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When Life Gives You Lemons, It’s Okay If You Just Want To F*cking Chuck Them At People

This post is for anyone who is struggling.

For anyone who is sick and tired of blow after blow after blow.

For anyone who feels like they can’t catch a fucking break.

And I hate vague posts. Vaguebooking.

You know,  when someone posts something on Facebook along the lines of I just don’t know what to do anymore…

Or  even better, just one word.

Shattered…

But as much as I hate it, I’m about to do it.

Sort of.

I received some really shitty news yesterday.

Really shitty.

It’s not something I can share. Not right now anyway.

And before you go crazy trying to figure out what it is, all my family members are healthy. Nobody is in the hospital. There has been no infidelity in my marriage.

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what the bad news is.

Bad news is bad news.

It’s fairly major bad news.

And you know what?

I’m fucking sick of bad news.

I’m sick of hardship and sadness and worry and anger and anxiety and the fucking resulting depression.

I’M FUCKING OVER IT.

I know better than anyone else what I need to do to get through this.

I need to ask for help where I can get it.

I need to continue to exercise.

I need to get enough sleep.

I need to eat well.

I need to find a therapist. Like yesterday.

I need to take a shower and continue to show up for my kids.

I need to take care of myself so I can take care of them.

Because if I fall apart, then things will get seriously fucked up.

But you know what? I don’t want to do any of those healthy things.

I’m sitting here at the computer typing.

But I really want to be on the couch, binge watching Netflix in an effort to forget about reality for a little while.

I want to eat every single carb in my kitchen. And my neighbor’s kitchen.

I want to call in sick to work and drink a bottle of wine.

I want to call one of my friends who has a “prescription” for medical marijuana and go get completely out of my mind stoney baloney.

I want to be numb. Because this fucking blows.

You know what else I want to do?

I want to punch every single person who tells me that “God has a funny way of teaching us patience” or  “Sometimes you’re not getting what you want because something better is planned for you instead” or “God never gives you more than you can handle” directly in the face. Hard.

The Fall down seven times, stand up eight tattoo I got on my forearm in December?

I want to Indian burn that motherfucker right off of myself.

I don’t want to be inspired. I don’t want to be motivated. I don’t want to be challenged.

I don’t want to be positive or optimistic. I don’t want to look at the glass as half full.

I don’t want to fucking do anything.

I’m frustrated. I’m worried. I’m angry. And I’m fucking exhausted.

But my kids are counting on me.

So as soon as I hit publish on this post, even though I want to do every possible unhealthy (and ultimately ineffective) thing there is to do in order to deal with the bullshit I’m experiencing right now, I’m going to get out of this chair, exercise, eat, take a shower, and then get ready to go to work.

I am going to do my best to show up. I’m going to think about the people who are counting on me.

But I really, really, really don’t want to.

I just want to sit here and cry.

If you are in the same spot, if you are struggling, if you feel like you can’t catch a break, if you are fucking over everything, I’m not gonna try to pump you up.

I’m not going to tell you that Tough times don’t last; tough people do. I’m not going to tell you You’ll get through this. (But you will).

I just wanted to tell you that if you are tired and dejected and feeling hopeless because of whatever your string of shitty things is, I know how bad it sucks. It fucking blows.

I totally get it. Hang in there.

I’m right there with you.

 

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I Want To Help You Burn Off Your Crazy. Or Just Get Up Off Your Butt.

One of the things I feel super passionate about is exercise.

I don’t view exercise solely as a means to lose weight.

It can definitely help in that department, but for me, exercise is the foundation for pretty much everything.

For me, exercise is an antidepressant.

I have been Zoloft/Celexa/Lexapro/Everything Else free since exercise became a regular part of my routine. For about the last seven years.

Exercise also keeps me disciplined in other areas. When I am able to exercise early in the day, the rest of my day is much more productive.

Exercise enables me to keep up with the kids.

Exercise shows me that I can push myself  way out of my comfort zone and come out even better on the other side.

Exercise helps remind me that I can get through anything. Not just anything physical, but other things. Financial problems. Marital problems. Emotional problems. Kid problems.

Exercise makes me feel much more confident in the bedroom.

Exercise helps me sleep better.

Exercise makes my skin look better.

Exercise obviously makes me stronger.

And exercise is improving the quality of my life. Not just now, but  in the future.

And one of my goals is to help moms lead more active lives and to make exercise a part of their normal routine not because they want to drop a few pounds, but because you need to take care of your body, dammit!

When you don’t take care of your body, you can’t take care of your kids! Not the way you want to, anyway.

And eventually, it will catch up with you!

I don’t know about you, but I have a shit ton of plans and I’m not going to get to some of them for another thirty years. Plus I wanna be an active participant in not only my kids’ lives, but my grandchildren’s lives (if my kids don’t kill me first).

If exercise is an area of your life that you are struggling with, I can help you!

Not Your Average Fitness Course 2017 is back!

It’s a flexible, sustainable, and maintainable 6 week course where you receive daily e-mails, daily prompts, daily motivation, live Facebook chats available only to the course members, and tons of support.

Registration is now open, and the course starts Monday, May 1st.

This isn’t about massive lifestyle overhauls. It’s not about insane amounts of exercise. It’s not about cutting out entire food groups and foods.

It’s about being part of a community where other women can relate. The goals are to get you to be more active than you are now, to have more healthy habits than you did when you started the course, and to appreciate your body right now, no matter what your shape or size is!

It doesn’t matter where you live, how old you are, or what size you are. You don’t need a gym membership.

You just need the desire to take more control over your life.

If you are ready to make a change, CLICK HERE.

You will get immediate access to a closed Facebook group upon registration where you will receive daily support and can ask questions before the course officially begins.

Register by Friday, April 28th, and receive a Not Your Average Mom t-shirt (choose from 5 designs including the one below) as part of your registration!

If you have been waiting for a sign to make a change, here it is!

Take control of those out-of-control areas of your life starting right now!

Click here to register for Not Your Average Fitness Course today!!! You won’t regret it!

 

20 Things You Can Do To Be a Great Parent

Yesterday I came across this question when I was wasting time on Facebook:

“I’m going to be a first-time dad in a few weeks… I’m quite nervous! Does anyone have some helpful tips on how I can be a great dad? “

About a million things immediately popped into my head.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman. You could substitute the word mom or parent into that question and my thoughts would be the same.

And I’m not claiming to be a great parent. But that is definitely a goal!

So how can you be a great mom/dad/parent?

I’d start here:

1. Understand that a great parent is not synonymous with a perfect parent.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Regardless of what you see on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, all parents make multiple mistakes. Daily. You will fuck up.

All the great ones do.

2. Get your kid on a sleep schedule.

Whether you are an infant or an adult, sleep is crucial. Tired kids suck. Just like tired adults do. Think about how hard it is to focus and to remain patient as a grown up when you are exhausted.  Now multiply that by four billion and you will know what your kid will be like. The more your kids sleep, the better they sleep.  If you have to stay in your house for six months to get your kid on a sleep schedule, DO IT.

3. Ask for help.

If you are struggling, ask for help. If you are exhausted, ask for help. If you are unsure, ask for help. If you are worried, ask for help. It’s okay to want/ask for/ need help. We have all needed help at some point in our lives, and we will all need it again!

4. Teach your kids about mental health. And take care of yours.

This one is so important! So many parents are misinformed/ashamed/embarrassed when they are affected by a mental health issue or when their kids are. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, whatever mental health issue… they are all real things. They all suck. But they mostly suck when you feel you are alone or you feel like you are the only one affected by them.  In one form or another, we have all dealt with one of these things. And if we haven’t, we have a family member or very close friend who has. You are not alone!!! And you have nothing to be embarrassed about.

5. Make your marriage (if you are in one) a priority.

Your marriage is the foundation for your whole family. The stronger it is, the stronger your family is.  Maintain it. Spend time on it. Focus on it. Strengthen it.

6. Give your kid responsibilities.

Your kids need to learn the value and importance of hard work, manual labor and contribution to the family unit! They need to have respect for your time. They need chores. They need to know they are part of the family. Kids need to help out. Start young. A two-year-old will not clean to your standards, but he can do something! He can pick up toys. Two-year-olds love to vacuum! (They pretty much vacuum the shit out of one spot, but like I said, it’s a start).

Older kids don’t need to be rescued! If they forget their homework or their saxophone or their lunch (YES! Even their lunch!), don’t bring it to school for them.  Kids will never learn to be responsible if you are constantly coming to their rescue.

And when kids aren’t responsible that’s when being a parent can really be sucky. And when parenting is extra sucky, it’s extra hard to be great.

7. Teach independence.

Let your kids dress themselves. Who cares if they aren’t coordinated? Teach them to tie their shoes and zip their jacket and put on their snow pants when they are young! Teach them to pack their lunches when they are in elementary school (yes, they are capable of this!) Give them the skills and the confidence to know they’ve got what it takes to navigate the world as early as you can.

Don’t worry, even when you teach them to be responsible and independendt they will always be your babies, and they will still need you.

8. Give your kids financial responsibilities.

Teach your kids how to earn and save money. Let them pay for the things they want with their own money. Your teenager can pay her own monthly cell phone bill (YES! SHE CAN!). You do not owe your children these things. But you do owe it to them to teach them the value of a dollar and how you have to work to make one.

9. Build a big net.

It can feel good, especially for moms, to be needed.  But when you put yourself in the position to be the only person your kids goes to for help/comfort/whatever, you are creating an unhealthy and codependent relationship. You are putting a tremendous amount of stress and responsibility on your shoulders, and you are creating a very, very small circle of support for your child. The more adults your children know and feel comfortable with, the bigger the support system they have available to them, and that is super comforting, not only to your child, but to you.

No matter how many grown ups your kid has a relationship with, you will still be their Number 1. Except for those times you hold them accountable and that makes them angry and they tell you they hate you. But that doesn’t last for too long.

10. Take risks.

Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. Model this for your kids. Let them see you take a chance and succeed. And let them see you take a chance and fail! Teach your kids that there is no such thing as perfection. Teach them that failure is inevitable, it’s okay, and it’s how you become a stronger, smarter, and more well-rounded human being.

11.  Acknowledge your mistakes.

You will fuck up. You will do some stupid shit.  It’s okay. We all do it.  Teach your kids that we all make mistakes and that when this happens, they are great opportunities to learn! This doesn’t make you any less of a person. It makes you more relatable, more respectable, honest and human. Mistakes help us to learn about ourselves and to ultimately feel empowered!

12. Exercise.

Your brain needs this. Your body needs this. Your children need to see this behavior modeled for them. Your children need to learn the importance of exercise.

Plus if you wanna keep up with them, you’re gonna need some stamina.

13. Make yourself a priority.

Take care of yourself.

Sure, now that you are a parent your kid’s needs come first.

But remember that your kid’s needs are much different than your kids wants. Secondly, remember that one of your kid’s needs is a healthy and balanced mother and father. You cannot be well balanced and healthy if you don’t take care of yourself.

14. Be consistent.

This doesn’t mean be a drill sergeant and never ever be spontaneous or break the rules.  Great parents are also flexible. But kids need structure and consistency and predictability.

15. Encourage your child.

Be an asking parent. Not a telling parent. Get in the habit of asking questions that encourage your child to think and help them to feel and be more capable. Instead of Pick up your toys, try What is your responsibility when you are done playing with your toys? Instead of Clear your plate and put your dishes in the sink, try What did we decide about what to do with the dishes when we are done eating? You might be surprised at how empowering this is for your kids, not to mention how effective it is to help them be responsible.

16. Give hugs.

You can never give (or get) enough hugs!

17. Respect the mother/father of your child.

Yes, even if you are divorced or not married or not on speaking terms or whatever.  I know there are some extreme cases where this may be impossible.  Trust me. I know.  But you are modeling how a to treat your husband/wife and just human beings in general by how you speak about the mother/father of your child.

18. Spend one-on-one time with your child.

When you have more than one child, this becomes more challenging. It doesn’t have to be hours every day. Even a five minute check in with your kid is important, though. Sometimes, it’s tough. But do what you can to consistently make this happen!

19. Be open to change. 

It’s inevitable. You can’t fight it. Accept it. Make the most of it. Embrace it.

20. Relax, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Being a parent is hard. But it’s also the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Twenty years from now, no one will remember what your daughter’s hair looked like that day you sent her to school without brushing it. They won’t remember what your son’s batting average was when he was ten years old. They won’t remember what your first grader did for that fucking 100th day of school project.

Those very forgettable details don’t make you a great parent.

What makes you a great parent is that 1) you care, and 2) you realize you are always a work in progress.

And as in life, being a great parent is a journey, not a destination. Make the most of the journey!

 

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ad in a few weeks. I never had a father figure in my life. I’m quite nervous! Does anyone have some helpful tips on how I can be a great dad? “

What I Learned When I Ditched the Scale

This past summer I made the decision to ditch the scale.

Then the school year started and all the kids went back to school and this was the first year ever that ALL the kids were in school and so instead of getting tons of stuff done in September I kind of went hog wild in the undisciplined department.

It was reminiscent of when Michael Phelps retired from swimming (the first time).

He gained about 40 pounds and was semi-out-of-control because he had a really difficult time adjusting from total structure and a definitive reason to be disciplined to much more freedom.

I had given myself permission to enjoy September and to not put tons of pressure on myself to go from one extreme to another.

I gave myself time to adjust and time to breathe.

I apparently also gave myself time to eat.

Everything.

And having a little more time at my disposal also affected me in the exercise department.

Forced discipline and self discipline are two totally different things!

So I’m back on track in both the eating and the working out departments.

I’m still not stepping on the scale again.

But here is what I noticed when I stopped weighing myself.

There were other factors involved, but that’s when the discipline totally went out the window.

And what I learned about myself is that although I have established some habits that have stuck just because that’s the kind of lifestyle I want to lead (I haven’t had soda in over three years and I stopped using sugar in my coffee), I still have lifestyle habits I’d really like to make permanent.

Because if they were permanent, if they were actual habits, then all my clothes wouldn’t be too tight right now. I wouldn’t need to be constantly monitoring myself on the scale if I did some things on a regular basis rather than only when I was trying to lose weight or get ready for swimsuit season.

So I have some habits that still need work.

I don’t want to cut out entire food groups.

I definitely still want to enjoy a glass of wine (or three ) on occasion.

But I also want to be able to maintain a weight and waist measurement that is healthy without being a slave to a scale.

Or ever looking at one again.

But I also don’t want to take supplements or use powders or patches or fast or cleanse or do anything else that’s not just eating stuff that’s mostly good for me, moving every day, breaking a sweat every day, maintaining the muscle I have and adding a little bit more, and doing what I need to do to maintain flexibility and balance cause if I’m gonna be a grandma I’m gonna be an old grandma and I wanna be able to keep up with my grandkids (plus set an example for them).

So what do I need to do if I want to do all that?

I need to get more sleep.

I need to plan my meals better. Sometimes I’m really good with that, but sometimes not so much. But if I want to put mostly good stuff in my body then I have to have mostly good stuff available and ready to eat.

And this means I need to leave time to prepare it. That’s something I’ve definitely not been good about. Scheduling in that time!

I don’t want this to be something I do only when I’m trying to squeeze into my jeans.

When I was in high school I went to France on an exchange program for three weeks. I stayed with a host family.

The way French people view food and the way we Americans view food is so different.

It’s an experience over there! Even for kids at school.

And what I realized about myself in September is that I have a long way to go in the healthy eating department and what I need to teach my kids.

And what I mean by healthy eating isn’t necessarily what I eat or what options are available to my kids for their meals. I mean that’s part of it. But it’s also so much more than that.

I want to teach them all to cook. I want to teach them all to be more adventurous eaters and try new things. I want to teach them to plan and prepare. I want to teach them that what and how they eat affects the quality of their life and the amount of energy they have.

And I want to teach them to sit down and enjoy the experience of a meal.

This will be a challenge during the week with the craziness of school and sports, but it’s something I really want to work on for myself and for my kids. And it’s also a challenge when you are on a budget.

And I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it.

But it’s time to make some changes that stick.

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