Quit All 2019 Resolutions Today

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

I am a goal setter. Are you?

I’m currently mapping out 2019. My list is long and spans many facets of life (business, marital, social, physical, spiritual, financial, family, hobbies…), but the one thing you won’t find on my list?

Resolutions.

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

That kind of self-talk flat out stinks. It’s not motivating. Goals, on the other hand, help you frame everything with a growth mindset. “Today (fill in the blank) happened. What can I learn from that to take the next step toward the goal I set for myself to achieve in 2019?”

I literally just finished four miles on our treadmill, then picked up my phone and started typing this post. Probably not a huge surprise for those that know me, but two of my goals this year are:

1, Set a new PR for a half marathon. (Benchmark: Surf City 2017 1:50:14//8:25 pace)

2. Write daily. It could be in my journal, working on book four (another children’s book), or the next blog post – it all counts to me – I just want to make writing a part of my daily rhythm.

If you want to use the same goal tracker I’ve been using for years – here is the monthly and quarterly template view:

2019 goal box monthly

2019 goal box quarterly view

No matter which way you chose to attack 2019 – be courageous. Set big goals and set out an action plan for each.

Yes. You have to write it down.

More specifically you have to write down the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) action steps that will point you in the direction of your goal, and let you know if you actually got there!

Once you’ve decided on a goal and written down your S.MA.R.T. steps, share it with someone. A boss, a spouse, a friend, Instagram. Me. It doesn’t matter who, but it does matter that YOU DO.

This year I started by writing down every goal I could possibly hope to achieve in each category.  Then I spent the next week just letting them swirl around my head to see if…

…anything else came to mind…

…then really consider which one was most critical in each category.

Not which was the easiest to achieve, but what would truly take that area of life to the next level.

Next week I’ll be putting them in to my template so that I can track them weekly (honestly, sometimes weekly becomes monthly, but do what you need to do to keep yourself accountable).

Don’t be afraid to let this goal-setting process take a week or two.  Remember, you are planning out the next year.  That’s pretty major.

You’re pretty major.

GO GET THIS YEAR!

I’d love to hear which goal you are most excited to work on in 2019.  Drop it in the comments below.

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Happy New Year from the Coys! Cracking up because the little ones eyes are saying, “Help me!”;)  

 

 

The Missing Toys that Torture Me

How do Moms find anything? 

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

To the missing ‘W,’

Your run is finally over.

The madness you managed to create in our house was monumental.  For months my daughter’s alphabet toy had been incomplete.  How was she supposed to finish learning her ABC’s when the W was missing?

 

No wagon, no walrus, no watermelon.

Whelp!

I searched for you, lost sleep over you, and considered offering a reward to anyone that could find you.  Many times I silently resolved to give up on you.  But then I always caved, because a good Mom doesn’t give up.

I admit, I got way too excited each time I thought of somewhere new to look.  Surely today would be the day I found you!

But it never was.  You are indeed talented at the game of hide and seek.

This morning I thought I caught a glimpse of you under the toy chest.  I moved it, already planning a victory dance in my head.  Instead, it was the wooden bunny from a puzzle.  I hadn’t even noticed that she was missing yet, since I was still fixated on the W.

So I thought about it for way too long.  At that point I was obsessed with finding you.  I pictured you in hiding with the lost red crayon and plastic egg that also keep me up at night.

I thought.  And I thought…clearly wasting too much time on the matter.

But then the clouds parted as the the following thought came to mind…

How do Moms find anything?

JK Coy Books
Check Out these Children’s Books by Author J.K. Coy Here

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

No socks in the drawer, just check the drawer.

No toilet paper left in the cupboard, just check the cupboard.

No milk left in the fridge, just check the fridge.

It’s a fantastic starting place for every Mom detective.

So I held my breath, and I lowered my stomach to the floor, flash light in hand.  Low and behold, there you were, waiting quietly in the darkness beneath the couch.  The same couch I was guarenteed had been checked.

Well played W, well played.

Once I find the red crayon and plastic egg, you’re all in timeout.

Fact: Babies Kill Productivity

The hours are mundane, but the memories are everything.

My computer straight up died as I started to type the first sentence of this post.  I find it humorous in this moment, because that’s kinda how I feel right now.

Like, I don’t wanna.  Waaaahhh!

I kinda just want to relax for a moment.

Today is my last day as a mother of two under two.  Obviously, it hasn’t been my most productive month.  I’m home all day with a newborn, so you would think I could accomplish more, but I’m no longer in charge of my own schedule.  I’m on the baby food clock now.  And come to find out, I don’t feel super creative when I’m lacking sleep, rocking crying babies, and planning my life in two to three hour blocks.

When I think about it rationally, I know my whole world isn’t going to crumble if I opt out of my norm for a month, or two, or three…

But honestly, when I’m in it, living it, I forget.

Why is it such a struggle?

Why do we convince ourselves that slowing down is going to have these major implications?

Our career or business is going to fall apart, our relationships will unravel, our bodies will never be the same, we’ll never do x and y and z again….

Deep breathe.  We gotta let that stinking thinking go.

It is true that life won’t pause for us when we slow down.  But it will always be there, ready to pull us in another direction.

We won’t convince our babies to slow down for us, so maybe we should slow down for them, while we can.

The newborn stage is a strange one.  Life revolves around a tiny, helpless being.  The hours are mundane, but the memories are everything.

Why are Positive Birth Stories Like Rare Unicorns?

Does that mean I am going to tell you that birth is glamorous, something I’d chose to do for fun, or pain free?  I wish.  Really, I do.  I have to do it again myself in just a few weeks

Not everyone wants a natural childbirth.  DUH, I get it.

But I’m confident that every mother wants a positive birth experience.  The funny thing is, most of us aren’t exposed to many, if ANY, positive birth stories before we have to give birth ourselves.

Either we assume they don’t exist because of how the media portrays birth, or because people are so damn eager to share their horror stories, or because it’s just not the norm.

So I wanted to share my birth story, as a point of positive reference.

Does that mean I am going to tell you that birth is glamorous, something I’d chose to do for fun, or pain free?  I wish.  Really, I do.  I have to do it again myself in just a few weeks (Subscribe to follow this blog and get an update when the final part of the story is added:  How I feel About Birth the Second Time Around).  But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a positive, empowering experience when you look back on it.

So here we go, the Birth Story of a Mother, a Father, and a Baby.  Because that is the thing, you birth a baby and a new identity for yourself and your significant other, all at the same time.  Crazy to think about, right?!

At 33 yrs. old I finally felt like I had traveled, learned, and self indulged long enough, that I was ready for a child.  Fortunately my husband was also far beyond his college party days, willingly going to bed by 10pm., and was also on board with the baby idea.

After four months of trying, I took three pregnancy tests the day before Father’s Day and confirmed I was in fact, with child.  Why three tests?  I messed up the first one by not reading the directions (yup, it can be more complicated than peeing on a stick, for some brands myou have to remove the cover;), the second was a false negative, and the third was a winner!

baby 8.14.15

Once we found out we were pregnant I started down the traditional health care path.  I picked an OB-GYN, and as it turned out, I really liked her.  She was younger, active, and had two young kids.  I had no issues.

But the more I learned about birth in the U.S. (read Part One here: Natural Child Birth Sounds Insane, but You’re Still Curious:  Six Resources to Consider) the more I started to think about natural birth.  Honestly, I wasn’t 100% convinced I wanted to go that route, but once I found out that there was a midwife that could deliver at my hospital, I switched to her care at 33 wks.  I figured it was my best chance of receiving the coaching and attention I felt I would need to achieve the birth I wanted (read Part 2 here: Why Natural Birth Trumped America’s Other Options)

I felt good during the third trimester and continued to stay as active as possible.  I gave up running around 32 wks, but was still playing tennis, walking, doing light weights, and a little Zumba.

I went in for an appointment at 40 wks. + 3 days.  I wasn’t dilated a bit.  But, I figured my baby and body knew what to do when, so I wasn’t too worried.  Then the midwife started discussing inserting a balloon to start dilation.  I was not excited.  She said she would give me a few more days.

At 40 wks. + 5 days, I went to Zumba.  I had finished everything on my to-do list, so I decided to layout by the pool.  That was noon on Leap Day,  The one day my husband told me not to have the baby.  I felt what I thought may be the start of contractions, but I decided to relax and see.

By 6pm. when my husband came home from work, I told him I thought I was in labor.  Since contractions were still far enough a part, I decided to go to sleep around 9 pm.  After an hour they were getting stronger and closer and I started tracking them with an app.  I got up, took a bath, packed my bag, paced the house, sat on the exercise ball, and used a heating pad on my back.  By 5 am, or so, we texted the midwife to let her know I was in labor.  We left the house about 6:15 am, arriving at the hospital by 6:30 am.  When I walked in they said I seemed to calm to be in labor.  Ha, I didn’t feel calm.  I was in pain and just trying to deal with it internally!

When they checked me at 7:15 am, they asked if I wanted an epidural.  I said, that depends, how far along am I?  I was at 5 cm.  I decided to press on.

Once I got in to my hospital room, I was able to pace around the room and lean on various furniture, or my husband, for support when the contractions hit.  Once the midwife arrived she applied counter pressure on my back during each contraction.  She told me I could try out the labor tub at 8:45 am.  At this hospital you could labor in it until your water broke and then you had to get out because of increased risk of infection.

labor pains

By that point contractions were very intense.  I was groaning as I could feel the baby moving down with every contraction, and the pressure and intensity building.  Honestly I don’t know if I was totally coherent at that point.  I was just trying to block everything out.

I do remember that I was no longer a sweet pregnant woman  by the time my midwife told me that I needed to get out of the tub so that she could check me (9:50 am).  I was more of a barbaric, naked, grunting beast.  She said the sounds of my groans had changed, and it was a signal that my body was likely ready to push.

Pretty sure I could have pierced her heart with the daggers my eyes wanted to throw at her in that moment, except that would have taken too much energy and coordination, which I didn’t have at that moment.

Some how I exited the tub and they checked me .  Apparently my water broke when they checked me, and I was 10 cm (10:20 am).  I was ready to push.

I had imagined that I would want to push standing up, with the help of gravity working with me.  But once I was on that bed to get checked, there was no way I was moving.  By that point contractions were off the charts, I was screaming and squeezing my husband’s hand, and my body was starting to involuntarily push.  Instead I chose a side position, biting a towel, with one of my legs propped up on a push bar for leverage.

Eventually I was told that the high pitched screams weren’t helping anything.  Plus, I started to worry that I was scaring the laboring mother in the next room.  My midwife suggested that I use low groans, then hold my breath and use the power to push my baby out.

They told me they could see the baby’s head.  I figured they were just trying to humor me at that point.  They asked if I wanted a mirror so that I could see for myself.   I declined.   I don’t like medical stuff, there was no way I wanted to see what was going on down there while I was in the middle of it.  Some people say the pushing phase feels good after the pain of contractions.  That was not my case.  The amount of pressure down there felt scary.  To be a bit graphic, I felt like I was tearing in half.

But here is the crazy thing.  Through all of this, asking for an epidural never crossed my mind.  With the constant attention and affirming coaching from my husband and midwife, I felt convinced that this was all normal.  This was how birth was supposed to progress.  I could just get through it one moment at a time.  My body was not broken.  I did not need a doctor to fix me.  What I needed was a calm environment.  Love and support, gentle coaching to try new things (positions, breathing, etc.), and a belief in myself.

But had someone been in my ear asking if I wanted an epidural, or left me alone with my fears, I probably would have cracked.

After pushing for 45 min. the head started to emerge.  I was ready for all this fun to be over.  During the next contraction I pushed with all my might and the head and the body slide out at 11:08 am.  My midwife and husband were there to catch the baby.  She was perfect.

DSC02712

I couldn’t believe it.  The pain was over.  The pain had a purpose.  The pain told my body what to do.  And that purpose was now in my arms.

I had some tearing, so I had to wait until I delivered the placenta and got stitched up, before I finally got to be left alone between my legs.  But once I was, it was awesome.  I wasn’t attached to anything.  I could freely move and bond with my daughter, soaking up those first few hours as a new little family.

I was pretty damn proud of the birth my daughter and I just achieved together.

Our first amazing adventure, on day one.

Baby Kisses

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So, the big question.  Would I do it again?  Yup. That’s the plan.

Subscribe to follow this blog and get an update when Part Four of the story is added:  How I feel About Birth the Second Time Around.

Want something else fun to read?  Check out my collection of loving and sarcastic children’s books (Love You to Pieces Beautiful Monster and My Mom is the Worst).

And, If you have your own positive birth story online (Natural, Medicated, or C-Section), please share a link in the comments below so that we can collect other examples of positive stories.  Thanks!

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Parents Find Freedom, Then Screw It All Up

Oddly enough, we are all pregnant again, and will soon be losing this freedom we worked so hard to reach.

My little human turned 22 months yesterday.  I’m kind of in love with this stage.

Happy Baby

I don’t even recall when it happened.  But I can now leave the room and not have anxiety about what she is doing, and how many seconds I have before she notices I am gone and starts crying.

She self entertains while I make dinner.  Not every night, but it still feels magical when it works.

She can watch Elmo on the iPad for fifteen minutes at a time, without even noticing me.

When we have dinner with friends and their kids, there is an actual kid table.  This one blows my mind.  But it has happened twice now, so I think it’s an actual thing.  On NYE three toddlers sat at our mini princess table, while the adults sat in big chairs around a grown-up table and conversed about things other than kids, mostly.  Oddly enough, we are all pregnant again, and will soon be losing this freedom we worked so hard to reach.

Best friends, 22 months

This is the first time I have actually sat down to write while my daughter is awake, EVER.  Mind you, I’ve had to stop three times now to read her a book, wipe her snotty nose, and stop her from shoving a half eaten Lara bar in to my notebook.  But, it is happening.

Coincidently, this also happened yesterday.

Halo bassient for newborn

We set up the bassinet in our bedroom because this month is the birth month of baby number two.  It’s almost funny that the same month we enter a land of freedom with our first child, it’s also the birth month of our second child.  What were we thinking?

I’m about to enter the newborn stage again any day now, and I’m forced to remember how poorly I dealt with that stage the first time.

I hate not being able to be productive, make decisions for myself, and not have someone hanging on me 24/7.

The silver lining of round two is that I know it is a finite moment in time.  I’m ready to try to enjoy it better the second time around.  Not perfectly,  I’m sure, but better.