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Mom Life

Our last Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 5 to 8 – Take a break from your kids
was a hard one for me to execute. Not because of lack of want but because of my limited opportunity. The big guy is only here to help on weekends. But yesterday, the big guy took the girls to a movie for a couple of hours. I had to work ( I work online) but it was a  break from the kids. There were no little girls screaming in the background as I was trying to do my job online, which was amazing. It’s been so long since I’ve had the scenario that I almost forgot that it existed and what a difference it actually makes. It was only a couple hours and I was tethered to my computer the entire time ( but lets face it, I would have been tethered to my Mac whether I had to for work or some other reason blogging.) The girls came home and I had missed them, was glad to see them and it had given me enough time to decompress and remove myself from the chaos and recharge. It was amazing and I am going to try and do this at least once a week. I need it. I deserve it. How did it work for you? What do you do for a mental break from your children?
Today’s  Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 9 – Find your triggers. 
The ability to figure out what sends you off the deep end and into the abyss of parenting madness is the first step in keeping those outbursts to a minimum. For example, I know a few of my trigger right off the bat; lack of sleep= grouchy, impatient Mommy
anxiety and loads on my mind= makes me snippy and less tolerant
fear  & trepidation= me being angry
Hungry Mommy = Crazy Mommy
I know there are more and I will be taking note today. Take note of your triggers. If we can figure out the triggers, we can change our reaction and react with appropriate actions not off the handle craziness. Happy Mothering.

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Yesterday was Be a better parent Challenge- Get down on their level. It went very well, I plan on using this one forever, or until they are taller than me. Then I may have to request that they show me the same courtesy ( they are both projected to be over 6 foot). All day yesterday, I was bending down and making eye contact. I was even asking them to repeat back to me the previous request, to be sure they totally understood and heard ( not because I just like to drive a point home). You know what? It worked. It totally worked. There was much less sass, ignoring, screaming, and not doing. If they didn’t do what I had just told them ( because they either became engrossed in whatever Wiggles episode they were watching, game they were playing, or the fact that they have the attention span of fruit flies), I simply and calmly asked , ” Have you forgotten what Mommy asked you to do?” To which Gabs replied (every time , I might add), “Oh, Me sorry. Me forgot!” Then she promptly stopped what she was doing and did what I had asked. It was amazing! How did you do?

Normally , I would be giving you the Day 5 challenge but as I am taking the lead from Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored and I’m sure she is at BlogHer, I’m not sure when the next challenge will be issued. I will post it as soon as it is, so that you can all follow along. I will post it as an update to this post. So, be on the lookout!

Update!

The Be A Better Parent Challenge Day 5-8; Take a break from your kids. Kristen is at BlogHer and therefore, has a forced break from her children. I am so envious right now, you have no idea:) But I think the sentiment is spot on. We all need a break from our children in order to recharge, rejuvenate and decompress. I am so speaking from experience. As most of you know, the big guy has been working out of town..like his actual office is in another state. We see him on the weekends. It sucks and I am basically a single Mommy during the week, I just happen to be in a loving marriage with a husband who is miles away. I used to be able to have occassional Mommy Nights Out, go grocery shopping by myself,  or just being able to hand the girls off to my husband when he came home (actually about 5 minutes after he walked through the door) was a great relief. With that being gone, I have no break from my kids and I can certainly tell the difference.Let’s just put it this way; I have gained 10 lbs. since this whole situation started, my hair has drastically thinned from stress, my gray hairs have doubled ( 3 to 6 !!!!!), and I’m not sure but I am pretty positive that crows feet is trying to become very friendly neighbors with eye circles. Oh yeah, did I mention my high stress level also contributes to my insomnia! Sweet..BONUS! Everybody may not be able to go on a vacation  without their kids, or even want to,  ( again I am feeling envious right now) but we all need time for us. In the end , we will be better for them. I’m going to give this a try but I will have to get creative.I’m thinking something like a bubble bath and candles during their mid day nap…even if I have to fight them to go down for that nap. I won’t really get to go anywhere but maybe Calgon can come take me away from my stress. Let my know how you take a break from your kids. I will be posting the next challenge on Monday when Kristen returns from BlogHer.Happy Mothering.

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I have been receiving a lot of wonderful awards from my awesome readers. I just wanted to let you all know that I  do really appreciate them. I’ve just been so busy lately with all the craziness of the summer that I have not had the time to follow the rules of the awards.I have been posting them on my award page ( go see for yourself..I promise I have), and trying to thank everyone personally. If I missed you, I am truly sorry. I know there are questions to answer and awards to pass on. Being that I am so back logged, I am going to try something different..so here goes. First, I would like to post a little something for some special ladies that I have the pleasure of reading and being read by. But we will get to that in a moment. Then I will share with you some of my absolute favorite bloggy goddesses. In addition to that, since I have seriously lost all the instructions to the various awards, I will answer any and all questions that you may have about your favorite dispenser of the truth. So,if you have any questions about me…please leave them in the comment section and I will answer them.

I would like to give this badge (that I completely made up myself because I wanted something special to give) to some very special women….You! Your blogs and comments have made me smile, cry, lifted me up, inspired me, moved me; your sisterhood has made me feel like I am not alone in this crazy world of Motherhood. This is a sincere and totally from the heart testament to the community of sisterhood through Motherhood that I am trying to perpetuate.  There are no rules, all I ask is that you consider what the meaning is behind this badge, place it on your side bar (if you’d like), and if you have a Mommy blogger that you think deserves it..just give it to her and tell her what her blog means to you! Happy Mothering, my dears!


Here is a list of fantastic blogs to visit listed by title.


Niki @ My Fantabulous Wonderful Life
Kristen @ Motherhood Uncensored
Jana @ Boobies, Babies, and a Blog
Preyl @ Parenting Ad Absurdum
Heather @ Dooce.com
Amanda @ Chasing Twins With Louboutins
Naomi @ Organic Motherhood with Coolwhip
Resisiting Perfection
Unofficial Mom
Adelle @ Ready, Go, Get Set
Reflections of a Noncommittal Housewife
Casey @ If the Crown Fits
Donda @ My Husband Misunderstood when I said I was bi
Ericka @ Alabaster Cow
Laura @ The Purse Blogger
Kimi Jo @ Motherhood Unsettled
Robin @ Your Daily Dose
KAE @ Anchor’s Away
The Simple Life
Ree @ The Pioneer Woman
Shius Out of Her Mind
Shell @ Things I can’t say
Michelle @ Mommy Loves Stilettos
https://absolutelynarcissism.blogspot.com/
Laina @ Reflections of a Navy Wife
Becky @ From the Kitchen of Mrs. Bettie Rocker
Alice @ Finslippy
Rage against the Minivan
https://www.kellehampton.com/
One Savvy Mom!
Mocha Momma
Elizabeth @ Writer Revived

There are loads more of wonderful reads out there so if I missed you it doesn’t mean that I think less of you, it just means that my Mommy brain is running rampant again. Everyone of you who reads this blog truly does make my days feel less isolated.You make a difference in my quality of life. I feel I have found a community in you and you have one in me.To my friends that I’ve actually met in person, I may not be able to give you a badge or an award for your blog but next time I see you I’ll give you a hug and know that I always carry you with me in my heart. Thanks for the love. Now, commence with any questions you may have about Truthful Mommy!

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OK, yesterday’s Be a better parent challenge was No More “Good Job”. It was a great challenge and one that I will be more mindful of in the future. I have been working in education and with children for a long time now and I know this challenge is true. In fact, I used to be really good at coming up with new ingenious ways of saying “Good Job” but apparently with my own kids, I’ve become lazy. Yesterday instead of saying “Good Job”, I was a little more specific. For example:

“Awesome listening skills”, “I love the way you arranged your doll house. It looks amazing!” “Way to go, that bed looks like a professional did it!” “I love the way you helped your sister find her shoes!”

Just a few spins I put on it. I think it went pretty well. How did you do?

Today’s  Be a Better Parent Challenge ; Get Down on their Level . This is another fabulous idea. What is meant by get down on their level is pretty much what it sounds like.When you are speaking with your child, bend down, take a knee. You’ll establish eye contact and know they heard what you said. Kristen says that she asks for a “Yes, Mommy.” as an acknowledgment that they actually heard and understood what was said. I , personally, have been requesting a ,”Yes, Ma’am” only because I want these girls to learn respect for their elders at a young age, plus they know I am serious.  She also makes the point that  talking to someone’s head is not the smartest thing to do. I agree. It’s pretty much like talking to someone’s back. Who knows if the person you are talking to hears anything you say? Plus, how can you hold a child accountable for their actions if you are not even sure if they heard your instructions? So, today, I start bending down and taking a knee. No more talking to the tops of beautiful little heads. Eye contact , Mommies. It also shows respect for the person we are talking to. I mean if another adult didn’t make contact when talking to us we’d have a conniption fit. Let’s give it a try. I can’t wait. My girls will love it.

I think these challenges make perfect sense to us Mommies, we are just always so busy we never have the time to actually think about utilizing them. I think I might print the challenge out and share it with all my Mommy friends.Let me know how your challenge is going! Happy Mothering!

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DAY # 3; but before we get that far, how did challenge #2 go for you? For me, challenge #2; Punish without anger was pretty hard. Honestly, by the time I get around to punishing,I’m usually pretty pissed. Yesterday, being that I was aware of it. I was more aware of the situation, I reacted with actual thought and not just emotion, and I was making sure that punishments fit the crime. I also made a point of not threatening anything that I was not willing to actually follow through with. All in all, I think it was pretty good.  I did start the 1-2-3 Magic book and I think it will be helpful. It will probably take me the week to read it, but next week it will go into effect..hopefully.
Today’s challenge is No more Good Job! What? But all the parenting books say positive praise? Right? That’s what you are thinking? Well, the point is not to NOT use positive praise its to be a little more inventive. Parents are so used to saying “Good Job!” it’s almost that “auto pilot Uh HUH” thing I was talking about on day 1. Being that we say it so much, I’m pretty sure our kids are numb to it. It’s lost its meaning. So, our challenge today is to come up with some new words of praise. Kristen offered these as some viable options  

Great observation. I like how you think. I really appreciate that you said “thank you.” Awesome work. Good choice. You did it! 


The important thing is to be specific! That way, they’ll know you are sincere and actually paying attention. They will know that their good deeds/behavior are noticed and worthy of praise. By doing this, the praise will mean something to them. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear how this goes and any ingenious terms you come up with.

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Yesterday was day 1 of the Be a Better Parent challenge at Motherhood Uncensored. The first challenge was being present. I tried. I really did try. By the end of the day,I still found myself tuning them out…especially when all of the whining at bed time started going on. I did do pretty good the rest of the day; not perfect, but I tried. I am a work in progress and today as I am doing challenge #2, I will also be incorporating being present. How did you do? I’d love to hear.
Today’s challenge, as you may have surmised from the title of today’s post; Punish without anger! I think this is a hard one for all Moms because normally by the time we actually punish our children, they have been doing something repeatedly and we have hit our threshold. I am not really an advocate for spanking because I got it as a child and I really hated it. It didn’t really teach me anything but to be afraid of the actual spanking . It didn’t teach me a valuable life lesson, other than I don’t like to be hit.So, spanking is a non issue fro me. I don’t advocate for spanking. It never seems to get the result you want. My punishments for the girls usually end up being threats..mostly idle. Yeah, I know, not helpful! I take things away…play dates, t.v’s, toys, events, etc. But when I hit my threshold, the deliverance of the punishment goes something like this… “(ROAR) I can’t believe you just did that.  (BARK) Apologize! (SNAP) Go to your room! (GROWL) No TV for a week! (RAWR!!)” Definitely, not ideal. I am sure that my verbal lashing is as awful as any spanking. ( Hangs head in shame) I hate the guilt of it and hate that I can not control my reactions. I am working on that. I was suggested the Magic 1-2-3 book ( actually I’ve had it collecting dust since Bella was born. I just never thought it would work). Today is the day I read that book and try something new. The roaring and frightening the children is not what I want to convey to them. I don’t want the lesson to be that Mommy is a lunatic. I just want them to understand that bad behavior is not rewarded and that actions have consequences. If any of you have any great ideas for punishing without anger, please share. I would love to hear them.
Today, I take the challenge and while being physically and emotionally present to what they are saying and doing, I will also be reacting with understanding and maturity….or ,at the very least, trying to do so. Baby steps! Baby Steps. I will let you all know how the Magic 1-2-3 works out! Happy Mothering!

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I was visiting one of my favorite blogs Motherhood Uncensored and Kristen is doing a wonderful thing. She is starting a 30 day challenge to becoming a better parent. You know me. I can’t resist a challenge and one that makes me a better Mommy.I am so in. So, I have decided to follow along every day and post Kristen’s challenge of the day. Awesome right? I know you want to give it a go.

Today’s challenge; Be present for my kids
You know,actually listen to what they are saying. Many times, we get so engaged in trying to get the task at hand done that when our kids come up to us and start reciting their very long and somewhat drawn out stories or ask us the same question 2000 times, we have learned to tune them out. Much like our husband’s do to us.  I like to think of it as a survival mechanism but really, how would you feel if you were talking and your listener was shaking their head saying “uh huh” but heard absolutely nothing you had said? I don’t know about you, but I, for one, would feel hurt, unloved,and unappreciated. Three things that I NEVER want to be responsible for making my kids feel. There are enough assholes in the world that they will encounter, I don’t want to be one of them. The challenge for today…be present. Listen to what they say, consider their thoughts, and maybe the motives behind the actions. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to take their age into consideration. I often forget that my kids are only 3 and 5, and really at that age, their behaviors are totally appropriate. It is I who is holding them to an impossible standard. Shame on me. Today, I take a really deep breath, I calm down and I listen to what the little mouths are saying….even if it is a realllly , reallllly long ass story. Good luck ladies. I hope you will join me. I think this will make us all better Mommies.

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I apologize for  yesterday. It was just one of those days, where everything ganged up and the whole hair spot was just too much for my fragile psyche. At that point , I think a pimple may have sent me over the edge. I also want to thank all of you for your support and love. You Ladies..and gentlemen are by far some of the awesomest people I know. And I know you are all just dying to know what is going on with my hair situation, so here goes.
Obviously, after last nights whimpering episode, I woke up this morning and decided to put as much effort into taking care of myself as I do my girls. I got on the phone with that same ” I’m a Mommy and my kid is sick you better fit them in’ attitude and my doctor ( she is also AWESOME) fit me in..immediately. After a morning filled with hypochondriac what ifs, I was finally bound for a professionals opinion. I just knew it was going to be something awful..ring worm of the head, permanent hair loss, a fatal case of undiagnosed lupus. Oh yeah, my brain went there! I was a hot mess. I felt my eyes stinging and felt as if it had to be some thing awful..beyond just my vanity at a bald spot.  Though let’s be real..that’s pretty big. It’s not like a sixth toe or something, I can’t keep a bald spot on my part line hidden.
I head in, my doctor knows my husband is out of town and I am stressed, and that I am wound a little too tight these days. She handles me with kid gloves, and I do love her for that. So, she does the basics: temperature..normal, blood pressure…slightly elevated ( not surprised after all I was about to stroke out from bracing myself to get the official fatal diagnosis!), balding, scaly spot in my head..check. She decided that it didn’t look fungal….I’m thinking “THANK GOD FOR THAT!”Ewww! Uh oh. That is immediately followed by, “Oh shit! It really might be permanent baldness or LUPUS!!” She informs me, “I’m going to have to scrape some cells to check under the scope”. “Ok, let’s get this done so I can deal with it and fix it!” ( I have no time for this..really, I don’t!) So, she scrapes the frigging balding spot, “This may hurt a little”. Me  (in my head conversation) “Really, is it really going to hurt? You are scraping my damn skin off my head. I’m pretty sure that is not helping the aesthetics of that spot at all!” She scrapes, I wince, I bleed a little, and she leaves the room.
All the while, my girl are in the room coloring ( I told you I am alone with my girls..there’s no family in town). Bella draws a picture of the doctor and shows me while the doctor was out of the room. Me: “Aww, that’s cute but she needs some hair.” Bella: “Oh yeah, I forgot!” Gabi,”Yeah Bella, she no bald like Mommy!” Oh, I can always count on my girls to  make me laugh in a crisis.
Doctor returns; diagnosis….Seborrheic dermatitis. Know what that meas? Cradle cap! According to Mayo Clinic, Seborrheic dermatitis appears to run in families. Stress (yes!), fatigue(OH YEAH!), weather extremes( Heat wave of 2010), oily skin (yes), infrequent shampoos or skin cleaning( I clean everyday but hey, you can’t win the entire cause lottery), use of lotions that contain alcohol ( I wonder if my cheap wine that I’ve been drinking counts?), skin disorders (such as acne), or obesity( just one more reason to lose some weight!!!!) may increase the risk. Good news, not fatal. Treatment; Some baby shampoo and some topical medicine to clear up the skin irritation. The hair will grow back.Thank God! The funniest part, the whole time I was there my doctor kept saying ( as she is running her fingers through my hair looking for other spots), “You sure do have a lot of hair!”  I told you I had a lions mane..with one spot of mange:) Thanks for holding my hand through my mini Mommy breakdown! But, barring any unfortunate turn ( damn hypochondria)..I’ back to my same old snarky self; giving you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but..the truth!

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I picked Miley Cyrus’ “I can’t be tamed!” Stop laughing! I realize I am a grown woman who is choosing to use a Miley Cyrus song to represent her life but what can I say..it fits! I have been many things at many different times in my life to many different people but one thing has always been constant, I have always been me and I CAN NOT BE TAMED! Just ask the big guy. He has been trying for 13 years, as did my Daddy before that. It is simply impossible. I am woman , hear me roar!Happy Mothering!

Blog Bash

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Things have been hectic, to say the least, around here the last few months. There was a time \, not so long ago, when I was positive that I would lose my mind at any moment. The girls realized that they outnumbered me during the week and they decided that was the time to strike.Devious little boogers they are, it seemed as though they were plotting and conniving to make my life a living hell while their father was away. I was certain that they were striving to make me go mad. They almost succeeded. Oh yeah, they almost broke me. You know that feeling you get when the day is just too long, the kids haven’t listened at all, the laundry is piled to the ceiling, toys have exploded all over the living room, and the children have definitely been possessed by a demon of some sort? Yeah, that’s the kind of few months I was having.

Devious little boogers they are, it seemed as though they were plotting and conniving to make my life a living hell while their father was away. I was certain that they were striving to make me go mad. They almost succeeded. Oh yeah, they almost broke me. You know that feeling you get when the day is just too long, the kids haven’t listened at all, the laundry is piled to the ceiling, toys have exploded all over the living room, and the children have definitely been possessed by a demon of some sort? Yeah, that’s the kind of few months I was having.

Then one night, after a string of hectic days culminating with Bella’s 5th birthday, my husband suggested that I come downstairs and play Rock band with him, my brother, my sister and her fiance. It was a very typical family gathering of our bunch. I have always loved to sing but not exactly thrilled about singing into a microphone in front of people.I wasn’t sure Rock band was my thing. Isn’t that more for prepubescent teen rock band wannabes and frat boys? But it was amongst family, they were drinking, my husband made me a Pomtini (the girls had finally

Rock band wasn’t my thing. Isn’t that more for prepubescent teen rock band wannabes and frat boys? But it was amongst family, they were drinking, my husband made me a Pomtini (the girls had finally went to bed) and……a star was born. I sang the hell outta “Take another little piece of my heart”, “We got the Beat”. “Linger”, even a little “Painkiller”! I was in a zone and having the time of my life.I was in my basement, drinking Pomtinis with my favorite people in the world and singing like no one was watching! It was liberating, it was soothing, and it allowed me a place to channel all of that frustration and aggravation I had been trying to contain. You know the days when you feel like you are trapped in  Munch’s

I was in my basement, drinking Pomtinis with my favorite people in the world and singing like no one was watching! It was liberating, it was soothing, and it allowed me a place to channel all of that frustration and aggravation I had been trying to contain. You know the days when you feel like you are trapped in  Munch’s The Scream?

The next morning, I woke up and I felt calmer ( almost creepy calm) and I was able to function on a much higher level as an adult. Isn’t that ironic?  I was actually able to step back from the situations of chaos; the exploding toy boxes, the toddler cat fights (Meow!Kitties have claws), the dog pissing on the floor because I was up til 2 am posting after the kids went to sleep and wasn’t up at the crack of dawn to let the bitch out, and more. Rock band allowed me the time to have perspective, and to be alone in my head for a few minutes. Serenity now!

Now, when I feel the craziness getting to be too much…I grab the girls, head downstairs and we Rock out to Rock Band. I sing as many songs as it takes to get the frustration out and the calmness back ( hey it sounds prettier than screaming at the kids and it serves the same purpose).

Our sessions have lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.The girls pretend they are my backup singers and dress up in their princess costumes and dance around, so we are spending quality time together versus me screaming and flying off the deep end. I’d rather have them fondly recollect memories of their goofy Mommy singing Margaritaville instead of their mean Mommy throwing the toys from the floor into the garbage, or burning the laundry because she got sick of looking at it.No, now (on most days) I have been able to back up and say, as my child screams bloody murder because her panties socks a knat an ant her sister is irritating her, “I understand you are frustrated but  it will all be OK. Take a breath and calm down. Let mommy give you a hug!” Opposed to, ” Oh my Freaking God, they are just panties, socks, a knat, and ant, your sister! What is wrong with you?”
Who knew that something I normally would have shunned and turned my nose up at would end up being the very thing that quite literally may have saved my sanity, my relationship with my girls, and my credentials as their Mommy. The Pomtinis didn’t hurt either!
If you need a release and going bald from stress, going gray from stress, getting wrinkles, beating your children, are not avenues that you’d like to explore then I’m suggesting a little stress relief by banging some drums, jamming to some fake guitar, singing your heart out, or just dancing like no one else is around! I promise, you may feel silly in the beginning (because unlike Daddies, Mommies don’t initially feel that it is cool to be playing in a pretend rock band) but by the time you are done with one set, you will feel calmer and more relaxed and even happier! Happy Rock band mothering!

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