Mom Life, Personal Development, Struggle

Permission to “Lose It”

This weekend was a cluster of my “finest” moments.

It included the following:

  • Getting into an argument with my husband
  • Yelling around the house
  • Complaining about what “hadn’t been done”
  • Feeling upset I didn’t get more done
  • Episodes of tears from stress
  • Forgot to pay a bill that was definitely due

Have you ever had those moments? You know, the moments where you just feel like a colossal failure? Moments where you feel like like is treating you like a clump of silly puddy? Me too.

I felt like such a screw-up this weekend. I wanted to be a better mom, a better wife, and I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing ANY of it. But that’s not true. We are all getting better day after day. And not every day or moment are we going to “get it all right.” But that’s perfectly okay.

Sometimes we all need to “lose it.” We need to come undone and have a good cry. Sometimes our steam needs to be let out and we need to recognize our own humanity. We aren’t superwoman, though we could fool many. We are mere mortals and we all have moments of arguments, tears, forgetfulness, and pain.

It’s okay to “lose it” mamas, you’re going to need to sometimes. It doesn’t make you a crappy mom or wife, it makes you so incredibly human.

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Choice, Personal Development

The Pressure to Grow a Family

Right after you have a new baby, it feels like seconds later, well-meaning people want to know… “So, when are you have your next baby?” I really couldn’t believe it. I was still in stitches (not the good kind) and hearing some interesting verbiage regarding our new little family, assuming it would thus continue to grow. And I know — no one means anything wrong by this, and we are becoming increasingly more “touchy” as a society. But it does deserve a pause and to understand why the question gets asked.

I myself, before having had my first child, figured I’d have more than one — it just seemed like the American thing to do. White picket fence, one dog, two kids, and a husband, right? Well, that was before I actually was a mom. I didn’t know what was involved in being a parent, the work, the sacrifice and the dedication. It’s more involved than just “looking the part” or posing for a family Christmas card, so everyone can see, how perfect you are. No. It’s the tiredness, the late nights working, and the drives to work with a less than happy passenger.

I’ve heard people say to just have all your kids close together so that you “get it out of the way”. I’ve also heard it said that you should space them out so that you aren’t paying for two daycares at once. But I think here’s a problem with motherhood. If you’re just having more kids because someone else wants you to, or you think it’s just the next thing to “cross off your list”, that’s not fair to you or your family.

Having more children is personal and individualized. If you know in your heart, you want a growing career and one child is enough to fill your heart, I think that should be allowed. And if you are the mom who delights in the idea and the happy mayhem of many children, you should also have no retribution from others. You are both right. What’s right for one person, may not be right for another — and that should be okay.

I used to feel pressure to have a bigger family, because it was the right thing to do, “be fruitful and multiply”, all that jazz. But I don’t want to do something because of the pressure of others ideas or because I’m trying to get something “done”? A family, and life, it’s not a to-do list, it’s not a rush. It’s a cup of tea, to be enjoyed, and to be lived. I enjoy my little buddy, every day. I sniff his hair, cuddle him close, and enjoy his life and that he’s ours.

Live the life you designed, and don’t feel guilt or shame of the decisions you make for your family. They are yours alone to make.

 

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Personal Development, Struggle

Being Human & Less Than Perfect

I don’t know if it’s just me, but from time to time I feel as though everyone has this life figured out other than me. They seem to have their checkbook figured out, their children, their volunteer schedules, their marriage, everything. I sit there and think that I’m just the one person who just doesn’t seem to ‘have it together’ or the black sheep. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that way.

Honestly, I think it’s such a lie that we tell ourselves. I don’t know why we think it’s only us. I had a conversation with a friend on the phone the other night discussing my feeling inadequate and she seemed to understand. But she also told me it’s not just me, and it’s not just you either. We all have moments where we have blinders on and assume we are the only one making mistakes, and we aren’t. No one has ‘life’ figured out. No one is exempt from being human. We are all learning, we are all growing. None of us have ‘arrived’ at perfection.

Keep stretching, keep pursuing your dreams and your goals. And don’t feel bad if you show your flaws a bit more. We’re all human and sometimes it’s so refreshing to know that someone else isn’t so perfect either. Maybe we can take more time to laugh at our humanness than judge ourselves or others.

No one is perfect, and none of us have this figured out. But that’s totally okay.

Growth, Personal Development, Talents

When People Don’t Understand “No”

Have you ever felt this? Someone close to you, a friend a family member, told you they needed you. You’re the only one who can help. It’s all up to you for their outcomes. I mean, if you don’t do it, who will? What will become of them? Well of course, you have to.

We get pulled into situations and problems that really aren’t ours. It’s not our cross to bear, it’s not our problem. But somehow, we get pulled in, nonetheless. And it weighs on us, and it’s heavy. We think about it many times throughout the day, our anxiety mounts. But we tell Aunt Betty that we will do such and such to help her, after all, isn’t that what families do? We tell our best friends we can through that last minute party for them at no charge, we listen to our grandparents complain for the fifth time. We allow our family members from out of town to crash at our house, because it’s “the right thing to do”…

Why can’t we say “no”? Why do we say yes to things that we know we don’t want to do… deep down our stomachs churn and flip at the idea of doing XYZ. I think I know why. “No” is confrontational. No is a word that creates clear boundaries. People may get offended by our boundaries. If we tell Aunt Betty “no” she may cry for an hour and try and guilt us into something. And that may be true. But you’re not being true to yourself nor are you helping Aunt Betty, by enabling and allowing someone to control you.

If you’ve struggled with setting healthy and proper boundaries or you get anxiety about the “No” word… then you need to read this book. It’s called Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. In it, he goes through examples of how people control others, of how we feel toward them, and discusses why we feel awful saying “no”. I’m almost finished reading it, and truly it’s an eye opener. If you haven’t read it, get a copy by clicking the link. I guarantee it will help you and set you free to say “no”.

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Family, Growth, Personal Development

For Better Or Worse

Today marks four years of marriage for us. During this time, I’ve learned why the vows are what they say. During this time, I learned the weight of those words. We have had richer and poorer, sickness and health. We’ve felt the better and the worse.

This is going to be brief. But basically my message is this. If you hit moments in your marriage where you question, doubt, don’t know if you’re doing something right, you’re in good company, most of us don’t. But day by day you learn. You learn more about your spouse but mostly yourself. Just like motherhood is new and when you start, you won’t have it figured out, you won’t in a new marriage either.

So today, trust the process, love your spouse and give yourselves permission to not have it all together. None of us truly do; don’t give up.

‘Til death do us part.

Growth, Personal Development

When Progress Won’t Come

I’m sure you’ve felt this way… maybe you’ve tried something over and over again and don’t understand why you just aren’t seeing the results. You have been eating healthy and not matter what, you can’t drop the weight. Or maybe you’ve tried to sleep train your baby and it feels like. It’s. taking. FOREVER. Possibly it’s a relationship that you feel you’re putting so much into, and not seeing a lot of reciprocation. I get it.

When I’m working on a goal or a plan and I don’t see results, much like the confused people at the Weight Watchers meetings, I feel like giving up. I think we all take the “lack of results” as a “lack of progress”, which actually isn’t true.

Something I heard Joyce Meyer say in a podcast was this:

“You may have to do the right thing for a long time before you get a right result.”

Wow, how true is that. Just because you aren’t seeing the rewards of all your hard work, doesn’t mean your work doesn’t count or you aren’t getting closer.

For instance, we have a family goal of paying off student loans. It’s hard, it’s daunting, and it takes time. But this is one of our many goals. Some months it feels impossible. But step by step, as we keep working together, we make progress. Sometimes progress is slow, but even slow going is advancement.

As a mom they say sleep training can take up to two weeks. Well that’s not super encouraging to the mom that’s trying to get her own sleep. When you hear that noise on the monitor and all you want is for some consistent shut eye, it’s not super encouraging. But you do it, you keep moving forward. And then that glorious night will hit — you will sleep the whole night with ZERO feedings.

Like a seed that’s planted in the ground, it takes time to sprout. Because we don’t see the sprout for a few weeks, doesn’t mean the seed is “broken”. And just like that seed, your goals will take time. Don’t dig up your “seed” prematurely and kick the dirt in because you don’t see instant results. Keep working at it mama, keep driving, and your plant will bloom… in time.

Mom Life, Personal Development

If We’re Being Honest…

If we’re being real, we all lie to people in our lives more than we realize.

  • We say that we can go to a meeting, when we really don’t want to.
  • We offer services and help to friends when we know we really can’t.
  • Sometimes we say we think our friend or family member has a great idea, when we think it’s horrible.

As women, as moms, we do a lot of “white lying”, trying to please other people.

Well you say, wait, that’s not really lying… I’m just protecting someone’s feelings.

Whatever the reason may be, if we aren’t being honest with others, we aren’t really being honest with ourselves.

Let me explain.

We want to make everyone happy. We want to avoid confrontation, and we desperately want to be liked and accepted. So that desire to feel comfort and conflict-free makes us sign up for obligations that we have no business or time to do/fulfill. It may just be something you don’t want to do. Later on, we become resentful at those with whom we’ve set up said obligation with. Because all we wanted was to say, “no” but because we didn’t do that we are now rotting inside and feel horrible.

Instead of committing to things we can’t commit to, or telling others what we know will make them feel good, we have to start being more proactive. We have to protect ourselves and say no.

There’s nice ways to do it, but to fear others responses to our boundaries, just isn’t an acceptable excuse anymore.

Because if we are being honest, we haven’t been being honest with ourselves. And that’s just about the worst feeling of all.

Personal Development

Help for the Judgmental

**For those that probably get judgmental from time to time… ;)**

I was sitting in traffic and I thought, why do people still smoke?
I was getting my hair done at the salon I thought, who dyes their hair to match the rainbow?
I read a memoir and I wondered how people can be so self-righteous?
I watched my peers and I thought how can someone be rude?
I saw something done by a relative that I thought was totally weird, I asked why?

Maybe you have too. I became acutely aware of just how much we subconsciously judge or measure others in our minds, DAILY. We don’t have to say a word; our eye rolls, thoughts, gestures and mannerisms say it all. Of course we all have opinions and thoughts, but we don’t need to spend more precious time thinking about or verbalizing them. The more time we give a thought, the longer we entertain it, the longer it takes up valuable real estate in our minds.

I wonder if half the time we can’t sleep at night, are unhappy, or just plain miserable sometimes, is because we devote all our energy toward nit-picking at others when we really should focus on our own lives. Sometimes those who tend to have a perfectionist attitude like myself, we are also classic nit-pickers. And that same talent that can be helpful when fixing a problem, can also become a judgmental tone that takes control and can ruin relationships and make us come across as crass and uncaring — even though we may not be at all. I think many times poking at another person’s flaw or difference, somehow makes us feel better. Maybe it’s because we are secretly insecure with ourselves, but pointing out something in another that we don’t struggle with, it brings us a sick sense of comfort, like I have my crap together in my life.

So maybe tomorrow in traffic, we ignore the smoking habits… ignore the rainbow hair, the books we didn’t relate to, the rudeness, and the weirdness. Maybe we focus on the sun shining in traffic, the hairdo we just got, the books we love, and all the kindhearted people there are in the world. Just maybe, that would be a better use of our time. I know I’m going to try.

Impact, Mom Life, Personal Development, Self Help

The Little Changes Add Up

I think as moms, wives, women, people, we assume that if we can’t “eat the whole elephant” or accomplish the big goal all at once, then we have somehow failed. It’s not true. The true wins are in the everyday, the ordinary, the habits we form daily. I don’t think we are supposed to have “made it” quite so quickly. It’s the little tweaks, the small improvements and corrections that really make the biggest differences.

I may not have time to run five miles a day but I can walk before work.
I may not have time to spend with my baby all day but I can spend two hours of focused moments after work.
I may not have time to travel where I’d like to right now but I can go on a trail I’ve never been to.
I may not have time to do lunch with my relatives but I can give them a call to check in.
I may not have time to get my masters but I can read every night.
I may not be able to give millions to disaster relief but I can give something.

It’s so not about my limitations, it’s about doing what I can do, enjoying what I do have, and being who I can be.