From Baby to Toddler

From Baby to Toddler

Nothing speeds up time faster then having children. One moment, we are sitting in our childhood bedrooms, anticipating tomorrow’s test, the next we are handed a little creature and thrusted into the life of parenthood. Our anxieties were once surviving high school and avoiding the mean girls, and now they are wrestling through diaper changes and our child’s health. It is strange what time does to us.

The first time I held my daughter after she was born, she was incredibly light, fragile and so tiny. I remember thinking how amazing it was that the little creature I had in my arms fit so perfectly in my belly. The fact that she started out as this small little spec, and suddenly she was on the outside, so beautiful and so very real. I remember being so afraid of dropping her. I got nervous when other people handled her. Even when my husband held her, I felt anxious. Spoiler: no one dropped her. 

For me, the newborn stage was hard, but I still tried to soak her in as much as I could. I snuggled her close to my face, and I absorbed her baby smells. Her noises echoed in my ears. Her adorable Newborn clothes were big on her. She swam in them, and I was blown away by it. She loved being close to Mommy, the only time she would tolerate being put down was in her rock and play. She loved to eat. She ate a lot, and she grew fast. Before I knew it, she was wearing 0-3, then 3-6. She skipped 6-9 and went straight to 12 months. And she kept growing.

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Running With Fear

Running With Fear

I usually run around my block in the morning. Since the sun is rising later, I have turned to the gym to run on the dreaded treadmill. I hate the treadmill, but I’m afraid to run in the early, dark hours. I am scared that something bad is going to happen to me and I won’t see it coming. Women are vulnerable when it is dark and they are alone. This is the norm society has built around us. So, as I train to run a half marathon, I also have to keep in mind my safety. 

Half of my concern is legitimate because women do get assaulted while they are out running or walking. That is the world we live in. The other half of that fear is from my anxiety, which enhances the mindset from cautious to down right fear. My anxiety causes me to fear things like crowded rooms with few exits, open areas of large crowds, tight spaces, and the dark. I avoid opening day at the movie theater, I’m not a fan of parades or festivals, I sleep with a light on, planes make me extremely nervous, and I usually don’t go out after dark. This is my life.

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Naps Are Important

*This post is a part of the Sunday Morning Coffee Thoughts on my Facebook @messymama18. Like my page and join in on the conversation each Sunday as I discuss motherhood, toddlers, SAHM life, parenting with anxiety, Target, and so much more.

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Morning Coffee Thoughts

If I could do one thing during the day, it would be to take a nice, long, quiet nap. A nap with no interruptions, and no concerns about things not getting done or a toddler pulling at my fingers because I’ve got important duties to take care of. Oh, but would I love that nap so very much. A quiet space with mindful music in the background. A waterfall off in the distance. A cool breeze slithering through the windows as I dream. This is adulthood: Daydreaming about naps.

It’s funny how kids take naps for granted. Like, there is so much to explore and play. There is no time for naps. Naps are insignificant to the amount of excitement going on around them. Oh, to have that sense of ambition each day that we jump out of bed, proclaiming, “It’s today! It’s time to play!” Oh to be a child.

Dear Kids, do you not understand that naps are so very important. Yes, naps are important for our kids, but did you know they are important for you too? Grab a cup of coffee, take a seat, and let’s discuss why Naps Are Important in this edition of Morning Coffee Thoughts.

Naps Are Important

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For Kids

Naps are important for kids health. It is the right amount of down time during the day to rejuvenate them and rebuild their energy. It gives the brain time to take a break, and it allows the body to heal itself.

Naps also prevent crankiness. I am pretty strict about nap time with my kid because I know it will keep her in a good mood; therefor, I will be in a good mood. It limits the amount of melt downs. If nap time doesn’t fit into a busy day I make sure my kid has an opportunity to rest, whether it’s in the car or in her stroller.

Down time is important for their growth and development. Important things happen in your child’s brain when they are napping. This means naps help kid brains retain information and improve memory.

Yes, it’s true, our children may not understand these benefits and it doesn’t make nap time any easier. Knowing why naps are important for us grownups though, may help us stick to our guns when it comes to maintaining a nap time routine.

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Important For Parents

Kids are relentless fire balls of energy, loaded with car batteries that never seem to die. And when they start to slow down, they re-charge by sucking the ever-living life out of us until we’re coffee guzzling zombies. This is my hypothesis when it comes to their ridiculous levels of energy.

This is why we desperately need our children to nap, so that we gain a few minutes to take a deep inhale and sit our asses down. We’ have been chasing, negotiating, wrestling, and lifting for multiple straight hours. Yes, you are exhausted and now you need a break: nap time!

We put off important tasks all day because we have to to give our undivided attention to a fire rocket. Now that our adorable spaceship is nestled cutely in their sleep, we get to wash the dishes, clean up that pile of throw up that’s been sitting all day, and grab a snack.

Naps also allow you to take in a calm moment of serenity, and watch your little blessing sleep. You watch them, wondering how magical it was to create such a beautiful little creature, and you suddenly remember why you became a parent in the first place. Not something you usually get the chance to do when your racing around behind them.

Naps help our kids grow into healthy beings, but they also give us our sanity back, right at the moment when we feel like we are hanging on to our last little bit. So get those suckers off to dream land and find your moment to breath. Happy Napping!

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Check out my Sunday Morning Coffee Thoughts video on why Naps Are Important and follow me on Facebook for more coffee conversations every Sunday.

 


 

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com

Late Night Struggles Snuggles

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Anxiety and Motherhood

Parenting with a mental disorder is no easy feat. Raising children is hard enough on it’s own, now imagine doing it when you are constantly at war with your own head. It’s kind of like trying to rescue someone from drowning when you don’t know how to swim. It’s scary, it’s exhausting, and it’s a lot of work. There are day’s when you are not quite sure how you are going to get through it. You’re trying to keep yourself afloat through toddler tantrums, dinner struggles, and bed time wars. You’re running on little to no sleep, and your patience is being tested, constantly.

Fighting a mental illness of any type is draining. It sucks all of your energy while you fight to be “normal.” It’s a never ending battle that takes every ounce of that energy. When you think you have gotten a hold of it, the darkness comes out of no where and consumes you again. You deal with this torture while you do your best to raise a little human.

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Swimming Out Of The Deep End; Parenting With Anxiety

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Anxiety Disorder has a different effect on each person who is living with it. How our anxieties came to fester, and how we manage it, stands apart from the next person. Some use organic outlets like healthy eating, exercise, and meditation. Some utilize medicine to keep their symptoms in check. Other people seek out therapy through talk or cognitive approaches. Some of us utilize all of these methods. Some do not treat their anxiety at all, and many people have no idea that they are even suffering from it. It’s a dark battle, dealing with a mental illness, and the one thing we can all agree on is this, it’s hard and sometimes managing it can be even harder.

Our healing journeys begin the moment we refuse to allow our anxiety to control our lives. What ever method we utilize, we do it with a purpose. To keep moving forward, to never give up. For us, and for those we love. To let go of the fear, the worry, and the anger that consumes who we are. To build a new us, a stronger us. To be able to live a simple day without evacuation plans, emergency packs, lists, perfect order, and sound structure. To let all of that go and keep it from dictating our every move. To be okay with not being in control, sometimes.

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When Managing Anxiety Fails

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Parenting with anxiety can get extremely difficult. For me, it effects how I respond to my child during a time she really needs me. In the middle of the night, when she’s frustrated, when she’s overwhelmed and erupts into a tantrum, and when she hurts herself. During a time when I need to be calm and appropriately responsive, my anxiety makes me feel overwhelmed, irritable, or panicked. For me, this is the toughest struggle I have while parenting with anxiety. I want to be there for my child, I want to teach her how to respond to her own emotions, and I want to be the one she turns to because she knows I will help her. So, I battle the chaos within my mind as much as I can so that I can be the mother my child needs.

Adjusting to motherhood was difficult for me. I struggled with it. I was a mess that couldn’t quite get it together. The house would go unattended for almost weeks, dishes sat in the sink for days, and showers were few and far in-between. I felt inadequate in my role and I struggled between managing my anxiety and taking care of my baby. My postpartum recovery was long and frustrating. My attempts to exercise would fall flat after just a few days. Discouraged by discomfort and lack of results, I’d give up quickly.

Slowly, I accepted my recovery journey, stopped forcing the mother role I had hoped to be, and I embraced the mess. From pregnancy, to baby’s first year, the journey was difficult. After a year, however, I finally felt like I had found my place as a mother.

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Organization, meditation, exercise, sleep, and human interaction are all key ingredients to help manage anxiety and depression. Beyond the care recommended by your doctor, there are countless articles and studies that suggest how to manage your symptoms. You see it everywhere, “Steps to minimize anxiety”, “Natural ways to reduce the effects”, “Reducing Panic Attacks”. In these articles you can find things like yoga, drinking enough water, getting outside, creating a schedule or reducing your schedule, staying organized, and so on. All of these suggestions can be categorized into exercise, organization, interaction, eating healthy, and relaxation.

After a year of trying to be accustomed to all the changes and chaos, I was finally doing it. I bought a planner and scheduled outings with the baby, exercise, and days for cleaning. I even started pre-planning meals that were healthy and easy to make.

I meditate almost every night with a hot cup of lavender tea, and I am even starting to get up with the baby in the middle of the night. I feel like I am finally figuring it all out. I dropped my baby weight, I can fit into my old clothes again, my skin looks better, and I am even getting up early.

I am doing all the right things and I am sticking to it, for the most part. I’m responding to my daughter with calm and control. I can sit with her during her tantrums and calmly talk her through her emotions. In the end, we end with a hug. I have been patient through her frustrations as she tries to figure out her rings and her puzzle. I let her feel her feelings without completing the task for her. “I know you’re frustrated, and that’s ok, but the puzzle piece is not something we throw. Placing the cow in his spot will get easier with practice.” I’ve been nailing it!

So, why am I sitting here today with a twisted chest. Today, why has my mind started to race with all of the old what if’s. Just when I thought the storm was over, here it was again.

Why am I telling my daughter to “Stop it,” because she is whining out of her own frustration. Why do I feel my throat tighten as I work through an on coming panic attack? If I am doing everything right, then why am I sitting here for the second day in a row in the same clothes, with no energy to get outside, and no ambition to roll out the matt. I sip my cold coffee wondering where the hell I went wrong.

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It’s not supposed to be like this, all of those articles, and the doctor said it would get better. They all said it would help, so why am I feeling this way today?

The truth is, anxiety doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop when you are at your best, and it doesn’t take a break when you are at your worst. It doesn’t leave and it’s doesn’t turn off. It is always there, lurking in the dark, waiting for the perfect opportunity to crawl out again. Even when you feel as if you have left it behind; it stays.

In my recovery journey, I have been learning to embrace the struggle, and that includes my anxiety. Acknowledge that I am feeling overwhelmed, panicked, and irritable. Name it as a feeling and not as a place I am stuck in. Embrace it when it comes and take a moment to recover. Just like you would if you were physically sick. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t get discouraged, but some day’s it’s just not that simple.

Some days you have to skip the to-do list, close up the planner, turn off the notifications, hand your kid a snack and plop them in front of Frozen and just take a moment to catch your breath. When managing anxiety fails, sip coffee in silence and shrug off the dust that settles on the furniture. When managing anxiety fails, call your doctor to set up an appointment. Maybe what you are doing isn’t working and you need to re-evaluate your strategy, or maybe you just need to check in. Maybe you just need a break.

When managing anxiety fails, don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. When managing anxiety fails, respond to it, don’t ignore it. Acknowledge it and treat it, then keep going. Keep moving, keep opening up that planner, keep getting up and getting dressed, and keep going. When managing your anxiety fails, don’t settle into it and don’t let it consume you. You have come so far, and you have accomplished so much in your journey. It is never ending, and exhausting, I know, but keep fighting. For you, for your family, for your babies. Show them how to embrace their own emotions and show anxiety who the boss is.

When managing anxiety fails, take a break, but then keep fighting.

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Who is Messy Mama

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com