The Daunting Task: Raising the Future.

The Daunting Task of Raising the Future

You’re raising the future.

That statement alone is not only scary to read but to say as well.  with such recent events like the Orlando shooting and the Stanford rapist’s sentence it especially feels daunting.  I’ll admit that with what my family and I have recently gone through, watching and reading the news about those recent events has left me even more anxious and some what paranoid.

Getting into a car with them, I worry because I know I can drive as safe as I possibly can but I can’t be sure how other people will drive.  I worry about going to the store with my boys, worried that some one could just appear with a gun (or a number of them) and just start shooting people without a care.

Believe me, I don’t want to think this way.  I don’t want to feel so anxious that I let it overcome me and don’t take my kids out because it means driving in a car.  I don’t want to feel suspicious of people around me while I shop or go to an amusement park with my kids.  I want to cry that this is the world I’m raising my children in. A world where there are many that only see color, gender, sexual preference, or religion as means to judge people.  A world where we do not see people as humans.

I want to inspire my children to see people as humans.  As individuals with different perspectives.  Individual humans with emotions.  I want them to see that each individual human comes from a different background and upbringing.  They have had situations and experiences that have shaped them to be such individuals.  I really hope that they see that individual humans that have more to offer than their outward appearance.

I know there will be a day where I can't walk behind them or hold them close to my hip to protect them
I know there will be a day where I can’t walk behind them or hold them close to my hip to protect them.

Raising the future? More of, how do I envision my children to be like in the future?  Happy, independent, hard working, and well mannered of course.  I also want them to be decent human beings.

I know that I can only instill as much kindness, understanding, strength, and human decency as I possibly can starting the day they began growing in me. They have made me not only feeling blessed that God has given me the ability to care for them in the womb but help shape them as individuals as well.  I try my best to be mindful in not only how I react to situations as a mama but to others as well.  I see them carefully watching my facial expressions, my reactions, and my body language when I interact with people.  I want them to see that each person deserves compassion and understanding even if it may not seem like it all the time.  I hope that they reflect how they would like to be treated by others outward so it is reflected right back to them.

We’re definitely raising the future. A future that I hope is filled with more compassion, understanding, and light.

signed, dee

To the Mothers Struggling With Depression on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day in the U.S. is during the month of May which also happens to be Mental Health Awareness month. No matter how you feel, you deserve to be celebrated on this day too.
Mother’s Day in the U.S. is during the month of May which also happens to be Mental Health Awareness month. No matter how you feel, you deserve to be celebrated on this day too.

You might be apprehensive about the upcoming Mother’s Day.  You’re not sure what you’ve done to even deserve to be celebrated on that day.  You make think that you haven’t done much to prove you’re a good mother.  You may not feel like such a great Mama with how you’re feeling.

You may have been lost in a fog more than you liked.   The lows seem to be greater than the high points. You may be finding yourself fighting back tears more often than you like or during moments that don’t make sense.  Or even trying to summon every ounce of strength to just not fall apart in front of the people you love.

You do deserve this day, just as much as any mother/mother figure.

I’m here to remind you that this is just a small moment in the grander scheme of things.  I think it’s easier to pick apart all the lower and bad moments from the good ones and carry them with you.  Those good moments seem so faint when the weight of the bad moments make it hard to move forward.  Those good moments, they are there.

The brief periods where you mentally prepare yourself with a quick prayer or pep talk and can make it out the door to work.  Days where you would rather pull the covers over you but opt for a morning at the park with your kids.  For a brief moment, you have the laughter of your kids and genuine smiles to give you more hope and give you another reason to keep moving forward.  Those sessions with your doctor where you suddenly realize a major jump you’ve made in progress and that YES, you can do this.  Yes, those good moments are there.

Some days are definitely better than others. Some days it’s easier to pull yourself from that fog.  You really do deserve this day Mama.

You are fighting.

You are trying.

You are giving as much love as you can.

You’re trying to figure out how to cope and be present.

You ARE a loving Mama.

Happy Mother’s Day, you deserve this day, regardless if you’re trying to find ways to cope, are in the darkest holds of depression, or seeing positive results from everything you have been doing.  Keep fighting as best as you can. Remember to celebrate the small victories because they begin to add up to bigger ones.

If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you are looking for pregnancy or postpartum support and local resources,

please call or email:

Call PSI Warmline (English & Spanish) 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)

Email support@postpartum.net

or visit http://www.postpartum.net/

signed, dee

Mental Health Quote

The Strength I Found in Motherhood.

Becoming a mama has made me realize that I have a lot more strength than I thought.
Becoming a mama has made me realize that I have a lot more strength than I thought.

When you’re pregnant with your first child, many veteran mamas tell you how wonderful it will be. The focus of their excited chatter is mainly about the baby.  You hear about the sleep you’ll lose, the milestones to look forward to, and all the tips and tricks you may or may not want to hear.

They often don’t tell you how it will change YOU as an individual.  Yes, they tell you that motherhood is rewarding but never expand on it.  They also don’t tell you about the beauty you find in yourself nor do they tell you the strength that grows within you.

Motherhood is an ever changing thing. It’s filled with so many different emotions (often in the span of 5 minutes).  Motherhood is something you not only put so much of your heart into but your soul as well.  So much of yourself is put into caring for tiny humans.

We’re often second guessing our decisions.  We worry how every possible action and reaction will effect our children.  Talk about even more pressure when you add having other mamas, parents, in-laws, and just about anyone else in the world being able to comment and scrutinize a mama’s every move into all of this. Trying to navigate motherhood with PPD makes it even more nerve wracking.  It feels like things are intensified by 100.  Often you’re trying to find the strength to have strength.  Add the stereotypes that is often associated with PPD, well, a person needs all the strength they can get.  You feel like you not only need to prove it to yourself that you can make it through but to others as well.

Yes, you do second guess yourself in motherhood.  Whether it’s exclusively breastfeeding, formula feeding, cloth diapers, co-sleeping, teaching your child sign language, or only giving them organic food. You are continually second guessing every decisions and every move through the constant running thoughts in your head, comments from others, or articles you read.  You feel like you need to, or are more than ready, to defend the previous mentioned choices.  When things don’t seem to go as you thought (i.e. crib training early on, switching to formula feeding, etc.), you find yourself second guessing your second guessing!

However, you also realize through the missteps and triumphs that you’re doing the best that you possibly can.  

You see it when your child reaches a milestone.  It’s seen when your child’s laughter is so joyful you have tears in your eyes.  You can also see it when you watch your child’s personality budding before you.  Your child’s progression, whatever the pace, will show you everything.

O and W.

 

Motherhood makes you vulnerable, it makes you protective, and it makes you stronger as a person. 

This is why you become so passionate about every decision you make.  You may have a bad motherhood day but the thing is, you wake up to do it all over again.  Maybe with not as much strength as the day before but you still do it.

I’ve realized that the choices I’ve made so far regarding my children are led with my heart.  I become protective over those decisions because I know in my soul it was the right thing for my child. That I take such criticism and scrutiny so dearly because I’ve put my heart into these children.  I know it can be easy to question the parenting decisions of others but in the end aren’t we all making childrearing decisions that others will question and scrutinize?  It’s then that I realize that while the advice given should be taken under consideration, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to follow each and every tip.

My babies and motherhood have taught me to continue putting my heart and soul into the things I love.  Motherhood has taught me to not apologize for my beliefs.   That it’s okay to be protective when it comes to scrutiny or criticism.  More importantly, it has taught me that there was always this strength in me.  It continues to grow as my children grow.  It continues to grow even when I make missteps as a mama.  It continues to grow as I maneuver my way through PPD.  Motherhood has shown me that my strength was always there, it just need a kick from two handsome little men for me to realize that it was there all along.

signed, dee

A Mama, yes, but so much more. 

enjoymamahood.com
I'm still trying to get a handle on being a mother, a wife, and striving to be a stronger woman for myself.
I see glimpses of that strong and successful woman.

 

I feel like I’m in a strange point in my life. I’m trying to transition to a career that is completely new. I’m trying to figure out how to be a Mama to two children. Trying to be a good spouse is thrown in there. I’m also trying to find some inspiration to get back into art.

Before the babies, I would pour myself into books and finish through them quickly.  I would be able to draw or paint when I felt like it.  Going out for a quick bite to eat was not a process that consisted of wrangling children to get dressed and my hair half done.  Food was enjoyed and not quickly inhaled to ensure a toddler wasn’t wandering around a restaurant or grabbing everything breakable.  Sleep?  Well there was definitely much more of that.

I feel that I have done my best to take on new roles in mamahood, as a wife, and as a working mama.  I have been doing my best to intertwine all three but forgot about doing things for myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my role as a mama and as a wife.

Despite what I’m going through, I love being a Mama.  My husband and I have our ups and downs but we’ve tackled so much so far in marriage.  It’s definitely been a journey but there have been a lot of moments of happiness and laughter.

The working mama, well I’m still adjusting to that.  I’m in that group of mamas that really want it all career wise but in the comfort of her home to be with her babies.  Right now I’m doing my best to just enjoy my leave from work.

I think it’s wrong to consider mamahood as just revolving around kids.  I’m beginning to see that it encompasses so much more.  As mothers we of course put our family first and ourselves last.  I always thought that being a Mama meant just that – family first.  Being able to allow myself, yes allow myself, to have time for myself is something I’m struggling with.

I believe I’m slowly moving towards the woman I want to become.  I know that woman that is strong and beautiful in her own way is in there, I see glimpses of it from time to time. A woman who is a mother that not only loves her children fiercely but encourages them to grow.  A wife that continues to communicate, have fun with, and grow with her husband.  A woman that learns to balance time for herself because she deserves it too.  A woman that is successful and loves what she does, whether working for a company or building her own business.

So I will continue to squeeze in time for painting or drawing. I will give my boys as many kisses as I can and hug them if I can wrangle them in.  I will keep scribbling down ideas to become my own boss.  I’ll try to remember to not get too frazzled with everything going on but I won’t make any promises.  Most importantly I will continue to keep moving forward to that woman I keep catching glimpses of and learn from this whole process.

Enjoymamahood Journey: PPD

enjoymamahood journey: ppd

My journey with postpartum depression (PPD) has been a very tiring one.  I’m learning that it’s okay to have bad days just as it is okay to have the good days.  Although I’m having my good days, it does not necessarily mean i’m not having an internal struggle with myself.  I’m often reminding myself to be present, smile often, laugh often, and that I’m doing pretty good at this motherhood thing.  It may be filled with a lot of yawns due to a sleepless night.  It may also be where I push myself a little harder to get myself and the boys out of the house.  It could also be that I simply was able to get the laundry from the washer into the dryer.

The bad days are still there.  Definitely not as much as before but there.  I am awake, I am functioning, I can get things done.  Often I feel like I’m walking in my own cloud space.  I’m still reminding myself to be present, smile often, laugh often, and look at how happy my babies are.  I get so sucked into the fog of my thoughts that I stare off into space.  Am I doing a good job?  Am I doing this motherhood thing right?  Why can’t I be happy?  Why do I feel so down?  “Why?” complies on top of more “Why?”

Late nights and early mornings are much harder for me during this time.  I wake up on my own.  There is no crying baby that needs to be consoled or fed.  There is no crying toddler that had a nightmare.  I wake up and I’m wide awake.  I put on a book on Audible and try to fall back asleep.  Often, I get up and do schoolwork.  Sometimes there is crying.  There is guilt for feeling the way that I do. There is definitely anger within myself for feeling this way.  There is helplessness due to feeling this way.  By the time I am ready to go back to sleep it usually is an hour or so before the babies wake.  I don’t let myself sleep in.  I get up and I take care of them.  I take care of things around the house.  We go run errands.  We go on a walk.  All of this is going on and I am encouraging myself to keep pushing forward.  Encouraging myself that this is just a bad day and I can get through it.  I’m encouraging myself with my boys smiles and their laughs.  I’m willing the cloud above me to just go away.

I don’t know how much of a good job I’m doing with masking this from my family and close friends.  It is tiring and I wish that it was something as simple as willing it to go away instantly.  I know that this is a process.  I know that it won’t be easy.  I know that there are good days and there are bad days.  Some people say it’s hormones and some people say it isn’t a real thing.  It is a real thing.  I not only feel it with every part of my mind and body but I am living it.  I am trying to not only live through it but find a way to live without it.  It’s hard not to feel like people will judge, especially those that you are close with.  Will they think differently of me?  Will they even want to be around me while I’m going through this?

For now I am taking it one step at a time.  One doctor’s appointment at a time.  I’m reminding myself to be present and be mindful.  That I am doing a pretty okay job with my babies.  They are happy, they are healthy, they are hitting milestones, and seem to love me even on my bad days.

What I do know, that even though I feel the way that I do, I am so SO very happy that I have my babies.  They have shown me such a love that makes my chest hurt from happiness.  My babies make it worth every step I’m taking to overcome PPD.

Love is

O Wonder

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

I found myself reciting this in my head while taking a walk with O and W yesterday.  O was going back and forth between a slow stroll to running as if a fire was lit under his feet.  Some days I would say to either “hurry up” or “slow down” but that day was different.  It was if it dawned on me that maybe I should be taking a page from The Book of O.

I watched as he was taking in his surroundings.  Watching him gave me this overflowing feeling of such love.  His forehead would crinkle as he examined how the wind moved through leaves on a tree, his eyes widened as he watched a rabbit leap into a bush, and just stood still and smiled up at the sun.  I myself forget to enjoy such things.  I’m either creating a plan in my head on how I’m going to approach grocery shopping with two kids, going over the route I’m going to take to support group, or worrying over how I’m going to accomplish a paper with two wide-awake boys.  Just watching him made me want to slow down, enjoy what is around me and to marvel at what I have.

That same day, O woke up from his nap, yawned, looked at me and said, “Hi Mama. Love you.” and jumped off the sofa after I took a photo.  His simple sentences resonated within me.  Yet again, O was teaching me something.  Children hold such an innocence and honesty that adults often try to diminish so quickly.  O holds such a love for myself, his dad, our close family and friends, and the world around him.  He has been patient with me as I learn to be the best mother I can for him and W.  O has been great a reciprocating a love he is still continuing to learn.

Moments like this make me appreciate motherhood.  It chips away at the darkness that PPD often holds. O reminded me that he not only needs to enjoy all that childhood has to offer but I do too.I know easier said than done, but I do want to try. Moments like this make me love my motherhood journey.

Enjoymamahood Journey: School – time

One of the things I struggle with the most while working on this current degree is the time it takes away from my babies.  It was a little easier to balance the time when it was just one kid.  I would study during his naps or wait until he went to sleep for the night to work on papers.  My first born may be rambunctious but he does love his naps and goes to bed fairly early so I can get things done.

Add another child?  Well, what is time?  W is still a puzzle I’m trying to figure out.  Unlike his older brother, he likes to sleep in, naps currently can’t be done without him unless I’m wearing him, and he likes to stay up later at night than his brother.  I’ve decided that temporarily, at least I’m hoping, I have to be a night owl.  Oh how I love my sleep, it’s also especially imperative due to my PPD, but graduation is so close I can feel it at my fingertips.  So for now, I will be a night owl.

It’s a little hard to see it now, with the massive bags under my eyes, how bloodshot my eyes look, and just how darn sleepy I feel.  I really don’t want to take away too much time I can be spending with my babies.  I guess I just needed to remind myself, that this will be worth it.  I really want this and I decided to go back to school for another degree not only for myself but my family as well.  I can’t see it completely right now, due to the lack of coffee quite possibly, but it will be worth it.