Mommy Monday: Mikaila Gracia

Ok so here’s my story…

 

I  got pregnant at 16 and I was in love with my high school sweetheart and we decided we’re going to have a baby.  Then at 17 when I had my baby boy it is so hard being a single mom and going to school full time! So here I am today, I am 23 and my son is two.

 

Mommy Monday: Tiffany McLaughin

Mommas/ Soon-to-be Mommas,

My name is Tiffany McLaughlin, I am 27 years old and have been married 2 years to my wonderful husband. I’m here to let you know have no fear your NICU baby will grow, and will be strong enough to hold their own!

Our daughter Paige was born 7-7-16 after I was induced due to preeclampsia. She was born at 37 weeks, and it was a wonderful experience being induced. I had the epidural after being in active labor for 4 hours. I thought all was great and she was perfect. I was wrong, her blood sugars were low(common with preeclampsia) and she was jaundice.

 

Paige was rushed to the NICU and I was rushed in to emergency DNC as I had hemorrhage while Paige was being taken care of with the nurses. That’s another story in itself but it makes recovery from natural birth so much harder.

Paige weighed 5lbs 12oz, 19 in. when she was born and she was our little fighter. She was pricked a women up every hour for blood test, and feeds. I didn’t get to be with her the first 12 hours and I hated every moment. I cried, I called my mom, I was an emotional wreck. Little did I know the strength she was working up to be a strong hanging with the rest of them baby. 10 days is all it took for her to tell the nurses, “I’m ready to go home.”

Paige today is 19 months, taller than most kids her age, but skinny as can be. She is a talker, a lover, and not much of a “cuddler.” She has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 months old, eating since 6 months. I hope to keep this a short burst to tell you moms know, it will be ok. Every story has a rough spot. I’m here to tell you there is good that comes from the bad. Moms be strong, look for support from your family and SO. You can do this. If you have questions or would like to know more into our story please feel free to reach out to me. Iselt91@gmail.com 

Or request to follow me on Instagram: @minniemommatiff

Your fellow Mom,
Tiffany McLaughlin

Mommy Monday: Halley Foulds

Nearly four years ago I traded in my 8-5 job to be a Stay at Home Mom to my then one-year-old. Even though I loved my job and I loved working, the thought of staying home with my son was much more appealing. While I knew there would be a few challenges and hiccups during the transition, part of me also thought this would be a walk in the park. And it was……. Jurassic Park. (Just kidding!) Being at home definitely isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds though. You don’t just get to sit around all day cuddling the littles and watching soap operas (or trashy reality television in my case). Just like everything else, there are precious moments & hardships that come along with this job (see my post  ‘Surviving Two’ for a little more on that!). Here is a little glimpse into my life and some of what I have learned and experienced as a full-time Stay-at-Home-Boy-Mom.

I quickly learned that being a SAHM means that in addition to keeping your tiny human(s) alive and well, you will also be cleaning…pretty much all day long. When I started this job I had twice the house I have now. Naturally, I thought when we moved to a smaller house I would have less to clean (WIN!). Nope! That’s false. I still clean just as much and maybe even more because I have two tiny humans now and back then I only had one. If I’m not just doing general house cleaning (ie: vacuuming, sweeping, wiping of surfaces), I’m doing laundry, cleaning up toys (I’m ALWAYS cleaning up toys, pick one up and 4 more are tossed down!), cleaning up after a meal, cleaning up after the dogs, cleaning something I missed the last time I cleaned that area, cleaning fingerprints off of all the windows. ENDLESS CLEANING. It never stops. You would think with all that cleaning my house would be spotless all the time, too. Nope, more untruth. There are days that I vacuum the whole house and by the time I get from one end of the house to the other end, you can’t even tell I have vacuumed.  (I make cleaning fun by incorporating my kiddos. They are too young right now to realize that cleaning is a chore, it’s still fun to them, so why not let them help!)

Another thing I quickly learned, my days of getting dressed up and “ready” were mostly over. Kinda. I still straighten my hair most days and get blush and mascara on. However, if you find me in something other than a velour jumpsuit or yoga/workout pants, consider yourself lucky! In my opinion and as the ‘doer of all the laundry’, there is no need for me to get dressed in pants or jeans and a cute top and then later that evening when I go to workout, change into my workout gear. I’m not going to see anyone except for my husband and kids so I’ll just dirty up one outfit with snot and lunch particles and save the other for a day when I am out in public trying to blend in with the rest of the world. I call this life lesson, Embracing the Yoga Pants and I challenge other SAHM’s to this as well. You will thank me later!

Playing off the last lesson, I’m also guilty of doing this with my kids. Yeah, I said it. On the days that my oldest doesn’t have preschool and we don’t go outside of the house, I may or may not change my kids out of their pajamas! They don’t seem to mind and my thought is, “why dirty up another outfit and create more laundry?!”. Many of our days are pajama-casual days!

I learned that there would be plenty of days that NOTHING gets accomplished. Some days I had intentions of being so productive and the stars just weren’t aligned in my favor. I’m really hard on myself on these days because I have my own expectations of what I should get done and I’m a creature of habit, so when things don’t go as planned it makes my head spin and throws my whole day off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how crazy those days make me, they still happen.

In all the madness, I have learned how thankful I am for my friends. I am especially thankful for the friends I have that are in similar situations as me and know the struggle. You know the one(s). The one you can take the kids over to their house, pop open a bottle of wine and vent to in your yoga pants while the kids play in the other room. THAT friend! Friends are essential in getting through not only motherhood but life and I feel so blessed to have great ones.

I also learned that panic and anxiety doesn’t stop when you become a SAHM. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and I was sure when I left my 8-5 job I would be leaving that behind as well. Wrong again. I still have anxiety and panic attacks, maybe not the same way I did when I was working outside of the home, but it hasn’t gone away completely and why would it? I’m still working… I still have a job. I just went from servicing insurance policies to full-time housekeeping, chef, teacher, accountant and chauffeur to my much younger bosses. The lesson: every momma has breakdown moments and a SAHM is no exception.

The most important lesson I learned is that this time with my children is priceless. It’s not always going to be perfect. Crankiness, teething, diapers and meltdowns (seriously, Surviving Two <– Read it) will get in the way sometimes. But still, occasionally, everything goes according to plan and we have our perfect days. What seems hard now will be over in an instant so do your best to cherish every moment!

To follow Halley or get in touch with her:

Halley@Momatello.com

Mommy Monday: Bree Downs

Mommy Lesson #8 (Laughter)

 

 

Laughter is one of the many keys in Mommyhood that holds me and my kiddos together. Everyone pretty much knows I’m a pretty silly person, and I’m so glad my baby girl and baby boy inherited my sense of humor. No matter how bad of a day I’ve had I know my lil minions will say something or do something that will bring my whole day back to life! And the same goes with me for them I always want my kids to not only think of me as someone they can talk to but also someone that they have all these awesome, awkward funny memories and moments with.

From the store runs where my son announced in the frozen food section that I, quote “I JUST POOTED BOOOM!”

To my daughter telling me at the mall while shopping that “That shirt was not approved by Madison 😐” Lol

And so many more stories I could share about them and their always punctual comedic timing. I live to make them laugh!

You will find that there is nothing more funny or sweeter then the sound of your child’s/children’s laughter! It’s the greatest thing ever! I am a believer that laughter is one of the many keys to parenting that will keep you and your kids with a healthy and joyful heart.

Bree❤

Hello Mama!!

Well friends, it has been a while since I have posted! I apologize for being MIA for so long! It has been a crazy couple of months recently!

Christmas day, my husband and I found out that I am pregnant! It was a total surprise! We were not planning it, but are so happy to be expecting! If I’m honest, my husband has been ready for kids A LOT longer than I have! The thought of having my own kids has scared the shit out of me for a long time! I teach Human Development and am a counselor, I have seen the many, many things that can happen when a couple has kids too early, or for the wrong reasons, etc. PLUS I just realize how big of a life change the whole thing is and again, if I’m honest, I wasn’t ready to not be selfish!

 

Adulting is hard without kids! The thought of adding a baby to the mix terrified me, but I knew that I wanted to be a Mom eventually so, I didn’t rule them out completely! And really, is anyone ever REALLY ready for the big jump into adulthood?? (DON’T ANSWER THAT!)

So anyway I’m so incredibly happy to share my good news with you all now! I’m almost 13 weeks pregnant, so I’m still early in my pregnancy. I’m almost into the second trimester, which I’m so happy about! I have been nothing but TIRED the whole first trimester, but also happy to say, no morning sickness or any kind of sickness except for some pretty brutal headaches here and there.

My wonderful family and friends have been so supportive and helpful though throughout all of this so I am SO thankful to have them all in my life! I definitely couldn’t do it without them!

Which brings me to my next topic of conversation, the Hello Mama Box!
This awesome company sent me a free Hello Mama Box in exchange for my review about it! First of all, I LOVED IT!! The company’s motto is, “You can not pour from an empty vessel. We take care of Mama so she take care of everyone else!” Which I of course immediately loved, because I COMPLETELY agree, it is one of the things that I try and teach my clients, whether they are Mom’s or not!

A little more info about the company…

Hello Mama Box, was created as a labor of Love to allow Family & Friends to support “Mama Moments” that promote self- care through the use of organic & natural non-toxic products. We seek to transform society’s view of self- care for Mamas while creating a safe place to explore maternal wellness!
The box that I received was curated for me, since I am pregnant! It included: stickers for every 2 weeks of pregnancy starting with week 8 for documenting the progress of my growing belly, (I’ll post pics of that later!) Preggie Pops – for morning sickness, Bath Bombs (for 2nd trimester), Tummy Butter- which has to be my favorite thing in the box (it smells SO GOOD!), some nail polish and 2 quotes for encouragement/motivation, and finally an eye cover for beauty sleep!
I can’t wait to use the Bath Bombs SOON because they smell absolutely amazing! And like I said the Tummy Butter is my FAVORITE thing that came in the box, I’ve been using it daily to help avoid stretch marks (fingers crossed)!
I found out about Hello Mama Box from an online friend, Ashley Dunham from Bossfidence, who suggested I check them out and see what they were all about! So I did! I followed them on Instagram, and was loving everything that I saw, so I contacted them to see about it and now here we are! I’m hoping my Hubby will ok, a monthly subscription to the box in the very near future!! Because if not, I might cry! I love it!!
If you aren’t already following them on Instagram, GO DO IT NOW! And if you are a Momma or a Momma to be, they have options for both for monthly boxes to help you get your self care routine up to par! Because we all know that self care is INCREDIBLY important but it becomes even more important as a Mom because you now have other live humans depending on you! And you need to be at your best! And there is only ONE way to do that! TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAMN SELF!!
So make sure you go check them out!! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me! If I don’t know the answer, I can find it out for you!

Respond, Don’t React

“When you react to something someone says or does, you may have a problem with boundaries. If someone is able to cause havoc by doing or saying something, she is in control of you at that point and your boundaries are lost.

When you respond, you remain in control with options and choices. If you feel yourself reacting, step away and gain control of yourself so family members, can’t force you to do or say something you do not want to do or say, & something that violates your separateness.

When you have kept your boundaries, choose the best option. The difference between responding and reacting is choice. When you are reacting, they are in control. When you respond, you are in control.” – Boundaries, Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

So let’s take a minute to look at the difference between reacting and responding. Reactions are instant, they are driven by our beliefs, attitudes, biases, etc.

A response, however, usually comes more slowly. It’s based on information from both our conscious (aware) mind and our unconscious mind ( beliefs, attitudes, etc)

These two may look a lot alike, but they FEEL different. We all know the difference. The point is though, that the more reacting we do, the less empowered we are. When we do this, we are operating on unconscious beliefs and process that we aren’t even aware of, which, in all honesty has the potential to make us look really stupid if we aren’t careful.

“When I look back on my knee-jerk reactions now, I realize I should have just taken a breath.” -Fred Durst

On January 1st my new 40 Day Self Love Resolution Challenge will begin! If you need some help learning to love yourself, how to put “loving yourself” into action, and new tools and skills for increasing your self love, this is the course for you!

You’ll also get access to a “Private” Facebook Group with other women participating in the challenge for support and daily reminders, etc! If you are interested click here and send me a message!

Or learn more &/or sign up for the challenge here!

Sharing is Caring! If you LOVE this article SHARE IT!! 🙂

Look On the Bright Side

3 Simple Steps to Help You Look for & Appreciate the Positives

According to Rick Hansen’s Method – Taking in the Good, if we store more negative memories than positive memories, we start to see the world as depressing and/or threatening.

We as humans are mostly hardwired to remember the bad things and forget about all the good! Our brains tend to act like velcro for our negative memories and like “repellant” for positive memories. This is clearly not a good way to live life!

If you really think about it words, can have a “sticky” property to them, when someone calls us a name or makes fun of us or just makes us feel bad about ourselves, those things tend to stick with us more than the positive things that happen to us.

BUT! Not to fear! Hansen provides us with a way for us to make our positive feelings more “sticky” to us! Here are 3 ways to take in the good:

     1.) Actively look for the positive in every experience you have

2.) Hold those positive experiences in your conscious awareness             for as long as possible

3.) Savor the positive experiences- Remember the feelings you felt

If you’re not a part of my Smart Lioness Pride Facebook Group for women yet, what are you waiting on?! 🙂 You can watch a video on this topic that I did as well! If you are really trying to make some changes in your life, I have created a worksheet to help you to “see the good” in your experiences, or at least it will remind you that’s the goal, if nothing else! 🙂

Download the worksheet here:  Look on the Bright Side

How to Make Thanksgiving More Meaningful & Less Awkward

Mommy Monday: Megan Rix

Mommy Monday: Megan Rix

from the Blog, “This Anchored Life: Measured by Love & Spoons”

This blog post goes out to all the moms raising strong willed child. Anyone who has a sweet, kind toddler, who sits quietly in a restaurant coloring or plays alone while you get things done will probably not understand this at all and will most likely think I am a horrible mom. But, I’m willing to lend my sassy pants beauty over for a trip to the grocery store in case you’re curious. Or just go to my google search history and see how many times I’ve typed the words, “activities for a strong willed child” and maybe that will give you some insight.

It’s funny. We say “strong willed” because calling your own kid an expletive that starts with an a and rhymes with shmashole is frowned upon in society. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little human so much it hurts. I would never try to coerce her strong willed character out of her. I know that it will make her into an assertive, brave, and confident young woman one day. But that doesn’t mean I am oblivious to how much she will test my human will on her way to becoming that strong young woman.

To begin, there’s consistent use of the word no. I’m not talking about the average toddler use of the word no. I’m talking about this being my child’s favorite word. A word that is used hundreds of times a day in defiance. A word that is said with brute force, attitude, and bellowed at a decibel that once again makes my neighbors (and anyone in public really) question my ability to parent. If you are a parent to a strong willed child, you know exactly what happens when you try to win the battle of “no” and challenge them to do something they have clearly indicated will not be done. I like to follow up these challenges with a bottle of champagne.          

Then there are the facial expressions. Little miss thang has a WTF face that literally makes me slightly afraid of her. It’s like she’s flipping you off with her eyes. It is even a running joke in my circle of friends that Mack is going to need Botox soon, because the wrinkles between her eyebrows will be so deep from frowning by then that she’ll have no hope by the time she’s 30. You receive this look anytime you try to initiate a conversation within 30 minutes of her waking up. When you get her juice-to-water ratio wrong. If you ask her to climb down from something or hand over a sharp object. If you try to stop her from eating dirt, marbles, plastic, legos, or prevent her from licking the sliding glass door. Or simply if she doesn’t like your face. Want to know what goes along with those facial expressions? Reread the paragraph above this one. 

 

 

No one is exempt from her attitude…most especially her big brother. My kids could not be any more opposite and what Mack possesses in sass, Grant carries equally in sensitivity. He’s the boy you’ll want your daughter to marry when they’re older, but right now he’s just an easy target. Mack knows exactly which buttons to push and spends her day antagonizing poor G by stealing whatever he’s currently holding, pulling his hair, kicking him in the face from her carseat, and my personal favorite, lying on the ground fake crying when he’s having a meltdown. No, not for attention. Because at 2, she is making fun of him by mimicking him.    

Mack is also fearless. To date, she has climbed the refrigerator, walked into my room with a butcher knife which she retrieved after scaling the cabinets with her toes, jumped off of every tall surface in our house, tipped the dining room chairs over a dozen times as she tried to tightrope walk across the backs of them. Fallen off the trash can. You get the idea. Daddy also had to build her a special frame on the floor for her crib bed to sit on because she could crawl out before she was a year old. 

Research you say? Yep, I’ve done that. I’ve read tons of mommy blogs and online articles. Basically the most consistent advice for not losing your mind is to put your seatbelt on, hold on for dear life, and harness patience from Tibetan monks. Oh, and love them like crazy, because one day that strong will is going to serve them abundantly in life. Until then, I will find the joy in watching her chug her sippy cup of “appy juice” and then hurl it to the ground like a viking warrior.

Because there is also an incredibly sweet and cuddly side to Miss Mack. One that melts your heart and leads you to cover her chubby little cheeks in kisses. She loves exclaiming that she loves you at random times, with as much gusto as her exclamation of “no!”. She loves when you read her books. She loves to share her snacks (on her terms). She loves to be rocked to sleep and while this can sometimes take up to an hour at night, I relish this time because in those quiet moments, when she’s snuggled in my arms, all is right in the world. I remember that the years when she will too big to sit on my lap will come fast and furious, just like her current attitude. I remember that even though she came at me with a right hook when I tried to put her hair in a ponytail, one day we will do all the things I still love to do with my mom. Even though I am married with my own children, my mom is still my best friend. I hope Mack looks at me that same way too.

So if you have a strong willed child, I see you. I understand you when other parents try to give you advice you’ve already tried, or tell you that it’s a phase, or that all kids are this way at some point. Side note, they’re not. I see the expression you make when people say, “just bring the kids with you, they’ll be fine.” I’m with you eating at home because restaurant trips are like the odds in Vegas. Not good. I feel your pain when you get looks of disapproval from strangers…because why yes, perfect stranger, I absolutely train my child to have epic meltdowns every time they come in contact with other humans.

One day, we’ll all sit back and smile when our strong willed children become CEO’s and professional athletes. The one thing I know for sure is that when people ask me if I am having any more kids.

My answer is one word.

No.     

SHARING IS CARING

Rip Off Your Label!

Ripping Off Your Label

It can be suffocating to have all of these labels thrust upon us as women in today’s world. Instead of letting the negative labels hurt you and your future, rip those off and stick new ones on instead! I made a worksheet you can use below to help you work through your personal labels. Tell me in the comments:

What label are you dropping? What label are you replacing it with?

Sharing is Caring!!