I have an idea, friends.

The #decadechallenge is fun I won’t lie. It’s fun to see how much you’ve changed in 10 years – I love a good before and after photo.

But I want to take it a step further because why not?

So instead of just gazing at our #glowups maybe we can use it as a moment of gratitude or heck even a chance for some good ole self-awareness. Try this out with me will ya? Here goes:

That picture on the left, 10 years ago, you’d probably never guess but I was in the midst of an eating disorder. A disorder that I felt enslaved by for a good 3 years, and after that just brought even more body image issues and feelings of self-hate for years to come. I won’t go too far into this because I want to get my point across for you.

Today, a decade later, I am an advocate for good health & wellbeing – it’s my job and I love it. Call me crazy but I think we can learn a lot from our pain. I’d even go as far as saying that the pain you’re enduring today is preparing you for the strength you’ll need tomorrow, or next year, or a decade from now.

In the midst of my disordered eating, body dysmorphia, self-hate, and completely miserable days of existence that I struggled so hard to get out of…I didn’t know it but it took a lot of brokenness to be able to get built up to who I am today.

You guys, my job today is to literally help people through the pains that I suffered through 10 years ago. Coincidence? I think not.

If you are currently struggling, currently in pain, currently feeling broken & burnt out – it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling but my message to you is please don’t do it in vain. We are all hurting in some way, its part of the human experience to feel pain.

What I challenge you to do is to use it to your advantage. You don’t have to justify your pain & you don’t have to understand it. But do use it for good. You may not be able to see the good and the usefulness now, in the midst of your pain but one day you’ll see it clear.

Because one day, you’ll see someone struggling, just like you did with that SAME dreadful pain you experienced and you’ll know – “this is it, this is my time.”

So put your ego aside. Put your status aside. Put everything aside and just BE. Be that good for someone else. Because you know better than anyone what it feels like to experience that specific pain.

We all have mountains and they all seem unbearable to move sometimes.

But what if, what if we were assigned these mountains to show others it can be moved?

What if we used our pain to serve and spread more love and meaning to others? What if we were meant to use that pain to be a light for the ones struggling now?

That’s what I mean. That’s what I mean when I say don’t do it in vain. Move forward from it to learn & grow or heck, even to make someone else’s life better and more meaningful.

Sometimes, it’s not just about you. Ouch, right?

I firmly believe that we were made for one another, we belong to one other.

This is us. This is our experience as humans. So do the good. Be the good. Despite the pain you’ve endured. We are all leaving this world at some point, we may as well make the best of our pain and struggles to spread more love and meaning to this life.

And in another 10 years I hope to say the same thing about my current photo on the right and even MORE.

Keep growing. Keep giving. Keep serving. Keep fricken LOVING y’all.

Because before you know it another decade will go by. And I want to look back and say “HELL YA I did good.”

What do you want to look back and say in 10 years?

THAT is a decade challenge to strive for.

-T

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I can’t do that, I’m a mom.” Then listen up real close because I’m about to get real with you, real fast.

You know that phrase, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”

Yeah, that’s what motherhood is. It makes you strong AF.

No, I’m not being dramatic. Moms are a special kind of specie. Hear me out.

Since becoming a mom I have never felt more powerful and capable as a woman.

I don’t know if its from the 24 hours of labor I endured only to get cut open,
that I have three toddlers and it feels like everything else is easy compared to them,
or just the mere fact that being a mom has taken me through so many life experiences that I’m just a stronger person now.

Whatever the reason, I know that because I’m a mom, I can do anything. And so can you.

Women are like the coolest beings on the planet. (Sorry, guys). We are capable of going through so much. Way more than what we give ourselves credit for.

We make humans for goodness sake. We run companies, serve our country, we save lives, we do it all. We have our babies and pick right back up as if nothing happened.

No big deal. We’re moms.

We go through hours and hours of labor with no food, no rest. We even get cut open and stitched back up, moments later getting handed a baby and acting like you didn’t just almost die from the trauma.

No big deal. We’re moms.

We handle almost everything. We keep our children alive. We’re their personal chef, the house maid, the chauffeur, the storyteller, the personal shopper, the nurse, the referee…you name it, we are it.

But it’s no big deal, we’re moms.

Are you doubting your capabilities? C’mon now, you’re a mom.

You wanna run a marathon?
You want to go back to school?
You want to get a job? Quit a job?
You want to start a business?
You want to take up powerlifting?

No big deal. You’re a mom.

Every day we are proving that all these things are possible. Just take a look around. Did you forget? You were handed a certificate in the hospital that says:

“Certificate of Achievement. Congratulations, you’re a mother. You can do anything now.”

Did you get yours? I laminated mine and hung it up. Reminds me of the badass human being I really am.

Speaking of badass moms, you know who the real MVP’s are? Single Moms. (and yes, dads too). They do it all on their own. I’m not a single mom, yet I’m over here struggling like I am. And that’s okay too.

We’re all struggling in some way.

But one thing I don’t want you to struggle with is your worth. It’s not worth it, mom.

If you’re gonna struggle with something let it be the dishes. Or the laundry. I bet all of us are buried up to our necks in that shit.

But don’t let it be you. Don’t fail to see how valuable you really are. How strong and capable you really are.

Moms are out there everyday questioning their potential, their worth, and even their life.

And we give ourselves so many reasons to doubt ourselves too. And I get it.

  • So you’re still in your pj’s at 3pm and so are the kids? Who cares.
  • So all you fed them was goldfish and nuggets all day? Cool.
  • You didn’t get to the dishes or laundry because you played with your kids today? That’s okay.
  • You didn’t play with your kids at all because of the dishes & laundry? That’s okay too.

Those things don’t tell you how good of a mom you are and they certainly don’t define your self-worth.

This isn’t a game of “Who has it all together vs. Who doesn’t.”
It’s not a test of how Pinterest-worthy your life is.
It’s not a challenge of whether you can admit to 100% sanity by the end of the day.

It’s motherhood. And it’s real.

When you look at your children in the face, when you look at what you’ve created and endured, how could you think for a second that you aren’t capable of doing more? I mean, making a child is one of toughest things we do. Correction–raising a child is one of the toughest things we do.

And we’re still here. We may not be okay all the time, but we’re surviving. We’re doing this.

But it’s no big deal, we’re moms.

They say not all heroes wear capes. In fact we wear spit up, dry shampoo, leggings and a top knot bun. They don’t even see us comin’.

We have the toughest, most beautiful & important job in the world. We do it everyday without missing a beat.

And you’re gonna tell me, “I can’t do XYZ, I’m a mom.”

Correction — You CAN do XYZ because you are a mom.

Because you are a mom, you can do anything.

That’s your superpower. And you gotta start realizing that.

My husband always used to say to me, “Stop saying you can’t. You’re putting a limit on yourself before you even try.”

Now I’m here to tell you the same thing – you’re a mom, the limit does not exist.

So go and do that thing.

Go and do it for yourself. Better yet, do it for your kids.

Just know this: they don’t need a mom who does it all or even has it all.

They need a mom who just does it. Because she wanted to do. Because she needed to.

Because she’s showing her kids that your title doesn’t dictate nor limit you.

You can be a mom and also do whatever the hell you want to do. And you can rock at both….because you’re mom. And you can do anything.

-T

unsplash-logoSharon McCutcheon

(photo cred: Sharon McCutcheon)

SAHM Life: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Ever since I got pregnant with my first child it was a DREAM of mine to stay at home. I mean how awesome is that? Kick back with the baby, cuddles all day, watch some TV while she naps on you and get some errands done. The best part is watching her grow up since I’m home all day with her – how big of a blessing is that?!

Okay, maybe with the first child it was easy peasy SAHM life, at least for me it was pretty chill. But once you throw another baby into the mix things get a bit more complicated. I made the big jump from 1 to 3 kids overnight. Yep, twins! And after that I had even more reason stay home with them because I really wasn’t set on selling my left leg in order to afford three in daycare.

Before I get into why the SAHM life isn’t for me anymore, I want to point out one obvious thing. I’m fully aware of the reality that the grass is always greener on the other side. Moms who work will always want to spend more time with their kids and vice versa: moms who stay at home will most likely jump out of their panties at the first person who offers to watch their kids while they run an errand without them.

The reality is, you’re always going to want what you can’t have. However, I’ve experienced both worlds and nothing has tested my mental health more than staying at home with my kids has.

Yeah, I just said that. And I’m fully aware that some moms might be appalled that I would admit such a thing. And that’s okay.

Disclaimer: I love my kids. I’m grateful and blessed. And I’d like to end this weird stigma around mothers talking negatively about a certain aspect of motherhood. Motherhood is beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s miraculous. But just like anything else, there’s some parts that are not easy and women should feel comfortable discussing these topics with ease, with zero judgement and with solidarity. You’re allowed to vent and still be grateful and in love with your children. Not everything is 100% perfect and beautiful and its okay to talk about the things that aren’t.

Fellow mamas, my undying love and gratitude for them doesn’t discredit the fact that there are some things about motherhood and staying at home that just makes your blood literally boil to the point of explosion and your initial reaction is to just say “adios bitchachos I’m outta here” and walk out into the silence. (Out of the house, that is).

Because really, it’s either that or you let mom rage fall over you again. What’s mom rage, you ask?

It’s this fight-or-flight response when you’re at your wit’s end from the whining, crying, spills, messes, fighting, not listening, throw some general overwhelm, depression and/or anxiety in….mix it all together and that’s mom rage. And it’s scary.

It’s what feels like you’ve just summoned a demon into your body because your physical and mental state are not your own anymore. You’re shaking, you’re hot, you scream at the top of your lungs until your throat hurts and you honest to God could morph into some abominable creature at any moment from this intense rage that just came out of nowhere. Everyone is crying, and now you’re crying, so you escape into your room because you feel like an awful mother who can’t even handle her own kids. “Why did I scream like that? What’s wrong with me?”…. And one of your little minions crawls into bed with you to be comforted, crying and sniffling and calming herself down as you pull her closer… whispering in her ear “I’m sorry. I love you” for the second time that week. And you cry even harder because you can’t believe how you reacted and you don’t want to act like this to your precious children.

You lost your cool again. And it’s probably going to happen again tomorrow. But it feels like you have no control. It just happens.

Moms, dads, kids, anyone reading this….this is mom rage. And we absolutely hate it.

If you’re a mom, stay-at-home or not, you probably get it. I know I don’t speak for all moms, but if you have no idea what I’m talking about and you think I’m a lunatic that shouldn’t even have kids – maybe you’re right. But no, I envy your patience and control. Really, I do. And I swear I’m working on it.

After staying home with three toddlers, I’m ready to say peace out. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I feel like I can be a better mother if I spend some time away. I want to miss them. I want to leave my house, do work with my life that involves more than just my kids. And hold up–there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a SAHM and rocking it. It is no less of a “career” nor is it any easier. I’m just saying that I personally, at this point of my life, want to do more and want to do something different.

Will this cure my mom rage? No. But I have experienced the mental and physical improvement when I take some time to get away for myself.

Not every SAHM has the privilege to go to work or go back to school, I get that. But I’ve decided to do both of those, and it’s going to be a crazy freaking ride but nothing is as scary as staying home with twins, right? Hah, totally kidding….kinda.

Am I just overreacting?

Are you kidding me?! Now I’m overreacting.

An overreaction would be a quick holler at your child and you move on with your day. This kind of rage is debilitating at times. It’s a kind of rage that causes you to slip into a short state of depression, anxiety, or just hopelessness. It’s like a ripple effect for the rest of your day. Any sudden movement from your child and you’re ready to let it fire again. Even an innocent “mommy where are you?” and you’re fuming. You just want to be alone. Because being alone far outweighs petrifying your children with another psychotic outburst.

Hmm…psychotic? That’s how it feels sometimes.

Moms, I leave you with no advice. I’m trying to get a handle on my own mom rage and I want you to know that you’re not alone. You are no less of a mother and you are still a GOOD MOM.

But do take care of yourself, some way some how. Your kids need you to be okay. SAHM or not, taking care of your mental health is for their own good just as much as yours.

One thing is true: you have nothing to be ashamed of.

I want you to know that this is nothing to be ashamed of. Sure it’s a little embarrassing that your neighbors can hear you screaming and spitting balls of fire at your kids on a Tuesday morning before 9AM….but I mean real shame. The shame that makes you feel like a bad mom and effects every other aspect of your life….Let’s have none of that, okay? Because this shiz is hard enough to do, don’t make it even harder on yourself by tearing yourself down for your honest efforts.

I have large bets that either you or someone you love is dealing with mom rage right now. It’s just not something that is casually discussed.

You are not alone

That’s the only thing I can say to you right now, and honestly I think it’s the only thing you need to know. We don’t have to have all the answers and we don’t have to try and make “Mom of the Year.” Pshh. Okay.

But when you’re in the midst of your mom rage and you storm off to your room to be alone again, just know that this crazy mom is thinking of you, and I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Your kids are just A-holes sometimes. And they probably get that from their father. (kidding)

Maybe your husband just doesn’t understand and you feel completely alone in this. And man I know how lonely that feels. But please, know that you’re so not alone in this. You have me, and most likely millions of other moms who just don’t know how to get the conversation going. But I just started it for you right here, okay?

Start talking. Get support. You are enough and you are loved.

Join 20 other followers

Confession: Play dates were NOT my jam until I found this place.

Play dates just gave me social anxiety because it meant I had to take all three of my very young children outside the house and who knows what was going to happen.

For me, this meant that my introverted self had to meet up with another mom and make small talk while my kids destroyed her house and fought with her kids.

Okay, not every play date is like that but the ones I imagined sure are when it comes to taking my little minions out somewhere.

A Little Room to Play

Very recently a friend shared on Facebook about this play room called “A Little Room to Play” and she invited me to go with her when it opened.

I’ll be honest I wasn’t thrilled because as I just shared with you, play dates weren’t really my activity of choice.

It was the perfect time because I was dealing with the ever-present “stay-at-home mom depression” and I needed a reason to get myself out of the house a couple times a week.

Moms, this place is so stinking cute. My kids love it and more importantly – I love it.

Here’s why:

  • It’s the size of a coffee shop. Meaning: you always have eyes on your kids! #noneedtopanic
  • Speaking of coffee, there’s a coffee bar with free refills for members
  • It’s owned by a local mom, Rachel Ellis, and I’m always up for supporting local moms
  • She offers Yoga classes upstairs while she watches the kids in the playroom directly downstairs for you – how awesome is she?!
  • My kids feel at home when we are there. My 4-year-old calls Rachel by her name and asks to play with her and to help her on the monkey bars. (And Rachel always helps so I can sit down and drink my coffee peacefully!)
  • Rachel (and other workers) are constantly cleaning up and keeping the toys organized so you can sit down on the couch and chat or play with your kiddos without having to clean up the Legos they dumped out, for the third time. (I still tidy up of course)
  • Although its nice and small, there is a good variety of things to play with in there including a mini jungle gym, coloring area, reading area, play kitchen, push toys, games, blocks, puzzles, and even an area for infants with baby toys.
  • It’s fun for all of your youngins. I would say a good age range for this place is infant to about 6 years old.
  • The room has free Wi-Fi and plenty of room to sit and get comfortable
  • I can make this list longer, but you can go and see for yourself!

Overall, I feel so at home when I’m there and it’s a nice little escape to bring the kids for 2 hours so they can get out of the house, play with other kids and more importantly NOT trash my house. Am I right?!

Check out A Little Room To Play website for daily pass rates, membership pricing and events or click here for the Facebook page!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Will you check out this cute little place? Let me know & we can arrange a play date!