8 ways every mom can treat herself

8 ways every mom can treat herself

Whether you’re a stay at home, or a work outside of the home, being a mom is a difficult job to do.  It’s a stressful, 24 hour a day job that you seldom receive any thanks for.  It’s the only job where no training is given, and yet something kicks in that tells you what to do.  It’s the only job that stresses you out, drives you crazy, leaves you not knowing what to do at times, and all the while brings you the greatest joy.  But sometimes in order to see through the tough moments and focus on the joyful ones, we mom’s need to decompress and recharge.  We aren’t going to be much good to anyone else unless we’re good to ourselves first.  Make sure you take the time to treat yourself so you’ll feel ready, and willing, to be the great mom your kids know you are.

Here are a few ideas of how you can reward your hard work:

Spa day.  Take the occasional day to get a massage, a facial, or whatever other spa treatment that you enjoy.  It’s a well deserved “me day” that will help you relax and recharge.

Paint your nails.  Like many ladies I like having my nails painted, it makes me feel put together.  But, like many mom’s, I don’t often have the time to spend in a nail salon.  So once a week, after little man has gone to bed, I paint my nails.  It may not be a proper manicure but at least I maintain my nails being done (toes too since I live in the tropics and all of my shoes are some form of sandal).

Get your hair done.  Hair is another important part of me feeling like I’m not just letting myself go.  So I like to keep my highlights up to date, and my split ends at bay.  Yes I have many days where my hair is pulled back into a pony tail, but I know that I can let my hair down and not worry about split ends.

Yoga.  For me a good session of yoga can really be invigorating.  For you it might be a spin class, but any physical activity that you can fit in can really lift your spirits.

Going for a walk.  Sometimes just taking a calm walk around the neighbourhood can help you clear your head.  I’m lucky enough to live in the tropics so this option is always open to me.  This is a great option even if you take your baby out with you.  In my case my son is just 1 year old, so I can still put him in the stroller and take him out with me.  It lets me enjoy the sunshine and nature while also getting in a bit of exercise.

Read.  For me it’s books and blogs, but for you it can also be magazines.

Girl time.  Take some time to get together with your girlfriends.  For me one way is my monthly book club.  It’s one morning a month where I get a sitter to watch my little man, then I go off to meet up with my book club and enjoy some good coffee and great conversation.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a book club, a night out, or a lunch date, just get out with your gal pals and leave the kids at home.

Unwind at the end of the day.  This is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Find a way to unwind at the end of each day.  It doesn’t have to be some long elaborate thing, just one thing that makes you smile and helps you to feel relaxed.  For me that sometimes means a glass of wine, or watching one of my recorded shows, or reading a chapter in my book.  Whatever it is, take a few minutes at the end of the day, it’s a great way to set your mind into a positive space before you fall asleep.

These are just some of the ways that I manage to relax and take some time for myself.  What works for you, what would you add to this list?

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Do bloggers have the right to privacy?

Do bloggers have the right to privacy

As a blogger, is it fair to get annoyed if someone reposts or reblogs your content?  In the past I have seen bloggers request that others not reblog or share their posts without their prior consent because they are posting personal information, including photos of their children, and do not want these things randomly and anonymously shared. Is this a fair request to make?  When we post to the internet should we do so knowing that it is forever out there and open to sharing by the public?  If we don’t want other people to have access to our photos and stories, should we just stop posting them?  Or do we have the right and privilege to insist that the posts are our own private information and no one may use them?

I’m really interested to know what the blogging world thinks about this, tell me where you stand!  Do bloggers have the right to privacy?

To the unhappy expat

To the unhappy expat

I’m an expat living in what can only be described as paradise.  While there is so much to enjoy, the reality of being a foreigner is that you’re in a place where everything is different and works distinctly to how you may be used to.  This can be a very frustrating truth to adapt to, it’s very easy to get lost in the negative.

If you’re one of those expats who harps on every negative experience that you have, or who dwells on how things just don’t work as smoothly as they do in your country, I challenge you to take a different point of view.  Try to see the beautiful side of the country you’re living in, and the culture that you’re being exposed to.  I know it’s not easy when everything is different, but something being different doesn’t mean that it’s bad.  The fact is, there is no place in the world that achieves perfection.

As an expat, who knows many other expats, I must admit that having to hear nonstop complaints really gets irritating.  I’m more than willing to be that person who listens supportively about any troubles my friends are going through.  But if you’re only about griping and pointing out all of the negative aspects of the country you’re living in, then don’t be surprised if I’m not calling you up to get together.  Being far from home is difficult enough without having someone else’s negativity dragging me down.

Part of the beauty of living as an expat is being exposed to other places and other cultures.  With that comes difficulty, you will have days where you are frustrated with the unfamiliar way of doing things.  But I would encourage you to focus on the positive.  If you want to enjoy your time abroad then you can’t spend the entire time complaining.  Get out and discover your surroundings, go see the beautiful sights, and learn from the new culture.  No matter where we are in the world there is always something we can learn.  Each culture, and each country has their own unique charm that they contribute to the world.  If you’re not careful, then you’re going to miss it.

 

Mummuddlingthrough

10 things you should NEVER say to a woman dealing with infertility

10 things you should never say to a woman dealing with infertility

When you’re going through something like infertility it can be quite difficult for people to relate to your struggle.  Sometimes, in their failed effort to impart wisdom, people can say some incredibly ridiculous and insensitive things.  Here are the top 10 worse comments I’ve ever heard. (some comments were made to me and others to people going through their own struggle).  To read my original post about my struggle with infertility click here.

10.  Have you been to see a doctor yet?  Yeah Like it hadn’t occurred to me to do that??

9.  Are you sure you should be drinking that coffee?  I mean seriously? Are you just trying to kick me while I’m down?

8.  Everything happens for a reason.  What is that supposed to mean?  That I deserve to go through this struggle?

7.  If it’s meant to happen it will.  So basically you think that I’m just supposed to sit back and accept a life with no children because nature is somehow telling me I’m not deserving of having a child?

6.  Why don’t you just adopt?  Adoption is a fantastic and blessed way to start a family, but who are you to tell someone to give up on their dream of carrying their own baby?

5.  I wish I had that problem! I’m always worried about getting pregnant!  This has to be just about the dumbest things I’ve heard.  I mean seriously, are you looking to get punched in the face?

4.  Wow I don’t know how you do it, if it were me I think I’d just fall into a deep depression.  Ok, thanks for the encouraging words.

3.  If you really want to get pregnant then shouldn’t you save your money for more treatments rather than spending it to go on vacation?  How about you walk a mile in my shoes and then we’ll talk about how…oh wait, even then it’d still be NONE of our business!

2.  Maybe if you had tried when you were younger it would have been easier.  Are you a doctor?  No!  So shut it.

1.  Stop thinking about it and you’ll get pregnant.  This is by far the WORST thing I used to hear when we were trying to get pregnant.  First of all, if it were that easy we would have gotten pregnant in our first year of trying.  And second of all, telling a woman who is struggling to get pregnant to just stop thinking about it is like telling a baby that if they just stop thinking about it then they won’t be hungry anymore.

No one expects you to understand what it’s like to experience infertility, let alone have some magical words to make it all better.  But please, just take a second to think a little bit about what you’re about to say before actually speaking.  If you’re looking to be supportive, then just be a friend, no one expects you to know the perfect thing to say.

Know of any other remarkable comments that should be added to the list?  Tell me and I’ll update it! (with a link-back to your page of course) 🙂

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Once a baby, now a toddler

Once a baby, now a toddler

The first year has come and gone, my son is now a toddler.  It seems like only yesterday we received the joyous news of being pregnant.  And yet now, somehow, we no longer have a baby in the house.  We blinked, and there he is, a gorgeous, angelic, sometimes frustrating, toddler.  I know, I know.  It all sounds so cliché.  Every parent out there says that it goes by too fast.  But here’s the thing, the reason every parent out there says that is because it’s true!

I knew this going into it, I knew that I needed to savour every moment because they do in fact grow up quickly.  And I’ve done my very best to appreciate every snuggle, record into memory every milestone, and enjoy every moment of being a new mom.  But even so, here I am, after the first year, watching him in amazement and wondering when it went by so fast.  There will still be a lifetime of milestones and important moments to experience, but you only get one year to enjoy living in baby world.

It all hit me the other day when I put away several things he has outgrown.  I’ve put clothes away before, and while it did make me sad to put them in storage it didn’t hit me in quite the same way.  This time I put away the bouncy chair, the play-pen, the walker, and then the jumperoo.  That jumperoo is what did me in.  My little guy has loved to jump his heart out in that thing.  He could easily spend an hour just non stop jumping and grinning ear to ear.  And the laughter, oh the laughter!  I have countless videos documenting his joy.  All of which have of course been sent to his grandparents (and pretty much everyone that I know) so that they too could relish in his excitement.  Putting it away just signifies the closing of a chapter.  An adorable, amazing chapter.

I know I’m not the first mother, or parent, to go through this, and I certainly won’t be the last.  This past year has been one of the most exhausting, emotional, and simply fantastic years of my life.  Every time I look at my son I’m in awe of what we created, and how impossibly cute and terribly smart he is (not that I’m biased or anything).  I look forward to the years to come, to the many more fabulous memories that we will make.  And to me surely, on many occasions, looking back and wondering how it can possibly be going by this fast.

Getting pregnant is supposed to be easy…isn’t it?

getting pregnant

The other day I got asked if our pregnancy was a planned one.  Well let’s see, it took 3.5 years, a range of tests, being poked and prodded, pills, a surgery, more pills, and injections.  So to say it was planned is a bit of an understatement.

My story with infertility is not an uncommon one, it’s actually much more common than any one of us would like it to be.  We all just assume that when we’re ready to have kids it will be as easy as simply going off birth control.  But the reality for many couples is that it’s a long and complicated road filled with disappointment, shock, tears, and many many prayers.  But even though my story isn’t unique, it’s still somehow a topic that not many people want to discuss.

My husband and I were married for about a year when we decided to just leave it up to nature and see what happens.  So I went to my gynecologist to have my yearly exam and make sure everything was good.  And it was, supposedly.  But then time just kept going by and nothing.  Months and months passed, so we began to wonder if something was wrong.  I went back to my doctor and she immediately began a series of tests, then she sent my husband for tests.  Then there were more tests, and more tests.  It seemed to be an endless cycle of test with no answers.  My doctor was a highly recommended one and yet she didn’t seem to be making any progress in finding answers, so it became clear that we needed a second opinion.  That’s when a bit of fate stepped in, my husband was offered a job in Puerto Rico, so we were moving.

If you’ve ever moved you know it can be a bit stressful so we took a break from the fertility thing and decided to just focus on the move.  I won’t go into details about it but lets just say the move took a lot longer then expected, as in a couple of months longer.  But once we got to Puerto Rico I started my search for the best doctor, and I found him.  Within the first five minutes of meeting him I knew he’d be the one to help us achieve our dream, and he did.  It took another 8 months or so of investigation, treatments, a surgery, and more treatments, but we got there.  We were blessed with a beautiful little miracle, a baby boy.

It’s a strange thing when you first find out you’re pregnant after so long of trying to get there, it takes a while for it to sink in.  When I got pregnant I took at least 5 of those home pregnancy tests and still wouldn’t believe the positive result I was seeing.  It wasn’t until I went to the lab and got a blood test that I finally accepted that it was really happening, that I was really pregnant.  I remember holding that envelope with my test results in my hand and I didn’t want to open it.  I was afraid that it would say that all of the home pregnancy tests had been wrong.  When I did open it and saw that I was indeed pregnant I just cried, happy tears of course.  Then I sent a photo of it to my husband who was at work.  That man has never called me back so fast when he’s working! haha.  It was definitely a happy day.

I’m so grateful that my husband and I are a success story.  We never gave up, we changed doctors (we would have even if we hadn’t moved), we kept going back, we did what we had to do so that we could achieve the dream of parenthood.  It took several years but now we are so blessed to have our precious baby boy.  Our prayers were answered.

I wanted to tell my story not so that I would be showered with sympathetic comments, I wanted to tell my story because it might help even just one person to know that they’re not alone in their struggle.  I know what it’s like to be disappointed month after month, I know the frustration in not knowing why you can’t conceive, I know what it’s like to have your body feel like it’s been given over to medical experiments, and I know how lonely all of that can feel.  When my husband and I were struggling we had each other, but it often felt like we were the only couple having trouble conceiving, and that can feel really lonely.  I would never wish infertility on anyone, but there is a comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.  So if telling my story can bring even just a slight bit of comfort to just one couple, then it’s worth telling.

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