When do we know it’s right to make a change?

When our youngest child was born I struggled to return to work. Having our third and final child brought me to a place of wanting to be home with our children. I want to be able to help them learn and grow, and be the person to care for and inspire them in these younger stages of life.

However strong the desire to stay home, I needed to return to work. Our finances do not allow for one of us to stay home, though I’d even find satisfaction in having my husband home with our children. Truthfully, our wonderful nanny gives me piece of mind as well, when we are not able to be home with our children, but I still have the desire to be the one at home with them. Thankfully I have a career I chose, and I get to do what I love, but still, the desire is there.

Lately, so many things have been driven by COVID-19. And this feeling of mine has also been influenced by the pandemic.

Now, instead of teaching in a classroom, I teach online, from home. For all of you now working from home, I see you, I get it, and I am sorry. In so many ways working from home has been a blessing because I get to be with my children all the time, and I get to see them so much more. But, I also see my children all the time, and working is so much harder!

Additionally, our oldest is not at school, but in school while at home. We finished the last three months of school this way last year, and will be entering the new year this way as well. This shift is almost enough to prompt us to switch to a home-school platform, though I wouldn’t honestly know where to begin.

I do not aspire to only be a stay-at-home mom. This is a wonderful thing, and I value every parent who has the strength and devotion to take on this thankless job. But those that know me know I am not good at focusing on one thing and being present. I work on presence everyday, but this is a weakness of mine.

So my dream of being with my children is perhaps a bit more complex than it should be. I dream of writing. I dream of writing books, getting published, and creating works that people want to read. That they choose to read. And I dream of doing this in my own time, while working around the schedule my children have created for our household. You know, the schedule often driven by morning routines, eating many meals, needing educational moments, having story time, taking naps, and going to the potty.

My dreams of writing and being home with my children have been pulling at me more and more lately. This idea of writing, and publishing, has given me a platform for my dreams of staying at home with my children. But yet, it is still just a dream. I am nowhere near making this dream happen, and it hurts my heart.

But my children will still be at home, trying to learn, as I try to teach others. My job is important, and I make an impact on other futures. I remind myself of this everyday. And I worked hard for this career, this career I am proud of. Perhaps that makes this war inside me even more tumultuous.

So as parents, when do we decide to make a drastic change? When can we choose our career, or our children? How do we decide what the best move is for achieving our parenting goals? And are we even capable of recognizing what will have the most positive impact for our children?

I know I am not the only parent who has felt a shift in thought and desire since COVID-19 hit. And, if we think this will change, it likely won’t. Even if this pandemic ended tomorrow, which it will not, we have already grown. This pandemic has given us a new perspective on our lives and our parenting. We should be thankful for this shift, for this motivation to want to do things differently.

Yes, it sounds odd that such a disheartening and harmful thing can give us new light and motivation. But then, sometimes the best things come from the darkest moments in our lives.

The inspiration is there. Now, we just need to figure out what the right thing is. We just need to determine what each of our families need, and what each of us as individuals need. How can we be better in ourselves and in our parenting? Does that look like slowing down and changing careers? Or starting something new and showing our children perseverance and grit? What if it is figuring out a way to set everything else aside to put our children at the forefront?

Whatever this looks like for you, I hope you can determine if now is the time to make a change. Believe in your why, and believe in your family. After all, these are perhaps the most important things.

The Ever Evolving Experience of Parenting

Today my sister sent me a message. I well thought out, sincerely written, message. A concern she had over something our oldest son told his cousin (her daughter) this weekend. This message was difficult for me to read for two reasons, but neither of which were her immediate concerns in sending it.

My sister, like me, is learning how to navigate all the challenges of parenthood. It is not an easy journey. Not anything like we imagined. At times it is far more difficult than we imagined, but it is always far more rewarding than we anticipated. So, in an attempt not to hurt my feelings, my sister waited several days to talk to me about the situation my son created.

Her message to me simply explained my son had made a statement about how we, he, was better than her daughter because we, he, had a newer truck and newer camp trailer than she had. He not only hurt my niece’s feelings, but also repeated the same thing to my sister at a completely different time, likely hurting her feelings as well.

Receiving this message I instantly called my sister. She was concerned I would think she was attacking my parenting, which was not her intention. I immediately apologized (though still in shock), and let her know I would never see it that way. I encouraged her to tell me right away next time a situation arises where any of my children say something inappropriate and hurtful.

So why was this situation difficult for me?

First, I never want to come off as a parent who cannot receive feedback. And I never want to make anyone feel hesitant or uncomfortable in offering feedback. I know my children aren’t perfect. They are growing, developing humans that have faults, and will continue to have faults. And I know my husband and I are not perfect parents. After all, nobody is ever perfect, right?

I want my family and my friends to say something if my child is not kind. And I want them to say something to me if I am not kind. In our home, our most important thing is to be kind to everyone. We want to show kindness and love, because everyone is deserving and we are not better than anyone.

Second, I was presented with a new challenge in parenting. How would my husband and I get our point across that this behavior was not okay, and still manage our emotions when discussing this with our son?

I was partially relieved to find out my husband had already overheard our son making his statements to his aunt, and immediately set him in timeout and had a conversation with him. For our children, addressing the problem at the time it occurs, seems to be the best and most effective approach.

To be clear, we have a newer truck and a newer camp trailer, but we make payments every month, and therefor we are both working parents without an option to stay at home. Having nice things does not make us better, it simply ties us to our obligations even when we would prefer other options. My sister has always been savvy when it comes to money management, and has done a fantastic job at choosing a debt free lifestyle so they have more freedom. I envy her ability to make this happen, and I am proud of her for her well thought out decisions.

This afternoon I have had to make sure I do not get angry. Our son is only six, and has taken a strong interest in all transportation options, including cars, trains, planes, and camping trailers. He is aware of the differences in age, and somehow this has translated to value in his mind. I cannot be angry with him if I want him to understand he was not nice.

Talking with him I explained we are not better than anyone, emphasis on not better, and followed with how we are all the same and need to treat everyone equally. I was then straight forward and explained we have the cars we have because we make payments and that is why Mom and Dad have to work all the time. I finished with the important piece that he hurt his cousin’s feelings, and that is never okay.

I also have been managing my emotions in the sense of sadness. With our constant teaching of being kind, I feel sad we had a situation like this, intentional or not. Six-year-olds are learning so much, and it is inevitable that they will say something we perceive as unacceptable. And, likely, every time it will hurt, and tears will either fall or be fought back.

My message today: Parenting is tough! Things are always changing, and our children are always evolving. Evolve with them. Make sure you are kind and teach kindness. And be open to feedback from others, because it is hard for them to say something just like it is hard for you to hear it.

Perhaps it’s time we get pushed outside our comfort zones

The events in our country recently have created much unease across the nation. What happened to George Floyd was, without question, appalling, heartbreaking, and so blatantly cruel. The negativity toward our police officers is disheartening because the majority of them are truly here to serve and protect all of us. And the looting and destruction of property in cities across the country is terrifying and unsettling.

In our house we have found ourselves having uncomfortable conversations. My husband and I are white, and thus, have white children. Still, with similar backgrounds, my husband and I feel uncomfortable expressing our feelings to one another, even in the security of our own home. It is as if we shouldn’t have an opinion, or a voice, because of the color of skin we were born with. And we have no idea what to tell our children. This is disheartening. It disrupts our world.

But then I realized perhaps that is the point.

I remind my students all the time they must be uncomfortable to learn. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” I tell them. And in my career and goals in life I absolutely believe that’s true.

So why should I think this moment, right now, should be any different? Why am I so uncomfortable in the skin God gave me right now?

So, laying here before bed, I tell my husband, “Perhaps the point is to make us feel uncomfortable, because maybe that’s what it’ll take to really help us learn.” He agreed.

So what can we learn? We can learn to identify with the feeling of being singled out because of the color of our skin. This can help us learn that just because our skin identifies us as part of a demographic, doesn’t mean we are all the same, or are all what we are perceived to be by society. It can help us understand what it’s like to be judged by the color of our skin and not by who we are as a person.

My husband and I don’t judge based on skin tone, heritage, or background. We choose to get to know people and understand who each unique person is. But we do not know what it is like to be Black, or Asian, or Hispanic. This list doesn’t end here either. All we can identify with is being Caucasian, having English heritage and being born and raised in the United States. This is who we are, how we grew up, and all we know.

This week we only get a small glimpse into what it feels like to be judged by the color of our skin. Only a brief moment of feeling uncomfortable with how we look. For us, this will likely pass. But for many this is how they feel everyday of their lives. There are not just fleeting moments of discomfort. Not just temporary squirms and feeling of injustice. For many there’s no reprieve. No solace. Only anguish and pain, and a longing to be treated as equal, without the fear of being shot for simply wearing a hoodie on a cold night.

So perhaps it is time for us to be pushed out of our comfort zones. Maybe then we can learn. Maybe then we can try to understand.

My husband, also brought up a thought provoking observation. The news, while attempting to remain unbiased, was still not giving a voice to those peacefully protesting. Those on stage, that the news anchors praised for influencing peaceful demonstrations, were still not being heard. Those of us in the comfort of our own homes do not know what these speakers are saying. We cannot learn from them. Their voices continue to be lost.

So without truly knowing what the message is, I can only assume. I am just guessing, grasping at straws in an attempt to understand and relate. But my new discomfort is stirring up thought provoking topics, all in an attempt to think of how we can be a part of the solution. How we can inspire change in our future generations.

It should not matter what color someone’s skin is. It is unacceptable for us to judge someone based on their profession. There is much more good in this world than bad. Many amazing individuals waiting to be seen for their uniqueness. And part of that unique identity comes from the differences in cultures and views of our world. It is time we step outside our comfort zones. It’s time we all work toward the common goal of equality and social justice. It is time we listen to one another, and give strength and voice to those who need to be heard. It’s time to make the world a better place.

In such an uncertain time, one thing I know for certain is the love from teachers

This week has been bitter sweet. We get this unexpected and blessed time to spend with our children due to COVID-19. No matter how stressful, overwhelming, and ever changing this time may be, we all have taken moments to cherish the amazing beings that are our children.

When J entered his first year of school this past fall, we felt unsure of what the school year held. He’s our first of three to go to school. Our school district was new to us, and though research said it was a good district, we didn’t know for sure. He was slotted to attend an elementary school that was older, and in some ways appeared warn down and weathered. Could this indicate a school that might not be great? And what about his age? He had just turned five years old only two months before the school year started, and we were unsure if it was the right choice to send him.

During our special introductory day just before classes were to start, J had a one-on-one appointment scheduled with his kinder teacher. As parents this was also our opportunity to meet the teacher and ask her any questions we had. She immediately set our nerves at ease. Her welcome was warm, and she formed an instant connection with J. We established a relationship with her at that moment too, where we agreed to stay in touch and discuss and work through challenges if they arose.

And oh boy did challenges arise! J is a loving kid, but also comes with many opinions. His will to do things, or not do them, can be strong. But we felt blessed because we were in the trenches with an amazing kinder teacher who loved our child and was dedicated to his success.

Then, something so unexpected happened. Schools shut down for what we believed would be six weeks. Then the rest of the year. Our hearts sank. This was never part of our plan when introducing our oldest to his educational career. This was a plot line from a movie, or the manifestations of a bad dream. Could one virus really shut down everything? Would it shut down the path to our son’s future?

But J’s devoted teacher never had any intention of letting her kindergarteners fall through the cracks. She got to work immediately creating plan, after plan, after revised plan. She set up meetings, then adjusted as the school district caught up and asked for more structure, then less structure, then more structure.

And let me tell you, she did this all while taking care of her two young children at home! It’s dedication to be a teacher to other people’s children, and a whole new dedication level to suddenly be your children’s teacher as well. But, she never let this interrupt her determination to make this sudden rift feel anything but seamless.

Today she shared her heart with the parents of her kindergarten class. A wonderful, tear jerking, passionate letter of how she would have changed things if she’d known her last day with the kids was actually the last day. How she would have given big hugs, taken extra time, and given even more love. This coming from a teacher who always gave her all, no matter what. No matter her overwhelming fear of exposure to a deadly virus. No matter her concerns over families, students and jobs.

The amazing thing…the thing we should be so very thankful, grateful for this Teacher’s Week, is that our teacher isn’t the only one with such a big heart. There are many, many teachers out there taking a giant leap, and trusting in what innovations they can make, so their students can thrive in this very different time. They are all working tirelessly, coming up with creative solutions, and making themselves available for all the different needs of individual students. These heroes are fighting for our students by encouraging learning at any and all levels, while more importantly making sure they are taken care of at a psychological and emotional level. Because they recognize this time is hard on our children too, and they often don’t know how to express it as adults do. And, as teachers, they continue their battles for inequity and food insecurity, and many even ramp up their fight for change because all they can think of are the many children and their families who have so little.

So today, I thank our wonderful Mrs. W. And I thank all the other teachers out there who are embracing this shift in our world, because they are devoted to our learners of the world. What you do is amazing, and special, challenging, and hard. Thank you!

P.S. – I’m also sending all the love to our hard working nurses. Happy Nurse’s Week! From one nurse to the rest, you are also amazing! I love all you do. There’s a reason Nurse’s Week and Teacher’s Week fall at the same time. Because you are all amazing!

Why do I feel so out of place in the surroundings I love?

Today I drove for the first time in a week or so. I drove baby B to his 12 month well-child check. As he was scheduled to receive vaccinations, this visit was still considered essential amidst the Coronavirus lockdown. I thought it would feel good to get out of the house, to see people outside of our home. But with the dynamics of our community shifted from comfort to fear, this simply wasn’t the case.

I found myself even wondering if it was acceptable to have my window down. The sun was out. The temperature was in the low sixties. It was an ideal day for a drive, windows down, wind blowing through my hair. But it did not feel wonderful. It felt like I was breaking an unspoken rule.

Walking into the doctor’s office felt unsanitary and uneasy. Not necessarily for me. I am comfortable in healthcare settings, regardless of who is sick and what they may have. It comes with the territory of being a nurse. But truthfully it felt uncomfortable to those who work there. The front desk staff were cordial, but not social like normal. I felt like all eyes were on me as i tried to fill out forms and make sure my son didn’t touch anything. The medical assistant told my one year not to touch her arm…

The only moments that felt normal were when our family doctor examined B and spoke to me. I really appreciated being around someone who didn’t make me feel like I was walking on egg shells. But this bubble burst when it was again time to leave and get back to our car.

I was acutely aware of all the businesses that were closed. I found myself amazed at the number of people going through the fast food drive thru, while also feeling concerned for the vulnerable window attendant. I relayed scenarios in which I would be pulled over to confirm I was out for essential purposes.

The worst part of the entire experience was feeling dirty. This wasn’t the first time I felt like this. Since the shift in society from Coronavirus took place I’ve felt this way in public. Like I’m not clean, because I may have come in contact with something. And honestly I’m not even concerned about myself, but instead what I could expose someone else with. What if I transfer the virus from one surface to another? What if I take it back home to my children? It’s funny, feeling unclean. Actually, it’s not funny at all. It’s uncomfortable and disheartening.

And the feeling of isolation in public, well that’s worse than feeling isolated at home. Nobody talks to each other. Eye contact isn’t acceptable anymore. There’s no socialization. I’m afraid to have a tickle in my throat from needing to simply take a sip of water. What if my allergies get the best of me in the wrong moment?

The sad thing is, I’m not the only person feeling this way. Many, many people do. We are driven by fear. If not our own fear, then the fear of others. We are so overly cautious and aware of our surroundings and what others say, think, and do.

During my drive home I found myself thinking of two important things. One, I wondered whether we could go back to society as it was before this virus. Would we smile at strangers and strike up a conversation of commonality? I do hope so, but it is unclear. Fear can really change people. And two, how very glad I am that our children are young and naive. That they aren’t going out in public and seeing this drastic shift. And that hopefully they will recover.

So, I leave this message simply with hope. The hope that our children only see the good in this. The hope that our society will connect again. The hope that our children will be the drive for this connection. And the hope that as parents, as adults, we can also see the good as our children do. After all, they need us to.

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!

Work it Wednesday: Believe in the journey – an homage to the barre

Tomorrow I complete an eight week program. A program that has transformed me in a way I didn’t think possible, especially in just two short months.

What program could have this much impact? Well, as silly as it may sound, a fitness program.

But this fitness program is far more than just exercise. This Barre Blend class was designed to inspire people to meditate, reflect, believe in themselves, and use this platform as a launching point to strengthen their entire lives, not just their physical beings.

In 8 weeks, no two days were the same. The program kept building and up leveling. And I got to watch the women on the video grow, just as I was growing.

And, amidst all of the personal self-development, there was physical change to be had as well. While my goal was not to lose weight, I did shed a few pounds. I also developed core strength, balance, and a belief in my body’s ability I had lost.

This fitness program was a blessing in disguise. But, it didn’t stop with the program. My lovely Beachbody coach introduced me to a Facebook group she runs with another like-minded coach. There were daily check ins and motivational posts. This place, this extra accountability, made all the difference in the world.

I am sad for the program to end tomorrow. Much like the feeling I get when coming to the end of a good book. But, it truly doesn’t stop here. I get to pick a new program, I’m thinking a yoga retreat option, then a return to another round of Barre Blend. Why? Because I have some more growing to do, some shaping and strengthening to achieve, and some more inner work to empower my external world.

This Work it Wednesday, I encourage you to find something that will allow consistency and development in your life. It doesn’t have to be a fitness program, though if it is, let me know. I can connect you with my wonderfully loving coach who believes in wellness and personal development in such a powerful way.

You’ve got this! Go get it!

Daddy Takeover Tuesday: Help out

After a Monday that started the week off rocky, it was no surprise that my husband suggested a Daddy Takeover Tuesday theme that focused on helping me (the wife) out.

In all honesty, my husband helps all the time. But he doesn’t think he’s as helpful as he actually is. So, instead of focusing on helping out, I’ve chosen to tweak the theme a bit to: helping out a little extra.

Monday was a difficult day for me. No particular reason. But some days we just have bad days, and yesterday was one of those for me. My husband, wanting to make me feel better, asked for all the input on how to help out so I could have a break, or take some time to myself. And I was very appreciative.

Sometimes all that is needed is just a little extra help that your partner needs in the difficult times. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to make an impact. Likely, that’s not what is desired anyway, as that will add extra strain and guilt on your partner who is already feeling guilty.

The little extra helping moments, such as watching the children for a half hour and giving them positivity is key. This is what I needed yesterday, and exactly what my husband did. The kids had a boost from a perspective other than mine (which was no doubt grumpy), and I needed a little time to recuperate and gain some positivity and stamina to work through the rest of the evening.

A little extra help is sometimes all your partner in crime needs. Supporting each other is the key to our success, and I encourage you all to see if you can help out a little extra as well today. Or, if you need the extra help, don’t be afraid to ask. Communicating our needs is where it all starts.

Mombie Hack Monday: Sometimes there isn’t a hack

Today I am struggling. I have no ideas for Mombie Hacks on this Monday because I feel captured by my Mombie status.

Truthfully, what I can say is, sometimes this happens. And it is okay. Sometimes we cannot pull ourselves out of the darkness that is the Mombie state. Sometimes we just need to be okay that we are not okay, and know that tomorrow will be better. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little grace. Sometimes even a lot of grace.

But what a challenge this can be, especially when we know there are others relying on us to be our best selves. Our littles rely on us for comfort, love, compassion, care, food, shelter, and everything else in between. We do not want to let them down. And our partners in crime, those people that support our children and us, well, we don’t want to let them down either.

But what if we have placed our expectations of ourselves so high that we cannot reach them? Today is a bad day for me. Today I am grumpy. Today I can’t seem to pull myself out of it, no matter how hard I try. I am so upset with myself for being grumpy. So upset I have been on the verge of tears all day.

So what if those who need us, don’t have the same exponentially high expectations?

Today our youngest son has a cold, with a low grade fever. So I’ve been trying to keep him comfortable, and cuddle him.

And today our other two children woke up on the wrong side of the bed (just like mama). There is a bunch of sass, fits, and attitude directed all at each other and at mama today. So I’ve given them grace, and tried to be rational and calm, despite my inner need to scream.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband, who has been working all day, swooped in to rescue us all. While Baby B and I hang out inside he’s outside with the other two, encouraging better attitudes and fun moments.

Not all days are easy. And certainly not all days can be fixed with a simple hack. It, of course, is important to try to be our best selves. But it is even more important to give ourselves grace when this simply won’t happen.

This grace is perhaps the hardest thing to accomplish as a mom, and even harder as a Mombie. But the grace will set us free. Maybe today I am a Mombie, with seemingly no relief. But today I am choosing to give myself grace, and perhaps, with that, I will relinquish my Mombie status after all.

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Nurture your relationships

I’ll admit it; I get so busy in life. So much so that sometimes I can seem antisocial.

It isn’t that I intend to, or that I don’t value the relationships I have. It is more so the obligations I have tugging at me. They can consume all of me until there’s nothing left.

Today, while I felt the pull of obligations, I chose to listen to the need to just be present and connect. Yes, I still worked on some pertinent things, but I put aside many. Why? Because sometimes business can wait, but the relationships that keep us strong cannot.

This Setup YOUR Success Sunday, I encourage you to remember your relationships. No matter how busy, stressed, and overwhelmed. Make sure to take a little time to spend with the people you care about. And not just today, but a little bit everyday. Because without those people, YOUR people, you could not be successful.

Also, take a moment to tell those important people in your life how much you care about them and appreciate them. They should hear you say it, because just knowing it inside is not enough.

And to all of those friends and family out there that put up with me, thank you! I appreciate you, and I love you.

Happy Sunday!

Family Friday: When to not lose your mind

By the end of the week, who else struggles to keep it together as a parent? I know that I struggle, especially since my world has shifted to being at home with the children all the time, work or not.

Today has been a particular challenge for me as our daughter is communicating only through whining and fits, and our oldest is choosing to shout at others and throw tantrums when needing to consider others. Even our youngest has chosen to squeal at his siblings every time they take a toy from him. I have been channeling my inner calm, but it feels as though it is ready to fail.

So at what point do we have to make a choice? Lose our minds, or continue on the path to betterment? Sometimes the choice doesn’t even seem to be our own, as our emotions take the wheel and steer us in whatever direction they feel is appropriate. Here is what I would like you to try today…

Every time you feel the anger or frustration boiling up, getting ready to take you over: Stop. Just stop whatever you are doing, and whatever action you think you need to take. This, of course, is superseded by the necessity of keeping your child safe, so if they are in danger, continue on. If all is safe: Stop.

Now, take a deep breath, and now a few more. While you are doing this think of the best way to approach the situation. Why is your child frustrating you? What could be driving their own emotions? Could your emotions even be feeding theirs? Now, address these things in your mind before addressing them out loud.

Sometimes we are reactive when we shouldn’t be. Perhaps our children are just being children. Maybe they are taking extra long to clean up their messes because children learn through play, and they are playing as they clean. Or maybe they are trying to learn how to work things out among themselves, even if that means crying and getting frustrated with one another. There are a million other maybes, those possible situations, so stop and think about yours.

Now, if the actions warrant your response, you can respond. But, now that you have stopped and taken some nice calming breaths, your response should be calm, without raising your voice, or getting overly frustrated. You should be able to deliver your message clearly and fairly.

I encourage you, on this Family Friday, to implement these steps. In the end, everyone benefits short and long term. You have got this!

Self-Care Thursday: Rest a litte

How are you taking care of yourself and listening to your body today?

Today I am resting. A dreaded summer cold has gotten ahold of me, and I feel miserable, as all colds make me feel.

Sometimes colds, feeling under the weather, and fatigue are good reminders to take a little break. To rest a little. And today I’m listening to that reminder.

My kiddos didn’t want to get out of their pajamas this morning, so I let them stay cozy, and we had a day of watching movies and playing inside. It was raining, so it worked out perfectly in my favor.

I even sat there and watched a movie with my kids. Normally I find myself doing other things, being productive. After all, do adults really need to watch kid movies? Turns out occasionally we do!

Self care can be so many things, and today for me it meant hanging out with my kids, relaxing and listening to my body. I didn’t even try to muster through a workout this morning.

Take care of yourself. You got this!

Work it Wednesday: Inspiration and Motivation

Have you ever used affirmations to enrich your daily life? What about motivational sayings or inspirational quotes?

Let’s be honest, sometimes we can all use an extra boost and inspiration, whether it be in our parenting lives or otherwise. If you’ve been following along with me, I am currently working on not raising my voice with my children. It has been a challenge lately, and it’s time I re-focus my energy and improve.

So it is perfect timing that I have finally created and printed new products to provide my readers! I now have Parenting Affirmation Cards and Parenting Inspiration Greeting Cards, available here on my blog under Products. I am so excited to share these with parents, and because it is Work It Wednesday, it is time to get past the fear and share!

Additionally, with taking this leap, I was able to encourage a wonderful friend of mine to do the same. She has been talking about creating her Sassfirmations – yes, Sassy Affirmations, for over a year now. And I’m so glad she’s finally taken the leap! She is a spunky mama, with so much inspiration and drive. If you like a little sass in your motivation, and don’t mind a little cussing, I highly recommend checking out the pack she has to offer as well.

So what are you doing to get inspired this Work it Wednesday? I invite you to get inspired through Affirmations. To try it out for a month. I know you won’t regret this positive change in your life.

Mombie Hack Monday: Be Grateful

I get to see my children every day. I take this for granted, and will find myself making casual statements of, “I would like a break.” A break. From my children and my regular, every day, Mom routines.

Please know, if you are in the same boat as I am, this is okay. It is absolutely okay to want or need breaks, and to take them. But today, I’d also like to offer the reminder to be grateful for the time we do get with our children and our families.

This is not meant to be a somber post, not necessarily. But today it is a bit sad for me, as my heart aches for a good friend. She proudly serves our country, and has been given the orders to deploy. Her preparations for this deployment were going smoothly, yet, I can only imagine how challenging, as she prepares to leave her husband and children. Her and her husband dropped the kids off with family this past weekend, and she intended to be able to visit before she deployed. But today the orders changed. She no longer gets to go back to see her children before heading overseas.

While it is not my story to share, I can say she will be away from her family far too long. My tears today are overflowing, and my difficult times with my children have been forgiven. Today I have been reminded to love my children and my time with them.

My dear friend is not the only one I know that has to be away from her children. There are many circumstances, some terribly heartbreaking.

We all have unique situations. Truly unique. And that is why I encourage parents to embrace their unique identities, because no two people, and no two situations, are the same.

So, this Mombie Hack Monday, I encourage you to be grateful, and appreciate your moments with your family. When we are grateful, we will feel less like Mombies and more like loving Mommies.