As busy as I am, I have a goal in life -- never give up on your passion even when you have children.
When I was pregnant, I was clueless. I was at my first year in college and I wasn't sure if I was ready or not, but they say, it happens when you expect it the least. They're right. Damn it, I hate it when they're right.
I have to be perfectly honest that I had an easy pregnancy. She was healthy up until my 6 month ultrasound when I was finding out the gender. I found out that she may have a case of Spina Bilfda (Meningocele). If you aren't aware of what Spina Bilfda is, it's a birth defect in which the backbone and canal does not close before birth. They have 3 forms of Spina Bilfda, and they presumed it to be Meningocele. The doctor suspect it could be lack of folic acid from the first trimester of my pregnancy as well but wasn't for certain. When they found the bubble on the top of her neck area during the ultrasound, I knew something was wrong the moment the tech told me she'll be back. When she did, she brought in a doctor along with her. He explained calmly the issue and I didn't know what exactly how Spina Bilfda can effect my child or my life. Even when the nurse tried to comfort me, I had a million things running through my head. Than it hit me, I cried at the doctor's office. I was recommended to see specialists in Minneapolis that handled high birth pregnancies and I did everything I was told to do. I met with a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Children's Hospital of Minnesota to explain my daughter's case. I was considered a high risk in birth pregnancy, I had a CT-Scan, I had to switch hospitals who specializes in my case, numerous ultrasounds starting at 30 weeks and anything to make sure she was OK. I also had to change my idea of water birth, and instead, had to plan a C-section. I have never been under the knife before and the thought of it scared me shitless. But I knew I had to do it for her. After educating myself, I had to reset my life, not knowing what to expect.
When she arrived, she was a healthy girl at 7 lbs. 6 oz. and astonishingly, physically normal. I named her Naomi. She came out with a belching cry and when she heard my voice, she stopped to listen. I was an emotional wreck with my pregnancy hormones and I really didn't care at that point who saw me cry.
After healing from my surgery, I was told that I can see my daughter. As they gently examined her and the bubble on her neck, they've concluded that it was extra skin with soft tissue with no bones protruding from the spine. Amazing. I cried in joy. For reassurance, Naomi was in the NICU with the best nurses caring for her. She had to have multiple blood drawn, CT-Scan of her spine, and surgery to remove the soft tissue. This was the most difficult situation any parent could endure, to see their child go through pain and put under anesthesia, especially being a week old. I've never fought so hard in my life to see my child be okay. The 4 to 5 hours of waiting in the lobby was excruciating.
In light of it all, she has grown to be a healthy, energetic ball of personality, and talkative little gal that I would forever protect. Regardless on how exhausted I am at the end of the day, I know that what I do is to provide for my family. And I do it because I love it.
I've been asked numerous times, "How do you do it?" Especially when I continue to squeeze in time for some girls night outs, blogging part-time, working full-time, going to school part-time, hitting the gym, taking my daughter to her gymnastics class and spending family time. (Can I breath now?)
You may ask when do I squeeze in eating, sleeping and taking a shower, right?
The most important thing is that you have to prioritize and organize your life. I also keep in mind that I do it for my daughter. Am i selfish? NO. I may not be superwoman to complete everything in a day but I don't sweat it. I make sure I stay focus on my goals. I also have a lot of support from my husband (Thanks hun! ♡) and family, who will watch my daughter as I study, work out or have some me time. And as far as blogging, I sacrifice my sleep to write. It is known that women is known to multi-task and handle stress better than men. That's what makes us the backbone of the family. I also understand that there are many single mothers and fathers that has a hard time with the support of a spouse or family. I have several friends who are single parents and I can't imagine going through it alone. I believe they are the toughest and selfless people out there. You are control of your own priorities and life. I chose to organize and balance my life to not lose myself.
I recently had a conversation with my best friend the other day who seem to have lost her touch with her love of art. I love her to pieces and I've reassured her that, it's her happiness and identity, and to get herself into it again. I like to remind myself and others that make sure you don't let yourself go because you've become too comfortable. I've done that and I've gone nowhere with myself. Challenge yourself everyday to be a better you.
As I have thought thoroughly how to put this all together, I'd like to share my insights on how I manage such a busy crazy schedule without losing it. If you know me well, I love to make a check list of everything I do. And when I travel, I make an itinerary of the entire trip to keep on top of activities, dinner, and excursions. Many of you may think I'm a nut job but, I don't care. I will honestly say I've never complained about what I do and wouldn't change it for the world.
So, Let's get started. Here are a few pointers that I do to stay organized with my schedule.
- Organization. Use a notebook size planner that can easily be carried in your purse, so it can help you stay organized. Write down upcoming appointment and events, chores, workout days, kids' activities, etc. Even using your calendar app on your phone works! That's what I use and I find it very convenient. Make sure to work around each activity if possible. If it doesn't fit your schedule, re-schedule it days or weeks further than expected. I found Orgjunkie a while back when I was a mess with organization. On this site, there are fun printable templates you can stay organize. This helped with my meal prepping, grocery lists, nanny booklet, and calendars.
- Okay to say NO. Sometimes we feel obligated to say YES to every invite we receive. Whether its to a kid's birthday party, girl's night out or a wedding, it's awfully thoughtful to know that your friends and family is thinking about you. If you have prior commitments, stick to it. Family and friends will understand.
- Prioritize. How I prioritize my life starts with my family, friends, work, school, health than miscellaneous priorities. I love starting my mornings early by waking up as early as 6 or 7 am so I can get things done. I know sleep can be precious to many of you but there is so much that can be accomplished. I would suggest making a checklist if you're a forgettable as I could be, it's a reminder for you to stick to what needs to be done that day.
- Find Support. Support is the biggest struggle mothers have to go through when juggling a busy schedule. My best solution was to re-hire my nanny for the day or night out when we needed a Plan B sitter. It always worked out. First tip is to trust your gut. In many cases, yours may be different. If you don't have family, ask your friends. If they aren't available, there are responsible young sitters that would love to make some extra cash. I've used care.com to find my nanny when couldn't find a daycare center. We looked into home daycares but knew that's not what we want for Naomi. Of course I was a bit skeptical, and interviewed several candidates. We were lucky to hire a nanny that we built a long-term relationship with, while she established herself in the corporate world. If nothing meets your needs, ask for referrals. Support is available, you just have to stay proactive and ask.
- Challenge Yourself. There are so many ways to put this but how far have you gone out of your comfort zone? Have you challenged yourself in a new hobby? Healthier choices? Check out your community centers for family activities and events and join a support group. In life, we should challenge ourselves to the point of discovery. Discovery of a new beginning to another chapter in life. Meet new people, change your lip color, add color to your wardrobe, anything! Sometimes failure is a challenge itself to force ourselves to move forward and try again. Balancing life may not be easy but it's rewarding. As long as you have the strong mind set to push yourself to say, I can.
Motherhood has taught me patience, resilience, unconditional love & selflessness. It's also taught me not lose myself in what I love.
© 2016 Cherish with Chia
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