I am a mom full of problems

There are days I just KNOW it’s going to be an awful day, the second I wake up I can just feel that awful just go back to bed and start over feeling.

I’m an introvert, I love being inside my own head, I love just relaxing with myself, by myself, for myself.
I’m also a people pleaser, I give every ounce of everything I have every day to other people. At the end of the day I feel pretty empty, and hollow. I feel like there has been nothing I’ve accomplished for myself. I sneak showers in every few days after everyone else is asleep, just a few minutes in case a kid needs me, and I desperately want to spend a little bit of time snuggling up with my husband.

I feel horrible for neglecting myself, and beat myself up over the fact that when I’m exhausted and empty I have a really really tough time parenting well. Exhaustion for me is a really bad sign that shutting down is following closely behind, mindlessly browsing the internet, vegging out to the tv, or netflix. Exhausted neglectful days are usually the days that the kids make a wild mess of the house, nothing gets done, and everyone gets yelled at, a lot.

When I stop taking care of myself and making myself happy I start to get overwhelmed… FAST. I get fidgety knowing what all needs to be done but I just can’t muster up any motivation or energy to do absolutely anything. Luckily the baby still emotionally feeds off of how I’m feeling day by day, if I’m feeling lazy and snuggly, she has no problem curling up with mommy and hanging out on the couch all day.

I have to make the conscious decision to put myself first, sometimes. I just can’t, I don’t feel like it’s okay. I’m trying really hard to get to the point where I can just do what I need, go to bed early, fuel my body with the food and drink it needs. I need to run a bubble bath and be a little bit selfish every once in a while. But I just can’t get there, I stay up waiting for Tyler when I know I should be asleep. I try to keep our kids busy on the weekends so they enjoy time with their dad. I don’t know how to just take care of myself. Until it’s the only thing I can do. I find myself drained so much that basic survival for the kids and I are about as good as it gets for a couple of days.

I find myself so angry, so sad, so hurt. With the kids, with my husband. I feel like I have no control over anything in life, I want to be able to control everyones happiness and make sure they’re 100% happy 100% of the time.

I guess the first step to getting better is admitting there is a problem.
I have a problem.
I have many problems.
Sometimes I AM the problem.
Not caring for myself is a problem.
Not being an active, alert, calm parent is a problem.
Not giving my children the stability and harmony of a good routine is a problem.
Living in the past is a problem.
Not fueling our bodies with the best food possible is a problem.
Not taking time to fuel the flame of my marriage is a problem.
Letting my anxiety flood my senses is a problem.
Not owning mistakes and placing blame is a problem.

I have many many more problems that I could go on for hours typing, but today, tonight, I’m taking a stand. I’m owning everything in my mind, my heart, my life that I have fed that I have grown, I am taking a stand to fix my problems. I am going to turn our family around and not fail them as a mother, and wife anymore. I will shut down the negative, hurtful, anxious, angry thoughts that follow me around every single day.

I will start caring for myself, feeding my body the fuel it needs, the sleep it needs, the meditation and prayer it needs.
I will promise to my children to be an active alert and calm parent. I will be their calm place, I will run with them until their energy dies down and they’re ready to collapse, I will be in tune with their needs, and emotions.
I will start giving my family the stability and comfort that every single home and family should have, predictable routines, harmonious in sync bedtimes and bath times and when something comes up at work and their daddy can’t be home they will know that mommy will keep things together, mommy will keep the routines in check because when daddy gets back life will go on as a family.
I will stop living in the past, bringing up past mistakes, I can’t change anything in the past, I can only live for today, this moment. My kids are here now, that could all change so living in anything but the present is taking away precious moments, memories, from my family.
I will start making sure our family is eating a whole, balanced, junk free diet. As a family we are filling our bodies with awful food, soda, junk, cookies, candy. It’s my job as my children’s mother to help them form good relationships with food, it’s my job as the stay at home mother and wife to make sure my husband is getting the food his body needs to keep him happy and on point at work.
I will promise to start actively working on praising my husband more, hugging more, kissing more, spending more time loving my husband, laughing with my husband. We chose each other to spend the rest of our lives with, we have all the time in the world to grow together, learn things together, cherish each other.
I will stop putting all of the blame for negative things that happen in our lives on anyone but me, I choose my thoughts, I choose what is in my heart. What I think and what floods my heart is mirrored by what’s going on in our lives. I have the power to make my life wonderful, which will in turn make my familys lives wonderful.
I will openly admit every mistake that I make and apologize to the people I hurt along the way.

Today, I promise to turn my life, my family dynamic, my home around.
xoxo

This year has ended up being quite the whirlwind. The baby spent 9 days in Childrens hospital, half of those in the PICU, Tyler lost his job, Tyler found a new job, we moved 700 miles, got rid of my childhood home.

It’s just been one for the books for sure. I never would have even fathomed we would move away from small town Illinois again, let alone to Louisiana. It fits us though, well me at least. I LOVE the hot weather, and the fact that we won’t see snow, living close to the beach, the culture. I love that my kids are seeing new culture. My husband however, is not a big fan of the heat.

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He became a lineman. This was something I was in no way prepared for. Being an Army wife was simple, you knew when they were going to the field, getting deployed. This lineman wife business is no joke, at the drop of a hat he could get sent to a storm, at two in the morning on a Sunday he can be called to a down pole from a car accident. There is never any prediction as to when he can or can’t be called out. He’s working tons of hours every single week.

The kids are in bed before he is home a lot of the time, and are up after he’s gone. Weekends when he gets called out is heartbreaking for them. They miss their daddy, and have had a lot of time with him where he is home all day in between jobs.

It’s tough, more tough than I EVER imagined it would be. But we’re learning, we’re getting better at knowing not to plan too much on a weekend, we’re learning to not take the time we have together as a family for granted. I’m branching out trying to meet other lineman wives who get what we’re going through.

But I can’t help but feel like I’m being so selfish, most of the lineman wives I have met have their husbands gone for weeks, months at a time. Some of them live in a camper and travel all over the place with their husbands. I feel like I should be grateful for the fact that my husband is home at some point every single night, even if it’s just enough time to eat sleep and leave again.

I’ve spent the last two months sitting around the apartment with the kids being mopey because Ty isn’t home, or gets called out when we get settled in, instead of learning to adapt and finding ways to make our lives run as smoothly as possible in this situation.

when I just want to be mom

Lately my days have started to run together, make beds, breakfast, play, clean, lunch, naps, dinner, baths, bed, repeat. Day in and day out it’s pretty much the same, Tyler is usually home late from work, the kids usually find every way possible to test my limits. Most days I look around and feel like I’m drowning, like I’m a child trying to play house and I’m failing miserably.

The only thing that changes is the fact that Monday I could be totally Mary freaking Poppins, everything is kept in order and tidy, everyone is fed and happy and get along, laundry stays caught up, dishes stay clean… but the day after a Mary Poppins day I crash…HARD…it’s like I don’t have the energy in me to do all of that all over again.

There has to be a balance somewhere, getting things done without the burnout. Its just when I’m in the cleaning mood I am in the mood to get stuff done, right then and there. When I’m not I am just not even thinking about it.. I want to curl up with the kids and veg out to movies and not worry about being a home maker, some days I just want to be mom. Some days I want to ship my kids off to grandmas and be a home maker.

Since the holidays our house has been a disaster, and day in and day out I have freaked out trying to get into some sort of order. I get angry with the kids, angry with Tyler, angry with myself. Every single room in our house has boxes or bags of things we got for Christmas, waiting to be opened and put away. But I just can’t get there. I can’t get it done.

It’s not that I don’t want to, oh I do, it’s just that I have the day to day things to take care of as well so putting all of the Christmas loot away has taken a back seat. Mostly because there just isn’t anywhere to put the stuff….

Every single day I have stressed about how the house looks, then I battled sickness for most of this month, but continued to stress. There is no wiggle room for me, either the house is in immaculate shape, or a complete chaotic mess. The funny thing is that both scenarios cause me the exact same amount of stress.

When the house is a mess I stress about if someone were to stop by, or wanting to be the perfect mom and wife in other peoples eyes. When the house is clean I stress about every single little thing out of place and no one is happy.

So the last two days I’ve given up in a sense. I’ve snuggled with my babies, snuggled with my husband. Stopped worrying about what someone else would say about my house, or lack of getting everyone out of pajamas and just relaxed and oh my goodness it has felt AMAZING. Granted Monday starts a whole new routine and cleaning schedule, but I’m going to stop doing everything at once, do a few chores a day and if my house isn’t clean enough for people then they can not come around. Life is too short to work on having an immaculately clean house 24/7. helping my babies play, learn and grow is more important than having that basket (or pack n play) of laundry folded and put away.

This weekend I fully plan on enjoying my handsome husband and amazing kiddos completely mess and all instead of rushing around trying to “catch up” And it feels so good to take the weight of what everyone thinks about my house, or pajama days (weeks?). Its time for the Wallace family to live for us. Love and enjoy eachother rather than stress about what everyone else is thinking or saying. :)

I’m also going to actively try to be thankful every.single.day

A breath of fresh air

There are a lot of days recently where I feel trapped, almost like drowning. I see chaos and stress where I should be seeing love and should be thankful and cherishing life. Last night I had a long, raw, emotional conversation with a friend I’ve never met. A friend of my dads who feels like I’ve known her my entire life and it felt good to not be judged for feeling overwhelmed, to be able to be real and open with someone. I went to bed feeling lighter, sleepier, calmer but the biggest transformation was recognized after I woke up.

I woke up feeling unstressed, before bed Lucas knocked a laundry basket of about 150 hangers over and they scattered all over our bedroom, I woke up not stressed about the mess but laughing because I remembered Lukes face as the avalanche of hangers went everywhere. Kash came in and snuggled for a little while and Evelyn slept peacefully next to me and for the first time in a while I felt grateful.

I didn’t think about what needed to be done, the mess in the boys room, the dishes that need to be washed. I thought about how lucky I am to have a husband that I love and cherish, to have three beautiful babies here to snuggle and teach. To be thankful that Caidens short life showed me how fragile life really is and how you need to enjoy it every single day without taking anything for granted.

Is my house a complete disaster sometimes? yep. Am I stressed sometimes? Absolutely. Do these things make or break me as a wife and mom? Not a chance.

So as I sit here, drinking my second cup of coffee, I’m thanking God for all of these opportunities. I’m soaking it all in, finally able to breath and see life for what it really is.

When the real world gets in the way of the perfect life.

When I was pregnant with Caiden, I had no idea what my parenting plans were, I was 21, freshly married, and living 900 miles away from anyone I knew. Naive doesn’t even begin to touch it.

When we found out we were pregnant with Lucas just a month after we buried Caiden I knew that I would cherish my baby, love him unconditionally, and treat him like a person, I would not treat him like a piece of property that I needed to handle or control. I knew that the life I was growing inside of me was more precious than anything in the world.

Lucas grew up attached, gently disciplined, loved no matter what he made a mess out of. He has turned out wonderfully. We were constantly ridiculed for not spanking, not showing him who was boss. He got into stuff, and God knows he made messes that were really difficult to clean up but we talked him through everything without raising voices or hands.

Then Kash happened.

Kash has been turned on the highest setting since birth, he goes through the house like a tornado and there is no shelter. He pushes limits in ways I never imagined they could be pushed. Regretfully he’s gotten spanked, yelled at, shamed, and I wonder if that isn’t part of why today, at two and a half years old he is a nightmare. There, I said it, my son is a nightmare. I love him dearly, in fact my husband tells me I have babied him TOO much, but he seriously makes me question what I did wrong as a mother that made him as angry, and intense as he is.

The hostility in the household has hit an all time high, Kash pushes everyones buttons and I lose my patience within a few minutes of him being awake. Today alone he: opened the kitchen gate, climbed on the counters, opened a pack of jello, dumped it into a pot left on the stove, threw a glass and shattered it all over the kitchen, hit me, screamed at me, refused to get in his car seat or let me buckle him, scratched Lucas, pushed Evelyn. And that’s just a few of the things he’s done. I just don’t know how to handle him, which makes me stressed out which makes me lash out at Lucas, and even Tyler. I’m overwhelmed. Angry. Defeated.

When I pictured our family when I was pregnant with Kash I imagined it simple, gentle, peaceful. And it is anything but.

Right now I am getting over a 3 week illness, getting used to a husband that works evenings 6 days a week an hour away, having no friends that I’m not related to, my house is a disaster, dishes are piling up along with laundry and I’m sitting in bed, feeding the baby watching Kash roll around at the foot of the bed.

Life was supposed to be fun, carefree, enjoyable. With moms groups and play dates and tidy houses. I wasn’t supposed to be the mom who yelled, or sat in the bedroom crying because I’ve been pushed to my limit. The perfect life would be great, the tidy house would be fantastic, peace and love in the house would make waking up less of a chore. But right now real life has gotten in the way. Patience is gone, exhaustion has set in. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle when people say something about how Kash acts, or he is having a meltdown at the store. I don’t become the strong rock he needs, I throw tantrums myself.

My Name is Abbey Wallace, and today I am vowing to turn this blog into something new, something of a place to reflect, to go through my journey of being overwhelmed, impatient, exhausted mom, to the kind of momma I want my kids to have and most importantly be the kind of mommy that isn’t ashamed of my childrens meltdowns, or the way I handle them.

Today, my body has failed me.

Today I feel like my body has failed not only me, but my 16 week old baby.
Her pediatrician has decided that she has not gained nearly as much weight as she should be. She weighed in at 10lb6oz on July 14, and yesterday, September 2, weighed in at 10lb11oz. She’s still nursing the same, and latches the same, pees the same and poops the same. She has just essentially stopped thriving on my breast milk. I’m heartbroken, angry, sad, frustrated, and stressed out because my body seemingly does not know how to nourish my baby, if we were animals I’d probably abandon her because we are “broken”, If we were tribal women somewhere remote, or centuries past we would be helped out by a community of women who fed each others babies when a mom wasn’t enough for baby. But here we are. in the 21st century, and I am giving my baby powdered “milk” out of a plastic nipple… because breast milk “isn’t enough”

Honestly I kind of figured that my body not being sufficient enough would have stopped once Ev was born. I downed progesterone, and pericardia, and turbutilene, to make sure my body stayed pregnant, I was mad then because my body didn’t know how to stay pregnant, I was mad when I was pregnant with Kash and in the hospital for weeks dilated to a 4 praying to make it to full term, I was mad when I had to get shots in the bottom to keep my hormone levels up. I was mad when I went into preterm labor at 25 weeks because my progesterone levels don’t stay high enough to have a healthy pregnancy.

Silly me thought being angry at my body ended once I delivered babies. But as my breastfeeding relationship has gone on with baby Ev I have realized that my body doesn’t just fight being pregnant, it fights breastfeeding as well. Ev has been a slow gainer since day one. She has a lip tie, she was severely jaundiced for days. she was consitpated from having formula because she wasn’t satisfied, she has had a cold that made nursing nearly impossible, but we’ve battled through it.
I know that we will battle through the supplementing, We’ll get her gaining weight, but I still can’t help being a little bit frustrated with my body for not being compatible with all things baby, I am still angry at my boobs for not making fatty enough milk to make my baby gain weight well, I’m mad at myself for producing four children that have lip ties,

Today, I am angry, upset and disappointed, I know I need to be thankful that I have a baby, to have to bottle feed, to be thankful that we’ve made it 4 months ebf, to be thankful that I can still breastfeed her while supplementing. Tomorrow hopefully I’m feeling better about the whole situation. I don’t want to be bitter about it. I want to love feeding my baby, no matter how she needs to get that food and nourishment. I want to ebf my baby, at the breast and with no added bottles or supplements but at the same time I am not selfish enough to ignore that sometimes babies need a little more than mommas can give. I have the help of some wonderful women and am sure that Ev will be getting some breast milk EVERY day for the next twenty months. For that, I am grateful.