Monday, April 28, 2014

Simple Lessons from a Night with the Girls.

There is nothing better than a fun night with your girlfriends. There are also some simple life lessons that can be learned on these get togethers.

1.  Always be prepared.

2.  Even if you think you are kind of strong and that your friend is super little, you probably can't bench press her. Trust me.

3.  Don't bring cookies. Unless you want to drink 1.5L of white wine and eat said cookies.

4.  Your skinny friend (referenced in #2) might try to convince you that you can improve your core strength with some simple Pilate's moves. Don't try them.

5.  In the end, the best core workout is laughing your ass (and ab flab) off with friends.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

When I'm Not With Her

This is not my normal "ha ha funny, the kids are driving me nuts and I need wine" post. It is just me...rambling and worrying because my kids are getting older.

I have a 3rd grader this year. She will be nine in less than a month. She will be in 4th grade next year. That is just older...older than preschool, or kindergarten, or 1st grade. Just older.

She is going to her first sleepover at her friend's house. Like tonight. She is going to said sleepover and also to an indoor water park over an hour away. WITHOUT ME. She wants to go do many things without me. The time has come when I felt I had to say "yes". I have to let her go. I can't be the crazy mom that never lets her kid go anywhere without her. I want her to be independent. I truly want that for all of my girls. Because I can't and won't always be there.

And that scares the crap of me.

When I am not with her, will she make the right choices? 

Will she know how to stay safe at all times...without being an anxious kid always worrying about being safe at all times?

How will she walk that fine line? How will I walk it with her...without trying to carry her too much along the way?

How will she know when to take risks...without being reckless?

How will she know how to push herself...without pushing too hard?

How will I let her go...without driving myself crazy with constant worst case scenarios running through my mind?

I don't know the answers to any of this. I'm not prepared for ANY of this. I always knew my kids would grow up; part of me is ready and the other part won't let go. I don't even know why I am thinking about it.  But I am...and I do, more and more these days.  And don't try to tell me just wait until she is a teenager.  I ALREADY KNOW that I will be sick with worry. I already know.

What I also know is that my oldest daughter is just that...the oldest. She is the one I have to worry about first. She is the one that will teach me to let go (even if just a little). And if I'm being honest, she is often the one that I am hardest on. I am sure she has more anxiety than my other two daughters as well, and I will admit that I am partly to blame. Okay, maybe I am fully to blame.

But I do my best. I worry. I try to teach her right from wrong. I try to encourage her, support her, and not yell too much about her messy room. Well, that last one I'm still working on...

All I can hope for is that when the time comes, I have done enough. And hopefully when I'm not with her, I'm still with her.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Attention! Attention! You're a bad mom.

Everywhere I look I see articles about what I'm doing wrong. What to do, what not to do, what I should be doing, or what I'm doing that is going to land my kid in therapy in 15 years. Didn't you know that you all are doing it wrong? Or at least that is what some people want you to believe.

Seriously. This very morning you might have said something to start the decline of your child's mental health. If you told them they looked cute or that they needed to hurry up because everyone is running late, RED FLAGS are flying everywhere. Didn't you know that you are scarring them for life?! Well at least according to this article about "seemingly harmless things" we say to our kids.

Or this article right here. You should never, ever, ever tell your kids that you are proud of them. Apparently that is BAD. So is telling them not to worry and that everything will be okay. You are setting them up for disaster with that one too, I guess.

Oh, and if you are not buying everything organic, you obviously want your precious little child's body to be filled with toxins. If you can't buy organic, for shame. But you can at least grow your own veggies and fruits. It's easy peasy. Spend days, or weeks, cultivating your garden. Then wait ALL SUMMER LONG to harvest those crops. And get just enough for one giant salad.

This article is also guilt-inducing super helpful. You should never, under any circumstances, give your kids cereal, granola bars, or juice boxes. They are all BAD BAD BAD. Instead whip up homemade protein bars and smoothies. I'll get right on that as soon as I finish my full work day, 3 loads of laundry, two softball games, and baths. And also after I pry this snack cake out of my 3 year old's hand. Oh, and don't you DARE order a damn pizza. Ever. It's like poison. You should only make homemade ones. If you order take-out, you obviously don't care about your kids' health. You clearly want them to be obese, unhealthy, and full of genetically modified ingredients.

Now before all you "good moms" bash me, I want to be clear that I feed my children a healthy diet and I buy organic when I can. I order pizza every now and then...and I make it, too. I try to raise confident, independent, smart, happy, healthy children. But I also tell them to hurry up when I am running late, like every single day.

This mom right here (I'm talking about me) wants to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. I refuse to feel guilty about my choices. I do the very best that I can, and as long as you are doing that too, it's all good.

Now excuse me while I go order a pizza.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maybe I'm not cut out for this - My Messy Beautiful

Have you ever had one of those days when you think...Maybe I'm not cut out for this mom thing?

Like seriously.  You are sitting there looking at your adorable kids and you think that this is way harder than anyone ever told you.

There are NO breaks.  The needs and wants and requests are endless.  Your sweet little children who were once innocent babies are screaming at each other and telling you that they wish the other one wasn't born.  Nothing is fair.  Nothing is easy.  Some days there is conflict 90% of the time...and the 10% that is peaceful consists of you just waiting for the peace to end but hoping it will last for just a few blissful moments longer.

Sometimes you sit and look at your one, two, three, four...or even more children and you think...hmmmm, I don't remember signing up for this job.

That's the real kicker right there.  It isn't a job.  It's not something you can quit.

It's a choice.  A privilege.  A gift (even though YES, sometimes you wish it came with a gift receipt).  It's something that you will most likely look back on with fondness...and you will want to remember it all.

Picture this.  You just called your kids "jerks".  (Ahem...not that I have ever done that.  Lord, no.)  You have flown off the handle.  You have given yet another lecture on how there are children in this world who NEVER get the special things they get and that you are sick of them being unappreciative.  You have told them to clean their rooms, yet you are the one sitting there doing all of the cleaning while dropping f-bombs under your breath.  Or out loud.  Hey, I won't judge.  The kids are watching home videos of Christmas 2010 and your 4 year old starts crying because her sister got a better gift than her...OVER TWO YEARS AGO.  And you are seriously questioning where the hell you went wrong.

Guess what?  THAT'S OKAY.

It's fine to get annoyed with your kids.  It's okay to question your choices.  It's perfectly acceptable to get pissed off...because I'll be damned if this gig isn't some 24/7 hard ass work.

It is exhausting and anyone that tells you otherwise IS A LIAR. 

But you are doing fine.  You can always, always, always try again.  And you can try to be better.  You ARE cut out for this mom thing.  If you aren't sure about that, give your kids the option to move out and see what they say. (Ahem...not that I have done that either.)

I bet they don't want to move out though.  I bet that the only mom they want is YOU.

Because you are doing just fine and they will never remember the day you called them jerks. Or at least I hope not.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Ten Tips for Taking Selfies

I was looking through the pictures on my phone this weekend and saw that I had many, many, many selfies gone wrong.  After years of practicing the fine art of selfies, I thought maybe I could share some veteran tips with all 5 of my loyal readers.

First, let me share the selfies I took when I finally recieved my shipment of "I Just Want to Be Alone" books. I was so excited that I took my pics right then and there.  Even though I was dressed for the gym.

Tip 1: Keep your damn eyes open.

Tip 2: Try not to make a fake "Look how excited/surprised I am" face. It is just creepy. And unattractive.

Tip 3: Again, DON'T try the fake excited look. I thought this was important and warranted repeating.

Tip 4: Just go with the least unflattering picture you can.  If you are dressed for the gym, this might be as good as it gets.  (Bonus tip: Use an Instagram filter to even skin tone.)

That book right there ^^^? Yep, that one.  It is available on Amazon (paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (paperback or Nook) or on iTunes. Click the version you want and order away!!!

Tip 5: A little eye makeup never hurt anyone, right? Geez. Note to self: put on some mascara before taking a selfie.

Oh, and that book ^^^ is also available to purchase! Click HERE to find out where to order.

Tip 6: If you have kids, take selfies with them. People love that crap. But make sure your share these tips with them. Because as you can see, kids usually shut their eyes. Every damn time. Try, try again. (And by attempt #14, your kid will probably be having a meltdown, but don't give up. It's all for the selfie.)

Tip 7: Catch yourself at the most flattering angle. The one above is what your want to avoid. I'll talk more about this later, as this is the MOST important factor in taking a decent selfie.

Tip 8: Again, selfies with kids are great. And if you are having one of those "I feel bloated" days, use your kids as your cover. Especially if they are dressed like Jessie/Strawberry Shortcake.

Tip 9: Don't be afraid to try a sultry pose. That's what I did here. What? You don't think that's me???

Tip 10: Finally, the MOST important tip is getting the right angle. The pictures below speak for themselves.



If you buy or already bought a copy of "I Just Want to Be Alone", take a selfie with the book and post in on my Facebook wall!!!!

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