Real Life Confessions of a Ranch Mama – Vol. 1

I’m five months into this mamahood thing and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Limits have been tested, challenges overcome and tears shed – both happy and sad. So this cowgirl and ranch mama is laying it on the line and sharing my truth and realizations about mamahood.

– I constantly struggle with guilt. I feel guilty when I take her to daycare in the morning. I feel guilty when I want just one hour to ride my horses or go for a run. I feel guilty when I stop playing with her so I can fold some laundry or do the dishes. I feel guilty when I take her to my mom’s house so that I can go on a party bus to play bingo. I am sure that I’m not the only mama out there like this but it’s so hard to want to be everything to her but also not lose sight of myself and how to have fun. I want the balance but I also want to love on her every minute.

Five day old baby
A five-day old Squish

– I consider the question “How is she doing?” very difficult to answer. I mean, she’s eating and sleeping and happy, so in my very limited experience that seems pretty great! But people always seem to want more than that as an answer – am I the only person who has this issue?

– Although I have cared for her by myself countless evenings while the Ninja travels for work, my biggest fear every time he is gone is that we will have a bad sleep night. Before she started sleeping through the night, I would pray and pray and pray for her to sleep for a 2-3 hour stretch. I can remember feeling so strung out and helpless at the end of his first work trip after she was born (5 days, 4 nights- welcome to reality, mama). At that time she was still waking 1-2 times per night to eat; after she got past that she hit her four-month sleep regression while he was out of town. To say the least, I am very happy that she sleeps for 10 hours on a regular basis (I hope I have not jinxed myself just now). I was and continue to be so thankful for my family and friends who help me get through every day and night of this challenging new chapter with encouraging words, love and support. It takes a village to raise a child and my village rocks.

– EVERYTHING takes more time and preparation. Even something as simple as going to supper requires a ton of gear OR if we leave her with a family member, I end up stressing out about whether or not she is behaving while we are gone. I am hoping this will subside soon.

– Looking back at photos from the day she was born, she really wasn’t very cute. I mean, I LOVE her but she looked like a squishy potato; same as every other newborn. However, it only took a few days for the squish face to become utterly adorable.

Riding my horse while the baby chills in the playpen
Enjoy those toys for just 30 minutes – that’s all I need!

– Hormones are heinous. Even the most “level-headed” people can be affected by anxiety, depression or both. If you feel sad, don’t be embarrassed; talk to your friends, family or health practitioner. I felt like the walls were closing in on me as soon as the sun started to set; I dreaded the nights. It’s not a weakness to ask for help during this trying time so please, put your self care as a top priority.

– I have yearned, several times, for my previous life and freedom. Does that mean I don’t love my little cowgirl with all my heart? Absolutely not – but I do miss my carefree days when I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wished. And any mama or parent who doesn’t admit to feeling the same thing at least once is probably not being very honest. Just sayin’

– I am figuring out how to take time for me and do things I enjoy again. I have learned how to ride my horse and do all the chores [when I’m home alone] before she needs her bath and bottle for the evening. It involves a playpen, several toys and some serious speed on my part but we get the job done. She’ll be heading to her first barrel race this weekend and I think we’ll be fine.

– I am not willing to spend a small fortune on baby clothes. I want her to look cute but good Lord, I can’t bring myself to spend $25 on a pair of shoes she can’t walk in and $30 on one shirt she’s probably going to annihilate with poop or drool (actually, both). She’ll just have to suffer through life in hand me downs and garage sale finds. Poor thing.

– My life is even more full of joy than it was before now that I have her. I have said many times before that I had an awesomely enviable life before she came along but I am positive that she has enhanced my life ten-fold.  I’m sure it will only get more difficult from here but she’s so damn sweet, smart, adorable and lovable that it will be worth the ride.

Alright my fellow mamas, what are your truths? What keeps you up at night worrying about this parenting gig? What are your triumphs and proud moments?

High-fives to all of us for getting through this time of our lives – it ain’t for the weak of heart!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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9 responses to “Real Life Confessions of a Ranch Mama – Vol. 1”

  1. I really love how raw this piece is Brandi! I haven’t taken the plunge for many of the reasons you mention, so I appreciate the honesty. I also love that you’re taking her to her first barrel race already! If I’m ever in the neighborhood chasing can I’ll totally share baby care duty!

    1. Avatar

      I would love for you to be in the same neighborhood again! My horse wasn’t legged up or ready for that barrel bash in Topeka, so I missed you. Thanks for your encouraging words – I wish I could say don’t be scared of motherhood but I can’t honestly give you that advice. It is scary; but it’s surprising how we adapt and learn so quickly! It’s a hard job but so very worthwhile!

  2. Kristen Dickey Avatar
    Kristen Dickey

    LOVE this!! So true! Also my biggest fear is what I may have done to my career to have her. And then I remember my career comes 4th in my life and I do not need money to make my baby happy. The number of times
    I wonder what being a stay at home mom would do for her is countless. But then I remember she has a strong, smart and opinionated mama who she needs to see work so she too can have that example like I did growing up.

    1. Avatar

      I think similar thoughts about my career – have I killed it? But at some point, I will have enough cows to just ride pastures and check cows all day and I can take her with me and such. And I’m really looking forward to that 🙂 Some days I think being a stay at home mom would rock! But others, I would be so overwhelmed!

  3. Mariah Avatar

    I totally relate to the sun downers. I didn’t have it as bad with my first but the second time around it was a doozie. I would think I was rocking the mom thing during the day and evening would hit and I would be a big ball of hormones.
    I still struggle with getting things done. I think it’s more of keeping Reid content to be able to do things. I’m such a worry wart. I’m learning to let go a bit and let him be.
    I love my kids with all of my heart but sometimes I do look at people who haven’t started families yet and think how nice it was to just be responsible for myself.
    I soon get back to reality and remember how stellar my life is and how lucky I am to have everything in it.
    Loves girl!

    1. Avatar

      I think the sundowner thing was so hard because she is a winter baby and it got dark so dang early! If we have another one, I’ll have to shoot for Sept-Nov or March-May! I am a worry wart too and am jealous of folks who do whatever they want but then, like you, I see her and she smiles at me with that big, toothless grin and I don’t care what I’m ‘missing out’ on! I had six years of married life doing whatever I wanted, it’s time to share that happiness with her now! Thanks for the encouraging words! xoxo

  4. Holy cow, the guilt! That one was a near direct hit. We just had our second, and it may possibly have doubled my guilt. “Is our oldest jealous of little sister because she demands so much time and attention right now?” “Am I doing enough to stimulate their mental growth and make them good citizens?” And I hope the worrying over whether your child is behaving when you aren’t there subsides for you. I can say that it hasn’t for me in 2.5 years, but I’m an admitted helicopter mom! Thank you for being so transparent with your musings and feelings mama!

    1. Avatar

      Well I can’t say that I’m hopeful it will get better based on your testimony BUT I am glad that I’m not alone! Thank you for reading!

  5. Alysha Avatar

    Just loved reading this Brandy! You’re such an amazing mama already!
    Mom guilt never goes away, but one day you’ll look at your baby, see how independent and flourishing they are, and think “maybe I’m not half bad!” Lol

    Just remember that, you’re “best” on the good or bad days, is always perfect for them! That’s why god let them choose YOU as their mama!

    1. Avatar

      Thanks Alysha! I appreciate your kind words – I hope that my best is always good enough for her and that I never let her down. I know it’s unlikely that I’ll never disappoint her but my heart can’t bear the thought of her being sad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for reading!