The Real Reason Why Your Mom Friend is NEVER on Time or just doesn’t Show Up at All

Motherhood

I made this little clip to show what life if like trying to leave the house being a mom of four.

I’m really not trying to be a bad friend, sister, daughter, whatever…but I’m just exhausted. By the time I actually even make it to the car I forget where I’m going and it takes half a day to even make it there. Maybe it’s my ADHD, but I swear it’s the kids. I love these little monsters, but goodness, gracious…we’re just going to stay home…

We can’t find shoes, the TV remote, the dog escapes, the toddler hid the baby in the pantry…I mean I’m drained just chasing them around. And if we actually do make it there…This better be the best dang chicken you’ve ever had in your life!

Do you ever actually make it somewhere and then your kids just complain the whole time? I make some big plans at 2am while I’m at work thinking that I’m so blessed to get to spend all day with my babies. They are the sweetest little blessings, but if we make it to the playground and they don’t swing their little legs off, I might lose my mind (even more so than I already have).

I usually have advice for most mom situations considering I have four kids, but all I can tell you is that you have to pick your battles. If you make it out of the house with your four year old in 12 month pants and mismatched shoes, that’s still a win. If your baby is covered in cheese puffs, I can guarantee it won’t be the first or the last time. And if you’re one of those moms that has it all together and your children walk out of the house with Prada bags, and your baby’s diaper is made of the finest silver you can find…I salute you. But I still got my chicken either way so there’s that.

 

 

How One Year can Simultaneously be the Best and Worst Year of your Life

Mom Life

 

Just a few more hours to reflect on the last decade, so here goes. I guess I’ve reached all my “milestones”, so what now? Here’s a few things I’ve learned.

During this decade I’ve been a teen mom, a college student, a photographer, a business owner, I’ve experienced trauma, I’ve lost a baby, I’ve had four healthy babies. I graduated college and started my career. I accepted a promotion. I was room mom and I was homeschool mom. I drove kids to violin and dance and I’ve spent a week in the hospital with my baby who’d turned blue. I traveled to new places. I’ve had very little, and I’ve had what a lot of people would consider to be everything. I’ve experienced post partum depression, and I’ve been told that my endurance has inspired others. I’ve photographed and shared some of the most important moments of people’s lives. I’ve been awake for days at a time in an effort to be fully present with my children, and also work full time at night.

I’ve been evicted due to no fault of my own, I’ve moved more times than I can count. I’ve lived in an apartment, moved back into my childhood home, and I finally purchased my home with a big kitchen and fenced in backyard. I witnessed first steps and lots of baby snuggles. I’ve picked myself up more times than I can count, but I won’t leave this decade crying tears of pain. I’ve jumped off cliffs and I’ve kept up with The Bachelor. I saw a shooting star. I almost died during childbirth, when a concrete stair knocked me out, and in Mexico when I “lived a little” and had to be wheeled back onto the ship via wheelchair.

It’s hard to find your village. It’s hard to find people that “get you”. For most of my life I didn’t really have that. I had people I talked to occasionally, and even people I was quite fond of. But I didn’t have a person. In my twenties I found my “people” and I was perfectly content with that. I knew who to run to with questions and I knew who would show up at my kids’ birthday parties no questions asked. I knew who I could text to ask the gross mom questions and who would pray for my baby in the middle of the night.

This year was one of the most challenging years of my life. At the end of this year, I can see that God was staging my life to where I would lean only on him when it came to making life changing decisions. There’s something people just don’t tell you about losing someone that was extremely important to you, especially when they are still in your life. If someone you love is hurt, they can’t “clap for you when you win” because sometimes, there are no true winners.

But what do you do when someone chooses to walk away despite the memories or there not being a real “fall out”? The biggest take away I have from this is that everyone is different. Our differences can lead to misunderstanding, which can lead to pain. But that doesn’t mean that our differences don’t make us stronger...because they most certainly do. My advice is to never stop being open to the idea that people are good, but life is hardWe are all going through it, but not always at the same time. Be understanding and be intentional in everything that you do. Staying bitter will hurt you far more than it will hurt anyone else.

Sometimes we have to create a new normalSometimes we have to stop linking ourselves so closely with others so that we can have time to figure out who we are, how we feel, and what we truly want. I found my voice this year, but I know that without the space to make my own observations without the opinion of anyone else, I would have responded much differently. We naturally cling to relationships that make us feel comfortable, but sometimes the best things in life push you far out of your comfort zone.

It wasn’t a toxic person holding me back, it was my opinion of myself and the power I allowed a person to have over me. I don’t let a mean comment shake me to my core anymore and I don’t stay silent because I’m afraid of what someone else’s opinion of me may be. And I’ve realized that it’s okay to look back on the memories with tears in your eyes and simultaneously be proud of the person you’ve become. Instead of labeling people jealous or narcissistic, maybe we should just take a step back. We are all different.  The moment you feel free, the moment that you felt on top of the world…is the moment you realized that you don’t need validation from anyone else as long as you know you’re doing the right thing.

During the worst time of my life, I learned the best lessons. One of them being that true strength is discovered in the moments of life that make you question everything. There’s so much power in having confidence in yourself even in your worst moments, that finding yourself will never be easy. I would have never had the strength to speak out about an issue I was extremely passionate about without first backing away from someone who never truly had my best interest at heart. I didn’t see it at the time, but to become who I am, to find peace, and my new normal I had to redirect my focus.

I’ve been called a great mom, and I’ve had the nation question my parenting because of a choice I made to provide more security for my family. Intentions might not always be seen, but they mean a lot. You should give yourself grace when it comes to that. If you do anything different this year, do just that. Give yourself grace.

And also sleep…sleep is good

-The Zombie Mom

 

 

Latch Issues/How to notice them and what to do about them.

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I had my first baby at 19. I knew very little about breastfeeding and honestly had no interest in it. I didn’t have a support system, and I think that’s super important. Breastfeeding isn’t always natural in every sense. It isn’t always easy.

When I had my second daughter, I wanted to stick with it. I spoke with a LC at the hospital, I joined multiple breastfeeding groups, and spoke with our pediatrician. I was nervous about everything, but I read that cluster feeding was normal in the early stages so I assumed that my bleeding nipples were because of this.

Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. It took my pumping 2 ounces of bloody tinged milk to realize there was a problem. I was ready to give up. I dreaded feeding my baby because I knew it was going to hurt.

In my case, her latch was an easy fix and I just had to open her mouth a little more. Fixing your baby’s latch is so important. An improper latch not only hurts, but can lead to clogged ducts (which also hurt 🤢). My number one advice is to make sure that your baby’s mouth covers the majority of your areola and that the latch is not too shallow. If the latch is still painful, check for lip/tongue ties.

The first three months of your breastfeeding journey, your production is still a bit wishy washy and changing. Fixing latch issues from the beginning will create a much easier time. Don’t give up. It does get easier once you work out the kinks.

Dont get discouraged if you don’t realize that you have a latch issue right away. I’ve been told “you will know if it isn’t right”, but if you are new to breastfeeding, you don’t always know.

One thing that really helped me was holding my baby in a football position. Different positions may work better for you but this worked best for me in the beginning.

If you have any questions, email me or drop a comment below. I’m happy to help!

5 Reasons Why Oversupply is Nothing to be Jealous of

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I have been through struggling to make enough milk with my second daughter (first that I breastfed for an extended period of time) and struggling to STOP making so much with my third baby. I have been that mom that WISHED for an oversupply, thinking that it would be so much better than making too much. Let me tell you, you do not want an oversupply.

When I got pregnant with my second baby, I wasn’t supposed to be able to have any more children. I was in school full time, working full time, and stressed beyond belief when I found out that I was pregnant. I scheduled an induction date during a time where I was out of school, and returned to school 6 days after giving birth. I wanted any chance I could to bond with her, so among that and other reasons I decided that I HAD to stick with breastfeeding. There were times I chose to pump instead of eat because I only had time to do one. So, I get it. It’s stressful spending all your free time milking yourself like a cow.

Flash forward to my third baby, I expected the same issues. I thought nothing of pumping to relieve engorgement when my milk came in because no matter how many people told me differently, I thought oversupply would be like this magical milk fountain and could never cause any issues. WRONG.

  1. It’s Expensive. I go through a crazy amount of storage bags a week. I don’t do the exact math for fear of losing my sanity but I definitely store at least 50 bags of milk a week. We recently bought a deep freezer that is almost full because even after donating to four other local moms, I still could fill my swimming pool with milk. But what can I do with over 1000 ounces of breast milk? I have to buy bags to clean/sterilize my pump parts. I have spent money going to the doctor to try and decrease the amount of times I’ve had mastitis. I’ve ruined my favorite shirts by leaking through them. The list goes on and on, but you get it. I spend money on storing milk that my baby will likeley never drink.
  2. It’s Stressful. I was super happy to donate milk to other moms, and I still am. But the same stress that goes along with making enough milk for your own baby somehow turned into making enough for 5 babies. I still felt like I wasn’t enough if I made less during a pumping session even though I was making way more than enough. I work night shift and stay up with my kids during the day. I don’t get very much sleep as it is, but on my nights off, I have to wake up to pump or I will get mastitis. So now we’re at I’m stressed, exhausted, and sick all while my baby is sleeping through the night.
  3. My life revolves around nursing and pumping. This one kind of speaks for itself but I can’t just give my baby a bottle even though I have plenty of milk to spare because I will get mastitis. I can’t skip a pumping session without becoming extremely engorged. I’ve literally had to pull over on the side of the road and squeeze my boob until enough milk squirted out of my human water gun that I could function again. And you can’t complain about it because people make comments like “that’s like complaining about having too much money”. No, it’s nothing like that. I get that breast is best but too much breast milk won’t put my kids through college or pay for the Bahamas.
  4. Mastitis. I would rather deliver 15 babies in a row than ever have mastitis again. And that’s all I have to say about that.
  5. People don’t understand. They don’t understand why you’re constantly milking yourself, or why you need to take a break when you have plenty of milk already. They don’t understand that pumping is NOT a break. And they most certainly don’t understand that for the next year, you have to plan your life in 2 hour intervals. Oversupply comes with all the same problems as pumping in general plus worrying about engorgement and mastitis ALL the TIME. Why can’t you just give her a bottle? You have plenty of milk. Yeah, you’ve never had mastitis before. It feels like death.

As much as I love my baby, I’m ready for the milk factory to shut down. I feel less than human sometimes. Moooooooooooo.