I Became a Better Mom When I Went Back to Work.

It feels like yesterday that my daughter was just born. Now she is almost one-year-old.

It also just feels like yesterday, when we found out we were expecting a third baby, shock and emotion took over us. We were so surprised.

It feels like yesterday when I would wake up angry and frustrated every single morning, as I was home with three kids trying to balance this thing we call motherhood.  Looking back now, I can definitely see that I was dealing with some postpartum depression. I thought I was okay, but, really I was slowly sinking.

Every single morning, I woke up angry and I went to bed angrier. Nothing seemed to help. I sometimes envied my husband who could at least “flee” to work for some hours and did not have to be home all day with the kids and do all the other household chores that come with being a homemaker.

I was so angry. On the outside, I appeared to be fine but on the inside I was mad at the world. I did not want to admit it, though. What would people think of me? That I am ungrateful. Here I am, blessed to be home with my kids, and yet, I’m complaining while some other moms are forced to go back to work?

One thing I learned so far in my journey of being a mom is that, whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom, they are both challenging paths! You may not realize how tough the other role is until you spend at least a week in their shoes.

I love my children with all my heart, but I was exhausted.

20180612_093029Then I decided to wean my daughter earlier than planned–at 7 months. I am an advocate for breastfeeding and nursed both of my boys until they were 12 months old, but this third time around, it was different. It wore me out emotionally and physically, and the fact that I was not completely stable mentally, it was best to stop. That did wonders. Shortly after she started sleeping through the night, and I was able to get more sleep at night.

In all honesty, the thing that helped me heal from postpartum stress the most was working.  Right as I weaned baby girl at 7 months, a recruiter reached out to me for a remote position at Amazon. It seemed like a great opportunity and I happened not to be teaching anymore at the time. I figured “what the heck?” Actually, I was thrilled. My husband supported my decision and we found a mother’s helper/nanny to help me with the kids here at home while I worked upstairs in the office. I was still here at home with the kids and could stop in to check on them anytime.  With working, I made new acquaintances and felt like I gained a sense of “me” again.

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I was not just mommy.

Eventually, I realized that all my money was going towards the nanny and it did not make sense for me to keep working there, but I enjoyed my time there. Two months later, I had regained my normal state of mind.

A break from the kids allowed me to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I became a better mom. Crazy but so true.

Anyway, the point of this post is that postpartum depression is real. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, anger, and resentment, talk to someone. Start with your significant other or a friend, but start somewhere.

Take a break from the kids–if possible, take a day to yourself or a few hours even, on a weekly basis. As for me, I realized that when I am working, I am a better mom and wife because I have that time to myself where I am pursuing my interests and utilizing my skills, writing + teaching. I am currently only working part-time, and it has definitely helped with my state of mind.

Moms, let’s stop being judgmental of other mom’s choices. Let’s be supportive. You don’t know what that person may be going through. Instead of judging their decision to work or not, try to be a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. We all need that support system.

 

 

Who Am I?

This week, I assigned an assignment in class for students to write an essay with the topic “Who am I?” I’m realizing that if I was in their shoes, I would have no idea what to write.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know who I am. I am constantly changing my mind about things. Whether it’s a career change, where I want to live, or my Instagram username/bio. I feel pressured and anxious about the most random things. I question things I once believed in and people who I once trusted. One minute I’m happy and then the next I feel so overwhelmed with life.

Motherhood is a blessing, journey, and a rollercoaster. your children become priority and your dreams and aspirations take the back burner at times. As someone with so much ambition, this has been hard to accept. sacrifice. selfless love.

Who am I?

I think I’m trying to find myself. What is really my purpose? I’m thirty years old and still can’t figure it out. For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?
For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?

So that’s why I’m writing. Because writing is therapeutic and it’s like talking to someone, only problem is that words do not talk back.

I feel like I should be more. Doing more. Trying more. Like nothing is ever enough. I am constantly seeking change or adding on tasks to my already busy life. Then I hear God whisper,

“you are enough. where you are is where I want you to be.”

And then, everything falls into place….

Tips on Traveling with Small Children

It feels so great to blog again! I took a long break but I am back.

This summer (last week), I traveled ALONE one way internationally with my 3 kiddos who are all under the age of 5. I had one lap infant and the two toddlers had their owns seats. My hubby joined us midway through the trip, so going back home was better.

I will share a few tips on what/how I did it.

1. Ziploc bags are everything! It helps you stay organized.

I had one Ziploc bag for all the chargers (phones, tablets, kindle, booklight, fitbit) !

I had another one for the day of travel and in flight snacks.

And I had one more for all the liquids: soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, and vaseline.

2. I made sure we traveled on an overnight flight. From Phoenix there are no direct flights to Montreal unfortunately, so I made sure to choose one that made more sense since I would be on my own. So our first flight was about 4 hours and all kids slept right through it. I made sure I changed their diapers right before the flight!

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By the way,  I get this question often, I got this cute laptop bag for my MacBookPro on Amazon HERE!

My 4-year- old is potty trained but best believe he wore a pull up for the flights! I am so glad someone gave me that tip right before.

3. Baby girl had a bottle as soon as we got on the plane so that she would easily fall asleep.

4. By the way, if you travel with kids you automatically qualify for pre-boarding! All this travel I’ve done in the past, and I just realized that this time around. Ha!

5. As far as the quantity of luggage. I had two checked suitcases and 3 carseats. As carry-ons, the boys had their backpacks with change clothes, snacks, underwear or pullups, and their pillows inside.

In my backpack, I had my own stuff and baby’s clothes, diapers, and wipes. I also had my laptop case and pushed a double stroller.

6. This brings me to my next point, a stroller or baby carrier is a must! My 4-year-old mostly walked but at one point he was sleepy so I put him in the stroller with my 2-year old and baby girl in the carrier/sling. That didn’t last long though. Lol.

Traveling with three, it was easier for my oldest to walk and have the two little ones in the double stroller. Everyone is different. Just my preference.

One thing I wouldn’t do next time is bring our carseats. We rented a car so we could’ve just rented one with carseats!

When we arrived to Canada, I had an employee help me carry them to the other side.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was grateful that someone offerred to help me fold the stroller before we got on the plane because I was struggling.

8. Don’t trust strangers alone with your kids. If you gotta go to the bathroom before the flight, take all kids with you! And in the flight, ask a flight attendant for help.

Overall flying into Canada was really not bad because they slept the whole time. Coming back, even though hubby was there to help, was more stressful. I think because it was in the afternoon and the kids were awake, cranky, hungry blah blah blah!

Anyway, thanks for reading. Next, I will share details of our trip to Montreal!

Making Mom Friends Is Like Dating, But I Finally Have Some!

TRUE STORY…

So, a little bit over a year ago, I discussed how I was having a hard time making friends and that the only mom friend I had did not even live in the same state as me!

Oh, how so much has changed since then! Thank God! But before I continue,  it’s important you understand why we even need mom friends/girlfriends.

Rachael Boley couldn’t have said it any better!

There’s nothing quite like another mom friend who just gets it. It’s bigger than needing each other for tips and tricks and help. We need each other for the friendship and support that comes from our people — the moms walking in the trenches beside us.

We need those friends that just get it. When you want to vent, laugh, or cry because your kids can’t seem to get it together.  Or simply when you feel like you’re falling apart, those friends can be there to remind you that, yes, it’s hard but you are not alone and you can make it through those potty training days or those sleepless nights.

Making mom friends is truly like dating. Ha. I read that somewhere and can’t agree more on this. You just don’t click with another mom simply because she also has kids. It takes more than that: personality,  interests etc.

I have learned not to judge another mom because of her parenting style/choices. We are all different but can definitely learn so much from one another.

I never knew that becoming a mother would somehow be so competitive. I thought the cliques and comparisons stopped in high school, but you would be surprised at some of the stuff I witnessed at mommy groups!

Last year we moved to a different  neighborhood.  Since then, I have met some truly awesome mamas: some neighbors, some from mom groups, and others through mutual friends.

As a work-at-home-mom, my challenge was that I didn’t fit into just one category. I’m a stay-at-home mom and working mom at the same time. Yes, I could meet up for playdates but not as often as other SAHMs could.  There are some SAHMs I met who I just could not relate to and others who we clicked instantly.

Anyway,  I made the best of the situation and can say today that I have MOM FRIENDS! Woot woot.

I actually have friends that I can meet up with or without the kiddos for a walk, coffee or storytime at the library. God heard my prayer! Hah. And now my husband is happy I no longer complain about this, I’m sure.

If you are struggling to make mom friends, don’t give up. Here are a few things that worked for me during this long, lonely journey!

1. Mommy groups. For me, personally,  it worked but then it also did not work. The first few groups I joined were not as successful.  There was one particular group where it seemed as if the moms there were simply not interested in meeting anyone new. What’s the point of this group then!? It was very “clicky”. I also felt judged because I was probably the only mom there who put her kids in daycare part-time.  Mind me, I was still working full-time (from home) so this just didn’t make sense to them. What they don’t realize is that you can’t really work from home full-time if you have toddlers around. Anyway… that group was not for me.

When I did find the right group, I became good friends with one gal who told me about a fit mama’s group (walking group). There, I met a few more mamas who I became really cool with.

2. Storytime: I have met a few moms there but none that I can actually call “friends”. However, it is a great place to meet other moms.

3. Church: I have become friends with a few mamas from my church. Although it did take some time and we do not see each other as much outside of church,  the support has been a tremendous blessing.

4. Mutual Friends:  Now, this is what really worked for me actually! For example, one of my husband’s college pals moved closer to us and the wife and I became good friends. Then I introduced her to my neighbor, and the three of us have created this Mom Tribe I prayed for.  What is even more of a blessing is that before we all met each other, we had each been praying for mom friends.

Another good friend of mine, I met through a mutual acquaintance.  She and I are both writers and so we are just grateful to be in each other’s lives. Having that support from a fellow mother and writer is truly a blessing.

5. Neighbors: depending on where you live, but for me I created a Facebook Mom’s Group for my neighborhood/community. Through this group, some of my neighbors have become my friends. The reason I created the group is because we didn’t have one. Some communities may already have a Mom’s group. Just look into it.

Just don’t give up! Be open and non-judgmental . Know that you are not the only one going through this.

Motherhood can be lonely and having those mom friends to do this #MomLife with is crucial for your sanity.

The Perfect Life

“EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND WISHING YOU HAD SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE IS A MINUTE SPENT WASTING YOURS.”

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

“Be careful what you envy; everything is not always as it seems. ”

I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP
I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP

Seek The Simplicity

Because sometimes just meeting up downtown with some friends is all you need to feel like yourself again. Or maybe just a spur of the moment photo shoot postpartum is enough to make you feel alive.

Motherhood is tough–probably the hardest job there is out there. And being home with babies or toddlers all day can drive you a bit nuts sometimes. Yesterday, I had some much-needed “me/mommy time” and it felt great.

This “me time” mostly consisted of me drinking coffee and listening to my colleagues complain about work while I grinned in silence because I’m on leave, but hey, stop judging. It was our fun.

For me, it was having time to myself, but for them, it was a way to finally interact with someone, given that our job is very isolating (teaching online).

The point of this blog post really is that, “me time” is important. OK, the real point of this blog post is to show you these awesome photos because what else am I supposed to do with them? Haha.

Whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM, Working mom, it’s important to have a moment to just do things by yourself or meet up with friends without the kiddos.

It’s been almost a month since I had our third child and I’m learning that there is a moment for everything.

Be content in the season you’re in and seek the simplicity in life.

BIRTH STORY: Baby #3: You Are Not Less of a Mother Because You Had a C-Section

On October 20th, I gave birth to our baby girl.

Everything about this pregnancy and delivery was quite different, and we are grateful that everything went smoothly.

Some have asked me to share the birth story:

Let’s start with the pregnancy. We are so blessed and grateful that our baby girl is healthy. We call her a miracle baby because when I found out I was expecting with the IUD, doctors told us there was 50% chance the baby would not make it. Against all odds, she did. Thus, her name: Kennah, meaning Greatest Champion.

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I often get comments such as “finally got your girl!” Well, we were OK with all boys. But God wanted me to have a mini me so here she is!

God has a way of showing us who is truly in control.

At 37 weeks exactly, around 4am, I started having painful contractions. The contractions were really strong and consistent but spaced out in the afternoon. I had been to labor and delivery before and got sent home so I did not want to go unless I was sure it was time. I went to my ob appointment that same afternoon at 4pm and it turned out I was 2.5 centimeters and very soft! I was only a fingertip two weeks prior.

I was scheduled for a repeat C-section (3rd baby) in exactly 2 weeks on November 2nd, but my OB did not think I would make it past the weekend after checking me. I was still having contractions. She told me to go home and that if the contractions picked up again, walk for an hour and head to l&d if they continued. I walked for 30 minutes that evening and so around 9pm I started timing them and they were less than 10 minutes apart. Around 10pm, they got stronger so we headed to the hospital. My fear was waiting until it was too late given that it would be my third C-section! I refused to go through another Emergency Cesarean with all the trauma that comes with it.

I was at the hospital since 11pm Thursday night with contractions. In order to proceed with the repeat csection, I had to be in active labor with changes to my cervix. I wasn’t progressing at first and I almost got sent home when contractions slowed down after they gave me morphine. It was a long night, but then finally, at 6am my doctor encouraged me to walk. After walking for an hour, I finally dilated to a 4. So my Doctor decided it was time! They started prepping me for surgery.

Surgery. Such a scary word!

People think Cesarians are a breeze comparing to vaginal births. They have no idea.

First, the nurses came in with all the consent paperwork. After signing everything my doctor came to explain everything that would happen in the OR in detail. I wish she had delivered my first two babies. She has been such a great doctor. From the moment I stepped into her practice freaking out about the IUD pregnancy to the moment after I had the baby. She is the best doctor I have had and always returned phone calls in the middle of the night as well!

Anyway, she made me feel better because I started freaking out about having another surgery.

After she left, the anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal anesthesia that he would perform once in the OR.

After the nurse finished prepping me, my nerves really started to get the best of me. Hubby and I decided to pray at that moment.

Shortly after, they took me into the OR, and more prepping continued. I really like that I was conscious and aware, not knocked out on too many drugs like my previous c-sections. All the hospital staff present in the OR made me feel comfortable.

It was scary but I felt better once my husband joined me. It happened so fast. I felt pressure. More pressure. No pain. Just pressure. The doctors often asked me of I was OK and explained what they were doing. Apparently, I had a lot of scar tissue from my previous c-sections.

“Are you OK? You don’t feel anything?” My husband asked looking more scared than I was.

More and more pressure and then suddenly, she was here.

I heard her cry and I was suddenly filled with joy–no more fear.

“Beautiful girl. Congratulations, mama!” Said My doctor.

Baby was born at 9:01am Friday morning.

My husband then cut the cord and they brought baby to me so I could kiss her shortly after they cleaned her.

Her brothers met her that evening and they were a bit confused at first–mostly because they were not with us and felt like we “left” them. Haha.

The following days got better and they are now taking good care of bébé Kennah at home.

Recovery has been much easier this time around. I was able to start walking, slowly the same day and now after a week, I can pretty much do everything as normal except lifting and exercise, which I can’t do for another 5 weeks. The main thing that is bothering me is the swelling in my legs and feet. They are extremely swollen this time and I can’t wear shoes at all. All the water went down to my poor feet.

All in all, we are all home and doing well.

As I mentioned, my previous cesareans were emergency c-sections so I’m grateful this one was smooth. Funny because I feel like I got better care at a small local hospital than the big teaching hospital in the city. Recovery has been easier and baby is perfectly healthy.

After three c-sections, I just want to encourage those who also had dreams and goals of having a vaginal birth but couldn’t for whatever reason. For me, I went through labor for hours and even started pushing when baby’s heart rate started to drop and I got rolled into the OR–both times. Scary stuff.

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You are not less of a mother because you had a C-section and yes, you did have a real delivery.

Getting cut open is real stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. People do not realize how painful (physically and emotionally) it is when having a C-section. I don’t know why some think it is a much easier route. Not being able to walk does not sound like an easy route to me. Nursing while recovering from surgery and can’t even feel your abs isn’t either.

So do not be discouraged by such assumptions from people who do not know or could not possibly understand this. I struggled with this after my first C-section. I felt like I got robbed from having a “real” delivery by not having the baby vaginally. And comments from people did not make it better.

“You got it easy…at least you did not have to push!”

I know there are so many C-section mamas with the same sentiments. Be happy that you and your baby are healthy!

Whether you had your baby via C-section or vaginal birth, we are all mothers. We all gave life to a precious bundle of joy. We all gave birth! Let’s not compare who had it worse.

Thanks for reading!

 

If you were wondering where I’ve been…

 

They say every pregnancy is different.

They also say every pregnancy gets more difficult with age.

Those statements are both true for me, but I know that it may not be so for others.

As I am nearing the end of my third pregnancy, it feels as if this one went faster, but more difficult.  Perhaps because I was working the entire time? And although I was working, I’m grateful that I was not on my feet or didn’t even have to step out of the house, matter of fact. Working from home while pregnant has been a blessing in many ways and I’m grateful I was able to do so.

There’s also this thing with pregnancy brain because I can’t seem to remember the purpose of this blog post after many interruptions by the kiddos.

I think I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here. It has been difficult to keep up with blogging, working, family life, and pregnancy. Also, Arizona has finally cooled off–I always seem to be in a bad mood in those long six months of never ending dry heat, now top if off with pregnancy hormones.

This week has been better than the last few ones. A spur of energy came  over me and I was even able to join my Fit Mama’s fitness club on this beautiful fall morning.

I obviously won’t be as active until after baby but it felt nice to get “out” there.

I find that this pregnancy has been the most challenging, especially because I already have two energetic toddlers to chase after everyday.

Each day, I’m grateful for the moments I get to spend with them; playing, reading, singing, and laughing. I know that soon, things will get a little bit hectic for a while and my attention will be divided between three kids.

I hear the hardest transition is from two to three kids. Learning to balance  life with three kids sounds scary, but we are ready for the challenge.  At this point, we don’t have a choice. Baby is coming soon! The journey has been exciting and nerve-wracking, but holding my baby girl in my arms…that, I can hardly wait for.

So if you were wondering where I’ve been, this is it: I’ve been too pregnant to blog.

Hopefully I will get back to my weekly blogging routine soon.

Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

-Eddie Cantor

I know. I know. I have been such a stranger these days, but I’ve been keeping busy, I promise.  Perhaps a little bit too busy. I’ve always been the kind of person who keeps busy at all times and often has multiple projects going on all at once. But I believe that slowing down can also be a virtue.

Being off work in the summers, I always try to make the most of my time and work on things I usually do not have time for when I’m back to work. Whether it’s writing, reading, deep cleaning, or working on other things. So, on the days the boys are in daycare, I usually spend most of the time working hard on something when I could/should be giving my body a rest sometimes.

It’s really not easy to keep up with everyday “life demands” personal projects, and of course,  those cute kiddos of mine who keep me on my feet, but I try to manage. In the mornings, I like to have activities with my boys: library time, story time, baking at home, playdates or go eat breakfast somewhere.  This keeps us all active but it is becoming more and more difficult to do given the heat we are facing in AZ during summer.

and also given my new condition…

There is a time for everything as we all know it. I suppose slowing down sometimes may feel like giving up, but I just need to remind myself that it is not so. It is simply taking care of yourself so that you can be better, stronger.   I know that it is time to slow down, which my body has been begging me to do for some time. So I will listen to my body, my doctor, and my hubby.

I will slow down and enjoy life.

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.

– William Shakespeare

Work-at-Home-Moms: When It’s Time To Put The Kids In Daycare

 For the past year, since his birth, I’ve been working from home full-time  with an infant–and it was the hardest thing ever. But… it was worth it! Watching him grow and never missing a moment of his first year was priceless. Now, my oldest has been going to preschool part-time for a while,  so it is also good to be able to spend some days with him at home as well. I am grateful to be a Work-at-Home-Mom.
Working during nap time was never consistent, and working after the kids went to bed was becoming too overwhelming. Sleeping after midnight every night was my life. What was supposed to be “the best of both worlds” became a nightmare. I always complained because of how exhausting the situation was, playing the supermom role and all. I knew it was temporary. We’d agreed we’d  keep him at home the first year, but when he was six months, it was already starting to feel almost impossible. but still,  I tried to hold on a little longer.
See, people have this misconception  that working from home is all peaches and roses. That’s a thing, right? Peaches and roses? I can’t think straight right now (currently tucked in bed writing this). Anyway,  as I was saying,  by working from home, I don’t  mean selling oils or it works! (no offense), but I am referring to work-at-home-moms with a full-time  salary position.
I often hear: “You’re so lucky. I wish I could have your job so I could bring in some income and be with my kids.”
Uh…yeah….
I always tell them to be prepared to do double the work. Because that is the reality. WORK-AT-HOME-MOMS  wear both hats. We’re home with the kids and trying to work at the same time, while keeping up with cooking and household chores while trying not to feel guilty about not devoting enough time to play peek-a-boo.. Let me add how messy the house gets! So it is not as “golden” as people think.
It is; however, a good option if you have a very flexible job where you can set your own hours and work whenever, wherever. Even better if you’re able to have some help during the day for your own sanity.
Every now and then, time away  from the kids can make you a better mother and a much better employee.
All in all, working from home has been a blessing for my family. I do admit that I have a love it and hate it relationship with my job. But at the end of the day, it’s what’s best for my family and our current stage of life.
So in order to continue  to make it work, something had to change after my latest breakdown. And I feel so great about this decision.  Sort of like I can breathe again– major weight lifted off my shoulders.
So now, this mama right here  gets a break three days a week to work during normal business hours of the day and sleep when everyone sleeps because I will no longer have to be a night owl who works past midnight .
Amen to that. 

You’re So Lucky! You Have It All Figured Out.

 Although I am currently working from home full-time /WAHM, (I’m an online writing instructor for a local university) I don’t exactly love it  and at times, it can feel very frustrating, exhausting, and stressful– and on those days, I’m just about over working from home . So, I even went to great lengths and had job interviews with a possible career change.

But then this morning  I had to make an early drive into the city and as I sat there in major traffic near downtown, I thought, “there’s no way I’m getting back out there for any 8-5 type of job. What was I thinking by wanting to “get back out there ?”

I’m sure some us have that familiar sentiment: The guilt that comes with the desire to focus on your career while also being there for your children. The guilt that comes with wanting a career. The guilt that would eventually come with putting the kids in someone else’s care while you work. The guilt of not using your degree or vice versa.  I read an article over the weekend that discussed this very topic and it really had me thinking and realizing that I’m not alone.

Yes, I would love to have my dream job or dream career, but for now, I’m grateful for what I have. I am content with where I am because I know that if the time ever came for me to “get back out there” I will miss being out on my patio in the middle of the day. I do have a job that allows me to spend as much time as I want with my kids and some moms would gladly trade places with me.

So, for now, I’d rather be a night owl who grades while everyone else sleeps. I’d rather go for morning hikes with my baby and take pretty pictures in the mornings while I sip my coffee. Sometimes we never seem satisfied with what we have. Always wanting more and forgetting the now. But today, I’m satisfied. Because many would want to trade places with me. Today, I live in the moment and appreciate the present.

To all the moms who constantly tell me,” You’re so lucky. You have it all figured out so young.”

No, I don’t. I’m just like you, still trying to figure out what it is I really want.

 

How In The World Am I a Stay-At-Home Mom With a Full Time Job?

Calling all my working mamas!

How in the world do you do it? Especially if you have a 9-5 job. I work from home and thought it would be just fine with an infant and toddler. Hah. Forgive me for underestimating how much work it would be. It is really hard. At least I don’t have a job that requires me to clock in and out and sit at a desk for certain hours. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to work 40+ a week, but I get to make my own schedule. If it was not for the flexibility, I would not be able to work from home. Because quite frankly, I basically have an evening shift work-from-home job.

Many people have a misconception about what it is like to work from home with kids.

They think it’s all paradise. OK, yes I get to work in my pjs and yoga pants on most days, but, as I said before on my Instagram, most of the time I get my work done when the kids go to bed at night. It is impossible for me to do anything during the day, but it is still possible to work from home if you do not mind working in the evenings. My days are spent taking care of my little guy (on the days older brother is at school) and doing occasional chores. If I need to meet up with friends or colleagues for coffee, he tags along.

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So… how in the world am I a stay-at-home mom with a full time job?

Recently though, my husband and I have made an arrangement for me to work 5pm to about 9ish. I lock myself in my office to work and he takes care of the kids. Some days I don’t actually start until closer to 8pm and work until midnight or 1am.  I usually take a break to help with the kids’ nighttime routine.  Some days I have more work. Some days I hardly have any when I’m all caught up. What I don’t like about that schedule is that I am missing out on quality time with him and the kids. So I try to make sure that I have absolutely  no work to do on the weekends so I can spend  time with hubby. My toddler goes to preschool three days a week, so at least that gives me some quiet time to respond to emails or do quick chores while the baby naps.

The thing is, I underestimated how much work baby#2 would be. Sounds wrong but it is so true. My first was very quiet. Yes, he cried when hungry or sleepy, but for the most part, he was very easy going and could entertain himself easily. Now baby #2 is very different. He does not like to be left alone and always wants me around. He’ll play for maybe ten minutes on his own, but that’s it. So, he is a full time job itself. Thus the reason why I can not do a single thing until hubby gets home.

I never used to be a night owl. But now I am mostly productive in the evening. I suppose we are testing the waters, but I would be lying to you if I said it was easy.

Sometimes, we, mothers, have the pressure to keep it all together and make sure that everything is perfect. We feel the need to be the perfect wife and the perfect mother. If not, then we are failing. We easily compare ourselves to so and so who seems to have it all together. Little do we know that so and so is also struggling with the same challenges.

Everything will not always be perfect, and that’s okay.

Some nights the dishes will remain in the sink, and the floors won’t be shiny. Some days you’ll have to order take out and take a shower late at night. That is the reality of it. As long as you are doing your best, mama, then do not give in to the pressure of having to be perfect all the time.

Some of you wonder how in the world do I still find time to write and blog? I suppose this is my escape. Blogging keeps me sane.  It gives me a place to escape to for just a little while.

It is not by my own strength that I am able to do this. God is my strength. When I do not read my devotional/Bible or spend some time in His presence, I definitely feel a sense of loss and weakness. But as soon as I put some worship music on or meditate on His promises, I instantly feel renewed. Strengthened. Awaken. So I have to keep reminding myself that if I keep trying to do everything on my own, eventually I will continue to get weaker. One of my favorite verses in Proverbs 3:5 reads,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all  your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your path.

So although I may not understand how I will be able to overcome this challenge, God does. And I will continue to trust in the Lord with all my heart for strength and courage.

This post was also published on Huffington Post.