A Year in the Life of PPA

I’ve wanted to share this for some time now but just couldn’t quite find the words.

Life is funny. And weird. It’s so freaking weird sometimes.

Looking back at the past year I find it so unbelievable that you can have the best year of your life at the same exact time as hands down your most difficult year on this planet.

As time gets closer and closer to our daughter’s first birthday I can’t help but think back at how much has happened since she’s been born and the whirlwind of ups and downs that has followed us through the past 12 months.

I knew I wanted to be a Mom. I knew there would be ups and downs. I knew that the second I saw her my heart exploded and being her mother was the reason I was put here. I knew no one would ever love her like I do. I knew that it was going to be a big transition from a family of four (my husband and two stepsons) to a family of five.


It took too long for me to figure out that what I was experiencing in the months following her birth was more than me just being nervous about being a new Mom.

It took too many declined invitations to meet up with other Moms…

Too many excuses as to why I couldn’t go somewhere, eat at a restaurant, go shopping or bring the baby to visit…

Too many “pep talks” I had to give myself before being around people, including family…

Too many days in a row of not leaving the house…

And a few instances that are unfortunately burned into my memory…

I had a really bad panic attack in the grocery store in October where I left a full cart of groceries and called my husband in full on frenzy ugly-cry mode (although I did responsibly note which aisle I left it in so he could find it easily when he went back to buy them).

There was the day we took our kids to see Santa Clause. It will forever be in my “Mom-guilt closet” because I missed everything. I put the baby on Santa’s lap, the room instantly spun, my face turned red, I couldn’t breathe and I had to get out of there. I wish I could apologize to the nice lady who was trying to take a family picture with my parents and grandparents and all of the kids. I swear I’m not a Grinch. I thought I was going to pass out by the Christmas tree.

And then in early January I was on a day date with my husband in Panera and had a panic attack that had me literally gripping the table, trying to take deep breaths, failing at that, and leaving. Quickly. I bolted out the door for fear of completely losing my mind (followed by my sweet husband who made sure to grab my sandwich on the way out. Bless him I swear)…

In the days following the Panera incident I realized that without even meaning to, I had little by little rearranged almost everything in my life to avoid anything I thought would trigger one of these episodes. I ordered my groceries online where some nice smiling person would shop for me and then bring them to my car (WalMart pick up is amazing by the way, I don’t think I’ll ever change doing this!), everything else I needed was brought to my doorstep via Amazon Prime. I even did an eye exam on 1-800-contacts.com to update my prescription so I didn’t have to go into the office. I realized I hadn’t gotten my nails or hair done, been to a girls night, or gone to a restaurant since the baby was born.

I also realized the only people who knew were my husband and my parents. Not because I was purposely trying to hide. I dont care about being imperfect or “only showing good things on social media” or having flaws. I just didn’t understand what was going on so I didn’t really know how to explain it. I am very much a homebody and always have been, but this was on a whole other level.

It took way too long to realize that Post-Partum-Anxiety was affecting my life, my personality and my relationships. I specifically say PPA and not PPD because I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t crying in my bed. I wasn’t having abnormal thoughts. I was tired as hell but still so happy and grateful for my family so I didn’t connect the dots that it could be post-partum related. My baby was happy and loved and cared for, and I was happy to be the one with her. Because of this, I thought my constant racing mind and worrying every single time I knew I’d be leaving the house was normal.

In the past few years I have experienced anxiety, but only when I was taking birth control and since I stopped taking it altogether it became almost nonexistent. Until after I had baby girl. This period of time was different. I think of it like my mind being a race car, going round and round at full speed without stopping.

I made an appointment with my OB and the day of I almost didn’t go in. I was sitting in the parking lot contemplating leaving but couldn’t stop thinking about my husband and my daughter. I walked into that appointment because of them and laid 10 months worth of anxiety, panic attacks, insecurities and tears on my doc.

I wasn’t too surprised when she prescribed me a anti-depressant. I probably would have given myself one too if I were in her shoes because I just had so much built up I didn’t even realize was there and the tears were flowing like freaking Niagara Falls. The more I spoke about it out loud to someone though, the better I felt. I walked out of there feeling lighter. Slightly embarrassed, but definitely lighter.

Through my chat with the doctor I also realized I hadn’t slept through the night in months, as our little angel wasn’t a big fan of sleep. I was running on fumes a lot of the time. I realized that leaving my career was harder on me than I thought it was going to be, that while I was happy being with the baby and wouldnt change the decision, the transition to a stay-at-home-Mom had been a challenge. My husband also left his job and we started a company together in which I was in charge of finances for a business in a field I knew nothing about. I had people calling me about invoices and questions while I was holding a teething baby who hadn’t slept all night. One time I even sent a check to the wrong person. Throw in everyday adulting like making sure the family eats, the bills are paid, the laundry is done, homework is complete and correct, keeping the house in somewhat working order and trying to be the Stepmom and wife I was before all of this, and here I was. I had put so much damn pressure on myself that I weighed myself down. Its not my husband’s fault, its not my kid’s fault. I hit my limit but didn’t ask for help. That’s on me.

Through this I have learned that stress does different things to people and this is how it showed up during this time in my life. Looking back now I see these panic attacks and behavior changes not only as something out of the ordinary, but as warning signs that I ignored. The mind and body are powerful things and will tell you when something is wrong. When you ignore it you feed it, and that is the worst thing you can do.

I think as strong women we like to think we can do it all, and we do regardless of the situation. We’re wired to put our heads down and keep pushing forward in the name of keeping things running because let’s be honest here – without us, things fall apart.

Once the dust had settled from starting my husband’s company, my Young Living business hitting a milestone, baseball season and all of the holidays were over, I couldn’t hide behind anything. Everything and everyone else was finally settled and ok. And so I broke down.

Luckily, my husband was there to catch me and so were my parents. I was honest with myself and with them. I also finally reached out to other Moms and my friends. It was almost a relief that what I was feeling had a name. That I wasn’t crazy or losing my mind and I wasn’t “sick”. That other people knew exactly what I was talking about. That I was still a kickass Mom. That I was OK!

In my personal situation, I chose to not take the anti-depressant and instead wanted to try changing certain aspects first. I’m far from full on “crunchy” but I do believe in natural remedies as a first option because my body has a hard time with medication in general.

A friend of mind suggested a meditation app called “Headspace” which was a big help. Download it today. Everyone needs 10 minutes of quiet and stillness.

I also started taking vitamins and a natural alternative to the anti-depressant. I began making sure I went outside daily and talked to my girfriends on a regular basis. I made sure I was going places with baby girl and also getting alone time. Also, shortly after my doctor visit the little one started sleeping through the night, which meant my sleep also got back on track. Broken sleep + stress is one awful combination. Go to bed at a decent hour.

To be honest I am not sure if I’ll ever be 100% free of anxiety. I am not saying that I will never in my life have another panic attack or that being in a super crowded area won’t make me nervous. I am fairly certain anticipation and I will never be friends. However, I can say with confidence that I have this certain situation much more under control and that the worst of it lives in the past right alongside those months of sleepless nights.

I am at a point where I am completely ok with sharing this with anyone because I understand it now. If even one person reads this and says to themselves, “This sounds like my friend”. Or sister. Or daughter. Or even themself. Then its totally worth it. This is real and raw and the worst feeling I’ve ever had. I don’t want anyone to feel like that if they don’t have too.

And finally, if you’re ever in Panera or anywhere public, and you see a woman rushing out the door followed by a man holding two sandwiches, don’t assume they’re arguing. And if you see a cart full of groceries in the store with no one in sight, leave it be. A worried spouse might be on their way to get it.


((Special shout out to my amazing grocery-getter, sandwich-grabber, Santa-picture-taker husband. Christopher you’re a damn good man and I love you ❀️))

((Good article about PPA – https://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/the-other-postpartum-problem-anxiety/ ))

You Mom. You Mom Hard!

When you and your bestie both end up with your babies on a hot Saturday (in October!!!!) at the Farmers Market to work your booth….what do you do?

You Mom. You Mom hard! 

Here’s to all of you Momtrepreneurs out there hustling to get all of your jobs done!

LOTS of coffee and LOTS of oiling happened today! But it was well worth it!


“Those” Days!

Some days they sleep when they should, you do yoga AND run AND introduce yourself to a couple hundred strangers (so nice to meet you by the way!) and get 1000 things done for work and around the house…

Aaaaaand other days they forget what naps are and you wind up driving aimlessly around town wearing sunglasses that look ridiculous on you that your husband got for free from a gas station prize wheel because they were the only ones you could find as you staggered out the door in your leggings with a screaming little …and you wind up in the parking lot at the park across the street wondering if the other cars parked in the shaded spaces are occupied with other Moms who are happy to sit there as long as their kids are asleep too…
And if they’re drinking a PSL like you…

And if they have Lavender shooting out their air vent via a cotton ball (best thing ever btw!)…

And if all of a sudden a certain smell overtakes the Lavender and you realize they went #2 while sleeping in the car…
This is the point in these kind of days when you either laugh or cry. There’s been quite a few days that I cried.
But today I laughed. Because she’s still just the cutest damn thing. And because this particular blowout took place in the onesie that says “Enjoy the little things” on the front of it. Go figure πŸ’πŸΌ.
And the crazy part? Us Mommas wouldn’t give up “these days” for anything in the world πŸ’›, amiright?! 


“There’s No Crying in Baseball”

When I was a kid baseball was an ongoing theme in our home. My brother and I played ball year round and watched the Orioles on TV any night it was on. Whenever we were outside throwing the ball or driving home from a practice or game my Dad would say stuff like, “The secret to this game is that its really more a mental game than a physical one”, “Just keep your eye on the ball” and his favorite, “Pay attention to baseball because everything you need to know about life can be traced back to this game”.

When you’re like eight years old that doesn’t mean much. The only correlation you make between baseball and life is when your Mom says “That’s strike TWO!!!” as she’s yelling at you. Right?

But when you’re a week shy of your 31st birthday and you find yourself sitting in a parking lot on opening night of your oldest kid’s baseball season feeding your crying six-month-old and you are cussing at yourself because you knew this probably wasn’t the best idea, “There’s no crying in baseball” kind of takes on a new meaning.
Opening night had a later game than normal and I had a “Mom feeling” that it maybe wasn’t the greatest idea to venture out, but when your stepson tells you on his own that he understands if you can’t stay, he just wants to see you there….I mean, come on. You give it a shot.

The plan was to go, stay for a little bit and head home. The plan was that she would probably sleep for most of it and we wouldn’t be out too late. The plan was to feed her and give her a bath like normal and get her into some comfy pajamas before leaving the house.

Yea, my plan sucked.

I should have left as soon as I saw the parking situation. If I could have just parked I don’t think it would have been as bad but of course not only was it opening night for our league but also for the football team that plays at the field adjacent to our fields. No parking spots. Anywhere. I ended up parking far away. That’s the only way to explain where I was. Far. BFE. Remote. I now had a crying baby, a game starting in 5 minutes and my husband calling asking where I was. So I did what any Mom does at this point, I started feeding the dragon. As I was feeding her in the random parking lot, the guilt started up. “Why did I do this, I knew it was too late and now I’m in some deserted parking lot with my kid who should be in her bed right now”, “The oldest will be disappointed”, “Should I stay or just cut my losses and get her home?”, “I don’t want her to lose it again during the game but I don’t want to miss it all either, we’re already here”, “But God I’m really tired”….etc etc.

Somewhere in this I started feeling tears well up because I realized how tired I actually was and how mad at myself I was for just not listening to that “Mom feeling”. I snapped out of it momentarily because my mother-in-law called. She was at the field too and coming to find me because my husband sent her. Well crap.

I know some of you probably have horror stories about your mother-in-law and I honestly feel for you because I am one of the lucky ones in that department. My mother-in-law is pretty amazing.

I’m sure I looked a heck of a hot mess feeding my kid in the front seat of our vehicle in this almost abandoned parking lot. It kind of makes me laugh now writing this and it almost made me laugh in the moment it was happening but I was more concerned at the time making it look like this was a normal occurrence on a Friday night for us. Luckily, she knows better and luckily I knew she knew better so I cut the crap and just let it out for a moment. I got through a sentence about just being really tired and another one about not wanting to disappoint any of the kids or my husband before she took the little one and just kind of let me have a moment while saying all kinds of things that you just need someone to say when you feel like a total idiot.

It actually all ended just fine. The baby calmed down long enough for us to drive over to the fields because by this time people were starting to leave from some of the earlier games that had ended. I watched two innings, the baby enjoyed herself, my stepson saw that we were there and he was happy about it and everything was good. I fell asleep before the boys even got home and the baby slept through the night.

The next morning over my coffee I got to thinking about what my Dad used to tell me about baseball being a lot like life. It’s absolutely true……

Take your team for example. Your people. You need your team to lean on. You need them to back you up when you miss a ball, strike out, to take the baby while you cry, whatever. You need to know they’re there if you mess up or have a bad game. They’re there to celebrate the wins with you but more importantly, they’re still there when you lose. Your team is everything.

Sometimes you have a game plan and it just goes haywire. When that happens you don’t just give up and walk off in the middle of the game. You readjust and you keep playing. You finish what you start even if its messy and you’re getting your ass kicked. You finish.

You’re going to strike out more times than you think. Your timing is going to be off, you’re going to take your eye off of the ball at some point and you’re going to miss. So is everyone else at some point. You’re not the only one.

And if things don’t necessarily go the way you want them too, there’s always, always another game coming up.

Our next one is on Wednesday.

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Have a Gameplan!

Ladies (and gents) I bring you the rare trifecta!

When the baby falls asleep in the car and youbhave completed the errands and happen to have a coffee, a book and a bottle of lavender IN THE CAR WITH YOU already!

Can I get an amen please?! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»


I Made it 6 Months….

They said it would happen.

They said this day would come.

But they told me this when I was still pregnant. And they told me when she was first born. And like all other new Moms who leave their full time careers to stay home I guess I thought it might happen at some point?! But when you look at your baby’s sweet week-old face you can’t but help to think to yourself, “How can I ever get tired of staying home with this angel?”.

We’ve been pretty smooth sailing over here as far as the baby goes. There’s been ups and downs and some struggles here and there but I really can’t complain! She’s almost 6 months to the day and I know people say this all of the time but I really can’t believe it’s going by so fast.

I left my full time job in a field that I absolutely loved to stay at home with her. It was definitely the right decision and one that I am so happy we made. Every day except today. Today kicked my ass. 

I made it almost 6 months to the day before I said the words all those people said I would say…and I said them to my husband on the phone over a crying child. Way to stay calm, I know I know…

It went something like this. Not really sentences, but some kind of cohesive thoughts crammed together in a statement:

“I think maybe I should go back to work. Maybe this was a bad idea! Maybe I can make it a year and then go back?! I’m not good at this! Not today anyway. No, you don’t need to come home. I’m fine. It’s fine. I have to pee I can’t hold it anymore I’ll call you back”

Writing this now I know I didn’t mean it. I know how much I actually really enjoy staying home with her.

But after her nap got cut short caused by me stubbing my toe on the dishwasher (yea, this really was all my fault!) followed by HOURS of fussiness, not allowing me out of her sight without crying (new thing!), bottle(s), trying some purΓ©ed bananas (fail!), crying if I sat down with her but not if I stood up & was in motion, 27 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, not getting anything done, walking outside a few times, failed swing attempts x 2, realizing I hadn’t thawed anything out for dinner (still haven’t!), wanting so so badly to sit down and get some work done & packages put together and having to pee so bad for what felt like days, I hit the wall and called my husband and said the words. 

You know, if she would have just told me she wanted to sit on my lap in the garage and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” 18 times I would have tried that first instead of last. 😜⚾️️

So now here I sit, in the garage in a fold up chair with an adorable sleeping baby on me, wishing I had brought my water out here. Or my Stress Away. I still haven’t gotten anything done and I still haven’t put packages together or done anything I needed and wanted to get done by this point in the day (besides pee! Oh thank goodness!). I’m also feeling the Mom guilt from the things I said an hour ago when I called my husband, because I know I wouldn’t give this up. Not yet. Maybe one day. Maybe after the first steps and the first “Mama” and “Dada”. But not now.

And as far as dinner goes, MY amazing Momma always said to keep a frozen pizza, hotdogs, PB&J and/or grilled cheese and cans of soup always on hand for days like today. Always listen to your Momma because we are covered and I am relieved!

My point is, new Mamas of the world out there, if you have a day like this, it’s ok! I’m telling myself it happens all of the time to other people so you should tell yourself that too πŸ˜€. 

And then tell yourself you are a good Mom! Because you are!😘

You’re Not the Only One……..

If your week and/or weekend can be summed up by this photo, please know you’re not the only one!

Know you’re not the only one who answers the most random questions all day long……..

“What would you do if the neighbors across the street moved in and were really zombies?”

“How did the different seasons come about and who came up with their names?”

“Why doesn’t Duke have balls?”

Know you’re not the only one who warms up her coffee and then forgets that its in the microwave……..

The only one who struggles between cleaning, working or napping when you actually have a few minutes to yourself……..

Or the only one who hasn’t left the house in a couple of weeks (partly because of a messed up car and a hurricane) and got excited about going to baseball practice because you knew it was during baby’s nap time, the other kids would be busy playing baseball and you could sip a Starbucks coffee & scroll through Facebook uninterrupted……..

Know that there’s other parents out there who have a secret candy/chocolate/wine stash that they hide and don’t share with other people……..

Please please know that you’re not the only person who has ever fallen over while doing yoga in your living room, or felt uncomfortable months after giving birth because you’re not back to “normal” yet……..

There are most definitely other parents who throw away stupid toys and trinkets their kids save for God knows why when you finally get fed up with the state of their room and clean it yourself……..

Oh and guess what? You’re a good parent even if you cringe when you hear the children wake up in the morning before you’ve finished your coffee……..

You’re not the only one who gets frustrated, cries, loses your temper & then feels bad about it, takes longer than normal showers while your husband is watching the kids, questions yourself daily, laughs at totally inappropriate times, forgets to walk the dog in the midst of the daily tasks, are too tired to do anything fun or interesting on a Friday night even when you have the chance, don’t put on makeup for days, absolutely hate when you hear the ice cream truck driving in your neighborhood, feed your kids ramen noodles for lunch…

And cuss when your almost six month old pulls your hair and laughs about it……..

You’re not the only one. And yes yes yes, you’re a good parent, you’re normal and what you do is enough. 

Just coffee, oil up and repeat until everyone falls asleep and you can dive into your secret stash! 

Have a great rest of your weekend and week ahead! You’ve got this!


I Guess I Can Add “Hurricane” to the Lavender List…

We interrupt the regularly scheduled post to talk about Lavender real quick.

Yesterday when I was putting the inside of our house back together from hunkering down from Irma I came across my sideways bottle of lavender in the bathroom. Around 2:00 a.m. the night of the hurricane I was jolted awake by transformers blowing up and those suckers are LOUD! It scared the crap out of me and I knew there was no more sleeping after that. The wind was whipping around like crazy and mine & my husband’s phones were beeping constantly with warnings. The good news in all of this mess was the kids were all zonked out and slept the entire night so I was grateful for that.

Somehow we didn’t lose power but I felt myself getting nervous the more and more I watched the news and the tornado warnings that kept popping up. I was actually feeling myself about to drift off to sleep again when around 3:45 am my phone, my husband’s phone, our TV and the TV in the kid’s room went crazy with a tornado warning and on the news they were tracking a cell of high winds headed right towards our area and the weather guy even called out our neighborhood in the path of this tornado. I think if there was ever a time my heart was going to beat out of my chest it was this moment. My mind was going in a bunch of directions….”wake up the hubs” “Get the kids” “Get the dogs” “Gotta get my mother in law” (she was staying with us), “”Should we get in the hallway or the bathroom” “Grab a blanket” “Oh sh*t I forgot to take the pictures off of the wall”. You know, all of the normal things one thinks about at 3:45 am during a hurricane. I tried waking up my husband and told him and he was like, “Eh, I think its ok. We’re fine” and closes his eyes!! Β I didn’t know whether to laugh or flick him in the forehead (lovingly!). I didn’t do either because the weatherman said the tornado had dissipated before it got any further in its projected track. I was obviously relieved but wide awake and needed to take a minute to calm down. I went into the bathroom, grabbed the lavender because it was right there, put a drop on my wrists and behind my ears and took a few deep breaths inhaling it right from the bottle. Within a minute I felt myself calming down, my heart rate slowing down back to normal, and I relaxed enough to even go lay back down and ride it out with the news people for the rest of the night. I didn’t sleep but I also didn’t jump when the huge branches from the big tree in our backyard smacked onto the roof above our bedroom. It was a long night but the kids had no idea, we didn’t have any major damage to our home and somehow we never even lost power even though there were a bunch of down power lines in our driveway and front yard. My heart truly goes out to all of those down in the Keys and all across Florida who have extensive damage to their homes and cities.

It kind of made me chuckle a little bit when I saw the sideways lavender because I was thinking that during such a crazy situation, I go and reach for this little bottle of oil. Sounds kind of weird I know but I did it because they make a difference. I use lavender for help with everything (burns, cuts, scrapes, calming, relaxing, in the diffusers, with the baby, with the boys, with the dog, etc) and now I guess I can add “Hurricane” to the list! If you don’t have this in your life yet, you need it!

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Kid Questions…

Yesterday my 7-year-old stepson asked me a question:

“What are those dark things under your eyes?”

Ahh sweet children who tell you like it is.

“That’s how a grownup knows if they need more coffee”

I actually don’t mind the circles. They’re temporary and can be somewhat covered up.

And its an excuse for me to pour a second cup…..right?Β 1323805242263_3490284

Speaking of “stepson”. I’m working on something for all of you about-to-be step-parents out there, because its a world of its own! Stay tuned, it’ll be out this week! πŸ™‚