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I have a confession to make...

I've been reading, listening to medical professionals, and posting about stress this week. In my head, I've been thinking "you've got this under're doing the Mom thing with 2 and just pushing through!" It's easy to assume after you've had one kiddo that there won't be any comparing to other moms, stressing that you aren't doing it by the book, feeling behind from what the doctor tells you where you should be at. Reality can happen all over again with baby #2. What I've been reading, listening, and posting about hit me like a semi-truck this week.

All of a sudden on Saturday my head was pounding and I started seeing little flashes and squiggly lines on the right side of my vision. I thought it meant I wasn't drinking enough water, so I started hydrating. Nope that didn't work. Here I thought me getting a hair cut after 1 and half years would make me feel terrific, but my body was saying otherwise. I tried laying down, but that can't happen for long. When I went outside to watch my oldest play in the pool with her dad, I had to come back inside because the light was too bright for me. Was it a migraine? I don't get those. After lots of thinking, reviewing what I had eaten and drank, I realized my jaw was throbbing pretty bad and then I remembered TMJ tends to hit most when I am stressed. I have a bad habit of clenching my jaw whenever I feel pressure, get nervous about something, or feel anxious. I wear a mouth guard (super attractive when you speak btw) at night to help with this. Thanks, Dad for this wonderful habit you've passed onto me. I tried ibuprofen throughout the evening, but nothing really changed.

Our son was crying off and on a good chunk of the night. Every 3 hours he was waking and I just kept thinking, "What am I doing wrong??" I kept analyzing what the doctor had said at our last visit: "He should be really sleeping through the night. He is 6 mos." You know that feeling when your boss, mentor, parent tells you something that you're supposed to be doing and you feel like a bad student or employee when you haven't met it...that's how I've been feeling lately. Why can't we get this sleep schedule right!?! I keep looking back at my books, we were doing great this week and now what's happened again?

Sunday, after way too much coffee, a trip to farmer's market with a cranky baby and way too energetic toddler, I vented to a friend while I folded laundry. My blessed husband took the toddler out while I let little babe finally sleep an actual nap. My dearest friend said, "Hey! You're not doing anything wrong and you haven't failed! He's just going through something, we just don't know what." As I listened to her talk about listening to my little one and understanding what he needs, I realized I was doing what I had been thinking about all week....negative self talk, judging my every move, and comparing myself to others. Then I asked myself, "Why are you back here again? With your first you didn't know what you were doing and it took so long to finally understand you're the captain to this decide how the ship will run based on your little one's needs. Now you are on your second and it's time to just listen to him."

I went on to tell my friend how it had been a few days of not walking this week due to things coming up, but boy was I feeling it. Physically I feel great, but mentally I was a mess this weekend. When I do walk, with or without a little one in tow, my head clears up, emotions are positive, flexibility to think is there, and patience to take on a three year old's cheeky opinions comes back. WE'VE GOT TO PUT OURSELVES FIRST!

I feel like that's such a cliche to say, but duh! It's true! It sounds so simple, but you have to put yourself first and then you are clear enough to put your kiddos' needs first. You won't be so quick to have those negative self talks and you will actually take charge of them. So Mama's...don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and your little's. They need you because who else is going to do it? Don't be fooled by all those books, how to pages, and podcasts telling you your exact schedule for the day. Use it as a skeleton maybe, but find what works for your family! When I finally continued to play with things this week, it worked....and then it didn't. But guess what the funny part is? Little mr is teething! Yep, I was driving myself up a whirlwind for nothing. So breathe....find something that's going to be your way of unwinding before the day starts, and be in control of that inner-voice of yours. I want you to tell yourself one thing right now, you are going to do this week to start your it a positive affirmation? Meditative breaths? Listen to an upbeat song? Read a devotion or say a prayer? A walk? Coffee on the phone with a friend? What are you planning to do? Make it a promise to yourself right now!

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