Isolation

I’ve found being a SAHM to three 2 and under to be quite isolating. I’m sure it’s a shared experience no matter how many children you stay home with. But going from working mom to SAHM has been a shock to the system. In 4 short months, my life has become unrecognizable and I have been transformed in ways I’m only now beginning to see.
The thing is, I’m not sure that all the changes have been good or healthy for me. Which is really hard to admit since staying at home was and still is my dream.

There are obvious benefits, and I’m not doubting or regretting this season of my life- being a SAHM is rewarding, fulfilling, and wonderful. I love being here with my children every day.
But, like anything, there are adjustments to be made and I suck at change.

I started this process with the biggest perma-smile you can imagine. I was super mom. I did it all. I was so happy for my dream to finally be a reality, that I did everything I imagined SAHM moms do. Crafting, cleaning, educating…schedules, routines…I had to make up for lost time. I had to be fun. I had to be good at this.
And since I’m type A to the core, my eye started to twitch with all this new pressure I had place on myself.

I feel like I walked off a cliff. In many ways I kind of had to- I DO have my hands full over here. My cliff dive has made me feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself in my goal to be thebestmomeva. It’s not just that I had less and less time for friends, tv, personal hobbies, adult conversations, reading…but more that I’ve noticed a shift in my thinking and responses to people.
I’ve gone into myself a little. Stopped saying what I think and feel. Pulled away from social situations where I normally thrived. I even feel incapable of socialization some times. I get frustrated more easily with things that didn’t bother me before (especially my own children).

Part of me knew this was going to be a sacrifice. Not only being a mother, but staying home for my children. Everyone tells you how hard being a mom is but not many people talk about being a SAHM. Financially, emotionally, physically (#whodecidedmomwasajunglegym). At first I joked. “See everyone in five years!”
But that feels more real than I had intended.
I’m officially a hermit. Can we just say that?

My kids don’t like it when I eat my own food, watch tv, talk on the phone, edit pictures or hold one of their siblings. So there’s that.
What’s going on in the world? How do I know? The weather? Not a clue.
And you know that? IT’S OK.
This journey is new to me, and I’ve been hermiting away because I have a 6 month old and two busy toddlers. I’m out numbered by little people who don’t listen. But oh how I love them. They need me so much right now and I need to be the best I can for them even if it makes me uncomfortable.

I’m starting to come up for air. Slowly. You might see me out in sweat pants. Or without makeup. You may see me braving the store with all three kids or trying to go to the park. I’m trying and it’s not enough for someone else to recognize it. I need to see it too. I need to give myself that grace, accept this short season in my life and embrace it even when it’s difficult. Because eventually they won’t be little, and eventually I won’t be donning a wardrobe of sweatpants every day.

The blog post below has so resonated with me this week. I relate to every thing she talks about. I need that grace. I need that love. But I need to give it to myself first, because that mom guilt can really be killer.

So here’s my virtual “tip of the hat” to all the SAHM’s before me. You’re awesome and kudos for coming out of it alive. To my mother, her mother and her mother before her. You ladies are warriors. This stuff ain’t for sissies.
Sometimes loving comes easy. Other times, it nearly kills is.
Faith can be work, love can be labor, hope can be long.
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Dear Mom Who’s Trying,

I see you…rolling out of bed to the sound of the grumpy cries (and bickering) of little people…the same crying that drenched your day yesterday, well into the time of night you claim as “me time.” You didn’t get enough sleep…and you’re ready to quit before the day begins.

I see you…trying to remember how funny you used to be, how *those* jeans used to fit, how light-hearted you used to feel — before the responsibilities and turns in life became weighty.

I see you…doing the next thing, cleaning up from the last meal in time to prepare for the next…perpetually chasing the tyranny of the urgent.

I see you…checking social media like a drug, hoping for that thing that will inspire you, but find yourself crushed in your spirit with discontentment, guilt, and anxiety.

I see you…clinging to your favorite Bible verses, but really longing to cling to Christ himself — Christ, who you know is closer than breath, but yet feels elusive somehow.

I see you…loving and holding your children tight, but so quickly letting their hearts crash to the floor with your piercing and angry words…and you say, never again.

I see you because I see me.

I see us giving ourselves pep talks, and pulling ourselves up by our boot straps, and proclaiming, “I am enough. I will be brave. I am an overcomer!” And yet, in the quiet, honest moments of our day, we know that pushing through, pressing on, being brave …in themselves, is simply NOT ENOUGH.

And so, some of us, who aren’t brave enough, strong enough, optimistic enough…give up. Because striving in our own strength can only result in pride or hopelessness, greater self-righteousness or greater discouragement. You can’t win by might.

‘NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY. (ZECHARIAH 4:6)

Sister, of course you feel like you can do better tomorrow. Of course you think you’ll be less grumpy when your circumstances change. Of course you want to be beautifully brave like everyone else you see. It’s only normal that we think more trying, more striving, more “me making myself more” is what it takes.

“…by my Spirit” is only by faith, only by humbling yourself, only by decreasing that he might increase. By his spirit means that we “cease striving, and know that [he] is God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Today, if you feel defeated before even trying…or if you feel confident and on top of your game…

…consider if the on/off switch to your bravery is fueled by might and power…your own.

Dear friend, if it is, you are in for a roller-coaster. You are strapping in for a ride that can only take you high on self, or low on self-loathing.

But, if we might take our Redeemer at his word…that “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” (Colossians 1:17) we might be reminded that our true identity and state is that we have nothing righteous, good, or noble to offer. Any strength, bravery, overcoming, or victory is paid for by the blood of Christ, who made us worthy.

So, let us not fight for a good day today through will power, pep talks, or peer pressure. The best good we will know this day will begin and end at the person of Christ. To that hope, we sow good works and obedience and let this sink in:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Taken from: http://www.gracelaced.com/blog/dear-mom-whos-trying?utm_content=bufferca3ef&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Mr. Lucky- 5 months

IMG_1551.JPGAge: 5.5 months
Weight: 17lbs
Size: 9mo and some 12mo clothes, size 3 diapers but size 4 at night
Eyes: light blue
Hair: he has three dark brown, long Homer Simpson hairs mixed in with a thick head of short blonde hair.
Sleeping: 2 naps a day with one cat nap, waking 2-3 times at night.
Eating: nursing like a champ, and very interested in food. I didn’t want to start solids until he was 6 months old, but Wyatt watches all of us eat all day and he decided he needed to do that. So far he loves everything he’s tried, and had a reaction to oatmeal just like Eli did. We decided to skip cereals and just go with veggies.
Milestones: talks all the time, grabs and chews on his feet, sits on his own for a few minutes, pushing up on his hands, rolling all over the place, great little personality.
Teeth: none
Favorite toys/activities: loves to look at anyone and smile while you talk to him, likes his jumper, and to try to grab toys to chew on.
Words/sounds: ooo, aaah, goo, whoo, mmm, ddd, babb but no words yet. And officially babbling with his favorite sound- dadadada
Nicknames: Mr. Lucky
Looking forward to: him sleeping through the night!!! And sitting independently so he can play better with Eli and Ruby.

Potty Training

I recently attended a potty training workshop hosted by the DSAH. I love our DSA and all they do for our community. I wish we lived closer so we could participate more.

They held this course last summer but it was obviously too soon to think about potty training Eli at the time.

Now that he is two and walking, I want to prepare the best we can. We all know how important potty training is, especially for out kiddos with Ds who will be going into PPCD or other early learning programs at 3. Not to mention the social acceptance and independence it provides.
I don’t know anything about actually potty training, though. Add to that he has Ds and is a boy! I feel like the odds are not in our favor lol
BUT he is showing signs of interest and some readiness. Right now he will request a new diaper when he’s wet, but not when he’s poopy.
We used to keep the bathroom door closed but we have started to leave it open to normalize it. The only time he ever went in there before was to bathe, which he loves to do so he always wants to be in there to play.

Anyway, the course was good and gave some great advice. We haven’t started it yet- it’s a big undertaking and while Eli is interested I don’t think he is 100% ready to make the transition.
Plus he doesn’t have the motor skills needed yet.
So I know what you all are asking- what was the method?!
Here are my notes. :)

Potty Training in Four Days
The Murphy Method

Program Info:
-developed by a parent of a child with Ds.
-has been taught for 15 years and hundreds of children with Ds have been trained using it.
-record is 3 days
-at times it can take up to 2 weeks but is due to the parent not following the program or the child was not developmentally ready.
-a PhD in child development who works on toilet training has reviewed the program and endorses it.

True potty training happens when your child:
-has the urge to go
-finds the toilet
-pulls down their pants
-uses the toilet

This means your child knows when to go, doesn’t need help, and there is no schedule or having to remind your child to go.

When is a child ready?
-when they can pull down their pants and get on the toilet without assistance.
-typically age 3- don’t wait until the child seems interested.

Some tips to consider:
-don’t augment your toilet in any way.
-training toilets don’t exist in the real world, neither do special seat covers.
-a step stool is appropriate to use if needed.
-be consistent. Not matter what program you choose, stick with it. Do not try to borrow ideas from other programs or try to make up your own. Try a program and commit.

Preparation:
The 5 C’s:
Cool- this is a normal part of life, so don’t make it a big deal
Calm- no drama and no anger
Collected- prepare ahead of time
Confident- be certain of success
Committed- see it through- don’t go back.

To prepare, you need to plan. Make sure you have the time to commit to this training.
With your child present, throw away all their diapers. Don’t keep even just one as backup. Your plan is to never go back, so prepare to change sheets. ;)
When you purchase underwear, buy twenty lairs of identical underwear. Many children with Ds are quite literal (hence the tip to not augment the toilet itself). So if you but Spider-man underwear, they need to all look the same.
Next, prepare the space. Make sure the bathroom is free of distractions and things that would take away from your child going to the bathroom. You want them to get in and get out.

DAY ONE:
The goal is elimination in the toilet (don’t worry about wiping or handwashing- you can facilitate that).
First thing in the morning, 30 minutes before you know that your child is likely to need to go “number two”, you will go take your child to the rest room. Then you wait. The child will wait on the toilet or in the rest room until they have gone potty.
Once they have done that, you will have them clean up, pull their clothes back on, and go about their business.
Tell the child “Do not wet ot poop in your underwear. Wet or poop in the toilet”.
Wait. If they come out, or don’t go, keep trying. Wait outside the bathroom with them until they have completed.
Back to the toilet: every 45 minutes.

DAY TWO:
No prompting!
Learn through failure- again, make it the child’s responsibility to prompt using the toilet, or if they have an accident.
Make sure all family members are on board.
Remove all distractions.

DAY THREE:
Off to a friend’s house.
-No rescue clothing
-Show location of toilet
-No warnings
-No prompting
-Go home if pants are soiled

DAY FOUR:
Off to Grandma’s
Drop the child off with a family member, or babysitter.
-No rescue clothing
-Show location of toilet
-No warnings
-No prompting
-Pick child up if pants are soiled

The program seems great, and I plan to attempt it when it’s Eli’s turn. The thing I liked best about it was the advice that, no matter what program you decide is best for your family, pick one and stick with it. Don’t pull several ideas from different resources and create your own program. Commit and stick with it, even if it doesn’t work the first time.
What I liked about this method was that it’s been so successful for so many people with Ds.

Like I said, I’ve never potty trained before, so this is a new adventure!
What method have you used? What worked for your family?

Resources:
NOTES: http://www.kcdsg.org/files/content/Potty%20Training%20in%20Four%20Days%202010%20Version%203%20slides%20to%20a%20page.pdf

http://billandria.blogspot.com/2011/03/potty-trained-in-4-days.html#.U-LsSfldVqA

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