Stay at Home Mom Guilt

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I have touched on stay at home mom guilt briefly before, in my other posts, I think, though definitely on Facebook. But today, I want to touch on it more directly.

Because sometimes, honestly, I feel guilty being a stay at home mom.

Stay at home mom guilt

Honestly, sometimes it’s hard not to.

We live in a society where our value is frequently measured by what we can do. What job we hold. What promotions we gain. How much money we make.

So what then, does it mean, to spend my life with no job, with no promotions on the horizon, with no money to show for it?

Sometimes it can lead to this overwhelming sense of guilt, that I feel like I’m not contributing to the family.

But then, this gets back to the idea of money. The idea that my only value is the money I can provide. But this is not true. In fact, this runs counter to everything in my value system. I have never believed money is the most important thing, but yet, for some reason, I get caught up in this societal idea that without a paycheck attached to my name, my value to society is worthless.

I struggle with feeling like I’m contributing enough, which is where the stay at home mom guilt comes in. This is ridiculous though! I do not say this to brag on myself, but I do a lot and not all of what I do can be quantified with a price tag and that’s okay. It’s not all about the money.

But yet, someone I know once called me a freeloader. And despite knowing that I am not a freeloader, despite knowing that I work hard, it has always stuck with me. The negative words do always stick too easily to me. Is that what everyone thinks about me? Are the sometimes subtle or not so subtle hints from other people that I should get a job proof that they think I’m a freeloader too?

Even if I did nothing, wouldn’t I still have value? I believe yes, in the same way that I believe babies and the unborn and the elderly and so on have value because they are human beings. I believe our value as human beings comes from God and it’s not something that can be taken away just by your status or standing in life. All people are valuable.

But the struggle with stay at home mom guilt is real. The struggle to run counter to the messages all around me is real. There is no reason for me to feel this way and certainly, in the moment, when I’m with my children, I don’t feel this way. It’s only in the quiet moments alone that I start to wonder. Maybe the solution is to never leave my children ūüėČ Just kidding, like everyone, I need time and space for myself to exist as well.

Sometimes, I don’t have a good conclusion for these posts that are just thoughts, because sometimes, there is no neat bow to wrap it all up. There is no perfect solution to the guilt. I can’t tell you how to overcome this guilt because every time I think I have, I find it comes right back again. But I know Christ did not set me free to live in this guilt. So at the very least (or perhaps, very most), I can turn to him to free me from my guilt. He is enough. And He has made me enough.

It’s not about accomplishments. Or money. Or the job I work or anything else that might give status for a moment, but in the end all fades away. Most people do not become famous in their jobs – sure, a small percentage of people do something world changing that gets remembered forever – but most people, most average people, don’t become famous in their jobs. And you can’t take all the money and accomplishments in the world with you when you die. But we chase after these things sometimes as if they will give us meaning. But they are only temporary things. Money can be lost. Jobs can be lost. People forget your accomplishments. That’s why you have to rest secure in your identity apart from these things.

I am more. And you are too.

Do you struggle with this guilt? How do you combat it? Or is there another kind of guilt you struggle with? 

P. S. I am not even touching on the other kind of stay at home mom guilt I feel, because that’s too big for this post and I don’t even know where to begin. But the guilt of your kids not listening and then you not parenting the way you want to parent and the resulting guilt from that is also a struggle to deal with. But that’s a different post perhaps for a different day.¬†

P. P. S. If you are a young adult in SE Wisconsin, Awake and Alive is having Pastor Jeffrey Bonack speak on guilt and shame. This is an awesome event and they pick their speakers very well. If you struggle with guilt like I do, it’s definitely something to look into.¬†

5 Comedies to Watch on Netflix

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good drama. But sometimes, you need to watch a show or a movie that makes you laugh. Here are my top 5 Netflix suggestions for when you need to laugh. For simplicity’s purpose of narrowing down just a little bit (it doesn’t really narrow it down that much but a little bit), I picked only movies and only those with a PG rating or less. So, don’t take this as an exclusive list as the best or anything like that. Just a list of 5 comedies that are good to watch. I could probably make 500 5 comedies to watch on Netflix lists and they’d each be different. So in no particular order, here are 5 movies from the comedy section on Netflix to watch.

5 Comedies to watch on Netflix

This picture isn’t from any of the movies, but it made me laugh in the same way. Plus, my sister has a thing for pineapples.

Trolls

I know I said they weren’t ranked, but this is probably still my favorite of the list. Yes, it is a kids’ movie, but we love¬†kids movies around here. On our weekend away,¬†we watched Zootopia haha.¬†I have to admit, when I saw the premise of this movie, I thought it was kind of dumb. But I was wrong and I thought this movie was actually quite delightful. It has catchy tunes too, though it’s no Moana.

Johnny English Reborn

This is a spoof/parody of James Bond and you all know how much I love that genre. This is much better than any of the James Bond movies I’ve watched. It stars Rowan Atkinson, who of course, is brilliant. It made me laugh. It’s brilliant and the comedic timing, delivery, and set-up are well done.

Cool Runnings

Very,¬†very¬†loosely based on the debut of the Jamaican bobsled¬†team into the Olympics, this movie had me laughing so hard. The members of the team are real characters and even though, after looking it up and realizing they changed so many details from the true story, it’s still a funny and entertaining movie to watch.

Around the World in 80 Days

While this novel has been adapted more than once, the one I recommend (and the one I found on Netflix – I’m not sure if the others one are on there) is the version with Jackie Chan. This version is heartwarming, funny, and charming all at once. You really fall in love with the characters and root for them. It’s not just a story about adventure, but also a story about love and friendship.

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

Okay, admittedly, this isn’t the best movie. I don’t think it’s winning any awards. But I feel like since having kids, I have a new and fun appreciation for this movie. I can totally relate to the parents and their feelings and emotions around being shrunk and also, their kids. It wasn’t as funny as some of the other movies, but it definitely had me laughing at points.

So, there you have it. Five fun comedies to watch on Netflix if you need a laugh or you have some time to kill. This list was current as of June 18th, 2017, but Netflix does change its selection frequently, so I can’t guarantee they’ll be there forever.

What comedies on Netflix do you enjoy? 

Picture from Gratisography. I love his unique pictures. 

When Getting Through is Enough

When Getting Through Is Enough

Today was a good day. But not every day is a good day.

Like last week Friday. Last week Friday was a disaster. My kids weren’t listening. I was exhausted because I caught a cold from my kids and I wasn’t sleeping well at night due to my throat hurting and my nose being so stuffed up I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I fell down the steps and landed on the toys I was carrying when I tripped (don’t worry, I was close to the bottom so I didn’t fall far and it hurt and I bruised the bottom of my foot so that hurt for a few days, but no serious injuries). And of course, this was also the day I had planned to make a pasta salad for co-op but then because of all the other stuff, I never got around to that, so I had to pick up something at the store, which made us late for co-op. We went to check out books at the library and that day was the day that I got billed for my missing book and then, when I was about to pay the fine, I realized that I left my wallet in the car on accident and so I had to separate my wailing child from his books and go back out to the car to get the wallet then come back in and pay the fine before we could check books out.

Needless to say, it was not a good day.

I just needed to get through that day. Forget making it wonderful, which even though I think is overrated, I still feel this pressure to do sometimes. I just needed to get through that day.

Sometimes getting through the day is enough.

Let me say that again.

Sometimes getting through the day is enough.

Somedays are just hard. That’s a part of life and a part of parenting. But sometimes we make those rough days ten times worse by telling ourselves all the things we should be doing that we are just not on top of. Like me, with the pasta salad. Did anybody care that I stopped at Costco instead of slaving over the stove? No. Me, I was the only one who cared. But we sometimes put all this pressure on ourselves to do certain things. We have these expectations on ourselves and when things don’t work it, it can be easy to feel like a failure.

But getting through a tough day¬†is¬†an accomplishment. And sometimes, I jokingly say at the end of a tough day, “We’re all still alive.” It’s a joke, but actually, it’s also pretty amazing. There are like a billion (a trillion if you believe every blog you ever read) ways that you could die. Getting through the day with everyone still alive¬†is¬†a success.

Yeah, the good days are great, but the bad days? They’re not the end of the world. You got through the day. And that’s enough for this day.

What helps you get through the days that are hard? 

P.S. In case you’re wondering, for whatever reason, I felt like this post needed a picture that would make you smile and/or laugh. So if you’re wondering about why I picked the pug in the blanket, that’s why. If you’re wondering why the pug is in a blanket, I can’t help you with that.¬†

Photo credit: Foter.com

The Amazing Universe We Live In

The amazing universe we live in

I have to admit when I was a kid, I kind of thought that space and the universe was pretty boring. I don’t know why but for whatever reason it didn’t hold my interest. I could barely name the planets.

Then I had kids and my oldest kid became space-obsessed. He can tell you so many things about space that I never knew before. And suddenly, I began to see the amazing things. The wonderful things that God created at for us to marvel at.

So in honor of this amazing space, here is a collection of links containing photos that showcase what an amazing universe we live in. And how amazing humanity is in some regards. It is easy to get down on all the terrible things that happen – because it is true, there are many terrible things that happen. But, we put a man on the moon. We have sent out probes that have traveled past¬†Pluto. It’s remarkable to think about. The whole earth is really remarkable – today Dominic saw his first rainbow and that was a very special moment for him – but when you think about how remarkable the earth is and then add in space and the universe, it’s just clear what an amazing Creator we have.

The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week!

Hubble Space Telescope Top 100 Images

The 27 Most Mind-Blowing Space Photos of 2013 Will Put Your Life On Earth Into Perspective

The Most Amazing Space Images Ever

Top 10 Hubble Photos

Spectacular Photos from Space

The Most Amazing Images NASA Took of Earth from Space This Year

Top NASA Photos of All Time

NASA Image of the Day Archive

Amazing Space Images

20 Amazing Photographs of Earth, Taken from Space

15 Amazing Photos from Scott Kelly’s Year in Space

I hope you’ve enjoyed these remarkable photos!¬†How do you feel about space? Do you find this universe amazing as well?¬†

Photo from FreeImages.com/Copernicus Johnson

It’s Almost Towel Day!

Keep Calm and Carry a Towel - Towel Day 2017

Tomorrow, May 25th, is Towel Day!

What is Towel Day? Towel Day is a day to honor the late Douglas Adams, beloved writer of¬†The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.¬†The basic premise of Towel Day is that you carry a towel around with you all day. It’s that simple. Anyone can do it, provided you have towels.

But if you aren’t familiar with¬†The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,¬†you may be scratching your head at the absurdity of carrying a towel around with you. And to tell you the truth, many of Adams’ books are absurd. But as absurd as they are, they are also absolutely delightful. I remember reading them as a kid and how much of an impression they made on me. They were so wonderful and I remember seeing the (disappointing) movie adaptation with my dad in theaters.

But this still doesn’t explain the towel thing. For that, you need to turn to a quote in¬†The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

So you see, towels have immense value, which is why, in Douglas Adams’ honor, people carry around towels on May 25th. And really, it is a quite practical thing, especially as a mom. If you’ve never read any of his books, I highly encourage you to do so. To read more about it and find events that are happening, check out the official Towel Day website.

Happy Towel Day!

Are you a Douglas Adams fan? Do you celebrate Towel Day? 

P.S. Yes, that is a sticker on my computer.

The Worst Parenting Advice

Why I'm letting go of cherishing every moment

I’ll cherish some moments, like this one, but I’m letting go of the pressure to cherish every moment.

I have to tell you, it’s hard to write an article entitled the worst parenting advice. That is because there is a lot of truly bad advice out there. But today, I’m going to talk about something that bothers me.

I think you can break down bad parenting advice into a couple of different categories. One, bad parenting advice that is untrue/unsafe. This stuff is sort of factually objective and can usually be debunked with a quick chat with your pediatrician or a check on the AAP’s Healthy Children website (which I love). Two, bad parenting advice that just completely does not apply to you. Some situations with children can cross over and some can’t. Three, bad parentings advice in the form of judgy comments from strangers. This category is the worst and I have experienced it more than once and it never really gets better.

But today I’m going to talk about the fourth category. Bad parenting advice that tells you how you should feel.

I think, in general, it’s not a great idea to tell people how they¬†should¬†feel about anything. Because the reality is, we all have different emotions. We all experience things differently. We all feel differently and that’s okay.

And today I want to talk about “Cherish every moment” and “They’re only little once.”

It’s not that I think these are inherently bad statements. It’s not like I’m anti-cherishing. No, no cherishing, you must be curmudgeonly all the time! No, it’s not like that at all.

Mostly I object to the “every moment” part of the phrase. I know the people who say it have really good intentions. But can I be honest for a second? The pressure to cherish every moment is intense. There are some moments that I don’t really want to cherish. When my kids are fighting with each other or there is vomit or there is blood – I don’t really want to cherish those moments. And I think that’s okay. I don’t want to cherish how my kid screamed in my face – nobody likes being screamed at in the face.

And I also think it creates this pressure that every moment must be special and magical. Some moments are ordinary. Some moments are just simply moments. Not everything has to be special and big and grand all the time. If all nights are legendary, no nights are legendary. We are not going to remember every single second of our children’s childhoods and that’s okay. We’ll remember the stuff that’s important to us. We’ll remember the stuff that really matters. We will have plenty of memories to cherish when our children grow up and so will they. We don’t have to have every moment in our brains – that would be really overwhelming.

And, they’re only little once? Well, that is true. They are only little once. But! They are also only every age once. Dominic’s only going to be 5 for 365 days (is 2018 a leap year? No? Right?). Allen’s only going to be 2 for 365 days, 365 days that are already half over. I realized this morning that Dominic doesn’t say bressen for breakfast anymore like he did for ages and ages. I don’t know when that stopped, but I realized this morning that it was already over. Every age has it’s unique moments and sometimes, I do miss when they are tiny snuggly babies. But when they were tiny snuggly babies, they didn’t do any of the awesome stuff they do now. Every age has it’s moments, but I still don’t need to cherish every moment of every age.

So I guess in the end, these aren’t the worst parenting advice ever. Nobody’s going to die from this advice. But for me, this kind of advice creates a lot of pressure. And for me, it’s time to let it go. I’ll cherish what I can and what I want to. But certainly not every moment.

How do you feel about the advice to cherish every moment? Do you agree with me or do you think I’m completely off base?¬†

A Week in My Life Through the Eyes of Google

I remember a while ago reading this blog post about who google thinks you are¬†and I thought it was such a fun concept. So I got to wondering, what would a week in my search history would look like. Except not google, but Swagbucks because I enjoy earning¬†while I search. By the way, that’s a referral link if you’d like to join Swagbucks too.

So anyways, here is my life in a week as told through my search history. I tried to include everything on this list, but I might have missed a few searches that I did on my phone. But I hope this is interesting to you. What would your google searches say about you?

Let Me Google That

Let Me Google That For You

  • Does sleeping burn more calories than watching tv? (I thought I read this somewhere and I wanted to confirm if it was true. It is.)
  • Bracelets¬†
  • The Duckling Gets a Cookie (This is a Mo Willems book that my friend mentioned that we owned, but I was worried she was talking about some other book and I would look silly if I was wrong, so I googled it first.
  • Six Stories (This and the next two searches were an attempt to find a book I read about in someone’s Facebook post, which sounded super intriguing but the cover image didn’t have the author.)
  • Six stories June 1st
  • Six Stories podcaster
  • Wooden bracelet
  • Misha Collins (Many of my searches involve celebrities because I am terrible at famous people names. I need a picture so I can go, “Oh yeah! That guy!”)¬†
  • Dairy Queen
  • Kimpton
  • Aquatica
  • Slideboarding
  • Do tigers live in South America? (This and the next 4 searches are related to us watching The Jungle Book and me wondering whether or not all of these creatures could really live together in the same jungle and also me subsequently forgetting that The Jungle Book takes place in India.)¬†
  • Do wolves and tigers live in the same area? (Interestingly enough, this search brought up many other people wondering if lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) could ever live in the same area.)
  • Do bears live in the jungle?
  • Are there wolves in India
  • Sloth bears
  • Brent and Jess (They made my beautiful wedding ring which I love and sometimes I like to refer people to them.)
  • IRS scam (I knew something was a scam, but I wanted a page to direct the person to from the IRS that had resources and what they should do.)
  • How to access Prime Reading (Still feel dumb that I can’t figure this out.)¬†
  • Graco pack n play (The mattress on ours needs replacing.)
  • How I Met Your Mother number of seasons
  • Garrison Cootes (We wanted to know if the actor who plays Garrison Cootes voices the Cat in the Hat. He does. Nick was the one who caught this despite how many times I have seen Cat in the Hat episodes with the boys. Here we go, go, go, go on an adventure! The Thingamajigger is up and away!)
  • Hamilton Milwaukee (I heard Hamilton was coming to Milwaukee and I wanted to know what dates. There are no dates released yet. But it’s coming!)
  • High back boosters (Dominic is finally 40 pounds.)
  • Wisconsin car seat law (Double checking that 40 pounds is the weight limit he needs to be to be in a booster lol.)
  • Muggles bar West Bend (Did you know West Bend has a Harry Potter bar?! I didn’t until my friends mentioned it on their wedding invitation.)
  • The Credible Hulk meme (A few of my friends affectionately refer to me getting Hulk like sometimes haha. The Credible Hulk meme is totally me but I deleted it on accident and needed a replacement for it.)¬†
  • Soulish (This was in our Bible study and I wanted to see if the definition was anything special/different than soulful.)¬†
  • Last Pass
  • Baby sleep what is normal Precious Little Sleep (This is a long story and someday I will blog about that time I spent adminning a huge baby sleep group. But the long and the short of it is that my friend Alexis runs and awesome and huge blog (she has a book coming soon!) about baby sleep. While I was an admin, I answered lots of questions and now, while I’m not an admin, I still answer questions sometimes and I need certain links for them and sometimes the quickest/laziest way is to google the post title I’m looking for. Even though I have them bookmarked!)¬†
  • Three hole punch
  • Consubstantiation (Because I always get communion terms mixed up, I wanted to see which one this was. Inspired by my friend’s status about a discussion she had about communion with her son.)¬†
  • Early Intervention
  • Early Intervention better outcomes
  • Herb pictures etc (This was actually a series of searches I did on my phone in rapid succession so, to be honest, I can’t tell you exactly what they all were. I got a Growing Power Market Basket¬†for the first time ever and there were two bags of some kinds of greens that I couldn’t identify. I asked several people and googled several things but nobody was 100 percent sure. I ended up asking in LST Supper Club¬†where multiple people agreed they were sunflower sprouts and pea shoots. So, I got to add those two new things to my culinary adventures!)
  • Habanero‚Äôs Mexican Kitchen (I met my friend’s at this restaurant. I can’t be the only person who googles new places before going there, right?)

So there you have it! A week in my google (Swagbucks) searches. Hopefully you’re not judging too much ūüėČ Let me know if you found this interesting and I’ll do it again sometime!

What’s the most interesting thing you googled in the past week?¬†

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