Motherhood Minute: Meet Autumn

For this month’s Motherhood Minute, we would love for you to meet Autumn. She is a full-time working mother of two super cute kids, Caroline, 3, and Tripp, 1!

When asked for her best memory of motherhood [so far] she states, “One of my favorite memories are when the kids were still newborns and had that ‘new baby’ scent – I would sit and hold them forever. I’m still in denial that that’s why they’re spoiled today!”

She also shares that her “scariest memory so far was when Caroline choked on a piece of corn-dog. Instead of performing the Heimlich, naturally I turned her upside down and beat her (kidding…slightly)”!

Biggest challenge in motherhood? Autumn says, “Hands down, my biggest challenge has been becoming a single mom. I’ve learned to be patient. I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help. From here on out, it’s about surviving and thriving!”

Need a life/mom hack? Autumn shares  “BABY WIPES. I, REPEAT, BABY WIPES. Butt need wiping? Baby wipes. Car need cleaning? Baby wipes. Ran out of makeup remover? Baby wipes. Did I mention baby wipes?”

Autumn also shares her thoughts about changing the past, “I’m not going to give you the cliché answer of, “nothing, everything happens for a reason”. If I could do it all over again, I would pick my battles. I would worry less, pray more. I would stay off my phone more. I would’ve co-slept longer (because they won’t want to when they’re   let’s be real, that’s weird).”

Autumn wants other moms to know, “Be in the moment. It has become so habitual to pick up our phones or cameras when little Billy Jo is doing something cute, but pictures can wait. Enjoy it while you can.”

 

Would you or someone you know like to be featured on our Motherhood Minute? Email us at managingish@gmail.com

Am I a terrible friend?

I feel like I am terrible friend…

Two weeks ago we posted a great blog [I mean..not to toot our own horn or anything *toot toot*] detailing the trials of losing yourself in motherhood. Click here to read more! This inspired me to discuss some further trials I find myself dwelling over in the late hours of the night.

So back to the original statement: I feel like I am a terrible friend. I am blessed to have made many friendships over my years in high school, college, sorority, nursing school, getting my master’s degree, various jobs here and there, and just life. In fact I consider myself a “people collector”. [Before you freak out, no I am not skinning people and wearing them prancing around my bedroom at night]. I find meeting people and hearing their stories to be enthralling. I consider it like my own little reality TV show. [Speaking of this season of Vanderpump rules is a dud – can I get an amen?!] With that said, I have a lot of people I try to keep in touch with from time to time. But, here recently I feel like I just can’t keep up! I mean…I am wondering if I am in early onset dementia at this point. I feel like I forget EVERYTHING. I find myself never responding, forgetting to check in on people, double booking playdates, visits, or lunches with friends. I THINK I AM GOING INSANE. I even have a digital planner and a written planner.

This life is crazy – mom life. Half the time my hair is a mess, my clothes are stained, and my house looks like Toys-R-Us threw up in it. But when that little boy looks up at me and smiles, I just know that it doesn’t matter – he’s happy. And his happiness is the most important thing. Still, I find myself second guessing my ability to “mom”. I doubt myself constantly. I compare and contrast my life to other mom’s lives. [Don’t worry – that blog post is coming soon!] I even compare my life to my child-free friends. [Freaking instagram…] By the way, that is never a good idea. It never ends well. Yet, sometimes I find myself scrolling to see what my friends are up to. Just to feel like I can keep up with their lives. And, partially, to help myself remember exactly what they told me they were up to. Because, let’s face it, I have motherhood induced early alzheimer’s. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast [wait….did I even eat?] There’s no way I can keep up with who my friend met a the bar last weekend, or who they matched with on tinder, or what weekend trip they have planned. And, yes part of me REALLY wants to keep up. Then there is that small part of me that just feels too tired to try. Just when I think I can handle a full blown text conversation and gather all the of “dirty” details from my friend – I find myself falling asleep reading text messages, or forgetting what I just said to my friend on the phone, losing my train of thought mid sentence, or jumping up to catch my baby from busting his head open during bath time. So how do I cope with this? I tell myself things like –  I AM GOING CRAZY. I tell myself I am not good enough. I tell myself I should be better. Yet, why do I do this? [Maybe I should expound upon this in a future post].

Is this normal? Are you crazy too??

This is a normal part of motherhood I’m sure. And, this is probably the reason my childless friends say parents only talk about their kids. [Can you blame us? First of all, they are cute. Second of all, we are over here surviving not thriving!!!!] Let’s be honest here, my mind is in a million places at all times. [No wonder I am so obsessed with organization posts on instagram.] One second I am getting my kid ready for school [daycare] and the next I am trying to remember to pick up my groceries. [Shout out to Walmart grocery pickup – girl, you can even have them bring toys to your car – also wine, hello!] Then comes the full time 40+ hour a week job I work, cleaning the house, laundry, meal planning, and just general necessities for surviving. And that is just DAILY ACTIVITIES. That doesn’t include the ridiculous amount of time it takes to wash, dry, and fix my hair. [Hence the reason why I have a “mom bob”. Don’t knock it til you try it, ladies!] 

The craziest part is – I ONLY HAVE ONE CHILD – and a man child [Husbands….am I right?]. How are you moms making it with more than one kid??? I would love to hear!!! Comment below pleaseeee.

I love my friends. But, it is exhausting trying to find time to keep up. So, that is why I feel like a terrible friend. And, I am sure that everyone understands, especially my mom tribe. I just can’t help but feel like I am losing touch with people I truly love. I know this is a season in life, and sometimes friends grow apart. But, I hate being the one growing apart the fastest. I have to remind myself that my family is my priority. [Sounds obvious right? But sometimes I miss that life before kids]. I know it sounds crazy. I have always been the type of girl to consider her friends soulmates. And I still feel that way. Of course my closest soul sisters will always be in my life, and perhaps when they begin families of their own we might find new ways to connect. These seasons of life are bittersweet for me. Since my brother’s death in 1998, I find it hard to move on from seasons of life. I don’t like goodbyes, and change is hard for me to accept. Albeit, change is a great thing.

New seasons of life bring new people, new friendships, and fantastic new experiences. So new season of life are a GREAT thing. And I am SO grateful for that.

For now, I’d like to send my “old season” friends a little open letter.

To my “old season” friends: I love you each very dearly. We may not speak everyday anymore. I may not remember to answer your texts. I may not remember our lunch dates. But I promise to always remember you. I will always love you. But, right now, life is busy – extreme – hectic even. I am stumbling over myself to work full time, raise a child, maintain a household, try to find myself, and then when I get one minute of peace I treat myself to a bubble bath, a good book, or an ounce of sleep. After all of that, I might find the energy to write you back or check in. But don’t hold it against me if I can’t. It’s not you. It’s me. It’s this season of life. It will pass. I will miss these days, and I might even look back and regret missing a few things. But, this baby is only a baby for a little while. And I am going to miss that the most. So just know, I still love you. I still want to know what’s going on in your lives. Please reach out. Even if I don’t respond – keep trying. I promise I will get back to you eventually. And it isn’t because I don’t think you are important. I do. It is because I have this beautiful angel child looking up at me. It is because I owe him everything. It is because he deserves his mommy when he needs her. It is because I am giving him the best life I know how. And that means sacrificing my time in other ways. That means bringing him to our lunch dates, letting him learn to love you as much as I do, and making new memories together. I may not be as carefree as I once was. But deep down inside, I am still a good time. 🙂

Does anyone else feel this way? It can’t just be me. Leave your thoughts below! I’d love to know I’m not alone.

Xoxo,

Annie

Taming your Toddler

Picture this.

You are at the crowded zoo and your child runs away from you. Like full-blown Erica Bougard sprint [Google my track star cousin – #shamelessplug]. She is weaving in and out of the crowd. She throws her jacket. And she even has time to look back at you and smirk. You are yelling her name as you also weave through the crowd, retrieve her jacket, and give the angry mommy snarl. Two women are “aww”-ing at how cute she is. NO, THIS IS NOT CUTE! Finally, you catch up to her, after what seems like forever [This probably only really took about 30 seconds]. You look her firmly in her eye and say, “No you, do not run away from mommy! You could get hurt!”  You explain to her that she can no longer leave her stroller. Mind you, this isn’t the first time she has done this escape trick.

So, my question to you is, how do you tame a toddler?

As my 22-month-old gets closer to the 2-year-old mark, the more I question my sanity. One minute she is the sweetest little girl you have seen, and then the next she is literally rolling on the floor crying, because I asked her to pick up her toy. Everyone says, “Oh just wait until she actually turns two!” Are you telling me this gets worse?! I can’t deal!

As much as I say I can’t deal, I really don’t have a choice. I’m no expert, and as a first-time mom I’m new to this [like everything else], but let me tell you what I have learned so far.

First, it’s important to be consistent. No matter how many times you have said, “No, we don’t throw our food.” Keep saying it. One day it will click and your child will listen [Sometimes].

With that being said, secondly, you have to learn to pick your battles. Sometimes we say “NO” and “STOP” so much we don’t know anything else to say. Praise your child when they do something good, but make them pick up their mess if they decide that throwing their peas on the ground is a good idea.

This brings me to my third point. Remember that you are the adult. Sometimes I find myself trying to reason with my child. I have learned that doesn’t work. You can’t give a paragraph long explanation to a 2-year-old. It just doesn’t work. They aren’t listening and most kids around this age can only focus long enough to understand short and simple commands.

Next, don’t overreact. I repeat DO NOT OVERREACT!  Try to remain calm but firm. I know it can be hard, but the important thing is to try not to get emotional. If you are yelling and your child is crying, you probably will end up with an emotional mess. Nothing will get accomplished, and you look like a crazy person.

Learning what triggers a tantrum or overwhelms your child is important as well. If my little one has missed her nap, it’s probably not a good idea to take her out shopping with friends. I know she probably will be overwhelmed and either cry, misbehave or some combination of the two.

Lastly, if repeated threats (Or reprimanding) doesn’t work – timeout, taking away toys or privileges, or for some spankings may be the next step.

Now, I can’t tell you how to discipline your child but you have to know what works best for your child and your situation. Timeout is most effective for my child. If she continues to act out after multiple warnings, we send her to time out. The rule of thumb is 1 minutes for each year of age. She usually hates it. Well, she ALWAYS hates it. I try to reserve time out for special circumstances. I still want it to have an impact. If I send her to timeout for every little thing she will eventually get used to being there. I also know my child has a love of Curious George. We try to limit T.V. time but everyone once and awhile I let her watch a little Curious George. However, if she misbehaves, there will be no “George”. So far, this is working well for us. Spanking is a whole other subject and I know the experts frown upon spanking. Once again, you have to find what works for you.

Ultimately, all we are trying to do is raise healthy, happy, and responsible people who provide a positive contribution to society. All I can do is pray that I am teaching my child what’s right.

So, tell me how you discipline your child and what methods you find work best.

Can’t wait to read your comments!

Love, Tamekia