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.

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.

Mom Life (And The Thing No One Talks About)

Mom Life (And The Thing No One Talks About)

To all the moms feeling inadequate,

You feel like you’ll never win. You can never make everyone happy, keep the house clean, or you forget to do something from time to time. You’re only one person. And you’re very overwhelmed. Sometimes to the point of tears.

You’ll debate with yourself. “Why can’t I be as good as other moms?” Or “My family’s and my house’s needs are more important than me.” “I don’t deserve ____ if I can’t get anything done first.” (Even after doing said thing all day).

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Better Than Chicken Nuggets

Better Than Chicken Nuggets

Frugal and healthy meals often don’t go hand-in-hand. Sometimes it’s cheaper to cook some hot dogs and mac and cheese. But those boring foods aren’t packed with flavor or nutrition.

But here’s a healthy version of chicken nuggets that are better for you, more affordable, more filling, and taste 1,000x better! An average bag of 2 lb. chicken nuggets cost about $4-5. For the same amount of food, these cost you some leftover chicken or about $2 to make!

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Free Valentine’s Day Cards

Free Valentine’s Day Cards

Since February just started, I’m thinking Valentine’s Day! I mean, on a day like today, the overcast just has us dozing off. But, at least there’s another holiday to look forward to. Am I right?

Since, you all seemed to love the Free Printable Valentine’s Day cards I made last year, I thought I’d make you some more to chose from. These are just so fun to create! I design all of my graphics on Canva.com, which is free for anyone to use. They have all sorts of cute illustrations and fonts!

If you don’t really like putting a lot of time and effort, though, these are pre-made, along with a PDF printable file. Even a last minute mom can print these out at home the night before Valentine’s Day! (And believe me, I’ve been there!)

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Cute Children’s Books (From My Instagram)

Cute Children’s Books (From My Instagram)

Children’s books are one of the most fun, engaging, educational, and magical components of childhood. I’m sure you remember a good book that someone special read to you when you were little. The page-by-page adventures that transpired before your little eyes, your growing mind. And somehow certain books are engraved into our memory, even after all these years.

I still remember my mom taking us to the library often. We would raid the children’s books bin. Then we would always stop over at videos (Yes, I mean VHS’s!). If we asked mom to read she never said no. So I have some good memories of sitting alongside and following the words on each line.

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My Realization About Babysitters

My Realization About Babysitters

Why we never hired a babysitter

As a stay-at-home mom of 6 years, I made it my job to find ways to guide our family in the frugal lifestyle. Because you know, if you’re not making an income (alongside your spouse), the best you can do is save it and stretch it.

In 6 years time, we haven’t gone on any fancy family vacations, we hardly dine out, and we even get picky with our monthly bills and groceries. I don’t get my hair or nails done. Not even a hired babysitter.

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