Why I Stopped Trying to Be a Good Mom

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Do you ever have those days, weeks or even months of HARD parenting? I never knew how hard parenting was until I was at home all day with a toddler and a newborn. When I worked a full-time job I still struggled in many ways. But when you’re home all day with small kids alone — it’s like running a marathon with no mile markers.

Yesterday, my day started off pretty great. My toddler didn’t wake up until 8:30am. My 2 month old even slept in which allowed me to get a little more sleep. I got up and made a healthy breakfast, read some to Aurora and didn’t watch TV. The rest of the day slowly got harder. My baby boy was cluster feeding all day while being really fussy. I even had to let him cry for 10 minutes while I gave my 3-year-old a quick shower. (He hates being put down. He is always demanding to be held).

My daughter and I prepared a special tea and chocolate chip cookie party for her Great Aunt who came over. Aurora was doing great — until around 5pm. After her Great-Aunt left she became a totally different kid. I was already exhausted from breastfeeding my baby boy all day. It took me a good 45 minutes to get my daughter to calm down. She went from crying, to screaming “no” at me and even hit me in the face.

On top of all of this — I was trying to get dinner cooked and on the table for my family. Then — the dinner I made had to be thrown out because I used expired ingredients. Thankfully my husband went to the store to grab a pizza. So all my best efforts and hard work felt void by the time I crawled my tired body into bed. As I do often — I felt defeated at the core. I felt like I used to when I was running a marathon. You know, when the runner’s high wears off and you are fighting with every cell in your body to just keep going. Despite my tired and weary state — I found myself laying my struggles out to God. I was so tired. All I could do was ask for help. In that moment I decided I didn’t want to be a “good” or “perfect” mom. I wanted to be a better mom.

The next morning I woke up and decided before I even got out of bed that it was going to be a good day. I was going to check my frustrations, perfectionist ideology and unrealistic standards at the door before I started my day. I focussed on being a better mom and it worked. I got up, washed my face, put on lipstick and tackled each moment at a time. The best part is — I stopped trying to meet so many quotas and enjoyed the day.

I read to my daughter at breakfast which turned into 1.5 HOURS of reading. That’s 2 chapters in “Little House on the Prairie” and 3 other small chapter books. My 3-year-old even begged me to keep reading but my voice and jaw needed a break. When my daughter wanted to help, I gave her a rag to wipe down the table and chairs. She spent 30 minutes doing that. I even spoke to her in more of a playful voice throughout the day.

The reason for my story is that I did not seek to be a “perfect” mom, but a better mom. I cannot live up to the standards of this world. If I tried to do it all perfect in one day I would go crazy — and still fail. Perfect moms/parents do not exist. I chose to give myself grace so I could enjoy my children. Guys, I don’t want to be a “good” mom. It talks about in Isaiah 64:6 that, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” I can be a “good” mom everyday and still never do enough.

It’s through the deep faith and God’s grace that allows me to push myself to be a better mom. A mom that feels like quitting — but continues to push on. It allows me to humble myself to where I am in life. To appreciate it more even when it’s hard.

In many ways it’s like the way my daughter prays. At nap time and bed time — I start the prayer and my 3-year-old finishes it. When she prays she will go through her entire day thanking God. She will thank him for her jelly biscuit, shower, reading time and even will thank him for her time outs. What a beautiful example of how we should look at each day. Thanking God for even the rough moments because you survived it. Even those moments where your kid decides to throw the biggest tantrum of the century.

Moms, strive to be better each day. Apologize to your kids when you lose your temper. Invest in their lives more than you do Instagram and Facebook. (That comment is mostly for me). It goes back to the grace. If today was terrible and you royally screwed it up — then there is always tomorrow. Refocus and start over again. We all have bad days. Let go of the terrible day you had and be determined to start the next day better.

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The Struggle is Real: What to Write?

I honestly don’t know how many people read my blog posts. It usually depends on the content. Ironically enough I get more views on a post when it’s about my struggles than posts where I am trying to encourage.

To be honest…I’ve struggled with what to write. I’ve started and stopped MANY posts but I feel like they’re not good enough. Do my posts even help? Why do people want to read about my struggles?

At this time in my life I am happy. Probably the happiest I’ve been in the last few years. I finally have my anxiety under control. I’ve found a purpose for my life and I’m starting to make the Midwest my home. So what do I write about?

Well…I could write about getting sick twice within the last month with colds. Or how my husband and I started to open our home to groups of people twice a month. My daughter is on the verge of walking without her scooter. My dogs keep running away. My husband and I are training to become foster parents. We’re also preparing the house and bedrooms for these teens to come stay. Oh, and I’m enjoying A LOT of tea these days. Earl Grey is my favorite, but I still drink my morning cup of coffee.

Life is busy and full of change. I see our lives transitioning into a different season. In a good way. We’re preparing our home, hearts and minds to help teen girls. I know my busy schedule now will look so relaxing once we start receiving kids in our home. So no worries there will soon be lots for me to write about. But for now — this post is random.

For those few who read my blog what would you like to read about more? Would you like for me to be more transparent with my posts? More posts about mommy tips? Healthy food recipes? What I’ve read lately in my Bible studies?

 

 

6 Natural Items to Use When Your Family is Sick

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Colds and sinus infections seem to hit my family the most throughout the winter months. It’s always cold outside and places indoors are usually scorching. Not to mention our home has only electric heating which creates a very dry atmosphere. Here are some ways I tackle these small sicknesses in our home.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I suggest doing this with everything. These are just items I use to help my family. I do go to the doctor if I see the sickness is getting out of hand.

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Essential Oil Diffuser. My husband bought this for me when I was pregnant. I struggled the first 6 months with extreme headaches and sinus infections. I wasn’t allowed to take my normal sinus medication so I had to find something. This diffuser cost about $15 off of Amazon. It’s pretty straight forward. All you do is fill it up to the line with water. Then add about 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil in the water. Put the lid on and hit the button. This diffuser allows you to choose whether you want the contents to be released in the air every 30 seconds or constantly until turned off. It also has different colors. When I am sick I put this by my bed at night to help me sleep. I also like to get my essential oils from T.J. Max. They usually have about 4 in a pack for about $15.

Humidifier. This is a lot like the diffuser except it helps add moisture to the air. We use one of these in my daughter’s room a lot during winter. Like I mentioned before, our heat can make the home really dry. She pretty much has one of these constantly going in her room.

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Nose Spray. I love this stuff. Especially when I wake up with a dry and stuffy nose. It helps with that sinus pressure that you get through your nose. Once again adding moisture helps a lot in dry climates.

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Essential oil Chest and foot rub. I found this gem one night when I was looking for relief for my daughter. She was really sick and I came across this in CVS. It’s hard when your child is young because they’re not allowed to really have any medicine for a few years. I didn’t want to use Vick’s Vapor rub because she wasn’t of age. So I used this instead. It’s safe for babies 3 months and up. I rub a little on her chest and feet. I also use it for myself. You remember the burning sinus pressure in your nose I mentioned before? I will dab a little bit on my nostrils and under my nose to help with that. Usually in minutes I feel so much better.

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Apple Cider Vinegar. If you want to get rid of a sore throat almost instantly then this is your go to. Many people can take a shot of this stuff but I can’t. I usually mix it in a glass of orange juice or lemon water. They cut the acid from the vinegar. I also like to use this on a daily basis. This will help with your immune system and so many other things.

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Zarbee’s Natural Medicine. Once again I found this one night when I was at CVS looking for any medicine my daughter could have. She was dealing with a cold and lots of coughing. I ran across this honey based medicine that helped her stop coughing. There are different age types for these. They also have ones with agave nectar for kids under the age of 1 since honey can be dangerous to give to your child before that age. It’s a more natural way to help your sick baby with colds and sinus issues.

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The Truth Behind Cloth Diapering: Are they worth it?

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“I’m never going to use cloth diapers. They’re too much work.” Anytime cloth diapers came up, this was my response. I even would cringe at the idea of touching my child’s waste every time I changed her diaper. So what changed my mind, you ask?

I was scrolling through Pinterest one day, looking at baby stuff when I saw several pins for cloth diapering. I remember passing them several times thinking it wasn’t worth the read. However, my curiosity got the better of me so I decided to read a little bit about them. The cute pictures of the diapers were really what caught my attention. After reading one article, I knew I wanted to throw out the idea of disposables and use cloth diapers instead.

Here are 5 reasons why I love cloth diapering:

1. Cloth Diapers Can Save Money.

According to a recent study done by Baby Center, parents can spend up to $2,000 on disposable diapers for a child’s first year of life. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money.

When I first started looking at which diapers to buy I totaled up the cost. It was going to cost nearly $800 for me to get about 32 cloth diapers. That was still a lot of money, but I was willing to invest in them. After doing lots of research and constantly looking on Amazon for great prices, I ended up paying only $160. That bought me 24 cloth diaper covers and bamboo inserts, one small wet bag and four cloth baby wipes. If you’ve researched cloth diapers, then you know that was an awesome price.  Usually you can’t buy one snap cloth diaper and cover cheaper than $13.

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(Pictured above are 12 of my 24 diaper covers with bamboo inserts. Small wet bag and cloth wipes not pictured)

I decided not to buy any more than 24. I wanted to have enough for a couple of days, but didn’t want to have hundreds of cloth diapers. Why? Because I knew I would wait longer to wash them. Even though I love cloth diapers I’m not a fan of letting wet and poopy diapers sit for days at a time. This brings me to my next reason.

2. Cloth Diapers Are NOT that gross.

One thing that turned me off of cloth diapers at first was the idea of touching  poop and pee. Obviously, you wash cloth diapers unlike disposables where you throw them away. I believe in some ways you deal with less mess with cloth diapers.

With the type of diapers I have, you pull out the insert by the very tip and wrap it in the cover. Then you place the diaper and insert in the wet or dry bag. With poop diapers you do the same except I rinse mine off in the toilet with a handle sprayer. When you go to wash them, you just dump the bag upside down into the washing machine and then place the bag in with the diapers to wash. Simple as that.

3. Washing cloth diapers are easier than you think.

Since I only have 24 diapers, I usually wash them every other day. My daughter is 4 months  old and she goes through about 8-10 diapers a day. I change her about every two hours during the day. There are longer stretches when she sleeps at night for about 6 hours straight.

One thing I want to mention is that washing cloth diapers is more than just throwing them in the washer with laundry detergent followed by the dryer. It’s the trickiest part of the whole cloth diaper experience, but shouldn’t be too hard to get a good washing routine. (Check out my blog next week for a post on what you need for cloth diapering and my personal wash routine.)

4. Less diaper rashes for baby.

After my daughter was born, I decided to use disposables on her in the beginning. A newborn has poo called meconium for the first several days after birth. It can be tar-like which I heard can be hard to get out of cloth diapers. Also, she was a little small to fit in her cloth diapers.

The first two months we used disposable diapers, Aurora had issues with diaper rash. She already has very sensitive skin and I could tell the diapers were irritating her skin. I know other moms even say to me how their child has to wear a certain brand of diapers because others cause breakouts of some kind.

Ever since I switched Aurora to cloth diapers, she has yet to have another rash. Disposable diapers have a lot of chemicals in them to cause them to be absorbent. That’s why some babies breakout when wearing them. However, babies can get diaper rash with cloth diapers. Most of the time it’s because your washing routine may not be getting them clean. Another cause could be that your baby’s skin is being irritated by the detergent you’re using. But diaper rashes are less likely with cloth diapers. Plus, you don’t have to worry about unknown chemicals touching your baby’s skin.

5. They’re so darn cute!

Let’s face it. Whether you’re having a boy or girl, you want your bundle of joy to be cute from head to toe. Cloth diapers have come a long way in the looks department. Once I switched my daughter exclusively to cloth diapers, I realized how much I hated seeing that generic diaper. (Not hating on the moms that choose to use disposables.) My baby girl can be stylish while wearing a more natural diaper that saves us money.

Be warned! Because cloth diapers are so cute, buying diapers can get addicting. In turn, you may end up spending more money than you would have on disposables. I’ve found myself wanting to buy even more, but I don’t want to add a bigger laundry pile.

After reading this post, I encourage you to research cloth diapers more if you feel like it may interest you. These reasons are all my personal opinion through experience. If you are a mother who uses disposables and still chooses to do so then that’s great too. Cloth diapers are a preference just like everything else in parenting. I never want a mom to read my posts and feel bad about the choices she’s made for her children.

Do you cloth diaper? If so what are some reasons why you chose them over disposables? Feel free to add your reasons in the comment section below.

Have a blessed day!

Heather