Losing My Cape.

I think by now you know me – always doing things my own way and at my own pace. Often, out of order.

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.

In a very zig-zaggy way.

lose the cape

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.

It’s all or none of the above. It’s a messy tie for first, in a race no one should be running.

People tell me I’m strong and maybe that’s true. Maybe so are you. What I’m not – is a superhero. My cape is filthy.

And yet we try. We try to do it all. And that’s what makes us human, and not superhuman.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(Scarlet as Supergirl)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(Des as Superman)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
(Me as Supergirl)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
(Cassidy’s dad as Superman – holding Cassidy)

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!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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)

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– 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!

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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:

Amazon Link
Website
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I received a complimentary copy of Lose the Cape. All thoughts and opinions are very much my own.

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com, as well as Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead/QA Reader with Sway, and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Comments

Losing My Cape. — 102 Comments

    • Done! For some reason, I never updated my Amazon info so it still shows me with my maiden name and living in New Brunswick, NJ! But it’s me!
      Thanks for sharing your fantastic book.

  1. This sounds like a great book, thanks so much for sharing! Love the tip on planning, so important at every stage in life–but especially when there’s littles running around, I’d imagine! Look forward to reading it!

  2. Was totally sold and actually reviewing tomorrow, but now even more so as we have our first broken bone and trying to get an appointment today with a kid’s orthopedist for Lily to get a cast for a broken wrist. Seriously, motherhood never is dull to say the least!!

    • ha! Just another thing the two of us have in common. My husband is a good planner but together, we’re not so good. That is where onwards and upwards has to come true!

  3. This sounds like a great book and I can relate with most of it. I remember the first time I had to leave Madison for 2 weeks and I came back and she wouldn’t even look at me. I was so crushed. I’ve learned lately to give up the cape and be the best mom I can be. Without judgment. πŸ™‚

    • Aw! That’s so tough! Of course she just missed you.
      I love what you said. I’ve been on a similar mental health journey. It’s nice to just let some things go sometimes.

  4. I’m about halfway through the book and they did such a great job. It’s not what I thought it was going to be. I love how much practical advice it gave to get you through the hard times.

  5. It sounds like a good read. The twins, maybe because they were NICU babies, never seemed to care that I left them -and then later, with Bear and the autism, I realized there was more to it. The first time I left Audrey, for real (weekend getaway with Rich), she totally wanted nothing to do with me when I got back. I was hysterical (and my anxiety was screaming, “she has autism!”), and I didn’t leave her again for a year and a half! Now I know, she was paying me back for leaving her.

    • Oh man! So sorry about your fears with Audrey. She was totally acting the way babies and toddlers (and cats) act when you leave them. I wouldn’t want to do it again either. In fact, I don’t think I did when it was Scarlet!

  6. Oh the planning! I try to be good at it. My family tries even harder to destroy my attempts at planning. Life is always a work in progress right? Great review! I have seen this now a few places and think I would like to read it. Happy Tuesday!

    • Yes, I think life is a work in progress until the end! A new discovery in my 30’s. I honestly used to think you just reach some perfect pinnacle. Reality check time!
      Happy Tuesday to you! Hope it’s gorgeous there. It’s actually above 60 degrees here AND sunny. Shocking.

  7. Ugh, I stink at mornings because I hate morning so much.

    Superheroes! Yay! Are you seeing the new Avengers movie? Natalie just got a new Wonder Woman gymnastics leotard. She loves it.

    • I saw the leotard on Facebook! I loved it!
      As for the Avengers, oh yeah. I have to line a sitter up because it’s Cassidy’s biggest wish to see it with me.

  8. Oh man, the weeks where I get it all together and make a master plan are just fabulous!! The other weeks? Not so much! LOL

  9. I love the intro to your review and that opening photo is one of my favorites.
    Morning routines tend to make or break my day – I believe in the importance of setting the rhythm early so that the rest of the day unfolds with minimal hiccups… (you can’t always plan for that, but I try!).

  10. I’ve been seeing all the posts on this lately, but haven’t yet taken the time to read it. I can’t wait though. And who’s cape isn’t filthy? We’ve all got some rips and tears, but sometimes we’re still able to fly!

    • There you go! I would imagine I’d do that with the third too. Maybe it would take me three years! The world may never know.
      And thanks! I love reviewing!

  11. I am such a planner, but for some reason I just can’t get a handle on planning meals. It would make things so much easier, I know! And I keep tripping over my cape – I’m a klutz.

  12. Ooh, I love that last takeaway, only because I truly believe it is what keeps me sane. People ask me how I do it all the time, and I think it’s right: it’s all about the planning and the thinking ahead. We’d be floating all over the place without it!

  13. i could totally use the tips from this book because i am that overwhelmed mom right now! i feel like i have to do it all: the bulk of caring for my baby, planning our vacation, planning the first birthday party, socking enough away for retirement…who else is going to do it but me?! what i would give for a personal assistant or trusty go-to babysitter!

  14. Awesome tips it sounds like! I agree, planning is the number one. Couldn’t do half as much as I do without a master plan that is constantly being refined!

  15. I just received my copy in the mail yesterday and started reading it last night. The first chapter (which I read) was fantastic and those times are still so fresh in my mind. I want to buy it for all my friends now when they have babies.
    I am looking forward to reading the part on schedules/planning. I started meal planning a few months ago and it has made a world of difference. I don’t always follow it, but very rarely now am I like “what are we going to eat?!” which used to happen with frequency. And we waste less food. Sam and I try to make a point to schedule date nights, though I think we could be better about it.

    • I thought the same thing about people about to have babies! And how cool that you were reading it last night.
      Date nights haven’t been our forte but he was away for ten days so right now I’m jonesing for a solo night!

  16. Sounds like a great book! Yes, planning is in my heart and soul and I cannot imagine my life without plans and lists, πŸ™‚ Can I just say I love seeing the family in super hero capes? You guys are so cool and fun! And yes, wearing the cape should be fun, not exhausting.

  17. I don’t think I ever had a cape:)
    But, the book sounds amazing!! Especially the part about planning – I’m a planner almost to a fault. In fact, I’m trying harder to just go with the flow at least occasionally!

    • I used to tie towels around my neck as a kid and I’d jump off the bed, thinking my “capes” would protect me. Luckily they did! I never got over the cape obsession, clearly.

  18. What a cool and fun book review.

    I’m all about planning (I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you). Yet, I’m still blind-sided an overwhelmed every once in a while.

    Loved all the superhero pictures – awesome!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you a lovely day
    xoxo

    • Doesn’t surprise me about the planning, but I love it!!
      And I could see still getting overwhelmed, but hopefully not as often. I need to do things bird by bird. If I see a huge list of tasks in front of me, I freeze like a deer in headlights!

  19. I totally agree. In order for my household of seven to run smoothly we plan everything, from meals, housework, and we rely on our Google calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedule. That book sounds like something I could write.

  20. I’m terrible at planning. The word meal planning makes me feel weird but I do know that I SHOULD! This sounds like a great book and I definitely want to read it. I love the authors! Also excellent photos of the capes πŸ™‚

    • haha.. it makes me feel weird too. It’s like… so not what I am. I think I’ll get into the groove, though!
      Can you believe I had a cape/shirt photo for all of us? Probably you can believe it.

  21. If the takeaway is planning, then I am all about this book! I spend a LOT of time planning, I find it calming. Seeing when I can do things decompresses some of the stress of having a lot to do. Sometimes we all feel like we should have a cape in light of all we are doing.. much, simultaneously. I moved about a month before delivering my first, and I have to agree – not recommended!

  22. Sounds like a great book and I loved hearing your thoughts on the book woven in with your life. It is hard, this being a woman, and wanting to do it all. I still do, but obviously have had to cut myself slack, and that is easier said than done, isn’t it! I love all the superhero photos, I love how much of yourself you put into your posts. xo

  23. Those photos are everything Tamara! I, too have been very zig zaggy in my career and had a very fast paced life in terms of marriage and children. I can definitely relate on that plane! I’ll have to check this book out, because any book that discusses motherhood from a very real standpoint I’m all for!

  24. I love making plans. Sadly in LA it is very hard to because the industry I work it changes SO QUICKLY – but I crave plan making, it makes me feel like I have a focus and structure. And let me just say, I need it right nowwww! Ugh.

  25. I’m still working on cutting myself some slack. It’s weird, but I seem to be getting worse as I get older. Not good. I’ll definitely check out this book!

  26. I just started meal planning and house cleaning planning and it’s made a WORLD of difference. Financial planning is another story though. Yikes! I never had a cape to lose…but glad you are finding your stride!

  27. I’m looking forward to reading it! I am a planner by nature, but lately I just can’t keep up with everything!

    • I feel the same way! I haven’t quite recovered since the big data entry project. I think it made me re-evaluate the time I do have, and also, how I want to be making money.
      That said, I will still catch up to all you favorites – it’s just taking time!

  28. I love the superman theme throughout your pictures, and Lose the Cape sounds fantastic! Living a full life is much more important than keeping your cape clean πŸ™‚

  29. I burned my cape long ago. not even interested. Not unless any of the Avengers are actually going to show up here at my house and help with dinner. Assemble!!! LOL
    Looks like a great read.

  30. Yes to ‘onward and upwards’. We are all human, we all struggle – at times, we all get back on our feet. How? Because we can. We may need help (friends, family) and we need reminders. Well, at least I need a reminder now and then. I am very bad at planning, actually extremely bad. That’s why I got David πŸ™‚ He reminds me about it, and together we get it done.
    p.s. that is the other b&w picture of you I was referring to in a previous comment, which I love, too. It has got such a film feel to it…

    • I’m a terrible planner! It’s so bad. Cassidy is a great one. Together, things get done. It’s like you said.
      That b&w photo you love IS film! And it’s unedited.
      Ah, I miss my old photography sometimes.

  31. What a lovely post, it’s so true that we all need to stop trying to be superheroes! Sounds like a good book too, even for those without kids like me seems to have a lot of valuable lessons!

  32. Totally realistic! Sometimes I’m so good at planning that I suck at it badly at times too. But such is life and I guess we all just want to be better each day. πŸ™‚ Hope to read the book!

  33. Iv’e always planned to be a planner. It’s just never worked out. I wonder if that’s just part of being ENFP, or something’s wrong with me. (Those two last phrases rhyme, so there’s that.)

    I love to hear what goes on in your mind because I associate with it so.

  34. I’m with you 100%! I loved this book and I definitely lost my cape. I wish I had some cape photos like you, everyone in your family has a dang cape! lol

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