Mommyhood: Who Am I

May 28, 2017

Losing and Finding Yourself as a Mom Losing and Finding Yourself as a Mom

I yelled downstairs to the basement “Hey, do you mind if I dry my hair?” His response “No. Lord woman, dry your hair! We’re good.” I stood there, in the hallway, staring at my Agreeable Gray walls thinking to myself “Did I really just ask if it was okay to dry my hair? Who the f*$k am I?” It wasn’t the first time I’ve asked for permission and internally scolded myself it after the words had escaped my mouth. I do all the time now that I’m sitting down writing this. I ask if it’s okay for me to go to the gym. If it’s okay for me to go to the grocery store. Does anyone mind if I go take a shower. Is it alright if I go out to dinner with my friends. I’m asking permission a lot these days.

I quit my job recently and am staying at home with the girls. I wonder if I feel like indebted for the ability to spend my days chasing, living, watching, and loving, while he goes to work and is forced to hold the financial burden for our family. I haven’t completely left it all up to him. I’m still making money (no, not on this blog, don’t worry), just not like I used to. And I mean listen, this whole raising kids / stay-at-home mom thing is seriously no joke. I’ve only being doing it a month and I contemplate drinking, at noon, no less than twice in a five-day period. *GIVE ME ALL THE DRINKS* But maybe that’s it. Maybe I feel like I don’t do enough? Like I pushing things on to him when I know he wants to relax as well after a long work week. I don’t know. I just know the old Megan would never “ask permission.” No, she would make statements like “I’m going upstairs to dry my hair.” And then would move about her day.

It’s so hard to grace that line between permission and notification. I want to be sensitive to his needs. I want to be understanding. I want us to share responsibility. I want him to feel like I’m not demanding, but instead being thoughtful. But I also don’t want this to become a habit, because it will be a terrible one to break. I also don’t want the girls to think you have to ask to take a shower. And please know that my husband is really the most thoughtful man. He will encourage me to just leave the house by myself for a few hours. To go to the grocery store by myself. To head upstairs and get to bed while he picks up downstairs. He is not someone who wants me to ask for permission.

So then, I worry what if I become this meek woman? I imagine me with my head bowed, staring down at the floor, whispering requests for an outdoor excursion. He would despise that…I think. I know I would. Ugh I would hate myself. But that begs the question, right? Who am I becoming? Have I lost myself completely? Will I ever come back? Please know that this is all running through my brain as I stand in my bathroom, with my head turned upside down, blow dryer on full blast, hoping to get my hair fully dry in what in my mind I see as an “acceptable time” to be away from our children.

And then, then I walk downstairs and I hear my husband and our oldest daughter playing. I smile, I chuckle, then I cry. Being a mom is hard. I’m putting undue pressure on myself and on my husband. He’s not expecting me to ask for his permission. I’m doing that. He tells me multiple times a week how proud and thankful he is I made the decision to stay home with our children. That man loves making memories with those two, any chance he can get. So he doesn’t even think twice when I take some time to myself. Instead, he encourages it.

I guess I’m writing all of this because I feel like we, as women and/or moms, tend to hold ourselves to unreal expectations or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. It just feels like I’m putting so much pressure on myself to be everything. But no one else wants me to be everything. It’s just me. I haven’t lost myself, I’m a new version of myself. I need to get out of my brain and just be me. Stop worrying that I got “more time to myself this weekend than he did” and just live. Just find the joy in everything I’m doing, including drying my hair once a week, and live. Because if this were all gone, who would I be? Where would go? What would I do? I would be lost. So, right here, right now, this is where I want to be, what I want to do, and who I have become. I wish the same for you.

This is a journey. Embrace the ride.
Find your new you. Embrace her.
Don’t lose sight of why you married that man. Embrace him every chance you get.
Lose the false expectations. Embrace reality.
Look at you in the mirror. Love her fiercely.

Love and Light,
Megan

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Mommyhood: It Ain't Easy Is it? | TheMcBaileys.com

I watched Adele’s speech about losing herself to motherhood the other night at the Grammy’s and I was struck. Struck by the strength it took to admit that on national television, struck by the truth behind the words she was speaking, and struck by the genuine nature of her delivery. Listen, no one prepares you for how tough motherhood is. There isn’t a class you can take, there isn’t advice anyone can give. You truly just don’t get it until you’re in it.

The Funk
Today I woke up in a funk. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I missed sleeping in. I missed not being woken up in the middle of the night. I missed working out without having to schedule it. I missed having dinner with my husband and engaging in meaningful discussion. I missed my adult house. I missed my old body, before kids. I missed my husband. I missed vacation. I missed quiet. I missed time. I missed…my old life. But I think we all, not just moms but dads too, miss it. I think both mothers and fathers experience “The Funk.” It’s all about the season we are experiencing. My season: a 4 month old and a 3 year old. I know there are some of you going “oh yea girl, I KNOW!” But it’s not just limited to littles, it happens with the older ones as well. The timing and situations are different, but the seasons are just as difficult, if not more difficult.

The Loss
I think folks are quick to judge, and probably just did, when I said “I missed my old life.” I get it, I truly do. I didn’t even think I was going to be able to have children. I almost didn’t survive the first one. So how could I miss a life I wanted to trade so badly? A life some aren’t afforded? It’s hard to explain it without sounding ungrateful, but I’ll try. When we bring children into the world, they become our world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, NOTHING. However, in that, we lose a little bit of ourselves.

Again, this doesn’t just apply to women, I think it applies to men as well. In my experience, women just tend to lose a greater sense of self. I no longer am interested in the things I once was. Even if I was, I’m not sure I’d know how to fit it in. I’m having a hard enough time fitting in working out. I know many people will say “Oh shut up, just make the time. Watch less tv, give up X, demand your husband watch the kids.” But it isn’t that simple. I don’t watch tv, my husband does offer to watch our children while I go “take care of me,” but I feel guilty. And not only guilty, but as much as there are days I want to run and hide, I love being with them. I don’t want to miss anything. Except in that, I’m missing me. DO YOU SEE THE CONUNDRUM?!?!?

I’m not the woman my husband married, I know that (I actually blogged about it, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m actually not sure who I am any more. Who is this woman in the mirror? Why can’t she get it together? Why can’t she just get 5 minutes to herself? Why can’t she just sleep in? Why are they always in the bathroom with her? Why can’t she take a shower and shave her legs without interruption? Why are they always calling her name? She’s “Mamma,” that’s why.

The Transformation
Those days, the days I want to run and hide, I can’t and I won’t. Instead, I snap the f*!% out of it. It’s just a season. It will be over before I know it, and then I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the toys. I’ll miss the noise. I’ll miss them needing me. I’ll miss them calling my name. I’ll miss the cartoons. I’ll miss the diapers. I’ll miss all of it.

So I’ll accept and relish in my new life. I’ll schedule a date night to have dinner, drinks, and conversation with my husband and feel like an adult again. I’ll drop the kids at the daycare in the gym and run on the treadmill until my legs can’t take another step. I’ll take a shower and shave my legs even if they do interrupt. I’ll put on makeup even if I don’t plan to leave the house. I’ll call my girlfriends and schedule a wine night (*cough* “book club meeting”). I’ll make myself whole again. These weren’t things I had to think of or plan before I became a mom (or you became a dad), but they are things we MUST do.

No one can prepare you for the life you will have with children, but they can help you navigate the waters once you are in it. I know it’s hard. I know it’s confusing. I know it can be sad and happy all at the same time. But it isn’t a life I would change even in the least. I, WE, just have to do a better job of taking care of ourselves. Because if mamma ain’t happy, no body is happy, right? *laughing* Take care of yourself, put yourself first more often than not, embrace your new life, adjust to make it work, foster your relationship with your husband, and savor these seasons. Because before you know it the season of life will change, your children will grow older, and it will be just you and your husband again wishing it wasn’t so quiet.

So much love and light,
Megan

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Dear Husband: I'm not the Woman You Married | www.TheMcBaileys.com

Driving in the car the other night my husband finally lost it on me. He told me he was exhausted with trying to figure out if I was in a good mood or a bad mood, that he wasn’t sure I actually liked him, and he just didn’t know what I wanted. I felt bad for him, I felt bad for me. But most of all, I felt bad for us because he was right. He didn’t know and I didn’t know either. The thing is, I realized in that moment I wasn’t who I used to be. I wasn’t the gal he married five years ago.

When we met 7 years ago my biggest concern in life was what class I was going to take the gym. My biggest responsibility was paying my rent. I was an independent, 28-year old, career woman. I was in shape, eating healthy, going out with my friends, traveling the world, and care-free. I’m not that person any more. There are days I wish I was, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be that woman again. I don’t know if it’s possible to be that woman again. I’m not sure I want to be that woman again.

Since that beautiful autumn day in October when we exchanged our vows in front of our closest family and friends, we’ve bought two houses, had two children, switched jobs to better suit our family, moved away from the city and taken on commutes. I’ve experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, and death…my life, our life, isn’t the same. I’m not the same. I’ve changed. Physically and emotionally, I have changed. I try to be fun. I try to be care-free. I try to smile. I try…I try. But as hard as I try, I can’t be everything all the time. There is just too much at stake. There is too much attention from other little people demanded of me. There is too much expectation I’ve set on myself. Too much I need to teach and show these girls to make sure they grow up to be better than me and you. Too much work, too much stuff, too much responsibility, too many demands. There is just too much. Too much of everything. And I don’t know, I REALLY don’t know how to make it stop.

Husband I’m trying to balance it all. I’m trying to figure out how to make it all work. It’s not easy ya know? I know you know. Because I know you are trying to do the same. I know you feel the pull of me, and our children, and your work, and your friends, and your hobbies. I know you don’t understand why I’m so hard on myself and hard on everyone else. I know there are days you look around and think “who is this woman and what is going on here?” I know you think that because I think the same thing.

There are days I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself. There’s gray hair and a smooshy stomach. There are wrinkles and creases that appear overnight. There’s self-doubt in my eyes, and unbearable pain in my heart. There’s darkness where light used to shine. There’s sadness where joy used to exude. But then there are days I smile and laugh when I look in the mirror. I created and carried two children! I wasn’t supposed to be able to do that! I have lines from where I’ve laughed and smiled so hard and so often over the years, they are becoming permanent. There’s happiness where there used to be sadness, as I learned to navigate the waters of death and grief. There is determination in my eyes where there used to be doubt in my abilities as a mother, wife, business owner, daughter, sister, and friend. There’s hope, so much hope swirling around me.

Husband, I know, I KNOW loving me is hard. I know living with me is hard. But bear with me. I may not be the gal you met, fell in love with, and married. But she is there. She’s just a little different. She might be bogged down with life, but I know she shows herself every now and then. She’s there, she just isn’t the same. She’s changed. She’s transformed. She’s actually a lot cooler than that chick was. She can laugh at her mishaps, and cry at her defeats. She can admit defeat proudly, and share it with others. She can look into her children’s eyes and feel more love than she thought possible. She speaks to a man in the sky with such fierce commitment and blind faith, and He hears her and shows her the way. She’s crazy (no really, she is certifiable), but she knows when to tell you and when to center herself. She’s broken, but healing. She loves you so much it hurts, it actually hurts to think of a life without you. She is there, she has just evolved and morphed into a Phoenix. She is constantly seeking the Truth, and the way.

So husband, if you happen to met a gal that reminds you so much of who your wife used to be, don’t lost hope on me just yet. Remember that girl won’t be skinny and care free forever. She may be fun now, but she’ll change. The years will change her. The children will change her. The job will change her. Just like it’s changed you. We are different, but better. Older, but wiser. More flawed, but stunning. I love you, I want you, I need you. And thank you. Thank you for loving me even when I’m unlovable. Thank you for gifting me these two incredible humans. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for wanting only the best for me. Thank you for showing me what true love it. Thank you, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Hugs and Loves,
Your New and Improved, Yet Perfectly Flawed Wife

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DIY Dress-up Clothes Storage

December 28, 2016

DIY Dress Up Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

Santa brought Waverly a whole slew of dress-up clothes this Christmas (read: Momma and Grandma found a million on 80% clearance the day after Halloween and we bought all we could get our hands on). Regardless, I needed somewhere to put all of these clothes. We have a closet in our playroom, but the closet rod is normal height and waaaay too high for Waverly to reach. I wanted to make sure she had full access to the clothes and all of the accessories to go with the outfits – and could also help us clean up. I tried to find one that I could quickly purchase, but ummmm $100+…I’m rolling my eyes. I can FO SHO make one for a lot less. So I put on my thinking cap. And here you have it (‘scuse the terrible lighting, it’s in the basement and well, ain’t no natural light happening in there)!

DIY Dress Up Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress UP Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | Bottom Shelves

So here’s what I did – I purchased two of these bookshelves from Target:
roomessentialsbookshelf

We assembled them (took like 15 min each) and only put in one shelf, at the very last possible shelf position. We purchased two 3/4 inch wood dowels from the ole Home Depoticals, cut them to size, drilled a pilot hole to ensure the dowel didn’t split, and inserted a screw into each side (4 total).

Then, we bolted them together with carriage bolts at the top and then the bottom.

bolts

I added in some leftover wallpaper I had in storage (from Target) that I was going to use in Waverley’s little house under the stairs, so I just put that on the back of the shelving unit (on the terrible flimsy pieces of cardboard they give you (Laughing)) to give it a little something.

Lastly, we secured the unit to the wall because…children = climbing. Safety first right?

So what do you think? Easy peasy (AND SUPER QUICK) way to store all those crazy clothes and accessories for dress up. Let me know if you make one or have made any other ones. I would love to see yours!!

Hope you like it – Waverly is in LOVE with it.

Hugs and love,
Megan

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Gender Neutral Nursery

Surprise! I had another baby! *laughing* Well, we found out in January we were expecting (I think I shared that but can’t be certain) and I haven’t been doing a good job of blogging. *Read, I HAVE NOT BLOGGED AT ALL* But I thought what the hay, I’m on maternity leave maybe I’ll post my newest nursery. Just like the first go round, with our daughter Waverly, we didn’t find out the gender of our baby until the baby arrived. So, I set out to ensure I had a gender neutral nursery again this time, that could easily accommodate male/female colors once the baby had arrived. I’m super obsessed with black, gold, and white right now, so I knew for sure that I was going with that color scheme for the nursery. I think it’s pretty eclectic with some rustic, some glam, and some whimsical. I hope you love it as much as I do. I’ve listed sources at the bottom. Also, I’m waving in one of the pictures. *laughing* It was IMPOSSIBLE to get that shot without me in it.

Hugs and Loves,
Megan

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 3

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 4

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 5

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 6

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 7

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 8

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 9

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 10

Crib: Walmart | Crib Sheet: Target | Paint Color: Agreeable Gray by SW | Dream Catcher Mobile: The Dream Barn on Etsy | Animal Prints: SynPlus on Etsy | You Are Loved Painting: Erin’s Modern Art on Etsy | Giant Rabbit Print: Groovy Magnets | Rug: RugsUSA.com | Moroccan Pouf: Overstock | Black Tassle Pom Curtains: Walmart | White Curtains: Pottery Barn Kids | Rabbit Tie Backs: Anthropologie | Dresser: Ikea | B Pallet: DIY | Gold Buckle Tie Back: DIY | Side Tables: DIY | Wall Dots: Amazon | Changing Pad Cover: Amazon

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US Heart Map This has been a crazy couple of weeks in this country, has it not? I struggled with whether or not I should even chime in on this topic. Do I have the right? Am I knowledgeable? Do I have enough experience? What right do I have? Who do I think I am? I truly don’t know if I can answer any of those questions. But I do know my heart and my brain tell me I should say something. They both tell me that I can’t just sit back and feel the sting of defeat. That I can’t sit idly and watch this all unfold. That I shouldn’t be silent when I see and hear things that just aren’t right. That if I don’t speak up, who will? I don’t really know what I hope to gain from this post. I DO know I don’t want to just check off a box and say “Look at that post, see I tried.” and then go about my merry way. So here I am, throwing my ten cents out into the Google machine in hopes that maybe one or two people will read what I write and reflect with ” I never really thought about it like that.” or even maybe “Hmmm, she’s has some valid points.”

Did the title of my post turn you off? Piss you off? Make you roll your eyes? I bet for some of you it did. I expected that. I’m not offended. I bet you’re tired of hearing about white privilege, “Black Lives Matter”, and all that jazz. But I wish you weren’t. I wish you understood how lucky us white people really are. I can already hear it now “Oh for the love Megan!” I know, I know. It hurts to hear doesn’t it? Does it make you cringe? Make you uncomfortable? I know it does. Mostly because I know you don’t even realize it. How could you? How could you fathom what it’s like to be black in this country, if you aren’t black? You’ve never dealt with racism, you’ve never been profiled by a police offer because you were “Driving While Black” (yea you guys say that in jest, but it’s a REAL thing). You were never not allowed to vote (except us women, we know all too well about that don’t we), drink from the same water fountain, get an education, receive a bank loan, be afraid to raise a black son (I could go ON AND ON, but I won’t…). You were always allowed those basic things, because you are white.

It’s been just over 50 years since segregation ended (1964). But let’s be real folks, the whole nation, every single person in this country, didn’t wake up one day and change our minds about black folks. Nope. Segregation may have been illegal, but racism was/is still very alive and running rampant. It’s ingrained in us. Generations raised on a belief system. So it isn’t your fault, you just don’t know any better. But really, you do. You do know better.

You do know that blacks are stopped by police more frequently that whites. You do know that blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be shot by officers than whites. You do know that minorities don’t have the same opportunities that we, as white Americans do, BECAUSE you do know that it takes a little longer than 50 years to end an entire belief system, to correct our wrongs, to provide equality. No one is saying that your life doesn’t matter. No one is saying the life of police officers doesn’t matter. No one wants to incite violence or retaliate. What people are saying is that we cannot continue to turn and blind eye. We can’t. We can’t continue to act like this is okay. We can’t continue to ignore that generations, GENERATIONS, were taught to hate and raised with racial bias.

Listen, I’m white. I’m privileged just by being born white. It’s a fact. I grew up lower-middle class, but in a predominately white neighborhood. I was schooled in public schools, well-funded, surrounded by mostly white children (But I will give it up to my alma mater, Princess Anne High School, in Virginia Beach, VA. It was by far one of the most diverse schools when I speak to my inner circle about their high school experience. Thanks PA, love you forever!). I went to predominately white college, surrounded by white classmates. My first job out of college was with a major rental car corporation, run by white males, and surrounded by mostly white male colleagues. Think about that for a moment. Really think about that. This is also because whites make up 77% of the U.S. population. That’s a lot of white people! (laughing) But I think you can see how there might be a tendency, based on that fact alone, to cater towards white Americans in media, in politics, in movies, in the news, in everything. You cater to the majority, right? Right! It’s just the way it is.

But, I don’t want the fact that we are 77% of the population in this country to affect our ability to think clearly, to be decent humans, to know the difference between right and wrong, to fight for equality, to give everyone a fair shot. We are all the same. We all deserve a fair chance. We all deserve to be treated with respect. Not all black people are violent and/or criminals. Not all black neighborhoods are terrible. Not all police officers profile blacks. This is an unbelievable country, founded by immigrants (yea we weren’t just born here, unless you are Native American, we came here on boats y’all), based on helping each other, celebrating successes, and our pledge of allegiance ends in “with liberty and justice for all.” So, if you immediately snap back with “ALL LIVES MATTER” just take a moment, try and hear what someone is saying, try and think about your experiences versus theirs. You may just find you have a compassion and the will to learn a little more about a road unknown to you.

Hugs and Love from TheMcBaileys.com

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So You’re Having a Baby…Well, Let Me Set the Stage For You

May 25, 2016

Your first baby? CONGRATUFREAKINGLATIONS!! First and foremost, getting pregnant is a lot harder than people think. So if you struggled to get pregnant, kudos to your cervix, your uterus, your vagina, your eggs, your special private areas, your body, and all of the rest of it. Because that crap, ain’t easy and I know it […]

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#ThankfulThursday: 05.19.2016 Edition

May 19, 2016

Gratitude is define as: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Most people express gratitude in different ways. My mother always told me that the words “thank you” can go a long way. She was right. A simple, genuine, thank you can take someone by surprise and make […]

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Why I {Mostly} Stopped Shopping at Walmart

May 17, 2016

Oh Walmart. Do remember the first time you walked into one? How about the first time you walked into a Super Walmart? Not a Supercenter, an actual Super Walmart? We have the third largest Walmart on the East Coast here. It’s huge. Like, ginormous {I’m not sure that’s a word, but I use it a […]

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#ThankfulThursday: 05.12.2016 Edition

May 12, 2016

Confession, I’ve actually missed my Thankful Thursday posts. They provided me a moment each week to reflect on the time I’ve been given on this earth. Someone asked me recently if it was tough for me to find “something” to be thankful for each week. I smiled. Not in a crappy way though. More in […]

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