Category Archives: every day

A story from yesterday

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My 3 year-old and I were home together yesterday making strawberry rhubarb crisp.

3YO: *Steals a strawberry from the bowl.* “Yum!”
Me: “Okay, last strawberry, please don’t take those!”
3YO: *Steals a piece of raw rhubarb from the bowl.* “Yum!”
Me: “Wow, really? Raw rhubarb’s kind of tart. But, okay, I’m glad you liked that! Please don’t take anything else out of the bowl.”
3YO *Bites into the rind of a lemon I previously juiced sitting on the counter* “Yum!”
Me: “I’m seriously questioning whether you even have a sense of taste right now, but good job not taking anything out of the bowl!”

Later that day, we went out for lunch with my partner, where my child spent much of his time picking strings of melted cheese out of his pasta, because his macaroni and cheese was too cheesy.

Thanksgiving

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For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday with your family and friends.

For those of you for whom the holidays are hard, for whatever reason, please know that we care about you, and are thinking of you.

This blog’s hiatus stretched on much longer than I anticipated, but I am finally digging us out from the mountain of delays, and we will be back starting next week. Until then, be well!

Some days are rough.

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I have been working myself pretty hard the past few weeks, and this week, it finally caught up with me. I am tired, sore, low-energy, constantly on the verge of grumpy. My 7 month-old sleeps well for her age, but the night feedings are starting to wear on me, and her naps have been a challenge this week. And I hurt my back from constantly picking up my anxiety-riddled toddler to soothe his fits. And I forgot, once again, how terrible periods can be, since I haven’t had one in a while. Sometimes they are pretty terrible.

I have been trying to compensate for my lack of energy. We have been eating leftovers for days. I’ve been spending every second I can snatch napping on the couch. I tried to take a bath yesterday to relax and help my back, but my daughter decided that her traditional hours-long afternoon nap should instead be only twenty minutes, so that bath was aborted. I have since decided that having to get out in the middle of a relaxing bath makes me feel approximately five times worse than not having a bath at all, which is good information to have for the future, I guess.

I hesitated to write this post, but I feel like one of my goals with this blog is to point out all the places that motherhood/parenthood/family life is not like in the magazines, and this is one of them. Sometimes you are tired and grumpy and in pain, and you could really use a sick day, but the baby does not care. The baby cannot care, because the baby needs to eat and be clean and sleep, just like you, and she can’t do any of those things on her own. It can be tough. I am lucky to have a good support network, but I’ve also worked really hard to create a support network, because I know that I’m prone to depression and anxiety, and having babies is hard. I cannot be a good parent in a vacuum. I need help.

Today I am proud of myself for getting my toddler to his daycare on time, for loading the dishwasher even though I really didn’t want to, and for smiling at my daughter even though she does not want to sleep. Those are good things to be proud of, I think.

Milestone Madness

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It has been a huge week over here in the Mothering for Me household! Both of my babies are doing amazing things, and this momma is proud!

My youngest, almost 6 months, has been working so hard on rolling from her back to her front, and by Jove, she’s finally got it! I have spent the week waking up all night to her screaming, when she rolls to her belly and gets stuck there. Yesterday she spent an entire two hours rolling to her belly instead of napping. I went up there no less than 8 times to return her to her back before I finally gave up, and no sleep was had at all, which made for an interesting rest of the afternoon.

Last night was a difficult one again, but when I woke up this morning, I found her asleep (!) on her belly! She’d rolled over at night, decided it was suddenly not the worst thing in the world, and just went back to sleep on her own like she used to do. I’m hoping that means we are in for some better sleep in the coming nights. It’s hard to become used to sleeping for a few weeks, only to have it pulled out from under you once again.

I am so proud of my little girl, though! My baby can roll! It’s the little things.

And it’s the big things, too! My son, being much older, hit an even bigger milestone this week! We’ve been working with a speech therapist since late May, after a series of ear infections caused him a major speech regression. He’s been trying more words every week, with more or less success, but most of them you hear once and then never again. This week is particularly exciting though, because this is the first week in his life where I really feel like we are understanding each other most of the time. There are still moments where I have no idea what he wants, but over the past few weeks, he’s learned to point, make more eye contact, and he’s just started to say “Ya!” and “All done!”, which are hugely helpful words to have. He’s 28 months, and we’ve still got a ways to go, but I am more and more confident that the day of mutual understanding is a’coming.

Milestones mean less sleep all around, but it’s always temporary. In fact, baby girl put herself to sleep for the nap she refused yesterday after needing help just once! This week, the sleep deprivation feels worth it.

Apologies for the radio silence.

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Happy Wednesday, friends!

I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action this week! My partner started a new job on Monday, which is wonderful, but necessitates a new schedule for me. You guys, I am not good at getting up earlier in the morning. I will get used to it, and probably will get more done everyday as a result of getting more hours in the morning, but right now I am just tired and lacking in motivation. Ergo blog silence and guilt and avoidance and more guilt.

I try really hard not to engage in too much “mom guilt” because I realize that even when I mess up, I’m doing my best, and my kids are great and will continue to be great. Despite this, I still feel guilty over objectively silly things, and here’s an example. If you know me in real life, you saw on Facebook earlier this week that there was a day when my daughter was The Grumpiest. She was fussy, wanted to be held constantly, cried when I put her down for naps, and I couldn’t find anything wrong. I was getting frustrated, since I was having trouble getting motivated myself, and it’s hard to be optimistic in the face of constant Grumpy. Then, toward the afternoon, I discovered that I was having a period, my first period in 14 months, and it is really common for a nursing mom’s milk supply to dip the day before and the first day of a period. Sometimes the milk even tastes different, according to toddlers who talk more than mine can. My daughter had been fussy because she’d been hungry – even though I was feeding her on our usual schedule, she wasn’t getting big enough feeds, the fussing was her attempt to try to let me know.

Friends, I didn’t know, but when I figured it out, I felt so bad! Of course, she wasn’t fussing for no reason. It was just that I didn’t know the reason. I can’t control my menstrual cycle, but I still felt guilty that my body, which is supposed to be able to feed this baby, fell down on the job for an entire day. And, of all the weeks of the year, my body chose the week of the new job, when I was already stressed and tired, to start menstruating again. Good job, body! Thanks for your support!

But really, in actuality, my body is a bad ass. I’m not an athlete by any means, but my body can make enough milk to feed two babies, keep enough muscle strength to carry them both through even a Costco-sized parking lot, and get me through the day on precious little sleep. It is silly to feel guilty that I couldn’t maintain that for months without a break, and also, maybe my body is having a period this week of all weeks on purpose. Maybe I should take a break and shorten my to do list and rest. So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and with any luck, we’ll be back on regular posting schedule this week.

I will still do a Friday music post, though. I know hardly anyone reads them, but music makes me happy.

Obligatory social media post

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Hey friends! I just wanted to take a minute to say, thank you for reading this blog. It’s been wonderful for me these past few months to have an outlet for some of my thoughts on parenting, and all the self-care I need to do to be a good parent to my kids. Like baking! And reading! And listening to good music! And now, Mothering For Me is nearly 40 posts strong after 3 months! That’s not bad considering all the sleep regressions.

One goal I have for the site, eventually, is to reach more people who are interested in the same issues I am. I think community-building is really important for parents, and maybe especially for new moms, since so many of us feel isolated in the first few years when babies are little, and it’s hard to get out of the house.

But, I can’t build community by myself. I must rely on you good people to help me get the word out!

So, if you haven’t yet, please consider following my page on Facebook.

Or follow me on Twitter!

(There are also handy doodads to help you on the sidebar to the right of this post.)

I know it’s a little silly, but the more people who follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook, the more likely it is to be recommended to others, so your follow can mean a lot, and I appreciate your consideration. Now, back to our regularly scheduled posts.

Working together

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I became pregnant with my first child the summer before my last semester of grad school, the summer I was supposed to be writing my Masters thesis. It wasn’t a hard pregnancy as pregnancies go, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. I was working part-time at a bed and breakfast and had to be on the bus to work by 5:30 in the morning. I was nauseous, I was exhausted, I was behind on everything, and it ended up taking me an extra semester to push my thesis through. I graduated four weeks to the day after my son was born, and standing up there with my baby and my degree was one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had.