Lest You Think I Have My Sh*t Together

I feel like the theme of last week was the emotional version of what it feels like to walk on ice. You start out gingerly, slowly gaining a bit of speed…then BAM! Feet fly out from under you and you’re flat on your tush. Every time. Disoriented, you get up and start moving again – with a little more knowledge of the process – but still sore from the learning.

Last week wasn’t a bad week but it was a hard one. Lila switched daycare rooms, and while day one went off without a hitch (yes, she slept on the magical baby cots), days two through five were less good. Each day started with her losing her mind screaming as I tried to leave. The kind of screams where I furtively duck out of her room because the entire building can hear “that baby.” It’s a natural phase and it won’t last forever, but it kind of makes me feel like garbage to walk away from my screaming child. I choose to work, and I like to work. Some days I feel like Super Mom; others I want to cry under my desk and eat Rolos because it all feels terrible.

It was just a week of small struggles. Getting to daycare and realizing Lila has one shoe on. Getting to work and realizing my lunch is on the kichen counter and there’s somehow black grease all over my skirt. Driving across town for meetings before learning they were cancelled. Leaving extra early to get the baby’s medicine, only to realize your local Walgreen’s doesn’t open until 8, because of course. Small stuff, just stuff.


Sometimes I think about the different views people get into my life, based on the snippets that are visible to them. Not in the sense that I’m censoring things, but purely as a matter of timing. In the midst of last week I got a few messages from friends with unexpected compliments or kind words. And I kind of felt like a fraud accepting them. And wanted to respond, “Heyyyy if you saw what was actually happening in my life at this very moment, you’d eat those words.” Says the mom who just watched her child fingerpaint the kitchen floor with vomit.

I almost felt defensive about not wanting people to think I had my act together, or that it ever feels easy for me. Not in a self-deprecating way – I just don’t think it’s fair to let anyone else think that my life is easier or better. We all struggle with our own stuff everyday. No one’s doing it better than anyone else.

I was exchanging messages with a friend about some of this and the other things we struggle with as women. Little things and big things. Body image, messy houses, time management (there really aren’t enough hours in the day, we know this). Nothing extraordinary, but things I think a lot of us worry we’re battling alone. And it’s not that misery loves company, but there’s something amazing in knowing that whatever you’re struggling with has happened to others. It makes you realize that: a) you’re not alone, or unusual for what you’re experiencing, and b) it gets better.

I was wowed again at how often the most reassuring words in the world are some variation of “me too.”

My friend explained her son went through the exact same stage with daycare, and that he’s fine now. And that I’m doing ok. She also reminded me that behind every challenge we pass, there’s usually another waiting in the wings, but just knowing others are making it is so powerful.

If you’ve ever run a race and wanted to quit toward the end, but then saw the folks who finished before you on the sidelines cheering you on – it’s that kind of goosebump feeling. We’re all in this together.

Real talk for a sec.

In a moment of spontaneous madness I posted this photo and stream of consciousness on social media last night, and decided to share it here, too, since I know some blog friends aren’t Facebook peeps (weirdos) and vice versa.

Friends. Real talk for a sec. Never in a million years did I think Beachbody coaching was for me. I think most of you think it’s as silly as I once did, and that’s ok. I scoffed at this opportunity and figured it was a scam (queen skeptic here). And hello, I have a full-time job, I’m a busy mom, and what business did I have telling others what to do when I’m still on my own fitness journey? It seemed ridiculous, but at the same time, I was lost in mom life and the daily grind, and I needed something to be excited about. What I found was a way to meet new people and become way more accountable in my own health. I knew I needed something for ME. So I took a risk, and jumped in ready to laugh at myself, but geeze. I am THANKFUL every single day I decided to pursue this. In six months I’ve made new friends, been pushed to grow way beyond my comfort zone, learned a ton and while no one likes to make stuff about money, I’ve built a business (in about a half hour a day) to cover our mortgage and then some. Are you kidding me? All by helping people?? I kind of can’t believe this is real, but I also feel like I need to tell everyone how possible it is. This is me – straight up sitting in my car in a parking lot (alone time!) feeling so blessed and inspired that I am typing without proofing (talk about terrifying) to share it. Because if you’re ready for a change from the blah, and for something to do just for YOU, this is your sign. I would love to talk your face off about this and welcome you to my team. It’s so fun and so possible. Shoot me an email: jesstaylorfitness [at] gmail [dot] com.


focused fear

This weekend my yoga teacher spoke of fearlessness, and identifying where your fears are focused. It’s often not on the immediate or tangible things we might mention. Rather, it’s the much larger but harder-to-define impact that we blame, sometimes without even knowing it.

In this case, leaving a comfortable corporate job and paycheck created short-term fear about paying bills and measuring success among one’s peers. But the larger fear of not being truly happy is what spurred this person to act.

What if I leave this job and can’t make $xx and pay my rent?

What if I stay in this job and in 10 years realize I’ve wasted some of my best years in an unfulfilling role?

It made me think about how often I’ve stayed in situations or fled situations as a result of my short-term fears, without focusing enough on my long-term ones. Without identifying the underlying force, it’s hard to ever address it.


Can we talk about daycare for a minute?

Lila graduates from her current room at daycare this week, her first room, and it’s been an unexpectedly difficult transition.

For ME, not for her. I mean, sleeping on cots? WHAT?

It’s something to celebrate: hitting milestones and preparing for new adventures, but I am going to freak out for a little bit about the fact that A: my child is growing up, and B: she won’t spend every day with the loving teachers who have cared for her for almost a year. Waaaa.

If we travel back to Before Land — that far-off place before marriage, pregnancy, motherhood and such — there were lots of things I didn’t understand. At the center of this ignorance cloud was child care, and what that might look like for our family one day.

It’s funny because I don’t actually know what I thought was going to happen — that one day we’d magically have a baby, and then childcare options would fall from the sky? Perhaps Mary Poppins would show up in our recovery room at the hospital, bag in hand and ready to assist? I’m flabbergasted at how little I considered this, given what a tremendous decision it came to be.


Ultimately, daycare was the right option for our family.

I don’t feel like moms are conditioned to love daycare. I just don’t. Despite every bit of progress and equality in life and the workplace, we’re still often made to feel that we should want nothing more than to be home with our babies, and that any deviation from that ideal is a failure somehow, in ourselves or our situations.

While I knew it was the right option for us, and we loved the center we chose, I was still incredibly apprehensive. I felt guilty. I was waiting to hate it, constantly seeking out things that might be going awry.

But as each week went by, I was able to exhale a little further. I started to accept and appreciate this as our situation.

What I’ve learned the past year is that daycare — what I once feared would be a default option, and an agonizing place to leave my baby — has instead been one of our greatest blessings.

Our daycare is a remarkable place where Lila has been nurtured and loved, day in and day out.

When she was a teeny babe, her teachers wore her throughout the day to comfort her and make sure she got to know her them. When she was colicky and refused to nap, the entire staff got a workout, taking turns bouncing her on an exercise ball. And everyone wore the badge of honor of her reflux.

The baby rooms at any daycare are a sweet space. This is where parents leaves babies, often for the first time, and entrust their most precious gift to others. Exhausted, confused new mommas get gentle guidance from baby teachers on everything from paci brands to napping strategies. An initially awkward balance is formed, wavering between wanting to give all the instructions, and not wanting to be that mom. Moms in suits and heels pass moms in yoga pants and messy buns making kind but fleeting eye contact while juggling bags and bottles. Dads proceed gingerly, equal parts confident and confused, often the minority in the drop off cycle. Everyone is fighting the good fight.

No one in a baby room judges you for having spit up on your shirt or bags under your eyes.

No one holds it against you if you freak out a little about work, or forget your sippy cup, or call or email to check in three times a day.

Baby rooms are a sacred place. Teachers may see your baby take a first step, or say a first word, but they won’t tell you until you ask, knowing you need to see it as the first time yourself. They may have a really, really rough day with your baby, but will still greet you with a smile.

Our life and routines aren’t perfect or exactly what I wish they were, in terms of work/family balance. But I’m so thankful for the innumerable ways daycare has helped and supported our whole family.