Posts Tagged ‘mom’

It’s OK to Feel Burned Out at the Holidays

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

it's ok to feel burned out at the holidaysIt’s that time again. The time when Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, and candy canes are at every department store. The time when bell ringers and carol singers fill the streets. The time when children’s eyes light up with magic that it’s Christmas. But, here you sit. You feel burned out, exhausted, and just not into everything. It’s okay, mom. I am right there with you.

It’s November, and I recently had my third baby. While my children dance around excited for the holidays, all I can do is dream of sleep and a day when someone else is around to hold my screaming newborn. Sometimes, we all feel a little burned out in our motherhood.

While I don’t have the magical answer to how to survive the holidays with a smile, I do know it’s okay to admit that we can all go through seasons where we are just not that into this gift of motherhood. We still love our littles and are thankful, but we just need a recharge.

Of course, we need to be careful and address postpartum depression. For me, this is something I am keeping a close eye on this go around.

Get Support
Burned-out moms can happen for many reasons. Do you have a supportive spouse and help around your home? For me, I have a fantastic husband who works crazy hours, sometimes seven days a week. We recently moved to a new state where we know, well, no one. Moms need support. Get some. I need it. You need it. I joined a local MOPS group here in Arkansas where other moms meet a few times a month for a craft, breakfast, speakers, and just encouragement. Did I mention the free childcare? Find a group at local church to help you stay focused and positive. Reach out to other moms you see at the park, grocery store, or even schools. For me, a lot of my support is from my family back home so I have to have my cell phone handy each day for daily talks with my Grammy.

Acknowledge Your Feelings
Don’t try to hide how you feel. If you feel burned out, tell someone. Tell your spouse and take a couple hours to yourself. Take a bubble bath or even drink some relaxing hot tea when the kids go to bed. If you’re still burned out, go to the spa or take a shopping trip while kids are napping and you have a trusted babysitter. You will feel refreshed and be a better mom for it. Remember being burned out is a temporary feeling. You won’t always feel this way. If you still feel down and out, talk to a professional therapist or someone who can help.

Focus on the Positive
The holidays are full of joy, but sometimes it is hard to see it all when you feel overworked or overtired. Make a list of all of the positive things in your life and see how blessed you are. I have been doing this weekly. This week, I am thankful for the baby snuggles of my sweet newborn. I know they won’t last forever and someday she will be running from me when I try to hug her. Consider volunteering to help out the less fortunate with groups like the Salvation Army or just spend some time in nature reflecting on what good there is in the holidays and in your own little bubble.

So remember, momma, when the Christmas commercials start and the songs change to jolly tunes, it’s okay to feel burned out. It’s amazing what a nap and a good cup of coffee alone can do for your attitude. Hang in there and try to survive the holidays with a smile and hug for your little ones.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she feels super burned out today, but gummy bears and a movie are helping. 

New Year, New Mom

Friday, January 8th, 2016

IMG_1410If you are like me, you make several resolutions each year as the New Year approaches. For example, last year I decided I was going to eat healthier for my family and exercise more. While I have exercised more, I still do not eat as healthy as I would like.

Here are a couple resolutions I would like to make and keep this year, not just for me but for my family. I hope you can relate. If not, feel free to laugh.

#1 Be more patient

Why is this one so hard? I want to be much more patient with my children in 2016, especially my 3 year old daughter. For some reason, I am not the soft spoken sweet mother I had dreamed I would be. Instead, I lose my cool. I get angry. I get short-tempered, and for this, I am embarrassed. Anyone else ever feel this way? I want to resolve to be more loving and gentle with my children. I want to aspire for that mom I thought I would be. The one who lovingly corrects her children, not acts like a toddler herself when things don’t go as planned. I may need more sleep and more Starbucks to achieve this goal.

#2 Cook healthier meals

As moms, we are the heartbeat of our family. We set the tone for mealtime. I stay home with my kids, so why is it so hard to cook healthy food? We regularly eat macaroni and cheese and fish sticks. (Yes, I trust the Gorton’s fisherman!) I want to try to incorporate healthier foods into our diets. I want my kids to love veggies and fruits. I want to try to make some of the cute little food recipes I see on Pinterest and scowl at sometimes. I want to offer healthy choices. I will work on a weekly menu and better food prep, so that my resolution doesn’t fail.

#3 Be more thankful

Sure, my pants aren’t as loose as I would like. Sure, my house isn’t as clean as I hope. But, I have much to be thankful for. In 2016, I am going to work on being more thankful. I am going to hang up reminders through my house. My bathroom will have quotes or scriptures hanging for me when I feel down. My kid’s artwork and smiling faces will be in my kitchen. I am going to (gasp), ask my husband to keep me in-check and correct me when I become selfish and forgetful.

So, moms, what are your mom resolutions? Whatever they are, I hope your 2016 is the best year yet with your children!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana who really needs to work on keeping her resolutions this year.

 

Sleepless Through the Night

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Tired MamaHave you heard the riddle about the mom who does nothing and everything all at once? Neither have I, but I’m certain that mother is a mother to a newborn. I know because I’ve been there twice now. There I was, on the couch, for the umpteenth hour in a row it seemed—not awake but so clearly not asleep.

Many nights with my feet propped up, we sat down for the nightly adventure. I encouraged my husband to sleep because I’d still have to wake and pump if he fed the baby a bottle. So our nights became routine: dinner, bath, “night dipe,” and a kiss goodnight. Reruns became my new best friend because anything else required too much of me. My first son was born around the holidays. Deep, deep in my heart forevermore is the intertwined relationship of Christmas lights, sleepless nights, and nursing. My eyelids as heavy as his, we lounged through the night and then lounged through the day. It was a beautiful time in my life but also quite hard.

I needn’t explain it to mothers out there. We all know these nights. The ones that leave us needing a truck full of caffeine with a loan request for patience pending. There were the nights we didn’t sleep at all. Then came the nights when we woke only three or four times… then two. At exactly eight weeks for both of my boys (though not long lived) we were given a surprise.

I remember waking to the sun shining through the mini-blinds. I remember the folklore of this moment, passed down to me from many a mother: the moment where you run to the crib because surely if the baby didn’t wake something must be wrong. I didn’t run; I didn’t exactly walk either. I rolled my chest full of milk out of bed and gently pattered down the hall. Afraid to wake him but more afraid he couldn’t be woken, I slowly—ever so slowly—turned the doorknob and peered through a tiny slit into the room. I cursed myself for putting the crib on the opposite wall requiring me to open the door fully to know my babe’s fate. Fast asleep.

More sleepless nights came. They still do. Our 18-month old sleeps better than our three year old often times. When we had our second child I came to know old advice I was given was actually a riddle. It goes like this: When the baby sleeps, who sleeps? The only possible answer is a mommy with one child. Naps with one child are an uncommon luxury; naps with two or more children may never happen again. So take heart my fellow mothers, whether one or twenty kids! The night is ours. It is boundless and it is our bounty.

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

How Becoming a Mom Changed Me

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

IMG_0211As women, many of us we dream of the day we will become a mom. We play with dolls and play dress-up as little girls. Then, it happens. Your pregnancy ends and a nurse places a tiny, helpless baby on your chest. You melt. You are now mom.

For me, this was a dream realized after a painful struggle with infertility. Luckily, the second time around was way easier. However, I did not attain this title without going through some changes. Here’s how becoming a mom has changed me.

The Way I View Myself:

Before kids, I spent time making myself beautiful. I got my hair colored regularly and spent a considerable amount of time in the morning fixing my hair, doing my make-up, and picking out my clothes. I would say I was fairly happy with myself. These days, I am lucky to get a shower. I do my make-up as my 2-year-old sits on the bathroom sink and plays. I don’t really care what I’m wearing as long as it’s clean and presentable. My view of myself is still happy. I may have more curves and stretch marks, but I am still a beautiful masterpiece. The wrinkles I have earned are just battle wounds, but I wouldn’t trade them or the laugh lines I now possess.

What Really Matters:

Before kids, I loved to eat out. I couldn’t wait for the weekend and to go eat with friends or go on a date night with my husband. I spent my paycheck on purses and clothes. These days, I still love to eat, but take-out is preferred. My husband and I spend our money on our children and investing in their future. I don’t really worry about pleasing everyone like I used to. I’d rather spend my time making memories with my family.

The View I Have of the Women in My Life:

I believe before you have children, you don’t really appreciate the women who raised you. My mom has always worked for me. She has always tried to make me happy. My grandma has always been a huge influence in my life, as well. She has tried to instill good morals and values into my life. I appreciate these two women immensely, along with my great-grandma and aunts who have always been vital in my life. I see now the sacrifices they have made for me and the patience and love they have shown me throughout the years. I only hope I can do the same for my children and that someday when my daughter is a mom, she will look back and remember how kind and loving I was for her and her brother.

So, momma, how has becoming a mom changed you? I’m convinced I’m still changing every day at 30. I may be wearing sweat pants and no make-up as  I type this, but I can tell you that I am trying to be the best, most beautiful mom I can be today for my children.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. She loves her kids more than anything!

It Gets Better: The Fourth Trimester

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

It Gets Better: The Fourth TrimesterI distinctly remember a moment in both of our sons’ lives when my husband and I looked across the room at one another with a confident look in our eyes. Our gaze spoke of an acknowledgement: we made it; we got this! It was a combination of comfort in the routine, more sleep (for all of us!), and an overall confidence in my nursing and our diaper-changing and swaddling and humming skills. The milestone came at about three months for both boys, though every babe is different.

Those first weeks and months of a new little one are glorious, full of doe-eyed gazing and deep warmth in your heart. They are also tearful and exhausting. Even if you made it to “full term,” your little one has much still to accomplish in these first few months. The fourth trimester for your babe involves adjusting from the comforts of the womb to life outside; for mommy, this post-partum time is filled with fluctuating hormones, sleepless nights, and the new uncertainties that come with being responsible for another’s life.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed, frustrated with a baby or child or partner that isn’t acting how you expected. In those discouraging moments how easy it comes to belittle your body and the hard work you put into each day. After all, some days it seems you just sit on the couch while the house messes itself up around you! Don’t let that voice win in your head. Swaddle and shush and rock your baby gently all day long if you need. The utter shock of entering the world needs a comforting response, so hold that baby close as long as you’d like.

And don’t forget about yourself. Your body has had a busy year. If you enter into motherhood with more weight on you than you’d like, be amazed at what your body accomplished this year. If you fit right back into your skinny jeans, remember that your body too is still in full swing of fluctuation—of hormones adjusting and sleep depriving you of putting together full, coherent sentences at times. Be kind to yourself; ask for help.  Give people the opportunity to love and support you.

Last, though they may not have had as obvious of changes as you or your babe, remember that the rest of your family goes through the fourth trimester, too. Children stumble into their often unrequested roles as the older child and sibling; partners adjust to their roles as parents and your support system; grandparents enter into a whole new stage in life as parents of parents; and friends learn to be with you in a different time of your life. Oh, what a time to be you! How rocket-flying high and mood-changing low it is! Embrace it, mama. Know it gets, if possible, even better.

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.