Thoughts

Checking in!

Checking in!

If you have been following along here for a while, you may have noticed that it’s been quiet around here. This might have been the longest writing hiatus I’ve taken since I started blogging back in 2011 (?). Well, I’ve still been microblogging over at Instagram but I haven’t had the wherewithal to write here in a while.

It’s been a busy, hectic, stressful, anxiety-inducing, joyful, wondrous past few months. Ups, downs, and sideways. I want to try to fill you in on the highlights and lowlights, because I’m all about keeping it real and authentic (gag). 

But if you’re not in for a wordy post here is the tl;dr gist — The kids are good, I’m just okay, but I’m surrounded by support and love.

Now for the meaty bits.

The biggest news is that my anxiety has flared up. It’s been an exceptionally challenging few months. I finally reached out to a mental health provider to start on a plan to get better. I’m still searching for a therapist, but I took the first step in asking for help. Believe me, that was the most challenging part. My husband has been supportive, nurturing, and a true partner in all this. Due to my hectic work schedule and the demands of three small children, I wasn’t finding time for myself to decompress or destress. It finally caught up for me and after a few breakdowns, I said enough was enough. 

It’s still a process obviously and I haven’t found a therapist yet. But there is something cathartic in the initiation, in the beginning, in the relinquishing of my death grip on everything. Knowing and ADMITTING that I am not well and cannot do it on my own has been a first step in management and recovery. I’m no where near “better” (if there is such a thing) but I’ve been doing some things to help. 

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SHINE

SHINE

This past weekend, I traveled to Phoenix for the first Blessed Is She retreat of the year. This year’s theme is SHINE. And it truly did shine. I’ve been spending a few days unpacking the weekend — how God spoke to me, the fruitful conversations I had with other women, the community, and my dear sisters. Not only did I get to spend time with some of my best friends, but I made new relationships with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.

While there are many little takeaways from the weekend, there are a few that stand out.

Friendships rooted in Christ can withstand time, distance, and stages of life.

The women I’ve encountered through this ministry are from all over the country. We are in different life stages. We are single or married, a religious or a lay person, we have small kids or kids in college. We have different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different ideas. But we are rooted in the same thing — Christ. That is the firmest foundation of all.

Jesus loves me and He wants me to let Him love on me.

Throughout the weekend, a profound image kept coming to mind. Jesus, staring at my face, into my eyes and just adoring me. He saw past my insecurities, my sins, my failings, my self-doubt, and pierced my soul with His gaze. He wanted me to know that He loves every single cell of my body, every single piece of my being. And He wants me to let Him love me. Instead of turning my gaze away in shame or fear or doubt, He wants me to let Him love me and He wants to shower me with His unending, perfect love. He told me to stop averting my eyes and just His love wash over me in every moment of my day.

Sometimes I need to let it go.

I’m a very methodical and measured person. My days are often planned to the minute. But constantly holding it in and holding it together, is a recipe for failure and pain and anxiety and emotional numbness. Sometimes, I just need to let it go. So I did. I threw my hands up in praise and sang at the top of my lungs. I got down on my knees and worshiped Him without caring who was watching. I wept and laughed and allowed my heart to burst open. I danced. I let loose. I partied. I celebrated. I enjoyed. I indulged. It was like an emotional reset. Letting go is hard for me, but I need to do it. And what better way to let loose than singing His praises then having a couple of Manhattans with my girls?

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How I survive as a working mom

How I survive as a working mom

Over on my Instagram, I get this question a lot:

How do I handle work/life balance?

I have a love-hate relationship with this question. On the one hand, it’s an honest question. I work full-time out of the home and I have a family and other stuffs going on that need my attention. How do I manage this someone might wonder. But on the other hand, I know this whole balance phenomenon is really another way to make women feel badly about themselves because we go straight into the comparison game. Because the truth is, what works for one family and one working mother is different than what works for another family. Balance is a myth, an illusion. Because everyone’s balance scale is made differently. How we divide our hours or household duties or parenting responsibilities is completely unique to each family. So now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you what works for me.

I’m always learning and our situation is always changing and our stage of life is ever-evolving, so this is what works for me right now. (Legal disclaimer - I have no idea what I am talking about. Okay, maybe not a legal disclaimer, just my general motherhood motto, ha! *upside down smiley face emoji*)

Get all our stuff ready the night before.

Heading out the door, I’ve got to grab my lunch, the kids’ lunches, pumping parts, purse filled with my planner and wallet and anything I’ll need, jackets, spare diapers, tuition checks, breakfast, etc. I have found that our mornings run much more smoothly when we have things ready the night before. Emma lays out her clothing. The lunches are packed. Bottles are clean. My outfit and accessories are folded nicely in a little pile. That way, I can wake up early, get ready in the bathroom, then wake the kids and feed them breakfast and head out the door. It’s much easier than wondering WHERE THE DANG SHOE WENT. You know what I mean.

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On the day I return to work

On the day I return to work

My dear Theo, 

Things may seem different today. You do not have a concept of time quite yet, but you may feel that things are different. You may be wondering where I am or why I’m missing from your day. Well sweet boy, I have returned to my work outside the home. At home, I take care of you and your big sister and brother, but at work I take care of other people who need me. It is important work, I think. But I want you to know, raising you and your siblings is the most important work I’ll ever do, the most important thing I’ll ever do.

I want you to know that I love what I do outside the home too. I love taking care of my patients and making them smile. I hope I am part of, however small that part is, improving their quality of life. I hope they feel that I care and that I empathize and that I want to be a partner in care with them.

I also want to show you, Emma, and Henry that you can use those qualities God has given you to help others and be uniquely able to improve the lives of others by your own special gifts. I have felt called to care for this population of patients and I hope one day you answer whatever call God puts on your heart.

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Here we are

Here we are

It’s happening. I am attempting to sleep train Theo. Currently on this Monday night, I am hiding on the couch in the dark trying not to let him smell me (those infants have the noses of blood hounds for that breastmilk). My bff Grace gave Theo a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (google it) for Christmas and I am attempting its magic. For both Emma and Henry we failed (read: currently failing) miserably at sleep training. In fact, Paul is laying down with Henry in his bed because he still cannot fall asleep alone.

So this is me, a 29 year-old mom to three kids under five. I’m hiding in the dark living room trying not to make any noise (and praying my typing is not too loud) and listening for the baby to fall asleep in his crib alone.

Ope, just heard him crying. Let’s see if he self-soothes or if I have to go back in there.

Okay, I did have to go in there but I cuddled him for about two minutes and put him back down. Guys, this may work (she says as she holds her breath, crosses her fingers, makes a sign of the cross, throws salt over her shoulder, makes a wish on a birthday candle, breaks a wish bone in half, douses crib in holy water).

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