Bodies after Babies…

It’s been 15 months since giving birth to my second sweet girl. You would think that’s long enough for things within the body to settle down, but NOPE! With craziness still happening within my thyroid, literally anything is possible.

Because of breastfeeding, stress, and probably thyroid issues, I lost an unhealthy amount of weight by the time we reached the nine month mark. My yoga pants were scary loose. My doctor husband even told me to eat as much as possible, whenever I wanted. For a while I even thought I was dying.

Then finally after a non-threatening diagnosis and a difficult decision to wean my baby earlier than I wanted, my body started feeling better again. I gained weight while maintaining a healthy workout routine and went back to eating a normal, semi-healthy diet. There were definitely health setbacks with having an autoimmune disease, but c’est la vie. Pre-baby body was definitely coming back…

…except that it got weird. Really weird. Fast forward to swimsuit season, and the changes were glaringly obvious. Some things came back but in much different proportions. Nothing fit like it did after Baby #1. I needed to do some shopping. I googled tons of tips on how to buy a bathing suit for my new figure, knowing that while I couldn’t change it, I needed to accept it and hopefully (and eventually) celebrate it. I went shopping for other garments as well, knowing that my self esteem had definitely spiraled downward in the past year partly due to my evolving appearance.

Armed with my purchases from Amazon, Target, Macy’s, Loft, and any other retailer I have frequented, I was determined to feel good about getting dressed again–whether it be regular clothes or bathing suits, or simply a bra and underwear. Yeah, I know it sounds vain, but we owe it to ourselves to want to look good especially after our self esteem (about our looks) hits rock bottom. My husband has always told me I looked great, but I wanted to believe it for once.

And that’s okay.

Along with everything else, this is a journey. I’m working on acceptance every single day. I owe it to my daughters to do nothing but emanate the message of body positivity. They deserve a mom who will wear whatever she feels right wearing. They deserve a confident mom, and I am working on it.

My youngest and me, June 2019
(My 3 year old can NOT be bothered to stand still for pictures)

Work in Progress…

I’m still working on building this blog/site, so there are many things I need to include that are current. I plan on including some kid stuff in the next week, because I have tried a lot of things with my two in terms of activities and cooking and have plenty to share on what has worked for them and what has not.

The self care stuff continues to elude me, but I’m working on taking it one day at a time. It’s cliche, but I have this awful habit of assessing my success on an all or nothing basis. For example, if I have a bad few days in the land of self-esteem or my worth as a parent, I chalk it up to it all being awash and forget any of the good I’ve accomplished. I don’t know if that hits home with anyone or not, but it’s a terrible habit I’m working on breaking.

Something I have figured out, however, is how to feel a little better on the days when I feel like I’ve done nothing: make a list of every minute task or activity from morning until nighttime. It seems weird but finding any small, good thing can be enough to change my attitude about the day. In doing it, I may have found that I played with FP Little People for an hour with both girls or had read more books to them than I realized.

I think an overarching theme in my struggles as a stay at home mom is finding balance. I know it’s like hunting for a unicorn. It’s never going to happen. There is no such thing. I recently had this discussion with my sister, and saw it on a friend’s Instagram page shortly after. I guess I’m just searching for some sort of “normal.” What do families do to clean house, spend time together, go on dates, find peace within themselves? How do people get laundry done? Does it sit in their baskets for days at a time before it can be put away? (Mine doesn’t either, just throwing out hypotheticals (-; ) I feel like a complete loser sometimes that I haven’t seemed to figure this out yet at 35 and with two kids, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re all just winging it and hoping for the best.

Here goes…

July 1, 2019

I’ve been writing for years, but recently I’ve had the desire to go a little more public with writing again. It always seemed to help me with accountability before. And now, with not having much of a career on which to focus my never ending waterfall of thoughts, I need some sort of project that is solely mine.

When I first resigned from my teaching job, I had a math blog and website attached to my Youtube channel. (I still offer my services for homework help in person and in videos.) However, that project became too detached from my identity, especially after having my second daughter in the spring of 2018. At that point there was no question that I’d be sitting out of my career for a few extra years while I spent this crucial time at home with my babies. 

Though I miss my career, there is nothing drawing me back now. I love breakfasts with my girls, staying in pjs and playing while I drink my coffee in the mornings, rocking the baby to sleep, and reading books with both of them on my lap. This is what works best for my family in our current season of life.

That being said, I have a tendency to feel like I’m losing my mind out of isolation and lack of direction. (I have a part time job and do plenty with it during the school year and even keep up with it over the summer, but it’s not anything too consuming.) Having a history of generalized anxiety does not help, as I am often trapped inside my head, drowning in worries. This new “project” of blogging can hopefully help. I also hope it can help any readers feel somewhat less alone in navigating the ever-changing landscape of motherhood.

About Me

My name is Erica, a former educator and current SAHM. I have been writing for a while now, under different blogs and personal journal entries.

I should start this by saying I’m not here to sell anything–not a revolutionary product, lifestyle, or brand. I’m truly trying to navigate life as a mom. Having been so used to being a workaholic, the mom life with only a leisurely part time job has proven to be a completely different identity for me.

So here I am, three years after becoming a mom, still trying to put all of the pieces together to this identity. They’re never going to fit perfectly, but writing (and therapy) has always helped me to at least see things in black and white, roll with the punches, and be a little more at peace with my life.

If nothing else, I hope that my ramblings can help others feel less isolated and alone in their thoughts and emotions.

Thanks for stopping by.