May Update

Hey friends,

I hope you are doing exceptionally well now that the sun is finally out! Maybe enjoying the Spring weather, which is also super chilly this year!

Anyways, every once in a while I like to give you a quick little update. It’s been longer than I’d like for a new post because of our crazy schedule. Is anyone else a little overwhelmed this May?

Our household

If you have school kids, are you looking forward to them being out or are you counting the days till school starts again?

We also currently have a ton of baseball games to attend this summer (2/3 of our boys are playing). Steven, my husband had a military training and is starting EMT classes soon, while still working a full-time job. My work is picking up and a few other things are speckled in there, too.

(Non-stop rubbing lavender, cedarwood, and peace and calming oil over my entire body. Big breaths.) So needless to say, we are so ready for Summer vacation!

Doesn’t relaxing on the beach with the family sound nice? Maybe a camping trip even. What are you and your family doing this Summer?

Natural Living (cleaning)

A couple new things that I really wanted to share with you are, I’ve recently attended my first Norwex party. My Mother-in-law bought me the basic package and a facial cleansing towelette. I am falling in love with the product! The cleaning cloths and things only take a little bit of water and work with the woven silver to kill over 99% of germs. If you haven’t been on Momma Bird Blog’s Instagram, see the shiny windows!

Oils for stress relief

Also back to the oils I’ve been using this Month- I’ve been focusing on stress relief oils. Who gets tension headaches bad? You may not realize how stressed you are sometimes, until much later. So it’s always good to keep taking deep breaths, using essential oils, take baths, go for walks… Just keep being nice to your body. Here are my favorite stress relief oils:

  • Lavender (this one at night to help me sleep good)
  • Cedarwood (also at night, but my kids really like this)
  • Peace and Calming (a good day time relief)
  • Stress Away (you can use this on your chest, temples, and neck)
  • & My headache blend (lavender, peppermint, and panaway- roll it on your neck and temples)

Help choose!

I don’t always do this, but I love feedback!

Which post are you most excited about and want to see ASAP:

  1. More healthy food
  2. A personal story
  3. Essential Oils for Summer Use
  4. Motivational Quotes
  5. (Anything what do you want to know more about. Comment.)

Vote in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and supporting! Much love, Anna

The Baby Blues (A Message to Suffering Moms)

The Baby Blues (A Message to Suffering Moms)

I feel urged to finally share this with you. I’ve had several of these posts drafted and I couldn’t bring myself to hit “publish,” until I recently saw a post about PPD.

In the past few years moms are just starting to open up about their mental health. The effects of postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, or baby blues can sneak up on new and expecting moms. These disorders are common, although they can range from super mild to very severe. When you feel abnormally irritable, fatigued, unmotivated, weepy, and anxious that can be scary.

When my baby boy had turned 6 months old, something in me changed. Maybe it all happened earlier, but I didn’t notice until my symptoms got more extreme and didn’t go away. I wasn’t sleeping well, even with a peaceful house at night. I began to get more irritated and yell at the older kids more. I started feeling defeated after each day. Laundry was always piled high, making a nutritious dinner seemed so difficult, and I had to keep the older ones busy in between nursing the baby. It all just felt like too much. I started to cry a lot. I didn’t even know why. I just felt overwhelmed with emotion a lot!

My husband believed I just wasn’t happy any more. And one day I blurted out in raw tears, “I feel like I’m drowning! I can’t keep up with everything and I can’t even catch a breath!” And it hit me, that maybe this wasn’t a “normal” feeling. I kept wondering if I should get help. After that, emotional breakdown, he encouraged me to see our family doctor, he let me sleep in more, and started chipping in more.

Gradually I started to take care of myself better. I began asking for more help. I began praying with more intent. I thought more about my health (instead of just my family’s for once). I started to do a little bit more for myself. Small things, like buy new makeup or listen to good music. I began going on more walks to clear my head. I fought to be more positive. I began talking with friends and family more, even if it wasn’t about this (which I wasn’t ready to talk about with anyone). And I started to pull myself up and away from those big ugly tears. Gradually, I started to feel better.

I single-handedly forced myself to rise from defeat. And that was the bravest, most strong I’ve ever had to be.

Yes, I still yell at my kids, but I’m not as snappy. I do have some gentlemen to raise. Yes, sometimes I still have a hard time asking for help. Yes, sometimes I still don’t feel motivated enough to do anything. Parenthood is just tough, regardless of your circumstances. But, I am able to smile again and laugh with my family. I’m able to sit down during nap time and be unproductive with little guilt. I allow myself to have a good cry in prayer, rather than alone. And I keep telling myself, “I am enough.” I listen to Lauren Daigle and worship with music. I make my favorite meals for dinner. I do the things I enjoy like writing and photography.

Being a mom (no matter how many babies you have) is overwhelming. No one will tell you how hard it was for them. Not really. And that makes it a little more tough. When you’re a stay-at-home mom, life can be even more isolating. That statement sounds kind of weird, but believe me, when you just need someone to listen to and understand you, that person isn’t going to be your little kid.

It sucks when you’re living this life that you always knew you wanted since you were a little girl, yet, not in the way you always imagined. No, motherhood itself isn’t a disappointment, but rather the loneliness in motherhood. The days when you’re trying so hard, but could use more help. The days when you NEED another human being to understand you. But instead, you just keep going and going as if everything is okay. Holding in your feelings and emotions. That’s the worst!

Overall, being a Mom is literally one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I have three little boys who climb up on my lap and let me hold them. I’m their whole world. They want me and my attention. And they love me. And all of our little moments are so special to me. I wonder how I got so lucky to have these little guys in my life.

But I also know that I wasn’t the only one to struggle the same battles. Whether it was a collective stress of life events (which we’ll talk about another day) or just in it’s own timing, the baby blues once defined me. And I didn’t even totally see that at the time.

For those of you struggling with baby blues (or other postpartum disorders), know that you aren’t alone. And there are so many others who understand you well, people who may not talk about it with anyone. Make friends with other moms. And find someone to talk to about it. Get the sleep you need, eat fuel foods, get some sunshine, focus on all the good in your life, pray, and without hesitation go see your doctor. If not for yourself, do it for those precious kids of yours.

One day this will be part of your past. Keep your head up and don’t let those terrible feelings define you. This isn’t all of you, nor will it always feel like that.

Breathe. It’s going to be okay.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Read other articles like this:

Self-care ideas

10 Affirmations for mom guilt

How to enjoy mom life more

How to do a mental detox

10 motivational quotes for the mom who feels stuck

How to Enjoy Mom Life More (While Raising a Young Crew)

How to Enjoy Mom Life More (While Raising a Young Crew)

Moms with a couple small dependent kids will find significant value in what I’m about to say. This the very stage that you’re in that made me feel like a terrible Mom not long ago. You’re supposed to enjoy all of mom life, right?

You get the notion that you’re always supposed to be filled with joy because you were blessed with awesome little people. We are blessed. We know that without a doubt.

These mini’s are adorable, easy to please, they replicate multitudes of love, and they have such innocent, unique personalities! They give the best hugs and randomly proclaim their love for us. And when they hurt feelings, it’s likely to be accidental and so easy to forgive.

Although toddlers are easy to please, they are likewise just as difficult at times. As your mini grows, he wants to dress himself, buckle himself, and even pour his own drinks. Determined, he’ll dive right in with the intent of flawlessly mirroring your efforts. And when he fails… oh man! His big emotions will show! Sometimes it just feels like they’re intentionally making things harder on us. Doesn’t it?

You might feel seriously overworked and overwhelmed because your kids depend on you so much. Most days you won’t quite receive the help you need. Instead, you’re outnumbered and spend the majority of your waking day multitasking like you’ve never done before.

By the time you can sit in peace for the day, you don’t feel accomplished. You’ve done everything, yet still unable to recall all the details of the day. Chances are you’ll have fed them countless snacks, kissed some boo-boo’s, wiped their tears, held them, had a dance party, corrected them, stuck them in time-out, played a silly game, broke up fights, read a story, cleaned up never-ending messes, made some phone calls, paid some bills, cleaned up potty accidents, washed some laundry, fed your kids, washed the dishes, and bathed your little ones, all while doing little for yourself. Chances are you probably would’ve had some thoughts to yourself, but you fell asleep as soon as the chaos was over.

You might start to feel exhausted all around. You might feel lost. And you might feel that you lost. But here’s what I would’ve told myself then when I felt like a bad mom for not enjoying all of it.

Being a mom is tough. That’s the one thing you won’t hear often enough. Mom life wears you down hardcore in ways you didn’t know possible.

It’s normal to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and even frustrated. It’s normal to sometimes feel emotional and worried about your family. But just because those things are normal doesn’t mean they’ll go away on their own. It’ll take some time and effort before you begin to enjoy motherhood more.

Motherhood comes with the beautiful, and ugly. Every minute that you enjoy with your kids, you have earned tenfold. These little people with big messes and big emotions aren’t too far off from being big themselves.

You probably feel like your kids will always be small and depend on you. You fear that you’re always going to be so overwhelmed and it makes you feel slightly more crazy just thinking there’s no end. But friend, you are so near the light at the end of the tunnel.

One day your kiddos will tie their shoes, buckle themselves, head off to school, help with more chores, and even show empathy. You’ll finally reap the rewards of their younger years. That day will be oh! so bittersweet because you will wish for a single day of time-travel to hold your baby once more. And yet, you will shed many of the challenges that you’ve waited so long to be free from.

There will come a day in the near future when you’ll see a new mom enjoying her sweet little one, smile, and you imagine that fresh baby smell. You’ll wish you could tell your old self to enjoy more of the little things, to laugh at the imperfections, and soak it all in. Even the parts you thought you didn’t enjoy.

This stage of life may not look very beautiful in your mind. It looks a lot like a national disaster. But this, right now, is your blessing. There will always be one more thing you need to do. Your to-do list will probably grow resembling Jack and the Beanstalk. You’ll likely never see the end of messes and chores with little ones at home, anyways.

Motherhood is a balancing act.

Instead of letting ourselves feel defeated, we should take care of ourselves better and ask for more help. Make friends with moms and dads going through the same stage of parenting. Find ways to make an ordinary day with the kids special. Make some memories and take the pictures or journal about it. And really, just start thinking more positively.

A few years ago when I was really struggling, I would’ve said to myself; “Let go of your idea of this perfect image of motherhood and enjoy what’s yours now. Go get some more sleep, see your doctor until you feel good, tell someone how you feel, go for that drive, cry, get mad, pray about it, and know that this tough, beautiful stage is almost over. And you’re going to really miss it one day.”

To you Moms who are going through this, give whatever ounce of faith you have. God is so good! You’ll get through the struggles with Him like I did.

Motherhood is such a blessing! Let’s enjoy these moments that are ours now before they become a distant memory.

Zesty Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Zesty Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Spring has sprung here in Ohio! This past weekend was the first warm-weathered commencement, perfect for yard work and playing catch. (Let me pause and imagine myself at the beach, while sizzling in our 70 degree climate!)

However, we didn’t quite get much time together as a family since it was drill weekend. But, the boys and I made the most of it. So, after Sunday mass, we headed off to the park. When we finally got home, I fixed up a quick and easy lunch for my hard-playing boys.

This yummy creation took under 20 minutes to whip up.

Ingredients:

  • Tri-color Rotini noodles, (about 6 oz.)
  • 1/3 Cup Broccoli, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Orange pepper, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Cucumber, rinsed, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette for dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 TBS. Crumbled Feta Cheese (this one is sun-dried tomato and basil)
  • 3 TBS. Peeled Parmesan cheese

Recipe:

  1. Boil noodles for 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Add to a mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Serve with iced tea!
What main course would this go with?
A little close-up shot you won’t be able to resist!
The little bits of tomato are from the sun-dried tomato and basil feta. Look at those delicious sliced of Parmesan cheese!
AH! Iced tea and lemon are perfect with this pasta!

That’s all folks! Quick and easy zesty Mediterranean Pasta Salad!

If this made your stomach growl, just be sure to pin this to your Pinterest!

10 Affirmations For Mom Guilt

10 Affirmations For Mom Guilt

There is one main message I think that Moms need to hear, but often don’t hear enough, it’s that you matter. In the midst of your messy home, in your messy bun, wearing yesterday’s pajamas, where you often lose your cool, you feel so unaccomplished. Yet, you’ve accomplished everything!

Your kids know your unconditional love in all that you do. Regardless of the mom guilt that you’re seemingly tied to.

PIN THIS!

My own way of explaining mom guilt: “our inner dialogue which conflicts with our original decision regardless of our good intention.”

Mom guilt is the real deal. As moms we question how good of a job we’re doing. A lot of it is really just fear. We know we are well intended. We just want to know that our decisions aren’t negatively affecting our children. The truth of the matter is we need to stop being so hard on ourselves.

No human being on Earth is perfect. Therefore, we need to stop pressuring ourselves to the impossible standard of perfection. These 10 affirmations can help you to put perfection behind you and help you to find more joy in motherhood.

Remind yourself of these 10 things daily!

10 Affirmations for mom guilt:

1. I matter.

2. I’m worthy of good things.

3. I am strong.

4. I am loved.

5. I love myself.

6. I am a good mom already because I love my kids.

7. There are a million ways to be a good mom. / I am making decisions for the best interest of my family.

8. It’s not my job to be perfect, but to show my kids grace and forgiveness.

9. I forgive myself for my failures.

10. God has called me to motherhood. Through Him I can do all things.

Happy Thursday!

10 Affirmations For The Oldest Sibling

10 Affirmations For The Oldest Sibling

Our oldest son, Chirs, turned 7 years old yesterday! Holy cow! I never thought I would look back and think that raising kids goes quick! I literally don’t know the day of the week most days, nor do I feel like the past 7 years has been all rainbows and unicorns. But, wow! Suddenly 7 years seems to have slipped past me!

Life was delightful when our duo turned trio. My memory bank is filled with images of my little boy’s smile and breathing in his sweet baby smell during our snuggles. Even before he could crawl, he was my dance partner (particularly brought back by the good oldies like Frank Sinatra).

Like all firstborns, ours was totally the guinea pig. We based our confidence in our parenting skills on him; if he ate well, if he was developmentally on track, if he had enough responsibilities, if he used his manners…

Because life was peachy we tried for more kids. We thought we would treat all if them equal, but funny thing is we lowered our standards for the next kid. And the next kid. We (particularly I) didn’t worry as much about near as much with the younger boys. After all of the parenting experience with Chris, we knew the things to avoid and areas to improve in.

Along the way he’s sensed the standard depreciation gap.

When our family became 4, I saw his whole world change. So long were the days when I could drop everything for him. When our middle son, Josh, wasn’t nursing I still had little energy to give. But I wanted to show Chris that clearly, he was still important to me. So when baby was napping, we would play baseball. A lot of baseball. It was our thing, among many others.

By the time our youngest son, Aaron, came in to the picture, Chris was only 3. Yep we had a 3 year-old, 1 year-old, and newborn at one point. Thank goodness Chris was away at preschool by then because sleep deprivation was so bad! But having an older kid was legit so nice by then! Cue promotion to diaper-getter, baby-entertainer, and toy picker-upper.

It seems as though the firstborn kids are naturally the glue to their siblings, natural-born teachers, and some very caring people! So I compiled a list of 10 affirmations for the oldest kids.

  1. I am so special.
  2. I have many unique talents.
  3. My mom and dad love me for who I am!
  4. My family can count on me. /I am helpful.
  5. I am capable of anything that I put my mind to.
  6. Change is okay.
  7. I am enough./ I am good.
  8. I am a leader. /My siblings look up to me.
  9. Mistakes help me grow.
  10. I love and accept myself.

These affirmations are things I’m teaching my oldest son in particular. He plays an important role in our family. We love that we can count on him and we wouldn’t be the same without him.