What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

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

HelloMonday

The sun is shining. The windows are open. Oh how I have longed for this day! Despite my best efforts the weather plays a big part into my moods. The fresh air is very much needed right now. Now if only I can tear myself away from the singing birds long enough to actually do something productive.

But really what does it mean to be productive? Are you only productive if your house is spotless, everything is cleaned, washed, put away? Are you only productive if you go to work every day? Is it strictly based on what others can see? Can you only really be productive if your actions can some how be measured? Who decides what is productive?

What does it mean to you to be productive?

This past weekend I sat outside in the warmth of the sun. I listened to the birds. I played outside with the kids. I watched the kids play in awe of how much they have changed since last year. I did a lot of sitting outside. Just being in the moment. My house didn’t get cleaned. Laundry is way behind now. My living room looks like some supernatural event happened.

So did I have a productive weekend? What do you think? My answer; Yes. Yes I did.

I did what I needed to do. I did what my heart and soul needed. I was in the moment. I relaxed. I watched my kids. I played with my kids. This is what I needed to do. For my own mental health, my psychical health, I needed a break. I needed to be in the moment. I needed to laugh. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair.

If you looked at the state of my house you would not think it was a very productive weekend. If you looked at me you would know it was.

As far as house chores go, I am behind. In terms of my spirit, I am ahead of the game! I am refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on this week. I am in much better shape to handle this week than if I had been inside cleaning all weekend.

So Monday, this week, bring it! I’m ready for you! Right after I finish my coffee and listening to do the birds sing, then I will get up and rock this thing!

~ Michelle

 

When Your Husband Gets The Big V, The Snip Snip.


My husband got a vasectomy. I have never been so conflicted about anything before. I have also never been so at peace with something. Life is strange like that sometimes.

After our daughter was born, even during my pregnancy, we knew this was it. Our baby would complete our family and we were done. Our family was done. When we finally held her in our arms, we knew without a doubt, we both felt it, we both knew it. She would be our last baby. We were finally done.

The truth? I know I don’t want more kids, I know in my heart that I am done, I also know that I sometimes ( a lot of times) I miss pregnancy, I miss the newborn stage. Yes the person who has had 3 high risk pregnancies, 2 pregnancies on full bed rest, scary stress filled pregnancies, misses pregnancy. I miss feeling a baby kick. I miss the little itty bitty new born baby. Do I honestly want to go through that again? Not really.

Motherhood is a strange thing. I sent my husband off to get the big V done, to get the final snip, and yet as soon as he was gone I cried. I don’t even know for sure what I was crying over. I suddenly felt an empty hole appear, a void if you will. Knowing that we will never, ever, again welcome a small itty bitty baby into our family as parents. It hurt. It still sometimes does hurt. I sometimes feel like I’m missing out. Other times, most times, I am so happy and content and most importantly – I am complete.

Whats done is done, and I am happy. I know we made the right choice for our family. I couldn’t imagine our family any other way.

But still, the hole, the void still lives and thrives at times. I’ve come to terms with it. Its voice isn’t as loud anymore. It doesn’t rip open as often anymore. I wouldn’t change anything. I am happy with the fabulous, wonderful, amazing children that I have brought into this world. I do make pretty awesome kids if I do say so myself. I know I was very blessed to be able to carry 4 beautiful babies to full term. But my time is done and over with.

Besides my daughter is 3, and still doesn’t sleep all night, I would for real go crazy with sleep deprivation if I had another baby, especially if that baby slept anything like my daughter.

Right now, I am just dreaming of more than 4 hours of sleep at a time. That would be nice. Sweet, sweet sleep.

~ Michelle

Always Look For The Silver Lining

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

HelloMonday

This weekend was all about celebrating my daughter’s 3rd birthday. But to me it was so much more. There was a time that I never thought I would be able to have another baby. Then after years of struggling I finally got pregnant, just to miscarry a few weeks later. My heart was broken. I was broken, pieces missing forever. I was surprised when I managed to get pregnant again, and terrified. Her entire pregnancy I was scared I would lose her. I had a high risk pregnancy, and spent the entire time on bed rest. There was a time when I thought I would never get to this point. And now here we are, celebrating her 3rd birthday!

Every day I am so thankful for my children. Every day when I look at my girl, my rainbow baby, I am reminded that there is someone that will forever be missing from our family. Without that loss, my daughter wouldn’t be here now. It is so hard to explain the conflicting emotions that happen. My heart breaks for the baby I will never know, but my heart bursts with love for the children I do have.

My daughter is a constant reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned. There is good and bad, heartache and sorrow, but also so much love and joy in life.

There is always a silver lining. Always a point, or lesson to be learned. Sometimes, most times, its just incredibly hard to see at the time. Or at least thats what I like to tell myself on the bad days.

Bad days like when you fight with your husband after your child’s birthday party, and you are not exactly sure what started it. It was sort of the perfect storm of emotions, lack of sleep, and bad choice of words to be said by both parties. I will never understand the point to fighting, but I know there is a silver lining, a lesson to be learned. After the fight we always end up stronger. I just wish the heartache didn’t have to happen first.

So my point to all this, is that life is all about ups and downs, love and hate, tears and laughter. Really big heart breaking downs, really big huge living changing joy and love, or small bumps in the road – like fights, or small joys like waking up after a fight and finding out that your husband woke up early to clean the kitchen for you.

You just have to remember to look for the sliver lining in all things, big or small.

~ Michelle

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