It gets easier.

There is nothing to say. I can’t breathe…that is all I can think. I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t….I’m dying. Oh my god…is this it? Is this my life? It can’t possibly end here. I have so many more things I want to do, so many more things I want to say, things I need to change, things I need to become better at, people that need to know I love them…why now?

They really mean it when they say your life flashes before your eyes and when it does, it may seem small…it just might seem like you accomplished absolutely nothing and that you never were able to get over your self-esteem issues and that you still consider yourself completely worthless and uncapable of doing anything meaningful.

You might regret. You might regret so much more than not doing the dishes. You’ll regret not saying goodnight to your babies properly. You’ll regret not kissing your husband goodnight because you were so wrapped up in arguing with a friend. You might feel incredibly lonely; like no one ever truly got to know you because you were so afraid of what they would think….and that might be it.

That could be the end and you could never get a chance to fix it or change it. So, do it now. Be happy because tomorrow you might draw your last breath and you might wish you had made up with that friend, you might wish you kissed your husband goodnight, you might wish that you had cuddled up close to those babies…

You can be whoever you want to be if you only remember that this is it. This is your life and it will speed by quicker than you can inhale a bowl of mac and cheese and whether or not you believe it doesn’t mean it isn’t true because that is how the truth works. You can choose to ignore it and that may be okay but it is still true. Love yourself. Even if it means you have to work towards it everyday, mantra after mantra, workout after workout, breath after breath, whatever it takes; love you.

Do what you dream of. Even if it is crazy or unrealistic. Who defines what is real or not? Who says you can’t travel? Who says I can’t write? Who says you can’t have everything you’ve ever wanted? It might not be easy…but you can have it. Reach for it and don’t look back at the people who tell you otherwise because in the end you are the only one who needs to be satisfied by your life. Run it. Run your life. It is only as amazing as you make it. So, breathe. Take a step. It gets easier.

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Breathe.

You just need to shut up and breathe. Maybe one day you’ll learn to just stop running your mouth and just take action. You don’t need to say anything, just ACT. Just do whatever you need done and stop expecting your 2.5 year old to understand or see why it is you’re freaking out. You’re a grown up. BE YOU. DON’T BE LAZY.

Sometimes I wonder if I inherited this lazy bone from my father. My sick, fucked up, ridiculous father. Who would rather yell across the house for someone to do something for him (like pour a glass of milk) than get up and get it himself. Who the fuck does that? I do that sometimes. Sometimes when Jamie is here I will call her from upstairs to bring me something and that’s wrong. It is.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel like I have been successful? If I will ever feel like I have become smart enough, loving enough, brave enough….A real writer…Anything that I want to be, I feel…average. Never excellent, never amazing, never great.

But I love…I do. I love so much that it hurts me and sometimes I try to stand back and say you know what, love isn’t what anyone needs right now. Sometimes, people just need to judge themselves and not be loved while doing it but I feel that’s wrong. It’s so wrong. Everyone can use a little love even if they suck. Even if their entire lives are gone and it’s their fault…Love could fix it.

What am I?

Who am I?

Where do I go from here and how do I become….Me?

Breathe.

Cry…

Maybe lay on the floor in the fetal position and try to remember what it was like to know nothing but comfort, security, love…

Forget that there was ever darkness?

Or maybe just realize that you can be the light. – Fuck.

Today is one of those days..

The one where you feeling like you’re going to lose your mind and drive off a cliff somewhere because every time you try to accomplish something, someone acts like their dying (yes, the toddler.) So far today, I have gotten up, cleaned poop, got dressed, nursed both children, ate three bananas for breakfast, took them to the playground (got kind of lost on the way there because I never go to this one) for a play date, came home to a husband who was like OH MAN WHERE DID YOU GO I WANTED TO WALK TOGETHER, made everyone food, prepped meals, and was mostly yelled at because the toddler (again) needed milk RIGHT NOW.

I need to meditate. So, now that the children are asleep…here I am trying to find some kind of peace and maybe some mothers who relate to just re-validate that I am NOT the only one going bat shit crazy here…

I love my children. They are amazing, intelligent, hilarious, beautiful, tiny little people. I enjoy them most days and some days, I think “oh..man…” but, I love them. I love them more than the days are long, more than the skies are blue, more than I love Stabucks coffee (and that is a lot.) Being a mother is the most amazing and precious gift the universe has given me and sometimes I might not be the best i can be but, I do appreciate it.

So any other moms out there thinking they might die today.. Let’s sit together, turn up the music, and laugh for a while? We need it sometimes…Maybe add a glass of wine to that too, ay?

A little update since I’ve been AFK.

Dyed my hair purple; it’s pretty great. 

Meal prep above: Smoothies, spaghetti stuff, veggies ready to steam.

Also made these amazing “larabars” for Aubrey but i rolled them into balls instead because tiny fingers and such..   

I made these amazing “meat”balls! You must try them!

My bullet journaling is going well. It really helps me stay on track and I think it’s pretty, too. 🙂

Nice coloring page I did on my iPhone using “Colorfy”

Lunch Time! Chick’n salad (Beyond meat), Apple chips (BareSnacks), and Steamed veggies!

When people find out I am vegan they usually ask two questions EVERY time and they are…”OMG! What do you eat if you don’t eat meat or dairy, etc?!?” and “Where do you get your protein!?” I used to try to explain these things to people and give them lists and really try to get them to understand but it is usually a waste of time because they just say things like, “Oh..but you must eat a lot more of everything so it must be super expensive…” Then you try to explain that aspect of it and it’s just never ending. Usually now I just say, I eat a lot of things and am perfectly healthy! Would you like to see my instagram? haha! I am always posting pictures of my vegan meals and sharing recipes 🙂

Setting Limits, Boundaries & The Rules: Do not destroy/steal property and do not cause harm to yourself or others.

A friend came to me and had said that she doesn’t believe in children running the household and that she believed in family dynamics (in a response to my last post about following your child’s own self-led schedule) and so I kind of wanted to just talk about setting limits and boundaries within that child’s self-led schedule so that your child isn’t running the household. I also want to say that when I say that you should follow your child’s self-led schedule, that means that there is some basic structure, the difference is that it is not a forced schedule made by mommy or daddy. I know that USUALLY…Aubrey will nap between 12-2. Sometimes she will not. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a routine or a schedule, it just means that it is not a set in stone thing but there are some basic structures there that have been set up by my toddler.

There are plenty of ways to set limits and boundaries while still following your toddler or babies own schedule. Their bodies naturally know when they need sleep and how much they need. We do not need to force it upon them or try to regulate it because they will do it all on their own naturally. For example, my daughter went to bed at 7pm last night but then woke up around 9:30pm and was up until her father and I went to bed at 11pm. She just wasn’t tired and wanted to be apart of all the fun. When she was tired, she came and laid next to me and went to sleep. Similar to when you walk away to make lunch and find your toddler passed out on the floor with a car toy in their hand (yes, some kids DO do this! Just not mine…)

When I had my daughter, I breastfed her on demand, based on her cues and I have continued to do that (until recently nearing the age of 3). We have now set limits. A lot of mothers do this so why should it be any other way for any other part of their lives? Setting a self-determined routine or schedule is a great thing for *some children (obviously not all…some have problems self-regulating, etc) and in that case you would guide them but still not MAKE them do anything they didn’t want to do. My biggest thing about forced schedules are that by trying to make your toddler do things they aren’t ready to do, you are upsetting yourself and your baby. You can of course, eventually make that baby listen to you and do what you want but it will take you “breaking” the desire to do otherwise. Sleep trained babies know after hours of crying and not being picked up that they will not be picked up and so they give up. They lose the “I know my mommy will come get me” mindset and find that they have no control over the situation. I have never been able to say okay, Aubrey…We’re going to bed now and her go to bed peacefully unless she was *ready* to go to bed.

Now, that I’ve said all that I want to say about that…you can of course, set limits and boundaries so that even though your child has their own schedule, they still understand that they need to do things or go places. If you are a working parent and your child has to go to school, you would peacefully and respectfully explain to your child that they have to go to school. If they child is upset about that, you would explain that you understand they are upset and give them ways to deal with those emotions. Then they would go to school. Now, if it were my child and everyday they expressed that they didn’t want to go to school and you could find means to stay at home with them and homeschool…I would do that.

The friend who had responded to the last post had said that,  “the baby or toddler cannot be in charge because then they would go into the world unable to react when they are forced to do things they don’t want to do like, get a job or deal with tasks at that job, or deal with government laws, etc.” My response to this is that, I am teaching my children that sometimes they have to do things but that trivial things such as what time they go to bed or how clean their rooms are, are not those things. They will learn responsibility of course, at an appropriate age. 2.5 years is not an appropriate age. I also hope, that I will teach my children that they always have a choice and are not forced to do anything they don’t want to do. Yes, we need to work but I hope in the future that I am able to provide for them in a way that they don’t have to jump into a job they hate because they need money and have to get out now.

As far as their being any issues with the limits that the law has set on all of us, this will not be an issue either. They will have no problem being decent and kind people (or abiding the laws.) Speeding for example is something everyone does even though it is against the law, we are not always punished for that but we do know the consequences if we get caught, again, if you get a ticket and you do not pay it, there are more consequences that you eventually have to deal with. There are no blurred lines here. It is straight forward and easily understood. My children will be given cars at the appropriate age and there will obviously be responsibilities that come with those cars, keeping them cleaned, keeping their maintenance up to date, etc. As they become older they will increase, paying for the car (if new), paying for car insurance, etc. If you don’t do these things there are natural consequences.

Here are 5 steps found here that can help you set limits and boundaries with your toddler:

“1) Begin with empathy and  trust.  Assume your toddler is doing the best she can do in any given situation, and is not just  trying to drive you crazy. Trust this: with your gentle guidance and some time, he can and will  learn to act in more positive ways.

2) Next, observe or notice what is happening, and simply narrate or state what you see or hear.

“You hit your sister, and she is crying.” “You are throwing  the sand.”  “You are throwing your food.” “You are screaming.”  “You are throwing your blocks.” “Ouch, you are biting me!”

3) Briefly explain why you want the behavior to stop.

“It hurts your sister when you hit her.” If you throw the sand it might get into someone’s eyes, and that hurts.”  “Food is for eating. It makes a big mess when you throw your food, and I don’t like it.” “It hurts my ears when you scream,” or “I can’t understand you when you scream.” ” Blocks are hard and it might hurt someone if you throw blocks at them.” “Biting hurts.”  Notice two things: Most of the time, you want or need to set a limit when your child’s actions might harm them or someone else. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to ask your child not to do something because you don’t like it- your feelings and needs matter. So if you find yourself getting upset because your child is making a big mess that you will have to clean up,  or you just can’t  bear to listen to another moment of screaming,  say so! Sometimes just drawing attention to the behavior and the reason it is inappropriate is enough to stop the unwanted behavior (at least in the moment).

4) Set the limit, while demonstrating the desired behavior or offering an alternative, if possible.

“I won’t let you hit your sister. Please touch her gently.” ( Say this while stroking both children gently.) “If you want to hit, you can hit this doll (or the floor, or these pillows).” “Please keep the sand low in the sandbox” ( demonstrate). ” If you can’t remember to keep the sand low, I’m going to ask you to leave the sandbox.” When you throw your food, that tells me that you’re done eating. If you still want to eat, please keep your food on the table or I will put it away (or ask you to get down).”  “Please don’t scream. I want to understand, and I can’t when you’re screaming. Can you show me (or, tell me  using your regular voice) what you want?”  or “If you want to scream, I will ask you to go in the other room (or outside).”  “If you want to throw something (or play catch) let’s go find a ball. Balls are for throwing. If you keep throwing the blocks I will put them away for today.”  “No biting!” ( Say this firmly, while putting your child down.)  I will move away if you are going to bite me. If you want to bite, you may bite this teether.”

5) Follow through with the limits each and every time (consistency). This is very important.

When you set a limit your child may resist, or express some angry or sad feelings. This is perfectly natural, and fine. Accept, name and acknowledge your child’s feelings, but calmly hold firm to the limit. Your child is entitled to express and have her feelings heard, but that doesn’t mean you have to meet her anger with anger, agree with her, or give in to him.

Help your child if necessary. Stay nearby and supervise closely if your child is prone to hitting his sister. “You are having a hard time remembering to keep the sand low in the box, so I’m going to ask you to leave the sandbox now. Can you do it yourself, or would you like some help?” “You are still throwing your food. I’m going to put it away now.” (You can also hand your toddler a cloth and ask her to help you clean up the  food that was dropped.) “You are still screaming. I’m going to ask you to go get all your screams out in the next room,” or “I can’t help you when you’re screaming.” “I’m going to put these hard toys away, and you can play with these balls and stuffed animals.” (In some cases, it may be necessary or helpful to make changes in your environment or routine that will make it easier for your child to remember and cooperate with the limits. For instance, it may be helpful to put away hard toys for awhile if your child is intent on throwing everything. Maybe providing a gated, safe play area for the baby will protect her from her brother when you can’t be right there to intervene. Maybe changes in the morning routine are needed to make it a less rushed, stressful time, or you can put aside some  special toys that come out just in the morning for your toddler to play with.)”

You can also find more here…I hope that this post is helpful and maybe explains a little better what I am trying to say in the last post as well. Sometimes explaining things is hard for me and I may or may not portray what I mean in the best of ways. Let me know if these steps or any other steps work for you guys! I am currently just starting to try and be more pro-active with my daughter in setting these boundaries and limits in a way that is more peaceful. I have been more overwhelmed and flustered with what I need to do and what I actually do lately and a lot of these steps have been helping me 🙂

Following your children’s needs & personal schedules.

This is a hard one for me. I’m still working on it…I want to be able to follow my toddler and babies cues as much as possible but also still make sure that I have “me time” and “husband and wife time.” I follow my toddler’s schedule mostly. She is pretty much a free-range child…when she wants to go outside, we do, if she isn’t hungry in the morning and isn’t ready for breakfast, she eats when she wants to, bed time is pretty much the same every night but sometimes it may be later or sooner and sometimes I may be sleeping with her and sometimes she may be sleeping with just Ollie.

Bed time is rough for me. I can’t seem to just relax because the whole time I’m so anxious for that alone time I crave with my husband. I honestly get very short tempered and irritated because I am just like, “OKAY! THE DAY IS OVER! PLEASE GO TO BED!” This is obviously a horrible way to end the day so, I am working on that, too. I’ve started just backing off and if she isn’t ready for bed, I try suggesting like “hey! wanna read a book with me?” or “do you want something to eat before bed?” and usually those things help transition her into bedtime smoothly and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes she eats and asks to watch TV and doesn’t want to sleep until 10pm or later. It drives me nuts but I’m trying not to lose my mind over it. You can’t force a child/person to sleep if they aren’t tired. A lot of moms will disagree with me and will put their babies in their crib before they are ready for bed and let them work it out but I can’t do that with my toddler nor would I want to.

When giving your child free range of their schedule, I think it helps them to understand themselves more. My daughter for example will tell me, “hey, Im tired and I want milk so I can go to bed.” This is a great thing and what is greater is when I say, “hey, I think you are tired…let’s have milk and go to sleep” and she says, “No. I’m not tired yet.” She understands that even though I think she should go to bed, she doesn’t have to feel tired. She gets her body and how it works. So, I usually say okay and we play until she tells me she is tired.

I think that this is just another way to teach self regulation. If there aren’t as many restrictions to what she has to do in a day then she is more willing to understand when she should do them without having to be told. I think my favorite part about following Aubrey’s schedule (even though sometimes it isn’t my favorite thing, in general) is that she has a voice and that voice is heard. She gets a choice in how to live her life. When I was growing up…my father insisted that I shower every night. I HATED it. Even if I had done nothing but sat in my bed all day, I had to take a shower and it wasn’t the shower that bothered me but the fact that I literally had no say in the matter, even as a teenager… It was miserable. I had no voice or control over my own time, my own body, and how completely sad is that?

What do you guys think of following your children’s schedules? Do any working moms practice this? I’ve always wondered how that would work because I’m sure you have to have some kind of schedule in order to get kids to school/daycare and you to work..? What do your children’s schedules generally look like? I plan to share ours another day because it is late but please share with me!

Affirmations to stay sane.

I have never used affirmations before but I am going to give it a go and see if maybe these things can help me keep my cool and little better than I have been lately. I know I’ll use some more than others but here is “the list.” I’ll be posting these around my home, reminders set to my phone, etc, to keep them on my mind and focused on who I want to be and how I want to parent. 

Do you guys use affirmations? What are your favorites? Do you use them for parenting, for your spouse, just for you? Let me know! I’m curious what you think and how they work for you!

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You Are A Badass. (Notes – so far – page 55)

How to stop doubting your greatness:

– Vibration attracts like vibration. If you energy is high then you will find other high energies to make your life/journey better.

  • “You need to raise your frequency to match the vibration of the one you want to tune into.”
  • “When you learn to consciously master the energetic realm, believe in the not yet seen, and stay in your highest frequency, you harness your innate power to create the reality you desire.”

– If you believe in yourself and in the fact that you CAN have a good day and CAN make good choices you will naturally feel better and do better.

– Everything you desire is available to you.

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

– We need to generate positivity instead of constantly letting the endless list of complaints ramble through our brains. The universe is completely and ridiculously amazing and yet here we are barely acknowledging anything more than what Beyonce said and how our parent’s won’t stop complaining that they don’t see the kids enough. Stop and breathe and feel things around you.

  • “The more time you spend in the moment, the richer your life will be.”

“Wanting to become someone else is a waste of the person you are.” – Kurt Cobain.

– I have to believe and know that I am loved. I am great. I am kind. I am a good mother. I am hardworking. There is nothing that I cannot do.

    • “You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you. You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a rive thinking that it’s got too many curves…”
    • “We are all perfection our own, magnificent, fucked-up ways. Laugh at yourself. Love yourself and others. Rejoice in the cosmic ridiculousness.”

– If we are constantly dragging ourselves through the mud and putting up negative images of ourselves then we will absolutely feel that and our energy will be negative which will lead to bad days, bad thoughts, bad self-esteem, etc.

– Appreciate yourself. Don’t learn to, just do it. Thank yourself. Let yourself know that you care about everything you do and want to do. Make a point everyday to say hey, you did well today even if it didn’t go 100% the way you wanted it to.