Reflecting on my childhood, for how to be Mom

It seems so simple to think back to how for family life was growing up to determine how you will be as a parent. You may find you want to be just like your parents or maybe the complete opposite. It turns out it can be a bit more complicated than that.

There about a million daily decisions to be made each day on how to be a parent. There are situations you may have experienced and some you have not.

There are constant decisions that need to be made. Split second decisions at some points in the journey.

Each and every decision you make as  a parent will have an impact on how your children grow and learn to be adults. This can feel like so much pressure!

I look back at the long run of my childhood and how my parents worked through their decisions and reactions to all the things that were going on. This helps me breathe a little easier. Any turmoil I ever felt as a child, or really as a teenager, is now easily dismissed as an adult looking back.

After reading through Why I Didn’t Rebel by Rebecca Gregorie Lindenbach and it was like the lullaby my Momma heart was so in need of. In this book Rebecca walks through some of her younger years as well as some research she has done in speaking with people that have fallen on either side of the rebelling line.

As she walks through why some rebelled and others didn’t she shares into the relationships that each had with their parents. When I look back at the relationship I had with my parents as a teenager and the safe zone of communication, I realize that is the heart of what I am trying to create.

In all my struggles with the 3 year old back seat driver warning me of the upcoming stop sign, or the onslaught of non stop questions, I try to hold my frustrations. I know that there are times that I have lost my battle and take quick actions that may cause tears, for both of us. But every time we talk it out. I know he doesn’t understand all my words just yet but we still talk it out.

You see what I realized in reading through Why I Didn’t Rebel is that I have to keep trying and keep doing. I cannot ever give up on trying to reach my kids, because my parents never gave up on me.

If you are feeling like you are struggling with how to raise your kids in a way that they won’t rebel and they will become great citizens of the world, just keep trying.

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More…More what?

Growing up I remember wanting to have it all. I remember thinking there was this perfect scenario if you worked hard, you would get it all. I was convinced I would have a big house with a pretty garden, and he perfect spot to sit and read.

When I went looking for our house, just months before getting married, I left the pressure to get something we would be happy enough with because we were running out of time. We had agreed that neither of us wanted to rent, it seemed  so wasteful as you could easily be paying the same as you would on a mortgage.

We found a house that I had fallen in love with, a nice starter home we said. A three bedroom, one bathroom, just over 1000 square feet. With just two of us, it seemed so perfect. We had the spare bedroom I wanted to have, a room for miscellaneous things, and eventually an office, plus a partially finished basement area we could make a TV room or something.

Reality hit slowly on all these ideals. At the time my husband and I pretty much worked opposite schedules so there was no need to have the basement build to be anything, it became a random storage area. If we needed to move something out of the way, to the basement it went.

In just over a year of living in this home, we had to rearrange all of what we structured, the office moved to the basement catch-all area and the small bedroom became a nursery. We still had our spare bedroom, which was much needed to help us transition to new live with a baby.

Fast forward again and we have completely re-vamped the design of our home with two children. The spare bedroom has been long gone and the basement area, now a playroom (toy catch-all). It has been nearly eight years in this ‘starter’ home and as much as I get frustrated with somethings, did I mention there is only one bathroom, I can’t really imagine leaving this home just yet.

My ideals on our home have changed over the years and I now better understand the work involved in owning a home. This home is manageable. I can always tell where someone is in the house and we can still find our own spaces when needed.

I recently read Erin Odom’s new book, More Than Just Making It and the chapter on Redefining the American Dream really struck me for what we have done. We thought for the first few years that this was a stepping stone that we would just deal with for a few years but life has shown us there is more inside these walls that we should be paying attention to.

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Reading my copy of More Than Just Making It out on my patio with our makeshift patio furniture.

Here are three things I learned or was able to reaffirm after reading More Than Just Making It. 

  • Times have changed, and ‘all’ isn’t the same anymore. There are choices.

We would have had to sacrifice on some of the adventures we take the boys on if we had a bigger home. Our budget would be completely turned upside down from where we are now. We may have not been able to afford our home during the tighter financial times if it were bigger.

  • Cutting back and living smaller is more sustainable, not just for your wallet, but also the earth.

Having more possessions isn’t going to make me happier. It might actually make me grumpier as I would have to care for that much more. Buying used reduces waste and saves money.

  • Convenience is really not as convenient in the long run.

Buying things in bigger containers rather than individual servings is not only cheaper but you are saving on the extra packaging waste. It is not much more difficult to buy the larger container of yogurt and divide into reusable containers for our lunches. Most often I am able to save a bit on groceries by doing a little bit of extra work myself.

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One of favorite chapters as it speaks to me on so many levels of what I have gone through and what I am trying to get to.

 

I was so blessed to receive and Advanced Reader Copy of Erin Odom’s More Than Just Making It  in exchange for providing my honest review.

Links in this post may be affiliate links that provide compensation for any purchases made, without any additional cost to the purchaser. 

Who thought I would ever love to clean?

I have lived in this house for over 7 years now. In that time there were areas that I would clean only when forced to and others that I would scrape by with a bare minimum to cleaning. This is not because of laziness or even a hatred of cleaning in itself. This is because I have hated cleaning products!

I would try product after product and would easily be discouraged by their cleaning power or overpowering fumes. Disappointed in nearly every product right off the bat, or discouraged because I couldn’t really use them without going into coughing fits.

In our home the bathroom is only ventilated through a fan in the ceiling or having the door open. In order to clean the bathtub, I would turn on the fan, spray it down, run out closing the door behind me…. wait ….wait… wait. Checking in 20 minutes to see if the fumes died down enough for me to go back in the wipe, rinse and move on. There is a pretty major flaw with this method of cleaning… we only have one bathroom.

I have read post after post, book after book on natural cleaning products and other natural ways to clean. I struggled with these methods as well. I work full time outside of the home, I have two young boys, a husband, and I don’t have time or patients to make my own household cleaners. Many of these cleaners were also comprised of vinegar, which also bothers my body, or harsh natural soaps that irritate my skin.

I know it may seem like I am making a lot of excuses as to why I didn’t clean my house frequently. What  I am really getting to is how I finally found my way to a product and product line that I fell in love with. I fell in love with the idea, the application and the mission of these products.

A friend of mine commented on how she has stopped using paper towels and is not cleaning with water. WHAT!?! How is this possible? I had  to check it out. I felt very skeptical that you could sufficiently clean with water, but had to see. I invited her over so I could see what this was all about, sure enough she was using a cloth and water.

I learned quickly that this was not just any cloth, it was a Norwex  Enviro Cloth, a microfiber cloth. Then I was hesitant because I have used microfiber cloths before and they weren’t great at all and I hated the way they felt on my skin. After watching her explain, she held the cloth to me, “Give it a try” she said. I did. I am forever changed.

The are some pretty major differences with a Norwex cloth and ones you would pick up from just about anywhere. I won’t go into the science of it all, though it is important, it wasn’t was caught me when I first felt that cloth. A Norwex Enviro Cloth is thick, and soft. It was a gentle touch, it wasn’t sticking to my hands and the general weight of it was heavy in comparison.

Enviro and window cloth

My friend explained how the cloth is used and how it traps bacteria and other things you clean off your surface inside the cloth. How easy it is to use and reuse, just wet with water, wring to just damp, go to town, rinse wring and hang to dry until you need it again.

This simple cloth and simple cleaning process had me sold! Though the cloth is soft and gentle in my hands it had some major scrub power to it! One cloth and I was ready to tackle just about every cleaning job in the house.

I eventually realized I wanted to support the mission of this company and do more with it myself. I joined as a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant. I am so passionate about these products, I often ask people if I can come clean their homes, to show them how well these products work, and how no scent is a real clean.

 

Finding your confidence, when it feels like you need it most

Confidence can be a tough thing to master. I am in constant battle with my own confidence. Though I am getting better at displaying confidence when it is needed, I am shaking and crying deep inside until it is over and then I am reviewing every word I said and movement I made. Why did I respond with that comment, I should have said…

There are so many reason people lack confidence but much stems back to something that made them lose it once or maybe over time. Kids can be cruel with their words and make you question if you wore the right clothes or have the right haircut. These are the things that have stuck with me for years and years.

I drive my husband crazy when he tries to compliment me on my outfit or really any compliment at all. I do not take them well, a learned habit from many years ago when I was weary of what the words really meant.

It can be tough to talk about things like this as they can still be painful. Reopening wounds is almost worse than the first time you were hurt. I have been working diligently on improving my confidence in different ways. I started to do more presentations at work, I attend more social events and make a point to initiate more conversations. This is another hard one for me as I always felt like an outsider, the one that didn’t belong.

Tricia Lott Williford’s, You Can Do This really hit home with me on all these issues. The opening of this book is so inviting, literally she talks through setting up a table to sit and chat. I felt as I was reading the book as though I was just having a conversation with a friend over tea or coffee. Her writing may be about self improvement but her tone is not. I felt guided and comforted through similar situations that I lived through.

Williford has so much practical advice throughout this book that is seems like it should be obvious, but somehow I needed all of these pages. ALL of the words she wrote. I felt like she wrote them to me and they found me in the right time when I needed my confidence.

If you are struggling with your confidence, please pick up with book and read the encouragement she offers. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to, but you have to set your mind!

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Great Love Stories, never get old

What is it that makes a good love story? Is it the way they meet, creating a story to be told for ages? The trials of figuring out they are meant to be? Maybe it is the idea that there are rough starts, and patches along the way to a happy forever, this is what really gets me.

I love all the love stories, really how could you not? Love is such a tremendous emotion, it can be happy but it can also come with grief and struggle. The thing I truly love most is reading through those struggles and seeing the movement forward and away from hardships. This feels more real to me.

I am by no means a perfect person. I have done many of things wrong. I am an emotional being and may have a tendency to overreact in certain circumstances. Knowing that my love will follow with me through that path (of craziness) and never walk away, this is why I know he is my true love.

Reading through Courtney Walsh’s recent novel, Just Look Up, I was struck by how much I felt I could relate to the main character, Lane. From the first page in describing that need to achieve and the waves of anxiety that go along with it all. Walsh is able to pull those feelings into words in a way I felt I was living all the things as I read them.

I must admit, if it wasn’t already obvious, I am a sucker for a good love story. I really love the not so obvious at first types of love though. This was how I fell myself, so there is a bit of nostalgia in that.

Check out Just Look Up on Amazon today!

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*Links in this post, may be affiliate links which provide this blog with credit for any sales made, without any additional cost to the consumer. Thank you for your support. 

Another great read from Amy Matayo

If you haven’t picked up a book by author Amy Matayo yet, please do so. She never disappoints.

I recently had the great pleasure to receive an advanced reader copy of her latest, The Whys Have It and, wow! I fall in love with these characters and want to keep watching over them.

I love how easy it is to get wrapped up into the books and stories. She has found a way to deliver on the heart strings of love and loss without getting too far into a romance category.

Are looking for a book with deep detail in characters. A book written to give vivid images in your mind as you read through the pages? A book that will roll you through emotions like a well designed rollercoaster?
If that is the type of book you are looking for, read this book. This book offers you all of that and so much more.
The emotional tie that Amy Matayo is able to deliver in these characters is amazing!

The Whys have it