What A Stay-At-Home-Mom Wants You To Know

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When you hear the phrase stay-at-home-mom what words or images come to mind?

If asked this question ten years ago my response would have been – lazy, entitled, a mooch who sits around all day watching TV or going out to lunch with other lazy, entitled women. HA. Boy were my preconceived notions off the mark.

Now that I have lived it and know the WORK and time that goes into caring for little people and a home I have a new respect for those who choose to stay home. Here are a few things a stay-at-home-mom might want you to know…

Being Home With Kids All Day Is Hard Work

Yes it is work and if you care to argue that point I will fight you on it. I’m not about to go into a spiel about how staying home makes me a gourmet chef, a nurse, a nanny, a CEO, and all that tripe because I think that point is highly exaggerated and takes away from those that are professionals in those respects.

I do take care of my kids all day, tend to their basic needs, play with them, teach them, discipline them, we have shopping, park days, and play dates, doctors appointments, etc. It is exhausting. It is time consuming. To top it all off, despite the fact that it is hard work, there is no paycheck to show for it and no weekends off.

Staying Home With Kids Can Be Emotionally Draining

There is a physical load and there is a mental load that comes with caring for young children. Multiple times in the day I find myself mentally and emotionally exhausted from dealing with the needs and demands of my kids. I don’t have much time or space for myself unless I make it. I think it’s important for others to know how much giving us a hand or a little break can make a difference, which brings me to my next point…

Stay-At-Home-Moms Can Feel Incredibly Isolated

We are home all day with limited to no adult conversations and activities. It can be very lonely and overwhelming to shoulder the burden of child care day in and day out, especially in my case where my family lives 8 hours away from me. It can be hard to see others working and making money, advancing in their careers, and having time for themselves, while you may feel stuck right where you are. This is why I believe it is so important to find other stay-at-home-moms to share your time with. No one should feel alone.

We Could Always Use A Little Appreciation

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I often feel undervalued and underappreciated. I know I work hard. My husband knows it. We could all use some words of affirmation, flowers just because, maybe a surprise weekend away. We could use a break. Many breaks in fact. We could use a thank you. So much goes on behind the scenes while our significant others are at work and we could all use a little appreciation.

We Still Exist Outside Our Children

We often lose our identity in the years of caring for children. We still have hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. Our children won’t be little forever. Someday that woman you met years ago is going to make a come back. Most of us will go on to have careers. We will not be home forever. In the midst of caring for little ones we still have our own wants and desires. We still exist.

And lastly…

I Chose This And Would Choose It Again

I chose to stay home with my kids. My husband and I both felt it was the best choice for our family, and really the only choice. With no family to help with child care I am the sole caretaker of them and it makes zero sense for me to work only to put that money into child care.

I may complain time and time again, and yes this is the hardest job I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. It is truly an investment into the future of my children. I am grateful to be home with them, to hear them say their first words, take their first steps, and to teach them and watch them grow every day. I am grateful to my partner for also working hard and respecting my choice to be home with our kids.

The next time you meet someone new and they tell you they are a stay-at-home-mom, I hope your response will be one of respect, and not judgement. And if there is a stay-at-home-mom in your life, be sure to show her a little appreciation – it will make her day.

Edge Of A Precipice

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Do you ever find yourself on the edge of a precipice?

Stuck with the choice to remain grounded, or to take that leap of faith – knowing the choice has two outcomes, how do you decide?

Fear of failure wins out, or you can be brave and take that leap, with the chance you may succeed.

Perhaps it is because I am approaching the big ’30’, but I have been feeling rather ambitious as of late. I feel like I could take on the world. I’m seriously considering what I am passionate about, my goals, and how I can best achieve them.

Throughout my 20’s I had so many grandiose ideas bouncing around my head. So many, that I never settled on a single one.

Now as I approach 30 and have an amazing husband and three kids to show for it, I’m feeling a little more confident in where I want my life to go. I feel more sure of my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes. The one constant in the last 20+ years of my life is that I LOVE to write.

With that being said, I will continue to write, continue to research and consider my future plans, and hopefully soon, I will be comfortable enough to share what I am considering pursuing in greater detail.

As always, thanks for sharing in my journey.

Please share your own experiences with deciding what you wanted to do with your life. Did you go to college right after high school and decide on a major? Did you discover your passion later in life?

I Went To Galaxy’s Edge…

I experienced something exciting last night. As some of you know, my husband and I are big Disney fans and take our kids there almost every weekend. It’s our hangout. Our second home. Galaxy’s Edge just opened to those without reservations yesterday and Jason got us a reservation to Oga’s Cantina. As soon as he was off work we hopped in the car and drove to Anaheim.

It was AMAZING. It feels like you truly land on the planet of Batuu and as one of the cast members jokingly told us, “You are no longer in the land of the mouse”. Everything from the music and sound effects, to the scenery and the cast members interesting choice of dialect, creates the masterpiece that is Star Wars Land.

We have yet to check out the light saber and droid workshops yet (as those also require a reservation), but we did go to Oga’s Cantina. The cantina has limited seating, but we were comfortable enough with standing room. It’s a fun atmosphere with lively music and creative drinks. I ordered the Fuzzy Tauntaun and Jason ordered the Yub Nub. We were not big fans of the Batuu Bits, but it’s definitely an experience to try. My drink even came with a bonus; the foam made my mouth go numb.

After our drinks we went over to Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to eat. We explored the land more so I could see everything, we got a few family pictures, and then the kids found Rey walking around. They were both too shy or awe struck to say much (perhaps next time she can teach them more about becoming a resistance fighter).

Unfortunately, because we got there so late and were short on time, I did not ride the Millenium Falcon this time, but I definitely look forward to it in the future. It was a treat to see the land for the first time and to enjoy it at night. Surprisingly there were few crowds. The opening of Star Wars Land seems to have gone incredibly smoothly. I think it adds something extra to an already great Disney experience.

Life In Pictures

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Today my daughter had her ballet recital. We have been pumped up and prepared for this day. Rehearsal day went great, she let me do her hair and makeup no problem, and she didn’t complain once about her costume.

Recital day came and it was not exactly as I imagined. She wouldn’t go to sleep last night, even though I reminded her she had a big day coming, and it was after 2am before she finally fell asleep. Any parent knows, dealing with a sleep deprived kid is no fun.

Most of the morning honestly went fine. I helped her get ready and did her hair and makeup with minimal complaining. We made it to the recital location and tried to snap a few cute pictures before she was off to the dressing room. We watched her perform and afterward her dad surprised her with flowers.

Then the whining and complaining revved up. She was tired. She was hungry. She was coming down from the excitement of performing and it was time to go home. All the while I was trying to snap some memorable photos, even if she wasn’t necessarily in the mood.

If you are anything like me you take photos of anything and everything. That’s kind of the day and age we live in now isn’t it? The difference is when we take photos now, say compared to twenty years ago, it isn’t just for us, but for others. We post them on social media. We want a great picture to showcase what a great time we had. We want a great picture to showcase what interesting lives we lead. But these pictures are deceiving and only tell part of our story.

I think taking pictures is great. I think living in the moment is great. We need to have a balance. We need to realize, when we post pictures and admire pictures of our friends on Facebook or Instagram, that it is only a glimpse into their life. We see what others want us to see. Do not be fooled by the illusion that others are leading perfect lives. They’re not. You’re not. And that’s OK.

There is nothing wrong with trying to get a great picture. But remember, what’s truly important is to live in the moment, to experience joy with the ones you love. I’m not striving for perfection in this life, but I’m doing my best to be happy.

When you look at my photos I hope you know I don’t have a perfect life, perfect family, perfect marriage. I am human. I struggle. But I also want you to know that I am happy. My family is happy. And that’s a truth I want to capture in a photo.

What I Want My Daughter To Know

Right now you are only four, but I am already seeing glimpses of the adult you could become. I hope the strengths I see in you continue to grow and that you learn from your weaknesses so that someday you can make a difference in this world. If anyone can make a difference, I know it’s you my dear daughter.

You are brave. Even when you are afraid I see you willing to try. That willingness to go beyond your fear will take you far in life.

You have a mind of your own and you aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. At times this particular trait is incredibly frustrating. Your independent and stubborn nature is going to be an asset when you are older. You will move mountains and no one will stand in your way.

You are beautiful. I hear it from family and strangers alike how beautiful you are. Please do not let it go to your head. I truly believe and live by the wisdom that the way you treat others is more important than how you look. Let your outside be as beautiful as your inside.

I see you watching me. I know I am your most viewed example of what a woman should be. I want you to know I am not perfect, but I will always own up to my mistakes and correct them. I want you to know that I will do my best to show you what it means to love, be kind, be strong, and to do what is right.

I know that you are not me. You are your own person and I value you and accept you for who you are, now and always.

Stay brave, independent, beautiful, and always own up to your mistakes. Know that no matter how far you go in life your family will always be here, and that we will always love you.

Should I Have Three Kids?

My little circus

If you are part of the two kid crowd agonizing over if two is truly enough – then this post is for you.

I once asked this question myself. Most of my friends are two and done, so I was left with google. I read story after story all emphasizing the cold hard truth that having three kids turns you into a crazy person. I also read how rewarding and wonderful it is. It was quite the conundrum for me and my husband as we toed the line between two and three. Obviously the third kid won out and we now are masters of our own three ring circus.

It’s only appropriate we approach this subject with humor, so please have a third kid if you enjoy…

NOISE

Say goodbye to peace and quiet. Say goodbye to any semblance of normal volume in your house. It is always loud. There is always yelling, fighting, playing, screeching, sounds of little feet running, the fridge opening twenty times a day, the screen door opening and slamming shut twenty times a day. And nap time? Good luck getting your newborn baby to nap with what sounds like a rave happening in your living room…always at nap time.

MESS

I don’t mean a little spilled milk, although yes that does happen almost every day. Everything is ALWAYS a mess. There are always toys everywhere, blankets and pillows thrown around, food left on the table, shoes not properly put back, dishes and trash that need to be taken care of every day, and don’t get me started on the amount of LAUNDRY. There are items of clothing in every nook and cranny of this house that need to be folded and put away or washed. It’s literally insane. And yes most days I feel like a maid.

CARSEATS

Do you enjoy having a van full of carseats? Obviously if you have children they need to be secure in the car, but do you also enjoy having to buckle three children in and out every time you need to go somewhere? And once you get to your destination…

JUDGEMENT

This is where feeling like a three ring circus comes in. Any and everywhere you go people will stare. You will feel the silent judgement even if your children are behaving that day. When you have three kids people suddenly feel the need? the desire? the ok? to interject their opinion on how many kids should be coming out of your lady bits.

NO TIME FOR YOURSELF

It is very hard, no matter how many kids you have, but especially once you have three, to find time for yourself. This includes basic needs like showering and eating. Kids are huge suckers of time and energy. It’s also going to be hard to find intimate time with your significant other. Our kids seem to have built in sonar. And date night? What’s that?

SNACKS

Not for you. If only they were for you. If you have one kid, maybe even two, you already know about the curse that is snacks. That word alone sends a chill into my heart. If you enjoy being asked for a snack twenty times a day, well then just wait…it can be triple that if you have a third kid. Enjoy the first year of nursing or formula feeding, but know…that snacks are coming.

There you have it. There is much more I could add to this, but this is the bulk of what came to mind if you would like to have a third kid. I didn’t add money or college to the list because that would be downright mean.

What I should also mention…if you are thinking about having a third kid…is how amazing it is to see them together. I love to watch my older two play with their baby sister. The love they have for each other melts my heart on a daily basis. You should also have a third kid if you are ready to watch your heart expand and love another person with everything you have.

Yes everything is louder, messier, a little more complicated, but these things will pass. They will not remain little forever. So ultimately, my advice to you – if you are on the fence and think you will regret it if you don’t have a third – then it’s time to take that leap.

I don’t regret it one bit.

What I’ve Learned In 3 Months of Blogging

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It has been three months and one day officially since I began this blogging journey. In these last few months in the chaos of mothering three young kids, managing a household, and travelling, I have managed to write 25 blog posts.

Looking at that number I feel proud, but I also am inclined to listen to the nagging voice that tells me I can do better. 25 posts is less than a post a day in a month. In the beginning I was proud to be writing two to three posts in a week, but that number quickly tapered off to weeks without writing a single post as life got the better of me. But if I intend to fully capture the experience of blogging and take it seriously – my new standard is one post a day.

Here are a few things I have learned in these past few months:

Finding Time To Write Is Incredibly Hard

As I stated before I have three young children and they take up virtually ALL of my time. If writing is something I want then I am going to have to MAKE time for it. This means either getting up early before my kids do, writing while the baby naps, or in the car when we are travelling, or at night when they are asleep (even if I’m exhausted).

Blogs Are A Dime A Dozen

There is a blog for every subject and for every subject there are however many thousands of people writing on that ONE subject. How to stand out in a sea of eager writers? I’m still navigating the inner workings of blogging, networking, and discovering my voice. For now my goal is to keep writing and to try and be as authentic as I can be.

Blogging Is Like Passing Your Diary Around

By that I mean that blogging is incredibly personal. I have always prided myself on being an open and honest person and being willing to share with others, especially one on one. I don’t care much for superficial conversation and small talk. But when you share intimate details of your life, publicly for all the world to see, it takes the word vulnerable to a whole new meaning.

And lastly I have learned…

I Am Still In Love With Writing

I always have been and always will be. I have been writing since I was a child and it is the one thing in life that consistently brings me satisfaction. How I went years without writing, well, to put it bluntly, so much changes when you have kids. I am grateful I took the leap and started writing again. Words are like medicine and taking the time to sit and do something for me is healing.

For anyone that would like to share (as I am interested in building or becoming part of the blogging community), how long have you been blogging? What do you love writing about? What have you learned in the time you have been blogging?