Departing a bit from my usual home decor/diy posts I’m going to get real today. Real and personal and deep, deep, deep. The last 6ish months have been high on the stress-o-meter, for a variety of reasons to be sure. Things like 3 out of 4 kids in sports which means every night of the week and Saturdays are for running to practices and games with homeschooling in between, blogging and diy projects, trips and potential job changes. Hubs taking more work trips (which is a great thing job wise yet crappy thing for the stay at home mama with the 4 homeschooled kids for a week every time). It’s been a major ups and downs kind of time period. In that time I’ve had some crushing self doubt-like thoughts. Should I really be taking as much time as necessary to work on this crazy blog thing? OMG, I gained 8 pounds. I’m definitely not putting enough time and energy into the blog thing. OMG I gained 8 pounds. I’m not putting enough time into my kids. OMG I gained 8 pounds. My house is a disaster when am I going to clean it. OMG I gained 8 pounds. Are my kids going to be like “that was mom’s crazy hair phase” in 20 years. And on and on and on. When I’m overloaded and super stressed out (as I suspect many of us experience at one time or another) my confidence slides, my will power declines and my sense of self becomes fuzzy.
How do you combat that? What steps can you take to get back to your rockin self attitude? I don’t have all of the answers folks, lord knows I wish I did. It’s been a rough ride lately but I think I might just be getting some of my mojo back. I went on a trip with the hubs (just the 2 of us, huge shout out to our parents for coming and holding down the fort!!) that was SO NECESSARY. Spent some time doing absolutely nothing and ending with a couple of days in Vegas (our first visit ever, I know where have we been?). It was relaxing and fun and rejuvenating. Everything that I needed. But then we came home and it was back to the chaos we call “everyday life.” Hubs went out of town for another week (a few days after we got home), but the upside is school is over for the summer, the kids activities have FINALLY ended and I can start to breathe a little bit.
Then it’s my birthday. June 3rd I turned the big 35. Birthdays always have a way of making me reminisce and think about what I have accomplished or where the last year has taken me. Quite a wild ride I’ll tell ya that. I’ve completely transformed so much of myself and my attitude. Started dying my hair non-natural colors, got my big ole schnozz pierced, 2 tattoos, started a blog and took our first ever family vacay. I realized I need to stop focusing on the rough stuff and start focusing on the great stuff.
I broke it on down in the ole brain and here is where I ended up.
I’ll never be able to devote full time job status to this blog. I love it, I love writing and I love sharing with all of you my passions which are home decor/diy and self empowerment. But I need to be realistic and remind myself I can’t do everything. My hubs and kids come first, I won’t take a huge amount of time away from them because I feel guilty I’m not “doing enough” for the blog. I have to remind myself it’s not about being the most popular blogger or a certain number of visitors. I had this mentality when I started and let it get away from me, time to snap my ass back into why I’m doing it in the first place. Because I ENJOY it.
For reals, it sucks no woman ever wants to be like “yay, I gained weight!” Especially if it takes you an ETERNITY to lose 1 pound. But here’s the reality, SO FRIGGIN WHAT. My husband loves me and loves all the curvy-licious-ness I got going on and even though I look in the mirror and find 10,000 things I hate I am working on that little voice in my head to be like “this body has done some amazing things.” I will never be a size 4 and that’s totally cool because I’m healthy and strong and exactly as I should be. To help fight off the evil “skinny demon” on my shoulder, I’ve been buying some new clothes that make me feel amazing and boost my confidence instead of being like “I hate everything!!” in my closet and changing a million times. 2 words: Ashley Graham. That woman is my idol, she is living proof sexy comes from attitude and confidence not what size clothes you wear, and I gotta agree, girl is killin it! So I’ve got cellulite and jiggly bits in certain places what of it?!
I think a lot of moms working or not worry about this. It’s not as much about quantity of time as it is quality of time. I’m here with my kiddos ALL the time but I wasn’t devoting enough energy into quality time. I was so focused on a million other things that I felt disconnected and like a big gigantic failure of a mother. My 13 year old has been copping some serious teenage attitude, my 4 and 7 year old fight and pick on each other ALL the time, they never listen, my normal voice is 10 decibels higher than my talking voice and on and on. It’s enough to question your validity as a parent. What am I doing wrong? Why are my kids acting like holy terrors and nothing I do makes a difference? It’s all growing pains people. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual that tells you what you should do and how to be the bomb dot com. Break it down to the whys, my 13 year old might be acting out because he’s feeling extra pressure to be responsible as we’ve been giving him a lot more chores. Makes sense, so I start doing a better job of divying out those chores and have the other kids chip in more. And this is a big one, get back to telling him “great job” and “thank you” every time it’s deserving. (It’s made such a huge difference!) The younger ones, well they are little and brothers and let’s be real, fighting is gonna happen so save the major interference for when it’s super necessary. (saves your sanity and your voice from yelling all the time) On the quality front, we’ve been playing games together (not electronic but old school) like uno, spoons and chutes and ladders. We’ve been going for bike rides and walks and it’s all made a difference for the better. Not just for me but for them too. Moms are just too hard on ourselves and each other. Cut yourself and every mom that has a kid melting down in the checkout lane or in the middle of Target a break. To quote the ever wise Elsa “let it go, let it go” You’ll thank me later.
I pick up every day, I think I might be slightly OCD as I like things tidy but there are days or a string of days when I’m like I don’t care. The major cleaning like vacuuming (which is essential with a newfoundland that’s blowing his coat all over the house) has slid to the back burner as I only really do it once a week now. I consider the gigantic black balls of fluff floating around the house to give lovely ambiance as they are hair fairies. We go to bed with a sink full of dishes pretty much on the regular, I’m too tired to deal with it and they’ll get done tomorrow. In short, don’t sweat the small stuff and you’ll be so much happier. As long as it doesn’t get to the point of looking like we’re squatters I’m good. (but like I said OCD so it will be at least a picked up squatter residence)
That’s me and the oooohhh so good lookin hubs! I went from regular hair colors until last fall going pink, then later I went dark blue and green, then I went light blue and green and now I’m purple. Does it seem crazy? Yeah! Do I look like other mom’s? No! Would I want to look like everyone else? Umm, hell no. That’s the point of this whole thing. 1. I’m a huge color lover so naturally it would make sense it would become part of my appearance 2. It’s just hair dye and I can always change it back to whatever 3. I want my kids to grow up feeling like they can be whoever they are without judgement. Setting an example to be proud of who they are, whatever that looks like 4. They are growing up learning not to judge others by their appearance. It’s not weird to them to see someone with different color hair or tattoos or piercings or just being different in general. They’ve even made comments on how cool this guy we met was with all the nose, ear and eyebrow piercings and tattoos all over his arms. Why? Because he was a super nice dude and the kids really liked him. They didn’t see anything wrong or intimidating or negative about him at all. You don’t want to be like everybody else so don’t be. And as a side note, my kids have randomly told me how old I looked with “regular” hair and I look much younger now so expect the funky colors to stick around at least a little while longer. And to be honest I have a hard time imagining myself with normal hair colors, especially when the funky colors are so much fun.
Then, just when I think I have it all figured out and things are rockin and rollin along, life throws a curve ball, most often of my own mental doing (do more, be skinnier, be more successful, smarter etc). It’s about working through the crap pile we heap on ourselves (or get heaped on us) and coming out the other side, maybe a little smelly but a whole lot tougher than you were before you went in.
Love and be thyself, whatever size, shape or color. Ignore the stigmas and what society tells us we should be, whether as a mom, woman, entrepreneur, wife or just bad ass biotch. If everyone did this I think the whole world might be a little bit happier. So here’s your to do list: take crap pile, dig tunnel, see the light, come out stinky, smarter and more confident. Like a shit cocoon for a beautiful butterfly. Now I KNOW you can’t wait to start digging.