Adoption And The Holidays

Being a Birth Mom is never easy. It is not glamours. It never leaves you. It changes you forever. Your heart is forever missing a piece. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall. Sometimes you feel like you can’t breathe with the missing piece. Sometimes you feel like you are falling apart.

adoption

I am a Birth Mom. My son was placed for adoption right at birth. His mom was at the hospital during my labour, heck, she even stood by my side while I pushed. I ended up in an emergency c-section and she was actually able to see him first and spend time with him before I was. They were always meant to be a family. I love my son. But he was always destined to be her son. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I miss him every day. I think about him every day. I always think “what if?!” Always. All my children are always on my mind, every day, every single day. I sometimes even set a place at the table for him. Its hard.

I am so incredible thankful that he does have the family he has. As much as I miss him, as much as my heart breaks, as much as I feel like I am missing out on everything, I also feel connected. My sons mother has always included me. Sent me photos, videos, visits, phone calls, FaceTime, anything that connects us. I am forever grateful.

Last week she went above and beyond. Although I am not sure she knows just how above and beyond it was. How much it truly meant to me. How much it completely broke my heart, shattered it, and yet made me feel whole all at once. This incredible woman, whom I love so deeply, sent me videos and pictures during his school Christmas concert. It was the most beautiful thing. She didn’t have to. She could have waited till it was over. She could have just told me about it. She could have just enjoyed it for herself. But she didn’t. She included me. She shared with me.

I sat there and cried, I cried sad tears, heartbroken tears, proud mom tears, happy tears, so many different emotions. I held my daughter as we watched together. She didn’t grasp just how important all of this was, but I sure did. It was a moment I will never forget. A moment I am forever thankful for.

I wasn’t able to physically be there, I hardly ever am, but I was and always am there in spirit. This made the connection for me even stronger.

Being a Birth Mom during the holidays is extra hard. When you are surrounded by family, and someone is still missing, a part of you is missing, your mind is always wondering what that person is doing, wishing you could be with them. This little action of her sharing with me made me feel so connected and complete during such a hard time.

It really is the small things that mean the most. Small acts that have the biggest impact.

~ Michelle

 

Depression And The Holidays

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

HelloMonday

One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible? One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle

Getting Back On Track

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

HelloMonday

The past couple months have been a whirlwind. I can’t even begin to describe it. Now the holiday season is quickly approaching and I’m not sure where I stand or what was is up. I’m trying to make the best of it, I’m trying to hold my head up high, but it is exhausting. Down to the bone exhausting.

While trying to focus on the big picture and deal with everything going on, I need to start focusing on the little things. Taking it one day at time, one step at a time. All that jazz that is supposed to help calm a person. Not sure it really works, especially in times like this. But we will see. Its worth a shot, right?!

So this week I will be setting goals. For me. Not so much for the family. For me, that way I can be there for my family. I’m not so good about taking care of myself. But now its the time to really put in the effort.

1. Wrap the Christmas gifts I have already gotten. Its never too early to start crossing things off the To-Do List.
2. Workout. MUST. WORKOUT. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have fallen so far off the tracks that I honestly can not even see them anymore.
3. Read, draw, or journal. Something. Creative outlet is a must, and I have let it slide as well.
4. Organize the family calendars. Again I have fallen behind on this.

( I should just say do all the things I have been putting off… but thats completely overwhelming… )

5. Meal plan. Eat healthy. Again this goes right back to my moods. Way too much emotional eating lately.
6. Finish decorating. Yes I started early, because of everything going on, I wanted it over with, but there are still a few last things that need to be done.
7. Try to go to bed before 11pm. Oh sleep, how I miss you.
8. Get my holiday card mailing list together and get started on that.

I’m sure there are a million other things I should do and I’m totally forgetting right now. Maybe a second cup of coffee will help me remember.

Now to get over the mommy guilt and focus on me. Stupid mommy guilt.

~ Michelle

Planning A Family Trip

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

HelloMonday

This weekend I had lots of plans. Then germs hit the house. You have got to love back to school! So pretty much nothing got done this weekend, unless you count cuddles and naps! Then yes, lots got done.

So now here is Monday morning, I feel it mocking me and daring me to try to accomplish everything I want to do. And all with very little sleep and no coffee! Which basically means I am writing a lot of lists and notes down so I don’t forget anything! Because truth be told, I don’t have a lot of time to sit around being sick, I have so much to do! See in less than a months time we are taking a family trip! Not just any family trip! We are taking a week long trip to FLORIDA! And we are driving! Driving! Driving with my toddler who, to put it nicely, HATES the car! And we only have a week to get there, and back! So it should be very, VERY, interesting!

So I need to start planning what I need to pack, and buy for the trip, and it true me fashion, what I can make for the trip!

This will be the longest car ride for my toddler, and the longest time away from home. So I want it to go as smoothly as possible. Because no one likes a cranky, tired toddler that can scream like a angry screaming banshee on fire.

This isn’t the first time we have made this trip, but it is the first time with my toddler, so it feels like the first time and I am so scared and nervous and I have no idea what to expect. See the last time we did this trip, I only had my two boys, and they were 6 and 5 years old. They could sit in the car the whole time we were able to drive straight down over 24 hours with no meltdowns or issues. Also we had my parents. The adults outnumbered the kids, and it was wonderful!

This trip, it will just be my husband, me and our three kids! The kids outnumber us, and that is kinda scary! Not that they don’t outnumber me on a daily basis, but this is going into unknown territory.

So far I have snacks planned. Lots of snacks. Because growing boys love food, and my toddler loves food. As for anything else? I still working on that! Snacks, food, bathing suits, more snacks!

And did I mention we are leaving in less than a month?! The days of last minute packing and planning and so far behind me, I don’t even remember them! Everything now is plan, plan, plan!

It may seem a bit much, but if I don’t plan like crazy and have a million lists my anxiety will go crazy. Think of it as feeding the beast so it shuts up. Ok, maybe not shuts up, but at least calms it down just a little bit!

Back to planning and writing! And just when I thought our trip to Niagara Falls with all three kids for 2 nights was a big deal…

~ Michelle

 

Countdown To Back To School

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It’s summer. A time when everyone expects moms to jump up and down for joy because their darling children will be home 24/7 for what can sometimes feel like forever…

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation. But I miss the structure that the school year brings. All the hard work we as a family have put into our routine, our schedule, it is all thrown right out the window in the summer.

I plan and plan for summer vacation, to the point that I’m tired and left feeling drained. Then summer vacation happens, and 75% of those plans go out the window. Every year. Every single year. Which just leaves me feeling somewhat disappointed that all that effort and time was wasted.

Then there is the dreaded “I’m bored” from the kids, or the sibling fighting. Fighting over nothing. “Mom I think he looked at me all weird like!” Seriously kid?!

Oh how I have a love/hate relationship with summer vacation. I like the relaxing mornings compared to the rush of getting to school. But I still have to get my kids up and fed, clean up after them, feed the again and again and again, because they have apparently never eaten before and must eat all day long during the summer.

Summer vacation is far from relaxing when you are a mom. I have 3 kids, and so far summer vacation has consisted of breaking up fights, dealing with the I’m bored, going on adventures only to have them fight in the car, dealing with the constant parade through my kitchen, the endless toys and mess inside and outside my house. Its not as simple as checking the living room for toys before bed, I have to check outside too now.

I miss my kids when they are in school, I honestly do. But right now, school is looking pretty good.

Maybe its because I am such an introvert, that I feel most comfortable when things are done a certain way, and I just find all this more draining than other moms do. Maybe its because I haven’t slept properly since my daughter was born. Maybe its the not having a single moment to myself thing. The lack of adult conversation. Maybe its the feeling so alone in the summer when its just me and the kids day in and day out.

Blame it on what you want.

As much as I love my kids, love the extra time with them, love the extra cuddles, love the extra talks, as much as I love being able to go on adventures and spend so much time with them. As much fun as we have already had, and will have, I am counting down to the first day of school! (Which of course I will cry over. Don’t judge!)

Do you feel the same way? How do you deal with summer vacation with kids?

~Michelle

 

Today Will Be A Good Day

Today will be a good day. Not because it is a special day. But because I need a good day. Have you ever just needed a good day?


This Easter weekend was fun. It was great. We had lots of company over. We had lots of laughs, love, and made great memories. But it was exhausting. I’m exhausted. I’m worn out. And yesterday was grey, dark and storming all day. It totally matched my mood.

Here is the thing, having people over wears me out. Physically and mentally. I enjoy having people- friends and family- over. I love seeing the kids play with their friends and run around the house. I enjoy visiting with people, I enjoy the conversation and connection. But when you are an introvert, things like this, no matter how enjoyable can just zap the energy out of a person. And thats me, I’m an introvert, and I also have anxiety. Its a wonderful combination. (Please note the sarcasm)

So like I said, even though I enjoyed the long weekend, had two days of company over, I’m worn out. Then when you mix that in with a rainy, gloomy, stormy, dark day. My mood and energy is completely zapped. I don’t enjoy feeling like this. I don’t like it. I try to fight it. I try to ignore it. But I can’t. Its there. Always there. A part of me, a part of who I am. This is me.

After all is said and done, today will be a good day. It has to be. I need it to be. I need to feel like myself again, I need my energy level back up, I need to… I need to just feel happy and free. Free of the crappy feeling from a bad weather day, free of the low energy, free of my own guilt over feeling worn out after a long weekend.

Today is a new day. It will be a good day. No matter the weather, the people around me, how little sleep I’ve gotten, I will have a good day.

And I hope you all have a good day too.

~ Michelle

How To Completely And Totally Ruin March Break

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

HelloMonday

Last week was March Break. The coveted March Break. A week off from school, schedules, making lunches the night before, and having to get dressed in real clothes. I had so many glorious plans. So many. Instead it was completely and totally ruined.

My two boys were leaving with my parents for a week away. They were going to have so much fun. And this meant that I would have a week home with just my daughter. My sweet soon to be 2 year old. I had so many plans for us, crafts, art, girl time, maybe even painting her nails for the first time, playdates, trips to the park, projects around the house I wanted to do and work stuff to do. It was truly amazing what I had planned. Instead it was all ruined.

Let me explain how, and for that we have to go back to the week before March Break. In order to completely ruin a March Break just insert germs. The week before March Break was filled with all 3 of my kids getting sick. Because you know it just isn’t fair if only one or two kids got sick, all 3 had to join in. Temperatures up around 103 and puking, every where, all the time. I had alarms set every night that got me up every 90 minutes to check on the kids.
Now onto actually March Break. Two boys that are feeling better, thank God, and a little girl who can’t decided if she is still sick or not, and just for fun they decided to take me out.

For my week alone with my daughter, for all the plans I had made, all the crafts I had bought, I got to spend my week laying on the sofa sick unable to move or even pick up my daughter! For the first time ever I have actually had to call in help of other family members to help watch my girl.

As for my boys, they didn’t get to do much. They were feeling better but still were not at full energy level, they would go do one thing, and have to sleep right after. Thankfully they were never actually sick on the their trip, just tired.

And that is how you ruin March Break.

Now it is Monday again, the kids are back to school, my daughter is at full toddler destructor  level, and I am left still feeling weak and sick. Usually on Monday I have a whole To Do List, I make some goals, so I feel like I have some control over the week. Today my only goal is get better and get my energy level back to normal! And maybe just maybe find the time this week to do some of the things I planned for last week. Maybe.

How was your March Break?

~ Michelle

Going With The Flow.

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

HelloMonday

Monday, we meet again. Is it just me or did this weekend pass us by at super speed? The last week has been crazy. My boys took part in a church Christmas play. So it has been crazy around here with rehearsals and 3 performances. I am so proud of my boys. They worked hard, had lots of late nights, were super tired, but kept going with a smile on their face.

This is the last week of school before Christmas holidays. I should be busy with plenty of To-Do Lists ready to go. But I’m not. I will be completely honest, I am on the verge of a burn out. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m done. I’m tired of stressing over everything that has to be done, all the things I need to do, I’m sick of having 150 things on my To-Do List and only having time to do 50 of them.

This week I am throwing out the To-Do List. This week I want to be in the moment. I know what needs to get done, I don’t need the To-Do List around to stress me out further. (Funny thing, I do thrive better with a To-Do List).

This week I want to be in the here with everything going on. I want to enjoy every moment of the holiday process.

I don’t need my To-Do List around to remind me of what needs to get done, and what I have yet to accomplish.

The holidays are stressful enough, busy enough, and surprisingly short. I want to enjoy all of it. I don’t want to feel the mountain of Mom Guilt when something doesn’t get crossed off the list in one day.

Holidays are not made in To-Do Lists. Holidays are about so much more.

The holidays will still come and go whether or not I finish my To-Do List. The holidays will still come and go even if I think I am not ready. Here is the the thing, the holidays are about so much more. Most importantly they are about time with family. And I can’t be with my family, truly with my family if I am busy stressing and worrying and running around.

This goes against my nature, but I am throwing out the To-Do List.

Everything will still get done, they always do. And even if something is missing, in the long run, it won’t matter. It is hard to believe, to even try to wrap your head around it, but it is true. I promise. It is a hard lesson to learn, I am still learning.

So this week, I will go with the flow, I will embrace and enjoy the crazy, stressful, busy, wonderful, magically holiday season that is upon us.

This week and holiday season I will be with my family, not running around them doing stuff.

~ Michelle

 

Mondays Were Made For Extra Coffee

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

HelloMonday

Monday, we meet again. Let’s hope you are nice to me today.

The last few days I had a sort of adrenaline rush with getting things done. I had energy, I got a lot of stuff done, I accomplished a lot of things I wanted to do. Now however, I’m not sure if it is because it is Monday and gloomy or I am feeling the crashing of my so called adrenaline rush from the past few days, but I feel so pulled down today. Which doesn’t make me look forward to the week ahead.

This week I want it to be as productive as the last few days. A girl can dream, right?

So its time to put on my big girl pants and get started. Regardless of how I am feeling I am determined to have a good week. The holidays are quickly approaching and I want them to go as smoothly as possible.

My goals for the week:

Home:

1. Organize calendars. I missed an event last week because all the calendars were not updated and coordinated.
2. Meal plan! And stick to it. Last week while I got a lot accomplished, cooking was not one of them. This week will be even more crazy as my kids have 3 nights of dress rehearsal for a Christmas play they are in.
3. Meal plan the holidays, and get shopping done for that! I hate having to run out day before Christmas Eve for something I forgot. I would much rather be able to know everything is done and ready so I can fully enjoy time with family.

Family:

4. Get pictures with Santa. Its a yearly tradition. My boys don’t care so much for it anymore, they used to get super excited about it, but now they are more excited about missing school to get it done. Kids, they grow up so fast!
5. Quiet time. Just in that I want to make time to be with my family with no distractions, tv, phone, computer.

Personal:

6. Start the learning process for Meditation. I have always wanted to learn how to meditate. It has always intrigued me, but I have never gotten around to actually doing it with any sorta of routine. I have tried to just go ahead and do it, but never actually stuck with it or learned anything about it first.
7. Read. Journal. Colour. Anything that allows me to unwind and relax.
8. Don’t be afraid to say no. Its ok. Sometimes it is needed. “No” is not a bad word, or a scary word.

Work:

9. Push past my comfort zone. This is a tough one so it will be my goal for a long time, but I hope to accomplish it and keep going.
10. Organize my desk and work area. I bought some new organizational things, now I have to actually set them up and use them.

What do you hope to accomplish this week?
Are you all ready for the holidays?

~ Michelle

End Of Chapter 11, On To Chapter 12

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.
Goodbye November, Hello December.

HelloMonday

This last week has been a whirlwind. A lot has happened, none of it I was expecting or prepared for. It has taken a toll on me both physically and emotionally. I have done a lot of thinking, and then more thinking and more. Basically my thoughts have been running around in circles. I’m worn out, plain and simple.

My hope for this week is simple, I make it through in one piece, without losing my mind.

My Goals For The Week:

Home
1. Finish decorating. There are some last minute touches still needed to be done and it is driving me insane that they are not done yet.
2. Organize the front hall and closet. Again. Winter is such a pain. 3 kids and I have mittens all over the house and the snow hasn’t even fallen yet.

Family
3. Spend more time together. We have gotten so swept up in the holidays and the madness of last week that we need to remember to just stop and smell the roses, or rather just stop and spend some time together.
4. Read together. Again with what I stated before. I miss my cuddles with my kids. It is such a great way to unwind after a crazy day.
5. Meal plan. I love when we plan meals together, there tends to be less complaining when they know what is coming and when they get to pick out their own meals.

Personal
6. Stop biting my nails. I do so well with this, and then I break a nail, and I just say screw and start biting again. This last week with everything going on, it has gotten bad again. And honestly, I miss nail polish. Glittery pink goodness. I miss it.
7. Workout. It helps fight off stress, yet when I get too stressed out I don’t do it, and I feel worse because on top of the stress I’m not working out. Its a bad, bad circle of events.
8. Use a timer. I was using a timer, and it helped. So much was getting done. And then one of my sons saw it, liked it, and ran off with it. Don’t ask why. I still don’t know why. But I have gotten my timer back, and it is time to get back on track and organized.

Work
9. Set work hours! Seriously. Why is this so hard?! Oh yeah, because I work from home, there is no “leaving” work. It is always around me, always there, screaming at me, mocking me, calling me all day and all night like some evil siren.
10. Push past my comfort zone.

What do you hope to accomplish this week?
Are you ready for the holidays?
If you say you are done Christmas shopping I will be very jealous!

~ Michelle