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Archive for the ‘Feelings’ Category

Summer to Remember

summer-learningWe are coming the end of another school year. This time of year is bittersweet to me. I look forward to the summer, the less hectic pace and the opportunity to spend more uninterrupted time with my children. At the same time I am also a bit melancholy over the passing of another school year and the ever present march forward.

My daughter is entering 5th grade next year. In public school down south that means the last year of elementary school. With middle school looming I (as well as other mothers facing the same circumstance) am filled with fear and trepidation. My fear is founded in what my little girl will be facing. How “advanced” are these middle schooners? Will my innocent child fall prey to some all knowing 8th grader?

I remember middle school for myself. It was a really troubling, emotional time. Leaving childhood behind and embracing hormones, teens, boys and the need for popularity and acceptance. I know that very soon I will be left behind for friends at school. And I get it that is just the way of things, I did it to my parents who did it to their parents and so on. It is a right of passage. But even with I am still emotional about her growing up.

All those people who said how fast the time goes when you have children weren’t kidding. It flew by and as I sit here typing this I watch as another year come to a close. Even though I am saddened at the idea of my cuddly funny, sweet babies moving closer to adulthood. What ultimately gets me is that I know they are only mine for a short time. The time feels much shorter now then it did when they were in diapers.

In the end it is about watching them grew. Seeing them have new experiences and transform into the people they are meant to become. As I have mentioned before part of that scares me but that is the leap we take when having children. We know at some point while holding that baby in our arms we will have to release them into the world.

Part of why we hold on the past is because we know what has already happened but we do not know what will be. I think as fearful as I am about the future I am also hopeful. For some of us, like my sister-in-laws and their children, they come back to you. Not as the child that left you but as the friend you never knew you needed or that they would become.

The future hold so much possibility for my children. I will just have to sit back and enjoy the journey. As for now I plan on making this summer and each one to follow as fun, funny and memorable as we can make it.

 

Having a Bad Mom Day

FLOWERI feel like I try so hard to be  good mom but some days I just fail. The day that ends in a screaming fight. The hours that feels like a battle for supremacy. Mornings I want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head.

I fail because I am human and I have no idea what I am doing. Some moments I shame myself and don’t feel like being the adult. I forget to set the example. In my heart I want my little ones to grow up and be productive, happy, healthy people but my head tells me over and over… I am failing at it.

I yell too much and say things in the wrong way. At times I totally lose it, go in my bedroom, close then door and have my own little tantrum like I am the child.  Don’t you ever get tired of telling them to put down that cookie or stop jumping on the couch?  Sometimes I just do not feel like being the adult. But I am the mom.

Moments when I feel like I can’t get up off the couch again, do another load of laundry, and break up another argument. I start to disintegrate after I have clean the same area I have now cleaned for the 5th time that day. I just get tired. Mentally and physically.

Emotionally, there are times when my need so badly to control my children’s environment. The fear almost over powers me. If you would only do things my way, the way I want you to. I will be able to keep you safe, innocent. If you would just listen. But you are kids. It is in your nature to test your boundaries. It is nothing new to repeat something for the 9th time knowing I have not been heard. I just get tired, my edges worn down.

Sometimes the push back gets to be to much. My need for control takes over and I try to fit square pegs into round holes. Try to shove my wants into may kids. Making them who I want them to be instead of who they are. This is my biggest fail time and again.

There are so many threats, so many people looking to steal their innocence. To rob them of childlike goodness. I fight in vane to stay vigilant and keep the threats away. Swatting at them with paper swords… it is all for nothing.

My grip has slipped and I can not longer defend against it. Desperately I try to shield my children with my own body. Not realizing that ultimately the only one who can defend against this enemy is themselves.

I must put the sword in your hand. That is my job. I need to let you stand and fight. My fear is that you won’t…and I will have to watch you get hurt. Knowing I could have stopped it.

I know I need to step back. To let you fail, to learn and overcome if that is what is meant to be. Instead I keep failing as your mom, keep overstepping and over reaching. Yes, you are clothed , feed, have a roof over your head but how do I give you guidance when I feel like I am always doing it wrong?  Shouldn’t I know more by now? Shouldn’t I have more of the answers? Frequently I have none and make it up as I go. Feeling that I fail more often them I can count.

Were is the wisdom that was suppose to come with these crows feet? Where is the grounded strength I should feel from the added weight on my hips?  I only feel more ignorant and unbalanced, weighted down by my parental ineptitude.

Less prepared for each day, less able to protect you. To help you. To control things. My heart breaks.  Talking to other mom’s they seem so secure, so confident that they are doing it right. Is that an act? Do they have the answers I don’t or are they just better at hiding there failures.

There was a time I loved being a Mom. It made me feel special, important to a little person, loved and able to give love. I felt like a million dollars. Floating on air. I raced home each day to see my babies, hold them love them. So full of love.

Lately, I feels like a battle where I am left in pieces. Attacked on all fronts. More often them not, I am losing. I have no strategies, no techniques. Only want to get through the day without feeling like a failure.

I know no one is a perfect mom. Inside my head I still strive to be and fall so far short. Even though I know it is unrealistic the feeling is there and it makes me feel awful. But there are other feelings too. The feeling of those little arms around me, telling me “Mommy I love you.” Those little moments where I feel like I have done O.K. Maybe I won’t screw them up too much. In the end all I can do is love them.

 

 

I’m Back

Ok, It has been about a year since I migrated off WordPress.org and moved on to WordPress.com. Needless to say I learned a lot from the experience. Mostly I learned self hosting for the non-tech savvy is very difficult. Quite frankly I found I was spending more time trying to sort out why my blog was not working, instead of what it was meant to do.

After a long four hours of frustration, yelling and ignoring my kids I had enough. I was done with self hosting, done with blogging. All I ever wanted to do was write and here I was not writing and sacrificing time with my kids for it. Although I learned a lot and came across some wonderful people, like my Over the Moon link Party Ladies, I knew it was time to pack it in.

I needed to let go of my dream of being a big time blogger with sponsors and a huge following. I had to face the idea that this was not the stage in my life where I was going to be able to devote the time needed to sort out tech stuff, come up with email list promotions and coordinate social media campaigns. Heck, even keeping up with a monthly newsletter was becoming difficult. Granted, I still want to write and share my thoughts with whoever will to hear them. So I figure why not return to where my blog began. Where I first found support and gave this blog a voice. Back to this platform.

Migrating to self hosting turned out to be a frustrating endeavor that did not bring me closer to what I wanted. So I decide to stop. I moved most of my posts over the past year back here. I am letting go of the schedule I created for myself that became more of a chore then a joy. The goals and aims for both platforms are very different and it turned out to be much more tech driven then I had time for. So here I am selling nothing, promoting nothing just being me again. And that is exactly how I like it.

Month 4 of Taking Care of You: Pamper Yourself

Pamper YourselfThis is the fourth installment in the “Taking Care of Me” series. In month one we examined Habits, month two we looked at Loving Ourselves, and month three we examined Letting Go Of Something Toxic. This month is about Pampering Yourself.

This month, for the first time in years, I actually looked at my face. Sounds pretty crazy right? For years I have not taken the time to look in the mirror. With how busy of mom life is each morning, I would wash my face, brush my teeth and get on with reading for the day. The hustle and bustle of the increasing morning responsibilities with children chipped away at my make-up routine.

Eventually what little primping I did evaporated. Jewelry and accessorizing was a practice that went away along time ago. Morning life just became too busy to take the time to stare in the mirror outside of  a cursory glace as I ran out the door. (This was pretty much to make sure my hair wasn’t sticking up and I didn’t have baby food anywhere.)

Never having been a girly girl, I ;et go that at this point in life I just didn’t  have the time to paint my nails, put on lipstick regularly and select complementary accessories. Yes, I would stare in jealously at the women at work who always looked put together and ready for the day.

I vowed to myself someday I would take the time to take better care of myself. Finally I would use the trendy facial mask collecting dust on my vanity. Or at any rate I would at least fully dry my hair before I left the house. In reality those things never happened, I never made the time. Feeding the baby, throwing in a load of laundry, and packing lunches. Those things had to happen first.

So I let the primping and coloring go. I stopped caring about doing my hair and make-up. Hey, I was raising a family, lipstick had to take a backseat. So what if I felt disheveled and a bit embarrassed when I got to work? None of it really mattered when I thought about all I had done before leaving the house each morning.  Looking back I give myself and any working mom a pat on the back for managing to get to work at all.

Then one day I looked in the mirror. I REALLY looked in the mirror. Who was this person? My skin looked terrible. The big dark circles under my eyes make me look like I got double face punched. My eyebrows! They were an Italian girls nightmare. Suddenly the acne that had plagued me disappeared but in its place was this patchy dry, sagging dullness. My skin didn’t look like this before. My face looked tired…and old. In my hustle, bustle and self-neglect, I had aged.It was written all over my face.

The process of change began by the purchase of moisturizer. A product me and my formerly oily skin, stayed far away from. Then with the help of some Younique and Sephora samples I stared to experiment with other items like primers, creams and foundations. I never used a ton of make-up due to my acne. Everything I used would break me out so I kept it very basic and never experimented much.

After about 5 (or more) years of not taking the time to care for my skin and face, I was shocked and saddened by the changes that took place. This could not be me. I didn’t look like this. Who was this person? But I knew the answer was staring at me like that new tub of moisturizer.

This is the mom when stayed up with her restless daughter or sick son. The daughter who buried her father, and grandmother. She is the wife who tried to keep the house quite and let her husband sleep in because he worked all night. This is the caregivier who cooks a weeks worth of food in one day so her family will be well feed. This face is me. Maybe not the 20-year-old me, but it was me all the same. And it was time I took care of her.

This month I (literally) came face to face with my face. Deciding instead of pining for the skin I once had, to take the time to accentuate what I am now. Instead of noticing my new wrinkles and dull skin, I need to take a moment to pamper myself. Discover and apply some products that make me feel good about the person I have become. The tired mom… well she is still here but I no longer have a baby crying through the night and my red, bumpy, painful acne is a thing of the past.  I can embrace the face I have, with all the wonderful experiences that are etched into it.One year of taking care of me

For the first time in my life I am learning about make-up. Finding joy in the pigments and products. Exploring how proper skin care and application can transform a tired face into one of brightness. Honestly, I didn’t know how transformative proper skin care could be.

Learning all about the amazing array of products, what they do and how to apply them has been fun. Pampering myself was never a phrase in my vocabulary but venturing into this area has been so restorative, emotionally and physically. Overall I just feel better about myself when I use these new products and take the time to apply them regularly.

Although it has not been easy. Some mornings I have had to force myself to set aside time. Literally locking my husband and kids out of the room until I was done. I have even started night routine. Before I would just crash into bed from the exhaustion of the day. Now I am preparing myself for bed.  This month I learned a lesson in valuing myself and making my face a priority. It is not a great deal of time, but it is a enough to get back to the me I need to be. The one that I now see on a daily basis in the mirror.

This month is about Pampering Yourself. This could mean scheduling a spa treatment or massage. Finally getting the expensive purse you have been loving from far. Or just stopping to take a needed nap on a Saturday afternoon. This month make a special effort to treat yourself right and give to yourself without blame, guilt or regret because you are important and you matter.

 

Over the Moon Link Party #70

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Welcome to the Over The Moon Link Party #70

 

Welcome to the Over the Moon Link Party!  You can link up any family friendly posts without profanity. Have a post you want to give more reach? Need some comments or shares? Want a post that’s close to going viral takeoff like a rocket? Now is the time to link it up!

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Do you see Kindness or Rudeness?

do you see kindness or rudenessWhat ever happened to basic manners and consideration? I don’t know but it seems like more and more I am encountering people who lack simple manners. Driving to and from work I am floored by the basic arrogance and inconsideration of certain drivers. They not only flout the rules of the road, they think nothing of cutting into the middle of a turning lane and blocking all other traffic.

Lack of curtesy

I am witness to this lack of curtesy displayed in various other places. At the store, where a cashier doesn’t even greet or acknowledge the customer in front of them.  By teens walk into a building and let the door slam in the face of the elderly woman behind them. By customers being so focused on being the first in line they disregard fairness and decency.

And even acquaintances and co-workers passing a rude joke or comment with little to no thought about the other persons feelings. It seems like a general lack of inconsideration is gripping my community. An alarming amount of people seem to be displaying this behavior on a daily basis.

Me, Me, Me

Baring witness to the increase in these acts has been eating away at me. It made me start to question why this behavior was occurring. Are good people still left in the world or is it really all  “me, me me?” When you think  about it who did these people have to learn manners and consideration from?

Government and politicians can not longer engage in civil discourse in a respectful and dignified manner. Woman and young girls are taught crassness and rudeness are somehow cool and make you appear a strong woman. For boys being polite and considerate is considered a sign of weakness and being a mama’s boy.

The media and TV constantly reinforce this behavior as daring, cool and something to be emulated. Maybe it is because a large part of communication is happening online that people are forgetting basic interpersonal skills.

It is ok everyone does it

With the message that rudeness, inconsideration and lack of manner at acceptable behavior why would anyone care to consider others before themselves anymore. Why be concern that leaving your shopping cart in the middle of the grocery store aisle might make it harder for someone else to get by. It makes it easier for your.

Does it really matter if you are speaking loudly into your cellphone in an office where others are working. You should be able to do what you want to right? Who really cares if you take the last seat with no notice of the elderly man who is standing? What difference does it make if we bother saying thank you or your welcome. No one really does that anymore anyway right?

Well I hope I am wrong. Maybe it is just what I am seeing around here. Hopefully, in the little known small towns of America people still know how to treat each others.

Maybe it is not you its me

But maybe that is the point. Could it be all in my perspective? Maybe the moments I notice the bad behavior is when I might not be feeling my best, like at work or sitting in traffic. Because if I think about it, I have seen people be nice as well. I have been witness to  truly kind acts, like my daughter soccer team showing genuine concern after she had an on field bloody nose.

image from funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Or my wonderful neighbors who always let us know when my kids have left their toys out or the dog has wandered off. Then there is my husband who seems to always notice the needs of others in an amazingly intuitive way, giving them the comfort they needs.

Maybe kindness and rudness exist in tandem. In some places and times there may be more or less of each. It could be about what we choose to see just as much as what is really there. If we choose to see the rude, people then they will seem to be all around. But if we make the special effort to notice the kind acts, that might not be so apparent and often go over looked. Then this could be what makes the difference in our personal outlook and our world.

 

3 Ways to feel Renewed this Spring

3 Ways to feel Renewed this SpringSpring is a time of renewal. A time when in many parts of the U.S we can finally open our windows and let the fresh air in. When I think of spring I think of flowers emerging from the ground, lying in green grass, and a general feeling of clean freshness. Living in South Florida, however, I have had to alter my idea of “spring” as the temperature usually climbs to reach the unbearable summer heat. But this doesn’t usually stop the “feeling” of spring and the need for a freshening up of sorts. Here are 3 ways that you can embrace the Spring feeling no matter what area of the country ( or world) you live.

Spring cleaning

I know it is kind of cliché but it really does go along with the whole I idea of freshening up. Don’t get overwhelmed here. It doesn’t have to be a stressed out whole house scrub down. Take on something small like cleaning out a linen closet. There is nothing like the feeling of getting into a bed with freshly laundered comfy sheets. Invest in some really nice ones that will make your bed into a haven of relaxation.

I cleaned out my jewelry box. This lonely little box has spent several years unopened and neglected. After having a babies who tugged and pulled on jewelry I gave up wearing any for years. This little clean out made realize how many of my pieces were tarnished and outdated. Some were broken or missing a match. But in the processes I discovered the impact jewelry had on adding sentiment and feeling to your wardrobe.

Now I am on the look out to add new pieces and have I actually think of adding jewelry to an outfit when I get dressed in the morning. Something I haven’t thought to do in years. The overall effect just made me feel better and more put together. Just the seemingly insignificant cleaning out my jewelry box made me feel like a new person.

Rest and Renew

Sleep we all need more of it but in the hectic work schedule very few of us consider if we are getting adequate rest. If you don’t get enough sleep your mind suffers. It makes you become forgetful, lack patience and can not think clearly. Likewise, your body suffers. Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, inability to fight off colds and flu, and poor dietary choices. All of this can lead to bigger problems like hypertension, diabetes, and heart problems.

So the question becomes how do I get enough sleep? For one thing (I am totally guilty of this.) Put down the electronics. Scrolling through Facebook or sending out that last email or texts has been shown to keep us up much later then we should be according to this article in U.S. News.

Also keep a pen and paper by your bedside. If you are having anxiety about a full day tomorrow, writing out your feelings and making a plan might be the answer. Getting your anxieties out of your head and on paper just might be the cathartic process needed to quell your feelings of discomfort and clear your mind.

Connect with Nature

After spending a winter indoors make a special effort for at least a few minutes a day to spend sometime outside. We fill our days with “things to do.” We have a running list of activities, chores and errands that keep us busy but disconnected from our surroundings.  Take a moment to appreciate the cycle of the season and notice the world

around you emerging from winter.

Have a quiet moment outside with your cup of coffee. Go for a short walk on your lunch break. Plan a bike ride with your family. Enjoy the stillness of night sitting on your front steps. Whatever you choose to do find a way to connect with your environment.

Maybe for you this comes in the form of prayer, maybe it is meditation. For me walking outside helps me to feel refreshed and renewed. It clears my head and helps me to process my thoughts.

However you celebrate spring take it all as a sign that something new, warmer, and brighter is on the horizon. Happy Spring!

 

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