A Letter to C-Section Moms

Dear C-Section Moms,

You ladies are amazing.

Really. Truly.

I’ve heard the strange comments you’ve received (“It must have been nice to not have to give birth” or “So, you couldn’t handle the pain?” or if you have a VBAC at some point “So great you were finally able to experience birthing”), as if what you did experience was merely some zen form of osmosis.

I’ve seen the look of some of your faces when asked about your child’s birth-guilt, shame, sometimes verbally dismissing the whole experience as unimportant, since it doesn’t measure up to a vaginal birth. You sound apologetic, as if you did something wrong-something less than worthy.

And it breaks my heart.

Because you’re amazing!

You’re body is amazing! You GAVE BIRTH TO A HUMAN BEING!!

You willingly went through major surgery to make sure your child was ok. Then endured weeks of painful recovery while caring for that new tiny life. Your body will forever bear the scars of that sacrifice-that incredible love you have for your child.

You are not a cop out. You are not a failure. You did not “give up” and settle for an easier option.

You fought. You sacrificed. You endured. YOU GAVE BIRTH.

You amaze me.

You are moms, just like the rest of us. Having a C-Section birth did not give you a false start or disqualify you from the “real” moms’ club (and if there is one, I still haven’t figured out how to get in…).

Be proud of what your body has done. Please tell us your birth stories! They’re incredible, and I for one love hearing them! There will be some that will discredit what you have endured, but ignore them, because the majority of us think you are amazing! We want to share the joy in your memories, because the joining of a child to a family-be it vaginal, C-section, through adoption, or fostering-is joyful!

You ladies are strong, beautiful, extraordinary mamas.

And I salute you.

Sincerely,

A (so far) Vaginal Birthing Mom

 

A Note on Kids

So here’s the thing…

I’m still a young mom, and definitely do not have this whole motherhood thing figured out yet (or ever will...), but there are two absolute truths about children I have learned:

  1. If there is a room that is clutter free and open, they will always gravitate there to play.
  2. More toys out and about= more complaining and boredom from said kiddos

(side thought: I’ve noticed many adults function the same way…)

Anyway, our family seems to go through a cycle (and I’m sure many of you fellow moms will recognize it): we have a season of accumulating more toys (birthday, Christmas, hand me downs, visits from grandparents, etc…)-our play/spare room becomes cluttered-kids lose interest in toys/playroom and gravitate to the nearest open space (living room)-more complaining and boredom ensues

We have recently been swept into this cycle once again. Take exhibit A:

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This was two weeks ago. I know it doesn’t look like an overwhelming amount of clutter, but after one container of toys was dumped out, the kids would soon after vacant to the living room (cue whining…).

Enter Mama Bear.

I took some time one afternoon and executed a quick sweep/purge:

  • zebra push toy was stashed on a shelf in the closet until baby #4 needs it (Little Bear is fairly confident in his walking abilities now and rarely notices it anymore)
  • baby activity center (we like to call these the command centers) is also no longer being so used, so moved to guest room along with the empty plastic container for the next Goodwill run
  • play rug is adorable, but I quickly noticed that the kids don’t actually play on it, they just trip all over it while running around. So I rolled it up and stashed that in the closet until my mom’s next visit (she was lending it to us)
  • quickly sorted through toys and removed anything they have not recently played with, and added those to the Goodwill bag

After all was said and done, take exhibit B:

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Again, may not appear drastic, but it always is enough to the draw the kids back into this room. They once again have more space to play, run around, and be more creative with their playing.

I noticed that I’m the same way too! Space to think, create, and simply LIVE is a wonderful thing…but requires seasons of ruthless examination of my own possessions.

But you know what?

I never regret doing it.

 

 

Simple Project-Back Patio

Remember my list of simple, achievable goals for our little rental? I have finally taken care of updating our back patio!

Here is what it looked like a short while ago:

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A little messy, right? And that lovely strip of dirt (that never grew any grass!), would become a lovely strip of mud every time it rained (which of course, always seemed to fall on grocery day…)

Something had to be done.

This was the first time we have ever had a patio, and I was excited to make it into a more livable, fun space! So after a couple months of subtle changes (gifted patio furniture from the parents, found a temporary shed in which to place all the lawn equipment/toys, moved the grill, and rounded up some new + used stepping stones to fix the mud path issue) and scrubbing the vinyl siding clean…..

Here is now how it all looks:

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The kids have far more space to play, and enjoy the backyard, and the seating area makes it feel more grown up (it’s amazing how “adult” you can feel setting up patio furniture…), and a bit more….well….OURS.

I’m excited for autumn weather, leaf piles, walnut gathering, and more opportunities to relax in our little outdoor nook with mugs of tea, watching the leaves gracefully fall.

And….I’m also excited for next year’s changes that I’m already planning: more potted plants on the patio, pillows, and maybe a chalkboard hanging on the fence for the kiddos.

Simple, subtle changes. Sometimes, they’re the best ones.

 

DIY Project-Touchable Wall Art

Here’s the deal: I finally hung frames and canvases in our living to create a gallery wall and LOVE it (even though I have yet to paint one of the canvases….)! Here’s the before:

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Frames and canvases hung-before any changes

 

BUT……a frame and one of the canvases hangs low enough for our little ones to touch.

That’s right fellow moms, I purposely hung something low enough that three kiddos ages three and under would be tempted to touch.

And we both know that no matter how many times I tell them not to, THEY WILL TOUCH THEM!!!

Fine then, I had two choices. I could move the frames, but that would change the entire look……OR I could give them something “cool” to touch.

The frame was inexpensive so I wasn’t too worried about that one, but what would I put on the canvas that would be fun for little hands?

Rocks. BOOM!

Kids and rocks. You can’t go wrong, right? So I gathered up a few supplies and tried my hand at this:

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Supplies gathered (pardon the glare…)

 

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Gluing madness! (I burned my fingers several times..)

 

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A few coats of flat white spray paint

 

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Annnnddddd voila! Crazy, touchable wall art!

 

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Gallery wall with current updates

To be honest, I’m not yet sure how I like it. I don’t dislike it, but I’m not sure if it is quite right….

 

I still have the other canvas to mess with, so perhaps that will bring it all together!

First, let’s see how long this one lasts on the wall…..I’ll keep you updated!

Weekend Sips

Looking for a good book to browse, idea to chew, or inspiration to marvel? Here are a few I’ve come across and would love to pass on to you guys!

So cozy up with a lovely cup of tea, iced coffee, or whatever weekend treat you prefer, and enjoy this beautiful day!

I recently finished reading With: Reimagining The Way You Relate To God by Skye Jethani and LOVED it!! With clear, concise language, he manages to pinpoint exactly why my generation of Christians struggle with a lack of fulfillment. Highly recommend it!

How to Deal with Sentimental Clutter without Losing the Memories by TicoandTina Some fantastic ideas on how to minimize items that carry memories along with them. Not easy, right? I know! Perhaps some of these ideas with help you!

In case you have not seen this yet, it’s a pit bull cartwheeling. Adorable and inspiring (since I still can’t pull off a cartwheel…)

 

 

Simple Project-Master Closet

This is our master bedroom closet.

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Well…..this was our master bedroom closet. (Ahhh, the beauty of that tiny little word).

As you can see, it had become a wreck-a catch all area for donation items, papers, boxes I couldn’t remember what they held, random items for sale-as well as housing our regular clothing and shoes as a closet should.

And-though I don’t have a picture to show you-our bedroom was showing similar treatment with little random piles here and there.

I was really really tired of it.

So a couple days ago, I finally tackled what I knew had to be done. It took me one afternoon and all of $0 to accomplish, and thankfully all the kiddos napped well so I could.

Here is the “finished” product.

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  • IMG_20160817_170616661donation, sale, and project items moved to empty guest room (to hopefully be disposed of or used within the next few weeks)
  • box contents reviewed and sorted (some into donation pile, others for sale) two of those white boxes are empty now!!!!
  • clothes shifted for better placement within the closet
  • diaper bag hung for easier access
  • regularly accessed boxes moved for easier reaching

Better, right? Even the Bear noticed (yay!). Amazing what a little time, a chair, and my strange little minimalist mind can accomplish when our own space becomes a priority again. Our bedroom/bathroom/closet is ours (the Bear’s and mine), for conversation, connection, and rest. Our little haven shouldn’t be clutter with the leftovers our of days and weeks; it should feel welcoming.

I’ll keep working on that. Little baby steps. Simple steps.

Permission to Say “YES”

Let me set the scene.

It’s one pm-lunch is finished, and all the munchkins are down for their naps. I have some decent energy for once, so I stare at the blank wall in the living room. I’ve been longing to hang pictures on it since we moved in this March.  My brain commences to formulate placements, colors, arrangements, etc…

And then….

“I really should wash another load of laundry.”

“The bookkeeping needs updating.”

“The sink is full of dishes from both breakfast AND lunch.”

“The entire yard needs cleaning up and mowing.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Odds are, if you’re a mom of little munchkins (or children of any age), you too have dealt with the mental battle of duty vs desire. And when you have a VERY TEENY TINY bit of time to handle anything alone, more often than not, duty wins.

Now don’t get me wrong, household chores, meal prep, caring for your husband and children need to be and should be done. It’s one way we show our family that we love them dearly, a way to serve and grow. But they also need us to be…well….US.

I realized recently that I had stopped giving myself permission to do things that I loved to do! Obviously no one had asked me to do so (I did it all by myself..) God has given me passions and loves, and expects me to use them for His glory as well as enjoy those gifts. And I had suppressed them under the guise of caring for my family, when ultimately, my family needs me to be me, not a robot version of what I thought I should be.

They don’t need a wilted Natashya.

So I decided to start giving myself permission to say, “yes”.

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Do not attempt while toddlers are awake….

 

“Yes” to hanging the picture frames.

“Yes” to planning and researching how to decorate this house, even though we may not be in it long.

“Yes” to reorganizing closets (because I LOVE to organize, whether it really needs it or not)

“Yes” to setting aside the chores for a while so I can sit and marvel at the life moving within me.

“Yes” to turning up some Sia and getting my preggo samba on for ten minutes.

“Yes”

And surprisingly, since then, I have found it easier to say yes to the kids.  Jump on the bed for a while? Yes! Drink your morning cup of milk using the play tea set? Yes! Wear your princess dress and dance to Disney music? Yes! Drag out all the beach towels and name them? YES!

Can I tell you something? It feels good to say “Yes”.

Give yourself permission today, fellow mama. Permission to do something you love, no matter how simple, silly, or unproductive it may seem. It will produce more than you know.