Do Not Doubt A Mother

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You can doubt she will get the children to their games on time.

You can doubt that she will have the children’s outfits match for school pictures.

You can doubt that she loves her children unconditionally.

And you can doubt that she is the best role model for her children.

But what you never have the right to do is doubt her ability to mother.

Never doubt a woman who gave her ALL to protect her children.

Never doubt a woman who gave up her youth to have a child.

Never doubt a woman who went through hell, to get where she is now.

Never doubt a woman that can do twenty things as once to meet her child’s needs.

Never doubt a woman who would bend-over-backwards for her children.

Just never doubt her capabilities.

Never doubt that she would do everything in her power to make sure no one hurts her child.

Never doubt that she would shun you, if you were toxic to her children.

Never doubt.

Mothers have this automatically programmed to where we do not need anyone’s voice to tell us how to parent. It comes second nature, and we do a damn good job.

Let me tell you a little back story, being a single mother.

I busted my ass off on a daily basis to provide for my daughter. I did not work for family, I did not receive child support or government assistance at the time, and I did not look for hand outs. I worked well over 40 to 50 hours weekly, and got maybe an hour with my daughter a day. I would come home late, make her dinner, and have to get her bathed and to bed. I lived in my first apartment alone with her. I paid all of my bills (on time) and I still managed to have a life with my daughter. I normally worked weekends as well, so I managed to find random times to do things with her (for example: the zoo, trips, and just a girls-day). I put all my time, money, and effort into a child, who I had to be mom and dad to. Her father was not in the picture. He refused to see her. He never asked to see her. I did not have a weekend or weeknight free, to myself. I had her 24/7. I checked up on her hourly while I was working. I made sure she was covered and protected. I made sure she was not sick, or sad. I was her crying shoulder and her best friend. I still am. I was simply doing my job: being a mother.

As a mother, we tend to believe criticism when it comes to our parenting skills.

“Oh your child is crying because she never sees me.” Well of course, but you never come see us either.

Having a tight bond with your child is not bad at all. They know who their momma is and they will be there every step of the way.

With that, we do not need outsiders looking in to tell us how to parent. It is natural for us to do certain actions. And of course when someone belittles or attacks our child, momma bear comes out and she is not pretty. Hell if anything, you better run.

For the people that want to doubt us as a mother, just do not. Keep your mouth shut as we parent our child. As we raise an empire and take on this world.

I wanted to include a few affirmations to you mothers, or stepmothers. I think affirmations are perfect because it gives us that boost we need when we let our thoughts get us down. Am I right?

  1. WE are raising our children the best we can.
  2. The children look up to US.
  3. WE get to say “we did it”.
  4. WE get to see our children grow as how we raised them.
  5. WE did not take ANYONE’s shit. I mean ANYONE.

Being also a stepmother, I understand the vulgar words and stigmas people put onto us. Please know the reason they do this, is because they want to see you as miserable as they are. Correct? Prove those people wrong, and be the best damn momma you can be! Beyond the neigh-sayers.

I think this band of mothers and stepmothers is incredible. We look upon each other for support, and we become one doing so. We are never a perfect parent (trust me), but we do our best to make sure our child is loved, provided for, and acknowledged. That is a pretty awesome job, if I do say so myself. Hard, but awesome.

Hang in there, momma.

Heather

Co-Parenting Vs. Parallel Parenting

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There are many ways of parenting, but I want to focus on the two main ways and how we, my fiance and I, parent with two different mothers.

Just a little back story, my significant other was married and had three children with the first ex wife. She is very high conflict and if it is not her way, it is the highway. She restricted him from seeing the children for the first six months of their divorce, and she alienates the children from him. We try to Parallel Parent with her due to all of this.

My significant other then married for the second time, and had another child with the second ex wife. She does alot better with co-parenting than the first ex wife. We are allowed our proper times with the child and if one needs to cancel or change times, it tends to not be a problem. With her, we do well with co-parenting.

I know, I know; two failed marriages? What am I thinking? I think that him and I have a great bond and we have already been through enough to know that nothing can fail us. So in this complex situation, how do we parent with the bio mothers?

First I want to explain what Parallel and Co Parenting mean, then dig into what method works with each mother. Having to parent two different ways can be complicated, but for us, it WORKS.

Parallel Parenting:

Per Psychology Today, “Parallel Parenting is an arrangement in which divorced parents are able to co-parent by means of disengaging from each other, and having limited direct contact, in situations where they have demonstrated that they are unable to communicate with each other in a respectful manner.” With Parallel Parenting, a lot of the communication is done via text message or email. This will ensure coverage for when one of the parties denies stating something, or for court documentation. The parties also do not mention small minor issues, rather more complex issues are discussed (if the bio mother is concerned, she would discuss it with you). You can find more information on Parallel Parenting at:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201309/parallel-parenting-after-divorce

In our case, the first bio mother does not parent with us at all. However, we still establish Parallel Parenting. We are not told about school events, the children’s schooling and education, the children’s behavioral aspects in school, extracurricular activities. The list goes on. More of a book, really. When we tried to co-parent with her, it was made clear that we could not. We tried to work with her on the rules and punishments in each home, so that we may get on the same page (so the children do not get confused on what a rule is allowed, and not allowed), but the lists and papers were thrown back with a statement of, “I do what I want here, and you do what you want”. This is not thinking of the children. This is simply thinking of herself. Correct? In order to have structure within the children, everyone needs to be on the same page. With the first mother, we decided to Parallel Parent. To be honest, if she lacks in providing something for the children; that is on her. We provide the proper things the children need, so we can rest easy knowing they are provided for (mentally, physically, and monetarily).

Co-Parenting:

An article on Divorce Mag states, “Co-parenting describes a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage, cohabitation, or romantic relationship with one another. In the United States, co-parenting often describes a parenting situation in which two separated or divorced parents take care of their children.” As a co-parent, everything is discussed and mutually talked over. Yes there may come a time where something is not agreed upon, however, it seems to be worked out. Co-parenting consists of team work, reliability, and respect. You have to have teamwork in order to grow a strong child. If one requests that you take the child one day so that they may have time for an appointment (or other work related events), you take the child. You would expect the same thing from them, right? You need to have reliability. If one parent says “yes I will take said child, so that you can do _________”, they should stick to their word, unless an event or emergency takes place. Then you would notify the other parent as soon as possible. And with co-parenting, there needs to be respect. You do not need to love the ex, but their needs to be respect (on both parties).

With the second bio mother, co-parenting is the best route we take. If we need to change a day or time, she agrees (and vise versa). She agrees for me to pick-up and drop-off since my significant other has to take the other three home. She keeps us up-to-date if the child is sick or has issues at daycare. It is an enjoyable experience to co-parent with her. There may be points where we do not agree with some of the things she does or states, but it is easily discussed and the issue is addressed. There is no alienation all because he expresses a concern of his (as the first mother does). We do not see a need to Parallel Parent with her, since she is cooperative and in this as a team. She respects my fiance and I, as we respect her and her family.

With all of this being said, which route do you take? Sometimes going parallel with a bio parent is the best route, because narcissistic people feed off of the drama and want you to start things. With parallel parenting, this does not happen as much due to the restrictions on talking. Co-parenting allows both parties to do this as a team, but separately. In some cases, both families are close, but in our case we have separate families, but work on it together for the sake of the child.  

I hope that you can absorb this information, and apply it to your parenting life with the bio parent. This information is great not just for step parents, but also for bio moms who have to deal with the bio dad!

Thank you for tuning into my blog today as I discuss the difference of co-parenting and parallel parenting.

Hang in there,

Heather

Trust The Step

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Picture a staircase. You have twenty to thirty steps to reach the top. What is waiting for you at the top? A new job, your children, peace and freedom? Whatever is waiting for you at the top is all worth it because YOU took the first step.

Taking the first step can be scary, but rewarding. Setting goals for yourself is just the beginning, but taking the journey is the most rewarding. The journey may be a tough one, but you have to see what is waiting for you at the end. Please continue, as I list five affirmations for taking the first step. What makes the first step worth it?

1. It will not hurt to take the first step.

I understand trying something daunting or new can be scary. Trying this new thing can either make or break you, but why have that mind set? Why be scared of what the outcome will be. You can set your outcome, as long as you have the will power. What is it going to hurt? You interview for the best position in your leading corporate office where you live. You did not get the job. Yes you may have a bit of sadness, but what did it hurt? Nothing. Try again, try something new. The word “no” is okay sometimes, that just means you have to find another way to get where you want.

2. Have faith in taking the first step.

Every step that you take you have someone taking a step with you. Whether it be God, a guardian angel, or your support system; you have a right foot to your left foot. Just know that what ever you are trying to achieve, can be done as long as you have faith! As my blog is Christian based, I believe there is a God that will lead you through any route you are taking. For Isaiah 41:10 states: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Please know that God will not put you through anything, if he did not think you could get through it.

3. Keep the consistency.

Setting a goal for yourself is great, do not get me wrong. However, constantly backing out of it or doubting yourself will set yourself up to fail. I understand that goals or ambitions can be scary, but make sure you keep consistent. For example; say your goal is to remove toxic people from your life. One way to stay consistent, is to follow your word. Do not let them in. One way to stay inconsistent, is to allow them to keep coming back into your life. Set yourself a goal and do your best to stay on the path of completing the goal!

4. Do not doubt yourself.

Most will doubt you, it is life. However, do not let yourself doubt you! You need to stay strong and ignore what others have to say about YOUR goals. You want to dye your hair purple because you just LOVE purple, screw the haters (#hatersareyourmotivators). Okay, okay. I am not that young, hip person I once was. Who cares what the others think of your hair color. All jokes aside, do not let others determine your happiness and do not let them control YOUR goals. Become that CEO you want to be, be that momma you KNOW you can be, and be that bad ass woman I know you can be! Doubting yourself will only create procrastination within your goals, and Lord knows, we want to reach our goals in a timely manner.

5. Know what is waiting for you in the end.

Ask yourself this, “what is waiting for me at the end of this journey?” What was your answer? Becoming a mother, getting a promotion within your job, or starting your own business? As long as your answer is positive; it then becomes a goal or ambition. When I think of my goals, I instantly think of my children. I think of what my goals can do for them; and if that means it can better their lives, I am doing the right thing! As a mother we do need to think of our own happiness, but we also have to think of our children, as our goals do affect them. Now your goal may be a rough one (such as a divorce from a toxic relationship), however this can be the best thing you decide to do for you and your children. Correct? It may be rough for you for the most of the time, however the journey will be worth it in the end.

As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “you do not have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step…” You may not know the outcome of what is ahead, but you have to trust the first step in order to get some where with your goals. Take the leap of faith, and start your goals. Please make 2019 your year to shine. I know, I know. Motherhood can set us back as far as focusing on us and our goals, however, I challenge you to take some self-care and focus on your goals. If you are not strong as a being, your children cannot be strong. Just remember, you were someone before you were a momma. Take some time to do you, girl.

Hang in there, and I cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for you!

Heather

Unapologetically, You

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The new trend for 2019 is to pick one, descriptive word that you follow for the year. Whether it be a goal you want to complete, a characteristic you want to develop, or a habit you want to kick. I have seen numerous words such as: strong, focused, loyal, and the list goes on! But with all trends comes a point of where it just.. Poof. It stops. With this trend, I feel as though it will stick around for some time. I feel like us boss babes will stick to it, using it for the good.

So does this spark a curiosity in you as to what my word is? I hope for what I am writing today will help you find YOUR word for the year, and hopefully you can set it in place to use on a daily basis.

My word is: Unapologetic.

Woah, is that self-conceited? Absolutely not, and here is why.  

  1. I do not apologize for being the best me.
  2. I do not apologize for being the best stepmother that I can be.
  3. I do not apologize for being the best mother that I can be.
  4. I do not apologize that I do not bow down to your petty ways.
  5. I do not apologize for having a voice.

This sounds better, right? I was thinking the same thing. As I wrote up my plans for this blog, I was deciding whether or not this would be crossing the “self-conceited” line or not. Going further into my writing, I think it is not crossing any type of line. If anything, I am setting more stern morals and beliefs, so that I may become the strong person that I need to be.

No one should have to apologize for things they think, believe in, or stand up for. Apologizing for YOUR beliefs show a sign of weakness, and letting others know that they are in control of your opinions.

If you want to rock the new outfit that you feel confident in, you rock it girl.

If you want to go on a week long vacation because you bust your ass off, you vaca away girl.

If you received a promotion and want to flaunt it off on Facebook, you go for it girl.

We all feel confident when we are happy with ourselves. Why not flaunt it? Do not let anyone else dull your sparkle. You shine on, unapologetically.

As far as being a mother or a stepmother, never apologize for being the best you can be. Never apologize for the way you are raising a strong family. If someone does not like the way you parent, they can shut it because it is your family (unless you are causing harm onto the children).

You have a momma’s boy, good for you momma.

You enrolled your daughter into a private school, yay momma.

You decide to homeschool your children, good luck to you momma.

We all, as a mother, have something to be proud of and we have every right to be happy, unapologetically.

I want you all to know that you have a voice. You have the right! So you do not need to apologize for said things. This week, I challenge you to make a list of things that you do not need to apologize for. You are a fierce woman, and do not let others tell you that you have to be apologetic for being YOU.

Hang in there, momma.  

Heather

Drawing The Line Of Entitlement


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I get it, some children become spoiled. My daughter is no saint, and she is a bit spoiled. But where is the line of entitlement and spoiled?

My definition of spoiled is when the child gets alot of things they want: toys, snacks, or time. They may ask for a toy each time at the store. They may ask for certain foods like sweets, favorite fast food, or candy. They may think they need your time and attention at all times. Does this sound about right? This is all okay, we just need to teach them that they do not get what they want all of the time.

My definition of entitled is when the child thinks they rule the roost, they make you cater to them, and they do not want you doing anything else but being next to them. They may tell you rules and act as they own you. They may make a mess with their toys and demand YOU to pick it all up. They may throw a tantrum if you simply leave the room without their acceptance.

Does any of this sound familiar? This is okay. We need to find a way to draw the line to the entitlement so that the child knows that they do not rule your household. If this is not done so, your household will be taken over, and the child will become entitled as they grow older.

In our household, we have three children (from a previous marriage) that shows characteristics of an entitled child. Let me describe our nights when they are over. They walk in, throw their coats and shoes down, and immediately ask what I am cooking for dinner. I state to them what the meal is and they run off and go separate ways. During the night the most common phrases I hear is: “I hate you”, “I do not have to listen to you”, “These are my toys and I will not share them”, and “I do not have to follow your rules”. These statements are made to their father and I, nightly.

It would piss you off right? It sure does piss me off. We prepare a hot meal for them, a roof over their head, and toys to play with; and this is the treatment we get? On top of all of this, they do not pick up, they do not put their dishes in the sink, and they leave the house in shambles so that I can pick up for them.

What are some tips to get your through this “entitlement” of the children? Let us take a look:

1. Do not pick up after them.

They make the mess, they pick it all up. At our home, we have storage bins that are labeled with what is inside (dolls, barbies, action figures, and cars are some examples). We have taught the children where each item goes, and for some reason they still do not do it. You need to enforce them to pick up. If an incentive program needs to be in place, do it!

2. Ask for their respect.

They may run inside and immediately do their own thing, but bypass you. NO! Request for a hug and a form of welcoming. They need to understand that you are here to be with them, not to be their maid. They do not need to be vulgar, call names, or disrespect YOUR home.

3. Enforce chores.

In order to create structure and responsibility for the children, create chores. This will expect them to be a member of the household, and to help out with the housework. If they refuse to do chores, be sure to introduce disciplinary actions such as removing screen time, no treats, etc. Be sure to follow me on my Pinterest page, as I have pins on how to set certain chores per age group.

Project:Momhood Pinterest

4. Set the rules.

The children need to understand that you are the adult and you make the rules. Do not let the children create the rules for you. Also, do not let them determine the disciplinary actions that need to take place for said rules if they are broken. I would suggest to create a poster board of the rules, so the children have a visual chart! This has shown success in our home.

5. Give it time.

When a child becomes entitled, it will be hard for them to get out of it; unless you set the structure in the home. In our situation stepchildren are involved, which means there are multiple sets of rules. We have tried to contact the biological mother about our rules in our home, and to see if we all can get on the same page so that the children can become successful. That did not work, as she did not want to cooperate. Therefore, we have to tried twice as hard to set the structure since the children are confused on what a rule is and what a rule is not. Give the children some time to adjust.

With all of this, create visuals for the children. This can include sticker charts, rule sheets, agendas for the day, and checklists for cleaning. Make sure to have the children involved and set the structure in your home. I understand it can be hard. Trust me, we are still working on our dream structure, but it does take some time. Especially when stepchildren are involved.

I hope you find some peace in creating the structure your household needs.

Hang in there, momma.

Heather

#GoalDigger

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Coming into 2019, you may see some people with the perspective of: new year, new me. We have all seen it right? A girl would post a selfie, maybe with a new hair cut, and the caption reads: new year, new me. You also know this girl has stated this from years past… and she is the same girl. We have all seen it. Heck, you may have even been like that previously.

 

What makes a new year influence us to live a new life? Is it the fresh start, a new calendar, or simply just because it is the trend of the year change? Setting goals for ourselves for the new year does just that. We get a fresh start. We get to start clean and be motivated while doing so.

Some typical goals of a new year are weight loss, physical appearance change, or to finish schooling to start the career. Does this sound familiar? Each person may have separate goals, but in the end, we are going to one route. We are going to achieve? Some may slip and fall off of the path for a while, and some may run like it is no one’s business and succeed. Whatever the case may be, you have to remain strong and fight until you do achieve said goals.

As a mother, our goals may be about us but are more than likely about our family and the growth of it. For me personally, I have goals for myself and then goals for my family. In order to have a strong home, I need to be strong. I need to achieve the things I need to achieve in order to provide the best for my family. While doing so, I need to take time for myself and reflect on me. It is hard to take time for yourself when you are a full-time mother, but cool thing is: it CAN be done, momma. I assure you that it can be.

So what are the five golden rules to setting goals, and being able to follow through with them in this upcoming year.

1. Set SMART Goals:

Why do we need to set SMART goals for ourselves? We need to have Specific goals in order to pinpoint what we want to achieve. Say for instance you want to lose weight. Do not put “lose weight” on your goal sheet. Rather, put “lose 25 pounds by summer”. This makes it specific, and it makes you work harder to hit that goal. You need to have Measurable goals. Following the weight loss goal, make sure you set a reasonable goal weight loss in order to achieve it. I recommend setting your weight loss low, so that you can build up for the next goal. I would go 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 pounds to assure you are hitting every one. You need to be Accountable for your goals. If you are not, you will not succeed. While doing all of this, you need to have Relevant goals. They need to pertain to your life and what you are thriving for. If you were wanting to be a doctor as a career, you would not make it a goal to go to cosmetology school. Does that make sense? Finally, you need to make your Time manageable. You have to provide the adequate time for your goals to be met. Do not set your goals for years to come, but rather make it closer to have something to work for, quickly.

2. Set Motivational Goals:

In order to be successful in your goal journey, you need to have motivation behind it. Motivation can be hard, but to achieve your goals, you have to push through. I find a great source of motivation is through support on Instagram. There is a huge family of motivational people willing to help you get through it all. However, you have to seek motivation within yourself. For example, as a mother a main motivation of ours is.. Well of course our children. So why not make that a goal! Show your child you can be the best damn mom anyone has seen! What a great goal, right? You need to ask yourself what the value is of your desired goal.

3. Write Down Your Goals:

I am a visual-learner. In order to memorize and acknowledge things, I have to see it written down. A great way to physically see your goals is to write it down. Whether this be in a notebook, on a memo board by your front door, or a post-it on your fridge. Put a little box next to each goal, so you can cross that bad boy off once you achieve it.

4. Set A Game Plan:

In everything I do, I like to set a game plan. This helps organize the project, and make sure every step of the way is accomplished. So as you write down your goals and ambitions, you need to set your game plan. How will you accomplish your goals? Say you want to start college. You can jot down about speaking with a counselor at your local college to get started, make a list of colleges you would like to look into, or brainstorm career paths that you would like to follow. With that, you need to summarize what obstacles you face, so that you may overcome them. You do not have the best income, okay that is fine. Knock that obstacle down and apply for financial assistance. You want to live a drama-free life, but you have a few toxic people preventing you from doing so. Therefore, removing those people out of your life will get you to reaching your goal.

5. Follow Through With Your Goals:

Recent research shows that it takes approximately 66 days to form a habit. This is doing the habit on a daily basis, for 66 days. Do you want to add a work out plan to your daily living, okay. Work out daily to create that habit of doing so. You want to be a better parent and spend more time with your child? Okay, assign an hour an evening to just your child. No phones, no distractions. Sit down with them and have one-on-one time with them. Daily. Doing these daily, will get you in the mindset of accomplishing your goals. One by one.

With 2019 rolling in within just a few days, please take the above tips to heart. Set yourself some goals that are manageable and work on them. Daily. Make sure to find motivation and a reason for doing the said goals. You need to make sure they are relevant to your future, and set appropriate time frames to accomplish them.

For a fun conversation, some of my goals are listed below. Be sure to comment down below with some of your goals, or follow me via Instagram to join in with the conversation!

  1. Start a kick-ass career.
  2. Be a better mother and stepmother.
  3. Focus on my family, rather than the outside stress.
  4. Better myself as a boss mom.

Be a #GoalDigger

Heather

Be Shameless

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Do you feel like you have failed as a parent? I understand that feeling, and it is okay to feel that. Well, no it is not okay to feel that. Here is why? Being a mother, delivering the little offsprings, our body goes through some messed up changes. We are happy one minute, then crying the next. We have this natural mother instincts that we never thought we would have. We are moms.. Therefore, we do not need to feel bad for being.. Real. We all have our ups and downs, and so, we do not need to feel guilty.

Now do not get me wrong. When I first had my daughter (now three), I suffered from Postpartum Depression. I felt guilty for EVERYTHING. I felt a sense of shame towards it all, and I was not good enough for my daughter. After realizing all of these crazy feelings, I had to snap back into reality. Who gives a shit if I look like I just rolled out of bed, did not freshen my makeup, or have dried up eggs on my shirt from breakfast. Who cares if the children are being butts and a cuss word slips, you need mom time, or you just simply feel like giving up. Do not blame yourself, and do not be shameful.

As mothers we have the tendency to think we do not do enough for our children. Right? We may feel we did not provide enough during Christmas, did not provide enough during a meal, or simply do not make our children happy. Do you feel this way? Do you feel like you do not give motherhood your all?

Let me tell you something, momma. You are doing a damn good job and I am proud of you. To all of the mothers with day-two messy buns, same leggings as yesterday, and energy just from coffee. Kuddos. You are doing your best at being.. Mom. You are being a kick-ass mom, that God intended you to be. Us mothers sacrifice alot for our children, and do I mean alot! We sacrifice our social life, our sanity, and our freedom. For what, a tiny little being that barks out orders? Of course we do!

Why not be proud of who you are? Why not reflect on all that you, as a mother, do for your family? Girl, you earn the title of Mother. You earn every ounce of it.

You may feel like giving up, you may feel like there is no reason for your existence, and you may feel like you do not provide enough for your children. But, you do! You have a purpose. You are a mother. That is your purpose. You are here to raise strong individuals that will carry on your legend. While doing so, you still need to reflect on yourself and challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to be the best you! Here are a few things to do, to be the best you!

1. Find “You Time”:

Ask a friend or family member to watch the children while you take some time for yourself. Whether you get your nails done, grocery shop, or simply relax in the bath tub listening to a podcast; make sure to take some time for you to reflect.

2. Write Your Goals And Ambitions:

Time some time to jot down your fast and future goals. Make sure to set goals that are quick, but also goals that you have to work hard towards. Some fast goals can be a chore list for the day, while a future goal is weight loss, career, or family goals. This is a great time to create a Bucket List as well.

3. Splurge On Yourself:

Girl, go out and buy you something that YOU always wanted. This does not mean to break the bank, but you need to do something for yourself. Some great ideas are new candles, a fancy-dancy perfume, or new clothes.

4. Self-Reflect:

You need to take some time to reflect on who you are as a being. A few questions to ask yourself is:

  • Who am I?
  • What is my role on this earth?
  • What is stopping me from being the best me?

Take this questions seriously. Find what is stopping you from being the best you, and attack it full force. You need to find the means to get the main root out of your life so that you can be the best for your children.

5. Trust God:

I love the quote, “Let go and let God”. Put all of your struggles aside and give it all to God. He is here to heal all of those holes that you have. Find trust within God to guide you through motherhood. If you struggle with ANYTHING as a mother, seek help in God. He will lead the way.

Please do not ever think that you are not doing your best for your children. You are trying, momma. That is what matters. When the children get older, they will realize that they had one strong mother and you did your best. Take the above steps to heart, and focus on strengthening yourself. In order to have strong children, you need to make sure you are strong.

Hang in there, momma.

Heather

Christmas Is Here!

This is the fourth, and final part to my Christmas Blog Series. Enjoy. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This day brings out the best… and the worse in people. We try to sleep in, open presents, and chow down on food, but do we look into the other end of the spectrum? In between sleeping in, unwrapping presents, and chowing down; there is this.

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Through all of the oooh’s and awww’s, there is paper… every where. Let us not sweat the small things, such as the paper. We can make due of the mess. Let us not worry about the dishes that are piling up after making homemade noodles. And overall, let us not worry about the stress of the day, rather let us be happy of the good times, the memories, the excitement.

As a mother, we go through a cycle of excitement for Christmas. As a child, we are excited ourselves to get to see what Santa had brought down from the North Pole. Now, the roles switch. We get to see the excitement on our child(ren)’s faces. We get to relive our childhood Christmas through our children… and it sends such a warm, fuzzy feeling down our spines, right?

In our home this year we have a blended family. On Christmas Eve, we have the four stepchildren all day. This is when we will be opening up their presents, as well as a few of my biological daughter’s (so she does not feel left out). We then are having a Cookie Decorating Bar. This is an example we are basing off of:

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We will have made sugar cookies the night before, then sit the children down in front of an array of decorating items such as sprinkles, icing, chocolate balls, peppermints, and much more. Knowing that our youngest two (BD3 and SD2) cannot have hot cocoa, we decided a Cookie Decorating Bar was the best option for all to participate.

During the day we will be having homemade sub sandwiches for lunch (so they can hurry and get to the presents)  and pizza for dinner. This way we do not have to worry about dinners and a lot of dishes just for a few people. Rather, we get to enjoy the time with the children and let them have a day of playing with their new toys (we do not send any toys home, other than one gift).

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I know the holidays bring stress and ALOT of planning, but relax, momma. You are the best event planner I know! You do not have to go all out to make your children happy. The experiences and memories will live on for a lifetime.

Once again, do not sweat on the small stuff this Christmas. Cherish every moment that you get, because they do not last forever. The dishes can wait, the paper can easily be thrown away, and the messes are memories.

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories or traditions? Comment down below, or follow me on my Instagram page to carry on the conversation! There are many families with the same traditions as you, so why not relive them?!

Merry Christmas!

Heather

 

Being The Last

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There seems to be a huge stigma behind the “second” or “third” wife. People instantly state that the relationship will fail because it is in the track record, right? Why is that? All because one or two marriages fail, does not mean another one will. It just so happens to be the previous marriage was not well, and so a divorce came into play. In our case, two divorces came into play. Now we are here, on his third marriage (my first). So of course, I am bound to get the bad wrap… of EVERYTHING.

I have thought long and hard on how I want to write this blog, because it is so personal. Everyone has a different background, but we all have one thing in common: we are not his first marriage, or you would not be reading this. So what worries or stresses us the most about not being the first marriage?

First, I want to start with a few things that all of want to say to the first (or in my case first and second marriage).  We may not be his first, but we are his last. We get to share all of his lasts, while you live on…memories. We get to love him, not you. We get to love his kids equally, and share another with him. You need to let us be happy, and do not step over set boundaries to ruin our love. You need to stop controlling him, you are not with him, so there is no reason to act like that.

Does this sound familiar? Are you currently in your marriage and the ex-wife cannot just let you two be happy? It is such a common action, and they do not understand the damage that it creates. When kids are involved, there does need to be co-parenting taken place, however, no more than that. No communication about how life is, how work is going, blah blah blah. It should be about the children, and that is it. Now, do not let the ex-wife constantly bring up small, petty things about the children because that is just baiting for a fight. In our home, we do not allow texts to be exchanged between the ex-wives after 8:30 pm. Our normal drop off time is 8:00 pm, so this allows time for any issues that need brought up. After that time, it is my husband’s and I’s time together. DO NOT let her control your relationship, after all, she is not involved.

With all of the stressors, what are some ways we can stop being insecure about being the second wife? Let us take a look at how to overcome said insecurities.

1. Let it be known that you are the new one.

It is okay to let the ex-wives know that you are here, and you are here to stay. Explain that you are not here to harm, but they need to set boundaries that do not inferre in your relationship. Your husband should also make this known, so that they do not feel like he is an easy target to lure themselves into your relationship.

2. You get his lasts.

Sure , you may have not gotten his first kiss, had his first child, or be his first wife, BUT, there is a huge but to this. You are his last. You get to be his last kiss at night, you get to have his last children (if circumstances are right), and you get to be his last “I love you”. Feels great, right? She gets to live off of memories, while you get to live off of the love. Keep this as a reminder, even if you have to remind yourself daily.

3. You get a better version of your husband.

There is a reason the previous marriages failed. What ever the case may be, you get a better version of him. Now, he may come with some baggage or anxiety. However, you are a fresh start for him, which may enable him to change and be the best he can be for you. You may or may not know the true reason behind his divorce. So, sit and discuss it with him to see what areas need worked on so that you both may have a great, long marriage. It may be an awkward conversation at first, but you can not fix internal issues if it is not discussed. For example, if you husband is anxious that you will leave, find the reason. He said his reason is because his ex-wife cheated. At this time, you would need to constantly reassure him, until he understands that you are not going anywhere.

4. Rock the #WifeLife.

You should have every right to be a happy newly wed. That is the ex-wife’s issue if she was not happy. It is her problem if she is salty, and cannot handle you being happy in your new marriage. Do not let your husband see your insecurities. Rather, talk it out with him and then move on. Be happy, and do not let others tear your marriage down!

To get a bit of humor in all of this sap, I have to quote a favorite movie of mine:

“If you ain’t first, you’re last”         -Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights

Girls, I hope you get some type of peace from this blog post. I want you to know that you are amazing, and strong for putting up with being the “second wife”. You will flourish and grow so strong, but please have confidence in yourself. We all struggle on a daily basis, but why should we? Please keep this close when you need a word of encouragement. Do not let the ex control your feelings and your marriage.

Hang in there, girl.

Heather

Keeping Christ In Christmas

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This is the third part of my Christmas Blog Series

What do you think of when you hear… Christmas?

Is it the smells, gifts, snow, decorations, or the fun activities to do?

What ever the thoughts may be, there is always one that people tend to put last. The birth of Jesus Christ. I am not going to preach to you, because this is not why you are here. BUT, it is important to keep Christ in Christmas. To summarize the birth of Jesus Christ, I have included an article from “My Treasure Box”, a blog based off of Christianity.

“a) While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.

b) Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary’s story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God’s will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.

c) When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah’s earthly father.

d) Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  

e) At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.”

Now the Bible does have multiple books on the birth of Jesus, so this is just a short summary.

When we ask our children what they think of when they hear the word “Christmas”, we will more than likely hear Santa, gifts, stockings, candy, and more gifts. Which there is nothing wrong with this. You do not want to take the joy out of the children in this wonderful time of year. This is the same for the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Saint Patrick. Although these may be made up wise tales, the kids jump for joy just thinking about them. In our home, I like to state that these characters are helpers of Jesus so that Jesus can do his work in Heaven. Now my three-year-old might not fully understand this concept, but she does know the story of Jesus’ birth.

When it comes to gifts, how are we to raise children that are appreciative and grateful? Being in a blended family, it is harder to do this because we do not know what their bio mother does with them on the holidays. Therefore, we do our best and push through. We have to teach them that the holidays are not just for presents. It is time with the family and to celebrate this magical time. If a child is ungrateful of a gift, what do we do? We return that gift. They have to understand that they do not get to act in such manner. No this is not neglect, rather it is a lesson on appreciation.

I remember as a child, I was grateful for EVERY toy or gift I received. Whether it be a small purse or a barbie doll, I did not complain.

Since we are on the topic of gifts, let us talk about giving. My absolute favorite thing during this time of the year is the look on someone’s face when I gift them something. It does not have to be a physical item. It can be a nice, simple gesture. I love the feeling of being able to provide for others! I use to think my daughter needed the world for Christmas.. No, just no. That will develop expectations and spoiled actions within her. Now that I am in a blended family, we set a stern, appropriate budget for each child (we have five total). So how do we prevent the spoiled ways of children? We need to limit the gifts given to them, and teach them that if they are ungrateful for the gift, that they will not receive the item. It may be harsh at first, but I assure you, they WILL learn.

A great way to teach children how to give back to the community, is to get them involved with the community! Locally, we have the Salvation Army Red Bell Service. This program is where volunteers ring a bell, next to a cash bucket in front of businesses or restaurants. People then donate dollars or change and it goes to the less fortunate. This teaches that:

  1. Not everything is for THEM.
  2. They are doing a good deed, for FREE!
  3. They are helping the community and others.

We will be having the children on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day this year. The date does not matter, so we cherish the day no matter what. Before we jump into gifts, dinner, and hot cocoa; we will be sitting down reading a kid-friendly picture book of the birth of Jesus Christ. Sure talking about Santa and the gifts he left will be fun with the children, but we are a Christian household and they love the Lord.

So, as we enjoy our Christmas; please remember the true meaning of the holiday. What ever religion you believe in, their is a Lord that loves you. As an open-minded woman, I assure you that your religion is not to be judged by me. This world has so many beliefs, morals, and individuals that we cannot judge.

I hope that you take home the following:

  1. Get the children involved with community service.
  2. Teach the children the true meaning of the holiday.
  3. Teach the children to be grateful for no matter what gifts are given.

I hope you all enjoy your Christmas and loved ones. Please cherish every moment you get with your family, because some one out there does not get the chance to! Giving to others, cherishing others, and loving others is in Christ. Have a Christ filled Christmas.

Be grateful, momma.

Heather