Hey, Moms: Don’t Be Afraid to Date Yourself

Hey, Moms: Don’t Be Afraid to Date Yourself

It wasn’t until my kids were a bit older that I realized I needed to start dating myself again. And I’m not talking about waiting until they were (finally) asleep to delve into that delicious book sitting on my nightstand for months. No, I’m talking about actually doing something where my mind and spirit could get totally lost — something that I’d long forgotten about since having kids. For me, I couldn’t experience this unless I left the house, and sometimes, that meant leaving the house alone. Because let’s face it, sneaking in precious moments of “me time” for yourself is always great, but it just isn’t the same as long as you’re home. You’re looking at that pile of dirty dishes that’s still in the sink; you’re thinking you should really clean that coat closet, or be planning meals for the week. Make no mistake: It’s a challenge to care for our families and put ourselves first every once in a while, especially if you are a mom who works. It’s all too easy to forget that we count, too. But I can tell you this: As soon as I started taking time away for myself, it gave me the clarity I needed. The added bonus? I also became a happier version of myself. Here were some ground rules I set for myself that I think every mom should, too. 1. Even if you only get out once every few months, DO. IT. Everyone needs a little escape from their lives, and parents are no exception. I used to feel like this was a sign of weakness when in fact, it makes you stronger. 2. Let the guilt go. I know it...
It’s Official: As A Parent, I’m Practically Useless

It’s Official: As A Parent, I’m Practically Useless

As a parent, I have become irrelevant. No, really. Apparently, when I wasn’t looking, my children grew up and they no longer need me. A good thing, I know, but still. See, last week my youngest got his license. Finally! I thought as I sat in Hell’s waiting room at the DMV. No more days broken up by a kid’s schedule. No more trying to finish work, clean the house, run errands and prep dinner during the two hour window between shuttling back and forth to practices or during the surprisingly short block of time between morning drop off and afternoon pick up from school. And, most importantly, no more late night pickups from friends’ houses! Yay! I would finally be able to don my pjs before 10 p.m. and not have to worry about running out in said pjs and being pulled over by a cop who would assume that I had been drinking or that I stole the car simply because I look like a vagrant. No silk robe or adorable short sets for me. No, my choice of sleepwear consists of a ratty old pair of shorts, a faded t-shirt and a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt I stole from my brother in high school. Pair that with my drooping sleep-deprived eyelids and my mop of hair and you can understand my fear of being mistaken for a drifter. Those days are over! So imagine my surprise when my son got his license and drove away from me for the first time and my first thought was: Wait! What? Driving you everywhere and bitching about it is my job! Those days are over!...
I Gave This Whole “Self-Care” Thing a Whirl and Here’s How It Went

I Gave This Whole “Self-Care” Thing a Whirl and Here’s How It Went

Self-care is important and “me time” is a must — especially when you have kids. At least, that’s the message that seems to be playing like a broken record these days. (Just give a quick scroll through your Facebook feed, and you’re bound to stumble upon an article or two that mentions it.) But as a mom of two toddlers, carving out a window of time just for myself isn’t exactly at the top of my list. As a working parent, it’s hard enough finding time to set up a play date or squeeze in a date night (that actually happens) without just adding more stress to my already-hectic schedule. However, the past few months have left me seriously reconsidering the importance of self-care. Maybe it was the fact that I kept getting sick (over and over again) that made me think the universe was trying to give me a sign; or, maybe I really had read one too many self-care articles, after all. Whatever the case, I began to wonder: Was I really doing enough to take care of myself? Enter, The Experiment: I decided it was time to get onboard with this whole “Me Time” thing (or at least try), once a week for one month. It wouldn’t be easy, but I promised myself I’d commit to the cause. Week 1: I picked up a book and actually read it. Image Source: Ambrosia Brody                                                         I I initially planned to meet friends for dinner and drinks as a throwback to the Friday nights before bedtimes dictated...
The Ugly Days of Parenting

The Ugly Days of Parenting

I put my all three of my kids to bed an hour before their scheduled bedtime tonight. It was one of “those days” where nothing seemed to go the way it was supposed to go and all of my children were out to not only get each other, but take me down in the process, too. By the time dinner was over, I was officially over all the arguing, the whining, and the crying, so I just decided to get all three ready for bed and asleep. Magically, each of them was out like a light within 15 minutes flat, which basically never happens. We don’t have these days often, but when we do, they beat me down. As I sit here writing now, I’m in my living room with a glass of wine beside me, listening to the sound of my son’s sound machine humming upstairs. I don’t want to hear anything other than the thoughts in my own head. And at this point, I’d tune those out too, if I could. Today was one of those days that I questioned whether or not I could keep it together. We leave for a month-long vacation this Friday, so my stress level is already pretty high trying to prep for that. Without trying to stress the kids out too, I tried my best to turn my laundry list of errands into tiny little “adventures” for them. But, surprise: it backfired. Big time. With every new store that I walked into, at least one or more of my children threw a tantrum. We left the restaurant we ate lunch in after breaking one bowl and spilling...
Things I Learned In School That Do And Don’t Apply To Parenting

Things I Learned In School That Do And Don’t Apply To Parenting

“Well, that was a waste of an education.” I’ve heard it from people. I’ve thought it myself. I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in graphic and website design. I had a fun run doing just that for six years, and then two more years after I had my first child. Is my particular education lucrative to staying home? Not really. I rarely use my degree skills — unless you count designing photo books and birth announcements — which I never really did. So, technically, I don’t use those skills for my day-to-day activities. It’s not too often my kids need a brand style guide or animated banner ads designed for their website. No one needs logos or business cards, just water, some crackers, and 47 band-aids for a teeny, tiny cut that may or may not even be there. Now, classes I took in high school — those are a totally different story. Sure, I was required to take classes I didn’t want to take, questioning their relevance, “When am I ever going to use this stuff?” Now, three kids and 20-plus years later, it’s all finally making some sense. These are the classes that turned out to be useful for parenting: Basic Math: Also known as creating and following a budget. You can’t do this if you don’t know basic math. Even if you’re like me, and all you can do is count on your fingers, it still counts. I have no issues standing in the grocery store counting on my fingers the amount of money I’ll have leftover if I buy that roasted tenderloin for dinner —...
10 Things I Would Trade For 3 Hours Of Sleep

10 Things I Would Trade For 3 Hours Of Sleep

I never knew what tired was until I became a mother. Really down in your bones, down to the core tired, is a whole different animal. That kind of tired makes me say things I don’t mean (OK, I really do mean them, but pretend not to so I don’t seem evil). Some days I am so tired, I literally close my eyes while standing in the line at the grocery store or — wait for it — while I’m stopped at a red light. Um, yeah, not the safest. I get that. But I’ve only been jolted awake by honking horns once or twice and don’t do it when the kids are in the car. These days, I would trade almost anything for more sleep, so I’ve put together a list. I’m running a little thin on big ticket items to trade, but there are some sweet deals to be had here. DM me for where and when to make the exchange. These won’t last and are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. 10. Shampoo for a month (like I’m really going to have the chance to use it anyway). 9. My hot black stilettos. Lord knows those days are over. 8. Food for the whole day. Really, I can sustain myself on gummy vitamins and water if I could just close my eyes. 7. Sex for a month. See No. 10. 6. All contact with the outside world for a week. Who needs the outside world when you have InTouch magazine? 5. Facebook for a week. I could use some time off from seeing all the people I know looking all groomed, in...