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gifts for new moms that aren't for the baby

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Becoming a mom is a privilege, just ask any mom but it is also exhausting and thankless and, did I mention, exhausting. Half the time you forget your own name because everyone refers to you as mom, mama, mommy or so-and-so’s (insert baby’s name here) mom.

If someone you love has become a mom for the first time, you probably want to give them a special gift to mark the occasion. A lot of gifts for new Moms are actually things for the baby. This can be helpful for Mom, but after a while, she might soon find she’s got more newborn baby stuff than she can use and feels as though her special occasion is more about the baby than herself. It can be lovely to give your new Mom loved one something that is purely for her, and not for her baby. 

Jewelry

If the new Mom you know is someone very special to you, like your spouse, partner, sister, or best friend, you could give her a beautiful piece of keepsake jewelry. Jewelry to commemorate something so special will always be sentimental to her. You could buy something like a beautiful necklace, or even have something custom designed just for her to really make a statement. Choose a stone, with help from the James Allen review from Pricescope, and a setting, and you have something she’ll always treasure. 

Gift Vouchers

Vouchers can be very good gifts as they give the receiver more choice. Think about what might be most appreciated by a busy, tired new Mom. You could give vouchers for their favorite local takeaway or food delivery service. Give vouchers for some pampering, whether it’s a pedicure or a full spa day. You could even make your own vouchers for things like an evening of babysitting, that she can cash in to have a date night with her spouse or an afternoon off to go shopping. 

Subscriptions

A subscription gift could be for something practical and useful, or something more fun for her. If you know she’s struggling to find time to cook, gift a recipe box subscription service that can make cooking quicker and simpler. You could gift a subscription to her favorite magazine so she has something to read when she’s up doing late-night feeds. What about a subscription for a flower delivery so something pretty arrives every month for her?

Coffee

Disrupted nights mean a tired mom. A lot of new Moms drink a lot of coffee, although if she’s breastfeeding, you should double-check with her how much she is able to have. A gift of some posh coffee that’s eco-friendly and gourmet like Steeped Coffee, a pretty mug to drink it out of, or a to-go cup to put her coffee in when she takes the baby out in the stroller will all be well-received. You can find beautiful cups that have clever technology in them to keep your drink warm without needing to use a thermos cup in the house. These are perfect for new Moms who struggle to drink a whole cup of coffee before it gets cold. 

At-home beauty and spa treatments

There is not a lot of free time when you have a newborn but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to feel good and take care of yourself. Facemasks, at-home teeth whitening kits, lotions and serums, a foot spa or a great skincare system like Tarte’s Awake line, vegan and cruelty-free, is a favorite in our house.

Loungewear

As a new mom, clothing can often be decided by what can be put on quickest, is most comfortable, and is the cleanest. Make this easier for her by gifting her some stylish but comfortable loungewear. Comfortable leggings, yoga pants, or cardigans are all good choices.

As a mom, what is the number 1 thing that you’d want as a gift from family and friends?

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It’s Friday and that means that I am going to be sharing 5 more of my favorite blogs with all of you.Trust me when I say, these are women that you will be glad that you checked out!

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Courtesy Enjoying the Small Things

 

Enjoying the Small Things~ I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.Dawna Markova Enjoying the Small Things began in 2007, shortly after my first daughter Lainey was born, as a way to combine my writing and photography hobbies.It since has evolved to much more, providing not only an outlet for creativity (without which, I’d go nuts), but a home for the gratitude I feel for all of my inspirations, and most importantly, the moments we share as a family.  This January(2010), we welcomed our second girl, Nella Cordelia, and were stunned to learn, upon her delivery, that she had Down syndrome.  My world was rocked to the core, and I was sure life as I knew it was over. How wrong I was.  Between the outpouring of love and support we received, some hardcore life analysis and therapeutic insights I made on this blog through it all, I have arrived at the very beautiful place of Life is hard.  But it’s also amazing, and I will rock the hell out of it.Kelle Hampton is an amazing writer and photographer. She IS my daily read. I look forward to her words and photographs for inspiration as I do the sunrise every morning. She reminds me of a girl I might have grown up with here in the Midwest. She has the words to give life to the giant gestures of love that the rest of us feel for our children, husbands and our lives. She looks at life through rose colored, half- full glasses and sees the beauty in the small things, the simple things, the everyday things. Kelle is a must read. One read and your heart will be stolen forever. You can find her here

 

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Courtesy of Perfectly Disheveled

Perfectly Disheveled ~Hi! I’m Jennifer Brandt a.k.a. J-Ko. I live in Los Angeles and am mom to a ridiculously delicious 3 year old boy.As I watch my son Jonah discover the world around him, I think of my imaginary friends fondly and know that their spirit will always be with me… with us. Jennifer is a single mom of the most adorable little boy I’ve ever seen. Her blog is honest, funny and light. She talks about everything under the sun to do with single parenting and touches on a lot of great tips for today’s moms, women in general and somehow looks completely adorable all the while. When you read Perfectly disheveled, you know that she is the every mom. She is the Mom at the playground, the mom in Starbucks, the hurrying out the door trying to beat the traffic to preschool Mommy. If you’re there now, she’s been there! She tells it like it is, openly and honestly with a little sugar to make the medicine go down. She’s the kind of girl who you could have a glass of wine and an honest conversation with for hours. That’s the vibe her blog gives off too. You can find her here and on Twitter. Now go read her now.I promise you will be thanking me for pointing you in her direction.

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Courtesy of Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip~Ever since I became a mother six years ago, I’ve wanted to write about it. Motherhood is the kind of experience that changes everything about you. It is amazing and wonderful. It is wild and unexpected. It is so incredible and life-changing that it is truly beyond explanation. Before you experience yourself, descriptions of motherhood sound like simple cliché. This blog is dedicated to love, the kind of love that gets you up in the middle of the night. The kind of love that throws up on you and needs its pamper changed and wets the bed. The kind of love that leaves you breathless when it runs out into the street. The kind of love that makes you buy organic smashed peas and animal crackers. The kind of love that changes you forever, for better or for worse, and you are thrilled about it. Naomi is AWESOME. She is a hilariously snarkilicious, salsa diva with a brilliant ability to laugh at the every day situations. You know those situations that make us want to cry? Not Naomi, she can turn that frown upside down and find the funny in it. There is so much to love about her and her blog that the list would be shorter to list what I don’t like. I don’t like that she doesn’t get to post as often as I’d like, instead she leaves me with baited breath waiting for my daily dose of funny.She’s a bloggy sadomasochist that way. But lucky for us, she is so freakishly amazing and apparently has more hours in the day than the rest of us humans. She can be found at SheKnows or today she was here and of course you can find her at her blog and on Twitter. She is amazing. I don’t mean that in the smoke up your ass, I love everybody way. I mean she is really freaking amazing.I heart her hardcore and I know you will too. Not only is she sweet and funny, she has a heart as big as Texas!

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Courtesy of Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy ~ Jill is a domestic satirist whose candor and wit about the underbelly of marriage and parenting has brought Erma Bombeck-style insights to a new generation of women.Her personal blog, which averages over 500,000 page views a month, recounts with humor and humility the travails of parenthood. It has been recognized with numerous blogging awards, including lucky number 13 on Babble’s “Best Mom Blogger” list. Her Scary Mommy Society provides a forum for other “scary mommies,” blogging newcomers, and smart people with something important to say to share their stories in a community setting. Jill is so fabulously raw that I almost can’t stand it, in the absolute best way imaginable. She is like good coffee; a perfect blend of strong, deep, dark and a little sweet. Scary Mommy is a must read for me because..well, damn it…she’s my people. I can relate to about 97% of what she blogs about verbatim. It’s like someone’s filming my crazy family:) Jill, you are not filming us ,right? Because if you are, Mama needs a stylist. Jill is not afraid to talk about any topic. You will find strength in her honesty and you will begin to crave that feeling of sisterhood and camaraderie. I double dog dare you to try and read her only once…it’s not possible. One read and you will be addicted to the scary. And if you have something on your Mommy chest that needs to be gotten rid of, you must visit her confessions ( don’t worry it’s all anonymous). You can find her here and on Twitter. There’s a little scary mommy in all of us. Go check her out, you will be glad that you did.

 

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Courtesy of The Mommyologist

The Mommyologist ~My name is Mary, and I have been a Stay-at-Home-Mom for four years.  Settling into my new role as a mother did not happen overnight for me!  In fact, I only recently got used to the transition. I went from being a career woman who was constantly hopping on a plane to some exciting city, to my permanent position as a round the clock personal concierge to a pint-sized future comedian disguised as my adorable little son.  Motherhood is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I have finally come to love all of the quirks and challenges that make this the best job on the face of the earth, and I really couldn’t be any happier with my life, but that has definitely taken some time! Mary is the brilliance that brought us “Mom SEXY”. Not only is her blog open and witty, she tells us about all the behind the scenes mommying that your mama didn’t tell you about.  Who doesn’t love a woman that tells us her little boy farts on her while he potties? Come on, been there. Done that. And the whole “mom sexy”mantra? This lady is our biggest cheerleader. She is like the little angel in my ear saying ” Come on girl, You look Mom sexy today!WOOHOO!” I love that about her and so will you.She’s a smart cookie with a big personality. She will Zumba with the best of them, get boogers wiped on her, shake it off, drink a big glass of wine and get her Mom sexy on!She’s a lot of fun. You can find her here and on Twitter. Go check out her wonderful blog. I promise she will help you get your mom sexy back.And really, who can’t use a little extra mom sexy pep talk?

These are my fabulous five for this week. I hope that you will check them out. Have a fabulous weekend.

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sisterhood, motherhood, similac

The sisterhood of motherhood, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Seriously, without it where would we be? My mom friends, that unbreakable sisterhood of motherhood, is what got me through those early days of motherhood. They were my tether to sanity.

When I first became a mom, it was the single most amazing and simultaneously most isolating thing that had ever happened to me. There is just something about bringing life into the world that takes a woman and elevates her expectations of the world. My first decision was to stay huddled in our home, safely away from any and all germs, until I absolutely had to leave the house; six weeks later for my check up.

Immediately, I began to hold everything to a higher standard, including myself. My mission in life became to not break the baby; the perfect, amazing, beautiful creature whom I had just brought into the world. It’s a lot of pressure.

Motherhood gives you a new perspective of the world; more insight, more tolerance, more love and bravery like you’ve never known before. 

Suddenly, I was fully aware that I was the keeper of this miracle. She was given to us perfect and any defects from here on out, was strictly on us. I was responsible for what kind of human being this sweet smelling, cooing, and loving little soul would become. It was overwhelming.

My first responsibility was to my child but once we left our bubble and went out into the real world, I realized that there are a million different ways to be a mom and how could I know for sure that my way was the best way? Keep the baby alive. That was my mantra.

Those first few years of motherhood felt like a constant “do I cut the red wire or the blue wire?” situation.

Only the ramifications were much worse than a simple explosion, I could ruin an entire human being’s life by making the wrong choice.

Okay, who thought it was a good idea to let me leave the hospital with this baby? I want to see some credentials because, clearly, they had no idea what they were doing giving a baby to me. Breathe!

I didn’t get much sleep in those days. It took a lot of time and effort doing the best I could and even more time comparing myself to other moms, not because I thought I was right but because I was sure I was doing it wrong.

By the time we started Kindermusik classes at 9-months, because a mom at the pediatrician’s office gave me a crazed look when I told her that my baby wasn’t taking any classes, I couldn’t get enough of what other mother’s had to say about the subject of motherhood. I wanted to be the best that I could be for my daughter so I was open to anything but there were so many conflicting parenting techniques. Every mom I met seemed to have a handle on parenting her child and still I felt like I was floundering, now more than ever.

Every other mom seemed to be better at motherhood than I was in those days. 

I took mental checklists in those days. Breastfed. Check. Tried to anyways. Had problems producing and used an SNS to help. Check. Drank all the Fenugreek. Failed miserably. Check. Formula. Check. Bad mom. Double Check.

I used disposable diapers. Check. Never used a binky but she could not be parted from her lovie. (Still can’t.)Check. Co-slept. Check. Never stopped. Double check. Rolled over at 3-months. Check. Rolled right off the bed. Double Check. Bad mom. Check. Sat up at 5-months. Check. Started crawling at 7-months. Check. Crawled backwards. Check minus. Started talking at 6-months. Check. Started walking at 10-months. Check. Never wanted to leave my side. Check. Frequently woke up during the night while teething and demanded the Wiggles. Double check. I let her because the crying at 3 a.m. was killing me. Bad mom. Check again.

But every mom I met seemed to do everything just a little bit better with a little more ease and looked a lot better doing it. I met several moms who went back to work and had amazing careers and parenting seemed effortless while I, on the other hand, was completely overwhelmed, always tired and looked the part. The only thing I knew was that I adored my daughter and there was nothing I wouldn’t do to be the best parent possible to her. Really, I think that is how every mother feels.

Motherhood is hard, no matter who you are.

 

We’re just scared to let the other mothers know that we don’t know everything, it’s not all easy and some parts we don’t like or even understand. We pretend it’s easy because we don’t want to be labeled the “bad mom” the one who doesn’t know what she’s doing or worse, the one who is breaking her perfect child. It’s our biggest fear.

I’d like to think in times of true need, we would all rush to one another’s rescue. As I’ve moved past the new mother stage to the mom of elementary school aged children, I realized the truth and that was that we are all exactly the same. We’re all just trying to do our best and it’s hard for all of us at times. Some parts are easy for others and some parts are harder but in the end we all just really love our babies more than we know how to handle. We all just need to give one another a break because if we helped one another out rather than compared ourselves or judged each other, we’d all be happier and better moms. You’re not alone. We all make mistakes. Just keep loving your baby and doing your best.

When is a time that you felt at the end of your mommy rope and another mom came in with a kind word or action and made your day better?

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This post about motherhood is sponsored by Similac. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

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Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

A Cincinnati zoo gorilla, Harambe, a majestic male Silverback lowland Gorilla (listed as critically endangered), was shot dead the day after his 17th birthday when a mother visiting the zoo lost track of her 4-year-old child. In a sad turn of events, the child got away from his mom and into the gorilla enclosure in front of a crowd of social media savvy a**holes (I know because they were all too busy tweeting video to actually help.) All because of one mom’s parental negligence.  Talk about a bad parenting moment. Thankfully her son is now resting safe and sound in the hospital with just a few scrapes and bruises. That’s the good news.

Who’s to blame for all of this? In my opinion, the mom. The toddler told his mom that he was going to go into the enclosure but she ignored his threats and that’s why I feel she’s responsible for the entire situation.  I realize that I’m being judgmental but how can I not be when not only was this woman not watching her child; more specifically, she chose to ignore his direct warning that he intended to do something dangerous.

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

If my toddler somehow ended up in the bottom of a Gorilla enclosure submerged in water with a 400 plus pound, super strong, unpredictable primate standing only inches above my child, I’d have grabbed the gun and shot the damn gorilla myself.

Who in the world let’s their toddler roam free out of sight long enough to shimmy under the clearly marked “Keep out” railings and wires of the enclosure, fall down the ravine and end up in the moat? She finally noticed that her child was in danger when other patrons started screaming? It had to take a minute for the child to escape her and make his way to the moat.

I took my girls to the zoo when they were toddlers and they were almost always strapped into their strollers as we maneuvered high traffic areas, unless they were in my arms or holding my hand. We’ve since moved past this barbaric practice; no zoos, circuses or Seas World’s for us. We go to sanctuaries, reserves, oceans and National Parks to see animals in their natural habitats.

Witnesses say the child, after being overheard telling his mother that he wanted to “get in the water”, then crawled through the railing, the bushes and fell 15-feet into the moat of the enclosure. Apparently, him telling her that he was going to do it wasn’t enough of a warning.

What’s wrong with this mom? Where was the little boy’s dad? Was anyone watching him? I’m normally of the mom and let mom parenting technique but willfully ignoring the threats of dangerous behavior ( in a dangerous place) could warrant a DCFS intervention.

Due to the negligence an innocent child was terrified and hurt and a Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla was shot and killed.

I watched many videos and read available reports on the situation. Everyone was rightfully terrified at the situation. Too bad the gorilla couldn’t be tranquilized rather than shot dead. But obviously, a human child’s life takes precedence over a gorilla’s. Zoo officials couldn’t very well stand around twiddling their thumbs while a child was drowned, mauled or crushed to death. A gorilla doesn’t know its own strength and could’ve easily seriously injured the child.

Tranquilizers could have caused the gorilla to become aggressive and hurt the child or fall on him in the interim as they waited for it to take effect. I get all of that. The thing is primates are highly intelligent animals and I think Harambe was just doing what came natural to him and he probably felt pretty scared when his handlers shot him.

I’m not a primate expert or a zoologist but it didn’t appear that he actually had any intention of hurting the child. It looked to me like he was trying to keep the baby safe until the child’s people came to collect him. I think the screaming and commotion was adding fuel to the fire and scaring both Harambe and the little boy. I think both the gorilla and the kid were both victims of this mother’s negligence.

This lady needs to be held responsible for her actions. She needs some parenting classes. I’m sure many of you think I sound like a cold-hearted witch but I watched the video (all of them) and I’m wondering why she is just standing on the sidelines screaming, “Mommy loves you!”

Lady, if you really loved your kid, maybe you should have kept your eye on him, strapped him in a stroller, held his hand and NOT let the kid wander off into the gorilla enclosure. Maybe you should have taken his warning that he was going to get into the water more seriously. That’s the part that really makes me feel like she was negligent.

I think most moms would have gone into mama bear beast mode and scaled that damn moat themselves and tried to save their baby or at the very least grabbed a zoo employee or maybe, I don’t know, sobbed at the thought of their baby possibly being beaten or killed by a gigantic primate. She did nothing…just like all the people who stood there and watched and recorded rather than actually help.

The little boy was taken to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and is listed in stable condition after being manhandled for about 10 minutes by the gorilla. I think the bulk of the damage was probably done by the fall into the moat, the dragging around he endured while the gorilla became frightened from the screaming of the crowd or, I don’t know, the traumatization he will live with forever from seeing the giant gorilla murdered as it stood above him. Poor kid. Don’t worry kiddo your mommy loves you. She just doesn’t want to be bothered with watching you.

Word of advice if you can’t watch your kids, stay at home with the doors shut and try to keep your kids safe until they are old enough to take care of themselves. You suck! The Cincinnati zoo didn’t get the kid out of all the danger he’s facing by killing Harambe. After all, they aren’t  going home with the kid.

What did everyone think the gorilla was going to do? Eat the baby? They’re not carnivores. In my opinion, the parents’ negligence caused child endangerment.

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

What do you think about the endangered Cincinnati zoo gorilla being murdered in cold blood because a mom couldn’t be bothered to watch her child?

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mom and daughter, organization tips for mom life

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As a mom, you know just how busy life can be. We’re always on the go and always have things that we need to do. We rarely get a moment to ourself because we’re always busy doing things and looking after everyone else. But that’s just what mom life is like – and we wouldn’t change it for the world. Well, maybe some more sleep and hours in the day would be awesome. I can’t make more hours in the day or help with your insomnia but I can help with some best organization and planning tips for mom life to make life easier.

We all wish that things could be a little bit more streamlined. And that’s only natural. We all feel that way. It’s always going to be a good thing if we can all be organized and a little more put together. We feel calmer and can go through the day with a bit more clarity. But how easy is that to do in practice?

Let’s take a look at five ideas that might be able to help you make mom life more organized.

Manage Your Finances Well

First of all, you will want to make sure that things like your finances, bills, and household paperwork is organized. It sounds crazy, but if you’re worried about this or not organized, it can affect how well you are able to manage the rest of your life.

Have a Schedule

Next up, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a daily and weekly routine too. This can be good for your kids but also for all the things that you need to do. It’ll help you to feel more organized instead of like you have too much to do and no time to do it.

Turn to Your Family

From here, you may then want to rely on some of your family more. It could even be your partner. Even having your mom close by could be really helpful for you here.

Keep Things Tidy

When it comes to the rest of your home, you’ll find that it’s a good idea for you to try and keep things as tidy as possible. A tidy home can make you feel so much more organized and together. It will also then make everything else you have to do easier too.

https://youtu.be/IjkmqbJTLBM

Make It a Mindset Thing

And finally, you’re going to want to try and make this a bit of a mindset thing. If you know that you are always thinking about things and worrying or panicking, you need to change that. Working to get more of a positive mindset can really help. When you’re able to focus on the good things, take one day at a time, and be grateful, it really does help you transform your life and everyday.

As much as it can seem like trying to be organized as a mom is impossible, it’s really not. There are always going to be things and organization tips for mom that you can do to make your days that little bit easier. To pick out what’ll work for you and see what results you get.

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Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla, deonne dickerson

A couple days ago, I wrote a piece about Michelle Gregg and the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla, Harambe, who was shot and killed as the result of a terrible situation gone out of control. A 4-year-old boy dodged out of his mother’s sight and found his way into the gorilla enclosure. Meanwhile his mom watched helplessly as the animal dragged the toddler around the moat like a rag doll. I can only imagine what hell that must have been.

We’ve all made mistakes and had situations with our children escalate or get out of hand in a matter of seconds. These are moments that we all wish we could change but we simply cannot. These accidents happen and all we can do is learn from them and pray we survive them.

Myself, I’ve had a 3-month-old roll off the changing table, when I turned my head for a split second to see why her 2-year-old sister was screaming bloody murder. We ended up in the ER and she was fine but I still feel terrible guilt over that.

I know toddlers are like tiny Houdinis and quite frequently bolt for doors, down streets and try to get out of your reach; most often as some sort of game. There is a unique pleasure that toddlers find in things that happen to terrify their parents. They don’t have rational thoughts so what they see as great fun, a game of tag with mommy or daddy, we find as absolutely horrific because we are acutely aware of all the things that could go wrong. That’s why we are responsible for keeping them safe. Parenting is hard work.

I remember once my 2-year-old daughter bolted off down our Cul de Sac when I was 9 months pregnant with her sister. I was terrified. I chased her down, praying all the while that she wouldn’t dart out into the road. The entire time she was looking back at me smiling, giggling and laughing. She thought it was a game. All I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t let this little person who I love more than life itself get hit by a car!” So I smiled back, using my sweet mommy voice (as not to spook her) while I was panicking inside. So see, I do understand how these things happen.

When I wrote the piece, I was very upset that the child was hurt in what appeared to be such a senseless and preventable situation and I was upset that the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla had to be put down due to human error. I lashed out in my piece. I became harsh and judgmental in my words and I shouldn’t have because the person I was putting all the blame on is only human. She is a mom I know what a labor of multitasking, exhaustion and complete love motherhood is.

I wrote the piece too early, with not enough information. While I did do my research, there was still not enough helpful information available at the time of publication for me to accurately write about the situation. It’s not an excuse but, anyone who has ever read this blog, knows that I do tend to react immediately while my emotions are still running high. It’s how I process things. It’s also why I am a blogger and not a journalist.

 

Here are a few facts about Michelle Gregg I didn’t know when I wrote the original post.

I know now from further investigating that Michelle Gregg only turned for a second and was being distracted by another of her crying children who needed her attention. She tried to go over the enclosure herself to rescue the boy but was warned by zoo officials that it would only cause the gorilla to become more aggressive. When the boy told her he was going to go into the enclosure, she told him no but when he saw his chance to get into the enclosure, he took it.

I always believed that the gorilla had to be put down in order to secure the child’s safety. That’s a no brainer, a human child’s life always holds more value than an animal’s life. I have two daughters and nothing has more value to me in the world than their lives. I’m certain that had it been my own daughter, there is nothing I wouldn’t have done to insure her safety. I’m fairly positive that I would have been down in the enclosure myself because I tend to react first and think about the consequences later.

I was very disappointed that more wasn’t done to help the child and mother before the toddler got into the enclosure. I know that some people did try to help but said they couldn’t get to the child in time but it just reminded me that we live in a world where people don’t necessarily try to help others, even when they see it happening because it might be an inconvenience. What happened to it takes a village?

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla, deonne dickerson

I’ve been in situations where I have seen a stranger’s child heading towards danger, not to this degree obviously, but about to run into a parking lot or get fingers smashed in a door and I always try to stop the child from getting hurt because how the hell could I just watch something like that happen, especially as a mother, myself? But we live in a world where sometimes when I help, the parent gives me a dirty look because I spoke to their child, completely disregarding the reasoning behind it. People just don’t go out of their way to help their fellow people like they used to.

I have no super powers and sit on no throne ( as many of my commenters facetiously stated). I don’t think that my mothering choices are beyond reproach. I’m just a mom trying to raise my children the best way that I know how.  I don’t normally make a habit out of judging other moms. Generally, I believe parents should parent however is best suited for their family.

After initially hearing that the child had told his mom that he wanted to go into the enclosure several times before hearing her side of it, I felt like the mom could have saved herself a lot of pain by just taking his warnings more seriously and locking him down; stroller, hand holding, handing off to another adult or whatever. I now know that a willful 4-year-old is going to do what he wants to do if given the chance.

It’s easy for me to say what I would have done because I am not the one who suffered the ramifications of this momentary lapse in judgement. I’m sure Michelle Gregg will feel terrible about this for the rest of her life and every time she looks into her sweet boy’s eyes she will be thankful that he is alive and acutely aware that things could’ve ended much differently.

Toddlers are quick and fearless. No matter how hard we try to be the best moms to our children, sometimes bad stuff still happens. Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I am flawed and have made a shiton of mistakes in motherhood. In fact, that was the entire premise of this blog in the beginning.

I judged another mom harshly because I didn’t agree with her parenting choice. I had a knee-jerk reaction and I condemned a woman for making a one-time error in judgement.

I’m sorry Michelle Gregg, you’re not a terrible mom; you’re just a human, like the rest of us.

 

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As a mom, how often have you felt overwhelmed and overworked in your life? Most moms will acknowledge the responsibility that is motherhood, and no matter how much help you have, it seems mothers are hardwired to carry the weight of motherhood physically. All the parts you can see and the parts you can’t see. Even if you manage to share the load with your other parent, husband, partner, chances are most moms will still feel the stress that comes with parenthood.

“A mom’s work is never done.”

More so now, during a global pandemic, moms and dads alike often forgo what they need themselves as they strive to provide for their family and keep everyone happy, safe, and healthy. Sadly, this means as parents, more often than not, your needs come last. But all the stress, worry, heartache, and mental juggling of tasks can take its toll on your mental and physical health.

Even those pushed for time need to take some time to make sure they don’t burn out and make themselves ill. Your family needs you to be healthy, and this means looking after yourself as much as everyone else. Even if you feel like you don’t have the time or you shouldn’t. Self-care needs to be standard and not classed as a luxurious treat.

Self-care can simply be the act of putting makeup or completing a full skincare routine with cream, oils, and face masks. It can be reading a book or taking a long hot bath in peace. It doesn’t matter what it is or how often you do it, as long as you do it, and it makes you feel better.

Accept help

You may be able to do it all on your own with no help, but that doesn’t mean you should. New moms, let someone take over the small tasks for you. Sure, you may not want to leave your new baby, but having someone come over to help clean up, put the dishwasher on or washing machine or simply make you a hot drink and some food can be a huge help during those first weeks of getting used to life as a new parent.

But as your family grows, learn to accept the help for what it is and not as an attack on you and your parenting skills. Having the kids go for a playdate for an hour or two can give you breathing space to do something you need to do. Be it a nap, drink a hot coffee or binge watch that show on Netflix everyone is talking about. If it makes you feel better, do it and don’t punish yourself for accepting help – a happy parent is a much better parent, don’t you think?

Eat well

How often have you tricked your child into eating healthy food to make sure they are getting all their vitamins and minerals? When was the last time you checked to make sure you were getting all of yours? Neglecting your diet can lead to unhealthy choices and a lack of energy as your body isn’t getting what it needs. If you are struggling with choosing the right foods, try meal planning, and prepping to make sure you have healthy meal options available at all times.

Supplements can help boost your required daily intake but not replace them. You shouldn’t rely on vitamin supplements to get what your body needs each day. Keep a fruit salad prepared in the fridge for a go-to snack or have healthy nuts and seeds for you to snack on during the day. Look after your body, and it will look after you. After all, as a busy parent, you need all the energy you can get.

Sleep

Easier than it looks. Parents sleep if their kids sleep at night. And if they don’t, coffee is your best friend! The baby and toddler years can be rough when it comes to sleep deprivation – especially if other parents brag about how their child sleeps through the night! You may feel like you will never get a good night’s sleep again. But little things can be done to help you fall asleep faster and make the most of the time you do have to sleep.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is possibly one of the more ridiculous things to say to parents. As much as you may want to nap, chances are you will have other things that need taking care of instead.

Try to find a good bedtime routine that works for you and your family. Take note of advice such as removing electronics from the bedroom, keeping the tv off at night, and having a bath before bed. Practicing yoga can help to relax you as can meditation if you can find time to get into the right mind space for it to be effective. Lavender works wonders for inducing a calming night’s sleep – for you and children too, as can using a sleep mask and the right bedding for your bedroom for any given season. You can also apply a mānuka essential oil before you sleep to combat the signs of many common skin issues such as anti-aging and acne.  Exercising in the evening can help you to burn off any pent-up energy and allow you enough of a release to sleep better at night. But, working out too close to bedtime will have the complete opposite effect—trial and error but always worth trying out.

Exercise

Taking the baby out for a walk in their stroller is exercise, as is chasing a toddler around the local park or even jumping in the pool with the family on a hot summer day.
It isn’t all about hitting the gym and pushing yourself as hard as you can. But if that is what works for you, then it can be that—a dance class with your friends or a neighborhood basketball game. Get out, get moving, and raise your heartbeat.

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Coming off this past weekend where I just spent every ounce of my energy tending to two very sick little girls, you can imagine my dismay when I called my own Mother this morning ( who was supposed to be coming for a week long visit)  only to find out she has changed her mind.

It went a little something like this:

Me: “Hi, Mommy (Yes, I still call her Mommy). So, when are you getting here?”
Mom:Hesitation in her voice, damn she must have read my FB updates about sick kiddies, “Well, I am trying to figure that out. When do you think would be best?”
Me: “Well, I thought you were coming tomorrow.”
Mom: “Well, I’m trying to figure out what will work out best for BOTH of us.”
Me: “Mom, the girls have both been sick all weekend. I am exhausted and to be honest, I think I am getting sick too. I could really use your help with the girls THIS week!”
Mom: ” Sick? What kind of sick? I think maybe I should come the week before the 4th of July.”
I think as soon as I confirmed the sickness rumors and she heard the word “sick” all she heard from then on out was white noise.

WTF????? Did she misunderstand that I just asked my MOMMY for help? What part of “I need help with the girls” is she having trouble understanding?

Me: ” Mom, are you coming or not?”
Mom: “Well, what do you think would be best?” ( I thought we just went over this!)
Me: Again, am I not speaking English? “I think I need you THIS week. The girls are getting well and will want to be playing outside and I will want to be in bed dying.”
Mom: “Ok, well you let me know.(Hello? Is this thing on?)  Oh, by the way, can you come here this weekend for you brother’s birthday party?” Commence my eye rolling and seizure having.
Me: WTF???Seriously, what the hell is going on here? Where is Ashton Kutcher, surely I must be getting punked! I love this woman but I am thoroughly confused. Apparently, we were playing a game of Chinese telephone that I had no idea that I was engaged in because she understood absolutely nothing of what I was saying.” OK, Mom. I will call you back.”

Apparently, my Mom doesn’t want to come take care of my children while I am sick but won’t actually say no. She’s from the south, they don’t like to be “ugly” about things. So, to recap; as I was being Supah Dupah Mommy this weekend taking care of any and all urges and whims of my poor sick children, my Mom is probably at home , at thsi ver moment, Lysoling the receiver to be sure she doesn’t catch my cooties through her land line. How can she be my Mom and we be such different types of Mommies? I should add that she only lives an hour away and she ALWAYS tells me , “When you are sick, if you ever need me to come help with the girls..JUST CALL!” I did! So much for that idea. Now, here I go back to my whining sick children ( Gabs is lying in bed making a sound like a dying calf) as I try my best not to go delirious with my own fever. Happy Mothering!

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mom blogger, bloggers, mommy bloggers, over sharing, moms, GOMI, Instagram

I read a post by my friend Jessica, referencing a post by GOMI and the dastardly state of mom bloggers. The story goes a little something like this, mommy blogger pauses to take and Instagram a photo from the ER where her toddler is being held down by his father so that said toddler’s head could be stitched up. I am usually inclined to agree with Jessica on many topics, GOMI not so much.

However, when I first read this, I agreed with Jessica and GOMI. I really did and then I took a moment and thought about it; really thought about it. We don’t live in the world we grew up in. We live in a digital world and everyone over shares. TMI and inappropriate shares are the norm. For Pete’s sake, the Pope has a Twitter account. Women live tweet their births. Nothing is sacred any more. It’s just the way it is.

I understand the whole argument that she should have been spending the time holding her son’s hand instead of taking and editing a photo. I can see that it looks, from the outside, like it’s all very calculated and callous and maybe it was. I just know that many bloggers have been guilty of exercising impropriety in inappropriate times. Is it for traffic? Or is it force of habit? Bad judgment? Or maybe it’s the only way they know how to document their lives? At first read, it felt like this mom blogger should have put down the phone and held her son’s hand.

Then I remembered that I am the same person who left the obstetrician’s office after being told that my baby had no heartbeat and in the midst of my heart breaking pain and through my own primal cries, I wrote it out. I felt like a trapped animal and I needed to purge myself of the pain, to make sense of it and I wrote it all down. I had 15 minutes before I needed to pick up my 4-year-old from preschool. I had to get my shit together. I needed to process the emotions. I needed to get a hold of my own breakdown. I know that to anyone who doesn’t blog, that probably seemed like an odd thing to do.

At the time I was blogging daily and I knew that this miscarriage was going to fuck me up mentally and it did. I knew I couldn’t skim over it or hide it from my regular readers or the people in my every day life. I hadn’t even told family yet but this wasn’t something that I could keep a secret from them for the rest of my life. I couldn’t write authentically and transparently while hiding a major life event. I couldn’t move through my real life keeping something like this from my friends and family. That night, I texted my family and told them what had happened but asked them to please not call me. I was too fragile to speak or even hear the sadness or pity in their voices.

The next morning before I left to the hospital for my D & E, I scheduled that note from my phone to go live. There was no thought or editing that went into it. It was a purge. I needed two things; to process and to purge. My world was collapsing around me and my first thought was to write it down and get it out.

What I didn’t do was share the last photo of my baby; the ultrasound taken at the request of my 4-year-old so that she had a photo of “her baby”. No, I never even considered sharing it because that is private. That is just for my family. That is one of my most precious possessions and it’s not for sell. Just as I am sure there are things that the mom blogger in question does not share. But everyone’s line in the sand is different.

Maybe for that blogger, she took the photo and Instagramed out of habit. Maybe she has become so accustomed to documenting every moment of her life via social media and her blog that it was the most natural thing to do. We are creatures of habit and there is comfort and reassurance in routine. In the moments of life when we are terrified, we go on autopilot.Would it have been okay had she written about it but not taken the photo? Would it have been fine if she tweeted about how scared she was instead of snapped a photo on her phone? Who decides? Why is one way acceptable and the other not? How are we supposed to blog like no one is reading when everyone is judging? I won’t judge this mom because no one knows why she did what she did and quite frankly, who are we to judge?

Do you think everything bloggers do is for traffic or is there a genuine compulsory desire to share their lives?

Why do you think bloggers share and over share their lives?

 

Image via Flickr/ Tom & Katrien

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My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

Once upon a time, there was a mom who forgot to take care of herself. She put off physicals, yearly gynecological visits, haircuts and dentist’s visits because everyone else came before herself. She got diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, had a heart attack and died obese. She didn’t know the signs of diabetes. She didn’t know type 2 diabetes symptoms. That’s how the story could have gone, still can, if we’re being honest. Make good choices people. And the story could be how that mom worked her tail off, put herself first for the first time in a very long time and figured out how to reverse diabetes in 3 months.

The kids were healthy and never missed a dentist appointment, doctor appointment or even a haircut. They wanted for nothing. Neither did her husband. However, mom always came last. No one asked, or expected, her to do this. She just did.

Diabetes didn’t care how selfless she thought she was.

One day after many years of ignoring her own needs, eating whatever was fast and cheap, not exercising and wearing herself out doing for others, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. She is me. I am the mom who forgot to take care of herself. I am a diabetic. Have you forgotten to take care of yourself?

READ ALSO: How a Simple Doctors Visit might have Saved my Life

I’m not special. This isn’t an unusual set of circumstances. Many parents, especially moms, put ourselves last because the goal of life is to keep your family alive and healthy. I didn’t know the symptoms of diabetes so I didn’t think anything about it when I was tired after eating a high carb meal. I just thought I was an exhausted mom.

Do you know the signs of diabetes?

The life goal was a good, strong marriage and to raise good human beings. To travel the world and enjoy life. This is the ball that we keep our eyes on. Then one day, it’s too late. Suddenly, the signs of diabetes are everywhere you look and somehow you managed to miss every single one of them. You’ve got a diagnosis or three and shit is about to get really real for you. Hypertension. Diabetes. Anxiety. Depression. High cholesterol. Cancer. A heart attack. A stroke. There are too many diagnoses to mention but if you’re a mom, you’ve probably already gotten a diagnosis or two of your own and maybe you don’t even know it.

So there I sat in May hearing the “wahwahwahwahwahwah” as all the blood rushed to my head, after my doctor delivered the blow, “You are severely diabetic and you need to leave here and go directly to the pharmacist, do not stop, get your prescriptions and take your high blood pressure medicine in the car because you are also super hypertensive and could literally have a stroke at any minute. Also, you are morbidly obese.” *Slightly rephrased because “wahwahwah” was all I heard after she told me that I was severely diabetic. It felt like a death sentence. I could have been. My Uncle Ramon died from his diabetes. Latinos are highly predisposed to diabetes and high blood pressure. Why did I think I was special? I was terrified and depressed. How had it gotten to this point?

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t discriminate.

It was just a “few” bad choices, right? Ate some junk food. Never counted calories. Never counted carbs. Either ate whatever, whenever or never ate at all. Never “had time” to exercise. Ignored the symptoms or poopoo’ed them away because who has time for such luxuries as being sick and getting well. I have places to be, people to see and children and husband and the PTA who all depend on me.

Spoiler alert: The world will not implode if you take a few days off and take care of yourself. People can pick up the slack and figure shit out if they need to. No one will hate you (and if they do, so what). Generally, people are pretty good and they really do want the best for you but people only treat you the way you allow them to. If you show them a martyr, superwoman then they are going to push you like a martyr superwoman. Pssst, it’s ok to be human.

READ ALSO: What to do when You Realize You’re Doing Parenting All Wrong

But you don’t me to tell you that. You need me to tell you how I changed all of that. How I went from a morbidly obese, hypertensive diabetic to a mom on a mission who reversed her diabetes in 3 months. Sounds easy right? Like turning a car around but it’s anything but. Being a diabetic is a serious condition and can have serious health ramifications so if you have been warned that you are “prediabetic” take it seriously.

Being prediabetic is a major diabetes symptom red flag. Don’t ignore it.

Soon, you will drop the “pre” and just be a full-blown diabetic and your doctor will be checking your feet to see if you’ve lost feeling and never allowed to go barefoot again. You’ll have to have a special diabetic eye exam to make sure you’re not going blind and will never see your children’s beautiful faces again. You’ll have to count your carbs and work out like your life depends on it because it does. I was prediabetic before I was diabetic and I did nothing about it. That “pre” gave me a false sense of safety.

What did I do to reverse my diabetes? Yes, reverse because you can’t cure. Diabetes is incurable. You either live with it and die from it or you do what you need to and reverse it and get back to a non-diabetic state but whatever damage has already been done, has been done and you can always become diabetic again if you start making those wrong choices again. That’s my warning, that’s my real talk.

READ MORE: Food’s an Addiction and Sugar’s a Drug

How to reverse diabetes

My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetesPutting Yourself First

The first thing you have to do is make yourself a priority in your own life. Really. You won’t be alive to take care of or love and be loved by anyone if you don’t take care of yourself because you will be dead. Diabetes can kill you. Type 2 diabetes is completely controllable and reversible but you have to care about and love yourself enough to put your health above everything and everyone else. It sounds impossible but it’s not. With the love and support of those you love, you can do it.

Medicine

If you’re like me, you hate to take medicine. It sucks. Everything has side effects. You’ve seen the commercials; to help alleviate your depression you may become suicidal and to alleviate your migraine you can go blind. They have to list every side effect ever. But sometimes you need medicine from the Canadian Pharmacy to survive or at least until you can work towards getting healthy enough to not need it. I’m not on insulin but I was prescribed medication to control my diabetes and my high blood pressure, along with a plan to eat healthy, count carbs and exercise. There is no easy fix. A pill cannot fix everything. A pill is a Band-Aid to help you get well enough to get healthy.

Working Out

This is hard. Starting is overwhelming but it’s not impossible. When you’re a mom, especially, trying to find the time to work out can feel like trying to find time to do your nails or get a massage, non-existent. Remember when I was talking about putting yourself first? This is part of that. Just move. It doesn’t matter how. I started with a Beachbody workout (dancing), then I threw in some BBG ab work. My mom kept urging me to “just walk” and I thought it sounded too simple. I was hesitant but it was doable and it gave me time every morning to reflect and get my mind right. 50 pounds later, mom was right. It was simple. Don’t overcomplicate things. Just move. I document my daily walks on InstaStories to keep myself accountable. If your diabetes has caused swelling in your feet and makes it uncomfortable or painful to take walks or exercise, I suggest using a pair of diabetic socks.

Join me on Instagram to follow along as I reverse diabetes. We can get healthy together.

READ ALSO: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Fast

Eating Healthy

Not going to lie, this was hard because eating healthy means being mindful of what you put into your body and investing in yourself because healthy food is not cheap. It is so much more affordable and convenient to buy a McDonald’s dollar menu meal than it is to go to the grocery store, buy fresh produce and lean protein, cook it and eat it after a long day at work. And that is how we’ve gotten to 30 million Americans with diabetes. Most people start showing symptoms of diabetes after the age of 45 but there are more and more children, teens and young adults who are getting diagnosed. By taking care of ourselves and choosing more carefully what to put into our bodies, we are affecting our families and their health too.

I’m not saying you have to make perfect, healthy choices every single day. I’m not saying to deprive yourself. I’m saying to be mindful of your choices and how what you do affects your body. The most important thing is to not let a little blip derail your whole program. A blip is just a blip. Move on and get back to your plan. You can do this.

Drink Your Water

Yes, water weight is a thing and drinking enough water is good for your body in so many ways. It helps flush toxins and maintain the balance of body fluids. It just makes you feel better. You should be drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day. I drink closer to 100 because it’s the only thing I really drink aside from coffee and tea.

Counting Carbs

I’ve never been one who could stick to Keto or no carbs. I love carbs. Bread might be my love language. But the thing is carbs are in everything; fruit, vegetables, rice, milk, meat and sauces. But yeah, there are a lot of carbs in bread so choose wisely.

My doctor gave me a finite amount of carbs each day to consume. 45 per meal, 15 per snack, three times per day for each. Now, it’s like money, I can spend it my carbs wisely on lean proteins and fresh produce or I can waste it on a snickers bar. You can see that a grilled chicken breast, asparagus, watermelon and brown rice would be more filling than a Snickers bar. Mostly we should choose the balanced meal but if you want to choose the Snickers bar occasionally, that’s ok. Just not all day and not every day.

Portion control

Last but, definitely, not least is portion control. Before I had no idea what correct portions were. The portions that most restaurants serve are not the right sized portion for an adult human. They are often double and sometimes even triple the portion size, carbs and calories that we need. So, I started reading labels and measuring. I know, it sounds like a pain in the ass and it is but so is being dead when you want to be alive. Soon, you will learn the right portions and you won’t need to measure everything anymore. Before you know it, you will be eating for fuel and only until you are full not until you are stuffed.  I used to east mindlessly and that’s how I got to where I was. Now, I am thoughtful about my choices; what I eat and how often I move.

This is how I reversed my diabetes in 3 months. It’s been 6 months since I was diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension. It’s been 3 months since I reversed it all. I will have to be mindful of my choices and work on my health every day for the rest of my life but now, it’s a habit. I look forward to it because I know I’m working towards being a better me. I feel better and I’ve lost 50 pounds. My goal is to lose 70 more pounds and to do a 5K in 2020. Did I mention by listening to my mom I’ve been walking a 5K every morning, 4-5 days a week? It’s the best part of my day and I’ve done it in everything from 20 degrees to rain, snow and 110 degrees. It’s hard but I’m worth it and so are you!

My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

This is how I reversed my diabetes in 3 months and saved my life. Are you taking care of yourself? Why not? You deserve to be alive and happy and most certainly, healthy. You are worth the investment. I know, as moms, we put everyone else above us, it’s in our DNA but remember your why. My family, my girls and the Big Guy, are my “why” but I have to take care of me to be here to love and be loved by them. I have to love me to be able to love them. It’s simple. Take care of yourself before it’s too late.

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