Welcome to our newest blog series, Mom-hood! I am so excited to share the advice, encouragement, and stories of some amazing moms with you! Every guest blogger is not only a mother, but a business-savvy individual who is raising their tribe the best way they know how. I hope this series is not only relatable and inspiring, but offers comfort in knowing that every mother doesn't have it all figured out, and we're all just doing the best we can with what we're given!
Motherhood Survival Mode - Paige Rangel
It has now been nearly eight months since I became a mother to three beautiful children under five. I know that motherhood is hard in so many ways for all of us, no mater which number child we are on, what their ages are, or how many we are planning to have. But man, baby number three hit me like a ton of bricks. I heard it put this way once, and to me it feels so true: "Imagine you are drowning. And then someone hands you a baby."
I wrote about our family's transition into this new chapter on my blog, The Love Designed Life, a couple of months back when our baby boy was just one month old and it was still very raw. To be honest, we are still in the thick of it. I am still in the thick of it. But I do finally feel like I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. The light that says, 'It's getting better. Everything IS going to be ok.'
I have mentioned it in some of my blog posts, but our third baby was a bit of a surprise. My husband and I had always said we wanted two or three, but it's different when you actually have those little beings in reality. We were still on that fence when we found out I was pregnant. In retrospect, it was not the best timing. We had just moved states and I had quit my very well paying 'day job.' My husband was able to find a transfer in the company he was working at, but honestly we moved from Los Angeles to Arizona in search of a simpler life for our little family. Even though we thought we had it all worked out, the financial strain of all that change at once was not easy, to say the least. So when baby boy finally did arrive, we really had no wiggle room in our budget for extra help that I so desperately needed. I wanted a nanny to come over and help a few hours a week, or to put my daughter in preschool, something. But it just wasn't in the cards.
In a way, this helplessness made me feel even worse. Here I was, in a city which didn't have the same sort of industry I had built my career in. Meaning, I wouldn't be able to find a job that made sense for me to leave my children everyday in childcare. On the other hand, I know there are so many other mothers in the world who live full and rich lives on much less than we had, with much less help, so why on earth couldn't I just pull it together and be 'super mom.' Take my son to and from preschool without disrupting my toddler or baby's naps. Have enough time to cuddle and nurse my newborn as much as he needed to be. Play with my bigger two. Take them on playdates. Go to the grocery store. Go anywhere without having a baby screaming at the top of his lungs and two kids fighting over whatever it was this time. Why did I have to yell at them so often to get their attention, sometimes my throat would hurt at the end of the day? And then the guilt, oh the guilt, for all the things I wasn't doing enough.
To top it all off, I had a very extreme eczema breakout [which I am still working on, but is under much better control]. I know eczema seems like a minor inconvenience to most, but for me it was a health issue that was literally debilitating. At a time where I did not have the option to be debilitated.
And then, when it seemed like things couldn't possible get any worse, my husband got laid off. For a moment, we were devastated. But it honestly, it was the break we so desperately needed in life. Our blessing in disguise. The good news was, the company he worked for offered a generous severance package, which allowed him to spend more than a month with us at home, at the same time looking for a job that would be even better than the last. Having him home has been so wonderful, I wish he could do it always.
I should also mention that through all of this, we did receive help from our friends and family in so many ways, from supportive texts from my favorite friends, to a gift of a gym membership [with childcare!] from my parents for Christmas, to aunts who helped us watch the kids here and there. You see none of us are 'super mom.' We are all just doing our best. I think we often hear, "don't be afraid to ask for help." But I know for me, it wasn't an issue of being 'afraid' to ask for help, but more so just not knowing what specifically I actually needed help with. At times, it seemed like everything! But once I sat down and thought through what small things others could do to help, then I also knew who and what to ask for.
I guess the point of this post is, if you feel like you are failing, I feel you. So much. But the truth is, you are just surviving right now. And that is OK. I'm sure someday I will look back at this time in our lives as a flash in the pan. Hopefully I will barely remember that no-makeup, hair-always-in-a-bun, old-sweats-wearing shell of a person I used to be. Hopefully my kids won't remember that version of me at all.
Now we embark in yet another new chapter. My husband goes back to work next week. Although I wish he didn't have to, I also feel much better prepared this time. I think we finally have a pretty good groove going around here. Here's to hoping it sticks around for a while!
Follow Paige and her family's adventures at: