The Actual Worst Part of Parenting

“Kids need structure.”

“Consistently is key.”

“You have to follow-through.”

… okay cool. Check. Got it. But why didn’t anyone ever tell us how HARD it would be to actually follow-through with empty threats to your kids? I’m not talking “don’t hit your brother or you’ll go to your room”, but more like “if you choose to keep XYZ, we will have to stay home” and even “if you don’t eat your dinner, you’ll have to go to bed hungry” (side note: why is putting them to bed hungry so hard?).

hitting

Let’s just put it out there: having to use these kinds of statements SUCKS.

I’ve decided that this is the actual worst part of parenting. A little dramatic? Maybe. But think about it: it’s not the middle-of-the-night wake ups, the dirty diapers, or the lingering feeling that you have no idea what you’re doing. Those are expected! It’s the moment when you don’t get what to do what you want or enjoy because you threatened your kid that you’d take it away. Talk about your all-time backfire.

Anyone else have to miss a Target run because your kids were a hot mess? Have to cancel a play date, so then you were stuck in the house with team “make Mom crazy” all day?

yelling
How do you handle these moments?! I’m guessing the answer is “just tough it out”, but I’m not really liking that answer at the moment. Is there some secret trick to phrasing that I’ve missed? (and trust, I offer choices like I’m the world’s greatest salesman– but that doesn’t always work on an immature brain) Is there some elusive way to make my kids actually care about the perceived threat? Or is this just the stage we’re in?

Advice is welcome, babes.

Oh, and for those riding in this same boat: solidarity, sister (and cheers)

Unicorns, Donuts, and Sassy Pants

This. Is. Four.

It’s crazy how four years can go by in what feels like a blink of an eye. It seriously feels like yesterday when we were sitting (okay I was laying) in the hospital trying to decide what we’d name our sweet girl. Who would she be? What would be be interested in? Would she be like I was as a child or something totally different? From that moment, our world was forever changed.

Since that day, she’s blossomed into the sassiest, smartest, most hilarious little creature I’ve ever encountered. She loves crafts and science and riding her scooter. She lives for cake pops and Target runs and jumping on the trampoline. Gymnastics and dance are her love languages. She’s got her father’s sense of humor and my passion for learning. In short, she’s everything we could’ve ever hoped for… and so much more.

Parenting is a crazy dichotomy of wishing you could freeze time and wanting to fast forward because you’re ecstatic about the little person they’re growing into. I’m sure the next four years will pass even faster than the last, but one thing is for certain: it’s going to be glorious.

A review of Yippitee's monster birthday shirt with snap-on toys PLUS a giveaway so you get a chance to win one! | Playdates and Prosecco

Yippitee Monster Shirt Review + GIVEAWAY

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it.

I’m obsessed with planning birthday parties.

Just ask my husband; he’s watched me plan for months, spend more money than I’d care to admit, and slave ’til 2 am night after night to ensure my kiddos have the party of their dreams (or maybe it’s my dreams?).

And you know what? I am not even mad about it. I LOVE IT. I love the feeling of looking around on party day, seeing all my hard work and grand ideas come to fruition, and hearing the squeals of joy from tiny party-goers.

One of my favorite parts of party planning is planning our outfits! Yes, I say “our” because OF COURSE our whole family must coordinate. I’m that mom. #sorrynotsorry This past year, I connected with Peggy Keefe-Lopez from Yippitee through a partnership with FIT4MOM Austin. She graciously sent over this adorable monster tee for McKenna to test out and we’ve been rocking it ever since. That’s the beauty of her tees– they can be worn for a birthday, but also throughout the year since they aren’t marked specifically as a “birthday” tee. What mama wouldn’t love that?!

Each tee from ages 3 and up have these super fun finger puppets attached, turning your kiddos t-shirt into instant entertainment! Plus, the shirts are super soft and wash well. We’re hard clothes and I’m a “machine-wash, dry on regular heat” kinda lady, so clothes need to hold up to lots of washes.

So. Much. Fun! Gender-neutral. Cost effective. Excellent quality. Oh, and did I mention she’s currently working on a UNICORN LINE?! Dreams DO come true.

And now for the fun: you have a chance to win a Yippitee monster birthday shirt! Enter via Rafflecopter below. Your official entry is your email address, but you get extra entries for commenting on this post, sharing this post on Pinterest, and liking the Yippitee Facebook page.

This giveaway runs for 5 days and ends on Tuesday, March 27 at 11:59pm Central. The potential winner will be emailed within 24 hours and once confirmed will be announced via email to all entrants by Friday, March 30.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Hang tight as we verify the entries and contact the potential winner! Everyone will be notified by email when a winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway: Click HERE to Enter!

More than Mama

In these little years, it be incredibly hard to not let motherhood completely consume you. You’ve got these tiny little humans depending on you during their every waking moment. Whether you’re with them all day or not, they’re on your mind 24/7. And that’s great! That’s evolution at it’s finest— you’re hardwired to put their best interests above your own. There have been countless hours of sacrificed sleep, endless skipped meals, and definite periods of life where you’re kids looked like a BabyGap ad while you were rocking three-day-old yoga pants and a ponytail.

Sweet Mama, you’re doing an amazing job, but there’s something I want you to remember: you’re not JUST Mama. You’re so, so much more than that.

You’re a wife

Before those little sweet humans arrived, there was just the two of you. And when those same littles grow up, it’ll be the two of you again. Don’t let that spark fade, Mama. Kindle the fire, nurture it, and let it grow.

You’re a friend

Remember all those people you used to talk to before motherhood consumed you? They miss you. They’re still there, waiting. Reach out to them.

You’re a child

Funny how it all comes full circle. Those things you swore you’d “never do” or “never say” to your future children slowly manifest themselves to humble you and remind you to call your mother. Do it. Remind her how much you love her and thank her for raising a strong, self-sufficient adult (#humblebrag).

You’re a goddess

YAS, Mama. You are a mother-freaking goddess who should be treated as such. With no makeup on, dry-shampooed hair, and athleisure wear as a daily staple, you’re still fire. You are a strong and powerful woman who is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t forget it.

You’re a warrior

You have taken on one of life’s most noble tasks: you’re raising the next generation. You’re grooming and teaching and molding and sculpting these tiny humans into incredible global citizens who will no doubt change our world. You’ve got this.

You’re YOU

There is only one you, Mama. You’re the one that your littles need right now, even when you don’t feel like you’re doing enough. The world needs you, in all your stunning mama-goddess-warrior glory. Embrace it.

Xo

The Motherhood NO ONE Warns You About

If you’re a new(ish) parent and you aren’t being bombarded with parenting advice, stories, and helpful “tips” 24/7, consider yourself an anomaly. In today’s society (especially in this world of blogging and social media), it seems like everybody is an expert. You have kids? Great, tell me how to parent mine. Oh, you DON’T have kids, even better! Keep the advice coming. It can be insanely overwhelming and while sometimes helpful, often times leave you feeling like you’re doing this whole thing totally wrong.

Guess what? You’re not. You’re doing YOU and your family and that’s totally legit and bad ass. There are a few things, however, that I feel like we don’t talk about enough. Things that happen much later– after that “new mama” stage, once you *think* you have things under control and handled. Things that are totally real and true, but you won’t really understand ’em until you live ’em.

  • You’ll do weird, gross things all day long and not be phased: Between changing (and examining) dirty diapers, wiping snotty noses, and eating random scraps of old toddler food, you’re definition of “gross” will be markedly different than that of your childless friends. You’ll do things that you’ll vow to never tell another human about and then proceed to tell your spouse in painfully specific details, because if you had to experience it, so do they.
  • You’ll be insanely silly and pray no one sees you/heard what you said: If you’ve never gotten WAY TOO INTO a game of make-believe, showcased your horrendous dancing or singing in the name of pretend concerts, or told knock-knock jokes that make virtually zero sense to entertain a child… just wait. You’re time is coming… you just better hope no other grown adults (or cameras) are around.
  • You’ll have REALLY hard minutes, hours, days, and even weeks… but you’ll bounce back: Man, parenting is so.freaking.hard. I don’t know that there’s a truer test of self-confidence than parenting a young child; those little humans will break you down and test every ounce of patience you didn’t even know you had. The crazy thing? Moments later (if you’re lucky), they’ll be back to their incredible selves and they’ll remind you why you don’t just up and leave ’em. {Real talk, though: post-partum depression is NO JOKE and if these moments aren’t passing, there’s ZERO shame in seeking help}.
  • You’ll have ALL THE FEELINGS: People talk about being more emotional after having kids and I always equated this to a more compassionate, lovey-dovey kind of emotional. Wrong… sort of. This one swings all over the dang emotions map. Feeling sad for your kiddo? Grab some tissues and get ready to cry a river. Feeling happy for your kiddo? Mama, that pride is shining out of you like beams from the sun. Feeling angry at your kid, because of your kid, or at someone else FOR your kid? Ohhhh Lord, ain’t no wrath like that of a mama bear. Also, you should probably grab those tissues again, because as a parent I’ve angry-cried more than I ever would’ve predicted. Parenthood brings out #allthefeels for all the reasons.

There’s probably about 10 more things that no one told me about (like how awful breastfeeding can be, how ridiculous mom-shamers are, how to teach my kids to be bored once in a while), but #mombrain is also a very real thing. And if you’re a mother, you know that I currently have approximately 12 other things demanding my attention at the moment, so off I go.

Until next time, Xo.

Jess

 

Fave Finds {11/13/17}

Current

o b s e s s i o n s :

Y’all I’m starting with this one because WHAT?! IT’S SO GOOD. I am a sucker for anything local and for anything sweet & spicy. This one hits both marks, which means I’m all in. As a company, they’re about real ingredients and intentional cooking. As a sauce, it’ll rock your socks off. Seriously, I ate it on all three meals today (eggs for brekky, left-over pulled pork for lunch, and tacos for dinner. No shame). We got ours at H-E-B, but you can also order on their site.

 

  • Fitness Challenges/Streaks

It’s kind of crazy to think it was about a year ago when I started my #runstreak. Everyday, for 51 days I ran at least a mile (and in there, a 5 miler and a half marathon!). What I love about monthly challenges and running streaks is that it’s NOT about the actual thing you’re doing. Not at all. At least, not for me. For me, it’s about the discipline. It’s about making a commitment and sticking to it, even on days when it’s the absolute last thing you want to do. Over the 51 days I ran, I learned so much more about myself than I improved upon my running. Start something. Just do it. I promise you won’t regret it (and maybe you’ll improve your plank time or gain an ab or two).

A shirt with toys attached?! What is this sorcery?! At first, I wasn’t sure McKenna would be into it. But honestly, it’s the perfect shirt for a few reasons.

  1. Fun numerical design. McKenna loves that it’s her “three” shirt.
  2. It can be for a birthday, but doesn’t have to be. I usually get my kids birthday shirts that are “that day” specific and then it’s kind of weird when they wear it again. This one can get a ton of wears without being weird.
  3. The fact that the shirt has snap-on finger puppets means it’s ideal for Stroller Strides! I can get McKenna dressed AND pack her some toys in one swoop. #momhack

Bonus reason why Yippitee is awesome?! They were the October FIT4MOM Austin Vendor of the Month, but she didn’t stop there! For the rest of November, you can get 15% her whole site with the code “F4M1017”.

 

  • Wet & Wild Gel Nail Polish

I’m constantly on the hunt for at-home gel polishes that don’t require the whole set-up. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to sneak away to get a legit mani, but let’s be honest… who was the time?! So I fake it at home, usually with Sally Hansen. The ones I’m used to using are a two-step process, which is fine, but I love my polish to be super-shiny, so I usually hit it with another top coat. Again, who has the time? This wet & wild polish is new and only requires one coat (well, one bottle, I used two coats). I’m reeaallly rough on my hands and it’s held up great. I’m linking the color I’ve got below.

Wnw Nail Color Gel-Maroon Size .45z Wnw Nail Color Gel-Left Marooned

  • Leather Earrings

Saving the best for last? I want to say yes, but I really can’t pick a favorite from this week’s list. I love a big statement earring, but I am pretty picky about the weight of my bling. I also love a statement earring with a simple outfit. No joke, I can go from asleep in my bed to hair in a messy bun, makeup on, random dress, statement earrings in like 15 minutes and look totally put together (for real—this is my work look almost errrrryyyday). All this to say GET YOU SOME LEATHER EARRINGS. So light-weight, so gorgeous. I have two brands at the moment (Lavish Leathers and Nickel & Suede) and I love them both equally. I am slowly building my collection so that I can seriously wear them all the time. So far I have a black glittery pair, a copper and camel pair (pictured), and an emerald green pair (pictured). These will change your fashion-life in the best way.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY DIGGING? WHAT PRODUCTS SHOULD I TRY?  WHAT SHOWS CAN I BINGE ON? WHAT PODCASTS ARE YOU LOVING?

tell. me. everything.

Parenting: It’s Hard AF

Mamas, have you found your parenting “sweet spot”? Where you feel like you’ve finally hit your stride and things are easy-breezy? Like you’ve finally figured this whole #momlife thing out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, GIVE THE REST OF US YOUR SECRETS!!! WHY ARE YOU HOLDING OUT ON US?!? Seriously though, I need to know what you’re doing. For me, I seem to ride on this wave—the parenting ocean, if you will. It seems like every time I start feeling really good about my mom skills, chaos erupts and everything changes. Never get too sure of yourself, right?

Don’t believe me? Girl, just wait. Read on, because after all, if we can’t laugh about it then surely we’ll cry. And to be honest, there’s been more than enough crying at my house today. I thought I had this whole “mom of two” thing locked down; we were a well-oiled machine. UNTIL. There’s always an “until”.

Exhibit A:

I am not exactly what you call a homebody. I get so bored staying home all day, so we frequent places like Target and H-E-B on the regular, simply because it gets us out of the house. I felt like we had gotten pretty darn good at it. UNTIL… I decided to bring both kiddos with me to look for a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. This place happens to not allow carts in the dressing rooms, which led to our downfall. Said place also has the kind of dressing rooms that are open at the bottom, creating apparently the most exciting obstacle course for a one year old to climb through. Rather than try on dresses, I spent the duration of our time in the dressing room wrangling my toddler and trying to corral him into one 3×3 square instead of crawling full speed at half-naked strangers. There was quite a bit of what can only be described as a “stern whisper” as I tried to simultaneously convince O to stay in the room and M to stop yelling at her brother. Talk about a good time.

Exhibit B:

Same day as above. Abandoned the dress idea and thought it would be easier to look for shoes. But, of course, I forgot any sort of carrier for O and we went somewhere that lacked carts. As I tried on shoes, I assigned M the task of keeping her brother in the same aisle as us. It started out great as O explored the shoe boxes in my immediate vicinity. I’m super picky, so I finally found two pairs to try. In as much time as it took me to pull the size 7 rose gold beauties out of the box, chaos erupted. O decided to make his move, crawling at lightning speed to get as far away as possible. M takes her role as big sister and subsequent protector VERY seriously, which led her to run behind him, also at full speed, and full-body tackle him to the ground to stop him. This, of course, caused him to immediately start screaming and crying, causing everyone in the building to give us the side-eye as I scrambled to pick up my children and high-tail it towards the parking lot. Wonderful.

Exhibit C:

Both my kids slept in—WIN! However, that meant we were running super late for our morning routine. I scrambled to make breakfast and get everyone ready to leave for Stroller Strides. At the same moment I realize it’s time to go, I also remember that I need to load the stroller into the car AND stop to get gas. Cue even more rushing around. As I put M’s shoes on, I turn too quickly and knock a full cup of coffee onto the carpet. I half-heartedly clean it up, salvage the approximately 3 oz of coffee left in the tumbler, and we get out the door. As I pull out of the gas station, the cup goes flying from my cup holder and my last few drops of goodness cover the passenger seat. Oh, and that same afternoon, we packed up ALL the things, lubed up with sunscreen, and attempted to go to the pool. We were there somewhere between 5 and 7 minutes before O lost his ever loving mind. M wasn’t ready to leave, so she also start bawling. So, we packed EVERYTHING back up, avoided the eye contact and came home. Super worth it.

So uh… yeah.

It’s still hard. I feel like there’s this whole secret world of parenting that no one really tells you about. The parts where you will feel like you have NO IDEA what you’re doing. Where you’ll cry out of sheer frustration, not because of what your kid is doing, but because you don’t know how to “properly” handle it. Where you’ll lie awake at night and second guess what your kids eat or how they behaved at a playdate or whether you’re royally screwing them up or not.  The good news (the bad news? I haven’t decided) is that as long as you’re worrying about these things, I can promise that you’re a good mom. We’re all good moms. We’re good moms when it’s easy and we’re good moms when it’s hard. We’re good moms even when we feel like awful moms. Because as it just turns out that even when things seem easy, parenting is hard AF.