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Don’t Wait For Your Family To Give You A Mother’s Day Gift

On Mother’s Day,  Facebook is flooded with articles of What Moms Really Want For Mother’s Day.

For most of us, it’s nothing major.  It’s a day where we don’t have to take care of anyone else. Where we can sleep and have some alone time.

An opportunity to recharge.

But for many of us, it’s simply an appreciation for what we do every day.

My friend’s husband wrote this message on her Facebook timeline today:

Happy Mother’s Day to the glue to our family!  The lady that makes it all happen!

Oh, yes. YES, YES, YES!!!

Acknowledgment!

That’s it!

And this isn’t to say that husbands don’t do a lot or that they aren’t an integral part of the family machine.

But boy that would be nice to hear.

Because moms get shit done. And they get it done with efficiency, forethought, and an attention to detail.

 

They perform some seriously impressive logistical gymnastics.

They keep things running smoothly when all hell breaks loose.

If it’s lost, if it’s broken, if it’s due in twelve hours, if it’s impossible, moms find a way to make it happen.

Even when they are sick.

And so, Moms, I’m putting this out there to you.

On this Mother’s Day, don’t wait for your family to give you the perfect gift.

Give it to yourself.

Give yourself the gift of self care.

Because you are the glue.

And when the glue breaks down, then the family falls apart. And then you’re all fucked.

In the long term, take care of your body. Break a sweat every day.

Make time to rest. Get enough sleep. Sleep is the zamboni for your brain.

Invest time in finding a person (or people) you completely trust to spend time with your children. Because there’s no greater stress than feeling like you are the only one who can take care of them.

Find something that makes you happy. Really happy. And then do it. Regularly. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you don’t get (or need) to have fun anymore.

Ask for help when you need it. We all need help sometimes!

Spend time with your friends.

In the short term, if you like having fresh flowers, don’t wait for someone to get them for you… get them for yourself. Book yourself a massage. Take the damn day off. Schedule a man-pedi. Go to the movies. Book a weekend at a hotel. Whatever gift you’d really like, get it!

You’ve earned it!

Sure, it would be nice if someone did this for us. But that’s not always how it pans out.

This Mother’s Day, don’t wait for your husband or your children or anyone else to do this for you.

Acknowledge and appreciate yourself.

You deserve it.

And just in case no one else has told you today, Happy Mother’s Day to the glue in your family!

 

 Not Your Average  T-Shirts for the Mom who is the glue in your family!

 

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Not Your Average T-Shirts

Something exciting happened for me recently… I was accepted into Amazon’s Merch By Amazon program.

What does that mean?

It means I can add t-shirt designer to my resume!

As of right now, I have seven different t-shirt designs available.

Check them out! (click on t-shirt description for more details)

For The Mom With The Occasional Potty Mouth

For The Mom  Who Likes To Work Out

For The Mom Whose Got Kids In Sports

For The Mom Who Is Always Late (and has a sense of humor about it)

For The Mom Who Hates Doing Laundry

For The Mom  Who Is Sick Of Her Kids Walking Right Past Their Father And Then Asking Her To Open A GoGurt When She Is Trying To Poop

And For The Mom Who Shops At Costco (or anywhere):

Great ideas for a fun, last-minute Mother’s Day gift if you need one.

Stay tuned for more designs coming soon!

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

My parenting idol is an unwed mother who got knocked up when she was sixteen years old.

I’ve discovered why I love Gilmore Girls so much.

And I’ll be honest.

It took me a little while to get to this point. To the point of loving the show so much that I now feel the need to pace myself and ration episodes because I know I’m gonna be really depressed when I’ve watched them all.

Because the show started off a little bit hokey.

The character of Sookie was way over the top in the first season.

The pace of the dialogue between Lorelai and Rory (or Lorelai and anyone) was (and sometimes still is) way too fast to really be believable at all.

But by the third episode I was hooked.

Because even with the fast paced dialogue and the over-the-top characters, I eventually fell in love.

And the biggest reason I fell in love with the show isn’t because I live in a small Connecticut town.

It’s not because I might be semi-obsessed with Milo Ventimiglia.

Okay — the Milo thing might be part of it, but that’s not the biggest reason.

It’s taken me until the end of the fourth season to figure it out.

But now I know what it is that makes me love this show so much.

It’s because Lorelai Gilmore = Total Mom Goals.

Seriously.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.

Not just since I started watching this show, but since this past September when I declaredthis school year would be the Year of No for me.

Somehow we moms have convinced ourselves that in order to be good parents, we have to be the best.

At everything.

We have to be thin and in shape.

We have to still fit into our wedding dresses on our tenth, fifteenth, and twentieth anniversaries.

We have to raise children who excel at everything.

We must make sure our kids hit every developmental milestone on time, and we must also document each and every one in a detailed baby book. And scrapbook. And video montage.

We have to meal plan and only use whole and unprocessed foods and prepare the perfectly balanced, homemade dinners. And lunches. And breakfasts.

We have to stay happily married and model a healthy a respectful relationship with our husbands. At all times.

We have to throw the perfect birthday party for our children .

Every year.

We have to make sure our children participate in every activity and program they ever express interest in, and we definitely have to make sure we present them with all the opportunities we were never given as children.

We need to stop yelling but maintain order and respect, we shouldn’t swear, we need to declutter, maintain a clean house, and be completely organized.

Oh yeah. We also need to learn how to do Common Core math. And listen to recorders and trumpets and saxophones. Without wincing.

And if we are really good moms, we will find a way to do all of this on our own. Without any help. From anyone. Ever.

Of course, when you read this on paper, you realize how fucking ridiculous it is.

But still, we have all gone mad.

All of us except Lorelai Gilmore.

And that is why I love Gilmore Girls so much.

Because Lorelai, for me, is that slap across the face bringing me back to reality. Telling me to snap the hell out of it.

She’s a single mom who got knocked up when she was sixteen.

Her personal life is a mess and she can’t maintain a relationship with a man for more than a few months (I’m only on Season 5, so don’t ruin anything for me).

Her relationship with her parents is a complete disaster.

She never has food in her fridge, doesn’t know how to cook, drinks an insane amount of coffee, and she and her daughter eat out for every meal.

She’s far from perfect and plenty fucked up.

Yet, in spite of all these flaws, she has the relationship with her daughter that every single mom envisions when they are pregnant.

She’s raised a daughter who is responsible and kind and intelligent and proactive.

And she’s done it without making gluten-free pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse every morning for breakfast, being married, or enrolling her daughter in every activity known to mankind.

With all her flaws and shortcomings, Lorelai Gilmore has done a kick ass job in the mom department.

Because she never lost sight of what is really the most important thing with respect to raising her daughter: spending time with her.

That’s what our kids want the most.

They might say they want stuff. They might say they want to do things.

But have you noticed what it is your kids do the most when you are watching them at a baseball game or a swim meet or in a concert or on the basketball court?

They are looking to see if you are watching them. They are waving and trying to find you and making sure you see them wherever they are.

Because the primary goal of not just children, but of all people is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. To feel important.

And children don’t get that from a bento box lunch that looks like Anna and Elsa or from being enrolled in fourteen activities in the third grade.

But they do get that from parents who may not be perfect and who may be a little fucked up, but who are also present and available for their children.

Do yourself and your kids a favor this weekend.

Leave the phone in the car at the basketball game.

Put aside a half hour to play a game. Or talk. Or hang out.

Don’t worry about perfection. Don’t worry about doing it all.

Don’ t worry about anything.

Instead, take a page out of Lorelai’s book.

Eat cereal with your daughter for dinner, or order take out, then curl up on the couch, watch a movie together, and make sure you let her know who you think is most important.

Just like Lorelai Gilmore.

Check out this set and and tons of other cute stuff out at Betsy Boo’s Boutique — my fave place to shop online!

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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!

 

I LOVE this super cute set! Check it and tons of other cute stuff out at Betsy Boo’s Boutique — my fave place to shop online!

please take  10 seconds to vote for me!!!!!!!!!

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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? “