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Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Being such, I had opportunity to share the following at my MOPS group this morning. I hope it reaches those that need to hear it. <3


I remember holding 6-week-old Canaan, looking down at him and weeping. I had never loved a person like I loved him. He was perfect. But looking into my son’s face, I felt a whole new emptiness and it stung. Naively, I thought getting pregnant again and finally having a baby would heal wounds. I was shocked to feel those wounds sting with such intensity while cradling my precious newborn.

I wanted Canaan. But I also wanted “her”. But the realization that having both was never an option hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t understand how joy and grief could be so deeply entwined.

I had what I wanted, a baby. But I also had the scars losing our first baby made on my heart. Those scars forever changed me and who I am as a mother and as a woman.

I was in control

Before my miscarriage, I thought I was in control. I got to decide when we were going to have a baby. But losing our baby showed me I was literally just a vessel and that God was weaving together our family, not me. With each loss I am reminded that had any one of those babies lived, I wouldn’t have Canaan. Rylann. Hadley. And as much as miscarriage hurts, the thought of not having any one of those amazing kids makes my heart hurt. So I just have to trust that God has the vision for our family and it’s not mine to create, it’s only mine to accept His gifts with open hands.

Not me

Before my miscarriage, I thought I was above losing a baby. My family was fertile. My mom never lost a baby. So no way would I lose one. But I did lose one, then three more. I thought for sure I’d have my one miscarriage and get to move on with other healthy pregnancies but that’s not my story. Instead my story is that of a woman that gets to teach three babies the love of God and four who are already enjoying that rest with Him we all long for.

Not so free membership

Before my miscarriage, I had no idea that after losing a baby I’d get membership to a club no one wants to be in yet somehow embraces new members in ways unimaginable. Fellow loss moms rallied around me. They showered me with gifts but most of all of understanding. We are a strong group of women that not only love babies here on earth, but love babies on the other side of earth. We know all of our babies ages, even the ones who didn’t get to celebrate their birthdays with us. And only we know that gut wrenching emptiness felt when your body fails to do the one thing it should do, protect your baby. None of us want to be here but we’re so thankful we get to be the ones to help new members of our club.

Dark Clouds

Before my miscarriage I had no idea that every future pregnancy would have a dark cloud hanging over it. Those early weeks were spent with bated breath. Each bathroom trip brought a sense of dread. Every day brought questions of whether or not we should fully love this baby or if we should protect our hearts in case this one didn’t stick. But I try to remind myself that even if their time here is short, I’ve played a small part in helping their souls be with Jesus. So of course I should love them and celebrate them!

Forever Changed

Before my miscarriage I had no idea that someone so small could change not only the course of my life but also the very fabric that makes me, me. I’m not above stress and frustration of daily child rearing but at the end of the day I look at my sleeping children and praise God that He saw fit to finally and completely grant me my heart’s desire. Remembering those feelings of emptiness and desperation helps me feel a little more grateful when these tiny people I’m raising invade every bit of my personal space because I’m thankful I have them here to share space with.

They all matter

In a lot of ways, I wish I didn’t know what this was like but in a lot of ways I’m thankful God entrusted me with this experience and ministry of sorts. At times I feel unjustified to mourn the loss of babies so early in pregnancy. Satan would have me think that because we never saw a heartbeat or never felt them move or never saw their face that my grief and my story does not matter. But just in preparing this for you all today, I am seeing that my story does matter. My pain mattered and most of all MY children matter, all seven of them. And your children matter, all of them.

 

Have you experienced a loss? Do you want to speak their name? Can I pray for you?

 

 

Introverted. Quiet. Shy. Hermit. Wallflower. Observer. Silent. Anti-social.

These are all words that describe me. They are also easy to say and use as labels for myself.

Since 4th grade, I’ve been quiet. I was told I was precious a few too many times and decided to shut up and lock up the other parts that made me, me. No one could say I was precious or cute or funny if I didn’t talk and show them.  I talked so little, kids referred to as the “girl of many faces”.

Since then, I have navigated school, college, friends and my career being the quiet girl. The one most people didn’t even notice. I was so and so’s friend, often without a name and certainly never remembered.

In my mind, if I could achieve ultimate anonymity, I didn’t have to live up to any other standard than my reputation as being the quiet one. I could dodge confrontation and responsibility because I was lurking in the shadows.

Lesson Learned

Hiding from others behind this silent facade, has also allowed me to hide from myself. I have been in denial of who I am and have believed the lies that “things don’t happen to me” and “I’m not that person”. I’ve given myself a pass on achieving anything more than daily survival.

It’s affected everything from the way I dress, to the guys I dated, to the way I don’t speak up about my ideals and principles. I’ve believed I’m a nobody and that nobody is interested in anything about me.

I believe this is what’s called Impostor Syndrome. Perhaps not an actual syndrome in my case but the sentiment is the same. Imagine my own surprise when I felt this undeniable tug to start blog and build an Instagram following. I want to be a world changer, or at the very least, change my own little world and leave a legacy for my kids. But why me? Why would people care a thing about who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going?

I have interests, hobbies and qualifications but I struggle to see them as anything more than self-claimed and therefore illegitimate. I see other influencers and their success and confidence and think, “that’ll never be me because I lack the credentials and personality”.

It Changes Now!

Today I’m going to own who I am! These are the things that make me who I am and with any luck, there will be a few things that intrigue you enough to keep you coming back for more!

 

 

 

I am:

A believer and a Christian

My parents took me to church regularly and taught me Christian values. I’ve had my weak times but I am finding my way and making my beliefs my own. There’s still a long way to go but can’t thank God enough for His patience with me.

A wife

After 11 years you’d think this one would have sunk in but sometimes I still feel like we’re just playing house instead of building a meaningful marriage. But whoa, 11 years is a pretty big deal!

A mother to 3

Yes, I birthed them and spend almost every waking hour with them but I still don’t always feel like a mom who is responsible for the physical, emotional and spiritual upbringing of these three little people.

A home school educator

Our son is going to a charter school this year, but prior to that, I’ve schooled our children at home. It hit me recently how I have never owned that! Perhaps it’s because my approach is “life is our school” but even still, I have never felt like a home schooling mom. I’ve definitely felt like a fake which has no doubt caused some missed opportunities.

(Shew this is getting harder….)

A friend

I’ve recognized a pattern in myself, eventually with friendships I start doubting my worth to the other person and I simply walk away before they have a chance to reject me. Why would anyone want to be my friend??? I see this now and am fighting hard to keep showing up for the women in my life.

A trusted adviser

I was accepted into a psychology program the same day I got a design job offer. I took the job. But the desire to help people never went away. I regularly get calls and texts from friends and family asking for my thoughts on relationships, parenting, health and what they should hang on their walls. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it!

An interior designer

I’ve neglected my own home and haven’t pursued a design career but the $26K I’ve spent the last 15 years paying off, gives me every right to claim this one! Yet I’ve spent years denying that this title belongs to me. But watch out world, or at least family because this house is about to get glammed up!

A graphic designer

Okay, this one feels like a stretch. I haven’t been professionally trained but rather self taught. Welcome to the school of Google and YouTube, right?!?! I’ve designed multiple logos as well as advertisements and other business graphics. So I’m going to own this, at least so far as being a “budding designer”.

A blogger

This one is hard to claim. I’ve been dreaming this dream for years but assumed people would think, “who does she think she is? She’s not a blogger!” But I have a website, I’ve written blogs and I have to start somewhere! So I guess I’m a blogger! Eek!

Valuable

I’m unique and was created to fulfill a need in this world. I may not always know what that is, but I know God thought enough to make me and make me who I am. Mine is a story to tell and it may not be filled with major plot twists and excitement but I guarantee it’s a story that will resonate with more than a few people! I’m on a mission to find those people!

I am ME!

Do you have trouble owning who you are? How has it changed the direction of your life? Will you comment below with some of the things that make you uniquely you?

 

 

I got this crazy idea last year when it was time to buy fall clothes: coordinating capsule wardrobes. I executed it, loved it and knew I would do the same for future seasons! So I just purchased Spring/Summer wardrobes for my kids and couldn’t be more excited!

Remember my post about “Faking it ‘til I make it”? Capsule wardrobes made that list! SO I thought I’d dedicate a whole blog to it and give you some tips for curating your own family capsule wardrobes!

1. Decide who is participating

My biggest goal is to have my children coordinate. Since they usually need whole new wardrobes each season right now it’s easy to ensure all of their clothes fit my capsule rules.

I am not a fashionista, but nothing thrills me more than to have my entire family coordinate, especially for worship. So if my husband and I need new things, I make sure they coordinate with what I’ve selected for the kids so we can coordinate occasionally.

2. Choose your color palette

I pick a few neutrals, then add in a few pops of color. For fall and winter, we did black, gray and navy with olive green, burgundy and blush pink. This gave me plenty of options to keep the clothing choices masculine for my son and feminine for my daughters.

For spring and summer, I focused a little more on color. This means it’s not quite as versatile but still plenty of options! But I knew I didn’t want to be a neutral heavy as I was for the cooler months. So our colors are gray, navy, white, coral/light pink, aqua/light blue with a little red for my son.

I will also say, that I do generally pick up a few outfits intended for play outfits. I opt for buying new because I’ve been able to get good deals. But this may be a place you want to stop in your local thrift store and grab some play clothes. I use play clothes as a time to break from our color palette. My 6 year old LOVES color. So this is when I let her experiment with color. Otherwise, I’d probably be tempted to stick to the rules here too. Ha!

 

3. Decide what items you’re looking for

Capsules help you simplify. You will not be buying all the things! Yay, for your budget but you do have to plan ahead and decide what’s needed.

I decide what is the minimum I think we need and buy that capsule style. That usually leaves room for me or grandparents to pick up a few fill in pieces throughout the season. Because we all know Target likes to show us things we can’t live without!

This was my list for my son:

  • 2 pairs of nice shorts
  • 5-6 nice shirts in a mix of button up, polo and nice tees
  • 3-4 athletic shorts to play and sleep in
  • 3-4 coordinating t-shirts for play and sleep
  • 1 more pairs of jeans
  • Flip flops
  • Maybe a pair of Croc type shoes to play in
    (He already has 2 pairs of dress pants, a pair of jeans and boat shoes.)

This was my list for my girls:

  • 3-4 dressy dresses
  • 3-4 casual dresses (good for Wednesday night Bible study and just out around town)
  • 3-4 pairs of coordinating bike shorts for under dresses
  • 3-4 shirts that also match the bike shorts for around town
  • 1 pair of denim Bermuda shorts
  • 1 pair of brown Cowgirl boots
  • 1 pair of sandals (probably silver or gold)
  • 1 pair of play shoes (usually slip on canvas shoes or jellies)

We stay home a lot and we can hang out in play clothes a lot. If your family is more social, you may want to up the nicer outfits. But I try to shoot for about a week’s worth of clothes.

4. Shop no more than 3….4 stores, tops

There are so many options of places to shop, it would be easy to become overwhelmed. But another bonus is that stores tend to put out collections that already coordinate. So that’s a little less work for you!

I typically shop at Kohl’s, Target and Old Navy. This season I also grabbed a few of H&M’s jersey dresses for the girls!

For what it’s worth, I find Kohl’s works best for my girls. Especially since they still enjoy coordinating. I have one daughter still in toddlers and one just moved into the big girl sizes. Kohl’s is really good about having similar styles and fabrics across the sizes. This may mean that the girls have something in the same fabric, but my older daughter has a bit more mature style or they will have the same style, but different fabrics. I like this because we don’t want to be 100% matchy, matchy, but also because I know my 6 year old will hand down some of her wardrobe to my now 2 year old. This avoids years and years of the same outfits, ya know?

I was able to purchase my son’s entire wardrobe from Target which is great because I LOVE the Cat and Jack line! It’s always cute and it’s inexpensive but I haven’t found it to be cheaply made! While I haven’t ever tried to take advantage of it, C&J has a 1 year guarantee! So I feel even better about my purchase.

No matter where you decide, try really hard to buy the bulk from a few stores!

 

5. Shop online

I know, I know, there’s a certain thrill of going out and shopping in person. You can touch and feel and get it all done without waiting for shipping. But here’s a few reasons online is better:

1. You can take your time and make good choices.

Remember one goal in this is to have a carefully curated wardrobe full of stuff we love. Not stuff we bought because we kind of liked it.

It took me 4 days to finally decide what I wanted to buy. I shopped back and forth between websites until I found exactly what I wanted. I also was able to remove a few items from my cart once I saw they didn’t fit my rules, I couldn’t find coordinating pieces, were more expensive than I wanted or just weren’t needed. This really cut back on impulse buying and therefore, shopper’s remorse.

2. You can compare items and pricing between stores.

Some staple items can be bought at multiple stores. Like girls’ bike shorts. We buy these to go under dresses and I usually buy t-shirts to coordinate too. They were $10 at one store and $4 at the other. And knowing both brands, they’re the same quality. So I can save that $6 to buy a t-shirt!

Also, some items like t-shirts, those bike shorts and my sons pull on shorts, are available in special 2 pack deals online only. This usually saves about $1. Just be sure you need both colors otherwise it’s not really a deal.

3. You can use coupon codes and cash back websites.

I never ever make an online purchase without Googling codes. This time the pickings were slim but I was able to find a few. Some stores like H & M will offer you 25% and free shipping for signing up for their newsletter.

I also use Ebates when I remember. I forgot to with Kohl’s but I think I did end up getting about $5 cash back from the other stores. Not a ton but it adds up and better in my pocket than theirs!

 

6. Make sure every item can be worn with at least two other items

This is really what makes the difference in a capsule wardrobe. This is why you choose that tight color palette. Things need to be versatile. So shorts are worn with a tank and a tee for my son or a dress and t-shirt for my girls. But I also make sure each shirt can be worn with multiple bottoms: jeans, shorts, pants, etc.

This also really helps kids who are learning to pick out their own clothes. They can freely mix and match without you worrying about them looking silly or wearing the wrong pants. It also helps when you are behind on laundry. Those pants are dirty? No problem, wear the other ones!

 

7. Keep shoes simple

Were you shocked at how few shoes I buy for my kids? We have 5 people in our family. If we have more than a few pairs of shoes we’d have to build a house for our shoes!

My girls get brown Cowgirl boots. They look super cute with dresses, keep their feet and legs warmer during the cooler spring days and dry during April showers and can be worn into the fall and winter too. The girls really get their wear out of the boots!

I choose silver or gold sandals over white because not all outfits look good with white. Silver and gold just seem more neutral and let’s face it, who doesn’t like shiny shoes?

We get jellies or Crocs for play shoes. These clean easily and can also double as water shoes when they play with the hose or go to the splash pad.

My son gets canvas boat shoes and has since he was tiny. They look nice for worship but also look great with shorts! He can wear them without socks and most of the time are super cheap.

I also usually get him a pair of brown flip flops. Again, versatile and easy for him to slip on as we run out the door for our various summer activities.

 

8. A few final tips if you’ve never had a capsule wardrobe

1. You will wear things over and over. That’s the point. So make sure you love them and get over the fact that people might notice.

2. Pay attention to how you launder. Since your choices are fewer, things will get washed more often. Choose laundry soap that isn’t harsh on your clothes, re-wear things when you can and maybe even hang some things to dry to prevent fading. This is something I wish I had paid more attention to with our fall/winter things. Some are looking pretty worn.

3. Don’t over-analyze things. Don’t over plan. Don’t wait too long for the perfect deal or perfect outfit.

Wanna see what I bought?

I posted everything on Pinterest! Be sure to follow me in case I add more!

Your Turn!

Have you done a capsule wardrobe or a minimalist wardrobe?

If not, I hope this encourages you to give a capsule wardrobe a chance! It’s been great for our family! Be sure to tag me on IG with your shopping haul (@intentionallyunplanned)!!!

None of us want to be the “hot mess mama” but in these years of littles it’s just bound to happen at least time to time. Babies, moves, job losses, new jobs, losing my dad, new churches and regular life stuff have kept me in survival mode for my 10-year mothering career. I’ve been the very definition of “hot mess”!

But mama, lucky for you, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned how to cheat the system. And I know how to “fake it ‘til I make it”!

1. Drink LOTS of coffee!

Or at least some hot tea or water…something that gives you LIFE! My chosen poison is coffee. And oh, how I adore coffee. Stick around…you’ll see this theme a lot!

And while you’re at it, invest in an Ember mug. Need to poop mid-coffee? Maybe your toddler needed to poop mid-coffee? Forget where you put your cup? No worries! Ember keeps it your perfect temp so when you do get another moment of peace (do those really exist?) your coffee will still be as perfect as when you left it!

2. Meal Plan

I’ve done this so many ways. You can ask your family to make suggestions, you could keep a running list of ideas or you can just have some staple meals. That’s honestly how I’ve handled things most. I know what we like and repeat meals a couple times a month. This makes grocery shopping easier too!

Recently, I did splurge on an eMeals subscription. Their app has greatly improved since the last time I subscribed! I favorite meals so I can save them even after the menus expire. Then I add them to the week’s meal list.  And my favorite part? You can go directly from eMeals to your grocery store’s website! Which brings me to my next point…

 

3. Order Online Pick-up!

When I was pregnant with my third, the grocery gods shined down on my locale and gave us moms the gift of all gifts: Online grocery pick up!

I personally love Kroger because I can use my Plus card to earn fuel points. With Kroger, you can also add e-coupons to your Plus card and if you’re a loyal shopper they even give you personalized coupons! Annnnd, you can link your card to Ibotta to get even more bang for your buck! (I am all about stacking and saving the money! Get a $20 bonus by using code: wnapoox at sign up!)

But whatever store you shop, this has revolutionized grocery buying for our family! Lately I’ve been meal planning and then grocery shopping on Thursday evening after the kids are in bed. Then I choose a Friday afternoon pick up for us to grab after our weekly library trip!

Before you lament the $5 service charge, let me say, IT. IS. WORTH. IT! For one, who really wants to lug 3 kids to the grocery? Never mind that I have consistently spent at least $80 MORE any time I’ve opted for in person shopping! I will gladly pay $5 to save $80! Still not convinced? You get the fee waved for your first 3 orders. I guarantee you’ll be hooked after that!

No Kroger (or Kroger family stores) in your area? Here’s a coupon for $10 off your first Walmart order!

 

4. Get an Instant Pot

Have you hopped on this bandwagon yet? I got my first IP in 2015….before they were super cool because I’m apparently a trendsetter. HA!

Anyway, I use mine several times a week. It was especially helpful when I wasn’t on my menu planning game and would without fail act surprised at 4 pm that I had to cook dinner yet again. Except all of our meat was frozen. But with the IP that wasn’t a problem! We went from frozen to cooked in as little as 20 minutes!  It also saved us from so much take out!

And we really love how tender the IP cooks meat. This has been huge for the picky eaters that live with me!

Needless to say we love it and it’s no surprise I asked for a new one for Christmas! The new one even makes yogurt! I had planned to sell my older one but guess what, I find plenty of opportunity to use both!

 

5. Use Paper Plates

I know, I know, it’s not very “green” of me to suggest this. But during my third pregnancy we starting eating on paper plates. This makes kitchen clean up super easy and leaves room in the dishwasher to fit in the pots and pans too. It saves so much time!

Bonus tip: Line your baking sheets with parchment paper too!

6. Let your kids sleep in their clothes

Around here we live in comfy clothes. So it’s really no surprise that the kids often settle into bed in the clothes they wore all day.

Why does this make my life easier? Two words: less laundry! But I also use it to my advantage sometimes. On mornings we have to get up earlier than usual and we also have to leave the house, I’ll have the kids put on suitable clothes to wear out the next morning! Then they can roll out of bed, eat some breakfast and hop in the car. No more nagging to hurry up and get dressed! Revolutionary!

 

7. Invest in Capsule Wardrobes

Speaking of clothes, this fall I decided I wanted our entire family to not only have capsule wardrobes but to have coordinating capsule wardrobes. I chose a tight color palette and only bought things that fit that palette. It was life changing!

Our colors for fall and winter were gray, black, burgundy, blush, olive and navy. I tried to make sure things could be mixed and matched. The girls had dresses and shirts to match each pair of leggings. (I shopped mainly at Old Navy for me, Kohls for the girls and Target for my son. Hubby had enough clothes, many of which were in our chosen colors.)

This helped when laundry wasn’t caught up because there were multiple options to wear with each item. It also made me feel really, really together when we ALL coordinated with each other without even trying! Coordinating as a family just makes my heart extra happy!

Going along with this, we also keep our shoe choices super limited. Most of us have 2 or 3 pair that can go with multiple outfits. With 5 people in our family, that’s still a lot of shoes but it’s a whole lot less  than it could be!

 

But wait! 

I know I said 7 but I want to share one more thing that’s been helpful but it  just be the most “together” suggestion so it’s a bonus tip, when you’re ready!

Ignore all of the super creative, super artsy, over the top beautiful journals on Pinterest. Instead, grab you a notebook and make it yours. This is your book to write EVERYTHING in! And I mean, everything! Calendar, grocery list, reading list, budget, next week’s to do list. Every.thing!

You don’t have to focus on it being pretty, though I have found that I enjoy practicing lettering and making the pages pretty. Instead focus on the fact that every single thing you write down will go in this book.

Why is this helpful? Have you ever jotted down sometime important only to misplace it? Yep, me too. Not anymore! Now everything is in a single, albeit, messy notebook. Also I figure if I die, hubby will have half a clue of what’s going on with our finances! Ha!

Your Turn! 

Tell me what things you have done to simplify life and help you feel more together? I can’t wait to learn some new tricks!

 

 

The smell of coffee wafted down the hallway. As I approached the door, quiet chatter spilled out from the dimly lit room. Stepping inside, a feeling akin to coming home washed over me. The day I had waited for all summer was here.

 

I grabbed myself a cup of coffee. Coffee I had not made myself which is the very best kind of coffee there is. I filled my plate with the brunch spread laid out before me and made my way to a table.

 

The Choice…

I chose an empty table. I’m really not sure why other than in the moment, my old ways took hold. I found myself questioning if I had made the right choice. If I had sat at an occupied table I might have made new friends, but I may have also taken a seat that they had hoped someone else would sit in. I didn’t want to subject others to my presence. So, I sat at the empty table and immediately regretted the decision. I wondered if I would be seen as unfriendly or worse yet, a snob. Then “what if no one else came and I had to sit here the entire time by myself”, also popped into my head.

 

I quietly picked at my food and sipped the hot coffee. Soon a new face appeared and asked if she could sit at the table. “Yes! Please do!” Relief washed over me. But the very next moment I began to realize that while having someone to sit with is nice, especially when I was the only one sitting alone, it also meant that I would now have to manage some sort of conversation. See, if you sit with a group you can sometimes fly under the radar and just be a silent observer. Even still, the relief of not sitting alone, of being worthy of someone else’s company, was greater than any unsurety and anxiety.

 

Old Habits Die Hard

I don’t know that I will ever truly feel comfortable in a room full of people. I don’t know that I will ever shake the feeling of being an outsider. I doubt I’ll ever NOT over analyze every social interaction I ever have. But I do know one thing, being able to get out of bed, get myself and a couple kids ready, drive to the next town over and walk into that room of other women is something I’m insanely proud of because it wouldn’t have happened before a year ago!

 

In the moment, I am more than happy to stay at home. It’s my safe cocoon. It’s the place of unlimited coffee, far too many afghans and of course my fireplace. With six of us living here, it rarely, if ever feels lonely. But then it sometimes hits me, I can’t find my tribe if I never leave my house. I long for coffee dates, strolls through Target and trips to the zoo. More than that, I know that once this season of full time motherhood passes, the house will feel lonely. I will need that tribe more than ever.

 

An Answer

This is why when someone suggested I find a MOPS group (Moms of PreSchoolers) to join, I did. I didn’t and still don’t know if this will be the place I find my tribe. But I do know that those two mornings a month we spend together have done so much for me! Life changing is probably not even an exaggeration.

 

I recall one of my first meetings. I forget the exact conversation, but we were supposed to talk at our table about a certain question the leader had asked. It came up that every single woman at that table felt that same uncomfortableness when they walked into the room. I realized then that I’m not the only weirdo. Others feel like they don’t belong too. Knowing this made it easier to go to the next meeting and the mom’s night out and the play date at a local farm. Sure, there were moments at all of those that I felt insecure, uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get back home to my cozy sofa. But I also knew that every other mama was feeling the same way.

 

A Change

What would it do for motherhood if we took the time to have these conversations? If through those conversations, we were able to close the gap that we imagine is between us and every other mother. What if, what if, we found a way to rid ourselves of judgment, competition and ever other ugly thing that stops us from being able to bond with other women that are walking out this same journey with us. What if we actually celebrated differences? What if we took the time to learn more about those differences and maybe, just maybe, we could come to have mad respect for every mother who is just trying to do her best.

 

This motherhood gig isn’t easy. But friendship can be. Or at least it can be easier. So mamas, let down your guard. Go meet some other mamas. Drink some coffee together. Be awkward together. Find that tribe that will cheer you on and keep you doing through the hard! I promise you, you are worthy of friendship and someone is waiting for someone just like you to walk into their life! Go find her!

 

 

Find Your Tribe!

Do you feel like you’ve found your tribe? Where did you find them? If you haven’t, have you be courageous enough to look for it?

 

Interested in MOPS? Click here to find a group near you!

As I sip my afternoon cup of coffee, I glance around to see my living room in all its messy glory. There’s leftover snacks on the end table. A doll car at my feet. My husband’s shoes are in the same place they landed when he kicked them off last night.  The sofa is for once, surprisingly, not covered in last week’s art projects but I don’t even want to think about the “trail mix” that’s under it! This scene is probably expected considering that I’m a mother.

 

Perfectionist

But what if I told you I was a perfectionist? Would you believe me? Or would you laugh in my face because after all, a true perfectionist would have a spotless home despite of her three children.

 

I can’t believe I’m sharing this!

But believe me. I’m a perfectionist. You see, I had the luxury of growing up alone and getting to do things MY way. This let me cultivate some pretty strong perfectionism qualities. Need more proof? Somewhere buried deep in the depths of my mother’s basement there are pictures in which ever strand of hair in my bangs are equally spaced and sprayed in place. You could also probably find evidence of my graduating college Summa Cum Laude. My childhood toys still have lots of life left in them and any that are broken, met their fate at the hands of my children (little savages!).

 

Plot Twist!

But as with any good story, this one has a plot twist. In my case, his name is Marshall and I stole his last name. He’s far from perfect but somehow has perfectly taught me the beauty in letting go, loosening up and going with the flow. Because of him, I, now, consider myself a recovering perfectionist. I’m learning to embrace this crazy unplanned adventure we’re living together and am beyond thankful this man came into my life!

 

Still though, in my dreams, my house is spotless. My kids wear perfectly coordinated clothes and never get dirty. I never yell, I read to my kids all day and plan elaborate craft projects. And I always cook delicious, organic meals that everyone eats and loves every last bite. I’m a size 8 and have a well toned body that doesn’t even hint to its history of growing three humans. I have lots of friends and we all take turns planning perfect parties in our perfectly maintained gardens.  I also enjoy every moment I spend with my husband and can’t wait until he retires so we can spend every moment of every day together.

WAKE UP!

This is not reality! And if you are still living in the world of trying to be a perfectionist, you’re only setting yourself up for a life of disappointment and self-loathing. Perfectionism is not about your success in doing things perfectly. It’s about equating your self-worth with your failure to live up to your own ridiculous standards. Oh, mama, you are so much more than your success and failures.

We live in a world of social media. Our world is bigger. We have more people to compare ourselves to and people have more opportunity to white wash their own realities. Even outside of social media, we tend to only show the world our best selves. This hypocritical existence leads to judgement, unhappiness and sometimes down right cattiness among other moms who are walking this same journey as we are.

Revolution

I say we do something crazy and start a revolution! Let’s start being real with each other. How about we support each other instead of tear each other down? What if you started owning who you are, that perfectly imperfect woman that you are? Free yourself from your own ridiculous standards because I promise you, the rest of us truly don’t care about the beautiful mess that is you, my dear. Stand tall, sweet sister, take my hand and let’s be recovering perfectionists together!