Motherhood is a No Bullshi**er ~ Guest Post by Andrea Owen

Andrea Owen rocks! She is funny, intelligent, open, caring, and inspiring. Andrea is also a speaker and Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about helping women empower themselves to live their own kick-ass life.

Here is Andrea…

Do I love my kids? Check!

Am I grateful for how awesome and healthy they are? Check!

Am I so happy I get to be a mommy? Check!

Is motherhood and being a stay-at-home-mom everything I’d always dreamed it would be? Ch—-

Er… no. More

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PMS, Post Pregnancy Hormone Hell, Weight Gain & Disease ~ My Struggle To Be Healthy Again.

Our girls and I before my health completely spiraled out of control…

In high school, some teammates and I were chosen to go to a college Track & Field Camp to learn about different types of training methods. I was excited to be there! Just as I was signing in for this great weeklong program, I could feel severe cramps coming on quickly. I never knew when I would get my period because I had an irregular cycle that would sometimes skip a month or two. Within 15 minutes of arriving on campus, I was literally on the floor in a ball in so much pain that I was incapacitated. Advil didn’t touch the pain and my week was ruined. I had been to doctors before and after that incident, and there was nothing they could do for me except to put me on birth control pills, which didn’t make enough of a difference. This is how my cycle would be every month or so for years. Sometimes I’d get lucky, and the pain and other PMS symptoms were not as severe. Many years later, I became pregnant with my second daughter, Olivia, and everything changed.

After having Olivia, I never went back to “normal”. I had lost my pregnancy weight and should have felt great, but I didn’t feel quite right. Over the next year, my monthly cycle became more intense, my hormones were slowly spiraling out of control, and I began having weekly stomachaches.

The symptoms slowly crept up on me, and I thought I’d naturally get over the new issues in time.

After Olivia’s first birthday, things got worse. My periods started lasting longer and occurred more frequently. I started gaining weight, which was really abnormal for me because I had always been naturally thin and never had struggled with weight before. I was retaining water, felt bloated, and I was having severe stomachaches more frequently.

So began the parade of doctors..

At this time, my stomachaches were causing me the most grief. They were occurring daily now and affecting my quality of life. I saw my primary doctor. She ordered several blood tests, checked my thyroid, and a few other potential problem areas. All of my test results looked good. She referred me to a gastroenterologist.

The gastroentereologist asked if I had an eating disorder. I told him that I did not. He said, “Let me see your teeth.” Hmm—he looked at me like he didn’t believe me, and I opened my mouth. I passed the test; my teeth were fine. I suddenly did not like him at all. An endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed nothing. My intestines looked perfectly normal.  

He said I must have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I knew he was wrong, but tried the medicine and dietary changes anyway. It didn’t help. In fact, the dietary changes made me even more irritated. I mean who wants to give up coffee, cookies, bread, wine, sugar, and chocolate at a time like this!?! Not me!

I felt like the doctors were not taking me seriously and perhaps thought I was making it all up.

A few months later, things really went downhill. The pain was non-stop, my periods were lasting for two weeks, and my hormones were raging. My face was breaking out, I was having mood swings, severe headaches, other strange things started happening, and then—I started having night sweats. I mean the kind of night sweats when you have to change your clothes and sheets two to three times a night. I was still gaining weight. Then the night sweats started happening during the day too. I started having the shakes. I was miserable.

More doctor visits… More

Warning! Being A Parent Causes Multiple Personality Disorders by Nicole Mangina

I love Nicole’s essay because I have experienced the same feelings. I wonder if all moms feel this way?

Here is Nicole…

Yet another tidbit of information that I realized this week is not in any of the parenting books.

Gary and I have been planning our trip to Greece for six weeks and I have been incredibly excited the entire time, up until two days before we left. It was our first big trip without the boys.  My dad and his wife were coming to stay with Alex and Ryan and all of a sudden, I started to feel sad and guilty for leaving the boys. I was missing them before we even left. On the plane, I actually started crying. You know, one of those crying moments when you try to hide it and act like nothing is wrong (I didn’t want Gary to think I was a complete sap) and the harder you try not to cry the worse it gets? Here I am on an amazing vacation that I have so been looking forward to and all I can do is cry about the kids. Not exactly setting the mood from a romantic perspective. More

When Saying “No” and Speaking Your Mind Feels Good!

I went through a uncomfortbale–and much too long–phase of being the “Yes” woman. Some people took advantage of the temporary role I played as “that person”. I could be all things to all people at all times (or so I thought). Yes, I’ll be room mom, library volunteer, preschool helper, class auction project go-to-girl, help tutor kids during school hours, bake whatever dessert you please for whatever event you want, watch your kids, and do whatever else you want me to do… No problem. Sure, I’ll set my own personal needs aside to make my house look perfect, cook delicious meals, and attend every social function I’m invited to (even if I don’t want to). And yes, I’ll agree with you to make you happy, tell you what you want to hear so that you’re not upset, or just keep quiet so things stay calm. I’ll keep my own thoughts to myself and internalize my feelings. How healthy does that sound? Not very…

One day, I just couldn’t do it anymore; I had enough. I was tired and feeling taken advantage of. People knew I would say yes because that’s what I did, but what I had loved doing (helping) became a chore and expected of me–I wasn’t having fun anymore. It was my own fault, of course. I let it go too far, and I didn’t set boundaries. Also, I wasn’t feeling like I was being authentic by holding back my true feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Is that really the example I want to set for our girls—to be an un-opinionated martyr. NO! I am a smart woman with thoughts and opinions that are worth saying aloud.

I needed to reorganize my life in a hurry, and I did. I was done with that old way, which was actually not the way I had been growing up. It was time to go back to my spunky, energetic, respectfully opinionated self that I was before I had lost my sparkle. More

Calgon Take Me Away by Liz Nord

Our kids are home sick—AGAIN! It’s my oldest daughter this time. Geez…what’s going on around here!?! I feed them healthy meals, they wash their hands (most of the time), go to bed by 7:30 pm or 8pm, and as far as I know, they aren’t licking the water fountain at school. I feel bad for them for being sick, but come on…I’m tired of this being sick, staying home for days at a time business.

Am I allowed to say that? Am I suppose to feel bad that I actually like having a few hours to myself each day to do whatever it is I do: cook, clean, bake, laundry, run errands, volunteer, exercise, and write. Yes, this is domesticity at its finest. Even though I jest and complain, honestly, there is no other place in the world I would rather be right now…well—It would be nice to live someplace tropical…oh well.

I’m signing off to make creativity collages with the kids. You can bet mine will be covered in pictures of the ocean, sandy beaches, palm trees, exotic flowers, books, and beach houses. I’m self soothing and keeping the kids happy and occupied at the same time. Try it—it feels good.

What’s your favorite stay-at-home while kids are recovering art project?

Hope you have a great day!

Question of the Day: Do You Feel Like a “Bad” Mommy?

People get burned out working at jobs sometimes (even jobs they love and are passionate about), so they take a day, weekend, or vacation to refresh, rest, and re-energize. Do you think women who are stay-at-home moms are viewed as “bad mommies” when they need a little vacation from their day-to-day grind?

Do you feel guilty when you take a “break”? How does your significant other fit into the equation?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

P.S. This is a picture from a vacation gone bust several years ago. There was a wild-fire and we were literally smoked out of our vacation. My youngest and I ended up sick with severe sinus infections. My first sinus infection of many to come…I needed a vacation after that vacation, but that’s a different topic for another day.

Patience by Liz Nord

People who don’t know me very well, think I am a very patient person. Let me tell you right now: I have zero patience and it’s a problem—my problem. I’ve trained myself to keep my impatience under control and to appear calm, cool, and collected. I definitely have much more patience for children than I do adults. I want to be patient. I try hard, but under the surface, I can feel my impatience brewing, waiting, and wanting.

I’m not a brat. I swear. I’m a nice person. I do “act” patient with my kids, family, friends, and acquaintances most of the time. My impatience is just some weird glitch I’ve had since I was a kid. My mom thought I would outgrow it after having children, and she was genuinely surprised when that never happened.

It’s not that I act outwardly impatient towards people and situations; It’s just that I’m completely freaking out inside.

I’m thinking things like: More

Privacy, Please! by Liz Nord

Privacy, please! No, I’m not talking about the bedroom. I’m talking about shower time. When our daughters were younger, I could take a shower while they were sleeping or napping. Not anymore! Our six and nine-year old daughters don’t seem to sleep anymore than we do now, and nap time is long gone.

Do you know how many times that I have been so excited to take a shower because I thought it would ensure that I would have some alone time!?! I would think…ah, now is the perfect time. They are busy playing well together, coloring, hanging with dad, or watching a show. YES! I’ll make a run for the shower.

Seriously, in under five minutes the shower door fly’s open and some “dramatic” situation has arrived—“Olivia did this, Bella said that, I’m starving, I’m thirsty, something broke, the DVD is skipping, Where is my such and such toy?, Are you done in there yet?” More

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