Showing posts with label moms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moms. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Loving Mom's Self Care Guide

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One thing that many of us talk about when we become parents is our kids. I'm absolutely guilty, after all, Figuring It Out 101 is a mom blog.

Our kids consume our whole lives and parenting has developed more rules because someone said that kids can't go outside without a parent or Child Protective Services would be called. Let's not forget that mom shaming is everywhere.

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I remember going online and researching everything. There were things that I could and couldn't eat. I gave up deli meats, cookie dough, and caffeine. My mom and other moms who had already been through all that were baffled. I'm sure they all felt like I was accusing them of pregnancy blunders because they still ate hot dogs, still drank coffee or soda, and some moms even smoked during their pregnancy. There weren't very many rules back in the day. However, if I adhered to the advice that I was given by moms who had already gone through the war, I'd get to hear about the neglect from the newly expecting moms online or at work.

Pregnancy and parenting is a no-win situation. You just have to do what feels right to you.

Once the baby is born, there are also parenting battles that you have to win and sacrifices that need to be made.

I was so lucky that I have the mom that I have. There were opportunities that she missed because she chose to take care of me instead of ignore me.

Instead of getting manicures every two weeks or sooner, she had cracked and calloused hands from working in a factory. Despite the fact that her back hurt from her heavy lifting everyday, she played and wrestled with us. Even though she must have been tired and exhausted, she still drove us around and let us have sleepovers with our friends and she always lent us a listening ear when we needed someone to encourage us through our relationships even though she had less of a social life because she had teenagers when her friends were just beginning their families.

My mom sacrificed a lot for us only for us to grow up, get married, have kids of our own, and go where the jobs went.

This could be the end of her story, but it isn't.

When I went to college, my mom decided to go to school for her Medical Assistance license. Unfortunately she didn't pursue that career because her factory job provided more than the MA job did after her years of experience put into the job.

Luckily for her, she got an amazing opportunity provided by her job where they chose special candidates to train for the nice, comfy, office jobs. Now she has an office and a title to go with it. She worked her tail off to get there.

Now, my mom is able to get her nails done when she wants to and she's able to have time to go shopping for herself. She's able to do the things that she should have been able to do when she was raising us.

As a mom, I see now how exhausted and worn out she must have been. She has spent years taking care of us and not herself.

I went shopping a few days ago thanks to the gift cards I was given for Christmas. My choice was Dress Barn because my mom recommended it and also because it was my more specific gift card. It was so nice and relaxing being able to walk through the clothes racks not caring too much about the cost of things and then getting to try things on. After being there for a while, I chose to get three shirts and two pairs of jeans.

I got to the counter and the sales associate asked me if I wanted open up a Dress Barn credit card for an extra percentage off. I asked her if I could pay it off with my gift cards to which she answered yes. So she rang everything up, my eyes were getting large as I saw the price climb and I started to panic a little. I rarely spend that much on just myself, but I can easily spend that much on my children and do it multiple times a year for multiple kids.

Long story, short, the lady put it all on my new card and when I went to pay for it in the store with my gift cards, she told me that I couldn't do that. I ended up returning everything and had her ring it up again so I could. The lady grumbled at me and I shrank up like a turtle and apologized, but you know what, I don't ever get to take care of myself like that.  With my mother-in-law standing next to me, I got the courage to tell her that.

Moms- We Need to Take Better Care of Ourselves!

I feel like I've spent many of my adult years tiptoeing around people trying not to offend them. I've made myself little so I could take care of my kids and keep them and everyone else happy. 

You know what!?!?! We don't have to lose ourselves when we do this. It's entirely possible to keep everyone happy as well as ourselves. In fact, we'll thrive when we get the chance. 

Here are some tips on how to do this:

  • Get New Clothes- We always make sure that our kids get to have new clothes that look great, why can't we? When you go to the store and use your debit card, the screen always ask if you want cash back. Say yes! You don't have to do it every time you go, but if you set aside $10-$20 every other trip and put it somewhere safe, you'll have enough to do something for you without feeling guilty because it's money that was saved. You also don't have to buy your clothes brand new. There are many resale shops that have nice clothes and most of them are like new and are much cheaper if you buy them there instead of in the department store. 
  • Take Baths- Unfortunately, this isn't something that everyone can do, but if you can, do it. If you can't, make time for showers. Have someone watch the kids for a little bit of time so you can sing in the shower or just soak and relax in nice, warm water. 
My not so subtle Christmas gift idea that I never get each year because it's too big for our bathroom. 

  • Bath Bombs or some other sort of relaxing aroma- Although making your own bath bomb can start off pricey, it could end up cheaper in the long run because you can make them in bulk. If making your own isn't your thing, you can find some cheap on the internet or you can buy some in the store. This Pinterest Bath Bomb is close to the kind that I make. If you make your own, don't be surprised if they look like this the first time.
  • Do Your Nails- You don't have to go to a salon to get them done, but having well groomed nails can help you feel put together. I like to use the Jamberry nail stickers. They stay on for at least a week, more if I'm not super active and it looks like I had them done professionally. 
  • Get Your Hair Done- I had my hair done professionally by a friend and did my own nails with Jamberry in the picture above. I felt super great when I took this picture of myself. I had no grays and my fresh haircut made my hair soft and smooth. If you don't have time to get your hair done, I have been guilty of cutting my own and using boxed hair dye- don't tell my hair dresser friends.
  • Take a Nap- If you can fit a nap in somewhere, do it! When our kids wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, my kids tend to come straight to me. If I can take a nap, I should. It (most times) leaves me feeling refreshed, although, some times I wake up crankier. Make a judgment call. 
  • Make Time for Friends- I'm a stay-at-home mom, now. I don't get to see people at work or have a social life during the day. The only people I talk with are my kids, which is great and all, but I can't vent or girl talk to them without ruining their little minds... Somethings are better left said to an adult because it's more appropriate. If I vent only to my husband, eventually it comes out as nagging. So find some time with friends to have a little fun.
  • Date Night- If you're living with your spouse or significant other, make sure to schedule a date night. It's good to remind each other that you still got it going on and you're more than just roommates and not like brother and sister. Just be careful, because if you think you're done having babies, you may have another on the way. J/k J/k- "Gosh, I thought this was a family blog?"
  • Read a Book, Watch a Movie- Do something that relaxes you. I love to read, but I find myself most nights binge watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime because I'm just too exhausted to make the effort to read.  Speaking of:
  • Take Up a Hobby- One thing that I like to do is crochet, but I have to be in the mood. Some moms like to sew, others do amazing crafts, some just like to go to craft fairs or shop. Find something you like to do whether it be crafts, gardening, or a sport, just do it. 

  • Exercise- This one is a tough one for me. I already feel tired most of time and more now that it's winter, but when I exercise, I do feel better.
  • Sing!- Singing can help reduce stress. So can listening to music. Pop in an old cd or if you're not quite as old as I am (is 31 actually old?) put on your favorite song on your Ipod or whatever you young whippersnappers use and enjoy!


There are many more things that you can do to take care of yourself and it's up to you to ultimately know what you want or need. Just remember to take care of yourself.

Someday your kids are going to grow up and you can take care of yourself more like my mom did, but there isn't any need to wait.

Your kids are going to appreciate a happy mom and will be happier in the long run, too. 

Don't feel guilty for doing it. I tend to feel guilty for buying myself something or for leaving my kids with my husband for a while so I can get out. Don't! 

You always take such good care of everyone else, take good care of yourself, too.

What are some ways that you take care of yourself?

Friday, August 24, 2018

This is What a Procrasting Stay-At-Home Mom Looks Like

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I just wanted to take a few moments and be real with you. We all know how to take pictures that are flattering and make us look nice, but in reality, some of us never look like that all of the time. Since staying home with my kids, I don't always get in a shower every day or my shower waits until later, so most days, I just look like a hot mess. I think that I can also say, that I'm not the only one.

    Two days ago, my kids had their back-to-school night. I was going to make that day about sorting out their school supplies and putting them nice and neatly into their book bags. I was going to have all of them take a bath and make sure they were all ready by 5. That did not happen. Instead, I spent the morning working on my blog and writing and this is what it really looked like.

      Hope, however was not lost, because as a person who has informally been diagnosed with ADHD by my son's ADHD doctor and as a person who has grown up always procrastinating, I've learned how to adapt and get things done in a rush. This is what it looked like.

    I was super excited. Things were going so well and I looked nice-ish with my make up on. I was going to wear a nicer shirt, but the shirt that I had washed that wasn't long sleeved that still fit me at the end of the summer, ended up with an oil stain or something that didn't wash out so I had to find the next best thing which was an old t-shirt from the college I worked at four years ago.  Then some unexpected things happened.

     When it comes to my kid's school, I try to stay organized and this time, the school failed me by not sending notification, but I was told that all of the preschools were given a grant last minute so even they didn't know what was happening after they had condensed schools.

     I didn't get a video of the kids first day of school. I was sort of looking ok. My hair wasn't greasy and weird and I was sporting a tie dyed shirt (I LOVE tie dye) and I was on top of it. My mother would have been impressed is she saw me. I did get compliments about how impressive my day was... haha. Today, however, I did get a video of me taking my youngest to school. I had already dropped off his siblings.

     I look awful. I had enough time to get the kids their breakfasts and get them dressed for school and then got myself changed. The outfit is a nice outfit, but it doesn't really go well with my puffy, needs hydrated face and pulled back, unwashed hair. I ran out of dry shampoo and keep forgetting to buy some more. I'm not even sure make-up would have helped without taking a shower first.

    I'm a mom. If I want to look nice and put together, I'm going to have to wake up at least a half hour before my kids do and PRAY that my youngest doesn't wake up when he hears my alarm in the next room over. Have you ever tried to shower with a kid who has just woken up, is cranky, and just wants his mama? It's very difficult. For one thing, the bathroom door gets left wide open, the shower curtain gets pulled back several times, and a million questions get asked. I could shower the night before, but my hair won't look as great unless I fancy curl it. No straightener could fix it... and if there is one out there that can, I'd be very willing to try it out and review it for you!

     I know that there are women who do wake up EVERY single morning and do their morning routines. I don't know how you do it. I need eight hours of sleep or I'm super cranky. That means I'm already going to bed early. If I wake up any earlier, I'm going to have to go to bed right around the time my kids do. That, is sad, my friends.

     As you can see, I'm a regular person. I have messy hair about 70% of the time, and with the humidity this summer, even nice hair gets poufy. In one of the videos, you can see that I don't have designer decorations. I have artwork that my children gave to me hanging up on my cabinets. I also, obviously, don't have much style. I'd like to be more stylish, but sometimes its difficult when you're overweight and there isn't much of a point to be stylish when you don't really go anywhere.

    Are there other moms out there like me? Raise you hands! Comment! Show me your daily looks!

    And by the way, dads. You don't know how lucky you are. After I made that last video, I noticed that so many dads look so great! I bet they had time to shower. If they didn't shower this morning, do you know how lucky you are if you have short hair? You don't even have to apply make up. How wonderful is that!?!?!

My kids are better groomed than I am.