Monday, June 26, 2017

What I Learned After Giving Birth

When I first started writing my birth story, I quickly realized that it was going to take multiple posts to share the full story. What I didn't realize was how long it would be between those posts. I believe in full honesty, which is why I'm going to say that sharing my story is taking longer than expected because the experience came with a rollercoaster of emotions that I'm still figuring out.

I learned many things during my hospital stay. Some of them were personal and others were more general. I'm going to do my best to share some of these lessons below.

The epidural didn't work.
As I was texting with others and talking with my mom, I learned that my epidural didn't work quite right. I felt numbness in one leg and it didn't last for long. Overall, I was able to feel everything which was quite a shock after the stories I'd heard from friends and family about epidurals.

My husband loves me.
After I had given birth, the doctor had to stitch me back up because I tore quite extensively. During this time, Baby Fox was being cleaned by a nurse on my left. The nurse invited my husband to come watch what she was doing and he indicated that he was just fine where he was - he could watch mom and baby from where he stood.

I lost a lot of blood.
There are a lot of things you don't realize as you're laying in a hospital bed recovering from birth with a tiny baby in your arms. One of these was the effect labor had on my body. It wasn't until they got me up to take a shower and I became super light headed that I realized just how much my body had gone through.

Newborns sleep a lot.
The first night in the hospital, I was amazed because Baby Fox slept for four or five hours straight. I just kept staring at him waiting for him to wake up. I should have been sleeping and preparing for months of poor sleep ahead.

You don't need much in your hospital bag.
I packed light - really light compared to some - and I still had too much stuff. I plan to do a post in the future about what items I feel are necessary.

I'm willing to do it all again.
While I personally was slightly scarred by my labor experience, I am willing to do it all again for another baby - someday. At the end of the day, holding a tiny life in your arms outweighs everything that you go through to get to that point.

There are many more lessons that I learned during my experience, but for now, I'm going to keep it nice and short. I may come back and add in a few more things in the future as I think of them. Just know that the biggest lesson of all is that a mother's love and what she's willing to go through is so much stronger than I ever realized!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June Bloggy Brunch

The end of June definitely snuck up on me! It snuck up on me so quickly that I almost forgot about Bloggy Brunch! I was fully convinced that there was one more Sunday in June. Nope - today is the last one! Can you believe it'll be July in less than a week?

June has been quite a busy month with unexpected roadblocks along the way. We've been to the doctor a couple different times trying to pinpoint what has Baby Fox's stomach all messed up. We had a mini date night at the drive in theater while Baby Fox slept in the backseat (and I slept through the second movie). I've been working on establishing routines to help make chores easier. Overall, it's just been one of those months where the days and activities start to melt together and you can't separate everything.

I'm excited to be showcasing a few favorites from last month's Bloggy Brunch. There were so many good ones and I'm still in the process of reading and commenting on several of them! In the meantime, I narrowed it down to my top three. If your post is mentioned below, don't forget to grab the graphic for your post!

Up first, we have a post that's perfect for parents. It's a Summer Guide filled with activities for the kids. Honestly? You could probably reference this post to get ideas for yourself as well. Summer is the perfect time to be active and reconnect with family and friends.

The next post is perfect for anyone that's battling clutter around the house! It's 4 Easy Steps for a Clutter Free Space. I'm all for easy steps and a clutter free space. In fact, there's a few spots in the house that could use these tips right now!

I don't know if you've noticed or not but I almost always pick one DIY post out of the group. This month, I fell in love with this tutorial for DIY Galvanized Lanterns. They seem like the perfect addition to any porch. I won't be adding them to my porch anytime soon because we have major problems with wind, but if we ever move, I'll be looking up this tutorial again!

It was hard picking just three top posts, but I only have so much time in a day. I hope you'll check out the rest of the posts from last month and link up a few of your own this month! I can't wait to read your favorites!

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Find More Time in Your Day

Time management is such a tricky thing to master. Every time you think you have a system going, life throws in new obstacles and messes it up. Time seems to be my biggest enemy right now. My to do list seems to be miles long and the hours in the day just don't last long enough. I've been navigating a major new obstacle - motherhood - and I just can't quite get a handle on the time management side of it, especially when I spend a lot of time trying to catch up on lost sleep. I'm a big advocate for mastering your time though, so that's what I've been working towards lately.

One way I've been maximizing my time is by listening to podcasts during tummy playtime. It allows me to give my full attention to Baby Fox, while still expanding my mind and thoughts. Today, I was listening to the latest episode of Where Passion Meets Truth and I found it quite inspiring. In this episode, the Raewyn and Megan talk about doing a time audit. Part of this time audit is maximizing your hours in the day and devoting them to the things that matter.

I haven't done a time audit yet, but I have devoted some thought to the things that distract me. I like to call these distractions "time wasters" because they aren't really helping me achieve my goals in the long run. (Side note: not all distractions are wasteful. Some double as a form of self care. It's up to you to determine the motivation behind your distractions.) I thought I'd share a few of these and how I'm working to make them less of a distraction.

Facebook Groups
Facebook is probably my biggest time waster. I spend a lot of time mindlessly browsing different groups and seeing what others are up to. While this can be great for networking and getting ideas, it also wastes a huge amount of time. I've started removing myself from groups that I don't feel connected to anymore. This has helped clear some of the clutter on my timeline. I'm also limiting the amount of time I'm allowed to spend on Facebook. I don't want to cut it out entirely because networking is important to me, but I do want to limit the amount of wasted time on this social media outlet.

Pinterest is another beneficial time waster for me. The time I spend on Pinterest has helped me find new recipes for us to try and it's also helped me grow my following for the blog. (Hello Pinterest friends!) I used to spend hours browsing and pinning just about everything. Here lately, I've tried to be more purposeful in my time. I mainly go to Pinterest when I'm looking for something specific which results in less wasted time.

I have been on an unsubscribe spree lately. I am guilty of signing up for lots of newsletter freebies and then discovering that I have no interest in the newsletter itself. (And sometimes the freebie isn't what I expected also.) When these emails used to come through my inbox, I would simply delete them and move on. I've stepped it up a notch and I'm unsubscribing from any newsletters that I don't find enjoyable. So, I've been saying goodbye to quite a few emails in my inbox.

I love texting. In fact, I often have several text conversations going with different friends and family. However, there are times where texting proves to be too much of a distraction. I'm working on setting my phone aside during my limited times of productivity. Right now is a great example - I'm racing against the clock to type this during naptime, so my phone is set aside to prevent me from being distracted by my lovely friends and family.

Mindless Sitting
I know that this one is going to sound a bit strange, but I spend some of my time just sitting and doing nothing because I'm afraid the baby will wake and need me the moment I get started. I'm getting better about diving into tasks and accepting that I might not finish them. It's a new concept for me to divide up tasks into multiple work sessions, but I've become much more productive since accepting this new mindset.

As if on cue, the baby is awake (way earlier than expected), so I'm off to tend to the little one. I hope my reflection and how I'm working on my own time management has inspired you to identify the distractions in your own day!

What are your time wasters and what can you do to get more time in your day? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!