6 Struggles That Are All Too Real for Third-Trimester Moms

6 Struggles That Are All Too Real for Third-Trimester Moms

So many seemingly simple activities of daily life are taken for granted by non-pregnants (yes, I just turned that into a noun). It isn’t until you become a third-trimester-pregnant that you realize and appreciate how easy your life was before. Forget about the big things; I’m talking about the daily life tasks that for most people take little to no effort but for women like me, they take every ounce of our exhausted, swollen, starving because we can’t eat more than a few bites, bodies to accomplish. 1. Putting on shoes I’m a personal trainer, and I consider myself pretty fit. But you certainly couldn’t tell that by how difficult it is for me to put on shoes these days. Slip on shoes — no problem. I’m talking about shoes with some assembly required, so basically as I’ve come to realize, all of the shoes I own. First I have to get the shoes out of the shoe closet, which is a task in and of itself because the organization of the shoe closet is essentially every shoe that my entire family owns thrown into one big pile in the closet. After the shoes have been successfully retrieved (with the first sweat already appearing on my brow), I walk over to one of the floor cushions or the Bosu ball in our living room. My attempt to gracefully lower myself to the floor turns into a not so graceful plop. Then I pretzel twist my body into a variety of positions to get the shoes on and tie them or fasten the straps. By this time I’m exhausted and I still have to get...
17 Lessons I’ve Learned from 17 Years of Marriage

17 Lessons I’ve Learned from 17 Years of Marriage

Next month my wife and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage. It seems like yesterday we were starting out, moving into our tiny one bedroom apartment on the westside of Cincinnati, and learning how to dance with one another through this crazy thing we call life. Here we are … all those years later, still learning the moves to this dance. We’re older now. Maybe a tad bit wiser, too. We have both learned so much about life, marriage, love, and how to walk through the toughest battles imaginable. Personally, I have learned so many valuable lessons. I could literally write a book. But, it would be a billion words in length and you would inevitably zone out a few chapters in. So, I’ll simply share the 17 biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past 17 years. 1. Marriage is a long-term investment, not a one-time deposit. If you base everything on the wedding day, you’ll be disappointed. You plan a wedding, you invest in a marriage. And it’s an ongoing investment, not a one-time deposit. That doesn’t work. 2. Servanthood wins! I learned a long time ago that if I put my wife’s needs above my own and choose to serve her everyday, our marriage grows in health and well-being exponentially. 3. Intimacy is so much more than sex. In fact, sex makes up a very small percentage of intimacy. Intimacy in its truest form embodies the conversations we have, the moments we share together, and the life-long commitment we make. 4. Communication is the golden ticket. Over-communicate everything in marriage. You’ll never find your spouse or...
25 Ways I’d Love To Get Revenge When My Children Are Adults

25 Ways I’d Love To Get Revenge When My Children Are Adults

My kids have pulled some antics that can be easily explained with the idiom “kids will be kids” — or at least that’s what I tell myself. I suppose it’s all part of being a parent, but sometimes when I think about some of the crap I’ve tolerated as a parent, I can’t help but think about revenge. There are a few things I’d love to do when my kids are adults so that they will understand how tolerant I was as a parent. Below are some examples: 1. Barge into the bathroom while my daughter is pooping and demand popsicles. 2. Watch them spend an hour making dinner after a long day at work. Then, after they’ve served me, drop it on the floor “accidentally” and ask for mac and cheese. 3. Wake my son at 4 a.m. and ask if I can play the iPad. 4. Tell my daughter’s pediatrician that sometimes she says cuss words when she helps her children with homework. 5. Use their bathroom with a house full of guests and scream for someone to wipe my butt. 6. Go to Thanksgiving dinner after they slaved away for two days and demand a peanut butter sandwich. 7. Pull my daughter’s bikini bottom down in front of all her friends at the pool and laugh about it with her husband for years. 8. Reach under the bathroom door and ask if they can see my fingers. Then describe the sounds I can hear through the door. 9. Ask if I can sit on their lap while they are pooping. 10. Shart in my underwear and leave them on the bathroom floor. 11. Use...
20 Things That Sent Me Into Parent Burnout

20 Things That Sent Me Into Parent Burnout

I’m coming up from a four-week low that ended with a week and half of complete burnout. I’ve had parent burnout before — haven’t we all? I mean, parenting toddlers and preschoolers isn’t always easy, and I don’t need to tell you why. Sure, it all has fun moments that almost always outweigh the bad ones. Still, burnout is real, and if you’re going to sit there and tell me that you never, in a million years, have ever experienced any form of burnout after becoming a parent, well, congratulations. Bottle that solution up and sell it to the rest of us because we’ll wait in line for weeks, cash in hand. Also, you’re a big fat liar. Anyway, this wasn’t just regular parent burnout, the kind that comes from a bad batch of days that I bounce back from each evening at bedtime. This was a series of weeks that threw so much at me that all I could do was stand there and take it. It was like watching a spider struggle against the spray of a hose. When the water stops, the spider uses all it has to get back on its legs. About the time it’s finally standing and beginning to move again, the second round of spray hits it, taking it back down. This goes on until the spider succumbs to the water pressure of the hose and throws in his little spider towel. That was me: wet, drenched, no will or care left to try and keep standing. I wasn’t interested in weathering the storm; I just wanted to lie on the cement twitching and waiving...
5 Strange Things That Happen To Sleep-Deprived Parents

5 Strange Things That Happen To Sleep-Deprived Parents

We all know that kids can make you tired and crazy, and kids who suck at sleeping obviously make you more tired and more crazy (and I don’t mean to make light of this, as lack of sleep can lead to some very serious mental health issues, but that is for another post). Beyond this predictable exhaustion, though, sleep-deprived parents may start to notice other somewhat fascinating, somewhat disturbing changes in their life after months or years of waking and being up at night. 1. Total Fixation on Getting More ZZZs All you want for Christmas (and your birthday, and Mother’s Day, and your anniversary, etc.) is sleep. When anyone asks, it’s literally the only thing you can think of off the bat. You have, somewhat understandably, developed an obsession with sleeping and forgotten most of your other desires in life. This is the animal brain in survival mode. Of course, when you actually get the opportunity, you don’t sleep well because you don’t remember how to. And because of all of the… 2. Existential Introspection Many years ago, falling asleep was a once-a-day process you gave little thought to. Now, it is something that must be accomplished multiple times per night in a state of mild to severe anxiety, leading you to ponder its nature more deeply. How is it that one is not conscious of the moment one falls asleep? One second you are there, the next you are gone. God, that is freaky. Is death like sleep? Is sleep like death? I wish I didn’t have to be unconscious every night. It’s not only a nuisance, but it also creeps me the eff out. And, naturally… 3....