Real Life: Dark Circles & Exhaustion

Being a mom is great. But being a mom also means putting myself second.

I've always known that placing myself second would be pretty challenging since I love taking care of myself.  There's nothing wrong with doing things for me, but nowadays I rarely do. YES, I miss it. 
Ever since Noah came into our lives - we've been learning many things about him & ourselves.  For one, I was never a patient person. With baby, I find myself practicing patience even when I DON'T want to!  

The most challenging days are the ones where I just don't know why he's crying.  He isn't much of a crier to begin with,  unless he's tired or hungry. Go figure.  Other than that, he's pretty relaxed. When he's not hungry or tired & he cries, I get the most anxious.  I find myself trying "everything" I've learned to get him to stop, and the few times it doesn't ....I feel LOST.  I'm sure I'm NOT the only MOM to feel this way.... so, this is why I'm writing this today.  Real life has an interesting way of surprising us & making us face our our biggest fears.  Every single day I realize I'm facing new challenges & new fears while raising our son, and I can't stress enough... the importance of patience.  I'll be honest, I'm still trying to master the patience 'mode' myself.  

As I write this, another thought is running through my mind..... BUSINESS + BABY.  Believe it or not, I am still trying to manage my business while raising our son.  Yes, I have some p/t help with a nanny & family members, but I find myself letting go of one thing or the other.  Don't get me wrong, I love what I do,  but I also know that Noah will need more of my time at some point.  In my heart, I've always wanted to be a mom...but not an 'absent- mom' where work becomes more important than my family.  So many thoughts keep coming to mind about just quitting my work & focusing more on him for a few years.  Although he drains most of my energy, I love being around him & his BIG smile. He is such a blessing.

I'll be blunt, the thought of being a stay-at-home mom SCARES the heck out of me.  Why? Well, I always imagined it would be boring & lack the amount of creative outlet I'm used to.  I honestly would love to know if any moms out there quit their jobs to tend to their kids at home?  Would that be a life that would drive me crazy? OR would I embrace it?  How many moms out there are doing both??? Working & caring for their kids? or How many moms left work altogether to care for their children? -  I've been wondering about this.

-post by jen ramos
-please excuse my punctuation, I am obviously not an English major.



  1. Becoming a parent is such an adjustment, isn't it? I work and parent 3 children, and it's the best combination for me. I don't necessarily need to be working at a traditional 9-5, in fact I prefer not to, but I need to be working out my career passions in some way. I believe motherhood comes first, but if we're blessed enough to have help so that we can pursue other passions, we can be more well-rounded parents. And I think it's important for our kids to see that balance.

  2. We are all in the same boat! I could hear me in your post. All my patience goes towards my little one & unfortunately my husband is on the bad end which means sometimes I feel like I'm so mean to him. Juggling a job, blog and my small business is not easy and sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel.
    Finding the balance is key! Learning to say no to people and asking for help when you need it. Thankfully, my mother and mother-in-law live close so when I need a few hours to myself I can ask for help. Going grocery shopping became an escape (I know right? Grab a coffee and taking my time). Also, in your case you never took maternity leave and you need that time off to fully take-it-all-in. It does get a bit easier once they start walking and become a little more independent. In my case he's turning into Trouble Twos...oh joy! Also, with boys I have been told "keep them busy".
    Take it easy! You don't want to burn yourself out. Start with a two week "Maternity Leave" and maybe extend to a month. Give yourself hour breaks on your own to refresh!
    Sending your patience vibes:))

  3. I'm not built to be a stay-at-home mom. I just don't have the patience. I have 2 boys- 3.5 and nearly 2 and sometimes I can barely get thru a weekend. The best thing that I can do for myself is try to find happiness throughout the day so that I'm as well rounded as possible. I think the moms don't spend enough time on doing this. Anyways, do what works best for you and good luck!

  4. Jen, your blog and art is one of the first blogs that I found a few years ago when I was first introduced to blogging. I found it by accident and loved it ever since. I still follow your blog, art and Instagram, because it is so very beautiful and motivating for me as an artist and blogger.
    Last year, I too decided to become a stay at home mom. I have a toddler son. It is the best thing ever. I can spend so much time with him and never miss his smile, a day of his life and/or the important things WITH him. I took a blog break and I am still taking it. One day, I will blog again when the time is right, but it's all about moderation. I realized that I did not have to blog every single day. I miss it, but I think that if you quit your art, blog and Instagram = you would miss it so much, because it is YOU! It is part of who you are and it is obviously your heart. Instead of quitting, just do less. Instead, have your passion, but have even more time with God, baby, and you!
    After some time, you will find a happy and relaxing balance, but you must realize that having a set / same schedule with a baby or kid will not be what you planned every single day nor will it be the same every day. One day will be productive and everything will go as you plan, but the next day can be full of exhaustion and just being with your beautiful child that needs you,... work can and will have to wait,... and that IS okay! :) Work will be there the next day.
    Yes, you will learn patience like never before and wait until he is 3 and 4 = your patience will grow even stronger. Don't ask God for patience, instead, ask God to guide you with a time schedule and also, for Him to fill you with a calm, every single day. His calm.
    Trying to do it all with a baby, is frustrating. It becomes overwhelming and as a mom, when everything feels all over the place and not just the ways we planned or want it = we get cranky and then EVERYTHING seems "off". You cannot do it all, nobody can. But don't quit, you want to keep something for YOU!, but just keep putting Jesus, hubby, you and Noah first. Trust me, if God wants you to keep working for Him, He will provide the way. Nothing is ever easy, but it's all about finding what works and what does not work. IT TAKES TIME. One day at a time. Things will be more overwhelming when you are over tired, that is just when you take a few days off and take care of you. Take a nap when Noah naps or to stop and read the Bible and devotions and pray in a quiet place while Noah sleeps. Just do something that will refresh you, your soul and your mind... you can pick up where you left off later.
    Everything is unpredictable with kids, but that can be a beautiful thing. Just like your art = you just go along with it as it comes and even though it may not always turn out the ways you planned, so what = it turns out to shine in it's own way and when you look back at it, you realize that it is special in the now. Don't quit. Just step back and do what you can do for your work, when you can, but don't stress over it, it's all about moderation.
    You have a lot of talent and you are a beautiful mommy. Noah is such a beautiful and precious little life. He is such a huge blessing!! God picked YOU for Noah. There is a reason for everything. Noah was meant for you and you were meant for him. God has brought you this far. You got this! ;)
    Just take ONE day at a time, as it unfolds, nothing more.
    xo, Cindy

    p.s. sorry if there are any typo's, i have a 4 year old jumping on me as i type this, lol ;)

  5. Thank You. Im not the only one!hello from Poland 😊

  6. With my first son i felt fustrated because i miss having time for myself... i felt a bad mother. It is difficult keeping on with your life when a baby arrives, but everything goes to his place ( we say this in spanish) with a little of time.
    With my daugther everything has been easier, as my mind had been changed.
    But i need more patiente and learn to let time just go doing nothing, so difficult for me!
    Blogging has been important to me, was a part of my space.

    I have a post about this, prepared months ago, and i never feel it is finished... like the way you describe your feelings.

  7. Love you my friend. Just felt to check your blog today :) he he... and this is why. Praying for you. See you really soon... I'm coming in Oct - Dec. Yay for lots of chats and fun :) Love you so much - you are doing an AMAZING JOB! I am cheering you on and am SO SO proud of you!!!

    Love you and sending big hugs from Australia :)

    Nat xoxoxo

  8. I loved staying home with my was the best thing I could give to them. Once they started school I went to work for an interior designer. My family came first and I never regretted my decision.

  9. Hello Jen!
    I am a mother of two and work 8-4 from Monday to Friday. It has always been this way. Until now I coped with it. But to be honest I would gladly take some time off if my husband and I could afford it. Although my sons are 14 and 10 I know that now, maybe more than ever, they still need me. And I need to have strength and energy which I seem to be loosing. And that is what scares me the most: the absence of energy which leeds to absence of willingness. That may sound awful but that's where you get when you 're all worn out. There is no need to wear yourself out. I know it's a tough decision cause it's your business. Maybe you should cut down on some areas. Measure from what you gain most and do that only. I 'm sure you 'll make the right decision in the end.
    Hope I 've helped a little.

  10. I'm not a Mom yet but I'm sure you're not the only one going through. Love your son with all of your heart and do your best. That's all you can do. Everything else will fall into place.


  11. Hi Jen!
    I've been following your blog for quite some time and it's inspiring to see all that you do. Now that Noah is in your life, I love to read your blog even more.

    This post is all too familiar. Before I had my son, I loved the life I had. I had a good steady job, we traveled every other month, I had money to spend on whatever my heart desired, I slept in and through the night, and we had spontaneous nights out. While I was pregnant, I couldn't imagine giving it all up to become stay at home mom. The thought of it scared me for the same reason it scares you. I thought I would loose myself if I didn't continue working. Flash forward two years later, I am now a stay at home mom and wouldn't change it for the world. I love this new life that I have and it's rewarding in so many ways. Yes, there are boring days and days that my son drives me up the wall, but those days don't outweigh the good days. He flashes me a smile, gives me a hug, and it makes everything right in the world. =)

    I went back to work when my son was 3 months old and every single day, I questioned why I wasn't at home experiencing everything there is to experience with him. After talking to a lot of parents and my husband, I left my job 8 months later. Til this day, I do not have an ounce of regret in my decision. I know that we are extremely fortunate to have this opportunity and I wanted to snatch it up. Many working parents told me they wished they had the same opportunity and to embrace it since this stage in life will be over in a blink of an eye. I can always find a job later in life but I won't be able to take back the precious time/moments I have with him. And it does get easier. Once he becomes more vocal and independent, you'll be able breathe easier.

    There isn't a right or wrong decision that fits the mold but just know whatever decision you make, it'll be the best decision for you and your family. Finding a good balance is key.

  12. @TRULY BLOG: Good way to put it, i also like the idea of having time to pursue other passions while still raising my son...even if I have to cur back some hours elsewhere i guess.

  13. @MONICA: glad to hear you can also relate to my situation! Sometimes i too, want to throw in the towel, as I feel handling too much is nearly impossible without exhaustion hitting. Going grocery shopping seems like an escape for us too...and luckily my mom has been able to stay with him on those certain days...i hear ya! ha.
    Funny, You are correct. I NEVER technically took a maternity leave..i jumped right into work when Noah came home!! I didnt even think of that!!
    I am just waiting when it becomes easier, as they say... when he becomes a bit more independent. Thank you XO

  14. @MEAGAN: I totally understand, that some women are not built to be stay ay home moms...sometimes i feel that way. I guess i won't ever know until i try. But even now my heart says i NEED to do something else too while caring for him. I too, like you want to feel well rounded.

  15. @CINDY: First, thank you for reading my blog and coming back...i appreciate it after all those years. your comment really hit home...made me think a lot about my situation .. I also do not want to miss the wonderful little milestone moments that happen, and that never come back...
    But I have a fear the consumption of it all without much creative outlet. I too would miss my blog, my business, work, etc. And you ARE RIGHT, those things are me. They are part of me and i shouldn't have to completely give them up. I can always figure out a way to even incorporate my family life into what I do... I def want to spend more time with family & God, to discover the wonders of the life God has for us and not let them pass by due to busyness. I do believe as you said that I will need to find a good balance and that is my goal.

    LOVE when you said this ---->> Don't ask God for patience, instead, ask God to guide you with a time schedule and also, for Him to fill you with a calm, every single day. His calm. Trust me, if God wants you to keep working for Him, He will provide the way. Just do something that will refresh you, your soul and your mind... you can pick up where you left off later.

    You are correct, God picked me for Noah, and i want to honor that by not putting family life off for busyness (as they say). Hope to keep working on this everyday. Thank you & best to you and your baby/family.

    Thank you and best to you and your family XO

  16. @CHRISTINA: Yes, the strongest thought in my head lately has been to cut a bit out of my schedule...agree. thanks!

  17. The thing is, there is no right or wrong answer, and I think that's where many women find themselves in a debate. Mothers who stay at home work their butts off, as do mothers who work and put their children in daycare or leave them in the care of a nanny--and I guarantee there are about a zillion challenges and triumphs in either scenario. When my oldest daughter (now five and a half) was born I decided to resign from my role as Fashion Editor to be a full-time mommy. I've been blessed to have consistent freelance work, which I do when my little ones go to sleep (which means I'm burning the midnight oil and am basically sleepy AT ALL TIMES). But like you, I don't want to be an absent mom; I don't want to have my laptop attached to my fingertips while my girls are awake and ready for mama to play or read to them. It was an easy decision for me, and while I don't regret it, I do miss walking to cute little cafes in Downtown L.A. for lunch, grabbing coffee and brainstorming with my art director, I even miss monthly meetings that drag on thirty minutes too long. Pray for discernment, pray for clarity. If it's meant for you to take some time off to focus on raising your son, then let His will be done. If not, know that you are already the love of Noah's life, and spending time away from him will make the time you spend with him so sweet and special.

  18. Thanks for sharing your raw emotions, Jen. As all the comments prove, you're not alone in your feelings at all. I'm in the midst of raising 5 kids (ages 9 to 15). Looking back, it went faster than I could have dreamed. But when the kids were babies, time seemed to stand still. As much as I love each of them, it was a challenging time, but it didn't last forever. Do what your heart reaches for the most. It doesn't lie. Whatever you choose does not have to last forever either and you can always change your mind. Usually, I was in such a daze from lack of sleep and nursing that all other activities took a back burner. It's totally fine to submit to your physical and emotional needs to bond with your baby because, as I said, it's temporary. Eventually, your creativity will demand to be discovered anew and you won't be able to shut it out. The main thing is: go easy on yourself. It's a process. XO

  19. This is like the holy grail of parenting questions. And I agree with everyone else who said there is no right and wrong answer. As a mom to 5 and a former microbiologist hell-bent on conquering the world, when my 2 year old son started reciting his alphabet and colors and I realized he didn't learn it from me, I walked away from the "working" world. There are days where being at home just plain sucks. But most days I love it. Go with your heart. And no matter what people may say, good or bad, you'll know you are where you're supposed to be.

  20. Hi Jen.

    I've been reading your blog for a while. Congrats on being a mom. As a stay-at-home mom who raised three boys, I can honestly say that it was a tremendous blessing. My sons are in college now and I have no regrets. I always made sure to have a creative outlet (blogging and decorating) when the time permitted and that does help, so I would suggest that you scale back but there's no need to shut your work down completely. Just prioritize and focus on one area of your business that you enjoy the most. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Also, try and put Noah on a consistent schedule...bedtime, feeding and naptime at the same time everyday...It's hard but it can be done. I did it with twins. Also, you must realize that sometimes, babies are just gon' cry! It's normal and sometimes they have to just cry themselves to sleep. If you haven't already, you should find a "stay-at-home mom group" in your community for moral support. That really helped me! Just remember that childhood goes by fast, even if it doesn't seem that way right now. And the older Noah gets, the more work you can put back into your day. Trust me, when he is older and you are leaving him at college somewhere, you won't look back and think, "Darn. I didn't paint enough." You'll only think about whether or not you spent enough time with your son.

  21. You will give-up something with what ever decision you make. If you can find someone who you trust to stay with your son and they can come to your home that is the best choice if you are going back to work. Getting a baby or child to day care is a lot of work, when they get ill day care does not want them in their facility and your work or spouses work is turned upside down. Look for a day care attached to a university or YMCA, they have high standards.

    If you decide to stay home it can get pretty lonely and uncreative at times. Probably for a bit you are going to be too tired to want to be creative.

    Suggestion: get your home child proofed for a walking toddler and save yourself from being frightened he is going to fall and hit his head into something. Don't worry what your home looks like inside with all these contraptions around the house, what you save in mental stress will make your life simpler

    I also got stressed with crying I couldn't understand. My Pediatrician's Nurse told me there is everything good in leaving your baby in his/her crib for trying bouts of unexplained crying. You don't leave them in there for a long time, it is to relieve your stress which most times takes your patience and good vibes away adding to your stress. I should have done what my Pediatrician's Nurse told me, I didn't and I really ground my teeth down. I should have put my baby in the crib, sat outside my front door with the glass door closed.


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