Archives for category: parenthood

I am getting ready to head back into the world of all things baby and newborn. I really haven’t been there for 3 years. I have been so consumed with toddlerhood lately that my focus on what is going on in the world of infants was non existent. I know a lot can change in just 3 years, so I have been familiarizing myself with things.

In particular I have started to focus on all the breastfeeding news out there. I nursed Jacky for over a year. I didn’t pump. It was all me all the time. I have to admit that I am afraid to get into that again this time. I will have an almost 4 year old by the time this one comes around. An almost  4 year old that is a HUGE momma’s boy. So my attention to sitting around with a baby on my boob all day might not be quite so easy to navigate. Which has given me some apprehension and nervousness, hence the constant reading of all news breastfeeding. I am not sure what that will change, but I am a Historian and slightly (a lot) type-A, so reading and researching is in my blood (or brain or neuroses).

As usual I am appalled by the amount of backlash nursing moms get for nursing in public. Most recently the whole Delta Airlines scandal caught my attention and my utter disgust. I got into a lengthy debate on my Facebook over it. I am in the camp of a mom should be able to nurse when/where/how she wants. Bottom line. There is no wiggle room on this for me. I am a staunch advocate for that.

Here is why:

With Jack I was terrified of facing criticism from people in public. I spent a good amount of time ALONE nursing him. In bathrooms, bedrooms, corners, where ever. I regret it. I did do it in public from time to time. By the time he was around  5 months old and we were in the SUMMER at that point, a cover was unacceptable for him. He hated it. I hid a lot. I spent a lot of lonely time while out and about trying to find somewhere no would be offended by me. How absurd is that? Offended by feeding an infant? Hindsight is 20/20. I remember sitting there feeding him for the millionth time. Alone, wishing I had someone to talk to. Listening to the laughter in another room from other people. Scrolling my phone hoping something distracting and hilarious popped up on my Facebook feed so I too could laugh. Often, it did not happen.

At the time I didn’t think to myself “I will never be this way again.” No. It didn’t come until I started my Type-A reading being pregnant this time. The feelings of loneliness came flooding back. I can definitely say I won’t be lonely again. Not that I think Jack will allow me to. When I say he is a momma’s boy, that is an understatement. I doubt I will get the opportunity to nurse privately. I won’t miss out on things with him for that. I won’t miss soccer games because someone thinks I should sit in a nasty port a potty and feed this little one. No. It won’t be happening this time.

As I have grown as a parent with Jack I have gained confidence. My parenting style has developed over the last 3 years. We are very upfront with Jack about all things. I talk to him like he is an adult. I explain things to him like he is an adult. I have explained the benefits of fiber on the digestive system. I have explained how protein helps grow his muscles. I tell him his penis is his penis. I have a vagina. He asked “One day you will have your own penis?” “Oh no sweetheart. I am a girl and girl’s have vaginas and boys, like you, have penises.” I have explained what boobs are and what they are for when he pushed mine and said “what are these?” A few days later he asked if he could have some milk from them. I laughed so hard because that ocean dried up a long time ago. I told him it was all gone. I am honest with him. I didn’t think when I was dreaming of having babies that this was how I would approach subjects with my kids. That came as the questions started flooding in. I can be honest and he can learn from me or I can sugar coat and give cutesy names and he learns even worse and derogatory names from his peers. I want him to learn from his dad and me. So that is my approach on parenting. What does that have to do with nursing? When someone says “but think of the CHILDREN!” regarding nursing in public, I want to scream! I absolutely want to tear my hair out and say “what about the children? That is what our breasts are for! To feed babies and we should be honest and open about that. This isn’t a lingerie runway show. This is nourishing a helpless infant.” It makes me crazy to hear that argument. I would rather my kids know what boobs are for and have the respect for what women are capable of than learning from their friends that these are”tits” and are just sexual. Not in my house. Not in my family. They will have honest communication about these things.

Jack has given me the best gift he could have over these last 3 years. The confidence in my parenting styles and techniques when it matters most. I am not perfect. I have bursts of frustration and lose my shit and yell at him. But when it matters, with things like this, I feel a lot more confident than I did 3 years ago. I will stand up for my kids. I will nurse where I want to, when I want to, and how I want to. All that matters is what is right for me and the baby and my little family unit. Not what someone at the table over thinks. Look away if it is so bothersome to see a baby eating. I have said it before and I will say it again. I don’t want to watch someone stuffing their face with McDonalds. That makes ME sick and uncomfortable. I can’t throw a fit if I see someone doing that in public though. No. But someone can do that about an infant drinking milk his/her mom is working so hard to produce? Come on. Priorities people.

I came across this lovely article on the HuffPost (I really enjoy them!) A restaurant manager wrote about how they will never tell a mom to stop nursing at his restaurant. It is what reignited my passion for this today. It is a great read. I couldn’t help but think as I read it that the person complaining about a baby is the exact person that would complain about all of the other things they complained about. Chicken not being crispy enough! Maybe I am hardline on this. Maybe I come off as militant. Oh well. If you choose and are able to nurse, then legally you have the right to do it where/when/how you want. You shouldn’t be marginalized because you chose that over formula. I would never scoff at a mom feeding her baby formula. We all have our reasons for our choices when it comes to that, but we should support one another. We shouldn’t make each other hide in a dirty bathroom to feed our babies. No matter the medium we have chosen to nourish those tiny ones.

 

I was just being lazy and scrolling through Facebook. My sister in law is also pregnant. She is farther along than me. Past the 1/2 way point. Someone started joking around about how big she is (she isn’t) and how my brother is going to need his own bed soon. This enraged me. I hate that. For a myriad of reasons. Some of which are my own personal demons, that I won’t dive into right now.

I have been there before and I am heading there again.  A growing belly, boobs, butt, thighs, feet…..

I found out I am pregnant a week ago. On Saturday a coworker said to me “I am happy you’re pregnant. I can’t wait to watch you get fat. You’re so skinny.” This literally hasn’t stopped bothering me since. Who says they are looking forward to someone getting fat? Who says that to someone that is pregnant? Why would you ever project that awfulness on someone?

I find it unacceptable to ever comment on a pregnant woman’s size. I assure you, we are aware of our expanding body. We know. We do not need to be reminded that we are going to get larger. Or that there is less room in our bed for our significant other. Or that we look like we are ready to pop. Do you think we don’t see that in the mirror each day? Do you think we haven’t noticed that our old clothes just won’t cover that bump anymore? Or that roomier midsection shirts are now our reality? If you think we don’t notice it, you are an idiot. Plain and simple.

You have no idea what each pregnant woman is going through internally. We all have our battles, humans in general. Imagine adding to that growing a new human being. Commenting on a pregnant woman’s current or future size is not: funny, witty, clever, cute, adorable, cheeky, or nice.

Always go back to that old adage “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I assure you, we would rather hear nothing than a comment on how we could have planets orbiting around our midsection.

This morning I woke up at 5:20AM wide awake. I was craving a run. A serious legitimate craving to go outside and run until my legs were too tired to make another lap around my subdivision. Running is where I work a lot of things out. I get a lot of thinking done when I run. It is just you and your head. Maybe some tunes, but really, you get to be alone with your thoughts. I could use some time like that right now. Yesterday we got nearly a foot of snow. Maybe more, maybe less? I am not certain I didn’t follow the news. I just know we were predicted to get between 6-12 and it snowed a lot.

So the weather is nasty. I have had the flu of some sort for over a week now. It migrated to my chest a bit. I also have mild asthma in general. My nose is still congested. When I blow it chunks of something comes out with lots of blood. And occasionally I cough. All of that being said, running in the winter cold is not the best idea. So I likely wont get to hit the pavement today. I was wide awake. There was no falling back asleep for me. This happened a lot with Jack too. But I will say, if these are the kinds of reasons unborn #2 wakes me up at ungodly hours, then we will get on just fine.

Speaking of that. I cannot get enough veggies. I find any dinner jam packed with veggies to be mouthwatering delicious. I was thinking last night that this baby will be born and the first thing he/she will ask for is some “broccoli and kale kind sir” I am hoping it stays this way. I remember how quickly I had an aversion to fish with Jack. Veggies without something unhealthy all over it weren’t so appealing either. I had a sudden hatred for nut butters. Not this time so far.

Dinner Wednesday night:

Salmon, baked garlic/lemon zucchini, and garlic roasted red potatoes

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Dinner Thursday Night:

A pan sautéed steak with grape tomatoes, steamed broccoli, and smoked paprika baked sweet potato fries.

IMG_3281Friday night:

I ate it too fast to photograph, but I made a Paleo sweet potato chili. I even make my own homemade broth to cook it with. I topped it with some cilantro, avocado, and Greek yogurt. It was heavenly. It was the tastiest meal ever. I have a sneaky feeling I will be making it a lot.

Saturday night:

Whole wheat linguini with broccoli, red peppers, spinach/kale/chard, with some mild turkey sausage. I removed the casings. Next time I may use ground white meat turkey I season/cook myself. There was too much dark meat in there for my liking but the veggies were so good! I sprinkled it with fresh basil and Italian parsley. So many nutrients in one little bowl!

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I just cannot stop eating broccoli. It tastes so good in my mouth! Ha! And garlic. Today is Superbowl Sunday. My parents are coming by. I am making those yummy garlic roasted potatoes, green beans, and this pretty healthy bbq pulled beef. I bought regular buns the other day but I may run to Whole Foods and grab some whole wheat ones for myself. Fresh Market didn’t have whole wheat ones when I stopped there for stuff on Friday. If I feel crazy, maybe I will roast some broccoli with garlic/lime/chili powder! mmmm

I have to say, both my husband and son really wanted pizza for dinner last night. I was strong and kept suggesting this pasta dish I had purchased all the ingredients for. I was tired. It was a long day. Hormonal day, to say the least. I could have just said sure. It would have been easier. My husband knew deep down I just wanted my veggies. so he joined the healthy side and said just make the pasta! Jack had to deal. We all ate lots of good food for dinner.

What kinds of exercise or food do/did you crave while pregnant? 

 

 

Yesterday was an adventure. I am going to write, not to complain, but because I am still baffled as to how ALL of these things happened to my son and myself in a little over a 24 hour period. I woke up today, a new day on the horizon, still spinning around about how how how do so many adventures happen in that time frame.

The story begins Tuesday night, 8:30pm. Two minutes after I walk in the door from my evening Pilates classes. My boys are playing hide and go seek together. Meaning, my husband and my son. I found them upstairs in Jacky’s room. When he saw me, he was so excited. He wanted me to play too. My husband told him to go hide. He ran into the guest bedroom. 10 seconds later we heard him screaming in pain. He had bumped his head. It was a nasty bump. There was an instant goose egg right between his eyes.

photo 1This was Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning. I have work. Jack has school. Wednesday this week meant my husband wouldn’t be home until somewhere around 11pm. I woke up around 5:40 am, because, well, why not? As I walked into my living room with a fresh hot coffee and large glass of water in each hand, I slipped on one of the two stairs that leads into the living room. I managed to stay upright and not drop the cups (YAY PILATES!) But the liquids went flying everywhere. It was a huge wet mess.

Finally I am done getting ready for the day. Jacky is still not awake. I start to get concerned because of the head injury the night before.

photo 2 (1)He didn’t want to wake up. He had also opened his blinds at some point, not normal for him, but went back to sleep. I finally get him up. His head looked even worse.

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He was complaining that it hurt. Actually, he was hysterical. I had to make a choice. I had no one to cover my one class on that short of notice. I decided to let him eat breakfast at home instead of school and of course have to rush to work because of that. He was miserable for the time we stayed home. I gave him ibuprofen but he still wasn’t convinced.

photo 4I get him to school, with about 10 minutes for me to get to work. I had to talk to his teacher about his head. She suggested a dr trip. So I rush out the door trying to get to work and call the dr at the same time. I couldn’t get a hold of them before I walked in the door. Luckily my husband called them after I briefed him on the situation. I finished my one class and rushed back to grab Jack and head to the pediatrician. We were super early, so we had to wait forever. They cleared him for his head, but he had been coughing all morning as well. They check that, thought his lungs sounded good and his ears weren’t infected. So it had to run its course.

We managed to make it to the toy store for a treat and home in one piece (or so I thought). I decided to unload the dishwasher while he played with his new Percy train car with the rest of his Thomas train cars. He was pushing them around the kitchen floor. I carried a mug in my hand by the handle to put it away. I was walking toward Jack when the mug just came detached from the handle and crashed to the floor. We both froze in astonishment. The handle still in my hand.

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It was straight up crazy.

 

It was finally nap time. As I read him a few stories I noticed that it hurt to speak. Oh great, I am getting sick too!

He napped for less than 2 hours.  Very abnormal for him. He was upset that his cough hurt and his belly hurt. I was able to get him to relax. We played Candyland for the very first time! It was so fun. Warm sunshine on our faces on an otherwise gloomy day!

Then we were getting hungry. Knowing my husband would be gone, I had already promised him we could go to a restaurant for dinner. He still was feeling awful, so I kept reminding him that I would be happy to cook some dinner at home, whatever he wanted. He was adamant that we go out to eat still. I sighed and thought, here goes!

Shortly after exiting my driveway, my car started going nuts with warnings. About my tire pressure. We are in the negative temps here, so I was thinking it is probably because of that. I took a photo at a red light of the warnings and texted the husband. He was sure I had a flat. But I had to get a few more lights down the road for the restaurant. I made it. Got out and checked.

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This is the very first flat tire I have ever had. Feel like temps were easily well below 0! Luckily we signed up for roadside assistance after we bought this car in November. They were helpful. We went inside to eat. We were stuck for about 2 hours. We still needed to stop at a grocery store to grab a few items as well. We made the best of it though. Luckily Jack picked a place that was at a mall. An outdoor mall, so that sucked, but we were able to walk next door to a craft store, then walk back to the other side of the restaurant and sit in Starbucks after.

So this happened in Starbucks as we waited.

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We finally made it home, grocery trip and all. Jack wants to cuddle in my bed. Then he tells me to surprise him with a movie choice of mine. I picked Finding Nemo. See, I LOVE Ellen! I felt like I could really use hearing her say “just keep swimming” We were watching the movie and Jack was talking to me. Mid-sentence, he pukes all over himself! He is not a puker. He even said “Mommy what was that? I didn’t like it” I called the on call dr. She determined that it was from this cold and not the head injury since it had been 24 hours since hitting his head.

Great! No ER trip. As we cuddled, unbeknownst to be, Jack’s temperature was climbing. Movie ended and we headed up to his room for bed. I decided to take his temp one more time. it went from 100.5 to 103.9! Then it even crept up into 104. So bedtime took about an hour and a half. I gave him ibuprofen to help bring it down. I dressed him in cooler jammies. I gave him ice water and ice cubes. We read many books. Then I rubbed him and sang to him until he fell asleep. I ninja mom’ed my way out of that room.

I got downstairs and decided to open a few things from that craft store. Including some adorable button pushpins for our little board. Big mistake.

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I managed to stab myself. It was an awesome way to end the night. When I sent this to my husband he told me to wrap myself in bubble wrap and go to bed! I didn’t quite do that but I did head to bed. My cold managed to keep me awake all night. I did suck down some Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist gave me the last time I was sick. They seem to be helping. I am not as sick as I should be feeling today. It actually feels like the end of a cold. I am feeling like I skipped the whole gross middle part.

So here we are. January 23rd. Jack is still asleep. I am not sure how he is feeling yet. I imagine it is not great. He never gets fevers. Even with his two ear infections in November.

It is comical how many batty things happened to us yesterday. I wasn’t stressed out of my mind. I didn’t lose my shit. No I was pretty calm and collected. We did what we had to do.  There were no tears on my part. I guess that is empowering. Knowing that you can handle all of that by yourself as a parent. Earlier this week I was feeling a bit stressed. When Jack is starting to get sick, his temper is challenging. I was feeling like a mom who is just constantly battling. So maybe in a way the world was like “oh you think you suck and can’t handle this? Well I will show you just how much you CAN handle! And how easily you will be able to juggle it all!” Lesson learned world.

Ninja mom, out!

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Jacky is at such a hilarious age. My sweet boy will be 3 in 3 & 1/2 weeks! Pushing aside the fact that I simply cannot believe it has been 3 years since I gave birth to that squiggly little tiny (at the time) boy, 3 is fun. It is a lot of work but it is different work than when he was a newborn. I can be having the most difficult day or moment ever with him and two seconds later he will turn around and do something so funny that I can hardly keep myself from peeing my pants while laughing.

We are in the depths of potty training. It is an interesting journey. It is probably the hardest thing I have done thus far as a parent. I won’t get into the nitty gritty. That is for another post. My husband recently taught Jacky how to stand and pee. I was helping him last night. I stood behind him, trying to let him get it in the toilet without my help but still be there to guide him. He stopped peeing, turned around, and said, “Don’t stand behind me mom. I don’t want to poo on you!”

I lost it. I could not stop laughing. Even thinking about it sends me into a fit of giggles. It was so funny. It was unintentionally funny. He was so sincere and serious about it. He was concerned for me. I explained that he can stand to pee, but he still sits down to poo. I literally laughed on and off all night anytime it crossed my mind. I kept thinking, What if I hadn’t be standing behind him? He may have pooped while standing! Then I go over how concerned he was for me and the innocence in the statement made me smile and laugh at the whole situation.

The thing is with parenting, there are a ton of funny moments like that. I laugh every single day. Even on days when I want to pull my hair out. He still manages to make me laugh. How easy it is to forget those fantastic moments. We age, life goes on, memories sometimes fade. I post a lot of his funny sayings to Facebook, but that led me to think, is there more I can do? The answer is obviously yes. My Google Drive is filled with files and folders of other things I need to remember. I created a folder and a Doc where I add funny quotes by Jacky. I have even gone back through my Facebook to add any that I couldn’t think of off the top of my head. I also add the date. On a few of them are brief explanations of the scenario. I think one day I will be so happy I did this.

I also add adorable and sweet things. They don’t have to be funny. Just anything he says that makes my heart happy or I find interesting. There are no rules to my Jacky Says Doc! If he says it and it strikes a cord with me, I add it. The one thing I am realizing, as his 3rd birthday is a mere sleep or two away, is that time goes by so fast. Which is cliche to say. However, the memories of the day to day stuff fade just as fast. I hate that! I know one day he will leave for college. I will be a hot mess. One day his sweet cherub face will be the face of a grown man.  A grown man I beam over, but those tiny chubby hands will be bigger than mine. He one day may become a father himself, with his own sweet cherub faced child to snuggle. I will be an old lady by then. An empty nester. No sound of bare feet running around my kitchen saying “watch this mommy!” I will have this document to look back on from time to time, remembering the sweet, loving, funny, crazy, hectic, time that was toddlerhood and childhood. I will savor this as I grow old and our family dynamic changes.

 

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It is no secret that I am a Pilates instructor. I LOVE doing what I do. I am lucky that I get to use my passion to work. It is no secret that I love to stay fit myself. Or that I love to practice Pilates and I love to run. My husband is something wonderful. He has this bad habit of spoiling me. Ok, so it is not really a bad habit! For Christmas I received my very own Reformer! The exact Reformer I teach every time I am at work. It is all mine to do with what I want in my very own home. I have been over the moon for the past couple weeks. I have used it nearly every day. Except this last Saturday, because it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken a rest day in weeks. It has been too difficult to step away from my new toy.

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I have had the chair since last April. It is my other favorite apparatus. When I took this photo I really felt like my Pilates life felt complete. I can give myself a great workout. I can train people in my home and give them a well rounded workout. I can just sit in this calming room and relax. The purple hues are very relaxing. I can even start posting about my favorite moves with photos. I still have to get some mirrors installed, but the holidays have been crazy.

A couple weeks before Christmas my husband hired a handy man to come out and fix a few things around the house. He didn’t tell me he had also hired him to finish the painting/slight remodel of this room! It was before I received the Reformer. Before I even knew I was getting one! He did a great job at surprising me all around.

What I am really excited about is that I think this is going to really help me grow as an instructor. Because I have a young child, my schedule usually revolves around him. I have time each day to workout, in my own home though. I was able to find time here and there to hop into the studioI work at to practice a few things on the Reformer. But it was not as often as I would have liked. I feel now that I have this in my home that my class development is going to really expand. I can prep and test my classes out on myself. I can watch/do more videos and get a feel for the moves even more. I can do this on my time. I don’t have to worry about trying to fit it all in on one specific day. Jack is even happy to hang out in the room and play while I do Pilates. Some of my clients come to me more than once a week. This means I am usually developing 2-3 different class plans each week. I am sure that is not a lot to some people, but to me with my full time job still being my son, that is a good amount. I really feel like this can only make me a better Pilates instructor! I am excited for what 2014 has in store for my Pilates career.

 

Summer is always busy. It is even busier as a working mom. I am not complaining, as deciding to go to work was the best decision I have made as a mom! I just rarely have time to write. Or at least not as much time as I would like. When I do have free moments I fill them with other things. Today is my day off of working out. Mostly because I woke up with a terrible sinus headache from allergies. As well as the fact that I cannot remember the last day I didn’t work out! Yikes! So my time hase been split up a little differently. I have been able to squeeze this in throughout the day.

I am enjoying summer. I am enjoying my little man. Seriously, he is a little man. His baby days are rapidly fading. Yesterday he went on his first Carnival/Fair ride all by himself!

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He loved it. He ignored us. Wouldn’t look at us and kept checking out that little cutie in the car behind him. We had a flash forward to teenage years! It was exciting to see his independence. Which, he has a lot of these days. He is my little free spirit who likes to try to be in control at times. He is very much his father and myself. There are so many personality traits of the two of us that shine through from him. Some good, some….challenging! Ha! I love him to the moon and back though. He is my life, world, love, and soul.

I dreamed of having him for years and years. I always wanted to be a mommy. I tried so hard for him. My love for him is often overwhelming. This weekend I decided to permanently mark exactly how much I love him.

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I have wanted to get a tattoo for probably 10-12 years. I have thought about it on and off. I never found something I loved or was ready to commit to. Until this year. His name on my left wrist, the one that goes to my heart, is the perfect tattoo for me. I wanted something simple and more understated. I didn’t want it to be flashy or ornate. I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect font. This font screamed my son to me. It just made me think of him and his personality for some reason. I love it and I would do it again. I told Jackson that it says HIS name and it will be there forever. His face lit up and he got very excited. The next day we were chatting and I decided to ask him if he remembered what this said on my wrist. He said “Jackson!” He is so bright.

We all do little things to express our love for our children. It comes in all sorts of gestures. This was just one more way for me to express that love I have for Jack. Every single day I show it in a 1000’s ways. I love, hug, kiss, and support him constantly. At least I try to. Even when I tell him no more candy/sweets/cookies until he eats his meal I am expressing that love. I understand that children should get the chance to enjoy those parts of life, but they also need to be nourished. Not all gestures have to be a tattoo on your wrist. But it is an option! For me, I felt like I wanted to have my first tattoo be something I knew I would never ever regret. I will always love him and be his mommy. Always. This tattoo will Always be with me as well. He is my heart and my world.

Have you done something like this regarding your child(ren)?

 

As the 3rd week of summer session comes to a close I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I started my journey to become an instructor last September. Up until that point I had strictly been a stay at home mom. I thought that was what I had always wanted. My husband and I had decided on that well before we had a child. I went into that experience with an open mind and open arms.

I had never experienced being a working mom at all. My whole world revolved around my son. Everything I did 24/7 was about him. I never knew anything different. That was fine. I was happy and content. Or at least that is what I thought. Then I started my training. After the classroom portion was over I started my training hours. That was time consuming, but it still wasn’t “working” in my book. I went according to my own schedule, when I could fit it in. I mostly did evenings and weekends when my husband was home. An hour or two at a time. I was busier and out and about a bit more than the previous two years. Still, I didn’t really know the different feeling until 3 weeks ago.

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This morning I started thinking about how I have been feeling. Which has been great. I am super busy. Always busy. I should be cleaning the kitchen right now, but decided to take a few moments this afternoon for myself. I am constantly back and forth to the studio. There in the morning and even coming back in the evenings at times. Working 5-6 days a week. They are not 8 hours in a row days, but like I said I am back and forth. The thing is, I am less stressed now that I was before I started working. How is that possible? I think because I have this thing that is uniquely mine in my world. I am doing what I love.

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He is my Pilates protege!

I find that the time I DO have with Jack, I cherish it more. I spend that time more engaged with him. Playing, coloring, laughing, etc. Not that we didn’t play before. But honestly sometimes you just want a break and you have to veg out and let them do the same. Or you are multi tasking and they aren’t getting your attention. I am sure these moments still happen, but I feel they have been less. I find I miss him, so when I do see him I want to soak it up. I have more patience for him in general. I do not feel totally burnt out at the end of each day. I get this adult connection. Sure, I talk about my son and husband  A LOT in my classes and with my clients. They still are my world and own the biggest piece of my heart, but I am speaking to other adults. I am sharing stories, listening to their stories, spending time outside of the home.

Teaching him to rock climb

Teaching him to rock climb

I never knew that being a working mom would feel this good. I do not think I was miserable as a stay at home mom, but I definitely reached the end of my rope a lot quicker each week and sometimes each day. I feel as if my life has more balance now, even if I am busier than ever. I know that if I ever lose my mind and decide to have a second child I will not go back to being a stay at home mom. No, I will take some sort of maternity leave and then be back at it. I love the place we send Jack for school, which also has day care for the littles. I would continue at this place. It really helps that I am so happy with the school we chose for Jack. He loves it. That also helps. He talks about his teacher constantly. We kept him home the other day, due to a terrible storm and flooding. He was mad when he woke up and found out that he wasn’t going to school that day. That makes a difference. He loves where he is, I love where I am. I would also miss teaching after too long. I guess for me it is easier to feel this way because my work is my passion in life. My wonderful boss did not let me tip toe into work. She threw me in the deep end right away. Which is nice. I have been getting private clients and covering shifts for other instructors when needed. I don’t dread the extra hours. Actually, they fly by rather quickly.

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Life is good. I am happy. I LOVE being a working mom. I feel like I fit right into where I am supposed to be in my life. I feel like maybe I should have done this sooner. It didn’t work out that way because I needed to find this studio and attend classes there. Then I needed to get that email about teacher training. I just know now, that despite what I thought, I wasn’t meant to always and only be a stay at home mom. No, I was meant to be a working mom. Working at the career I love and truly am obsessed with. Teaching Pilates has been the best decision I have made as a mother. I truly believe that.

I have decided to get a little more personal with this post. I want to talk about my experience with birth control pills. I feel I have to write about this because of the experience I went through on them. It has been nagging at me a little bit. I want to talk about it in order to let other people know that this does happen.

I have always been against using contraceptive pills. I have pretty much felt that way my entire life. The side effects really scared me! I have always struggled with irregular periods. I think it was part of the reason we had trouble conceiving. Once my period began again about 10 months after giving birth, suddenly I was like clockwork. For over a year! It was wonderful. This Dec/Jan/Feb it got funky again. I actually skipped all of January! I decided to seek the help of my OB, since I had gotten used to the new way. She had pushed birth control on me in the past. Any time I had an issue with anything, that was her one and only answer. Sigh. This time, at my witts end, I decided to give it a try. She swore there were no side effects and it was going to magically fix me. She was dead wrong.

I gave it a shot for 4 months. I wasted 4 months of my life. I feel like I literally lost 4 months of my life.

Here is a list of side effects I experienced:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Moodiness
  4. Overly emotional
  5. My contacts were irritated constantly. I had to change 2 week contacts nearly daily
  6. Extremely BAD acne. The worst I have ever had in my entire life. I am not exagerating either. It was all over my face, in places I never had a pimple normally.
  7. Listlessness
  8. I was very withdrawn
  9. No sex drive
  10. IRREGULAR PERIODS! I would get my period on the white pills, when I was supposed to get them on the blue/green ones
  11. Bleeding for weeks at a time. It was normal for me to bleed on and off for the last two weeks of the pack.
  12. Loss of self confidence.
  13. Bloating/constipation. I have IBS. I  manage it through a very restricted diet that I never ever stray from. Regardless of this, my symptoms were often exacberated while on the pill.
  14. Zero patience

That list is long. It was awful. I was awful. I felt awful. My poor husband and son. I hate that I am going to write this next part, but it is the truth. I spent all of Mother’s Day crying and feeling sorry for myself. Why? I am not really sure. I wished my husband planned more for me. We didn’t do much. I just was miserable. In general my patience with my 2 year old did not exist. I was short tempered and cranky, every day practically.

I finally got sick of it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I called my Dr. to speak about it. I never got to talk to her. The nurse was the middlewoman. The dr’s only solution: switch me to a different pill. My husband and I researched that pill before I decided to go ahead with it. Some of the possible symptoms were even worse. A lot of people online complained about an even lower sex drive, which my husband was not thrilled with. Not to mention, potential thoughts of SUICIDE! I decided, ultimately, that I wasn’t going to take this anymore. Irregular periods or not. I didn’t want to waste my life being a miserable troll. That is what I certainly felt like while on these pills.

A couple days after I finished up that last pack, I felt like a  new woman. My face has really cleared up. I am still waiting for a couple scars to fade, but minimal new breakouts have occurred. I think today was the worst, and technically, my period is 3 days away from being here. If it is on time according to when it arrived last month. So, that isn’t bad.

I have decided I need a new OB. I also decided to try more Eastern methods of realigning my system. I attended a gong bath last week. I will be going to those once a month. I saw an acupuncturist for the first time yesterday. I will be seeing her weekly. She also started me on some Chinese herbs that support the female system. I use my essential oils as well.

I was never on birth control for the birth control part. It was strictly to regulate my cycle, which it also failed to do. It made early February through late May just awful. I mean, I was even listless while teaching. My master teacher had many talks with me about it. I needed to bring my confidence and personality. I hate writing this part too,  but a few clients said my classes were boring. They thought I knew my stuff, but I was a bore. There is that listlessness. This week, I have felt so much better. I have had SIX energetic classes! With 3 more to go. I feel like a new person, or well my old self. A couple clients who have been taught by me a few times even commented on how much more energy I brought compared to last week. I cannot even imagine what would have happened over time if I had decided to try the new pill. Eventually, I could have lost a teaching position over all of this. My moods were that out of my control.

Life at home is even great. I don’t feel miserable constantly. I love our life. I  have more patience with Jack. Which is needed with a 2 1/2 year old!  My husband and I are back in the swing of things. We will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow. He is an understanding guy for having put up with me. I am very open and honest with him about my feelings, so he knows what I was going through was not in my control. I think we are all a little happier over the past 2 weeks and 1 day. I feel like the wife, mommy, teacher, daughter, and friend I know I am.

I  hate that the only answer was pills, pills, pills, and more pills. The side effects of them are so scary. I am partly mad at myself for giving in and trying this out. I should have stuck to my initial feelings and said thanks but no thanks. I should have researched alternative methods of realigning my system earlier. Maybe I would be 5 months in to acupuncture then. Coulda woulda shoulda. I know from now on I will stick to my gut feeling. I know everyone is different. I am sure some women respond perfectly to the birth control. More power to them. I am not one of those people. I pretty much ticked off every side effect except stroke or heart attack! That is very scary to me. I don’t smoke or live an unhealthy lifestyle and I am younger than 35. But who knows what the future would have held if had continued. I hope that my side effects would have stopped where they left off.

We are all different and we have to do what is best for our personal system. Western medicine can be a wonderful thing. I have had to have surgery before and I am thankful for the Western doctor who did that. Who saved my life. But when it comes to this medical concern, I have found this time around I need to look East and go from there.

Have you had a similar experience with hormonal contraceptives? Have you had a better experience? What did you do if you had a negative one like I had? 

Yesterday I posted about the completion of my Reformer student teaching hours. I did complete them all, plus the 1st session after that finish line! It feels great. With that being said, next week I start teaching regularly. I have 7 classes a week on the schedule for the summer session! I am diving in head first. I have mentioned how my 2 1/2 year old is in an early preschool program. He goes two days a week. I will teach on both of those days. I will also be teaching two classes on Tuesday nights. As well as two classes on Saturday mornings. He is used to me being home with him practically 24/7. I am glad we started school a month or so before this was to take place. But I still will be gone more than usual. I will also have to spend more time preparing for classes and researching things at home. There is also the chance that I will be teaching private clients, which can eat up more hours.

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Monday was our last day of swim lessons. The summer schedule at the Y changes. We cannot do the 2 days a week they offer for his age. One of the days falls on one of my work days/his school day. This means that now Mondays and Thursdays are entirely ours. We have no mommy/me classes. I do not teach during the day or night. I have been pretty busy lately trying to finish up these last handful of hours. I have been gone more than normal. Yesterday I taught during the day and then had to have a sitter watch Jack in the evening because I taught at night and my husband was away at a conference. He saw me for a few hours only. Meaning I also only saw him for a few hours. I found myself really looking forward to today. Today is our day to do what we want. The weather is crappy, so I doubt we will play outside, but it is ours. This is the first time I have thought about days this way. Every day was our day. There was no distinction between our days and away days. I stayed home with him for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. My away time was significantly less than my time with him. It is interesting to be heading into this transition of a working parent. I am not working full time, yet, but it is a huge change from our normal comfort zone. We are creating a new comfort zone.

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Part of me is feeling guilty. When Jack begs me to not go to work. He has started that already and the summer session hasn’t begun! I am truthful when I say the last couple weeks I have really  been gone a lot more often. So, he is aware of the changes in our lifestyle. I don’t really need to work. I could continue to stay home with him and we are comfortable. However, I want to work. I am ready to start my life up again. One day he will go off to school 5 days a week all day long. He will make friends he wants to play with. He will join sports. He will have practice. He won’t be home as much as he is now. Where will I be when that happens? Now, I will be teaching Pilates. Before? I would have been shell shocked I think. So the other part of me is not as guilty feeling. I have been endlessly devoted to his every whim and need for two and a half years! It is time to foster his independence. It is time to let him socialize with other kids his age, without me around. When I am around, all he wants is me. I see the photos of him playing with his little friends during the day and I just beam. He is very clingy if I am around. Seeing him blossom and learning to interact with other children makes me so happy! He needs his space at times, as much as I do!

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So next week some big changes are coming to our home. They will be good I think. Life will be a little different. That is not a bad thing. We are evolving as a family. We are moving forward. We are taking on new challenges. Conquering new goals and accomplishments. I am excited. I am also looking forward to Mondays and Thursdays. Time to just be with my little man. Maybe we will have grand adventures some days. And other days maybe we will just be lazy and cuddle and bum around all day. Those are our days to do what we want together!

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