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.

10 Funny Parenting Tweets

10 Funny Parenting Tweets

Once, while on a Facebook Mom’s group, someone posted, “What’s your favorite mantra for getting through motherhood?” A member legit responded with, “f*** it.” I’ve never laughed harder at a Facebook post! And that is pretty much a summary of Twitter.

As a Mom of 3 boys, I connect well with genuine parents and their daily challenges. Twitter parents don’t fake out their followers exclaiming to live flawless lives. In fact, the more realistic, the funnier!

I’m both comforted and entertained by these funny tweets! Here are some of my favorites!

(If you can’t view the Tweets, try viewing this page directly on mommabirdblog.com.)

1. At least they know…

I mean, at least they do know the good 80’s movies. So there’s that!

2. Definite 6th sense

Toddlers are pretty good at maintaining the chaos! There’s never a dull moment….

3. The Horror

Oh boy! You have to watch out for those guys!

4. “Push it good! Push it real good!”

5. Tiny Extroverts…

Honestly, don’t we go to the park so other kids can wear them out, while we can just tag out for a minute?

6. #motivationmonday

Toddlers are the most confident people, let alone when they’re trying to save the world!

7. Every time…

It’s always 100x worse! Right?

8.

9. Coffee, wine, repeat.

10. So many tears

There’s 10! These are only just a few of my favorites! Here’s a similar post:

10 Funny Tweets About Parenthood

Next time, who would you like to see featured in our funny Tweets? Comment below or message!

How to be a Fun Mom

How to be a Fun Mom

First off, I’m going to warn you that I broke one of my own rules. Only 1-2 cups of coffee and never past 4:00 in the afternoon. I needed one more tonight because of hormonal fatigue. Which, if I’m being honest, the vegetarian diet has helped tremendously!

So as I sit here tonight with caffeine pumping through my veins, I want to share some ideas. I’ll have you know that over the years, I’ve basically been borderline preschool teacher mixed with Pinterest Mom. As my kids have grown up and grown more independently, I’ve grown into a super duper mean Mom. (Or at least they think I am because they have chores and don’t have free reign.)

Like anything else, I believe that moderation is key. In order to have a good parent/child relationship, you’ve got to master discipline with understanding. And by discipline I’ve found that time-outs and taking toys away are merely as effective as rewards.

So this Summer, as we had our own schedules to abide by, I tried to keep a light daily structure without overdoing plans. Of course, my husband will tell you that I over plan to leave the house on his days off. I mean, as a stay-at-home Mom (and someone who’s a little adventurous) who would want to always be home?

They’ve been doing tons of summer reading, even me. I’ve been able to indulge in the adult library section (mostly consisting of self-help books). We’ve done our share of exploring barefoot in creeks and playing a game of family baseball. We’ve enjoyed visiting the farmer’s market and swimming at the local quarry, too.

For as much fun and discipline that we carried out, I thought we had the perfect balance of both worlds. Don’t worry though, like every other family on planet Earth, our kids aren’t immune to bad behavior. And I still definitely yell.

Although there’s no secret solution to master parenting, I feel like our best shot at containing the “energies” of our kids can be simple. A wise philosopher once said that we should spend 1-on-1 time with our children every day. John Dewey thought this to be one of the most powerful tools for raising children into successful people.

Just think about this for a minute. If we spend 30+ minutes a day trying to engage in conversation (and not necessarily lecture), we could have amazing relationships.

Today, as the grandparents took our younger two for a fun day, I was reminded of something important. My oldest needs more of my time and attention. So instead of working on the e-book that I’ve begun writing, I thought, there are only a few weeks left to enjoy him this summer. I asked him what he wanted to do and I said yes to him. It’s easy to just tell our kids what they’re doing and say no, but they don’t feel understood when we automate our responses.

Don’t forget that in order to be a good parent, your well-being matters. For instance it’s easier to say “yes” when we feel energetic and healthy. You matter too.

Today we played baseball like we always used to. When my son was 2, we would have batting practice, almost daily because he enjoyed batting, but also enjoyed my attention. Today we also enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the hot tub, which is reserved normally only for adults. And we were going to wrap it up by playing video games together. Unfortunately, once I got word that the little boys were heading back, I went into cleaning mode. (Still kicking myself for that.)

Overall, I learned that being the crafty, structured, patient Mom isn’t super realistic all the time. But that by trying to silently listen to our kids and do the things they like, they feel understood. And if having kid-sized fun every once in a while makes me a cool Mom, then that’s really just a win-win!

What kinds of fun things to you and your kiddos do for fun?

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 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.

From Girls To Motherhood (To The Best Mom Friends)

From Girls To Motherhood (To The Best Mom Friends)

Growing up as little girls was a hard life. We thought our “BFFs” would always have our back. But that wasn’t the case for a lot of us girls.

A girls world is hard! There was gossip, sharing secrets that weren’t to be shared, stealing boyfriends, stealing friends, jealousy, trying to outshine each other for popularity, and throwing each other under the bus. (Like metaphorically, but also pretty much everything from “Mean Girls” is truth.)


Photo by Paloma A. on Unsplash

Who could we even trust?

Maybe a close friend or two along the way. The best friends from grade school, the ladies from jr high and high school, and the ones from college. Most friendships never lasted longer than a particular phase of life. Except you.

From time-to-time we may have gotten annoyed with one another. But when circumstances were difficult, we were more annoyed for each other. You were sad for me when I was. You were happy when I was.


Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

We grew up. And you were still there.

We fell in love with our guys. And our whole lives changed. We started having babies. And it was magical.

We were mommies for the first time and our little families were just another reminder of how good the world is. Little family snuggles on the bed. Little baby smiles. Little coos. Our faith in humanity was restored.

You were there watching the magic for me, cheering me on, loving my little ones like your own. I mean, you are the cool aunt after all! You told me how good of a mom I am and it always made me feel like a million dollars. 

And I watched you make your own little magic appear. Your little family. And I love your babies like my own. You were rocking the mom-thing since before you were a mom! Like born ready!

As our little families are growing, and things getting tougher; potty training, more kids, busy schedules, disciplining…. You’re still there, sister. We can vent about a rough day or about how emotional we are from sleep deprivation. We can visit each other and make it a play date. Even if the kids are being way too loud, we still enjoy some coffee or wine over a chat.

And I love that in this crazy thing called motherhood, we still have each other’s back. It’s so good having a life outside of my home. But it’s also good being a part of your life, too!

I know your struggles and I wish I could do more to help. I see your exhaustion and I want to make it better. But I know that for us, just having a long chat or visiting is the greatest therapy! I feel brand new after hanging up the phone or heading out your door.

I appreciate you so much, girl. All the times you thought of me, called me up, offered to help with the kids, went out of your way for me, each kind word, every hug, every time you lifted my fallen-self up….

It took me some years to realize what a true friend really is, and I have that with you. Because you’ve seen the best and worst of me. The days when I know I’m supermom and the days when I’m borderline psychotic. 😆

Yet, there’s never been a time when we were gossiping behind each other’s backs, stealing friends, or throwing each other under the bus. Instead we fantasize together about a girls only cruise or doing a double family vacation. We see more in each other than a mom and wife and we support each other’s dreams.

One day when I’m wealthy, we’re going to go on a Caribbean cruise, just us. Drinking cocktails and hanging out in the sun. Ah…the life!

But for now, girls trip or not, your friendship means the world to me! Your ability to to lift me up when I’ve fallen. When I just need another adult to converse with. When I’m wondering if what I’m going through is normal. When I’m tired and just want someone to hear me. Anyone. It’s you. Without judgement.

You understand me so much because you often feel the same way. Or at least you know because you were in the same place not long ago. 

There is something special about mom friends. Maybe it’s because we can motivate each other easily. Maybe it’s our occasional heart-to-hearts. Maybe it’s our conversations about God and faith.

All I can say is thank you for being my emotional rock through the good and bad. Thank you for reminding me that I am a good mom with sometimes bad days and that perfection is rare.

And thank you for loving my family.

(& Happy International Women’s Day!:D )