Balancing Life

Parenthood… Career… Social Life… Family… SANITY…

HOW DOES ONE BALANCE IT ALL?!

Let me tell you… it is extremely difficult. Being 25 years old, a wife, a mother, a social butterfly, a teacher, a student and an ADULT in general is really, really hard. Now, I am not looking for a pity party or for anyone to feel bad. However, I am going to talk about how I get through it.

When I got pregnant, I was 22. So, when most people my age were in their prime of going to bars, partying, living their life, I was getting ready for a whole other journey. After I had my son, I felt very isolated from my friends, as does any young mom.  As he has gotten older, I have tried to reach out more and let my friends know that just because I am a mom, doesn’t mean I can’t come out sometimes.  There are things that we can’t do, but we can still be social 20-something year olds and part of society.  Making your friends aware that it’s okay for a mom to go out and live their life sometimes helped a lot.  As we say #mommasnightout and we make the best of it every time.

Having a social life isn’t that easy for some parents, though. We have been fortunate enough to have parents who are willing to help out if we go out to dinner to catch up with friends or have a party to go to.  I understand not everyone has that.  Keeping friends when you are the only one in your group that has a child is tough. I was told from the get-go that I would realize who my true friends were once I gave birth and that was the honest truth.  You see who stays and who goes.  The ones who go aren’t worth it.  However, the ones who stay are there for you and if you don’t have the advantage of a babysitter or parents who want to help out, have your friends come to you! If they are there for you, they will be there for your child and will understand.

My advice, especially for young moms who are struggling to balance everything is to lean on your support system; ASK FOR HELP.  I could not have gotten through my first couple months without my parents.  Especially when I got my first job when Tommy was just 4 months old, I needed people helping me.   I think as moms we are sometimes too proud to ask for help. Let me tell you, it is the worst decision ever to not ask for help. Even if it isn’t your parents, maybe it’s your best friend, or aunt or uncle or someone who cares about you.  Maybe it’s someone is a support group you’re in.  Find a support system and keep them close because they are the ones who will help you get through hard times.

Through everything, I think I have really learned that I need to stay calm, breath and do the best I can. I can’t be perfect.  I can’t be there for everything and sometimes, I need to do what I think is best and that’s how I stay sane through all of this.  I have to stop and remember how fortunate I am to have my child, my friends, my family, my life… I know that I will struggle, and that’s ok.  Sometimes this balancing act seems almost impossible, but that’s when you have to step back, breathe and start again. 

Until the next post…

~Ashley

 

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A Message To All Moms

Mother’s Day. A day we celebrate all moms.

Becoming a mother most certainly changed my life in so many ways. It also made me open my eyes and unfortunately see how cruel people can be to each other.  Especially moms.

I am part of many different “mom groups” on social media, and I have seen first hand how cruel moms can be to other moms.  Since when does who breastfeeds vs. formula feeds, who uses organic vs. not organic, who uses cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers, etc. matter?? And let’s not even get started on vaccinating vs. not vaccinating and circumcising  vs. not circumcising (for boys, obviously).  It seems like we have all forgotten what being a parent is and just look at these little things that are PREFERENCES among parents and just judge all the damn time.

Who cares how a mother feeds her child? Is she feeding the kid?? Yes?  GREAT, the child is nourished!  Is the mother changing her child when whatever diaper the kid is wearing is dirty?? Yes? GREAT, the child is being cared for. I am so sick of seeing mothers attacking each other based on their personal or family preferences.

Should I really be JUDGED as a mother based on my decision to vaccinate my child, have him circumcised, use disposable diapers and formula feed after 3 months?? Does that really make me a neglectful, horrendous, careless mother who doesn’t deserve to be a parent? Absolutely not! My child is happy, loved, cared for and nourished.  I did and do what is best for MY child, yes MY child.  Not yours.

So, this mother’s day, maybe we as mothers should sit back and try our best to STOP JUDGING FELLOW MOMS.  It is hard enough to be a mom, a job that you can’t learn from a book or go to school to get a degree in.  It is a job that women are thrown into and some have support and some don’t.  We don’t know anyone else’s circumstances but our own. The bottom line is, we don’t know what anyone else is facing in their life.

So please, stop judging each other because as moms, we need to join together and support each other.  Lift one another up, encourage, offer advice when wanted, and just be there for each other.  EVERYONE STRUGGLES, not one mother is perfect compared to the next.  Yes, some may have support and resources that others don’t. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect as any other mother who CARES, NOURISHES, LOVES her children and NEVER gives up on being the best she can be despite those struggles.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to every mother out there who is trying their best to be the best damn mom their child could ever dream of!

Until the next post…

~Ashley

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The Day My Life Changed Forever (PT.2)

Fast forward to May 2, 2014.

I ended student teaching exactly a week before since my due date was set to be May 14, 2014 and finishing today would have cut it way too close.  Thankfully I had people who understood and worked with me to let me end early.

It was about 10:15 pm.  Tom and I were sitting on our bed and I had just cut up apples to eat. The NY Rangers game was on, so he was about to leave and go to the bar around the corner to watch the game.  (I see a strange connection between sports in this story…) As he was about to leave, I told him not to get drunk just in case I went into labor, considering at this point it could be any day.  He rolled his eyes and continued getting ready to go.

Then, a strange feeling went through my body. Maybe I have to pee for the hundredth time, I thought.  I handed Tom my bowl of apples, but it was too late. Before I knew it my bed was soaking wet and my water had broken.  He looked at me with this look and said, “Are you ok?” and I looked at him and said, “Ummmm… my water it breaking.” “No it’s not, stop,” he responded, as if I was lying.  “Well, it’s either that or I am peeing myself and have no control to stop it.”

So in true husband form, he started pacing around not knowing what to do, to which I told him to go wake up my mom.

So now, fast forward again- we get to the hospital- and mind you my water is still continuing to break so I am walking into the hospital with a towel in between my legs- just picture that for a second. They don’t warn you for this kind of stuff in childbirth classes.  So, Tom wheels me up, we get to the labor and delivery room and it all starts sinking in that I am going to have a baby at any point now. Again, total freak out.

It was now probably close to 11 pm and the nurses had me hooked up to all types of machines, including an IV feeding me Pitocin, to speed up labor considering I hadn’t started having contractions yet. (FYI- when your water breaks, there is a limited window of time that you have to give birth or else there are risks).  Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good, thought it wasn’t too bad. At this point I was only about 2 cm dilated.

12:30 am I had to go to the bathroom.  The nurses detached me from the billion machines, I went did my thing, and everything changed.  I got back into bed, and the pain that I started experiencing from contractions is indescribable.  Now, from the time we got to the hospital, Tom was telling me to get an epidural, but me being…well… me, I told him I wanted to feel what the contractions felt like to see if I could do it without.  BIG MISTAKE.  I was probably about 5 cm dilated and the pain was so bad, it was hard for me to breathe and concentrate on anything.  Tom came by me at one point and as I was breathing, he said, “You’re supposed to be blowing out a candle, not acting like a horse.” (because I guess I was breathing so heavily and we learned the candle thing in childbirth class- except when you’re just in a class and not in labor, it is a lot easier to ‘blow out a candle’ than when you feel like you’re getting stabbed in the uterus). So, just as a little side note TO ALL HUSBANDS/BOYFRIENDS/WHOEVER- NEVER SAY THAT TO A WOMAN WHO IS HAVING CONTRACTIONS AND ABOUT TO PUSH A BABY OUT OF HER BODY. I shot him a look and told him to go sit down.

Around 1:30 am I turned to Tom and told him to get a nurse so I could get an epidural. I will spare you all the details of that and just say, after the epidural, I felt like I was on Cloud 9.  I felt NOTHING, literally, NOTHING. No contractions, no pain, NOTHING.  It was AMAZING! I was able to sleep, finally!  This also meant, they upped my Pitocin by about double or triple what it was before the epidural to really get things going.

11:00 am (May 3, 2014) As much as I was pushing the button that released the epidural stuff into me, I kept feeling pressure.  So we called a nurse in, who took a look, and said, “Okay, we will start the pushing in about 30 minutes.” Tom and I looked at each other… apparently, I had went from 5 cm to 9.5 cm and didn’t realize it. Those 30 minutes felt like a lifetime.  As nurses, doctors, everyone came in setting up everything for the delivery, I, again, was internally freaking out.  It was literally any minute now that I would be holding a little baby boy in my arms, I was finally going to meet my son.

11:30 am Let’s get this show on the road.  Pushing started.  I was watching the screen of my contractions so intently, I think it was the hardest I have ever concentrated in my life.  Considering, the doctor and nurses were talking about their gel manicures in between my pushes, I needed to pay attention so I knew when to start again.  Again, it felt like I was pushing forever until that last push.  (The worst one, if I may add).

12:10 pm Thomas Charles Corizzi, 6 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches.  MY baby boy.  MY son.  I had a child.  The feeling when they put him on my chest was so surreal. Did he really just come out of me? Is he really mine? The feeling is intense and shocking and amazing.  People say how you have an unconditional love for your child and you can’t imagine that feeling until it happens.  There was no more pain.  There was no more worry. It was just us, and this little human being.

This was the day that my life changed and was never going to be the same again.  But, surprisingly, I was and still am okay with that.  Now, it isn’t about me anymore.  My life is going to be about being a better person each and every day for my little boy.  It’s hard, but I do my best and I am so incredibly lucky for my support system and of course, my husband who is the most amazing daddy to Tommy.

I will leave you with this, “The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born. Your life, as you know it … is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk … and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.”— Bob, Lost in Translation

Until the next post…

~Ashley

The Day My Life Changed Forever (PT.1)

I will never forget the day… and neither will my husband.  The New York Giants were playing, and internally, I was freaking out.  Not only because being a Giants fan is the most stressful and anxiety filled thing ever, but I was about two weeks late… yes, that type of late.

My then boyfriend and I were at his sister and brother-in-law’s house and I knew I needed to find out what was going on.  So, my boyfriend (being a typical guy, sorry guys) told me if the Giants lost and we found out I was pregnant he would absolutely die.  However, I gave his sister a look and she ran out and went to buy me a pregnancy test.

Some of you may be thinking, wow I can’t believe he said that.  Others of you probably completely understand where he was coming from.  At this time, Tom and I had been together for 5 years, were in our last year of college and both lived at home.  So we knew even if the outcome was that I was pregnant, we would get through it but it would definitely be a struggle.

About 20 minutes later, Tom’s sister came back from the store and handed me the bag.  I will never forget the feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest as I walked into the bathroom.  After I did my thing, I stuck the first test in the cup. Waiting… waiting… those dreadful two minutes felt like an eternity.  Time is up… moment of truth… pregnant.  I thought to myself, “okay, let me try the other one, maybe it’s false.”  WRONG.  Pregnant. Two times… Pregnant. My heart dropped; I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t talk.  I walked out of the bathroom, leaving the tests on the sink and walked past my sister in law.  She ran into the bathroom and immediately starting saying, “It will be okay! It’s all good, we will figure this out!! It’s okay.”

Tom and I sat there in silence for what felt like hours.  Everyone was freaking out in their own way. Even with all that freaking out, we knew we could do it.  We knew we would keep it; that was never a question. We knew we would finish school and student teaching; even though for me, that meant student teaching 6 plus months pregnant.  But together… we could do it.

Until the next post…

~Ashley

 

Life As Told By Ashley

So, some of you may be wondering what the heck I am doing starting a blog.  Recently, I became a stay-at-home mom.  Not by choice, either.  I am among the tons of people who are struggling to become a full-time teacher.  However, it could be worse and the fortunate part of it all is that I get to spend every day with my funny, unique, unpredictable 3 year-old son, Tommy.   You will all get to know Tommy very well, as I am going to blog about him a lot and share all the crazy things he says and does.

Anyway, why start this??  I have always loved writing and thought this would be a great way to voice my opinions, struggles and advice to those who want to hear it and can also relate.

If any of you have any comments on what you want me to write about; mommy, teacher, wife, anything, comment and I will do my best to please 🙂

Until the next one…

~Ashley 17990833_10213070769990519_2901333181525752901_n