Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Back to Work Reality

I think that for me, the hardest part of being a mom is having to leave my kids at daycare everyday. I keep saying this, I know, but it's true. Even on the day that I was at the hospital ready to have Oliver, the thing that came to mind was, I have four months off then I have to go back to work. It's not enough time.

I actually knew I would feel this way, and the feeling kind of went away as I spent time with my kids. Some days though, it was overwhelming and I found myself in tears while nursing Oliver, or watching my kids sleep, getting up in the morning to make breakfast for Elliot. I felt this way because I knew that once back at work, these things would be harder to do, but then I knew I would be okay because I would learn to cherish those moments even more.

While I was out on FMLA, I wanted to make sure that I stayed in touch with people at work, I felt that this would make for an easier transition as this happened before with Elliot. I didn't stay in contact with anyone and when I was abruptly sent back into the working world, I came crashing down. This time I would prepare myself and visited work two or three times and called frequently just to make sure that everything was okay while I was out. I know I didn't have to really do this, it was unnecessary (work wise) but very necessary for me.

As the weeks went by, and you know how fast that goes, I kept feeling more and more overwhelmed and up to the two weeks before my FMLA ended, I cried everyday. I cried the two weeks after returning to work. It has been a really hard transition and you would think that this being my second time going through this would make things easier but it was almost worse. All those feelings of guilt that I fought so hard not to feel with Elliot came rushing back as if they were inside of me just waiting for the perfect moment, as I knew exactly what they were.

I'm three weeks in and that although I feel better, I'm still so overwhelmed. I came back to so many changes at work, other family matters, the dynamic at home has drastically changed (of course) and I knew it would, but I feel that I'm always trying to catch up and I can't. It's always like a scene from Home Alone, you know, when they sleep in and have to get ready before the plane leaves. Shower, get ready, make breakfast for Jack and I, get diaper bag, pump, coffees, bottles, wake kids up, get Oliver ready, get Elliot ready, Elliot is hungry, make pancakes, do Elliot's hair, he doesn't want his hair done, run after him to run wet hands over hair so that he doesn't leave looking like Beetlejuice, get out the door later than you should have, practically drive by daycare and drop them off while your foot is on the gas pedal, you get the drill. Rinse, repeat the next day. And the next. And the next. The weekend comes and it's all about trying to catch up on house work, laundry, errands, all while trying to get quality time in with our kids. Whew, it's exhausting, and so overwhelming. Anxiety kicks in. I'm sure a routine will kick in, and Jack and I do get a good laugh out of it sometimes when we are carpooling to work.

At this point, you're probably thinking that I'm whining, bitching, whatever you want to call it. I assure you I am not. It's my life now. I know that you're going to say, you CHOSE this. Yes, I did. I can promise you I wouldn't change it for the world, I'm just being real and giving you a glimpse of that reality. Also, because I won't lie, it feels so good to leave these words right here. Where one day I'll come back and read and think what the hell was I thinking? Things weren't as bad as I thought they were! Maybe even laugh. Trust me I get it, my kids are healthy and happy and I'm so lucky to be their mama, I have an amazing husband, a wonderful and supportive family (I really have no clue what I would do without them) why am I writing this then? I know I'm not the only one feeling this way. It feels good to know that, but then it doesn't. I hate that fact that there are other moms feeling this way, but I know that reading other's stories helps. I know it helps me. This is my struggle as a working mom being away from my kids eight or nine hours a day, but a struggle that I wouldn't change. I am providing for my family the best I can, I am teaching my kids that independence is so important, and I have a job that allows me to do all of that, that also makes me make the hours at work count.

My coping mechanisms are to think about those things and also to talk about my feelings. If I'm overwhelmed I don't hide it, one because I can't (every emotion shows on my face), and two because I know it's not healthy. I know these feelings will probably never go away but learning to deal with them is important. I didn't write this to make you feel sorry for me, to pity me. It's my struggle and I want to share my story. Not nearly as bad as what others go through but to me, it's still valid. We go through different things at different levels, and no matter what, they're all valid. Life is so good and beautiful and we can do this mamas!

How do you deal?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Shop Love

I love following shops on Instagram because they offer really great quality products made from good materials. Plus they are unique and so cute! I am talking about three shops today that I love and have loved for a while. I hope you love their products as much as I do.

Little Adi + Co.- Offers the cutest clothes for your littles at really good quality. I got this baby gown and hat for Oliver before he was born that I actually won on Instagram and I fell in love! The materials are so soft and this saying is so true. :)

Fact + Fiction Toys makes the sweetest little wooden toys and teethers. The colors are beautiful and all the toys are organic which is awesome because I don't worry about any chemicals going in Oliver's mouth. These would be such cool gifts for a new mama!

Ulubulu I have been using this brand since Elliot was baby. He had a pacifier clip that I recently found in his old diaper bag and it's such a cute memory to keep. Oliver received products from this shop and we love them so much! The teethers are so cute and I love the bibs as they can be cleaned easily and are super convenient.

Also, can Mondays feel like Fridays please? Thanks. ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Elliot's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Elliot's birthday last month and it was so much fun! I had asked him what kind of party he wanted and he didn't hesitate to say Ninja Turtles. I was out on maternity leave, and that gave me a bit more time to order what I needed and to scour the stores for Ninja Turtles stuff.

We got him a cake and balloons the night before and he loved waking up to that! I can't believe my boy is getting so big.

I ordered a jumping balloon because I knew that would give the kids entertainment and also because I know Elliot loves them. Getting the kids tired was just a plus for the kids' mamas. :)

We had pizza and I made two kinds of salads and had juices for the kids, water, sodas and beer for the adults. I know, it's a kids party, but it's never too early or too inappropriate for an adult beverage right? We had a full house of family and friends and Elliot was so happy. That's really all that mattered! Oliver spent the day sleeping and woke up by the end of the party, and I don't have any pictures of him! 

I bought the banner, favor tags and invitations from Haley Madison Design Studio on Etsy. It's so much easier to get everything this way and not have to worry about everything coming from different places.

I think my favorite thing about his party was the cake! It was so delicious and exactly what I wanted, when I showed Elliot a picture I found on Pinterest of this cake he was so excited. One of my sweet friends pretty much took care of the ordering and making sure it was what I wanted for this party. I also opted for candy bags instead of favors. So much easier and it's a tradition for us since I was a kid, I remember looking forward to those. I filled them with Mexican candy (my favorite) from a local candy store. Super inexpensive and so good! I did include some TMNT tattoos. I purchased the bags from Amazon at a great price.

The kids played pin the pizza slice on Mikey and it was hilarious. The birthday boy ended up winning a dollar and has been saving it ever since, it's the cutest thing.

For more entertainment, I bought foam swords, nun chucks and TMNT masks and put them in a basket outside by the jumping balloon. They were a hit! Literally. :)

 When I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says a zombie, or a doctor. Both great careers. ;) 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Skin Care Regimen

It has been a tough week, or weeks to say the least. With this transition back to work, my skin has been going through hell. As soon as I get stressed out, I break out. I'm sure that happens to a lot of you though. I've never been one to have completely clear skin. I've struggled with this since my late teens till now and it has been such a pain to try to get it under control. I have combination/oily skin which means I definitely get oily on my T-zone.

I have tried many things from antibiotic pills, regular facials, microdermabrasions and while those work for a while, my skin usually ends up breaking out again. It's not terrible, but it took me forever to find a good routine to keep everything under control. One of the things I loved about being pregnant with both kids, was that my skin was amazing! It's never been better than during that time. Before then and even with the occasional breakout during pregnancy, I knew I needed to find something to help me out. Something that is affordable (we all know facials can get expensive) and easy to do at home.

These products are what have been working on me for a few months now, and I can say that when I don't do this every morning and night, my skin isn't the same. It's been better than ever before! I did a lot of research on what would work for me with my type of skin and these are great and really affordable.

I first saw the Solo Mio from a beauty vlogger and immediately ordered it. I'm never going back to any other type of brush (or my hands). This is rechargeable so you don't ever have to worry about batteries. My skin feels so soft and so clean after using this. At night, I take off my makeup with these micellar wipes, they are the best! After that I wash my face with the Solo Mio and the Clean & Clear face wash. The wipes are not enough trust me! After washing my face, I still see some makeup on the brush! After I rinse (and wipe off the raccoon eyes) I get a couple of drops of jojoba oil to moisturize my face. You would think that adding oil to an already oily T-zone would be worse but it's actually really good for the skin. The better moisturized oily skin is, the less oil it produces as it balances the oils on your face. I use almond oil every now and then to change it up. I also use this oil to put on my lashes and it really makes a big difference! It keeps them healthy. 

I follow the same routine every morning with the exception of the oil. I use a daytime moisturizer and this Neutrogena one is really good. It's for combination skin and works great for me. Like I said, this routine has worked really great for my skin and it so easy to keep up with! It's also great for busy mamas! Plus these are really affordable products. I am thinking about trying a different face wash like this one once I run out of my current one. 

Which products do you love? I would love some suggestions! Especially if you have combination/oily skin! :)
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