I’m an ok mom, and I’m ok with that.

The Mom Revolution

I feel like I am in the middle of a revolution (a momolution, if you will). For the first time since I became a mom, I feel good about what I am doing for my family.

Mom Guilt is REAL

And man, I was hit with it HARD. (Struggling to bond with my child for the first 4 months didn’t help, but that’s a different story).

The mom guilt strikes me the most with going to work and letting my daughter watch TV.

Work

I felt like a bad mom for leaving my daughter, the little human I created, at daycare while I went to my teaching job.

I would think to myself, why am I here taking care of other people’s kids but not my own? 

I would try to think of ways to leave. To make it work with me being home. I would make myself sick because of it.

Then it dawned on me: I am a rockstar teacher, who teaches rockstar students, and yeah, the environment might not always be the best but it’s what I’m meant to do. God definitely gave me this vocation.

I may not be with my child, but she is somewhere where she is oh so loved and has FUN! Most days she is disappointed that I am there to pick her up!

As a bonus- I’m doing what I love too and with some amazing people! So, I see it as ok in my book!

Overall, just do what feels best for you and what you think God is calling you to do. If that’s staying home- that’s ok! If that’s working- that’s ok too!

Screen Time: Friend or Enemy?

I see screen time as a frenemy ( I’m just doing all kinds of word combos today).

When my child watches TV, it makes my soul ache. I think about how bad it is for her, how the fast moving pictures could cause ADHD (I have no idea if this is true, it’s just my anxiety), or how I should be spending more quality time with her.

For these reasons, I limit TV to one episode of her favorite show a day (Storybots). But that’s on a good day.

Sometimes, I’m trying to make dinner and when nothing else stops the incessant whining, then TV it is.

It’s not perfect, but it’s ok for me.

And that’s how I feel about parenting in general. Not everyday is going to be the best day ever. Not every choice I will make as a parent is going to be great. But I know that every day I try to do what’s best.

And that’s ok with me.

 

-A.Faith

 

 

From darkness to light

Postpartum depression.

What an opening line- right?

I haven’t written on here in a while. Mostly because I feel like no one want to hear the endless ramblings that are going on inside my head, but lately the ramblings seem to ring true for a lot of people, so I might as well share my story.

Finding out I was pregnant was the best day of my life. Knowing I was carrying a life inside of me was such a tremendous blessing.

I dreamed of snuggles, breastfeeding, little giggles, and of what their little face would look like.

2 days before I was induced my husband lost his job.

Panic.

Suddenly nothing was picture perfect anymore.

I wrote a letter to my baby apologizing for  giving it life when I could not afford it. For being irresponsible. For being a disappointment.

That’s what I felt like the day she was born.

A disappointment.

I lost too much blood giving birth- but not enough to consider it a hemorrhage. It was just “close to one.”

I couldn’t get her to latch correctly at the hospital. A nurse gave me a disappointed look and told me I may need to give her formula.

I was in too much pain to walk but a nurse told me I had to or I would never heal.

On that walk I almost passed out because of all of the blood I had lost but the nurses told me I had to continue.

I was failing. Failing at birth, failing at healing, failing at feeding my child.

I went home and continued to feel my failure.

My mind snapped and told me it was a mistake. Having this baby was ruining my life, my husband’s life, and my daughter’s life.

We told the doctor and she put me on medicine.

It only got worse.

Until the breaking point when the thoughts of harming myself or my baby became too great and I was sent to the hospital.

I left not being allowed to be alone with my baby, but I was healing.

After a few days I called the hospital asking for some help because I could feel the thoughts creeping back.

Their solution was to call CPS saying I wasn’t following the guidelines of my discharge.

I was. I had a loving family member with me at all times.

But again, I was a failure.

I kept fighting. Kept praying. Kept visiting my therapist.

Then finally it clicked.

I could see a woman breastfeeding and not feel regret or sadness that I was unable to.

I could hear see someone with their child and not feel jealous of their bond.

I could feel joy for a pregnant woman instead of fear for her.

I was ok.

Now I have the most beautiful relationship with my daughter. She is a light in my life that I can’t imagine living without.

-A. Faith

If you are struggling, you are not alone. Talk to your doctor and make it clear what you need. 

Here are some resources that were helpful: 

Postpartum health alliance

Postpartum Support International

And reading the book of Job in the Bible. He goes through a great amount of suffering but he remains faithful to God.

 

Regret

Sorry it has been so long since I have written, it has been an insane few months that has got me thinking a lot about regret.

Regret is my biggest fear. Will I regret not going on that trip? Not buying that new car? Not taking chances?

Or the classic- should I have bought that? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I just ruin a friendship?

I want to have a life full of happiness where I can look back on everything and smile- but that’s not reality, is it.

I have witnessed alcoholism, divorce, lying, cheating, fear, carelessness (or caring too much), and I worry about my life. Will I get divorced? Will I be lied to someday? Will I make a horrible choice that I can’t turn back from? The unfortunate answer is- who knows.

So as I sit, worrying about regretting things in my life- I am wasting my life.

I am wasting my life worried about regret (can I regret regretting? That’s too much to think about) anyway… why worry?

I am a big believer in God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and only HE knows the plans laid before me. So I can sit here wallowing in the fear of regret or……

I can LIVE!

I can pray that I would follow the correct path, sure there will be bumps in the road (maybe even some mountains) but I have to keep going. I can’t sit here and have a fear of regret of things that have not even occurred.

If you are sitting there worrying like me, (even if you are not a believer in God), please remember to live your life.

Truly LIVE it and take the obstacles as they come.

Savor that first sip of coffee, take the time to talk to a loved one, try just sitting in silence and listening to the world around you, and remember that there is so much to live for.

 

–A. Faith

Pumpkin pie

Wow, it’s Thanksgiving again!

For me, that means another one of my birthdays has recently passed-oh and my mom’s birthday-oh yeah and my sister’s (we are all a bunch of November babies).

It also means that a TON of memories have been made.

When I was thinking of what I’m thankful for, I started thinking of memories. Memories of laughing in the kitchen playing monopoly with my cousins (oh yeah and the memories of one of us crying when we went bankrupt), drinking tea from a nice mug because I was too young to drink coffee, making leaf piles- just being a kid.

But around this time of year one memory stands out the strongest-

making pies with Grandma (Meema) and my sister.

I am the honorary pie crust lady (I really do roll out a mean crust), my sister makes the pumpkin pie fillings, Meema slices the apples at a wicked speed, and my sister and I get to mix in the cinnamon and sugar into the apples (and lick our fingers afterwards).

This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember and at first I thought “I’m thankful for that tradition.”

But then I remembered what makes those memories and traditions special- the people.

The people that gave me memories and traditions and shaped me into who I am. When I look back on my life it is filled with pumpkin pies, game nights, sledding with cousins, chaotic family dinners, weddings, graduations, hide and go seek, and it is all of these people who were with me to make these memories that I am thankful for.

So thank you to my mom, dad, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents for the childhood.

And thank you to Meema for the pumpkin pies- memories that I will be thankful for for the rest of my life.

~A. Faith

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To be little again

This morning I checked the news. 

I hear that is what adults do-they stay informed. 

This morning I read that 5 police officers were killed in a planned attack. 

This morning I didn’t want to be an adult anymore. 

I remember being in middle school, and wanting to grow up. To be able to drive places, to do what I wanted, to buy a dog, to marry a handsome man- you get the idea.

The way I thought adults behaved and lived their lives is way different than what it actually is.

Being an adult means realizing the world is a scary place and learning to live with it. 

When I was young, I thought I was going to marry my first love. When my mom told me that most people don’t end up marrying the first person they fall in love with, I thought she was lying.

I thought that the world wouldn’t be so cruel as to have you fall in love with someone and then have them drift a part- but then it happened. And I moved on.

I thought being a high schooler meant that you were going to be skinny and have lots of friends.

But then I was bullied for my weight, for my love interests, and for my personality.

I thought having a job meant that you would be able to support yourself.

Then I realized that people can’t live off of minimum wage.

I thought being an adult meant you could go and have fun whenever you wanted.

Then I learned that people were being shot in movie theaters and night clubs.

Being an adult means realizing the world is a scary place and learning to live with it.

As a person who suffers from anxiety, this realization can be crippling. I leave for work in the morning and sometimes wonder if I will come back. My husband leaves for work and I worry I might never see him again. I worry about my family and my friends, and I worry about the world.

I am living in a city where the police chief, Ed Flynn gave four “simple” rules to not get shot in Milwaukee:

  • Don’t be part of a crime gang or crew
  • Don’t be a drug dealer
  • Don’t illegally carry a gun
  • If you are in an argument with a stranger, ask them how often they’ve been arrested. If they’ve been arrested more often than you’ve been arrested, concede the point

And yet, you hear about children being shot and killed in this city, or being hit by stray bullets. Children who I am sure have done nothing on this list.

This world is scary.

If I could go back to being young and playing pretend, climbing trees, coloring, and playing T-ball I would.

But I can’t, I am an adult now. I am a part of this scary world. A scary world that I can try to make a difference in.

To teach, to love, to help, to offer a smile.

This world is so full of lemons, but I can try to make it sweeter.

We can all try.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

-A. Faith

Do this, don’t do that.

Do this, don’t do that.

So often society and the people in our lives tell us what is right, what is wrong, how to look, how to feel, the list could go on for days.

My least favorite is when it comes to the way I look.

I am 22, according to my BMI am obese, I wear glasses, I love patterns, I love bright lipstick, I have no particular “style,” I am simply me.

The label of “obese” surprised me, especially since my doctor used the BMI to give me this name without asking about my lifestyle. Particularly if I work out (I do), If I lift weights (I do), and what my diet is like.

I don’t think I look obese, but the name stuck. I stopped seeing myself as Andrea that loves fun lipsticks, patterns, and embraces her many styles and started seeing myself as:

obese.

But I took control of that word. I owned up to the idea that I could be healthier and have since lost 10 pounds. This was for ME, not for the term obese or the doctors that gave it to me.

Glasses is another area where I used to struggle.

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Oh, you don’t think glasses can be beautiful, let me prove you wrong…

I got them when I was in first grade and hated it. They set me apart. They made me different when all I wanted to do was blend in.

At one point in my life (around middle school) I stopped wearing them completely. I would endure the headaches, try and force my vision to focus, and all for what… so that people would like me?

I even had a woman come up to me at a store once and say to me: “Why do you wear glasses? You have such a pretty face, you would look so much better without them.”

Thanks to my husband I have a new love for my glasses. Not only do they help me see (HUGE bonus) but they add fun and flair to my face (along with the bright lipstick of course).

My personality is also an area where people have brought me down.

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My silly self is beautiful.

They say I am “too much,” I had a boss tell me that it made me seem “dumb,” I had teachers tell me I would not succeed because of it, I had someone ask me what medication I took to be this way (as if a happy personality cannot come naturally).

I stopped caring.

If you think I am dumb, that’s ok, because my GPA says otherwise. If you think I can’t succeed, that’s ok, because my college degree and community involvement says otherwise, if you think that I must be on drugs, that’s ok, because know otherwise.

It took me awhile to feel beautiful in who I am, but now that I have I feel like there is no stopping me.

I LOVE my body.

I LOVE my glasses.

I LOVE my personality.

I LOVE who I am. Yes, there will be days when society looks at me and rolls its eyes but I will stand there and wave them along.

Because as long as I love who I am, and I have people in my life that love me for who I am,

than that is all that matters.

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I am me. And I am beautiful.

-A. Faith.

 

 

 

People pleaser

People Pleaser

I am a people pleaser.

I worry all the time about what people are thinking about me.

I worry that I am letting myself or those I care about down.

I worry that I am not good enough.

When I am worried about these things then I hide. My friends wonder why I’m not in touch, my family wonders why I’ve been so distant, but how am I supposed to face them when I can’t face myself?

And what happens when I am trying to do good things in my life, but others don’t see it that way?

This question is what keeps me up at night. I feel happy and sick to my stomach at the same time.

It makes me question who I am. Am I this people pleasing person I have always been? Or am I trying to distance myself? And If I’m distancing myself from this person I used to be, will my family and friends still be there?

I don’t have the answers. But I have to hope that they will fall through the cracks.

I want to be able to rejoice in my life and the choices I make, even when others may not agree. But then that people pleasing voice pops into my head: “You know that no one will respect you now, right?” or “You know that everyone will be secretly disappointed with you, right?”

After losing my faith for awhile, the Holy Spirit entered my heart and helped me see what the truth is. That I need to do what is right by God, and that all people may not agree. But it is much harder than it sounds when it feels like all eyes are on you, scrutinizing your every move.

I am a people pleaser.

I worry about my reputation.

I worry about what others think.

But I need to remember that what matters is God and what he has in store for my future.

Even if you are not a Christain, it is still true that people pleasing will not lead you to happiness and that is an undeniable truth. Not that you should purposefully go against others to harm them, but some decisions are meant for only you to make and not everyone will understand.

So be strong, worry less, trust in God, and remember that your opinion of yourself, is just as important (if not MORE important) than what others think of you.

 

-A. Faith