Glamourous Motherhood

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I had a low day today.

  • Lexi had a bad night waking up every 40 minutes with teething pain.
  • I am finally on a reduced calorie diet (nothing extreme, just not indulging as much)
  • I started an exercise routine that includes running and I HATE running.
  • I also kicked butt at Pilates yesterday which means my whole body is extremely sore.
  • We are at that time during the week when we need to go grocery shopping, which means we have zero tasty food at home, not even fruit.
  • Alexis has been whiny and attached to the boob all day, which on a normal day I wouldn’t even blink an eye at, but today things were off.
  • She is also biting today due to teething (and has been on and off for the past few days) so my nipples are so sore.
  • I am exhausted from everything mentioned above.
  • It has been gloomy all day and the weather has a huge influence on my mood. On sunny days, I am a lot more energetic.
  • I had a 40 minute nap to get all my work done, answer a zillion emails, write a million posts, process thousands of pictures, assemble hundreds of videos, continue getting ready for the giveaway event at Daily Mom.

And I am not even talking about piles of both clean and dirty laundry thrown all over our bedroom and closets. Or the pressing work around the house that I can never get Andrew to do because he is JUST as busy and tired. Or the fact that I feel great amount of guilt for letting Lexi play while I fold her clothes or tidy up the living room, because if I were that PERFECT mom, I would surely sit down and teach her the alphabet that she has no interest in or teach her a new sign that I don’t have time to look up or make some homemade playdough and play with her.
So here I am battling with the thought of possibly going to sleep at 9 or 10 tonight and calling it a bad day, or try and get all the aforementioned done between Lexi’s bedtime (8-9pm) and 1 am (my usual bedtime) only to be woken up every hour and then up for the day at 7.


My biggest problem is I want too much, I have too many interests, I expect a lot of myself. Wait, I don’t think it’s a problem, but on days like this it can definitely become depressing.

I know that tomorrow things will be JUST fine. They will go back to their normal self with sunny Floridian weather, walks to the pool, trips to Children’s museum with #lexitwins, runs around the backyard naked (for Lexi, not me lol), splashing in the sprinkler, reading more books that a one year old should want to and yet she does, showing her how to use her newly received play food on her newly installed kitchenette  working hard during a 1.5-2 nap and actually getting things done, contently sitting with Alexis hugging her warm soft body while she nurses, mostly for comfort, because her teeth are bothering her and cherishing that moment, sitting back with a cup of tea and some hazelnut butter while typing away at my computer after my sweet girl goes to bed.

That will all happen tomorrow, but today I am cranky and I want pizza and I want to blow off another set of pilates ( but will probably try to do it anyways).

I hate resorting to food for comfort, but at the moment that is all I can think of. I ended up sending hubby to get veggie pizza and pick up a few vegetables. Not my best moment, but that’s what needed to be done to lift the spirits.

Motherhood isn’t glamorous most of the time. You get to feel overwhelmed, and sad and desperate to do something other than read another children’s book for the 50th time, you  want to bury your head in a blanket and sleep.

But then you write a blog post about it and you know that pizza is coming, you know bed time is just around the corner and you feel better, because tomorrow it will be all better and you will notice and appreciate every little moment.

I am sure most of you understand.


And this picture just made me oh so aware that my hair has gotten really dark and I need to somehow take 3 hours for myself to go get it colored. Let’s add that to my half-painted ombre (term coined by an e-friend) toes, my standing dentist’s appointment , and my ever unshaven legs. Le Sigh. I really do hope I’ll get to the point where I can take the time to take care of myself soon. I miss it!

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  • Reply
    Ana O
    March 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Your doing great Elena. No matter your expectations you set (mine are high too), as long as Lexi is happy, healthy and provided for, your doing EXACTLY what you need to. I set unrealistic mommy expectations for myself as well, but then I remember tomorrow is a new day, the housework will still be there and so will my son. Take a nap, relax and sip some tea. Your rockin’ it no matter what your brain tells you.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      The biggest thing that kills me is having an actually to-do list ( for the blog, and Daily Mom) that HAS to be done and not having the time to do it. Apart from all the usual mommy guilt stuff 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I am so thankful for this post. I have a 10 week old, and I am a new stay at home mom. I have so much pressure I put on myself for all of the above! I often have to tell myself to just relax and enjoy the moment, but then when hubby comes home, i feel like if the house isn’t clean (which it never is) then i failed him as a wife. It is a lot harder than I thought (balancing the “to do list” and raising a child! I can’t even imagine what it will be like when Adeline doesn’t sleep as often!!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I like your dark hair because you and alexis look like twins, not exactly but you get what I mean!

  • Reply
    Tammy Root
    March 20, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I appreciate your honesty Elena. It really helps to know that those who appear to have the perfect life also have hard days! 🙂 I hope you feel better soon. And, please try not to be so hard on yourself. Pizza is okay. Don’t feel guilty. Putting too much pressure on yourself is not fair to you.

    Sending big cyber hugs!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Thank you for this post. It shows your readers you are human too. The you struggle like everyone else. And that struggle (as hard as it is) is normal sometimes. Wanting comfort food every once in a while is allowed. Letting her play while you get some things done is allowed (and I think encouraged. Shows her what ‘normal’ life is like and that you are a woman and a wife outside of just being a mother).
    My husband has been away for work for 3 weeks, and with the exception of these past 5 days, I have been by myself with my daughter and 2 dogs. I’ve had to do EVERYTHING on my own. AND find time to get things ready for her upcoming first birthday party (this Sunday) and go to work. So I have also been struggling, but it’s been more than just a day. It’s just nice to see I’m not the only one.. :]

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I find myself feeling the same way..and yes it is also usually from feeling like I’m just overwhelmed and then everything, the smallest things, make me feel like I’m in over my head. Anyways. Regarding the “let Lexi play” thing while you do something – think of it this way – you are doing her a HUGE favor. You are teaching her to entertain herself which is a HUGE talent to any toddler. Jon and I are actually practicing that on purpose these days. We set her up with an activity and then try to walk away. It’s a great exercise for them and teaches them to be self sufficient, confident, etc.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 20, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      I know, it’s just hard because I WANT to be with Lexi playing. 🙂 but you’re right!

      • Reply
        March 21, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        You could also consider teaching Lexi to help you fold laundry. For kids, work is play, play is work. I figure we have to take advantage of this time in which they are so so interested in helping, even if they aren’t able to be very helpful yet, so that they will want to help later, when they can be more useful. Plus it’s a lot of fun.

        I do housework every day and my son either plays by himself, plays alongside me, or “helps” by bringing me the broom and dustpan or something. I am looking for a broom his size now b.c he gets so excited about this, He loves laundry folding time. he is not really able to fold things at this point, mostly he puts shirts on his head and plays peekaboo, but he helps me carry piles of clothes to the rooms and he can even occasionally manage to put them in the drawers.

  • Reply
    Amy Taylor
    March 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I won’t lie. I enjoyed your post today because it made me feel a little more normal. 🙂 You are definitely not alone!!!! I feel so guilty when I try to clean because he should be learning something more. He really doesn’t want to….I just think he should want to. haha. And pizza has all of your food groups. Very well rounded meal if you ask me. 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 20, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      You’re definitely allowed to enjoy this post 🙂 and to feel normal 😉
      And pizza was ugh gross (it’s hard to find good pizza in the suburbs). But I definitely needed it lol

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    You are doing great. We all have these moments I promise. And you know what? I think you are the perfect mom. All it takes to be the perfect mom is to love your child unconditionally and do your best by her. And that is what you do each and every day.

    I do have to say that you should give yourself a break and go to bed at 8pm some night, even if you have to force yourself 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie J
    March 20, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I so needed to read this today. I too am exhausted, have mother guilt, and too much that needs to get done. Didn’t resort to the veggie pizza, but instead broke my reduced sugar plan and ate a lot of yummy sweet things. Veggie piazza probably would have been better! Lol. Anyway, THANK you for your honesty. It’s hard to find posts like this on all the mommy blogs-despite these feelings being so universal.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 20, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      I think one of the biggest reasons mommy bloggers don’t post stuff like this, why I don’t usually post stuff like this is the following.
      So you’re having a bad day and you really want to write about it. However you’re most likely tied up with all the things you’re doing that led you to feel overwhelmed in the first place. By the time you do sit down to write your feelings, the day is gone, or you’ve made yourself feel better by eating pizza, or you’re so exhausted you just go to bed. The next day the feeling is gone, it starts brand new and you’re all good again. This is the kind of posts that needs to be written in the moment, otherwise it’s forced or fake.

      I mean I’ve had a million days like this. My laundry isn’t done most of the time, my to-do list grows by leaps and bounds daily, new emails come through that need to be answered, but as long as a few variables are missing ( like lack of sleep), I am good and I am not prompted to write about it.

      And if we wrote about days like this as often as they really happen, then we’d be perceived as complainers. Not that I really care how I am perceived, but I don’t like complaining regardless. SO we end up with internet full of feel good mommies that post about their feel good moments, and there is nothing wrong with that. I do agree that posts like this do need to happen sometimes. They are somewhat liberating!

      • Reply
        March 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        It’s refreshing to hear about off days. We all have them.
        As a reader, it gets tiresome “seeing” tidbits of, what appears to be, perfect life. With perfect meals, perfect outfits, perfect hair, perfect activities, etc. It almost seems self righteous and a bit nauseating. It’s nice to strike a balance between the good and the bad. I sincerely hope that tomorrow is better. These low days must be going around, my day kinda sucked too 🙁

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    So thoroughly understand. We’re all in this together. Also, REALLY wanting veggie pizza right about now. 😉 Thanks for your thoughts today, seriously.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    We can create a sisterhood of exhausted mommies and have one day in a week/month just to complain and indulge and remind ourselves of priorities.
    And you ARE a perfect mom! You know why? Because you love Lexi so much and that’s all she needs.
    Get some good rest and quality time with Andrew.

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    March 20, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    It could also been Leap 9 of the Wonder Weeks. Hugs to you Elena! Enjoy the pizza knowing that we are all human and everyone just stores their piles of laundry in different hiding places 😉

    Go to bed and get some rest Momma! You deserve it!!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 20, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Which one is it? What are they doing in leap 9?

      • Reply
        Mrs Loquacious
        March 21, 2013 at 1:04 AM

        59.5-61.5 weeks. It’s the Principles one and my kid just started on it with extra clinginess, random tears, crap sleep, .. All the good stuff. I bought the Wonder Weeks 9 on Kindle and it was a very helpful read, even though it looks like things are gonna suck ass until 15-16 months 🙁

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Your blog is my favorite in my reader. I like the way you write, your artsy pictures, and most of all I love your candor. I think this post just made me love it even more. You’re full of inspiration even when you’re feeling down! Thanks for sharing that with us.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    I mean this is the nicest possible way – give yourself a break Elena! Lexi is fine playing while you do housework or exercise – and if you don’t like running then for heaven’s sake do something you do enjoy (rollerblading?) – exercise isn’t supposed to be a punishment. Pizza is fine once in a while, it’s not good to think of food as either good or bad.

    Your posts don’t have to be so long. You don’t have to take so many photos. You don’t have to keep up with twitter and instagram and pinterest. Go to the beach without your camera, and leave your phone switch off, I double date you! Is your mother still there? Leave Lexi with her, and go and get your hair done. You don’t have to be Superwoman. xx

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Sorry you had a rough day. I agree with the poster who mentioned a Wonder Week. I’m pretty sure Wonder Week 64’s fussy period starts around 59 weeks, so towards the end of 13 months.

    As to feeling guilty about folding laundry instead of teaching Lexi the alphabet, do NOT! She is clearly doing so well in all areas of development and you are so blessed to have a healthy, typicall developing little girl as well as to have been able to give her all the advantages you’ve been able to give her.

    Think about all the things her watching you fold laundry can teach her, too. Your hard work models for her the kind of hard work she’s going to have to do in order to be successful in life. It teaches her that drudgery-type tasks like folding laundry are part of life. You can sing funny songs to her about the laundry you are folding, use the clothes to teach her colors, and interact with her all while showing her about family life. You can even start the concept of “helping” now by having her “help” unload the laundry basket for you to fold. Plus I’m sure you know that it’s great for kids to continue to work on the skills of self-entertaining.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Hang in there mama! We’ve been having a rough couple weeks! Garrett is trying to give up naps, even though he’s usually falling apart by dinner time, everyone has just been tired and cranky plus with pregnancy hormones I’ve been feeling pretty down a lot. You’re a great mama and it’s good for her to play by herself sometimes too. ; ) Biting is no fun either! Enjoy your pizza! ((HUG))

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I so relate to how you feel, as I imagine most mothers do.

    I know you’ve read just about everything, but have you checked out Bringing up Bebe? It really helped me to learn and believe that making myself a priority is good for my daughter. It also helped me to learn the developmental value of independent play. (Until then, I had always felt guilty if I left my girl to play alone.)

    Enjoy that pizza, mama!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    this was a real refreshing blog post to read from you. it’s nice to know that other mamas struggle with the day to day of motherhood. doesn’t mean we don’t love our babies any less… just means we are tired and could use an hour to ourselves.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Im having a low day myself, so I appreciated this post! You’re doing great, and like you said, tomorrow will probably be better.
    Don’t feel guilty about letting Lexi play by herself- that’s good for her!

  • Reply
    Amy Bassett
    March 21, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    I’m right there with you Elena! I’d love to take the time to get my hair colored, paint my nails and shave my legs on a regular basis, but who has the time!? Anyway, I can totally relate to everything you’re feeling and appreciate you sharing your “lows” as well as your highs. Tomorrow, tomorrow, it’s only a day away! Haha! Hope you all get some rest tonight and Lexi’s teething passes quickly.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I love this post! My little girl is nine months old and there is nothing like mama guilt. Some days you can’t help but feel burnt out and overwhelmed, even though you want nothing more than to be giving 110% to your little miracle. It’s easy to assume everyone else but me has things together. Thanks for making me feel better 🙂

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Hi Elena, I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and just have been too busy to say ‘hi’! But wanted to say that I love all your posts and can relate to a lot of things. I’m from the Netherlands and have none of my Dutch family here and it’s so hard it times! I have a 3 yr old and 14 month old twins, all boys and reading this post was just refreshing because I go through these days a lot as you can imagine! Nothing really relating to what you wrote but more so having one of those ‘low’ days..

    Luckily my boys all sleep very well (from 6.30 PM – 7.30 AM straight at night) and one nap from 11.30-1.30 so I can’t relate to the sleepless nights but every day is so hectic, chaotic and I feel like a referee all day long haha. Still trying to do activities and play and reading books with them but most of the time they’re fighting over everything and we don’t get to accomplish anything.

    Anyway, just wanted to tell you that you should not feel guilty at all for being busy and not being able to spend all of your time with Lexi. They need alone time too, and learn things by themselves. I put my twins in their gated area for an hour every day while I take a shower or do some housework and they play contently together. I also want TOO much! I run a photography business with my husband and I just started a brand new company Oliver & Greyson. I only get to work on it at nights (which I do have like 5 hrs straight to work on until I go to bed) but that is if I’m not too exhausted from the day.

    Anyway, sorry for going on and on. Just wanted to show you my support and I also start every day fresh and full of energy, thinking it will be better. For me, sometimes it’s worse the next day haha but it’s the motivation that counts, right?! Enjoy your little girl, she’s precious!

    P.S. you don’t want to see my piles of laundry lmao!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I SO understand! And you know what? You can always tell when I have had a day like this because you’ll find me in line at Target holding a pint of ice cream and a People magazine. I’ve thrown in the towel, called the day a loss, and resorted to the most basic of instant gratification. haha

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    OMG same with me, running like a horse and I don’t even have kids lol busy life it’s painful

  • Reply
    March 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    It’s so refreshing to read something so real and so honest! I agree with the poster that said to take a break. “Me Time” is a wonderful thing, and everyone deserves it. I also want to add that I would love more of this type of post, but I definitely don’t want to wish rough days on you!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      See, that’s where it gets difficult for me. I do take me time! Often. I ask my husband to be with Lexi, or my mom while she is here, but instead of doing true me time, I take that time to work on this blog (which is definitely a pleasure) and on Daily Mom. Because I have SO much to do for both of those (outstanding things), I never get to do the fun “me” time, like paint my nails, or read a book.

      P.S. I’d love to write more of this type of post, as well. But every time I put it down, it just sounds like I am complaining…which I am not.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    My favorite bloggers are the honest ones… and this post was very honest. We all have low days. I find parenting a 2-year-old almost hellish on some days and absolutely resort to the TV so that I can go to the bathroom, shower, feed the baby, or read the mail. It’s hard sometimes. But, we get through. We want the very best for our babies. Bless ya, sister!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I’m only gonna comment on one thing. Do NOT feel guilty about getting chores done while Alexis plays on her own. If she is happy? It is GOOD for her. It is good for kids to learn how to entertain themselves for periods of the day, promise. Like for real… not a ‘it is what it is’ kind of thing, but for really real, it is good for kids to learn how to entertain themselves and enjoy it.
    That or start NOW teaching her how to do chores. Give her a pile of socks or rags to ‘fold’ while you do other stuff. She’ll be happy and feel like she is involved and you’ll be able to get things done without feeling like you are leaving her all alone (which again, is not a bad thing!) Even one year olds can do a TON of stuff next to you. give a rag to ‘clean’ while you clean something for real (never too early to learn how to dush or clean windows/sliding doors!) she can hand you bowls or spoons in the dish washer (assuming not breakable/heavy and once you remove knives etc) you can get her a toy broom or vacuum to use while you use a real one. She can sit in an empty tub and ‘clean’ with a rag while you clean the bathroom… so on and so forth.
    She’s at the age now where she is going to want to copy ALL the things. paper and a crayon to ‘work’ while you work… that kind of thing. She won’t know it isn’t for real and it’ll get her used to the concept of helping out when she’s old enough to do chores for real.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 25, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      She has been copying what we do like sweeping and cleaning up, it’s so cute.

      But I absolutely cannot work on the computer around her ( which is where all my work is), because she’s tech obsessed. I can’t even pull out my phone without her calling for it (TANG! TANG! TANG!) and the computer- oh man! lol I’d get no work done if I try that. But it’s pretty manageable to do work around the house, since she does a good job entertaining herself. It’s just not the type of work I want to be doing lo.

      • Reply
        March 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

        what about getting her her own toy computer and/or phone? or even one of those cool toys where kids can safely play with real phone apps? I am sure that’ll go against some of your thoughts on parenting/toys/screens, but if it raises your general happiness level, it could very well be worth it. i ended up doing that stuff earlier with my kid than planned and I have seen no negative consequences, but there were definitely some positive ones.
        you just sound so stressed trying to be the perfect everything and you’ve posted a lot about how unhappy you are with how little work you get done. your happiness level might go up if you can be more productive if you can find a way to get Alexis to leave your computer or phone alone while you use them.
        I hope you are getting plenty of non mommy time to balance the stress of taking care of a one year old and I hope Alexis has nights where she sleeps through. Don’t be afraid to look for non CIO methods of teaching her to find ways to self soothe to sleep or even night wean so she can sleep better. Sleep hygiene is SO extremely important and a lot of people don’t realize how unhealthy their and their children’s sleep patterns are. Not all babies will actually get enough sleep, or at least enough GOOD sleep, without some sort of training to teach them how to fall asleep and stay asleep. I know life was SO much easier for me once my child weaned fully and consistently slept through the night so that I could get uninterrupted sleep as well as time fully for myself in the evenings. I wish I had looked into night weaning options more thoroughly rather than waiting til she fully weaned at 2.5 years.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          March 26, 2013 at 7:52 PM

          toy computer: ah! she is not to be fooled 🙂 haha! No interest in her toy phone when there is a real thing.
          Yes, I like to be productive and get frustrated when I have days like this that where everything goes wrong, but in the end what’s most important is my daughter, so I deal with it.

          With the sleeping and weaning, that’s just not something I choose to do. Even the gentle methods. Never have. We’re all about WIO here as hard as it can be some days. (and in all honesty, i don’t really think Lexi would easily take to any of it, she has a pretty determined personlity.)

          Like you say once she night weans, it will be a thousand times easier, but I do want to let her do it on her own terms, even if that means getting frustrated once in a while. Alexis is still young and going through MANY developments that I can totally see in her sleep patterns. She will sleep horribly one week and then barely wake up only to nurse another. That simply shows me that she can sleep well, but doesn’t occasionally because of teething, developmental milestone and other external factors, like needing more comfort during one week.
          It’s good to know that your little one weaned at 2.5 years and started sleeping through the night. Gives me hope 🙂

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    You are great with your daughter! Years from now it will be okay if your legs weren’t shaved or you didn’t make play dough. You love Alexis sooo much and it shows in many other ways and you meet Alexis’s needs perfectly! Keep your head up! You are doing a wonderful job!!!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Thank you for being so honest! It is refreshing. This is the best pre-baby, pregnancy, motherwhood blog out there!

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