Simple Everyday Mom

Making Everyday Count

The Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received

If you are anything like I am, you have probably strolled your share of parenting websites. If you are even more like me you have probably questioned yourself a million times on your decisions as a parent. I think to make matters worse there are parents out there that add their comments to articles and just flat out bully other moms. I realized that just because they are meaner and louder (yes, I said louder even if it’s a typed message it can be loud at times) doesn’t make their opinion better than yours.

One day while I was knee deep in second guessing myself I had a doctor’s appointment for my oldest son. I asked him several questions and he told me at the end of one of his answers the best pieces parenting advice I have ever received.  Now he could sense my insecurity in the topic we were discussing  it was this. Jasmine , you and your husband are the specialist for your child. You are the best decision maker there is when it comes to what’s right in your child’s life. I don’t care how many degrees a person ha,s you will always know your child better than they do. Feel free to second guess, double check, or clarify anything a doctor has to say to you.  Now I will clarify and  say he did go on to say that is for parents who care and want the best for their children (but he knew that we fell in that group).

I have to say that changed my view on parenting all together. I knew I could make good decisions and that I was a good mom, but it took away all that doubt, fear and second guessing that I had held on to. I was able to have confidence in my parenting abilities again. I may not have a degree, but I will always be my children’s specialist!

How does this advice make you feel? What is the best piece of parenting advice have you ever gotten?

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Does anyone really NEED a drink this big?!

20130411_162034 Ok nobody really needs this big of a drink (considering that the city of New York is banning large drinks) it surprised me that Starbucks has come out with a new drink size. It’s called the Trenta and to be honest I had to buy it once for the novelty, it’s as big as my head!! I probably won’t buy it again because I am cutting refined sugars out of my diet, but I couldn’t finish it anyways! Just wanted to share one of my recent splurges, what is something you have splurged on recently?

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Stuck in the Was

As days roll by it’s easy for one to get stuck in the was. I was this, it was that. Instead of focusing on the was, I try to focus on the what will be. I will be this, it will be that.  I have to say at times it is very difficult. At the beginning of the year I decided there was alot I wanted to change about myself, and I started on the path. Funny thing is when you make a decision you are ready to go, ready to be. yet the people around you have no idea. They remind you of the person you were and not the one you have yet to become.  I can tell them I am changing until I am blue in the face, but really I have to walk it out and prove it through my actions.

It can also be overwhelming at times when I want to change. It’s painful to see the things within myself that I don’t like, however the good thing is, I can change them. I have long stopped wishing my husband would change and have started finding ways to change myself (If I am not satisfied with something.) This could include changing my outlook, my routine or just plain letting something go. I have a tendency to over complicate things and I am ready to get back to being the simple laid back everyday woman I am.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t see myself as a mundane average woman, nor do I think there truly are any of those anyways. I see myself as someone who is creative, strong, loving and kind. So I can’t be stuck in the was, because I am ever changing and so are you!

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Don’t forget to tell your kids they make a difference

I had my niece over today to help me with my boys since I am in pain from my hernias (see Darn you, hernias! if you need more info on that) she is just old enough to watch the boys with supervision and it was so helpful to have her here.  So before she left we were talking about a few different things. I told her I really appreciated her and she made a big difference. She seemed shocked by this statement. She was really surprised, she said she didn’t know she could make a big difference. 

I spoke with my sister (her mom) after this and told her about it. She decided to start rewording her compliments, to show what a difference she makes. At my niece’s age, 11, kids understand the concept of making a difference yet many don’t think they can apply it to themselves, that they can truly make a big difference. 

I have begun thinking about how I can take this concept and show my toddler how he makes a difference. He does so many chores around the house mostly because they are fun and he does them with momma. I try to say thank you as much as possible and rejoice with him when he does something new, but I am going to start focusing on how he perceives it and go from there. 

What do you do to encourage your children and let them know they are making a big difference?

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Darn you, Hernias!

I really struggle mentally when I get in a groove and I have to keep starting and stopping it. Well this last month has been one of those months. My sons and I have all been sick and just when I thought we would be getting back into our normally routine… BAM my 2 year old hernia starts acting up, and then I find another one. On Friday I made an appointment for a consultation with a surgeon (because apparently there is no other way to heal them besides surgery) and yesterday and today I have had to spend a lot of my time on the couch. I would have the one I knew about fixed however they wanted to wait for me to have my second son, and here we are. Hopefully tomorrow I will have all the info and know what to look forward too. Darn you, hernias!

I am a believer in getting things taken care of right away and not just ignoring them out of fear, but this one I couldn’t get done right away and then life got in the way (good excuse right?). So today I challenge you to take care of something that has been put to the side because life has gotten in the way. I would love to hear about what you have been putting off and are going to do now….just make sure to do it first 🙂

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Boston bombings, Fertilizer plant, and what they remind me to do

This past week has been full of horrible tragedies. Sometimes it’s hard to know just how to deal with these appropriately. I think about my boys, if they were old enough to understand what was going on, how would I talk to them about it? As of right now I am able to just make sure I don’t have the news on while they are around, and I don’t have to worry about them seeing anything that might traumatize them. But how would that conversation go? I don’t really have the answers right now.

Even though I don’t have the answer for when my boys are older, I have been reminded of what I can do right now. I am sure by now that many people have been reminded of the Mr. Rogers quote “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers, you will always find people helping.” Whether on facebook or in the news, and it really is a light in the darkness of all the negativity of the news. It has reminded me not only to look for the helpers, but to apply this principle to my life. How can I be a helper, in everyday life? How can I teach my boys to be helpers too? I want my boys and I to be so engrained with the helping mentality that if we are ever in the situation of a tragedy (which I hope we aren’t) we will be those helpers others look for. Not to be seen but to give hope to those around us that there are still good people out there. That people exist with compassion and a love for other people.

I have thought about this concept a lot, how to become that helper, how to teach it, and I have come up with this. We have to start small, we have to actively search out opportunities and we have to look everyday. We cannot have the desire to be seen, but to remain in the background and do it for a love for others. That is how we can become engrained with the helping mentality and I hope if the time ever comes we don’t have to think twice about it.

What have you done that has helped others, or what have others done to help you? I would love to hear from you and get ideas on what has made an impact on you.

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Try Something New

Since my oldest son was born (he is now 2 1/2)  I have really focused on what I feed my family. It has led me to eating healthier and as a side benefit lose weight as well. For me the decision to focus on healthy eating doesn’t come from the losing weight perspective. I want to feel healthy. This researching has led me to a clean eating diet up until now. I have decided to make a change, a rather drastic change to be honest. I am now researching and preparing to become vegan for a month, starting May 3rd. Many of my friends are vegan and recently my sister has made the decision to as well. After watching a food documentary called Forks and Knives, I decided to give it a try. I am testing out a few recipes and substitutes before May and I also plan to watch Food Inc as well. I don’t eat processed foods nor do I eat fast food, but I am also looking to cut refined sugars (I say this as I finish off a chocolate bar…have to enjoy it while I can right?).  Am I crazy?! Ok maybe a little but I would rather be glad I tried it then regret not doing it.  I will keep you updated on my change and how it goes over with my family.  My husband is about 80% on board as long as I make the food “taste good”!

What about you, what new things are you doing to improve your life? I love to try new things and expand my world. I would love to hear from you on what you are doing now or what change you have made in your life that has drastically changed you for the better!

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At the End of the Day

At the end of the day I like to take a few minutes to think about what I accomplished, didn’t accomplish, what I did with my time. I particularly like to think about how much time I spent with my sons, together and individually. I do my best not to over analyze. I don’t do it to feel guilty or even to be proud of myself. I do it to learn and find out what I can improve for the next day. 

I don’t want to miss anything in life. I always hear people talk about how time flew by when they had kids. There’s the quote “The days are long, but the years are short.” So I do everything possible to not only enjoy the days, but to maximize them.  I honestly think this habit has helped me so much since I have started. I encourage you to take a few minutes out for yourself tonight and think about your day, whether or not you have kids. How can you maximize tomorrow?

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Sharing and Creating Childhood Traditions for my Boys

When I had my oldest son, I wondered how I could make his childhood memorable. How to give him the experiences I had loved, and the ones I had longed for as a kid. Although I wondered, would he remember the things we do when he’s a toddler or will it be long forgotten? Nevertheless, I want to get traditions started so when he is a little older it will be like he has always done these things. Some may stick and some may fall to the wayside, but I know that the ones that fit our family will find their way into their memories.

This spring I am getting to share one fond childhood tradition I grew up with, growing up on the softball fields. My parents played softball as I grew up and so did my siblings and I. Even now when I can find a team to play on I love to do so. This last week has held first games for both of my nieces, fastpitch for one and T-ball for another. I have brought both my boys to the games to start getting them used to the idea. My toddler has loved it so far, throwing rocks and watching the hit the ball with a bat. My baby just loves to be out and about and loves it too. If you haven’t gotten the chance to share one of these precious times with your child I encourage you to do so.

Don’t have any specific traditions you grew up with, create some! Springtime is a great time to start them. Need ideas?  How about after dinner walks now that the sun is out longer, Geocaching (for older kids, like a scavenger hunt) or look up on Pinterest for more ideas. I can’t wait to see what their memories hold when they are older! What traditions do you share with your children?

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You’re Supermom!

Have you ever had someone say something to you that you couldn’t stop thinking about? A comment that makes you evaluate something about yourself?  Today I was talking with a friend about my boys when they were sick and she said the statement that I have never used to describe myself “You’re Supermom!” I felt like I was blindsided. I should have felt proud and said something witty, but for just a moment I froze. It’s a phrase I would use to describe women who do it all and have time left over. Yet this friend of mine used it to describe me, ME. I have thought about that statement all day long. I realized that when I think of a Supermom I see a picture of a woman who gives birth to a child and puts her cape on, she knows what she’s doing and never makes a mistake. It reminded me it’s the little things, the simple things, that she does that paints that picture of Supermom. We see the results or hear the stories, but we don’t see the struggles that went into it. I feel like the stigma of being a Supermom should be lifted. The name should be given to every mom that does what she knows how to do to the best of her ability.

 I am realizing that being Supermom really is a state of mind, an ability to push on when you struggle, and get back up when you fall. It’s a state of mind that remembers why I became a mom.  Whether or not I am ever called Supermom again it was a humble reminder that it’s the simple things in life that can make the biggest impact and encourage others. 

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