My Doula Journey…

Is only just beginning!  I am no more than a month into this new venture and every book I read, group I join, conversation I have I know I am working towards what I am most certainly called to do.  If you are wondering what a doula is I am happy to share!  A doula is simply a support person for the laboring person along with their partner.  They offer coping mechanisms (physical and verbal), encouragement, reminders for what is written in the birth plan or specific wishes that have been made.  Doula’s do not offer medical advice or perform any procedures.  While doulas are professionally trained they are not medically.  However, doulas are ferverently educated on the childbirth process and everything that comes with that territory in order for clients to feel confident and comfortable with who they are including on their journey to parenthood.

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With that glimpse into what a doula is you are maybe asking why I personally chose to pursue this.  I have always had a love for babies and also a pretty intense interest in the process of pregnancy and childbirth.  Besides all that it was actually a really weird moment of realization for me several weeks ago and possibly a little cheesy.  I love to read, always have and probably always will.  I finished a book and decided to make a quick run to check out a local ‘Free Little Library’ (which I had oddly never done before.). Anyhow, I placed my own book in there and began searching for a new read.  I came across a book titled “Midwives” which instantly sparked my interest.  I went ahead and took it home with me and while driving my mind eventually led me to the idea that I am able to do something to support women and help bring little lives into this big world. The answer is as you have likely figured out, become a trained and certified doula! I have actually considered becoming a doula before but at the time my kids were very little (and they still are) and I just felt like I wouldn’t be able to make the commitment at that specific time.

There is also the facts of my own birthing experiences and becoming a mom myself that make me passionate about this line of work.  As I learn more about the birthing process I am realizing the impact the birth of our first daughter has left on me.  I will attempt not to digress too much, nor am I looking for sympathies, but it has become clear in the last month that what I went through is deemed “normal” but, you guys,  IT IS NOT.  Looking back I consider my experience to be filled with trauma and mistreatment  by the medical professionals who were there to help me bring her into this world.  It is difficult to explain without giving you full details but to summarize as best as possible I was not allowed to get off my back while pushing even though I did not have an epidural.  (Even with an epidural there are more positions that can be tried.)  This lasted for almost 4 hours.  Multiple nurses and myself asked if I was able to move and every time I was told no but never given a reason.  At 23 years old with a first baby and little knowledge of what you are entitled to as a patient along with the idea that this was all just normal and ok I didn’t question him and oddly enough neither did a single nurse. My doctor choose not to say a single word to myself, and really not even the nurses, the entire time.  He just stood there staring at my crotch in silence.  Typically they place the baby on your chest immediately after delivery.  They asked me if I wanted this when I was a few pushes away from her being born and I declined.  I was so worn down I couldn’t hold the little girl I had been waiting so impatiently for for 9 months.  I also left the hospital with a wrist injury, from squeezing the bed rails so hard, which I never addressed because again…. this was all part of the process right?  Fun fact:  a nurse walked out of my room while exclaiming that she “couldn’t deal with me anymore.”  I break all of this down to impatience on their ends and wanting it to be done with already, as if I didn’t.  Instead of choosing to be encouraging and supportive they made the choice to be silent onlookers.  Thankfully everything was ok, I was just fine and baby was perfect.  I do have to give credit to one nurse in particular though who finally had enough, moved me, and physically helped me deliver Solveigh.  She visited me the next day just to check in and hugged me.  I can tell you right now that hug was the most validating thing to be offered that what I did was hard but I did it.  Her empathy and support is exactly what every women deserves when giving birth, the entire time, and I hope to be able to offer that.

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(This statistic is very troublesome to me if you think about how many women give birth on a daily basis.)

So, who gets to use a doula?  ANYONE!  If you think that additional support is just what you need then do it.  It is found that women who use doulas often have shorter labors, opt to use less pain medications, need less interventions, and overall have a more positive experience.  Using a doula of course does not guarantee any of these things as birth is a very unpredictable process.  There are also postpartum doulas.   Some doulas offer 1 or 2 postpartum visits with their birthing services, and meetings before the birth as well.  Others may have a specific focus just on the postpartum portion.  These are important questions to ask when interviewing a doula as you want to make sure you are getting the services you think will be most beneficial to you.  I personally hope to have more of an emphasis on the postpartum aspect of childbirth because I know how vital those first few days and weeks are to new parents.

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I want to provide you with a list of books, some of which are required readings for certification.  I have not read all of them but what I have read so far has been very informative and not a disappointment.

  • The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin
  • The Doula’s Guide to Empowering your Birth by Lindsey Bliss
  • The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help you Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus
  • Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America by Christine H. and Elaine G. Clift
  • Birth Without Fear: The Judgement-Free Guide to Taking Charge of your Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum by January Harshe
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
  • This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin
  • Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth by Walker Karraa

 

Lastly, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.  If I do not have the answer I will find it for you or find someone who has the right information!  I am going to link the webpage to the DONA website who I am becoming certified through.  There is a ton of great information on there as well!

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Life with pets: A story of Love and Loss

I have had pets all my life and have always appreciated their presence. Losing a pet was perhaps the first lesson in life I experienced regarding death.  I can’t tell you how many tears have been shed over a fur friend whom meant so much to me.  I also couldn’t even begin to measure the vast amounts of unconditional love they have given me in my lifetime. Pets always have been and always will be an important aspect of life for me.

Recently, we had to make a tough choice for our youngest cat and unfortunately while we we were on vacation.  This really crushed me. She was essentially my oldest daughters cat and they had such a cool bond.  I think that is what hurt me the most is knowing she was going to already going to experience the loss of something so precious and important to her.  It has always been upsetting when a pet dies but like I said, this really wrecked me between the shock, not being there for her, and dreading having to explain this to the kids once we were home.  This was also the first time I had to make the decision about what to do and it felt horrible having to say it out loud.  I am so appreciative to the vets office for their honesty along with the kindness and compassion they could offer for us from a distance.  That was about the only thing that made it remotely bearable.  Of course, this will not be the last time we have to go through this.  I can only hope it will be slightly more foreseen and we can be there with them.

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”  – David Ellsworth

Even with all the heartbreak the loss of a pet causes it truly does not outweigh the love they gave during their time with you, however long or short it may have been.  Already the second time I will be mentioning it, and likely not the last, they give us so much unconditional love.  Animals are perhaps where we can look for the best example of it.  In their eyes you are everything and more.  They do not judge or criticize.  They are there to greet you at the end of a long day with jumps, licks, nudges, or whatever is kosher to them and likely to you, there to make your bad day better or your good day even more special.

Though I’m guessing most of you reading this already know I want to share the definition of unconditional love…

“Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions.  The term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love… most will agree that it is a type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging.”

I pulled this from a google search and wikipedia link.  Even though I could have dug deeper for maybe a more reputable source, I find this explanation spot on and matching my own understanding of what unconditional love is. For me, this is exactly what I have been gifted by the animals that have come into my life and all too quickly stepped out sometimes.  I will forever appreciate that ability to experience what they offer.  I love to see the connection between our cats and dog with our kids.  (The cats and the dog have zero connection still, it’s very much a work in progress and may very well never happen.)  It is my hope that they continue to enjoy pets in their lives and maybe even pass the love for them onto their own kids.  I find having pets to be a great thing while growing up and I don’t have many reasons as to why other than that I pull only positive memories from it and, you guessed it, the unconditional love they offer.

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Happy Birthday to the Blog!

Happy-Birthday-FlowersHappy 2nd Birthday wishes for my blog!  Belated, as it officially turned 2 the beginning of March, but better late than never right?!  Without going all the way back to reference some of my original posts I just want to reiterate that I don’t exactly have a specific path for this blog.  I had hoped to have more posts by now but I don’t, and that’s really just fine.  I do this because I simply just enjoy it and do not pressure myself to find material to write about.   You won’t find me stressing over something that isn’t a requirement for life.  Totally kidding, I stress about the most unimportant of things.   To date this will be my 24th blog post but I have probably written over 100 have written in my head while laying in bed at night.  The not so funny thing is in the morning I typically remember the topic of what I wanted to talk about but have zero recollection of what I actually wanted to say about any of it.  If I blogged as much as I wanted or as often as thoughts came to my head I would never sleep! So, cheers to my blog turning 2 and a salute to all the posts that maybe should have been written but its probably ok that they weren’t.  Here’s to all the posts to still come!

 

 

Disney Traveling Tips: An Amateurs Guide

We got home from our first Disney trip as a family just over 12 hours ago!  Minus a few travel errors, some expected meltdowns, and sunburns we really tried to avoid I have to say our trip went well.  I feel very rejuvenated after some much needed Vitamin D and the ability to take my mind off of the every day tasks that I get way too wrapped up in.  Throughout this trip I realized a lot of what we would do differently next time and what we really wouldn’t change. So, here I am to share those things!

Let’s start with Travel….

First and foremost, this is an important aspect of your trip and likely tends to be the most stressful for some people such as myself.  I agonized over getting our kids through the airport with suitcases and carseats in tow.  This is probably what I prepared for the most.  I honesty spent multiple hours of several days researching how to best navigate the airport with small children.  Here’s what I realized and also what I bought:

  1. There is no clear cut answer as to how to do this.  You have to figure out what is going to be most functional and also affordable for you.  There are tons of products out there and I did most of my shopping on Amazon for the quick shipping and reading product reviews.  I picked up 2 VolkGo car seat bags and also 2 VolkGo suit case straps.  The suit case straps give you the ability to hook your convertible carseats on to your suit case by the top tether hook.  We actually didn’t end up using the straps but most certainly used the bags. They had backpack straps on them with padding and it made it tolerable. This only worked for us because we did not have connecting flights, just one direct flight.  If we had had multiple flights I’m quite certain my back (and also my sanity) would not have been able to take it.
  2. Prepare for delays, especially with kids, but of course hope for the best you won’t have to deal with them at all.  We were so lucky our kiddos handled the delays well, consider me impressed.  We got to experience both weather related and mechanical delays.  If you are lucky enough to be on a flight with the option of movies you are probably good to go.  Our first delay had us sitting on the runway for a total of 3 hours with a break to get back into the terminal and reset.  Our 3 hours on the plane turned into 6.  We were also packed with some new books and also snacks but we knew in advance we would have access to movies so we didn’t prepare too greatly for things to do.
  3. Depending on where you are staying you may need to rent a car.  If you are staying at a Disney Resort you do not need to worry about this.  You will be bused from the airport to the resort and they have shuttle service to and from the parks.  We did not stay at a Disney Resort so we rented a car.  This worked well for us however because our last 2 days were spent in Daytona Beach.  I personally recommend staying at a Disney Resort to remove this hassle but we also liked the freedom to come and go without waiting in a line.  Total personal decision based on what you want your vacation to be like.

Dining 

If you are like me a good meal is important to you.  This is one aspect of our trip we did not necessarily plan well.  Many of the Disney restaurants require reservations because of the mass amounts of people there.  It’s not that you can’t walk in if there is availability but there likely won’t be (heavily depending on the time of year). This is the first time I am going to mention the Disney app.  As soon as you book your Disney vacation download that bad boy.  Here you can do everything to set your trip up, including making dining reservations.

To save little money we picked up breakfast items to eat in our hotel room before heading out of the day.  Cereal, muffins, fruit and yogurt go a long way!  We only ended up going out to eat for breakfast twice and one morning was taken care of with a breakfast voucher.  We also brought our own reusable water bottles which we filled at the hotel bar with ice water before we left.  From my understanding you are not limited to what you can bring in to the park in terms of your own food and drink.  So pack the snacks and save yourself some dough!

There are so many fun things to try once you are in the park and I encourage you to indulge.  My favorite treats were….

  • Chesire Cat Tail from the Chesire Cafe in Magic Kingdom (Right by the Teacup Ride)
  • Dole Whip Cup from Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom
  • Churros in Disney Springs
  • Ice cream from anywhere because it was HOT for these Minnesotans
  • Minnie and Mickey Whoopie Pies from the Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

I wish I had taken the time to take pictures of all these items because not only did they taste good looked just as good!  I do have evidence of the Cheshire Cat tail though (picture below).

In the Parks 

Now, from this specific trip I can only speak for Magic Kingdom as this was the only park we visited this time.  However, this is more of a general overview of how to make the best of visiting any of the parks included in Disney World.

First of all: HAVE A GAME PLAN.  I am the absolute worst at this so we waltzed in there having no agenda for the day.  Wrong.  Don’t do this.  We pulled it together quickly (and quite honestly our day went really well) but I would have liked to be more prepared and we might have actually done less walking.

Don’t feel like you have to jam it all in (cue me sticking my foot in my mouth) because we spent 10 hours, you read that right, 10 hours in Magic Kingdom.  Do I recommend this? NO.  We knew this was our only park day, the kids were still enjoying themselves, and we were so caught up in the excitement of it all it literally just happened.  So future trips park time for one day will be cut in at least half.  I have heard and read it is impossible to do an entire park in one day and I can attest it is indeed fact.  Create a format for your day and fill in the blanks as you go.

Probably one of the most important things you can do if you plan to go on rides is hop onto that Disney app I told you about and get those fast passes booked.  Unfortunately you only get 3 a day so make them count. If you are staying at a Disney resort you can book these up to 60 days before your visit and non Disney resort patrons can book up to 30 days before your visit.  We did not book in advance at all (as we bought our park passes the day of) but we were still able to use our passes.  Our options for what we were able to to use them on and times were of course limited but as I said we were still able to find attractions to use them on.  I would also like to mention this app shows you wait times for all the rides and attractions in the park which is very helpful when planning where to go next and what you are willing to wait in line for.

Lastly, if your children are young they are probably going to get the most out of meeting the characters.  Don’t get me wrong our kids loved the rides they went on but the most joy came when we met all the Princesses, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, and also Mickey and Minnie.

Little to no explanation needed for this one: stay hydrated and apply that SPF on the regular!  (I threw gatorades in the freezer the night before to use as ice packs in our cooler and also so we would still have ice cold drinks several hours into our visit once we had gone through everything else.)

Parking

I’ll make this quick. I have to recommend the preferred parking.  It is $50 compared to $25.  If you do not have small kids save the extra $25 and make the last tram ride.  If you do have kids this saved time getting back to our vehicle as we were all completely wiped out.  We didn’t have to walk nearly as far and did not have to wait in line for yet another tram to the parking lot.

Souvenirs

In the amount of planning I did for this trip what I kept reading what bring your own (t-shirts, small character toys, or whatever else is cool or fun for kids) which doesn’t exactly make sense to me except from a financial standpoint.  Trust me I get it, each time we went into a store in the park we walked out and wondered what we actually even left with.   However, I am totally ok with that expense because walking into the stores is like an exciting explosion of Disney things and its so fun to get to pick our something that is meaningful to you regardless of your age.  So, my personal view on that is ‘spare no expense’ but you have to do what is comfortable for you and won’t cause you undue stress.  You do you!

We certainly know what will we do differently the next time we go and as I said what we wouldn’t change.  There was a pretty relaxed vibe to our total vacation as we also included 2 pool/beach days.  Next time we will be making much more reservations and buying our park passes earlier for even more Disney experiences.  Overall, it was a great trip and I highly recommend taking your kids there, heck, take yourself as an adult there without kids! We will certainly be returning and are enjoying the memories we have collected.

Coaching and What I’ve Learned

I don’t have an extremely extensive dance background and I was certainly never the stand out.  I was terrible at spotting, struggled with picking up choreography as quickly as others, and for whatever reason never counted when I danced (the most basic thing you can do….*major face palm*).    So when I saw a coaching opportunity pop up at a local school nearby I thought it would be a fun opportunity to get back into a sport I have always had a passion for but also it threw a lot of self doubt into my head.  How could I coach and lead when I was never ‘the best’.  I was excited enough to do this that I got past those negative thoughts and took it on.  I am so glad I did.

As with anything coaching, and dance itself, has its highs and lows.  Some practices leave me frustrated and questing why I would take something like this on and then there are days where I see so much progress being made, even from just one individual, that I am so proud and happy.  I have watched girls come into practice from what I can only guess was a difficult day for them and their attitudes completely transform once that music comes on and they do what they are there to do.  Not only do I see emotional changes from them I also get to watch them improve and work their tails off.  This is my second year coaching.  Last year I had a few girls brand new to the sport and when I say new I really mean brand spanking new.  Pirouettes (turning) was like speaking a foreign language to them and it we were essentially starting at the basics.  We are turning now!  Still a work in progress but you would never know last season was their first.  One of my absolute favorite things to witness is these girls have personal goals for themselves and to be successful.  It makes my heart swell with pride, not because of anything I have done, but because I know how good that feels to finally connect the dots with a skill.

Coaching has not only exposed me to teaching others but it has also taught me a few things about myself.  First and foremost that I am capable.  As I mentioned above I had some pretty serious doubts about my ability to be a coach.  I didn’t just want fill the title of coach physically I really desired to serve a purpose and give these girls the tools and help they need to be happy with the results at the end of the day.  I wanted to give them 154283_455765582010_7714489_nmy best so they could give theirs.  Choreography scared me.  Not only creating a dance but then teaching it and helping them execute it.  I procrastinated and struggled and filled my head with more negative thoughts.  Finally one day I just sat down (really stood up and moved around) and just did it.  It was hard but came more easily to me than I initially anticipated.  I could do this.  I was going to do this.  We are now in the middle of our competition season and I am happy with my work put in and even more thrilled at these girls being so willing to do whatever I throw at them.  Is what I created perfect?  Heck no.  Do I recognize what areas I need to work on in terms of choreography on my end?  Absolutely.  Its all a pretty serious learning process! I have to laugh at myself a little bit… I am personally insulted when we get nailed by the judges for categories such as ‘creativity’ because I am responsible for that!  I have to remember to be a little bit more light hearted because I am truly doing my best and they are doing their jobs by giving the appropriate feedback.  Those feelings however validate for me how much of myself I have put into this and again how I want these girls to feel happy with themselves and with their teammates at the end of every practice and every competition.

As I have always known, this is really a sport (and also an art) you can put your whole self into emotionally and physically.  I think that’s one of the reason I love it so much.  I have seen people cry upon finishing a routine, witnessed people get teary eyed from a dance they are watching, and felt these emotions myself both while dancing and while viewing.  I hope in years to come I am able to participate in this amazing sport in some way or another.  In my opinion, dance is a sport that is for life!

 

Circa Fall 2010 at MSUM. Go Dragons!

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Balancing Marriage & Parenthood

I think the title of this post alone says a lot.  Marriage and parenthood are far from easy, especially when you are doing both at the same time.  This is a fact of life for many so really it’s likely not an uncommon topic.  What is the perfect balance?  Who comes first, your partner or your children?  For the last 4 years, after becoming a parent, I truly thought the answer was obvious… your children come first, always.  After a few events in the last few weeks I realized this isn’t necessarily true.  Let me share why.

A couple weekends ago I was in attendance at a wedding in which I was lucky enough to be apart of the bridal party and stand next to an extremely dear friend of mine.  While we spent the morning and early afternoon getting ready and doing all the things you do to prepare for someones special day the bride sat down to put the final touches on her vows to her groom we all began talking.  I wasn’t fully tuned into the conversation until I heard someone say “You have to put your spouse first, even before your children, as hard as that is.”  My head might have done a 180 degree turn before my body could catch up to it.  This sentence had my attention and made me think quicker than I had possibly ever thought before.  Do I do this?  No.  Does Justin deserve that?  Absolutely.  Can I do this?  I can and sure am going to try.  Being a mom has understatedly consumed me, both in good ways and sometimes in bad.  There are times when I have neglected myself and also Justin, my husband, in turn neglecting our marriage.  I was under the influence that once you had kids nothing else mattered, which to me is still partially true but for reasons I can’t explain.

So, why your spouse before your children if you are like me and assumed it should be the opposite.  Continuing the discussion myself and the other members of the bridal party had consisted of the fact that without yourself and your spouse there wouldn’t be that family.  No matter what you are still a family with your children but without your spouse you are a different kind of family and one team member short.  That was all I needed to hear to change my perspective on marriage and parenthood.

Justin and I recently, as in the last few days, celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.  This was the first year in our married life that we were able to really get back to the foundation and why of our marriage.  Before that babies were due or born very closely to our wedding anniversary, someone was sick {last year I literally got vomited on by our then 1 year old.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!}, or something else was going on and we were just too distracted to celebrate what brought our family together.  This year though, 5 years, we both knew we had to do something for ourselves.  So, we booked a trip up the North Shore of Minnesota, one of our favorite places and somewhere we called home for a time.  We just got home yesterday and it was a completely rejuvenating trip for us both as parents and as a married couple.  Our time away almost felt surreal.  I have not been so relaxed and care free for quite awhile.  Don’t get me wrong I missed the absolute heck out of my girls BUT getting to put our parenting duties aside for 3 full days and 4 nights gave us the opportunity to focus on each other and we needed that.  As I said before, there have been far too many times I have put Justin and our marriage on the back burner because I just felt that I had nothing else to give after making our girls my 3I8A9083number one priority.  It’s a really difficult thing to explain because there is no 1st or 2nd place here for who is more important.  I could never rate them that way so don’t ask me to.  It’s truly a matter of working your tail of to balance out what everyone needs and wearing all the hats to do all the things.  It’s hard and I imagine I will still fail at it every now and then.  There is really no easy way to manage it all and feel like you are doing it “right” because there is no right or wrong way if you are doing your best.  I think in this day and age being present in every day life is one thing so many people, myself included, struggle with.  My goals from here on out are to be more present in my marriage so that I myself, and together with Justin, can be the best parents together.

 

***On a more personal note I want to add that this is not me dismissing or down talking those who are single parents.  I whole heartedly idolize you and the sacrifices you make for your kids regardless of the reasons that made you a single parent.  You are simply amazing!

 

I’m not a regular mom, I’m a sweaty mom.

I’m gonna be really honest to kick off this post.  I spend a lot of my days more sweaty than not.  You might be wondering…”Ok, and why exactly is this relevant to me…. at all?” It all boils down to one thing: CHILDREN.  So, maybe it is relevant or maybe it isn’t, maybe you wish it wasn’t.  Ever heard the phrase “A new mom is a sweaty mom”?  Now you have.  Since becoming a mom it’s been a sweat fest for me.  A non-stop sweat fest.  Anyways, my main point in this post is not to share with you my rockstars sweating abilities, its not, I promise.  It’s the fact that so many of the things my kids have me doing on a day to day basis makes me sweat, physically and mentally.  So, maybe it is about sweating??? I’m not sure now.  It wasn’t how I actually pictured this post playing out but here we are anyways…

Don’t sweat the small stuff, right?  Sure, I can do that. Like, I can do it.  I will sweat the small stuff all day long.  For so many shopping trips now I have tried to have an I just don’t give a damn attitude when it comes to what my kids are or aren’t doing.  Judge and stare me down if you must because you probably are going to either way.  But I do care.  Because when my child is throwing a epic tantrum in Aisle 3 because we aren’t in Aisle 15 {I have zero idea what any of these aisles actually contain in any particular store} I might look cool as a cucumber but you can bet I have a bead of sweat starting its way down my back.  Just the other day I took the kids to Old Navy.  I wanted to look at ONE thing.  One.Thing.  Immediately upon entering the store, I’m talking we’ve been in here for maybe 30 seconds, both of my girls are up on a display shelf.  An employee began asking if I needed any help to which I responded by yelling at my kids to get off of there.  He walked away.  Also, lets speak hypothetically for one moment that one of my kids might have ripped an arm off a pair of sunglasses while the other took her shoes off and scaled her way up a ladder.  I not so quickly found the one thing I was looking for, because you know I’m hypothetically hiding broken sunglasses and keeping another child from achieving permanent brain damage.  We finally made it to the checkout register which was a process all in itself.  WHY WHY WHY must they keep so many things by the registers???????  Naturally my kids are touching all the things on all the shelves and putting them back exactly where they do not belong.  You know how I said I sweat easily right?  So back to that….my hair immediately goes up into a pony tail {I swear a rubber band evaporated out of thin air just for me}, the very thin sweater I’m wearing can be tolerated no more and it’s quickly shoved into my purse while I wrangle my two darling daughters off of every thing imaginable in that checkout area.  I had to have looked like an agitated wild beast at this point.  With two less than pleased kids…of course.  This is seriously the scene at almost every store we walk into.  I could write an entire book about running errands with these hooligans.  “Stop touching that.”  “Get back over here.”  “If you don’t listen one more time….you know what I don’t even know what’s going to happen if you don’t listen one more time.  Lets not find out shall we?” 30-best-funny-parenting-quotes-my-quiet-spot-images-on-pinterest-funny-advice-for-new-moms

Ok, so there we have covered one recent and prime example of the way my kids physically make me sweat.  My mental sweat game is on point.  It’s amazing how two relatively small people can make you feel 100% crazy.  If you don’t have kids yet imagine this:  You just spent a good 20 minutes making breakfast, a nice not necessarily regular breakfast because you had extra time today and wanted something for yourself, more than say a bowl of cereal.  Anyways, this nice breakfast is served.  Everyone begins eating peacefully and you think “wow this is going to be an excellent day!”  WRONG.  The 2 year old immediately takes that plate and its on the floor.  Not the plate by the way, just the food. Oh, and she would like “more.”  The 4 year old is crying and has been for a minute now because you gave her the wrong color fork and even giving her the right color fork at this point can’t fix that travesty.  Thankfully the dog can eat the food off the floor but you still have to clean it.  Also, let me just throw this out there.  Crayons.  Crayons EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING.  For the 25th time today you have to color On.The.Paper.  Let’s all just be grateful crayons aren’t sticky or wet.

So now that you’ve read two full paragraphs of me complaining about my kids you are probably thinking….”wow, this lady needs to get a grip and love her kids a little, they are just kids after all.”  Totally.  When I’m not sweating in aisle 6 of Target or cleaning up the 88th mess of the day I’m 100% loving on my kids.  Even with the sweat and the messes I love those kids so deeply because I wouldn’t be a sweaty mess without them right?!  I’m not sure what the take away is from this.  Maybe that if you are as good at sweating as me (and, oh,  I bet you are or can be) you’ll do just fine as a parent too even when it feels like you have “The ‘not’ hot mess express” written acrosss your forehead in public.  Parenting is a lot of things, and apparently for me its sweaty and its a lot of love!