First I became a wife, pretty fast in fact! Then I become a mother, pretty fast again in fact – pregnant only six months after our grand wedding. Then came the house, six weeks pregnant with my second while we moved. (not recommended) And then, only then, did I attempt to launch a career. I had a long one in New Jersey, actually. I was an Inside Sales Rep for four years and it was fantastic for awhile and it gave me co-workers who became friends and a client who became a husband, but eventually my heart caught up to me. Inside sales? For this writer/photographer? Nope. At least it all led me to this day.
This is life, though. We roll with it. We change our own tides, and other times, we get moved by changing tides. We juggle careers and marriage and friendship and parenting. We do a lot. You could say we do it all. It doesn’t require a cape, though. It requires life. What if we juggled something even more on that already toppling pile of life events and experiences? What if we juggled mental illness or physical illness? In my case, it’s anxiety, and it’s a strange beast that often comes first even when I don’t meant that to happen. I have to slay that beast. What’s next after that? It’s kids. Or it’s marriage. Or it’s career.
All of this is on my mind lately, probably because it’s ALWAYS on my mind, but also because I’m learning to cut myself some slack and give myself some breaks. I give what I’m capable of giving, and then I learn some more, and maybe give some more. I was on the edge of my seat, scribbling notes for this post and also notes for myself, when I read Alexa and Kerry’s book: Lose the Cape! Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive. There was information for every stage!
Some key parts I loved about the book:
– There was a part about getting others involved in feeding your babies. I took it all on myself until I burned out. I never gave my kids bottles and I couldn’t ever be too far away from them until they turned six-months-old and ate solids meals.
– I loved the part about fears that our babies will forget us. I remember the first time we left Scarlet. My mother-in-law had gotten us tickets to see “Tommy” at UConn and she watched Scarlet at her apartment during the play. We got back to the house after the play and Scarlet reached for Cassidy instead of me for the first time, and certainly not the last time. I remember how crushed I was, thinking she had forgotten me permanently. (don’t worry – she DIDN’T)
– I loved the part about getting your body back, and how we’re not all like Kate Hudson! I have always been slim and have weighed between 104 – 115 pounds since high school, with the exceptions being the post-partum times. I believe this is my norm. After Scarlet, I got back to my norm within a year. With Des, it was easily two years. Even for someone with fast metabolism and not a lot of bodily worries, it was still jarring for it to take so long.
– Morning routines. I can’t see it ever being easy for me, as it never has been. Alexa and Kerry give good tips on how to make morning routines a bit easier. One funny one that I used to do and I should try again was that I used to let Scarlet watch YouTube videos while I combed her hair. That is one of the hardest parts of our mornings!
The BIGGEST takeaway from the book:
– This is big, people. It’s about planning. Planning is key. Meal planning is inevitable for success in family dinners. Cleaning needs a plan too! Vacation planning should be on that list. Financial planning is at the top! Planned date nights and time for romance = key. So many of these things? I’m terrible at them. I can’t lie about that! (and it’s probably obvious) Somewhere along the way, we got a little (or a lot) lost at that within this family. You know what, though? Onward and upwards.
There are also fantastic sections on modern mom stresses – exercise, bedtime routines, & social media overload. The book also mentions other curveballs life may throw at us and how to adjust those accordingly – in my case I thought about juggling holidays, grandparent time, religion, and how often to serve frozen pizza for dinner. For more info about the book: