On The Days When You Just Can’t “Parent” Anymore…

We parents have all had those days when we just don’t want to “parent” anymore.

We may not want to admit it, but even my parents confessed when I approached them about this subject that they, too, had moments where they were just frustrated with parenting during the day.

So let’s preface all of this by saying you are NOT alone!

You aren’t the only parent whose child melts down when you give them the fuschia marker instead of the hot pink one.

There are other parents whose kids will throw a fit because their milk is not in their favorite sippy cup, as well.

You are not the first person to have your children wake up 1,237,463 times a night. Or to wake up for the day before 5AM. Or to not nap. Or to just flat out struggle with sleep.

I have had many moments when I come to Brad struggling after a long day and wondering how I can do the same thing the next day. He often brings me back down to reality and reminds me that many people have done this parenting thing before.

Now that we’ve established there is strength in numbers when it comes to parenting, what do you do on those days when you just CAN’T “parent” anymore?!

I’d love to give you some hypothetical answers, but I’ll start with what I did today.

Today was rough. I set a 4:47AM alarm to get up, workout, read my devotions, shower, and have 2 hours without the girls.  They both ruined those plans and it got my day off to a bad start! Throughout the day, I resorted to the following to help me get through:

  • Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.  I dumped approximately 76 veggie straws onto their picnic table to share. (38 is a serving size, so one serving per each – reasonable, right?)
  • Technology. We have several learning toys that make noise and as annoying as they can get sometimes, they are WORTH IT! Mini kid cell phones, fake TV remotes, pretty pink shiny toddler laptops – you name it and it will keep them entertained for a little bit.
  • Adult technology. Yup, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I usually reserve this as a special treat around dinner time if I need a few minutes without a toddler crawling on me so I can prepare food but today it was used for HOURS straight.  I’m not super proud, but I kept my sanity.
  • A few minutes away. I don’t always have this luxury, but today Brad was working from home and gave me a little break so I could breathe.
  • Prayer. It makes me sad that this was so far down on the list but in the moment, I didn’t even think about it. My morning was messed up from the start and I didn’t have a solid foundation and time in the Word.  Can I tell you how quickly God can calm me down and bring me back to reality? He helps comfort me and remind me that I set the tone for the little minions – NOT the other way around.
  • No technology. Wait, what?! I know I just mentioned how technology had saved me. But it also helped to just sit down for 30 minutes on the couch as I read a book to Ainsley on one knee while simultaneously flipping through another with Emerson on my other knee.  Putting away the technology and distractions and just reading is something we make sure to do multiple times a day and it helps calm everyone down.
  • Date night. Thanks to said girls waking up at an awfully early hour, they were in bed soon after 6PM.  We got fancy and whipped up some filet mignon for dinner and had a fancy dinner – candles, music, wine and all – after they went to sleep.  We were able to talk about the crazy and game plan for the rest of the week so the days don’t take such a negative tone as they did today.

It’s not always easy.

It’s never perfect.

It’s humbling.

It’s crazy.

It’s imperfect.

Yet it’s beautiful.

It’s rewarding.

It’s a love deeper than I knew I could have.

Parenting sure it a wild ride – but you are NOT alone!

What do you do to bring yourself back to reality on the days when you just don’t want to parent anymore?

 

Things I Never Knew Until I Had A Three Year Old

During the first year or two in my tenure as a stay at home mama, I felt as though I was done learning anything of SIGNIFICANT value, as my life was being ruled by mini dictators who said “Eh! Eh! Eh!” and pointed to tell me what they needed.

These little boss babies OWNED me and my day to day tasks revolved around whatever they needed at that moment (and waiting longer than that moment would always result in screams and tears).

Then those babies started growing up and I have a three year old and a one year old.

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And now I’ve realized that I can learn many valuable things as a stay at home mama, such as:

  • The number of fire hydrants that are on our two-mile loop we take in the neighborhood each day (spoiler alert – 17)
  • Stickers have the same adhesive as bandaids and can cure anything
  • Sass and disobedience are NATURAL behaviors – they don’t even have to learn them
  • Toddlers don’t stop talking. Ever. “Do you want milk? It’s SOOO good. It’s delicious. Who wants milk? Mommy? Emerson? Ainsley? I do! Okay I’m gonna go get it bye byeeeeee.”
  • Advent calendars are just a game – see how quickly you can open the 24 squares.  There is no need just do one a day! Be a WINNER and get them all within 10 minutes!

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  • That you are incapable of walking at ALL if you have any type of injury on the upper half of your body (including a bump on your head, a shot on your arm, or a belly ache)
  • There is no filter.  There is a library being built by our house and we passed by and she said, “Oh no mommy! Some men are working on my library, but that man is not! He’s just sitting down and looking at his phone!” #nevermissabeat
  • Sensitivity.  Did something rip? Waterworks.  Blue fork instead of green fork? Tears streaming down their face.  PB&J cut in triangles and not squares? #worldwar3
  • Every move you make is watched – and even on the hardest, most difficult days, when they say something like “When I grow up, I want to be a mommy. And can I have a baby in my belly when I’m a mommy?” – it just melts your heart to see the innocence they have and the love they share for you and all you do for them.

 

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I know I’m not the only one with a sweet, wild, sassy, button-pushing #threenager.  So go ahead, share with me what you have learned now that you have a three year old!

And if you have younger ones, just remember – what goes around comes around – and soon enough, you’ll have another threenager in training! And yes, that’s an old wet diaper in her hand that she decided to open back up. (Thanks to my sweet friend and client Darla for these precious shirts with your Louisiana flair!!!)

threenager in training

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Women look in the mirror 8 times a day, according to a study by UK-based company Simple Skincare.

About 75 percent of the women who participated told Simple Skincare that they “hate” looking in the mirror, while 39 percent reported that it negatively impacted their self-confidence.

Can you relate?

How many times a day do you look in the mirror and see something different in the reflection?

As women, we nitpick EVERY SINGLE detail of our reflection, and it appears that we are NEVER good enough. What if you could change that? What if this year, you could focus on leading a healthy lifestyle from the INSIDE out?

Confidence doesn’t have to mean cockiness.  Confidence can mean knowing God created you ON purpose FOR a purpose. Confidence can be picking out clothes in the morning and being content in how they fit. Confidence to you could be feeling comfortable enough to leave the house in the morning without make-up.

If you aren’t feeling confident, please reach out to me. I’d love to help you achieve the confidence you deserve this year. Reach out to me to make a change this year.

If you’re looking for more truth, check out this song from King and Country:

 

Mirror mirror, mirror on the wall
Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws
That isn’t who you are
That isn’t who you are

It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see, I know you would believe
That isn’t who you are
There’s more to who you are

So when it’s late, you’re wide awake
To much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave, can be safe

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it’s beautiful
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

No matter what you’ve heard, this is what your worth
More than all the money or the diamonds and pearls
Oh this is who you are
Yea this is who you are

In 2017, I commit to…

It seems fitting on the first day of the year to officially share that I have started writing a blog. Throughout 2016, I have been encouraged to do it and decided what better time to start than the day when everyone starts making resolutions for the new year?!

I have to admit – I have a problem with resolutions, though. I usually make SEVERAL of them and then by the end of January, I’ve forgotten what half of them were, and I’ve failed to keep up entirely with the other half.

Sound familiar?

So this year I’m trying something new.

No longer will I make a crazy long list of New Year’s Resolutions.

In 2017, I commit to…

  1. Refocusing my priorities
  2. Being present

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While I only listed 2 commitments, I know those both are BIG undertakings, and they each include several subheadings.

I was reading Me and You, Forever by Francis Chan, and he mentioned a difference between how Christians view their relationships with God and how we actually live them. We SAY that God is the most important thing in our lives followed by family, and then friends, then work, etc, but that isn’t how it should be.

And sadly, He hasn’t even been my top priority, anyway.

I have been spending too much time worrying about ME, my family, Brad, my business, and so many other things, that I’ve become blind to my number one priority.

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Ouch! Talk about a reality check.

So for my first commitment, I’m committing to actually putting God first – not just saying it.  It doesn’t mean everything else will fall into place perfectly, I’m not naive, but I imagine the peace I will experience this year knowing HE is in control will be worth it.

Then there is that second commitment of being present. With social media and smart phones, we are so attached to our screens and I know I am guilty of it. The girls used to both take naps and I would spend that time working on my business but now I don’t get a second of free time during the day. That means I keep sneaking glances during the day to not fall behind and glances turn into way more time than I care to admit.

How will I be more present?

I’m planning to turn off all notifications on my phone and allow myself just two times during the day to check things. It won’t be the end of the world if I can’t get back to someone or double tap on someone’s Instagram post the second they post it. My girls deserve more of me!

I’m also asking Brad (and you!) to help keep me accountable to this. It’s a really bad habit I’ve gotten into and I need all the help I can get.

I’ll be starting a 3 Week Digital Detox program from She Works His Way that I know will be helpful as well, as the organization is grounded in Biblical truth and it will help me recognize how to fulfill the purpose God has for me without being a phone addict.

I know it seems ironic – starting a blog when I’m trying to be MORE present. Thankfully, the lack of naps means early bedtimes so I will get time with Brad AND office hours at night. Win win, if you ask me!

There you have it – those are my two commitments for this year.

I’d love to hear from you – do you make resolutions? If so, how will you be improving your life this year?

#MomGuilt

Tension has been high in our household lately with a raging threenager and a curious and adventurous 14 month old.

If I’m going to perfectly honest, I am not handling it well.

My voice has been raised too often, I’ve been quick to anger and fast to speak, and any sweet moments have quickly turned into grumpy ones.

I never had a strong desire to be a career woman and was grateful to become a stay at home mama when Ainsley was born.

But being a mama comes with SO much guilt.

If I get frustrated or annoyed when discipling, I feel guilty.

If I want just two minutes in the bathroom all by myself, I feel guilty.

If I have to give an extra option or two at a meal in order for my toddler to eat ANYTHING, I feel guilty.

If I pop on a YouTube dance video so I can have a few minutes to cook without kids climbing up my legs, I feel guilty.

I guarantee we could preach these stories back and forth to each other for weeks to come.

Nothing seems to hurt so deep as mom guilt.


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But when I dwell in the mom guilt without doing anything about it, I start to crumble.

I recognized this yesterday when I participated in a holiday vendor event.

I felt guilty leaving for several hours.

I felt guilty I wasn’t going to be home early enough to start dinner for our family.

I felt guilty taking time to do something that was important to me, while leaving the girls with my husband (like he was incapable or something – sorry).

I got home and realized something felt wrong.

When my youngest was throwing food off her highchair, I didn’t lose my temper.

When my oldest sassed at me in the way only a three year old can, I didn’t raise my voice to tell her to “stop that right now”.

When putting them to bed, it wasn’t the 30 minute scream fest we’ve had the past week when trying to get said #threenager to put jammies on.

What changed in just a few hours away?

My attitude. My perspective. My guilt.

It’s ok to want to be a mom and to want (and need) a little time away.

So get a pedicure, grab dinner with a friend (or 10), start a book club or find something you are passionate about.

Now I’m not naive enough to think the tantrums are done forever and that my nerves won’t be rocked by my sweet little ladies even two minutes from now, but I know that it’s not just OKAY to want a reset every once in a while and to take a little break.

In order for mama guilt to not get the best of me, I NEED that little time apart.

So what are you going to do for yourself this week to take a moment just for you, guilt-free? #momguilt

*This was originally written on November 14th, 2015.

When You Finally Hit Your Goal Weight

I HIT MY GOAL WEIGHT!

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Anyone that’s ever made a decision to lose excess pounds has probably had a goal weight in mind.

And if we work hard enough and achieve it, it’s such a PROUD sense of accomplishment.

And then we FINALLY get to go back to what we ate before, right?

Hah!

Wrong.

I actually reached my “goal weight” several months ago but I realized that the glamour of seeing a certain 3 digit number wears off quickly.

Does seeing a certain number bring automatic happiness? Or give a perfect feeling of fulfillment?

I’d reached a breaking point multiple times in the past that made me want to lose weight. Three times in particular (that I remember).

So if I hit a goal weight twice, how did I get to that place of desperation and disappointment again?

I didn’t know how to maintain it. I thought once I hit my goal via my temporary diets and intense cardio sessions at the gym, I could let my new healthy habits slowly slip away as I returned to my old life.

Spoiler alert – THAT WON’T WORK!

So this time, I’ve maintained the same weight for about six months.

How, you might ask?

I’m replacing several grains a day with greens, yet still eating bread. I’m eliminating desserts after every single meal (yup, I would eat chocolate chips after breakfast), but indulging a few times a week with small treats.

I’m getting up at 5AM to spend a little time on ME and breaking a sweat while much of the world is still sleeping.

Special pills, restrictive diets and excessive cardio WON’T last and you may soon be back to your unhealthy habits again.  If you’re looking for something that WILL last, I’d love to chat with you about your goals and help you find a plan you can stick too.  Please fill out this form and I will be in touch: Boot Camp Application

*This was originally written on October 17th, 2015.

Pumpkin Pie Larabar Bites

We made some pumpkin pie Larabar bites when little sister was napping and they were so easy and tasty! Let me know if you try them!

Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup of pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more if you LOVE pumpkin)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until a sticky dough forms.
2. Roll into balls or press into a lined pan to make bars instead.
3. Refrigerate or freeze for an hour and then enjoy!

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Do You Hide Behind The Camera or Glow In Front Of It?

The left picture was taken a few days before Thanksgiving last year. I remember BEAMING with pride as that day coincided with a huge milestone for me – the completion of a big commitment I had made to bettering myself.

It was the final day of my first round of the 21 Day Fix.

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For three weeks, I followed the nutrition plan to a tee (which isn’t so bad when it includes cheese, wine and chocolate!) and I completed all the workouts.

I not only noticed changes in my weight and size, but my happiness had increased tenfold. I had more energy with a 2 year old and 3 month old than I had EVER experienced!

Fast forward to the right picture today and I’ve had several different workout routines over the past year- from strength training to boot camp style to cardio set to country music.

And no matter what the scale says or what size my clothes are, you can’t take that smile and joy away from my face.

The holidays are coming up and you’ll more than likely be taking family pictures. Instead of staying behind the lens, I’d love to help you gain confidence and be beaming with pride and joy in front of the lens in your family photos this year!

You don’t have to hide behind your kids, your siblings or your insecurities anymore. If you found you were hiding behind the camera this holiday season, it’d be my honor to help create a plan that works for you to help you gain confidence this year.  Please fill out this form and let me know how I can help you: Boot Camp Application.

Just Like a Circus

All the eyes on me in the center of the ring just like a circus!

Any other mamas feel like the ringleader that DOESN’T call the shots? I sure do.

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I was cleaning up E from lunch and told A to go potty before nap. She covered her hands in soap but couldn’t reach the water so she ran around the bathroom, touching everything with her soapy hands first.

I set E down to turn on the water for A, and turned around to find E opening the potty lid to make her own splash pad.

She then tried ripping her bow off and it snapped in her face while I was taking this picture.

Life can be kind of crazy when you live in the zoo with wild animals.

You never know how loudly the tiger will roar when her baby cub sister is trying to sleep.

The kangaroos may think the zookeeper’s belly is the best place to jump.

Your baby giraffe may think 30 minutes of sleep via 5 minute nap increments is enough each day, whereas you’d prefer them to sleep like a koala 22 hours a day.

And one day those birds will leave their nest to go off on their own and mama bird will want a few more minutes of the crazy. We may not call ALL the shots these days but I’m planning to soak up the crazy because that’s what I’m living in right now!🙈🐲🐯

*This was originally written on September 30th, 2015.

On Slowing Down…

I am often guilty of trying to rush the bedtime and nap time routine. I love my girls, but I can’t wait for them to get some rest so I can work through my to-do list, go potty alone or drink a milkshake without having to share (Greedy? Yes. I’m only human).

But these moments are so sweet lately, and I’m trying not to be in such a hurry. I had to grab my phone and capture it today. We have what seems like a 48-step process for our type A big sister to get to bed and one of the final things after a few other books is a Bible story.

She pulls out a blanket and we all gather around to hear her recite a story and sometimes she will let us read a new one. It’s one of the rare moments of quiet as we just flip pages and listen to the word. Calm and stillness don’t happen often, but it’s like our girls have already figured out the attitude we should have when we spend time in the Lord’s presence.

So maybe, just maybe, naptime and bedtime can be pushed back a little so I don’t rush though these moments. Or maybe we can secretly start earlier and still get them to bed “on time”. 😉😆

 

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*This was originally written on September 20th, 2015.  Before we lost naptimes.  RIP.