Letting Go

If you know me personally or spent even just thirty seconds scrolling through my Instagram you know that my kids are my everything. Some may think parenting doesn’t change you but from experience I can say it does. My experiences may have changed me a little more and or differently then others but I can guarantee you I’ve changed.  With all the beautiful things that motherhood brings I got the don’t have time for anyone’s crap attitude, cause really life is to short to play games, and the protective and comforting qualities to a severe degree. Again maybe the severity of these qualities came from having Brayden, my first born, be diagnosed with a heart condition before I even got to meet him followed by his years of treatment then having Makayla, my second born, be diagnosed with a heart condition after birth.  Regardless of any parents personal story I believe to some degree there is the feeling to want to protect their children when they are born but its the as they grow older part that I am personally struggling with.

Throughout both of my children’s lives I have been there.  I have been to every doctors appointment, sports practice, school function, I am the first person they see in the morning and the last person they see before they go to bed. I try to support them building friendships and in turn have built my own. I have been there for every boo boo that needed to be kissed and every no reason just because belly laugh. Now suddenly I feel that part of this is being ripped from me.

The reality is we can’t stop them from growing up.  With every day that passes they are learning a little more, growing a little taller, and hopefully showing signs of becoming all you know they can be. My reality is hurting my heart.  Not because they are bad kids but because they are growing up and I as their mother am not ready.  That protective quality I talked about in the beginning is hindering my excitement for my kids and for myself.  Brayden whose future was uncertain at one point is starting kindergarten and Makayla who has been with me everyday since birth is starting preschool and I for the first time ever will have a couple of hours in the mornings by myself to have peace and quiet, but I think thats what scares me the most, peace and quiet. They have become such a part of me that time alone on a daily basis seems scary. Actually no, what scares me the most is giving up control, dropping them off everyday at school and not knowing what they are doing, how they are feeling, if they need to be comforted – cue protective instincts – not being in control and being able to protect them not only scares but hurts me.  

I don’t think I realized how much all of this was bothering me until Brayden’s first football practice the other night. It being his first football practice ever I knew he would need help figuring out the exercises but it wasn’t until a coach grabbed him and put him back in line that I realized how much having those protective instincts can hurt. It was my almost ready to jump out of my chair body reaction that made my husband turn to me and say “you need to let him go”.  I don’t know how those words felt coming out of his mouth but hearing them was like having my ears stabbed with knives repeatedly but it was then that I realized everything in this post.  

So where to go from here? When you realize your issues it should be easy to address them right? Well almost 6 years of protective mommy mode will definitely not go away over night or ever entirely and the idea of letting go is one I’m continuing to work through. What I do know is my kids are growing up and I can’t stop that nor would I want to so I need to learn to accept that I can’t control every situation. I need to focus on what I can control and that is teaching them things at home that will help them be able to navigate situations on their own as they continue to grow.

Find your strength,

Brittany 

My 5 Latest Obsessions!

1. Starbucks Tumbler

I was at the Starbucks in our grocery store the other day and this new pink tumbler totally caught my eye! Not ready to make the splurge I didn’t get it and thought about it all night so the next day I got one! Not a pink one since I decided it’s nice to be able to see how much is left in the cup. I got it filled for the first time and Oh My Gosh I am in love😍 If you’re an avid frappuccino drinker you know that the cup sweats as it melts and can make a mess and be annoying well with the tumbler this didn’t happen! Even while I was sitting at the park in the 105 degree weather my cup stayed cold but also dry – amazing!! I’m so glad I made the splurge! Head to your local Starbucks to check out the available designs and get a ten cent discount every time you use your cup!



2. Sweet Ava’s Paper

This ones for my planner girls! I have been ordering from Sweet Ava’s Paper on Etsy since October of 2016 and here’s why I’ve stayed a customer: 

  • Great original designs with the cutest brown haired girl named Ava (lots of other great characters too)
  • The colors are so vibrant and really pop in your planner
  • Always has a discount code for her Instagram followers ( @sweetavaspaper)
  • Quick shipping and super cute packaging

These are just a few reasons why I love this sticker shop. If you don’t use a Happy Planner or an equivalent but want fun stickers to use on a family calendar on the fridge definitely check out Sweet Ava’s Paper, place your first order and trust me you will be hooked!

Some of my favorites!

3. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength French Manicure Pen Kit

I’ve been neglecting my nails since we got to Arizona since I was constantly opening boxes and knew they would get ruined. Now that the unpacking is basically done I really wanted to give my nails a good French manicure but there was one problem, my nail polish was still in Pennsylvania. So I drug the kids along to Target, as if thats hard to do since they’re obsessed, to find a kit and to my surprise the only French manicure kit with everything needed for the perfect manicure was the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Kit. I’m not going to lie I was hesitant because instead of a white nail polish bottle for the tips it included a French Manicure White Tip Pen.  I’ve never used the tip pen before but since the whole kit was only $9.99 I figured I’d give it a try. I did my nails last night and let me tell you the White Tip Pen is awesome! The instructions say to roll the pen along your tip but I did a dab method which worked really well. There are tip guides included if you arent comfortable doing the tips free hand. If you’re ready to conquer a French manicure by yourself this is the kit for you!

4. Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I was looking for some fun but easy 4th of July treats to make with my kiddos so I went to my Pinterest page to check out the boards I had created, you know the random things you pin then never look at again. Anyways on one of my food boards I saw Cinnabon waffles and they looked so easy I had to try it! All you need is a waffle iron and a tube of cinnamon rolls with the icing, preheat your waffle iron and separate all the cinnamon rolls from eachother.  Once the iron is ready place one cinnamon roll on each corner of the iron, close the iron and wait until it’s done and then take each corner off of the iron. Lather it up with some icing, which you don’t need to heat up because it melts as soon as it hits the warm waffle! They were so quick and easy to make that I can see this as a good school morning option to switch up breakfast. The only downside is you may need a few tubes of cinnamon rolls depending how many people you need to feed but if you get the store brand its still a really cheap option.




5. Outdaughtered
 

One night this week I was scanning the tv at night looking for something to watch and as typical summer tv schedules there was nothing so I clicked on TLC and instantly got hooked on the show “OutDaughtered”. Adam and Danielle are so normal and real that it’s enjoying to watch plus their girls are adorable! You get to go through their ups and downs with them and even though I only have two kids there are certain conversations between them that are so similar to conversations I have with my husband. If you are looking for a good real show head on over to TLC on Tuesday nights and hang out with the Bugsby’s!! 


If you already love or try out some of these obsessions let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Brittany

The Stay at Home Mom Stereotype

I need to take a minute to discuss the stigma/stereotype behind being a stay at home mom…


Quite frankly I’m sick of people asking what I do and when I say I’m a stay at home mom get this look of almost disgust. Now a days you hear great things about working mothers and they get all this praise because they work all day and take care of their family at night. This praise is rightly deserved as I’ve briefly been a working mom and I understand how hard it is to juggle it all. Now as a stay at home mom it so frustrates me that some how me staying with my children and taking care of my home has been so glorified that its not seen as a job. I may not get up and go to a 9 to 5 job but I can guarantee you I don’t spend my day sitting on the couch watching tv, going to the nail salon for a fresh mani and pedi, and having lunch everyday with my girlfriends.  Everyday I get woken up by my little bosses voices already making their demands. These little bosses don’t care if I need to pee or have to change out the laundry they want their juice when they want it and they don’t want excuses as to why they cant have it immediately. So as a stay at home mom not only are you acting as servant but you’re also the cook, the dishwasher, the cleaning service, the laundry service, the personal shopper, the taxi driver, the referee and most importantly the teacher and caregiver. Does it sound like a lot now? 

People wonder why I have my planner and believe in it so much and it’s because setting goals for yourself even when being a stay at home mom is so important. How am I going to get anything accomplished if I don’t have a plan? It is so easy to get sidetracked when you are constantly being asked for something or just simply being followed around that knowing what you want to get done keeps your day moving forward in a way that you ‘should’ feel accomplished when its over.

Planning aside its not easy.  The other day in one of my mommy Facebook groups a mom asked if any stay at home moms resent their husbands? I have nothing to hide since its a conversation my husband and I have had before and yes there are the occasional days where I resent that he gets to go have adult relationships and he can stop for his morning coffee without having kids in the back yelling that they want their own frappuccinos, yes I’ve created mini Starbucks addicts. On those days my husband likes to tell me that those adults he deals with act like children so really it’s the same.  I have to be honest and say its not because you arent wiping those kids asses, maybe kissing them but not wiping them (insert giggle). Sometimes the longing for adult interaction can leave you feeling lonely and sad, I cant wait for sports and school to start so we all can start meeting people in our new state. 

Not only does my husband get that adult interaction but he also gets to leave his job! He may get the occasional email which warrants a quick reply but as a stay at home mom my job never ends. Even after the kids are asleep I still usually have to pick up toys or wash dishes and make my husband lunch, the job is never over.

Another thing that frustrates me about the perception of stay at home moms is this expectation that everything should always be perfect. Like what makes anyone think that staying home with children ALL DAY will result in a perfectly clean home? I will never forget one of my fellow Heart mommies saying “I have kids and my house is lived in” which was in response to a negative comment about her home not being perfect. That’s the thing people forget we are home with our kids and we are living! We are playing games and doing crafts and occasionally mommy gets daring and tries to bake something cool, yes we have household chores but we also play entertainer most of the day and sometimes cuddling with your babes and having movie day is what everyone needs. 

In reference to cleaning today I had written in my planner that I wanted to; finish organizing the playroom, clean the floors and the bathrooms, and finish laundry plus whatever school worksheets I picked out from the kids workbooks.  I spent the morning with the kids and doing some laundry and then after lunch I started my tasks. It took me 5 and a half hours to do the playroom, bathrooms and downstairs floors because I got asked for juice 4 times, a snack 4 times, had to break up 6 fights, change the tv channel 3 times, wipe 1 butt, pick up toys I already put away twice and ignore the door bell because I was in the middle of Swiffer Wetjetting my floors and I just didn’t have time to deal with anyone. By the time I was done my husband was walking through the door I had to start dinner and never made it to the kids workbooks. Luckily this was a day where I didn’t need to run errands because then I would have been lucky if half of this got accomplished. Adding in 2 different school drop off and pick up locations and times and the kids dance and football schedules will have these tasks I accomplished in one day feel impossible in three weeks when chaos ensues. So for those thinking houses with stay at home moms should always be perfect need to reevaluate what actually has to be dealt with besides the cleaning itself and remember our kids are living and making memories.

And here’s another thing, at work when you do a good job you usually get acknowledged maybe by an email or in a meeting and on those special occasions recieve an award at an event and heck even sometimes its with a raise! That acknowledgment is good motivation to pump you up and keep you going strong and focused on doing a good job. All I want is for my kids to realize I cleaned all day and that when I ask them to pick up their toys before bed that the world isn’t going to end and mommy is just trying to make sure they have a clean place to play tomorrow – appreciation. Or how about instead of fighting with me over what I made for dinner (which you had no problem eating two weeks ago) you say thank you and just eat it – appreciation. It’s not hard to say thank you and give your wife a kiss on those days when you do walk in to a sparkly clean house. If you really want to blow her away surprise her with flowers or her favorite pastry and drink just because – appreciation. Feeling appreciated as a stay at home mom really is a feeling equal to getting a raise, especially when it’s a thank you from your child accompanied by a hug.

To be clear I love being able to be home with my kids and being able to be the one to teach them things like manners and to watch them grow a little bit everyday. I am blessed to have such a hardworking husband that I get to be in the position where I can drop off and pick up my kids from school and to be able to take them to their activities without having to worry about a work schedule. I love those days where we can get out of the house and go on fun adventures and make new memories. So yes being a stay at home mom has its perks but don’t think its a stress free easy life because I am here to tell you that glamourous perception you conjured up is wrong.

Keep it real,

– Brittany

PS – think before you speak 😳 


The Low

In every journey there’s a low. I mean how can you expect there to not be since nothing in life is perfect. Every new adventure has its downright unforgiving moments. Yesterday morning was my low.

Our Sunday morning started off better then most I made chocolate chip pancakes and we sat down and ate together at the table which hasn’t happened lately (mom fail). The kids went and played while I folded and put away all the laundry and cleaned both the bathrooms. I got a nice hot shower with only one little visitor and without any fighting the kids got ready and packed up. Shockingly enough I even had time to grab my morning frappucino from Starbucks and no not the unicorn one. 

The soccer field parking lot was full when we got there but without hesitation I backed into a spot between two cars like a pro, you should understand I never back in to spots so go me! We got to the field and set up our chairs while Bray practiced and then the game started. This soccer season is frustrating for Bray and I because well to put it frankly his team sucks. I know I know they are 5 and 6 but I swear half of them don’t know which way the ball should be going and the other half just stand there and don’t even try. Regardless we made it 50 mins into the game before Bray ran off the field to me telling me he had blood on his finger, well he didn’t in fact there wasn’t anything wrong at all. So then it began, he refused to go back on the field so he got the ultimatum; go on the field, go to the bench or we were leaving. This confrontation of course resulted in tears for him and me feeling embarrassed and like a failure because this was the second crying incident from my kids at the field. Thirty minutes prior to this Makayla had a meltdown resulting in tears and drama all because I wanted her to sit in the new chair she picked out instead of my lap. 

In these moments how can you win? You have two choices 1. Let them have their meltdown and ignore it or 2. Fight with them making the issue worse. Problem is regardless what you do their is a scene made on the behalf of your children and everyone around you is judging your parenting. For me it’s hard because there’s a lot going on in my kids lives. We have just hit 6 weeks of Daddy being in Arizona and yes he has gotten to visit briefly twice but those visits are never long enough for the kids. In 6 weeks we have gone from a structured house with 2 parents to a divided house with one parent having to be the good guy and bad guy and getting few chances to really have a conversation with the other parent. It’s hard. It’s hard for me so I know it’s hard for them. In no way did I expect this to be easy but how did we get to this point? Where/when did I start failing my kids? Yes I cried on the way home from soccer because I couldn’t believe what just happened they were basically telling me something was wrong, actions speak louder then words.

How do you come back from the low? I made the kids lunch and put them down for naps and then I sat outside and thought about what’s been going on since dads last visit home, what adjustments I could make, how I could make the next 54 days easier on them. Do I have all the answers, no. What I did have was an ice cream date last night with my kids to end what started as an enjoyable turned to disaster turned to minor heartbreak kind of day. 


And yes today was better 🙂

    – Brittany 

Parenting what?!!

Five years ago I was in hell…parenting hell. You’re probably wondering how that’s possible but I can tell you with 100% certainty that the temper tantrum your child threw at the grocery store over the candy bar you told them they couldn’t have doesn’t even come close to what watching your child be rolled away on a gurney towards the OR feels like. Maybe at the grocery store you are embarrassed, angry and ready to lose you’re damn mind but it doesn’t compare to the downright devastating and scared feelings of scenario #2, although the ready to lose your damn mind might be a close similarity at times.

Five years ago scenario #2 happened. I watched my sweet 5 month old baby boy be rolled away towards the OR to fix the heart defect that we had found out about when I was 6 months pregnant. Constantly talking about the possibility of surgery and then actually scheduling the surgery doesn’t prepare you for the feelings actual surgery day brings. As a parent you want nothing more then to be able to protect your child, fix their problems and take away their pain and in the hours I sat in the waiting room, next to his bedside and fighting with the pain management team I felt completely helpless. That feeling of absolute helplessness is why I relate this to hell. There was nothing I could do but trust his team of doctors and make my voice heard when things didn’t seem right. I am happy to say hell lasted about two days, when he finally started to take a bottle again there was a light at the end of the long dark tunnel from a few days earlier. 

Now I look back and I can still feel those feelings on days like today but now five years later there is so much more to my sons story. He has been through so much since his surgery with the additional specialists we had to add to his team and the two additional times he had to go back in the OR (non heart related). Through it all he has stayed strong and in turn he has given me more strength then I thought I could carry. He has taken a love for things like collecting Hot Wheels for Toys for Tots and in those proud moments I’m reminded that the parenting hell I was once in only lasts for a small time and is replaced by these amazing moments. 

So as a mom who has lived through this form of hell I am here to tell you to hang on, speak up and pull strength from the amazing warrior in you’re life. At the end of the long dark tunnel there will be some form of peace and I hope it’s the kind that brings you tears of joy and a smile.


– Brittany