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Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom: How I Survive Without Going Crazy

Two weeks ago I started this series looking at how I became a stay-at-home mom and took a closer look at some of the things that make this the hardest job ever.

So the next question I thought about was, “How do I survive day after day?” Honestly, in the beginning this was really really hard. Now, it’s just regular hard. And some days it really is just getting up and putting one foot in front of the other, like any hard thing in life. But I don’t count down the hours as much as I used to. And sometimes I even enjoy myself.

I am a list person who likes to physically do tasks. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. Being a mom is not really like that. Sometimes I can get some tasks done, but more often I feel like I am going in circles doing the same things over and over with nothing really getting done and nothing to show for all my “work” at the end of the day.

I had to go through a major mental shift when I became a stay-at-home mom, and that didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening, in fact. I had to learn what would work for me and my kids in this new role. I can guarantee you that our everyday family life will look different than yours because I am not you.

But I also know that some of what has helped me is universal, and may be able to help you too. So here is a list of 5 things you can do to help with the transition to motherhood or becoming a stay-at-home mom: Read more

Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom: Hardest Job Ever

It’s been a little over 3 years since my husband and I decided I would leave the workforce and become a stay-at-home mom. We were pregnant with our first when we made that decision. I cannot say the road has been easy. There are many days I want to quit, but it has been worth it.

I want to challenge and encourage any moms out there who want to be home, who are home and struggle, or even those that work outside the home. Being a mom is an all-encompassing job whether you are home full time or not, so I know that even if you work outside the home there will be something you can relate to.

Over the next few weeks I am going to take a look at three aspects of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom:

1. Hardest Job Ever!

2. How I Survive Without Going Crazy

3. How We Can Afford to Live on One Income.

I wish I could say that I have all the answers for you, but I don’t. I’ve only been at this for three years. Lots of moms have tons more experience than I do, but I can share my experience, and hopefully you will find something that you can relate to, especially if you are in the early years of your kids lives as well.

Hardest Job Ever

That pretty much sums it up. I’ve worked many types of jobs: customer service, manual labor, printing, project management, etc. But this is, by far, the toughest job I’ve ever had. Granted, it is also the most rewarding, but toughest nonetheless. Some days I am ready to throw in the towel. While my daughter throws a tantrum and my son bangs continually on the closet door I question if I should do something about all this or just walk back in the other room and put my head under the pillow. Did I mention it’s not even 6:30AM yet? Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those days. Read more

Motherhood: Bringing Out the Worst in Me

Motherhood_Motherhood brings out the worst in me. It’s not like I thought I was perfect, but I guess I did think, with this being my second child, I had improved in some areas. I was wrong.

If you want to know what’s really in your heart, spend month after month with a baby who is a terrible sleeper and a toddler who is, well, a toddler. If you can handle that with ease then you are my hero and I want to know your secret. Please, share.

For me, this season of life has been anything but easy. You may have noticed my blog sabbatical. Sorry, but I just was not coping well and blogging was not a high priority. Survival was my only goal everyday. Some days that is still my only goal.

Even though this season is slowly passing, thankfully, it has not been without a lot of struggle. I had so much anger and frustration pent up. Much of it was about things I couldn’t control, and the rest I couldn’t explain.  Instead of sharing my burdens, I just hoped I could deal with it on my own and it would go away, but that wasn’t the case.  I was so impatient with my kids and husband — more than normal — like a time bomb and everything became a spark to light it.

I specifically remember one weekend afternoon when my  husband was out on the patio getting the grill ready and my youngest little guy had just settled into his chair for a hard-fought-for nap. He had been very irritable for a few days and my nerves were raw. I can’t remember the exact scenario of what was going on with my 2 year old, Maddie, but she was quiet. After a few minutes of sweet relief, out of nowhere, Maddie just screamed at the top of her lungs and of course, Asher woke up screaming. So there I was in the living room, with a toddler who just woke up my baby who hates sleep and was screaming. I screamed  back at him in frustration (like I said, not my finest moment). I will never forget the look on his face. He was scared of me. And at that moment, I was scared of me too. Something had to give. Read more

Life with a Newborn: A Season of Hope

A Season of HopeWhat does Easter and the second coming of Christ have to do with my trials as a mom of two? One word. Hope.

As I was awake early this morning waiting for my youngest to fully wake up and eat, I was thinking about Easter and the hope it offers us. I was dwelling on how blessed we are to have the hope of eternity with God because of the work Jesus did on the cross. We can bear so many things in this life when we cling to that hope, when we “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

So that got me thinking about how different it is with your second child, as opposed to the first. With the first, I had some extra challenges for sure, but we had nothing to compare it to. The first few months were so draining and they seemed to last forever. Even as time wore on, it was so much harder than I had imagined it would be. I was tired and worn out and bored and just drained so much of the time. It seemed like it would never end. Read more

Life with a Newborn: What Time for Yourself Looks Like

timeforyourselfPeople love to give advice, especially when it comes to being a parent. And I get it, I really do, because I found myself wanting to do the same thing for my pregnant friends after I had my first baby. “Let me tell you…” But one piece of advice I have heard so much and find impossible to practically implement is to “take time for you.”

Hmmm…

Now, I will say this is slightly easier with only one child, but only slightly. I will also say this is easier if you are not breastfeeding, as your baby doesn’t need you exclusively as often. But given those two caveats, what mom of a newborn really has time for herself? Read more

Life with a Newborn: Breastfeeding is an Act of Love

Life with a Newborn_-2Two things I never thought I would have been doing while breastfeeding are: going to the bathroom and throwing up. Not my finest moments, and though I wish neither had been a reality, somehow those moments seem to perfectly capture the messy reality of motherhood: loving when it’s really hard, when it hurts, when it takes all you’ve got and then some. Breastfeeding truly is an act of love! Read more

Life with a Newborn: Why a C-Section was Right for me

csection1My first pregnancy left my pelvic bone structure in rough shape and my second, shortly after, only exacerbated the issue. I had been seeing a chiropractor throughout the third trimester, unsure of how I would be feeling come time for delivery. The closer it got, the conversations with my doctors turned more towards my options for delivery.  Given my history, they recommended a c-section.

I was not opposed, but definitely wanted to know what my options were and get as much info from others as I could. You can read more about that thought process in my post: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and the Natural Birth Dilemma. I so appreciate all the advice and comments I received in regards to that post! All the real life examples helped me to make up my mind. That, and alot of prayer.

Eventually, we decided on a c-section. Read more

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and the Natural Birth Dilemma

I need some advice from all you moms out there or those in the medical profession that may have some inside info. I have a month to decide if I am going to try for a vaginal birth or an elected c-section.

As some of you may remember, I had a rather rough recovery from my first labor. I don’t know that I was ever officially diagnosed, but I had pubic symphysis separation. This is when the pubic bones separate more than they should. I think there were a few contributing factors, none of which I was aware of at the time. I am now positive I was having some pubic symphysis discomfort during my pregnancy, but being my first, I had no idea this was not normal. Secondly, giving birth the standard way, on your back, feet in stirrups, exacerbates the pelvic spreading. Then of course, I had an epidural, which prevented me from realizing my body was probably in a position that was not good for it. Lastly, she came quickly, which was great for me, but probably put more strain on my body as well.

All that being said, my recovery was hard. It was hard on me, since I couldn’t walk unassisted for weeks. It was hard on my husband, who had to continually bring me our daughter since I couldn’t carry her and move on my feet at the same time. It was hard on my family, who helped out so much with caring for us all. The beginning was hard! Read more

Reminders about sin from the Duggar situation 

You’ve probably heard about Josh Duggar and the scandal associated with him. If not, a quick google search can give you more info than you will ever need to know. I have only read a few articles but it was enough to give me a quick synopsis, though probably not the complete truth. I really don’t think it’s important for me to dwell too much on it. It’s a shame. But it’s always a shame when people choose sin and it always hurts. So I started thinking about what I can take away from this situation and a few things came to mind.

1. Sin is powerful and dangerous 
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but agains the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

Sin is real and since it is our nature we will always struggle with it. With Christ, we have the power to overcome, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a struggle or that we don’t still fail. We all struggle in different areas and none of us is immune to the temptation of sin. A good reminder of why we need to “put on the full armor of God.”

2. No one is infallible

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NIV

The bible is full of stories of great heros of the faith and also their sins. And these weren’t just what we might consider trivial sins. Several were actually murderers. Even those whose heart is close to God can be pulled away when sin gets the best of them.

3. Sin always affects more than just yourself

Justification of our sins is something we are so good at. We tell ourselves that it only affects us. But that is just a plain lie. Sin ALWAYS affects us and those around us. We don’t think about the consequences or those that may get hurt along the way. Some sins can even affect generations. But that is what sin is – selfish.

4. Why we need a Savior

So we’ve seen the power of sin and that no one is immune to it’s pull. We all can fall prey to it and will at some time or another. Our actions hurt God and hurt others. Who can save us from this evil?

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:13 NIV

I am so thankful for grace and forgiveness. We have hope in Christ to stand firm and to choose to live for him. No longer slaves to sin. We will still fall and won’t be perfect this side of heaven, but we can rest assured that our sins won’t separate us from His love and if we repent He will always welcome us.