The Joys of Motherhood: Separation Anxiety

“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” – Princess Diana

Around the time my baby girl was six months old she began having episodes of separation anxiety. She would be completely happy and content playing with her toys until she noticed I was leaving or had already left the room. Insert whiny, crying baby breakdown. Now that she’s 9 months old it’s happening a little more frequently and now includes times where we’re with family and she doesn’t want anyone else to hold her except Mom.

People have told me this is how it should be, but from my perspective it is exhausting.

I enjoy the moments of freedom when someone else can play with her and entertain her so I can have an adult conversation. There are times I need to leave the room to do the dishes, change the laundry, etc., and I hate doing that while listening to her cry for my presence. At times it has frustrated me to no end and caused me to feel like I can’t get anything done without having her attached to my hip.

Parents, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

The other morning, after putting her down for a nap, a different perspective struck me. Separation anxiety is actually a gift. Now, before you think I’m crazy, allow me to explain.

Kids grow up too fast. I can’t believe she’s going to be a year old in just a few short months. Before I know it she’ll be walking, talking, going to school, becoming a teenager, then an adult and living her own life completely independent of me. Soon she won’t need me anymore the way she feels she needs me now. She’ll desire to be independent from me. At some point she may resist my affection in front of others. She may get annoyed when asked to pose for a picture with me at a family gathering. She may not want to be seen with me in public.

It’s a reality of growing up and it makes me sad to think about.

But for now, in those moments where she wants me more than anyone else, when she looks up from her toys just to make sure I’m nearby, in those moments I am beginning to feel joy. She wants me. She needs me. Only Mom will do.

That is a pretty huge compliment and it is beginning to fill my heart with joy. To be the one she calls out for should make me happy instead of frustrated. For her to want to be attached to my hip while doing chores should fill me with pride because I’m the one who can make her feel better.

These moments will be gone all too quickly and I am choosing joy every chance I get.

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5 Things To Do Before Getting Pregnant

A lot of this post is tongue in cheek, but I hope those of you who are pregnant get a laugh, and those who aren’t, or never have been, take some of the advice to heart.

 
1. Stay Up Late: I’m a homebody by nature. If you give me the chance to spend an evening at home in my yoga pants with some nice person bringing dinner to my door I will take it over almost anything. This was true before and after I had children. However, had I known how well I could survive and function on such little sleep I may have changed my tune before we had a family. When you first come home from the hospital you’re to wake up the baby every few hours if they don’t do so on their own to feed them. My little girl is almost 10 months old and thankfully she’s down to waking up about once a night now on average. Some nights, though, are bad (see Babies Have Bad Days) and I’m up most of the night still. It is exhausting, but for the most part I still manage to feed her and myself, make dinner, pick up the house, run necessary errands, etc. If I had known I could still be this productive on 4-6 hours of sleep a night I guarantee I would’ve “lived it up” more before getting pregnant.

 
2. Cook Meals That Take A Lot of Time and Effort: I used to do crazy things in the kitchen like make my own bread, make gnocchi from scratch, tackle recipes that required a whole lot of time to prepare, and it was always worth it in the end. Nowadays if I don’t have items ready to be assembled into a casserole or have dinner in the crock pot by 10 I feel like I’m behind in my day. I’m lucky and blessed to have married a man who doesn’t mind that we eat a whole lot of crock pot dishes, casseroles, and soup. I miss the days of spending all day in the kitchen, but my daughter has high maintenance days, and is a pretty intense feeler, so I’m never sure if it’s worth the risk of making something more time consuming. I prefer to err on the side of caution.

 
3. Read Every Book You Ever Wanted to Read: I haven’t “read” a book since my daughter was born. I’ve skimmed pertinent chapters in advice type books, and I’ve passively listened to audiobooks, but I haven’t sat down with a good book and read it cover to cover in almost 10 months. I love reading and I miss it. If there are books you want to read I advise you to head to the library after reading this post, check them out, and hop to it. There’s no time like the present, and in the future you could find your reading list to grow as fast as your children.

 
4. Take Your Time Shopping: I don’t even like shopping and I miss being able to do it at my leisure. I’m pretty anxious when it comes to taking the baby out for errands and try to only do it once a day. As soon as she wakes up from a nap I change her, give her a bottle, pack her up and off we go at a fast pace because you never know when those sounds of hers can go from fun to fury. Enjoy going to as many places as you want for as long as you want. And then email me and tell me all about it.

 
5. Pray: I mean this last one in all seriousness. Get in the habit of praying and building that relationship with the Lord. I sadly let mine slip a bit and deeply miss that closeness I once had with Him. I’m fighting for it now, and it’s getting better, but I encourage you before you have children to get that relationship good and strong because once you have kids you’re going to need Him more than you ever thought.

 
What suggestions do you have for the list?

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Turning Off: Unplugging the Distractions

“Distracted from distraction by distraction.’ – T. S. Eliot

Prior to giving birth to my daughter I had a smartphone. I hated it. It was slow, would freeze up, wouldn’t answer a call when I told it to, etc. I hated that thing.

Somehow, in the midst of all the chaos after giving birth, my phone got tossed out. We think it got wrapped up in the bedding. Oh darn. This turned into a blessing because, since I needed a phone, I was allowed to splurge and get an iPhone.

I love my iPhone. Love it. I grew up an Apple person and I love their products. I also think a lot of their products are used as a status symbol, but that’s a thought for another day.

The only problem with my iPhone, though, is the biggest problem. It’s too distracting. Because I can access anything at anytime in a second… well, that’s what I do. Facebook? Check. Twitter? Check. Email? Yep. I’m lucky in one sense because I’m not a big game person, but either way you slice it my iPhone is the number one distraction in my life. I find myself on it constantly when I could be, oh I don’t know, cleaning, playing with my baby, praying, reading the Word, napping, etc.

I’m embarrassed to admit just how much of my time it has taken away from my days. And for what? To read the last 3 status updates in my newsfeed? To see if I have any new followers? Was that really worth the time taken away from me and my real life?

No.

The other day I decided that once my baby was awake–around 8 a.m–I wouldn’t use my phone for anything other than an actual phone until Noon. I would turn off, unplug, and focus on what was right in front of me.

Oh my word was I productive!

I had dinner in the crock pot, the kitchen clean, bottles washed, the bathroom cleaned top to bottom, my daughter down for a nap, and two loads of laundry washed, dried, and folded. Not to mention my daughter had my undivided attention for the time she was awake which is the absolute most important way to spend my time.

I just wanted to share what happened to me when I turned off the distractions, unplugged myself from my phone which had become an extension of my hand, and just existed as the stay at home Mom I am. I was able to be so much more productive which eased my stress level for the rest of the day, I got to spend quality time with my little girl, and I got stuff done.

I hope this encourages you to do the same. What distractions do you have that keep you from accomplishing the important things in your day?

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Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Mia who won the $25 giveaway to Just Simply Baby! Send an email to info@christianmarriedmom.com so I can get that to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I hope to have many more giveaways in the future. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Complaining in Marriage

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure…” Phillipians 2:14-15a

I think one of the genes in the human body is the “complain” gene. I know I possess it. I can complain about life all day long–the stress, chaos, uncertainty, etc. It seems, though, that the majority of my complaints revolve around my husband. I don’t think I’m alone on this and, despite popular opinion, I don’t think it’s a gender thing. I think it’s just human nature. You’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with this person, your husband or wife, and that is a long time. Since you spend the majority of your daily life with them the mathematics of the situation would say you would complain about them the most.

I want to buck this trend.

First, let me say that I don’t desire myself or anyone else to just lie to people when they ask how you’re doing or how your relationship is. Lying is bad, and we all need the outlet of a listening ear sometimes to get thoughts out of our head and heart lest we go crazy from keeping it pent up.

What I’d like to propose instead is to stop complaining. According to Merriam-Webster complaining can be defined as “expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.” It’s what we are expressing when we complain that I don’t like: dissatisfaction or annoyance. These are not positive or meaningful or even constructive. They’re just negative, and in my experience expressing negative thoughts tends to breed more negative thoughts. Once I get going on a rant about my husband–which happens more often than I’d like to admit–I just can’t seem to stop. I start off complaining to a friend about how he didn’t put his dishes in the sink and by the time I’m done it feels like I’ve torn down everything good about him. That is neither fair nor true.

I don’t want to be a complainer. I want to be someone who, when her husband does something I dislike, she talks to him instead of talking to everyone else. I also want to be someone who keeps things in perspective. Would my life be exponentially better if my husband had put those dishes in the sink or put his socks in the hamper? Is this just a silly idiosyncrasy that just comes with the territory of being married? Is this worth expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance?

Probably not.

If it is something that is important or integral to our relationship I want to be someone who talks it out with her husband instead of telling everyone else. After all, you can’t fix a problem you aren’t aware of, and your husband or wife can’t hear your heart if you don’t share it.

I encourage all of us to stop complaining about our husband or wife. It doesn’t bring anything positive in our lives. It just comes off as ugly and distasteful. Instead let us share the joy of our marriage with others. Let us be those who encourage. Let us honor and love our spouse and may those positive traits spread to all facets of our lives so we become sincerely more positive people.

Don’t forget about my giveaway from Just Simply Baby! Winner announced Friday morning PST!

 

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