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 This, of course, is superseded by the necessity of keeping your child safe, so if they are in danger, continue on.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.

Sensational Saturday: When happy memories are attached to places

My husband and I have many memories attached to the little moments of travel and trips. Things we don’t try to relive, but revisit to create more happy memories.

For instance, when we got married in Vegas we ordered a cake from a local bakery there. Whenever we are able to go back for our anniversary we go to this bakery.

Likewise, when we travel to Vegas we also try to get back out to Red Rock because the beauty in the desert and nature brings us peace no matter what stage of life we are in.

Today we are in Oregon visiting family. Our nephew turned three! While we are here, we plan to visit In-N-Out (new to this area last year). This destination, or restaurant, is something we visit whenever in Nevada or California. Now we get to add the Oregon location to our roster.

It isn’t necessarily the food, as we tend to avoid the heavy, fast food, options when we can. Rather, it’s about all the memories. And my husband looks forward to adding an Oregon In-N-Out t-shirt to his collection.

But…Perhaps this time we will have another memory/feeling attached to this visit. The wait line for the drive thru is likely going to be over an hour.

Whether we choose to wait, or give up and agree to try again during our next visit, this will be a piece of the memory file attached to In-N-Out, and added to our Sensation Saturday events.

What are you doing this Sensational Saturday? Whatever it is, make it sensational!

Family Friday: Recommitting to Wednesday’s Goals

How is everyone doing with the parenting goals they set on Wednesday? For me, I can say it has been a bit of a challenge, but every time I raise my voice I remind myself to start again. Right then and there. Because I can do better!

Yesterday, on what is typically Self-Care Thursday, the kids and I drove about 240 miles to see my family. My husband could not take the time off work, so is traveling now, after a full shift, to join us late tonight. So, for this, it has been an extra challenge.

A reminder I have been giving myself though, is this is fun for them. It doesn’t matter that traveling is difficult with three young children, especially during COVID. It doesn’t matter that finding entertainment and keeping them happy is not so simple when we are away from our normal amenities at home. It does not matter if I miss my husband and wish he was here to help with all that comes with travel. For them, what matters is that they are on an adventure and finding new ways to enjoy themselves, as well as creating new memories with family.

That is what matters.

And if I yell at J for opening the door fifty times, he will remember the frustration instead of the adventure. Yes, I admit, I have shouted at him several times, because all the kids cry when there are flying bugs…

And if I get frustrated at A for for wanting to sing herself to sleep because she is keeping the others awake, I might be squashing her dreams of becoming a singer…

And if I get frustrated at B for putting dirt in his mouth, then I’ll be getting wrapped up in the wrong attitude. Because, the dirt will likely not hurt him…

Change, real change, can take a month. Sometimes longer. And, honestly, we can always work on improving more and more.

So, my friends, I am still working at this. I am not perfect. And thank goodness, because then I’d have no way to relate or understand others. And, boy, would this life be boring.

Are you still working on your goals? How can I help you to obtain yours?

Work it Wednesday: Controlling the snap response

This Work it Wednesday is all about parenting. Kids benefit, and parents benefit. Really, a win-win situation, if done right.

I’ll be honest, it’s a great day if I can count on two hand how many times I raise my voice or snap at my kids. And it’s a really great day if I can count the number of occurrences on only one hand. But, honesty again, I haven’t had one of those days in a while.

I have all the excuses. All the reasons why I react the way I do. Simply put, parenting is tough. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have, or how much you have going on in life outside the kids. It is tough no matter what.

But, on this Work it Wednesday I am making a conscious choice to do better. And I will work on it every day until it becomes a habit. Communication is so very important, and how we talk to our children is everything to them. They deserve the same respect we expect, which means no yelling from either party.

I need to stay motivated and reminded of my commitment. This is important, and not just for today. I recently developed affirmation cards for parents, available here on my blog site, and they arrived yesterday! I am going to sort through a stack and hang up the most relevant on my bathroom mirror as reminders, and as a guide for my internal dialogue. It is amazing what a simple “I” statement can do to drive positive changes. And I am excited to set this in motion.

So who’s with me this Work it Wednesday? Do you need to stop raising your voice as well? Or do you have another parenting action you would like to tweak? I’m here with you! We can do this together.

Mombie Hack Monday: The hack for bug bites

How many of you are struggling with itchy, annoying, bug bites this time of year? We all want to be outside and enjoy summer evenings, but for many we are inundated with mosquitoes buzzing about and trying to bite us and our family. If you choose to stay outside and enjoy the evening, the next morning you and your family may be scratching those annoying bites you couldn’t prevent.

Yes, I do realize there are products out there you can spray on you to try to prevent the bites in the first place. And citronella candles can definitely help if you are near by. Personally, I don’t prefer the chemical sprays, and we move around too much for citronella candles to be effective. And, in the end, we may end up bitten by bugs even when we use all the products for prevention.

The problem is, once we have bites, they can be itchy, and so, we scratch. Even as adults we scratch when we know better. Young children really don’t know not to scratch. And the more we scratch those itchy bites, the higher the risk of breaking our skin and ending up with infections.

So what do we do to stop the itch?

A Mombie Hack I learned from my mother, which is simple yet always works, is to use Tea Tree Oil. Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil. You can pick it up at the grocery store, or you can pick it up wherever you get your essential oils. The bottle may seem expensive, but for around twenty-bucks, it’ll last you quite a while, likely at least a year, if not two or more.

Get a little bit of the Tea Tree Oil onto a Q-Tip, and rub it over the bites. Simple, and done! Your itching will stop. Usually applying in the morning then again at night works, but if you start feeling itchy again before that, you can apply more. There is no harm in using Tea Tree multiple times a day. The only downside, you may not enjoy the smell, though the scent will dissipate shortly after application.

So…this Mombie Hack Monday, please go get some Tea Tree Oil. This trick will come in so handy and will help everyone in your family to heal from the dreaded bug bite.

Also, if you dab a little on those unwanted zits before bed, they will shrink up overnight. But in this case, use sparingly because it will dry up your skin.

Work It Wednesday: Powering through the week

Have you ever felt like you needed to power through the week to get to the weekend?

This can be a common feeling, especially if there are plans we look forward to on the weekend. When this occurs, we tend to start off our week strong. And Wednesday can be our momentum we need to keep it going.

This weekend our family will be headed out of town to see some family. Social distancing in place, we will be camping and enjoying company outdoors. Due to our time needed for travel and accounting for traffic, my husband will be taking Friday off work and we will start our weekend Friday morning. With this, we need even more momentum to complete all the things needed to get done in our week.

I encourage you to remember that Wednesday is a great day! It symbolizes the half-way point through the traditional week, and should serve as an accelerator to get all your tasks done so you can enjoy the weekend.

So tell me, what are you powering through today so you can enjoy your family more on the weekend?

Daddy Takeover Tuesday: Take care of your body, take care of yourself

This week my husband and I have been focused on nutrition more so than normal, and appropriately since we are on day seven of our 30 day cleanse. So it’s appropriate that my husband asked for today’s topic to be on nutrition as a piece of self-care.

It might be even more fitting today for me. I have been fighting more pain, fatigue, and weakness since starting this cleanse a week ago. And, with all I’ve learned in my nutrition and wellness journey, I know I need to listen to my body. So, I reached out to my friend and nutritionist who agrees it is time to back off for now. To address the things that have come up, and to try to correct imbalances that may be present.

But, for my husband, things are going well. And, as with all things, support is key. So I will support him in his continued cleansing journey, and he will support me as I revise my plans and intentions.

And more so, it’s important to show our children how to care for ourselves, even if that means it doesn’t align the same as everyone else’s paths. We all have different journeys, it’s how we support one another that matters.