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?

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.

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)

Mom friend,

I know your struggle well. I know that you’ve entirely changed since you’ve become a Mom. You have less time for the things you love, including sleep. I also know that beautiful memories are made when unexpected, just as often as the day’s obstacles before you.

And I know that being a Mom is hard!

You feel like you’ll never win. You feel like you can’t make everyone happy, keep the house clean, or keep track of all your mental sticky notes. 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?” Then decide, “my family’s needs are more important than mine and the house is still a disaster.” When a days worth of effort wasn’t as successful as you envisioned, you tell yourself that you’re failing as a Mom. Then you punish yourself. “I don’t deserve time to rest or have fun if I can’t get everything done first.” 

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