Life, Motherhood

Don’t Forget to Take Care of You, Too!

It’s been over a week since my last post; its been too long, I know. However it has been much needed I was reading a post over on Quirky Workin’ Mom’s about putting yourself in timeout from the world of social media and other toxic areas in your life. Taking a timeout and giving yourself a time to relax, reboot, & get things done! I wanted to just take a few days off to begin with but then another day got added then another, it was quite nice to take that time off!
I was able to have family time with my husband who was off work for the last couple of weeks due to switching to a new job, which he started on Monday. I spent more time with my boys even though they were never in one place for more than a couple of minutes, enjoyed me giving a little extra time to them anyways. And finally I found time for myself! After weeks of rolling through this season of sickness, stress, anxiety, & all the rest of 2020 I needed some sort of me time.
It should have been a no brainer to start taking care of me but when you are a mom who takes care of kids, the house, most of the bills, the car, the cooking, the cleaning, remembering trash day, taking kids to school or doctors appointments (most online), making sure the animals get fed/watered, and so much more it can be so easy to forget to take care of well YOU!
To combat the sort of funk I have fallen into I have started a new diet that really is more of a healthier eating style controlling portion sizes and replacing a lot of unhealthy choices with better ones. When the days are nicer I opt to walk to the bus stop to pick up my oldest rather than take the car & even get in some extra walking before sometimes if its a really nice day. I usually will have my almost 9 month old with me so weather needs to be baby friendly to go for a walk outside. If a walk outside isn’t possible that day I will do my best to get inside chores done; cleaning the house mostly. Getting up and moving around helps out a lot with moods and how you are feeling.
I think that a lot of people have been in a funk lately with COVID and just 2020 in general. Giving myself time to get more things done and also take a break has been a nice change to my normal day of chaos. I will admit I have been so used to not posting it would have been easier to continue that but I enjoy writing too much to give it up so soon! I will also admit I have been battling against the faceless enemy of anxiety & depression that come to visit me from time to time. Taking time for myself has also been a great way to help with those feelings as well.
I guess the moral of the story I am writing to you about is that every person at some point needs to give themselves time that is reserved just for them and them ONLY! If you are always taking time for everyone else in your life giving your self and time to person after person you are going to get worn out physically & mentally. You need to STOP and smell the roses or rather take that deep breath and evaluate what it is that you need instead of what everyone else is needing. You may not be able to take a whole lot of time but a little bit of time for yourself goes a long way! It gives you a chance to relax and unwind. You just need to figure out what YOU time looks like for you & your needs!
There’s still going to be time for all of the others in your life who need you but only if you give yourself a break once in a while! Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself a little more and find that special time for you and YOU only!

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Life, Motherhood

Anxiety Has Many Faces

Anxiety is nothing new by far. It just lingers around waiting for its moment to shine. It hangs over my head for its chance to jump in and take hold of my life. It has many faces, none of which are the same as the other. Ironically it wears different masks hiding its true identity. Lately I like many others have experienced anxiety. Where does anxiety lurk and hide? Well it is practically invisible and attacks when least expected. For me my anxiety it sneaks up when I am trying to get to sleep and feel nothing but worry about my infant child at night especially or worry about things that are not likely to happen but what if always hangs stalling. I used to be able to just go to sleep so easily and never really had this much of an issue with insomnia until now. My anxiety is an old friend who I thought I had left behind in this race of life of what ending is unknown.

Anxiety is not discriminatory it doesn’t care who you are or where you come from it happens to everyone even if you don’t meet face to face. Anxiety has many friends that often tag along to join in on the fun that it has with all of the emotions that a person gives out into the world. Some days I feel like I am on display for all of these different types of anxiety to pick on and have at. A free for all and it tries on all of its different masks on me. Trying to find the best fit. I feel helpless and stuck.

Who are anxiety’s friends, have I met them?

I am no stranger to those groupies who follow anxiety wherever it may go. They revel in the spot light and will make sure to fill in the gaps of a person’s emotions to better fit there agendas. Anxiety often travels with depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, the feelings of feeling less than, worry, panic, anger, and sadness. Most of which I have experienced first hand and don’t wish those feeling upon anyone. If you do find yourself masked with anxiety or one of its many other masks know that you are not alone. Alone is what they intend to make you feel like they want to self isolate you so that you feel like nothing can make things better and that you will just be stuck forever. When a person is alone it makes the process of cutting that person down and making them feel less than until they actually believe it in their own minds a reality. Anxiety and it’s other masked friends brainwash you they set in worry little by little creating a fear that paralyzes a person it beats that person down to a new level where they feel a variety of feelings all meant to cause a person to feel like they are not themselves and are losing their minds little by little until they do.

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety and it’s cloaked friends live in the shadows of our minds and only come out to play with our emotions when they see fit. We all have a different way to show that we are going through anxiety or it’s other cloaked friends the infection isn’t always going to look the same for all the different types of people in the world. My anxiety, depression, worry, fear, less than feelings, & stress are different than yours. My anxiety makes it hard for me to sleep but other times I may have a hard time enjoying the stuff I want to enjoy like time for myself. Depression for me is silent usually I don’t cause a ruckus and there is no kicking and screaming it just eats away at me in silent lunges. I get beaten down in my mind and as the sadness takes over the tears pool into a puddle inside and out I feel worthless but no one would know it as I always put on that smile. A half cranked smile forced and at the ready to put on a show for the world because they don’t need to feel what I feel. I am too stubborn I don’t need any help out of this place I’m trapped in it’s not so bad once you get used to it. My feelings aren’t worth being cared about by anyone else but me they are after all my burdens to bare. They weigh me down and as I feel chained down to the ground hunching me over breaking my strength little by little I somehow must still stand tall as if nothing has changed because my pain is invisible. To the outside world it doesn’t exist. To me it exists they all exist they all wear their different masks. Stress lately has had me stretched out to the limit I can feel it’s toll that it has taken on my body. Reminds me of the medieval times the torture devices that stretch the body to its literal breaking point is how I feel sometimes with my stress. The feeling of less than will set in next as if the anxious worry and fear wasn’t enough nor was the depression induced sadness. Then put some stress on the woman… surely that’s enough right? Wrong because anxiety has many faces and so does the rest!

How can you make it better? Is it even possible to feel normal again?

Even though most days feel never ending and that the mask i am wearing the mask that has auctioned itself to me is never coming off it somehow does. Anxiety and all that follows it have that end goal of isolation to make their victims feel alone; I aim to make sure I am not alone even if most of the time I am not physically alone. I have to make sure that I talk to someone anyone who will listen. Talking helps so much more than your mind will let you think that it does. You have to push yourself to escape that box you are in even if it doesn’t seem possible. All that the cloaked box holds is sadness and loneliness. It is a lie. If you let it control you with out fighting you might end up in a real life or death type of situation that can be fatal for you or even others who try to intervene at that point. I’m not saying it is easy because it is far from easy you are literally fighting yourself. Your mind, to be more specific . You are fighting a brain that thinks and plots and twists everything in order to win then on top of that you are attempting to win using can you take a guess what you are using? Your brain! The same one you are fighting against to win what seems to be an unbeatable enemy. It’s okay to ask for help because it is hard but doable. Ask for help, talk to someone! People may not talk to you because they cannot see what is happening to you the feeling you are feeling is invisible on the outside sometimes. When I feel like I am sliding down into a place where I don’t think it is possible to get back out of I know I need to talk to someone I need to get it all out and expel those emotions. I have gotten down to my breaking point to the actual point where I break, what happened? I sank and just kept sinking down further from the surface and that’s exactly what it felt like. It felt like drowning in my mind; eating wasn’t important at that point, talking wasn’t necessary, doing anything was pointless, because why was it worth it. How did I escape my waterless prison in the depths of my mind? I made a choice that I could either die at some point what would have been a horrible way to go, I could be sent to some sort of mental institution and live what was left of my life I gave up on, or I could fight back little by little and piece myself back together. I chose to try again because I believed that there was more to my life that I needed to experience still. Now I’m here sharing it with you. I make it a point not to get to that point ever again; I push myself and reach out to someone anyone who will listen.

Don’t let those masks those cloaked downers get ahold of you forever. They will come and eventually go if you continue to fight back!


4 Tips To Help Deal with Stress

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and take that deep breath because parenting isn’t going to go as planned most of the time. I get pushed to my breaking point quite frequently raising rambunctious little boys. Screaming, yelling, & chaos is our normal. Always loud. Someone is always doing something involving noise; I often feel relief I have all boys because how on earth would a little lady fit into all of the boy! I guess I always pictured a quiet and shy little girl if I ever did have a girl.
Lately I feel as if I am on my last nerve. My boys mostly my oldest have been testing my patience and just seeing how far they can push their luck. Mom feels like the bad guy most of the time as dad can get away with being the bad guy no problem for them but when I am the bad guy that is just the end of their little worlds. He yells at them and they do what is expected; they give him respect. My question is; where is mine? You got me I feel a tad bit jealous.
Isn’t that okay though? To feel jealous at times when I as their mom can’t seem to get down to their level. Dad can just swoop in and get them to follow what he says no fights and if there is yelling, its cool. I want that, that respect. I have to yell and scream and just lose my mind completely to get their attention; unless I let them just run wild that is. That won’t be good for anyone.
I love my wild little guys and I love that they have chaos and that they are noisy but some days I want it to be easy…well easier. I guess I am dreaming as it is never ever easy for anyone. It’s meant to be difficult; but wouldn’t it be nice? I know that I am not alone in that mind set, I just can’t be!
Right now when I am writing this it is almost 10 PM and those little bodies are still wound for sound. I have been arguing back and forth since 7 PM three hours ago that it was time for bed. I have implemented no TV tonight due to bad behavior earlier this evening; safe to say it didn’t go over very well! I know I am the mom but sometimes I feel lost. Sure there isn’t any schooling for us tomorrow since today is Friday but even if there was this would still be a battle. I feel sort of bad to be writing this at the moment glancing over to check on the baby keeping him in my reach and then to make sure the other two are safe patiently waiting for dad to return from work. I have just had it this week, this month really. At this point when nothing is working I have decided to just sit back and take that deep breath. I mean a real deep breath! After all mom needs to be taken care of too!
Sometimes you need to close out all the chaos and noise. You need to relax a little bit. Those times when I feel like hiding from my children or letting go of the reigns even if for a minute or two. That is what I am feeling tonight and that is okay! If anyone else out there feels this way I would enjoy hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. Anyone?

So there you have it my thoughts for the evening! If I could share any tips with you about what I do when I feel this way these would be the ones. Here are 4 tips I have learned to use to deal with stress:

  1. First when I feel like I am at my breaking point; I take that break, I take that moment, & darn right I take that extremely long deep breath! Nothing helps me more to relax quicker than to stop and get out of that moment I was in and take a breather.
  2. Second if that breather still didn’t do it for me, next I would take a walk. Walk away if I can. If my husband was home with me; I would escape for a while. Of course if he’s not here like now that wouldn’t be an option. I would then try to find some other way to get some sort of exercise. Cleaning or walking around the house. Seems like getting my blood pumping in a positive way other than yelling helps out quite a bit.
  3. The third thing I would try would be turning on some tunes. Listening to some music is a great way to relieve some stress. Kind of like a deep breath for your brain. My kids think it is for them; they stop there target practice on me and join in for some relaxation. I turn it up and it just helps calm everyone down.
  4. This next way may not be your cup of tea but it sure is mine. Maybe I need to do some screaming at this point if all the other ways are working. Scream, yell, break something release some built up stress. My kids do this all the time so why can’t I do it too? Exactly! You could try one of those stress balls if you really wanted to, but where is the fun in that. I often picture in my mind how my kids would react if I just started acting like them. Giving them a big tantrum and flailing around the way that they do when they are out of control. Wishful thinking that they might finally be on my level but I know they would more than likely join in with me; wouldn’t that be a mess.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my post. If you are ever feeling this way; maybe it’s not about kids but something else that is really stressing you out. I think that it is worth trying some of the above tips to try to bring that stress level down. I mean it sure is worth trying. Do you have any tips? Feel free to comment them down below.

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My Top 3 Must Have Baby Products

Today I thought I would share some great products that have been life savers for our family, literally! (This is not a sponsored post)

1) Our newest little guy was born this past February he was born at 34 weeks gestation and has had pretty mild issues considering being born premature. Like my other two boys he has had quite a lot of trouble with re-flux, well actually a lot! Definitely more than my older boys. He has been on re-flux medications for the past 3 months and for the most part that has been working but sometimes it doesn’t. I am a firm believer in the nasal bulb syringe; I don’t go anywhere with out it. The only issue with the ones you get from the hospital is that they can be very difficult to keep clean and when you think you have got it good you question your self because you cannot see inside…at least I do. After a recommendation from my sons doctor to get one of those nosefrida’s I spent quite a lot of time researching it and reading reviews. I wasn’t convinced that the Frida Baby brand was for us, so I dug deeper. Upon reading reviews about the nosefrida I found a diamond in the rough NeilMed’s Naspira Plus. I read through reviews and took the plunge; I love it! It works great and the tip is smaller so it doesn’t cause as much discomfort for my little guy. It is easier to get the nasal passages clear as well. It has the bulb syringe part that has the removable tube that connects together and best of all they are both see through for easy cleaning. I feel a lot better knowing that I can use it with and without the tube as well so I can use it for his mouth if I need to and his nose. When we were in the NICU one of the scariest times would be when he spit up as he still does at times, some were very bad up through the nose. I will never forget what one of his nurses told me; M then N. Meaning Mouth first then Nose! I encourage you to check it out in the link above. $14.99 at Target.

2) Owlet Smart Sock; This is a more pricier item but I feel is worth every penny. I used this with my middle son as well and definitely gives me a peace of mind with our little one now as well. The sock we have is the second generation sock; the company just released the third generation sock last month. Our second generation has worked great and will continue to work great! This device monitors heart rate and oxygen levels when baby is resting. It will sound an alarm if it is placed incorrectly, if there is not a signal, or if at anytime either the heart rate or oxygen levels are not where they should be. I keep track of it all on my smart phone through and internet connection. It has helped both my husband & I sleep a little better at night. You can buy it new at $299 plus tax and shipping HERE or buy a refurbished device directly from them for $199 plus tax and shipping HERE.

3) Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker; Is another life saver for us. Our little guy uses this more for just sitting in now but when he was much smaller he would spend his supervised naps in this and no judging we used it as a bassinet here and there. It has a base that can make it into a lounger that can be moved from rocker to lounger when needed. As I have mentioned he has really bad re-flux and for a very long time he could not be flat on his back at all without being at an inclined position. This helped up tremendously! Now he uses it more for sitting up in or on days when he needs to be at an incline. $44.99 at Target.

These are my top three favorite baby products! They have saved our little guy more than once and given us a peace of mind! We love these and cannot imagine life without them!

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Clothing on a Budget

Kids grow quick! Not to mention how rambunctious they can be. My boys seem to grow like weeds and they never ever stay still, they are always on the move! They go through just about everything so quickly. Everything that we own has been through the ringer for sure. Toys have been played with; so much that even when the wheels fall off a car it then becomes a boat. They are always playing with anything and everything that they come across nothing is left out. If it can be climbed they climb it; always curious always on some kind of adventure.Whether they are in the back yard digging for dinosaur fossils or testing out some new experiment or invention their clothes seem to get the brunt of it. They either wear them out or they out grow them. Being tight on money as it is means we don’t buy our clothes new; especially kids clothes.

Where do you find cheap clothes?

There are several ways to find good clothing for kids with out buying over priced clothing.

Second Hand Clothing Stores
I have spent a tremendous amount of time going through the clothing racks at the Good Will or Used Kids Clothing Stores. Hanger after hanger; searching the price tags for the best deal possible. Most of the time leaving empty handed. While I am not ashamed to buy something that has already been worn I do have my standards. There is no sense to purchase something used if it is worn to a dither or stained up; it’s used and that is great but is it great for you. Search around your local area for used kids clothing stores most places will be toward the city or bigger towns. Sure there are some local shops and those are great too; I have found that some will have higher prices do to it being a local shop compared to a store in a bigger area; just something to keep in mind. Doesn’t everyone enjoy finding a great deal; second hand clothing stores are going to give you a chance to find some of the best deals you just need to turn your snob standards for clothing off. If your on a budget buying used will almost double maybe even triple the amount of clothing you can buy versus buying brand new because of lower prices! Now that’s a good deal.

Some of my favorites include:

Clearance Clothing Rack
Some days I am not able to just get up and go to a second hand clothing store; some days I shop my local stores to see what they have on their clearance racks at the time. Depending on where you live your stores are going to have different ways of rotating stock based on the seasons. Where I live we have all of the seasons; Summer, Fall, First Winter, Second Winter, & Spring. That means that once one season is over the next begins same with clothes one goes out, the other comes in. When clothes are on the out you should expect them to be reduced in price and eventually put on clearance. Clothing based around your favorite holidays will also make their way to the clearance rack as those holidays come and go just like the changing of seasons, so keep an eye out!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Yard & Garage Sales
Around my area we always look forward to the Spring & Summer months as they bring all sorts of goodies including the yard sale! Most people know what those are but here’s a refresher just in case you don’t know; a yard sale or garage sale is a sale out of someones yard or garage they gather together all of their old stuff/junk that they don’t need anymore and sell it for reasonable prices to the public. You never know what your going to find and their is usually something for everyone. The prices are usually about the same price if not lower than you would find at a second hand store. If your in the market for a cheap wardrobe for you or your kids yard sales are definitely worth it.

What if buying clothes is a no?

Maybe your in a real pinch and have no budget for newer clothes or really to buy anything at all. A lot of times there are places like food pantries that have clothing instead or alongside the pantry. Ask around your local communities for information. Don’t be afraid to ask; it couldn’t hurt right? If you have access to social media I would check on your local Swap Pages. Calling up your local churches could also help as most food pantries or free meals come from or through church organizations; or they know the right direction to point you in. If you have access to the internet maybe through your local library take advantage of their WiFi and computer access to search the internet for help.
While your at you local library learn some new skills like how to sew by hand or with a sewing machine by watching a video on the computer. If the computers are all full try reading books that will teach you. A good way to save money on clothes is to make your own out of old clothes or other things like blankets and towels if you need them that badly! Get creative. Plus learning a new skill could help you start your own business for other people; which could help earn you money in the end.
If your like me with multiple children with in the same age range-ish you may be able to only buy newer clothes for the older one who would then pass the previous clothes down to the next youngest and so on. Enter, the wild world of hand me downs. Hand me downs are a way to really get a bang for your buck as the clothes get more use out of them from your family and sometimes they are passed along to another family to continue their long long life. Plus with that new sewing skill you can really make them go a lot farther.

Where there’s a will there’s a way! Don’t let a tight budget stop you from keeping your growing family clothed with good clothing. No need to pay full price for clothing as its just a waste of money, we all know that our children will just out grow them as fast as we can buy them!

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Parenting: 5 Life Lessons

Parenthood can be a rough gig at times; its not all sunshine & rainbows. As a mom of boys its more like that movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; they are messy little beings who spread chaos through my home. I feel like I spend more time cleaning up after them than spending time with them at times. 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, chaos! What’s that old saying? Boys will be boys; I wonder if that person who originated that saying ever did have boys! Boys are strange little creatures; I often catch myself trying to figure out why they do, what they do exactly. They are crazy and chaotic sure, but I they are mine. Being a parent of any kid not just rambunctious boys can be quite the task, you are responsible for another life. One that is not your own life. You have to feed, clean up after, and make sure that kid or kids are well cared for. When you become a parent your not allowed to be selfish anymore, unless you finally get some you time which rarely happens if at all for myself. There are going to be the best times ever on this parenting journey as well as not so great times. Both are learning experiences for parents and kids alike. I like to look at my life with my children as one big learning experience and since you only get one life it is the ultimate learning experience!

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Everyday brings some new adventure to light; like when my 6 year old learned to ride his bike for instance. He kept trying and trying some days he wanted to give up but each time he tried, he learned something new until finally all of that learning payed off. I learned something as well; at the time I felt like maybe I had been too hard on him as I encouraged him to ride that bike every time we went outside. I pushed him to learn it, as I knew if I never helped him make that achievement he may have regretted it one day. That learning experience taught me that it is good to push our kids and try to get them to do something even if they fail at it for the first several times; because one day if you help them and guide them enough, they can be capable of victory! They just need to believe in themselves first!
Life lessons come in all shapes and sizes; during the course of our lives as parents you will learn many lessons. It’s a bunch of trial and errors; never a perfect thing. Parenting will push you to your limits at times. I find myself pushed to the edge on a daily basis; I am constantly having to help my boys think about things, remember things, and also reminding them things that they have already learned; day in and day out! I yell & scream, I laugh & play, and so much more as there is an unlimited amount of daily tasks I do as their mom. I am constantly learning new things about being their mom; new lessons for our adventure.

What lessons have I learned as a mom?

Lesson #1: It’s Okay to Mess Up.
I have messed up as a mom multiple times during my journey. Whether I say the wrong things or do the wrong things. I am by no means perfect. It’s normal to mess up. I’ve yelled at my kids gotten to the point that I felt like I couldn’t return; I messed up. Guess what? It wasn’t the end of the world, it was going to be okay. It’s okay to say the wrong things or do the wrong things as a parent, because its a learning experience this parenthood thing. Everyone is going to mess up at some point. Whether it’s getting too mad at your children or something else its part of being a parent.

Lesson #2: Failure is Something to Learn From.
As a parent you are going to fail. When you do, let yourself learn from it as it will only make you stronger in the end. Instead of seeing a failure in parenting your children as a bad thing learn to see it as a good thing. It is something that can be learned from. When you feel like you have failed your children think of it like, okay how can I? or what can I do differently next time? When we are able to change our state of mind we can change the situation and outcome the next time.

Lesson #3: Never Lose Your Control.
The title can be deceiving like what is this lady telling me! I mean you the parent need to be the one calling the shots, you need to be in control. A child is a child; they don’t have the mentality to make adult decisions until they have become an adult and experienced adulthood! Even if they are 16-18 years old they haven’t been out there in the world or at least shouldn’t have had to. They need to be treated like kids big or little depending on ages but never as an equal because plain and simple they are NOT! Kids need to have rules & boundaries otherwise they will never be able to learn any sort of respect toward you the parent or any other adult that will be in their life. They will walk all over you and see you as some sort of push over if you give them control; it is a must to stay in control both parents.

Lesson #4: Be Unique.
As a parent you may try to compare yourself to other parents out there; always striving to be more like them. You don’t need to be like some other parent. You need to be able to be your own kind of parent/parents to your children; being different is the way to go. No one person can be just like another so we as parents shouldn’t try to be someone we are not! I want to have my own parenting style not someone else’s. My parenting should be as unique as my children not someone else!

Lesson #5: Allow Wiggle Room
You need to have a set of rules in your household that is learned by everyone and is respected; it needs to be what is expected of your children in your house. However in giving these set of rules you should allow for some lenience. Some wiggle room if you will. Give them room to make mistakes. This can be a way for them to learn from mistakes. It also helps to not be too set in stone, as kids are going to make mistakes. Rules will only be respected if you can also be able to forgive, when they are broken.

What are some life lessons that you have learned as parents?
Any nuggets of wisdom for other parents out there?

I have learned so many lesson already on my adventure with my boys, and I know that there are many more to learn. I wish I could share them all with you, my readers. Being able to give some sort of guideline for how this thing called life works is a dream because that is not how it works. I will continue to learn along the way. If I had any advice I would suggest paying attention to each and every day. Treat each day differently; there will be a new lesson, if not more each and every day on your adventure. Don’t expect each day to provide the same lesson as before; be open to the new even if it is scary. Remember our roles as parents are crucial to the raising and well being of our children; what we learn will allow us as parents to teach our children and what our children learn just might teach us something as well.

Thanks for reading my blog! I do appreciate it and just hope my writings/words are helping and connecting with someone out there. Drop a like below and follow me on my social media links also below!