Inside Out

My kids love the movie Inside Out. I have to admit, I do too. Its a very cute Disney Pixar movie. Have you had a chance to watch it?

Basically it is about the different emotions inside everyones head, especially focusing on the main character, a little girl.

Every time I watch the movie it makes me wonder, if our emotions were set up like that, what would it look like? Who would be in charger? Would there be one in charge or would they all just be fighting like crazy? How many would be fighting to control and how many emotions would be sitting the corner rocking and crying?

Sometimes it feels like an on going battle in my head. Anxiety and Depression are not the easiest to get along with. So I imagine Anxiety and Depression are big giant bullies trying to take over the controls while joy sits in the corner rocking back and forth crying. Fear is their little side kick. Sadness just floats over head on a cloud of sadness raining down on them.

All of it is so exhausting.

It is hard to explain it to someone who has not experienced it first hand.

I try to hold my head high. I try to put on a happy face. I try to get through the day in one piece while a battle rages on in my head for control of my emotions.

Monday and Tuesday of this week I accomplished so much. I worked out, I worked hard, I left the house, I wore make up. Today? I’m still in my pjs and have zero motivation to do anything. This is what happens. I’m beyond exhausted, and not in the way that any amount of sleep can help. I’m worn out from trying so hard, I’m worn out from putting on the brave face. I’m worn out from fighting. I’m not giving up. I just need time. I just need a day to take care of myself. I’m not being lazy. I’m taking care of myself. I’m doing what I need to so I can make it through another day.

Today, even though I am worn out, it feels like Joy has pushed her way to the front and is in charge of the controls.

Its the small things that mean so much and can make me happy, like having the freedom to stay home and do what I need to so I can take care of myself. Even if that means staying in pjs all day and playing with my kids.


~ Michelle

Progress Not Perfection

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Two weeks ago I was on a roll. I was working out every day, eating healthy, had so much energy, I was getting so much done. It was great. Then March Break happened. My boys went away for the week with my parents and my husband decided to take a week off work. It was just my husband, my toddler, and myself for a whole week. I didn’t work out. I didn’t eat the most healthy items like I could have. I didn’t work. I honestly didn’t do anything that I had planned. I even threw out the to do lists that I wrote.

Do you know hat I did for the week? I was present. I was here. I was on the floor playing with my toddler. I was sitting on the sofa cuddled up with  my husband talking for hours. I was in the moment. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Productive it terms of work? No. Productive in terms of self care?! YES!

Progress not perfection.

If this had happened before, if I had an entire week off from working out, eating healthy and work, I would completely flip out. I would fall into a deeper depression. I would think I ruined everything. But now I am finally learning that none of that is true.

Yes, I needed to do things, things had to get done. But the things I did do, spend every minute with my husband and daughter is also what I needed, what we all needed. My husband and daughter have never had that much time together to just play. It has been years since my husband and I have had so much time to talk. I don’t remember the last time we got to talk so much, have such deep conversations, discover new things about each other.

This past week went nothing like I planned, but it was everything I needed. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel more focused. I feel more at peace with myself, my husband, my life, with everything.

Things don’t always go as planned, slowly but surely I am learning that that is ok. Sometimes that we think we need is actually what we need.

~ Michelle

 

My Toddler Still Does Not Sleep All Night, Or On Her Own.

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Someone once asked me how it was going with my daughter. They were referring to her sleeping habits. I said it was the same: she never sleeps all night, I co-sleep with her still, and I have to lay down with her at night to get her to sleep. Their response “well you ruined her. You did this to yourself. She’s spoiled now.” And they turned and walked away.

I will never understand their response. How have I ruined my daughter? How is she spoiled because she knows she is loved and safe and I will be there no matter when she needs me?

Here’s the thing: my daughters sleep habits suck. They really suck. They have since the day she was born. And yes I am serious, right form day one.  I have talked about my daughters sleep issues multiple times. And at this rate I will continue to.

I am a mother, 24/7 I am a mother. If my child needs me in the middle of the night, I will be there. If I need to lay down with my child for 20 minutes, 30 mixtures or over an hour until she falls asleep I will. Because it is what she needs, and honestly, its the least I can do. Is taking an hour out of my day to lay in a bed with my toddler really such a horrible thing?

I have not ruined my daughter. I have not spoiled my daughter. I have loved my daughter and been there for her when she needs me. Her needs just tend to be a little bit different from other kids needs. My daughters issue is sleep. I don’t know why, all I know is that she needs me during that time and I will be there.

Kids grow up way too fast. My two little itty bitty boys are about to be 11 and 10 years old. I don’t know how this happened. My daughter is about to turn 3. Again, this seems impossible. She won’t need me forever, not like this, so while she does need me like this, I will be there. Just like my boys needs have changed since they were babies, my daughters needs will change as well.

Sleep is hit or miss now. Sleep is strange. Sleep is a crowded bed with too many people shoved in together. Sleep sometimes causes me to wake up with random bruises and scratches. Sleep is also a magical thing when I get to cuddle my daughter, feel her fall asleep in my arms, watch her sleep – she always looks so peaceful. When I go into my daughters room in the middle of the night and hold her in my arms and can instantly feel her little body relax and calm, it makes it all worth it.

My kids needs will change as they grow. I used to have to sleep with my son as he suffered through a few weeks of night terrors, now I’m lucky if I can get a hug out of him in public when he’s near his friends. Oh, and he now sleeps perfectly fine on his own.
My daughter? She will soon grow out of this, she already has started and will continue to learn how to calm herself and sleep on her own. Until she can do it fully on her own, I will be there for her.

I will be there for my kids in any way I can when they need me. I’m a mother, its part of my job.

~ Michelle

Self Care

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Last week, yet again, I wrote about getting back on track, back to the basics. Do you know how many times I have written something like that? A lot. Why? Because I keep falling, I keep going down the wrong path, I take 50 steps back. But do you know what I also do? I always try to get back up again, and each time I do I end up learning something new about myself. I find new strength in myself. I find new passions. I find a new way of looking at things.

Something  I have learned over and over and over again, is that I suck at self care. I blame it on my anxiety and depression. Do you know what else I have learned over and over and over again? Self care is super important. Like really important. But still, I suck at it. My anxiety and depression monsters tell me I am not worthy of it. I don’t deserve it. I am not worth it. My time would be better spent doing something else. That I am selfish if I want to spend time alone, do something just for me. Its hard. It really is. These monsters, they are so loud. They are so powerful. They are so convincing at times. They wear me down, they drain all of my energy until I can no longer fight them.

I have decided to start yet another journey, this one about self care. I have also started a fitness journey. They happen to be one in the same. For the first time my fitness and workouts are not about actual physical fitness, they are purely for my mental health. And you know what? I enjoy my workouts even more now. I don’t feel pressure about how much weight I may or may not lose, how many calories I am eating, because right now, they don’t matter, they are not my priority. Don’t get me wrong, my psychical health and over all health is important, they just aren’t my focus right now when doing my workouts. As I focus on my mental health, everything else is falling into place. I feel better after I workout, and so I make better choices about the food I put in my body, and slowly I have started to feel better both physically and mentally.

Lets be honest here, I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know how long I will be able to do this. I don’t know how long it will be till the monsters knock me back down again. But what I do know is that when that happens, I will get back up again, eventually, slowly, but surely, I will get back up. I will continue to try. I will learn something new. I will find new strength. I will continue this dance with the monsters, trying to tame them, over come them??? Honestly I am not sure, but I will not give up, that I am sure of.

How do you take care of yourself? How do you make sure you are getting enough of what you need? I would love to hear! Leave a comment or message me!

You can follow along with me on Instagram as I try to do this thing called Self Care.

~ Michelle

Back To Basics

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Do you ever feel like you have everything under control? Like you are totally rocking this whole adult and mom thing. Like you can totally juggle 46383729202 balls without any help. And then one day you wake up and realize you really can’t juggle all that on your own, and you honestly are not really rocking anything.

So here I am. Two months into 2017, and it has been one hell of a ride so far. Nothing has been accomplished. All of my To-Do Lists have so much dust over them that you can’t even read them, my workout plans are nothing but a joke, my business plans are the same. The last two months have been nothing but stress, sickness, surgery, recovery, more stress, more sickness, anxiety and just for fun, more stress.

I need to do something to get things rolling again. So I am going back to basics. Writing lists, setting goals, asking for help, taking it one day at a time. Also remembering to breathe.

So my goal for this week:

Family:

1. Spring clean! This sunshiny, above freezing weather has me so ready for spring.
2. Meal plan. Meal plan! Meal plan!
3. Reinstate family movie night! We have let that slide, and I don know why. I miss it.

Husband & Wife:

4. Spend more time alone together. We haven’t really spent much time together lately, I don’t remember the last time we had a decent conversation.
5. Have regular dates again. Or just one date. I will take anything at this point.

Personal:

6. Workout. At least 5 workouts a week.
7. Take time for me. Even 10 minutes. Even if it means doing a face mask or painting my nails.
8. Write. Write for me, write for my blog, write for the sake of writing.

Work:

9. Set dedicated time aside to work. But first organize what needs to be done first.
10. Work, work, work!

What do you hope to accomplish this week? How do you stay accountable for your goals? Share, share, share! I would love to hear!

~Michelle

When Your Toddler Needs Surgery. Before, During, and After.

Finding out your child needs surgery can be hard. Super hard. Especially when your child is a toddler and doesn’t understand what is going on or why she will be in pain. I am no expert in child surgery. I am just a mom that recently went through this and wanted to share my story. In part of trying to prepare myself I tried to look up blog posts online from other parents that went through something similar, and couldn’t find much. So incase someone else travels down this path, I wanted to share.


Before:

Before surgery prepare yourself and your child. Have all your questions written down and make an appointment with your doctor just to ask questions if you need to. Talk with your child about it. The talking is as much for your as it is for them. Talk about having to go to the hospital, staying some place new for a few days. Keep it simple depending on your child’s age.
Depending on your child’s age show them the hospital before hand if you think that will help.
Make a list ( I love lists) of everything you will need, especially if you will be spending the night (or 2, or more).
Pack the night before. Have clothes laid out the night before, especially if your child’s surgery is first thing in the morning.
Buy your favourite snacks and/or candy. Pick up some new books or magazines. Depending on what surgery your child will have see if you can bring some of their favourite snacks for after surgery. Have their favourite foods at home waiting, or special foods like ice cream.
Do a deep clean of the house, depending on recovery you will not have much time for anything else other than your child after surgery.
Have some meals prepped and in the freezer for after.
Decide ahead of time if and when you will have visitors. We personally decided against visitors because it would upset our daughter when they had to leave and the crying and freaking out would hurt her throat even more.

During:

There isn’t much to do while your child is in surgery besides sit there and go crazy. Depending on your hospitals layout chances are the operating room may be on a different floor than where you may be staying, either way you will not want to carry a lot of stuff around with you. So pack your purse or bag wisely.
Speaking of your bag/purse, pack distractions for yourself in there. Pack some candy or snacks, magazines, books, new apps / games on your phone. Pack some of your favourite items, lip gloss, chapstick, jewelry. I have a piece of Sea Glass on a Necklace that I tend to play with and rub when stressed and worrying.
While your child is in surgery make sure you go to the bathroom! Seriously. Once your child comes out they will only want you. My daughter didn’t let go of me for hours, she slept, she cried, and she held on tight. I couldn’t get up for hours, and I never thought to use the bathroom before she finished surgery.

After:

Breathe. Deep, slow, breaths. Focus. Chances your child will be a little out of sorts, your child will be in pain, your child will be confused, and your heart will just break.
Prepare for cuddles. Lots of cuddles.
And don’t forget to breathe.

~ Michelle

When Your Toddler Needs Surgery

A few months back I found out that my toddler needed surgery. I knew it was coming. I knew what to expect when I walked into the doctors office that morning. What I wasn’t expecting was how crushed I was going to feel. How completely gutted. How completely helpless, how completely out of control, how much of a failure I would feel like. Anxiety and depression can make you think and feel crazy things like something like this is actually in your control, when in fact it is not. My daughter’s tonsils and adenoids were so large that they were almost blocking her airway completely. She also needed tubes put in both ears. Nothing I could have done would ever change this. This was out of my control. The only thing I could control was allowing her this surgery to correct the problem.

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My big boy had to have tubes put in when he was 4 years old. So I knew what to expect with regards to that. But the tonsils and adenoids, I had no idea. It was so scary not knowing. The not knowing of what would happen during surgery scared me, the not knowing what to expect during recovery scared me even more. I was told my daughter could spend any where from 1 day to a whole week in hospital. She ended up staying 4 days. 4 very long, extremely stressful days. Something I hope to never have to repeat. Ever.

When you find out that your child is having surgery it can be such a scary time no matter how big or minor it is. When the doctor asks, “Do you have any questions?”, chances are you will have a million, just not right at that moment. Make sure you write down all of your questions for your next appointment. Even have a dedicated notebook just for your questions so you have them all in one place.
I honestly can not tell you how many times I called my doctors office to ask them questions. Just like in school when they say, “There are no stupid questions.” that comes into play here, don’t be afraid to ask anything. It helped ease my anxiety knowing that I could ask anything and I would always get an answer. Just make sure to write them all down.

When your toddler needs surgery the internet can be your best friend and worst enemy. While I suggest knowing about any surgery your child will need, I do suggest having your husband, check websites with you, or before you. I made the mistake of looking up my daughters surgery and ended up on every bad news, horrible story, worst case ever, story, nothing really of real information all a sort of dooms day. If you have severe anxiety like me, have someone with you when you turn to the internet.

At the end of the day, nothing can really prepare you for your child, let alone toddler who doesn’t fully understand whats going on, to have surgery. Trust in yourself, your partner, your doctor, and if you believe in God or higher power.

~ Michelle