Emotional Health

When You’re Trying Really Hard But…

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“What a young mom thing to do” I hear her behind me saying, while I’m explaining why I’m not leaving my baby in the daycare at church. She scoffs and continues, Read the rest of this entry »

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Why I Seriously Hate Being A Woman Sometimes…

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I know, I know. International women’s day was JUST here and maybe it makes me less of a feminist or a traitor to my kind but seriously I just hate being a woman sometimes.

When you’re a single woman, you’re defined by such things as: career-driven success, sexual awareness, college degrees, if you model, where you live, if you have a boyfriend —

When you get engaged, you hear: how did he propose, how big is your ring, are you having a summer wedding, did you cry, how will you announce, who will your bridesmaids be and how will you ask them —

After you get married the silent questions of strangers are: how often do you have sex, does he post romantic, effortless, and natural sounding random things on Facebook about you, is he also a feminist, does he want kids right away, has the “honeymoon” phase worn off, do you guys fight now —

And of course after you have a baby: how did you give birth, was it natural, how long did you labor, what did you register for, how big is your baby, is she sitting up, is she smiling, is she rolling over, if so was it before mine, how much does she weigh now, can she talk yet, is she running because my 9 year old is running, does she speak 4 languages yet, oh you’re NOT getting vaccinated, does she sleep through the night, have her eyes changed color yet, and THE question – have you lost the baby weight —

Most people don’t come right out and say these but they are plastered all over our lives. I could throw up at how many times I’ve had women ask me if I want one of those wraps. Because I guess I look like the kind of person who is trying to “bounce back” in a hurry. Newsflash: babies. need. squish. They want boobs, real boobs to lay on. A soft tummy and nice floppy arms. They want to fall asleep on something they can sink into. But we are so obsessed with comparing ourselves to some other version of ourselves or other women that it feels like we’re doing something wrong if we don’t look like the “hot mom”.

I’m not condoning making unwise or unhealthy choices. Because we deserve to live well, and our bodies are worth taking care of. But real life mamas, they probably don’t have rock hard abs all the time. They just don’t. ********* Hey if you’re doing a workout program right now, or if you coach one, I’m not trying to be ugly. Because the world needs people like you. And there are a lot of mama’s who want and need some help getting things together again. You’re good people and keep it up.

I stepped on the scale the other day and I’m back in the 120’s, and I feel pretty great about that. And when I look at my belly, it’s still soft as a nice bowl of pudding, and I also feel pretty okay about that too. You know what I hate? I hate feeling like as soon as my personal growth is thrown out into the social media world, it’s combatted or surpassed by someone else’s bigger and better growth.

I don’t want people to know sometimes. I honestly don’t. Elena is such a good baby. She’s slept through the night since about 5 weeks. She was tongue tied and still figured out nursing like a champ. She has slept in her own room multiple times and doesn’t ever cry (unless that doggone pacifier falls out…), she naps on a schedule for usually over an hour and a half each time, I can bring her with me to any room I’m in and complete whatever housework I need to, she doesn’t hate being left alone, she loves people holding her but also is okay when they don’t, she likes sleeping on her own, she loves baths and showers and doesn’t even cry if water gets on her face, she loves our animals and she loves us so much – and I can feel she knows she is loved. But. Our lives are not perfect.

But the second that you tell the world all of your good news, you feel guilty. Or you get comments like, “just wait until the second gets here”. Or your friends don’t comment or like your statuses because it makes them feel bad if their baby doesn’t do that. Why do our lives revolve around the success or demise of other people to the extent that we can’t be happy for our sisters when good things happen to them.

Because yeah I stepped on that scale and saw a number that I liked. But 6 months ago when I was in the throes of late pregnancy, with the Alabama sun giving me real bad under boob sweat, I wasn’t liking the number I saw. But guess what. Literally every woman in the world feels like that about something. Big freaking deal.

Why can’t we laugh at the struggles in our own lives and push them aside when someone needs our support more. This is when I hate the Instagram world so much. These beautiful women who post beautifully posed and edited pictures of their lives, with or without kids – the message is the same. It has created this bubble of lies that we all fall into. This need to be a perfectly edited picture. Not real. Not with acne, not with bed head hair that doesn’t look cute, not with clothes that don’t fit us yet.

This need for women to be a certain way and look a certain way and present themselves in a certain way, we want to say it’s because of men but it’s not. We do this to ourselves and each other.

Enough. Just enough of it, already. Honestly I could care less about how far you got in college. Why? Because it’s your business not mine. I think it’s awesome that your baby was born with a full set of adult teeth and speaking complex sentences. Whatever. It literally means nothing about my baby or my life. I don’t care if you go out and model on the weekends and I don’t. Why? Because why should I care.

I think we are so far away from loving each other. We present this “feminism” idea of supporting and empowering one another but I have never in my life encountered so many women on a regular basis that struggle with depression and/or anxiety.

Would it be so impossible to just be a blank slate. Be friendly to each other, love on each other, support one another’s success and don’t try to make it about yourself. Can we try to not be so insecure in our own strengths that we have to tear apart other women’s fears in order to make our own not seem so scary.

Why I’m Tired of “Knowing” What Love Is

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annaandphil“How to know if you’re in a relationship that will lead til marriage.” “Is he marriage material?” “10 signs you’re in a relationship that can last.” “The secret to a healthy relationship.” ……

How many of these do you see on a daily basis? And how many times do you click on one, secretly hoping your significant other will pass the test, and that you’ll have gloating rights over all the boyfriends in the world? And how many times does that guy turn out to be a mere human. Let me guess. 9/10 times? (Lol there’s a little hero in all of us). At least this is what I’ve found.

Phil and I have been married for almost two years, so I get it, I don’t have all the experience. But I have some, and I know somewhere out there, someone is bound to find this relatable. I know someone else, guy or gal, is tired of their relationship being undermined by unrealistic expectations and standards. And I DO have a lot of experience in that particular field. I struggled for a long time with basing my standards for my romantic life off of what I read, what I listened to, what I watched, or what I just assumed.
It worked when I was 17, you know? I mean not really, but it was at least at a point where I had room to grow up a little.

When you look at our picture, which is actually from our engagement shoot, I bet you don’t see two people with a past. All you can see is the love we feel for each other. Not the frustration of finding a pose that looks good on us, making sure I like the way my neck looks, trying to make my hair look like it’s manageable. You don’t see the pain from my childhood, our arguments over how to properly assemble our dresser, or the endless piles of dirty dishes that need to be washed.

I read an article this morning titled something along the lines of, “10 ways to know if your relationship is perfect.” There were things along the lines of, are they your best friend, do you love spending time with them, can you cry around them… you know, the usual. Do you respect each other, do you tear one another down when you fight… I think all those are very key, but basically I think what this article was asking, was “are you in love with this person?”.

Spoiler alert, I’m not always in love with my husband. And part of me doesn’t want to say it because, “Oh no! What will people think?!” … And honestly if you want to judge me, have at it. But the truth is, relationships are very difficult. And though I would love to say that I don’t have shortcomings, or that Phil is always perfect, it isn’t true.

We all know this too. There isn’t a person in this world that is a perfect significant other. And I hate “knowing”  what my relationship is based on someone else’s life, standards, flaws, hopes, and worldview.

It’s overwhelming, confusing and inaccurate. and I feel that I should defend all us imperfect people.

I think everyone at some point has been hurt, has been lied to, has had a little piece of their heart broken. And everyone at some point will get frustrated, will get angry, will feel hurt or betrayed. Everyone is trying to find their way in life. And the second we start putting lines, conditions, and rules to what a personal and intimate relationship looks like, that’s when we become the judge in someone else’s life.

Now, I’m sure the intent of these articles is purely innocent, and designed to be cute. So I’m not trying to spew my soapbox all over you like a hate-wave. The only point I’m trying to get across, is to remember when you see pictures of smiling faces, articles that take you to nostalgic places, or quizzes that test your compatibility… remember, that everyone is flawed. No one is completely put together. We’re all dragging around a backpack of burdens, trying to find a place to leave it at.

Don’t forget to see that person you’re with through eyes of grace and love. To remember what’s important about love. To forgive them when they fail you. To not base the foundation of who you are on what other people claim to be the “right” way. And to be honest with yourself about who you are, and who your partner is.

Comparing yourself or your partner to other people, or other people’s standards will lead to disappointment. Always. It’s a bottomless pit of mystery. And it’s never satisfied.

Regardless of whether you’re spiritual or not, remember that the person you’re with was created as a beautiful, loved, and individual being. And they should be treated as such.