Identity Crisis

It has been over a year since I posted last and a lot has happened. Ben and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world on October 30th, Noah. He was 5 weeks early and his birthday is only 4 days apart from his brother. Here’s to many years of joint parties!

Now that we have two wonderful boys, our time is now stretched even more thin. While I’ve been on leave, I’ve felt myself feeling a little lost at times. When I was younger and pictured myself “grown up”, I always saw myself like my Mom. I’d have a family, work in business, be the boss of people, and that was that.

While I’m an adult now, I definitely don’t feel “grown up”, but even still, my life is and isn’t how I imagined it would be. I have a wonderful family that makes me so grateful to be alive. I’m loved and I love more than I ever thought I would. I really enjoy my job and am looking forward to returning in a few weeks when my maternity leave is over. Aside from these large parts of my life, I find myself wondering “who am I?”.

My husband, Ben, has hobbies he enjoys. He may not have much time to partake in them, but he enjoys trying new craft beers, home brewing, skiing, fishing, and more. But me…I honestly am not sure what I enjoy anymore.

I think this is a pretty common identity crisis for most mothers. We’re so busy taking care of everyone else, we lose ourselves. (Quick side note: in no way am I saying my husband doesn’t do his share, because he is an absolutely amazing husband and father. He carries his weight in our relationship and is a true partner.) I used to dance when I was younger, but our financial situation made that difficult to keep going. Other than that, I never had any strong hobbies that I kept up with.

It’s bothering me more lately because I feel like I don’t have much to talk about with my husband. I find myself only talking about the boys and housework. Not exactly the stuff that romantic, long lasting relationships are built on. I find I just have a lack of interest in a lot of things and it’s difficult to dedicate the time to something new.

I want to make more of an effort in the next few months to rectify this. I want to enjoy something that’s for me. I think it’s important to have something that is just yours to be passionate about. I’m not sure what I’m going to do just yet, but certainly beginning research to see what I might like. More to come!

Has anyone else run into this? If so, what have you done about it?

One Year Ago…

I can’t believe Jackson is turning 1 tomorrow! Everyone tells you that time flies by, especially when you have children. I believed it, but then time went even faster than I thought it would. One year ago today, our beautiful son decided he was ready to make an appearance very unexpectedly.

My original due date was December 5th, my shower was scheduled for mid November and we hadn’t done or bought much to get ready for Jackson’s arrival. I had my 34 week appointment on Friday, October 24th, and the doctor said everything looked fine and they’d see me in 2 weeks. My husband and I even planned to pack the hospital bag, finish painting furniture and do a dry run to the hospital the coming week. However, nothing went according to plan.

33 Weeks, October 20th

33 Weeks, October 20th

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 I woke up around 8AM to my water breaking. I was really shocked, freaked out, confused and unsure of what to do. I yelled out to my husband and told him that I thought my water had broke and and he jumped out of bed. I immediately called the hospital, very nervously, to see what I should do. They told us to come to the hospital so they could check everything out. We quickly grabbed a few things (my bathrobe, slippers, Kindle, phone charger) and got into the car. We didn’t actually think anything was going to happen. We were very much in denial.

On the way to the hospital, I could still feel Jackson moving, so that was a huge relief. I began calling my parents and family to let them know we were on our way to the hospital, but of course no one as answering! That’s always the way isn’t it? When you actually need people to answer their phones, that happens to be the one time they don’t. After about 45 minutes, my family called back and I let them know my water had broken and we were on our way to the hospital. My Mom wasn’t very good at keeping me calm though, as she kept repeating “This isn’t good” over and over. After we hung up, my parents immediately left their house to get to the hospital as well.

We arrived at the hospital by 9:30AM. It took me a few minutes to get out of the car thanks to the whole water breaking process. Just as an FYI, it doesn’t come out all at once, it comes out over a long period of time, which is horribly embarrassing. We got checked in and I was hooked up to some monitors to make sure Jackson was doing ok and thankfully he was.

The doctor checked me out and they put a monitor on me so they could keep a close eye on Jackson. I started having contractions around 10:30AM and was given a little bit of medicine to help things along. As the day went on, my husband and I just hung out, relaxed and visited with my family once they had arrived.

My contractions progressed really well. Around 2:30AM on Sunday, I was ready for an epidural. My pain was about a 6 or 7 out of 10, and I was all set with it getting worse. The epidural helped a bunch and let me sleep a little bit.

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Throughout the morning, I quickly progressed, going from 3 cm to 10 cm in 2 hours, and was ready to push by 7AM. It took 5 pushes and Jackson was out. He was 5 lbs. 2 oz. and 17 in. of awesomeness. My husband and I got to hold him and it was one of the best moments of our lives.

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Sadly, we had to go home without Jackson. Being 6 weeks early, his lungs weren’t quite strong enough for him to come home yet. He spent 2 weeks in the NICU and they were a long 2 weeks. Almost every day I’d spend the day pumping at home and my husband would work a full day. When he got home, we drove an hour to the hospital, spent about 3 or 4 hours there and then drove the hour home, sadly leaving Jackson behind each time. Thankfully he was getting stronger and healthier every day.

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On November 7th, we were finally able to take him home. It was so exciting to be able to have him at home with us and not see him all hooked up to tubes and wires.

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Now, our little guy is turning 1. He’s growing up so fast and I plan to make sure I enjoy every second of it!

What I Should Do

I’ve always been the type that does what I should be doing, or at least what I think is expected of me. And, to be honest, it’s wearing down on me. Even when I’m by myself, I have this constant struggle of doing what I want to do and what I think I should be doing. I’m sure for most people, these are the same thing. However, I run into it time and time again, even with little things, when I’m not doing what I want, or I’m worrying that people expect me to do something else.

Today with Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, BuzzFeed and every other site showcasing what other people are doing and their accomplishments, I feel even more pressure to live up to that. I feel like I do need to be able to juggle advancing my career, taking care of my family, DIY-ing everything, making gourmet meals every night, and whatever else. But why?

Is it really the end of the world if I’m happy in my current job and ok with staying there for a while? Do I really need to push myself for a promotion or different position? Some people would say yes, because you need to keep moving and improving. Honestly, I’m too busy with other things in my life right now. I don’t want to deal with interviewing, more travel or any other additional responsibilities that may come with a new position or promotion. I’m comfortable. What’s wrong with comfortable?

Do I really need to lose every pound I gained while pregnant with our son before I get pregnant again? Isn’t it enough to just try and eat healthy, with the occasional indulgence, and try to be active when I have the chance? Can’t I be ok with getting home at night and spending time with my husband on the couch or just reading to my son before bedtime instead of making sure I fit in that ever important workout?

I’m almost 30 and I think I’m finally figuring it out. Yes, if I really wanted to push myself, I could get up at 5 AM and work out and try and lose that weight. I could spend extra time at work trying to get ahead. However, none of that is a priority for me right now. It’s not that I can’t do it or I don’t have enough time. There are always ways that I could make everything work, but I’m plainly stating that it’s not a priority. I’d rather get 6-7 hours of sleep at night. I’d rather get home on time, stay up a little later and hang out with my husband watching shows that we enjoy together. I’d rather do so many other things in my life right now.

Why waste my time worrying about things that I’m not even invested in? It adds more stress to my life, and my family’s, when I try and take on more than I can. I know now that I need to focus on the things that make me happy right now: my husband and our son. Once I do that, everything else will start to fall into place.

New Outlook

Every day, I find myself looking on Facebook or Yahoo for a few minutes to clear my mind and take a quick break from work. I need these mental breaks to keep my mind from overloading. However, lately I find it really upsetting every time I do so. I think it’s the new outlook you get as a parent.

I’ll be scrolling through the top stories on Yahoo, and then I see it, the awful story about a little baby dying after being left in a car, or some horrible person beating their child, or the countless other horrific stories centered around a child being hurt in some way. I see these stories and I instantly think of Jackson and want to just put him in a bubble so nothing bad can ever happen to him. I also get teary eyed because the thought of something awful happening to a child is, honestly, unbearable to think of. Even when it comes to movies, I don’t want to watch anything that might have a child being hurt.

Does anyone else feel this way? Sometimes I feel like I’m a little crazy for getting so emotional about these news stories, but I can’t handle them anymore. Before having Jackson, these stories would upset me, but not to the level that they do now. I have a feeling I’m not the only parent who feels this way.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to experience any of the heartbreak that some people have had to face with their children. I pray to God that I never have to either, or anyone else for that matter. It’s every parent’s greatest fear that something happens to their child and I feel so deeply for any parent who has gone through something. I can’t even imagine the heartache and grief they must feel.

Sorry for the super depressing post, but I just had to get it out…

The One

Have you met your soulmate or “the one”? Was there one moment specifically when you just knew, or was it the culmination of your entire relationship that made you realize you didn’t want to live without them?

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I had one moment when it really hit me that my husband was the one. On my way home tonight, I was reminded of that moment when “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” came on the radio. There is one part of the song specifically:

I found myself dreaming
In silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie
That every broken heart knows we were walking on moonlight
And you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone

I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we’re not promised tomorrow

When Ben and I had been dating 2 months or so, I was sleeping over his apartment and had an awful dream. I dreamt that he had been shot, died and then my family told me that I’d just have to go back to my ex. When I woke up and saw that he was next to me and ok, I just started sobbing. That was one of the worst nightmares I have ever had. The thought of losing him, even that early in our relationship, was so horrible. I knew then that I didn’t want to live my life without him. We ended up moving in together after dating for 4 months and the rest is history.

How did you know your partner was the one for you?

I Won’t Do That When I Grow Up!

How many times growing up did you tell your parents that you’d never do what they did when you have kids, or never say what they said? How many times since you’ve “grown up” have you caught yourself doing exactly those things?

I know I do it all of the time. I remember when I was younger, I’d be shopping with my Mom and tell her I really liked a certain outfit or dress for a holiday and my Mom would say “No. That’s too old for you.” I thought she was crazy! I’d wonder how clothes were too old for anyone. It made absolutely no sense to me. Now, while I don’t have a daughter and my son is not even 1 yet, I find myself seeing clothes in a store and imagining them on my nieces and thinking “No way! They’ll look like teenagers in that and they’re still babies!” My nieces are not babies by any means, but I still see them that way and totally understand why my Mom used to say what she did.

It’s funny how people always tell you that you’ll grow up to be exactly like your parents 536992_700922888204_479603223_nand you fight that notion every step of the way. Then one day, you realize that you
exactly like your parents and you’ve done exactly what you swore you’d never do. For me, it was funny when I realized this, but I wasn’t upset. I was very fortunate growing up and I know my parents took care of me and raised me to be a good person. For me, being told I’m exactly like them is one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I’ve Become My Parents.”

Why I’m Falling for Autumn

DCF 1.0Though I’ve been celebrating since Labor Day, today marks the official start of fall and this is, by far, my favorite season. When I was younger, I loved the summer because I’d go to the beach, hang out with friends and relax.

Now that I have a home with no air conditioning, a job and a son, the heat and humidity are not as fun as they once were. Now, I live for the days where it’s sunny, the air is crisp and the trees are beautiful shades of reds, yellows and oranges.

To read about my favorite things to do in the fall, click here.

Uncertainty…

Uncertainty has a play in everyone’s lives. No one is certain of everything. I’ve been certain of many things in life: when I knew my husband was the one, when I knew the house we looked at would one day be our home, and many other smaller events in life. Then, there are many things I’m uncertain of, some of which keep me worrying every day.

My biggest uncertainty in life is about my son. I’m constantly wondering about who he’ll be when he grows up. Will he be a good person? Will my husband and I be able to teach him all of the things he’ll need to lead a successful and happy life? I sure hope so, but every parent is uncertain of their abilities to do so. It’s a daunting task to raise another human being to be a functional member of society who is thoughtful, helpful and kind.

My approach…go with the flow. Because, while life is uncertain, sometimes those moments of uncertainty can lead to the most beautiful and memorable moments you’ll have.