For St. Jude

This is going to be tough! I’m doing the Jog 30 Miles Challenge for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and your contribution will help St. Jude find cures and save children! Thank you so much for your support.

!!! Update !!!

I received my first donation thanks to a fellow blogger here on WordPress,

The Painful Love of Mommyland

After tiptoeing to my bedroom past the babies room, I’m sitting in my bed and feeling like I have to try and get out a quick post. He’s down for a nap after I ended up setting him down in his crib and walking away. He put himself right to sleep! I’ve been feeling the need to put down my thoughts for a while and I’m hoping I have enough time right now to get them out. This is from my phone so I don’t know how well this will look, visually, which is always fun for me before I publish, but that is not the point right now. I just need to get real for a minute.

Before I start, I want to share that I DO NOT intend for my blog to turn into one about parenthood. I intend to keep sharing my thoughts on everything I’m going through, not just mommyland.

I am over 10 weeks into this parenting thing and I’m ashamed to say that it’s been quite miserable. There, I said it. I need to just put that out there. I’m reflecting so much on my time with my baby as I get close to heading back to work. I keep telling my husband that I’m embarrassed to admit the truth so I think that’s why I want to share it now. This period of Lincoln’s life, where he is all tiny and cute. The period everyone says I’ll miss, is excruciating. I can’t wait for him to get a little more independent.

Hear me out.

My pregnancy was kick ass but now I have a child who does not sleep and the repercussions of it are currently negating all the good feels. I can count on one hand the days that he has napped the way a “normal” child is supposed to. He will go 15 hours during the day without sleep. He’ll sleep a bit, at night, thankfully. Well, not last night but lets just hope that was a rarity! I don’t need to go into all the details of the day and the numerous things I’ve tried to get him to sleep. I’ve turned into a Google fiend for any help I can find. Not to mention the fact that it then takes hours upon hours to get him to keep his eyes closed at night because by then he is overly tired.

The point of this post isn’t about, poor me, I’m a new parent who doesn’t get any sleep. I wanted to share because, as a new parent, people don’t relate to you on a real basis. You receive a lot of, oh my baby didn’t sleep either, but that’s how it is. Or the complete opposite where people share that theirs slept through infancy.

My experience has been hard and lonely for so many reasons.

You hear the negatives about parenting in a positive light, if that makes sense. “Oh this piece of it sucks but it will be the most rewarding thing you ever do.” Well, I haven’t been shy to admit the fact that I’m not that Mom who was born to birth children. I don’t believe that’s what I was put on this earth to do. At the same time, I wanted to experience it because I am lucky enough to have the opportunity. Why isn’t the reality of it out there? Why is everyone romanticizing parenthood? For me, so far, there is very little reward and its been hard not having that information to relate to. There’s so much pressure as a parent. The “right” and “wrong” way to do things. I have done everything the best I know how. I’m giving more than I have in me day after day and things aren’t butterflies and lollipops like it’s “supposed” to be when you do the “right” thing.

My immediate family doesn’t live in my area and hasn’t been here to help. I think many people have that luxury and feel it to be so necessary. “It takes a village,” they say. This has been difficult because there’s no escape. I can’t take a break for 24 hours to replenish my mind, let alone sleep. Then there’s the fact that I have been unable to shower until after my husband gets home because I’m with my baby every waking minute. I’ve tried a couple times and had to run out in the middle of it because he starts crying due to another failed nap. I haven’t been able to work out as I figure out my new body. I haven’t felt up to taking him out much. For one, I haven’t figured out how to get presentable as aforementioned. For another, when he doesn’t nap in the car, or in his stroller, I’m just on edge that he’s going to fuss any minute and Im going to have to leave to put him down for a nap… that he won’t take. This might be the saddest part. I can’t take him out and show him off. It’s just been hard to figure out how to do anything, at all.

I know I will eventually, I’ll have to. I keep telling myself to just do it but I’ve run out of confidence.

Any time I have gone out he’s been a pretty good boy, I guess. Overall, he’s a good boy. He’s happy and very healthy.

I feel like I can’t even express myself properly right now and it is turning into a poor me post after all. I guess its harder to put into words how I feel than I thought unless you’re in it with me.

It’s the most defeating and trying feeling when day after day, your baby is clearly exhausted, and he fights sleep. I have never felt more beaten down than I do now. I’m being held together with tape and glue. *Cue Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy* When I haven’t been able to have but maybe an hour in a day to get my own thoughts together… How would anyone stay sane?

When I wake up in the morning he’s at his happiest. We turn on music, we get silly. We put on the outfit of the day. Were smiling. But I somehow still dread the day ahead because I know its going to be long and my time is going to be consumed and I’m going to break again. I am a strong woman and my strength has left me after this much time of battling something that I never win.

How many days will this go on, I wonder? It will get better, but when? What if it doesn’t? How broken can I get? How many prayers do I need to say? Maybe I didn’t make the right decision deciding to become a parent… How awful of a thought to have. I love him so much. He’s so cute and doesn’t NOT want to sleep. How can I have so many negative emotions associated with such a blessing in my life?

It’s such a complicated thing. I’ve gone 33 years living my life a certain way. Then it’s turned upside down and I need to readjust. Okay, that’s fine. Then this monkey wrench gets added on and it’s like I’m stuck. I cant find the rhythm. There’s no routine because when no on sleeps you just kind of zombie through the day. Now my one on one time with him is coming to a close and I fear I won’t be able to say I enjoyed any of it. I feel guilty and it’s all out of my control. There’s so many changes, and worries, with parenthood and it’s all very challenging but I’ll take it all over this one, single, issue.

Love and Pain. They go hand in hand in this case. Do they always go hand in hand and I just didn’t see it because nothing has ever been quite this powerful in my life? That thought is for another day. A day when my brain can actually handle such an exploration.

I hope I don’t sound like I hate my kid. That’s the guilt piece in me talking. Clearly I don’t hate him, being a mom, or the fact that I made the decision to become a mom and have a kid, I’m posting about him almost daily on social media. I’m not a monster! Here’s one I shared for friends and family earlier today from our sleep-free morning:

I just feel it necessary to share my truth because there isn’t enough truth out there. It’s shamed upon and it shouldn’t be. I hope someone can relate and all your reactions aren’t repulsive and shameful.

On another note: Please send me any recommendations you have to help with the dark circles under my eyes: creams, concealers, de puffers. I’ll need them for when I do, finally, get it together and get back out in the world with my precious baby in tow!

I gotta go, he’s awake again!

My Hunt to Success

I have been wanting to write about the theory of success. I find it interesting because it is a topic that means something so different depending on who you are as an individual. I wonder, though, if it all comes back to the same meaning, in some form.

The meaning I’m referring to is career and money. The career piece has been such a focus for my happiness. The money piece has been an unfortunate accessory. Explore this with me:

Growing up in a smaller town, the gap between who has money and who doesn’t is much less than the gap here in Portland, for example. This has to do with the population, the cost of living, etc. It is incomparable, really. Money went a long way in Coeur d’Alene, ID! Financial stress doesn’t equal the same there as it does here. We had food stamps and state financial support when I was young and living with my mom. It provided everything we needed without child support money coming in and her working as a bartender. I started working when I was 15 or 16 so I could have, and do, more things. Crank that up Ten-fold in Portland, with no end in sight! Regardless of the finances we had during my upbringing, I always felt the culture in my town was that you were expected to find a steady job that you could commit to, get married, buy a house and have children. That was considered being successful. Easily satisfied in my eyes. Many people I know are living their best life within this culture.

I’ve always searched far and beyond for something more. Searching for a meaning, my purpose, whatever that is. I’m still looking, and probably always will be.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that I’m not scared to work hard for my money, and it is very essential to living my most successful life. My journey has been about not settling for less. If I find a job making decent money where I feel fulfilled about the work I am doing, that is my starting point to success. From there, the rest will work out. This is the hardest part, and I haven’t wanted anything holding me back from finding this, therefore forcing me to settle with a life I don’t truly want.

I’m the only member of my family, at this point, to graduate from college. I did so while working full time. An unfortunate thing about this is that because I had to support myself while obtaining my Bachelor’s degree, and chose not to live off student loans, I didn’t get to fully experience college. I studied online in my hometown. Although I was successful, I think if I would have had the opportunity to be on campus I could have worked an internship, or had exposure to some experiences that I missed out on as a result. Now I’m 8 years post graduation and I feel like I never really figured out what I want to do with my life. I currently work at a large non-profit and I think I’m getting closer to where I want to be, but I’m still not there yet. I always hear the voice of my mom from a time right after I graduated high school when I was talking to her about being unsure of what I wanted to do. She told me how weird that was… to not have a focus. I thought at the time, and still think to this day, that it is absolutely not weird to be unsure of what you want to do out of high school. I’m starting to believe she was right at this stage in my life though. Why can’t I figure out what I want to spend my life doing? This is one situation where I sometimes think about the opportunities I could’ve had if there was a little more money to rely on. Maybe it wouldn’t have changed the situation at all.

When I first started in community college, fresh out of high school, I was still a bit more traditional in my thoughts on where I would be in the near future. I thought I would be married and have kids by my mid-to-late twenties. I wanted FIVE! I enjoyed college. I enjoy learning. I was lucky in love, young. Thank Goodness! Once I was settled in love, looking back, it seems like the financial part has been a big struggle for us, together as a unit, and a common focus for how we envision our future. We never had a wedding because we didn’t have the funds to do what we wanted. So we eloped! Then went to Hawaii. Kids became something that neither of us even knew if we wanted together. We longed to be able to provide a better life than we had, as most people do. It takes so long to save up money that it never seemed realistic. We’ve moved around a bit in search of jobs making better money than the one prior. We eventually dropped everything and moved to the Portland area without jobs or a place to live, knowing that it would be our best shot at success, career-wise.

The longer life goes on, the more I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what I’ve done up to this point because I’m still fighting for the same thing! Now kids are sounding more attractive despite not knowing how things are going to turn out financially for us. Maybe finding a steady job isn’t the worst thing in the world. Stability and comfortability. I wonder if I have gotten so used to searching that I don’t even know when to stop. I just want to be happy and that is actually the most successful thing anyone can do, isn’t it? Searching for something that I can’t put my finger on is starting to not really make sense. It feels like a fight, actually, which is a feeling that I am all to familiar with. Maybe this content, settling idea sounds awful because I have NEVER experienced it. Will I still be able to do all the things I hope to do someday? Will I be able to provide a better life for my kids than I was given? Maybe it’s time to find out!