Family

Day 24 – However you Slice it

Becoming a Mama causes a huge priority shift, which I was totally expecting, but still adjusting to. You assume this whole new identity, and have to give away a little more of yourself than before you had that tiny human.

I’m gettin’ all Excel happy, hang with me…

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So I’ve always imagined myself as a pie (homemade apple, specifically) and the different parts of my identity make up the slices of the pie. Still with me?

Before I was a Mama my pie looked like the one above. I was equal parts Ordinary Radical, Wife, Self, Friend/Family Member and Employee.

At one time there were lots of other slices…Student, Teammate, Volunteer, Equestrian. But the pie doesn’t get any bigger. There’s only “so much” to go around, so some slices have to get smaller to make room for another. Back then my pie-self was a hot mess, running on little sleep and lots of coffee. But coffee and pie belong together you say…I know :) Your pie will take on a different shape as you move through different seasons of your life. Some slices might be taking up a bigger space in your pie – but we’re all trying to balance our slices, amen?

Three months ago I became a Mama. Now, where’s that slice going to fit?

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The purple is my Mama slice, one of the largest. And the green in my Self slice, the smallest. My Wife and Friend/Family slices also took a hit. In this season, my role as a Mama is the most consuming for obvious reasons. Little Dude needs care and attention almost 24/7. Which is all good, but as the years pass that slice will shrink a little, which makes me happysad all at the same time.

One thing I’m constantly working on is protecting my Wife slice. It’s almost too easy to steal from that role to make more room in the Mama space. I hold that belief that I’m a Daughter of the King above all, followed by Wife and then a Mama and so on.

I was having a conversation recently about how you’re “on your game” so many times at work, in your social life, and as a Mama that your closest relationship often suffers just because there’s no more of you to give. But that should be where you’re giving most, because that’s where you’ll get the most back, right? I want to be the best version of myself for Merfman. Will I always be the best? Nope, I’ll probably fail pretty often. But that’s the great part about love, it doesn’t keep track.

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Finding balance is a lifelong quest, and I’ll never get it perfect. But that’s part of journey, right?

Now…who wants apple pie?!

Family

Day 22 – Mama Memory

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – you birth a baby and along with it, part of your brain.

There was “Pregnancy Brain” and now there’s “Mama Brain.”

What happened to my “Merfett Brain?”

I’ve never had a super stellar memory. I’ve always been a list maker, note taker and a calendar maker. Mostly because I second guess myself all.the.time. Oh, and my favorite  – walking from one room in the house to the other and standing there for 5 min trying to remember why you went in there. The best.

Armed with one of my lists I went to Target last week, and at our store the greeting card section is right at the front, next to the shopping carts. It’s always a great way to remind me that I need to pick up a card for this or that. Last week I grabbed some Halloween cards to mail our niece and nephew (hi!!!) and a card for a friend’s bridal shower. With Merfbaby strapped in the Ergo Carrier I paced the section feeling like I was forgetting something…Was there a birthday coming up I needed a card for? A holiday? Celebration? Hm….it’s right there, I just can’t remember it. Oh, well. Probably not a big deal, right?

So I went about my week. It was an exceptionally busy week at work, I even missed returning a call to our Insurance guy – which I’m always on top of. He even commented that Merfman must have forgot to give me the message…nope, it was just one of those weeks.

Thursday evening I get a call from my Mom. She often calls me when she’s on her way home from work. We chat for a bit as I’m wrapping up the day and getting ready to pack up Merfbaby and head home for the night. We catch up, and then she says, “I have to tell you something you did – but, don’t get upset.” Uh – WHAT?! My mind is racing, what did I forget?! I felt like a little kid again, like I didn’t bring in the trashcan’s after she’d told me to. Did I miss something? What? What did I do wrong?! Please, tell me! Merfett personality note: I absolutely hate letting people down. Seriously, if you want to bring me to my knees just say the word DISAPPOINTED.

She gently mentions that I forgot their wedding anniversary the day before.

KNIFE.TO.THE.HEART.

My wonderful parents have been married for 31 years as of last Wednesday.

And I forgot.

#daughterfail

All I could muster on the phone, was “I’m so so so sorry, I can’t believe I forgot” over and over again.

I’m not that daughter. I always remember their anniversary – I normally have a gift and a card weeks in advance. This is was so not like me.

My ever-gracious mother just chuckled and said, well now you know what it’s like to have “Mama Brain.”

Yep, I’m there. BIG time.

Her request – that I blog about it :) Here ya go, Mom.

Happy Anniversary!

Love,

Me and my Mama Brain

Family

Day 10 – Fashion Genes

I’ve never been much of a fashion gal. I just didn’t get that gene you know?

Part of the reason could be because I’m not your “average” sized lady…5’12”, size 11 shoe, manshoulders…see what I’m working with?

I’ve always thought it funny that most supermodels are tall, right? So they probably have size 10+ feet, riiighhht? So where are all the things for tall girls?! I realize that if you’re on the other end of the measuring stick it’s equally frustrating. I think the world was made for a girl that’s 5’8″ with a size 6 shoe. Sigh. More power to you if you’re that girl. Wear it proud.

So I’ve always struggled in the fashion department. Merfman is a wayyy better shopper than me, and he’s happy to tag along when I’m on a clothing quest. I get easily frustrated and discouraged. So I give up. Quick. One pair of jeans is too short? A top that doesn’t make it over my shoulders and chest. Game over. I’m out.

He’s encouraging and gently suggests other options. So I face the dressing room again and eventually leave feeling successful.

5 weeks post baby I hit the fashion wall. I was sick of my maternity clothes. I was still too big for my pre-prego stuff so I was upset. We’ve all been there, right Mama’s? I’m not a fan of spending money, especially on myself, and especially on clothing. But I was on the verge of tears. I so badly wanted to feel good about myself. I didn’t want to be hard on my body or wish it was different, I just wanted to wear a pair of jeans with a zipper. Too much to ask?

So with Merfbaby in tow, Merfman and I ventured out to the stores. I braved the dressing room with his encouragement and found 2 pairs of jeans and a few v-neck tee’s that fit. Did I look like the version of me from a year ago, before pregnancy? Nope. But I felt like a million bucks. It was a huge confidence boost. Ignore the size on the tag, and focus on how you feel.

Jeans. WITH zipper. Winning.
Jeans. WITH zipper. Winning.

Shortly after my confidence boost I did something maybe a little crazy. I cleaned out my closet. Like major. It might sound nuts but it was cleansing and a little therapeutic. It was long overdue. I wanted to free myself of anything that I felt was staring me in the face, taunting “you’ll never look good in this again…you’ll never fit in these” so I donated 6 bags of things I’d had since pre-college. Things that I wasn’t even wearing pre-prego. It felt good. Really good.

But now I’m going to say that thing every girl says…I’ve really got nothing to wear. Ha!

I’m going to focus on being more intentional with my clothing. Making purchases that will last and make me feel good.

I’m following The Tiny Twig’s No Brainer Wardrobe series and it’s so encouraging. Seriously.

Something else I’m trying out: StitchFix. I know. Everyone in lady blogland drank the Kool-Aid. But it’s awesome, really. I’ve always dreamed that when I “make it” someday I’m going to hire a personal shopper. Heck, I’ll pay you in baked goods right this second if you can help me find a dress for a bridal shower high tea I’m attending later this month. Please Jesus help me with that one.

Keeping it real: If you click through my StitchFix link and get yourself a “fix” I get a credit for the referral. But you can get one too if you refer people. Clothing. Fun. Moneyz. Everyone wins!