10 Parenting Things I Refuse to Feel Guilty About (Anymore)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Let's all talk about the elephant in the room, shall we?

Mom Guilt. 

I think this is the very first emotion most women have from the time they realize they are going to be mothers.. you get that positive pregnancy test... and BOOM. Guilt hits. 

"Oh no, I had 3 glasses of wine last weekend!! I'm so awful!!!" 

Guilt can slowly eat away at you day after day as you journey through Motherhood... thanks to that frenemy, Social Media, there is always something about parenting that we feel like we aren't doing well enough, or often enough, or we're doing too often, or doing wrong. 

I am no stranger to Mom Guilt, but now that I'm 2 kids deep and out of the baby phase (making me a seasoned mothering veteran.. right??), I have started to realize  that I have no reason to feel guilty over some of the things I used to feel guilty about. 

No shame in my game anymore!

Glo Photography

Using Formula
Catchfly Photo
Long story short- Austin wasn't a good nurser and I had a very low milk supply. He was about 75% formula fed through his infancy.. and you should have heard the evil things I said to myself about this. I can't repeat them. I cried, I screamed, I locked myself in the bathroom to mope about how I wasn't an exclusively breastfeeding mother and it KILLED me. You know what though? I FED MY BABY. My baby had a full tummy, and now he is 4 and he's strong, he's super healthy, he's tall, he's smart, he's articulate and he is no different in any way from babies who got all breast milk. 

Not Entertaining Them Every Second
My kids are in full time daycare. They are stimulated, talked to, and around people for 8 hours a day. They need downtime too. And time to use their imaginations. And they need to learn that Mommy and Daddy have important things to do sometimes too, and that they need to respect the needs of others. Sometimes I will even turn down Austin's request to be played with and encourage him to find something on his own. That sense of independence, realization that you don't need someone else to fulfill you and keep you happy, and that other people have things they need/want to do as well, are in my book, all important life lessons.

Taking a Real Day Off
Daycare is expensive.. and we don't get money back if my kids miss a day. So if I'm sick, or taking a personal day... you betcha that I take my kids into daycare. Mental health is SO IMPORTANT, especially for Moms. I used to feel really guilty about having a day to myself and sending my kids into daycare. All other Moms want to be around their kids every second.. what was wrong with me? Nothing, that's what. My kids LOVE daycare, they get excited to be there, and I get a day here and there to clean the house, or get over being sick and in the end, everyone is happy.

Feeding Them Kid Food
I used to beat myself up over what Austin was and wasn't eating. I tried to force him to eat what we were eating, I tried all the hiding veggies in food tricks, and still stressed like crazy. Maybe it was having a second baby that finally changed me.. I just didn't have time to stress, or create elaborate veggie-filled toddler foods. Sometimes life is busy so chicken nuggets or mac-n-cheese it is. At least they are eating, and so what if your 18 month old isn't eating your adult dinner of lamp chops or curry? Some kid food now and then isn't going to do any harm.

TV Time
Yep. My kids watch TV. Judge me if you want. Remember that downtime I talked about? That importance of "no, Mommy is not your personal slave who is going to entertain you every second of your waking moments" statement I made above? That's where TV comes in. A Mom's gotta get dinner on the table... or some chore done, or make an important phone call. Don't you remember being a kid and those delicious moments of watching cartoons and being mesmerized by the magic of it all? It was awesome...we all watched TV and turned out just fine... and so will our kids. Let them watch some cartoons. 

Mean Mommy Voice
So there is this "thing" lately about Gentle Parenting. Don't tell your kids "no".. instead, redirect them. Don't raise your voice, instead explain your reasoning and emotions. Can I get an eyeroll up in here??? Sometimes... your kid does something really bad.. like purposefully pushing your 5lb dog off the back of the couch and causing him to land hard on the wood floor and yelp in pain... and you have to make sure that kid KNOWS that is not ok. No one wants to yell at their kid, but you bet your booty my Mean Mom voice comes out and my kids see me as the authority figure Moms need to be. Trust me, you are doing your kid a favor by making them respect that authority. Just hug it out afterwards.

Sleep Training
I'm not trying to be controversial... every family is different, and you have to do what works for you regarding sleep. Since we have two full time working parents in our house, we knew sleep training was going to be our route. Our kids needed to learn how to sleep on their own, so the whole family could get the rest they needed. We spent plenty of time cuddling and holding our babies for naps, but at bedtime.. in their crib they went and we made that a priority... no matter how much it sucked at the time. Plus, I need a lot of room to stretch out at night! 

I always knew I'd be a working Mom. I like having that thing that is "for me" and having a reason to get out the door everyday. I actually earn more than my husband, so my salary is very important to our family in those regards as well. Does it suck sometimes, not being around my kids? ABSOLUTELY. There are days I have cried. There are days I wished my situation was different... but overall, I love working... it provides my family with things we need, puts food on the table, shows my boys that girls can have careers too, and gives me adult time everyday... which keeps my mind happy.

Sometimes parenting is just about survival. You gotta do what you gotta do to survive the day or the phase that your kid is in. So, we bribe. We give Austin small treats and rewards for good behavior at daycare, kindness shown to his little brother, staying in his bed all night and not wandering the house like a lost soul... over time the bribes have faded away and now he just does what he is supposed to do (for the most part). We will use the same tactics with Owen too. Who doesn't love to get promised a hot cocoa if they stay in their bed all night??

Taking Kid Free Weekends/Vacations
Neal and I are lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents close by enough to warrant some quality marriage time. We've been to San Diego, the Oregon coast, and Las Vegas sans kids and I gotta tell ya... it's awesome. Marriage comes first for us, and sometimes you get caught up in the drudgery of everyday and responsibilities and child-rearing and you forget about this love story the two of you have. I LOVED staying at my grandparent's growing up... slumber parties there were totally my jam... so I'm so happy that my kids will have those same experiences with their grandparents. It's totally ok to want to escape with your partner and be excited about it! 

So time to vent Mommas!

Anything you are just so over feeling guilty about???

The Bachelor Finale-Ben Loves Errbody!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Take it away, Boyz II Men...

Although we've come to the end of the road
Still I can't let you go
It's unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

Ooohhhh... yeah... girl... whoo whoo..shoo-be-doo-dooo

I threw that last part in myself, what'd you think?


We are DONE Bachelor Nation! 

(ok side note... I spent 2 hours on this post.. and BLOGGER DIDN'T SAVE IT and I freaked the f**k out, and now this is my second attempt at writing this... and I'll be done close to midnight.. so pardon me if it's not as good as usual)

Sigh. I might have cried a lot little.

Well, it was a live finale, because this show isn't a spectacle in itself enough and they have to throw in some super emotional audience members to liven it up.

Chris Harrison greets us for the night's events and promises the "most dramatic finale ever" because you know, that never happens. Season after season. Bachelor after Bachelor...

First he tells us that the final two ladies' families are there tonight...

As well as Ben's hometown pastor, who is all ready and willing to marry Ben and his final lady THAT VERY NIGHT (spoiler alert- it doesn't happen)
Oh that Chris Harrison, he's such a rascal!

We jet off to Jamaica to meet up with Lauren, who is looking wistfully out over the ocean and realizing that she should have listened to that sales lady who told her that maybe the shorts that look like denim panties weren't such a good idea after all...

Lauren is feeling all kinds of feels... with wedgie being one of them. 

And chafing. 

We also see JoJo, who is also wistfully looking out over the ocean (what do they see out there.. a Carnival cruise line? Are they gonna flag it down??) and she is thinking about how she is living the miracle that is going on national TV... I mean, falling in love...

Hey, not bad JoJo! I can't wait to see what kind of stuff you start selling for companies!!

Yes, I follow JoJo on Instagram. Don't judge. 

Then we meet up with Ben, who is just a big ol' mess. He skipped breakfast! Today of all days, Benny.. not smart. You gotta be on your game today!!

Quick commercial break, and we come back to another shot of the audience, and two guys who would probably rather be getting prostate exams then be watching Ben sob on TV...

Well it's time to meet the families! Ben is super pumped to see his parents. His Mom brought his favorite fruit snacks, and his Dad promised to go out back and play some catch... so he's excited!

He tells his parents that he is in love with two women, and that love triangle sitch isn't going over so well with Mom... that's a lot of extra Christmas presents to buy, ya know??

Lauren is up first to meet the parents and arrives with a paid product placement from 1-800-FLOWERS.

She's excited and nervous and hopes to show Ben's parents how much she really wants to win loves him and the feeling is pretty mutual with his Dad.

The two lovebirds touch and giggle and tell his parents about their first date and how Lauren wanted to meet them right then and there, because that's totally normal first date activity.

Lauren and Dad get some time alone to chat and he tells her that he can tell Ben really loves her because of that twinkle in his eye... nudge nudge, wink wink....

And Lauren is like "oh totes... like, he let me know that right away...and I just trusted after that."

They talk a bit more about marriage and then Lauren gets a chance to talk alone with Mom. Before she gets too far into her emotional gushing over Ben, Mom is like "wait wait wait a minute here... have you seen his bad side? How he is so super critical of himself?"

Damn. Lauren better be checking out IKEA to pick up a few extra (dozen) mirrors.

Mom is just not sure if Lauren is right for Ben, and asks Ben if each girl knows that he loves the other and when he says "no"... her reaction is everything.

Before she leaves, Lauren talks to Ben and makes it clear that she is only getting married ONCE and he needs to be AWARE of that.

I bet all that chafing is a real bitch. 

As Lauren leaves, Ben is left just so confused still.

The next day is JoJo's turn to meet the parents and she brings the obvious "free" portion of 1-800-FLOWERS Buy One Get One Free advertising deal...

JoJo needs the day to go well. She already feels so blessed to be in love with Ben, but needs his parents to know that... so you know...stories about how you were too busy making out in the helicopter to see the Hoover Dam always does the trick.

Mom thinks that is just the sweetest story ever of some CUDDLING while Dad seems to have missed the whole point of the story.

Dad and JoJo get some time alone together and Dad asks her... "why Ben?" and she tells him that she had this perfect man envisioned... but then you know, sh** happens and you lose that vision...

So she decided on Ben and fame instead... because duh. I mean, if you can't have Gosling, Ben'll do.

JoJo easily wins over Mom when she says Ben is her BFF and becomes Mom's clear front-runner for super obvious reasons...

Before she leaves, JoJo talks to Ben about whether or not he's actually ready to propose, but dang it! Her Pantene contract kicks in just then and she has to start shooting that hair commercial!!

After JoJo leaves, Ben's parents tell him that he's up sh**'s creek without a paddle because both women are great... but take it from Dad... you just CAN'T propose to both....
Mrs. Higgins plays hardball.

The next day is Ben's final date with Lauren and he's looking for SOMETHING. Some CLARITY. Some ANSWERS....

They sail on a catamaran and Lauren is pawing at him, kissing him, asking him questions... and his mind is just too heavy and he needs about a gallon of coffee.

Lauren is getting worried because she doesn't know how he feels about JoJo, and Ben is just plain ol' unsure about everything in life.

The evening portion of the date doesn't go much better, as Lauren is really emotional and tries to come up with new ways to talk about the same insecurities and fears we've been hearing about for the last hour... so she asks Ben if there are any questions about her he needs to know.

Ben tells her that no matter what, she has made him a better man, and he thanks her for being so SUPPORTIVE throughout this whole journey.

The next day is Ben's final date with JoJo and he's all giddy as he thinks about how fun and exciting JoJo is and how the producers did him a favor by renting him the sweet Jeep.

JoJo delivers her line like a pro and tells him as he drives up "nice Jeep" to which our Dashing Young Fellow rewards her handsomely.

They drive to a lagoon... and JoJo just, has no concerns babe. Loved his parents, babe.. and oh! Loves the romantic water, babe....

To which Neal tells me "she's saying 'babe' way too much" and since I had lost count after 17, I had to agree. 

JoJo and Ben talk about how they haven't really talked about life after the show... and where they would go from here, and their future.

And when JoJo asks Ben if he feels good... all he can respond with is "ummmmm"

This does not leave JoJo feeling very confident. She is starting to think she loves Ben more (ding ding ding!!!!) and is worried she is going to be made to look the fool (oh don't you fret, Miss JoJo... something tells me you're gonna be just fine)

Their night portion of the date is also pretty awkward because Ben's mind is in a million different directions and he just can't FOCUS on JoJo....

They have a weird conversation in the bathroom where she tells him she's tired of competing and he admits to her that he also loves Lauren....

Uh... whoops. 

JoJo is understandably not that thrilled with this news and now admits that she's never been so scared in her entire life. 

Ben however, just has never been so lost in his entire life...

Despite Ben's turmoil, the journey must continue and he meets with Neil Lane to pick out a lovely loaner rock that he'll get to present to his final lady until they break up and she has to return the ring.

Neil suggests Ben tell him about his final lady, to help nail down a ring choice and Ben is like....

Clutch the pearls!!

He doesn't have a final lady yet!

Thankfully the editing people swoop in and present a flashback montage of his relationship with each lady and then Ben is like "jk. LOL. I'm good now." and claims he knows who's it's gonna be!!!

Neal- "Jesus"
Me- "Amen"

The Final Day is here and Lauren can't believe that today is the day! Or that today could be the day. Or the was it yesterday and she missed it?? Oh who knows...

While she is thinking about what day it is... JoJo doesn't have an ounce of doubt (or cc of silicone) that she and Ben are going to end up together. 

Hey. Camera guy. Her face if UP THERE!!!!


Ben is excited for today! Nothing like a good heart-smashing... even though he is emotionally and physically sick thinking about breaking up with one of these ladies. 

The helicopter arrives and the loser steps out... (that's not an insult.. everyone knows the first person to arrive is always the one that gets the axe) and JoJo wobbles her way over the rustic wooden path to her doom....

She immediately launches into how much she cares for Ben, and how he was right about this crazy chance at love paying off... and Ben is like "ahem..."

He tells her that he wasn't sure if he'd find love, and he did find it with her... BUT.... whoopsie. He kinda loves someone else more. 

JoJo gets visibly upset, tells Ben it's FINE and storms off.

Ben, here's a hint.. when a woman says she's FINE... she's PISSED....

He walks JoJo back to a limo, kisses her head (WTF get off her!!!!) and then composes himself for what's next....

JoJo cries in the limo, and just wants to hate Ben, but she can't... and she just wants a love that she can COUNT on, ya know????

Hey JoJo, how about if you can count on a pack of meat-head men who like to take their shirts off trying to win your love??? 

Wow, it's like I can see the future or something. 

We then see Ben place a phone call to... 


Nah, it's just Lauren's Dad. Ben asks his permission to propose to Lauren, and promises to try his best to make her happy 4-ever....

Lauren's Dad gives his blessing and Ben takes a moment to do his victory dance fist bump to himself...

Then as the sun is starting to set... Lauren arrives by helicopter.. and it's like a SIGN or something...

Ben says some gushy stuff... "wanna wake up next to your top know and kiss your face even with bad breath" and all that love shizz....

And then gets down on one knee and asks the question we were all waiting to hear!!!


Our Benny has found love. Found his person.. and knew it from Night One, all along...

And in the best piece of news of the night.. ABC pulled a switcheroo and yanked Caila from The Bachelorette role and gave us all who we really wanted!!!!

So you can better believe I will be recapping JoJo's season come May...

Join me, and let me be your spirit guide along her journey....

Bye for now!! And cheers to love!!!