The Stigma

Remeber back in the day, before social media, when there wasn’t someone constantly telling you what you’re doing wrong? Yeah I know, it was a really long time ago. When you first become a mom this is what is to be expected: Will you have a natural birth? Will you breastfeed? Will you go back to work? Will you lose the weight? Are you ready for another one? Holy moly people! Not only is this overwhelming but the stigma behind each and every decision you make is crazy.

When I was a child, we were thrown outside from sun up to sun down, lived off goldfish and top ramen, and not until I was an adult had I ever witnessed a mother breastfeeding. I am grateful we live in a world with such a plethora of information. Trust me, the nine months I was pregnant I spent many hours reading and watching YouTube videos. Like hundreds of videos. By the time I gave birth, I knew exactly what my plan of action was. Things came up and we adjusted how we saw fit for our family. But the questions never stopped. I just found myself yesterday having to validate my reasonings for weaning my son at 8 months old. This shouldn’t be happening!

What I want the world to know is this, the last thing a new mother (or any mother!) needs is the stigma. We already feel like we are failing no matter what we do! This is the business of being a mom. Of course we know we are doing our best, we have learned how to truly trust our instincts and that makes us proud! Motherhood is a journey and it should be embraced and cared for in the same way you would this tiny little baby. Let’s end the mommy stigma and enjoy the miracle of giving life! Next time you see a new mom, hug her, help her, or just sit back and listen to her. Mothers need what babies need, love.

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I am an avid lover of lists. I love writing them, I love crossing things off of them, and I love feeling efficient. I started using a planner about 10 years ago and have never been able to live without one since. I don’t enjoy using my smart phone for these kinds of tasks. I like to WRITE things down. This is how I get ready for the new year.

Writing down my goals does two things for me. It helps me remember that I need to do something because in all honesty if I don’t write it down it does not exist. I will not be there, I will not buy it, I will not bring to fruition this thing that I really need to get done. It also helps me focus. When I can look down and see exactly how my day, week, month, and year are laid out I can determine exactly where I need to go and what I need to do to get there. This stands true for my personal life and my business.

I like to break my goals down. I feel a lot less anxious or intimidated about certain goals when they can be broken down into smaller, more attainable goals. Then I take them one at a time. For example, if I wanted to lose 20 pounds this year, I break it down like this: I divide 20 by 4. That tells me where I need to be in 3 months (-5 pounds). Then I divide that by 12 and that will tell me what my goal is for each week (that’s not even half a pound a week! Pshsh! I got this!). This really helps me stay focussed and motivated. I’ve done this same formula for saving money, planning trips, achieving goals in my business etc.

I enjoy making it look pretty. I fancy a good set of markers and I enjoy color coding my lists! It ensures that my attention will be focussed on these tasks and also that I will have something pretty to look at. I color code in my planner as well, blue for things my husband has going on, green for my son, and red for myself.

Target is epic when it comes to getting organized and making it pretty at the same time. The dollar section has everything you could ever need: note pads, binders, file folders, washy tape, markers, cute pens, sticky notes etc. It is like a list makers paradise!

Not only does writing down goals, grocery lists, to do lists, blog ideas, business strategies, meal plans, and day to day events help keep me focused, but nothing feels greater than crossing things off of them once I’ve acheived them! And when I say nothing, I truly mean not much comes close to this feeling for me. That may be kind of sad to someone else but, for me, it makes me feel productive. And that’s important to me now that I am a wife and mother and business owner. The constant feeling of moving forward makes me thrive.

I encourage anyone who is going into this new year with a sense of disconnect or a feeling of vagueness about where you want this year to take you to sit down and think about it. Write down some things you want to accomplish. Implement some strategies on how you would like to achieve them. You would be surprised how a simple to do list can kick your butt in gear! Happy New Year!

10 Signs I’m Doing Better Than I Think I Am

I don’t know about you, but I struggle daily with living up to societal norms. Duh. We all do at one time or another. But I REALLY struggle. Why don’t we have our dream home? Why is the market so crappy right now when our family is growing and needs it the most? Why don’t I look put together on days I know I won’t see anyone but my son and my husband? Why do I care about what anyone thinks….ever? This ends now, and no I’m not a miracle worker and will say I will never wonder these things again, what’s ending now is this annoying list of crappy thoughts. These are the reasons, today, that I feel like I’m doing better than I thought.

1. My laundry is done.

And when I say done I really mean, the four loads I did earlier are folded and put away. That in itself is huge for my household. Usually there are folded piles all over every room, that eventually turn into messy remnants of folded piles, after plowing through them and wearing them ┬ábefore actually putting them away. Let me tell you, this feels awesome. Let me also tell you, the three laundry baskets in this house are still full of more dirty laundry BUT, they aren’t toppling over from being so full, and I actually have underwear again. HUGE win.

2. The fridge is stocked and ready for the week.

I’m not going to make this one sound super exciting. This family likes food. And we have lots of it. Shwing!

3. I started a new book this week.

I have ADD, never been diagnosed but I decided actually like ten minutes ago after reading a good thirty pages, that that in itself is usually very hard for me. I love books don’t get me wrong. I have read many a book cover to cover, and enjoyed the heck out of them! But sitting down, being still, saying nothing, is hard for me. The book I started is called Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I’m going to be optimistic and hope that this book helps me say, “Yes, I would love to buy that perfect and reasonably priced home” sometime this year.

4. I drank two cups of tea today.

If you knew me this would not sound shocking in the least bit seeing as I am not a soda drinker. But it made me FEEL good. I don’t know why. Drinking a cup of warm tea with cozy socks on and letting it spread it’s yummy goodness all over me makes me feel truly content. And I had two so, there’s that.

5. I’m blogging….like right now.

The freshness and sense of contribution this is giving me is really exciting. I like being excited. These days I only get really excited for a few things: watching my baby learn something new, seeing him smile or hearing him laugh, happy hour with my husband (and by happy hour I mean I’m drinking tea and we are netflixing our lives away), having an empty dishwasher and all the clean dishes put away, a shower…you know where I am going with this. Even if no one reads this, it still makes me feel pretty dang productive.

6. I don’t NEED anything.

Spoiler alert: I’m about to get deep for just a minute. Growing up my parents were divorced, as many of them were, my mother lived in Colorado and I lived in California with my dad and stepmom. Now when I said I don’t need anything, yes of course I meant I don’t need anything as far as things we want for fun or things we need for daily life. Those things are covered and that is freaking cool! But I also mean, I don’t need anything more from life than what I have right now. I have aspirations, but I don’t NEED anything. When I was a kid I needed love, guidance, support, truth, stability, love, faith, love…I needed a lot of love. I have lost my birth parents but my stepmom never left my life and her family IS my family. My husbands family IS my family. I have made a family of my own. I don’t NEED love anymore because I have so freakin’ much it’s incredibly wonderful. Word.

7. I got a cool new gadget called a Fitbit.

Like I said in my last post, I’m getting back into my active lifestyle I so loved prior to having my son. But this glorious thing really upped the ante! Challenge accepted little wrist thingy, I will make you proud!

8. My son just woke up for a cuddle sesh.

I am needed. I am the apple of this little person’s eye. I MADE him. Well, as my husband would insist, WE made him. We so did! I can’t understand still how I was given such a special little boy, but damn, he makes me feel like I have a reason. For a long time I didn’t feel that, so thank you baby E!

9. My husband is asleep and Netflix is all mine!

I don’t think I need to go much further into this one.

10. I don’t have anything to prove to YOU.

Don’t be offended hear me out. I have a lot to prove to myself. I have things I’m working on, deep things and little whatever things. I have weight I need to lose, I have projects I need to finish….or start! But what do you care? I think I’m pretty cool right now! And that’s the thing, you probably really don’t care, and I love that! I have nothing I need to prove to anyone but myself (ew that was cheesy) and I will. I’m getting there and I like that.

Now these may be small, meager little things. They may be huge, life changing “Oh my god! I really really love when my laundry is done too!” things to you. But for me, right now, I’m not doing too shabby after all. Heck! If my water heater blows up I don’t have to pay for it! Winning!

***I just found a pile of folded shirts on my couch….

Fresh Air

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On the topic of utter chaos, let me say, for whatever reason, the first couple hours after my son wakes up are always total and complete chaos. I have always known, and my husband will attest to this, that I am NOT a morning person. Now that I am a mother I have realized that those first few moments of my day used to be so very crucial to my mindset for the rest of the day. Now, I have a very demanding little human needing every second (and arm!) of mine to get ready for the day, feed before meltdown central begins, play with, try, try, TRY to feed myself, perhaps brush my hair and teeth? One can only hope. I can get negative, and down, and out right frustrated, not with my chunkie monkey, but with myself. Who really cares if my hair is brushed? I knew when I got pregnant the universe was giving me something I needed. What I needed was TO SLOW DOWN. Way down. Not only do I need to slow down to be more present for him, but for me too dang it! I mean I do still matter right? I need to be here, now. So we got out of the house, being active is important to me and my happiness but I seemed to put it on the back burner in those first few months postpartum. I can be active AND a mom right? Here’s to trying!

The Day Trip

imageIt’s 6:48am…I’m usually up before this but baby E is still asleep and I can’t shut my mind off so I lay here typing. My life is chaos, utter chaos. The amazingly beautiful kind. I am so new to all of this, and yet, feel as though I have been doing it forever. The joy and demands of being a first time mom, trying endlessly to be a good partner to my husband, work endeavors, but what about me? I had dreams, vibrant ones! I still have so much I want to fulfill in this life. There’s so much they don’t prepare you for as a child when it comes to this thing they now call “adulting”. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh no, here comes a cheesy New Years resolution that she will never keep”. Not today. I do have goals, aspirations, things I want for my family. But what I want to be first is ME. Raw and real and speak my truth. Lately every day feels like a trip somewhere I’ve never been, it’s incredible the things life teaches us. It’s humbling for me to share intimate moments of my life with whomever will read them, you are still reading right?? This sounds so serious, as you will come to see I am rarely serious. Let’s see where this day trip takes me today!