Have an Anxious Friend? Keep Them & They’ll Keep You Alive.


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Photo Credit: The Cut

If you were close to me in my tween and teen years, you may remember me having a weak stomach when it came to nerves. Whether exams were coming up, a semi formal, a new crush…my anxiety would inevitably attack my insides – shooting high levels of cortisol into my system, sending my body into panic when there was no real danger. This physical chain reaction would usually lead me to being physically ill.

Some people assumed I was bulimic, others thought I had the flu a lot…and then there were my friends who knew what was really up and just went with the flow. They didn’t ask questions because they knew I had no answers. I hate my anxiety.

There are perks to knowing someone who gets bouts of anxiety though. As an anxious person, I almost always have a plan B, C, D and E. If we’re in a building and the fire alarm goes off – and there is indeed a fire, I am the person you want beside you. As you were ordering your Starbucks coffee and telling me about the crazy morning you had, I was listening while also planning escape routes out of the building should something crazy happen.

It’s just something I do. Maybe I watch the news too much. I don’t see the harm in being mentally prepared for emergency situations. Some people say I’m wasting my energy. Maybe I am, but I bet you’d follow my ass out of that building when it’s time for plan ‘B’ and you’re too panicked to think straight. You’re Welcome. 😉

Messy Bun Baseball Caps Are Here, Ladies


Guess what I’ll be wearing all summer? I have contemplated cutting a hole at the top of my regular baseball cap to get this look. But now I can put the scissors away… well maybe after I turn some old jeans into shorts first.

Anyway, back to the the C.C. Ponycap – seriously, it even has my initials! How cute is this? Keep the rays off your face, the hair off your neck and look hot in the process.

Here’s more info:

  • 100% breathable cotton
  • Adjustable hook & loop fastener so one size fits most
  • Even suitable for man buns 😉

Most C.C. Ponycaps are under $20 and come in so many colours – so grab a few for your wardrobe or gifting!

When You Share Too Much


When you stir up old feelings that you don’t like to have, it’s like unloading a suitcase of old dusty things onto your bed
You won’t rest easy again until everything is sorted through, and neatly stored away again
But when you’re a mom when do you get the chance to clean up the mess in your soul?
You’re so busy making sure everyone else’s buckets are full that yours stays empty
It’s exhausting to hear the reminder that you MUST fill your own bucket (self care) when your arms are two shovels that are currently being used to fill other people
Of course you know it’s time to take care of yourself, but how? When? With what money?
When you’re home with your kids there is a guilt that’s carried around with you: any money spent on yourself is stolen from your family
What will make me feel good right now? Getting my nails done, hair done, some shopping, yoga classes, going to a book store, buying home decor items…
Sometimes none of these
Sometimes I have no idea what I like anymore

Sometimes I just need to talk
Sometimes I get into rare, deep conversations with other moms
We go deep, deeper than intended
It feels good in the moment
But later you feel a little regretful
Did I share too much?
Did I scare her away?
Did I just fill her bucket with negativity
Did I just pull her into my sadness?
Maybe
Maybe not
Maybe she feels less alone like I do when I share
Sometimes I share too much
Sometimes that’s okay ❤

®Cristina Cole

Bumpkin Reusable Snacks Bags are My New BFF


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I am currently obsessed with these Bumpkins Reusable Snack Bags! Waterproof, washable and absolutely adorable, they now replace my endless use of ziploc bags for carrying my kids’ snacks around in my bag.

They come in a bunch of cute designs including firetrucks, Dr. Seuss, dinosaurs and more. My kids love unzipping them and indulging in their snacks. And not only am I saving myself from a car full of little baggies, it’s way better for the environment too.

More info:

  • They’re labtested food safe 
  • Zipper closure
  • These ones measure 7″W x 3.5″H but there are other sizes!
  • BPA, PVC, Vinyl, Phthalate and Lead free
  • Machine washable & dishwasher-safe (top rack) 
  • Sold in single or multiple packs!

Bumpkins Reusable Snack Bags are the BEST for school snacks too. Tupperware can take up space so these are a great alternative. I highly recommend these adorable snack bags for daily use or even back-to-school gifting!

I Love You, Gro-Clock



I swear my 3 & 5 year old boys were farmers in their past lives. Every morning the little boogers were up before the sun. I loved their enthusiasm for the day, I just wished they could be enthused a little more quietly.

I began to understand though, that they just had no concept of time. They were awake and wanted to party. I tried explaining to them that they were up way to early, but they just didin’t get it… until I bought their Gro-Clocks.

It’s like something clicked when we set their clocks up – which is ridiculously easy by the way! The visual of seeing a blue star at night and a yellow sun in the morning really helped their cute little brains grasp the concept of what a decent wake-up time is.

I was able to set the time when “the sun would come up” letting them know it was cool for them to get up and party. Until that sun came up though, they were to remain in their rooms and play quietly.

Instead of the typical twelve numbers around the clock, there are twelve stars. As each hour passes at night, a star disappears. So eventually my boys understood that if they woke up and there were a bunch of stars, it was still the middle of the night and they had to go back to bed. This helped my younger boy, Joshua with his frequent night wake ups – little dude just didn’t know it was still the middle of the night.

The Gro-Clock really helped them understand the concept of time. I swear by these things! If your toddlers get up a lot at night or are early risers GET THIS CLOCK!!! It has seriously made a difference for us.

I got both of ours at Amazon. They’re cheaper here than other places I have looked and they shipped in no time at all – and shipping’s free after $25 – score! Get your Gro-Clock Sleep Trainers today. Sweet dreams, Mammas!

What are some of your favourite products that actually helped make life easier? Please share them with me!!

Breadcrumbs


Every once in a while you hear a song that gets right into your gut…and it shakes the emotions you’ve repressed for so long. Awakening the monster within that’s so familiar it actually brings with it a strange comfort. You’re reminded that no matter how wide your smile, how loud your laugh, or how fiercely you pretend the monster doesn’t exist – it does, and it’s never leaving.

But the same song that reminds you to keep running and never look back offers you the ammo to turn around and face the monster. To fight back and stop being a victim to its darkness. To scream like a warrior with black soot brushed along cheekbones. To raise your sword and defend the light left inside of you.

How does a stranger’s voice reach into your soul and clench the pain? How can they put into words exactly how you feel? Is it because maybe, just maybe, someone out there understands exactly what goes on inside of you when the crazy gets real? And it means that you’re not crazy. Sometimes you’re just raw – exposed – without skin. Any unintended harsh word or hurtful look from another is intensely painful. And someone out there understands this. They are singing it to you as you drive your car – the road gets slightly blurred as your eyes fill with tears.

When the song ends, you’re left feeling vulnerable, sad, validated, giddy, and raw all at the same time. A few minutes ago you were looking forward to barbeques and patio talk, clinking cutlery and the sound of summer fun – but it’s as though you’re waking up from a dream you’re fighting to remember and everything is a fog. Because the monster is awake – and you have to figure out how to fight it while smiling on the outside. It’s what being a wife and mother means sometimes: swallowing those feelings that need nurturing because you have to dig deep to find more of yourself to give to someone else.

It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time. Because it seems impossible that there is anything left. But somehow you find more and you’re able to find a breadcrumb of the woman you used to be and tuck it safely away.

Is There a Cure for This Mommy Brain Thing?


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Focusing is something I really struggle with lately. I know that “mommy brain” is an actual thing so it makes me feel better about my lack of concentration. But it doesn’t make things any less frustrating. It’s annoying how easily an idea that just entered my mind fades away like cotton candy in water…and I’m left feeling as panicked and bewildered as this poor dude:

I get agitated when I think of an item I need to add to my grocery list but can’t find a pen to quickly jot it down. It’s that bad – if I don’t write down the important thing that floats into my mind within 30 seconds, it’s gone. It’ll pop up at some other time during the day, but probably when I’m driving or showering.

At least three times a day I find myself standing in front of the fridge holding the doors open asking out loud what the heck did I need again? Or as I’m heading downstairs to the cold room for a jar of tomato sauce, it may occur to me that I’d like something sweet with my coffee later. Naturally I return upstairs with all the ingredients for pineapple up-side-down cake but no jar of sauce. Frig! Downstairs I go again.

Please tell me some mommies out there can relate? Any tips of how to focus again?

 

Simplification


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I wish I lived during simpler times

When text messages or emails were letters written, sealed with wax and mailed with hopeful intentions

When the sound of clopping hooves on a gravel road, not a ‘ding’, meant a message was arriving

When things took time, when nothing was instantaneous, when we relied on our own selves to fill the lulls – to read, to write, to draw, to stare at nothing and daydream in silence

There are too many options, too much noise, so much stuff!

The need to acquire more things can’t be satiated

I try to simplify, declutter, compartmentalize my stuff, my thoughts, my life

But I need to do it over and over

The white noise, dinging tablets, vibrating phones is a constant distraction

A force that pulls my mind away from what matters

A beckoning to come and see what I might be missing

And when I finally give in there is no satisfaction

There is only regret when I notice I missed nothing – just like I knew, but couldn’t let go

Feeling like a fool I vow to simplify my life

But know how the cycle goes

And do what I can to minimize the distraction as I try to live my life

 

10 Random Things I’d Tell My Twenty-Year-Old Self


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  1. Stop saying “I’m sooooooooo tired.” There are new mothers who hear you and may punch you in the face.
  2. Don’t take life so seriously. Have more fun.
  3. After you have your second kid, your waistline increases an inch the second you look at a cookie, so eat them now! Dooooo it!
  4. If you think you compare yourself to other women a lot now, just wait till you become a mother – you’ll do it a few hundred times a day. We gotta figure out how to stop this, it’s a bad cycle.
  5. Stop dieting. Just get in the habit of walking or running daily – it’s the only way.
  6. Stop looking at moms with their kids having tantrums and thinking: “I will never let my kid behave that way in public, EVER, period.” Because my darling, you can’t control a toddler’s emotions. So stop judging and start saving some money for therapy.
  7. Let go. Learn to let go of things you can’t control now. It’ll make you better at not sweating the small stuff as a new mom.
  8. Stop shaking your head at your sister-in-law, Lynette and wondering why she’s so moody after having your niece Adele. You’ll experience the wrath of hormones at war inside your body one day. And that’s when you’ll suddenly love her so much more.
  9. Baby wipes take that mascara off better than those Oil of Olay cloths you spend so much money on. You’re hilarious.
  10. Stop saying “I’m bored.” Be happy that you currently have nothing to do and enjoy staring at a wall while listening to nothing.

I Hate You, Parenting Articles


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I read parenting advice from all different perspectives. And with each paragraph I read I shake my head and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. At the end of the article I’m convinced that one of my children may turn out to be a serial killer. Who knows, maybe both will.

Why are there so many methods? How do I know which one will work?I believe that  all these different theories were written by people who think their own parents did it wrong. After years of trying to fix themselves they believe they’ve come up with the right way to raise a child.

I want to know how their children turned out…or better yet if they even have children. And if their children did happen to turn out to be brain surgeons or violinists or CEO’s of big companies – I’d like to know what these successful people really feel about their childhoods and how their parents raised them. I wonder if they gave me the password to their computer if I’d find a file with 52 pages of a book they’re writing about parenting and how to do it right.

I hate how these articles make me feel. I hate that I’ll always feel inadequate even when I’m doing an okay job. I hate that I question everything:

  • Did that three-day potty training week from hell scar him?
  • Is he going to marry a bitchy woman because I yell at least twice a day and he’ll find bitchy women to be comforting and familiar?
  • Will he develop a tick when he sees blueberries because of that morning we had a power struggle over eating two more blueberries before he was allowed to leave the table?
  • Will he be behind in kindergarten because he’s home with me and not in daycare like many other toddlers? He can only count to 14 and not 31, maybe I should put him in preschool twice a week.
  • Will he develop OCD because I try to pick those boogers out of his nose every chance I get?
  • If I ignore this tantrum right now will he grow up to be resentful and angry because I’m not validating his feelings?

No matter what I do I’m questioning myself, doubting every decision I make. And as if my own fears aren’t enough I read parenting articles that confirm them. The articles make it official – I’m doing it wrong. Well guess what parenting articles?

 

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Have a nice day 🙂