I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love" and she nailed my feelings on the head. Reading her book was validating, freeing, and a wonderful encouragement to me. PLEASE do yourselves a favor and read it. I have an extra one you can borrow!
The unrealistic pressure we feel these days to be PERFECT AT EVERYTHING is insane. Even things we don't like. She pointed out that NO ONE has everything all together, although social media would tell us otherwise. The clean house/ Pinterest crafts/ organic cooking/ business woman/ perfect yard / manicured nails/ washed hair/ Lululemon Pure Barre fitness/ relationship with their hubby/ Bible study leader at church. It REALLY IS NUTS that we feel like if we are not ALL OF THESE THINGS, we are NOT A GOOD MOM. WHAT IS THIS?!?!? She goes on to point out that we all have different strengths and gifts and we should just focus on trying to excel in those 1-2 areas and leave the rest to those more suited. We are hand picking women we see online (or in our real life). One is an AWESOME cook and prepares her organic meals from scratch, a different one who is CRAZY SUCCESSFUL in her career, a different woman who takes her kiddos on fun, creative outings every day, and a different one who has a home that looks like it walked out of Restoration Hardware. BUT THE CATCH IS… Each category has a DIFFERENT woman with different strengths and situations. SO WHY would we expect OURSELVES to be that ONE PERFECT WOMAN in EVERY single area? It is NOT possible or attainable and we are setting ourselves up for failure every time.
THANK YOU, JEN.
Thank you for giving me permission to NOT host dinner parties every week because cooking and hosting gives me the cold sweats. Thank you for giving me permission to NOT have a spotless home because that is not something that is feasible for me with 2 littles. Thank you for allowing me to NOT be leading a small group or Bible study right now because my schedule in this season just literally cannot handle another thing. Thank you for releasing me from feeling guilty about putting my 2.5 year old in front of a movie while I return my work emails. Thank you for allowing me & my girls to consider an outing to IKEA as our "fun" and very stimulating activity for the day. Thank you for giving me permission to NEVER do a 25 Days of Christmas Family Advent Calendar. EVER. (ANXIETY OVERLOAD)
Instead of this MOM GUILT, I am going to start feeding myself and those around me with TRUTH. WE ARE AWESOME. Moms. People. Friends. Wives. Humans. What if we could live from a place of confidence, love, and acceptance instead of plagued by insecurity, loneliness, and defeat. I want to LIVE in my strengths instead of trying to acquire skill sets or gifts that just aren't feasible or natural for me. And if you want to play Mommy Wars… You win. Because I forfeit! :)
I am a GREAT Mom. YOU are a GREAT Mom. Lets identify those areas in our lives where we are NAILING IT (and dare I say ENJOYING it) and keep at it!!! As for the areas where we feel we fall short… We probably do. AND THAT IS OKAY. Release yourself from that unrealistic expectation. Use YOUR gifts. Play YOUR note. Our world would be terribly boring and uninteresting if we all had the same strengths and talents.
Man that felt good to put down in words. I don't know what my future holds, but I do know that I get the pleasure of parenting these 2 precious girls and that is enough for today. And every day. I am the perfect Mom FOR THEM. God chose ME to be their MOM. Easy Mac and all :)
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Last week was our first family vacation with just our immediate family unit! We loaded up the car with a portable DVD player and plenty of snacks and headed on an 11 hour drive to Pensacola, Florida to stay with one of my best friends from college, Bromli! Chloé slept almost the entire way (we had a slight scare involving a 104.2 fever and a trip to the Urgent Care on our pit stop in Houston) so I think the medicine kind of made her drowsy. Stella was happy as long as she was watching a movie or eating, ha! Go figure.
Night #1 we met the Breedloves at a GREAT restaurant on the beach where we let the girls play on a playground and get entirely too sandy so we could enjoy some adult beverages and some authentic sea food! I had the most delicious snow crab and shrimp dish!
On Sunday, we got loaded up and took the boat out to a couple of islands right off the military base. I had never been on a military base and had no idea they were so HUGE and basically a fully functioning city! We dropped anchor and walked in the shallow water to a sandbar and ate our picnic lunch. Stella LOVED it until…. the jellyfish which we accidentally TERRIFIED her about (because she was about to try and touch one) and she subsequently became scared of the water. Oops? So she spent the rest of the day on the boat or in the sand and wanted nothing to do with the water. She LOVED the boat though and kept telling Mr. Bear - FASTER! FASTER! We also spotted some dolphins only a few yards away from our boat - Way better than Sea World ;)
Monday was fun because we went to the beach and got wristbands and the Holiday Inn Resort for a change of scenery. It was a beautiful beachside pool with a lazy river and…. A MERMAID!!! Stella was equally entranced and terrified haha! She wouldn't get NEAR her and kept calling her "Ariel" (even though it was her cousin Diamond ;) ) but she also didn't want to leave her line of sight. I ate Mahi Mahi fish tacos and had some delicious rum punch!
That NIGHT, Bromli indulged me on a sunset photo shoot at the beach - We really don't have any family pictures since the hostpial when Chloé was born and they turned out beautiful! Yay for not having to figure out Christmas cards this year :)
Tuesday was a family day while Bear and Bromli worked - We were going to go to the military base to tour the aircraft museum and got stuck in standstill traffic that was spanning over a mile. So instead of spending our last day in traffic, we went back to the beach and set up camp under a boardwalk since we didn't have umbrellas. Stella was NOT scared of the water this time- I guess she forgot ;) She kept calling the sand, SNOW because it was so pretty and white! This day was so laid back and fun - We rode a few waves, relaxed, ate sandwiches, and enjoyed our time as a family of 4. Chloé is not a fan of the sand so she preferred sleeping in her tent or on one of us :) She is most definitely our snuggly baby - Big Sister NEVER wanted snuggles!
Tuesday night we hit up a Blue Wahoos game with the Breedloves. We were exhausted from the sun but it was the perfect ending to our trip! We sat in the outfield on a patch of grass and Stella got to run around like a crazy 2.5 year old and make friends and steal Bromli's son cone and my Coke :) It was so much fun!
We made memories that will last a lifetime and had the best time getting to see the Breedloves hometown and getting to know Mary Bella (their almost 1 year old) better :)
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015
+ Sweet evenings playing in the sprinklers
+ Sno cones at the pool
+ Popsicles every single day ("Boogers" as Stella STILL calls them)
+ The circus with Mimi and Pappa
+ Stella's FIRST fireworks!
+ Weekly play dates with my college besties
+ Sea World and the Shamu Show
+ The Lazy River in San Antonio with Gigi and Opa and Drew-Callie-Reese (One word for Stella)
+ The best $25 we ever spent at Walmart with a HUGE blow up pool for our backyard.
+ What is SURE to be an epic Road Trip to Pensacola later this week :)
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Over the weekend, we hosted my brother and sister-in-law at our house with their 2 littlest kiddos, Jude and Adam. We had such a good time catching up and laughing and embracing the chaos that comes with 2 babies and 2 toddlers who want the same toy AT ALL TIMES!
During the weekend it felt chaotic and full and so much fun but the second they drove off yesterday, Stella burst into tears… and so did I! I don't know if it was hormones or what, but we walked into a silent, empty house where just mere minutes before there was buzzing about, yelling (because Stella has one volume these days), and giggles.
Stella missed her cousin and her playmate / partner-in-crime and I missed the adult interaction. Thats the thing about working from home… It can get really lonely. I love the flexibility and being home with my girls but I so desperately miss the conversations with people that aren't 2.5 years old. Although Rodan + Fields has been an incredible outlet for me during the day, I am still "talking" to people online versus being around them in person.
I have found that for my sanity and well being, I need to have one outing per day. Preferably meeting someone for a play date, but even a trip to Target will do. It helps me get out of the house and around other HUMANS besides the 2 tiny ones that live with me. I have found that the days where I make an effort (because with 2, it IS effort) are happier and more "full" days... filled with better afternoon naps! ;)
So I have come to grips that no matter if you are a full-time stay-at-home Mom or work-from-home Mom or you go into an office and your kiddos are at daycare or with a Nanny…. We are all battling some sort of loneliness as Moms. Lonely FOR our kids or lonely FOR our friends and adult interaction. I think the key is recognizing it and figuring out how to combat it rather than sitting in it every day.
So I will relish visitors with every ounce of energy that I have in me because I know once they leave, the silence feels deafening. And when that loneliness creeps in, I will make an effort to fight that battle by making sure that I have a healthy life outside of my children and that we get out and DO THINGS as much as we can! Its good for them and for me to go have a daily adventure… even if it IS to Target ;)
Thursday, July 23, 2015
I have been meaning to put this class together for awhile because I get questions all the time on how to make slideshows! Starting next week, I'm going to host a week-long virtual class walking you through how to put together your very own slideshow. I will create a private Facebook Group where I can answer any questions that you may have along the way and I will post daily tutorial videos to walk you through various aspects of the slideshow process.
Note: I use iMovie which comes on Mac computers so you will need to have access to that program in order to follow along with the class.
Please email me: email@example.com for a class description and more details!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
You know those days? The ones where you lose your temper because you got little to no sleep the night before? One refuses to nap and you have a LOT to get done. You drop an entire box of Goldfish on the floor. Mildewed laundry. Overflowing dishes and no groceries because you never worked up enough strength to tackle the store with 2 littles in tow. You take a shower to be alone for 10 minutes and cry but your toddler won't let you because she is asking to join you in the shower? Yep. THOSE days.
It has been a rough week. My angel baby Chloé is going through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression and we are trying to get her on somewhat of a napping schedule or else she is a HOT.SCREAMING.MESS. in the afternoon. It is like she changed OVERNIGHT from the most calm, chill baby you have ever seen… to one that screams often and is very hard to put down for naps or bedtime. She is also now BORED in the swing. On the playmat. In the Bumbo. Or the bouncy chair… SOOOOO this work-from-home Mama is running OUT of options.
I was blow drying Stella's hair tonight and was tearing up out of frustration and utter exhaustion. Stella sweetly turned around and looked at my face and said "It's okay Mama. I here. It okay." She then gave me a GIGANTIC hug, kissed my cheek, and started singing "Let it Go" because it's her go-to song and we always sing it in the car when we are trying to calm Chloé down. She showed me GRACE tonight. And that I am doing okay. And that regardless of the frustrations I have, my girls really do love me despite my shortcomings.
So I sit here reflecting on the range of emotions I have had this week and choose to focus on the one I felt tonight from my 2.5 year old.
God BLESS her.