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Do you find it hard to make time for taking care of yourself? Lately, I’ve resolved to get my health back on track, which means working out, portion control and making healthier choices in the foods I eat. Sounds easy, right? It’s harder than you think, especially for a busy mom of two little girls on the go.

It’s been going pretty well. Like anything in life, it’s hard to break bad habits like mindless eating and not moving. I’ve had to make conscious decisions to get up and work out and to measure out my portions but it’s getting easier. I’ve done this by finding a workout that I love because it’s dancing and using containers and a scale to measure my foods before I portion them.

The one thing I am having trouble with is eating when I am hungry. I get so busy that I either forget to eat until I need to be someplace or I simply don’t have the time to find something nutritious so I grab whatever happens to be in front of me and honestly, it’s not usually anything that I should be putting in my mouth at such a quantity of with such fervor. So, I’ve decided to start keeping fresh fruits (washed, dried and ready to eat), fresh veggies (washed, cut up and in baggies) and high protein bars at my disposal.

The thing that is proving the hardest is satisfying my sweet tooth because even though my mind knows that’s a slippery slope, my cravings still crave it. It’s getting easier and I’m not shoveling all the carbs into my mouth without consideration like I was before but I still have those times of the month when I just need something sweet or people could get hurt. You know what I mean.

I’ve found two ways to satisfy these cravings that is a much healthier choice than reaching for a brownie or cookies. I’ve started making smoothies using fresh or frozen fruits and vanilla almond milk with protein powder. My favorite is 1 banana, ½ cup of mixed frozen berries, ½ cup of vanilla almond milk and about 3 oz. of vanilla protein powder. I throw it all in my individual smoothie blender and satisfy my sweet tooth guilt free.

Now, that’s taking care of yourself!

FIber One, health, healthy snacks on the go, taking care of yourself

My other favorite treat is Fiber One’s new Cheesecake bars. My family has always been a fan of the Fiber One bars. The girls love the brownies and I love the lemon bars but I have a new favorite, the new Fiber One Cheesecake bar in Salted Caramel. My little one prefers the Fiber One Cheesecake bar in strawberry. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong.

The best part is aside from grabbing them on the go for myself, I can give them to my girls with a piece of fresh fruit and a glass of milk for a fast, healthy breakfast. It’s perfect on those days when we are running late for school, as a light afternoon snack between cheer and ballet or gymnastics or even for dessert, when you just need a little something sweet.

It works for me. It’s made changing my eating habits and developing a healthier lifestyle a lot easier because I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like I’m being punished. I feel like I’m just learning to making better choices and in the long run, I think that will mean the difference between succeeding at getting healthy and failure. When it comes to my health, failure just isn’t an option anymore.

FIber One, health, healthy snacks on the go, taking care of yourself

What’s your favorite healthy snack you eat when taking care of yourself?

 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fiber One through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Fiber One’s Cheesecake Bars, all opinions about taking care of yourself  and Fiber One’s Cheesecake Bars are my own.

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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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How to Keep Your Shit Together while Busy Taking Care of Everyone Else, how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

These past few weeks of motherhood have been thus far some of the hardest ever. Shit has happened that no one teaches you about in the parenting books. I’ve studied the whole of the DSM and I still couldn’t have been prepared, as a mother, for the kind of emotional toll that has been taken on me. That’s why I’m realizing how to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is so important for parents.

You know there are things you expect, in the back of your head, in the bottom of your heart and right there in the pit of your stomach. Things that you know can happen, like all those terrible side effects they warn you of when you are taking the drugs that will save your life. You take them anyways because living is more important than having the shakes. Well, my friends, this shit was not on the warning label when I got pregnant. Or maybe it was and I chose not to believe it.

I have been struggling with mental illness since the teen years. There is a whole list of disorders and illnesses that I can speak of at length and in-depth. That should have been a red flag to me that maybe I needed to be a little more prepared for what could happen if the girls got triggered. But, I thought, I’ve got this. I found my way out of the darkness. It’ll be fine. And it was until it wasn’t anymore.

In my teen years, my mind was held hostage in a dark abyss. I couldn’t find my way out or at least it felt like I couldn’t but, true to Debi fashion, one step at a time, one moment at a time, I survived. Barely. Even though there were days when it was so painful to be alive that I prayed something or someone would kill me because I couldn’t do it myself and hurt my mom. She was my savior and she had no idea of the dark thoughts that were infiltrating my brain. It’s probably better that way. But I know.

In those days, it hurt to breathe because it felt counterintuitive and I cried more tears than I thought were even possible. But, my childhood was tumultuous to put it nicely. A lot of bad shit happened to me and when you’re a kid, you can only take so much before you break. Or so I thought. I’m more resilient than I ever imagined because I never actually broke, I just bent as far as my child mind and body could.

I promised myself that I would never allow that to be my daughters’ stories. They would live a “normal” life. As if I even know what that looks like. I promised myself they would never be triggered and I thought I could protect them from my same fate. But I was wrong. There are some things we can’t actually stop from happening, no matter how hard we try or how ‘good’ we are at this parenting thing. Maybe this is why I feel like such a fraud when people compliment me. I know the truth. There are simply some things that are beyond our control. That’s a hard and bitter pill for this recovering smother mother to swallow.

How to protect your mental health while taking care of everyone else is a hard, but imperative, balance to find

Today, I took my daughter to her first adolescent group therapy session. Never expected that to be a milestone. She almost cried when I left her. I almost cried when I left her in a room full of strange kids in their own turmoil. Is this a good idea? Is she going to get ideas or learn bad habits? But isn’t this supposed to help her live? All that matters is that she makes it through, by any means possible. She is the most important thing in my life. She and her sister are truly my entire reason why.

A couple of weeks ago, her depressive episode got so bad that I could see her slipping into that same dark abyss that I used to live in. I lived there for years. I honestly thought I’d never escape. I resigned myself to living there alone with my pain until it killed me. For me, it started at 12-years-old with body dysmorphia, then the major depression and suicidal ideations started around freshman year of high school, onto eating disorders beginning around 17 ( bulimia then anorexia with extreme exercising), and ultimately a diagnosis of bipolar 1 when I spent most of my college years and my mid 20’s manic AF. I didn’t have my first panic attack until I was 35-years-old but according to my psychiatrist, anxiety was there first.

As a child, I was prone to terrible stomach aches that landed me in the emergency room on more than one occasion. That’s how little Debi’s anxiety from living with an abusive, alcoholic father first manifested. But I learned quickly, around 7-years-old, how to develop my coping mechanisms. I’m a counter. It worked for years until my husband lost his job when I was 35. #mommysfirstpanicattack Yep, if I’m anxious and talking to people (pushing through my anxiety) I’m probably counting every word you are saying and all the letters in the words.  I know I’m an extrovert but I also have my limits. I didn’t even realize I counted or what it meant until about a year into my therapy. Did I mention now ADHD is on the table? Aye aye aye. Like seriously, what the actual fuck?

Anyways, most if not all of these things are in control ( save for a little mania that gets triggered when I’m under duress…you know like when you’re dealing with the guilt and pressure of passing along your fucked up brain chemistry to your children). You have not had mom guilt of this level if you haven’t genetically fucked your kids up. It is a special kind of hell because it is in fact my fault. I’ve been crying about this a lot lately.

Right now, I’m trying to keep my shit together while putting out a seemingly unlimited amount of mental health trash fires over here daily. It’s a lot. I’m overwhelmed. I’m triggered and I’m trying my best to do what’s best for everyone, especially my girls. I thought I was holding it together. I mean I know that on the inside, I’m falling apart but I thought on the outside, I was taking care of business. I think I am for the most part but I’m neglecting myself. I know this because the other days while I was sobbing about my daughter’s mental health crisis, I could hear my pressured speech and feel my pressured thoughts machine-gunning out of my head and my husband gave me a hug and said, “But Debi, you haven’t looked happy for a while.” And he’s not wrong. I’m too overwhelmed and exhausted and scared to be happy because what right do I have when my children are in pain?

That’s how I know that I need to step back, take inventory and do whatever I need to do to get my own mental health in order. Because skipping myself isn’t doing any favors for my children or my husband. In fact, I’m adding to the pile of neverending trash fires currently going on. Look, I’m not complaining. This is me processing. I write, that’s how I survive. If you’ve ever wondered why my feeds are not perfectly curated, it’s not because I don’t know that it’s what people want its because I refuse to live a lie. My battle with eating disorders made me a liar for about 8 solid years. You have to lie to hide the fact that you are slowly killing yourself from the people who love you. If not, they will stop you from your slow suicide. And I preferred to exile myself from everyone than to let them know how truly vulnerable and pathetic I was. I spent so many years striving for perfection and I’m still a fucking relentless overachiever. It’s just who I am. If I stop moving I die. But now, with years of therapy and doing the work to not only understand my disease but myself, I will never silently suffer again and I don’t want that for my daughters either. I never want them to feel that alone and afraid to live. So how do I protect my mental health while taking care of everyone else? I have to be vigilant that I take care of myself first or I won’t be able to take care of anyone else. I know from a mom’s perspective, it sounds very selfish but it’s not. It is giving myself permission to heal so that I can help the people I love the most heal and get the help they need with my full support.

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While we’re all feeling a little stir crazy and a lot caged in our new normal, but there is a lot to be thankful for… it could be a lot worse, even though it feels quite dismal when you’ve been wearing pajamas for almost 3 weeks straight and played 7 million games of UNO and cooked and laundered for infinity. It’s hard right now for all of us but I have a story that I think a lot of us can relate to and all of us should hear.  A Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

My best friend is an Emergency Department doctor. Every day she goes into work, knowing that PPEs are limited and running out quickly. With still no quick testing for coronavirus at her facility, it’s a simple conclusion that asymptomatic patients have been sent home with CoVid 19. People are already dying at her hospital. If you think your anxiety is bad, imagine hers.

This week she sacrificed seeing her children for three months to take care of America; you and me, our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and our children. To do this, she had to give up hers.

Three months of no hugs. There will be no kisses. She will get no snuggles. No good mornings or good nights. No seeing the faces who’ve called her mom for the past 16 years; not like before. No, their meetings will be weekly and at a safe distance. She doesn’t want to do this, she has to do this; for their safety. The only way to protect her own children from any virus that she might come in contact with is to stay away from them. This devoted mother who happens to be a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

Imagine as a mother or father not being able to hold your child for 3 months. We only have 18 years and then they leave on their own for college but right now, she has to give up some of that precious time in the name of the greater good. Right now, in a time of deep confusion and uncertainty when her daughters need their mother, possibly more than ever before, she has to stay away. If they do get sick, she can’t take care of them because she’s exposed every day, repeatedly, with limited PPEs.

READ ALSO: An Interview with a Doctor on the Front Lines of Coronavirus

Her hospital is presently giving providing doctors with one single N95 for the week of shifts; previously, doctors changed N95 masks between each patient.  Nurses are provided no N95 masks. Local members of the community have started to make and distribute fabric masks to the nurses. It is a beautiful and kind gesture but it’s sort of like taking a marshmallow to a gun fight. At the very least, it provides the patients with some reassurance just seeing their nurses mouth and noses covered but it’s mostly a fashion accessory unless it turns out that coronavirus is being spread by just breathing or talking, in which case…cover all the faces. Everything is so unknown , we’re all learning as we go.

Her hospital still doesn’t have Coronavirus tests on hand and readily available, which means that if you do get a test, it takes 10 days to get the results. In 10 days, you could already be dead, if I’m being quite frank. There is also a 1 in 3 chance that you will get a false negative when tested and, as any Emergency room doctor, it shows. She goes in every day and wears her 1 provided N95 mask for the week, from the minute before she walks in the door until she goes home. She doesn’t even eat or drink throughout her entire shift. It’s like sending a soldier in to battle with no protection at all. 

Still, this mother, friend, and doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients. It wrecked her to her core and I heard it in her voice but she did it for them and for you. This was selflessness at its purest form. 

My friend does not live in a major city, well, not in comparison. She’s not in New York, L.A. or Chicago. However, she is in a highly populated college town, not far from Chicago. It’s not she’s in a widespread rural community. People who work in Chicago, live in her city. It shouldn’t be the way it is in her hospital or in any of the many others just like hers all over the country.

Doctors just like her, and many others who are coming out of retirement and stepping up to help in makeshift hospitals all over the country to help meet demand of an onslaught of American coronavirus patients, are heroes. They are running in to the virus when the rest of us are supposed to be sheltering in place. We need to listen.  We need to stay home so that they can stay safe, as safe as possible in this situation.

READ ALSO: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Coronavirus

Doctors and nurses ( all healthcare workers) are more than just their jobs. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands and mothers and fathers. They’re someone’s everything. Healthcare workers are also very human and just as susceptible as the rest of the world when it comes to coronavirus. Just because there is an M.D. after their name and they are superheroes, unfortunately, they are not immune to the ravishing affects of this virus and it does not discriminate. It doesn’t give a flying f*ck if you’re a good person or not. It doesn’t even give special privileges to nurses or that a doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients.

Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients, stay home, shelter in place, sacrifices of healthcare workers

The bottom line is this is new to existence and none of us have immunity to it. If you come in contact with it, you will catch it, regardless of how good your immune system is or how healthy your are. The only unknown is how hard it will hurt you. Will it hit you like a worst case flu, will you be asymptomatic and a secret carrier to your loved ones or will it invade your body and kill its host. Do you want to take that chance with yourself or anyone you love or know?

My friend is a severe asthmatic. So many doctors have underlying health conditions or live with family who have underlying health conditions, but they don’t have the option of sheltering in place, they are essential. They are vital. We need them more than ever before. They took and oath and they want to take care of you and your loved ones. This is their calling. They are angels. We need to do our part to make that possible.

So I am asking all of you, I am imploring, that you stay home. My friend, a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

I know that you are so bored, exhausted, anxious and scared. I am too. I’m on day 24 of quarantine, I’ve resorted to day and night pajamas and have made a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese for lunch one day ( just the Mac and cheese) nothing else. I’ve been drinking the occasional adult beverage, like every 3 days, I need a drink when previous to this it was about once a year.  The thing is be gentle with yourself, be patient with your family and just do whatever you need to feel normal. We’re all in this together. Sleep all day, eat cereal for dinner or dress up and have a fancy date night at home. Be present with your kids, zoom your friends and call the people you love.

But please, follow the recommendations and shelter in place. I know you think that one person’s actions won’t have that big of an affect but, trust me, they will. We are all potential carriers. We are all potentially armed and dangerous to the people we love the most.

When you think you just really need to get out of the house and take the kids to the park or the beach please remember my friend, she gave up her children to save you. Please return the favor by making our world a little more safe for her and all the healthcare heroes that live in our communities, especially the ones who’ve taken care of us when we’ve needed it most because the alternative is that we do whatever we want and they die, even after their immense sacrifices.

Take care of each other. Be kind and compassionate. Shelter in place but stay connected. Human interaction is so important so install ZOOM, FaceTime, use the phone, write a letter or send an email. Check in on your people. Most importantly, take care of yourself; wake up, eat, move, laugh, love, sleep and repeat. That’s all you need to do.

PLEASE STAY HOME, it will be over eventually and the only way we get through this is taking care of one another from afar.

Thank you for doing your part and to the essential workers, I see you. I see your sacrifices. I’m doing my part. I’m staying in. You’re in my prayers and I’ll never forget the sacrifices you’ve made in this time of coronavirus.

How are you and your family holding up during the coronavirus? I’m here to listen and connect whenever you need me.

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Do you love succulent plants? There is just something appealing about the idea of something beautiful and green that doesn’t require a lot of attention. Succulents are the cats of plants. They are everywhere these days. They’re cute and succulent care is easy. Put them in a cute gold hanging planter pot and voila, you’ve got an instant conversation starter.

succulents, boho, Wayfair, succulent plants, succulent care

I’ve been redecorating my office; updating and streamlining. I’m trying to make my workspace a more peaceful place with less distractions. I want more light and less clutter. A workspace should be a place of inspiration and warmth, especially when you are a creative type. I’m a writer. I thrive in natural light, free-flowing energy and clarity.

Succulents remind me of driving to my grandpa’s house in Mexico when I was a child. Yes, we drove from Chicago to Mexico every summer. At that time, there were five of us kids ( later there would be six) and it was a long, hot drive in August. One of the things we looked forward to the most was the change of scenery. We didn’t have cactus and deserts in Chicago so we always thought it was pretty cool to see.

READ ALSO: How a Piece of Furniture Transformed my Life

Succulent plants have been on my list for my office for quite some time. Between watching all the dormify Youtube videos with my teenage girls and just wanting something more natural, something that could actually lighten the air in my office, I finally bought myself a small collection of succulents. Now, I need to figure out succulent care and how to keep them alive and thriving.

succulents, boho, Wayfair, succulent plants, succulent care

The thing is that I don’t know too much about succulent care other than my rule #1, when you have these types of plants, you have to plant them in pretty planter pots. It’s the only way to do it, right? There is just something about a tiny, hearty succulent sitting in your line of sight that conjures up thoughts of warm weather and the summers of my childhood.

READ ALSO: When a Deck is More than a Deck

Since I don’t want to be that person who buys beautiful plants and then lets them all die because I don’t know anything about succulent care, I’ve done some research. Turns out that it’s pretty simple to take care of succulents but do you actually have to give them some love and attention.

Succulent care for Newbies

 

  1. Choose a succulent that you love but that is appropriate for your home.
  2. Provide a very well-draining potting soil. You do not want moisture staying in there too long.
  3. Choose a beautiful succulent plant pot. This is where you can really make your succulents shine as a part of your décor.
  4. Place your potted succulents in a bright and sunny location. Mine are in my office window.
  5. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. When watering, be sure to soak the roots.
  6. Last but not least, be sure to fertilize your succulents at least once a year.

Succulents are great because they are hearty and hard to kill. They are perfect for someone who wants to care for plants but who might not necessarily have the time to care for something fickler like orchids. A succulent garden is every bit as beautiful as any other kind of plant and sometimes even more so because each plant is so different and they come in such a variety of textures and shapes. It’s also a great way to teach kids responsibility and caring for living things. My 11-year-old loves hers.

Do you love succulents? What is your best tip for succulent care?

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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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Wondering if you should be taking more precautions to protect your family from Coronavirus? Don’t want to be an alarmist? But want to take care of your children? Maybe you’re wondering why they named a really shitty virus after a vacation cocktail. Yes, I’d like an ice-cold coronavirus, add lime. Not funny, right? Let’s just talk plainly, what the hell is coronavirus and what should every mom know about it.

Now, while I’m not raiding my local stores of all the cleaning supplies, I am keeping my pantry stocked with Lysol, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper but I do that all the time anyway. I’m not buying a year’s worth but with 4 people who seem to catch everything that goes around living in the house, we’re always stocked just in case. While I’m not one for screaming the proverbial fire in a crowded theater, I’m also a realist and the fact is that Coronavirus exists and it does not discriminate.

READ ALSO: Parents who send their kids to school sick are the worst

However, being immunosuppressed with an immunosuppressed child, I’m also not taking any unnecessary risks. We won’t be using public transportation; planes, trains, and buses are not on our to-do list. We’re also not going to be going to any large crowded venues if we can avoid it. I’m also considering taking advantage of pick-up for groceries and necessities rather than being in the stores until some of the flu strains and viruses going around are not going around as much.

Here is what I’ve found out and what every mom should know about the coronavirus!

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) is not new. They’re a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The issue with the current novel coronavirus is that it’s a new strain and is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and people. The strains that typically infect humans generally cause symptoms that are no more severe than the common cold. However, sometimes a rogue coronavirus jumps from animals to humans and is more severe than typical.

This new coronavirus is spreading quickly throughout the world and we’re all on edge, especially parents because we’re worried about our children. At last count, more than 92,000 known people have contracted Coronavirus and at least 3,000 people have died since an outbreak began in December in Wuhan, China. While most confirmed cases are still in China, the coronavirus has since spread to at least 71 countries, with at least 100 recorded cases and at least six deaths in the United States.

Previously, the bulk of the cases in the United States were connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Japan after it was revealed that some guests onboard tested positive for coronavirus. But a growing number of those diagnosed have happened after contact with an infected person or after no known connection to previous cases, suggesting that the virus is spreading among communities. The outbreak is on the verge of being a pandemic if it can’t be contained.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus that Moms should be aware of

  • Common signs of infection include
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
  • In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

How to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

READ ALSO: Working with Preschoolers and Jumping in the Cootie Pond

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses in the general public do as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Wear a cloth face mask that covers your mouth and nose at all times when in public.
  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissues away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Why are experts so concerned about this new coronavirus?

  1. This is a new illness that doctors have never seen before so there’s still a lot to learn about how it’s transmitted and how it will affect everyone.

  2. The virus is contagious, even before symptoms appear.

The CDC believes the new virus is contagious during the incubation period, which is believed to be 14 days, and symptoms can appear anytime between two and 14 days after exposure. Chinese officials reported person-to-person transmission as the virus spreads. The CDC also has confirmed person-to-person transmission in the U.S.

  1. The 2019 novel coronavirus may be mild but, in some cases, can be very serious

“As with a cold, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus and a flu vaccine won’t protect people from developing it. Washing hands especially after eating, going to the bathroom, and touching your face and avoiding other people who have flu-like symptoms are the best strategies at this point.”

  1. There’s a lot that we don’t know, so precautions are extremely important

Given that the symptoms tend to be mild and the number of people infected worldwide remains small, you may wonder why so much attention is being paid to this particular illness. Extreme caution is warranted because of how little is known about this new virus. For now, spreading awareness, keeping people updated as scientists learn more, and screening people who might be at risk are the best tools available. If you travel or if you visit a health care provider or facility, it may be helpful to know that the coronavirus-related signs you see and questions you may be asked are important.

  1. Guidelines will evolve as doctors learn more

The CDC advises people who travel anywhere, locally or internationally, to:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid animals, whether they are dead or alive, as well as animal markets, and animal products
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What to do if you think you may have been exposed

Anyone who has traveled to Wuhan and is experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms should:

  • Seek medical care immediately. Call ahead to their doctor or emergency room to let them know about recent travel and symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others

  • Avoid travel if they are sick

  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) if they must cough or sneeze

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

How different is it from the common cold or flu?

Coronavirus infections, in general, are indistinguishable from other respiratory infections. In most cases, they cause a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue and fever. But with the new coronavirus, patients tend to have a fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Do I need to stockpile N95 face masks?

No.

The C.D.C. recommends that only infected patients and their health care providers wear N95 respirator masks, which are a special type of mask intended to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles. When physicians treat a person infected with the disease caused by the virus, they wear a face shield, gown and gloves.

Standard surgical masks also can’t fully protect you from contracting the virus. However, if, when in public, everyone wears a cloth face mask properly, covering the mouth and nose, it can drastically reduce the amount of spread of the virus.

Should parents be worried?

Right now, no. Be cautious but not crazy. Cases in children have been very rare. Most people infected with coronavirus are between 49 and 56 years old. It appears that when kids do get it, they have milder symptoms. Flu is killing a lot more Americans, including children, but flu is the monster we know.

Update (11/7…129000 new cases today) coronavirus can be contracted by anyone and it affects everyone differently. There are also long term health effects. The 49-56 age group being the highest affected is no longer the case.

What steps should parents take to protect their child from Coronavirus?

You should take the same precautions you would take to protect your child from the common cold or flu.

  • Encourage children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can work if that’s all you got, but they’re generally not as effective as soap and hot water.
  • Hands should be washed before children eat, after they use the bathroom, come inside from outdoors or touch something dirty like garbage.
  • If you see someone coughing or sneezing, try to keep your kids as far away from them as possible. It’s believed that respiratory secretions don’t travel more than six feet.
  • Travel is also fine but use common sense and caution. For the most part, domestic trips and even most international ones are still OK. Check the CDC guidelines before you plan a trip. If you’re planning a cruise for spring break, the C.D.C. urges you to avoid ones that travel to or from Asia. Personally, as much as I love cruising, it’s a stew of germs in the best conditions.

If there is an outbreak in your town, you should practice what’s known as social distancing. That means staying at home, rather than going out and about to movies, sports events and other activities. Schools could close, at least temporarily, and people who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.

For now, if you and your kids still haven’t gotten a flu shot, get one.

I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned about Coronavirus?

Yes, but no more than you would be about coming down with the flu. During pregnancy, your immune system can be depressed, which makes you more susceptible to complications from viruses like the flu and chickenpox.

There isn’t much information on how the new coronavirus affects pregnancies, though preliminary research suggests it isn’t likely to be transmitted from a mother to her baby through the womb. A study that followed nine pregnant women who were infected in Wuhan found that all of the newborns, who were delivered via cesarean section, tested negative for the coronavirus, and there were no traces of the virus in the mother’s amniotic fluid, cord blood or breast milk.

The C.D.C. does caution that it has observed miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women infected with other related coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV). A high fever during the first trimester of pregnancy which can happen after infection with the new coronavirus and with illnesses such as a cold or flu can also increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Let me be honest with you, mom to mom, I’m not a doctor. This is just a lot of research that I found by scouring the internet. The truth is none of us want our children to catch something that we know so little about but panic is not the way to protect ourselves. In reality, I think there are probably a lot more cases we don’t know about because symptoms are mild and comparable to the viruses that we’re used to. Most cases will probably go undiagnosed. My advice is to be cautious. Practice good hygiene. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Take care of your health and maybe spend more time at home with your family during the cold and flu season. Use your common sense and mama intuition. Don’t ransack the stores and buy out all the TP, Clorox wipes and face masks because then people that need them won’t have them. It’s not the apocalypse people. It’s scary because it’s new. Be careful and be safe.

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This morning on our drive to preschool, Gabi began asking me her daily quota of questions about death, heaven and God and/or Jesus.  I’m not joking this kid is suddenly obsessed with death and what happens in the after life. Or rather, what happens to people who die. She’s four and shouldn’t be asking these questions, or maybe she should. I just wish she didn’t even have death on her radar yet. I never thought I’d be contemplating how to explain death to children at this age.

It’s my own fault. In July, my estranged Grandmother died. But in the weeks before she died, my presence was requested by her. I hadn’t seen her in about 20 years in any real capacity, save for the 5 minutes she had stopped by baby shower and disappeared just as quickly six years ago. I hadn’t really known her and she had never met either of my girls but I hated to deny a dying woman her last wish.

I decided that I needed to tell the girls about this woman if they were going to meet her. I told them that my grandmother was sick and very old. I was trying to prep them for meeting a woman on her death bed. Of course, my Gabs would ask daily if we were going to see the “sick oldie.” You know how four-year-olds are, they tend to get stuck on repeat.

We never made it to Ohio to say goodbye. After she died, my girls were still asking what happened to the sick oldie. I told them that she had went to God and Abbi has been preoccupied with people dying and what happens to them once they die ever since.

 

God, Jesus,Care Bears, grandma

Gabi: Mommy, is Jesus dead?

Me: Well, Abbi his body died but his soul went to heaven to be with God.

Gabi: Who’s God? Is that him Daddy?

Me: Yes, that is his father.

Gabs: Mom, is Jesus with the sick oldie?

Me: Yes, Abbi. My grandma is in heaven with Jesus.

Gabi: Mommy, how is Jesus in heaven if he is dead?

Me: His body is dead, his soul is in heaven.

Gabs: Mommy, what’s a soul?

Me: It’s what’s inside all of us. It’s what makes us special.

Gabi: Mommy?

Me:Yes, honey.

*Seriously, how long is this ride between schools. This was the longest mile and a half of my life.

God Help me explain death in a way a little brain can digest it.

Gabi: Mommy, do you think God and Jesus are playing with the Care Bears and making the sick oldie feel better?

Me: The Care Bears?

Gabs: Yes, Mommy because  you know what ? The Care Bears live in the clouds just like God and Jesus.

Me: Maybe, honey.

Gabi: Mommy, you know what? Th sick oldie is happy because she is with Jesus, God and the Care Bears. Me know it! Okay, Mommy?

I didn’t get to say goodbye but I’d like to think she is in heaven with God, Jesus and the Care Bears having a good time frolicking above us all and keeping an eye on us.

God, Jesus and the Care Bears this is how you explain death to children.

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As moms, we have so many responsibilities to consider these days when it comes to dealing with your money, and there are so many financial obligations you need to fulfill these days. It is so important to ensure that you are taking steps to look after your money this year. COVID-19 has hit many of us hard, and this has hurt many bank balances across the world. 

Now, there are a lot of expenses you are going to need to pay for this year, but you also need to consider the right changes to protect your finances and ease the pressure and stress of potential money worries. You have so much to consider this year when it comes to making the right financial decisions, and these are some of the key tips you can use that will help you navigate 2021.

Get Better at Saving

Saving is always the most difficult part of managing your finances, and there is a lot that you need to keep in mind with this. It is definitely possible to ensure you start saving more money, and this is certainly something that is going to help you be more comfortable financially. There are loads of ideas that you need to focus on to help with this, and being able to save money for the things that matter in life is really essential. You’re going to need to improve the way you save money, and start trying to set aside a certain amount every week or month in order to get some consistent saving and start building your bank balance back up.  

Consider a Loan

There are a lot of things that you need to think about when it comes to improving your money, and taking out a loan is definitely one of the most effective options that can help with this. There are plenty of loan options you could consider these days, and it is important to try to find one that works for you. Plenti offers a fast and simple lending process that allows borrowers to get the money they might need for emergencies, or for any outgoings they might need to cover. A loan may not be right for everyone, but it is definitely important to consider this as a way of helping you improve your financial situation. Just make sure you read and understand the terms before you commit to taking out a loan, and ensure you’re able to pay it back.  

Cut as Many Costs as You Can

Trying to cut as many costs as possible to free up money and give you more disposable, and bankable, income. There are lots of different things that you need to keep in mind when you are looking to cut costs, and one of the biggest factors to keep in mind is to look at places you might be overspending. We are all guilty of this, and you are going to need to focus on trimming these costs as much as you can. Things like reducing energy bills, spending less on groceries, and focusing only on essentials are just a few of the best ways of being able to reduce costs, and this is something you should think about trying to make the most of this year. 

Invest Your Money

Investing is a sensible use of funds in the current climate, so you need to make sure you are making the right choices for your long-term investments.

There are so many investment options you could consider when it comes to investing your funds these days, and you need to do your research with this. Whether you are choosing stocks & shares, cryptocurrency, precious metals, or other investments, you need to make sure you understand what you are investing in.

Create a Budget

Create a budget for your finances is a great way of being able to keep on top of your finances, and this is something you can start doing as soon as possible. There are a lot of factors that will help you to improve the way you manage your cash, and a budget is essential for making everything clearer and more organized. You need to know where you are spending money and the areas you can cut down on what you’re spending, and this is something that budgeting can help you with. Keeping a record of all the things you’re going to be spending is really important, and this is something that a budget can help you with. 

Mobile Banking

You have so many options to consider when it comes to taking better care of your money, and mobile banking is definitely something you should consider. Try to make use of mobile banking as much as you can, and this is one of the key things that can help you manage your accounts, check your balance, set up things like direct debits, and more. Mobile banking is an excellent way of taking better care of your money, and this is certainly something you have to keep in mind moving forward. Mobile banking is a quick, efficient, and simple way of being able to keep track of your money, what’s coming in, and what you are spending. If you want to take better care of your finances, this is definitely something to keep in mind.

There are plenty of benefits to investing in gold, silver, and other precious metals and it’s possible to get gold for a reasonable price if you do your research. Keep in mind that you need to treat any money you invest as though you aren’t going to see it again, and you should never invest money you can’t afford to lose. 

These are some of the best tips you need to consider when it comes to improving your financial decision-making. Try to make sure you do your best to boss your money and do the best you can to focus on financial freedom and independence. You’ve got to take steps to improve your money management and try to navigate this year in the most stress-free way possible. There are a lot of things that you can do to help take better care of your cash, and this is something that can help you in a big way. 

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Alpha Women, divorce, marriage, strong women, money, finances

Do you think as Alpha Women are taking back their “bossy” and leaning in so hard that maybe we are forcing men out?

Are Alpha Women responsible for causing so many failed marriages and entitled kids who are products of these divorces? FOX news thinks so. Wait a minute…FOX news doesn’t think, they just speak.

I recently watched this video segment on FOX news and was flabbergasted. I was sure that someone had posted an Onion piece posing as a FOX “news” piece but then again, what comes out of FOX news channel these days shouldn’t surprise me. They are the conservative news outlet and apparently, they don’t so much report the news as bend it to their will to support their conservative agenda. Or maybe it was an Onion piece? I kinda hope it is.

Apparently, as we women “lean in”, men are forced to lean out to avoid being completely annihilated. Now that a whopping 24% of women make more money than their husbands, the conservative dogma is about to implode upon itself. (Women typically make 23% less than men, so obviously if these women are making 24% more than their husbands, they are having to work just about 150% harder for that.)

In this particular piece, it was stated that social pressures in the U.S. for men to be breadwinners are what may cause the marital problems. Obviously, the answer is for women to stop being so damn Alpha and let their men do what God intended, take care of women. Only there is one f*cking problem, men don’t always take care of women and secondly, not all women want to be at the mercy of some man to make her dreams come true.

Look, our whole lives, women have been told that in order to succeed in life we need to get married and have children, keep a clean house, cook well and look good while doing it all. We are not supposed to think or have free will if it interferes with the grand scheme of things. If what we want to do interferes with what he wants to do, we are expected o acquiesce because you know… the vagina thing. Just accept our fates already. We have vaginas, they make us weak so we need big, hairy men to take care of us. Huh?

In fact, let’s back up, what constitutes ALPHA WOMEN?

Is FOX News trying to insinuate that strong women are the problem? Are we suppose to teach our girls to bend to the will of men and take less than they deserve just to make the men in their lives feel better? Because I’ve got to tell you, that will never happen in my house. We teach our girls to do their best, work their hardest and go for whatever they want. We teach them that anything is possible. I’m raising Alpha Girls.

The question was raised, “Do women LIKE being taken care of?” Well, I have a two-part answer for that. First of all, what does taken care of mean? Financial security? Shelter? Food? Or emotional support and love?

My first answer is yes! Of course, every person (man and woman) loves to be taken care of in a way that they have a partner that reciprocates unconditional love and support. Do we all like having someone in our life that will carry us through when we are down or give us a hand when we have fallen? Of course, we do. Doesn’t everyone? Do we like being financially stable and being provided a beautiful home and things? Of course, that is human nature. But do I expect my husband to provide my everything? No. He is my partner and I am his. We get through this life together. If being “taken care of” means my husband going to work every day while I stay home and work my tail off and that equals him getting to do whatever he wants while I get to be subservient, then no thank you. We take care of each other over here.

No one is leaning over crushing the other under his or her weight. Sure there are sometimes when he is the star and I let him shine and there are other times when I am leaning in so hard, he picks up all the slack. This is not him doing me a favor or me letting go of my dreams to support his. We do this for one another. No, marriage is not 100% equal all of the time. You are a fool if you think it is. But in the grand scheme of things, if you add up our years together and divide them by when ones been the star and the other has been the wind beneath the wings; it’s just about even.

I don’t make anywhere near as much as my husband does these days but when we were first out of college, I was the only one working while he interviewed for months. We lived together. There was no animosity. I worked while he looked for a job. Every night we sat down together for dinner, both of us had worked all day; one at a place of business the other at home. I appreciated everything he did for our home. I respected him for being a participant in our marriage and supporting me emotionally during that time in our life.

Once we had children, we made the decision that I would stay home. To be honest, I made the decision and he completely supported me. Since he had been home, he knew what had to be done to keep a home running. Once we had the children, he knew I was at home raising our babies. He knew all the other stuff I was doing as well and he supported me. We moved several times throughout our marriage for his dreams and now, he supports me in pursuing mine. When I go to conferences or on press trips, he is able to be flexible at his place of employment. He’ll work from home when I travel. When I have deadlines, he makes dinner. He knows how to give the girls a ballet bun. He takes them to ballet on nights when I need to host a Twitter party or have a Google chat about business.

In our home there are no master and servant roles, there are only 2 people who have loved and supported one another for the past 16 years. There are no man’s work or woman’s work, there are only things that need to get done and we do it…together. The idea that a man would divorce a committed, loving wife for making more money then him I ludicrous and only proves how stupid it is to let male pride and machismo get in the way of happiness.

In truth, the Big Guy says if I ever make enough money to be the sole breadwinner, he’d be more than happy to stay home with the girls and consult for a living. He gets pretty excited at the dream of an early retirement.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that finances most certainly can contribute to the divorce rate but that usually has more to do with a lack of money. Our philosophy has always been that as long as we have one another’s love and support and the true desire to be together, there are very few problems that we couldn’t work through. Next week, we celebrate 15 years of marriage so apparently, what we do has been working for us.

Alpha women, Alpha Men, Alpha Babies and Alpha Dogs, we love them all.

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