Big girl bedroom: A birthday gift

First off, our daughter co-slept with us until very recently. I’ve written about co-sleeping in another post but it worked out well for our family.

I thought we’d be ready to move her to her own room around 2 years old, so Mr.B, my mom and I put together her bedroom as her 2nd birthday gift.

I even let her choose the theme. BIG MISTAKE! She wanted Frozen as her theme and she choose two paint colors for her walls- pepto pink and a soft purple. I usually allow our kiddo lots of room to make her own choices. She can pick out her clothes, decide what class she wants to take (dance, gymnastics, theater), etc.

I’m usually fine with her making her choices. Well, that’s a lie. I sometimes get twitchy when she puts on a pink tutu with green pants and a black shirt…and blue ballet flats but I also want to cultivate her independence and sense of self.

Not when it comes to her bedroom I guess!


So I decided to re-do it for her 4th birthday! I moved her bedroom to my old office and moved my office/den to where her bedroom used to be.

I thought long and hard about how I wanted her bedroom to feel- I’m super into feelings vs. “looks”.

I wanted her bedroom to feel peaceful, bright, happy, and soft and I wanted a nice mix of feminine and masculine energy. I searched for inspiration all over pinterest but couldn’t find what I was looking for.

Then one afternoon we were at the mall and little one was playing in the play area and I looked over into the windows of Carters. I saw this adorable little baby outfit that was hot pink and navy blue. Aw, I had a moment of sweet nostalgia because our girl looked so sweet in hot pink and navy blue and I typically dressed her in those colors with outfits from Carters. So I sought out Navy and Pink ideas on Pinterest and google and I found these-

It wasn’t long before Mr. B, my mom, and I were painting walls, spray painting furniture and hunting at Target.

I decided I wanted 3 white walls and one accent wall because white is crisp, clean and neutral. And if you know children, they bring tons of energy into a space- neutrals are good and calming! I wanted a nice accent wall because that’s easy to paint and change as she gets older and wants to express her taste in her bedroom decor. I like selecting cheap ways to change a design vs. having to buy all new furniture, new bedding, new decor, and new paint. An accent wall is easy to change.

I also went with plain white bedding because again, neutral and pillows and sheets are easy to change and accent the design. We got cute accent pillows at Target and the bedding was on sale in the summer for college bound kids.

We had an old Ikea bed that Mr. B and I had from when we moved in together. I decided to spray paint it hot pink. Little bean loves hot pink and I knew the bed would pop in the room. I spray painted it because it’s easier to get a clean finish and Ikea’s furniture is shiny and has a stick on finish- not good for sanding and painting. It worked great! Took a lot of spray paint though. Our garage floor will always have a hint of hot pink to it.

My mom had a cute, antique child’s dresser that she wasn’t using. It was white so we decided to spray paint that an antiqued gold. Turned out adorable and we used it as her night stand. She loves to collect nicknacks and stores them in her gold dresser.

My brother and I both used an old wood dresser that my mom had stained before I was born. It was pretty beat up but still in working order. I sanded it down and painted it with the same paint we used for the navy stripes on the wall. It looks amazing with the antiqued gold pulls.


I got accessories at Target- like the star lamp, the flamingo head, the gold circle shelf, the pink diamond lamp, the pink and white shag rug, the black out pink tassel curtains, and the cloud book shelves.

The piece that put it over the top was the large 3D paper flowers in pinks and whites that I found on Etsy.

I also love the poster I made on Etsy with Little bean’s name on it. I love how it went with the theme. I found a cheap plastic gold poster frame on Amazon and it completed the look.

I had a few items I had collected over the years for my future child– like my Disney figurines (on the shelves).

Overall, I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. Little bean loves it too- and that matters the most!

Clever joy, you are a fickle friend: The truth about happiness

Waxing waning moon

It’s like I can feel what happiness is all about, what it’s truly about.

I can sense it when I see it, like prickles on the back of my neck.

It’s a bit allusive though, like I can’t grasp hold of it.

I can’t keep it in a jar and hold onto it tightly.

It’s like sand or leaves on wind.

It’s like water between fingers or time–

it moves, morphs, changes form, leaps, transforms and flows.

Right about the time I feel confident that I’ve mastered joy and happiness

or gotten to it’s roots, I lose it.

I think that’s part of the attraction.

It’s not ours to have, it chooses us.

It waxes and wanes before our eyes, as an experience in the moment.

Nothing permanent, always changing.

I can’t own it, nor can I invite myself over.

But when it floats into my heart I am grateful.

And when it leaves I still seek it, looking outside my body for stolen treasure.

Clever joy, you are a fickle friend.

Law of Attraction: Why I want to fully believe but I can’t

Hasn’t everyone seen “The Secret”? Or read it? Or heard of Law of Attraction? It’s old news in the new age community. I love it. I get super sucked into it. Here’s why….

I LOVE ENERGY! I believe in it. It’s proven. We’re all energy. All mass is just energy in disguise. Everything is just tiny swirling, moving particles that move together and look like mass. Even the particles are mostly space with tinier particles moving around together to look like bigger particles. See, I love it! And it makes sense to me.


So it makes sense that if I push my arms out in front of me, the motion sends out energy that impacts the things and people around me. It’s the whole butterfly wing theory but on a smaller scale. So when I think about the law of attraction as energy that I’m putting out into the world and receiving back, it makes sense to me too. But here’s where it falls apart for me…

How does the law of attraction explain children getting cancer? You might be able to argue that adults getting cancer have decades of emotional energetic shit causing dis-ease in their bodies…which I don’t like that argument either…but children? Children I know are pure rays of vibrational goodness. It doesn’t get more in alignment than that. How does the child vibrate at a frequency that causes that level of disease in their body? How do they put that kind of energy out into the world? This is when it gets even more worrisome- some would argue that parents are vibrating that shit into their children. Out of fear, worry, control, or stress, or some other low vibration. And who does that help?

No one.


That’s where it falls apart for me. It doesn’t sit right with me. You can refute me…but here’s where it gets interesting.

Lots of theories have been proven or disproven by science. Universal laws have been replicated in experiments over and over again. Some things have yet to be explained. We don’t have any irrefutable evidence or lack of evidence that proves what happens after death. We don’t have any scientific proof of God existing or not existing. There are still things we just can’t comprehend and so many unknowns that are left unknown.

So why hold on to a theory that hasn’t been proven if it tortures you. Life is short. Find your own truth. Find what resonates in your heart and makes sense. And if you can…find what feels true and brings some peace, some hope, and maybe some joy.

What I choose to believe for now. (I reserve the right to change my mind and so should you).

I still believe in energy. I believe in something greater than myself. I believe that something orchestrates the massively complex and beautifully delicate systems that rule our universe. I don’t have the foggiest idea what that something is….I feel like something of that magnitude can’t be understood by me in this physical form because my body and brain limit me…in a good way. Otherwise my brain might explode. I want to believe that the universal powers that be are at the very least benign, I hope those powers are allies.

For some reason, I do believe that in some spirit plane, somewhere, we choose the life we’re living. We choose the time we are here on this earth and the parents we are born to. I think we even choose the lessons we want to learn. I think souls come to earth with contracts to play certain roles to better humanity as a whole…sometimes through massive tragedy. And I don’t think the lesson is always some glittery, joyfully teary, Hallmark moment where everyone stares knowingly at one another as they all receive the lesson at once. I think sometimes it’s gritty and painful. Sometimes the lesson might seem so muddy and so hard to tolerate that it cracks us open and tears us down to the depths of human suffering. But that just might be the lesson. The depth of our own souls. The depth of human suffering and where it leads. The understanding that only comes from walking the path that results in the ability to reach out and pull someone else out of that same hell.

That’s the only explanation so far that my brain can use to make sense of the drop dead beauty and the earth shattering hurts that occur in this crazy world. And I’ve seen major transformations occur from both those places. It’s like a ripple in a quiet pool. Energy…going out from moments…changing all those around us. I guess someone could still call that law of attraction…whatever.

If we get the choice to believe what we want to about our world, why not believe something that brings meaning to the chaos. Call it pollyanna…I’m fine with that too.

Educational Choice: Why I worry about sending my daughter to public school

Many people don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about educational choice. Sometimes…I wish I were one of them.

I don’t mean to say that parents don’t worry about their child’s education or spend a great deal of time thinking about where they want to buy a home in order to be in a quality school district. I’m just saying most parents don’t think about their choices beyond those decisions.

I spend A LOT of time considering my options. Guess what? There’s a lot of options.

My therapist has mentioned that this may be what’s causing suffering for me- all the choices. Too many choices. I agree with her. But I also have real, personal concerns about public schooling right now. And that’s not easy for me to say because I love public education and I think it’s vital.

I’m a public school teacher by trade before I became a stay at home parent. My mom was a speech and language pathologist in public schools for 30+ years. Both my closest cousins went into public education. I love public education. And I also have some deep concerns about public education.


First and foremost- I want to say something about teachers. Teachers are amazing. They should be paid $100,000/year for what they do for our most precious people. They do so much with so little and for very little. Most people go into education because they genuinely love children and care about education. Believe me, it’s not for summers off and paid holidays. Most teachers don’t make enough to take summers off and many teachers are still working on school holidays- I know I was!

This is not about teachers- this is about a big huge system that makes change at a snails pace and doesn’t have enough money, time, resources, support, and efficiency to run effectively. Teachers and students pay the biggest price for these issues. It’s why I became so disenchanted with public education and fear sending my children.

My biggest concerns-

  • The expectations are not developmentally appropriate. This is backed by tons of research and current best practices but it’s being ignored.
    • Behavioral expectations are not age appropriate (i.e., sitting in chairs at desks listening to lectures for far too long, short recess, short lunch, tons of transitions, too many students per class, too much focus on academics, not enough movement, etc.)
    • Academic expectations are not developmentally appropriate. We now teach kindergarteners what was originally taught in 2nd grade. They are now expected to write paragraphs with topic sentences by the end of kindergarten. There is so much pressure on non appropriate academics that the cut off date for starting school is an ever moving target. Kindergarten teachers now recommend red-shirting (or holding back) your child if their birthday is anytime after March the year before school starts. Most kids are turning 7 in kindergarten now.
    • Kindergarten used to be 1/2 day with early and late birds…it’s now a full day, 5 day/week program.
  • Parents are so concerned with the rigorous academic expectations that they are holding their children back from school so they can receive private tutoring to prepare them to read, write, and learn arithmetic their first year. And students are still failing at alarming rates. Many students, that are typically developing, are receiving remedial support and being pulled out from class due to these unrealistic expectations.
  • Students are being rigorously tested on a regular basis. Tests now start before school begins. All incoming kindergarteners are tested so that teachers can receive a baseline of all students. They are then tested again twice by October on math and reading. They are then pulled out for remedial support if needed. We then have standardized testing for which all students must prepare for.
  • All the testing and developmentally inappropriate expectations lead to a snowball effect in which there’s very little time for art, creativity, music, movement, recess, non-adult directed activities, project based learning, getting messy, and generally being a child.
  • There’s also no money for extracurricular activities like music, drama, language programs, character development, community based projects, etc.
  • There’s very little focus on the whole child. The child is not an empty pail to be filled with reading, writing, and math concepts to memorize. There’s very little need for children to spend such a huge amount of time memorizing formulas and facts when we have ready access to all that information at the touch of our fingers. There’s very little focus on teaching practices that help students deal with the world they live in- like mindfulness, environmentalism and conservation, character development, resiliency, emotional intelligence, public speaking, working in groups and teams, collaboration, budgeting and real world mathematic application, critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship, internet etiquette and growing up with social media, social skills, conflict resolution, human behavior, psychology, computer skills like coding, building skills like imagination and creativity, spirituality and world religions, tolerance, languages etc.
  • We’re no longer preparing children for the world they will live in. The old formula doesn’t work anymore. The idea that you focus on academics in grade school, graduate with good grades, go to a good college, get a degree, get a good job with benefits and stay in that job till you retire is out of date. Most people I graduated college with are not working in their field. Most couldn’t get jobs with a bachelors degree and many are struggling to find jobs in their field with masters degrees. The money people are making in these so-called “good jobs” isn’t enough to afford a home or the cost of living increase. Most people are changing jobs and moving between states and even countries more than they ever did before. We live in a more accessible world now. Everything we would ever need to learn or remember is always available on the internet. You can take Yale and Harvard classes for free online. You can open an Etsy store and make millions selling boot socks. People are traveling the world writing blogs, selling online courses, and pinning on pinterest.

Now…are most people making millions on Etsy or writing blogs? No. But the world is changing more rapidly in the past 10 years than it has in the 100 before that. And we’re always at a disadvantage in trying to prepare children for an ever changing future that we can’t even imagine. We’ll struggle with this even more as technology advances at higher speeds. It doesn’t mean we continue with the status quo because it’s easier or because we’re dealing with a huge cumbersome system that can’t keep up.

Some schools, some teachers, some districts are doing amazing things. They are forging ahead and breaking walls down and completely revamping the way we do school. I commend them for trying and making such quick change.

I’m of the school of thought that less is more.


Let’s children be children. They have their whole lives to be stressed about jobs, responsibilities, economies, etc. Let them move their bodies, play, climb, run, and dance. Let them be creative and express themselves. Allow them opportunities to make mistakes and cultivate their natural interest and hunger for knowledge. Make learning engaging and interesting. Research supports programs that encompass the whole child and multiple areas of interest (outside of core academics). Such programs actually increase scores on academic standardized assessments. Children learn valuable, translatable skills in play.

So as we get closer and closer to the age where we must decide what we’re going to do with little bean and kindergarten- I will keep you updated on our choice.

For now, we’re considering homeschool hybrid programs, homeschooling, private schools, and the like. Not everyone has those choices and I understand that public school is one of the best choices for most families. I’m just expressing my concerns and ideas for the future of education. It all starts with a conversation.

California native raising babies (and myself) in the south….part 2

Let’s continue, shall we?

Where did I leave off? We had moved to TN. We had hit a relatively low bottom. We were utilizing the resources we had left to get help….and we found out we were pregnant.

Oh yeah, and there wasn’t any family around for hundreds and thousands of miles.

Cut to- little bean is born.

Everyone oooo and aaahhh!

Things started getting easier. Mostly from hard work in our programs, lots of soul searching and personal growth, and tons of desire to change.

As a stay at home mother, I was so fulfilled in so many ways. I had always wanted to be a mother and it was more amazing than I had imagined. It was hard as hell…but also amazing. This is the start of what I will call “The World of Mom’s Mixed Emotions”.

Here’s the deal- Being a stay at home parents is becoming less and less of an option for people and I get it. We live in a world of dual incomes and the cost of living is climbing steadily. I think all my friends in California work while raising children. Most can’t afford not to. I know it’s a huge amazing gift to stay home…but there’s sacrifice too. We don’t live in California any longer, nor did we move back because I did not want to give up being home with my daughter.

Living in TN has been a huge lesson for me. More like a continual stream of lessons…

It was harder to find a like-minded group of friends in TN. I found that most natives kept their friend groups from before children and although TN has some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, they weren’t always inclusive of newbies. There are tons of transplants…and when I say tons I mean thousands. Every day more transplants move here. Which is wonderful. Adds to the diversity and opportunity to meet and make friends. But many of us still feel isolated. I think this is partly the culture shock of moving to somewhere so different but I also think it’s motherhood.

Motherhood (parenthood) can feel isolating. It can feel like a series of naps, meals, household chores, and errands. And when your baby is still taking 3 naps a day….how the heck are you supposed to leave the house?? You get out for 45 min. increments of time….just kidding…you don’t.

Finally when your baby switched to 2 naps a day or even 1, you can go out for baby and me classes or the park. But here’s the deal with that…when you finally leave your house and get out in the real world with other living, breathing adults…you are hella awkward. And desperate AF.

You stare, longingly, at other mothers pushing their babies in swings and you try to think of how to invite yourself to their play date next week. Or you overhear a mother giving her phone number to someone else and you wonder if it would be weird if you just texted her….

Ok, I’m kinda kidding…but not really. Which is the sad, hard, lonely truth. It’s hard to make new friends. Especially when you’re an adult and you’ve kind of outgrown that preschool phase of running up to someone, waving awkwardly, and asking them to play on the slide and be your best friend. Man, I miss those days. Things were easier then.

So you join some meet up group or Facebook group and the first 5 groups you go to are just not quite right. You’re too soggy for the crunchy hippy group and you’re too crunchy for the mainstream groups. You’re way too out of shape for the jogging group and you’re too straight and white for the lesbian black mom group. WHY???!!! *Arms stretched out to the sky in dramatic frustration*


So you just baby wear your tiny at home and clean your house…again. And wait.

Now…I’m not saying I never had any friends during this time. I did. Some really good ones, actually. I met one mom at our birth class group that became a great friend and we hung out a couple times a month. The two of us met a mom at a La Leche League meeting and she joined us a few times a month. I had a few very dear friends at my 12 step meetings that I would go out with several times a month. I just don’t consider that the village that I so desperately needed, especially in those early days of being a mama.

We eventually stopped renting and wanted to buy a house. This was a big turning point. Buying a house makes a difference when it comes to making friends. It’s also super hard to buy a house when you feel like you live somewhere that stretches you and your views and values on a regular basis. But it was time. B wanted land and space and I needed roots to get over the hump of putting myself out there. It’s really easy to commit 40% to making quality friendships when you’re renting and it just doesn’t feel permanent. It’s a lot harder when you’ve committed to living somewhere 100%.

So we moved. Bought a house in the suburbs of Middle TN. Even more conservative, religious views than Nashville…but again, you sacrifice for what you desire and value more. If we wanted a house we could afford, on land, in a mature neighborhood…on one income…we had to move further out from the city. We found a house we loved. So we bought it.

I joined a new meet up group right away. I was going to commit 110% to making friends and getting out of my isolation. I finall

y found my tribe. A meet up group in my new city with tons of transplants from Chicago, Miami, New York, Colorado, Japan, Canada, San Diego, etc.



Give yourself time. This is a phase. It will pass. Trust me. It’s lonely for everyone. You’re not alone. Even when you reach out to new groups to make friends it’s always awkward. The first several meetings will be awkward. Give it time. You will meet people if you keep putting yourself out there and getting over the hump of being new. It takes patience and commitment. Don’t give up. I’ve been there! You will get through.

to be cont….

Having another baby: Mental Illness

So B and I have been discussing having another baby since little one was only 8 months or so.

It seemed like such a good idea to me at the time, she wasn’t walking or crawling quite yet and the moon and stars were still hung by me- we hadn’t quite hit any challenging phases yet (if you don’t count the first few months when no one sleeps and your hoohaw still feels like you birthed a Mack truck)!

Then we she started moving, I started my period again (ugh), and we probably went through more awful teething or some first illness and it was like- whoa, who ever thought more than one child was a thing?!

Then we fell into a nice routine, we hit 15 months and I worried we spawned a demon for a bit, and then it never seemed like a good time…

And here we are now…


Our daughter is almost 4.5 years old. She will be going to Montessori school after the holidays, either 3 or 4 days a week, and I’ve been feeling the baby fever like crazy.

So what’s the hold up, right? I mean it’s never really a good time, just go for it. It’s not like my oldest won’t be over 5 years old before there’s another one….

Mental illness has a lot to do with it. I have pretty significant depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. Most people don’t talk about stuff like that…I’ve never been on of those people. I mean, I don’t go telling complete strangers…oh wait, I just did! Ha! I’m not hung up about the stigma because the more I’ve chatted with people about this the more I’ve found others struggle with the same issues.

I have done tons of work on my self and many of my struggles have gotten a lot easier. I’ve been in therapy on and off for over 14 years working on trauma, tools for the depression and anxiety and parenting too! I also have done energy work, spiritual work, 12 steps for various self medicating addictions, and tons of workshops and programs with dietitians, life coaches, energy workers, and self help peeps. It’s all helped and I take what works and leave the rest. I’ve developed quite a tool kit!

I’ve also stated working with a great psychiatric nurse and my medications and diagnosis have really come together and I’m in such a good place.

This is why having another baby is such a tough decision. It’s truly a sacrifice worth making but it’s a hard decision to decide when to go off medications and how, get off birth control which helps me with hormone issues and migraines and take the leap.

Like most people, I also have a family to consider. I’m not having a baby in a vacuum. My husband also struggles with combat related PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addictions. He’s also done a ton of work and is in a really good place too.

All signs point to yes but also to no-

See when things are good it can be easy to think…

Wow, things are going so well…maybe we should [fill in the blank]…

The problem with this formula is that things are usually good because there’s a whole delicate system in place. Making changes alters that system and each change has major effects on the system as a whole!

Will we have another baby…most likely! I still feel someone missing from our family and the sacrifice we made in our treatment plans and life plans in general was so worth it!! But just know that if you’re family isn’t perfect…no ones is! Even when things look good, we have no idea what people are doing to achieve that harmony. And no idea if that harmony is even the real deal.

So advice for myself and anyone in the same boat??

Deep breath. Talk to your support team. Make sure you see your doctor, therapist and psych before stopping any medicine (made the mistake of stopping some routine meds this week without support and that was a big eye opener). And take your time. I truly believe that things happen the way they do for a reason. All the things that have happened or not happened in my life have taught me huge lessons. I’m grateful for it all- even my flaws.

Much love

Balance…it’s hard to find

Lately, I’ve been feeling it. And by “it”, I mean fried. I started noticing little signs after I took my daughter out of the Mother’s Day Out program she was in last week. At first it was little things like feeling way more tired than I normally do. Then it was noticing how much I was on my phone. A few days later I noticed how I was trying to find things to do around the house (i.e., laundry, dishes, making calls, changing appointments, organizing drawers, etc.).

Now let me say here that my daughter has been home with me since her birth. We tried a mothers day out (which is a part-time preschool program, usually run in churches 2-3 days a week) when she was 16 months for a few months and took her out because one of the sweet old grandmas was yelling at her for crying when I dropped her off. She must have been yelling at her throughout the day because she hated going to school and started crying when I put her in the car even on days we didn’t have school. It was awful. We put her in another program at a different church last year and they only had 1 day a week, she loved it! She stayed the whole year. We decided to keep her there and try 3 days a week this year and it didn’t go as well. A couple things factored into our decision-

  1. She’s an August baby and she misses school age cut offs by like 10 days or something. Preschools also follow this rule and therefore she’s in the class with children a year younger than her. It didn’t seem as much an issue one day a week because she enjoyed playing with new toys and being outside with other children. It was way more of an issue this year when she’s 4 and her classmates are 3 years old and she was going more days.
  2. The school also started enforcing mandatory naps, which they didn’t do last year. My child hasn’t napped most days since 20 months old. This was a big problem for her. They have the children all lay on their cots for a full hour. They will give quiet activities but an hour is still a long time to miss mama.
  3. They also changed assistants in the first month of school and there’s a new director so things are run a little differently this year. Not bad or good and staff turnover is what it is but it’s always hard on young kiddos. It’s even been hard on the mamas!
  4. She also had one teacher on Mondays and a different teacher on T/TH. I knew this going in and was a tad worried about it but I think on top of all the rest of the changes- it was too much!

So with all those reasons- we decided to take her out. We stuck with it for a good few months. She started crying on nights before school and being super clingy at drop off. Then she started getting upset on non-school days, worried she was going to school. That’s when we dropped Mondays because I thought 2 different teachers was just too much for her to handle. A few weeks later we decided I would pick her up before nap time because she was just really resisting going to school every day and I worried it was the hour rest time. Things seemed better for a while but she was still arguing quite often about school days and there were still tears and morning hesitation. It just seemed like so much work for me…and her…and frankly, it just didn’t seem worth forcing it on her. It’s an inexpensive program than we payed for because we thought she’d enjoy playing with children and being outdoors and yes, I’d get a break to run errands and take care of the home sans kiddo. That wasn’t really happening. The final nail was a classmate’s birthday party where all her classmates attended. My mom took her and she shared that it was pretty obvious that she was older than the rest of the kids. She just didn’t have much in common and playing was challenging because they just weren’t interested in playing the same things or the same way. That was all I needed to decide to pull her out.

So long story- but the end result was being home each day with my little one again. Which has been the norm for most of her life.

But this time felt different.

And I had no idea what had changed. Why did I suddenly feel like I made a horrible mistake? Why am I feeling trapped and super touched out all the sudden? Why am I feeling differently about full-time stay at home momming now than a few years ago?

I spoke with everyone I trusted…my husband. My mama. My therapist.

I read and searched for information online.

Was it stress? Was I getting sick? Was I wanting to go back to work full-time? Part-time? Was I done with extended breastfeeding? Co-sleeping? Did I need a month off in the South of France?

The conclusion I came to last night….it’s little bit of all that and a big fat side of LACK OF BALANCE!

So yes, my parenting style leans heavily towards attachment parenting. I’ve written about it here on my blog. It wasn’t a choice as much as a natural inclination when my daughter was born, before her birth really. I wanted to be close to her and meet her needs when she had them. This all made perfect sense to me when she was a baby. The changes and transitions were more subtle when she was an older baby. She was becoming more independent. I set appropriate boundaries for safety and behavior but I still largely spent all my time with her and there wasn’t much space. I was still ok with it (I thought). But something probably started happening and shifting for me when she was around 8-9 months old. I can now see some real early signs of wariness. These were the initial signs of burn out but I couldn’t really tell.

I wasn’t really balanced then. I needed more space but I wasn’t giving it to myself. I wasn’t noticing my needs, I couldn’t quite identify them even. I thought my agitation and frustration (mostly all inner at the point and directed towards my poor husband) was due to social needs not being met. Or needing a new food plan. Maybe I needed to lose more weight. Or start working out. Or I was depressed. Or maybe I needed to find a hobby or part-time work. This is where my brain goes every time I start feeling unbalanced but I didn’t know it at the time. I start way overanalyzing and I swing the pendulum in the opposite direction and I did all those things mentioned. I started working out and walking. I started a new food plan. I lost more weight. I started looking for ways to make money from home. I joined baby and me classes to make friends. I felt worse than ever!!


Then as she got even older I was feeling even less balanced. Still unaware of my imbalance or where it’s coming from. My marriage was struggling even more, since life was so imbalanced…so was my marriage. No dates, hardly moments for us to share in alone time together. No marital bed. Hardly any sex. Yeah…it was a laundry list of responsibilities and tons of family time…and you can really start to see the picture more clearly now. Even more imbalanced. I started to feel some clues that I needed more physical space and I started day weaning the little one. That helped. We also moved and I made new mama friends with a great group of friends. That helped. Still not quite balanced but things got much better.

Still with the imbalance quietly raging in the background…my brain was burning a mile a minute trying to find the solution to a problem I wasn’t quite sure about…

Maybe we need more money. Maybe we need more vacations. Maybe we need more alone time. Maybe we need more couple time. Maybe we need more counseling. Maybe I need to find a job. Exhausting, right?? YES!

This all shot out of me like Pompeii the past few weeks. It was like a pressure cooker that couldn’t hold it’s lid one more second. When I brought my daughter home those few measly days and hours of alone time vanished. With it went my sanity, my rest, my peace, my no one is talking to me moments, and no one is touching me moments…and I had a mini-panic attack. I didn’t realize how much I valued this new found freedom and space. I didn’t realize until it was gone. And then…it became glaringly obvious as I spoke it out and processed my panic with my people. Yes, I could see clearly now how out of balance we had all gotten.

To be continued…