anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Poems of Motherhood | April Edition




My baby turns 5 months this weekend! I can hardly believe that the time has gone by so quickly. Meanwhile, I need to start figuring out my plan of action for feeding her solids. I am a mother and I still don't know how mothers do it, but I guess that's all of life, just figuring things out as you go along!


4/8/2018

I'm holding onto moments
you tenderly holding our baby
you kissing her feet
moments to remind myself of this motherhood bliss
while I watch the shadows
wonder if post-partum depression is lurking there
would I know it if I saw it?
will soaking myself in these moments leave me saturated so that I slip
through its clutches
when it comes to claim me?
will it paint Everly in darkness
so I can't remember this light?

I don't know.

So I'll keep watching the shadows
for now, they stay at the edges
but I wonder
would I notice if they were closer?



4/12/2018

You grab onto my hair like a lifeline
a silk rope to tie us together
you fall asleep to violins and clair de lune
only settling down when I come in close
kiss you on the cheek
letting your eyes fall closed as you 
watch me through the bars



4/18/2018

I hear you
find you in the dim light
mittened arm raised in triumph

escaped your swaddle again

I replace your binkie
walk out to the sounds of pianos
a classical lullaby

because I love them
and I hope you will too.



4/22/2018

My heart's melting point
is your smile


Thanks for reading! 

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Their Lies Look Pretty Fantastic



A few weeks ago I was driving in the car with my little sister and she said something along the lines of, "Well, I know that their social media is lies, but their lies look pretty fantastic!"

I think we've all been there. I've certainly been there. We all know that social media is the curated highlight reel for other people's lives, but it's pretty hard to remember that when you're looking at it. I've been there, looking at people's beautiful homes, perfectly organized (it seems) and I look around my 500 Square foot apartment and the unmade bed and the stacks of boxes and think about how this random stranger's on Instagram life is so much better than mine. I look at their styled hair and makeup and wish that I looked like that (without the effort of course). It's easy to forget that they've worked hard for whatever picture they're putting out there. They may have spent time styling the shot, they probably edited it, and maybe they even worked years to get to that point, but all you see is the gap between them and you.

I'm fresh off of a 7-day social media fast, so I thought that I'd share a list of things to help you enjoy social media more. Yes, that's right, not a list of ways to cut back on Social Media, but ways to enjoy it more*. 

*enjoy it more doesn't mean be on it more by the way


1. Unfollow anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself

It's nothing personal. Really, it isn't. If you can't handle their feed because it's too perfect, or because they make you think about things you want that you don't currently have, move on. Conversely, follow people that make you feel good, that you feel connected to, and who brighten your day or inspire you.

Remember that no one has a perfect life. Even if it seems like it. Everyone has their own struggles.


2. Focus on the good

Rather than looking at how many followers that you have (or don't have), try to find ways to uplift others with your social media. Whether that be by sharing things that you feel will brighten someone's day or by commenting on someone's post with how much you liked it. Honestly, comments are what make the world go around for me. It makes me feel like the time and effort I'm putting out there (whether on here or Instagram) are actually doing some good.

Be the kind of person that uplifts others. Be the one to say something nice. Let's support each other :) 


3. Focus on Connection

I hear a lot of people say that they love "social media A" because they feel connected to people. They've made friends on there. So post things that share who you are (be smart, no addresses or super personal information) and comment on things that connect with you. You'd be surprised how much you get back. 


4. Get off of Social Media when you're bored

I'm pretty sure that there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to Social Media. For me, the longer that I'm on social media, the less I get out of it. If I focus on doing more than just mindlessly scrolling and get off when I realize that I'm "just trying to get back to where I was", then I'm a lot happier with my life and my time. 


5. Make a List of Everything you have that you used to want

Remember that A) You have more than you think you do and B) Nothing or number of social media followers is going to fill you up. I love the quote 

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” -Epicurus

There are tons of things that I used to want, that I got, and I still want more things! When I first joined Instagram I wanted 100 followers and at least 10 likes on every photo. Now I have close to 300 followers and I get 20-40 likes per photo, but now I want 1000 followers... It's never-ending. If you place your happiness on follower counts and likes, even when you get them it won't be enough to make you happy.

6. Turn off Notifications

I used to have Notifications for all my social media... when someone liked something, when someone commented...the whole shebang. I started to get upset when I didn't get enough likes, or when they didn't happen fast enough. Silly things. So I turned almost all of them off, and it helps me to focus on other things.

These things all help me to get past the highlight reel and enjoy my time on social media. What helps you to enjoy social media?
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Don't Take Turns


Becoming a parent is hard. Or, rather, it's a lot different than how life was before. Before, so much of my time was spent worrying about myself and what I wanted to do. And, if you don't remember from a long long time ago, I'm a counter. It's hard for me to not look at what I'm doing and what other people are doing to make sure that I'm getting my fair share. I think that this is partially because I'm a middle child, if I didn't worry about my fair share, then no one else was going to worry about it for me!

In case you were wondering, that doesn't work so well when it comes to parenting. It's a very quick way to jump from happy parenting to resentment toward your partner. 

So, my best piece of parenting advice that I got was to not take turns. This applies to a lot of areas of life, but specifically, I'll talk about parenting and marriage. 

When we first had Everly and she was in the NICU, I couldn't walk. This meant that Brian took care of her a lot more than I did those first few days. He fed her and changed her and did whatever she needed. Not only that but I needed a lot of care those days. I needed help to the bathroom. I needed help getting back in bed. I couldn't even put my underwear back on by myself. He happily and selflessly helped me with all of these things while taking care of the baby. 

Then when we came home and things settled down, Brian went back to work. That meant I was taking care of the baby. I was feeding her, changing her, doing whatever she needed. Brian would help out when he came home, but it wasn't then "his turn" to take care of her. Then we both took care of her. 

The beauty of this is that everyone gets taken care of, as long as both parties are actively working on it. I don't worry if Brian changes Everly a few times in a row, or if I change her while he's home. We help each other out where we can. Instead of, you versus me, it becomes us working together. 

I'll admit that there were a few times where I thought about it. I let the counter in me sneak in and start to tally up how I was doing more for her. Then I remembered that he's going to work to support us both. I started to count how many hours he got to go running or that he got to go out with friends. Then I remembered that he would stay up for the first feeding of the night with her so I could sleep. I remembered that he gave me Wednesday nights for self-care and time to just be Rachael instead of Mom. 

Because it's never just about my turn or his turn, I know that I can ask for help when I need it and he'll happily give it without shooting back "but it's your turn" or "I just did that". It makes me feel so much more supported, which in turn helps me to feel like I want to do more for Brian than I would. It turns me to looking outward instead of counting all the things I've given up. It keeps the balance from shifting too heavily to one side. 

My mom commented on this a month or so after we had Everly and I realized that even though it was something that we'd implemented into our parenting, it was something that we had implemented into our marriage first. Somehow without ever talking about it, we managed to put that into practice. We both cook dinner sometimes, we both clean up, we both put away the laundry. It isn't about "this is my job and that's your job" we recognize that our life is both of ours to take care of. Sometimes I can do more, sometimes he can, and honestly, sometimes neither of us has the energy to do something, like cooking or cleaning up, but because we're both on the same team, there isn't any blame placed if those things slide for a day or two. 

The most important thing that not taking turns has taught me is that we're in this whole experience of marriage and life together. It's so much nicer that way, and when you're being taken care of that way, then you, in turn, have more to give.

What's the best parenting/marriage advice you've been given? Do you take turns?
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