Bubble Baths Don’t Fix Mom Problems

Bubble Baths Don’t Fix Mom Problems

In speaking about the topic of Mom guilt, we’re really searching for so many answers. Is this normal? Why don’t I feel satisfied? Will I always feel this pressure? Does any good come out of feeling this way?

I may not have all of the answers, but yes it’s normal. And no I don’t think Mom guilt leads to any satisfaction. Mom guilt is negative self-talk. It’s a bundle of lies that tell you that you aren’t good enough for your family. You don’t have to always feel this way either. With some practiced self-love, you can settle into a happier lifestyle, where you don’t need to achieve perfection.

Self-love is realizing that you’ve neglected yourself for a while and that you need to put yourself back together. Self-love is not something you buy. It’s prioritizing yourself more than you normally would to fix the broken pieces of you. Self-love (or self-care, whatever you call it), runs deeper than the most calming bubble bath.

As a Mom it never feels like there’s enough time in the day. There’s always more to do and we’re always at the bottom of our own lists. Once, (when our three boys were toddlers) I used to say “I never have enough time to even have my thoughts to myself.” I was so used to being needed after sitting for .2 seconds on the couch. Even if baby slept during nap, there was always one kid who was never tired. I have a feeling that if there were more hours in the day, I would probably try to get more done around the house and be even more exhausted. It wouldn’t bump me up the list any quicker. Honestly what would you do with more hours?

The hardest thing as a Mom for me, especially, is to practice sitting still and being with my thoughts. It looks lazy. It feels lazy. It might be borderline lazy…. but for a good cause. We live in a world where you aren’t considered important if you aren’t constantly busy. Having several jobs is like a badge of honor. But sitting on your couch, sipping hot coffee (that hasn’t been reheated), breathing slowly, watching the sunrise, and thanking God for the beautiful morning can be the reset you need.

As parents we’re pretty much permanently exhausted. We do so much, yet feel like it’s never enough. An ordinary, busy day doesn’t feel productive enough. The days when we decide not raise a hand for every school event or fundraiser, the days when we couldn’t make it to our kid’s practice or game, or when we told our kids no… makes us feel like we are somehow failing. However, when you’re constantly giving of yourself, but not taking care of your deepest needs, you start to feel even more drained mentally and emotionally.

What if just for one day, we could make the time for the things we need most?

That bubble bath I was talking about earlier might not cure your Mom problems. However if your deepest need is space and partnership, then handing the baton to your spouse to control the chaos while you soak in the tub might be helpful.

Sleeping in once a week or taking naps (when feasible) might not fix your Mom problems, but it might help you be less irritable. If you’re up with little kids through the night or don’t sleep well, you could be headed in a downward spiral messing with your mood and mental state. If you have support, don’t be afraid to ask for help with the kids for this one. Sleep deprivation is real!

Shopping solo might not fix your Mom problems, but going on a drive might give you that sense of space and freedom you need most. Even just going for a peaceful walk or run might help, too.

Visiting your Mom or having a chat on the phone with your Mom friends might not fix your Mom problems. However, if your deepest need is to feel more adequate or understood, that conversation might make your day more bearable. Sometimes being real about motherhood with someone else helps you feel not so alone.

Sitting on the couch in silence might not fix your Mom problems, but maybe you just need a moment to process the day in prayer. Knowing that there is a higher power and that you’re part of a plan helps you see the big picture.

And lastly, having goals and wants of your own might not fix your Mom problems, but it can sure give you back your identity. Having time to do things that make you unique might put the spark back in your life.

Motherhood can easily lead you down the path of depression and anxiety. If you’re lucky to surpass even a brief stage of either, no one talks about all of the pressure.

Since motherhood isn’t one-size-fits-all, I can’t tell you exactly what you need. If your life is even a little chaotic, I encourage you to take a step back, talk with your closest people and do some soul searching.

The hardest part of self-care is making time for yourself when there are a hundred other things that need done. You’ll have to bump yourself up on your agenda. You’ll probably still never finish the laundry, but that’s okay because you’re important too!

Bubble baths won’t fix the burn out of Mom life, but recognizing your own needs and having support might.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Ready for Fall?

Here’s a simple recipe that will make your house smell amazingly like the best of Fall! Since preschool is only 2 days a week, I wanted to do something fun with my little guy on his day off.

Not going to lie, I have Fall on the brain. And apple cinnamon is my favorite Fall smell! Plus, c’mon apple picking is a fun activity for the kiddos. So perfect mommy and me fun day!

Preparation

In order to make a whole Crock-Pot worth of applesauce, you’ll need a half bushel of apples.

  1. First, soak the apples in a sinkful of water and a capful of Thieves fruit and veggie soak.
  2. Peel and cube apples. (I toss all my scraps in a bowl to compost later.)
  3. Toss cubed apples in large Crock-Pot with 4 cups water, TBS. Cinnamon, and sugar if desired. (I prefer mine with no added sugar.)
  4. Cook on high heat for 6 hours, stirring occasionally. You can turn the heat down if it begins bubbling.
  5. Let cool for about an hour before eating or storing in freezer containers.

One crock made about 4-5 jars worth, but I chose to freeze most of ours in Tupperware. So far we’ve made 2 crocks-worth and an entire pan of Apple crisp, which the boys refer to as Apple Crunch.

I’m not sure what they like more, picking apples or eating them. What’s your favorite apple recipe?

Buffalo Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Fries

Buffalo Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Fries

For our Sunday recipe, I wanted to incorporate a vegetarian meal. My husband and I have been trying vegetarian for 2 weeks. He and his co-workers made a pact to try it and determine later if it impacted their overall health. I’ve been wanting to hop on board with more meatless meals and nutrient-dense foods.

So far we’ve both noticeably lost weight and feel more alert and energetic. I’ve had such a difficult time staying away from dairy. I had a small amount of cheese on a veggie burger and my stomach did not like it! I miss dairy the most, but I’m on a mission to continue feeling well. Vegetarian can’t be boring if I’m going to be serious about it, though.

For lunch, I wanted to make a yummy plant-based lunch that our boys would actually eat. I’ve been eyeing buffalo cauliflower, but needed a side to go along with it. So I sliced up a few sweet potatoes as fries.

This was a good snack/finger food lunch! These would be perfect for a party of health conscious guests!

Buffalo cauliflower

Sweet potato fries took simple prep, 20 minutes to prep, and we’re very similar to regular fries.

I followed a recipe from tasty.com (link below). One package of cauliflower served our family of 5 for a light lunch. I would consider 1 package of cauliflower per 2-3 adults though.

Basically, you create a breading with spices, bake on 450° for 20 minutes, coat with hot sauce, and bake another 20 minutes. It would be amazing in an air fryer!

We served our with ranch, but Bleu cheese dressing would be delish too!

Sweet potato fries

This is much like the regular fries recipe that is up on Momma Bird Blog. These are nice to make with the buffalo cauliflower because your oven will already be up to temp. All you have to do is pop them in on another baking rack.

Just peel about 3-4 sweet potatoes (I chose longer skinnier ones about the same size for consistency). Then slice in the size you want, keeping the same width for each.

In a big mixing bowl, mix olive oil and garlic salt and toss in sweet potatoes. Make sure they’re covered in the mixture.

Spread sweet potato fries on a baking sheet (with foil or parchment paper). Bake on 450° for 20 minutes.

These were served on a sharing platter with BBQ and we couldn’t stop eating them! The best part was that the boys knew they were sweet potatoes. So, in the future they’ll know that sweet potatoes are something worth trying.

Like I tell my family, you won’t know you don’t like something until you try it prepared different ways. Cauliflower, for instance, seems to be a little less popular. However, you can have it in soups, roasted, steamed, or in broccoli cauliflower salad. Same with sweet potatoes. I’m normally not a fan (sshh don’t tell my kids), but in fry form they were yummy!

What’s your favorite vegetarian meal?Please share a link in the comments below!

Here’s the link to the recipe above.

Honest Review of Thieves Household Cleaner

Honest Review of Thieves Household Cleaner

As you may be well aware, I was introduced to essential oils in Fall of 2017. My only interest was in lavender essential oil, which I thought was just a smell good oil. Was I ever wrong!

I thought essential oils were just a trendy product. I was wrong about that, too. Like many people who have never tried them or are new to the process, I was clueless. Essential oils have literally been used for thousands of years, which earns them a lot of credentials (for their health benefits) if you ask me!

See below for a discounted price on Young Living!

I still plainly admit that I still rely on modern medicine. If my doctor prescribes me a prescription, I have no problem taking it. If I have a migraine, I immediately pop an Excedrin. And I absolutely 100% still vaccinate my children!

But, I love this idea of mindfully living! I love the idea of switching out as many harmful chemicals as possible! I love the idea that I can hand a Thieves spray bottle over to my little helpers without worrying if they’ll get some cleaner on their skin. And I LOVE the smell of Thieves!

Gorgeous blue glass bottles actually have a purpose. The blue glass protects the fluid from UV rays that can weaken the EOs strength.

We don’t typically question the big brands we grew up. But, it’s natural to question things we aren’t as familiar with. So, let’s see if I can answer anything you might be curious about!

Is it actually effective to clean with?

According to some sources, it is over 99% effective in killing germs. Apparently you can order petri dishes on Amazon and do your own at-home test. However, in being transparent, I have never done the lab testing myself. I do know that the cleaner works well enough to remove that boiled over gunk off my stove top, as well as other problem-areas. I also trust the research I’ve done and the reviews of my friends who also use essential oils. In fact, the Hudsons’s YouTube channel (I shared with you earlier) is BIG into essential oils and have great things to say about the health benefits!

What does it smell like?

It smells like baking spices, therapeutic-style. The essential oils (in order) used in this are clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary and eucalyptus. The cinnamon definitely stands out in the rankings!

How do I use it?

There are so many ways to use Thieves household cleaner! You can use it an an all-purpose spray, glass spray, scouring scrub, disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, spot cleaner, degreaser, mold and mildew cleaner, wood polish, appliance and stainless steel polish, and mop solution.

Check out the Pin I made for you below!

How long does one bottle last?

That 14.4 Fl. OZ. bottle is ultra concentrated. So basically I add 1 capful of this divine goodness to a spray bottle and top off with water. The very same spray bottle should last you a few weeks. If you have a bottle of this on hand and use it for EVERYTHING, it may last anywhere between 6 moths to a year depending on how much you’re cleaning and how concentrated you’re using it.

Click the link below for discount!

Recieve 24% off retail price on all Young Living products after purchasing your first starter kit! The kit comes with Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Citrus Fresh, Thieves, Digize, Frankincense, Copaiba, Panaway, Peace and Calming, Valor, and Stress Away. The kit also includes a gorgeous diffuser, samples of Thieves cleaner, and samples of Ningxia Red.

PIN ME! Here’s a chart for reference!
Any time you need a little extra strength, just add another capful. I didn’t even add the toilet bowl cleaner because I literally just add a capful right in the toilet and scrub! Easy as pie!

Here’s a link to 29 DIY cleaners made with Thieves household cleaner!

Who’s already with Young Living? What’s your favorite product? This is probably my favorite because it’s practical, effective, and smells good! Feel free to ask me any questions by email or in the comments! Have a great day, friends!

(*** If you buy anything from Young Living through my sponsor link, I’ll receive some free products for sharing with you!***)

***All photos in this post belong to Momma Bird Blog. Do not copy.***

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Boy, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe! I am I the only one who tends to make whatever is easier for my family on a weeknight? After everyone gets home from work and school, who wants to spend 2 hours cooking a gourmet meal? And then clean up that mess?

I’m still a huge fan of nutritional food. I even let my boys raid the produce aisle in order to encourage them to eat healthy. (Read 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy.) Healthy to me is focusing on whole foods, definitely using more produce, and less; fat, starch and salt. I was thinking of making more soups, different salads to try, and maybe even some meatless meals just to change things up. But dinner still has to be pretty easy to make and still delicious!

Last summer I made a large pot of vegetable soup that my three boys absolutely loved. It was delicious mostly because it had a lot of fresh garden veggies in it; tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet corn, green beans… So I wanted to try a couple more soups!

First and foremost, the key to a good soup is the broth. I have a couple favorite methods. You can use up saved meat drippings from roasts and things. Stock works brilliantly also! I think those work the best because they use a real meat based flavor with a little bit of animal fat. Bouillon cubes are my least favorite because the broth tastes artificial and too salty. Recently I found another favorite broth alternative- onion soup mix! This can be bought in a box with 2 packets used to make french onion dip or soup. But using it as a broth base is incredible!

Prep and Cooking Time:

20 minutes of prep, about 1 hour of total cooking time

The thing I love about soup is you just add the ingredients, set at a medium to low heat, and can walk away. You could also make this the night before, store in a crock pot in the fridge, and set for a low heat before heading to work!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 TBS Olive oil to fry with
  • 1 LBS of diced red meat (I used venison here)
  • Salt to season meat
  • 2 Packets (2 oz. each) onion soup mix
  • 8 Cups of water
  • 2 Cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 Cup of diced carrots
  • 1 Red bell pepper (optional)
  • ground pepper to taste
  • a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce!

Recipe:

  1. Heat olive oil in big soup pot till warm. Add diced red meat, season with salt, and brown.
  2. Add both packets of onion mix and water to pot. Let simmer.
  3. Add veggies, pepper, and Worcestershire. Cook till veggies are tender.
  4. And serve!

The secret ingredient definitely adds a depth of flavor with the onion mix! Rarely have I used onion mix to cook with before, but I will be doing it more now!

We typically have these ingredients on hand, but I also like how easy this is to make for dinner. Plus my family devoured this particular beef and vegetable soup! What’s your favorite soup?

How To Do A Mental Detox (20 Ways)

How To Do A Mental Detox (20 Ways)

Stress is 1,000x harder to hide from when you’re a mom (or dad). You just feel so overwhelmed and you’re well aware that you can’t just shake the feeling. I mean, you let the laundry pile up and then tomorrow there’s a mountain of clothes to fold! Let the kids play on their own for 10 minutes, and suddenly your house looks a hurricane hit.

Sometimes we just need to feel like our lives aren’t falling apart. We just need a few simple solutions to help us breathe and to know that everything is okay.

Mental detox is something to practice often times as needed. This probably goes without saying, but detoxes are a way to temporarily flush the bad and negative out as best as possible, and usually only last a temporary amount of time.

Out with the negative thoughts and in with positive vibes. Out with the things that cause anxiety and tension, and in with quality life and feeling good.

Seriously, no one’s life is perfect. We’re all just trying to catch up.

I’m going to be really transparent for you, my loyal crowd. From time to time, I just feel overloaded with stuff to do. I feel the pressure of being a mom (that probably being one of my most talked about subjects).

Last summer, I was I was taking on being a full-time mom, a part-time job (that was getting busier), Momma Bird Blog, and was writing for 2 other blogs. I felt good at first. Then it started to settle. One of the companies needed me to work on the weekends when I was at my son’s baseball games. I had to work later those nights as well. And my husband’s military obligations left me to take care of the kids. And the second company had a lot of due dates. I felt so overwhelmed because everyone needed me all at once.

So in stepped my 21 Day Challenge for mind, body, and soul. I created, and am tweaking this challenge. Maybe we really should focus 21 Days on focusing our mind, 21 days for our body, and 21 days for our soul. All separate challenges. What do you think?

It’s fabulous that so many of you could take advantage of my very first Momma Bird Blog post, 8 Ways to Lose Baby Weight Realistically. There have been some edits to this one to expand with helpful tips for you. I’m really thrilled that it has over 8.8K impressions on Pinterest!

But today, let’s talk more about mental detox. (Again, I’m no doctor, just a mom who has used these methods and came out on top). The methods I use are a bit more DIY and natural.

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How To Do A Mental Detox

  1. Set aside time to be on your phone in the day. Put your phone in a safe, stationary place (to keep from subconsciously turning on all day) and stay focused on the day ahead. I’d like to start treating my cell phone like more of a home phone. Remember the good ol’ days when the phone you were using was attached to a wire that was attached to a box on the wall? I kind of miss that!
  2. If you don’t have time to answer the phone, call them back later. People forget that there are voicemails. Often, if I’m in the middle of feeding my kids, putting them to bed, shopping, or having a conversation with someone 1-on-1 I usually ignore all of my calls. Of course, I check my voicemail usually after I put the kids to bed.
  3. Unsubscribe to emails that you don’t even read. Uh, the emails! I catch myself just deleting them without even reading them. That means they aren’t a priority. You don’t owe anyone your time.
  4. Unfriend people who whine or complain too much. Drama doesn’t have any place in my life. I have enough to think about. If your “friends” are throwing people under the bus (and publicly), why would you want to be their friend?
  5. Log out of social media accounts and predetermine a time or day to log back in. Similar to #1, this will help you from clicking all of your notifications if you have to check your phone.
    Don’t scroll all day.
  6. Mentally list a couple people who you genuinely look up to. Think about how they make you feel. Influence is good if we use it for good. I personally look up to so many women, it’s unreal! But I definitely look up to my mom and sister 100% because of how genuine and caring they are! I want to be more like that!
  7. Find a way to cheer up/help someone, whether complimenting them, holding the door, or just being a listening ear. It doesn’t have to be anything big. This is another big push towards being positive!
  8. Say “no” to people or events if it’d add too much to your plate. I’m learning from some of the most selfless people this hard decision. We don’t earn God’s love any more by working any harder. But if we narrow our agenda, maybe we would have more time to enjoy this beautiful life and spend it with love and happiness.
  9. Create a goals list. “Eat more fresh produce, play 10 minutes with the kids, plan a summer vacation.” Oh, how this is important! You need to see clearly what you’re doing in life. Are you buying healthier food to bring home? Are you setting aside the time you would’ve otherwise been busy for your kids? And if that summer vacation is a real goal, start saving aside!
  10. Imagine your dream vacation. Put your mind in a happy place. Imagine the scenery, the life, the smells, the sounds, the things you can touch… Can you feel the sand in your toes? Or feel the cool mountain breeze on your cheeks?
  11. Declutter the rooms that you spend the most time in first (like your bedroom, living room, and kitchen). Decluttering is the biggest one I do over and over again. But when I’m existing in a clean room with fresh smells, soft carpet, and minimal damage (like toys and crud), I feel more welcome. There has actually been scientific evidence that a clean home can reduce anxiety. (Which is probably why so many of us moms are always freaking out!)
  12. Not only declutter but part with the items you no longer use. As we slowly collect items like new clothes or Christmas gifts, use that perfect timing to swap out the new for old. Even if you have a stack of papers (that was once a stack and is now meshing together), then start pitching those! I just cleared our paper pile yesterday and GIRL, does it feel good!
  13. Schedule your to-do list. “Monday vacuum, Tuesday errands…” Bloggers use this schedule too. “Monday reply to emails and draft posts, Tuesday edit and schedule posts…” It kind of makes your to-do list happen, one baby step at a time.
  14. Join a church (where you can listen to and understand the Word). This is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. We go to an AMAZING Christian church! Almost every Sunday, I go to service with something on my heart. And it seems like the messages are meant for me. It clears all that mental fog, all the negative and gray area. I always leave there feeling lighter. Not only that, but the community is so important for our whole family. Life will just start making sense if you’re in the right place.
  15. Start a devotional. I own a couple devotionals that sit right on my end table. Every morning I read the quick little messages and it helps me to focus longer in the day. I focus on not trying to be perfect but trying to be a mom God’s way.
  16. Or sit in 10 minutes of silence. This could potentially be the most challenging of all of the mental detox methods. But when’s the last time you just turned everything off, and just let your thoughts flow. One of the biggest things I need as a Mom is “headspace.” I just want an hour to not have to answer anyone, not be focusing on other tasks, but just to be me for a moment.
  17. Silently repeat positive mantras through the day. You are your biggest fan and your weakest opponent. It’s truly amazing the things your mind can do. You can push through your pain if you only tell yourself to keep on going. You can learn to be brave if you remind yourself that you deserve more.
  18. Journal about your feelings and emotions. (If you don’t have time, make bullet points.) Either jot down how your feeling, or journal like you speak to a close friend. Sometimes the best way to sort out your thoughts is by writing them. You’ll discover some feelings and emotions that get buried by your busy day. Let them all out. It’s okay.
  19. Listen to relaxing or ambient music. Another mental detox that has been scientifically proven is to listen to some ambient music. There is a song that’s going viral called “Weightless” by Macaroni Union. This song is supposed to help reduce feelings of anxiety. There are also songs compiled like “Happiness Frequency”, “Deep Focus Music, Binaural Beats,” and “Let go of fear, overthinking, and worries.”
  20. Make time for something you enjoy. If you didn’t schedule laundry to be done today, let it sit. Instead, paint your nails, take a bubble bath, exercise, read a murder mystery, or watch a sappy love story.
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The thing about this detox is you can pick what you need to work on most. The goal is to free you from your overwhelming feelings. After 21 days of consistency, you’ll feel 100% more focused on what matters most. Your family.

Who would be interested in doing the challenge with me?

10 Self-Care Ideas (for Tired Moms)

10 Self-Care Ideas (for Tired Moms)

Self-care sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Since your new mom days, you were always told to sleep when the baby sleeps. That kind of seems impossible, right? How the heck am I supposed to get the house up to par if I’m always napping?

If the majority of the house care and childcare is your responsibility, then you start to realize you have a choice. Well, 2 choices…

Continue reading “10 Self-Care Ideas (for Tired Moms)”