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender by Louise Bates Ames, and I found it super helpful to learn about common stages / traits that two year old children share.

Some gems that I highlighted:

“A second striking characteristic of the Two-and-a-half-year-old is his demand for sameness.”

“This is possibly the worst age of any for making choices. Two-and-a-half vacillates back and forth, and if he finally settles for one of two choices, he is almost bound to choose the other immediately.”

“Whining is one expression of this fatigue. The child not only feels like a baby but wants to act like one, at least part of the time.”

“Many of these seemingly aggressive approaches are not actually aggressive. It is just that children want what they want and, if necessary, hit, push, struggle to get it.” (This would have helped me loads when Colin was bit three times at Nursery back in May).

“This tends to be an aggressive age, and play with children as well as with objects can be quite violent.”

“Distracting and terminating may be two of your very best techniques when your child is Two-and-a-half.”

“If your boy or girl has good potential, and if you provide a reasonably rich and lively environment and give him plenty of love and attention, his mind will take care of itself.” (This makes me feel less guilty about screen time).

I have loads more parenting books to read and on my wish list. Currently, I’m reading Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster.

 

 

 

Three Things Thursday

1. On Sunday, I made some Zucchini Bread, following Stephanie’s recipe. Even though I made some changes to the recipe, it still came out delicious. Instead of regular sugar, I used coconut sugar, instead of regular flour, I used coconut flour, and instead of oil, I used cacao butter. You can get these substitute ingredients at Indigo Herbs.

2. I’m in the middle of listening to my brother’s podcast with Quest co-founder Tom Bilyeu and there are some amazing bits of wisdom that I took away. For example, Tom Bilyeu was never an athlete, but to get the body he wanted, he knew he would do whatever he could to protect his wife. During his workouts, he would eye the fittest guy at the gym and aim to be stronger than him. And that’s how he got the body he wanted.

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3. Last week I got these puzzles for Colin (with 2, 3, 4, and 5 pieces), and he’s doing a really good job at completing the ones with 2 and 3 pieces. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with trains, buses, tractors, and cars, and I was right! #parentwin