To the Stay-At-Home Mom

Hey there stay-at-home mom,

I think I know you just a little better than you realize.

I know that those little eyes looking up into your soul is your fuel. I know that you delight in every new milestone that your little one accomplishes! I know that you are filling your memory bank with pictures of sunshine in your sweetie’s hair and the mental recordings of her laughter. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” you tell yourself.

I know your maternity leave may have never quite ended or that you quit working for various reasons to be home. I know you pour your heart and soul into this job.

Even as your babies grew up, you still couldn’t sleep well through the night. You still have urges to make sure they’re all still breathing and well. You get such little sleep some nights, even though you’re wrecked. You spend all day making mental notes and trying to stay on everyone else’s schedules. You focus on child development, health, nutrition, cleaning, and bills, and some days forget to fill your memory bank. Or do something nice for yourself even.

Regular days you play referee to break up your kid’s fighting. If you’re not breaking up fights, you’re repeating yourself to your kids. “They totally heard me,” you say. And all that can turn into a lot of yelling.

Just a little while before your husband comes home you realize all of your hard work appears to have evaporated into thin air. The nutritional breakfast/lunch is on the dinning room floor, the dishes are stacked high again, the laundry train lost it’s caboose, for every one mess you picked up there’s another 10, the fight you broke up is now back in full swing, and now you’re husband is going to see. So we panic that our husband will think we we’re lazy all day and we stress clean.

You hide the dishes in the dishwasher and clothes in the washer. At some point you just don’t care about the mess any more because you’re tired and defeated. You’ve spent all day feeling isolated, tired, and irritated.

This life is all you now know. And no one told you it’d be so tough!

No one told you that you would feel this pressure to be a good mom, even when no one else is even around. No one told you that you would feel lonely in your own home, surrounded by your minis. No one told you that it’s almost scary to wake up one day and realize you don’t have anywhere to be. No one else that needs you more than your children.

No one told you that you boarded the struggle bus with your own worst critic. You.

I never realized how all of those tough days would sneak up on me and make me feel so small. I never realized the weight of it all until I opened up about it. And I never realized how similar my feelings were to other moms until other people started opening up about it.

Motherhood is the most beautiful thing to happen in your life, but the most demanding. I know it may not seem the way you pictured it. I know it’s full of days when you wish you could work or that you hope the kids would become more independent sooner.

In 7 years time, this is what I learned about motherhood (especially being a Stay-at-home mom):

  • I felt most successful when I gave my kids the most attention
  • I always criticized myself, even when I didn’t use social media
  • I read so many expert tips and I felt like I tried everything, when I should’ve just used my motherly instinct
  • The whole mom-thing is literally just winging it
  • Surround yourself with positive vibes
  • People will tell you it goes fast, but you won’t believe it until your kids are bigger
  • You should be your husband’s best friend, but you will still need a mom friend (or 2) to vent with. A lot!
  • If you have to choose between a clean house or sanity, always choose sanity (mental breaks and extra rest)
  • Take care of your basic needs as well as you do the rest of your family
  • You don’t always have to listen to your kids’ music or watch their shows. Make them do what you like sometimes
  • If you can find a part time job outside of home, even like 3-4 hours a week, take it!
  • Plan girls days 2-3 weeks ahead because you will literally never get to keep plans if not.
  • Also dates. Go on dates more than once a year. And plan those out 2-3 weeks early too!
  • Hire a babysitter, even if it’s to get your hair done.
  • Treat yourself more! I almost never did things for myself. I started to feel more motivated when I had things to look forward to.
  • Call up your mom to talk. It’s such good therapy!!
  • Take help when it’s offered.
  • Find ways to record good memories, whether a journal to your kids for when they grow up, candid pictures, or videos of them being happy. Then just brain dump the days of yelling.
  • Look back on these recordings when you’re blood pressure is through the roof. You’ll just be looking through pictures thinking of how sweet your babies are.
  • Being a good mom holds a lot of pressure. You don’t always have to hold it together. Grow your faith!
  • And lastly, don’t let someone’s idea of you define you. You are so much more!

We do so much around our homes, but it never feels like enough. We always question how we’ve done as a mom. Somehow with how busy we are, it can feel like our lives are somehow incomplete. There is always still more to do. 

To those of you wondering if you’re a good mom, or when you will ever even fit into your own schedule-

I once read a simple quote, “you are enough.” It changed my whole thinking and gave me a sense of peace.

Enough with the mom guilt. Enough with believing what people think of us. Enough with not giving ourselves something to look forward to.

You are enough. Start believing it!

Photo by (Unsplash user): Omar Lopez

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Keeping Christ in Christmas

25 ways to make the holiday a more sentimental.

Momma Bird Blog

We made it to December! What a great month to celebrate Christmas! Right after the month of being thankful, we celebrate a month of giving.

This warm season can be chaotic. Bake the cookies. Send the greeting cards. Select the tree.  Decorate the house. Buy the gifts. Wrap the gifts. Visit Santa. Cook the nice dinner. Get everyone a nice outfit. Family Photos. Prepare for guests. And the list goes on.

So how can we keep Christ in Christmas?

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Free and Affordable E-Books

It’s been a while since I posted on one of your favorite subjects, frugal living. But around the holidays we’re all really looking for good deals. 

Being an advocate of early reading, especially in my own home, I take the boys to our local library often. They spend a good 30 minutes or more playing with puzzles, toy kitchen, and games on the computers. I usually spend a majority of that time selecting some cute books. Then they pick out a few more to top off our tote bag. (And I tend to read more blog posts and news articles than anything). 

But sometimes we won’t make it to the library as often. Especially living in the country when we only make it to town once or twice a week. That leaves the pickings to the same few favorites from our bookshelf at home.

I started resorting to a few options at home. So many of the options available online are for free samples (less than a chapter or the first few pages) or you typically end up paying per book. Some of the apps aren’t as user-friendly or only have older books available.

But good free and affordable e-book resources actually exist. These 3 resources I found the most user-friendly, with a wide variety of genres (from romance novels to illustrated children’s books), and they had the best deals. 

Continue reading “Free and Affordable E-Books”

Crescent Roll Recipe

Crescent Roll Recipe

For Thanksgiving we have three lunches/dinners. I’m making pumpkin pie, cranberry salad, and crescent rolls. I even have a bottle of Pino Grigio to bring to one!

But I’m a fan of making things from scratch especially for special events and holidays. I vividly remember the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls from my childhood. Every holiday my mom would be lovingly cooking up one of our favorites to bring along to Grandma’s. And they were so good that you literally fought for some!

You’ll want to keep this recipeon hand!

So here’s the surprisingly simple recipe that every Thanksgiving dinner table should garnish! 

Continue reading “Crescent Roll Recipe”

Too Many Toys?

Too Many Toys?

Momma Bird Blog

Do your kids have too many toys?

One way we show our children love is through buying them toys. And it’s not all bad. It’s natural to give tangible gifts as signs of affection. What an easy way to brighten a small person’s day!

But how do you know if your kids have too many toys? What are their favorite toys? For our boys, cars, trucks, tractors, and trains. The rest of the toys tend to get thrown, scattered, and stepped on! OUCH!

My husband and I found out toys have seasons. And in those seasons, kids have a few favorites that they tend to play with. Especially if it’s something new.

So what do we do when one toy seems to be in the end stages of it’s season? We buy more! Which is kind of nuts when you think about it.

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To My New Followers,

To My New Followers,

Hey to all of my new followers,

Thank you so much for following me! Here’s a bit about me:

My name is Anna.

My dreams in my teenager years were to be a photographer and travel. My first real job was as a little league photographer. Several other photography jobs later and I was working in productions in a studio. I had no idea what was ahead of me.

Continue reading “To My New Followers,”