I’m not having a birthday party for my baby.

Bobby’s not getting a first birthday party.

He’s great, my third child. He’s a dream. I say it all the time. Happiest baby ever. By far.

Honestly, I feel bad for the other two. Cause if it was a competition (which it’s clearly not) and if I did have a favourite (which I don’t and never would) he’d be an easy front runner.

He’s sweet, funny, chubby and full of joy. His giggles makes baby birds fly in the windows and dress him like a Disney character.

Well I think you get the point here. Bobby is awesome. I love Bobby. Everybody loves Bobby.

But he’s not getting a birthday party.

now THIS is a baby’s idea of a good time.

You see, Bobby, while turning one next week, is still very young. He doesn’t need (or want) a birthday party because he doesn’t know what parties are. Or what birthdays are for that matter.

He’s a baby. And like all babies, enjoys milk, sleeping, pooping, and touching toilets. He really doesn’t give a shit about birthday parties. Not his own or anyone else’s.

 

He typically likes to sleep all afternoon, which is when birthday parties are typically held, so even if I did have a party for him, he’d probably miss it. 

 

But the cake smash! the Cake! Nope. He’s had cake. His siblings have birthdays. Sure, I’ll let him smash a slice, but no I’m not making or buying him a beautiful cake just to smash for a photo – op and then immediately tear away before he has “too much sugar”. Nope. He’s good. We’ll take his picture. And even if we don’t, he’ll still turn one.

 

But you have to celebrate! It’s his first birthday! he’s one! Come on.

Yes. You’re right. You’re completely right. But you see, I had parties for the other two when they turned one. And in doing so,  realized that first birthday parties for aren’t really for the 1 year olds, they’re really for the moms. 

 

So I’m not having a party for Bobby.

I’m having a party for me.

 

I celebrate my kids everyday. I cheer them on, praise them, love them, treat them every single day of their lives.

 

I give my heart and soul and every ounce of my energy to my babies. Especially in the first year of their lives. Sleepless nights, endless cuddles, feeding, loving, giving, giving and giving.

 

This time, I’m celebrating me. Me keeping Bobby, his siblings and myself alive for the last year.

I’m proud of that. I’m so proud of myself for what I do. I love being a mom, but it’s a hard ass job. And I do it with my heart on my sleeve and give them everything I’ve got. That deserves to be celebrated.

 

All my friends are moms too. And they deserve to be celebrated too. So I’m inviting all of them to my party.  We are willing to give up time, energy and money for a party for a 1 year old who will not remember it, just to have a few pictures and a mess to clean up? No thanks. I’m doing it all for me this time:

 

I deserve a party. That’s that.

 

This past year, I’ve survived stomach bugs, sniffles, and everything in between. I’ve powered through potty training. I’ve battled bed-wetting. Kissed my kindergartener Goodbye as he stepped on the bus for the first time. I’ve breastfed. I’ve birthed. My nipples have bled. And so have many other parts of me. I’ve comforted, cuddled, coddled, loved, and scrubbed every inch of these babies.

 

This baby, lovely and sweet as he is, has not done much more than eat, sleep and poop. So while I’m happy to celebrate his life, because a joyous occasion it is, this party doesn’t need to be in his honour.

It needs to be in mine.

I need a party. And so do all my friends.

Because they too have given it all for their children. This year and every other.

I love parties. 

I do. I love having friends around. I love being surrounded by my people. I love music, and noise and laughter. I love cake and presents. I love wine and cheese. I love letting loose and having a good time. Parties are my thing, and throwing parties for my friends makes me sooo happy. And I throw a damn good party if I do say so myself.

So although I do deserve this party, I don’t need to deserve it. I can just have a party because I love parties. I can just celebrate life, be it life I made or life I’ve lived or the very life I’ve been blessed to live this very day. I just love to celebrate, and this time, it’s all about me.

And by the way, no one else was about to throw me a party. If I didn’t do it, it might never have happened. I waited through 3 pregnancies for someone, anyone, to throw me a baby shower. Three newborn babies for someone to show up with a pastel cake. It never happened. I felt alone, lonely, unappreciated. I felt insignificant. I thought my friends didn’t love me. I thought my family didn’t care I was having babies.

But look, no one is going to throw you a party you don’t ask for, not when you’re an adult. Sorry, mama, it’s just not going to happen. No matter how much you deserve it. I’m a grown-ass adult and if I want a party, it’s up to me to make it happen. Isn’t that the whole point of growing up? So we can do what we want? I want a party.

Listen, you can keep having parties for your babies. 

Hey if that’s your thing. More power to you. Throw another party for someone else. But don’t go doing all the work and then complain about never being appreciated. At least in this case you have a choice. For me, the choice was easy. I’ll take pics of Bobby eating cake. But these celebrations are about me spending time with people I love.

This includes my children, friends, and family.

Celebrating motherhood, it’s trials and hilarity and the over all accomplishment it is just to keep everyone’s limbs attached day in and day out. 

Being a mom is hard. Being a grown up is hard. But it doesn’t have to be boring. What do you want to be doing? Is it having a party for yourself? Cause if it is. I say to do it. And if you’re sitting there wondering what it is that you do want. I say figure it out. Cause this, right here, is what you’ve been waiting for. This is your life.

 

Divining Your Dreams

5 Tips for Making New Year #goals That Actually Stick

 

The onset of a new year is one of the most controversial times of the year. Like one year we’re making resolutions, the next we’re swearing them off. Then it’s a new year’s challenge, then it’s #fuckchallenges. It feels like we can never get it right. No matter what you want to do going into a New Year it feels like everywhere you look someone is telling you it’s the wrong thing to do.

 

Honestly I can’t keep up. With 3 little kids at home I can barely keep up with the laundry let alone what I am and am not allowed to do in the New Year. The fact is, New Year’s Eve represents a new beginning, and with it, an opportunity for change. The calendar turns over and it’s literally a new year, so why not implement some changes?

 

If every day is an opportunity to start anew, then there is no reason we can’t have a new beginning on January 1st. 

 

Look, I’m not here to tell you there’s something wrong with your life. I’m sure you have everything you ever dreamed of: the job, family, body, house and lifestyle you’ve always wished for.

You’ve got it all right?

But entertain me here, for a moment, say you didn’t. Say you still had some lingering bad habits, some late night bingeing you could kick? Maybe a little shopping addiction that needs to hit the road? Or are you still giving your work just a “good enough” effort? Yea, let’s dig into that.

Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. But if you are still reading, then there are definitely things you want to change. And only you have the power to do that, no matter what time of year it is. But why not take the opportunity of a New Year as a “new beginning” and grab life by the ovaries and really get what you want?

Seriously girl, why not?

If you want it, why not go for it? Well, I can answer that. Because you don’t know how. Trust me if it was that easy I wouldn’t hit snooze an undisclosed number of times every morning. There is a way, you can have the things you want. We all can. There’s just a few steps you have to take first.

Now how ever you word this, however it works for you: resolution, #newyearnewme, or just #goals, I am here to bring you the best way to do it, and manifest the fuck outta your dreams without feeling like shit about the way things are now.  Cause that’s the reason we’re making changes isn’t it? So we can stop feeling awful, exhausted, fat, ugly, lazy whatever poisionous words you’re throwing in the mirror. Let’s kick that habit and get better. Starting today; here’s my top 5 tips for #goals-setting this New Year:

1. Decide how you want to feel, not how you want to look. 

So many of us have goals that are centred around health and fitness. I mean, it’s one of our biggest struggles, not just how we look but how we feel about how we look. This goes for material things too. We are always comparing what we have to next mom, and that is no way to get what you want out of this beautiful thing called life.

Now I’m all for the kind of goals that get you your dream body, or driving that LandRover, whatever your thing is, but let’s be clear, if that is your goal, you will not make it happen, or at least not with integrity.

You must make your goals about how you want to feel. So if it’s your body, you need to visualize how it would feel to have that body. Would you feel healthy, strong, energetic? Would you feel powerful, full of potential? Are you searching for financial security, financial abundance, or success? All of these are good, but you need to understand that there is a lot more than just dollars involved in getting what you want. You have to be that person the day you start working toward the goal.

2. Understand what a habit is and how you form new ones.

A habit is something you do over and over without needing to be reminded. It’s the coffee you drink the second you get up. It’s the shit-talk you give yourself when you’re trying to squeeze into your dreams. It’s the workout you talk yourself out of and it’s the snooze I hit over and over, morning after morning.

If you really want to form new habits, which is what making is all about, you have to let go of the old ones. That being said, you can’t just decide on a list of new habits and kick the old ones out on the way. They have been with you a long time. You will need daily reminders of what you want and don’t want. You will need accountability. You will need a plan and you will also need to give yourself grace to slip up.

You will also need integrity. When things don’t go the way you planned you have to take responsibility (without beating yourself up) and move on. Wake up the next day and be a bad ass. Remain responsible and in control of your habits, because that’s all they are.

3. Make plans – real dates & times. 

Be specific about what you want. If you want to get up and workout every day then decide on a time, set an alarm, decide how long, how many times, and what you’re going to do. Going to bed, setting an alarm and thinking “Yea I’ll workout tomorrow” will not make it happen. Not a bit. You have to have a plan. You have to know exactly what you’re going to do when your feet hit that cold hard floor.

The same goes for business, family, finances. Be specific. With numbers, dates, tasks. Whatever it is. You want a big promotion? Put in the time. You want to strike out on your own? Figure out how to save enough to make it happen. Make a plan. Write it down. Study it, memorize it. Allow it to be flexible but know what you want and how you’re going to get it.

4. Specific – NOT perfect.

You read #3. You panicked: “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, I can’t promise this, what if I get a flat tire and have to spend my savings, what if my company goes under, or I get pregnant, or or or or”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These thoughts are totally normal. Which is why you are going to make a plan.

So that when you start to doubt, and panic, and think you’re not cut out for that big job, or you’ll never have that body, that you can always come back to the plan. See what you wrote, see the specific framework you created and believe in it again.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. I repeat: It does not have to be perfect. It just has to be.

Action over everything else.

5. If you’re going to make changes, make sure you actually want those things.

Oh, I could say this over, and over and over again. I could pound it into your head. You would still find yourself chasing someone else’s dream. It’s so hard to shut off what the rest of the world wants for you and from you and actually go after what you want.

I have been chasing other people’s dreams for years, only to end up back where I started because I had no fuel for the fire I was trying to keep burning day after day, year after year.

Until I actually sat down, did the work, put in the time and searched my soul to find what I really wanted.

I don’t want it to take you years to get what you want. I want you to get it this year. So I have a gift for you. I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts, for getting what you want. I know how hard it is to sort through all the clutter in your mind so I am helping you along the way by narrowing it down to a few quick questions that will help you find the thing that you can really do this year. Because you can. I promise you. It’s all in your hands.

The Hunt For Motherhood

I’ve been learning from her since day one. Literally.

She’s taught me everything I know about motherhood. She’s taught me more about life than I know yet, but I continue to uncover her wisdom day after day, as I grow into motherhood myself.

I have lived by her words and her guidance for my entire life. And I’ve always admired her outlook, her mindset, her ability to persevere and above all, her patience. Because while it impresses me, it was not impressed upon me. I did not inherit patience. But I admire it.

mom and my oldest sister, Bizz
My daughter, Sandra Charlotte, named for my mother and my mother’s mother

In my lifelong hero, the woman who made me who I am and most of all, never tried to stop me from becoming it. She even let me hurt when it would have been so easy for her to take it away. When it was harder to watch me to go through it, she knew it was better for me to grow through it. She has never failed me, because her faith in me has never faultered, even when I was wrong.

And without further ado, I bring you your first slice of the wisdom beheld by her, my mother: Sandra June Hunt.

Over the next few weeks, I will ask her a series of questions, posed me and my siblings, with the intention of bringing forth the knowledge, wisdom and truth that lie in between the women in a family. As they move into, through and beyond motherhood. What each part of motherhood means to them. To us.

I invite you along to get to know each of us. To hear our stories, to learn our truths as we recount them, and as we hear each other’s for the first time. As we get to know each other and ourselves in a whole new light.

You will learn more than our names, but who we are. Within motherhood and without it. But to begin, I ask my own mom 2 questions. Two simple questions, but they are the beginning of this story. I mean, we can’t go back all the way. But to the beginning of my own mother’s motherhood. Here it is, the first answers, the beginning of the journey,

on                                The Hunt for Motherhood

I asked:

When did you know you wanted to be a mom?

I’m not sure what answer I was looking for, but I like the one I got. There are some things you sort of assume about your parents, mothers in particular. But do you ever really ask? Do you know the answer, or just have your own version of the story. That’s why I asked. I want to know her story like I would that of a new friend, of a peer. But obviously, with all the wisdom and experience of one who has already raised 4 children and moved onto grandparenthood.

She answered:

“I always assumed I would be a mom some day. When I was 28, I was losing interest in my job, ready to take on something new. The time felt right to start a family. At the time it was not a financially practical decision, but I have no regrets. It continues to be my most satisfying and rewarding experience.”

I asked:
What is the most important thing you learned from your mom? 
I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to ask this. Only because, if you asked me the same one, I wouldn’t know the answer. Or at least, not just one answer. She has taught me everything, how could I make it just one thing? And how, in my early years of motherhood, could I know what was the most important? But I still had to ask. I wanted to know what lessons carried through from her childhood to adulthood and motherhood. And when she answered, it was perfect.
She answered:
“The most important thing I learned from my mom is, that even though you will not always like the things your children are doing, your job is to listen to them, love them and honor who they are. She was right!”
This is it. This is the reason I wanted to ask these questions. Because this answer is everything. This answer says so much about my own upbringing. It also gives me guidance into the the kind of parent I intend to be. And when the day to day of raising young kids starts to drown me, I can remember these words.
So whether you learn from my mom,  take these questions and ask them of your own mom, or ask them of yourself, I hope you learn something. I hope you grow. I hope this takes you to a new level of motherhood. We are all in this together, because although motherhood is ever changing, it is also constant. Once a mother, in whatever capacity, you can be become un-mothered. It’s in us. Motherhood is in us.
As we embark on this journey, on this Hunt for Motherhood, I ask you to read, walk and love with an open heart and open mind. Just like my own mother taught me to do.

The Hospital Bag – What I’m Packing. And What I’m NOT.

So I’m 39 weeks pregnant. With my third baby.  Time to plan what the hell I’ll actually going to bring to the hospital with me to deliver this baby.

People make a big deal out of the hospital bag. There are so many lists online, of what to and not to bring with you. There are rules, must-haves, must-nots and so much more. I really think what you bring with you is entirely personal. I happen to know from experience that I will bring at least one thing I don’t need and forget at least one thing that I do. This is fine! There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Just have some overnight stuff packed, and something to keep your baby warm and the rest will all be fine.

Both my other babies were born after their due dates, so it’s not surprising that I’ve taken no real interest in getting ready for this event. I know it’s important, and there are things I’ll be happy to have, but I just don’t take it that seriously. Like if I forgot just about anything it’s easily replaceable plus the hospital provides a LOT of things for new moms. Not that I’m a new mom, but I will be dazed and confused. So I’ll take all the help I can get.

So I’ve packed the bag. Actually I’ve packed most of the bag… just realized now I’d probably like to have a toothbrush while I’m there( making this amendment now ha! ) I’ll throw that in there today at some point… I think!

 

So here are the things I am bringing. To my hospital delivery. Of baby #3.

 

  1.  Clothes for ME: Every time I have a baby I buy myself new sweats to wear home. Nothing is yummier than the soft fabric of brand new sweats against tired skin so I am keeping up the tradition this time as well. I have sweat pants and a sweat shirt that I bought just for the occasion, as well as 2 old reliable v-neck t-shirts.
    Soft & Cozy!


    I also bought some large sized 3-pack cotton panties, that will be comfortable but I won’t miss if I throw them out after all is said and done. Most likely I’ll wear the big mesh bad boys that they provide for you, but just in case I’m packing a couple pairs of these.

    Also a nursing bra! The biggest one I own. For no other reason than that I don’t like things touching me, especially after something exhausting like childbirth.

  2.  Clothes for baby:   a  brand new one for him too. Isn’t he lucky? Thanks to my mother-in-law who loves my kids enough to buy them new things. I would have just found an old stained sleeper and called it a day. So I have two little undershirts and two fleece sleepers. I don’t anticipate being there long but it’s always good to be prepared.Also bringing a hat & scratch mittens. Again, this is just in case stuff. But if we were there for more than a day I’ll be happy to have it!
  3. Blankets for baby: One of George’s old baby ones. Nice and soft and fluffy. And our favourite recieveing blanket for swaddling that we used on both the other babes. Just the right shape and size and stretch for cuddling up little newbies.
  4. Assorted toiletries for me: Hair brush, hair elastic, face cleasing cloths, toothbrush & toothpaste, and tissues. Just the bare essentials. Again, I hope not to need much, but you just don’t know what you will come across in L&D and there are some things I just can’t go without. Like clean teeth.
  5. Pads  – Ugh. I hate this part. But it’s a necessary evil. Just like the big mesh undies, they supply the best ones at the hospital but I am definitely better safe than sorry by throwing some cotton super maxi pads in my bag.
  6. Diapers : For baby. 6 or 8 newborn size. Again, provided at most hospitals but I’m going to carry them with me everywhere for the next year so why not.
  7.  SNACKS: Protein bars and snacks bars. For me and hubby. I have special circumstances given that when I do go into labour my husband will be driving here from his work – which is 4+ hours away. So having a little something for him should he need it seems like the polite thing to do. Plus I heard you’re not supposed to eat while labouring at the hospital?? Try and stop me.
  8. Phone Charger: Again, for myself and my husband. I could be there a while, you never know. I use my phone a lot. And he will coming off a long drive. I feel safe having a phone charger.
  9. One can of wine: YEP. Wine. Equivalent to two glasses of zinfandel. Honestly, I probably won’t drink it, I will be a little preoccupied. I’ll be too excited. I’ll probably be too tired. But like the phone charger,  it makes me feel safe.

 

I also wanted to include things I’m not bringing, either ones I’ve brought in the past and didn’t need or popular “list” items that I think are really unnecessary.

  • Clothes for hubs – he is a grown ass man and can pack his own panties.
  • Entertainment – music, magazines – thats just not my jam. My phone and my brain will keep me happy.
  • My own robe/pillow/etc it’s risky and birth is unpredictable I know but I don’t plan on staying that long.
  • Nursing pillow – I am down with sidelying nursing and will lie down as much as possible for those first few hours.
  • Baby items: toiletries, creams, nail clippers, booties, swaddlers, co sleeper etc.

    So there you have it. My magical list of things in my magical “hospital bag”. I only want to be helpful, informative, and at the very least entertaining by sharing this info with you. It really doesn’t matter what you bring. Baby will come either way. You will be fine if you don’t have a nightie to wear at the hospital. Baby will be just as happy in pink as in blue. What matters is that you’re healthy and thriving with your new little one.

    The best part about me posting this before I go into labour – is that you can all laugh at me when I forget important things, and the my general over-confidence gets the best of me 🙂

Take my list with a grain of salt. I’d bring tequila with me if I could. I’m just not a preparation person and the hospital is like the authority that makes me want to rebel. I don’t want to be there, so I don’t plan on staying long.

And as always; mama matters. What makes you feel good and comfortable and safe is what you should have with you. If that’s music, your fav book, a yummy robe – then bring it! Fuck it if you have a team of bellboys carrying in your suitcases when you arrive. You need to be comfortable in order to have the safest labour and delivery. So do whatever it takes to make that happen. If there was ever a time to be selfish, this is it.

As you know, I’m all about #selfcare.

Learning How to Break The Rules

I remember having a teacher tell me when I was studying at trade college to become a hairstylist.

 

“You have to learn the rules before you can break them.”

 

What’s the point of that? If I’m not going to follow the rules, why bother learning them?

 

But I did it any way, because I was a suck up and people pleaser and really wanted to prove that I could do things exactly the way I was asked.

 

I did this with personal trainers too, when it came to fitness. I had one trainer in particular who would eat fast food like crazy. He just loved fried chicken and sauce and anything full of MSG. But I wasn’t allowed to have it, because I was training my body for fat loss. He told me I had to stay away from my favourite things, even coffee. Which tortured me. But I wanted to prove how strong I was – so I did it. Enjoyed nothing for weeks at a time to get results – and then I would celebrate the results with indulgences that looking back now, I never really wanted.

 

I had perfected the rules. I could do perfect perfectly.

But no one had taught me how to break them. No one had shown me how to rebel against the strict and still get results, or create a beautiful finished product. Not without following the rules to a T.

 

So what had I really learned?

This question plagued me for years.

 

If you have to learn the rules before you can break them, how come the rule breakers are always the leaders of the pack?

 

I can follow the rules. I am great at that. Why can’t I break them just as well?

 

Here is the answer. And it sucks.

 

Patience. Consistency. Trust.

 

HOW BORING.

 

ugh. Patience? really? How am I supposed to have the body I want and have wine and chocolate RIGHT NOW if I have to wait for it? I don’t want to be patient. Why should I be? When by “following the rules” I get what I want in only a coulple of weeks.

Well, because after a couple of weeks I get distracted, I get tired, worn down, bored and HUNGRY. And I want to break the rules.

But I haven’t learned how to break the rules. Not with patience. So I want all the food, all the booze, and all the indulgence NOW. And maintain my results.

Can’t happen that way. The rules will break you if you don’t learn how to break them.

 

And what about consistency? Isn’t that just another way of  following the rules?

Not necessarily. Consistency is more about having the same intention every day. Wanting the same thing and going after it every day.

Eating to feel good every day: that’s consistent. But not rule following.

Exericising 3 times a week, every week: that’s consistent. But not rule following.

Choosing to love your body, every single day no matter what, because you want to live in love: that is consistent. But not rule following.

 

And trust? Trust what? Trust who? Well this goes hand in hand with consistency and patience. In order to be patient enough to remain consistent even when results are not instant, you have to trust.

Trust your body, your instincts, your knowledge, your coach, mentor and yourself. You have to know that what you’re doing is right, and for the right reasons.

That’s the secret, the key, and the one thing that will let you break the rules, is trust.

 

So when I say “learning to break the rules” I mean it.

But what does learning mean? Because you can’t practice it, or write lines, or reports or read a book. We are talking outside of  those paramaters. We are talking trial and error. Building trust.

So we have to make mistakes. And that’s where it gets hard. And that’s when we want to quit. And either run back into the arms of rules or back to the chaos of “just going for it”.

Either way, if you want to break away from being a rule follower, and just trust your instincts ( ie eat mindfully, listen to your body, live intuitively) you have to make some mistakes.

That means sometimes eating too much of something that’s not so good, and then getting up the next day and choosing good again. It means exercising less, and more consistently, so you don’t get burnt out and exhausted. It means having toomuch wine sometimes, because it’s part of your lifestyle, and NOT feeling bad about it or beating yourself up about it. Just getting up the next bloody morning and continuing to find the right fit for you.

The thing about the rules is, they work. They really do. And they’re there for a reason. To teach. To guide.

But when it comes to diet and exercise, we are all different. Like so different. So different that to ask us all to follow the same set of rules would likely leave more of us unhealthy than it would make us better. Because different bodies need different things, different lifestyles, interests, tastes, desires, all require us to behave (eat and move) differently.

So yes, you need to learn the rules. Absolutely you do. You need to understand how food works, what it does to and for your body. Same goes for rest, water, exercise, self care, sex, and activity. In order to live our healthiest lives, feel our best and function at our highest we have to know what these things do. At least at a basic level. That’s the rules.

Finding out what those things mean for you. You personally. That’s breaking the rules. Trial and error. Seeing if you can have wine with dinner every night, or maybe no booze at all. That’s rule-breaking. And you have to try it, while remaining both consistent and patient, to learn if and what works for you. Training just 3 days a week, or subbing yoga for one of your strength sessions, that’s breaking the “rules”. But it’s the only way to find out if it’s going to make you better.

We know that strength training 3-5 times a week is good for us. That’s a rule. We know that.

But what if 2 strength sessions, 2 long walks and a couple yoga sessions was better for you? You need to try to find out.

So breaking the rules is essential. But just as important is to get to know them. And yourself, a whole lot better.

None of can do that alone. We need a team. A tribe. A sisterhood. Someone to bounce ideas off of, to give us feedback and to cheer us on when the chips are down.

And a coach, who knows the ins and outs and can remind us WHY we started this journey in the first place.

And why?

To find the Best Fit for us. To find the formula that lets us live freely, happily, healthily.

That’s why I created the Better After Baby Community. For you. and For me. A place where we can find our own Better Fit.

 

 

 

 

Write This Down

5 steps to get you from grumpy to grateful every fucking day of your life.

They say it’s one of the habits of highly successful people. The Millionaire’s secret weapon.

While I’m not saying any of that is wrong, I will tell you this. It’s my secret weapon. It keeps me waking up on the right side of the bed. And it’s the reason I have the clarity and desire to go after my dreams day after gruelling day of balancing  (often solo) parenthood and running a business.

It’s called journalling. And it takes many forms. But it’s writing shit down. Good shit, bad shit, putting it down on paper.

There are tons of different rules and systems you can follow. There are all kinds of ways to do this. But the best way I’ve found is just to do it.

Just write that shit down. Do it one morning, and then the next. Remind yourself with a sticky note or by leaving it somewhere you will see it first thing. This habit is probably the healthiest one in my repertoire, and it is the one that has the greatest effect on me when I don’t do it.

What I’m saying is that your words are powerful. Whether they’re in your head, on paper, or somewhere in between. Your thoughts and words are strong. In fact they are everything. They control everything you do. They can make or break your day/week/month/year/life. So start getting friendly with them. Real tight and cozy. Cause they’re always going to be around, you may as well get to know what they have to say.

Chances are your thoughts are sending you messages that you have been ignoring for years. Chances are you know what it is, but without writing it down and seeing it in front of your face, you’ve managed to escape it. But its time to change that.

We are going to get up close and personal with who we are. And the best part – it’s going to make you better.

Its going to make you happier, fuller, more joyful. Even the bad stuff. Even the negative stuff will improve your quality of life. Because writing it down means becoming aware of it. And that’s the biggest step in coming to terms with it. So let’s go.

I’m giving you the beginners version. The basics. How to start. 5 simple questions to answer to become a journalling sensation. I use these steps myself, when I’ve gotten side tracked from regular journalling, or on a day when I’m feeling uninspired to write. I answer these 5 simple questions and I gain either a little or a lot of clarity for the day. Either way, I feel better, and I am better. A better mom, a better wife, a better self-lover and a better person in general.

Before you begin: you will need a pen and paper. I recommend an adorable and/or cleverly titled notebook. I do believe that liking your journal helps to make you want to write in it.

Sit down, in (relative) quiet, and answer these questions:

  1. What am I grateful for right now?

    – We have so much to be grateful for in this life, and yet we let each day pass us by with feelings of not enough. We are enough and we have enough. Time to express it. Expressing gratitude will immediately boost our mood, and inspire us to look at life from a place of abundance. All joy stems from here. This is hard at first, that is totally normal. It will get easier. You will be listing 10+ things in no time. Start small, think of one, that really matters, and go with it. For as many days as you need to until you are inspired to write more.
  2. How do I feel physically?

    – Time to check in with your body. This is an opportunity to see what our body needs in terms of movement, challenge or rest. Tight muscles, sore joints, congestion, pain, ease, all these things are messages to our brain about what our bodies need. Listen in, write it down. Toes up to your nose – how are you feeling? This makes a huge difference in how you will approach your day, and in turn how you feel.
  3. How do I feel emotionally?

    – Here comes the mental health side of it. I say emotionally, but I am including stress, joy, anxiety, depression any and all feelings go here. Again, acknowledging these things helps us to deal with ourselves more appropriately. And with more compassion and care. Which again, will make us feel better. And remember, we don’t ever have to share our journals. It’s just for us. So be real and honest.
  4. How do I want to feel?

    – Major. This is the goal of all this. Of all the work we do. Of the salads and sleep and sweat sessions. This is it: How do you want to feel? And not just “good” or “happy”. Those are fine answers. but they’re not going to produce results. Because new nail polish makes me feel good and happy. We have to dig on this one. Do we want to feel satisfied? Strong? Do we want to feel well-rested? In control? Think about it. Really think about it. It might take a few days, but as we tap into our true desires, the answers will start to come, and we can start working toward making them happen.
  5. Something amazing about me:

    – This should be easy. But it might not be. And if it is a struggle, then starting this journal is the smartest decision you’ve ever made. We have so many incredible qualities and capabilities, and yet we continually focus on the things that we are not. Not anymore. At least once a day, we are going to acknowledge the incredible woman that is us.

 

There you have it. Your first journal entry. Simple as that. Follow this forever or just until you get in the groove and you can’t help but wake up every morning and write to your heart’s content.

This stuff matters. Big time. I avoided my feelings for years, because they scared me. I didn’t want to write them down because I didn’t want to come face to face with the bad stuff I’d been thinking. I didn’t want to acknowledge the not so nice parts of me. But I did, and what happened from there was amazing.

I became aware. Of myself. I started to care about how I felt. It became a priority to not only check-in with myself, but also to take action toward making me the best me I could be. In acknowledging the existence of my feelings, I gave myself permission to take care of me. Something I had completely let go of since becoming a mother.

Think about talking to your kids, or your partner:

“How can I help you if you don’t tell me what you need??!”

Well, the same goes for you. How can you expect to feel better if you don’t acknowledge how you feel right now?

How can you fix a problem that you’re pretending doesn’t exist.

You have to see it first.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you. Or that you need fixing. But there are always areas of our lives that are being overlooked and could use a little extra attention. And here is your chance.

Start today, write it down. Make it count. Your thoughts and feelings matter. They are everything.

 

If you’re ready to take SelfCare to the next level, and really become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself, you can join the Better Fit Sisterhood today. My online fitness and lifestyle coaching club just for moms like us. Who have no time but need to make more. And are willing to do the work to make that happen. Click here to learn all about it and for your ~limited time~ chance to sign up and be a part of this amazing community of moms.

For the Love of Cake: The Second Trimester

I made it through the second trimester. It was officially the worst.

 

I felt like I had been pregnant for 6 years, not 6 months. I started to regret wanting a third child, thinking such gluttony was surely punishable in the form of nausea, pelvic pain and heartburn. I was exhausted 24/7. No amount of sleep could bring me rest. My kids were definitely plotting to kill me. And I was considering just letting them at it. I mean, I was a mess.

The good news, it’s over now – but after that intro – I know you want to hear more. So here’s my recount of months 3-6 in my third pregnancy, as accurately as I could manage, because I was blinded by pain and undying hunger for sweet potato fries.

So here it is, the engaging tale of my second trimester:

What I wore

Leggings, leggins and more leggings. I’m not trying to impress anyone. Rolltop legging, in grey and black, with a grey or black sweater pretty well consumed my wardrobe since about 16 weeks. On the days it was still warm here in sunny Alberta, I would wear shorts, but exposed skin was somehow really uncomfortable so I tried to get away with maxi dressed as often as was necessary. But like I said, leggings.

about 18 weeks... adorable little bump that gave me so much grief
about 18 weeks… adorable little bump that gave me so much grief

 

I didn’t really grow out of my regular clothes until it was time to switch to fall clothes, so the switch wasn’t too harsh. From maxi’s to leggings isn’t that different from my usual fall transition anyway.

Oh and somewhere around 24 weeks I started wearing maternity panties. HELLO COMFY.

 

What I ate

 

EVERYTHING.

 

I’m still addicted to peanut butter except now I’ve expanded to sunbutter as well as PB cookies, PB granola and anything other vessel I can use to get PB into my body. Craving macaroni and cheese like crazy. The real good, real cheesy, homemade and horrible for you kind.  Except this isn’t so much pregnancy as ALWAYS what I want to eat, but I don’t because I’m rarely hungry enough to actually eat that much pasta and cheese. Unless I’m pregnant. I’ve given in a couple times, but my kids don’t care for it so it ends up getting thrown out – and I hate seeing good cheese go to waste.

Also, which is new for me, I’m craving spicy food; franks hot sauce on everything- especially my home made turkey burgers which I have been eating daily with a side of salted tomatoes. Very specific my cravings are. The tomatoes are happening at least every day if not every meal. With so. much. salt.

In terms of nutrition, which I still kind of care about but honestly I’m just doing the best I can, I’m mananging to eat lots of veggies beacause it’s summer and they are just so so so soooo good right now plus you can BUY SALAD IN A BAG and that makes my life so much easier.

And bacon. Again this isn’t really pregnancy related I just like bacon.

Sparkling water – ALL DAY.  It’s such a good sweet tooth crusher plus it takes away the pain of not being able to drink ALL THE WINE. I’m adding lemons as that’s another cravings. And lemon flavour. I tried to drink lemonade but it’s too sweet for me. I regretted that for a very long 12 hours.

In terms of sweets, I’m still nauseus so adding much sugar doesn’t feel safe. Just not worth the risk – when I have two other kids to take care of. Except for sour patch kids. 2-4 a day. I like to eat them in pairs (never 2 of the same colour) and they are hidden and you will never find them.

In terms of salty, really anything I can get my hands on, unless it’s gross. In which case bring me more chips & salsa please garçon.

 

Who I told & how I told them

 

EVERYONE at 13 weeks we announced online with an adorable photo which was the exact moment that I realized my current babygirl would not be the baby anymore and she might never forgive me for that. Ouch. Until I remembered that kids don’t really retain memories before 3 years so phew I’m safe. Guilt is gone.

img_4402

The Gender Reveal.. ! We had a party with a cake and obvs tons of food – had every intention of glamoroous pictures and an adorable reveal video of my son’s reaction but he was confused by all the pressure and videos and honestly just wanted the cake. Plus he had already decided we were having a boy ( and naming him Bob the Builder ) and if it was a girl he didn’t want her but he was sure some other nice kid would like to have a sister.

it's a boy! but more important - CAKE
it’s a boy! but more important – CAKE

I am just too busy living my life to pose for pictures or create a big glamorous event. I get photos, but they’re blurry and have thumbs in them cause everyone at our parties is appropriately liquored and that’s just the way I like it.

 

What I did for workouts

 

Like I said in the intro – this pregnancy has been really hard physically for me, so I really lowered the weight in my workouts, as well as the intensity and the frequency. I needed to give myself a break. Even when I started a workout sometimes I didn’t finish them, just because it was too painful. When I did get them in, I did my prenatal strength training from my long time coach Jessie Mundell the pregnancy and postpartum goddess.

For the first few weeks of my second trimester, I was getting into spin classes again, which I absolutely love. Unfortunately, for my body at that time, it lead to some serious pelvic floor dysfunction. I had to take a break from that, and I miss it dearly, but I’ll be back. Eventually. I really do love spin! But once I couldn’t do it anymore,  I shifted my focus to strength training and active recovery. Which for me meant yoga, Core + Floor exercises(more Jessie Mundell magic) and a whole hell of a lot of foam rolling.

After about 20 weeks my pelvic pain was major, to the point of even having trouble walking. Which really sucks when you have young kids, so I invested in a FitSplint support belt and it made a huge difference. Allowing me to get through most of the day with minimal discomfort. Honestly it was still painful by the end of the day, but I didn’t suffer all day like I had before.

The most I did was beta testing workouts for my Private Coaching Club: The Better Fit Sisterhood. Which always brings me the most joy.

Overall, even though I suffered major morning sickness, the second trimester was far worse than the first. The pelvic pain was just too much, I could hardly do the things I wanted with my kids, which is really what this time is for. My plan for the remainder of the pregnancy is to enjoy being a mom of 2, get some dates in with my hubs, and get as much rest as a woman can, given the circumstances.

I’m just trying to keep self care in mind: sneak out for little alone time when I can and trying to enjoy my kids rather than resent their every move. It’s a struggle, but I know it will be worth it in a few months. Until then, I’ll dream of wine & a waistline.

All I have to do now is make it through the last 10 weeks and the holidays… no biggie right?

 

The Scariest Part of Being a Mom on Halloween

I’ve outgrown my fear, and I want you to as well. It’s no way to live. Between now and Easter there are just too many holidays with too much junk food and we need to know how to navigate these events without self-loathing, regret and guilt.

 

I’ve never pretended not to like junk food. If you know me, you know I’ve always been a huge fan of dessert. I keep candy in the house a lot of the time. I have a stash of the most excellent dark chocolate bars that I love to savour tiny bite by tiny bite and it drives my husband crazy.

 

But there’s an another entire category to junk food, and it’s about to invade our homes in the most obnoxious way possible, and it’s called Halloween candy.

 

Halloween candy comes out in the stores early September now. It’s comes in giant boxes. They sell it almost everywhere. You can’t get away from it. And for many years, that’s all I wanted to do.

 

I used to dread the oncoming of Halloween. I used to get major anxiety this time of year, because I had no control over buying and eating enormous and unnecessary amounts of those little bites of heaven. I would buy the 100-pack a couple weeks before Halloween and it would be empty before the trick-or-treaters even decided on their costumes. And I would not want to share, no way. I hid them. Or at least the best ones. So I would stay up late to make sure I could binge away after every one else went to bed. And then I couldn’t stop, and I’d eat so many, stay up so late, and wake up with a wicked sugar hangover. And you know what they say is best cure for a hangover right? So back to the pantry I’d go the next day.

 

The worst part of this is, I’d spend the whole month – 6 weeks that this would carry on for hating myself. Punishing myself for being so weak, wishing I could stop. Telling myself if I had more self-control, if I really cared about myself, if I really cared about my goals, and if I just wasn’t such an immature fatso that I could just STOP eating it. But that kind of self-talk never leads to positive behaviour. It leads to self-loathing, more punishment, and inevitably, for surviving the day as the disgusting human I was, a reward, of more candy.

 

Now I said used to. This is no longer a behaviour I partake in. I have learned healthier ways to deal with my cravings, and more importantly, healthier ways to deal with myself, ie love and compassion. It’s October 28th and I haven’t bought any candy yet. Because I genuinely haven’t wanted to.

 

Now the reasons for my ability to walk away from the big red box is not my only accomplishment. I want to be clear. I have grown in terms of self appreciation, my knowledge of nutrition, of the way food affects my mood and behaviour and most of all a desire to live FREE of food guilt. But I’ve also stopped being powerless to the candy aisle, 365 days a year.

 

I have seen a lot of posts lately about eating all your kids Halloween candy, or digging into the stuff you are supposed to be handing out, and while it’s all in good fun and we can laugh about it, this is the first Halloween I won’t be doing that, and I feel really good about it. I can sail through this coming Monday just like it was any day, except with different outfits and more pictures, because I’m not afraid of Halloween candy anymore. And you shouldn’t be either.

—A lot of you might think this is ridiculous, and stop reading here. And that’s okay. Many won’t make it this far. But for those of you still reading, I have been there. At the bottom of the plastic jack-o-lantern, wondering why I have no self control. And there is hope. I know you get me, and just know that I get you, too, and you don’t have to be afraid anymore. —

So here they are, my Top 5 Tips for Staying Out of the Trick-or-Treaters Candy:

  1. Don’t Buy It: It took me years to figure this out, that we have a choice whether we pick it up and put it in our cart or not. That just because it’s there in Septmber doesn’t mean we have to buy it. Sure, practicing will power in the home is great, too, but it’s just as impressive to leave it in the store. (Plus, do you really want your kids knowing there’s already candy in the house?? No thank you!)
  2. When You Do Buy It, Don’t Buy Your Favourite to Give Away: If we’re staring at 45 mini versions of our favourite anything it’s going to be a hell of a time trying not to devour it. There are so many options, we just have to pick something that we’ll be able to resist, or let the kids pick. (I find the latter extremely entertaining, myself.)
  3. Do Buy Yourself a Treat That You Do Love: Remember that stash of dark chocolate I mentioned earlier? It’s my saving grace. Always knowing that we have a choice of something we actually love to eat makes it so much easier to resist the irresistable. Keeping something we really do want to eat – that won’t make us feel like crap – on the ready, will make saying no a no-brainer.
  4. Get Enough Sleep: This goes for all and any nutritional decision. Halloween is just another holiday that keeps us moms busy, stressing about decorations, costumes and parties, but getting enough sleep at these times (and all others) is essential. When we’re tired, we tend to head more toward the easy, readily available, pre-packaged food options. Which is totally fine. Unless it’s a giant box of candy. The cycle begins that easily, so watch yourself and make sure you’re the rest you need. (Or as close as possible, I have little ones too, people!!!)
  5. Eat Well: Do I have to say this? Well we are moms so yes I do. It can be so hard to put our nutrition front and centre, and spend the few extra minutes preparing a salad or something else packed with nutrients, but it’s well worth it in the long run. If we are well fed, and our bodies are well-nourished, two majorly important things happen. 1)Our brain is functioning properly, which means making rational decisions about how much candy to buy/eat becomes simple logic. 2) If our hunger is satisfied, then we won’t need to binge on candy, period.

 

I have given you my best here mamas, because I have been through hellish years of dreading doing my groceries or opening my pantry for weeks at a time, every year, because I had convinced myself I have no control over Halloween candy.

 

What it comes down to now is that I don’t want to feel like crap, I don’t want to put that much nutrient-empty food in my body, and I don’t want to eat treats that aren’t my favourite. I am incredibly proud of myself, as strange as that may seem to some, it’s been a long ass journey to get here. To a place where I can even talk about this like an adult and not an over-tired toddler.

 

And I’ll be honest, there’s a little sense of embarrassment here, too, because I mean, it’s candy, it doesn’t own me or control me. But for a long time, it felt like it did. Since I started coaching, I’ve felt like I had to give this “perfect persona” of someone who doesnt eat treats or slip up… but I do. And the #BetterAfterBaby Community helps me so much with that because I actually feel so normal for making mistakes. Instead of feeling bad about it. So in hopes that I can reach one more mama out there who’s in the thick of the trick-or-treat struggle, I share my victory story. Victory over late nights surrounded by tiny little wrappers and big loud voices in my head telling me I was weak, fat and worthless.

 

Don’t let food control you either mamas. Any kind, any time. It’s just food.

 

 

I will not apologize for my kids

At the grocery store.

In the changeroom at the pool.

When they walk right into your legs. 

In my own home.

Late at night.

 

Why won’t I apologize any more?

Because I’m NOT sorry. I’m just not. My kids are tiny little humans learning how to function in a society where the rules are constantly changing along with customs and trends on what is OK and not OK for my kid to do, be, say, wear etc. And I’m over it.

My kids don’t like grocery shopping. Or being strapped into a shopping cart by their waists. They don’t like waiting in line and they REALLY don’t like it when I tell them “no” every time they ask for something off the shelves. They might scream. They might cry. They might throw a fit right here, right now in the middle of the aisle with egg carton casualties. Will any of that negate my family’s need for food? Will I up and walk out to teach them a lesson? No, I will not. Because all that would teach them is that fits get them what they want. And that’s not my style.

 

Yes, my 4 year old boy shakes his penis around in between taking off his swimsuit and putting on his clothes. So what? Why are you watching us? He is a little kid, exploring and enjoying his body in a harmless way. Of course I teach him what’s appropriate and what isn’t, but is that going to make a floppy appendage any less interesting any time soon? No, I don’t think it is.

 

My kids are approximately 2 & 3 feet tall, respectively. If one of them walks into your legs it’s not because they are rude, poorly parented or ignorant children, it’s because they ARE children. They see a whole other world than you and I do and they might just accidentally miss something like your boring khaki pants and accidentally walk into them. Were you looking at the ground while you walked? Well they weren’t looking at the sky. It was accident, but no one needs to be sorry, especially not my kid, not far walking.

 

It might be chaotic, and it might not look like your home, but at our house, there is a sense of order. My kids know the rules. We have the same rules every day. It’s how we develop trust. It’s how I keep from going crazy. But I’m not going to apologize for the things my kids do in their own space, in their comfort zone. Whether they choose to be naked, wear every piece of clothing they own at once, or just wear an Easter basket on their head, it’s OK by me. Because in my own home, they are safe. And they know what that means. So nudity and weirdness, dance parties and sing-alongs, are A-OK.

 

If you are around my children and it’s late at night, chances are you are or are part of the disturbance that is keeping them from being in bed. We have strict bedtime rules and guidelines in my house, because it makes for a predictable environment. If you are here, and they are wild, and it’s past their bedtime but they just won’t go to sleep, it’s probably because you’re here. That doesn’t mean I want you to leave, but I’m not going to be sorry for their behaviour when they are being ripped out of their routine to the point of being too uncomfortable to sleep. I might apologize to them, but not to you.

 

Kids are learning. In everything they do. And constantly apologizing for them and in front of them is only going to teach them that every they do and say needs to be either justified or apologized for. I do not want my kids to be sorry for the space they take up, the sounds they make, for their bodies or their fascination with their bodies. I don’t want my kids to be ashamed of who they are, but apoloizing for everything they do all the time, will make them feel like those things are somehow wrong, or bad, or shameful. And they just are not.

 

They are just tiny little people, who don’t know the rules yet. So I will teach them the rules.

Nowhere in my rulebook does it say  to apologize for having energy, enthusiasim, a body, a voice or an opinion. 

 

There are things I will apologize for, even on my children’s behalf, but to list them now would utterly defeat the purpose of writing this, so instead, I have compiled a list of more things I will NOT apologize for:

1. How slow they walk.

2. How fast they run.

3. Their honesty.

4. Their timidness.

5. Their volume.

6. Their curiosity.

7. The toys they left on the floor when they were having fun. 

8. Their interest in you.

9. Their disinterest in you.

10. How dirty they are.

11. For wearing the same shirt all week.

12. For eating a lot.

13. For not eating a lot.

14. For asking you for something.

15. For hugging you because she thought your legs were mine.

16. For crying because she realized those were not my legs.

I could go on. I do go on. I will continue to come up with things to NOT be sorry for as my children continue to live their lives and learn and grow and that knee jerk reaction to say “sorry” for something they nor I should be sorry for.

 

Because I don’t want them to be sorry, not to you, not to me, for becoming their own people while exploring and discovering this amazing world in which they are lucky enough to live in.

 

I hope you’ll do the same.

Sex, Lies and Peanut Butter: The First Trimester

 

Hiding a third pregnancy is kind of hilarious, at least it was for me. First of all, my body was really excited to round out, and I had a bump in the first couple months. Second, I already have 2 kids, ergo I drink. I don’t drink large amounts of alcohol, but I drink a small amount of wine often.

 

These were pretty easy tells for anyone who knows me, or has ever met me, or has ever run into me at the liquor store. But alas, I still feel safest in knowing I am out of the first trimester to share our exciting news with our friends and families.

 

It was even harder to hide this time, especially since I share so much of my personal and family life online, not to let it show how much my life had changed. I was a dead giveaway to a mom-friend of mine who noticed I had been sending a lot of NapChats rather than SnapChats(@jillybrittany) and knew how out of character resting was for me. But I made it through, all the way documenting the oddities and cravings that came with the first trimester of my third pregnancy, so that now I can share it all with you. Do you care? Maybe not. But I’m going to tell you anyway. Cause that’s just the kind of girl that I am.

 

What I ate:

I managed for the first 8 weeks or so eating pretty normally. It took me about that long to realize I was even pregnant and I think the lack of change in my diet had a lot to do with it. I was still eating salads for lunch, eggs and bacon for breakfast, lots of protein. I had no problem drinking coffee, which is usually my first sign. Once coffee starts to feel more like crack then I know something is off.

But then somewhere around 8 weeks, everything got blurry. As in I slept as often as a girl with 2 toddlers. I ate exclusively peanut butter and toast until about 4 pm every day because nasuea had become my whole life, and I had developed an unquenchable thirst that left me dizzy if I even went 30 minutes without a glass of water. Ugh. It was bad. This lasted more than 6weeks, right into my precious 2nd trimester(which I will tell you ALL about too of course, at a later date).

 

I supplemented my sad diet with smoothies packed with greens and just kept on keeping on. Even my beloved bowl of oatmeal made my stomach churn. So toast and PB it was, at least until I could stomach a few bites of dinner around 6 or 7 pm.

Who I told

 

The only people we actually told in the first trimester were our parents and siblings. No one else seems need to know. Oh and the couple we did the Tough Mudder race. Since I skipped a couple of events and I was feeling very competitive, I wanted them to know I had a legit reason for not wanting to get electric shocked in a pool of mud – and not just the obvious.

I could tell that some of my friends had figured me out, but I appreciated their discretion in keeping it to a knowing nod rather than an all out I KNEW IT!! Or worse. Thank you friends, you know who you are ;).

 

What I did for workouts

 

It was funny this time, it took me so long to figure it out this time that my workouts remained pretty difficult. I was training for a Tough Mudder so I kept up a routine of 3 strength workouts/week, plus 2 short runs, a mile or less per week right up until the 8 week mark.

Once we got back from the race and I knew for sure I was expecting, I stopped working out for a few weeks. I had already intended on taking a break and focussing on healing and restorative yoga, but even that didn’t happen. After the race and two weeks of travel with the kids I was ready for a big break. I did very little other than walking for a couple of weeks, then started adding in one or two workouts a week in the last couple weeks of the first trimester.

I didn’t always feel good enough to exercise but I get really cranky when I haven’t moved my body so I knew I needed to do it for my own sake but also for my poor kiddos. I wanted to and would have loved to just stay on the couch, but I knew the bigger picture needed me to be a not-s0-scary mommy so I did the absolute minimum to keep me and the kiddos alive happy.

 

What I Wore

 

This part was actually pretty easy for me. Since my regular wardrobe is already baggy T’s and yoga leggings. Not much had to change, until the summer began and I didn’t fit into my shorts, and oh boy was it hot. I love to wear as little clothing as possible, I just like to let my skin and body be free, so when the gals that know me saw me in black leggings in 20+ degrees I could tell they were a little skeptical.

And of course, at home. I never got out of my favourite PJs. I lounged in the softest cotton T that I own paired with my favourite joggers and was so grateful for their comfort.

 

Now the part you really care about, and the question we ask all pregnant ladies, as though we could actually do something about it.

How did I feel?

 

Honestly, I felt like shit. Once the nausea kicked in, I wondered if I would survive. I was so exhausted I was asleep at 8 pm every night the second my head hit the pillow and sometimes before. There were days I thought I would not make it to my kids bedtime. When one or both of my children wouldn’t sleep at night, I would wonder if I was somehow being punished by the universe for my greed. If my desire for another child had left me out of balance with the Gods and I was being sacrificed as an example of extreme selfishness.

There were days I wondered if I had made a mistake, if having another child really wasn’t such a good idea and could I handle it? I’m just one woman, am I really capable for caring for  children all on my own? ( For reference my husband works out of town most of the year so no, this child is not the product of immaculate conception, but I do most of the heavy lifting myself when it comes to the kids. )

For about 6 weeks, in the haze of exhaustion, nausea and peanut butter, I went back and forth between whether I was the happiest girl in the world about to have my third baby or if I had made the mistake of a lifetime and was ruining my perfect little family of 4. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. There were some shitty days in there. And I share this truth with you in hopes that I am not alone in this.

I am at peace now. This is what I want, it’s what I have always wanted. Anyone who has met me knows I would have ALL the babies. I love being pregnant, and I love raising babies. I even love staying up all night with them. I love everything about being a mom and even thinking this might be my last pregnancy terrifies me (and i’m only about 6 weeks out of morning sickness) so I know this is my path.

 

But the first trimester sucks, it bites the big one. I am so glad to be out of it, but I’d do it all over again (and I have) to get the gift of a beautiful baby and the addition of another child to our family. I am so grateful for my life, and getting over the first trimeser makes me even more grateful, specifically for the things that got me through it: Sex, Lies,  and Peanut butter.