Before I was a mom, Mother’s Day just always seemed like that silly holiday that reminded you to buy your mom a nice card, maybe a little gift, and take her out to dinner to thank her for being your mom. Then, once I became a mom, I suddenly felt like all those Mother’s Days I’d shared with my own mom seemed so trite. Like all the well-meaning Hallmark cards in the world couldn’t possibly reflect the amount of gratitude she deserved for raising three kids all those years. And now that I’m a mom of two, I’ve finally figured it out. Mother’s Day isn’t just that holiday that falls on the second Sunday of May every year. The “real” Mother’s Day happens 24/7, 365 days a year. I get that now, and because I’m coming off one particularly challenging week leading up to Mother’s Day – allow me to enlighten you…
This post is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
We’ve all been there. You just finished putting together a plate of 52 different snacks, and it never fails – two minutes later you hear, “Mommy, I want another snaaaaaack.” If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll even get a “pleaaaassseee” thrown in there. But either way, I’m convinced there’s not a hungrier person on earth than a kid who’s just been told they can’t have another snack. I mean seriously, cue the overly dramatized “NBA basketball player” flop. Every. Single. Time. Because I know you know what I’m talking about, mamas – I’ve decided to have a little fun with this dilemma of ours and I’ve partnered up with Goldfish crackers to create a fail-safe plan to tackle even the pickiest of snackers. I’m calling this particular war plan “How to Win the Snack War with These 5 Types of Snackers.” Here goes:
1) The “Purist” Snacker
You may not have one of these, so allow me to elaborate. This snacker wants one snack, and one snack only. Once said snacker has finished one snack, then and only then is it acceptable to introduce another one. I know this because I tried making one of those cute little “baggie o’ snacks” that I saw a mommy friend of mine make for her daughters for them to enjoy on the way from school to gymnastics. Sounds harmless enough, right? Wrong. I dared to try my hand at making one of those “poisonous snack mixes” for my son and he all but threw it back at me. Not really, but he totally turned his nose up at it, and this is how I knew I had a “snacking purist” on my hands. Now I don’t mess around, cuz I know a Goldfish crackers multipack bag is all he wants. And honestly, it saves me a lot of time anyway when I’m just lucky if I manage to get out the door with my 8 month old in time to make it for pick-up.
Before I had kids, I always knew I wanted to have lots of them – kids of my own, adopted kids, heck, even fostered kids – I wanted them all. Fast forward twenty-some years and I realized “adulting” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be. Funny how much things change, even when you’re so sure of yourself and your future. The same can be said about the way we think we know everything there is to know about having kids. In fact, I remember hearing years ago about cord blood banking and stem cell research – and thinking that it was only for people who had a first child with leukemia, but had a second so they could use their cord blood to treat their sibling. While this is still very true, I’m learning as a parent of two now that there are so many more new advancements in science and more research using cord blood than I could have imagined. So here are my top three reasons why it’s cool to be a mom in this day and age:
1) Sibling love is adorable
Unless you’re an only child, chances are you grew up with a sibling either in your shadow or vice versa. I for one, had two older brothers that I royally annoyed every chance I could get, and yet they still loved me for it. I see the same dynamic already with Garrett and Charlotte – he absolutely, and for the most part unconditionally, adores her. In fact, when people ask him if he shares his toys with her, he tells them that he’s given her all of his old baby toys, which is true, and he’ll literally spend hours just playing with her on the floor in her room (you can see proof of their sibling love I captured below 🙂 To tell the truth, I was so against having a third because I was one of three and fully believe in the “middle child syndrome.” But if these two keep up this sweetness, they’re gonna have mama rethinking things…
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If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already had a sneak peek into what the last week and half has been like for our little Murray clan (oh, and for the foreseeable future I’ll be referring to my family as “The Murray Clan” – not because we’re part Scottish, but because that’s what happens when you binge watch Outlander for the first months of a child’s life). So long story short, my mom (who stays with us and helps me with the kiddos a couple times a week), ended up going to my oldest brother’s in NC to help out with his little one the week after Easter. I kid you not. It never fails. Anytime she’s gone, Grant gets told he has to travel for work. The first time it happened actually spawned my very first ever “Mom Jean Confessions” post where I so lovingly referred to myself as a Momaholic. But you wanna know the even more ironic part – it was literally three years ago to the day that they both left me hanging 😯. I’m convinced it’s a sick joke they like to play on me, just to test me. Not funny guys, not funny. Especially because this time around, Garrett and Charlotte both came down with the stomach flu – need I say more? No, but I will for entertainment’s sake. Oh and just in case you’re wondering why we all look so happy in these photos – this was literally the one day of reprieve we had. The hubs had just gotten back into town the night before at like midnight, Garrett had finally felt good enough to go back to school that day, and little did I know Charlotte would come down with what Garrett had exactly 24 hours from the moment these were taken. Hence, the title “Subliminal Messaging” 😉
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Spring break was gone in a flash, and before we know it, it’ll be Easter. Like one week from today to be exact. But when you have a kid, it’s almost like every holiday starts out like a cute little Mogwai, except you accidentally feed it after midnight and it ends up multiplying. Seriously, I feel like we’ve already celebrated Easter three times before the actual Easter, and we still have two more Easter parties this week. I kid you not, when it’s all said and done this kid will have had literally seven Easter egg hunts. Seven, people. I’m totally not complaining – hey, it takes the guess work out of what the heck to entertain a very, we’ll call it “particular” shall we, four year old who could attend a circus, while taking a karate class, while jumping on a trampoline and still ask “what are we doing next?” (cue collective mom eye-roll).
There are always so many unknowns when you have a baby. But the biggest unknown for me, especially having gone through a lot of anxiety those first few months with a very colicky Garrett, was not knowing if Charlotte would have the same stomach and feeding issues. I remember vividly when they handed Charlotte to me in the hospital and asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding her. I immediately had flashbacks to Garrett and what a hard time he had latching. But I honestly have never breathed such a huge sigh of relief when I realized how much easier breastfeeding was with Charlotte, and I knew I wanted to do everything I could to keep her healthy and happy. Which is why I was so excited to learn about Evivo, a once-daily baby probiotic that is clinically proven to restore the good bacteria called B. infantis to baby’s gut, while reducing the potentially harmful bacteria linked to colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity by 80%.
If someone would have told me – like, truly told me – just how different it would feel being a second-time mom to Charlotte (aka Cha Cha), I honestly don’t think I would have believed them. My first-time mom self was so sure of her sanctimommy ways, and yet at the same time so insecure. I guess that just comes with the mommy territory – we all try so hard to know everything for the sake of these little ones, that at times we forget that we’re grasping at the impossible. When it comes to feeding our babies, there’s so much information at our fingertips that it can seem overwhelming at times. Luckily, Gerber® Cereal gives your baby the perfect first food that helps you rest assured you’re providing them with the right nutrition, like iron to help support healthy brain development.
Some days, I hardly remember “my former life,” as I call it. The life before kids, the life where I picked up and moved to NYC without a job (cuz I was crazy like that), and the life where we were newlyweds living in the City of Angels – where a big decision consisted of which movie we wanted to go see that night, because, well, we could.
It’s been seven months, y’all. Seven whole months since little Cha Cha has been on this earth. Sometimes I can’t believe how it’s already been that long, and other times I wonder how it’s only been such a short time that we’ve known each other – since it’s as if she’s always been a part of me. Maybe that’s what these little miracles are – just pieces of us waiting to be born and make us whole again.
Because it’s clearly got me feeling all kinds of sap, and cuz I can’t believe how much she’s changed just in the past couple of months – I figured it was high time for another installment of “Ten Things I Love About You.”
This post is not sponsored or even acknowledged by Bad Moms the movie, and it’s literally just a coincidence that Bad Moms’ Xmas is out on DVD today 😉
Y’all, so I just saw the movie Bad Moms the other week (and yes, I realize it came out in 2016, and it’s now 2018 – back off), and I just have to say that I was not prepared to relate to it as much as I did. Not in the sense that I have some crazy PTA arch-nemesis breathing down my neck, but more in the sense that I’ve felt like a bad mom more times than I’d like to admit. Like Mila Kunis’ “Amy,” I’ve also suffered from insecurities by comparing myself to some fictitious, perfect mom I’ve made up in my head. So I’m here to set the record straight once and for all: we are all “bad moms.”