Tag Archives: anxiety

Confessions of a New Mom

Before I had a baby, I thoroughly believed I was prepared and knowledgeable.
I’m the oldest of 4 and had fed, played with, rocked, and changed many a diaper before.
I had a breast feeding book and both What to Expects
I read plenty of mom blogs and did research.
I don’t want to say I was cocky, because I wasn’t, but boy, was I in for a rude awakening.
He’s such a serious sleeper…it’s so funny!
This post is about my feelings of being inadequate as a new mom. So, if you don’t want to read it, be content with the adorable picture of Rhys sleeping. He’s the cutest boy on earth!
  • When Rhys was first born, and for the first two and half weeks, I was able to read Rhys’s cues very easily–they were pretty obvious–and be able to tell his cries apart. I was so proud of myself! Since the beginning of this week, that has been harder to do. Sometimes I don’t know how to console him anymore. I do use a pacy, but I try to use it as a very last resort and a sleep aid, but I hate relying on it to help him calm down.
  • There was some initial latching issues when Rhys was first born, but thanks to my sister-in-law, who is a lactation specialist, we were able to get on the right track and Rhys has an awesome latch (and can even do it in the dark!). But, now, especially the last 36 hours or so of feeding, Rhys has been really fussy while eating. I don’t know if he’s gassy, I have to fast of a let-down, he’s full, overly tired…
  • Rhys spits up about twice per feeding and then again within an hour and half of feeding. He’s still gaining weight, and seems content afterwards, but sometimes, he’ll cough or wheeze and then cry as he is spitting up or afterwards. It really does concern me. To a first-time mom, it’s a little nerve-wracking. I don’t know if he’s gassy, getting too much foremilk as opposed to hindmilk, eating too much…
  • People (and books, blogs, forums) tell me to follow my instinct. Well, my instinct was to follow the 3-hour schedule Rhys, himself, began. It went pretty well, but his fussiness and spitting up is causing me to rethink my instinct. Is he getting enough wake time? Tummy time? Sleep time? Eating too much or too little. For the rest of the week, I’m going to try just plain on-demand feeding and see if it helps him at all. But the point is, I’m not sure I trust my instinct–I’m not even really sure what my instinct really is when it comes to him.
  • I sometimes wonder why I even bother dressing him or myself every day. Without fail, by noon, he’ll either have spit up or peed on us and I’ll have to change our clothes.  A lot of times, once he soils his onesie, he just goes naked with a diaper for the rest of the day. As for me, I have to change. But I feel my wardrobe is very limited in being baby-disaster and breastfeeding friendly. I’ve been re-wearing the same 5 tank-tops every day, but the thing is, as a Mormon, I do wear those “sacred underwear”, so I have to keep a cardigan beside me for when I go near windows or outside. I want to wear something else. Mormon or non-Mormon, what do you wear when breast-feeding that is modest (covers the shoulders, no open back or belly, no cleavage)?
  • I’ve heard people get voracious appetites after giving birth, especially if they’re breastfeeding. And, I know I should consume an extra 500 calories to help my milk supply. But, honestly, my appetite has been diminishing.
  • I miss being able to go out to town easily, without any worries. Justin is still in school (for the next few weeks), and I get cabin-fever very easily. Last summer, I worked part-time, ran, and just went on “errands”. It’s a bit harder to do that spontaneously with a new baby.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all the time I spend with Rhys. I love watching him sleep. I love hearing all his noises. I love holding him and having him half-smile at me. I love having him close to me. But, this has been, by far, the least productive summer ever! And, to my very Type A personality that always feels like I should be doing something productive, it does eat at the back of my mind. Which makes me start to wonder how in the world I’m going to do part-time after my maternity leave?!?!
I look at the first-time moms in my church and they just seem so peaceful. I don’t know how they do it, or if they just hide all their anxiety from the world. I’m sure in a few weeks/months, I’ll feel like a pro with these issues, but then feel insecure and worrisome about new issues. I guess we’ll see. I’ll get the hang of this mothering thing eventually.
But, in all seriousness… I want to get a breast-feeding friendly wardrobe! 
What did you wear when you were breastfeeding and where did you buy it?
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Count Your Many Blessings

“Everything will work out on the Lord’s time.”
How many times have I heard this phrase in the past few months? Too many to count. Honestly, I began to hate that phrase. It wasn’t helping my stress at all. My faith was diminishing. Not my faith in the Gospel, not my faith in the Church, not my faith in Christ, but my faith that everything will work out and the Lord will get us to where we need to be. 
It came to a head about two weeks ago…we had just been informed with some bad news about electives counting for Justin’s major, not being approved for a house, and an interview job scam. I broke down and thought to myself, what are we doing wrong? We read scriptures, we pray, we go to the temple and church, we pay our tithing, we aren’t sinning, and we are doing all in our power to help ourselves before depending on the Lord. Why weren’t we being helped?
Then, about two hours later, I got a call from an agent saying we were approved for a townhome in Sandy and could we come in to sign the lease that week. We had a home for Rhys! Then, later that week, Justin gets a slew of interviews. Then, last week, we learned that Justin actually doesn’t have to take a class, so that’s less for him to worry about this term. Then, he got an interview with a bank that had wanted him months ago (to quit school and work for them full-time–wasn’t gonna happen). And, this weekend, I got about $700 more on my teacher paycheck than expected–curriculum bonus, maybe?
Via
I think that it is God, especially with that first call two hours after the bad housing news, telling me, “I am here. I am helping you. Have more faith. It will work out on my time. You will get to where you need to be and everything will be fine. Trust in me and be grateful for what you do have.”
I definitely am and have been. Justin and I have been so blessed in our marriage. There have been a few scary times, like last year when Justin went to the ER, and then last week when I went to the hospital. But, we’ve never been in dire need. We’ve never been in debt, we’ve never been desperate, we’ve never been without internet or food or a job or friends. We have a nice, quaint apartment with good quality hand-me-down furniture, family on both sides within an hour, steady jobs, great friends, and a pretty good savings account.
So, today I want to list all that I’m feeling thankful for.

– Finding a nice, two-bedroom townhome with a gorgeous kitchen
– Being able to work afternoons, part-time, starting in the fall
– Our savings account continuing to grow this summer
– Everything we’ve been given for Rhys, from parents, family, and friends
– The two amazing baby showers I’ve had with family and friends
– All the love and care our ward has shown us this past week–bringing dinner because of my stupid “modified bedrest” and being able to visit with them at my baby shower. I’m going to miss all of you!
– The hand-me-down furniture we are getting from my parents.
– All the interviews Justin has been getting (cross your fingers for this bank interview–it’d be a great job for us!)
– All the time I’ve been able to have with Justin this summer since I’m not working (last summer, I worked part-time and it was typically in the evening when Justin was home from school for the day)
– My parents and sister living so close to us to help take care of me last week
– Justin not having to take a class, which means less he has to stress about
– Being able to go to the temple two weeks ago
Brooke for taking free maternity pictures
– An opportunity I may have for free newborn pictures
– Although it was scary, having an ultrasound while I was in the hospital to discover a potential health risk for Rhys (abdomen measuring small and kidneys working too hard–not life-threatening) so we know it’ll be better for him to be born this week than wait any longer
– The feelings of peace and happiness the Lord has blessed Justin and I with the past few weeks
– All the support and friends I have IRL and through blogging
Via
Seriously, I can’t say thank you to our friends, family, and Lord enough these past few weeks. And, I’m especially grateful for them for this week: moving and being induced! 
(So, I apologize if, for the next week and a half or so, I’m somewhat absent from social media… I don’t know when we’ll get internet hooked up in our new place and I don’t know how long it’ll take to give birth…)
Wish us luck!
And again, THANKS!
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rain, Rain Go Away

When I was 17, the older teenagers in my church went on a white-water rafting trip in the Appalachian Mountains. It was a nice, summer day and we had a ton of fun. Then, on the way home (about a two hour drive), it started to rain. And not just any rain–torrential downpour.  
Growing up in Virginia, we were used to torrential downpours–after all, it is hurricane area. Summer thunderstorms are gorgeous…as long as you are inside your home watching your yard flood.
Well, we weren’t at home. We were in the mountains. Our church leaders, who were driving the caravan of minivans, couldn’t see the car in front of them. Our Bishop, who was at the head of the caravan, called all the leaders on their cell phones and told them to pull over.  Now, you know it’s a heavy downpour when your Bishop tells you to stop driving!
We stopped for about 15 minutes before the rain let up, but that was the heaviest I have ever been in a storm in a car…until yesterday.
It had been rainy all day, on and off. When I left work to go home, it was just cloudy. After about 5 miles, it started raining. No big deal. What mattered more was the amount of splash up from the road and the cars ahead of me on Bangerter Highway. Then, the rain go heavier and heavier. Soon, near Redwood Road (for those of you who live in Salt Lake County), I had to have my wipers on the fastest speed and still didn’t have much sight. Then, all the cars in front of me stopped. So I stopped. And the semi-truck behind struggled to stop in the rain. I had a mini-panic thinking he’d rear-end me and squish me into the SUV in front of me. Thankfully, he stopped. But, as he did, a flash of lightening and a clap of thunder happened. Bad timing. Finally, the cars started going again, but at like 5 miles per hour. The reason? There was about half a foot of water on the road! Thankfully, it was only a few yards wide. But, the rain was still terrible with the terrible splash up. I knew the interstate was getting closer and I was scared to death to have to drive on it in this weather. I also had a feeling that I needed to pull over. So, right before the on-ramp, I braved another standing water corner and pulled into a McDonalds. 
I called Justin to let him know of the situation. I was going to wait for a bit to see if the rain would let up. I didn’t know if it’d be 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours, or longer. But, I was prepared. I felt good about the decision to wait. And, it was a McDonalds. And I had my wallet. So, if worst came to worst–dinner!
I sat in my car listening to the rain pound on my room and slide down my windows. I could barely see outside my car. I thought to myself, if only I wasn’t 30 miles from home, I could enjoy this weather. I do love the rain. I just hate driving in it. And, I’ve never been a fan of I-15 in inclement weather. But, ever since I became pregnant, my caution of I-15 in inclement weather has risen exponentially! I was near to tears because I was afraid for not only my life, but that of my unborn son! I wasn’t going to risk anything that might harm him!
Thankfully, after only about 20 minutes of waiting, the rain let up a bit to where I felt comfortable driving in. I turned back on the car and hopped on the interstate. When I was about 10 miles from home, the rain had stopped completely and I could see blue sky. A smile immediately appeared on my face. I was so thankful to see that patch of clear sky. 
As much as I love rain and storms, I hate driving in them. I’d rather sit, safe and cozy, and watch them. So, I love you rain, but please go away.
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Random Thoughts of Procrastination

To make me feel less guilty of writing this post (especially when one is scheduled for 12 hours from now) when I have lesson planning to do, including a new UNIT PLAN for a novel I START ON THURSDAY, here is a “Outfit of the Day” picture of me!
~ Not that I’m on there yet, I’m too tiny a blog still, but really, why would anyone spend there time tearing down someone’s blog on Get Off My Internets, or any other site?. Why are people mean just for the sake of getting attention?
~ One of my male colleagues, who just had his first grandchild born the last month, said I had a really cute tummy forming (he knows I’m pregnant) and that made me smile.
~ There are some days I want to quit being a teacher and devote my time to my blog to grow it as well as becoming the house-wife I want to be and not have to wait till June to do so.
~ For the first time ever in my life, I’ve been considering working part-time as a mom, and that scares me. Not because I want it, but because my life-plan that was 24 years in the making, is crumbling, and to a Type A personality, that is a trial.
~ I want to blame pregnancy for my lack of motivation to do my lesson planning. I also want to blame the high and strict expectations put on the English teachers. I don’t see this strictness on the other junior high teachers.
~ I want to go running, but I just don’t have the time. With the warm weather starting up again, I see people running, and my body yearns to be out there, pumping as well.
~ I am sick and tired of being exhausted all the time.
~ I’ve had less breakdowns recently (maybe I’m finally getting control of pregnancy hormones?) but, I’ve felt more like a subtle bi-polar-ness take over. One hour, I’ll feel like I can tackle anything and everything on my plate, the next hour, all I’ll want to do is watch netflix, read blogs, and day-dream and feel a little sorry for myself.
~ I really, really hope Justin gets a good paying job when he graduates in April. I actually have a minimum wage I’m hoping for, which is pretty reasonable with his education. I also really, really hope it’s in Utah, which surprises me because I never thought I’d actually want to live in Utah past college. I sort of hate myself for wanting that, but I want to be close to his and my family.
~ I miss hanging with friends. This is Justin’s last semester, so he’s super busy, and being a pregnant teacher who teaches 45 minutes away eats a lot of time.
~ As always, I worry about finances. This summer, we’ll have baby finances, a move and a house/townhome/condo to pay for, car payments, and other adult finances.
~ I don’t like coming home to an empty house since my husband is either at dance class or work.
~ I don’t understand how this post on My Personal Pensieve got 1000+ likes on Stumbleupon.com and has made my page views soar from an average of 180 a day to 400 page views two days ago to 800 page views yesterday to over 1000 page views today, but still not gain any followers.
~ Justin was finally able to feel Rhys kick last night. That made me so happy that Justin could share experiencing the pregnancy with me. His smile and surprise at the kick almost made me cry. I’m already watery-eyed when he is tender with our unborn son.
~ I really want to skip forward to this summer to stop all the uncertainty about jobs and movings, but mainly, because I want to hold our son in my arms.
~ I am really nervous about state writing testing for my students–for those of you who are Utah teachers, the SAGE testing. Now, my students are smart and know how to write, but the whole hooplah over the SAGE testing, especially the hooplah our department head/writing curriculum director is making over it is freaking me out. Also, the fact that I’ve never had to help practice, proctor, and supervise state testing before.
~ I’m already ready for another weekend.

~ Also, I absolutely love the song “A Thousand Years” and think it is so gorgeous and beautiful, but hate the fact that it is the Theme/Credit song for a Twilight movie.

~ I published this post about 3 times, then edited it to add more. Hopefully, I’m satisfied now.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

10 Fears of New Teachers

Last year was my first year teaching. I was an intern, doing a year-long, paid student teaching.
I was new to the district (and Utah’s education system), new to the school, and new to actually teaching actual preteens. It was scary. It was hard.
And guess what? I get to have the exact same experience this year as well! I am officially a first-year teacher. I am teaching English instead of history. I am in a new district, at a new school. I am teaching charter rather than public with a fraction amount of staff. I am a new teacher yet again.
Training week was last week, and the first day of school is the 27th. Fears are going through my head. But, I know I am not alone in this. The entire English department (3 of us) at our charter school are all new to the school. I don’t know how many years the others have taught, but the fact remains, we are all new to Navigator Pointe Academy.
So, I want to share some fears that all new teachers are bound to experience, regardless of if it’s your first year ever teaching, or first year at a new school.
1. What is my curriculum?
Although many schools have now adapted the National Common Core standards, many are still on their state standards, and charter schools, like mine, do not have to follow the Common Core nor state standards. Even if you are at a school that does, they could focus on different aspects than you did at your old school. Some schools require specific skills or common assessments to be taught at certain times or in certain ways. Some schools have very strict, coordinated curriculum, whereas others are more open to the teacher’s desire.We like to know our curriculum in advance so we can use (at least) August to begin planning and preparing units and lessons. 
2. What classes will I be teaching?
 This may be even more important than #1, as it depends on this one. Knowing the grade level and what periods are teaching vs. prep is a very useful key. It’ll help you prepare your curriculum as well as organize your classroom and planner. Last year, I knew in June what periods, grades, and classes I’d be teaching. This year, I just barely found out. Can you imagine my stress the past two weeks when I could have been planning and prepping? Thank goodness for scheduled blog posts–they’ve been helping and will continue to help for a few weeks!
3. What are the department/grade/school-wide rule, policies, procedures, and classroom management plans?
Again, this differs from school to school and district to district. It is always nice to be able to create your classroom management plan and prepare some rules, policies, and procedures to hang around your classroom. If you don’t know, you can’t really plan how to run your classroom. Thankfully, my new school is very school-wide in almost everything when it comes to this topic.
4. What are the traditions of the school?
This was one of the hardest things I had to learn on my own last year. Traditions may have to do with #1, 2, and 3, but there are other traditions: sports, clubs, extracurricular activities, staff meetings, celebrations, etc. These are the little nuances of the school, the tiny details that make it its own community with its own culture. It isn’t from the lack of quality of mentor teacher that they don’t describe these to you–it is because these are internal, at least to teachers who have been there a while. Not knowing these can make you embarrassed and feel like you don’t belong.
5. What if I don’t fit in?
Yes, this is the worry we have going to school and guess what? It comes back as a new teacher because #4 creates a uniquely cultured community. Friendships had been created and strengthened year after year of working together. Many teachers also live in the community. Last year, I didn’t feel like I fit in much–I hung out mostly with the interns. I didn’t live in Springville (even though the school was only 10 minutes away, the community wasn’t my community).As well, the departments were very exclusive at my old school–the English teachers were a tight clique and didn’t like anyone else coming in, the history teachers (besides me) where almost all empty-nesters, the special-ed teachers shared their own inside jokes, and the elective teachers got together a lot. This year, I will be a commuting teacher. I will drive 45 minutes to get to work. Yes, there are new teachers like me, but perhaps they live in the Jordan area. It is also a charter school, with less teachers and more of a community involvement. I will begin as an outsider, but try my very best to be a part of the family.
6. What if the students don’t respect me?
I am young–only 23. Many of my students last year had siblings my age. I actually have a sister my students’ age! How awkward and weird! I even had a student whose parents where only a few years older than me because they were teen parents! Weird! But, whether you are young or old, a first year teacher, or just new to the school, students know you are new. They are going to push your buttons to see how you tick and how far they can go. They know the policies and boundaries of other teachers, but you are knew and toy to them. It is always hard to try and convince them that you are the boss.
7. What about the drive?
Like I mentioned, this year, I will have to drive on the interstate and a big state highway for 45 minutes to get to work, in high traffic areas with high accident rates. From October-May there are snowstorms in Utah. Last year, I drove 10 minutes on not-busy roads to get to work. If there was snow, I left 15 minutes earlier to go slow and careful. I’m honestly nervous for the first snow storm driving on I-15 across the border of Utah County and Salt Lake County going up a mountain and following its curve in that highly congested area. What if I don’t leave early enough because of an unforeseen accident and am late?
8. What if how I teach is not what the school’s teacher evaluations are looking for?
New teachers are typically given a mentor and have to be evaluated during their first 3 years. What if how you taught for numerous years at another school is not what they are looking for at your new school? What if your new popular, researched teaching strategies and skills you’ve learned at college is not what qualifies as a “master” teacher at your new school? It is always hard to prepare for evaluations–you want to do the best you possibly can, but you are new. It’s hard not to compare you to other teachers in the school.
9. Insurance, Paydays, Retirement, etc?
Setting up direct deposits, starting/transferring 401Ks, signing up for health insurance that will be the best for you and your family, waiting for insurance negotiations to be finished, seeing all those little amounts of money disappear from your paycheck…there are a million reasons to fear these because it is hard to keep track of all that information and understand it completely. Last year, I went to the district office numerous times to talk with HR to try and understand every note on my paycheck, understand the premiums and all else with insurance. It is confusing.
10. How do I work the machines?
Phones, copy machines, laminators, faxes, computers. There is a billion different types of technology in a school. And each school has a different brand. There are different ways of using that technology–on your own, a teacher’s helper, or an adult volunteer. Who to use? When to do copying? Is it busier in the morning, during lunch, or after school? What is the typical amount of handouts other teachers do each week? 
With all these questions and fears, it is hard being the new teacher. Granted, we typically get the hang of how our new school is run by Thanksgiving, but those first months can be excruciating! Always, always, always ask for help. Make friends. Don’t be afraid to be embarrassed in front of your colleagues. Explore the school during lunch. Hog the copy machine. Call HR every week. Go eat lunch in the teacher’s lounge. Ask for a mentor teacher and bother her dawn to dusk–that is what she is there for!
What fears do/did you have as a new teacher at a new school?
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.