How’s this for real life. I, Rachelle, I am a complete mess right now.
It has been one hell of a year. Becoming a Mom of two, working hard on trying to building a business (two actually), working two positions at my day job: full-time, maintaining a home comfortable for my family and so much more… I feel like I have lost direction.
I am spinning. I am exhausted. Throughout all of these changes I have put ME/MYSELF on the back burner most days. I truly feel like I am living in survival mode and failing.
I am not writing this for attention or a ‘poor you’ response. I am not sharing this to make my life feel so much busier than anyone else’s. I share because I know I’m not alone. I share because I need to broaden my network of people that have gone through this phase and made it out. People that are currently going through it and hiding it like I do – every day. I also need my parent friends to know, YOU are not alone. This shit is hard – it is so very hard.
We are all doing the best we can … to get out the door every day on time, sitting in our offices from 9-5 only to rush home in traffic to get the kids. To make dinner that sometimes doesn’t get eaten. To clean our houses that never look that way. To dry all the tears including our own. To not loose our effing binds. To breathe.
I know I am not alone even though it feels like it. This is just a really, really, really tough chapter. I am in survival mode. I take on more than I can do most days because it is in my DNA to try and perfect too much. I don’t say ‘no’ because I fear I will disappoint someone. I know I don’t show up to the parties, the girls nights, the weekends away, the play dates – its not that I don’t want to – its just – that I don’t want to. It’s not you, right now, its me.
If you’re a part of my life … please give me grace, maybe even advice. I am trying the best I can to find balance, which feels more like trying to take a deep breath under water. Don’t worry – I am okay – I am just really exhausted & don’t really know what it is that I need right now to find balance. I love this life that I have been blessed with I just need to find ME again so I can love it a little bit harder.
My family and I recently came down with the stomach flu. Twenty-Four (24) long hours of getting sick + 24 hours of recovery. ROUGH.
Not being able to keep anything, including water down is extremely rough on the body. We needed hydration and healing … in walks electrolytes. Time to put down the sports drinks and pedialyte. Here is a healthy alternative.
Pedialyte and Gatorade are two of my pet peeves. The purpose of both of these drinks is to replenish electrolytes in the body. First off, does everyone know what electrolytes are and why we need them? The word electrolyte has become a term thrown around a lot in marketing but most people are unclear on what they actually are. In the human body, electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate, and hydrogen carbonate, or in other words they are minerals.
Minerals are very important for good health. Yes pedialyte and gatorade both contain (synthetic) “electrolytes” but they come along with a handful of unnecessary artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and colors – none of which are going to help you or your child recover from an illness, and could even cause other problems.
Unfortunately, pedialyte is the go-to product recommended by pediatricians for children who have a stomach virus or an illness that causes repeated vomiting to replenish lost minerals. The real truth is that it’s possibly the worst option and there are far better choices that can be made easily with ingredients you likely already have at home.
Let’s take a look at what is actually in this product. Here are the ingredients in Pedialyte Strawberry: Water, dextrose, citric acid, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, natural flavor, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, zinc gluconate, RED 40, BLUE 1
After water you’ll see dextrose, a sweetener that is likely GMO, then you’ll see the minerals, followed by natural flavor…
I have to stop and talk about natural flavor for a moment. Natural flavor seems pretty harmless when you read it but don’t be fooled, it’s not. Natural flavor can be a derivative of anything that was once part of a “natural” ingredient. It’s the food companies way of throwing things in there without having to put them on the label. If you have ANY type of food allergy or sensitivity, avoid natural flavors, because you’ll never know exactly what it contains.
After natural flavors you’ll see sucralose which is Splenda, a toxic artificial sweetener, and lastly you’ll see red 40 and blue 1, artificial colors that have been linked to behavioral problems in children. Yikes. Now you can see why this product bothers me.
All of the minerals in pedialyte and gatorade can be found in foods and there are plenty of ways to get them in without using these artificial products.
Here is my go-to recipe … we use it during sicknesses, after strenuous workouts, long beach days, for hangovers – yeah, I said it … those too!
HEALTHY ELECTROLYTE DRINK
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
1 dropper Mineral Essence💦
1 tsp Agave
2 drops Orange Vitality EO (optional)
1 QT Water
*adapted from Melissa Poepping’s Chemical Free Home Book
Last night as I ran through the nightly routine of cooking dinner, cleaning up, prepping for the next day – I made myself STOP. I made myself slow down and rearrange the steps I made. I forced my brain and body to move with more intention and I stared at my children & got lost for a moment.
I reminded myself that these not so tiny anymore humans that need me so bad, right now, will not be so needy one day and I will need them. I picked up my toddler, placed him on the counter and asked him to help me. He cut all the grapes that I had just washed. He cut them with a smile & pride. Without being asked or encouraged to, fed his little sister as she watched from her highchair. Looking back at last night – THOSE are the moments. The big moments – the ones that take center-stage in the memory bank.
I am a Mom. I am trying and on most days I feel like I am trying so damn hard to figure it out. Just like you. Over the past week I made a promise to myself, my family, my kids … to start slowing down and being better. calmer. Filled with more grace & passion and less irritation & hurry. As a Mom, there are things we go through that play factors on how we feel and act. Things we don’t always talk about or recognize.
I just crossed the 10-month mark of breastfeeding my second baby. This is a prideful accomplishment for me but also one that brings a lot of baggage & let me tell you what … it isn’t designer.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful privilege that my body has blessed me with the ability to do. I was able to breastfeed our son for 16 months. I felt proud, happy, so good & yet, so broken.
There is a dark side to breastfeeding that a lot of women don’t openly talk about. The part of the journey that causes emotional ups and downs (way downs). The sleepless nights because that sweet baby only wants Mama and what she can provide. The days when you are in tears, ugly, can’t breathe tears because your body senses fear and stress & decides not to produce enough that day. The feedings that end because you’ve been bit, pinched, hit – yeah, that happens. And then there is the part that hurts the most … the hormones that are so viciously cruel. They are the mean girl of the world. They come out of nowhere and truly make you feel like a worthless human. I know that may sound extreme BUT if you are a breastfeeding Mama or even a Husband that has seen your Wife throughout this journey you too know this is real.
Y’all – I have recently cried tears that made me feel like every ounce of air was being sucked from body. Ask me why – my answer: I don’t know. I just felt broken.
My body was and is still (but better) stressed and overwhelmed and ready to end this journey. We are two months away from One Year which is my goal for my daughter’s breastfeeding journey. Last week I was really stressed about it all – my body felt the fear and reacted. It reacted by not producing. As a working out of the home, Mom, I have to pump throughout the day in-order to provide for my daughter at daycare. I usually pump 4-6oz, per pump session – 3-times a day. Last week my body yielded 1-2oz. Do you know what this did to me? It wrecked me. It made me feel like I was failing. Like I was broken. Like I was doing something wrong. Now, I know this is not fact but in a moment of Mama Panic – I didn’t. I knew fear and pain and sadness.
I turned to my Husband because HE is my comfort. With tears in my eyes I sent him an email after a stressful morning in the house all because I was emotionally toxic and well, mean.
“I just feel broken babe. I hate how I feel. I think I need to stop breastfeeding or at least get formula this weekend and supplement a bottle or 2 a day. I feel so stressed out like my body is failing at this and its not a fun feeling. I am starting to hate this relationship (breastfeeding) between getting bit, not pumping enough, etc. I dont have enough milk to give her bottles Monday. I feel broken about it.”
This Man. This amazing, selfless, strong, keeps this ship afloat, man broke me with his response:
“I completely understand babe and i empathize with you. To hear about how many woman cant do it at all is a testament to you as a mother. Imagine the total number of ounces you have fed our kids over these years. How many bottles washed… How many hours spent feeding or pumping… How much money you have saved us. Its super hero status babe!! Thank you for all of it!! I don’t blame you for wanting it to end. And honestly she is so close to being one I can’t imagine it making much difference stopping at 10 months or 12.”
Be still my heart – after reading that my heart calmed and my body felt a sense of safety like no matter what I decided to do – everything was going to okay!
I did buy formula which she didn’t care for. Over the next few days my body, the one that kicked my ass the week before, decided to return to normal – with me – and started producing 4-7oz a pump session. Moral of the story. Take care of your mental health to keep your physical health in-line. That and marry a Man that has the ability to make you feel like you can do anything. p.s. I love you.
Are you a breastfeeding Mom? What do you do to take care of yourself? Both Mentally and Physically?