This is the Life We Live

A thought to contemplate today, and perhaps tomorrow as well. We live our lives everyday, either happy or mad, at ease or stressed, hoping and dreaming. We admire others lives, and have hopes for change in our own.

Whatever it may be, we have the life we live. But how we view it is up to us.

We could be frustrated with how things have been going lately. And truthfully I would be a hypocrite if I told you that was wrong. Frustration is part of life. It’s part of living in the uncomfortable that comes with change and growth. But too much frustration, and living in the negativity that it can create, is unhealthy.

We need to find a way to turn those frowns of ours upside down. We need to get back to the power of positivity. We need to start saying “this is the life we live” with an uplifting tone in our voices.

We need to learn to appreciate the things life has given us no matter how unexpected or challenging they may be.

Yes, giving ourselves a lot of grace comes along with this. Allowing moments of sadness and tears is absolutely okay. Accepting the need for help is normal. Turning down invitations and reevaluating commitments may be essential.

But recognizing what good things come from the moments we weren’t expecting is necessary. So today, as I try to look at my computer to work, and have an 18 month old climbing onto the couch next to me and slapping my keyboard, I pause. I think, this life I live is full of opportunity and blessings. Yes, it is stressful, out of my control, and has me crying multiple times a day. But, it is amazing, and I am glad to be here, overwhelmed with all the blessings and challenges life is giving me.

And parents who are reading this today, how can you do the same? How can you re-frame your situation to look at the positive? Even if it is only for a moment…

I encourage you, love the life you live, and love yourself for doing the best you can.

P.S. – If you need extra reminders, I encourage you to check out my products page where you can find parenting affirmation cards. These are great reminders, opportunities, to choose positivity.

How will we ever learn to manage these new, more challenging than ever before, times?

I have always been one to take on many tasks. Always moving, always doing. The more the challenge, the more satisfying. Balancing, coordinating, and challenging myself has always been my way.

I think I have finally met my match though, in this “new normal” and in motherhood. The one challenge that has me trying to find ways to do less, because I can’t keep up. Balancing and coordinating cannot achieve what is necessary this time. Less would feel like so much more.

Each individual component is not necessarily overwhelming. I can care for our three young children while my husband is at work. I can work from home and complete my tasks. I can help our oldest son with his first-grade learning from home activities. I can keep up on my side hustles that demand my presence on social media. I can help our three-year old with her much needed potty-training tasks. I can keep up with chores and have a semblance of a managed home. But…I cannot do all these things, or even some of these things, with any real success.

And, as we all know, the opposite of success is failure. Something I do not manage well. Something many moms do not manage well. I feel like I am drowning almost all the time. Even if I have someone to help with the kids, I still can’t balance it all, because all three kids cannot be managed, with their different necessities, at the same time.

I’ve found myself crying more often. Much more often. More than I have ever cried before. Even more than the tears I shed during the holiday season, watching Hallmark movies that are predictable, but heartfelt and touching. What makes it more difficult is all the tears are sad tears. Frustrated tears. Defeated tears. No happy tears this time.

What’s more challenging, is it seems I am in this niche that is not all parents, or all moms, but rather a much smaller group. See, not all moms have three children. Not all families need both parents to work full time. Not all situations have a demanding job that requires availability and flexibility all day every day. Not all moms are trying to manage preschool aged children and school-aged children at the same time. And yet, not all children need a parent to be sitting with them, following along, and redirecting every moment of their learning experience.

Yet, I am not alone. I am so far from alone. And I do not need to feel alone. Because, you know what isn’t unique about my situation? What isn’t unique, is that it is unique.

You see, we all have quite different situations from one another. And, if we spend time dwelling on this, we will feel more alone than ever before. Instead, I do believe we should all focus on the aspects in which our unique perspectives can bring us together. I can support other moms who are trying to balance work and children. I can encourage others experiencing the pull of work while trying to help your child succeed while learning from home. I can recognize the exhaustion of crying, because it all feels too overwhelming to manage. And there are many other moms out there who can absolutely relate to these challenges, emotions, and blessings.

Blessings? Well yes! I have been forgetting lately my strong desire to be with my children more. Now I get to be. I have also been forgetting how incredibly empowering it is to need to be present with my son while he attempts to learn, rather than letting myself be pulled a thousand different directions.

You see, we can all relate to one another in some way. We are all struggling through this. Many of us likely feel like we are drowning every day, with so much uncertainty in whether we will make it through. And we are all getting to experience special moments that we wouldn’t be blessed with in any other situation than our own “new normal”.

Mama, you have got this! You will make it through. And if you need to cry (many, many times throughout the day) then so be it. It will make us stronger, better, and lead us to the mama and the person we truly are meant to be.

To the mama trying so hard to keep her home organized

To the mama who wants and organized home,

I see you. I get you. You are not alone.

You organize the toys. Sort bins by types of toy. You go through the puzzle boxes and make sure the pieces are in the correct box. You decorate the book shelves after sorting books by types and putting specialty items up high.

You separate crayons from markers and colored pencils. You put construction paper in one place, and coloring books in another. You designate special drawers for each type of art project, and make sure the paints are out of reach of little hands and curious inquirers.

You fold laundry and hang special things. Sorting dresses, shirts and skirts. Button up shirts are categorized by short and long sleeve, and not mixed with sweatshirts and t-shirts. Linens have a place within the closet that make sense and is user friendly.

Your kitchen cupboards are organized for ease and convenience. The drawers have designated purpose and keep things simple when cooking, baking and cleaning. In your pantry everything has a specific place to be stored.

But, your bedroom, where you are meant to have a sanctuary, is often a disaster. Bed made but laundry piling high. A catch all for things you remove from the reach of your children. Your shower unclean, because the rest of your world always calls your attention first.

And your carefully placed items throughout the house are quickly pulled out, and thrown elsewhere…

Toy bins dumped and mixed promptly after you finish sorting…

Your linens pulled down from the shelf then shoved unfolded on another…

Dresses are pulled off the hangers, leaving a pile on the floor and broken hangers in their midst…

Art supplies scattered and flung on the dining table, with tiny cut paper pieces all scattered under the chairs…

Trying to keep a clean and organized house is futile. Yet, you keep trying. You keep sorting. You keep attempting, hoping this time it will stick.

Mama, I see you, I get you, and you are not alone. You are doing great! You are trying, you care, and that’s what really matters. You’ve got this!

Work it Wednesday: Unplug

My readers, have you unplugged recently? Have you done something just for you so you can be a better you after you have? If not, I encourage you to.

Also, this is a preface into what to expect the next four days from me. My husband and I celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary on Friday, so we are headed back to where we said our vows. Vegas Baby!

We are completely child free. Wish us luck! Or better yet, my mom luck. Baby B hasn’t been away from us for a night since he was born, and now it’ll be three full nights. Much overdue, but with COVID it has been hard. And this time, instead of excitement, the other two had tears. I suppose we have grown closer since we’ve all been with each other non-stop.

But, time as just a couple has been much needed, and is going to be much appreciated.

Alas, if you do not see posts from me, or have anything new to read until next week, it is because I’m disconnecting and enjoying being in the present.

Thank you all!

Mombie Hack Monday: Out with the old, in with the decluttered space

Let’s face it, one of the things that really brings out the Mombie in us is the clutter and mess around our homes.

The added layer of stress our space can bring is exhausting. So why let it defeat us when we can fix it?

This Monday I was hit with the urge to get rid of stuff to free up the clutter and bring a sense of calm to our space. I resisted this urge because I knew other things were to get done. But, fate knew where I should be, and a lost car title sent me into an organize and toss frenzy.

So mamas, don’t ignore the urge that tells you to follow your basic instincts of good shelter. Embrace it. Declutter. Get rid of all the old and enjoy the less overwhelming home. You’ve got this!

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Do we prep for back-to-school?

This has been an ever-growing thought on my mind recently. Do we prep for back-to-school even if our kids aren’t going to the school? Do we still shop for school supplies and back-to-school clothing? Do we do anything to really prep for a return to school that is all virtual?

Truthfully, I don’t have the answer. Until Friday we didn’t even know what our daily schedules for our oldest would look like, because the school district, like so many others, have been struggling to come up with a plan.

Today I made a decision though. There will be back-to-school preparation. It might not look like any school prep we have ever done. It might not be what we expected. But we do need to do something to “rally the troops”, to get our kids excited for the start of the school year. Because, like it or not, we will be back in school in less than two weeks. And we need to get motivated and prepared.

So, in our house this will look like reorganizing our school and art supplies. Potentially getting a big colorful calendar created for our dining room wall, and even shopping for some fun new supplies to provoke excitement.

On this Setup YOUR Success Sunday I encourage those of you with school age children going back-to-school online, to figure out how you will ring in the new school year. Will you go shopping? Will you clean? Will you find different ways to get organized? Let’s do this! Because it’s coming whether we are prepared or not. So let’s get prepared!

Self-Care Thursday: Try not to panic

I am struggling with self-care this Thursday. I typically try to incorporate some sort of self-care into my Thursday routine so I am more successful at writing my blog posts.

Today I started the day off strong! I actually printed blank calendar pages so I could work on finally creating our Fall schedules for childcare and school. Since I teach, now primarily from home, and J will be in first grade, now at home, there’s more to add to our Fall schedule.

Like many other parents, I am sure, I have been avoiding creating the plan. I have been dreading the end of summer because going back to work and school feels much more overwhelming than a traditional year. But, I knew having a plan would bring me peace, which is truly what I needed for my self-care today.

I was quickly proven wrong. There are so many moving parts to creating our schedule, and I realized half of them are still missing. No school notifications with schedules. Half of the pieces I need from the college I teach for are not available. And developing even a skeleton schedule for our nanny soon became impossible.

Alas, this was not a very caring day for myself. It is only the evening, yet I am exhausted, defeated, head pounding, and anxious. At one point today I was reciting over and over, in my head, “Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” Then a friend and neighbor reminded me I am not alone. So many of us are in the same boat. This isn’t easy, not for anyone.

So, my call to action for you all, and for myself, is to plan, not panic. Maybe we can’t plan everything right now. Maybe we don’t have schedules yet. Absolutely this will be different. Absolutely it will be challenging. But, we also absolutely can handle this! I challenge you to put a focus on planning our self-care first. What self-care will you do each day or each week? How will you plan to take care of yourself? We are going to need it to get through this next season. Are you with me? Let’s plan!

Work it Wednesday: Choosing to grow together

This Work it Wednesday, I am choosing to focus on a growth mindset. I have big dreams, and I want so badly to achieve them. And likewise, I want to help others in achieving their goals. I want to help you!

If you are reading this on my blog, I’d love for you to comment. If you are following me on social, post your comments there. I want to know, what are you doing? How are you choosing to grow? And how can I and my readers help?

This Work it Wednesday I’m also asking for a bit of help in my growth. I would love for you, my reader, to subscribe to my blog. Even share my blog if you love what I write. I am working on growing my following and creating something that is so important to me.

Together we can achieve greatness! So let’s come together and support one another.

P.S. – If you don’t share, then I cannot offer support. So please, share your desires and goals for growth! And you never know who else might be reading and ready to support you too!

Falling off track for your good, and when to restart

I’ve fallen off track recently. If you follow me, you know I have a themed post every day. And some weeks I’ll miss a post, but I’ll get right back to it the next day. My daily micro-blog posts keep me going and inspired. And hopefully they keep my readers inspired as well.

But, I fell off track, starting Friday. I didn’t post Family Friday, and subsequently I didn’t write on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

It wasn’t that I lost interest or have given up. In fact, it was the opposite. Last week I struggled to find myself, in the business sense that is. I want so badly to be a successful writer, and create this Parenting Roller Coaster brand of mine. To build my following and inspire others the way I dream of. But this past week I was feeling defeated, as if this dream couldn’t happen.

So I paused for a long weekend. I paused not because I didn’t want this, but because I needed to reconnect with why I started this and continue everyday. What is that? My family of course. I spent more time with them, worked on projects for a comfortable living environment, played in the blow up pool, watched movies, and just plain played.

So what about you? Why do you do the things you do? Or why did you stop? Are you inspired to do something, or drawn to a goal but haven’t started yet? Or stopped because it was uncomfortable or felt impossible?

We can work through this together.

It is almost guaranteed that you will feel defeated and want to give up at different points in your journey. For runners there is a point right before the “runner’s high” where a runner feels like moving forward is impossible. It is only the runner that pushes past this point that will grow and improve, and experience the coveted “running high”. This is a great analogy to attach to any goal, big or small. We have to work through the hard parts to experience the successes we desire.

Pushing through these challenges, or rather, working through them, is important. And at this time one of the best things we can do is to reconnect with our WHY. Why are we here? Running this race?

If reconnecting with your why means taking a break, and being with that value that drove you here, then you absolutely should. But not too long of a break, because consistency in our actions can be a valuable asset to our successes. However, reconnecting can mean recharging and coming back even stronger.

This, of course, doesn’t have to be about parenting. This can be for parents working toward any goal. Even for non-parents, though I’m here writing this blog today primarily for the parenting crew.

The truth is, anything worth having and achieving takes discomfort and work. We just have to be ready to accept the hard parts. And we have to move in stride to make sure our actions still align with our goals and values.

So what are you going to reconnect with today? Why are you running on your current path? Does it still align with your goals?

You’ve got this! You can reach those goals!

Self-Care Thursday: Give the kids self-care

Today our two older kiddos were picked up by their Papa (grandpa) and headed off for a couple days of fun.

This is exactly what they had been begging for, for many days now. They wanted to get out of the house and see new faces. The faces of the people that spoil and love on them.

And, truthfully, this is what I needed too. After they left, and the youngest was down for a nap, I took some time to myself. Yes, I should have been writing. But instead I worked out, my last workout in an eight week program. Then I watched a TV show that only I watch. You know, a sitcom that has a chick flick theme written all over it? Yup! I’ve had this season of my girly show waiting for me for quite some time. And today I watched two episodes! I haven’t sat and watched my own show in about six months. So long!

So, this Self-Care Thursday, I encourage you to think of the self care your child or children might need. If you bless them with this self care, they will come out of it feeling happier and more willing to follow directions. And, this might just give you the self care you need (in one way or another). Remember the saying, “do unto others as you want done unto you”? This definitely fits here!

Happy Thursday!