The Parenting Struggle

There are days that parenting is just not fun. There’s not enough coffee to get you through the day. There’s too many hours until bedtime. There are too many kids running around your house and creating chaos. This is the parenting struggle. This is life. This is the unspoken reality for many of us. Maybe we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe we had a horrible night’s sleep. (Which is usually the case if you have kids, let’s be honest here.) Maybe we’re in a slump from the day-to-day lifestyle of forgetting who we are as ourselves and not being just “Mom” or “Dad.”

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I forget who I am as Amanda. I know (or at least, for the most part) who I am as Mom. I know what I want my kids to see and remember me as when they look back years from now at their childhood. I know how I want to look to other parents during playdates or online mom groups. But really, I don’t know who I want to be as just me. Not the mom to three kids, or the stay-at-home wife.

 

How do I fix this? The answer is simple, although the action of doing so may not be. Self-care. I know who I am as a mom because that’s what my mind is fixated on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I know who I am as a wife, because again, I’m acting as a wife all day, every day. Taking some time for yourself can be difficult- especially with little ones. I’ve learned that I need 15 minutes every day to make a plan for myself. This plan can be professionally, religiously, or just a plan of attack for the day. I’ve also found that trying to shower every day can totally lift my mood, make me feel better about myself, and give me some additional time away from the chaos that I call my home.

 

Take some time for yourself. Find 15-20 minutes where you can just be you. Take a shower during naptime, after bedtime, or while your partner is home to keep the kids out of the bathroom. Watch a show on Netflix before you go to bed. Get up a few minutes early to drink a cup of coffee or tea while it’s still hot. Lock yourself in the bathroom to pee by yourself, although be prepared for whatever mess may come with it when you get out. 😉

 

Remember who you are and just…. Be you.

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TBT- Two Kids in Diapers

Having two kids in diapers is a real life scenario for many parents. Some parents want to get the diapering days over with and for some, it just happens naturally! 😉 Our girls are 18 months apart so I had two in diapers for almost 18 months since Aubrey potty trained completely around 3 years old. For me, it wasn’t a total nightmare. It wasn’t really that bad at all! But I really wish that I had found cloth diapering before tackling the two in cloth scenario. We were in disposables almost the whole time! Can you just think about all that money that we just threw away?! Yeah, don’t remind me!

I think most of you know that I have not always been a cloth diapering mama. Aubrey was 100% a disposable diapered baby. We didn’t switch to cloth until after Baileigh turned one. We figured better late than never! (so it really is NEVER too late!)  I had attempted to switch Aubrey over when she was 2 for bedtime use, but it just did not happen. She was too excited to have on a pretty diaper! We had pink ones and purple ones, floral ones and ones with hearts on them… This led to her wanting a new diaper every 5 minutes. This just ended up me getting aggravated and throwing in the towel! So Aubrey really hasn’t had on cloth diapers. We cloth diapered Baileigh and disposable diapered Aubrey. Weird right??

For me, the worst part of diapering two kids was buying the diapers. I hated buying twice the amount of disposables and twice the amount of wipes. I felt like we were buying diapers every week. And of course, the kids just couldn’t run out of diapers at the same time. That would be too easy! I feel like cloth diapering would have SAVED my sanity as far as the buying part. Don’t get me wrong! I loved my frequent trips to Target. But now I enjoy going to Target for things other than diapers. And buying cloth is way more fun! Because what’s more therapeutic than some online diaper shopping and stalking the mailman?

Overall, two children isn’t too scary when it comes down to it. And especially with cloth since you’re already doing laundry and already working on your personal shopping addiction! 😉 If we had other children close in age again, I think I’d be more excited to have a reason to buy more diapers! More diapers means more fun! Right??

 

So tell me, are you diapering more than one child? How is that working out for you?

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Preparing Kids for Real Life: 3 Essential Lessons

-A Guest Blog-

As parents, our jobs come down to one major thing.

Each and every day, we work hard to prepare our kids for the day they leave the home.

For me, this carries a different meaning every day of the week. On some days, it means helping with homework. On others, it means a healthy dose of discipline.

… But every day, it means consistency: in my love, my lessons, and my values. Because at the end of the day, when my kids walk out the door to take on the world, that’s all that they will truly be able to take with them.

Here are three tips for preparing your child for the ‘real world’…

 

Teach the Value of a Dollar

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Every parent wants to spoil their kids, it’s only natural. But one of the best ways you can prepare your child for adulthood is by teaching the importance of hard work, and the true value of a dollar.

Perhaps celebrity A-lister Mila Kunis put it best:

“[Ashton Kutcher and I] both came from pretty, pretty, solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth… It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, mommy and daddy may have a dollar… But you’re poor.”

Harsh, but there’s a key take-away here. The real world is harsh, and the earlier you teach this lesson to your kids, the easier their transition into it will be.

 

Instill Healthy Habits

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Healthy habits start young, and stick with us into old age.

Encourage good eating habits (which doesn’t necessarily mean banning all the bad stuff altogether!), consideration (that means good manners!), a thirst for physical activity, and to limit device use (and when to do so!).

A great tool I use to not only teach my kids healthy device habits, but also cultivate accountability is a unique parental control app called OurPact, a parental control app that lets parents remotely manage their kids device habits.

Ever since using the app, my kids are getting good nights of sleep, know that devices are not allowed (let alone won’t work) at the dinner table, and do their homework without distractions beeping in their face every other minute. Cherry on the cake? They know that when they make an agreement, they’ll be held accountable for it. The app is free, and will change your life.

 

Chores, Chores, Chores

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We all have that friend who was coddled into early adulthood, and had a really hard time learning how to live as an independent adult. (In university, one of my roommates didn’t know how to do laundry, had a filthy room, and seemed to think dishes were able to miraculously clean themselves. Our room-mate relationship didn’t last long for this very reason, and she’s still adjusting to the reality of having to take care of her own sh*t.)

Teach your kids early on how to do household chores independently. Not only will this help lighten your load, but it will also work wonders to help prepare your child for independent living down the road.

The real world can be a scary place, but if you start preparing your child for their transition into it early on, they’ll ease into it like hot bath!

 

 

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#MomLifeMonday; I’m So Tired 

So remember how I said I had a new posting schedule? Here’s day one!!! Yay!! Welcome to #MomLifeMonday. Along with my blog post, search the hashtag #MomLifeMonday and #FluffBumBabies! And share your Monday in the comments below!! 

***Oh and by the way…. Mom life Monday shows pure, real life stuff. There may be a curse word or two. There may be moments where i stop typing to cry. Or nurse the baby so then it doesn’t make sense…. Real life. Mom life. You get the picture. 😉

So today- I’m tired. Between back to school and getting into a new routine…. Life has been hectic. Throw in some family get togethers, other crazy stuff to do, add in the normal errands and house chores and you’ve got a mama that’s around the corner from crazy town. My brain is tired. My body is tired. My give-a-f***s are gone. I feel like my patience with the kids is dwindling and let’s just pretend I don’t take it out on my husband. I need a week long nap. Or maybe just one full night’s sleep- I’d settle for that too. 


Do you see the bags under my eyes? And the forced smile. Yep. Let’s not even talk about my hair…. I can’t remember the last time I had a chance for a shower. Remember when I said this was real life? No filters. No edits. Just me and my kiddos. Why? Because life isn’t a perfect picture. I probably have boogers and slobber on my shirt. That’s just a part of this *glamorous* mom life I live. And wouldn’t you know, this could easily become one of my favorite pictures because it does show my day to day life. It shows that I’m tired. But it also shows that Baileigh doesn’t care and that she’s happy as can be just taking pictures with her mama. This picture shows Jackson staring at himself in my phone and figuring out technology. 

Coffee is basically the only thing keeping my moving these days. Adulting is hard. Motherhood is hard. Being a wife, yep…. It’s hard. Trying to keep up with everything on my plate is something I’m always working on. There will be days that my house feels spotless, homemade dinners on the table, and laundry is all caught up. But those days are few and far between. Life with three kids has proven to be an adventure- fun but challenging. 
Share with me your “I’m so tired” pictures on Instagram! Be sure to hashtag #momlifemonday and #fluffbumbabies!! 

 

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My Three Reasons for Mom-Guilt 

  
I won’t lie… Mom-Guilt is something I deal with basically every day. And honestly, I have more “reasons” for mom guilt than I could fit in a typical blog post. So here’s my three reasons for mom-guilt. 

  

Aubrey 

 Aubrey is our oldest daughter and she’s five. Five has been such a great age for her. But I’ve had a lot of mom-guilt with her lately. She’s always been my helper and she’s always tried to be the center of our attention. And with a new baby in the house, it makes things a little difficult for her. Don’t get me wrong- she is obsessed with her brother! But it’s hard that she has to share her mommy and daddy with yet another person, and that tiny person requires a lot of attention. I’ve had to sit down and explain to her that he can’t feed himself, can’t go to the bathroom on his own, can’t entertain himself, etc. And she totally understands and acknowledges that— but it doesn’t make it any easier for either of us. I can’t tell you how many times I have put her to bed and then felt plain awful about how much time may have been taken away from her that day. But then I also remember, that I’ve given her something as well and that’s siblings. She’ll have people there for her when her father and I aren’t on this earth anymore. And for that… I’m a little grateful. 
  
Baileigh

Baileigh May. Oh man. This one is hard. So much mom-guilt over this one. She is SO different from her sister and literally in almost every aspect. And I’m trying so hard to not throw her into the “middle child” group because I’ve seen how that an affect a kid in the long run. But sometimes… I do it without even thinking. For instance, Aubrey needed a shirt for picture day and Jackson needed a pair of those terry fake jeans— I walked out of the store with just those things. But then it was pointed out to me that I left with nothing for Baileigh. I totally didn’t do it on purpose… But I felt so awful when it was pointed out to me. Super mom-guilt. I didn’t forget about her but it was obvious I wasn’t thinking about her while I was shopping either. Since that day, I’ve made it a point to get a little something for everyone if I need to get something but it’s just not fair. And although “life isn’t fair,” it’s not necessarily a lesson that I find important to teach at three years old. 
  
Jackson 

So he’s still new to the family. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the mom-guilt with him. Obviously we cloth diaper, since that is what this blog was founded upon. But I’ll admit that we’ve used a fair share of disposable diapers too. We also breastfeed. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving him some formula to give myself a break. (It hasn’t happened- but I’m hanging on by a thread most days.) 

Being a mother is seriously SO hard. Being a mother to three is as hard, if not harder, than I thought it would be. Our family life has finally adjusted since welcoming Jackson five months ago- but that doesn’t mean that it’s all high fives at te end of the day. Sometimes it takes everything I have in me to not cry over something I should have handled differently or something I should have or should not have said. There are days that this mom-guilt crap tears me up and I really just can’t help it. It’s a part of life, a part of living. It’s a part of raising these little humans that I’ve created. Some how, some way, i hope to have a better handle on my guilt as a mother.   

“Ah, yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

                        -Rafiki, The Lion King 

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