An Open Letter to my Daughter’s Molars 

  

Dear Molars, 
My feelings for you are so strong it is difficult to put into words, but I will try. You provoke such emotions from me that I can hardly stand myself. It’s so hard to resist. 

     I know there will come a day when I’m eternally grateful for your existence and my daughter is happily chomping away at whatever delicious meal I’ve prepared for her. There will then come a time when your shiny whiteness will symbolize a new stage in our lives and bring a bittersweetness as she starts to lose her teeth. But this is NOT that day. 

   Today, you’re hurting my sweet baby. And do you know what that means? It means she won’t eat. She won’t sleep. She only screams bloody murder. Bloody. Murder. That is NOT an exaggeration. If you had a throat, I would punch you in it. Hard. If you had feet, I’d lay a path of Legos in front of them in an effort to make you feel what I’m feeling. If you were a paper, I’d cut you. If you were a wrestler, I’d put you in a headlock. If you were a cow, I’d eat you. In a big hamburger with bacon and cheese and I’d laugh the whole time. If you were a piece of tissue, I’d blow my nose on you. If you were a baby wipe, I would use you on a dirty bottom. Yep. That’s what I said. I think you get the picture. 

Have you lost your mind? This child is in PAIN and you just cut your way on through relentlessly, ignoring the cries of the sweet baby. Have I lost my mind? I’m sitting in a car outside my daughter’s school thirty minutes early because the car is the only place the munchkin is happy at this point in time. And I’m talking to a TOOTH. I’m pretty sure I HAVE indeed lost my mind. So thank you, you heifer. 

If you hadn’t gathered your closest gang of hard, white, shiny terrorist molar friends and decided to ALL poke yourselves through at the same time, we could have possibly had a symbiotic relationship. But no. You’ve made your choice to my my mortal enemy. And I will conquer you. I already have. You’ve been drowned in Tylenol and kisses. So, in your face. You shall not prevail, evil one. 

Taking Time For Marriage

     

  

 This past Thursday, I drove my kids 4 hours to my mother-in-law, who met me about an hour from her house and kept my girls until Sunday. Now, if this is your first time reading my blog (hey,girl!) you might not know my girls are four years old and 17 months. I’m a Realtor who works from home with my girls since I lost my childcare (although my grandmother keeps them once or twice a week so I can go into the office. Grandmas for the win!!). I’ve also been married to my Superman for over five years. 

     Many of you cannot fathom having your kids, especially kids so young, away for days at a time, but this is not the first time this has happened. About a year ago, my mother-in-law kept them for four days and about six months ago, my aunt had them for a week.  Many of you wonder how I manage to make it through. Many of you may not have family who could/would help you like this, but I’ve found that for our family, it’s vital. 

     Allow me to explain: my husband often works 60 hours a week. That means that our time together is sparse. Sometimes, at the end of day we are both so exhausted when he gets home that we end up sitting in front of a tv in a silent daze of no communication. I’ve been training babies and cleaning and fielding phone calls from clients and trying to keep the baby off the laptop and the dining room table all day. He’s been working hard providing for our family all day. Dealing with people who can be so ungrateful and so demanding and so unrelenting, yet he still does his job (and loves it!) to provide for us. And it takes a toll on a marriage to spend so little time together, to spend the time you are together in silence and exhaustion. Now, don’t get me wrong. We have a great marriage. I’ve never doubted his love for me, nor him mine. But after a while, it became kind of distant. It got a little hard for a while. Sometime in marriage it gets that way. It’s times like this that we have to know we love each other. It’s times like this we realize that love was never a feeling: it was a choice. 

   I was exhausted. I know he was, too. I was tired from doing seemingly everything for everyone and being on a new medicine that makes me sleepy, well, all the time. And cleaning and cleaning to no avail. And working. And round and round. And so I asked my mother-in-law to take the girls for a couple days. Just so I could rest. I honestly did it selfishly. I just wanted to sleep and watch TV and be alone in the quiet (which by the way never happened between business meetings). But here is what did happen: after work, my husband and I got to talk. Alone. Without anyone else needing anything. We got to really focus on each other and what we needed for three nights. (And my girls got to spend time with family they ADORE!) We got to really just be married to each other and enjoy each other without any distractions. 

(Before you go getting all up in arms because I called my girls “distractions,” you should know that 1. I’m real and sometimes they can distract us from each other and 2. I’m an awesome mama who loves her kids. So booyah!) 

     And it was amazing. Just a couple nights alone did something for us that we needed. And I can’t even explain it. It was just an amazing reconnection. Now, we do take regular date nights, but dinner and a movie every other week becomes pretty mundane after five years. And It gets expensive paying for a sitter on top of that. 

    But ladies, we HAVE to invest in our marriages. If what you need is a date night, plan one. If you can’t afford a sitter, ask a family member or switch off date nights with a friend. If you cAnt afford a date night out (no shame! Sometimes we can’t afford it either!), take a night after the kids are in bed and shut off  the TVs. Pull up “questions to ask your spouse” on a phone and talk to each other. Answer the questions. Enjoy it. Talk. 

    And if you have someone you trust to keep your kids for a couple days, LET THEM. Show your husband he is important and take time for just the two of you. Sleep naked. Lay in bed in the morning just snuggling. Talk. Go on a date with no curfew and no babysitter to get back to. This man and your relationship is what will get you through some of the hardest times of your life. He has been there for the most joyous. God gave you each other for a reason. TAKE THE TIME for your marriage. 
Love to my loves, 

Cate

Enjoying the Lasts

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When my kids were born, I made a rule that everyone in my family knows: If you experience a first, don’t you dare tell me. Act like it never happened and enjoy it alone. The reasoning behind it is that I always wanted to be there for the firsts: the first steps, the first word, the first crawl, the first everything. It is something that has been so important to me. I always want my girls to know that I’ll be here to experience all these things with them. That I was there every step of the way.

We have now been through all these things twice. Abs is now 17 months old and Adeline just turned four. Superman and I both got to be there for each of their first steps, first smiles, first laughs. I got to see their first crawls and Adeline’s first day of preschool. I can honestly say that as hard as it has been, it has been worth it. These things were so sweet, but as time went on and it became commonplace for them to walk and talk, it became more bittersweet. I was prepared for these firsts. I know at exactly what age and stage they were supposed to occur.

But no one prepared me for the realization of the lasts.

   It honestly just hit me 5 days ago. It was Adeline’s birthday and I was taking her somewhere special while her daddy worked. I had just finished getting Abs ready and dressed. I plopped her on the couch next to Adeline, who was putting on her socks and shoes at glacial pace. I grabbed her first sock and started to put it on her feet to speed things along when I thought Soon she won’t need help putting on her socks and shoes. And I almost died a little on the inside. Suddenly, it wasn’t about getting out the door anymore. It was about savoring the moment. So I stared at those toes. Those dirty toes. The mismatched Doc McStuffins socks. And after I slipped her feet into them, I picked up the new pink cowgirl boots her Daddy had just surprised her with and I couldn’t help but be sad at how fast this precious child is growing up. How many times had I experienced a last and not realized it?

Did I even realize I was changing her diaper for the last time? That I was feeding her her last spoonful of baby food before she moved on to big girl bites? Did I take the time to think about the very last time I nursed her to sleep? And how will I ever recognize the lasts from here on out? When will I kiss the last booboo? When is the last time she will need me to tie her shoe? Or put her hair in a ponytail? Or pray away the monsters?

My baby is FOUR YEARS OLD. She’s four. And even though I’ve been here for EVERYTHING, I feel like I’ve missed so much.

Mamas, it can be so hard in the chaos and the mundane to stop and savor moments when we are walking around like a mombie trying to wash the laundry and get out the door on time. But we have to. We have to look at those dirty little toes and those runny little noses and wonder when the last time is they will need us to clean them or wipe them. Looking at it this way is making me so sad, but it is also making me realize that nothing else really matters.

The days are long, but the years are short, ladies.

Enjoy the lasts.

Love to my loves,

Cate

My kid is gross. 

IMG_7490     There I was. In the kitchen. I had just plated a meal for my two munchkins, one on a Frozen plastic plate with separate sections for the meat, the cheesy mashed cauliflower, and the green beans. The other meal wasn’t really “plated” so much as it was “high chair trayed.” I had lovingly cut up the meat into small, baby-bite-sized pieces. I had filled sippy cups with milk and orange juice.

I put one kid at the dinner table, sitting atop a Little Mermaid stool in a chair and the other in the high chair, strapped in so she didn’t stand and leap out of the high chair onto the hardwood floor. I then went back into the kitchen to make my plate.

As I finished putting my dinner on my fancy China (read: paper plate), I sat the plate down on the counter to pour myself a glass of sweet tea. (For you Northerners, it’s iced tea with sugar in it and you’re missing out on a lifetime of deliciousness.) I poured my drink and turned around to see Adeline, 3, with her fingers in my food.

     It was then that I realized I hadn’t made her wash her hands before dinner

I knew exactly where her hands had been. I’ve lived with this tiny creature for almost four years trying desperately to teach her ladylike behaviors, often in vain.

It pains me to write this.

“Adeline! When is the last time you washed your hands!” I exclaimed in absolute horror.

“Why? Can you smell that I’ve been digging in my butt?” she responded.

And that’s when I died. 

Love to my loves,

Cate

How I Landed Superman… A LOVE STORY, kinda.

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I’ve known my husband since I was 15. We met in church. He always sat in the middle section in the second pew. My family sat in the left section in the middle pew on the occasions we went to church. I had a HUGE crush on him. Like doodle my first name with his last name on a notebook crush. You know, because I was fifteen. Thing was, I knew I’d never ACTUALLY date him. You see, Superman is eight and a half years older than I am. So when I was 15, he was 23. That sounds more like the beginning of a jail term, not a love story.

I had just given my life over to God. I was going to church every time I could and I couldn’t get enough. It also didn’t hurt that the was always there. My family didn’t go to church on Wednesday nights and I wanted to, but I didn’t have my driver’s license yet. Now, the church was visible from my front door, so I could just walk across a big field behind the Tractor Supply to get there and back. So every Wednesday, that’s what I did. One night he recognized that I was going to have to walk home in the dark, and he was having none of that. Being a total gentleman, he gave me a ride home. From then on, my parents made sure a nice couple in our church drove me home.  He always made a point to say hello to me and he treated me like a person, not a stupid teenager, which is how it seemed everyone else treated me.

Rabbit Trail: Every halloween, my church hosts a “Hallelujah Fest” where people can come have fun and hang out without all the halloween scary, evil mess. We were assigned the same blow up obstacle course that year. We raced and I broke my toe. I BROKE MY TOE. The big one. It hurt. A lot.

After a while, my family decided to go to a different church and I had to go with them, because we went to church “as a family.” They told me when I got my driver’s license I could go back to my church.

Fast forward two years. I was a senior in high school, I had just gotten my driver’s license. I finally drove to my church one Wednesday night. He wasn’t there. I was kind of sad. But I wasn’t there for him (He was just icing on the cake.) That weekend, I was helping out at the concession stands for a kids’ wrestling tournament. (I wrestled in high school.) Afterward, I went to Walmart before I went home to my grandmother’s house. It was Christmastime and I was in the electronics section looking around. That’s when I saw him. It had been two years. I didn’t remember his name.

Now, I was raised that girls don’t ask guys out. Girls don’t call boys. So, when I saw him, I just kind of made my way over to the aisle he was on. Then the next one he was on. Then the next one.

Y’all! For TWENTY MINUTES I followed him (less inconspicuously than I thought) around the electronic section of walmart, waiting for him to say something. 

That heifer never said one word. I was thinking, “You have GOT to be kidding me.” I looked FABULOUS that day. ( Six years later, he still remembers what I was wearing.) That joker knew I was stalking him. It had to be obvious. And he never said a word. After twenty minutes, I thought, “Fine. I’m leaving.” and started to walk off. As I was leaving, he grabbed my arm and said, “Hey!”

FINALLY, YOU FREAK! WHAT THE HECK TOOK YOU SO LONG? DON’T YOU KNOW I’M FABULOUS AND I’VE BEEN STALKING YOU???? 

I said, “Oh, hey! Long time no see! How ya been?” *feign surprise as if I had no clue he was there* Because I’m clearly that smooth.  Funny thing, neither of us remembered the other person’s name.

That night, he invited me to go to a movie with him and his friend. I told him I needed to ask my grandmother first, but I’d go drop my stuff in the car and call her. (I was 17, so still under curfew.) I had him put his info in my phone (because I didn’t know his name. Did I mention how smooth I was?) Once I confirmed with my grandmother, I texted him. He was walking out of the store and it was COLD. December 18th. So I gave him a ride to his car, which the genius had parked WAY over on the side of the store. And how did Mr. Smooth remember my name? THEY WERE ON MY FLOOR MATS IN MY CAR.

I had to pay for my own movie that night. I scrounged up change out of my car to pay for it. Like I said, SMOOTH. But, Superman likes to say that I haven’t paid for anything since.

Six years and two little girls later, I’m still just as smooth. And married. To the guy I stalked in Walmart.

Love to my loves,

Cate

How To Choose Mom Friends

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You wouldn’t think this is something we would need a “how-to” on, right? I thought about that, then I thought about the friends I have and have had since having my girls. Navigating friendships amidst children and husbands is a delicate thing, BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE.

I’m sure we have all had friends who made us feel less than a good friend, less than a good mama, less than just about anything. We’ve had friends who engaged in the dreaded “Mommy Wars.” We have had friends who were just not nice. So here is my question…. why? And here is my answer… We feel the need to fit in as moms. Yep. I said it. Peer pressure as a mom is twelve times worse than it ever was as a teenager. Our parents spent years teaching us to avoid the peer pressure we would encounter as teenagers, then BAM. We have kids and the REAL games begin.

I want to talk to y’all about what I’ve learned about choosing friends, and why it’s so important.

The first thing I look for in a friend is being non-judgemental. This isn’t like dating where everyone puts their best foot forward. Your first time out with another mama, you’ll know. If she hears a toddler screaming in Target, you can decide if she’s the best friend or you based on her reaction. Does she make a face and say, “She needs to control that child.” or does she grab her extra bag of animal crackers and say, “Hey, mama. You’re doing a good job. Think these would help you out?”

I have a friend who lives right next door. She has a little boy who is 19 months old. For the past year and a half, I had horrible postpartum depression, which you can read about HERE. My house was always a mess and I just didn’t feel up to doing anything. Holly was one person I knew wouldn’t judge me for the way my house looked. She would just show up at the back door with Ethan and we’d watch friends or just talk or go walk with the kids in the strollers. There was NEVER any pressure to cook or clean or apologize for the fits the kids threw. It is just easy with Holly. THIS IS THE TYPE OF FRIEND YOU NEED. The type who pops over with strawberry shortcake and doesn’t care if the floor is covered in dog hair or the kids haven’t been bathed in five days.

(Here’s a photo of Holly. She’s a breastfeeding counselor at our Health Department. Super Breastfeeder!)

You can see why I love her. She’s a goober like me.

I have a friend who I love dearly, but I know if she were to come over and my house weren’t clean, I’d be able to feel the judgement.  I have another friend who doesn’t understand three year olds because she doesn’t have one. So when my VERY strong-willed kiddo is being a kid, she “corrects” her pretty harshly. Here’s my thing with that. I’m here and it’s my kid. So I will handle her in my own house. She is an AWESOME kid. She is also three. She’s  not going to do EVERYTHING the first time she’s told. She will get distracted. She will do something else because she wants to. And she isn’t a bad kid. She is just a LITTLE kid. There’s a difference. Hence, we can’t hang out often. Now, I love these two girls dearly. I know if I REALLY needed either one of them, I could call. And they know that about me. We just don’t spend too much time together.

Another thing I look for is similar values. It’s important to have things in common with your mom friends. You won’t agree on EVERYTHING. It’s just not possible. However, the friends you choose have children to whom they will be passing on their values. These children will be playing with your children. If you don’t want bad habits being passed around betwixt the children, choose friends who teach their children similar values as you do yours. Also, if you are both Christians, women conferences are fun to do together. If you both are into exercise, walks with the kids are awesome.

And one thing I always pay attention to is HOW THESE PEOPLE MAKE ME FEEL. If you always feel like you’re being put down instead of being built up, you might want to reevaluate that friendship. If you feel like you’re constantly being judged, you might want to spend a little less time with that person.

Friendships should always add to you as a person. They should never take anything away from you.

Ladies, look for other ladies who will build you up and be the friend that builds them up.

Love to my Loves,

Cate

On Miscarriage: My beautiful Anabel Lee

      October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I have been struggling with this post idea since the first of the month. Sometimes I don’t know what to say about it. Sometimes I have too much to say. But this is an important topic and it needs to be discussed. 

     In March of 2012, I saw two pink lines. Adeline was only 5 months old and I was mortified. Superman was just as shocked, but we believe that EVERY life is valuable and we were determined to be happy. I called my doctor and made an appointment five weeks out to confirm and have the ultrasound. Over the next five weeks, we got extremely excited. We picked out names.  We told our family and friends. We decided having two so close together would be a blessing even if it were a bit more difficult. 

     When the day came, we loaded our infant up in the car and drove to the Obgyn’s office. The calendar determined I was 10 weeks and 3 days along. On to the ultrasound we went. When we saw the baby on the monitor, The doctor asked, “Do you feel pregnant?” I thought it was an odd question, but I told him I never really “feel pregnant” when I am. My pregnancies have always been relatively easy. 

Then he said it. 

“I’m sorry, but there is no heartbeat. The baby is measuring small at 7 weeks. Don’t worry. This happens all the time. We will do a D&C tomorrow to remove the tissue.” 

     My heart stopped. How could there be no heartbeat? How could he just blurt it out like that with no compassion or thought? Like it didn’t matter. I crumpled into a sobbing heap. All anyone could say is, “I’m so sorry.” 

     At seven weeks, which is what my baby was measuring, it’s possible to not see a heartbeat, so we felt it was too soon to do a D&C without being absolutely sure. Instead of going through the with it the next morning, I sought a second opinion. After calling 5 different doctors who wouldn’t see me unless I made them my primary physician, I found an amazing doctor who told me to meet him in his office the next morning at 8 AM. He would go in early to see me before his scheduled C-Sections that day. Dr. Chris Sizemore will never know exactly what he did for me. He spent two weeks doing repeated blood tests to check my HCG levels, then even after he was certain, he sent me upstairs to the specialist with the ultrasound that shows blood flow just to be completely sure. Finally, when he had done all he could, he suggested we go through with the D&C. He was compassionate. He was encouraging. He was prayerful. He was exactly what we needed. 

      I carried a living child in my womb for seven weeks. I carried her (we had genetic testing done, which is a whole other post.) after she passed for 5 weeks. And I’ve now carried her in my heart for over three years. My beautiful Anabel Lee. 

The devastation felt by parents who miscarry a child is almost incomprehensible. People don’t know what to say to us, so they say whatever comes to mind, which is usually the worst thing they could say. 

“It’s okay. You’ll have more babies.” 

That doesn’t replace the baby we lost. This is essentially telling the mother and father their baby didn’t matter. Please, don’t. 

“You have two other beautiful babies to focus on.” 

All this does is remind me that I don’t have time to grieve the LOSS OF MY CHILD. 

“You’ll just have to move on.” 

If you want to leave my presence alive, don’t. 

And my all-time favorite, said to me by someone who was supposed to be a friend: 

I knew that was going to happen when you got pregnant so soon after the first.” 
Please understand this: to people who did not carry this child in their womb, he or she didn’t even seem real yet, but to his/her mother, who held them in her belly, who thought her child was in the safest place in the world, this child was everything. We were their mothers. Our husbands were their fathers. Our kids were their siblings. 

If you want to help, ask if you can help with the kids. Or the cleaning. Or the cooking. Pray for us. Then pray some more. Don’t say anything. Just show us the love of God. Let us grieve. It will be a long time before we can talk about it or think about it or believe it. 

      If you’re currently recovering from the loss of a child, know that I am praying for you. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but eventually you’ll know prayer is what helped you through. God is graceful and merciful. He WILL make something good out of the evil. 

     If you’re currently loving someone who has lost a child, just BE THERE. Ask them what they need and be it. Do it. Show it. 
Love to my loves, 

Cate

Helping Our Children Guard Their Hearts

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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.     -Proverbs 4:23

Some of the choices my husband and I have made in raising our girls have proven to be quite controversial among our friends and family members. We choose not to tell our children Santa is real. We still do Christmas photos with Santa Claus, but instead of telling them a fat, hairy guy is coming down the chimney, we tell them the story of Saint Nicholas, who embodied the love of Christ in service to others. Likewise, we don’t do Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. It’s a personal choice. We also have decided that Halloween is not for us as a family. We will go to our church’s “Hallelujah Fest” which has blow up bouncers, candy, and games (similar to a trunk or treat), but we do not do things that glorify death and darkness. Call us crazy. You wouldn’t be the first.

It would seem we have slacked off in one area, though. And it could prove to be the most dangerous.

My girls LOVE Disney Junior. Yes, I let my kids watch TV. (I don’t really care what the “experts” have to say.) Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse, Doc McStuffins are some favorites. They teach some good lessons such as kindness, fairness, etc. However, my daughter has recently been talking about one thing NONSTOP. Witchcraft.  How did my three-year-old learn about witchcraft and hexes when I’m so careful about the things we associate with? Turns out, there is an episode of one of these shows where the characters are trying to help a bad witch be a “good little witch.” Here’s the problem I have with that: Witchraft and voodoo are not a joke. They aren’t something I want my kid associating with good. They are very real.

Before you think I’m all kookoo for Cocoa Puffs (which I do love), know this: I don’t go around looking for the bad in life. We are actually pretty fun people. There are just a few certain places I draw VERY thick lines. This is one of them.

The Bible says to guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from it. We have to ask ourselves, what are we doing? Whatever it is is coming directly from our hearts. Likewise, we need to watch carefully what our kiddos are doing for the same reasons. Upon questioning, I realized that AG could not recall the premise of ANY other episode of that show, even though she watches it daily. (Again, I don’t care what the “experts” say. I’m an awesome mama.) That got me thinking. The devil will try anything to get his evil to take root in our hearts. Even using kids shows that seem to be harmless. He doesn’t discriminate. I dare say that kids are his easiest targets. But not MY kids. I will guard my kids’ hearts with EVERYTHING I have.

I WILL RAISE CHILDREN WHO ARE ON FIRE AND IN LOVE WITH THEIR GOD.

And it starts with watching what is going into and taking root in their little hearts. We have made the decision to do away with their general TV watching because its not possible for us to screen it all beforehand. It’s a good thing I have almost every VeggieTales movie ever.

How do you help your kids guard their hearts?

Love to my loves,
Cate

An Open Letter to my husband about Postpartum Depression

Superman,

Since the baby was born, things have been different. I’ve been different. And I haven’t really understood why. I just know that I’m not the same girl I used to be. I don’t laugh when you pick on me. I get angry. I don’t just pick your sweats up off the floor. I throw them and yell and have a hard time letting it go. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be with you. And I don’t know how to explain it. But I’m going to do my best here.

I used to think it was adorable when AG would play with me or pick on me. She’s so much like you. She does things just to make me laugh. Now, I hardly notice. I actually didn’t even realize she still does it until you started pointing it out a couple weeks ago. When she cries, sometimes I don’t get those mommy feelings I used to where I just want to run to her and comfort her. Sometimes, it just infuriates me. I end up yelling at her when her mommy should be kissing booboos and healing hearts. When they come into our room in the mornings to wake me up, I don’t get excited and enjoy the snuggle time. I get upset because I am constantly exhausted despite the fact that my body technically gets enough sleep.  I love them so much it hurts. It hurts because I know I should be comforting them and eating up every second. I know they are growing up so fast. I see it. I’m with them, watching it all the time. And yet, I just don’t want to be here sometimes. But I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I feel as if I’m in constant conflict with myself. I miss them when I’m with them because I feel that I’m not giving them everything they need and at the same time I just want a break. To be alone at home in a clean house with no obligations, no diapers to change, no expectations. There is no way to explain how much I love these two tiny humans we have created. They are all of me and all of you. They’re smart and funny and beautiful, but I just want to run away from them sometimes. And I don’t know why.

I used to enjoy dinnertime. I loved cooking and figuring out what I was going to feed y’all for dinner. I would spend HOURS planning meals and making shopping lists and grocery shopping and then cooking it. Now, we eat out most days. I grocery shop because I have to. But at the end of the day, I’m so exhausted I can’t stand the thought of standing over the stove when I could be sitting on the couch. I don’t enjoy cooking like I used to. I don’t enjoy many things the way I used to. Like movies. I’ve somehow managed to shoot down every time you try to take me on a movie date under the guise of “I’d rather just talk. We can’t talk and REALLY spend time together watching a movie.” But we can. And I miss it. And I don’t get it.

Then, there’s you. YOU. The most amazing man I’ve ever known. The person who holds me when I cry (which is literally every single day lately) and the man who has always made me feel like the only woman in the world. The guy I met at 15 who gave me a ride home from church so I didn’t have to walk home alone in the dark. The guy I married at 18 despite the best of objections. The only guy I’ve ever needed with every fiber of my being. And yet, sometimes I don’t even want to be around you. But at the same time all I want is you to hold me. The man I yell at over trivial things like taking the wrong route to the interstate and the laundry and dealing with the girls differently than I do. The man that knows how much I have changed and how much it haunts me and how much I want the old me back and never makes me feel worse about it than I already do. The man who has stuck with me and stayed unchanging through what has been simultaneously the worst 16 months of my life and the most amazing experience having TWO sweet girls to love. The man who doesn’t hate me for horrible things I’ve said, knowing I never meant a word of it. And my best friend in the entire world.  I pick at the smallest things you do. They absolutely throw me into a rage. I know as I yell or get angry about them that I shouldn’t, yet I can’t seem to simmer down despite my best efforts.

The anxiety and the guilt consume me. I know I shouldn’t feel the way I do, but I can’t stop it. I know how I used to feel about you and the girls and I want to feel it again. I want to BE the mom and wife I used to be again. Then I wonder if others can see how awful I am. How I can hardly feel anything anymore. How I get angry over nothing. I’ve been told to pray and it will go away. Well, I’ve prayed. And prayed. But now, you know I’ve seen someone about it. I’ve been given a diagnosis. Postpartum Depression. It sounds so taboo, yet we both knew what it was.  I don’t always understand how I feel. And on the rare occasion I do, I don’t know how to communicate it to you. Some days I just want to quit. I want to run away and hide and cry until I turn back into the girl I was a year and a half ago. But I can’t. I have a full-time job where I juggle our girls at the same time from home. It is overwhelming to an extent I cannot possible utter. And it is EXHAUSTING hiding it from everyone. Trying to suppress it is impossible, so to those who don’t see me behind the scenes, I’m either just dropping the ball or I’m neurotic, never focusing on one thing. But we are now on the road that, hopefully, leads to recovery.

I want you to know that even when I don’t feel loving toward you and the babies that I love you all so much more than I could ever explain, more than any of you could possibly comprehend. I want you to know that there could never be anything more important to me in this life or another. I want you to know that if it weren’t for God’s grace and the little bit of bible-reading that somehow manages to eek its way into my day (and it’s usually not from picking up the Bible), I wouldn’t have made it this far. I know you can’t understand this, especially when I don’t. But I want to thank you for being what I need and what I never knew you’d have to be for me.

I love you so much. You’re my Superman.

Love,

Baby

MomThoughts Launch

Hey, ladies. We are starting a new segment here at Mary From Martha called MomThoughts. Each week I’ll take four randomly chosen things and give you my thoughts on them as a mom.

Here’s your first dose!

Love to my loves,

Cate