Sometimes Strength Requires a Break

“They” have a lot to say about moms being strong: “A Real Mom: Emotional, yet the rock. Tired, but keeps going. Worried, but full of hope. Impatient, yet patient. Overwhelmed, but never quits. Amazing, even though doubted. Wonderful, even in the chaos. Life changer, every single day.” -Rachel Martin “Here’s to strong women. May we know them May we be them. May we raise them.” -Unknown “Even when a Mother’s soul is tired, she finds strength for her family.” -Life Quote Journal “Being a mother means being strong, even though you know you’re weak. Giving them love, even when you want to be comforted. Most of all placing their needs before your wants.” – The Mom Life Uncensored “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” -Barbara Kingsolver “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” -Dorothy Canfield Fisher Sometimes what “they say” makes me feel like I have to be strong ALL the time or that I have to be perfect… and when I’m not it makes me feel bad, or like I’m not enough. I feel like I need to push through the pain, the tiredness, the emotion. This week has been hard. All three of my children are sick. I am also sick and I have vertigo. The vertigo has caused horrible dizziness and nausea to the point where I could hardly move. It was so severe I realized I couldn’t take care of my children. I needed to ask for help. And I did. And you know what? I found myself feeling BAD about it. I found myself feeling like I was failing. But, here is the truth: We don’t have to be strong all the time. We don’t have to be perfect. We teach even in the moments when we lack strength. We show our children that even we have moments of weakness. Even we get tired. Even we get sick. Even we make mistakes. We teach that these moments are to be expected and that it is okay. We teach in the way we handle these moments, in the ways we take care of ourselves. The truth: It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes you have to listen to your body. As parents, it is typical for us to try to push through mentally or physically exhausting times. Even though we want to push through, it is so important to listen to our bodies and take some time for ourselves. The truth: It’s okay to “take five.” In fact, taking time to care for ourselves only makes us better and stronger in the end. Just like you must first put on your oxygen mask before you can help someone else, you have to take care of yourself to be effective. I have to remind myself, “mind over matter” as I’m running through the day completing each task, all the while forgetting to take care of myself. So, if you have the opportunity to take time for yourself, always do it. Ask for help. Take turns with your spouse or partner, or a friend so that you are able to have a little me-time… even if it is simply a short trip to Target. And, never feel bad when you need a break, when you are struggling. Well, that’s my rant for the day. Be healthy! And you know what? If we are even half—a quarter even—of what the above quotes state, then we are nothing short of amazing!   To learn more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren You may also enjoy: How Becoming a Mom of Three Has Changed Me

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How Becoming a Mom of Three Has Changed Me


I have become a daily coffee drinker. I know… I am sure you are wondering, What took you so long? But, it took having three kids. Now, I MUST have a cup of coffee to get through the day.


I have learned that being “stress paralyzed” is in fact a real thing. When you have three children with a need at the same time, but you don’t have three arms—I freeze and wonder, How will I get this done? It is impossible. But—this is key—I have also learned, it ALWAYS comes together in the end.


I hate the acne! I can’t believe how much your skin and body changes—even my foot size changed. My wardrobe, even if it’s the right size, doesn’t look or fit right anymore. At least this one gives me an excuse to do some shopping!


I can do some really cool things: I can paint my toe nails in the car… after looking down and realizing these toes cannot go out in public…


I have learned how to multi-task—and I mean really multi-task. I can make dinner, make a grocery list, change a diaper, sing a song to my toddler, clean the kitchen, make a bottle, sanitize said bottles, and entertain the baby all at the same time. This is true talent!


I have had to accept that nothing will ever be done on time, and that this is OK! I bought supplies to make “Big Bro” and “Big Sis” shirts for the hospital. Yup, they are still sitting in the bag. I’ll blame it on the baby coming three weeks early…


I’ve learned third child problems aren’t really big problems. My third child stays in her onsies and sleepers most days. I was excited when I had a girl and I could get more use out of my first child’s dresses…nope. I think she has maybe worn three. We are already moving into twelve months size! I’m pretty sure my first daughter lived in dresses. And, tummy time— What’s that? Our third child has reflux. When she goes on her tummy, she spits up like crazy, but also, finding time for tummy time when constantly running after two other children is hard! So far, she has had no issues with her development even so. I have learned doing the best I can IS enough.


I’m becoming more and more like MacGyver, learning to improvise to make my kids happy in any given situation. And, a great problem solver too! One time when going out with the baby in tow I ended up in the bathroom covered in spit up. They had the air-blades hand dryer which you push your hands in. I stuck my dress in there to dry. Someone walking in at that moment may have questioned my sanity, but I was proud of myself!


I have learned the importance of having a chore chart, because I cannot do it all and every little bit helps.


I have learned I have to remind myself to lock—or even to close—the bathroom door when I am using it with guests over… because I am so used to no privacy.


I now accept that I can, AND WILL, make mistakes. It is impossible not to make mistakes when you have so much going on at once, but this doesn’t make me a bad parent… not even on my worst days.


But the most important one… They say the heart doesn’t divide as you have more children, that it just grows with each one. I think this is quite true. My heart didn’t divvy up its love between my three children. It grew so that each child has an equal HUGE amount of love. When I had three, I found the amount of love you can feel in your heart at one time is life changing. It’s a feeling one can never forget. And I will take all these changes again and again to feel it. To learn more about me and my blog, check out: About Lauren You may also enjoy: Baby Elizabeth’s Birth Story Photo credit: Lindsey Martin Photography

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Or What?

I’m putting the baby to sleep and she’s finally down. I go to put her in the crib and I awkwardly try to figure out how to lay her down—how to slide my arm out without waking her. I think, Maybe if I just slide it out ever so carefully, she will stay asleep and it will be okay? Have you guys been here before? This maneuver makes me think of parenting in general. How often are we doing something ever so carefully to prevent something “big” or “bad” from happening? Maybe if I just cajole her in this gentle way she won’t cry or start a tantrum? Maybe if I avoid? Maybe if I just give in? Maybe if I just skip the play date so we can stay on schedule?… and so on. I have a big question. Or what? Or what…. even in the worst case, we and our kids are likely going to be okay. We CAN do this. I have learned I need to try not to worry so much about what I may be doing right or wrong, about what “they say” is right, or about what may happen. Instead, I need to just do what I feel is best and let it go—use my mommy intuition. So in these cases, choose something and go with it. We can take the anxiety out of the situation a bit by taking the pressure off of ourselves from time to time as we just do what works… and by realizing a perfect result isn’t a requirement. I’ve found accepting that we aren’t perfect and that we don’t need to be can go a long way. There are going to be a lot of moments as parents where we feel we have dodged the bullet. Whew… I moved my arm and she’s still asleep! Thank goodness! But there will also be times where it doesn’t work. Ohhh, he woke up! Or, Oh dear! She had a tantrum in the middle of the store… and you know what? That is okay too! So, hang in there mom, dad, parents! You are doing a great job… no matter the outcome!   To learn more about my blog, check out: About Lauren If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: Moments

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“They say” live in the moment. Well… this can be hard when that moment is challenging… when that moment is difficult.  My day is made up of moments—a bunch of moments pieced together. Some moments are so happy that I may burst. In other moments, I have so much anger—even rage—that I don’t know how to hold it together… and sometimes I don’t. There are times I find myself in a fit because my toddler woke up the sleeping infant. I was finally having somewhat of a break as the baby was peacefully sleeping, until my toddler poked her in the nose. Then there are the times when they test my limits beyond belief and do something like draw a mural on the wall or hurt their sibling. Maybe they look us right in the eye, and talk back with a serious attitude when we ask them to complete a simple task. The fury that rises up inside of me in moments like these is like a volcano ready to explode. Then there are those times which I want to keep in my heart forever, like when my son snuggles up to me and puts his little hand gently on my neck. There are times when my heart is so full of love it may explode, like when we watch them share a toy with another child for the first time. Or, when they say something which surprises us. I recall there was a time when I was crying because I had reached my wit’s end… yet again. My toddler looked at me and said, “Don’t cry Mommy. It will be okay.” Or, the times when our children repeat something we have been trying to teach them, but weren’t sure until that moment that they took it to heart. Maybe they do something to demonstrate a particular value which is very important to us, like when we watch them reach out to another child who is playing alone. Sometimes these extremes—the happy and angry moments—are immediately following each other. Some days I wonder, Is this what it means to have multiple personalities? For instance, one moment my oldest is crying out from her room as soon as I had fallen asleep myself. I jolt out of bed angry because of my lack of sleep. The next moment, I tell her to think of something that makes her happy. She tells me she is happy when she plays with her brother. Then, my heart melts. In the end, we have to remember all of these times are just… moments. They will pass. The bad moments will soon be gone. The good moments are fleeting too. So for now, I will try to wait for the bad moments to pass and hold onto the good ones for as long as I can. Because—as I keep being told—soon these babies will grow up and all the good, amazing, and bad moments will be a thing of the past. Then, I bet I will miss them all.   You may also enjoy Moms Have Tantrums Too! or What Does It Mean to Be a Parent? To learn more check out: About Lauren

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The Love Will Come Through

There are days when I get so frustrated. The baby only wants to be held, but even when held she won’t calm down. She pulls my hair and claws at my face and neck. It hurts. I try and try, but nothing works. I start to get so frustrated. I lose my patience… and then she falls asleep. She sleeps so calmly in my arms. I look down at her and I feel so bad for the anger and frustration I felt. As I look at her, I feel so guilty that I take the moments I have with her for granted. I am reminded how fast she is growing, how before I blink she will no longer be a baby. And here I am getting angry and frustrated instead of enjoying these fleeting moments. I am so scared that I will look back and feel like I didn’t enjoy this stage enough… that I was too busy. Then I cry. Has anyone else felt this way? I feel like we all do at times. But I realized, the more time I spend crying or feeling guilty over it, the more good moments I am missing. So, I will pick myself back up, remind myself that it is okay to feel this way at times, that no one is perfect. Then I will try to enjoy the next moment that comes along instead of beating myself up. The reality of it is, all this guilt, frustration, and worry stems from love. We wouldn’t be feeling these things if we didn’t care, if we didn’t love these babies more than we even loved ourselves. We have to trust that that love will come through. And I believe, love is the single most important thing we can give our children. So don’t feel bad. Don’t feel guilt. I think even in these hard moments, we are winning.

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What Does It Mean to Be a Parent?

Sometimes I find myself wondering…

Here are some answers I come up with. It means…

We are strong, but not too strong. We show our kids we all go through difficult times and that we can get through them. At the same time, that doesn’t mean we cannot show emotion as we get there. We are brave, but not too brave. We show our kids we can face the world and its challenges with bravery, but also show them that it’s okay to waver sometimes. We show them that wavering doesn’t make us weak. We teach them patience. We show them we can bite our tongues when we are furious—in the big things and the small (like when tying a shoe for the 100th time). But, we show them we can learn from the times we aren’t patient too. We are disciplinarians. We discipline our children, but find a way to show love at the same time. All in all, I think being a parent means balance. Being a parent doesn’t mean perfection. It means being the best role models we can be, but when we aren’t we find ways to teach. I think these lessons will be what stick with our children the longest. So, we are a balance. To me, it seems like something in the middle is great—and I like that! So, let’s stop giving ourselves a hard time thinking we aren’t good or perfect enough. Let’s be mediocre and be okay with it!

“They say” being a parent is the hardest job in the world. I agree. So I will try not to add perfection as a requirement.

  To learn a little more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren You may also enjoy: You Know You’re the Parent of a Toddler When…

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