Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oh my sweet blessings...

I truly have been blessed with 3 adorable, hilarious, loving and sometimes obnoxious children. That does not mean that is has been easy...

When I had Gabe and only Gabe I really thought that I had it all together. I thought I was on top of the world, I had the absolute best and easiest baby boy, a clean house and dinner on the table most nights. Plus all of the side stuff that I was able to do, you know like a 60 mile walk, no biggy. It was a happy peaceful place. Then we decided to get pregnant again...
Gabe, he is my peaceful, laid back, easy going child.

  When I finally did get pregnant we thought it would be fun to let this babies sex be a surprise. Well that little surprise ended up being a girl and let me tell you, she STILL surprises us every single day, one way or another. She popped out of my uterus with spunk and an attitude! She has rocked my whole world. I suddenly didn't want to do anything or go anywhere. It took me a long time to get back into the world and into the groove of things. Even now with her being 2 I find myself staying home a lot because she is such a big "presence" {for the sake of being nice} that it can be hard to take her places. She has her good days and her very bad days. She is very strong willed and no form of discipline truly works on her. However, I am learning that she is here to teach me, rather then for me to teach her. She teaches me everyday how to be patient, loving, kind, giving and so much more. She is my child with whom I have had to read books and ask for LOTS of advice and LOTS of praying has gone on. I guess once you have your first great child you just kind of assume they will all come out that way. Not always true my friends. Plus on top of that, the first and second get to an age where they fight! All.the.time. But my hope for them is that they will be best friends one day. When I do catch them playing and laughing together it warms my heart to the fullest! 
Juliana, my creative spunky strong willed child
Lastly, Jocelyn came along as a total surprise. At first I had a hard time accepting it {being pregnant} and all through my pregnancy with her I almost refused to give her a name or a face or any kind of identity because I didn't understand how I could possibly have a 3rd healthy child. I felt like something would happen, either the pregnancy wouldn't make it full term or my baby would come out with something wrong. That might be a horrible way to think but I was prepared for anything. I really didn't feel like I deserved a 3rd child. I had a hard enough time with 2, why in the world would God want to give me another one?! Well that sweet baby came out healthier then an ox, and happier then a clown. She is the sweetest most laid back baby ever. Every single person I have ever come across has commented on how good she is or has asked "is she always this chill?" yes, yes she is. Now that she is 7 months I am starting to see more of her personality come out and I will tell you she is hilarious! I think she may be my comedian, it is rare when she isn't smiling. One of the reasons we chose her name, Jocelyn, is because it means joy and she brings truth to her name every single day.
Jocelyn, my happy, hilarious sit back and watch the madness go down baby girl.
After having her it was a serious transition. When I first had her people would ask what was harder, the transition from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. That was a really hard question to answer, they both have their challenges. I would now say that 2 to 3 was pretty hard. Mostly because of Juliana though. She tends to make everything 90% harder. I have had a lot of anxiety over her and find myself wanting to bash my head into a wall daily. Ok I realize that sounds bad, but I will tell you there MAY be some hope.. "may" is the key word!
{That was a really long intro just to get to this. sorry. I just wanted people to know my background and that I do have a "spunky" child so I have some understanding of that.}
I have moms {almost} daily tell me what a hard day/week/month they have been having. How they have anxiety or are just so tired or are just DONE.

By 5:00pm everyday I am ready to throw my hands up and just walk away. I'm not at a place where I can give a lot of advice but I can share what has worked for me and what advice I have given to other people that has worked for them.
So these are my:

 "How to keep your sanity when you have child/ren"
The first thing that I think is important is to get dressed everyday. Don't get me wrong, an occasional "lets stay in our pj's all day DAY" is totally fine, just don't let it be everyday. I know that when I get dressed I tend to do more and have more motivation to get stuff done or go places. Plus its nice to look good for our men folk when they get home from work ;o)
Next, I think getting a breath of fresh air is always good. Going on a short walk can increase your mood substantially. I'm a walker, and every single time I go on a walk after having a hard day or being upset about something it resets my mood meter. Even if it is just around the block it really does help. That being said, exercise in any form is a great mood and energy booster. I know you are thinking, "but I am soooo tired I can't do it!" Ladies I promise you it will help with your energy! Just do it!
Have a routine. This is THE HARDEST THING for me. I am soooo not a routine person. However, it does work. I used to let Juliana stay up as late as she wanted, simply because I didn't have the energy to fight with her at night. Finally, I decided that it was ridiculous to do that. So I started a routine. Bath time, book time, bed time. Most of the time I get her in bed between 7 and 8 now. She cut out naps early on, so she is just exhausted everyday, which turns into her acting out or being super whiny. Her going to bed earlier has given me back a lot of my sanity. I can actually sit in silence if I want, or hang out with my husband. I can do whatever I want! It is glorious! Any routine really does help minimize the madness. However, I'm still working on this one and that's okay! 

Kid swap
My friend Caycee and I have been doing kid swap for about 2 months now and it has been SUCH a blessing. I take her daughter on Thursdays and she takes my girls on Fridays. It gives me something to look forward to and time alone! Find a good friend who has kids you can stand and start swapping! Having Cylie every Thursday really is such a joy for me.  I just let the kids destroy the house and they have a great time.

Ok so maybe you see the theme of getting your sanity back is getting away from your kids... Well
Yes that is part of it. As a mom you lose a huge part of yourself. I think it's important to have time to yourself on a regular basis so that you don't completely lose yourself. It's important to be an individual, to have hobbies and things that are just for you. Don't let your children define you because one day those children will be grown and gone and do you really want to be 60 and just now figuring out your likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc? 

That takes us into date night and girls night! You NEED to take the time to connect with your husband! Before there were kids there was YOU and HIM and after the kids it will be YOU and HIM! Stop putting your man on the back burner! If all you have in common with your husband right now is your kids then what will you do when it's just the 2 of you? Start doing things with him that he enjoys, act interested even if your not! And make him do things with you that you enjoy. Seeing a play or a sappy movie isn't going to kill him
Girls nights/weekends are important as well. We are women! We need emotional support. We need to know that other people are going through what we are going through. We need to laugh, connect, get away and eat some fatty food! After some great girl time I feel completely rejuvenated and am able to appreciate my kids again. Which is the main key right? To enjoy your kids?

Find a moms group. I go to MOPS{moms of preschoolers} which is a Christian based moms group. The kids go in a class and us mamas do crafts, devotionals, eat breakfast and most importantly connect with other moms. I have made the most amazing friends in this group. You will not find more loving, accepting mamas anywhere else! They even bring you breakfast after you pop out a baby! {that's enough reason alone to have ANOTHER ONE!haha!}

Connect with your children. By connecting with them through things they love to do it makes them feel more connected to you, in turn making them want to please you. The days that I really connect with Juliana and give her good positive attention are the best days. She wants to make me happy so she listens much faster, and she behaves much better. Of course that's not always easy to do when you have other children. Its a great start though!

Just waking up every morning with the intention of it being a good day can help. I ask Juliana every single morning "are we going to have a good day today or a bad day?" She always answers good day, because she wants it to be a good day just as bad as we want it to be a good day! If you fail it's ok, you have tomorrow. Don't put so much pressure on yourself that you get weighed down by it. Being a mother is dreadfully hard yet amazingly fulfilling at the same time.

Honestly, I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. One day at a time... As long as us mamas are supportive to each other and help each other through we can do it. It is a learning process for all of us. Remember, every child is different as is every mother. What works for one child may not work for another and what works for one mama might not work for another mom and that's ok. THIS my friends, is why we had science in school, because children are our little experiments{See now you can put that hypothesis, observation, trial after trial crap to work ;o)}. They are constantly changing and it is constant trial and error.

Don't give up and don't bang your head on a wall {unfortunately that doesn't help anything}. 

If all else fails I'm pretty sure Mexico accepts white children, but if you have half breeds like me I'm pretty sure they are not as accepting so we just have to deal with it ;)

Cheers to our sanity mamas! We got this!


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