Motherhood is what you make it.

Shortly after I had my first baby I was at a family event where I overheard my aunt (I have a million so this doesn't call her out) talking about motherhood with a fellow veteran mom. Both women had raised large families. "These new young moms these days really need to quit complaining and just get to work. Yes, motherhood is hard work, but you do it and you survive."

At the time I rolled eyes and considered her part of the problem. When I became a mom it was NOTHING how I expected it to be, or how people portrayed it. I felt almost victimized and definitely alone. Why didn't anyone tell me this gig was so hard/exhausting/thankless? How was I not warned that I might not feel fulfilled and full of bliss as I spend my days caring for the tiny people I made? Why did all the mothers out there not send their condolences when I joined this new club and began my complete identity crisis? I concluded that I must be the only person feeling this way. Everyone else loved motherhood and everything that came with it, I was just broken.

Then came the rise of social media. As I remember it, at first it made me feel even worse. So many beautiful mommy bloggers with perfect bodies and perfect hair and perfect children and perfect homes and perfect style. It should be noted that I saw them in this personally threatening way because I viewed them through my scope of complete insecurity. So here I was hating myself and my life, barely scraping by, and these women were building empires, raising children, and looking magazine level perfect while doing it. Again, I must be broken.

As it turns out, I wasn't broken, and I definitely wasn't alone. Quickly social media started to fill with different views on motherhood. It became trendy to be "real." Messages of no sleep, no praise, and complete loss of self to motherhood began to be shared. They ranged from comical "kids are the worst" and "mombie" jokes, to more serious discussions about motherhood truly feeling impossible to survive. I took heart in these new themes. They get me. Solidarity. Somehow just knowing moms around the world were also locking themselves in their bathrooms to hide gave me strength to carry on. But now I fear, like most internet movements, it has gone too far.

We have painted this picture of a mother as a worn out, exhausted, anxiety ridden, maxed out, shell of a woman who hates her job. Sure we toss in how important and beautiful it is occasionally, but mostly we complain and discuss the oh-so-many struggles we face. I say we because I was first in line to lead this movement. MOTHERHOOD IS HARD, WHERE IS MY TROPHY!? We don't get weekends, we don't get vacations, we don't get hot food, we don't get sleep, we don't get a lunch break, we don't get to shower in peace, we don't get a paycheck! Where can I march in my protest? There are two main problems with this.

First, it leads us to believe that living in a constant state of being at your breaking point is normal. It isn't. Even for moms. Moms definitely have to go into "survival mode" more often than others perhaps, but life should feel manageable. If you are hiding out daily, exhausted to the point of crying for months on end (we all have our days, that's normal), and regularly feeling like you just can't handle your deserve to get the help you need. Periods of insanity happen in life, regardless of your parental status, and sometimes you just have to fight through it one moment at a time, but being a personal disaster and labeling it simply as "motherhood" is not ok. Sometimes it feels as though if we aren't barely scraping by, we aren't doing enough. "You feel at peace and stable? You must not be a very invested mom or ambitious enough in life. Sign up as room mom and start your own business or do something to push you to your max!" We need to stop this competition of who can do more and sleep less.

Second, it makes us focus on all the wrong parts of motherhood. Reading a funny meme about how it takes your kids twelve years to get their shoes on can definitely bring some much needed comic relief and solidarity to your day, but scrolling through post after post of people complaining about their lack of sleep or never ending to do list or their kid's latest tantrum can really bring you down. As I like to say, where are you holding the magnifying glass? Does motherhood have some bummers? Yep. Please, show me a job that doesn't. If I complained about the parts of my job I hate the way I complain about motherhood I can assure you I would be fired. Above that, the more I complain the more I am focusing on those negative parts to the point where the negative is all I can see.

I think there is a balance we can find. It is important to share the struggles of motherhood. Through connecting with others going through similar things we can lift each other up, and understand we are never alone. When we cross that line and go beyond constructive sharing and enter into constant whining and complaining however,  it not only ceases to be productive, it destroys our motherhood.

Let's all just calm down. Motherhood is important, yes, but it really isn't about us. We have managed to turn motherhood into a self obsessed job, when really it was never intended to be about us. I realized recently I have spent years trying to figure out MY place in motherhood, how it made ME feel, how I struggled with it, to the point that I had completely forgotten that it has nothing to do with me. Motherhood doesn't owe me anything- not fulfillment, not joy-nothing. It is however, my responsibility. I chose it. I sat on the couch after a particularly dark day surrounded by my children. I had been stressed with things like money, my work, my success, and how I was being perceived all day. As I sat there I looked at the little faces of pure innocence. They know only kindness and acceptance. The know only love. All the worries of the day immediately washed away and I was consumed with gratitude that my motherhood allows me to be surrounded with literal perfection around the clock. This isn't about me. So maybe my aunt was right, I just need to do the hard work of motherhood.

I realized my motherhood can be my burden, the thing that keeps me from my dreams, or it can be my gift, my light. The choice is entirely up to me.

The Problem With the Pizza Tee

You know the ones I'm talking about right? Pizza is Life, Pizza is Bae, or There's No We In Pizza, put on a trendy top. So cute/funny/amazing right?! Sure, unless you're fat.

All the size 2's parading around proudly singing their junk food obsession are welcomed by society as adorable and funny. Put that same top on someone overweight, and suddenly it's awkward, and they should probably get some help.

Because you see, eating whatever you want is totally on trend, as long as your body doesn't show it.

I see it all the time, especially on social media. Skinny, beautiful people advertising their soda addictions, and passion for everything from burgers, to pizza, to sweets while everyone laughs along and tells them to carry on. Meanwhile, when an overweight person does the exact same thing they get labeled as unhealthy, lazy, and lacking self-control. The SAME behavior!

The truth is eating pizza is just as unhealthy for the skinny person as it is for the fat one. If you are truly, sincerely concerned about health issues only, then slap the pizza out of both their hands. They could both use a veggie in its place. But it isn't really about that, is it?

As long as we keep promoting the fallacy that you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay skinny, the more we push people into eating disorders, food obsession, over-exercising, and self- loathing. We've got to take the focus off skinny, and put it on healthy.

Momiform Must Have

Let's take a little breather from feeling all the feelings and talk about something frivolous how about. I'm no fashion blogger (I bow down to those who are) but I do enjoy styling outfits for my kids and I the best I can. I've got expensive taste and a Wal-Mart budget, but I try to make it work. As much as I love to look at all the high end stuff, my reality is mom life. I need my clothes comfy, and to not cost so much I cry when they get stained. I am a bargain hunter, deal seeker, and clearance rack guru. My style is really basic and simple, because that fits my life.

Recently I splurged on some sneakers. I found them here, and it took weeks to convince myself they were worth the investment (I'm cheap. Like really). Anyways I knew if I was going to take the plunge I needed them to be worth it. They needed to be a staple. It helps me if I can envision the item styled several ways, in different scenarios, so that I really know I will get the use out of them I want. Nothing makes me more crazy than hating something I buy ten minutes after I bring it home and leaving it to die in the back of my closet. SO. I bought the shoes, and they have exceeded all my expectations! I wear them every single day, and my feet are in heaven.

Here you have it, one pair of shoes four different ways. This is a very small sampling of the outfits I have paired them with. They have been my happiest purchase in a long time so why not share? It should also be noted all these pics were taken by my five year old while we went about our normal week's activities. It should also be noted that I definitely feel silly and self-absorbed posing at the park and making my child photograph me. Taking pictures of your mom is the millennial(is that what generation our kids are now?) version of the old, take out the trash chore perhaps?

Well, there's my first shot at fashion blogging ish. I guess the takeaway here is to invest in the pieces that you will get the most wear out of. It is worth a little more money to get something that will last and become a staple. The even bigger takeaway... wear sneakers every day because comfort.

My husband is a lucky man.

I am a public supporter of top knots and mumus. Without fail every time I make a public push for women to embrace mumu life and messy hair, I get the "your husband is a lucky man" and "wow your husband must love that" comments practically dripping with sarcasm. I might respond with a laugh and move on, but inside every comment throws another log on the fire of rage inside. I mean, let me get this straight... my appearance in pajamas is so awful that you literally feel sorry my husband has to see me that way? Or is it that as a wife, dressing in a sexually stimulating manner and being perfectly groomed at all times is somewhere in the fine print of my job description that I failed to read? And please tell me why men are not held to this same, "must look hot for your spouse" standard? Do you feel bad for me when my husband wears basketball shorts and a stained tshirt around the house?

 There have been times I have felt sorry for my husband for having to be married to me. Times full of darkness, depression, and emotional withdrawal. I felt unworthy of his love and commitment. I felt like a complete burden he had to carry. In these times I really felt like the lucky one. Things have changed now, and though I still think I married up, I feel like I do my best each day to be the partner my husband deserves. Not a single day in my life however, have I felt my worth as a partner depends on my appearance.

Let's see. Every day my husband heads out to a job he loves knowing that his children will be loved and taken care of while he's gone, and it won't cost him a dime. Being a stay at home mom has caused some serious resentment issues for me (another post, another day), but we came to this decision together. For now, for this season, it is what works for our family. Even so, the luxury of freely working to be successful at work while having a thriving family at home because your spouse is there taking care of it cannot be discounted.

When he comes home from work it is common to find me sporting a mumu and messy hair. it is also common to find a nutritious meal on the table, happy kids full of stories about their day, and a wife comfortable enough with herself to rock that mumu without a thought about the fact maybe she doesn't look sexy in it.  It is common to find laundry done, the pantry stocked, and kids who have had adventures that day. It is common to find me happy to see him,

My husband has a wife who likes herself. A wife who obviously wants to be found attractive, but respects him enough to know attraction goes deeper than the mumu she is wearing. He has a wife who takes care of herself in ways a mumu might not reflect, but her peaceful, happy attitude does. He has a wife who is working hard to be well. He has a wife who when all dressed up, does it for herself rather than to impress him or others. He has a wife confident with herself and her opinions, creating a strong partnership in their marriage. He has a wife who is content. He knows the mumu means nothing other than that she likes to feel comfortable.

So yeah, my husband is a lucky man, thanks for noticing.

Toddlers are all of us.

There is no toddler problem that isn't intensely amplified by hunger or fatigue. There is no toddler problem that is too small to warrant a full blown melt down. Toddlers have limits, and fall apart when asked to go beyond them. The thing is, when we are completely honest and self aware, I believe we are all toddlers.

We live in a world where the more you do the better you are. The glorification of busy, as they say, runs the world. Hustle. Work harder. Say yes. Do more. But at what cost? The necessity of regular food, rest, and down time is not unique for toddlers. There is no magic age where we suddenly become super human, no longer requiring proper, basic, care. The problem is we are all internal toddlers trying to function in a world that has no respect for boundaries or limits. 

So many of us become the worst versions of ourselves when we are tired, hungry and overwhelmed. So why do we do it? Why do we over schedule ourselves, take on too much, and never slow down? Why do we push ourselves to our breaking point before realizing maybe something needs to change? I believe it is from the pressure of a fast paced world. It feels necessary for success. But what success really matters if you are a miserable human barely scraping by? 

Taking naps, saying no, and making meal times a priority are seen as weak or even selfish, but only because you're an adult. You should be able to handle it. This whole mentality is false. We cater to toddler schedules and needs because we know they need it to be able to function. This need is NO different in adults. The only difference is that you aren't allowed to fall into a sobbing heap when you're hungry as an adult, so it comes out in different ways. The need is the same, so when it is not met the impact is spilling out somewhere else. Adults have tantrums, fits and meltdowns of their own kind. The craziest part of all of this is that a lot of the miserable people in the world could drastically improve their quality of life by basic self care. By knowing their limits, and respecting them. 

We are human. We require food regularly and adequate sleep. Circumstances make these basic needs hard to meet sometimes, but too often we use life as an excuse to not take proper care of ourselves. You need a nutritious lunch just as badly as your toddler, so find a way to eat one. Changing these seemingly insignificant things and making the most basic self care a priority will change your life. it has been a big part in fixing mine.

Food Prep Day Schedule

I always get fired up for my big monthly food prep day. I love keeping all the work and all the mess confined into one day, and then being able to enjoy healthy food with very little effort for weeks. Here is a general schedule of what my food prep day looks like.

I always do all my grocery shopping a day or two before the day I prep. Doing shopping and prepping in one day is possible I guess, but sounds exhausting to me, I prefer to break it up. I also like to clear my schedule as much as I can, stay in sweats, and just bust it out. My kids get to watch a movie on food prep day, which is really exciting to them, and I also try to have play dough and stuff ready to keep them busy. AND I actually include them in a lot of the cooking. Teaching kids how to prepare REAL food is a good, good thing. My last tip is to always cook the best smelling thing last, so it leaves your house smelling great instead of blegh.

 I jump up and get the first thing going before I even eat breakfast, then typically by lunch I am almost done. While one thing is in the oven you prep the next thing so that there is always something in the oven. Make use of your crockpot, dutch oven, oven, and pot at the same time.

  1. I always get the salmon and tilapia soaking in lemon juice first.
  2. Get the pork shoulder going in the crock pot.
  3. Get salmon in the oven.
  4. Prep chicken thighs to be oven ready.
  5. Get tilapia in the oven,
  6. Get a soup going in the dutch oven. If doing two different soups get one started in another pot as well.
  7. Get chicken in the oven.
  8. Finish soups and allow to cool.
  9. Cook the ground turkey on the stove top.
  10. While everything is cooling assemble any other freezer meals you are doing (enchiladas etc.)
  11. Portion and prep everything for the freezer.
  12. DISHES
  13. End with granola.banana bread,muffins etc.
  14. While the yummy smelling stuff cooks I do all the washing and chopping of produce.
  15. DISHES
I like to do all the meat prep and then start a load of dishes and really disinfect all my surfaces. Then I move on to the baking/chopping type prep. Generally I run the dishwasher three times on food prep day. I also generally always have pork should for dinner on food prep day because it takes until dinner time to cook. We eat it, then I portion out and freeze the leftovers.

I can't even explain how this process as simplified my life, changed the habits of my entire family, and set me up for success in healthy eating. Trying to serve some complex, exciting healthy recipe every night caused quick burn out. "What's for dinner?" is no longer the stress inducing question it once was. I could go on and on. I hope these posts have been helpful. It has taken months for this to come easy and fit in my life naturally, so don't get discouraged if it feels hard at the beginning. You will find what works for you. Happy prepping!

Cooked veggies and grains

I cook my veggies and grains almost exclusively in my rice cooker with the steamer tray. You can get one for yourself here.


This is a good time to remind you that I keep things simple. There are a million ways to make vegies more exciting and delicious, but I have found how I like to eat them while keeping it simple. On food prep day I wash and chop a lot of this stuff so the day of I can just toss it in the steamer/oven. Cooked veggies stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge so its only every few days I have to even cook them.

Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrots: I simply fill the veggie steamer tray of my rice cooker with chopped veggies and let it do the work for me. I used to prefer baked, but I have found I can eat more if it is steamed. Plus I HATE the smell of baked broccoli.

Summer squash/butternut squash/brussel sprouts: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop squash and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stab squash with a fork a few times and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for one hour. Remove squash and allow to cool a bit.Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, pull out all the strands of squash and place in a skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Saute over high heat for a few minutes until the squash begins to dry out and get a little crispy. Baking it first makes it so much easier to cut in half then tackling the hard raw thing.

Mushrooms: I always buy whole mushrooms and chop them myself because you get more for your money. Simply saute chopped shrooms over medium heat to your desired softness. They cook down quite a bit, so cook more than you think you need. They also create a lot of their own oil, so no need to prep the pan with oil.


Quinoa, rice, potatoes and oatmeal. My tips here are to buy a rice cooker, add an extra cup of water to make it more tender, and to use jasmine rice if you want better leftovers. Oh, and I use instant oatmeal and a microwave every morning. Fancy. I also just microwave my potatoes/sweet potatoes. Stab them with a fork, cook four minutes, flip, another four minutes and you're all set.

The rice cooker is SO nice because in two seconds you have your grain and veggies cooking themselves without even having to check on them.