Seek The Simplicity

Because sometimes just meeting up downtown with some friends is all you need to feel like yourself again. Or maybe just a spur of the moment photo shoot postpartum is enough to make you feel alive.

Motherhood is tough–probably the hardest job there is out there. And being home with babies or toddlers all day can drive you a bit nuts sometimes. Yesterday, I had some much-needed “me/mommy time” and it felt great.

This “me time” mostly consisted of me drinking coffee and listening to my colleagues complain about work while I grinned in silence because I’m on leave, but hey, stop judging. It was our fun.

For me, it was having time to myself, but for them, it was a way to finally interact with someone, given that our job is very isolating (teaching online).

The point of this blog post really is that, “me time” is important. OK, the real point of this blog post is to show you these awesome photos because what else am I supposed to do with them? Haha.

Whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM, Working mom, it’s important to have a moment to just do things by yourself or meet up with friends without the kiddos.

It’s been almost a month since I had our third child and I’m learning that there is a moment for everything.

Be content in the season you’re in and seek the simplicity in life.

How Do You Spend Your Time?

The quality of your life is determined by how effectively you use time.

-Michelle McClain-Walters

I am making the most of my time instead of complaining about the time I don’t have. If that means I get to journal for three minutes, then so be it because time is the measure of life.

How you spend your time defines you.

 

There are moments where I have an hour or two to myself when all the kiddos are asleep, and I usually spend that time watching TV when I could be using that time wisely by reading a book, for example (since I compain about not having enough time to read anymore).

So I’m making a pact with myself to be more mindful of how I spend my time in general. If there is one thing that we absolutely cannot take back in life, it’s time. Last night, I read for an hour before I practically passed out on the couch but it felt amazing to escape into a book again.

If you were to be defined by how you spend most of your free time, what would you be called?

 

If you were wondering where I’ve been…

 

They say every pregnancy is different.

They also say every pregnancy gets more difficult with age.

Those statements are both true for me, but I know that it may not be so for others.

As I am nearing the end of my third pregnancy, it feels as if this one went faster, but more difficult.  Perhaps because I was working the entire time? And although I was working, I’m grateful that I was not on my feet or didn’t even have to step out of the house, matter of fact. Working from home while pregnant has been a blessing in many ways and I’m grateful I was able to do so.

There’s also this thing with pregnancy brain because I can’t seem to remember the purpose of this blog post after many interruptions by the kiddos.

I think I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here. It has been difficult to keep up with blogging, working, family life, and pregnancy. Also, Arizona has finally cooled off–I always seem to be in a bad mood in those long six months of never ending dry heat, now top if off with pregnancy hormones.

This week has been better than the last few ones. A spur of energy came  over me and I was even able to join my Fit Mama’s fitness club on this beautiful fall morning.

I obviously won’t be as active until after baby but it felt nice to get “out” there.

I find that this pregnancy has been the most challenging, especially because I already have two energetic toddlers to chase after everyday.

Each day, I’m grateful for the moments I get to spend with them; playing, reading, singing, and laughing. I know that soon, things will get a little bit hectic for a while and my attention will be divided between three kids.

I hear the hardest transition is from two to three kids. Learning to balance  life with three kids sounds scary, but we are ready for the challenge.  At this point, we don’t have a choice. Baby is coming soon! The journey has been exciting and nerve-wracking, but holding my baby girl in my arms…that, I can hardly wait for.

So if you were wondering where I’ve been, this is it: I’ve been too pregnant to blog.

Hopefully I will get back to my weekly blogging routine soon.

You’re So Lucky! You Have It All Figured Out.

 Although I am currently working from home full-time /WAHM, (I’m an online writing instructor for a local university) I don’t exactly love it  and at times, it can feel very frustrating, exhausting, and stressful– and on those days, I’m just about over working from home . So, I even went to great lengths and had job interviews with a possible career change.

But then this morning  I had to make an early drive into the city and as I sat there in major traffic near downtown, I thought, “there’s no way I’m getting back out there for any 8-5 type of job. What was I thinking by wanting to “get back out there ?”

I’m sure some us have that familiar sentiment: The guilt that comes with the desire to focus on your career while also being there for your children. The guilt that comes with wanting a career. The guilt that would eventually come with putting the kids in someone else’s care while you work. The guilt of not using your degree or vice versa.  I read an article over the weekend that discussed this very topic and it really had me thinking and realizing that I’m not alone.

Yes, I would love to have my dream job or dream career, but for now, I’m grateful for what I have. I am content with where I am because I know that if the time ever came for me to “get back out there” I will miss being out on my patio in the middle of the day. I do have a job that allows me to spend as much time as I want with my kids and some moms would gladly trade places with me.

So, for now, I’d rather be a night owl who grades while everyone else sleeps. I’d rather go for morning hikes with my baby and take pretty pictures in the mornings while I sip my coffee. Sometimes we never seem satisfied with what we have. Always wanting more and forgetting the now. But today, I’m satisfied. Because many would want to trade places with me. Today, I live in the moment and appreciate the present.

To all the moms who constantly tell me,” You’re so lucky. You have it all figured out so young.”

No, I don’t. I’m just like you, still trying to figure out what it is I really want.

 

How I Keep My Living Room Neat and Tidy With Kids

Keeping a living room neat and tidy can  be a challenge if you have kids, especially toddlers.

For the most part, my living room and kitchen are kept  very clean throughout the day. They may get messy a bit but I always clean as I go. And storage such as baskets, totes and etc have become a necessity  for a clean house in general.

Although we have a playroom upstairs, we mostly remain downstairs. I allow my 2 year-old to have a few toys downstairs and the rest are in a bigger basket upstairs. The more toys he brings downstairs the more mess he will make so I let him have whatever will fit in the basket, plus his Legos  bag.

My  toddler has gotten to the stage where he understands  when I tell him to “pick  up” his toys and put them in the basket. I got this basket on sale from HomeGoods for $7.

So, I no longer have to pick up after him.  Even when he makes a mess, if I ask him to clean up, he will do it. Sometimes I may have to say it several times, but eventually he picks up everything  and puts them either in the basket or if it’s  trash and he’s unsure , he’ll ask me what to do and I will  tell him to put it in the kitchen trash.

For my infant, I store all of his diapers, wipes, change of clothes,  bibs,  Vaseline or whatever else I will  need for the day,  in a storage basket I got  from HomeGoods for $24.

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It is stylish and goes with my living room Décor.   I also put  stuff in there for my toddler.  This saves me from taking many  back and forth trips upstairs . Every night, I take out the dirty clothes and put them in the laundry room on my way up. When we come downstairs the next morning, I fill it back up with clean clothes and more diapers.

So there you have it! This is how I keep my living room clean and looking like a model home. Haha.

I hope this is helpful.  Please share and comment below your tips on how you stay organized! Thanks for reading!

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Dealing With Mommy Guilt & Comparisons

 

I never knew how competitive moms could be until I became one myself.

From feeding choices, to daycare, career choices, and sleeping methods, moms constantly compare their child or parenting choices to others.  Most do it unintentionally and are probably unaware that they’re comparing. But still, it happens often.

The moment will come when a mother has to make one of the biggest decisions in motherhood-one that has moms of today divided into two categories: being a stay-at-home-mom or a working mom. Some are able to do both (more power to you!), but most moms are not able to. But with whatever decision you decide, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your decision.  Moms already deal with enough stress, so we should be uplifting one another instead of making each other feel bad for whatever reason.

I’ve talked about how some moms sometimes feel a sense of self loss at times. It can get lonely. Staying home with an infant all day and feeling out of touch with “life out there.” Or maybe you had to go back to work and now you’re feeling mommy guilt because other moms have it “easy” and are able to stay at home with baby (which isn’t easy at all, by the way!).  Whichever you are,  you should not feel bad for making a decision that another mom doesn’t agree with. And what’s with the term full-time mom? We’re all full-time moms, the way I see it… I hate that term…

Anyway, it has been a rough couple of days. Enough coffee could not help with the physical and emotional exhaustion I’m feeling right now. Exhausted because my baby is teething and hasn’t been sleeping well, and also because I have recently gone back to teaching online part-time. Although I get to stay home with my 3-month old infant,  I sometimes second guess my decision to go back to work.

Is it too soon? Am I crazy?  How will I manage everything?

I’m grateful to have a career where I can do both-stay home with baby and work, but I won’t lie and say it’s easy. I don’t know how long I will be able to do it but for now, I’m enjoy the little moments.  I get to see him grow and reach every milestone.

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”
-Barbara Kingslover

Keep doing you. No matter what, do what’s best for you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if your friends are making you feel bad about your parenting decisions,  get you some new supportive friends!

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You Make Motherhood Look So Easy!

Is motherhood as scary as it sounds?

For the past couple of weeks, since giving birth to my second baby, I’ve gotten comments such as, “You Make Motherhood Look So Easy!”

My first thought was, “What the heck does that even mean?”

I received this comment from a mom and from a friend who doesn’t have children yet.

I was so confused, so I asked my husband if I should be offended or flattered.Then I decided to ask for clarification from one of the persons who told me this—the one without children yet.  She further explained that as someone without kids yet, I made motherhood look like it wasn’t so bad and as scary as it sounds. I made it look easy. Maybe she could do it too after all. You know? Be a young mom and have a life too.

Then it hit me. Many women simply do not have kids yet because they are afraid of:

1) losing their freedom. 2) losing themselves along the way. 3) not having a life.

Often times, without realizing it, moms do scare women who don’t have any kids yet. All they hear when we talk about our children is all the scary stories about breastfeeding and crying babies or how toddlers will make you want to pull your hair out.

It is true that motherhood is not easy, but at the same time, it is the most rewarding journey any women can experience.  You will cry, laugh, possibly get depressed, but most importantly, your heart will explode—with love you never knew you could feel.

Spaces (1)Do I make motherhood look easy? No. I simply share my daily life as a mother and a writer.

Why should I give up my dream and passion for writing because I’m a mother?

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The key is, don’t lose yourself because you had a baby. Instead, let motherhood bring out the best in you and bring out new interests you never even knew existed.

For example, before motherhood, I did write, but it was mostly fiction. But now that I am a mother, I have developed new interests and topics in writing, and more opportunities within the writing realm has presented itself that I didn’t have before I became a mother. I made the decision to not use my children or motherhood as an excuse for not following my dream. I want to be an example for my children so that when they grow up, they too will follow their dreams and live a life with passion. No matter what. Is it easy? Absolutely not!

Some days I don’t write. Actually, not some, but more like several days go by without me even typing a single word. And that’s life—that’s motherhood.

So whatever field you’re in, don’t let motherhood scare you from being successful. If it’s painting, paint on. If it’s music, sing on. If it’s writing, write on.

Continue to grow as an artist and let the journey of motherhood be your inspiration. Embrace motherhood and its challenges and allow them to strengthen you, mamas!

 

 

Sometimes what we think we want so bad is not necessarily what is best for us.

I thought I wanted to have a full-time job and get my career rolling.

But I’m starting to realize that maybe it isn’t what I should focus on right now. I have a beautiful 8-month old baby who needs his mama, and I should enjoy every single moment with him instead of wasting time wondering why so and so company decided not to hire me. (By the way, why do companies interview external candidates when they know that they will end up hiring an internal candidate? Stop wasting people’s time!)

Before KLM came into this world, I had no idea that he would change my life so much. In a world full of chaos and uncertainty, I know that there is a little funny guy who will always put a smile on my face.

Most mothers have no choice but to go back to work only after six weeks time off, but I am fortunate to be able to spend time and witness all of my baby’s milestones (thanks for making it possible, M.A., my husband) 

The older KLM gets, the more attached I become. I only work/teach three days a week  for a couple of hours, and on those days that I drop him off at his in-home daycare, my heart cringes every single time–even though it is literally only for a couple of hours. Just the thought of leaving him for eight hours plus now suddenly seems emotionally painful.

Those are the challenges that working mothers face–being away from their children. Being an adjunct professor has its disadvantages and advantages, but now that I’m a mother, I’m starting to realize that it might not be so bad after all. Teaching part-time gives me the opportunity to spend time with my son, while still doing what I love. Some days are more difficult than others though. So much that  I’m considering teaching only online or evenings when The Hubz is home. God knows what’s best for me and my family, so my prayer is that His will be done in our lives. He knows the desires of my heart, and my desire is to give my child the best of the best.

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If you’re a mom, why/how did you decide to be a working mom or a stay at home mom?