How Bad Do You Want It

My topic is the question that you have to ask yourself, before you can really achieve your goals. How bad do you want it? It doesn’t matter what, “it” is either. The truth is that you are going to have to give up something in order to obtain what you really want. If it means enough to you then you will gladly give up things that you love, or enjoy so that you can have something that you want more than anything in the world.

I always use the example of losing weight because it’s a clear depiction of what one must do to get what they want. Give up poor eating habits and add healthy food choices plus exercise and you will see a positive change in your health and your dress size.

However, recently I was just reading through the post on my timeline and there was a question being posed by someone who I recently started following. Her question was really simple, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The funniest thing happen to me, my mind went completely blank! The first thing I thought was, “Oh in five years my children will be this age and Hubby will be at this point in his career.” Unfortunately, I could not think of one thing for myself. I had no idea what I even wanted for myself. Everything that I could think of was centered around my husband and my children and nothing about me.

Last week I wrote a post, The Insignificant Momma, about how I have developed this terrible habit of putting myself dead last, and this is in some ways a side affect of feeling insignificant. I was really struggling to think of some things that I wanted to see myself accomplish. Because this issue was really bothering me, I asked my Hubby what his five year plan was, and immediately he named like ten things that he would like to have accomplished.

Although I can’t say I was surprised, I was a little disappointed that I could not do the same thing. I seem to only think of myself as a Stay-at-Home Mom and therefore, I have placed all these limits and restrictions on who I can be and where I can go in life. You all can see this that it’s a lot easier for me to say that I’m putting myself than it is for me to actually do!  Anyway, after I told him my five year goals, which are pretty lofty goals by the way, he stopped what he was doing and looked me right in the eyes and said, “Well how bad do you want it?”

I was kind of taken aback at first because I wasn’t expecting that question. I kind of thought he would give me his usual, “I believe you can do it Honey.” Instead he challenged me to actually be serious about my future.  Funny thing is that I really have no answer for how badly I want any of those things. While I would like to accomplish at least one of them, I can’t say that I want anything so badly that I’m willing to make a sacrifice to have it.

That is where my topic came from. Is there anything in your life that you want so badly that you’re willing to make uncomfortable choices just to have it? Are you willing to lose sleep, sacrifice your weekends and miss important family events just so you can reach your goals? If the answer to any of those things is no, then you don’t really want it. I had to get real with myself and honestly ask myself what was holding me back? The only thing that I can think of is fear. Fear is what typically keeps me from pursuing things, an extremely strange fear that I will succeed at something other than being a good wife and mother.

I had a good long talk with myself and I came to the conclusion that I need to get out of my comfort zone and do something that scares me. I think that it would for be good for me to challenge myself again, to really learn how to live my life again. Intellectually, I know that I have to prioritize my own happiness, but when it comes to actually doing it, I struggle with feeling guilty. Mommy Guilt is real people! I don’t want to be the woman whose children leave home and she just crumbles because she doesn’t know how to live without mothering her children.

Some of my goals were to write and publish two more books, have one of my books turned into a movie, be in the best shape of my life and to possibly go back to school as well as teaching in the classroom. Of course I’m afraid that I might fail at something and I’m a little bit terrified that I might succeed and that my success will take me away from my family, but I want to try more than I want to wait and see.

I don’t know why I struggle with that, but it seems to just keep coming up time and again! So, I really want to hear from you ladies! I love getting your feedback, and I think you ladies give some really good advice. Have you ever had to ask yourself, “How bad do you want it?” If you have had to sit your self down and have a come to Jesus meeting with yourself, how did you overcome that?

Mommy’s Mental Health

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

“Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I don’t know who came up with that phrase, but it sounds about right to me! Often times it is the Woman, Wife, or Mother who sets the atmosphere in the family and in the home. If we as women, have very strong negative reactions to everything, and we respond with negativity then our home can become a very hostile and tense environment that restricts the flow of joy. However, if we respond to our family with love and kindness, positivity and grace, that same home will be a place filled with joy and happiness.

Our attitude about our life and our unique set of circumstances can in fact determine the whole altitude of our family. You guys know that I have five children, so while I am not an mental health expert, I do know a little something about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out! On top of just being a momma to five, I’m also a military wife and that comes along with a whole other set of stressors. I sometimes feel like I have too many balls in the air to keep up with and I’m sure at times, you do as well.

I genuinely feel like I have the hardest job in the world some days, and on other days I cry tears of joy because I feel so privileged to be blessed enough to have this opportunity to be at home with my children. I remember when I first talked to someone about the whole, “mental health thing,” we were living in North Carolina and about three different, women whose husbands were deployed, had snapped and took the life of their children. I remember talking with other Mothers who were strangers to me, except that our husbands were both deployed and we each had young children. We talked about how sad it was, and questioned how a mother could ever get to that point, we even talked about where one might go to seek help if they too, felt on the verge of hurting someone.

And yet, there was still this really judgmental, critical tone to our whole conversation. Looking back, knowing more about life and the trials that it can bring and the struggles that we all face, sometimes completely alone, I can clearly see why a woman would be afraid to seek help for feeling like the inadequate mother.  Ladies, if I knew then what I know now, I would have said that we are all learning how to mother our children. I would have lovingly confessed to that group of playground mothers, with their fancy hair and make-up, their designer strollers and diaper bags, that not one of us is left untouched by depression and bad days.

We all like to think of ourselves as being better off than someone else, or more grounded with a tighter grip on reality, but the truth is we could all be just one minute away from a soul shaking, life altering situation that could change us forever. Our minds are so fragile, and while I can not speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I have cried many days and some nights too, because I felt like I might break under the weight of the life that I have chosen.

I would be trying to cover up my own ugly truth if I failed to acknowledge that I have rough seasons just like everyone else.  I’m saying all of that to say this, if you ever start to feel like you are the only one going through the terrible two’s, or like you’re the only mother with a child who is struggling in school, or perhaps you feel like you’re not a good keeper of the home, you are not alone.  I would encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you, or at least point you in the right direction to get the help that you need. You are not less than because you’re having trouble dealing with stress or the pressures of this life. You are simply human. In our own strength we can do very little.

I don’t know where I would be if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. I would have been lost, I could have been dead, or worse I could have been in Hell lifting up my eyes, forever separated from the one true God. My connection to God has been my rock, whenever I feel weary. In addition to my relationship with God, I also have some awesome and amazing women in my life that are only a phone call away. I can reach out to them and feel confident that they’re going to give me some sound, and wise counsel.

I think that the hardest part of admitting that we need help or that we’re struggling in a really bad way is that we’re afraid of what, “people,” will say about us. Friends, don’t allow the potential voices of criticism stop you from getting what you need to help you heal or be restored. I have found out the hard way that those people that I am so afraid of can not save me, or deliver me from trouble. The only one who can do that is the Lord above. I find comfort in talking to my trusted friends, going to Mommy support groups at my local church, or even by calling my family members who can tell me about how I was as a child. Sometimes my perspective is just skewed because I’m not looking at my child through the eyes of grace.

If any of you reading this article feel like you need to talk to someone about your own mental health I encourage you to call Mental Health America 1-800-969-6642. I also would direct you to www.womenshealth.gov where you can find the number that I listed above, as well as several other phone number that might help you get in touch with the right people who can help you overcome whatever battles you might be fighting.

Have a Blessed week and I hope yo reach back and help someone who might not be where you are right now. Help someone else get over the hump this week!

The Black Educated Stay-At-Home Mom

This is a topic that I had been wanting to address for a while, but I honestly wasn’t sure how. I hate to talk about things that make me feel angry or divided, so I really wasn’t going to talk about it on my blog. However, I just can’t not talk about something that is so real and present in my everyday life.

Growing up I remember my mother always worked, and she encouraged my sister and I to get a good education so that we could have a great career. My mother was a great example of a woman who helped to provide for her family. She stressed to my sister and I that if we wanted something that we should work hard to have it.  I got my very first job at the tender age of fifteen and I worked all of my teenage years in some way. After my mom died I quit my job at Taco Bell because I wanted to be at home at night with my younger sister. I didn’t want her to be at home alone. My dad worked night shift and he never changed his schedule, so I thought it was important that I change mine. I was blessed to get a job as a regular babysitter for one of my teachers, and that helped us out so much. After high school I went to college, and I worked several different jobs in college.

I would have never thought that upon graduating from college I would ever become a SAHM(stay-at-home Mom). It wasn’t apart of my five year or ten year plan. I wanted to be a teacher for five years and then I wanted to become an principal.  God had other plans for me though! I took one look at my first born son and I knew that I didn’t want to leave him with anyone! For me that was the moment that I decided to stay at home with him.  Because we are a military family, this was normal where I lived(on a military base), and yet my family and friends did not see it as normal.

I was questioned relentlessly, about when I was going to get a real job, or what did I possibly do all day? I was criticized for having gone to college and not, “using my degree.” It seemed that no matter where I went or who I talked to, everyone wanted me to know that Black women didn’t stay at home. I was told that black women work hard to help their husband and support their children. “How could I help my husband if I didn’t put my children into daycare and get a, “real job?”

The funny thing was, I met several women black and white who were SAHM’s and I noticed a disparaging trend. All of us had similar stories of being criticized or berated for choosing to stay at home with our children instead of having a career. It seems like we all had this thought that one day we would go back to work and then we would be acceptable to everyone. It was like we always had to justify ourselves to others to prove that we had value and meaning.

I will never forget when a family member made the comment, “Torre can do it since she doesn’t do anything all day.” At that time I had two children under two at home and both of them were still in diapers! Are you kidding me? I was in the trenches at the time, between breastfeeding, diapers, potty-training, and laundry, I was constantly busy. Not to mention that I was a young wife, and my husband who was working long hours and we were still technically newlyweds! Needless to say, I was very offended by that comment, and the woman who said that was a working mother of four herself!  Yet, she had this air of superiority because she worked all day and then came home to her family, whereas I was already at home because I did not have a job.

For many years I allowed those little nit-picky comments to influence the way that I felt about myself and my worth. I always feel like I wasn’t as good as a mother who worked outside the home and that feeling started to bleed into other areas of my life. I started to internalize who I was and if I was living up to my full potential and all because I had listened to one to many negative comments about who I should be and what I should really be doing with MY life.

Pretty soon it got to the point where I was so defensive about not working or being a SAHM that I was just snapping on people before they could even tell me what they thought about it. I had one woman tell me, “You must think you’re a white woman girl! Black women don’t do that.” And yes her nose was turned up and her face was twisted into an ugly mask. I thought how can you say that it’s okay for a white woman to go to an Ivey League College, only to get married and become a SAHM and that is considered honorable for her but not for me because I’m Black? No, I reject that.

While I know that I can never go back and give my younger self advice, I wish I could have told myself what I now believe which is this; Your sacrifice is vital to your family life. Your unwavering presence and unyielding commitment is worth every hard day and nasty comment. Your family would not function without you. Your job is to be the very best wife, mother, and  homemaker so that your work to help raise productive, law abiding citizen, who will make positive, lasting contributions to this world. I want my children to be proud of me. I also want them to know that I chose to focus on just raising them for a while, and that I never regretted it, and I never felt bitter because of it.

Every time I look at the news  I see a stories about broken black families, or one of the well documented missteps of young black males, I am convinced that my contributions are important to my family. I feel so strongly that when children are loved and supported that they are given the perfect conditions for success. Now of course there are exceptions to every thing that I have said, but as for me and my house, I know my role is very valuable and I am convinced that this is the way for me right now.

I do struggle sometimes with the consequences of my choice. There are times when I get sick of being on a budget, and I just want to buy what I want and not worry about the cost. I have many moments when I want to be more than just a housewife, but what I’ve learned is that I can be many things and never diminish any of the things that I am. It’s possible to wear many different hats and still do what I believe God called me to do.

I ask you this question ladies, why did you choose to be a SAHM or a WM (working mom)? This is a judgement free zone so please feel comfortable sharing with me. I’m not here to critic you or point out why one is better than the other. I just want to hear from you guys about this topic.

Thanks for reading my blog!

The School Days Blues

Guys I may be wrong for saying this, but I will be so glad when my kids get out of school for the summer!

I feel like my kids have so many things going on at school and each one of them has a different schedule during the week. I feel like I’m being pulled in five different directions everyday of the week! It’s such a pleasure to be at home with my children and have such a prominent place in their everyday lives, but I’m plum tired. We have homework, Choir twice a week, Math Olympia, Computer Lab, and Running Club. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my Kindergartner is on a different schedule than my other three children!

It’s not just me either, whose feeling the pinch. I can tell that the teachers are longing for Spring Break as well. I think it’s just the ugly truth. We parents, students, teachers, and faculty are all working so hard to make sure that our children have a great school year and it’s really starting to show.

It’s always a field trip or something to volunteer for and as much as I like that, I’m ready to take a break from it all. Funny thing is, I feel so guilty when I can’t volunteer or help chaperone a field trip! I know so many of my readers have school age children or children that are in college, so I know you get where I’m coming from. How did/do you ladies deal with the everyday, mundane routines of school and homework and volunteering? What’s your secret to combat school days burnout?  How do you not get the blues from doing such important, but taxing work?

Most of all, I would love to hear how you all deal with the guilt! We all have Mommy guilt for whatever the reasons, but I feel like I’m losing the battle with Mommy Guilt. Let me hear your advice and tips in the comment section.

The Talk

How old were you when your parents had the talk with you about the birds and the bee’s? My oldest son is eleven and he recently had a one hour seminar with the school nurse about his, “changing body.” Now I should say that my husband and I previewed all the information that was going to be discussed and we approved of the material. Having said that I was ill prepared to discuss what he learned about in class!

He is such a sweet and innocent boy, he is not really interested in girls yet, and he is still very fond of running and playing with his little brothers. Nevertheless, his body is changing. He is almost taller than me and we wear the same size shoe!  He excitedly brought up the topic of puberty at the dinner table and I almost spit out my water!

I am not ready to have the talk with my son about sex and body hair in private places!!! Every time I look at him, I see my chubby little baby boy, who never let me put him down. At the mere thought of him going away to college I break out into tears. I feel torn between preparing him for all of the changes that will come and ignoring them altogether and pretending that nothing has changed.

I tried to talk to him without being too squeamish, but I was so clearly uncomfortable that he said, “we can talk about it later mom.” Help Me!!

My husband suggested that we get a book for him to read, because he loves to read, and then use the book to help facilitate the conversation.  I feel like that is kind of taking the easy way out, but I also feel that we have no choice. My daughter who is nine, recently had the same type of class seminar and it was so easy for us to talk about her getting her period, and what that means. I guess it’s because I’m more familiar with that aspect of puberty. I can’t imagine her getting her period or becoming a woman either, but it’s much easier for me to accept when I think about her than when I think about my son.

I frequently have talks with him about avoiding the strange woman and how a wife is a good thing, and how kissing girls can lead to things that I don’t think he’s ready for yet.  And yet if I were being honest, I myself did not wait to have many of the experiences that I am urging him to wait for. I want my children to do things the right way, and I believe that there is so much to be gained by waiting for that one special person.

I could fill this page up with worry over how to have a vital and important conversation with my child, that will be ongoing, but I would love to heat your thoughts on the situation. How did you all handle this issue? If you have small children have you considered what age you want to approach the topic?

Don’t be shy ladies and Gentlemen! I want to hear from you in the comments!

Misplaced Identity

When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to grow up, there was nothing that I wanted more than to be an adult. I knew exactly who I would be, and what I would like to do with my life.  I thought being an adult meant I could have fun doing whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t seem to factor in the parts about working, or being completely responsible for myself, and let’s not forget the part about paying my own bills!

As a kid I only imagined having fun as an adult, going to cool places and having nice things. However, it didn’t take me long to discover that my dreams need a financier and that was going to be me! If I wanted nice things I was going to have to work hard to pay for them and if I wanted to travel to cool places I had to pay for them.

So, I did what most people do after high school, I went to college and I chose a major that I thought would be a good fit for me. I majored in secondary English education and I loved every moment of teaching and being in the classroom. I really truly enjoyed teaching and I loved working with my students. And yet, here I am not doing that! My life went in a whole other direction, and I can’t say that I’m upset about that.

If someone would have asked me six weeks ago if I still wanted to teach some day I would have said, “Of course!” I actually still planned to get a job teaching in a few years. Partially because I thought that I had to teach because that’s what my degree was in and I kind of felt like I had no other options. However, I recently started thinking about other things that I want to try and the thought of doing something so totally different from what I originally wanted actually gave me butterflies and scared me at the same time. I was excited about reinventing myself, but then I immediately thought, “What if it’s too late to try something so new? Am I too old to learn new things?”

I don’t know how a person can be excited and afraid to try at the same time but I definitely was. I don’t know if you guys are like this, but I sometimes have to hurry up and do something, otherwise I might talk myself out of it! I have to sit myself down sometimes and give myself a good old fashion pep talk and encourage myself. I told myself that I have grown and matured and that I’m allowed to want something different. People can change. They can reinvent themselves as often as they want to, there’s no age limit on growth. It’s hard to imagine stepping outside of the walls that I built for myself, but I’m ready for a change in my life.

I won’t be doing anything wild and crazy, but for me this is still a surprise. I even shocked my husband, which is hard to do by the way. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a momma rut and all my days just run together. I do the same thing day in and day out. I am such a predictable person, I shop at the same stores, I wear the same clothes, my favorite lipstick hasn’t changed in years! I have to get some freshness back into my routine. I feel like a person who has lost their joy for living. Don’t get me wrong I’m not depressed, just boring!

Somewhere along the way between getting married and having children I lost my fire. I’ve fallen into a very comfortable existence and I just can’t live another second in my beige world anymore. I was beginning to think of myself as only my children’s mother or my husband’s wife, until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and my inner adventurous self shouted out, “Your name is TORRE!!!” I was tired of being one dimensional.

That’s when I woke up and said to myself, ” I gotta get outa here!” I realized that I had buried myself in a box labeled old me! I literally woke up one day and said I want to have interest and hobbies besides taking long walks through Costco and changing a diaper without getting my seat dirty in the truck! I finally see that I can’t completely blot out my own desires and still be a great Mom. I actually need to have joy that is separate from being a wife and mother.

I honestly feel like the last person in the world to get this concept, but I want to hear from you! How long did it take you Ladies to realize that Mother and Wife should not, and could not, be all that you are? Tell me about it in the comment section!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Today is my third child, who is my second son’s birthday! I can not believe it has been seven years already since the day he was born. I remember I was so excited because my husband and I had decided to find out the gender when the baby was born. I was sure that the baby was a girl though, so I made a deal with my husband that if the baby was a girl that I could name her and if it was a boy he could name him.

It was a bogus deal though because, I thought that I was surely having a girl. All the old wives tale told me so; I was carrying the baby high, I was smaller  just like with my oldest daughter, I had no morning sickness at all, I could eat everything that I wanted, and most of all I wanted it to be a girl. I had already had a little girl two years prior to getting pregnant with Daniel and I thought this will be great, I’ll have tons of clothes and shoes. I won’t need to buy anything!

Perhaps the most exciting thing about November 20, 2009 though, was my birthing experience. I had been praying and believing God for some specific things in relation to my birth plan  one of them was that my water would break, and the other major thing was that I would have a drug-free delivery. One out of two of those things actually happen that day.

I was at home with my kids and I had just had an appointment with my midwife the day before and I had her strip my membranes, to get things started in there. I had a history of going way past my due date, so I didn’t want that to happen a third time. I was at home making lunch because my husband was getting ready to come home for lunch, when I felt liquid come out of me! I immediately thought that I accidently peed on myself, in true shock I went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up and changed my clothes. Then I went back to the kitchen and thought nothing of it, then all of a sudden I wet myself again, but even more that time. I started to get a little suspicious that maybe my water had broken, so I hopped on the phone and called my neighbor, who’s water broke when she had her daughter, and told her what I was experiencing and she told me to go to the hospital.

I can’t remember if I called my husband or if he just came home, but the first thing he said was, “But I haven’t ate yet!” I called our friend and my sister and they said they were on their way, and little did I know it would be another seven hours before I actually went into labor and gave birth. You see, even though my water broke I did not start dilating on my own. They had to give me a drug to make me dilate and then after that I asked for the epidural and well then I had the baby! You know the rest, it was a boy and we named him Daniel Joshua.

I look back on that day now and I smile, and I cry a little bit too, because I’m starting to understand more and more just how quickly the days go by. Honestly, being a parent can make for some pretty long days and nights. It can be hard to see just how fleeting time is. We get weighed down by the day to day chores, and routines and we miss the moments. We forget to enjoy the little things in life and folks…those moments are not on repeat. Once you miss them their gone for good. It’s not like I want to scare you and make you think that we will never have another opportunity to make memories with our children, but I do want you to stop and smell the roses.

I’m so glad you guys stopped by and join me for a trip down memory lane. I hope you take the time this week to cherish the time that you have with your loved ones and make some good memories. Even the bad memories won’t seem so bad if you live a bit longer.(wink,wink) Have a good day and leave me a comment and let me know how you cherish the moments.

My Crazy Busy Life

Hello Friends, did you miss me? I have been stuck on a never ending carousel of  back to school, homework, volunteering and pick up drop off! I confess that I am utterly overwhelmed with my new schedule right now! I feel like I’m in school instead of my kids! Every night we do homework for hours and then we go to bed to wake up and do it all over again. As a previous homeschooler we are still new to the whole school thing, and I feel just like a fish out of water. We have four teachers to deal with everyday, and four classes to volunteer for, four lunches to make every night and don’t even get me started on how many times I have picked people up from school because they didn’t feel well and they’ve only been in school for six weeks!

I think you can kind of see where I’m going with this…I’m tired! I feel like I’m being steam rolled and I then asked to run a marathon with a blindfold on and one arm tied behind my back! Okay even I had to laugh at that one.  My point is that I am out of whack and really struggling to make time for my writing schedule each week.

I truly enjoy writing and I’ve already started writing my second book and making plans for expanding my blog into something else as well. However, I can’t seem to get organized enough to find the time in my day to be super woman like I planned. In my mind I have a list of things that I can see myself accomplishing for the day, but in reality I seem to only get about twenty percent of those things done with fifty percent of my day being used just to do those things.

At this point I’m starting to wonder, how can I get this under control? When will my life calm down and settle into something that resembles a well oiled machine? I feel like my family is transitioning into a new phase of life, but I don’t have a rule book or a manual to tell me what to do. Do you guys ever have those thoughts? Do you ever feel like you’re barley keeping up with the pace of your life?  I do have days where I am the master of my day, but those days are few and far between.

Lately I’ve been thinking about things that I can do to organize my day and get my bearings back. Of course I have been trying to use my phone and that does help but, I think I’m the kind of person who really keeps up with things best if I write them down. The funny part in all of this back to school madness is that, my youngest child and I are hanging out more and she is a blast. I get to focus all my attention on her and let me tell you she is a ball of fun! I am convinced that she is like the smartest baby in the world! After having two boys back to back having a daughter made me remember why I wanted another little lady!

Maybe one day I’ll be good at this parenting thing, but right now I’m still learning as I go along. I never thought that a day would come when I would be racing to the school just to get a spot in the pick up line, or excited about baking cookies for the school bake sale while planning the next chapter of my second book!

As always I am open to any tips and tricks you ladies may want to leave for me in the comment section. What are your go to tips for a better day, or your favorite home remedy for a sore throat? As always thanks for reading and don’t forget to like this post!

No Sick Days

I hate being sick! It all started this Wednesday when I got a call from my son’s school that he had a fever and needed to be picked up from school. Now if you have more than one child you know that this is the beginning of a contagious chain reaction. The next person to get sick was my husband, then, my daughters, then my older sons, and finally me. We have one more day left in our labor day holiday and we are all struggling to get well. It’s a crazy tricky thing to be a mom and take a sick day! It just seems like when Moms get sick, we don’t have the luxury of laying abed for three days until our sniffles are gone. My husband literally could not get out of bed for two straight days!! However, when I got sick I still had to change diapers and participate in life.

There will probably be no long breaks for me, no two days in bed, and no fun barbeques either, but that’s life right? Being a Mom is not a part-time job, there are no holidays off, no sick days, no vacations, no this is a life long gig. Before this stomach bug hit our family, we had plans to go on a big family outing to the beach or an apple orchard. My plans are technically ruined, but since I’m no longer racing back and forth to the bathroom, I’m okay with that!

The truth is, I’m learning that in life we make plans and sometimes they fall apart. The way I envisioned my long holiday weekend did not include me being sick. How we adjust to life’s little surprises can be the difference between living life completely stressed out, or one that takes the good with the bad and still finds the joy in everything.

I want to be in the latter category. It can be difficult to roll with the punches, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. I like to think that everything in life happens for a reason, so maybe there is a bigger reason for my whole entire family getting sick and keeping us at home this weekend instead of out enjoying ourselves on the beach.

Have you guys ever had your plans fall apart due to circumstances beyond your control? How easy is it for you to roll with the punches? Can you take a hit and keep on going, or do you find yourself getting knocked down by life time and time again? I want to hear from you guys in the comment section!

The Issues of Life

Have you ever said something that you immediately regretted as soon as it came out your mouth? Well I have, and folks nothing feels worse than realizing that you really just said what you just said. Here’s my story. My kids had a dental appointment this Saturday and I was feeling really worn out mentally after what had turned into an unexpectedly long, and hard week. The appointment seemed to be super long and the dental office was crazy busy with people everywhere and lots of noise. Our appointments went well and we were on our way out after only about forty-five minutes. Everything was going really well, but then as I was chatting with the receptionist while we scheduled my next appointment everything went kaboom! Everywhere I go I hear people make all types of comments like, “Wow, you have five children! I could never do that? I would die if I had five children, or Wow, you’ve got your hands full!”

Guys, I hear these comments all the time everywhere I go!  I feel like I have matured more now and that I can handle them much better, but this particular time I let myself down. I jokingly told the ladies that yes it was a lot, but I thought it was a good number. I then went on to say that I really wanted another little girl and I got what I wanted. That should have been all I said but I didn’t stop there. I made another comment that I will hold back from the internet, but I essentially said that I did not want to have any more children!  Now truthfully it wasn’t like I used profanity or was rude or anything like that, but as soon as I said the words I had an, ” Oh-No feeling!” We finished up and we walked out to our truck and loaded up and went back to school shopping and the whole time, I kept hearing my words playing in my head over and over again and my heart was sinking with guilt.

Why would this make me feel guilty you may wonder, what’s so bad about not wanting to have more children? Well it’s not so much about the words that  I said as it is where the words came from. Honestly, I am more than satisfied with my five and I feel like I haven’t mastered being a Mother of five yet, so I am not praying that I get pregnant; however, I would welcome another baby because I believe that the fruit of the womb is the Lords reward. I am so disappointed in myself for responding the way I did and especially in the presence of my children. I never want them to think that I didn’t choose this lifestyle or that I don’t enjoy being their Mom.

It seemed like every place we went yesterday someone was coming up to us to comment on our family or my children’s good behavior, it’s as if God was allowing every person in every store to comment to me about how wonderful my children were.

No matter what I did that day my comments were playing in my head on repeat and I felt terrible. I was trying to figure out why I was having such a hard time controlling my tongue, and watching my words. I have been working so hard at guarding my mouth and closely screening my words before they come out my mouth. Than I heard Holy Spirit whisper to my heavy heart, “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”(proverbs4:23) I confess to you that I cried a little bit. I realized that I was only trying to conceal my symptoms by watching my words, but I was ignoring the root of the problem…my heart.

I don’t know when it happened or how it happened but at some point I allowed my heart to become vulnerable to this world and the words that I spoke yesterday was a result of the heart issues that I have about having five children or the thought of having more children. It would take me all day to try and tell you how difficult it was for me to deal with the negative opinions and comments from people just six years ago. I didn’t know how to deal with people criticizing me for having children. Every little thing hurt my feelings and drove me to tears. It got to the point where I wouldn’t even tell certain people until I was almost ready to give birth, because I didn’t want to hear their thoughts about my life. I knew that God was pleased with me, I was happily married and taking care of my children joyfully. I really struggled with caring what people thought of me and my husband as well as my children.

The question that haunted me after I heard this scripture was, “When did I change my heart?” I think that perhaps it happen slowly, as I began to make friends with different women, from different backgrounds. I would begin to agree with them that five was a big number, and too much to handle. Maybe it happened as I started to tire of folding laundry or buying in bulk every two weeks, or possibly it was the fact that I wasn’t spending enough time renewing my mind with the Word of God and washing away the images that were being subtly planted in my mind day after day.

I would never blame anyone else for my short comings or failures, but I must say that the people we surround our selves with influence our hearts. The books we read the shows we watch, they all leave an invisible print on our hearts. Even though I had heard this before, I still didn’t realize what was happening to my own heart.

It was slowly happening to me, I was losing sight of how wonderfully blessed I was to have five amazing children. The cares of my everyday life were starting to look like they were multiplied by five and too much for me to manage. However, when I read the Word of God, it tells me that God will never put more on me than I can bare(1Cor.10:13), and it tells me that the fruit of the womb is the Lords reward(psalm127:3). The Word says that He makes the barren woman a joyful mother of children.(psalm113:9) This may sound like a cliché to you but, I know that some one out there would love to have five healthy children and a husband. I hate that I wasn’t being grateful enough, and that I was losing sight of who I am and the woman that I want to be, but now that I know better, I will be doing better.

I won’t just be treating the symptoms anymore, but I will be allowing the God to examine my heart and groom me. I want to be the kind of women who can inspire other women to be the best version of themselves and to be comfortable going against the norms. I want to inspire my daughters to live with purpose and seek to please God’s will.

It was hard for me to share this with you today, but I’m glad I did because we can’t help others if we pretend to have it all together all the time. Having said that what have you been covering up, but not healing? Share it in the comments if you dare!