I Became a Better Mom When I Went Back to Work.

It feels like yesterday that my daughter was just born. Now she is almost one-year-old.

It also just feels like yesterday, when we found out we were expecting a third baby, shock and emotion took over us. We were so surprised.

It feels like yesterday when I would wake up angry and frustrated every single morning, as I was home with three kids trying to balance this thing we call motherhood.  Looking back now, I can definitely see that I was dealing with some postpartum depression. I thought I was okay, but, really I was slowly sinking.

Every single morning, I woke up angry and I went to bed angrier. Nothing seemed to help. I sometimes envied my husband who could at least “flee” to work for some hours and did not have to be home all day with the kids and do all the other household chores that come with being a homemaker.

I was so angry. On the outside, I appeared to be fine but on the inside I was mad at the world. I did not want to admit it, though. What would people think of me? That I am ungrateful. Here I am, blessed to be home with my kids, and yet, I’m complaining while some other moms are forced to go back to work?

One thing I learned so far in my journey of being a mom is that, whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom, they are both challenging paths! You may not realize how tough the other role is until you spend at least a week in their shoes.

I love my children with all my heart, but I was exhausted.

20180612_093029Then I decided to wean my daughter earlier than planned–at 7 months. I am an advocate for breastfeeding and nursed both of my boys until they were 12 months old, but this third time around, it was different. It wore me out emotionally and physically, and the fact that I was not completely stable mentally, it was best to stop. That did wonders. Shortly after she started sleeping through the night, and I was able to get more sleep at night.

In all honesty, the thing that helped me heal from postpartum stress the most was working.  Right as I weaned baby girl at 7 months, a recruiter reached out to me for a remote position at Amazon. It seemed like a great opportunity and I happened not to be teaching anymore at the time. I figured “what the heck?” Actually, I was thrilled. My husband supported my decision and we found a mother’s helper/nanny to help me with the kids here at home while I worked upstairs in the office. I was still here at home with the kids and could stop in to check on them anytime.  With working, I made new acquaintances and felt like I gained a sense of “me” again.

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I was not just mommy.

Eventually, I realized that all my money was going towards the nanny and it did not make sense for me to keep working there, but I enjoyed my time there. Two months later, I had regained my normal state of mind.

A break from the kids allowed me to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I became a better mom. Crazy but so true.

Anyway, the point of this post is that postpartum depression is real. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, anger, and resentment, talk to someone. Start with your significant other or a friend, but start somewhere.

Take a break from the kids–if possible, take a day to yourself or a few hours even, on a weekly basis. As for me, I realized that when I am working, I am a better mom and wife because I have that time to myself where I am pursuing my interests and utilizing my skills, writing + teaching. I am currently only working part-time, and it has definitely helped with my state of mind.

Moms, let’s stop being judgmental of other mom’s choices. Let’s be supportive. You don’t know what that person may be going through. Instead of judging their decision to work or not, try to be a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. We all need that support system.

 

 

Who Am I?

This week, I assigned an assignment in class for students to write an essay with the topic “Who am I?” I’m realizing that if I was in their shoes, I would have no idea what to write.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know who I am. I am constantly changing my mind about things. Whether it’s a career change, where I want to live, or my Instagram username/bio. I feel pressured and anxious about the most random things. I question things I once believed in and people who I once trusted. One minute I’m happy and then the next I feel so overwhelmed with life.

Motherhood is a blessing, journey, and a rollercoaster. your children become priority and your dreams and aspirations take the back burner at times. As someone with so much ambition, this has been hard to accept. sacrifice. selfless love.

Who am I?

I think I’m trying to find myself. What is really my purpose? I’m thirty years old and still can’t figure it out. For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?
For some people it’s an easy answer. But who the heck am I? I should know by now. Why don’t I?

So that’s why I’m writing. Because writing is therapeutic and it’s like talking to someone, only problem is that words do not talk back.

I feel like I should be more. Doing more. Trying more. Like nothing is ever enough. I am constantly seeking change or adding on tasks to my already busy life. Then I hear God whisper,

“you are enough. where you are is where I want you to be.”

And then, everything falls into place….

The Perfect Life

“EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND WISHING YOU HAD SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE IS A MINUTE SPENT WASTING YOURS.”

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

Sometimes people take instagram to the next level–as if it is literally real life.

What people do not know is that behind every perfect square, there is a story or a set up, should I say. That’s right. Those perfect feeds don’t happen naturally. They take effort, time and dedication! Most of those photos you see on perfect IGs are staged. People may take several shots of the same thing, and then go through a tedious editing process to only choose ONE picture to post. All this just for instagram! Not long ago, I was really obsessed with Instagram, but after taking a break for a while, I realized I had to make some changes.

One of the reasons I recently decided to make my Instagram less about my kids and home, and focus on my interests instead, such as my appreciation for the desert life, adventure, and travel, is because I really got tired of people thinking my life is perfect and I felt like I was attracting envy and jealousy. I understand that some people really mean well when they they:

“You are mom goals”, “You handle it so well!”, “I wish I could be strong like you.”, “Your house is always perfect.”

Haha. Well, thank you, but..

The truth is, I am just as human as you. Instagram is just Instagram. People post pretty pictures because people want to see pretty pictures. I am not perfect. Matter of fact, I am going through one of the most difficult stages of my life. I have been struggling with anger and bitterness and just like most of us, I’m just trying to survive! Day by day, I am leaning on God to strengthen me.

Just because I do not post about these negative emotions and difficult moments, it doesn’t mean I don’t have them or that they don’t exist. Just the other day, I broke down out of nowhere because I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to what you see on Instagram because there is much more to those squares. Every picture has a story. I guess you could say that’s the downfall of social media; it creates envy and the comparison game.

“So and so has this, so I’m gonna go get it too.”

I love Instagram because I get to follow amazing people with beautiful feeds I love so much. I get to share what I love with the use of photos and connect with people, but it’s so easy to get sucked into the comparison game, y’all.

“Be careful what you envy; everything is not always as it seems. ”

I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP
I honestly got so tired of all the comments about my life, kids, and home being perfect, so when my Chez Debz Blog went down the drain, I decided to focus on Desert Dweller Debz. I still post about my family + home every now and then but it is not the main focus. I wanted to share this with you all a while ago but I never got around to writing this blog post. My life is not perfect. My kids scream–all day. They fight. I yell. They yell. They make a big mess. Sometimes I go to sleep with a dirty kitchen. I still teach part time so some days, I don’t sleep until midnight, and wake up at 6am, while nursing baby all night. Some nights I get no sleep. Some days I don’t cook. my closet is currently a mess. Other days, everything is in order and I feel like super mom (Like today LOL)! Each day is a new day to do things differently and through my journey, I like to use Instagram to document my days like a lot of us do. Please don’t envy me or anyone else on on IG or Facebook. like this quote says:

“Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that – Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody – or your soul. ”

— ANN VOSKAMP

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?

 

BIRTH STORY: Baby #3: You Are Not Less of a Mother Because You Had a C-Section

On October 20th, I gave birth to our baby girl.

Everything about this pregnancy and delivery was quite different, and we are grateful that everything went smoothly.

Some have asked me to share the birth story:

Let’s start with the pregnancy. We are so blessed and grateful that our baby girl is healthy. We call her a miracle baby because when I found out I was expecting with the IUD, doctors told us there was 50% chance the baby would not make it. Against all odds, she did. Thus, her name: Kennah, meaning Greatest Champion.

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I often get comments such as “finally got your girl!” Well, we were OK with all boys. But God wanted me to have a mini me so here she is!

God has a way of showing us who is truly in control.

At 37 weeks exactly, around 4am, I started having painful contractions. The contractions were really strong and consistent but spaced out in the afternoon. I had been to labor and delivery before and got sent home so I did not want to go unless I was sure it was time. I went to my ob appointment that same afternoon at 4pm and it turned out I was 2.5 centimeters and very soft! I was only a fingertip two weeks prior.

I was scheduled for a repeat C-section (3rd baby) in exactly 2 weeks on November 2nd, but my OB did not think I would make it past the weekend after checking me. I was still having contractions. She told me to go home and that if the contractions picked up again, walk for an hour and head to l&d if they continued. I walked for 30 minutes that evening and so around 9pm I started timing them and they were less than 10 minutes apart. Around 10pm, they got stronger so we headed to the hospital. My fear was waiting until it was too late given that it would be my third C-section! I refused to go through another Emergency Cesarean with all the trauma that comes with it.

I was at the hospital since 11pm Thursday night with contractions. In order to proceed with the repeat csection, I had to be in active labor with changes to my cervix. I wasn’t progressing at first and I almost got sent home when contractions slowed down after they gave me morphine. It was a long night, but then finally, at 6am my doctor encouraged me to walk. After walking for an hour, I finally dilated to a 4. So my Doctor decided it was time! They started prepping me for surgery.

Surgery. Such a scary word!

People think Cesarians are a breeze comparing to vaginal births. They have no idea.

First, the nurses came in with all the consent paperwork. After signing everything my doctor came to explain everything that would happen in the OR in detail. I wish she had delivered my first two babies. She has been such a great doctor. From the moment I stepped into her practice freaking out about the IUD pregnancy to the moment after I had the baby. She is the best doctor I have had and always returned phone calls in the middle of the night as well!

Anyway, she made me feel better because I started freaking out about having another surgery.

After she left, the anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal anesthesia that he would perform once in the OR.

After the nurse finished prepping me, my nerves really started to get the best of me. Hubby and I decided to pray at that moment.

Shortly after, they took me into the OR, and more prepping continued. I really like that I was conscious and aware, not knocked out on too many drugs like my previous c-sections. All the hospital staff present in the OR made me feel comfortable.

It was scary but I felt better once my husband joined me. It happened so fast. I felt pressure. More pressure. No pain. Just pressure. The doctors often asked me of I was OK and explained what they were doing. Apparently, I had a lot of scar tissue from my previous c-sections.

“Are you OK? You don’t feel anything?” My husband asked looking more scared than I was.

More and more pressure and then suddenly, she was here.

I heard her cry and I was suddenly filled with joy–no more fear.

“Beautiful girl. Congratulations, mama!” Said My doctor.

Baby was born at 9:01am Friday morning.

My husband then cut the cord and they brought baby to me so I could kiss her shortly after they cleaned her.

Her brothers met her that evening and they were a bit confused at first–mostly because they were not with us and felt like we “left” them. Haha.

The following days got better and they are now taking good care of bébé Kennah at home.

Recovery has been much easier this time around. I was able to start walking, slowly the same day and now after a week, I can pretty much do everything as normal except lifting and exercise, which I can’t do for another 5 weeks. The main thing that is bothering me is the swelling in my legs and feet. They are extremely swollen this time and I can’t wear shoes at all. All the water went down to my poor feet.

All in all, we are all home and doing well.

As I mentioned, my previous cesareans were emergency c-sections so I’m grateful this one was smooth. Funny because I feel like I got better care at a small local hospital than the big teaching hospital in the city. Recovery has been easier and baby is perfectly healthy.

After three c-sections, I just want to encourage those who also had dreams and goals of having a vaginal birth but couldn’t for whatever reason. For me, I went through labor for hours and even started pushing when baby’s heart rate started to drop and I got rolled into the OR–both times. Scary stuff.

Beige Photo Wedding Pinterest Graphic

You are not less of a mother because you had a C-section and yes, you did have a real delivery.

Getting cut open is real stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. People do not realize how painful (physically and emotionally) it is when having a C-section. I don’t know why some think it is a much easier route. Not being able to walk does not sound like an easy route to me. Nursing while recovering from surgery and can’t even feel your abs isn’t either.

So do not be discouraged by such assumptions from people who do not know or could not possibly understand this. I struggled with this after my first C-section. I felt like I got robbed from having a “real” delivery by not having the baby vaginally. And comments from people did not make it better.

“You got it easy…at least you did not have to push!”

I know there are so many C-section mamas with the same sentiments. Be happy that you and your baby are healthy!

Whether you had your baby via C-section or vaginal birth, we are all mothers. We all gave life to a precious bundle of joy. We all gave birth! Let’s not compare who had it worse.

Thanks for reading!

 

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.

Work-at-Home-Moms: When It’s Time To Put The Kids In Daycare

 For the past year, since his birth, I’ve been working from home full-time  with an infant–and it was the hardest thing ever. But… it was worth it! Watching him grow and never missing a moment of his first year was priceless. Now, my oldest has been going to preschool part-time for a while,  so it is also good to be able to spend some days with him at home as well. I am grateful to be a Work-at-Home-Mom.
Working during nap time was never consistent, and working after the kids went to bed was becoming too overwhelming. Sleeping after midnight every night was my life. What was supposed to be “the best of both worlds” became a nightmare. I always complained because of how exhausting the situation was, playing the supermom role and all. I knew it was temporary. We’d agreed we’d  keep him at home the first year, but when he was six months, it was already starting to feel almost impossible. but still,  I tried to hold on a little longer.
See, people have this misconception  that working from home is all peaches and roses. That’s a thing, right? Peaches and roses? I can’t think straight right now (currently tucked in bed writing this). Anyway,  as I was saying,  by working from home, I don’t  mean selling oils or it works! (no offense), but I am referring to work-at-home-moms with a full-time  salary position.
I often hear: “You’re so lucky. I wish I could have your job so I could bring in some income and be with my kids.”
Uh…yeah….
I always tell them to be prepared to do double the work. Because that is the reality. WORK-AT-HOME-MOMS  wear both hats. We’re home with the kids and trying to work at the same time, while keeping up with cooking and household chores while trying not to feel guilty about not devoting enough time to play peek-a-boo.. Let me add how messy the house gets! So it is not as “golden” as people think.
It is; however, a good option if you have a very flexible job where you can set your own hours and work whenever, wherever. Even better if you’re able to have some help during the day for your own sanity.
Every now and then, time away  from the kids can make you a better mother and a much better employee.
All in all, working from home has been a blessing for my family. I do admit that I have a love it and hate it relationship with my job. But at the end of the day, it’s what’s best for my family and our current stage of life.
So in order to continue  to make it work, something had to change after my latest breakdown. And I feel so great about this decision.  Sort of like I can breathe again– major weight lifted off my shoulders.
So now, this mama right here  gets a break three days a week to work during normal business hours of the day and sleep when everyone sleeps because I will no longer have to be a night owl who works past midnight .
Amen to that. 

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.

 

Why Is It So Darn Hard For Women To Lose That Baby Weight?

Okay. Confession: I used to be one of those girls. You know… the super-fit gal with perfect abs and perfect legs judging those moms who were “not so fit” anymore after they had their baby.

It’s not so much that I judged how they looked. But I judged  their “slacking behavior ” for not getting back in shape. At least that’s what I thought.

If I only knew.

For those who know me, you know I used to be a dancer so I have always been  physically active. “Once a dancer, always a dancer”, they say. But  I haven’t been as active as in my dancing days.

It’s easier to judge others when you are not walking in their shoes.

Looking back now, oh,  how foolish I was.

It’s easy to pass judgment on others. I must have thought I would never ever gain weight or something. Ha. Silly. I know. But little did I know that those women, those hard working moms I used to judge, they were not slacking.

The truth is, never would I have imagined that I would ever have child bearing  hips, or let alone, thighs!!!  But when they came, it happened so fast that I’m still trying to figure out how that happened in the first place. Ha.

I was never curvy. I was skinny for as long as I can remember. Now that I am more curvy, I’m  still learning to love and accept this new me and  to love my body the way it is today. This can be very difficult sometimes, but it is something that a lot of moms are also facing. We are all envious  of our pre-baby bodies.

People are so easy to say comments such as, “Time to lose that baby weight.”  They have no filter. They have no idea how difficult it is for some women to lose weight. Do you think we like feeling “overweight”? Do you think we like that extra pouch?

Certainly not.

Losing weight is easier for some, harder  for others. We are not all the same, so we shouldn’t  compare and contrast our  progress to others. What we should be doing is encouraging each other because we all need that boost. Just remember that it took you nine months to put on the weight so it may take you  just as long , if not more, to lose it.

For me, it has definitely been harder after baby #2. I’m  working full time, jugggling motherhood, and trying to keep a home together. Now that my baby is a little bit older, I’m finally settling into a schedule and have been able to go for walks/jogging (I hate running) in the mornings.  I find that time to be very relaxing. If I’m not doing it with a workout buddy, I usually listen to a 45 minute podcast (Go Tim Ross of Embasy City!)  and will walk (with the stroller) until the end of the podcast. It makes it more fun and I’m  feeding my soul at the same time. Mind, body, and soul workout. The best kind.

I used to mainly work out to YouTube videos, but I am sick of them. I work from home so I am mostly home all day with the baby . I was in desperate need of a change  in my new exercise routine. I still do Pilates  as well.

So, why is it so darn hard for women to lose that baby weight?

1. Your body is different.

After having a baby your body is simply not the same. Things that you were once able to do will now take more energy and dedication. Not everyone is like this, but many moms have mentioned this to me.

2. No Time

We simply do not have time, especially when the babies are still infants or when you’re  dealing with more than one child. Finding the time can be difficult. Having said that, sometimes you are not able to exercise at the same time everyday. I recommend starting out with the little time you have. A few months ago, all I could squeeze in was 15 minutes because my baby was a bit complicated.  I would do a quick workout during nap time if he allowed or when hubby got home. But it was never consistent. Good thing, now my baby enjoys those walks and usually naps the whole time. I find that getting it done first thing in the morning after we take older brother to school  is more effective.  If you’re a working mom, perhaps an evening  workout might be best!

3. Motivation

This is where a workout  buddy comes in place. Moms make the best workout partners. It’s  easier to stick to your goals when someone is holding you accountable.  Plus, it’s more fun.

Think about what motivates you. What is your goal? Do you want to tone up? Lose body fat? Have a flat stomach?  We all have different  goals.

Whatever your goals are, choose a workout best for you and take your time. Remember, it’s  not about being skinny. It’s all about being healthy! I don’t  necessarily want to go back to Skinny Debbie, but I just want to tone up and be fit again!

There are so many different ways nowadays. The old days of going to the gym are simply old days. If you cannot get out the house to go to the gym  or go for a walk, there  is YouTube for you. Zumba. Pilates. Yoga. Dance. The list goes on. Whatever it is, it’s there.

So which ever category  you fall under, think of ways to overcome your obstacle. Find time. Find a buddy. Go for a walk. Find a gym.  Whatever you choose, the most important thing is that you stick to it.

 Getting started is easy, but sticking to it is the hard part!

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!

The Hassle With Making Mom Friends

Oh crap. I only have one mom friend.

Several weeks ago, I was sitting simply reflecting on my life and the friends I’ve had throughout the years and I started to think,

“Oh wow. What happened to so and so…? Oh crap. I only have one mom friend. I think. Or maybe two at the most.”

Which would be fine if they lived in the same state as me.
So I started to realize that some people just move on, and others have a hard time moving on or letting go. Which one am I? And I the kind to hold on to bits of memories of friendships that once existed or am I one to just finally go “out there” and make some new friends? But like they all say, making mom friends is not that easy. Either they live too far or sometimes you just don’t click. I’ve been down that road before. And do I really have the time and energy to invest in a new friendship right now? Do I just walk up to a mom at the grocery store and say, “Hey, wanna be friends and have play dates…and stuff?” Awkward a bit. Isn’t it?

the hassle with

After posting about this on my Instagram, turns out that I was not alone.  They suggested:
“Go to a mom meet-up” or “go to the library” or “what about your church?”

I’ve done all of the above.
There was a time after I had my first baby when I was actively or maybe even desperately on “the search” for new mom friends. But after having my second baby I now realize that it will happen eventually and to not kill myself trying to make friends by forcing it upon myself. Tried that once and let’s just say it didn’t end well. I also don’t have much energy to even entertain the idea of making friends, let alone go anywhere by myself, hence, the bathroom, without:
A) a newborn crying in the background

or
B) a toddler following me to the bathroom.
But all jokes aside, sometimes it’s hard to accept our new circumstances. After losing a few friends years ago, I would find myself wondering if I had done something wrong but I realized that this is just life.

People get married. People have babies. People move away. People move on. Sometimes you just don’t have anything in common anymore, so the friendship just vanishes little by little. But that’s the beauty of friendship. You never know what’s ahead.

I’m learning what true friendship is and I realize that some friends were never really my friends to begin with, and I’m also realizing that I was not always a good friend myself. Matter of fact, I was probably a crappy friend. We like to point the finger, but now that I’m older and wiser (I think), I can look back and admit that.

A true friend, no matter what, knows and understands what is important to you and would stick by you through those significant moments in your life. A true friend also knows when to give you your space, but still be around at the same time. The true friend knows how to be there for you even when you don’t think you need them there. And when you become a mom, having a mom friend takes “a whole nother” meaning. You can’t ask for too much or expect too much from them. Just someone you can meet up with at the park with the kids, meet up for coffee for some “mommy time” and grown up chit-chat, or go for a morning walk to lose that baby weight.

 

So whenever my new mom friends will make their appearance in my life, I think I will be a pretty darn good friend—better than I ever was. But for now, I’m content with the ones I have, even if they live hundreds of miles away.

 

Also published on HUFFPOST  Here