A Trip To The Mall

The first thing I thought about when we arrived at this really nice outdoor mall was that I should take the kids here one day, by myself. HAH.

Here is a picture of Dalton just hanging out on the ground because it was getting close to nap time.

The day started off really calm. Ellie was sleeping in her stroller and Dalton was being himself, running around in Forever 21 taking shirts off of the hook and trying to run away. I need to get this boy a backpack leash thing – Amazon should have one, right?

Ellie’s pacifier was laying on her blanket and somehow it fell to the ground/disappeared forever. The key to keeping our fussy little girl soothed is probably sitting under a clothes rack collecting dust. Of course we are new to the paci game and I didn’t bring a replacement…

Our next stop was American Eagle, after Taylor took each child separately to get a diaper change – my hubby is the real MVP. This took forever because Taylor was trying to find church clothes for the first time in two years! Oh and I was trying on shorts and if anyone has gone shopping for clothes two months after having a baby you know that clothes that should fit are a little tight. I also wanted to find some Tom boy shorts, the kind that’s in style and AE has so many options. OH and we have two kids.

Taylor and I were taking turns to find out what would work. When it was my turn, Ellie and I hung out in the dressing room for a good 15 minutes while she cried as hard as she could. It was fun – I would try on a pair of shorts, she would cry, I would calm her down, try on another pair of shorts and on and on. While Taylor was keeping an eye on Dalton, me son managed to push the stroller into the wall of clothes twice – but the sales lady was nice about it and Ellie was in my arms so nobody was hurt. (We are those people, reminding other couples that they should wait a little longer to have a baby).

On the way out I mentioned that I wanted to go to Old Navy, but Taylor reminded me that Dalton was five minutes from a meltdown because it was nap time.

So we visited a grand total of TWO stores and it took about two hours… and this is parenthood when you have two children under the age of two at the young age of twenty two… holy moly that’s a lot of twos.

I will not be visiting the mall to try on clothes with or without another adult for awhile…especially not without one.

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What My Life Has Been Like Lately…

Love, I’ve felt this emotion the most.

Anxious, this feeling is second (which annoys me).

Excited, must be third.

Exhausted and frustrated (at times), are tied.

Lately I have been feeling all the emotions, which isn’t unheard of for motherhood. Someone compared their experience with a toddler and a newborn as keeping their head above water and I would have to say this is accurate.

Ellie sleeps pretty well at night so I know that if it weren’t for this I would be barely making it through. But here I am, making it through. During the day I usually don’t have help, but when I do have help (shoutout to EVERYONE who has helped me hold a baby or two) it really makes a world of difference. Yes, I have two arms, but I need both of them for a newborn, BUT I also need both of them for my toddler. So here I am, trying to get out of the house, while battling anxiety and trying to keep two babies safe.

My secret to making it all work:

-Keeping my house clean when the babies sleep because a clean house, an empty sink, and no clutter works wonders for my stress levels.

-Getting dressed in the morning, putting on my makeup, and having a plan for the day.

-LISTS (organization in general).

-And as always, facing my fears.

What do I have to worry about lately now that I have given birth? Well it can be really stressful between toddler tantrums and Ellie needing milkies and constant diaper changes. I have set a new goal for myself, to get out of the house with no help. I try to do this every other day, or maybe even everyday. And I have been doing pretty well! I even went into Target by myself. Granted, I spent most of the time in the clothes section, but I walked the WHOLE store (Mossimo is my fav brand and I bought a Stranger Things T to celebrate). Fun fact, I saw my therapist for the first time and he told me that I may have a sensory processing disorder, which can go hand in hand with anxiety, so it explains why my brain freaks out when I walk down an aisle… (fun stuff).

Social anxiety… this isn’t new but I am extreeeemely anxious to socialize right now. It has a lot to do with mom brain and with feeling judged as a mom – especially a young one. Am I doing it right? Is someone thinking to themselves that I could do it better somehow or that I am incapable because I look like a 12 year old (if you add 10 to that then you get my true age)? It also has to deal with baby number 2 – my toddler is on the go and I am tethered to a newborn. So I basically need 4 arms and 4 eyes…. or a nanny. I am also really exhausted and it’s hard to keep up with other people’s lives when I can barely keep track of my own.

Y’all motherhood is HARD! I had no idea, so thank you mom (and Happy Mother’s Day). And anyone who has been through this, is in the thick of it now like I am, or has been in a similar situation knows. You have to feed, cook, clean, change diapers, bathe, clothe, soothe, teach….. THE LIST GOES ON. And I’m not even a single mom (thank you Taylor, you’re a great daddy to our babies). And to those judging – yes I put myself in this situation and as hard as it is, I have no regrets. I actually want you to know, those that are in tears because it is all too much, this doesn’t last. One day your kids will be in school, they will be able to drive themselves around town, make their own food, ¬†and even move away and start their own lives. Right now it is 24/7, but rejoice in this time. Every blow out diaper, every tantrum that lasts 30 minutes, find the joy in it. One day you will look back and wish that you hadn’t wished it away. I carry this perspective throughout the day and it helps me to find peace and patience when I need it most. I love my kids, I love this job, and I am so blessed to be raising children of God.

 

Those with anxiety, my anxious buds, face your fears or they will control you. You can do it. If I can, you totally can. I still carry that fear on my heart, its pretty heavy, but one day it will lighten and continue to lighten until I am weightless. I am scared to leave my house, but I still do it, because I will not live my life chained to comfort (and my kids will not suffer with me).

“Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the MAKER of Heaven and Earth.” -Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns.

Remember this: the Maker of the ground you walk on is also a healer, one who strengthens you and keeps you. How powerful is that? He is just a prayer a way, ladies.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who read this! Thank you for your support.

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Special thanks to this guy too, without his support I would be lost.

 

A Change In My Life

Every single day I would wake up and do the same thing… turn on the TV, stare at my phone, just waiting for some motivation to be a better mom to my son. Part of the reason was that I was sick in the first stages of pregnancy, but the not so ugly side was that I was addicted to social media and if I wasn’t on social media I needed to watch TV. My guilt was at an all time high but I felt powerless to the call of my cell phone. I had to know where it was AT. ALL. TIMES. I didn’t feel right about my life, was this all that I was going to remember when I was on my deathbed? I started by taking my son to the small park in my apartment complex everyday for 30 minutes, and this led to an even deeper change. I wrote a list called Productive Days, on it was 5 things: School Work, Exercise, Bible Study, Podcast, and Cleaning. My goal was to set my phone on the table and only look at it to turn on a podcast. I was also not going to turn on the TV. I found that I could make time for everything on the list, and the rest of the time was spent with my son, playing with him, talking to him, or just sitting quietly while he played. Of course spending time with Dalton wasn’t last on my list, or least important because I didn’t put it on my list. It was the most important, most time consuming part of my day and when I couldn’t deal with the silence any longer I would be able to take the steps to better myself and do my job as a house wife, slowly knocking these things off my list. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that exhaustion causes you to lack motivation. I am a Type A, motivated personality, unless I am building a baby, which is SUCH hard work. Anyways, I am embarrassed to say that this change only came about a month ago, but it is exactly why I am writing today. I want to be productive, I want my life to be filled with meaning, because it leads to inspiration like this and ultimately it leads to growth. I have grown as child of God, as a wife, as a mom, and as a person. I have found my reason to get up in the morning no longer lies with social media, but with the connection to my son that is one of the most important parts of my life. If you need help breaking this addiction, leave a comment or like this post. I will be writing about how I found the strength and give you some tips, so stay tuned!