about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.



Clarity.

I told you guys I would stop by here more often, even on the busy and crazy weeks.  So here I am.  Hi!

Two weekends ago, Casey and I were having a lovely Saturday around town.  We’d just gone to a fun craft show and headed to one of our favorite vegetarian diners for lunch afterward.  And just in case you are interested, I was about halfway through this giant plate of fantastic-ness.

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Guacamole veggie burger with (soy) bacon, and a big pile of roasted potatoes.  Happiness. 

Casey was getting slammed with work emails all though lunch, and I could tell something was looming.  Looks like December is going to be really busy.  And by Monday morning, it was. 

Casey is in the middle of a big project, so his hours have sort of exploded.  Last week he was traveling, and when he wasn’t, he was in the office – even over the weekend.  This week has been more of the same – early mornings, late nights.  I’m not here to complain or rant about schedules and busyness though – it’s just part of life.  I know many others are going through the same (or worse), and we are very lucky that he has a really solid job. 

But the reality is – I’ve basically spent two weeks on non-stop baby duty.  Zero breaks – sun up to sun down and beyond.  It is always fun, but it’s exhausting.  I realized this week just how much I depend on my weekends for a mental break, and a chance to reenergize myself for the coming week.  Toddlers are exhausting. 

Capture

I’ve been in a funk this week, which is why I’ve stayed sort of quiet.  I always try to resist running to the keyboard to complain, even though I find writing to be very therapeutic.  So I complained to Casey instead.  With his crazy schedule, I’ve been alone a lot, which has given me lots of time to stir up all sorts of crazy in my head.  I fill our days with play dates and chats over coffee, but the afternoons and evenings are very long and I tend to feel really isolated.  Pair that with weaning and massive hormonal changes, and I’m fairly certain I am the definition of basket case.

Monday night, I ended up all weepy and blue, going on and on about how I don’t feel like I have any time to do things for myself.  When Cullen is up (which is most of the time – only 1-2 hours of naps right now), we are playing or we are out.  When he’s sleeping, I’m working.  And no matter how many emails I respond to, or Babble posts I publish, I still somehow always feel like I am behind.  So there never really feels like a good point in my day to say — Self, you’ve done well.  Time to relax and put your feet up.  (Does anyone ever feel like this??)

I don’t mean for this to turn into a big pity party.  These are just things I’m feeling lately, so please excuse my brain dump.  Recently, I’ve suddenly been feeling a huge surge of motivation to get back into regular exercise (I’m guessing this has something to do with those hormonal shifts too).  But it is met with the frustration that our current schedule is not really allowing for that to happen.  I am absolutely determined to figure it out – sooner than later.

After too many nights spent alone, and way too many really difficult evenings spent trying to entertain a very cranky toddler (who is getting his molars – kill me!), Casey texted me tonight to let me know he’d be home around 6pm, instead of the 8pm that has become our norm.  Do you know that the different between 6pm and 8pm feels like about ten hours?  And just like that, I heard angels singing from up above, and I felt like a normal, sane person again.

He was able to take over with Cullen as soon as he got home, which left me with a rare free hour before his bedtime.  I told him I was going to disappear for a bit, so I grabbed a few magazines and ventured into very unfamiliar place.

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I don’t even know how long it’s been.  Months, easily.  I’m guessing September – that sounds about right.  I knew better than to try to just bang out a few miles after such a long hiatus.  Plus, this wasn’t really about running.  It was more about taking a little time for myself, to do something that I needed.  And what I needed was to clear my head and move my legs.

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I walked most of the time.  Ran a little bit at the end.  Certainly nothing to write a big manifesto about.  But it felt really good, and 40 minutes later I left refreshed, relaxed, and ready to go find a squirmy naked baby trying to wiggle his way out of his pajamas in the nursery.

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I realized this week that one of the most important things I need to do as a mom is take better care of myself.  When I don’t take a little time out for me, I start to resent and take for granted all the time I spend taking care of my family.  I don’t have a master plan or proposed solution at this point, but at least I have the clarity to identify something that needs to change. 

I don’t really feel connected to running right now.  I don’t know why.  I keep expecting it to lure me back in, but the pull just isn’t there.  Instead, I’m feeling more drawn toward getting back into a regular yoga practice, or some sort of strength training.  We’ll see what happens.  Baby steps.  For today, I’m just happy to see some workout gear in my dirty hamper.  It has been far too long!

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140 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lacey     at 12:25 am

One vote for yoga!

[Reply]

Emily     at 12:35 am

I hear you about a couple hours feeling like a whole day. I get to do an hour’s yoga every day, which on the one hand feels something of a privilege but it’s also incredibly necessary for me to function at my best for the other hours in the day. There are those days when the full hour doesn’t happen, but I just wing it for however many minutes I have, and it tides me over well enough. I think one of the most helpful things is that it’s about the only time of the day where I actually stop thinking & get outside of my head. I’m happy for you that you got a run in tonight, hopefully there’ll be some more earlier evenings for Casey soon.

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Leah Reply:

I agree with your point here. With me sitting at a desk 8 hours a day yoga is a must at least twice per week. And it’s not easy to get there. There’s traffic due to the holidays and it’s cold out. But I go because I know I need it. Yoga’s not the solution to everything but it helps me not have back pain all day working at a desk.

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Emily Reply:

Totally agree with you about the back pain – that’s what got me to yoga in the first place!

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melissa     at 1:40 am

it’s helpful for you to remind all us mamas to take some time for ourselves, so thank you! it’s so easy to put others before ourselves day in and day out and then wake up cranky weeks later and wonder why.
good for you!

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Maya     at 1:41 am

I completely know how you feel, and I feel that way too sometimes. It’s funny how we all look at each others’ lives and think other people have it all together… I’ve been looking at your weekends and then complaining to my husband about how we don’t do enough fun stuff! It’s great how Casey is always up for filling his weekends with family things when he IS available.

I’ve lately discovered that Nitsah is (finally!) happy with the jogging stroller, especially if I play music on my phone and give her a rice cake to munch on while we go… how is Cullen doing with that these days?

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Julie     at 2:38 am

Have you considered finding a mom that also wants to get a workout in, and you switch off taking care of each other’s child while you are in the gym? Even once a week might be nice!

I like these posts, even if they are about difficulties. We all have struggles, it’s nice to know we all share the same human condition and we aren’t alone.

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More Reply:

I was just going to suggest that as well!

Also, a lot of gyms have a child watch area, too.

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Ginna Reply:

I think you do belong to a gym with child care right? I just started getting back into things and I take Madeleine with me when the hubby is working or we even go together. It is a great break and it gives her time away from me which is important! I’m in the same boat as my hubby works 12 hr shifts and nights and days on no real pattern and probably 40-60 hrs a week! It’s exhausting. I try to also go out by myself to rub errands and shop for about 4 hours every week or two.

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 3:06 am

I think most stay at home moms feel similar to how you are feeling at some point. My husband is a marine so he’s never home. I have two kids, 4 and 2. It is hard and exhausting. You feel pulled in so many places and none of those places is really where you want to be. The worst for me is 4:00ish to dinner time. I’m just tired of the constantness (Is that a word?). I can’t say it gets better but it does change. Schedules change, personalities change, phases change… Keep your chin up :)

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Charlie (the runner beans)     at 3:09 am

Do you have a gym near you that has a creche or baby gym? Might be good to give yourself 30mins-1hr you time!! plus you’ll get some exercise in, or you could just sit in the sauna! Or you could try mother baby swimming lessons? (not exactly free time for you but would be something a bit different!)

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CaitlinHTP     at 3:55 am

I know why you keep saying that you aren’t complaining and know its not so bad :) but STOP! It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and tired when your husband is mostly MIA for a few weeks! Your feelings are justified. I’m so glad you found a moment to run!

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Laine     at 4:00 am

It’s so sad that people have to add disclaimers to their unhappiness – you can be frustrated even if this is the life you chose and other people have it worse. You can be tired even if you aren’t a single mom whose husband died in a war. You can relish your hour of yoga even if some people can’t afford yoga. And you can be blissfully happy even if other people have it better than you.

You don’t have to walk around grateful every second of the day just because other people are worse off. Someone is always worse off! But that doesn’t mean that there’s just one poor person on earth who gets to complain.

My mom had 5 kids in 6 years, which explains why she once put me in a taxi by myself and sent me to preschool when I was 2. She used to “trade kids” with another woman so they could each get some time alone and recharge.

[Reply]

gillian Reply:

so well said!

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Kath Reply:

Agreed Laine!

Xo Emily!

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Elizabeth Reply:

Ditto! Very well put.

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 4:05 am

First: I feel you on the molars. I *think* we’re done with that now, but for a month and a half, it was complete hell and she got them all at once! Ahhhh. As far as working out, do you still have a gym membership? Now that our kids are older (hahah) I have been thinking of getting back to the gym because I think Ada would enjoy childcare for up to an hour. Do you still have those couple hours on Tuesday and Thursday where you have Cullen watched? My dad has volunteered to do something like that for me, but we can’t coordinate well enough, so I end up not getting that time :( Anyway, I feel bad complaining because Stephen gets home much earlier, but I can completely relate to working all the time Ada’s sleeping. I get up at 5:30 every morning to work . . . work during her morning nap and the afternoon one is hit or miss these days. When Stephen gets home, he wants to run . . . so it’s usually 6pm before I get to run (and I’ve fallen because it’s always in the dark, so now I’ve taken to the treadmill). So, I guess that’s a long way of saying the treadmill rules, use it! I just started a week or so ago, and I’ve logged way more miles than I was outdoors. I know this sounds awful, but I was thinking of borrowing my parent’s baby gate (the kind in a circle shape) to see if Ada might tolerate play in it for half an hour here/there so I could run on the treadmill. We let her watch 24 minutes of TV/day (Yo Gabba Gabba — GASP I know that’s not recommended under age 2…) . . . but I could get in a few miles that way. Ugh. Who knows. It all changes by the hour, it seems!

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

great idea on the gate! A healthy Momma is a better Momma. :)

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker Reply:

totally agreed! i’m totally going to try it sometime within the next week. ada is super active, but if i can’t run just 3 miles without having her occupy herself (and i imagine she’d get used to it out of habit), then something else is wrong!

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Ashley     at 4:11 am

Being a Mom is hard, and you hit the nail on the head with one of the things that makes it so hard. My husband works long hours too, and I often find that I just feel alone in it all. Frankly, because I am a lot of the time. I schedule playdates and activities all the time too, but nothing makes up for having a partner with you all day to share the laughs, the tantrums, and the responsibilities of day to day.

I have been adamant about finding time for exercise – it’s the only thing that keeps me sane and feeling good about myself. I belong to a gym that has a childcare room. We go a few mornings a week, and fortunately my daughter enjoys it too because she gets to play with other kids and new toys. I hate running with the jogging stroller, so if I can squeeze in a 3mile run before my husband leaves for work in the morning, I take full advantage.

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Tanya @ Vegan Faith     at 4:12 am

Do you have a gym with childcare? I know it isn’t always a favorite solution but it would give you the time you are looking for.

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Ann     at 4:15 am

Finding a gym with childcare helped me. I knew he was safe and I could exercise…and sit in the hot tub and take nice long hot showers. 2 hours of “me” time!!

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debbie     at 4:24 am

I loved pilates when my kids were babies. It was the only time of the day I could only focus on me and I always felt more energized and stronger after a session. I used pilatesanytime.com workouts at home so I didn’t have to rely on childcare. Ask your mom friends if they would want to “share” a weekly babysitter. There are always so many grad students available during the day. The Masters in Social Work department near me has a list of students available to babysit. Each family could take a half day. You need some “me” time!!!

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Liz @ runbakerace     at 4:35 am

I’m alone with the baby from sun up to sun down every single day and it’s hard. I even have a hubs who has to work Sunday every week too..such is the life of a finance guy in NYC. Anyways…the way I combat feeling isolated or alone is I go to the gym every single day. The little guy plays in the childcare center and I get an hour to myself. Sometimes I run but I’ve been known to get my haircut or sit in the hot tub. Those 60 minutes always leave me feeling refreshed :)

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Brooke     at 4:37 am

Do you have a gym near you with childcare? My husband is in his residency and is gone all the time and the gym every morning is my saving grace!

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Anne     at 4:43 am

It’s kind of a naive question, but you seems to be in a good financial situation to pay a babysitter 2-3 times a week, no ? Just take those couple hours to go run, take a meal with a friend or just go to the movie…

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Liz Reply:

I finally got a sitter one day a week and it has made me SO much happier. If you can afford it, do it!

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Alice Reply:

I was thinking the same thing.

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Alice Reply:

I was thinking the same thing. Even one day a week would make a huge difference.

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Jessica     at 4:43 am

I hear ya. My daughters are 6, 4, and 18 months and I am lucky that my husband only works 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week. So as soon as he gets home each day, he takes over care and I go do something for myself. I find it really makes me more calm and happier if I get time away.
Weaning my first two never bothered me, but with my third I was a hot, crying mess.
I hope you can continue to make time for yourself!

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Maria     at 4:51 am

It is honestly like I wrote this blog myself. I never ever would have thought I could go a month without running! But here I am….I was thinking about what you say at the end about not feeling drawn to running, and I think part of my issue is that maybe running just isn’t the right exercise for me. It may require too much energy that I probably can’t really spare at the moment. I’m back to my wedding weight somehow, so I’m clearly burning energy all day with my daughter, so maybe I’m just honestly too tired to run like I used to. I really do miss it though. I am thinking about trying out a gym with daycare to give myself time during the day rather than early morning or evening. Have you thought about trying to the gym daycare again now that Cullen is older?

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 4:53 am

As someone who hasn’t formally exercised in way too long (restaurant hours will do this to you), I completely understand where you are coming from. I would really like to hear more about starting strength training again, but I need tips! :)

I totally understand, from personal experience, how much a schedule can affect your mood at the end of the day.

I hope you and Casey have more time to spend together over the holidays! Thanks for sharing such a personal post!

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lisa fine     at 4:56 am

I don’t have kids yet, but I still love to read your posts and hear about life with children. I’ve worked with kids for many years, as teacher, but don’t know what it’s like to raise my own, and be with them all day, alone. I imagine it to be quite a challenge, quite exhausting, and quite humbling. Wishing you some alone time to do what you need and want to do.

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Bonnie     at 5:05 am

Be happy Emily. It could be so much worse. Count your blessings every day and ever minute. It will also give you a lift.
Take care of you and that little guy as he needs you. Nothing else matters.

[Reply]

Laine Reply:

It could be worse for everyone! That doesn’t mean that all of us can’t have times where we feel down and want a change. Slapping a happy face on feelings (or worse, telling someone else to slap a happy face on their feelings) is dismissive and unhelpful.

[Reply]

Brooke Reply:

What Laine said. Hang in there Emily. Like I finally doing with my book writing, you need to find an outlet. Somehow, someway. It will be your saving grace and help you be a better YOU and a better Mommy. Win all around. :) Have you checked with your mommy group about sharing a sitter/nanny? I know it can be super hard to find help for a few hours a couple times a week because most people are looking for full-time work. But if you shared someone with five other moms – think of how great that would be (you would all know her well and could compare notes – not to mention splitting costs). Just an idea. Good luck mama!!

[Reply]

Bonnie Reply:

My reply was taken completely out of content. I meant nothing but good wishes. Reminds me never ever to post again.

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Karen     at 5:05 am

Hi Emily, I’ve kept up with your blog for the last couple years but had never commented before today. Even though I don’t have children yet, your post still really resonated with me. No one, especially a parent, is made of stone. Although your husband must get some relief by being around other adults and non-parenting duties during the day, I also can’t imagine coming home to take over with a cranky toddler either. You both have a tough juggling act right now – but our money’s on your house that you’ll be able to work out “new normal” that gives you both some downtime. I know many have commented similarly before, but by sharing your experiences, both the ups and downs, you have been a great teacher for those of us who don’t have kids yet – your posts provide a practical yet inspirational look inside life as a person balancing multiple roles. And you do it beautifully, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. You got this.

Before seeing your latest post, I coincidentally read this article, which made me laugh out loud. Thought you and other would enjoy too: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-morrison/motherhood_b_2271349.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

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Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels     at 5:09 am

I’m a single person with no kids so I know not of what I speak but… it sounds like you would really benefit from getting a sitter for an hour or two, once or twice a week (even if you don’t leave your house), so that you can get some solid you time. Let the sitter entertain Cullen while you read magazines on the treadmill, take a bubble bath, cook, or whatever your heart desires. Everyone needs a break.

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Katy @ MonsterProof     at 5:16 am

I’ve been off running since my son had a health scare in APRIL. I completely understand both the disconnect, and how good it can feel to get back in the groove. 2x in the past 3 days! Yay!

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Emily E.     at 5:17 am

Have you tried the daycare at the gym again? When my boys were little, the gym kept me sane. I knew I had an hour where I could focus on myself and they would be taken care of. They screamed their heads off the first few times I left them, but they got over it really quickly and soon learned to love going to the gym and playing with all the other kids.

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 5:22 am

I recently lost my love for running. I used to look forward to my runs and now I just can’t say I feel the same. I was trying to force it for a bit, but now I’m moving on… I just joined the local YMCA and I’m looking forward to lifting and checking out the classes. You gotta do what works for you :)

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Andrea     at 5:24 am

You add some enlightening perspective to the hard parts of being a stay at home Mom, especially without any family nearby. Hang in there, you’re doing a great job!

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Lee     at 5:35 am

We are on a similar wavelength. I wrote a post last night about returning to running to feel more like myself. Different circumstances, but the same general idea. Running makes me feel more like me.

Also, it’s okay to feel frustrated with life circumstance sometimes. Sure, other people might have it worse off, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be happy about everything all the time. If writing is therapeutic for you, by all means, you should write about it!

Hope the week gets better for you! Hang in there, Emily.

[Reply]

Mary holland     at 5:37 am

You ALWAYS write about exactly how I’m feeling or what I am going through. Thank you for venting! I am in the same boat right now and am trying to fit in on hour of yoga a day at least. Doesn’t always happen. Thank you for your blog!

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Andrea     at 5:39 am

Great post. This is exactly how I feel. I get so grumpy when I’m constantly over exerting myself for others and taking no ME time. With baby #3 on the way (and a 4 and 6 year old under foot) I’m still trying to figure it out. I love your yoga idea. It’s so calming and soothing and it’s a perfect routine for a dreary winter!

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Ally     at 5:39 am

A return to yoga might feel like coming home for you…plus the stress relief is unparalleled!

On a separate note, your journey to pregnancy is an inspiration to me. It has taken me 13 months to get my period back after getting off of birth control, and my husband and I are just starting to try to get pregnant. Finger’s crossed that it doesn’t take us another year!

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Nancy     at 5:59 am

You need a gym with drop off childcare! It was the best thing and I didn’t have to schedule a sitter or have the house clean, just go and the 1-2hours are yours!

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Kelly @ Runmarun     at 6:02 am

Emily, thanks for this post. I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments above but…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I feel the same way that you do when the days get long and I’m here by myself with my daughter. I appreciate you being honest enough to admit that you start feeling resentful when you don’t get any time for yourself. I am the same way and it helps knowing that other people feel this way too. You are a trooper and major kudos to you for recognizing what you need! Hang in there lady!

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Lindsay     at 6:16 am

Did you cancel your gym membership? If not, maybe you try the childcare there again now that Cullen is older. Or find a new gym with better childcare options. I have a lot of sahm friends who go to the gym daily for themselves but for their kiddos too who love it – new toys and new people to pay attention to them :)

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Sarah     at 6:21 am

I totally get needing to vent but not really wanting to do it publicly. I probably do that a bit too much on my own blog.
You and I are in a similar boat- staying home with our very active boys who are of similar age, husbands who are working long hours recently, feeling isolated, etc.
I don’t have it all figured out, and in fact have been making similar complaints recently. And I’m sure you get similar offers frequently, BUT if you ever need someone to vent to who likely gets it, you’re more than welcome to email me. I really appreciate your honesty on your blog- it’s comforting to know someone else is going through similar things. So if I can ever return the favor…

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Verna     at 6:22 am

Hang in there mama! I’ve had long weeks too and my husband is almost always home by 5pm. Ha! We’re expecting our 3rd baby in July and the morning sickness is kicking my butt. I feel like I’ve had the flu for over a month. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed, the house isn’t getting cleaned, I can’t take the kids outside to play, I can barely take the mail to the mailbox. My husband helps as much as he can but it’s been a lot of long long weeks. I know this doesn’t help but just try to hang in there and ride out the storm. ((HUG))

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Jen     at 6:28 am

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO with you. I was just freaking out this morning trying to figure out how the heck I am supposed to be prepared for Christmas. I def feel like I have noooo time to myself, nonetheless to go shopping etc. (bringing the child xmas shopping has turned out disasterous.)

I’m still trying to find a solution – but at the very least I can offer that your not alone in your feelings. ;)

Jen

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Totally agree. I told Casey yesterday that I am going Christmas shopping ALONE this weekend, haha!

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Jen Reply:

Yeah – My husbands agenda (honeydo list…he he)this week was to get us a babysitter so we could go shopping. Unnsuccesful. :( So I ask him when/how we are going to get our shopping done? He replies “Just take her (daughter) with you.” ::sigh:: Apparently forgot quickly that we aborted last weekends shopping trip because it was too much with her…

Hoping online shopping can suffice. ( I need to expand my list of suitable babysitters!)

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julie     at 6:30 am

this might sound weird, or come out wrong, but…i kind of like it when you do a “brain dump” or complain a bit. it makes you appear more real than those other mommy bloggers who like to portray themselves as having their shit together 24/7. i’m not a mom, but i know it’s not all rainbow and butterflies all the time, so i like when you are real and honest with us.
i can’t imagine being cooped up in the house all the time with no company besides a toddler that you can’t have adult conversation with. i’d probably feel the same way as you. hell i feel that way now sometimes! i tend to think too much and get crazy in the head sometimes.
i think it’s good that you have this outlet to vent…that’s what a blog is for right?? sharing your thoughts and feelings? i think you’re doing a great job.

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Leah     at 6:33 am

Instead of leaping back into running how about yoga instead? I know running is a passion of yours but also that you have enjoyed yoga in the past. I can’t even imagine what it is like weaning and going through those changes both mentally and physically. :(

Good for you for taking some time to read and be on the treadmill. If I don’t do something active each day I’m a bear to deal with both at home and work. Sitting all day at a desk is killah (as we say in Boston).

Keep us posted. It’s really hard this time of year to keep a routine.

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Megan S @ gourmet or go home     at 6:38 am

As always I so appreciate your honesty and hope that you feel better soon. Even a wonderful life has it’s tough spots, funks and resentments. I hope you can find a form of exercise that recharges you and fits into your current life. Good luck!

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Lindsay     at 6:45 am

Oh Emily, I feel you. I have two wonderful girls (4&2) whom I love immensely. But being home with them day in and day out is draining physically, mentally and emotionally. My husband is an amazing father and husband but he has been working and out of town a lot lately. It is so very hard not to complain! Sometimes you just need to get it out, ya know?!

Last year I found a program called Fit Yummy Mummy (horrible name, I know). You can google it, but its a workout/nutrition program that has you do 15 minute strength workouts 3 days a week and 15 min interval workouts 3 days a week for a total of 6 days per week (or 3 30 minute sessions). I initially scoffed at the idea, but holy macarel it works. They are intense but doable, make you feel and look great. Anywho, something to look into if your interested! Hugs mama, one day at a time!

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Wendy     at 6:49 am

I totally hear you. I felt the same way. I think it’s worth getting creative ways to fit in the me time. I think that was one of the biggest, most difficult adjustments I went through as a mom when my daughter was first born. How do I spend time on myself and my interests without feeling selfish.

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Jess     at 6:49 am

Nothing more refreshing than a realistic blog post from another Stay at Home Mom. It’s not always bunnies and butterflies and it’s okay to say that out loud! Hang in there.

(And I agree with previous posters that if you can find a gym with a daycare, join and take advantage of it. Cullen is old enough to play and enjoy himself and you deserve some “me” time!)

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Mary Beth     at 6:52 am

I homeschool my three kids (5,7,9) and time out for mom and exercise are essential to mental/emotional wellness for me. I love this quick 10 minute workout for a mood booster: http://fitkim.com/videos/hiit-it-workout – it leaves you sweaty and happy!

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Meg     at 6:52 am

So sorry to hear that you’re having a rough patch! I definitely know the feeling of not having any time for myself. Stay strong and stick it out!

Have you thought of looking for a gym that has free daycare? At my gym there is a playroom, and parents can just drop their kids for free. I’ve even seen some parents drop their kids and then head outside for a run.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I have found a handful of gyms around here, but no free daycare. Our gyms seem to be really expensive! Guess I need to suck it up and find space in the budget.

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Ginna Reply:

Do you have a YMCA? It’s 80 bucks a month for a family and includes 2 hrs daily of free childcare while you work out. Super family friendly, great activities for kids and they have great classes!

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polly Reply:

i agree with the Y!!! :) The Y is awesome. XOXO

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Crystal Reply:

Plus a lot of the Y’s offer corporate memberships. Ours is 30% off b/c of my husband’s job.

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 6:58 am

Be gentle with yourself! You have a ton of stressors right now and so little time to unwind. You’re an awesome mom and you’re doing a great job balancing everything. Don’t feel guilty about sharing via blogging. Take care of yourself :)

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Adrianne     at 7:08 am

Oh yes, the molars! I so feel for you because that was just awful for everyone involved! My daughter is working on her canines now and while it’s not too fun some of the times, it is NOTHING compared to those stupid molars! So take heart, it will get better. But honestly, I don’t know how so many women do it on their own all the time or with traveling husbands. I work part-time, but on the days that I’m home, that last hour between 5 and 6pm when daddy gets home is the absolute longest hour of the day!

I hope things settle down for Casey soon and you can get a break. You need it and you don’t need to apologize or feel guilty for needing it. You’re doing a fantastic job!

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Lindsay Johnstone     at 7:08 am

Just wanted to pop in to say I have been there!!, I found weaning both of my kids to be an extremely emotional time. I also hear you on the lack of time to yourself, something I’ve learned over the last 5 years from trial and error is that as a Mom when you get a free hour you have to do want ever you feel like at that time. I used to have a plan for nap time, I was going to workout or prep in the kitchen but I found when I was always doing what I thought I should do I never felt like I got to do what I felt like doing at that time. Now when I get that rare time to myself I do want ever the heck I feel like doing at that moment. Sometimes a workout, maybe a nap, sometimes I bake or call a friend. But the point is that I no longer feel like I Have to do a certain things and it has done wonders for my mental sanity.

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Betsy     at 7:18 am

Hi Emily! I have been reading your blog for years and felt a huge urge to comment for the first time today. I do not have children yet, but I can only imagine how hard it is to find time for yourself! Hopefully things will slow down for Casey and you can work in something daily to make you feel sane- my vote is also for yoga :)

I just did a challenge to workout everyday for a year and it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I learned the importance of making myself my first priority and then everything else lines up neatly and happily behind. You’ll find your stride and what feels good. Best of luck, you’re definitely not alone!! xo

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Emily Malone Reply:

Every day for a year! Very impressive.

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Marie     at 7:24 am

Emily, with babes just six weeks apart, and an Executive Chef as a husband, I can more than relate. However, I work – full-time – outside of the home. So it is a different type of stress. My insight upon reading your post, I think some regular childcare would benefit you and Cullen. Maybe just one day a week? Hang in there. Thanks for your honesty.

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Kiele Gregoire     at 7:30 am

This is an amazing post, because it’s DEFINITELY something we all feel at different times, sometimes all the time, and something we need to take time out to catch out breath for in our own ways. It’s definitely a bookmarked post in my book, so that I can go back to it and feel less alone :) Thanks for writing this and glad you found one of those little twinkles.

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Courtney Leigh     at 7:31 am

I read your post this morning and then a co-worker sent me this quote just a few minutes later. It seemed like the universe might want me to share.

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”- Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

And I agree with Caitlin, it is okay to feel frustrated and overwhelmed AND to complain about it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you have. As a non-mama I look at what you are doing and I am just amazed. You are amazing.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Great quote!

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Jessie     at 7:34 am

Same boat over here! My husband is a business owner and also works long hours. He sees Lyric for about 30 minutes in the morning & that’s it most weekdays. The 4:00 to 6:00pm stretch is what kills me most days! It’s definitely draining taking care of a toddler – and we only have the one! I can’t even imagine having multiples. One of my escapes is yoga, there’s a drop-in childcare place down the block from my yoga studio which is great. Does Seattle have a drop in place like that (outside of a gym)? That could be an option. I even take an hour sometimes to drop Lyric off and run errands alone. Not quite “me time” but I can check a lot off my list!

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Allison     at 7:39 am

I wanted to agree with a previous comment that these posts make you much more real than bloggers whose lives are all rainbows and unicorns (as my 12 year old likes to say). Being a mom is really hard, especially if your spouse works a lot. I know! Being a mom is the greatest thing ever, but so is having 30 minutes to yourself to relax. Actually, being a mom really makes you appreciate that free time that you so rarely get. Remember that all PEOPLE need a little time for themselves to relax and recharge. Everyone needs that for their own mental health and honestly, getting that time away makes you a better mother when you are with them. Oh, and please don’t let people tell you you have it easy or you are so lucky. When you are mentally or physically exhausted, nothing else really matters.

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Ali     at 7:43 am

I would try to find a gym with a daycare! Thanks for being so honest in your posts!

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elizabeth     at 7:50 am

Posts like this from you every once in a while is why I continue to read! Because you’re honest (as much as you can be online) and I can relate to your feeling overwhelmed and kind of burnt out on all things schedule. I know you will figure out how to mix things up a bit, take better care of yourself and still be an amazing mom, wife, friend, etc… :) And go find some kind of workout that makes you feel alive!!

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Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 7:54 am

Everything you write about motherhood is so relatable! (I’m sure the cooking posts would be too if I even know how to boil noodles.) My husband travels all the time and I got a text this morning saying he now lands at 4 pm instead of 7 pm. Those three hours feel like an entire day and yes, the angels sang in our house today too. It’s hard being home alone with a toddler, you are not complaining you are just telling it like it is!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yay for 4pm! Makes such a HUGE difference, right??

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Laura-Ashley     at 7:57 am

I have to agree with a lot of the comments. Your “brain dump” posts are some of my favorite. Sometimes everyone needs a reminder that they aren’t alone in their struggles. Thank you for being so open and honest. I hope you can get more “you” time and that things quiet down a bit.

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Heather     at 7:58 am

We don’t have any kids yet, but my husband was called off on a business trip (kind of short notice) followed by a long business dinner right when he got back, so I know how easy it is to feel lonely and then instantly feel ‘guilty’ for having those feelings.

Here’s the thing: everyone’s situation is completely different. Your feelings are justified because they are YOUR feelings. You can’t compare yourself to others or diminish your emotions just because other people have it ‘worse off’, you’re NOT other people- you’re Emily. And you’re doing a great job balancing Casey, Cullen, and your work. It’s okay to admit you need a break- it makes you a better wife and mother!! I’m praying everything balances out for you xoxo

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Holly     at 8:04 am

Emily–NOTHING wrong with taking some time to vent. Everyone needs that now and then.

But I really really encourage you to be proactive about it and to stop finding reasons why you can’t take time for you. You have the means and time to have your ‘you’ time. The things you mention in this post do seem like a recurring theme on DG–Casey not being around, you needing more time to workout, etc. I feel like your readers have given you a lot of practical advice and at a certain point, you just have to say “okay, this is my priority.”

Yes it sucks that Cullen didn’t like daycare at the gym. But guess what–he’s probably not going to like kindergarten when he first goes either. He’ll probably cry. But I know you’ll make sure he keeps going to kindergarten because it’s important for him.

You need to do the same thing in this situation because it is important for YOU that he goes to the gym daycare (and ultimately, that makes it important for Cullen too!). Hand him off and walk away. The only way you are going to get some alone time is if you are willing to actually be alone. It feels hard, but know that you will be a better mother for it and give yourself a break.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Holly – you are so right! I feel like I always do this – I write something and forget to include a big chunk of what I meant to say. So many people here have suggested childcare at the gym, and I TOTALLY agree! I’ve actually been on the hunt. Can’t go back to our old one because we moved and that is nowhere near us anymore. I’ve been visiting gyms in our area the past few weeks, and I have found a few options. Now I just need to find a way to justify the COST! Seattle is expensive, and the gyms around us are $200/month with childcare included – yikes! I know at some point you need to be willing to pay the price for sanity though.

And to your point, I am so SO ready for alone time. I guess I didn’t realize I was coming off as a clingy helicopter who can’t let go. That’s really not the case. I am more than ready, just need to find the tools to do it. I actually DO have childcare one day a week while I work for a few hours, and it has been a big help. I’m not afraid to leave Cullen alone at all. He’s a really social, independent little guy, and he loves playing with new toys and people. I know it’s good for both of us!

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Holly Reply:

Glad to hear you are taking proactive steps! Now just hurry them up and don’t dawdle so you can grab that sanity back sooner rather than later. :)

Think about the cost this way–most nice-ish gyms would have you paying $75-$100 a month (at least in my area – NoVA) for just a membership. If you go three times a week and leave Cullen at daycare for 1.5 hours each time, you’ll be getting 4.5 hours of babysitting a week, or about 18 hours a month. At least where we live, 18 hours of babysitting (spread out) could easily run $200. So you’re really just paying for the babysitting but getting the gym membership for free! ;)

Glad to hear Cullen does so well alone! You guys are just going through an adjustment period right now–I have faith that you’ll figure out what works best for you both soon!

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Kimberley Reply:

Hi Emily – I’m sure you already know this and it may not be near you anyway, but there is a new 24 Hour Fitness opening in Totem Lake later this winter/spring. We pay about $100/month, including childcare, for 24Hour and I really like it. So even if you have to pay a higher cost at another gym for a few months, that might be a good option for you.

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Alice Reply:

Really well said. I agree completely.

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Amy Reply:

Totally agree with this. When I’m kind of stuck in a place like this (whether it’s this issue specifically — which I understand, I am a SAHM too! — or some other recurrent stressor) the most helpful thing I can do is figure out a way to be proactive and work toward a solution. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. :-) Good luck!

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Tammy Root     at 8:04 am

I know how difficult this must be for you. I rely so much on my nanny and hubby for a break. When my husband works over time or on weekends, I sometimes feel resentment, but then I have to take a step back and realize that it is not his fault.

I cannot imagine how tiring it is to take care of a 1-year-old for 2 weeks straight! I think 6 months is hard but I’m sure it is way more exhausting at 1-year. Hang in there. Sending a big cyber hug your way. :)

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Katie     at 8:25 am

I totally hear you about needing some time for yourself. Being on maternity leave was ROUGH for me – and my hubby was home at 4:30 every day! Even now with a 7 month old, our evenings aer hit and miss – last night was definietly a miss :(

If you need recommendations for a a sitter/daycare provdier, I’ve got a great one in Mill Creek! Not super close to you, but close enough, and she’s $40 a day, 7 am to 6 pm! She’s into organic foods and healthy eating, and a midwestern girl to boot :) Roman is always so happy when I pick him up!

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Kelly     at 8:39 am

I can totally relate! I love being a SAHM, but have gotten into a rut of sitting around feeling sorry for myself for my lack of sleep instead of exercising. It’s funny, I too decided this week to change things and start exercising and taking better care of myself again!

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Lisa Paige     at 8:57 am

How about hiring a sitter a few hours a week? Sittercity.com is where I found mine & she’s worked out wonderfully.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 9:02 am

I hope you’re able to get some more you time soon! That is so important! Did you ever have any luck with finding part time help?

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Caitlin     at 9:12 am

Hi Emily,

As other have mentioned, thanks for being so honest. I have noticed that dissatisfaction is a common theme among bloggers these days and I think it relates to the expectation that young women must be *perfect.* It is both externally and internally applied. It means different things for different people, but in general it translates to the need to appear like you have it together all the time. We also tend to think that we will be happy some time in the future. To put things in perspective, I am 29, but I am not yet married or have children, and I look at your life and think “she has it so great, that is what I want.” But I’m not thinking about how lucky I am that I can just go to yoga class several times a week. I can tell that you are thankful for the life that you have, but it is important to live in the NOW. This includes, as many others have pointed out, ACTIVELY working to address situations that aren’t serving you. Maybe you’ve put off finding a gym membership for a variety of reasons. I totally get it. Don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t done it yet. Just keep working on finding a solution! One idea that I had: You could find a couple of yoga classes a week that you really love and a trustworthy sitter to cover that time. It may seem expensive, but it is WORTH it if your isolation is making you this unhappy. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and pay for something that will improve your mental health. It is probably cheaper than a therapist!! All of this is to say you are not alone, it is ok to feel this way, and we all look forward to hearing how you resolve this situation!

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ashley     at 9:18 am

someone could probably get your address from that runners world cover you pictured.

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Sarah @ A Runners Heart     at 9:23 am

I rarely comment on your blog (even though I never miss a post!), because you always get so many other great comments, but I wanted to tell you (as others have said), you are not alone! And it really is great to read your honest post and know that I’m not alone either! We can’t afford a gym with childcare, so my jogging stroller has been my saving grace. Unfortunetly, my daughter is starting to get cranky in it, and its still not real me time. You can only tell your child to sit back down, stop pulling of your shoes and socks, and picking up thrown sippy cups so many times before you just feel like giving up! lol I know it’s so tough, and I have no real advice. Just know we will both get through this phase and we will prob forget all about it as the next challenge comes up! lol :) Good Luck with it all and I’ll be praying for you for some relief! :)

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Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction     at 9:24 am

I’m sure a lot of full time mothers feel like you Emily, but just know that you are a great mom! Cullen is so fortunate to have you all to himself all the time (a rarity these days).

I’m sure that getting back into working out no matter what type, will help your mentality. Could you run on the treadmill or do weights while Cullen is plays in a play pen or play room where you can see him?

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Laura @FoodSnobSTL     at 9:26 am

I often feel the same way, and have it much easier than you do – being a stay-at-home mom is just hard in ways no one expects! We love our kids, but we also need to take care of and love ourselves in order to be good moms. Sometimes it helps me to know that how I’m feeling is “normal” and other moms feel the same way – so I just wanted to tell that I’ve been there too :)

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Marci     at 9:33 am

I understand everything you are saying about long days, weeks, etc and never feeling like you’ve done enough in your day… For me the answer is daycare for him. I love our time together, and I love my time at work. I know you have good support networks and love your time at home, but I always read your posts and say “that is so not me but I am glad it works for Emily!”

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Kristin     at 9:36 am

Great post! Perhaps there is a trusty babysitter one of your local mom friends can recommend who might be able to come over in the afternoon a few times a week? You can go on a run or work on recipes, or just take a few hours to be alone :)

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Julie     at 9:44 am

Yoga will be so good for you right now! Actually any type of exercise will make you feel tons better! Good luck! Thinking about you…

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Madison @ E&C     at 10:02 am

Oh Emily, it didn’t sound like complaining at all. It just felt like you being real and honest, which is always something I value in the blogs I read. Thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine how exhausting (and lonely!) it can feel when you are on mom duty by yourself day and night. I know how you feel about exercise though. Last night I came home with a horrible headache in a terrible mood after work. But all it took was a trip to the gym and a hot bath to turn my mood around.

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Cailin     at 10:14 am

Despite the many blessings you have (I am sure you count your lucky stars- beautiful family, home, etc!) — it doesn’t mean you are not human and don’t have your own frustrations!
Being a SAHM of a husband who works many hours can be a very lonely and exhausting experience (even with playdates etc) and for whatever reason– the 4 pm- 7 pm hours of the day for those of us with kids seem to be the hardest! I
I definitely think you have to be proactive to get some time to yourself or your workouts in. One thing I have learned as a mom is that I have to “just do it”. Last year I wanted to train for a marathon— but I work full time teaching and at the time had 2 kids ages 3 and 1. No time for myself! Working was stressful and then coming home to be a good mom and wife left no time for me.
Weekends I spent partially devoted to my family and partially devoted to preparing for another week (cleaning, laundry etc).
Finally I just decided that in order to get some “me” time (working out) I would just have to add another hour to my day. I woke up at the painful hour of 4:30 AM to get my run in– it boosted my mood for the day and I was able to run that marathon.

Now I have a third child (4 weeks) and looking back at having 1 child feels like a vacation. Ha ha! I am on maternity leave and home with a 2 year old (4 year old is in school) and it’s tough. But just knowing I don’t have to wake up and work all day in addition to everything else— huge weight off my shoulders. I love it. I am lonely, exhausted and some days just want to scream and shout– but I dread going back to work.

On another note— the weaning can cause some CRAZY hormones. I felt terrible when I weaned my first two children (both around 1 year) – every time I dropped a feeding. I had the blues, anxiety- you name it. I will be mentally prepared for when the time comes to wean #3 knowing what happened with the last two and hopefully be more proactive about it.

Also- once in awhile to go out to dinner with some girlfriends while the husband watches the kids- a lifesaver!
Take care!
Oh and I just got a new treadmill delivered for Christmas. With three kids ages 4 and under and going back to work in January I KNOW I will not make it to the gym during their hours. I am so looking forward to some exercise endorphins and stress relief.

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Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength     at 10:19 am

Hear you on all of this! I own a gym with my husband, but still it can be tough to find time to train myself. I can’t just up and go workout when I feel like it since I have my son a lot of the time and the times that I don’t (when he’s at daycare) I am working. My husband and I have both been working around the clock right now and although it’s exhausting, like you said, many people have it much worse. The reason we are busy is because our gym is growing. The reason Casey’s so busy is because he has a great solid job. The reason you are so busy is because you have a healthy crazy pants toddler to chase around.

Life is weird, but just know that we’re all in this together. Being a mom 24/7 (which every single mom is!) is hard work. Hang in there!

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Serena     at 10:39 am

Hey Emily! I have a little one two weeks younger than Cullen, so I know how crazy it can be, especially with a busy husband. I recently joined the YMCA after hearing that the branch near us had incredible childcare. I toured several gyms before choosing them. Now I go everyday and my daughter loves it. I found that if I if I don’t like a gym’s childcare I won’t go, but when I know my daughter is happy I can relax and enjoy working out.

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Anne     at 10:51 am

Hi Emily,
I’ve been a follower for some time now but have never commented. First, thank you so much for your honesty in this post. My daughter is a month and a half younger than Cullen and it’s been interesting and uplifting for me to follow your posts as our babies have gotten older. I see a lot of myself in you, specifically that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents and to always be appreciative of how blessed we are in this life. This makes it difficult for us sometimes to be OK with it when we are in a difficult place. There is always the temptation to convey this sense of pure, balanced, happiness–and it must be so much more of a pull that way for you because you have this audience of people who are observing your life. Your best posts are ones like this, that are totally honest and acknowledge the inherent difficulties in motherhood and life. Sometimes i get the sense from some of your posts that you’re trying really hard to send the image of family perfection. Don’t feel like you need to apologize for your feelings because there are mothers who work two jobs or who don’t have enough money to care for their kids or who have sick children (the list goes on). These are your honest feelings about real difficulties that you are facing in your life. Everybody has their burdens and challenges in life, and yours are just as valid because they are your reality. So, please complain more! All of us mothers feel this way at one time or another.

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Sarah     at 10:52 am

I am super surprised by the cost of the gym(s) you have looked at! Admittedly, I don’t have any kids, but when I was a member at 24 Hour Fitness, it was about $30/mo. This was a few years ago (and in another state) but I wonder if there are any other options than the $200/mo one that you’ve looked at?? Goodness that seems outrageous!

I know when I was sort of in a rut about some things in my life that made me frustrated, it helped to take a step back and realize that they could change. Those things wouldn’t change if I didn’t do anything differently, but they had the capability to change if I was committed to making changes in my life. I had no idea if the changes would be successful. The only thing I knew for sure was that if I did nothing differently, then nothing would be different. Trying something new at least allowed for the possibility of growth, change, and a step in the right direction. If it didn’t work, then I’d know what didn’t work and could try something else. For me, this was encouraging because it’s easy to be wrapped up in the way things are and to lose sight of the fact that things could be different. Certainly there are some things in your life that you can not change (Casey’s work hours are probably out of your control) but maybe there are some things that you do have the ability to change that would allow you to be more comfortable in your current life.

Good luck to you. I know there’s a lot of us out here who look forward to following you on this journey!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 10:55 am

I don’t think you need to jump into running if you’re not feeling it! But do take time for yourself, however you’d like. After a while, running like all things can become a chore. While some physical activity is good, I think we tend to overfocus on it instead of all the other parts of life. I don’t think I’ll be on my deathbed wishing that I ran more!

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Kelly     at 11:45 am

I feel for you both!! Maybe while you are in this year end thing you should join a gym with child care. That way, you can do your workout/yoga during the day time whild Casey is at work and then when he comes home early, you’ll all have time together. And, you’ll know there is an hour available EVERYDAY that is free from Cullen (or where he is occupied and watched) while you can do what makes you feel good about yourself!

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Kelly Reply:

Sorry, I didn’t realized there is a whole long convo. about gyms in previous comments! DOH! :)

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Jen Diamond     at 11:54 am

This post just brought me to tears- I am taking a yoga class today for the first time in over a year- and all afternoon I have been going back and forth in my head- feeling guilty that our little guy is going to be spending an extra hour at daycare, excited to see what my body can do in our tough class, and guilty that i am excited-

Because of this post I am going to take a deep breath, put an hour’s worth of energy into me, and then go give my little boy a huge hug…Thank you!

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krugthethinker     at 11:59 am

Good for you, Emily! And thank you for sharing on this difficult topic. One of the things I appreciate most about your blog is your honesty. I know this post will help so many other people who are in the same position. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but I am grateful to have read this advance of that! I hope you can curl up with a book and have a few minutes to yourself today ;)

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:02 pm

My solution of finding ME time is to get up before everyone else. So that means 4:30-5 a.m. It’s my time to workout and get the day started. I feel more relaxed and happy throughout the day. Thankfully, I’m a morning person too!

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Katie     at 12:08 pm

I have been a reader of your blog since a friend pointed me in your direction when I was pregnant (at around the same place you were). I now have a bouncing, running 14 month old and can completely relate to your candid posts. Thanks so much for sharing.

The one thing that has kept my mind clear and my body active is finding a gym with great child care. I did my homework and went to four local gyms before I found one I was comfortable leaving my daughter at. We have been going since she was 8 weeks old and we both love it. It can be an investment but it is an investment in your health which is the best kind.

Best of luck, I am sure you’ll find the right fit for you and Cullen.

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Kimisue1000     at 1:05 pm

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for posting this Emily!!! I too am a new mom to a 9 month old and feel the same way. Prior to this baby I had dropped 20 lbs, was doing strength training and circuit training – the BOOM, baby on the way. Now that my lil’ man is here I feel a tad resentful that I don’t have that hour after work to just do something for ME! I have let the weight creep back on post baby and feel like I’m in a slump, but your post is very encouroging :o) I look forward to beginning again in the new year. Love reading up on your family!

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polly     at 1:15 pm

Thank you for being so honest, emily. My baby is 16 now! and i remember those looooong days when my husband worked all the time or traveled.

I totally TOTALLY vote for yoga!!! I used to run too, and until i stopped i didn’t realize how much my body needed the break and a different form of release. I later learned to teach yoga and now teach young mommas like you everyday. You are such a precious soul and pray that you feel better even in little ways.

I used to wonder when i’d feel like “me” again?! As much as i loved my daughter, i felt so out of sorts. (hellooooo hormones) and honestly yoga helped with that so much.

Many hugs and prayers! Love you! if you have ANY questions about yoga or whatever you want to ask, you can always email me!!! I’m the girl who lives in Indiana, sort of near your old stompin’ ground. :)

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Ally     at 1:30 pm

Hope Casey’s work slows down soon!

I’m a member of a gym with childcare, but after my son’s last snotty nose/cough (which also messed up sleep and required the terrible snot sucking several times a day) I decided it wasn’t worth him getting sick around Christmas and messing up sleep, etc. It’s such a tough balance to know what to do….I need to exercise, but we also need good sleep! It’s just the time of year when so much illness is going around I can’t decide if an hour workout is worth the risk….

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Amanda     at 1:30 pm

A gym may be “expensive” at $200 a month but it is essentially providing you with unlimited day care! That is worth far more than $200 a month – I imagine it would be much higher to pay for a gym membership for you and pay (and arrange)a sitter each time you go. Not to mention you do not need any advance planning as you know the day care is (almost) always open at the gym.

As some perspective from an opposite situation, I am the one who works long hours at an office and travels at least every other week for work and my husband works from home. Trust me, finding out he gets to go home early or fly home 3 hours earlier than planned is JUST as exciting and as much of a relief for Casey as it is for you! It’s hard to feel like you are not home enough!

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Jen     at 1:38 pm

Sending lots of hugs. It is NOT easy living so far away from family and having a husband who works long hours. Jeff just told me he’d be able to leave work early tonight. He hasn’t seen W since Sunday so I literally cried tears of happiness. Hang in there! <3

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Julie     at 1:40 pm

Oh girl, I don’t have anything enlightening to say. I only wanted to say I have been there. I am off and on in that situation and it wears on you. When my son was born (2nd baby) and my daughter was 3, my hubby worked til 8pm almost every night and traveled 1-2 weeks of the month. It was INTENSE! Just hang in there and it won’t be like this forever! Are you able to find a sitter so that you can get a break sometimes? That really helped me.

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Katie A     at 2:07 pm

Thank you! As a new mom too, its nice to know other moms feel the same way I do!!

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Kathryn B     at 2:09 pm

I was thinking about this post today and while I haven’t had a baby yet, so I can’t speak first hand to that OR to your daily life, I wanted you to know that you are meeting another human being’s basic needs every day, and for that you MUST be proud and feel as though you’ve done a good job! When I haven’t been working out, my view on the world changes too though, so I hear you there!!! Keep doing what you’re doing.

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Katie     at 2:11 pm

Oh Emily, as a stay at home mom to my 17 month old daughter, I totally hear ya….except my husband’s job doesn’t require traveling so I can’t imagine the exhaustion that comes from being pretty much the sole caretaker for an extended period of time. (I think it’s hard enough when I take my daughter and fly back to the Midwest to see family for a couple weeks, but then at least there’s some relief there.) I also used to be an avid runner but it’s honestly been since June that I’ve taken the time to go for a run.

Anyways, all this to say, that I’ve been a reader of your blog for awhile and know you live somewhat nearby (i’m in NE Kirkland). It’s been a long time since I’ve commented because, well, with a toddler, I don’t take the time to do so :) But this resonates with me so much and I want to extend an offer to meet up after the holidays, so that maybe we can get to know each other and eventually do a kid swap to free up each others’ time. I have a teenager come babysit every other week for a few hours, but always looking for more interaction for my daughter.
Let me know, if you want–if not, I understand completely.
Ultimately, I just hope you can find something to change so that you get some more freedom. Yaay, freedom!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 2:36 pm

You’re not alone. Many of us feel this way and it’s part of the ebb and flow we all go through. Try not to judge yourself or your actions. I know for me when I feel behind on something or that I’m not doing enough or not doing enough of what I want to do, I see it as a “bad” thing. It’s not necessarily bad or wrong, it’s just different. When I prioritize what absolutely has to get done, I do it to the best of my abilities and then try to cut myself some slack. We’re all just doing our best. And if you would ever like to rant or brain dump, PLEASE reach out! You have my email at least :) Keep hanging in there Emily, and give yourself more credit for all you are doing (running a house while Casey is gone, taking care of a toddler, and two dogs, and running your business). Give yourself permission to not get it all done or all done on time. You’re amazing and keep smiling.

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Leanne     at 5:04 pm

I hear you! My daughter is almost 4 and my husband works nights so I am alone with her all the time (he sleeps during the day). I don’t have a lot of stay at home mom friends and sometimes I just feel so very alone. My husband is wonderful and gives us the most of his time that he can. I have not had a “break” for 4 years though and I so need one! Honestly, your post made me feel so much better about the way I feel.

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Haley     at 5:53 pm

Oh I totally hear you! I’m working on finding myself too… it’s hard enough to go through all the changes physically and hormonally, and then you add in the chaos of life with a child, and how that effects your every day life… it’s overwhelming.

I hope you know just how wonderful you’re doing. Sometimes we just need little reminders to be gentle to ourselves.

I read this article yesterday and thought you might enjoy it too:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-morrison/motherhood_b_2271349.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

Just to add some perspective <3

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Marissa     at 5:56 pm

i’m sure people have suggested this already, but what about a mom’s day out? we seem to have quite a few of those in our area and i know lots of moms who use them. i’m a teacher and i know that we have pre-k 2, 3, and 4. you might want to see if you could get him in that a few mornings a week. lastly, i would suggest some paid help. i think it’s totally worth it for moms whose hubby’s work long hours. it’s extremely taxing being home that long with no help.

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Leah M     at 5:58 pm

Hugs to you! Being a mom with a husband that works/travels a lot is tough. It’s hard to give ourselves permission to have a break. I find it easy to get into a funk this time of year in Seattle. The rainy weather gets to me and being cooped up with my two kids gets tough. The weaning & hormone changes definitely play a role in this. I recently weaned my second and I don’t know how my family stood to be around me! I find that taking time out to exercise does help. I set my kids up with a project, movie, toys and work out at home. Hope you can find your groove. Hang in there. You sound like a great mama!

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Cindy     at 6:12 pm

Thank you for writing this post!! I’ve been feeling very similar lately (my husband works a ton and we recently moved so I don’t have a ton of outlets yet with my one year old) so I end up being resentful and then feel guilty for feeling resentful. Shouldn’t I be so happy that I’m lucky enough to stay home with my baby? And I am, but I do think it boils down to needing time to ourselves. I think it makes us better moms. But thanks for writing this and reminding me that I’m not alone and that its ok to feel that way sometimes!

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Mia     at 7:38 pm

You go, girl! I got a massage tonight, and it was amazing! You could add that to the mix.

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Kristin     at 7:45 pm

Thanks for this post! I work full time out of the house and keep my 7 month old son at home, as well. I also happen to be married to a pilot who travels 4 days every week. Ahhhhh, I’m really struggling right now. It’s just so hard to do it all. I finally broke down and joined our gym with childcare and I think that will help at least give me a tiny break during the day. It’s very nice reading your post and aloof the responses and knowing I’m not alone.

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:32 am

Just some perspective…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-morrison/motherhood_b_2271349.html

:) I hope you find some time for yourself today!

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Sara     at 7:48 am

Molars? Check! Husband working crazy hours (5:00AM to 11:00PM all week!)? Check! Having an overall awesome and blessed life but still feeling overwhelmed and bummed sometimes? CHECK!!!

You are definitely not alone girl! It is incredibly tough and you “brain dump” as much as you need. I know the exact feeling of loving life but having moments where I just think “ACK! I need to get away for an hour!” People underestimate personal time, it’s super important. You’ve gotten lots of great ideas here though and sounds like you’re already trying a few things! Good luck!

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Liz     at 8:35 am

Can you join a gym with a daycare? Even an hour to workout and get some time to yourself would help you feel better and break up your long days.

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Jess     at 8:53 am

Just wanted to chime in and say that you are doing a fantastic job all around – writing, expressing yourself and learning the winding ways of parenthood.

For what it’s worth, I join in with all the others who suggest finding a regular babysitter/nanny. I just wrapped up 3 years of nannying for the same family (with a very sweet little boy) while I prepped and completed my master’s degree, and I got to see first-hand how much a loving, regular babysitter helped both mom AND dad live happier, more balanced lives.

Just because you are a self-employed, stay-at-home mom, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a few hours each week to devote to developing you: on a profession, mental or fitness level.

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Claire     at 9:08 am

While I don’t have children yet, I can understand the feelings of guilt when you are having a hard time despite all the many blessings in your life. I think that is human nature! I do think that finding a gym with daycare would be great for you. Maybe one of the moms from your mom group could help direct you to a good baby-sitter? I also know that local colleges with social work, PT/OT, early childhood education programs often have students who are looking for part-time sitting jobs. You could try reaching out to the programs? I know that when I was in college for my undergrad in social work, we would get a lot of emails from local families needing sitters. Hopefully you find a solution that works the best for you and your family. I think that is probably a little different for everyone – no one-size fits all!

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Angela     at 10:52 pm

Way to go girl! I have been feeling in a rutt lately also and I am thinking my lack of exercise may be the issue. I can’t imagine having a baby and needing to squeeze in the time…I should stop taking all my free time forgranted. :)

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Rachelle     at 6:12 pm

From reading your recent posts it sounds like you are in a bit of a funk.
Connecting that with your weaning… well, keep in mind that *many* women can experience postpartum depression when weaning (due to the hormonal shift). A good friend of mine had this happen and it started to affect her life, so she went in to the doc and she was so glad she did. If you are feeling rough, keep an eye on it and talk to your doc! And talk about it to others, so many women don’t even know this can happen.
HUGS!

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