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Don’t Should All Over Yourself

18 Feb


This week I had the awesome privilege of catching up with a former co-worker.  During our conversation, she expressed a desire to stay home with her children and an overwhelming sense of discouragement, convinced that full-time employment prevented her from being the mom she longed to be.

I understand.  Up until Baby #3 I worked full-time.

I understand having to rely on others for help, the pressures of finding an amazing (affordable + trustworthy) nanny, and a full-day, loving preschool.  I understand the guilt that accompanies a sunrise drop off and a sun set pick up.  And, in the same breath, I realize how fortunate we are that I can stay home with the kiddos.

It is a blessing.

I love it

…don’t get me wrong.

But, to be honest, when I was working outside of the home, I envisioned “stay-at-home life” as days filled with friends and their kids, manicures and pedicures, flowers, rainbows and such.  Somehow the ideas of constant entertainment, teaching and rearing, sibling rivalry, laundry, chores, and days filled with adolescent interaction were not as exhausting as they most definitely are!

I used to feel guilty for leaving my child.  Now, I feel guilty for wanting to leave.

It’s important to remember that leaving and staying are two very drastic ends of a spectrum.  As mothers, we need a sense of balance!  Day in and day out I have to remind myself that I am a Woman, I am a Wife, and I am a Mama.  Each of these roles requires nurturing and respect.

Each day I must deliberately ask myself:

How am I appreciating myself as a woman?  Am I taking care of my body (emotionally, spiritually, physically)?  Am I exercising? Eating right?  Cultivating relationships?

Am I  a good wife?  Am I meeting my husband’s needs?  Physically?  Emotionally?  Dutifully (Yes, I said that!)?  Is my man confident he is valued, respected, loved, and appreciated?

How am I doing as a Mama?  Do my kids wake up every morning confident they are loved?  Do my kids crawl into bed each night assured they are special, irreplaceable, treasured?  Do I respect their personalities, encourage their strengths, and challenge their weaknesses?

Life is overwhelming.

On any given day I am happy to self talk about all the things I should have done better; about all the things I should not have done; about all the ways I should have reacted.


I cannot should all over myself!  Don’t should all over yourself!

Take each day hour by hour.  Some hours are better than others!  Cover yourself with grace.  YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB!!! And, if you royally suck one hour, make the next hour twice as good.

Pick yourself up and move on.

Ultimately, we need to support, love, and encourage one another towards greatness.

What a privilege it is to work both inside and outside the home.  One works to provide shelter and one works to cultivate it, both work out of love for those they love.

Enjoy Yourself.


Pinterest Picks: “Favorite Tuesday”

13 Dec
Give it up for Good! Mason Jar from Lil'Light'O'Mine

Give it up for Good! Mason Jar from Lil'Light'O'Mine!

Two days ago, I made a committment.  Every Tuesday, +/- a day, depending on Brett’s schedule, I will highlight my  favorite Pinterest discoveries.   For each favorite, I will highlight  the pin, the website/ blog from which the Pin originated, and also add some personal thoughts.  One pin and blogger will simply take the cake.

These are my parameters:

(1) My  favorite pins inspire me to be a better Woman, Wife, and Mama.
(2) The source is someone who shines as a Woman, Wife, and /or Mama as well.

Don’t be shy, any suggestions or recommendations you have about ways to organize these selections are welcome.  My hope is to bless you with some of the amazing creations and ideas I have found!

I will briefly describe and highlight my first two favorites.  Then I will expand on my absolute, hands down, favorite discovery of the week!

So, here we go, my top three:

3) “Let all that you do be done in love” image from Joy’s Hope.  I have a crush on this blog and Joy for that matter, although we have never met!  Apparently Joy has been writing a blog for years (and is a pro) but, as a recent stay at home mom, new to blogging, I have just discovered her – you should too!  Her sweet, bright, playful thoughts are inspiring and simply happy!  She loves her family and Jesus; it is apparent in every detail of her blog!

2) Crab, Octopus, and Fish ocean animal handprint  art from Kristal at Mama At Home.  This idea is brilliant.  My kids and I have already completed the project!  Her ideas and thoughts are real.  I would like to think if I ran into her at the park we would have a great down to earth conversation.

1) Far and away my favorite discovery of the week comes from Lil’Light’o’Mine.  Courtney has created an amazing Christmas tradition to be shared and cherished for years to come.  Overwhelmed with the buying, hustle, and consumption of the holiday season, she designed a fabulous project called: “Light ‘Em Up”  Courtney and her daughters are committing to give the gifts of good deeds, smiles, and cheer to people in their community.  She offers free downloads of their efforts so you and your family can participate as well.  In addition, the ideas, when packaged in a festive mason jar, make an amazing Christmas gift.  While this idea is designed to follow advent, why not up the number to 52 and commit to do a random act of kindness, once  a week, for a year?  Definitely take the time to check out this awesome Mom and this life changing idea.

Well, those are my amazing discoveries!   I hope you have found a little gem to take on your way to becoming your most amazing self.   I will ramble some more this week as time permits, but if not,  until next Tuesday…

Enjoy Yourself!

Grand Company

18 Oct
The reality of lingerie, as opposed to the fan...

Image via Wikipedia

I truly believe we are all amazing.  Many times we get bogged down with the pressures of being women, wives, and mamas.  It’s a pity we aren’t more honest about our insecurities because I think we would feel better knowing we aren’t on a journey flying solo.   While I appreciate those perfect mamas who are able to look spectacular, juggle their household duties, execute a career, calmly nurture their children, and round out a day with a Victoria’s Secret Strip tease for their husband, I would much rather swap stories with the other women.    The amazing women who realize they are works in progress.  The women who can share their struggles, laugh at their mistakes, and encourage me to look beyond the challenges of today.   So feel better all you mighty, sweet mamas you are not alone in your foibles.  You are in grand company!