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Bullet Journal Organization

My June Bullet Journal

June 1, 2019

I’ve been itching to get back to the “Bujo Life”, as I like to call it, but something was stopping me. Was I going to be able to be as detailed as before? Would it really help with my anxiety anymore? Was I even going to like it? All questions I still don’t know the answer too, honestly. However, I knew that I missed it. Journaling looks a little different for me now, but hey, so does life!IMG_9283 2

I wanted to go with a very simple look for my pages this month, mostly because I didn’t want to set myself up to fail. I knew I wanted something I could keep up with during this crazy season of life but would still give me the visual satisfaction that comes with a bullet journal! So, this month, I focused on STICKERS! Stickers are an amazing tool to help you create a clean and fun look without the pressure coming up with my own doodles. My favorite stickers come from The Happy Planner. They have 186 themed sticker books/packs for any planner or journal you want to create! I use them everyday in my Happy Planner but I’ve found that most of them are PERFECT for creating my bullet journal spreads.

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My top 5 Bullet Journal sticker books from the happy planner are:

  1. Journaling Doodles– I love this pack! It is full of black and white pre drawn doodles that you can color anyway you want! I’ve use Flair Pens, Inkjoy pens, colored pencils, and even watercolor paints. I would definitely recommend these for those who feel they can’t “doodle”.
  2. Journaling– This pack is similar to the doodles pack, it just has bonus stickers. Its got boxes and stripes of patters that look a little like Washi Tape. I love how many options this pack has! These are also in black and white so you can color them however you’d like!
  3. Colorful Boxes– These are perfect for monthly/weekly layouts! I love layering the boxes with different colors. These help me create looks that would take forever to do with markers or watercolors. They come in a rainbow of colors, as well as black, white, gold and silver! Perfect for any month or theme you’d like to accomplish.
  4. Botanicals– This is by far one of my most used packs! I’m a sucker for a good floral, and this pack comes with all different looks of flower. My favorite are the gold foil laid flowers. It also has watercolor looking ones, as well as black and while. The flowers are in different sizes and bundles to fit all your pages.
  5. Farmhouse– THIS. PACK. WOW. If you want your pages to have Joanna Gains summery light vibes, this is your pack. Its got tons of floral and greenery options with lots of rose gold foil as well. Pastel banners, and foil quotes help create dainty and beautiful pages.

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I had to give myself more grace with these pages than I have in the past. I had to do 2 or 3 redos of pages and messed up on the verrrrrry bottom of this one^^. My pages weren’t completely perfect or exactly how I envisioned them being, but that isn’t the most important part. The important thing is that these pages are a version of self care; each one designed to help me take an objective look at my life and adjust to make things better. The point of the pages is to help me gain perspective and control over my habits. I have two little lives and a sweet husband who deserve my best self!

 

 

If you’re thinking of starting a bullet journal, DO IT! It doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect.  It needs to be what you need it to be! You don’t have to post of social media or even share with anyone that you’re doing it, its all about what you need! If you need help getting started, you can check out my post about starting a bullet journal or creating goals. You got this!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy Teacher Tales

So, I’m not going back to work.

May 28, 2019

My whole life, I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher. Except for a brief delusional period in the 10th grade where I thought I wanted to be on SWAT, there was no other option for me. It was in my blood. It was something I knew my soul was called to do. It was my vocation. I was BORN to mold the minds of America’s future.

My first few years teaching, I poured everything I had into my kids and classroom. I came in early, stayed until dark, and spent my entire weekend in my classroom. I put every kid on an individualized plan, changed my door decorations every month, and created the cutest lessons you ever did see. My heart was so insanely full. My students were the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing I thought about before I feel asleep. I was constantly thinking of ways to teach a lesson or break through to a tough student. School was my whole life and I loved every second of it. The exhaustion of a long day and the sheer joy of a student who finally got the lesson was everything I needed.

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Even when I got pregnant, my feelings toward school didn’t change. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into my maternity sub plans to make sure my kiddos didn’t miss a beat.  I made plans to come back and hit the ground running to get those kids where they needed to be. All I could think about was getting back to the world I’d given my whole heart to.

Then, my baby was born. I felt every inch of my heart shift when that little girl was placed on my chest. Being home on maternity leave gave me so much fulfillment. Although it was terrifying, I thrived learning about my baby, giving her everything she needed, and being her mom. It filled my world like I never thought anything could. All of a sudden, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything but being her mom.

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Going back to school wrecked me. Leaving her everyday was unbearable. Even though we adore her daycare, I would cry on my way to school knowing someone else got to love on her that day.

School was no longer my entire life. I got to school with the kids, left with the kids, and never came on the weekends. While I still worked my keister off for each of my students, my daughter was my number one priority. The guilt began to set in when I felt like I wasn’t giving my all to school or motherhood. My heart was torn by the two things that gave me my purpose in life. On the weekends, I couldn’t imagine going back to work and leaving my baby. At work, I couldn’t imagine leaving the classroom to be a mom full time. I was getting the feeling that something was going to have to give. Was I really being called to leave the classroom and stay home?

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The clarity came when I learned Daphne Grace was coming into the world. I realized that the pull to be a mom was something I couldn’t ignore anymore. I will still be a teacher, just not in the way I’d always been. I will still mold minds, just the ones I created. My vocation has shifted and I am so at peace with what that means for my life. I  fall asleep thinking of all the activities I will do with my girls. I now dream of teaching my own kids to read, create, and explore the world around them. The thought of teaching my girls brings me a kind of joy I’d never experienced. I’ve begun to see all the possibilities the vocation of  “Stay at Home Mom” has to offer.  To be honest, I was afraid of that title and a loss of identity. Something I’d feared became something I couldn’t wait to dive in to.

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I’m learning to accept and love all the changes that motherhood brings. Life changes so quickly and sometimes, and often times something you thought you were supposed to do forever gets overshadowed by something bigger than yourself. Teaching had been everything I’d ever wanted. I know, one day, I’ll be going back to the classroom. I love it too much to say a forever goodbye, but my little ones need everything I can give them. Being a mom  means making sacrifices, I knew that. However, I wasn’t ready for how much beauty those sacrifices can cultivate. Will and I both had incredible stay at home moms, and I can’t wait to follow in their footsteps.

**Now accepting all prayers and stay at home mom advice.

 

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

21 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 21 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Baby Bok Choy, Small Baseball Hat, and Pomegranate

Total weight gain: Back to beginning of pregnancy weight. Feeling super swollen, so I’m feeling way larger.

Stretch marks? No new ones

Baby Development: Daphne Grace is finishing up her fingerprints this week! Her skin is wrinkly and see-through as she prepares for her fat build up. She continues to practice her breathing by swallowing her amniotic fluid. Her senses are developing rapidly! She has a fully formed inner ear, giving her balance, and her nerves are giving her a strong sense of touch. Her eyes are fully formed, but they do not have their pigment yet. Any guesses on eye color? She is a perfect tiny human.

Movement:  DG turned into hulk baby over night! Her movements are much more noticeable and she makes me super nauseous when she rolls or flips over.
Food cravings: Salads this week! I can’t get enough romaine and ranch.

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back! Every time I end up asleep on my back, I wake up with a headache in the middle of the night. Apparently, it has to do with blood flow to and from the baby.

Symptoms: EMOTIONS. I’m crying one minute, laughing the next, or cranky, or elated. Poor Will has had to deal with quite a few emotional spells from me this week.

Belly Button in or out? So out there, it isn’t even funny.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Mood? all of them.

Best Moment this Week: SEEING WINNIE GRADUATE FROM PHYSICAL THERAPY! I’m so proud I could burst. It was also my last week of school. Although it had some sad moments, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time with Winnie and Daphne while they’re little. My parents also came into town to help me pack up my classroom! I love having them here and bonding with WJ.

Winifred Update: Winnie turned 9 months this week! This chick is determined. When she wants something, she will find a way to get there. She pulled up for the first time by herself and was SO proud of herself. When she graduated therapy, her PT said she was right where she needed to be for a 9 month old. I’m not gonna lie, those were beautiful words for a mama to here.

Looking forward to: Being free! I can’t wait to spend time with my parents and WJ!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

20 Weeks with Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 20 weeks! HALFWAY WHOOOO HOOOOO!
Baby is the size of a:  Banana, Paper Airplane

Total weight gain: lost half a pound

Stretch marks? No new ones! Itchy belly after a shower.

Baby Development: We had Daphne Grace’s 20-week anatomy scan this week! She was an absolute pinball! It took the sonographer almost an hour to get all of her measurements because of how much she was moving. Everything is looking good and she weighs about 14 oz.! All of her bones are strong and her anatomy is as it should be. Doc said the constant movement is a good sign of a healthy placenta! She is measuring about a week ahead (Winnie did too), so we’ll see how that goes. Daphne Grace is beginning to practice her breathing on the amniotic fluid and starting to produce meconium (the first poop)! She is also sprouting teeth buds underneath her gums. Her lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows are almost all there! We can’t wait to kiss her face!

Movement:  Right now, she is in a breech position, which is pretty normal. Lucky for me, her feet are using my bladder as a trampoline! The sonographer said, “Oh poor mama, she’s all up in that bladder!” Boy, do I feel it. However, I’m so grateful for the movement.
Food cravings: Ramen Noodles haha can’t get enough of that carby goodness.

Miss Anything? I miss not having to pee every 5 minutes!!!

Symptoms: I’m nesting BIG TIME. This weekend, I cleaned the house from top to bottom and began organizing all the clutter from Winnie’s room.

Belly Button in or out? OUT! Double belly button lookin gooooooood.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? I wish there was a simpler answer to this question.

Best Moment this Week: Seeing Daphne Grace on the sonogram. It brings my heart so much comfort. She already has so much of her own personality; I cannot wait to see who she becomes. She might give Winnie J a run for her money. Field day was also a blast with my kiddos!

Winifred Update: Winnie J got to swim in her kid pool for the first time this weekend! She THRIVES in the water and had the time of her life. She is crawling (pulling herself) everywhere and she discovered the DVD collection this week! Her babbling has become more consistent and she looks you in the eye when she talks, which is hilarious and adorable.

Looking forward to: The last week of school! I can’t wait to soak in all the last moments with my babes.  Such a bittersweet week.

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

19 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 26, 2019

How far along? 19 weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Mango, Old Fashioned Game Boy, Hedgehog

Total weight gain: 1 lb.! Whoop whoop!

Stretch marks? No new ones! But my belly is getting itchy.

Baby Development: Daphne Grace is developing her waxy coating, called vernix, to protect her skin from the amniotic fluid. She is starting to grow hair on her head and her brain is making connections to her muscles!

Movement:  Her movement is becoming way stronger, especially in my lower abdomen! She is the most active at night. I love this period of pregnancy. Feeling baby moves brings so much comfort, but it isn’t strong enough to send lightening down my spine yet.
Food cravings: I’ve eaten sonic twice this week….not my proudest moment but its DELICIOUS so I have no regrets. Pretty sure that is to blame for the weight gain.

Miss Anything? I really miss sleeping on my belly this week. I’ve been able to squeeze by the last few weeks, but DG has other plans for our sleeping position.

Symptoms: Way more energy this week! Which is super helpful, because the insomnia is kicking in. I can fall asleep fine but most nights, Winnie and I get up at the same time to eat. If I get up in the middle of the night, it takes me about 2 hours to fall back asleep. Not ideal but we’re getting by. My appetite has also ramped up big time! I cannot eat enough. Will is doing a great job of filling our house with nutrient dense snacks for me.

Belly Button in or out? OUT! I have a weird double belly button now. One under the skin, and one over the skin. If anyone has experienced this please help me out, should I be worried??
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Grateful. I’ve cried countless times this week because I’ve felt so grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.

Best Moment this Week: I GOT A NEW MOM CAR!! Best mother’s day gift I could have ever asked for. I’m really upset to be getting rid of Ginger (my good old 2009 Corolla), but she couldn’t fit two car seats in her back seat. Pearl (my 2018 Ford Explorer), will be a great addition to out family. My first mother’s day was also so relaxing and full of WJ snuggles!

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Winifred Update: She started this cool new thing where she stopped sleeping through the night. She wakes up between 12-2 every night to drink a bottle, and then continues to have a rave in her crib for the next hour. Super fun. She is very hard to stay mad at though, because when she wakes up, she is the happiest/cuddliest baby in the whole wide world. WE ARE ALSO CHEWING!! Winnie had a very hard time with her gag reflex and needed to gain weight so we went right to purees instead of baby led weaning, like we’d hoped. She really struggles to get solid food down. So, that is what we are working on right now!

Looking forward to: Our sonogram on Monday to see Little Miss Daphne Grace!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

18 Weeks With Daphne Grace

May 13, 2019

How far along? 18 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Bell Pepper

 

Total weight gain: Still 0

Stretch marks? Nope.

Baby Development: Daphne’s nerves are growing their protective covering this week! Her blood vessels are visible through her skin and she has all her reproductive organs!

Best moment this week: Hearing Daphne Grace’s heartbeat! She has a strong little ticker. This week was a whirlwind! I couldn’t even tell you what we had for dinner last night.

Movement:  Daphne Grace is moving like crazy! I never remember Winnie J moving like this.
Food cravings: I’m super proud of myself! This week was craving free and I ate super clean.

Miss Anything? Wine was hard to resist this week.

 

Symptoms: I felt SO good this week! No pain or headaches! I think the second trimester energy has hit and I could not be more grateful!

Belly Button in or out? OUT!
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Focused. Trying to prep for the end of the school year!

Winifred Update: I swear I have the most fun kid in the world. When we are home, she has very little interest in her toys! All she wants to do is whatever Will and I are doing. She is a great helper with the laundry. She’ll take clothes out of the bin and hand them to us to fold. She loves to ride the bin back and forth to the laundry room! Her favorite “toys” are remotes, cups, and car keys! She has developed this fake “laugh” taught to her by her lovely father and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. Winnie J enjoys her outside time more than anything! She got super sick this weekend. It was heartbreaking to see her so miserable but I didn’t hate all the snuggles. STILL WAITING FOR TEETH.

 

 

Looking forward to: Car Shopping! This momma needs a new car if I’m gonna be hauling around 2 tiny humans!

Uncategorized

If My Anxiety Won

May 5, 2019

Looking back, I think I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. It evolved or manifested itself in different ways, but it was always there.  In elementary school, I just thought I was “over-thinking” or being “too uptight” about what people thought of me. In Jr. High and High School I thought I was way too focused on food and counting calories. In my junior/senior year of college, I realized what true anxiety was and it began to take it’s toll. I was planning a wedding, student teaching full time, taking 12 hours, on the Executive Board of my sorority, leading a trip to Haiti, trying to find a job, and struggling big time with my eating habits. I was barely sleeping, becoming manic at night, I could barely eat anything, and was incredibly irritable with anyone around me.

Over the first year of our marriage, my anxiety became a road block for Will and I. Being in a new town, starting a new job, and losing a baby brought the anxiety to new levels. I was distant, tired, and extremely insecure. Will lovingly pointed out my behaviors, noticing when I would push him away. He gently asked what I needed and let me pour out my soul to him. I began to feel more comfortable talking about the anxiousness and the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing. Through the next year, I took control of my anxiety by taking back the power it had over me. I started to recognize my triggers and build up my mental stamina to cope. Some days are better than others and I still struggle to this day with crippling anxiety, but I realized I couldn’t let it win. There was so much I had to lose if my anxiety won.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t leave the house, afraid what other people would think of me.

If my anxiety won, I would lay awake at night replaying conversations, worried I sounded like an idiot.

If my anxiety won, I would stay at school until 10PM making sure every single child had their individual plan to master absolutely everything.

If my anxiety won, I would never let Will drive anywhere out of fear that he would get in an accident.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t let Winifred explore on her own in case she gets hurt.

If my anxiety won, I would eat only celery, because “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”.

If my anxiety won, I wouldn’t have fingernails or nail beds. They would be destroyed by the coping mechanism of picking and biting.

If my anxiety won, I would never post pictures of myself because I didn’t lose the baby weight.

If my anxiety won, I would never sleep. I would be glued to Winnie’s side to make sure she was still breathing.

If my anxiety won, I would never stop cleaning in case someone randomly stopped by for a visit.

If my anxiety won, I would be calling my OB or Pediatrician for every little thing because it could be a BIG thing.

If my anxiety won, I would never eat with anyone else because the sound of them chewing would bring out the fiery beast.

If my anxiety won, I would go crazy trying to spend equal amounts of time with the ones I love so they won’t resent me.

If my anxiety won, I would be a shell of a person.

I could go on and on, but the truth is it wouldn’t do me any good. If I go too far down the rabbit hole, it becomes a super dark place. There is way too much joy in my world to go down the dark rabbit hole. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I’ll be darned if the enemy is going to steal my joy! I’m so grateful for Will and my doctors for hearing me, supporting me, and encouraging me to do what is best for my mental health.

We are stronger together. When I kept my struggles a secret, I got swallowed whole. When I shed light on the darkness,  the shadows ran away. If anxiety is something you struggle with, you are not alone. It is real and you are heard. Talk to someone, do things that make you feel stronger, don’t give up. You are loved.

I work through this daily. I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever fully be in control of and I’m ok with that. The small victories will be HUGE victories.

Mommy Mania

17 Weeks with Daphne Grace

May 2, 2019

How far along? 17 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  White Onion, Play Station Controller, Chipmunk
Total weight gain: Staying even
Maternity clothes? It’s a lifestyle.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Baby Development: Daphne’s brain is beginning to coordinate things, like regulating her heartbeat! Did you know that for the first 16 weeks, the heartbeat is not controlled by the brain?? I had no idea. She is getting a stronger umbilical chord that is delivering more and more nutrients to her. The cartilage is not turning into bone, so I need to make sure I’m getting super nutrient dense foods! The coolest part, Daphne already has eggs in her ovaries. I’m carrying part of my grandchildren!! This week was fascinating for me to learn about.

Best moment this week: Will and I had a great week for our relationship. Having Winnie and being pregnant has caused us to become AMAZING communicators. We’ve made it a point to sit together for dinner no matter what, and that has led to conversations of adoration and growth. I’ve loved evolving our relationship and making sure the other feels loved amongst the chaos.

Movement:  She moves the most when I bend over! Daphne definitely likes her space!
Food cravings: This weeks was Chinese food week! I think I had it 5 or 6 times. Poor Will, he was so gracious to indulge me.

Miss Anything? Nothing this week, really. This was a very joyful week all around.

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My little rollie pollie

Symptoms: DING DONG THE HEADACHES ARE GONE! Coffee was my answer. I’m making sure to get my water intake and eat small meals. I’ve had to switch my prenatal vitamins to the evening because they’ve been causing me to throw up for some reason, so that’s weird. Toward the end of this week, I experienced severe round ligament pain. No fun. It loosened up after some heat and stretching. This just means I need to incorporate more exercise into my day. My sleep has been incredible, which I’m super grateful for.

Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? Much better this week, just tired. JOY was the feeling for this week.

Winifred Update: Winnie J turned 8 months this week and we are having SO. MUCH. FUN. She has taught herself to wave and is now waving “HI” to literally everything. We walk her around the house and waves at everything and we’ll tell her the name of it. “Hi, oven. Hi, TV. Hi, window, etc.” She hasn’t quite mastered the “bye-bye” waving, but we’re working on it. She is CRAWLING (kind of). She pulls herself forward with her arms and engages one leg. She is so determined to move. I love watching her figure out what works. Her determination and tenacity are admirable. Winifred is the happiest baby and loves her routine! She has this crinkle nose smile that makes my heart melt. She is soaking in everything we do and I love watching her wonder about the world.

Looking forward to: Week 18! I have a shower for a dear college friend whom I can’t wait to see. We will hear Daphne Grace’s heartbeat on Monday and I’m so excited!

Mommy Mania Pregnancy

16 Weeks with LL2

April 21, 2019

How far along? 16 Weeks
Baby is the size of a:  Dill pickle
Total weight gain: Back where I started!
Maternity clothes? I forgot that dresses were a thing and I’m a happy gal now.

Stretch marks? None!

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If it has an owl on it, she wants it. She’s going Chi O for sure.

Baby Development: LL2 is getting more nutrients and hormones from the placenta now! She outweighs the placenta by about 1 or 2 oz.  She is developing her sense of sight, sound, smell and touch. Her eyes are not open yet, but she can detect light and can hear everything going on. Her ears are moving into place on the side of her head and she is starting to look more human and less alien-like.
Sleep:  I’ve been staying up way too late. I think it’s because of the time to myself I get after Winnie goes down. I regret it every morning when I wake up , yet I do it again the next night, haha. I’m getting awesome sleep when I do go to bed, though! I switched to Friends before bed, so my dreams have been much more pleasant.

^^ WJ learned how to drop food for the dogs, she is now Zeus’ favorite human. She has also fallen in love with taking everything out of a basket and surrounding herself with it.

Best moment this week: Honestly, my students were the best part of my week. I love this time of year with my kids. They know summer is coming but they still love being in school (mostly). The curriculum gets a tad lighter, leaving room for some amazing, engaging activities and lessons. Our last few weeks are full of year end testing, so we  play games and laugh to keep our brains alive! They’re starting to become second graders and I love watching them talk and interact with each other. Their behavior this week was magical and I’m so grateful for their attitudes. Also, taking Winnie J to see the easter bunny was amazing.

Movement:  Definitely some actual flipping going around in there! Makes my heart so happy!
Food cravings: I want pasta all day every day. I need to watch my carb intake to avoid a giant baby, but WOW only carbs sound good. Will has been doing an incredible job cooking the most delicious, and healthy meals. He incorporates my cravings while giving me all the nutrients baby and I need. Fruit of any kind always sounds incredible.
Miss Anything? I miss not having a head that hurts.

Symptoms: The headaches are continuing and I’m DONE. The nausea is completely gone, which is a total blessing. I can’t tell if the fatigue is from LL2, teaching 18 tiny humans, or having a 7 month old.

*Update- I reincorporated coffee into my mornings and have been headache free! Its only been 3 days, so well’ see.

Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

Mood? My mood has been much better this week. Minus the headaches, I’ve had much more energy and feel more positive. My moods still change hour by hour, but we’re getting more on the better side! I feel better when I’m productive, even when I don’t want to be.

^^First trip to see the Easter Bunny and Hobby Lobby in the same day!

Winifred Update: She is LAUGHING y’all! It’s the single most amazing sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I’ve been waiting forever to hear her laugh and it was so worth the wait. Winifred continues to babble like crazy with a lot more consonant sounds. Her favorite place to talk is in her crib as she falls asleep and in the morning when she wakes up. She had physical therapy this week and her therapist said she’s doing amazing. She is right on schedule with all her developments and she is SO close to crawling. She can pull herself forward and get on her hands and knees, but has trouble putting those pieces together. She still sits completely straight legged, but the physical therapist isn’t worried about her hips anymore! Her legs just need to be manipulated when she sits until she can do it on her own.  Winnie no longer has a head tilt from Torticollis, so we’ll just be monitoring for any changes as she starts walking and crawling. Winnie should only have 1 more appointment before she’s done with therapy!! I’m so proud of our smoosh and how hard she works. She’s not a quitter, that’s for sure! She also saw the Easter Bunny this weekend and was so unbothered. She didn’t even look at him!

Looking forward to: Winifred turns 8 months next week and we have another appointment for LL2, whose name is……..

 

Mommy Mania

The Spinning Plates

April 19, 2019

“Want a topic idea for your mom blogging- What about how motherhood is a never ending, no winning struggle. If you focus on work, you neglect your family. If you focus on family, you neglect your work. If you focus on the kids, you neglect your husband. If you focus on your husband, you neglect your kids. Focus on you, and you neglect EVERYTHING. Then, you just end up with your toddlers watching the Baby First Channel so you can at least do the dishes.” This text message came from a co-worker of mine, an incredible teacher and supermom of toddler twins. I must admit, this came at the perfect time. Her words comforted me, not because I was taking solace in her misery, but because I related to her on a spiritual level.

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The picture that accompanied the text message, shared with permission. Any mommas relate to just wanting one minute of peace!?

You’ve heard the metaphor of the man spinning plates. He has them balanced on tiny sticks, all spinning in sync. It’s his job to keep all the plates spinning at the same time, taking time on each of them. If he focuses too much time on one plate, the others will fall. If he doesn’t move fast enough, they will crash to the ground. I can picture the chaos. An image of shattering porcelain and a man frantically sweating as his efforts become futile. The spinning is unsustainable, he can’t continue forever. This is the perfect picture of parenthood. Except, the plates are on fire.

There is no break in the world of the spinning plates, the movement never ends. Sometimes there is a brief moment, usually when Winnie is asleep, when I think “We got this, we can do this”. Then, the morning comes; Winnie had a blowout in bed, she won’t eat breakfast, I forgot to move the laundry to the dryer, I didn’t get my lesson plans done, we’re late to daycare drop off, and I didn’t get to kiss my husband goodbye. Crash.

Often, spinning the plates brings guilt. Guilt from feeling as though no part of your life is getting all of you. Feeling pulled in a million different directions and not knowing which plate to tend to first. For me, a messy house means a happy kid who has spent quality time with her mom. Being late on grades or lesson plans means I’ve had date night with my husband or took time to sweep the mountains of dog hair off my floor. Engaging, colorful lessons usually means lack of sleep or laundry getting washed for the 3rd time.  It’s a day to day struggle, which plate will spin the fastest today? I either feel like I’m killin’ it, or they’re all crashing to the floor.

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The thought of adding another kid into the mix sent me into an anxiety induced frenzy. I still struggle to picture what out lives will look like.  I thought, “We’re either going to have happy kids, a clean house, or my students are going to have the best teacher ever. Not all three”. Will came in our room to find me bawling one night. He asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t fully explain my thought process. I was overwhelmed, emotional (thank you hormones), and exhausted. I expressed to him how anxious I was about becoming a family of four. “This is really difficult, babe. I never feel like I’m doing enough for anyone! I know moms do this everyday!! Since the beginning of time mothers have had way harder lives than me and have juggled WAY more children! Am I the only mom crying in bed tonight? Do all parents feel like this?” Will looked at me with love drenched eyes. “Yeah, love. Being a parent is just that difficult, but you have me and we can do this. Our kid is happy and our house is perfectly clean, we’re good. I love you so much”. I repeated those words over and over. **Thank goodness for an incredible husband who is my complete partner in everything.**

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Falling asleep, I asked God how on earth we were going to keep our plates spinning. It hit me. Not once had I come to God with my anxiety about the future. I’d been feeling like it was all on my shoulders as the Mom. I got a swell of emotions in my heart. I felt like God was saying “Give it to Me”. The weight felt lighter when I realized a have a God who wants to help me spin my plates! I’d been trying to do everything “on my own” but, just like the man, my spinning was unsustainable by myself. I began to pray nightly for God to show me which plate needed attention. I accepted that I could only do my best each day, and that was enough. If I gave more attention to my job one day, I gave more to my family the next. If I focus everything on Winnie one day, I make sure Will gets extra love the next.  And if a crashed to the floor, God has a whole cabinet full of new plates each day. My anxiety came from the enemy telling me I wasn’t good enough and my desire to give my all to every single priority. It’s still difficult for me to let go and accept that not everything would be perfect all the time. I’m learning day by day that the world continues to spin even though my plates do not. We will all be ok.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7

It’s not just parenthood. Everyone has their plates to juggle, their own priorities. Parenthood just adds a little extra pizazz to the plates. Life can get overwhelming very quickly. It is incredible that we have a God who is willing to take some plates when we get tired.