Mom Life, My Life, parenting

I Don’t Want to Brag… But I was Pretty Much a Mom All Day Today!

I don’t want to brag, but I was pretty much a mom all day today!

It pretty much started at 6:30 this morning when Chase didn’t want to get out of bed. When he finally got out of bed I had to force him to wear pants and a sweatshirt in the 32-degree weather.

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I fed Talie 3 different things for breakfast because she refused the first two even though she asked for them.

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I got honked at twice at the light because I was handing a cranky two year old her sippy cup because she wouldn’t stop whining about it.

I sang Old MacDonald Had a Farm like a crazy lady to avoid having to watch the “number movie” again in the car. Talie laughed, so I must have done a good job.

I drove to Walmart to pick up my groceries in my pajamas just so I didn’t have to drive across town later in the day.

I got home and ran in place for exercise for 3 minutes at a time because it was too cold to take the kids outside and that’s as long as Tony would let me set him down.

I had a party with the little kids in the bathroom three times today. While in there I was asked if I was going pee or poo by our 2 year old who refuses to sit on her toilet no matter how we try and bribe her.

I wore my Pajamas until 2pm because I didn’t have time to change before that.

Immediately after getting dressed Tony blew out his diaper… (You can only imagine I’m sure) Forcing me to change my clothes again…

I have been chased around the house by a toddler with an iPad begging me to unlock it so she can play games on it.

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I played “fetch” with my new dog (Talie) as she licked me 300 times today.

I had to convince a two year old that she wasn’t sick and she didn’t need medicine…. It didn’t work out so well, so we settled for a cookie.

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I picked up 11 socks in the playroom today, but for the life of me I can’t find #12.

I packed 4 different snacks for our 10 minute drive to the school, but apparently I forgot what Talie really wanted, an apple.

I listened to the “number movie” in the car for the 400th time this month. Talie sang along. She told me what numbers she saw. I smiled, and thought about how smart she is becoming.

I played basketball with the boys after school. I had 15 air balls and I think I fouled them 10 times just so they didn’t score.

I made dinner while eating M&Ms while holding a baby in one hand and stirring with the other.

I changed 26 diapers today. Four of which I wish I could forget about!

I spent time with my 13 year old son tonight on the way to baseball practice. He told me all about school, his hopes, and his dreams.

I sat at practice and I watched him try his hardest and see the love for the game in his eyes.

I got home late and as soon as the door opened I heard Talie bounding down the stairs yelling “Mom’s home!” with so much excitement in her voice! I quickly got hugs around my legs!

I listened to Chase pray tonight and thank God for me and everyone else in our family and I thought we must be doing something right.

I tucked in a 13 year old who hugged me and told me he loved me.

I chased away the “monsters” (shadows) in Talie’s room because they were scary.

I sang the bird song followed by hugs, kisses and more kisses with sweet I love yous.

I walked down stairs and was greeted by Chase anxiously waiting for me to tuck him in.

I let him squeeze me for as long as he wanted because these moments won’t last forever.

I sat on the couch and nursed Tony for the 10th time today, but deep down I wouldn’t change these precious moments for anything.

I laid Tony down to sleep in his crib and thought to myself why is he growing so fast?

Today I was a mom and overall I think it was a pretty great day!

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Mom Life, My Life

Learn to Be Happy Where you Are

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So often we look at our situation and say, “Life will be better when I am 30” or “Life will be better once I am married.” or “Life will be better when I don’t have toddlers anymore” but as we do this we often miss out on so much of life as we are dreaming away the days to better days. It is great to look forward to things that you think will bring you happiness, but don’t forget to be happy while you are waiting for those days to come. Learn to be happy in the here and the now and you will always be happy!

Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Lose a Pacifier in Just 3 Days!

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Each toddler has that one thing that they love more than anything in the entire world!
For some it’s their blanket, for others it’s a favorite stuffed animal, and then there are those kids that love a certain toy…

I wish my daughter loved one of these things that I wouldn’t mind her always having with her, but it wasn’t… My daughters favorite thing just happened to be her PACIFIER!

To  say her pacifier was her favorite thing  is a huge understatement! I think she would choose her pacifier over food if she had too; in fact there were times when she would take her pacifier out just long enough to stick a piece of food in her mouth and then she would shove her pacifier right back in. We could not go anywhere without making sure she had a pacifier as well as me having two spares just in case she lost one. It was bad! My 2 ½ year old was addicted to a pacifier and I had NO IDEA what to do about it, until one Wednesday at our Wandering Wednesday link party, where bloggers come and share great blog posts, I found an idea from Have Twins First on how to ditch the pacifiers in just three days! It was an idea she found here called Bye Bye Binkie: Ending the Pacifier Habit. I read her post and sort of laughed because I thought to myself, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA JUST HOW ADDICTED MY TODDLER IS… I mean that thing is in her mouth for at least 20 hours a day,” but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it out!

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How You Lose the Pacifier in 3 Days

Step 1

From what I read from Have Twins First and Bye Bye Binkie, the process starts three days before you actually take the pacifiers away. You do this by starting the conversation about the pacifiers going away.

So 3 days before, I prepped my daughter telling her how big she was getting and how she could do such fun things. She of course agreed that she was so big. I then said there were babies that really needed her pacifiers because they were little and that they really needed those pacifiers… She happily agreed (Yes, I was still laughing inside thinking this will never work). We had this conversation 5-6 times a day for the next three days. Each conversation lasted less than 30 seconds.

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Step 2

It was the big day, Day 3, the day I had been dreading… I went through the whole house and found all the pacifiers because I knew if she had to find them she would have a major meltdown when it was time to give them away.,Then  I only needed to get the one she had in her mouth! I distracted her with some candy and took the last pacifier and shoved them in the bottom of a drawer in a dresser so she would never be able to find them.

Then it happened, she asked for her pacifier! I told her that we gave them to the babies. This satisfied her! What?! Was this working? Throughout the day she continued to ask for her pacifier and I continued to tell her that we gave them to the babies.

No Pacifier at Bedtime? Send Help!

We made it through the day without any major meltdowns because we didn’t have a pacifier and I was relieved! We got ready for bed with our normal routine. We sang and gave kisses, and then it happened… She asked for her pacifier. I reminded her that the babies had it and she lost it… There was no comforting herShe sobbed…I told her the babies were so happy and she made the babies happy and I kissed her again and left. She cried herself to sleep that night and my heart was breaking… I was so tempted to go give her a pacifier, but I didn’t!  

The next morning she woke up and sadly asked me for her pacifier, I reminded her that the babies had them now. Throughout the day she continued to ask, but less frequently than the day before at bedtime it was similar to the day before, but not as bad or for as long. After a few days she was no longer asking for it during the day, unless she got hurt doing something. Nap time and nights became easier too, and got to the point where she was laying down without crying.

It’s been one month of no pacifiers and our life is so much better without pacifiers! Our toddler is happier (I never thought that would happen!), she talks more, and plays more. Honestly taking her pacifier away was the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom with her. There were many times where I thought, “this isn’t worth it”, or “if I gave it to her she would just stop crying”, and many other tempting thoughts, but I am SO glad that I was strong enough to stick to the plan because we are so much better off without Pacifiers!

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I know that it is heartbreaking to take their pacifier away for them and for you, but I promise if you stick to the plan you will be pacifier free and you will no longer be searching for the lost pacifiers under the bed at two o’clock in the morning!

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Kids, parenting

Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

It’s so easy as parents for us to get wrapped up in the day to day things that we have to do. It is easy for us to forget what we wanted most as a kid. For me, it was time with my family. I loved Friday nights growing up because we would always have Friday night game nights and late night Taco Bell runs. Now that I am a parent I love 9pm because it’s bedtime, but I need to do a better job of being what I needed most as a kid, which was late nights bonding with my family! What did you need as a kid that you can give your kids now?

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Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #22

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party!

We want to thank everyone for the awesome posts last week! We are loving getting to know you better through your posts and we can’t wait to read the ones you post this week!

We can’t believe it is already February, can you? Who is looking forward to Valentine’s Day? If you are still looking for ideas on what to do perhaps you want to check out our Ultimate Valentine’s Day roundup!

Also! We have some very exciting news for all of you who love linkups! We have created a Linkup list of all the Linkups you can join! If you know of one, or host one that is not on the list please let us know! 

We have some new AWESOME things coming next week you aren’t going to want to miss! We Promise they will be PINTASTIC! 😉 So be sure to stop by again! Also, be sure to say, “hi” in the comments!

We want to thank Jennifer from Heritage Makers again for an awesome month of guest hosting! We are so excited to introduce our February guest host!

Meet Lori, from Choosing Wisdom!

LoriI discovered Wandering Wednesday’s just as I celebrated my one year blog birthday. Being so new to the blogging community this connection with Michele and Confessions of Parenting has been perfect!
 
I don’t know if we have any empty nesters out there – but it has been a hard transition for me! As our kids slowly started leaving home, I ventured back into working outside our home for the first time in 25 years. For three years I was an executive assistant for an insurance brokerage firm.  I loved my time there, but soon felt drawn back to my first love – writing.
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Choosing Wisdom was born in August of 2016. It started as a vehicle to develop a portfolio and has evolved into a place where I share many of the lessons life has taught me and how they all point to wisdom if I let them. I have a regular column called Wednesday’s Wisdom where my readers share their stories and how they’ve grown from them. I’m always looking for  contributors and so if you’re ever looking to branch out let me know!
 
I’m looking forward to spending Wednesday’s with you this month as we wander through all of the great posts this linkup has to offer!
 
Lori is on  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Her blog is ChoosingWisdom.org, and she can also be found contributing on Evolve! and Midday Mornings.

We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! All my favorite picks will be shared on my Facebook page and I will also pin it to Pinterest! So here we go!

My Favorite Pick!

My favorite post that was shared this week was A Promise to his Stepchildren by Kristina Kuzmic.  It touched my heart and brought happy tears to my eyes.  On her wedding day, her husband read a book that he wrote to her children, whom he loved very much. He goes into how much he loves them and his intention to become apart of their family.  It’s sweet, loving, and brings the warm fuzzies!

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 Lori’s Favorite!

My favorite link from last week was by Karen Gauvreau of Lightly Frayed. Her post “Why Parenting Teenagers is Exactly Like Having a Mammogram” had me laughing so hard I was crying.  Her words hit their mark! Parenting teens is probably one of the most painfully vulnerable things I’ve done in my life.  The balance is delicate yet brutal. I loved her humor in stating the obvious, and her use of an actual procedure we can all relate to – well it was brilliant! 

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The Viewers Favorite!

The favorite this week by the viewers was Photos to Conquer? Start with Organization by Jennifer Wise nat Live Grow Give!  Thanks for voting!

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Thank you so much for everyone’s entires and we can’t wait to read your posts this week!

Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote on your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party!
Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

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If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Add Your Favorite Post Here

 

Party hours start Wednesdays at 8am (CT) and close at 8am the next day don’t miss out!

Wandering Wednesday Rules

1. Link to a specific post, not your homepage
2. Don’t advertise, do giveaways, link parties, or links to your shops
3. Make sure to check out and comment on at least two other links before leaving
4. By entering a link you are giving me permission to feature an image on my blog, it will always link back to your blog.
5. Follow Confessions of Parenting  Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Pinterest

This link party is for family friendly articles, that relate to parenting, marriage, recipes, DIYs, recipes, and anything that has to do with the home! 
Please share our LinkUP on Social Media use #WanderingWednesday. Tag me on Twitter @family_journeys in your posts and I will retweet as time allows in my day!

~Signed Michele @ Confessions of Parenting

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Marriage, married life

10 Ways to Fall Back in Love with Your Husband

After a truly exhausting day I plopped down on the couch to feed our baby after tucking all the kids into bed. I looked across the room at my husband who was watching a show on his phone. Thanks Hulu (eyes rolling). We both looked at each other, but didn’t exchange a single word. We both went about our business, him on his phone and me feeding the baby, while playing a game on mine. After about 30 minutes my husband asked me if TJ was still eating and I nodded (I mean he was sleep eating…) he then turned to walk into our bedroom. I heard the TV go on, and then the electric toothbrush start… I knew he was headed to bed because he had the same routine every night.

TJ continued to halfway eat… If I wanted, I could have put him to bed, but I chose to just sit there and feed our baby. Eventually he finished, but I continued to sit there for another 40 minutes just holding him because I didn’t feel like going to bed, at that point I realized two things: 1. that I somehow had become really passive with my marriage, that I would rather sit on the couch alone than climb into bed and snuggle with my husband and 2. I really needed to change.

Deep down I knew I really loved my husband more than anything, but I felt like somewhere along the lines I forgot how to really love him, maybe it was while we focused all our efforts on blending our family (you have no idea how difficult this is unless you have done it), or maybe it was the move half way across the country from everything I had ever known, or maybe it was adding two more kids into the mix, or possibly it was just that “mom life” had finally taken a toll on me. Whatever it was I was at a crossroads in my mind, 1. that our relationship could continue down this path and we could be great friends raising our kids together, or 2. I needed to change and figure out how to be “in love” with my husband again.

Every relationship, no matter how strong goes through what ours was going through, where you get passive in your relationship, when things are less about passion and love and more about friends raising kids with one another.  

At that moment I knew it was up to me to decide… And here’s what I did!

Make the Choice to Change.

At that very moment I made the choice in my mind and in my heart to change. I wanted to work at what we had and not get back to what we once were, but better than what we were! As I consciously made that choice I instantly felt a little happier, even though I knew that it would take a lot of work and effort.  

Apologize for being so Distant and Cold.

For months I had been pretty distant from my husband and I think the more distant I became I naturally became cold to him. I was no longer the happy wife that was glad to see him when he came home from work or the one who sought out welcoming him home with a kiss after a long day. So that night I climbed into bed with tears in my eyes and apologized for pushing him away for so many months. This was a turning point for us falling back in love with one another.

Look for the Positive in All Things

I began to evaluate my life, not just my marriage and I came to realize that I had become fairly negative in general. I was negative about myself (my hair never looked good, my clothes were ugly), I was negative about things going on (the house was always dirty, the light was always red when I was running late), I was negative about my husband (he’s always late to everything, he works too much) and I realized that I had allowed that negativity to really affect my day to day life, especially with my marriage, so I decided that I needed to look for the positive things that were happening around me. I just refused to let negatively seep back into my life.

Stop Dwelling on What He Doesn’t Do, but Dwell on What He Does Do.

My husband is an amazing man. Every night he cleans up after dinner: he does most of the dishes, he sweeps the floor, and cleans the counters. I know many wives wish they had husbands like this, but I got caught up dwelling on the fact that he didn’t clean the pot that I left on the stove. So every night when he was done I would huff into the kitchen to clean the ONE pot that was not cleaned. I got so stuck on what he didn’t do rather than what he did.

I know that it is so easy to look at a situation and pick out what isn’t being done rather than what is, but this type of thing is harming to our relationship. Rather than saying, “my husband NEVER changes poopy diapers” say, “I am so grateful my husband changes some of the diapers to help me!” Rather than me saying, “my husband ALWAYS forgets to clean the pots,” I need to say, “I am so grateful that my husband helps me so much after dinner so I can get some other things done.” Dwell on what he does do rather than what he doesn’t do.

Appreciate the Small Things

In a world where we are all overscheduled and running around like crazy it is hard to appreciate the small things because we might begin to just expect them or we just overlook them because we are too busy! My husband a few times a week will just randomly send me a text that says, “I Love You!” Nothing more nothing less… I used to really appreciate these messages because I knew he was thinking about me right then and that he took the time out of his day to send it, but then I got to a point where I wasn’t as appreciative of them; it was sort of like oh that’s nice… “I love you too…” We need to appreciate these small things because as we appreciate them we can understand just how much our husbands love us!

Stop Being Offended All the Time

If you ask my husband I am the most sensitive person he knows. My husband loves sarcasm and I love to become offended by it… I realized to truly fall in love with my husband again I needed to be less sensitive when we are joking around. When I decided to do this, we became closer because he wasn’t afraid to say something that would cause me to not talk to him for several hours and I wasn’t looking for ways on how I could be offended.  

Put Your Husband First.

With so many kids and so many schedules this was one of the hardest things to do for me, but it is the most necessary when it comes to falling back in love. When we first got married we were able to still spend a substantial amount of time together just the two of us. He knew he was my number one priority, but over the years this shifted a bit. The little kids needed me more, the older kids had more activities that they needed to be driven too, my husband and my life got busier with various things and we were giving each other what was left, which equaled on average about 15 minutes a day. When I decided to put my husband first, we grew closer together. On busy nights I make one of his favorite dinners, rather than what the kids want. Rather than asking what the kid’s want to do after the yard work is done on Saturday I ask my husband what he wants to do. Rather than pausing a conversation we are having to answer one of the kid’s questions, I simply tell the kids to wait because we are talking. These simple things allow your spouse to know they are first in your mind.

Stop talking and Start Listening

As women we love to talk and we love to solve problems. My husband would come home from work and I would want to do all the talking, but I realized that in order to fall back in love I really needed to listen. I needed to listen to what he was thinking, feeling, and struggling with. This allowed me to have more compassion and love for him. It allowed me to understand better his snarkiness after a long day because he was stressed about a project happening at work.

Stop Comparing Him.

Comparison is an evil thing! It robs you of all your happiness and will eventually eat you up! Love your husband for who he is! Don’t wish he looked like your celebrity heartthrob or did things like “John Smith” down the street. Accept him for who he is and don’t look back.

Made Date Night a Priority.

Date night is now a necessary weekly event in our home, because Date Night is cheaper than Divorce! Date night allows us to reconnect after a busy week. It allows us to enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted. It shows us that we are a priority to each other! And it shows our kids that our marriage is important as well! Date night for us is never super fancy, but it is our way of getting out and reconnecting as a couple.

 

Falling back in love is totally possible! I know because I have done it! Yes, it is hard at times because sometimes you think it is easier to just stay where you are, but I promise you that as you work on strengthening your relationship you will fall more in love than you were to begin with and in the end you will be so much happier!

So what do you say? What are you going to do today to fall more in love with your spouse?

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Mom Life, My Life

How Do You Do It All?

I am constantly asked, “How do you do it all? I mean you have lots of kids, two that are small and require so much of your attention. How do you find time to blog, raise kids, clean the house, make dinner, garden, play with your kids, and still keep your sanity?”

When people ask me this I am a little unsure what they mean, and I never know how to answer it! I mean I am no different than any other mom that stays home with their kids, right? We all strive to clean our house, make dinner, play and raise the kids, and try to have a hobby or two, am I right?

After much thought I have decided to let you in on a little secret as to how I do it all… Are you ready for it?

I Don’t Do it All.

That’s right… You read it right… I don’t do it all! I know that my blog paints a picture that my life is organized and is not crazy, but let me tell you, that’s not reality… My life has ups and downs just like everyone else’s. My family has struggles and disagreements. My house has toilets that need flushing, no matter how much times I remind the kids to flush them. My little kids live in their PJ’s about 3 days out of the week (sometimes the same ones two days in a row). I live in my yoga pants and joggers unless I know I have to get out of the car. And putting on makeup and doing my hair? Well… That only happens when I have enough time in the day or on date night (and sometimes then it still doesn’t happen.)

 

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I do blog about things that go wrong and I try to be as honest and open about  my life and share with you struggles that I have had or have been through and if you look closely you will see laundry all over the kitchen table, toys spread everywhere, floors that are in major need of sweeping, kids with hair that needs brushing, and last night’s dinner still on their faces. All these things just prove that I don’t do it all… In fact I can’t do it all, I just do the best I can.

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There are many days where my kids run downstairs searching in the dryer for a sweatshirt or a clean pair of pants because they haven’t been folded yet. And my son spends way too much time playing video games, but it allows me to get something done. My 2 year old learns what circles and numbers are from IPad apps and watching TV, while I sit in the corner trying to write a blog post while the baby takes a nap. I wish I was more on top of things and could wake up crazy early or stay up really late to get things done, but I can’t. I normally look around my house and determine what needs to get done that day by what looks the worst, which usually takes me to the bathrooms for some thorough scrubbing, but let’s be honest that doesn’t always happen either.

To Do Lists

I have notebooks everywhere… Half filled that I take everywhere with me. I write down what I need to do that day, what we are eating for dinner that week, where the kids need to go, what blog posts need to be written, how much water I have drank (I should really track how much Diet Coke I have drank, I will probably have more circles filled in with that!) I love to write things down, because when I finish them and cross them off I feel some sort of satisfaction! But just because they are written down doesn’t mean I actually do them! I mean it’s so easy to write it down on the next day and then the day after that. You get the picture…

Simplifying to Find the Easy Way Out

I discovered a long time ago that we as a generation try to make things more difficult than they need to be. I mean let’s think about that for a minute. Someone has a baby and we volunteer to take them dinner. We spend hours slaving in the kitchen making a beautiful meal with a nice dessert and then we feed our kids cold cereal because we are simply too tired to make anything else. Why do we do that? I am sure our friends would have been just as happy with a $5.00 pizza or a bowl of spaghetti, we would be right?

I have learned that there are some things that require perfection and then there are other things that we can cut corners on that still serves the same purpose and makes people just as happy. My kids would much rather eat frozen chicken nuggets (I cook them of course) on a busy night than wait for me to try and throw something together at the last minute that takes 45 minutes to cook. My kids are just as happy with ice cream on Family Night as they would be if I made sugar cookies cut out in star shapes with frosting that took hours to make.

Making gourmet meals is a waste in our home… The time, the effort, the mess… My kids would rather eat tacos and I would too because it’s easier to clean up and they are a quarter of the cost!

Laundry is my arch nemesis…. I hate it… I wish we could throw our clothes away when they get dirty and new ones would magically appear, but let’s be honest that’s not reality, so we have to do it! When it comes to my kids clothes… No sorting ever happens… I throw them in and wash them all at the same time, unless I know for a fact something will run. Kids don’t care! And let’s be honest they grow out of things so quickly their whites will never turn shades of gray from mixing colors together like adult clothes do.

I buy clothes that don’t require ironing. If it needs to be ironed it goes to Ty’s pile to iron because I don’t do it. If something comes out of the dryer and it is wrinkled I throw it back in for 10 minutes to get unwrinkled… It works every time!

I Am Not the Entertainment Committee

I love my kids dearly, but my philosophy is they need to learn to play by themselves and with others. They have plenty of toys, books, puzzles, games, play doh,  2 acres of land to explore and siblings to play with.

Now I know you might be thinking, what kind of mom are you, I get that, but hear me out, if we constantly are sitting right next to our kids doing everything for them and with them how are they going to learn to do things in the real world and learn to play independently?

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I have taught Talie that she can color or do play doh at the kitchen table while I make dinner without her feeling like I need to be right there next to her. I of course will go and help her open containers and roll out play doh if she gets stuck. I sneak away from my mom duties throughout the day so I can get extra snuggles from the babies, storytimes with the little kids, and get video game lessons from the boys. I am still very much involved in their lives, but we are good with mom not needing to entertain them at every moment of the day so that I can get other things done.

So There You Have It!

So there you have it… Now you know my secret as to How I Do it All?! The answer of course being I don’t. I am just like you. My house could always be a little cleaner. I could do a little bit more on my to do lists each day. I could be way more involved playing with the kids all day long. I could make fancier dinners and sort the darks from the whites when it comes to the laundry. I could eat a little healthier ( I mean, I did just eat a brownie for lunch). I could drink less Diet Coke, but what fun would that be?

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I know you look around you and see perfection. Perfection on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and even people’s blogs, but just remember no one can do it all! Most Bloggers use stock pictures of beautiful homes and perfectly modeled children for their cover pictures. Instagram and Facebook have filters that make anything look beautiful and picture perfect, even if we haven’t washed our hair for a few days! And Pinterest… Well, I am sure that millions of people have had “Pinterest fails” before they have Pinterest successes. So next time you are thinking, “How do they do it all?” Just remember they probably don’t do it all and if they did… I’m not sure they would be very fun to be around anyways!

So, “How do you do it all”?

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