Reflecting On My Breastfeeding Journey

It’s so funny to me that the most natural thing in the world can at first feel like trying to bend a spoon with your mind.

This was originally just going to be an Instagram post for #WorldBreastfeedingWeek, but then I realized I have more to say on the subject. One year ago, I posted this about my breastfeeding journey:

Continue reading “Reflecting On My Breastfeeding Journey”

Lies Depression & Anxiety Tell Me

Anxiety and depression are thieves. They steal my confidence, my will to keep going. They tell me that no one cares what I have to say, that I’m not enough, that I’m stupid. They tell me my ambitions and goals are unreachable, that I should just stop trying.

Some days I am a confident supermom and wife. I don’t have my shit completely together, but I’m okay with who I am and actually enjoy life.

Other days I fall apart. I’m not as comfortable showing those days, especially on social media. I’ve become an expert at hiding the pain and unreasonable worries, but sometimes they feel like they’re leaking out of a hole deep in my belly. Sometimes I can almost visualize it.

Anxiety and depression are thieves. They steal my confidence, my will to keep going. They tell me that no one cares what I have to say, that I’m not enough, that I’m stupid. They tell me my ambitions and goals are unreachable, that I should just stop trying.

The thing is, I know those things aren’t true, but knowing is only half the battle. It still hurts to think about these things and when they’re repeated in my head over and over again, it’s easy to kind of believe them.

So I started a list to remind myself that they are indeed lies and why they’re not true. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I wanted to share a few that I think might be common, in case it helps someone else feel less alone.

Lies Depression & Anxiety Tell Me

  1. You’re not doing enough for your child. This is probably the most ridiculous lie that I tell myself and mostly a result from playing the comparison game. (“That kid knows more words than Emerson…. she’s already potty-training…I should be spending more quality time helping further his development…”) I’m working 29 hours a week from home while being a full-time mom PLUS trying to keep up with this blog. The other day I took a shower at midnight because that was literally the only time I had a moment to myself. I’m doing the best I can and one day Emerson will understand and appreciate that.
  2. Nobody cares what you have to say. Why do you think you’re so special? Maybe not everybody cares what I have to say, but some people certainly do. I don’t have to be the most insightful or interesting person at all times in order to use my voice. My opinion is valuable.
  3. You’ll never be the cool mom or the cool wife. You kill everyone’s buzz. This is something I started struggling with way before I was a wife or mom. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I don’t have to be the laid-back, spontaneous, and care-free “cool girl” all the time to be deserving of love. I’m allowed to feel nervous or not want to go out all the time. I’m allowed to be angry. Sometimes I’m emotional and that’s okay too.
  4. You sound dumb when you speak up at work. You clearly don’t know what you’re doing and everyone can see that. This thought stems from being an introvert in an extroverted world. In any job I’ve had, I’m always nervous at meetings that are supposed to be brainstorming sessions and less structured professional discussions. I like to have time to think things through and prepare. But I was hired for a reason. I do have important things to contribute and shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.
  5. Your friends don’t actually care about you. They’re just being nice to your face. I know in my heart that this isn’t true, but it creeps into my head from time to time, especially as I’ve gotten older and all my closest friends live far away or have children or careers. It’s natural to drift apart or not talk everyday. Communication works both ways and I shouldn’t feel anxious to reach out on my end.

Anxiety and depression have been a constant battle for me and probably will continue to be. I like to think of this list as a of a quick reference guide for me to look back on when I need to rationalize the irrational thoughts in my head. I’m publishing it because I feel like it’s important to be vulnerable sometimes with the world, especially when social media is full of everyone’s highlight reel. I hope you found this helpful and if you struggle with similar thoughts, I encourage you to make your own list. I found it pretty therapeutic to actually answer myself. xx

My Favorite Ways to Practice Self-Care

I feel like a big fat hypocrite for even writing this. At the moment, I could use about six additional hours of sleep, a hot shower, haircut, pedicure, and maybe just a moment or two to myself without a baby grabbing at my chest, a husband asking me a billion questions I don’t have the answers to, or a dog begging me for my lunch. 

As much as I love being a mom and wife, working from home, and now blogging, it can be overwhelming. There are days where I put 110% of myself into other people. And I’m exhausted. I’m slowly learning how to take time for me, though, so I wanted to share some of the ways I do that with all of you.

Journaling

I have a box of journals that I’ve kept since my childhood stored away. I think I started my first one when I was seven years old. To say that self-reflection is important to me is probably an understatement (it’s the introvert in me). That’s why I started blogging in the first place, to write about my experiences and share them with others. The sharing part can be really scary, but I’m always glad when I do. More often than not, I meet someone who can relate to my experience and my world doesn’t feel so isolated anymore (because if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you know how isolating it can feel).

This post is in collaboration with my new friend, Shiuan Butler, who recently invited me to join her at a Women’s Self-Care Virtual Retreat she’s hosting on December 3rd. Shiuan has 20 years of intensive counseling experience and helps women pause and reflect through customized journaling prompts, guided meditation, and sharing/listening experiences. She also has some really great free journaling prompts that I’m going to try out because there’s something about writing things down in a physical journal that just feeds my soul.

I’m so excited to take some time for myself and create some goals for the coming new year. The best part is that it’s completely virtual so I can do it from my bed, in my Christmas jammies with a hot cup of tea. I would love for you to join me, so we can all have an afternoon to recharge and form a little community of badass journaling women.  Check out her site for all the details and let me know if you sign up!

Self-Care Virtual Retreat

Yoga/long walks 

I’ve been a yoga amateur for about eight years now.  I’ll go on a streak of practicing regularly and going to classes. Then I let life get in the way and stress me out until I need to start again for my own sanity. I actually was doing a weekly yoga class after work at Practice Yoga in East Austin when I conceived Emerson. I have no idea if that had any impact on how fast we conceived, but I like to think it helped my mind and body become the best home possible for our little nugget. After I gave birth and was given the all-clear to start exercising again, I started following along with yoga instructors on YouTube while E napped. We also like to go on long walks. There’s a park not far from our home where we like to stroll along the river. E stares at all the towering pecan trees and I listen to music and inhale some fresh air.

Eating nourishing foods

My instinct when I was stressed before giving birth was to devour all the comfort foods. That’s not the case anymore. I’m still breastfeeding and Emerson has shown signs of being sensitive to dairy, so I’ve completely cut it out of my diet for the past 6 months. On top of that, I’ve been having some issues with my health (I’ll explain in a later post), so I’ve had to focus on eating foods to help my body feel better. I always feel whole when I eat a well-balanced, home-cooked meal so that’s become my way of treating myself, especially in the morning. My favorite mornings are the rare times when Emerson sleeps in a little longer than me and I can make myself some scrambled eggs or an English muffin and have a few moments to myself before I start the day.

Going to bed early

This seems simple enough, but I’m seriously slacking on this one lately, even though I need it now more than ever. There is this constant battle as a mom to either spend the time when your kid is asleep trying to catch up on sleep yourself or enjoying adult, kid-free time. I usually get caught up in trying to do all the things I couldn’t accomplish when he was awake. Emerson has been going through some serious separation anxiety though and started occasionally waking up once or twice a night again. It’s taking a serious toll on my sanity. I am always a better mom, wife, human being when I’ve had enough sleep. Sometimes I have to leave the dishes, the laundry, the dirty floor, and go to bed instead of continuously trying to pour from an empty cup.

Enjoying screen-free time

I hate to admit that this is a hard one for me, but because I now work from home, blog, and do a lot of social media work, it is. I have to make a conscious effort sometimes to turn off the TV, power down the laptop, put the phone down, spend quality time with the people I love, or read a book instead of scrolling on a screen. I wish I was that mom that’s a great multitasker but I’m just not. I want my kid to remember my face, not my iPhone.

Exploring a new place

Dallas and I love discovering new places when he’s home on his days off. It doesn’t have to be traveling far or spending a lot of money. Sometimes it’s nice just to go to a neighboring town and find an antique shop or flea market we haven’t been to before. Emerson gets to enjoy some fresh air and new views and I get a little bit of adult interaction and parenting reinforcement from Dallas. Win-win.

Creating something

This one goes a little beyond just journaling or blogging. Photography is still one of my favorite hobbies. When we do go out exploring I always bring my camera. It helps that I have such a cute muse. I also have a serious obsession with adult coloring books, DIY projects, scrapbooking, etc. Follow me on Pinterest if you want to know what projects I’m currently into. When I’m stressed, it helps me to put that energy into creating something not related to work. And it’s always satisfying to have a finished product I can take pride in.

I always like to hear what other people do when they have time to themselves, so leave a comment telling me what you do to practice self-care. I would love to try a few new things.

xx,

Jordana

Why I Stopped Blogging

I’ve decided to start this blog back up because I need more in my life. I always have. This is my creative outlet. And now, more than ever, I have stories to tell. They’ve been burning up inside me for well over a year, and I’m ready to share.

Well, hi there. This is awkward. You might be wondering where I’ve been (or maybe not). Or more likely, you follow me on social media and know where I’ve been, but not why I stopped writing.

I could easily say that I’ve been too busy to keep up with a blog, but the truth is I’m much busier now than I ever was before. I’m a mom now (more on that later). In fact, I stopped blogging right before I found out I was pregnant last year. I quit my job in marketing when I was about 20 weeks pregnant and have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 9 months. I just started working again from home, as a part-time personal stylist. I’m busy from the time I open my eyes in the morning until my head hits the pillow at night (and sometimes in between those times, too).

So if I’m being honest with myself (and you), I stopped blogging because it required me to be vulnerable. Pregnancy and giving birth made me feel more vulnerable than I ever have in my life. Before that, whatever happened to me happened to only me. Now, if something happens to me, it greatly affects the little human that relies on me to take care of them 24/7. That is terrifying to me. I didn’t want to blog while pregnant because it would open me up to all sorts of judgment and criticism. My anxiety jumped to a whole new level when I became a mom too. An anxiety that told me I don’t know what I’m talking about and no one cares about what I think (again, I’ll talk more about that in another post).

Despite all those new negative changes in me, becoming a mom also made me more confident, more willing to fight the judgment and criticism. It’s this fierce mama bear instinct that I didn’t know was inside of me until I grew and pushed another human out of me. How could I not be more confident? Look at him. I made that.

I’ve decided to start this blog back up because I need more in my life. I always have. This is my creative outlet. And now, more than ever, I have stories to tell. They’ve been burning up inside me for well over a year, and I’m ready to share. I hope you’ll stay tuned. I promise I’ll keep writing as long as you keep listening.

xx

Jordana

Photo by Vanessa Mendez Photography

This might turn into a photography blog…

I honestly thought that was what my college years were for and that I would have my shit together by now, but I was very, very wrong. College gave me a clear-cut path for what my life was supposed to be. It gave me structure with deadlines, course catalogs, assignments, applications, schedules, and attendance policies. And then I graduated, got married, went on my honeymoon, looked around at all my choices and said, “okay, now what?” And the universe gave me white noise.

I’m not even going to try to come up with excuses for why it’s been so long since I’ve posted on here. Shit happens. I’m trying to get it together. And this is probably mostly going to be me rambling, because I haven’t written in awhile. I’m sorry in advance.

My quarter-life crisis is in full effect, which means I’m constantly looking for new and exciting ways to fill my time, even though I have very little free time. I guess it’s not really to fill my time as much as it is to find some sort of purpose in my life. There’s been a reoccurring theme since turning 23 in which I decide I really want to do this or be that or go here or try this new something, and then I realize: I hate all of those things. Those things are not for me. Better try this new thing.

I honestly thought that was what my college years were for and that I would have my shit together by now, but I was very, very wrong. College gave me a clear-cut path for what my life was supposed to be. It gave me structure with deadlines, course catalogs, assignments, applications, schedules, and attendance policies. And then I graduated, got married, went on my honeymoon, looked around at all my choices and said, “okay, now what?” And the universe gave me white noise.

Continue reading “This might turn into a photography blog…”

Simple Ways to Spend Quality Time Together

I always see cute date night ideas on Pinterest, but so many of those require money or living in a bigger metropolitan area than we do. It’s easy to feel like you have to have more money to have a good time, which isn’t true. We decided this weekend that we’re not going to do the same routine: Friday night dinner date, Saturday errand running, Sunday cleaning. We still did those things, but found new ways to throw in some quality time together.

When you’ve been with your partner for most (or all) of your adult life, it’s so easy to fall into a routine. We spend more time together than ever before: we’re 300 miles away from most of our friends and family, and we finally both have a standard work schedule. But we’re both definitely guilty of spending that time together sitting on our phones, watching TV, or bickering because both of us feel the other person isn’t listening. When we were younger, we almost always had opposite school and work schedules and the time we spent together was precious. I always see cute date night ideas on Pinterest, but so many of those require money or living in a bigger metropolitan area than we do. It’s easy to feel like you have to have more money to have a good time, which isn’t true. We decided this weekend that we’re not going to do the same routine: Friday night dinner date, Saturday errand-running, Sunday cleaning. We still did those things, but found new ways to throw in some quality time together.  Continue reading “Simple Ways to Spend Quality Time Together”

Fifteen of My Favorite Feelings (As Told by My Instagram Feed)

1. When I wake up too early on a Sunday, but there’s soft light filtering through the blinds, so I get up to watch the sunrise, drink coffee, and listen to the silence before the rest of the world wakes up.

Continue reading “Fifteen of My Favorite Feelings (As Told by My Instagram Feed)”

25 Goals for My 25th Year

Last night, my husband and I were discussing our future. (Casual, I know.) He suggested we each make lists of goals we want to accomplish within the next ten years. Not going to lie, the idea of that freaks me out. Ten years is such an intimidatingly long time. And the idea of writing down things like, “buy a house” or “have babies” gives me much more anxiety the older I get. But since my birthday is a little less than two weeks away, I figured setting mini goals for my 25th year of life wouldn’t be the worst idea. I started my quarter-life crisis at 24 so I’m hoping turning 25 will be slightly more graceful.

Last night, my husband and I were discussing our future. (Casual, I know.) He suggested we each make lists of goals we want to accomplish within the next ten years. Not going to lie, the idea of that freaks me out. Ten years is such an intimidatingly long time. And the idea of writing down things like, “buy a house” or “have babies” gives me much more anxiety the older I get. But since my birthday is a little less than two weeks away, I figured setting mini goals for my 25th year of life wouldn’t be the worst idea. I started my quarter-life crisis at 24 so I’m hoping turning 25 will be slightly more graceful. Here goes: Continue reading “25 Goals for My 25th Year”

The most random blog post you’ll probably ever read.

So, elephant in the room: it’s been awhile…

I’ve noticed I do this thing where if my life isn’t going well, I shut down. I’ve heard of fitness bloggers or people who are dieting that do something similar when they have a bad week. They fall off the wagon, don’t workout for a week, splurge on pizza, and feel like giving up on their diet altogether. I take that to an extreme. If everything in my life isn’t going well, the voice in my head decides, “Screw it. Why bother chasing any dreams at all? Oh, you don’t have your dream job yet? Forget your diet or travel plans. You feel behind in life? What’s the point of finishing this book you’ve been wanting to read for months? Don’t write in your journal. Don’t blog. You have nothing worth writing about anyway.” It snowballs. The longer I wait to workout or write in my journal, the longer it goes on.

Negative thoughts and actions are contagious. But so are positive ones. Continue reading “The most random blog post you’ll probably ever read.”