I’ve edited and re-edited this post all week. Mostly because I’m a sinful woman who doesn’t want to admit her issues and shortcomings to the world. But, in an effort to be open and honest, here ya go!
Currently, I’m a mostly happy-go-lucky person. My days aren’t always rose-colored, but the way I deal with the daily stressors and junk that life throws at me has completely changed. I’ve worked my tail off for the past year to get to this point. <<<< I think it’s weird when people say stuff like this, so let me better explain: I have had to completely change my mindset, swallow tons of pride, push down my I’ve-got-it-all-together ego, and be brutally honest with myself.
And truthfully, more than anything, I made myself change because I hated the thought of being a snappy, always-on-edge mom to Hudson.
The stresses of life have not changed or gone away, but how I cope and deal with what’s thrown at me totally has! Here’s how I’m doing it:
I ask for help– a lot. Sometimes I need someone to hang with Hudson for an hour so that I can go to a dentist appointment. Sometimes I need Mark to put away all of the laundry away. Sometimes I need to turn the Facebook/Instagram/Email/Text Message notifications off . Sometimes I need grace for not writing blog posts very often. The old me was too prideful and had the attitude that I could do it all. While I managed to do everything, I was a stressed-out and not a nice person to be around a lot of the time. Letting go of my ego and admitting that I am a better mom/wife/friend/coach when I have help has been the single biggest personal piece of growth in the past year! I saw a therapist. For the first 6 months after Hudson was born, I definitely struggled with some postpartum depression. On top of that, I felt overwhelmed with juggling the needs of a newborn (who went to work with me), breastfeeding around the clock, working (and adding on a new role), making time for Mark, being a good friend. I broke down more times than I can count. Mark had an incredible therapist while we lived in LA and has always pushed me to go to one. One day, when I particularly felt like I was about to break, I called the woman who had been referred to me by a close friend. My therapist and I clicked, right off the bat. Our sessions have been incredibly rewarding. Over the past year, we have worked through, probably, 20 of the biggest things that I held on the inside, stressed about, and felt alone in. She helped me come up with a strategy for overcoming all of them. It has been a lot of work– hard conversations, tough decisions, forgiveness of people who don’t deserve it, asking for help from my village, and managing expectations– among many other things. I can’t recommend working with a therapist enough!
I make a prioritized to-do list for the next day. The list may have 25 things on it, but I prioritize the top 3 tasks. If I can get those 3 things done, the other 22 don’t matter. Sometimes I only do the 3 important things, but every once in a while, I do 10 things on the list! It sounds so simple, but it helps keep me on track and stay productive without guilting myself for not getting enough done. I involve Mark in “Hudson” and “home” tasks. Mark works full-time in an office job in addition to running a website design business. He works A LOT. Part of my aforementioned inability to ask for help from Mark, especially, was because I felt guilty asking him to do one more thing at the end of the day after he had already done so much. What I realized though, thanks to my therapist and lots of conversations with Mark, is that he would rather put his energy toward me and Hudson when he’s home, not work! Now, though conversation or note-on-the-kitchen-counter, I let him know the things and tasks that I didn’t accomplish or that I need help with. I work 2 nights a week so he has to get Hudson fed, bathed, and in bed. He makes and cleans up dinner as well as any other tasks that need to be done. Knowing that he can handle all of these things well and that they bring him joy make me beat myself up so much less for being gone on these evenings. I turn off the social media one day per week. I used to be the worst at comparing myself and my life with everyone else’s. Some thoughts that would go through my mind during daily scrolling:
- Am I as fit as that person?
- Is my family as put together as that one?
- We can’t afford professional birthday photos but every other baby has them.
- Why isn’t my husband bringing me flowers to work on a random Thursday?
- So and so’s house is so big- they have 4 bedrooms and a playroom for their 2 kids! Do we need a bigger house?
- Should I be doing more to encourage Hudson’s development?
- She always dresses so cute, I definitely need some cute dresses/jeans/shorts/you name it like hers!
- How does she have the time to do so much when I’m barely getting through my 3 to-do list items.
…it goes on and on and on. The truth is though: I am SO happy with my life. Seriously. It’s not perfect and there are plenty of areas to improve, but I used to get so distracted by everyone’s social media life that it distracted me from all of my own life’s awesomeness. I truly turn it all off once, sometimes twice per week. Slowly, I’m tuning it out and these thoughts don’t pop up as often. It’s incredibly freeing to not let other people dictate how you feel about yourself and your life. I definitely recommend it! 😉