Wake up and…Breathe!

WwwAaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Waaaaaaaa! Aaaaahhhhhh!

This is how my morning started at 2am. Any mom knows, with the reality of waking up many times at all hours of the night, the exhaustion that comes with the no-sleep followed by no-sleep pattern. But there is something about the 2am mommy shift that is the worst; hence starting my morning with a homemade venti iced mocha!!!

I bet you’re tired just reading about it!

My happy little guy always wakes up with a big smile on his face, so to hear that screeching cry this morning made my heart break for him. So then at 4:30, 5, and 5:30am when he woke up to my husband and in-laws getting ready for their day, there was no putting him back to sleep again.

[My husband and I moved in with his parents shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I’ll tell that story another time. Before you feel sorry for us, it’s been more of a blessing than anything! I’m so grateful for them! I am not, however, loving that everyone in the house gets ready so early and so loudly in the morning!!!]

Ok so back to my story… My little guy is wide awake and ready to play, like everyone else in the house, not phased at all by the broken up sleep. Momma over here on the other hand is a walking zombie. Dilemma: do I try to play with him and risk dropping him because I’ve nodded off unintentionally or let him play in his crib with some toys and hope he falls peacefully back asleep. I choose the later. Feeling guilty, I keep waking up startled every so often to check my video monitor to see how he’s doing. Finally, about an hour later, after dreaming he has been the world record baby for figuring out how to climb out of his crib at 4 months old, he has managed to flip himself over, spin the opposite direction, kick all of his covers off (it’s freezing by the way), and fall back asleep. Again, feeling guilty as I’m bundled under a sheet, 2 comforters, and 3 blankets, I peel my motionless body out of the warmth and go cover him up and curl myself back in bed.

He manages to sleep about 45 minutes and then decides its actually time to be awake now. Out of bed I roll. I put on my happy face, which went from fake to genuine as soon as his toothless smile melted my heart. We rose with the sun singing our morning tunes, “Arise, shine, the morning has come…”, “You are my sunshine” “In the morning, when I rise…”, and “On Mondays I am happy, on Tuesdays full of joy…”. I have found that if I can’t muster up the strength for my own energy, I must put on a smile, sing with this voice only my son can love, and hope someone left some spare coffee in the carafe for me to indulge on a morning like this.”

After doing our morning routine of exercises, massage, A,B,Cs, counting, tummy time, and stretches it was time to feed him and I course… He passed out! 🙂 Now hyped up on caffeine I’m thrilled that my phone rings and its my sister. On a morning like this the best person to hear from is my sister and friend, a mommy to a precious and overly eccentric, energetic 2 year old little girl and a beautiful newborn daughter who is probably just as happy as the eldest, but seems to cry more often than the first because, well, now there’s two to manage not just one. My sister is one of the strongest, most caring and nurturing women I know, and her wisdom in Mommy craziness, always assures me that I’m doing a great job. I told her how terrible I felt for leaving him by himself in his crib. This morning her kind words were, “I’m convinced this is why God made children’s memories nonexistent before the age of three. So parents can make mistakes while honing their parenting skills, and their kids will not remember any of it!” Now, that’s grace at its finest!!

I know someone out their needs to hear that too, so whoever it is I hope you’re encouraged! As nuts as life might be, please take time to breathe, and please, share your thoughts with me! I’m new on this journey and would love to learn from you too!

Until my munchkin’s next nap time… Happy Thursday!

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Paradigms- Perspective changes

My world is being bombarded with perspective. Do you ever find yourself blasted with new realities? It must be time for a paradigm shift:
It was dark, cold and rainy this morning, the perfect morning to stay bundled in my down comforter. Ha! Ya right! I can’t remember the last time that was my reality. Of course, this drizzly gloomy morning was my baby’s dreaded 4 month immunization appointment! To make matters worse I had to wake him from his peaceful sleep to be there on time. Any mom knows, You DON’T wake a sleeping baby!!! There I was exhausted, my mood about as happy as the weather, [salivating over just the thought of a rich espresso roast coffee to drag this booty out of bed] and I quietly lean over his crib to disturb his peaceful sleep…dreading a shrieking scream…who am I kidding?… my munchkin rolls over with the biggest grin on his precious little face. Now that’s how I want to wake up in the morning: with pure joy and not a fear or care in the world!!!
-Perspective-

Off we go, I load him in his “race car seat” and he’s happy as a clam. Of course, he doesn’t know he’s about to get poked and prodded, but nonetheless he has the biggest smile on his face. Even as I unwrap him from his cozy blanket to strip him down and lay him on the cold, crinkled paper, he starts rolling around and playing. After getting his shots he cried a little, ate, and went back into play mode, and minutes later passed out on the drive home. This kid is teaching me so much about my attitude.
-Perspective-

About 30 minutes into his nap I decide to move myself to the other side of the house to watch a little tv. I turn on my video monitor to watch him sleep and there-is-no-baby-in-the-crib!!!! Oh my gosh! My heart skips a beat and body jumps up! Where’s my baby? He’s not even crawling yet, how’d he get out?

I look back at the monitor as I get ready to run to his room, and he’s right where I left him, passed out. What?!? I’m confused! Apparently my monitor froze on the last captured image before I shut it off this morning, which was of course…an empty crib. It was literally TWO seconds before correcting itself, and I had already worked myself into panic rescue mode. This is when I realized so much of my life operates this way. Situation>Emotion>Reaction>Reality.
[clearing lump in throat] -Perspective-

How often to you see a situation, draw all sorts of opinions and conclusions, some may not be a big deal, some may be life altering, and then one circumstance or glimpse of a different reality opens your eyes to a new perspective?

Before becoming a mom I had all sorts of opinions about parenting. Would i use meds during labor? Never! Should my baby be on a schedule? Of course not! Would I get my baby immunized? Obviously! What types of foods would I first introduce? Only veggies! I would never use those stupid monkey backpacks as a leash! I would never bribe my child to eat with desserts! And the list goes on. (Maybe we’ll revisit these topics and i’ll share what i’ve learned.)

I’m realizing that there is not one way. There is certainly no right way. There are certainly ways that are better than others. For instance, my child is not going to live on donuts and fried chicken (I might as well let him run into the middle of a busy intersection). Some of those opinions above haven’t changed like leashes…I still can’t figure them out; however, my child also isn’t walking yet. Like every child is different, every parenting decision must be different. I may still feel very convicted and confident about the choices I make for my son, but that, by no stretch of the imagination, means every other parent needs to make the same choices or that mine are even the right ones. I’m learning very quickly that everyone has an opinion on what I should do, even those who don’t have kids [that was me ] just as quickly as I’m learning humility. I’m learning that the best parents are the ones with questions not a laundry list of answers. I’m learning that the only way to make it through a sleepless day is by cherishing every minute, because as soon a I look at a clock I think I’m going insane. I’m learning to laugh with my son. I’m learning from my son. Because one thing is for certain: anyone who can be woken from a dead sleep and start the day with a smile on his face is worth emulating!

Bottom line: smile, breathe, let go and let God, learn from yourself, learn from others, stop running on emotions, and face each day with a new perspective.

I hope this encourages you and brings a smile to your face. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can laugh at me. Well, until my little monster’s next nap…

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Priorities

My little guy is growing fast and the drool monster’s naps have been a little off and some days nonexistent this week, but during a short sleep session this tv topic caught my attention and so I’m bringing it to you:

“Would you give up something you love for someone you love?” Okay, not so intimidating…now let me ask that question another way: ” Would you give up someone you love so you can do something you love?” Alright, maybe a harsh question, but with the skyrocketing divorce rates and alternative definitions for “family” making duel-parenting an ancient ideal, makes what I thought to be a simple answer quite the hot topic on daytime television.

These shows that are said to offer different View(s) perspectives when they Talk discuss what’s in the news seem awfully one-sided on this topic (quite surprising to this mommy who would give up anything for her family). The discussion was in response to a statement released by a popular female country artist who said [paraphrased] she “was willing to give up her career to support her husband’s” in order to prevent the demise of their marriage because they have opposing travel schedules.

Oooooo that’s right independent women out there! That “something” I was referring to was not a simple hobby to toss aside, but your job!! Would you consider quitting your beloved job and/or career path for the sake of your significant other’s dreams?

Yikes! Well the answer for me is quite simple: Yes! Of course I would. You see, for me, seeing my husband pursue and fulfill his dreams is as if I have succeeded too. WAIT! Before I lose your attention with my sappy absurdity, I do admit I am quite the traditionalist in thinking, which I am well aware is not the most popular of thoughts these days. However, I was shocked that the mutual opinion on this particular morning show was to give up the marriage if that question was ever on the table.

Marriage has become a fun reason to have a big party rather than the covenant it actually is. I must add though, that my husband is my biggest cheerleader and that I wouldn’t have pursued my career passions if it weren’t for his encouragement. That reality is probably what makes the question so easy to answer; I know that if it were presented to me, it would be for everyone’s best interest not out of selfish gain. Unfortunately that’s not everyone’s reality.

Nowadays it’s kind of unheard of for moms to be able to afford to stay at home, and believe me there have been a LOT of sacrifices for me to even be able to work part time. But every sacrifice I would repeat a hundred times over again.

One thing I know is for sure, my perspectives are shifting in my new mommy world! I was that independent women. I went from being a Business Management Grad on my entrepreneurial pathway, building my career as a hair stylist, to being a mom. A mom who is so glad her clients have become her friends because its the only thing that gets her to work on the days she dreads leaving the little guy (which by the way is most days). With that I segue into my next blog topic: Paradigms — Perspective shifts that come with life changes.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey of self-discovery. I encourage you to make relationships your priority! Until the next successful nap time, I’m interested how far off my thinking is really. What are your thoughts?

Present!

The funny thing about writing is that it must be inspired. My dilemma is that my little cutie pie is my inspiration. I hang out with my son and I get a sea of thoughts and ideas roaring around inside the walls of my brain.
Why is this whirlwind a dilemma? I get to my next point: in order to jot any of these thoughts down I’d have to sacrifice spending time with him and attach myself to the lifeless technology that we so obsess over these days. At a leadership conference I attended last year, the theme was “Be Present”. So often we try to “capture the moment with a photo instead of actually experiencing the moment.” This concept was so profound to me. You see, as I had just recently upgraded my cell phone to have text messaging [for business purposes, of course], I obviously was a cheerleader for this concept. Side note-don’t we do that so often? We hear this amazing idea and don’t realize that the reason its so “amazing” is because it fits so comfortably within the paradigm we are already living.
Now a year after the conference and only a month into being a proud iPhone owner, I face the realization of how easy it is to get distracted from what’s important. That concept that was so “life altering” now actually needs to be. It’s so easy for me to grab my phone for music, to learn developmental milestones, activity ideas, fill in the ______. What I should be doing is learning what my four month old needs by watching him, listening to him, holding him; not holding my phone as if it were a lifeline to ensure and secure my child’s bright future.
Let me encourage you, like a friend did for me last week. Moms, give yourselves a break. Cut yourself some slack. Take an ounce of grace. We all have these realizations that will make us feel like terrible moms, but that’s what makes us incredible moms. We love our little ones more than words can explain. It’s a love that only a mother truly knows and understands.
Take these epiphanies, embrace them and then learn from them, but don’t let them be the next thing you harbor that will distract you from that smile or giggle that will warm your heart and make all the problems of the world go away.
The attached picture of my adorable son is right before he started crying, and there was my moment of realization : “Danielle! Put your phone down and hold your son! He doesn’t want his ‘pic’ taken, he wants to be with Mommy!”
Well, until my munchkin’s next nap-time, like my mom always reminds me, Make-it-a-great-day!!!!

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