Thursday, April 21, 2016

Stage of Life

Back in college Thursdays were Thirsty Thursdays and the promise of fun weekend with no responsibilities. Eleven years later (holy shit) Thursdays now mean Grey's Anatomy and one more day until I have an extra set of hands that can catch Sydney. // Wait, has it really been over a decade since I was last in college? And yes, I still watch Grey' know you watch it too.

RIP Dr. McDreamy. And, evidently, my youth.

Picture credit: somewhere on the World Wide Web
I don't know what's been going on, but lately I've been feeling like I'm flailing with everything. Things have been so busy, and I've been describing life with the words shitshow, gongshow and hot mess far more than I'd like to admit (and have simultaneously been using dry shampoo far more than what is socially acceptable). Anyone else? It's awful. If you think this is a cry for help, you're absolutely right. And if you think rosé is the help I need, you're probably one of my best friends or soon-to-be best friends.

My life's mantra.

Chatting with my girlfriends, it seems like this is actually a pretty common feeling with a lot of mamas, just no one really talks about it -- or at least no one talks openly about it. I've heard before and read articles about how motherhood can be pretty isolating, which I totally agree with, and while I do blame social media for perpetuating those feelings, I think you have to really realize--and keep reminding yourself--that it's just social media. It's only the best glimpses of people's lives. Moms that have gorgeous Instagram feeds fret over the same guilt as moms posting themselves cooking in sweatpants. I may post a picture of pancakes, eggs and fruit for breakfast one day, but I can assure you I'm barely able to peel an orange the next. At the end of the day, we're all moms going through the same stage.

Not a daily occurrence.

A girlfriend of mine shared this article on her Facebook page tonight, and it is so, so good. The author talks about how this stage of life--early to mid 30's with kids--is really hard right now, and it made me realize 'what's been going on' with me is actually just the stage of life I'm currently in. She talks about dealing with exhaustion, guilt, adulting, identity crises and more. I love the article because, for me, it hits home. I really resonated with everything she wrote, and I felt every struggle she described.

Exhaustion: I was up all night last night because Sydney slept in our bed. She kept having what I think were nightmares, so I threw her in our bed to make her feel more safe. Problem is she's not very used to co-sleeping, much less being in the middle, so she spent majority of the night kimbo-slicing her way out from under the covers and rolling around like an egg beater. A big cup of coffee and a good concealer seem to be my answer to everything these days.

A cute picture of Sydney pretending to sleep so she can get out of going to school. Definitely NOT an accurate portrayal of last night's three-ring circus.

Illness: I think I need three hands to count how many times we've been to the ER. As most of you know, Sydney was in and out of hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics and more for the greater part of 2015 for heavy wheezing, congestion and labored breathing/shortness of breath -- and holy crap, did life suck on those days. Factor in teething, random colds, pink eyes (thanks, germy kids at Sydney's daycare) and occasional stomach bugs, and I was about to stick Sydney in a bubble. Thankfully 2016 has been a bit kinder to us (knock on wood).

Guilt: Ugh, mom guilt is all too real in every single way. When I worked in an office, I felt guilty for leaving my baby in the care of others. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I felt guilty for not contributing financially. Now as an independent contractor, I feel guilty for not challenging myself to be the best I know I can be.

Decisions: Should I go back to working in an office? Should I sign Sydney up for more activities? Should I potty train now or wait another month? Should I eat a McDonald's hashbrown? (That answer is always yes. Clearly.)

Overloaded: With questions? Check. With touch? Check...but I will fully admit I never tire of that. I secretly love feeling Syd's hands on my legs asking to be picked up, even when I'm cooking, and I will always go with her whenever she grabs my hand. With to-do's? The longest list ever. With worries? I've never worried more. With things? SO. MANY. TINY. TOYS. Figurines (from those 'blind bags' or surprise eggs or whatever), play kitchen items and play food, puzzle pieces, crayons, dolls...

Perhaps the best part of the article, though, was the author's suggestion of how to survive: to fulfill your own needs first. To accept help, to ask for help, to take time for yourself, to take time with your girlfriends, to make your marriage a priority, to take time to pray, to be selfish with your time and with yourself. I love that. I think majority of the moms I know put their family's needs first and their needs last, which can have a really polarizing effect. There are times when I'm so entrenched with the daily grind and my family's needs, I forget to take care of myself--getting my hair cut, working out, painting my nails (for those of you who know me well know that's HUGE)--and then it suddenly hits me like a ton of bricks and I have a minor meltdown for looking like a mashed potato.

The article is so right; it is a super hard stage in our lives right now. But the author says it's also the most beautiful stage, and I also agree with that -- watching your little one take on the world with bright eyes filled with wonder is literally an amazing feeling. That sounds so cheesy, but I watched Sydney put together an entire alphabet puzzle this morning, and I couldn't get enough of her little voice musing over the colors of the letters and what piece fit where, and when she was done she was--rightfully so--so incredibly proud of herself. "Look, Mommy, I did it! All done!" I couldn't get over that Jordan and I actually made her, and it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.

I would obviously never trade this stage for any other stage in my life, and I can honestly say I'm the happiest I've ever been -- but in that same breath, don't let my Instagram feed fool you; this stage is HARD. I'm constantly struggling to find peace with my guilt and decisions and find balance with my time and relationships. There are days where I feel I really nailed the mom and wife thing, and there are days, today being one, when I just have to tip my glass (of rosé) and call it a day.

Best. Feeling. Ever.

So to all the moms out there feeling like they're flailing, you're not; you're actually doing an amazing job. And to all the moms out there feeling isolated and alone, you're not; you've got me at least (for what that's worth, ha!). And to the moms who are reading this and thinking to themselves, "This girl is a shitshow," -- well, A) you're right; and B) tell me your secrets!!!


P.S. So excited for Grey's tonight.


  1. You're an amazing mama!! Not gonna lie...your IG feed has made me feel like a complete slob kabob, mess of a person/mother on a couple of occassions. Lol. But I love seeing all the cute things you and Syd do, and the adorable crafts you create and how you keep your house so nicely decorated...I fantasize about the day I can have my life that together...but then I say, "Who the hell are you kidding Maria? You're never going to be that put together. It's just not you." But that's part of what makes each of us unique. I'm a fiesty spit fire, zero (bleeps) to give type of chick that does her best to raise some adorable nuggets and people like that about me. You're a super gorg, fun, creative, talented and devoted mommy juggling her business, motherhood and wifey duties. As long as our babies are loved and taken care of; at the end of the day, that's all that matters. Love you chica and thanks for sharing this amazing post! You rock! X0X0

    1. Oh my gosh, girlfriend!! You are the polar opposite of a slob kabob, and I'm sorry you've felt badly! I've always admired you; you're raising two incredible boys on your own and you stay true to yourself the entire time. I love that---and I love how self-assured and confident you are. NEVER CHANGE. And let's be honest--we're Snapchat friends, girl--you know my house is never that clean and you know I never wear makeup. ;-) I love you and am so thankful for our friendship! Your boys are the luckiest for having you---thanks for commenting, friend. :-)


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