I am the face of anxiety.

Walking past the windows at night and freaking out at the dark, because you think someone is always staring back at you. The true panic of darkness surrounding you. The unknown of what is out there. Making sure you are ready for anything if someone is to break into your house. You have a plan set out just in case, to get everyone out safely while battling the intruder. 

One day you feel amazing so you make all these fun and awesome plans with your friends and the kids, only to end up canceling that day because you start to think of all the things that could possibly go wrong before you leave the house. 

When you are in public with your kids and if your kids are not all chain linked to you, someone is going to kidnap them and you will never see them again. So before you leave the house you make a mental note in your head with exactly how they look that day. 

When your kid is begging and begging to go for a walk but in your mind you are already thinking about them getting hit by a car and honestly it feels so real in your head, that you continue to make excuses as to why you can’t go for a walk, till you finally give in but then hold on to your child for dear life so they don’t jump into traffic like you envisioned. 

When you are driving in your car and someone is driving behind you, going exactly the same way you are. You start thinking that this person is following you and go down a whole bunch of different roads trying to dodge this person. It is walking into a store and planning your exit strategy every time, making sure you know each exit door. 

When your mind is constantly going a mile a minute. Over thinking everything someone said. This thing someone said could have been months and months ago but something reminded you of that moment and now you are second guessing your answer. It’s over analyzing every single moment. When before you have a conversation with someone you already played the conversation in your head ten times, and then it just comes out a jumbled mess because you are socially awkward. Which then comes the night shower where you are just sitting there wishing you could be different. 

When something is completely out of your control and you can’t grab the reins and make sure you are incontol, you just want to crawl into bed and get out when everything is over. When someone does something differently you blurt out how you would do it differently causing a fight, which you didn’t mean to, it’s only your anxiety talking.  

When you go to bed at night, thinking about all the things that you did get done, and all the things that you DIDN’T get done, that you have to get done the next day. When you go to bed at night thinking that tonight is the night you might not wake up so you stay awake till your completely pass out and have no choice to sleep. 

These feelings…. These feelings that people call crazy. They are real. They are every day feelings inside my head that I have no control over. These feelings that people say “just change your thought process and everything will be fine” 

These feelings are so draining to the point my brain is just so maxed out. It is why every outing just seems so exhausting that I would choose just to stay home instead of going out. In my house, where there is a controlled environment. 

I write this to let you know that you are not alone momma. You are not battling this alone. Normalize talking about your fears and your worries without being told you are crazy or being scared that someone will think you are less of a person because of these.

I see you. Stay strong. 

To the woman / Mom…

To the mom on the beach looking at her phone, trying to get some peace.
I see you.
The days are long and I know you are just trying to get some peace while you kids are running around. For not giving a fuck what other people will think of you, that you are not hovering over your kids every minute of every day.

To the mom with dishes piling up in your sink and dirty laundry in your baskets, because you would rather grab a book and your coffee or play with your kids on the floor.
I see you.
Being a good mom or a good wife does not mean you have to spend every hour of ever day cleaning, making sure the house is pristine.

To the mom, to the women, waiting in line at the pharmacy for anti-depressants, or waiting to see their therapist.
I see you.
We has woman and as mothers are human too. You are still coping, you are still winning. You are taking action to the fact that you caught something just wasn’t right, you are being smart and getting ahead of something that could turn really bad. I find to often that people frown upon the fact that you are doing this. That you are weak because of this. Normalize therapy, Normalize asking for help.

To the mom who didn’t loose all the baby weight.
I see you.
A child is such a big and consuming job. You are up every night, this is a 24 hour job. You want to eat that comfort food, do it. Eat all that fucking food. You are a goddess, superwoman that created a human in their body.

The human race is so judgey, we often look at people and scowl because they don’t follow “OUR” personal rules. A lot of people need to mind their own life. As moms we do so much, we have so many fails and so many victories, but every single day we still manage to get up, and keep on going.

Keep being you, that beautiful soul you have.
Much love.

Dear new mom,

Right now, everything seems so overwhelming. You may think you have no idea what you are doing. You might even be questioning every move you make. You know what is best for your family. For your new baby. 

I promise you, that none of us have it together. We might look like we do on the outside. We might look like we do in all of our social media outlets, but what you don’t see in the picture is the toys that are scattered all over the floor that we have already picked up a thousand times. What you don’t see is a few seconds before that picture one of our kids just ate cheerios off the floor. Some of us might look like we have it all together, but on the inside, we are losing it. 

I promise you, that all that worrying is normal. No matter what age your children are. We are always worrying about them. If we are doing the right thing. If we are doing enough. Are they getting enough food? Are they learning enough in school? Worrying means that we care. We all want what is best for our children. 

I promise you, that we are all struggling. Struggling is a big part of parenting. It is a learning experience every step of the way. Babies bring new changes that we didn’t even know were possible. As kids grow up, they are new challenges every day. Family and friends and strangers will judge your parenting choices, but they are YOUR choices. What works for their family might not work for yours and that’s okay. They all mean well then they give you parenting advice, they really do. Sometimes it comes off as pushy, or judgment. Follow your gut. 

Being a mom for 11 years I have gone through a fair share of struggles myself. I have learned a lot of lessons, I have made some mistakes, but my kids are doing great. I have learned that I can still do this even on the little sleep that I get. 

Motherhood is intense, it can be really hard sometimes, but it makes you stronger. It makes you realize that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought was possible. There will be times where you have reached your limits. There will be times that your heart explodes with so much love and happiness. 

Just know that you are not alone. That we have all been there. Cry if you need to, ask for help if you need it. 

Motherhood is not easy, but you’ve got this!

True meaning behind the popular children’s book “Love you forever”

Growing up one of my favorite books my mom  read to me was

 “love you forever” by Robert munsch.  

This popular book has sold over 15 million copies. 

This book was published in 1986. 

Parents all over the world were singing the beautiful lullaby to their children.

“I love you forever, 

I will like you for always

As long as i’m living

My baby you’ll be” 

Sadly before this became a popular lullaby that parents loved to sing to their children. Robert sang to himself in his head, this lullaby to the still born baby. 

Sadly this was the second still born this couple has had. 

Robert went on saying that singing this song out loud was just way too painful and he honestly couldn’t even share it with his wife. 

Robert dedicated his life to writing children’s books and even worked in orphanages. When the doctors told the couple that they would never be able to have children they were devastated. 

The couple went on and adopted 3 children, Andrew, Julie and Tyya.

Robert said that he created this poem to help himself grieve it was his way of crying. Losing a child is devastating and we all grieve differently. 

The book is about a mother watching her boy grow up. He starts as a baby and then becomes a father himself. While he is growing up his mother becomes old and frail and the roll is reversed. 

Learning the true meaning behind this book gives me a whole new perspective. 

This is such a beautiful tribute to his children that he lost. 

There is no other loss greater than losing a child.

The honesty and pain and love that went into making this book, is probably one of the reasons it is so popular. It is real and it is raw. 

It will forever and always be my favorite book and after learning the true meaning behind it, it became 10 times more meaningful and amazing.

Distant Memories

When I was younger I felt the days went by so slow. Sitting at my desk in school, watching the clock, tick tick tick. Waiting for the bell to ring, then booking it out of the school as fast as I could. 

Summertime, daydreaming when I am finally old enough to do all the things that only adults can do. Daydreaming  by my big willow tree on my farm. It was my favorite place to be. 

Now that I have kids, I want it to slow down. Life seems to be going 100 miles per hour. Like driving in the fast lane with no cars. Never in the slow lane. 

Just busy parenting, keeping the house in order and working. I find myself often just sitting and watching the kids play in the pool. Thinking “Where did the time go?, I swear it was just yesterday they were babies” 

I will be the first to admit that I struggle to stop and smell the roses. I will be in the middle of laundry or dishes and the kids ask to play “Let me just finish these” The dishes and laundry will be there later, your kids grow up so fast. 

A first birthday is so exciting, yet you mourn the fact that your baby is growing up. To be honest for me, it seems to be every birthday. Even with 4 kids you would think that I have learned by now, they do in fact have to grow up. Not stay babies forever, since my oldest is 11. 

The pain of childbirth and holding your new baby in your hands. 

Watching them take their first steps and eating solid foods for the first time. 

No sleep and sore nipples. 

Them exploring the amazing adventures the world has to offer. 

Becomes a distant memory. 

I know I cannot stop time. All we can do is soak it all in because one day, I will miss the house being a mess, I will be sitting in my living room missing the sounds of little feet running in and yelling “Mommy, look what I did” I will miss cutting the crust of the sandwiches. I will miss this. All of this. 

I am going to try my best to take it all in. When my son wants a random hug, I will get down to his level and give him a big hug and hold him there for a minute, even if he squirms. When they ask me to play, I will set down the laundry or dishes and go and play with them. 

Don’t get me wrong I am excited to watch them grow into amazing adults and see where life takes them. — To watch their little personalities grow to be big ones. To see their drive to get their dream jobs. 

I hear people say “Make these the best days of your life!” But I don’t want these to JUST be the best days, I don’t want to be sad when it’s all done and my best days are behind us. Instead I am going to make these days happy and fun and full of life. I want to continue to have the best days when they are older too and have kids themselves. 

I am going to continue to help my children have the best tools to be able to grow up and be respectful, caring adults. 

I am going to have more movie nights with all the fixings, popcorn, chips and candy. 

I am going to put my phone down and computer down and soak in the laughter. 

I am going to make more time for myself and my husband so that we have enough energy to keep up with them. 

I want to look back at these days and remember that I enjoyed every single moment of them being babies and small kids and teenagers. I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t put down my phone or laundry to look at what they were doing. 

I want to look back and know that everything I did, helped shape them to be amazing adults. 

Milestones

As I sit here on my back deck, soaking in the nice weather before this huge thunderstorm jumps in and wrecks the nice weather we have been having. 

Although we do need some rain. We just planted some grass seed in the back. Our yard seems to have a water draining issue, we fixed it, but now we need the grass to grow back! 

Anyways, I was scrolling through some mom facebook groups. I noticed A LOT of moms comparing their kids to other kids or asking when will my baby walk, or talk or sit up. 

I will say this. I am no expert but I have been a mom for 11 years and I have 4 kids. Let me tell you. NONE of them hit their milestones at the same time. NONE. They were all different, but they hit them. 

We need to stop comparing our kids with other kids. Everyone is different. It does not make you a crappy mom because little Stevie started walking later. It does not make your child better than other kids because they hit their milestones faster than others. 

Some babies are fast talkers before they walk and vice versa. Kids develop at their own pace. 

Do your best to stay off of Web MD because all of a sudden everyone in the house has a disease and it will just freak yourself out. 

If you honestly have concerns about your child, then call your doctor. Going on social media for your answers will more than likely just cause yourself to have a mini heart attack because Janets daughter is already playing the clarinet at 2 years old. 

Let your kids develop at their own pace. Do not try and rush them. Show them encouragement. Don’t show them you are upset because they aren’t hitting those milestones.  Keep telling them they can do it but support them when they cannot. 

We are their number one fans and that’s all they need.

The P Word

The P word that no one wants to talk about.  

The P word that every mother dreads. 

The P word that a lot of mothers say they won’t get it

Postpartum depression. 

It is 100% real.

It is not in a mother’s head.

It is not something you can just “get over” 

It is not something that is ‘cured overnight” 

It cannot be fixed “by getting out” more. 

The P word makes you feel sad, and cry even when you have no idea what you are upset about.

The P word make you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep

The P word makes you sleep way too much.

The P word makes you eat too much, or might make you not eat at all.

The P word makes your body feel like you are in so much pain but have no idea where it is coming from.

The P word will make you have mood swings like no tomorrow.

The P word will make you feel out of control, can’t remember anything.

The P word will make you feel disconnected to your baby, this does not mean you don’t love your baby, but it may feel that way. 

The P word might happen right after your baby is born, or it might happen months later. 

You are not alone!! 

No there is nothing wrong with you, I promise you, it will get better. If you or any of your friends are feeling these symptoms, please talk about it, call your doctor, talk to your spouse, your friends. You don’t have to battle the P word alone.

Internet mom friends are just as real as the ones in person.

I read a post the other day, it said “internet friends are not real, because you do not see them in person”

My internet mom friends are for sure real, and they are amazing. 

Back in 2009 when I was newly pregnant at 19 and had no idea what I was doing. I was scared and confused and just recently graduated. I turned to mom forums. Baby center was my place to go. At first I was there just to read, I would browse until I got the courage to finally post my introduction. 

When I finally did, it was amazing. All these moms came out of the woodwork. Telling me I was not alone and giving me advice and support left right in center. 

It was amazing, all these moms coming together from all over the world to be there for a complete mom stranger! 

4 kids later I have the most amazing best friends from around the world. We chat every day. About everything, not even just mom stuff. Their support helps me get through the toughest days. Right now more than ever since we cannot go out and hang out, they are here.  In the same boat at home with their crazy little ones just trying to get through the day. 

My internet friends have seen me through my toughest days, they have seen me through my most amazing days and vise versa, I am here for them too. 

On days where the kids are just not listening, they are driving me mental. My husband is at work and I can’t seem to catch a breath. I grab my phone and open the facebook app and tell them and “Girrrlll, same” …. I take a breath. I am not alone. They are here too. 

That virtual hug, that virtual support is enough. It is enough to help me take a step back, it’s enough to help me calm down and realize I am not alone, that other parents are going through the same things and if they are not they are still there to talk me through it because they have been there, or they are just there to listen. 

I need these women. 

It takes a village and they might not be here in person, but they are 100% here for me. These women are my virtual village. 

We all come from different backgrounds, different religions, different parents beliefs and despite all our differences, we are a tight village. 

They get me. They get that I am a little wild. They get that I swear and that’s okay. They don’t judge me if I tell them my son decided to stripe naked and wave to the neighbor, because they all die laughing and tell me their stories about their kids when they did something outrageous. 

Both my friends in person and online are amazing.

 I found my village. I found my people. I have gone through many friends over the years. I struggled with trying to fit in. I don’t need to… I have them.


Pros and cons of breastfeeding & formula feeding

Well it’s May and it snowed. Yesterday we were all thinking about what to plant in our gardens and today we are shoveling snow. Can we just all say 2020 is a wash? I guess only time can tell.

There are still some controversial debates going around and have been around for many years. Since the internet has been such a big thing for awhile now, these debates have been massive. One of the big ones are breastfeeding vs formula fed.

Let me start off by saying I did both for my kids. My first child I am not sure why I was just not producing enough and had to do both. My second child I was producing a lot, but he was just so hungry I could not keep up with the demand and had to do both. With my last I did a little bit when I found out that he was allergic to dairy products and had to get it out of my system so that he could breastfeed properly without getting and upset tummy.

There are a lot of reasons you choose to do either. You are not able to produce, you feel like formula is too expensive or you need to do both.

There is a lot of breastfed is best and fed is best, but I want to dive into each one and look at their pros and cons.

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Breastfeeding

Pros

Natures natural baby food. If you are able to exclusively breastfeed your child, that is amazing good on you! Breastfeeding is really hard. Cracked nipples, biting and sore boobs come with it. It also comes with the boding experience with your child.

Breast milk comes with the immunity building antibodies. It is believed that scientist have yet to make that exact formula to put into anything else. Breast milk is full of vitamins and protein and fat a perfect blend to help your child grow. This formula helps your baby fight off virus’s and bacteria. Breast milk also helps your child lower the risk of allergies as well. There are some tests saying that it highers your IQ but I know some adults that are extremely smart that have been formula fed and are doing just fine, so I am not 100% behind this one.

There are even some benefits for the mother when breastfeeding. Burning calories it releases hormone Oxycontin. This helps your uterus go back to its normal size. They also say it lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

It does also save your money. Since you don’t have to buy formula and bottles and nipples.

There is more ease and convenience to breastfeeding. You are able to feed your child anywhere, no need to warm up a bottle or make preparations before leaving the house.

Cons

I know I can hear you saying, there are no cons of breastfeeding but I promise you there are pros and cons to mostly everything.

Some mothers and children just get it right off the bat with breastfeeding and just ease into it like they have been doing it for awhile. There are some that it takes long to master and there might be some barriers in the way that make it difficult to do so.

Issues with milk supply which I did. I had both way too high and way too low. Cracked and sore nipples. I use to cringe when mine would latch it was so painful. The pain level was up there with having 3 c-sections it was terrible.

Adjusting your sleeping schedule to your babies feeding schedule can be difficult, the constant demand of caring for your baby and yourself, it can be extremely challenging.

Your baby is attached to you, all the time. You are the the supplier of food. Woman may feel like they are loosing themselves. Body image, sex life and self-esteem issues.

Right now, more and more stores are making it easier for moms to breastfeed their kids but some places still struggle with that, even more in the work place environment. It can be difficult to still breastfeed in public. When you are at your friends house and they don’t have kids yet, mothers may feel the judgement of it.

Your spouse or partner will not get that bond feeding their child, and the mom may feel the lack for support when it comes to the child in that aspect.

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Formula feeding

Pros

You can buy your supply. A lot of woman including me for my first child you struggle with producing milk, sometimes you may produce a little and some can’t produce any. The convenience of being able to go out and buy more when you run out.

Having time to yourself to get your body back, with the fact that you can make a bottle and get someone to help you feed your child you can have a minute in the shower, or at least brush you hair. You can drink that bottle of wine no problem and just lush yourself.

You don’t have the nipple pain, you may experience some enlargement pain while you body dries up the supply but that will go away in do time.

Your spouse and even your parents will get the shared experience with your child. That amazing closeness and bond that you get when feeding your child, you can share that with your other have. You are able to get some well needed sleep that you longed for.

No lopsided boob. This was a big issue for me when I was breastfeeding. My kids would rather one side over the other and then the nipple pain was more on one side so I tended to use one side over the other, which made one boob bigger than the other.

Those weird pads that you put in your bra, the ones that make you look like you have a third nipple, you wont have to use those because no leaky boob!

Con

It can get expensive. Depending on what type of formula that you want to buy for your child or what type of formula that your child needs. For example for sensitive tummies.

The judgement you might get do to the fact that you are not breastfeeding. Even more so from your parents or your grandparents. When you go out for dinner and you order that glass of wine, people will be looking at you with your baby beside you “wow are you still breastfeeding and drinking” then you tell them “no I formula feed” then the judgement gets worse “how dare you not breastfeed your baby”

You may not burn the calories that you would if you were breastfeeding, with breastfeeding your body helps you do some of the work.

Dishes Dishes Dishes… Okay we all hate doing them, sometimes I feel like just throwing out all the dishes and using paper everything, but yes… washing all the bottles and the nipples and all the things that come along with it that you need to wash.

You know that amazing smell, when you open a coffee can for the first time and it hits you like amazing pot of gold. Yeah that won’t happen with formula the smell alone is just I don’t even know how to explain it. It stinks.

Pro for both

YOUR BABY IS FED!

As a mother finding what is best for both you and your baby is hard. All the judgement and all the info that get’s crammed in your face can be alarming. The right choice is what is best for you and your family. Talk to your doctor or health care provider and talk with your spouse. You shouldn’t have to feel you are alone in making this decision.

‘unwanted’ parenting advice

Here you are holding your new bundle of joy. You feel happy, scared and excited and who knows what other emotions are brewing inside you because this is intense. You and your partner just made a tiny little human!

Your new adventure has just began. Wondering what you are going to do, how are you going to raise them. All these new never done before moments.

Let’s be honest you have no idea what you are doing and of course you will get the ‘unwanted’ parenting advice from all different walks of life parents out there.

I wanted to talk about the ones that I received when I had my first baby, heck I still get it after having 4 kids.

Don’t get me wrong some of the advice I received was great, I could use it and other ones were just went completely against what I felt was necessary to have a connection with my child.

So grab your coffee and let’s get started

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1. Don’t hold your baby too much

Your baby was inside your belly for 9 months, then comes out into this huge world, it has no idea what is happening. It’s nice warm comfort zone is gone. You holding your baby, is giving your child that comfort zone. You cannot spoil your baby. The attention you give your baby is the foundation for thriving, emotionally, physically and intellectually!

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2. Treat your child the way they treat you

In other words, they give you attitude, you give it right back. They speak to you in a rude tone you speak back to them in a rude tone. Monkey see Monkey do. You want your child to know what they are doing is wrong. If you come back at them with the same tone or attitude, they will just continue with it. “Well mommy does it so I can” It is a better idea to be a good role model. You want to show them better ways to react to situations that you don’t like. Instead of getting mad when they are frustrating you, say “wow, I really loved that you did what I asked of you even though you were upset”. Get them to talk about why it upset them in the first place, children are just learning how to express themselves in the right manner and we need to teach them the right way.

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3. Spank them when they misbehave

This is one of them that bothered me the most. Your child looks up to you. You are their safe place. You start spanking your child, you are no longer their safe place. At the same time, you are telling your child “we do not hit each other when we disagree with what they are doing” yet you are doing it to them when you don’t like what they are doing. Words. Words are more powerful then a punishment that will scar their self-esteem. If your child refuses to do their school work because they want to play games, then tell them if you refuse to do what I ask then you don’t get to play your games. The one thing that I found worked best for tantrums was just walking away, not only does it help you calm down, it helps them. Giving them some space, when they realize that you are no longer giving them that attention they will calm down and stop what they are doing.

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4. Be a helicopter mom if you want to keep your child safe

This one lately I have been struggling with, because I feel like their is a fine line with over parenting and letting your child figure out life. If you never let your child figure out their own mistakes. You are constantly there hovering over them so they make 0 mistakes, when something comes along and you are not there they will have no idea how to deal with that situation. Tell your child about your experiences as a child, “when I did this, this is what happened, this is how I dealt with it” We are not always going to be around our kids, we need to teach them how to live in the big wide world. So that means, they will fall and get hurt. They will make a mistake. Being a good mom, doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect one. Since that doesn’t exist.

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5. Don’t ever give your child junk food

This means no pizza, no cake, no cupcakes. Not even french fries or burgers.
While eating healthy is very important, but all the time with no cheat days isn’t really practical. What if your child get’s invited over to a friends house for a sleepovers or birthday parties? I personally feel like it would have more of a negative effect on your child’s social and emotion development. You are telling your child that they can’t have these things at birthday parties or gatherings but all the other kids can. They will potentially feel like an outcast. Obviously if your child is allergic to something yes, of course they shouldn’t.
Yes, having your child have healthy food more than junk food is important, but teach your child the difference between junk food and healthy food. Allow your child to eat junk food in moderation. Show your child that healthy foods can be just as fun and inviting.

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6. ‘Cry it out method’ is best

“This will help them learn to be more independent”

“This will help mold their lungs”

There has been studies that have proven that this can have a negative impact on your child. One study shown that your child would become more dependent on you. Your child just cried himself / herself to sleep, which means they tired themselves out from crying and gave up hope thinking that you will be coming back in. Hearing this one goes against everything that I believed in. Knowing that my baby just gave up on their comfort zone.
What we did for this one was, we waited till they were at least 6 months old and could sleep through the night to change them over to the crib in their own rooms. As for transferring your child to a toddler bed and they keep getting out. What we did was sat outside the bedroom door. Every time they would get out. I would put them back in reassuring that I was there but it is bedtime this is where you sleep now. Showing your child that no matter what you will always be there is key. Letting them know that it is bedtime but you promise to me there when they wake up.

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Note:
These are just my opinions on how I feel about the advice I was given. Get your own opinion on each one. Take the advice with a grain of salt. Some things may work for one family but they may not work for all.

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Most important love you baby with all your heart. Show them all the love you can give them. Enjoy this new adventure. Days will be harder then others but you have got this!