Tag Archives: postpartum

Confidence and Confrontation


Do you have the confidence to tackle your goals, address your grievances, confront those who have hurt you or take that leap of faith? According to the dictionary, confidence is the feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities and the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. I know how it feels to doubt yourself and your abilities. It’s easy to let the negative Nancy dialogue play out in your head, “You’re not such and so, You’ll never be as good as such and such, Who are you to try and do this, Why do you matter, Why would anyone listen to you, you’re not smart enough, You don’t fit or look like what the expectations say you should or you don’t behave like expectations say you should”. Fear has stopped and killed more dreams and desires than failure ever could. How do I confront the very thing that scares me? According to the dictionary, confrontation is a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties. I confront my fear by having confidence in God, myself and my resolve to accomplish a thing.

When I first published my first book, I questioned would people really want to read something written by me? Will they buy it or is it just a pity purchase? When I was asked to share my story I wondered if I could engage my audience? Will they see and hear the fear in me? So many times we worry about the exterior concerns and don’t focus on the inner strength that we possess. If we focus on God, he will lead us to where we should be.

In the last few weeks, God has shown me the power of following his will. I’ve been given the confidence to share my story, engage my audience and educate others on the very topic that I discussed. Opportunities have blossomed and my books have given me the freedom to share my love of storytelling and increase interest in books and literacy. I’ve had the good fortune to address uncomfortable and hurtful issues that have occurred and addressed people who have wronged me. It’s no simple feat. It takes guts, courage, and faith to move forward and do what God has asked of us. What are you afraid of? You are more capable than you know. Believe in yourself and believe in God. Have the confidence to confront whatever is holding you back from the greatness that you desire. Take that step God will lead you to where you want to go.

Are you a priority?


Are you a priority in your  own life? Are your responsibilities screaming at you? Does your family demand so much of your time that you feel invisible? Are you a doer? Meaning you’re the one who people come to for advice, help or whatever? Do you find yourself struggling through something and people constantly complimenting you on how strong you are?

If you answered yes to any of the above than welcome to my world. The demands can be so great on you that you feel like your head will explode. I personally understand how sometimes a person can literally feel like they’re about to burst with rage, anger and sadness. Sometimes the responsibilities, the demands, the constant need is just too much.

What I learned from my therapist is that no matter how much needs to be done, when it’s due, or even who needs it you still have to make time for yourself. Mothers, especially with young children struggle with this because of the heavy demands placed on them. The world tells Mothers that you should do everything for your kids and be happy because they are a blessing. Which is true, however sometimes the demands are so great that you can grow exhausted, become overwhelmed and develop feelings of resentment.

I no longer try to put on the mask that says that I’m happy all the time because quite frankly I’m not. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed and sometimes downright irritated because my children will not cooperate. The great thing about this is now I honor my feelings and I take a break. I make time for myself whether its going for a run/walk, taking a long hot bath uninterrupted, reading or just having a glass of wine. I matter. My time matters and its important for my family to understand that as much as I do for them I need to do for me, too.

That means that you matter, too. Take time for yourself. What do you enjoy? That question stumped me when I went back to therapy because I had stopped doing the things that once interested me because I was so focused on my family. Find out what you love and embrace it in a way that makes sense for you. Everybody’s solution will not work for everyone, although sometimes we can take nuggets and improvise on them to make them work in our world.

Take time for yourself today. You matter.

Kimberly Batchelor Davis Mission Statement


Mission Statement

To create content that empowers, empathizes and embraces the struggles of women, writers and motherhood while fostering an environment that can celebrate, inspire and provide a safe place to discuss those issues that concern women, writers and mothers.

Why I went back to work


Why I went back to work is a question I’m asked a lot. I took a job because staying at home with my kids was not mentally engaging me. What I mean is that although I have two little chatterboxes who are very active, there is no opportunity for mental stimulation for me. No participatory conversation that stimulated my linguistic skills, challenged my thought process, or helped to keep my memory sharp. The routine of my kids was lulling me into a lazy state of ambiguity. Kids wake up, feed them, pop in a movie, read a book or play a game it was all the same to me. The monotony of it all began to wear thin on me. I love my children, but I needed something more for me.
Although I would work from home at times, it was always difficult because conference calls would hastily be moved to the bathroom for quiet and working on a computer, I had to balance a laptop and a toddler at the same time. In the beginning it seemed a viable alternative, however the stress of multi-tasking and organizing family and business in the same area just didn’t work anymore.
I found myself dreading the day and looking forward to the time when my children would be asleep. That meant I could work uninterrupted, despite the fact that I was cutting into my precious sleep time. My sleep bank grew more and more depleted each day. Between the battles to get my children to sleep and trying to accomplish my projects—I was simply spent. An outside work environment seemed to be the best option and something crossed my desk that I thought that I would be interested in. It was an industry that I was familiar with. Unfortunately, the position that I desired, I did not get, but I received another offer for another position.
I was elated that I’d be able to leave my house and have adult stimulating conversations. I convinced myself that I’d still be able to come home and give my children their much needed time. For the most part I do give them their time, however the position turned out to not be what I expected. Can you say Boring, uneventful, and totally the opposite of stimulating to say the least, nevertheless, I’m sticking it out until I finish my books and can move on to something better.
I struggle to come home, cook and entertain my family. A mother’s job is never done, no matter if she works in the home or outside of it. Mother’s wear so many hats and balance many plates. No holiday can make up for what Moms give to their families. Although most Mom’s say they just want time for themselves, I believe that’s true, however I believe that we all want a choice in what we do. There should be no pigeon holing in telling a mother to stay at home or go back to work. Whatever you decide to do, soar in your goals. Your children will thrive because you do. My children are doing well now that I’ve gone back to work and that’s a beautiful thing.

Ignorance is Bliss


My mini rant for the day. Winter Break, Easter Break and snow days are tools of the devil that torment parents. Too much time, over stimulated kids, too much energy in my children all contribute to my breakdown. With the cold, snow and my to do list, it’s been hard to keep up with my kids. It’d be different, if I could send them outside to play, not, it’s too cold. Can’t go to the library, it’s closed. My to do list today is long and has two meetings on it. So what is a Momma to do? I’m throwing my arms up because no matter what I do, my children don’t listen.

Case in point, the other night I tossed and turned in numerous attempts to get some sleep. My husband slept soundly beside me. Every five minutes some little person kept shouting out Mommy to annoy me. At first it was Daddy, but Daddy ignored them and slept soundly. I on the other hand heard every sound emanating from their room. After several attempts to get them to quiet down, I gave up. There’s only so much energy that I can expend.

Last night, it was Deja Vu all I heard was the TV. Suffice it to say, I’m tired and still busy. With the weather it’s been hard to take the kids places because its been so frigid. Prayerfully, things will get better later this week. Originally, I had some things planned for the kids, however my plans didn’t work out. There are still three more days left in the week. I have to get it together. My husband says “Take it one day at a time and learn to ignore them. They’re fine.”

My girlfriend yesterday reiterated the same message. That I have to learn to ignore and get my discipline game face on. She watched me struggle with my oldest yesterday and become completely flustered by him. It wasn’t pretty, however its my reality.

My reality, my problem, I’ll have to learn how to deal with this. Maybe once I figure it out, I’ll be able to write a book disclosing all my secrets. People say how this is such a wonderful time and that I should just enjoy it. That may all be true, however no one ever talks about how difficult and frustrating being a parent can be. Ignorance is bliss when you don’t know.

The Not So Sexy Side of Motherhood


Jogging pants, yoga pants, large t-shirts and robes are a mother’s best couture staples. Ponytails are also a staple. For me it was always  bun, now its a wrapped scarf. No dirt, food, snot, poop or pee can damage them. All new mothers learn very quickly that whatever is most comfortable for you to wear, you literally begin to live in that. Forget showers and grooming, kids take away time. Every mother adjusts, however most will say showers are a luxury. For me showers are a necessity even if I have to shower in front of an audience, like I’m a peep show exhibit in Amsterdam.

My couture staple is extra-large jogging pants with a big shirt and sweatshirt over it. I substituted my big blue fluffy robe because my husband complained. Now he groans about the sweatshirt, I just ignore him. A woman can only take so much. I’m sleep deprived and for me to really look nice, it takes an effort. I need a corset, moisturizer, make-up to cover up my under eye bags, a long hot shower, comfortable loose-fitting clothing and accessories to even get a semblance of the appearance of nice.

Being a Mom has taken away all my glamour. Often when I get glammed up, I’m usually exhausted  by the time I’m dressed. And I always wear the same thing, something dark. I have several white suits, which beckon me, however I will not wear them for fear that a little person will muck them up before I get to where I’m going.

It would be great if some designer would invent sexy yoga and jogging pants. The problem is once you’ve had a kid everything sags, hangs and has moved. It’s hard to know where or how you used to be when you were cute. Pregnancy is hard on boobs, butt, and you’re midsection. Then add multiple pregnancies and everything deteriorates so much quicker.

My problem is that I’m tired and rushing, which is often. Jogging pants and a shirt are so easy to do. In the summer i have my go to sandals. In the winter it’s more work because I have to put on boots, however layering in my sweats is so comfy.

I know that I should take time and dress up, but it’s so darn hard. There’s only so much time in the day. And everyone always needs something. I’m trying to do better, especially adding my jewelry back into the mix. Since my children are not so much into the grabbing phase, I can wear some jewelry again. Baby steps, I have to remind myself. So the next time you see a mother in very casual clothes, don’t judge. Support her by giving her a compliment, it’s probably been a while since she received one.  And if you see a mother dressed up, compliment her because you never know when she might do that again.

The 24 hour Mama: Somebody Always Needs Me


Being a Mom is a busy job from dawn to dusk and sometimes you’re even needed during the midnight hour. I never imagined that life would be this hectic and change so much with the addition of children to our family. The difference from one child to multiple children makes an even bigger difference in how families achieve balance. From infancy adapting to a sleep schedule, feeding schedule, teaching, guiding and directing them in the ways of being happy, smart, well-adjusted people to toddler, and growing into big kids to teenagers and so on. It’s overwhelming to say the least.

Last night after proudly announcing to my family that I would retire at 12:30 (because I recently discovered Jimmy Fallon, don’t judge me. I’ve been up to my eyeballs with kids for the last six years) which is early for me. At a quarter to 5am I was awakened by the sound of my youngest son rousing from a nightmare. The tone of his cry and the intensity let me know that it was probably a night terror. I went to his room and he was not tucked into his bed. Instead he was downstairs asleep on the couch. No biggie, I thought the boys are camped out downstairs in the living room. However, to my surprise my oldest was still awake watching TV. Yes, at 5am! He’d been up all night. Daddy was fast asleep on the couch, oblivious to it all.

I ushered the boys off to bed. Now I was awake, unable to sleep, I began to clean. My husband woke up and was like what are you doing? “I’m cleaning I responded because I can’t go back to sleep,” I stayed awake for the next 2 hours doing a variety of menial tasks throughout my house. An example, I changed the battery in my bathroom clock that had stopped. I accomplished quite a bit, however it still did not tire me out.

This is my plight I sleep a few hours each day never fully receiving the restorative rest that I need to function. I’m consistently exhausted, depressed, frustrated and short with everyone. During the night-time some little person will escape their bed and make a request just as if its daytime. I’ve taken care of sick, scared, needy and overstimulated children. It’s exhausting. Feeding, diapering, playing, etc. is so much more than what people tell you to expect.

A woman told me a long time ago that she would take a weekend at a hotel by herself, minus the family so that she could recharge her batteries. I’m going to have to do the same thing so that I don’t just completely breakdown, because unfortunately someone will always need me. My children are young and they have many needs, however so do I require a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to feel like myself. Hindsight is 20/20. If I knew what I know now, I would have married a wealthy man who could afford a nanny because all mothers need one. There are people who will tell you that they don’t however, everybody needs some help. I know I sure do. Being on call all day is exhausting….

Depression


Depression is a thief that robs life from those afflicted. Its ability to transform a happy person into a worrier, full of sadness at a moment’s notice is downright scary. Some days I wake up with renewed energy (on those rare nights when I get to sleep) others it’s a struggle to get through the day. Schedules, household duties, family responsibilities, emotional meltdowns from an overly dramatic six-year-old or a feisty, stubborn two-year old make me just want to run into oncoming traffic screaming like a mad woman.

The enormous responsibility of being a mom and wife most days seems to overwhelm me. It’s hard to find the quiet place where you can recharge, reflect and rest. Depression is something that I’ve dealt with for several years now. It always seems to rear its head when there are enormous stresses occurring in my life. Counseling has always helped me, however what I really need is to be able to get my life back. I need my own creative space.

Creatively speaking and writing works for me, although the opportunities have been limited. Being intentional in my planning, still learning how to say “NO” (especially to my children) and being silent have helped me to cope some.

Having finally realized the dream of being published has been an amazing journey, but now it feels like I have stalled and am no longer moving, just treading water again. I like to be busy, however I appreciate having downtime. I think that’s probably my biggest struggle is managing all these other things and still having time for myself. If I physically went to an office each day and life was compartmentalized I might be in a better state of mind. Things would probably make more sense instead of how everything bleeds into each other since I work from home.

I feel like I literally run from one thing to another never fully completing anything, simply patch working at its best. I’ve got to do better and be better. My vision board is now complete. I’ve actually lost 10 lbs. toward my desired goal. Its one step at a time. I have to remember this. I’m a work in progress and depression can’t steal my joy.

The Perfect Mama


Miles and Aiden are my absolute joy and my struggle. Each day is a challenge. As a professional I pride myself on being able to master many tasks, but dare I say Parenthood is not one of them.
Recently, I went back to therapy and asked the Dr. “Is there something wrong with me?”
He replied, “No all mothers go through anxiety, confusion and struggle to adjust.”
After spending a quiet holiday with my immediate family and my brother I realized my wounds from childhood have reopened. The motto “Children should be seen and not heard” was my parent’s battle cry.
My brother confirmed to me what I always believed that it was better to be silent and suffer than speak up and face retribution. I have been so afraid of messing my children up for fear of making a mistake that I’ve neglected to just be their parent.
A friend of mine said, “Kim, you’re the perfect mama to Miles and Aiden, in their eyes, but in reality you’ll make mistakes, however they’ll never know because you’re all they have. And it’s okay just remember that you’re not alone.
Barbara doesn’t realize how much I needed to hear that. As mothers we have to stop comparing ourselves, criticizing ourselves and allow us to just be human. Because that’s all that we are. We’re just fallible, flawed people who have an incredibly important job in trying to raise, teach and prepare another human to be an adult and responsible citizen.
It’s already so difficult with all the judgements and critiques from society. Although at the end of the day you have to be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished as a parent.
I’ll be the first to say I have no clue as to what I’m doing, but I’m managing as best as I can. My children love me and respect me. My husband praises me on my performance. I just have to believe in myself and remember that my wounds are in the past and they can no longer hurt me. I must not give them power and from that use the knowledge of what not to do and turn it into positive behavior to help push my children forward. I’m a Mom not a TV superhero. My children believe that I’m a superhero sometimes and that’s okay, but I am learning my limitations and its all good. I don’t want to be a perfect mama. I just want to be me, flawed, happy and at peace with it all.

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The Motherhood Experience


Motherhood is a journey, not a destination. It is an individualized path, an experience that will be as unique to the mother as fingerprints are to humans. This is an experience that should be shared, embraced and celebrated. No mother should ever feel alone on this journey no matter the circumstances, whether rich or poor, having a husband, boyfriend, partner, family support or the lack there of.  But many women suffer in silence each and every day with depression, stress, violence and simply no help.

No woman should have to face motherhood or life alone. As women, we can support each other in positive, pro-active ways. I write this because in the last few months, its been very difficult for me, although I have a husband and friends. Two weeks ago, a very talented musician, whom I didn’t know, but many of my friends did know committed suicide leaving our community in shock and disbelief. Several asked, “How could this happen? Why didn’t anyone know?” The answer is simple he suffered in silence. On Facebook, friends shared their shock, prayers for the family, and reasons why people should never resort to this last course of action. I admitted in the same conversation stream that I had been suffering quietly for a year and a half with postpartum depression.

Another person quickly chimed in that she had experienced depression and had put the mask on trying to fake it until things get better. I reiterated that I did that all the time. Its my coping mechanism, although it’s not the most effective emotional management tool, it gets me through.

However, after having almost lost my house, and nearly pushing my husband and my children away, almost losing my sanity I have decided that a new approach is best. Besides at my lowest point, the only force that could help me was God,whether, you believe in him or not, that’s who saved me. I thought I understood what people meant by going through trials and tribulations, having a testimony or going through something, but I really didn’t understand it fully until I went through something. Those who’ve experienced a time in their life that changed them understand this better than most.

What I realize more than anything is that I should not be dealing with my feelings and emotions all by myself. Therapy, prayer, time with girlfriends is well spent to help me recover and get back on track. I have great friends, who unfortunately I didn’t turn to because I felt like I could solve my problems on my own or their problems were bigger than mine. Many people who suffer through depression feel this way, especially mothers who have to battle “The kids are a blessing…you just need to get over it” mindset.

I– like others I’m sure battled the same personal demons–there’s something wrong with me because I’m not happy with my kids, but I believe that the problem lies not in the children, but in the notion of what motherhood is. If people are honest about it Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, its difficult, time consuming, exhausting, but so very rewarding and there are no easy or right answers to many situations.

You learn and earn your warrior mother stripes with children. When I first became a Mom, I envisioned battling mythical threats (intruders, robbers, killers) to protect my son. Praise God nothing ever happened, but immediately I became a protective tigress over my baby cub. No one tells you that about becoming a Mom. I thought I was a weirdo because I have a such a vivid imagination. Who knew.

My female friends have been very supportive in sharing information, their struggles, their triumphs and their fears with me. I am now doing the same and finding out we are all experiencing the same amount of angst in varied degrees. My mission is now to form a support group for mothers who are suffering through depression and share my story of hurt, fear, anger and triumph. Prayerfully, someone can be reached through the sharing of information and not continue to suffer in silence anymore.

Motherhood its a journey. You get there when you get there, whatever way you travel.