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Parenting Without the Wine: Can it Be Done?

 

Yes, it can be!

Reading this post the other day by Laura McKowen left me yelling YES! after every single sentence at my computer screen. The title of it, I’m Sorry, But What the Fuck is Going On? are literal words that I have spoken about this same topic but never dared to bring up to anyone but my best friend and husband for fear of being called the dreaded term…..a MOM SHAMER.

I am not a mom shamer, but you guys, we need to talk about something important.

The topic at hand: Motherhood Wine Culture.

Image from Pinterest

You see it everywhere: The “funny” memes, t-shirts, mugs, the branding on wine bottles (Mommy Time Out), the news articles, the Facebook Groups. Wine and yoga. Wine and painting. Wine flavored ice cream. Wine clothing. Wine and wine and wine and wine. It is IN YOUR FACE, everywhere, all day long. And it bugs me.

Now, you might be thinking I’m some kind of prude, out of touch human, or that I think I’m better than you. I don’t. I drank my way through college and continued to drink up until about a few years ago. Until one day I realized how awful it was making me feel and so I decided to stop.

Image from Pinterest

Why Don’t I Drink?

No, I am not an alcoholic, and yes I choose to not drink. Whenever people find this out, they take the next few moments searching my face for a reason why. Then they spot the baby and say “Ohhhh, because you’re breastfeeding”. I just let it go and wonder what will happen when I have a 4 year old?

  • In a nutshell, alcohol makes me feel like shit. I am a stay at home mama to 2 super active boys. That is my main job and I need to be on my game and feeling good to be the kind of mother I want to be. Alcohol prevents me from doing that. After a drink or two, I feel lethargic, tired and easily upset the next day. I want to wake up feeling as fresh as possible each morning. Having a drink doesn’t feel worth compromising that to me.

 

  • I struggle with feelings of depression sometimes. Adding a depressant to someone who is already battling depression is like strapping cinderblocks to your ankles before hiking up a mountain. Why would you do that to yourself? 

I get that parenting is hard, for real. It’s the most stressful thing you will ever do in your life and it’s non-stop. Someone is always needing you and/or touching you. You are responsible for someone else’e life. That’s big, heavy stuff sometimes and that’s why self care is so important for your wellbeing.

I fully understand the need to check out for the sake of sanity, but, do we have to use substances to do this, or might there be a different way we could unwind? (If I were a PR firm I would have written unWINEd, ha) 

Sure, choose wine because it pairs nicely with your dinner. But don’t choose wine because you feel like you NEED it to get through life. I think that’s the makings of a problem.

What Can We Do Instead?

  • Get lost in a movie or a television series on Netflix with your partner.
  • Get physical! Releasing your mental and physical stressors by sweating, flowing or punching work wonders.
  • Check IN to your own needs. What are your hobbies that sometimes get forgotten about in the midst of motherhood? Find some time for yourself to get back to them and your happiness level will rise.
  • Friend time. Sometimes a morning walk with friends (without the kiddos) can help you reset.

I am worried that an entire group of people are falling victim to this powerful substance and passing it off as funny because it’s socially acceptable.

Us Moms have some serious superpowers and are the strongest people I know. Don’t let advertising companies convince you that you NEED wine to survive. You don’t. You’ve got this, Mama.

 

*This post was originally posted on Sarah Kurliand’s Blog

Sarah Kurliand is a Wife/Mama/Yogi/Writer who spends her days adventuring through Southern California with her boys. She is the co-founder of The Nature School of Philadelphia and is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, discovering new places & living a life that leaves the world better than the way she found it.

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Mommy confessions

Wow it’s been a little while since I’ve written. I’m already slacking. Anyway today I will talk about my 5 confessions about being a mommy and some I didn’t realize I even did them until today

1) Calling Hannah by a different name. Yes sometimes I accidently call her by the dogs name guilty as charged. But other times I like to test out our future children’s names on her. Someone once told me when testing out baby names to yell them and see how that feels. I don’t know how true that is. So if you see me out in public and I accidently call Hannah hazel or grunka (Kyle) you’ll know why.
2) Sometimes I let Hannah get away with stuff on purpose. She thinks it’s hilarious to climb the stairs she will look at me giggle and keep climbing. I only let her get to the second step before I “catch” her. Of course she thinks it’s hilarious and try to climb the steps faster. I live for those giggles though.
3) I have heard so many moms say how they have found themselves watching their kids shows and not realizing it. Yup this has happened more times than I’d like to admit. Doc mcstuffins she is a girl after my own heart and I’ll leave it at that.
4) I’m so jealous that Hannah says dada instead of mama but I’m happy at the same time. Even though I try to teach her to say mama everyday she only does when she is super upset. But, she will crawl around the house all day saying dada and you better believe when he walks in the door age gets a huge smile and looks at him and says dada. I guess it’s a nice trade since I’m home with her all day. And I love that even if my husband had a bad day at work that can bring him an instant smile.
5). This may be the worst confession. Sometimes I laugh uncontrollably when Hannah falls. Now I’m not talking about when she falls and gets hurt that would be mean. But an example; yesterday she was pushing her toy and it honestly looked like when a cartoon character slips on ice.  I couldn’t stop laughing and poor Hannah is laying there trying to figure out if she should laugh or
cry. She did manage some crocodile tears though but I promise she is a-okay.
Until next time

Leah

I am a mother to two wonderful children Hannah who is 3, and Saul who is 1, and I am pregnant due in March. I have been married to my amazing husband for almost 7years. I am also a SAHM for half the year, a nurse for the other half, and a fulltime Missionary so life can be quite chaotic at times. I started blogging in 2014 and through many changes I am so happy where it is headed!

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#MomStatus

When I first realized I was going to be a mom I had dreams and visions of the type of mom I was going to be. I was going to be that Pinterest mom who was good at crafts, could make edible nontoxic play dough, and of course those colorful cakes. That mom with a clean house, nothing out of place dishes and laundry done on a schedule. The mom who would wake up before her family shower, get dressed, do her hair and makeup and of course have an elaborate healthy breakfast ready for when everyone got up. The mom who would spend every minute she could playing with her child lots of outside activities, never raising her voice and just being that perfect mom

 Well once the pain meds wore off and I was home all of that went straight out the window. That mom does not exist in my house. I’ve tried but she is a mirage. Instead I’m the realistic mom. I’m the mom who goes to bed too late and wakes up the same time as the toddler. I’m the mom who doesn’t remember the last time she took a shower longer than 5 minutes. The mom whose go to outfit is leggings and a messy bun. I’ve put Barney on so I can drink my coffee in peace while it’s still hot. I’ve hidden in the bathroom so I could have 5 minutes sitting on the floor to read a magazine (thank you nap strike.) The mom who has given her child chicken nuggets because they are easy and I haven’t slept in days. I’m the mom who just realized the laundry she put in the washer yesterday…is still in the washer whoops!

But I’m the mom who loves unconditionally. Would go to the end of the Earth for my family. Only wants the best for Hannah, will still kiss her and hug her in public even when she doesn’t want me too. I’m the mom who isn’t perfect and no matter how hard I try to be a perfect mom/wife won’t be. Even when I’m on the break of insanity I wouldn’t change a thing. Even with the bap strikes, the multiple time outs, the long days and short nights I love my job as mom. And hannah probably doesn’t realize that mommy hasn’t showered, she’s eating chicken nuggets two days in a row, that playing hide and seek is actually let hannah hide and I’ll wait 5 minutes to find her so I can brush my teeth. But all she knows is Im her mommy and as long as she is happy and healthy I’m doing my job. She doesn’t care about colorful spaghetti and elaborate crafts she just wants to play with mommy, dance barefoot in the kitchen, chase the dog and I can do that all day everyday. As long as she wants her mommy I’m here (and even when she doesn’t want me) #momstatusforthewin

XO
Leah

I am a mother to two wonderful children Hannah who is 3, and Saul who is 1, and I am pregnant due in March. I have been married to my amazing husband for almost 7years. I am also a SAHM for half the year, a nurse for the other half, and a fulltime Missionary so life can be quite chaotic at times. I started blogging in 2014 and through many changes I am so happy where it is headed!

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When you look at my face what do you see…

the face of a new mother
the face of a new mother to a two day old son…
These are the tears of said mother who lost a baby 1 year ago…
These are also the tears of a mother to a two day old son who cried for two hours straight…
These are the tears of a mother who is diagnosed with post partum depression two days after one of the happiest day of her life.
This is the face of someone who refused to be silent.
7/14/16
As I sit in my hospital room gazing at my newborn I can’t help but feel sad and anxious. One of the worst feelings especially since I’m supposed to be happy, I am supposed to love being a new mom, but I dont. This is a hard journey I dont know if I am ready, Can I handle two kids, am I strong enough for this, am I going to fail. Its been a long day filled with anxiety, I dont want anyone else to hold my baby I dont want my baby to leave my room, I dont want anything bad to happen to him. I am the only one who can properly take care of him. I did it for 9 months and other than Kyle I dont want anyone else to hold him. I just want to sit here rocking him to sleep and cry, I am probably tired since I havent slept well for a few days and I am still having pain from a new c section. I wonder if I will ever feel “normal” if these feeling will ever go away…

8/4/16
What you just read was raw, I wrote that the thursday after I had Saul. I broke down at 2 am and talked to a nurse about how I was feeling. And I held Saul alone in my room and cried. I was nervous that after having so many visitors that he was shaken without me realizing it. Where those feelings came from I have no idea. That night is a night I will never forget. Those feelings of not being able to control my emotions were awful! I talked to my doctor that night and poured my heart out. I told her how I had anxiety of something bad happening to Saul. I haven’t slept since I was nervous something would happen while I slept. That night I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression for the second time in my life. And I was quickly put on medication that night for it.

Most of the time when people hear the diagnosis of PPD they think the mother wants to hurt herself or her baby and doesnt want the baby. But, it can manfest differently in everyone. For myself it gave me extreme anxiety that something awful would happen to Saul. I didnt want him out of my sight or anyone else to hold him.

8/14/16
It has now been a month since my diagnosis and honestly reading that top part is hard! I wrote that at a very difficult time. I am glad I did though, I was at my most vulnerable and its good to look back and see how far Ive come in a month. As far as my anxiety goes I am a lot better. Many people have held saul since then and I havent felt anxious, and I even left him with someone twice so I could run an errand and I didnt feel like anything awful would happen while I was gone. Now I do still have my bad days but I in no way feel how I felt that Thursday night.

I am still getting medications adjusted since there are days I feel like I fake being happy. That I’m not as happy as I could be. That’s not a fun feeling to have, but I know with the right adjustment and time I will feel better. Being on medication was something I wasn’t very happy with at first. Like what is wrong with me I need medication to be happy. But I want to be the best mom for my kids, and the best wife for my husband, and if I need some medical help with that than Ill take it. I know I wont be on medication for these issues the rest of my life, but right now I need it, so right now Ill take it.

If you have ever felt this way or are feeling like how I felt I urge you to talk to someone it will be hard at first but I promise it will help

I am a mother to two wonderful children Hannah who is 3, and Saul who is 1, and I am pregnant due in March. I have been married to my amazing husband for almost 7years. I am also a SAHM for half the year, a nurse for the other half, and a fulltime Missionary so life can be quite chaotic at times. I started blogging in 2014 and through many changes I am so happy where it is headed!

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I am a Mother

When I was younger any time I heard the word Mom I would think of my own mom, an “older” woman who has a lot of life experiences. I know I have two children whom I carried for 9 months and gave birth to but honestly I dont feel like a mom. I know, I know how can I not feel like a mom when I have a two year old who follows me around yelling mom, mom, mom. If you follow me on facebook you may remember how I talked about the fact that after Hannah was born I felt like I was just babysiting and waiting for someone to eventually take her back. Honestly thats how I felt again. I felt like I’m just babysitting these two adorable kids 24/7 waiting for someone to eventaully come and say thanks for watching them I’ll take them now. Thankfully that wont happen.


Mainly I felt/feel this way because I can not believe God blessed me with these two incredible kids! What did I do to deserve this priveledge? I am no one special, yet I was chosen to mother these two kids. I remember after we lost Sage the feeling of Ill never be able to have children. Than once we lost Presley the feeling of Ill never be able to give Kyle a son since I was so sure Presley was a boy. I’m so glad that I learned to trust in God’s plan and being okay with what he had decided for me no matter how hard it would be. And let me tell you it has not been an easy journey but its my journey.

Now in no way am I a perfect mother. I definitely have my flaws. I mean Saul is currently in his swing, and Hannah is eating breakfast in front of the TV so I can have a few minutes alone before I start my day ( yes its currently 930am.) There are some days that I am not proud of my “mommy methods” aka a lot more tv time than I want, and a lot more toddler play by herself than I want. I know, isnt hannah playing alone a good thing? It is because she learns self play but more times than I like she wants me to play and I have to say no. But being a stay at home mom, especially to two kids, gets pretty busy even if my house looks like I didn’t get anything cleaned.

Ultimately my point of this post is I am Hannah, and Saul’s mother, I am the only mother they have and I really hope that in their eyes I am doing a good job. I hope they don’t remember the bad days, but they remember the good days. Like the days we played outside for hours on end, or the tea parties in the middle of the living room, and the dance parties while cleaning the kitchen. I am not a perfect mom, I have many many flaws but God gave these two perfect kids to me and I don’t want to mess up my chance of raising them. In the end I am a mother, a sleep deprived, running on caffeine and sloppy kisses, endless loving, wouldn’t have it any other way, Hannah and Saul’s Mother.

XO
Leah

I am a mother to two wonderful children Hannah who is 3, and Saul who is 1, and I am pregnant due in March. I have been married to my amazing husband for almost 7years. I am also a SAHM for half the year, a nurse for the other half, and a fulltime Missionary so life can be quite chaotic at times. I started blogging in 2014 and through many changes I am so happy where it is headed!

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10 things that help get through sickness

Now that cold and flu season is in full effect, add in school/daycare germs, we are having to deal with all the ‘fun’ that comes along with every virus or bacteria sickness my kids catch. Over the last 12 years of parenting I’ve developed a system to deal with the sick kid and hopefully help the recovery process along.

  1. Have a dedicated sick spot
    Once one of my kids starts acting sick, we get the ‘sick spot’ ready. It can be any comfy spot in the house, like the living room couch or a special recliner chair, or their bedroom or your own. We have a fairly large master bedroom so we dedicate the floor area at the end of our bed. That’s where the kids sleep anyways when they sneak in our room. But when we have a sickly child, we pad it up with a pillow, blanket, etc. This also acts as a quarantine for the other kids. They are not allowed to touch any toys in that area or bottles of water, etc.
  2. Use a special ‘barf’ bucket
    We have a specific bucket that we use for any sick periods. It stays near the person the whole sickness and gets disinfected often.
  3. Disinfecting Wipes and spray
    This one is so important to try and contain the sickness to one family member. I try and wipe down surrounding areas and spray twice a day during the sickness. Also use the hand sanitizer often!
  4. Boogie Wipes
    When you have runny noses you need something handy and soothing to wipe constantly! I love the boogie wipes brand as they don’t irritate my kids noses as much as regular tissues and wipes do.
  5. Lotion
    I love to have a nice soothing lotion available to help soothe sore noses and give body massages when the kiddo might be feeling aches and pains.
  6. Humidifier
    We got our vics humidifier when my kids were babies after a very congested virus swept through. It’s been so helpful when my babies just couldn’t breathe comfortably. My favorite part is that you can add special vics liquid to help the congestion even more.
  7. A Temporal Thermometer
    This has been the best investment for when you have sleeping babies and they can’t/won’t cooperate for taking a temp other ways.
  8. A ‘Sick’ towel
    A long with our dedicated sick area and sick bucket, we have a specific big towel (bath sheets work great!) we put near the sick child. I like to use the towel as an extra blanket, that can handle if it gets any boogers or vomit accidentally on it. It works great for in the car when you run to the doctors office and you don’t want anything gross going all over the car or child on the way.
  9. Old T-shirts
    I also love to put my kids in oversized old adult t-shirts while they are sick. This makes changing clothes easy when they get sick, and it doesn’t matter what happens on them. I always have a ton of old t-shirts we never wear anymore so I use them just for sick times.
  10. NEW Coloring books and crayons
    And finally, when your little one is feeling miserable and they can’t run around and play like they are used to, I like to stop by the dollar store and grab some new coloring books, crayons and maybe some cheap toys. It brightens their day a little and keeps them busy so you can take care of the other kids, wash laundry (there’s always more with a sickness around), or you can cuddle and play with them, which I think always helps the healing process the most. <3

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Halloween Countdown Mystery Bags

One of the things I’ve lamented as a working mom is that I don’t feel like I’m able to do fun holiday crafts and activities with my kids. By mid-September my Pinterest feed fills with pumpkins made on paper plates, string cheese ghosts, and spooky treats galore, and every single inch of me wants to break out the construction paper and glue and just get crafty!

The actual times that I do make these holiday crafts, though, are few and far between because reality sets in. Finding all of the supplies for a project, setting it up so it is accessible for my preschooler, actually making the craft, and then cleaning up takes a lot of TIME AND ENERGY, and doing all of that while simultaneously doing all of my normal weekday chores after work turns out to be more hectic and stressful than fun and filled with holiday spirit.

Soooooooooo I put on my thinking cap and employed some of my elementary teaching skills I’ve developed and voila! Halloween Countdown Mystery Bags!

 

Each day in October, we will open one mystery bag in the morning to find out what our project or activity is for that day, and then actually complete it when we get home in the afternoon. Inside the bag will be a picture of what we are making/doing and all the (non-perishable) supplies or ingredients we will need.

Now, I should begin here by saying that there is a fair amount of prep that goes into this, but once you do it, you pretty much just get to enjoy each mystery bag as you go!

Before you get started, if this sounds like something you’d like to do with your little monsters, click here to download a calendar, shopping list, and how-to for all of the activities I’m doing with my gremlins this month!

Step 1: Outline the month…

I started by setting a theme for each week – I didn’t necessarily stick to the theme for every day of each week, but it was a starting point.

Next, I looked at which weekdays were super busy and took note so that I would plan a simple/quick mystery bag for those days (for us it is Tuesdays when my son has baseball in the evening).

 

Step 2: Get on Pinterest!

Pretty much all of the activities, recipes, and crafts I put in our mystery bags came from ideas I found on Pinterest. I searched for crafts, recipes, and activities related to Halloween in general, and then began just pinning and putting the ideas I liked on my calendar – simple as that!

(This is where the weekly themes helped because otherwise I was just swimming in too many ideas and 31 days to fill…)

{If you’re starting to think this is more work than it is worth, click here to get my calendar with a full list of activities and materials – all you have to do is put it together and enjoy!}

 

Step 3: Materials list…

This step was the most time consuming (and brain power consuming). I went through each of the activities I had planned for the month and started a giant list of all of the items I would need to make these things happen.

Your list may look extensive like mine, but when you actually go buy the stuff you see that you have things like a bag of M&M’s, and the cost ends up being pretty minimal.

 

Step 4: Assemble your bags…

I had a special helper for this part – my 4-year-old would open up a bag and I would tell him exactly which things to put in it, then he would RUN across the room and cover his eyes while I put the “mystery paper” (a printed picture of the activity) in the bag. No joke, he did this for every. Single. Bag. And it was hilarious every time.

I also put all of the tools and general craft supplies we will need in a cauldron to use along the way. 🙂

One other thing I did because I’m a crazy person is make little cards for each of the days, and inside the cards was a sticker that corresponded with that day’s bag. In retrospect, I could have much more easily just labeled each bag with the date it was going to be opened, but who wants things to be easy? (Apparently not this girl!) In my head the idea of having a card to open with the sticker inside and then searching for the bag with the matching sticker would be fun for my little pre-reader.

{My little monsters the best helpers… really… Also, you can find the punny pumpkins I made HERE…}

Step 5: Enjoy a fun month leading up to Halloween!

Like I said above, the whole point of these mystery bags was to find a way that I could enjoy some festive activities with my kids without it being a TON of work for me in the moment. While putting these together took some logistical planning and prep time, it was soooooo worth it.

Aaaaand lucky for you, I’ve taken the logistics out of the equation for you and put them all in a nice lil’ downloadable guide for your convenience – all you have to do is shop and assemble!

Happy Haunting!

 

PLEASE let me know if you try this and how it goes! I don’t think I can express how much I would LOVE to see pictures of what you create with your little monsters! Comment below and post on social media! (tag @aworkingbalance & use #mysterybagcountdown)

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Fall book favorites

It’s Fall! Another turn of the seasons is here along with new fun family activities. We’ve started another school year, soccer season, and now we are filling our calendar with pumpkin patches and park play dates!
I love filling our shelves with a mix of season themed books and books pertaining to my kids interests! Here’s my current favorite books to add to our story time fun.

   

 

                                                                 

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Fall Family Bucket List

Fall Family Bucket List

Can you believe it’s already September? While it may still technically be summer, it’s starting to feel more like fall here in Indiana. I don’t mind it one bit because fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it: the leaves changing color, the crisp weather, the clothing, the food, and most importantly, the fall activities!

img_1467
Jaden’s first trip to the apple orchard last fall

 

With the season fast approaching, I wanted to share our fall family bucket list. Our list includes 15 activities we are looking forward to doing this fall together as a family. I hope our bucket list inspires you to create your own.

Fall Family Bucket List (2)


 

Have you created a fall bucket list? What activities are you looking forward to this season?

 

sierra-sullivanI am Sierra Sullivan, a wife and working mom to a 1 year old boy. After having my son in 2016, I felt compelled to start a blog ( A Labor for Love ) to share my experiences as a first time mom and connect with and learn from other moms. I enjoying blogging about my personal experiences with my family and sharing things that I am learning on this wonderful journey called motherhood.  Instagram

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The ups and downs as summer ends

Summer vacation is officially done! The kids are back in school and I am enjoying the peacefulness of school days.
Having 3 kids at home for three months straight was tough this summer. All 3 kids are so different from each other, each needing a different type of parenting.

My oldest have a development disability meant he needed me to get him up and dressed and fed every day. He needs physical support to get from one room to another which is hard in it own way but as a 12yr old big brother he also preferred to be in his room away from his wild and rambunctious younger sisters. So although he needed me through out the day for certain care, emotionally he was happy to go along doing his own thing.

My younger two need more of my direct parenting. I have a highly emotional 8yr old. She deals with varying levels of anxiety. With this anxiety it often affects how she can deal with normal sibling squabbles. As she gets older, she is wanting to independently explore her own hobbies and she’s not always keen on including her younger sister. She’s also my rule follower and when that’s mixed with my little 6yr old rebel it often creates fireworks… even if its just because the younger one doesn’t want to follow the ‘rules’ my 8yr old has set out for playing.

Now that we’ve made through and our days will be filled with school and soccer, I look back and part of me still wishes I had more of those days. But I now appreciate having my time back.

I remember how hard the days were before they were even in school. Getting through those toddler years seem like a blur. But it really was a fun blur!

Now I see them having friends and hobbies and becoming their own people separate from me. As a mom, this is our goal. Raise these kids to become who they are meant to be. For them to create a life of their own. But there is a certain sadness in this. I cherish the moments of hugs and cuddles where we connect in a way only a mother can with her child.

It’s that feeling of a piece of your soul being attached to your body and it gets up and walks away to be its own soul but my soul still feels attached. I can’t even put in to words the way it feels when that little soul comes back to me with a big smiles of all they’ve experienced in the day. Those moments make me feel so deliriously happy I’m their mom and I get to experience this life with them.

I know even though I’ll be enjoying my alone time to get things done during the day, every day I’ll be counting down to school pick up so I can hear all about their day!  Here’s to all the moms out there struggling to get through the toddler blur years and to all the mom’s sending their babies into the world to learn and grow!

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In the middle of the ashes – we will rise

We are in one of those times where it’s pouring – we’re taking hit after hit, one thing after another, being pummeled by financial and emotional stress.

My brain is running in circles, and I’m trying very hard to make sure those circles don’t turn into a downward spiral.  I can’t make up my mind about whether we can do this or not, whether I should go back to work or not… I don’t know what to focus on, so I end up doing nothing or a bunch of things not very well.  When my mental state is healthy and rational, I know getting angry doesn’t help.  I know I can focus on what I can control.  I can take small steps towards our big goals.  I can concentrate on forward movement.  I can remember that we can do hard things and the rising will come.

Right now, however, I just received news about all the money we owe (see my previous post), and I’m coming off of a weekend with someone who seems to have very little respect for me or my husband (seems to being the operative phrase here – I’m very aware of the trickiness of perception), and it feels a lot like we can’t catch a break and we’re the enemy no matter what.

Ah!  Everything feels so…unfair.

But… deep breaths.  I will focus on the rising and deep breaths.  Jesus was treated like absolute shit (not that I’m comparing myself to Jesus…at all), tortured, and brutally murdered, and He came back from the dead.  That’s who’s got my back.

FOR I AM THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WHO TAKES HOLD OF YOUR RIGHT HAND AND SAYS TO YOU, DO NOT FEAR; I WILL HELP YOU.
ISAIAH 41:13

Okay.  We can do this.

I CAN DO EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13

I’m just going to consider David and myself members of The Order of the Phoenix.  We rise.  I don’t know how or what we’ll have to do or how many more obstacles will be put on this particular path.  But I know we’ll rise.

My devotional (Jesus Calling) has had the theme of trust and thankfulness for the past several days, so I should’ve known more was coming.  I don’t want to deal with any of it, really.  But I’m looking forward to seeing what God does with it, how we’ll grow.

Just when you think you have a plan or some things figured out, someone (or something) comes in and messes it all up.  It’s like trying to fold laundry with a toddler – you get one pile done only to realize they’ve thrown the other clothes all over the house.

Perhaps I was making my routines and schedule an idol without realizing it.  Maybe God’s calling me out.  This is the devotional (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) for June 5th:

But most people seek this fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements.  Thus they create idols…Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection.

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART.
PSALM 37:4

Ha.  Yep.  I think Someone’s sending me a message.  Heard it, Father, loud and clear.

Thanks for listening, friends.

Hi! I’m Molly, author of Blogging the In-Between.  I am a wife to David, step-mom to Audrey (14), and mama to Lily (2) and Tommy (newborn).  I taught English for 8 years before making the decision to stay home with the babies.  I love camping and yoga and Harry Potter.  And I love learning new things.

I have realized life is FULL of in-betweens.  And it’s those moments that make us.  It’s the in-betweens that mold us into who we are and who we’ll become.  That’s where the magic is.

My intent with Blogging the In-Between is to share what I’m learning along the way, to build community for open and honest communication about parenting, step-parenting, and want-to-be parenting.  I want to share ideas and strategies through my trial and error.  Mostly, I want to provide some encouragement for you in your in-between.  Wherever that may be, you are not alone.

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Tips & Tricks for Traveling with Babies

tips & tricks for traveling with babies

I find traveling with littles to be a bit tricky. It requires planning and frequent breaks and a lot of stuff. Oh, the stuff. I always feel like I have to bring half the house with me when we take a trip, especially now that there are two babies.

tips & tricks for traveling with babies

We have a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, so we have to be strategic on our road trips. We leave super early in the hopes that they’ll fall back asleep. We make a huge packing list. We plan our stops according to the baby’s eating schedule and allow enough time for the toddler to run around. And I keep everything ridiculously organized in my secret weapon: Ziploc bags!

tips & tricks for traveling with babies

I literally use them for everything. You can label them, AND you can squeeze all the air out to get the most out of your suitcase or whatever you’re packing. I pack all the kids’ stuff in a Thirty-One bag because it’s so accessible and it fits perfectly in our trunk.

tips & tricks for traveling with babies

There are a few other tricks I had up my sleeve for our trip to the family cabin:

1. Dockatot – oh. my. goodness. This is one of the best pieces of baby gear I’ve ever bought. Our son (knock on wood) is a fantastic sleeper owing in large part to this product. He’s used to sleeping in it, so we took it on our trip. He fell asleep right away and slept through the night. Traveling victory!
2. Leapfrog Leapstart – Lily got this for her 2nd birthday. It made for excellent car entertainment! You have to buy the books separately, BUT they have books for ages 2-6. Lily loves it, even though she can’t really understand the games yet.
3. Amazon Prime videos – Amazon has a great selection of free kids shows and movies for Prime members. I downloaded an episode of Barney and one of Sesame Street to the iPad just in case, and I’m so glad I did. Lily didn’t sleep in the car like I was hoping (of course), so I let her watch a video when she started to get impatient. Worked like a charm 😉

Our 2-year-old has always been a little more high maintenance when it comes to falling asleep. I brought her white noise and music projector for the Pack n Play to create the same environment she has at home. It worked pretty well!

Overall I think we did a good job traveling with our little babes. It’s so hard to allow for the flexibility family vacations demand when you’ve got young kids. I think you gotta just do your best and remember to breathe and that it will all be okay.

I hope you find this helpful in your travels this summer!

Happy trails 🙂

Hi! I’m Molly, author of Blogging the In-Between.  I am a wife to David, step-mom to Audrey (14), and mama to Lily (2) and Tommy (newborn).  I taught English for 8 years before making the decision to stay home with the babies.  I love camping and yoga and Harry Potter.  And I love learning new things.

I have realized life is FULL of in-betweens.  And it’s those moments that make us.  It’s the in-betweens that mold us into who we are and who we’ll become.  That’s where the magic is.

My intent with Blogging the In-Between is to share what I’m learning along the way, to build community for open and honest communication about parenting, step-parenting, and want-to-be parenting.  I want to share ideas and strategies through my trial and error.  Mostly, I want to provide some encouragement for you in your in-between.  Wherever that may be, you are not alone.

Instagram | Pinterest

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