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.

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?

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!

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 )

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)”

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).

Continue reading “Mom Life (And The Thing No One Talks About)”

Delicious Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Delicious Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Those days when you just don’t feel like cooking a big meal can still be really simple, healthy, and frugal. And it’s something your whole family will love! And eggs can be very versatile, too! Just grab yourself a couple dozen eggs next time you’re at the store!

Is there even a right way to cook scrambled eggs?

Continue reading “Delicious Cheesy Scrambled Eggs”