5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard

This past year we bought a house, moved, I broke my foot, had two surgeries, and kept my two kiddos going and happy every day. It has been challenging but I have survived. Everyone has a hard day, week, month in their lifetime. Maybe even a year- although I hope not! When we are stuck in the hard, dragging our mom behinds through each day and barely making it I want us all to remember these strategies. 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

5 Ways to cope when life gets hard and cat sleeping.

1. Ask for help and accept help

This one was hard at first but I’m getting used to it. Feelings of being a burden and guilt come to mind. Sometimes it’s a really hard thing to do! People can be surprising with how ready and willing they are to help. They just need to be asked and directed with how they can be helpful. I know I will have chances to return the many favors that have been bestowed upon me in the past few weeks. Dealing with a broken foot or any other hardship while having two small kids truly requires help. You never know until you ask!

2. Prioritize needs over wants

Ask yourself “what is important to get me through this hardship?” and “what can I let slide, skip or wait to make life easier?” I love being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. I am proud of my home, my sweet kiddos, and I enjoy doing a lot of the house chores to make hubby’s life away from work a little easier. Since we are currently in “survival mode”, I must choose what I can do and what I need to do. This is the hardest for me! I have high expectations for myself. For example, I love having the house tidy at midday nap time. It helps me focus more on writing and planning my blog. But right now, it doesn’t happen. Slowing down and focusing on the priorities helps me have more patience with my kiddos and, of course, more healing rest for my foot.

Knee Scooter With Kid Riding Along 5 Ways to Cope When Life Gets Hard

3. Always try your best

I am borrowing this from one of my favorite books. The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom   I LOVE this book and will probably talk about it in many posts to come! Right now, my best does not involve walking. Some days it may not even be getting my youngest down for a nap. One way I have found to achieve this for myself is to set little attainable goals each day. Accomplish those and celebrate with #4: Treat Yo-Self!

My current goal or to-do list is way shorter than it would be with two feet, but will I try my hardest and celebrate in the same way! Loading the dishwasher instead of cleaning the whole kitchen. Folding the laundry instead of doing all the washing, drying and putting away. And this last one I probably will make me happier in the future – getting the kids to put their own toys away instead of me doing most of it!

4. Treat Yo-Self

As mentioned above, when I try my hardest it’s always important to treat myself. Cookies and wine are my favorites, but I am cutting back since I can’t walk off the calories like I normally do. Now that school is done I get to treat myself to a morning sleep-in or a new Netflix show to binge. Reading a book,  a new citronella candle for sitting outside, and some fancy bath salts are my other picks! Moms are always taking care of everyone and we must remember to take care of ourselves too!

Here are some affiliate links to my current favorite “Treat Yo-Self” goodies! Remember Treat Yo-Self when doing 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

5.Have a Thankful Perspective

I know there have been many studies done about the benefits of practicing gratitude for your happiness. Lately, when I am having a hard moment, annoyed at my current state, I try for a quick thankful meditation or mantra to refocus myself onto a happier moment. It gets me back on track for trying my best. Life is so sweet, and my kids are growing so fast. Focusing on the good makes the hard stuff a little easier. I am also insanely thankful for my amazing family who has cooked, cleaned, babysat and more to help me out. Time to write some thank you notes!

Here is a video to show some of that scientific stuff on using gratitude to be happy! It’s one of my favorites and I hope it inspires you as it has for me. Remember to have a thankful perspective when using 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

Here is a quick reminder about my 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard Please share and pin. Comments to share a personal way you have used one of these ideas when life challenges you are wanted and welcome!5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard

In case you didn’t get the back story on how I hurt my foot read this post to find out! Foot Injury Mom



Foot Injury Mom- Things Learned Week 1 Using Only 1 Foot with 2 Kids

Case Foot with Ice on it.Foot Fracture Backstory

About a week ago I was moving some things into my basement. My daughter (almost 3) and dog were already down there and out of the way (Thankfully!!!). I am usually hyper aware of my footing on steps. I do not have a great track record and stairs are just dangerous. The last two steps into the basement evaded me! I went down, rolled, yelled some choice 4-letter words, screamed, and punched the floor. Kid was whimpering. Dog was whining. My foot hurt more then any other trip down the stairs before. I crawled up the stairs, kiddo walking next to me. The dog went ahead and licked my face a few times as I reached the top. I crawled to the freezer for some ice, and then to the sofa. Some tears and a few of those choice words later, I knew I needed to go get my foot looked over. Later my Doc confirmed what I feared. A fracture to my second metatarsal. With a big heavy boot, crutches, and orders to not bear any weight on that foot, I needed to survive the week before seeing my foot specialist and learning the rest of my fate. It’s Lefty so I can still drive thank GOD!

 

Things I did to prepare:

-Breakfast food prepped for me and the kiddos.
-3-year-old diapers and clothes downstairs for easy reaching.
-Get up before kids (I at least made it before the 3-year-old!).
-Boot, crutches, ice packs, and the computer wheelie chair for the kitchen.
-Bag for carrying all my crap when I moved from place to place.
-“Let it go” attitude about toy clean up and other things I don’t “need” to do (way harder than anticipated).

Things I learned now that the week is over:

-I do A LOT of stuff around this house every day, and go up and down the stairs way more than I thought!
-Rug burn hurts and happens fast (I need some knee pads!)
-Crutches are way harder to use than you would ever think! My arms and right leg are going to be jacked when this is over.
-Don’t lean on a soap-dish tile in the shower with your knee… yes it broke and fell and hit my bum foot.
-Not being able to carry and walk for my toddler has made her seem 10 times more irrational than normal.
-I must lower my daily expectations of myself.
-All about a Lisfranc injury and how it’s going to get me some bolts in my foot and 6-8 more weeks of this!!!!!

If you want to learn more about a Lisfranc injury check out this link.

Things I already knew but now am taking some extra time to be thankful for tonight:

-My hubby is amazing, supportive and sweet.
-I am surrounded by a bunch of family and friends ready to help.
-Surgery scares the hell out of me, but I know I can do it and will be better for it!
-My kiddos are resilient as hell and, if I’m lucky, the little one won’t remember the summer that Momma couldn’t walk. I’ll be singing “Let It Go” as I try to focus on what I need and can accomplish, instead of what I want to accomplish.

Follow me to see how the next weeks progress and I’ll share everything I learn about how to survive summer with small kiddos and only one working foot!

And here is a link to a previous blog of mine Connecting with the Kids on Days You “Just Can’t” Good reminders!

Summertime Backyard Fun for Mom and Kiddos

4 Summer yard products my family lovesHere are 4 things we love to use in our yard when the days get warm and school stops!

Summertime backyard fun for moms and kiddos!

(This post contains affiliate links. It is no extra cost to you but will help me get some bonus if you shop from my page!)

Hammock or Air Hammock

We have both and I love them. Its nice to have place to lay down when the kiddos are out having fun!

-The Air Hammock

Air Hammock with Girl lounging.
It works OK. I really suggest using a box fan when filling it up and you may have to refill after a few hours. I don’t suggesting letting kids play with them like trampolines unless you don’t mind them getting popped or broken. Although this is really fun especially if you video it in slow motion. Here is the link for the air hammock.

-The Normal Hammock

Nylon Hammock- Blue Stationary hammock with stand. -Rainbow
It is awesome.  We have a nylon one with hooks to wrap around a pole or tree. I love it because I can pack it in my backpack and take anywhere. I’ve use it at home, camping by the river and even at friend’s houses. Kids love swinging in it and I love lounging in it. A few friends of mine have the big ones that are stationary, and they are nice for multiple people lounging and when you don’t want to worry about packing it anywhere. Here is the link for my nylon one. And Here is the link for the stationary one.

Bubble Machine

Blue Bubble Machine Battery Powered
My kiddos love blowing bubbles, or should I say they love me blowing the bubbles while they chase. Last summer my cousin bought one for my kiddos when we went camping. They used that thing until the motor ran out. It was easy to refill and created lots of bubbles for them to chase. It took AA batteries and like I said they used it all last summer for hours at a time. When I tried to run it this spring the fan was the “little engine ” that couldn’t. Even though it only lasted a summer I would consider it a solid investment to get another one this year. It’s  hours of fun! Bubble Machine Link!

Water Table

Kids water table
Kids always love splashing in water. My soon to be 3-year-old just likes to stand there and fill up cups and dump them back out again. The 5-year-old will still play for a little but is not as interested in it as she is. So, I recommend it for ages 4 and under. If they can stand next to it and splash you’re good to go. Water Table Link!

Sandbox

Kids in Sandbox
This is another favorite! We have the little fisher price turtle one. It works great and the kiddos love playing in there! Fill the cup dump it out again for the almost 3-year-old and the 5-year-old likes building mounds and using his construction vehicles in there. Here is the link to the green turtle sand box.

We have tried out all of these products and enjoy them very much. I hope you will too!

How to “Catch” Your Mom Tribe- Mom Dating

 

How to "Catch" your Mom Tribe. The way to catch new tribe members can be broken down into 4 steps.

  1. Places to Fish (Extroverts/ Introverts)

  2. Ice Breakers

  3. Testing the Waters

  4. Hooking Them In

 

 

If you haven’t already read my first article My Tribe: An Introduction <—— Look here!

 

Places to Fish

When and where can you search for new ladies to be apart of your tribe? I tend to think this will be quite different depending on your personality type. Extrovert vs. Introvert. So, its broken down here into two categories.

*Extroverts-

Ya’ll are mostly easy. Really anywhere you go can be a possible pool of ladies to fish from. Your workplace, kids school events, bus stop moms, neighbors, the library, the family sitting next to you at the beach…you get the idea. Just be sure to extend your reach to the introverts quietly waiting to join in.

* Introverts-

It gets a little more complicated for you but still is totally possible. You can cast a line in all those same places, it may just take longer for you to find the right fit or have one of those extroverts reel you in.

One way that doesn’t involve the initial face to face contact include Facebook Mom groups or other similar interest Facebook groups. When I was a brand-new Army wife, at a new duty station, and three states away from home; these groups were amazing. They got me started. A lot of times they have group meet-ups in public places or you can even just take your time and chat through messenger. Another way to expand your tribe could be meeting a new person through a mutual friend or tribe mate. Sometimes it’s easier to start new when that lady has already been caught and vetted by a trusted tribe mate.

Here is another mom blog. She has some great tips for introvert moms!! <——————— Click to Read!

 

Ice Breakers

Once you have found a likely new tribe mate, start to chat about any common interest you can find in each other. Usually for us Moms the easiest and most available topic is our kids! Now that my oldest rides the bus I can chat with the other moms at the bus stop. Before then I had to break the ice with questions about where to send him for school, or what local activities would get us out of the house.

Other topics could be about your neighborhood or pets! One day, back in the army life, a girl called out to me as I was out walking my dog and son in our neighborhood. She was out walking her dog and needing to have that mom tribe connection. I grabbed her name, Facebook “friended” her and ta-da, our friendship began.

When I was a brand-new army wife, pregnant and knowing nothing and no one (could have called me Jon Snow hehe), I turned to the Facebook groups as I mentioned earlier. In one of the mom groups I had been chatting with someone and we got on well enough we decided to go have a pregnant pedicure date. Our babies were born less than a month apart and those boys were first friends!!

 

Testing the Waters

Sometimes you may know right away! “This lady is amazing, I want her in my life.” Sometimes we must scope out things or test the waters if you will. You want to see if she could be a good fit for your tribe. Finding if you have common interests is something I have already mentioned. Common parenting styles is another very important thing to look for. Someone capable of that give and take friendship dance in your tribe. Ways to test the waters could be: taking a nice walk and talk, invitations to play in outside common areas with the kiddos,  play groups, or truly anywhere you can experience each other.

For those introverts out there, Facebook messages and texting can be a great way to do this. I’m sure there is probably a mom dating app out there somewhere already. Maybe I’ll strike it big and create my own!

Sometimes you get the vibe that its not going to work out for the positive and being around this person might be more drama and heartache than its worth. That’s when you distance yourself and try again the next time with someone new. I always try to give people a chance but I am a strong believer in boundaries and keeping my life as positive as possible. It’s OK to say no to someone if they don’t jive with you or your kiddos for that matter.

 

Hooking Them In

Once you have made that contact, moved through the getting to know you phase, and decide they are worth it, just keep up to communication. Invite her to events like Wine Wednesday afternoons, kid’s birthday parties and other play dates. Being yourself is very important. You want these new tribe mates to feel comfortable and make you feel the same in return. The best way to do that is to be you! Plan some fun things around those common interests you have found or let your trust in your new tribe mate lead you on some new experiences and adventures! When “asked out” by one of these new ladies whom I want to learn about, life with its timing can sometimes be off putting and I have to say no. Even though I may not be able to make it to play group or morning walk I make sure to tell them to keep asking me! I’m not saying no because I don’t want you in my Tribe, its just bad timing.

 

 Here is my current and favorite planner for writing down my “To Do” list every day,  making all my play groups, and mom dates! It has lots of space on each weekly page and a large monthly calendar. Plus the design on the front is so pretty!!!

Creating Happy and Loved Children Using the 5 Love Languages

Happy Kids by Using the 5 Love Languages

One of the top goals parents have is for their children to be happy.

Creating Happy and Loved Children Using the 5 Love Languages for Kids.

When children are younger it is simpler for most of us parents to reach this goal of happiness. Reasons for this include: cheaper toys, easier conversations, and smaller time demands (driving them to events, etc.) As it is with most aspects of life, things get more complicated the older we become. Therefore, we as parents need to work hard to love and teach our kiddos how to work toward that goal of happiness from the start. We want to build them a good base with love so that happiness can grow.

There is a great book called The 5 Love Languages. It is more about adult relationships, but it can be adapted to any human relationship. My Aunt gave me this book as an engagement gift and I refer to it often. The author, Gary Chapman, worked with Ross Campbell to write The 5 Love Languages of Children. Both are great resources and I will be using their 5 main ideas to give you some examples of how to build that loving base for your kiddos to grow happiness. I’ll give some examples of how us moms might relate to the love language and then some for the kiddos.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts The 5 Love Languages of Children

(Affiliate Ads are included) 

Here are The 5 Love Languages:

1. Words of Affirmation-

For a mom, this could be a loving Mother’s Day card, an encouraging text from a friend, or even that very first “I love you” from our kiddos. Ways you can give this to your child include an encouraging mantra before getting onto the bus in the morning, praise for learning a new skill or really any behavior you want to encourage, and even encouraging words of reassurance when they are disappointing us with their behavior.

2. Quality Time-

For a mom this could be: talking and walking with a friend, watching a movie with the hubby, or having a dinner date. Ways to give this to your child include family meal times, board games, bedtime stories, and asking questions about their day. Spending time to teach them skills for future independence could also be included in this category. Feeling proud of mastering a skill is a sure way to build happiness.

3. Receiving Gifts-

For a mom, this could include: “just because” flowers, a new box of wine from the hubby, or a new book you’ve been wanting to read. Ways you can share this with your child include: birthday gifts and other holiday treats, or really any other “just because” present you may treat them to. Just be sure to do this in moderation. Too much can result in dependence and negative behavior. If they get a new toy every time you go shopping, it will be expected and no longer a treat.

4. Acts of Service-

For a mom, this could be: hubby taking out the trash, cooking dinner, or doing dishes. Oh, I also love when he pumps my gas for me! I hate that chore. It is harder to think of examples for our children that are outside of their normal everyday needs, like feeding, clothing and sheltering them. Some extra ways to show acts of service for your child include: helping them with a special project or game and taking them to hang with a friend or other special event.

5. Physical Touch-

For mom, this could be a romantic time with your partner, a big sloppy toddler kiss, or a warm hug from a friend. Ways to share with your kiddos could be: a goodnight hug and kiss, a reassuring back rub or handhold, a congratulatory high five or even a boo-boo healing kiss.

These 5 love language for kids ideas are great ways to build the base for growing happiness in your children. As I mentioned under the Receiving Gifts heading, we as parents need to make sure we are giving a good mix of these ideas to our kiddos. There is a possibility of too much of a good thing. Moderation is helpful, and that is why it’s great to have 5 different ways to build that happiness.

Also, every kid is different. Some may really respond more to one type of the 5 languages than another. Some don’t like to be touched, so the hugs and kisses won’t have the same effect. In the books, the authors have included a short quiz to figure out which of the love languages are more dominant in a person. Go try out the quiz with your kiddo to see which language may work best for you both!

Take the Love Language Quiz Here!<———–

Quick Review
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

These kiddos of ours are amazing blessings, and it is truly overwhelming when I think of the responsibility that we must help make them the best they can be for this world. Using these ideas to spread love and happiness are helpful, especially when life throws difficulties and stress our way.

I have written two other blogs about connecting with your kiddos. If you want to check those out for ideas go for it!

The Benefits of Connecting with Your Kids<————-

Connecting on Days You “Just Can’t”<——————

Remember, if you want more info on this topic to check out these two books I mentioned. Here are the links to the books again!

3 Mother’s Day Reminders for Mothers

3 Reminders for Moms on Mother's Day. 1.Treat Yo-Self! Spend some time and/or money on you.

2.Time is fleeting. Do your best to enjoy it and make mom life fun!

3.Go Back to your Momma roots. Thank your own mother (or the closest thing to one).

So let me break them down, 3 Mother’s Day Reminders for Mothers.

1.Treat Yo-Self

It’s not often we as moms get something new for ourselves, or get to spend some guilt-free time alone. Usually the kiddos are first on our minds. Even though our walking shoes have a hole and leggings are our only pants that fit now, the kids’ favorite snack or sporting event takes first place in our minds, and sometimes the budget. Make sure on Mother’s Day that you take some time or money to get what you need or: GASP: what you want!

It is way easier to have patience when you are comfortable (in those new shoes), relaxed (after some alone time shopping) and excited (to try out that new bottle of wine after bedtime). This concept was especially hard for me when my kiddos were babies. I nursed both until a little over a year old, and this made leaving them stressful! So, I had to do short trips and treated myself to things I needed more often than I did to the things I wanted. Now, wine and escaping are top priority.

We will call this the Mother’s Day evolution.

I’m sure it will evolve again when they are a lot older and it will be about having them with me again. So, follow this rule the best you can according to where you are in motherhood and Treat-Yo Self! (Steph, I always think of you when I say this. Miss you!)

2. Time is Fleeting

Things move so fast in this world, us mothers need to remember to slow down and enjoy sometimes! Starting this blog has gotten me distracted from my kiddos. I have been feeling guilty about not giving them the same amount of attention and maybe relying on the screen time more than I would like. I went to have a visit with someone who has been in my tribe since my birth – one of my many amazing Aunties!

We were talking about one thing or another, and she mentioned how her mother was the best at making everything a game. She told me of how they always had a dress-up fashion show complete with cookies and tea in the bedroom. This was her way of changing over the kids wardrobe for each season. Making the pain-in-the-butt tasks, having to see what still fits and enticing the kids to change clothing styles from warm to cool layers, a fun and playful experience!

This was such a great reminder to me.

With all the stress of things to get done, I had fallen into just going through the motions; forgetful of my own advice to keep that connection with the kiddos. After doing my writing for that day, I needed to write a grocery list and make dinner.

I decided to take a page from my Auntie’s book and try to make these tasks fun enough to enjoy with the kiddos. I wrote the list while they drew pictures of what they thought should be on the list. My 5-year-old loved this and proceeded to draw me 5 pages of blueberries. Then we made tuna salad for dinner, so it was super easy for them to take turns adding ingredients and stirring it up. They loved that mom and dad were the ones who had to say, “thank you for cooking dinner”. My daughter even ate three big bites of the sandwich since she made it. That would never have happened otherwise! I got things done and the kiddos had fun with me.

Grandma Quotes
“Time is Fleeting.”

My grandmother always tells me, “time is fleeting.” It goes by so quickly, we need to remember to enjoy it. Soon enough we are onto the next evolution of motherhood, where they will ignore our homemade fun for friends.

3.Take it back to your roots.

Be sure to remember to thank your own mother (or the closest thing) on Mother’s Day. One of the important parts to growing and keeping your tribe strong is to take the time to make sure those in it feel special, listened to, wanted, and loved. My momma is a crucial member of my tribe. I see and talk to her often. She especially likes to have help with her projects, so the kiddos and I are going over to spend time with her and work in her garden.

I’m sure she has gone through many of the Mother’s Day evolution. Most recently, the evolution where her kids are grown and trying to make it in this busy world. Therefore, Mother’s Day sometimes takes the back burner.  I’m glad I can go spend time with her on this day. I like to think about my grandmothers as well. They have a wealth of knowledge and mom experience, and today is a great day to reflect on that.

I love to hear stories about my Gram Carlita who had 4 babies and ran the show at her home. And my Grandma, I can still hear stories from her! LUCKY!! She is one of the sweetest, most amazing people I have ever met. She had 8 kids, all about a year apart (give or take). I could probably write an entire blog just using her advice and stories alone. Look for some featured posts in the future.

Just remember to take time for the lady that is the mom to your tribe. The one that taught me how to mom, along with a whole bunch of other important life skills. I’m so proud and thankful for mine! Love you Mom!

 

Mother's Day
3 Reminders for Moms on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas- Treat Yo Self!! Affiliate Ad Links



If you haven’t already go check out this post about “My Tribe”!

Connecting on Days You “Just Can’t”

We all have those days when sickness, that time of the month or any other stress makes patience and connecting with your kiddo seem impossible. Even the kids themselves can make this hard. Terrible 2’s are mighty difficult. Read on for some great ideas for Connecting on Days You “Just Can’t”.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Connecting with the Kids when you are having a hard day.

1. Be Lazy.

Ways to connect on Days You “Just Can’t” with the kids and be lazy! Just lay on the floor or sofa, really wherever they are playing. Movement on your end can be very minimal. You may have to hold a Barbie or a car but that’s about it. Bonus points for having a pillow and blanket with you. Pillow forts are great for this as well. They have fun and you can just lounge out in there, maybe taking a few shut eye moments on the sly. Here is a link to a princess pop-up tent we love, and I can fit in there with my legs out the door.

Boy sleeping on mom. Connecting with the kid.

2. Simple Distractions.

In the car, during one of those moments when everyone is losing their mind and you can’t stop, turn the radio up and SING! Music is one of my favorite ways to connect with the kids. Usually, it calms my kiddos right away or I can get them singing instead of screaming. I’m sure most of you have some special songs that grab their attention instantly, and if you don’t have this cued up in your brain or on your phone (for those of us who can’t sing) then you should. Even just going for a drive or a walk outside to change the scenery can be a way to be together but let you have some mental and physical space from kiddo demands.

If you have Amazon Prime, they have a great music app you can use to save all your favorite songs to your phone! Download Amazon Music here! The app is free with plenty of good songs if you have Prime! Simple distractions are a great way to Connect on Days You “Just Can’t”. 

Please comment and share some of your favorite simple distractions. 

3. Screen Time (In moderation of course).

Just watch movies and chill on the sofa. My kiddos will snuggle me for a good while before moving on to play or needing a snack. It works even better if you talk to them about what you are watching and it’s something they are super into. Screen time is everywhere these days and the pressure/ guilt about it is mighty real. I try hard to moderate it, so we are not going overtime and creating little screen zombies.

My son loves the Lego games and he enjoys it double when I play with him. I like to watch and play with him, so we can have that connection about it. Talking about the goals we meet in the game as we are playing, or our favorite parts of the movie or show we are watching can be good conversation starters. Our favorite video games are Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Lego Marvel Super Heros.

Check out my blog Parents Feeling Guilty about Screen Time? for some cool ways to moderate how much the kids use it. 

4. Encourage that Independence.

Before hunkering down into the “I can’t move” position, prep some snacks and drinks in easy to reach places so when they need it, they can get it. Be sure to use things with lids. And when they are still little, snacks they can reach but still must bring to you for opening is the key to me for preventing spillage. Here are some of the things we like to use for independent snack retrieval and storage. Connecting with the kids on days you “just can’t” by teaching them to be independent is “two for the price of one” parenting moment. 



These are just ideas I use with my kiddos. Every kid is different and I’m sure Y’all have some great thoughts we can add to this list. Comment!!!

We are only human and can’t be 100% all the time. It’s good for our kids to learn to slow down and that parents need to have quiet time too.

Here is a related post I wrote on the benefits of connecting with your kiddos.

My Tribe: An Introduction

My Tribe: An Introduction to my mom tribe. I want to talk about my idea of a “tribe”. It means so much to me and is an important part of my mom identity. This is not just the mom tribe but really the group of women that help support each other through life.

Every woman needs some level of a tribe! You send her occasional goofy memes or snap chats when you think of each other, a girlfriend whom you don’t see often but feels like you never left each other when you do get to meet up, or even the woman you call or see in person every day to discuss every detail of your life (for some, this is mom). Imagine this on a 0-5 scale. The lady who makes you feel special because they were thinking of you -all the way to the one who gives you advice about some of your most intimate moments. These relationships are so important to me. Mom tribes are important to our survival as moms!


We as humans need relationships with each other, women, especially with other women. I read a blog post almost a year ago about how we are hard-wired to need that community or village as the author called it in her article (I’ll try to link it up at the bottom of this post for you to check out!). This is something people these days don’t necessarily value as much or take the time to grow and cultivate for themselves. I know for myself it’s a big part of my everyday happiness, and I work hard to encourage the relationships that mean the most to me. Some we may grow away from or be forced to move away from, but they are all important at different stages in life.

In each one of my life-stages so far, I have met some amazing women who make up my support system, or tribe if you will. The groups change and sometimes fall out of touch but they all have made an impact on my life. I know many of them would jump right back into those roles for me again – today if possible. I like to be picky when picking my friends. “Quality over quantity,” they say. When I find a good friend with whom I take turns, encouraging and lifting up one another, I make sure they know it!

Some different groups I have found kindred spirits for my mom tribe include:

-High School (It was ALL GIRLS! Go Cubs!!)
-College (Of course these ladies were important, its where I became a grown up)
-Army Wives (This is a group that, for sure, I was and still am very proud to be a member. If anyone knows how to support other women, it’s these girls!)
-Stay-at-home moms (I miss my “Wine Wednesday” playgroups)
-Bus stop moms (I cried this year when my first baby got on the bus – hugs all around!!)
-FAMILY (We are born with this group, and some are definitely better at being supportive than others. I feel truly blessed when considering mine)

Photos of my tribe through the years.

I just want to remind everyone how important these women, our mom tribe, are to our happiness. Remember to be thankful for them and work for your happiness by seeking out amazing women to be apart of your tribe. Return that favor and be a great tribe member in return. Know that you can distance yourself from those who don’t practice that “give and take” with you. You won’t have anything to give if all the other woman does it take. That’s where being picky about picking those in your mom tribe comes into play.

Make sure to check out my follow up post. How to Catch your Mom Tribe- Mom Dating. 

In the Absence of a Village, Mothers Struggle Most <— Here is that other blog I was referencing.



The Benefits of Connecting with Your Kids

These little people we have in our lives are amazing blessings. It’s hard to remember that when they are driving us crazy by challenging boundaries, or when work and other life stresses take our attention. Here is where the benefits of connecting with kids during stronger, happier moments can be very helpful. Connection with kids strengthens the bond. So, when you or your child have a weak or difficult moment, making one of these connections can sometimes make it easier or quicker to navigate the moment.

Tantrum Recovery-

I love to talk to my kids about nature all the time. We play ‘I Spy’ with birds, squirrels, and flowers. Sometimes when my daughter has a hard time riding in the stroller, I get her going with a good game of ‘I Spy’. It takes her mind off her current troubles and back to that fun moment from another time when we were spotting wildlife, or even mailboxes and trash cans if you need to get creative. I do this in the house when she might need a redirection as well. I use the windows for nature ‘I Spy,’ or even just remind her what toy we had the most fun with when we last played, turning her attention to that object.

Good Memories-

Would you rather remember listening to screaming children while making dinner until you are ready to pound a few glasses of wine, or be able to enjoy that wine slowly after having a fun dance party while cooking dinner? Sometimes they want and need our attention at the most inopportune times. I’ve been in both situations, and trust me, the dance party situation is way better. Sometimes the dance party might not work. So, the wine is there and we go back to try better for tomorrow.

Dance party connecting with the kids to build fun memories.

Independence Building-

Taking a moment to work with your child while learning a new skill is another great way to connect. Shoe tying, toilet scrubbing, sock matching or even golf ball cleaning. My husband is a huge golf guy and he loves to clean his golf clubs. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do with the kiddos hanging around wanting to help. He taught my son, and now my daughter, how to scrub the golf balls and even polish up some of the clubs. So, now, they can help him with his hobby. Start small and maybe your hobby can grow to be one of your kid’s hobbies; and, if that’s not a connection, I don’t know what is!

When kids are struggling with change-

Last year I was doing a lot of babysitting. I had 3 extra babies in my house during different days of the week. My youngest being not yet 2 at the time was still a baby herself. They needed a lot of my attention. My oldest was 4 and he had to either be helpful or play on his own a lot. He is amazing, but the change did wear on him. He was used to having way more of my attention and he started acting out a bit. So, I started giving him extra snuggles after story time each night. He could talk to me, hug me and have me all to himself. Sometimes this was super hard because I would be exhausted, but he needed it and so did I.

Connecting with your kids brings all of you joy!

I’m sure there are many more examples of and benefits to connecting with kids. I’ve put together 4 of my favorite connection strategies to get you started. Please feel free to share any time you felt you made a great helpful connection, or, if you struggle in this area, ask away! I’ll do my best to give helpful ideas!

Check out some other posts about connecting with your kids below. 

Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time
Promote “Free Range” Kids

PS: Here is an affiliate link to one of my favorite books about connecting and talking with your kiddos! (won’t cost you any extra but would help me out if you shop)