Not only am I a mom to two incredible girls, I’m also a dog mom!
We adopted Henry (our doodle) when he was five months old from a shelter in OH! My sister was working there at the time, and she texted me the minute he came in.
She sent me one photo and I knew he was going to be my boy!
It was kind of a tricky process since we lived out of state. He also had to quarantine for 14 days to make sure he didn’t have any puppy illnesses.
It took a lot of convincing to get my hubby on board though! He wasn’t too excited about the idea of traveling 10 hours there and back to get a dog…
We did it though! January 31, 2019 ( THE coldest day of the year… I actually think it was record lows that month), we made the five hour trek to OH, after both of us worked the morning! We left at about 3 in the afternoon and didn’t arrive home until 1 AM!
We love our boy so much, and he was totally worth the drive!
Fast forward a year and a half, and we got another dog, Adalyn or “Addie” for short!
We knew we wanted another dog, and our oldest daughter BEGGED for a golden retriever. The breed is such a sought after breed, any time you see puppies for sale, they’re gone within days!
We were on a few lists for puppies that would be born this fall, but I have to tell you, getting her was fate.
We actually got her from a good friend and coworker. She is four months old, and the sweetest thing!
Being a dog mom is great! It gives me the extra motivation to get up and be active with my fur babies.
I also feel it’s great to show my kids some responsibility. They love feeling like they are in charge of something.
I think I’m done getting more dogs. We have some many pets it’s hard to keep track!
You know how when we were little and were playing house and you would dream of a beautiful picture perfect life with a spouse and 3 children living in a mansion just happy as can be? Cooking up breakfast, lunch and dinner every day on your little plastic kitchen set?
Well, all of that can defiantly happen but the reality of what your days are actually like vs. what you used to dream about??
Am I right?
Today I would love to talk about reality vs. expectation in the parenting world. I feel like we expect so much but then get disappointed when the outcome is different and it’s totally normal but we need to embrace the reality, because this parenting gig? Hardest thing in the world but it is just the best ever!
Expectation- My children will never throw a tantrum in aisle 5 at the grocery store.
My child will be perfect and never show their feelings or have a meltdown because that’s just embarrassing.
HA HA…..hahaha. The minute you said no coco puffs was the minute you lost that perfection battle. Tantrums are so normal and you just have to embrace them. Haven’t you ever had a meltdown in aisle 5? You might not have shown it the same way, maybe you had a quiet one because you were so tired from working all day but had to go to the grocery store anyway. It’s just how feelings are shown and kids just like us have every right to feel…even if it is embarrassing.
Expectation- Social Media.
I made this homemade perfect meal, I must post on Instagram. My baby just can’t stop smiling right now, always so happy! I cleaned the whole entire house, I need to show it off.
Bribing is just the best way to get great pictures I will tell you that! Oh and that perfect clean house? Yeah…that is just one area, you should see the rest of it! That perfect homemade meal I made? Only happens about once a week….if that. Social media can be so toxic, I promise you that all the perfect mama’s you think are on there all have the reality of daily life happening as well so remember…DO NOT COMPARE!
Expectation- What my kids eat.
All organic, no added sugar, fruits and veggies galore.
Oh my goodness, I thought I could be a total organic mom and I do try to as much as I can and my son does love fruit but I mean lets get real. This kid also loves French fries and popsicles and that’s ok too!
Expectation- I will not change after having children.
I will still have my social life and pamper myself and eat healthy and exercise just like I am right now.
Oh man this was a big one for me. More on the social life, I can’t believe how hard it is to keep up a social life with children. I feel like there isn’t even enough hours in the day to go to work and come home and be a mom and a wife! My body has changed, my thinking has changed, my whole life has changed and I am defiantly not who I was before having my baby and you know what? THAT’S OK!
Expectation- Being a mom.
I will have it all together all the time. I will be able to balance my life perfectly. I will find the joy in every situation and be the best mom ever.
Most nights I will cry with a glass of wine wondering what I am doing wrong. I will think, how am I supposed to handle all of this? Working and being a mom just aren’t doable and I just can’t stop feeling guilty all of the time!
The truth is being a parent is hard. I rarely go to the bathroom alone these days. I don’t get more than a quick 5 minute shower most of the time. I feel like I am constantly cleaning or washing bottles or doing laundry and most of the time? I am just exhausted beyond repair and when I wake up in the morning? I still feel exhausted but do it all over again.
All these expecations we put out there? They just aren’t reality. They shouldn’t be though. Life isn’t perfect, whether you are a mom or not. That’s what makes life with these little’s so fun though. Yes they deserve our best, but sometimes it just dosen’t happen and that’s ok! Give yourself a break mama, you are doing amazing and you need to remember that!
Give into all of those cuddles, all of the boo boo kisses and the giggles and hugs. Also give into all the cries, the tantrums, the feet stomping and the yells because this life we call motherhood?
It’s so fun thinking back to last summer I did not so much at all because I had a newborn baby. But now it’s fun to enjoy the sunshine with my little man.
I had a hard time thinking of summer toys that I thought bub (our nickname) would enjoy.
I am learning that the attention span is nonexistent in these little ones. And that the tantrums are constant.
So here in Michigan we had a super hot weekend and we finally got to enjoy all of our outdoor summer toys we accumulated with bub turning 1!
I have rounded up a few that I think are perfect for 1-year-olds and up!
Bub has been absolutely loving his water table and truck! The truck he can’t yet get the hang of that he can actually walk with it but he loves being pushed around. And the big wheels on this one is perfect for rides in the backyard!
Wagon rides in the backyard have also been a fav! I absolutely love this radio flyer wagon. So much storage space, two seats with seatbelts and once again with the big wheels for rough terrain!
Small swing sets and slides are also so great for the younger ones! He loves climbing all around this swing set and it’s fun to watch him.
Who else just loves their backyard? I enjoy being out in ours so much just relaxing and playing!
The last thing we have but I don’t have a picture of is this awesome bike! It’s so fun for short walks and bub loves it. It also turns into a little bike for him when he’s old enough so you defiantly get your moneys worth!
As for me? I enjoyed a great 3 day weekend full of family.
Oh and High Noons which If you haven’t tried, you must! They are so refreshing. I’m not much of a vodka soda girl but I love grapefruit and I did really enjoy them.
Plus I am now sporting a really nice sunburn! My first of the Summer and I totally forgot how much it sucks to sleep with a sunburn!
You know what the best part about this weekend was though?
I forgot about the laundry piling up in my room.
I forgot about the dirty dishes filling my sink.
I forgot about the toys scattered around my house and the pillows that get thrown on the floor each day.
And you know what? I loved it.
These days we won’t ever get back, so I am trying to soak up every fun filled day I can with my guys!
The first man who asked me was my publisher. He has a wife and three kids. The next man was a man from my critique group. He read every chapter of the book and still didn’t understand. In fact, he thought I should scrap the whole project and work on my surrogacy book instead.
It wasn’t until my boyfriend, Larry, asked me that question and another question that I started realizing that men just don’t get it. The other question was, “Why is it such a big deal?”
I explained to Larry about the guilt I felt about my son’s babysitter being inappropriate with him. His response was, “That’s something you should feel least guilty about. There was no way you could have foreseen what she was going to do. Even statistically, women are less likely to molest children.”
My response, “That’s the thing I felt most guilty about. That’s what hurt him the most. That’s where I should have known better. That’s what I should have protected him from.”
All of this got me thinking about men not understanding mom guilt. So why don’t the?
I think the first reason is obvious. Men, aren’t moms. Even if they are a dad, they aren’t a mom. So it makes sense that they don’t understand mom guilt. If a man in your life doesn’t understand why you feel guilty, it doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care enough to understand. It simply means he’s not a mom, so he doesn’t get it.
Another reason men might not understand mom guilt is because men typically are more logical and women are more emotional. Larry proved that point to me. He looked at the babysitter situation logically. Is there any way I could have possibly known that a 12-year-old girl could hurt my son while babysitting him with her mother in the home? It’s pretty unlikely.
The point I want to make is that men and women are different (duh!) but that difference doesn’t make one or the other wrong. Our differences are meant to complement one another, not shame one another. I bet if Larry and I had been dating at the time, I wouldn’t have created so much guilt around the situation with the babysitter because we would have talked about how I was feeling, and he would have shown me the logical side. I can’t say that for sure obviously, but that’s the type of relationship we have and I always feel better after we talk things through.
I feel like it was just yesterday that I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test.
When the kicks and the excitement of hearing your heartbeat was like no other feeling.
When my water broke and your daddy and I had a panic attack thinking, “this is really happening. We are parents.”
When I held you in my arms for the first time.
When daddy and I were wondering how in the world we were going to be able to do this at home on our own.
Your sweet smiles and cuddles have been the absolute light of each day.
Watching you grow and learn and be the sweet, outspoken, adventurous little boy that you are has been the best ever.
Through these uncertain times, you and your daddy have been the constant joy I needed. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for you to grow up in this world.
As we approach your first birthday on Friday (silently crying) I can’t help but think of all the things I want to teach you.
You’re so sweet and innocent and I love being a mommy to such a precious, wild boy. As you grow I want you to know things, especially in the world we are living in now and even more so when you are older.
Your feelings matter. You matter and don’t ever forget that.
Dream big and chase those dreams because we will always be there chasing them with you.
Be kind. Always. People will always remember the way you treated them.
Treat everyone equally and don’t be afraid to.
Be whoever and whatever you want to be. You are forever supported.
No always means no, no matter what.
Stand up for what you believe in, your voice is always heard.
Use the words, “I love you” wisely. Three small words that have the biggest meaning.
Choose good friends, they have such an impact on your life.
Know that you will forever be loved, supported and taken care of, I promise you that.
I am so lucky to be your mama. I just want you to know that I will be there always, no matter what.
Monday mornings can be such a drag, especially after a Holiday weekend.
Luckily my son is being very good eating breakfast in his high-chair and letting me drink a HOT cup of coffee!
To be honest, I was having such a hard time thinking of what to write about for today’s blog post. Usually I have mine done far in advance but writer’s blog hit. My inspiration journal was just not doing it’s job and I couldn’t come up with a single thing I wanted to talk about.
So I thought for today, maybe we would just chat and get to know me a little better!
For those of you that are new, my names Amanda. I usually write the Monday posts here on Quirky Workin’ Moms.
I am 26 almost 27 in August. I’ve been married almost 2 years to a total sports fanatic that I have been with for 8 years! We have an adorable almost 1-year-old (silently crying while I say that) son who we just can’t get enough of! We are a pretty active family but most of the time you can find us on the couch watching The Office or Cheers on Netflix.
I am an avid reader and writer, I actually even have another blog more specific to the books I read called hanging with amanda. Anything romance or mystery/thriller is right up my alley. Even historical fiction as well!
I enjoy wine and margarita’s and the sunshine on my face. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, you can’t beat the beautiful colors in Michigan during the Fall. I absolutely LOVE dogs. We are hoping to get a golden retriever next year and it has me so excited.
Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde are two of my fav movies. Every time Sweet Home Alabama is on TV you can usually find me stuffing my face with popcorn and chocolate.
The simple things in life like family and friends just make me so happy and that’s usually how I spend my days when I’m not working!
I’m just really happy we are connecting with so many other moms out there and bloggers like us! It’s been so much fun and we are just getting started! Plus today’s post marks our 20th one and that is exciting!
It’s time to heat up my second cup of coffee and get this little man of mine down for a nap.
Do we have anything in common? I would love to hear more about you all and your favorite things!
I love summer! The sunshine and being outside all day truly does the body good.
The kids are out of school, and I FINALLY took some vacation time to enjoy these long summer days, and these warm summer nights. But what are you going to do with your vacation?
I love when we all go camping as a family. We have done a trip to St. Ignace to visit Mackinac Island, Port Austin to kayak around Turnip Rock, we even took a trip to our most favorite spot, Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio!
Summer Time is the best time to make lasting memories with your family. Some of my most favorite memories as a kid would be camping with my mom and my siblings, or showing animals at the local 4-H fair.
I wanted to share with you all some of my families favorite summer activities!
We love to swim! We are surrounded by so many beautiful bodies of water, and we are so fortunate to live just miles from Lake Huron. We love a good beach day. Just us on our “secret” beach and some snacks. It’s like heaven on earth!
We love to camp! Just last weekend for Father’s Day, we decided to pitch the tent in the back yard. We love going to different camp grounds here in MI too! Michigan is so beautiful and there is so much to explore, camping can be a good low cost way to travel and see your home state. Our favorite part would probably be the s’mores though!
Which leads me to our next favorite activity…
We probably have a fire going in our little pit 3-5 times per week. We don’t always have s’mores at the campfire, and maybe we’re just burning up some sticks after we picked up the yard, but we’ve made some great memories around the fire. We like to play little games like “Would you Rather?” or “Never have I Ever” while we sit around the fire. It’s such a good way to bond with our girls!
Our girls are little chemists, I’m telling you! Slime is the messiest, grossest, and hardest thing to clean, but the girls LOVE it! I need to buy stock in Elmers glue, and food dye. LOL! We are constantly making it, and most recently the girls found “Slime Baff”. Yes, you read that right. It’s a slime bath, and they can’t get enough of it!
I went to Five Below, and picked up some fun outdoor activities! We got Velcro ball, a new basketball, a giant checker board, and a frisbee game. It’s not super expensive, but it keeps them occupied. We even made our own paper airplanes, and had a little race. Dad won of course!
Summer comes and goes so fast, so we really try to make the best of it. It’s hard during the week since both my husband and I work out of the home, but what ever time we do have with them, we make it count!
What are some of your favorite activities you do with your kids? Or if you don’t have kids, what do you enjoy doing?
I say that because I think one of the hardest things about being a working mom is having to walk away to go to work.
My son is at the age where meltdowns have started and you could find me wiping tears from my eyes the other day when I had to leave for work and he cried and held his little chunky arms out for me.
Don’t get me wrong, working and being a mom is bittersweet. In one way it’s an outlet when you just need something for yourself and human interaction but on the other end it’s one of the hardest things because you feel like you aren’t present enough.
My son is 11-months-old so he is SO close to taking those first few steps and through this whole first year that was my worst fear, not being present for all those big milestones.
In this crazy life and these even crazier times I think that’s the one thing all of us moms struggle with, being present as much as we can. And I don’t mean just being in the same room. I mean in the moment, doing whatever silly things our kids are doing and just really being there!
We have work, we have laundry overflowing, a house to clean and everything else in the world to do but I am learning all those things are important, yes. But being with your children, making little memories takes the win!
So here are five great ways to be present for your kids.
My son is still little but I still love having a family day! I know in this pandemic it’s hard to get out and about but really, staying at home counts too! Get some burgers and hotdogs, start the grill. Turn on the sprinkler/splashpad. Have a pool day. Start a bonfire and indulge in tons of smore’s. Set up a projector in the backyard for a movie night. Go for a walk or to the park. Have a game night. Summertime is the easiest way to have family day’s so make the most of it!
Put Your Phone Away.
This is the biggest thing I am working on right now. Keeping my volume on incase of emergency but just setting it aside for the day. The last thing I want is my son to view me from behind a screen. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can all wait until nap time or bedtime. I know how much of a struggle it is though, I am having a hard time staying away from my phone as well. Which makes me want to even more though, because it’s so sad how much these phones have taken over!
Find Fun House Chores Your Kids Will Help With.
I remember growing up, I used to love to help my nana clean up her house. I don’t know if it was because I was involved and felt like I was helping out but to this day I still enjoy cleaning! So find things your kids want to help you with around the house, even if it’s simple. You may be surprised at what they end up enjoying and helping with when given a chance!
Make Sure Your Ears Are Open.
I think one thing children want the most is for adults to listen to them. Like for us, communication is so important. Kids love to babble on about everything. Even our baby babbles, they love you to listen to them. To focus on them. Just listening is an easy way to be present with your children. Learn about their day, what they are thinking, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
It also opens up that area of being able to know what is going on, especially with your teens. It gives you a chance to ask questions, and to just be involved. Listening is such a crucial thing when being a parent.
You’ve probably seen a lot about self-care floating around lately. Have you ever had those days or weeks where your frustration takes over and you just can’t be there for anyone because you don’t even have time to be there for yourself? Yeah, me too! So that is why self-care plays such a huge role in parenting. To be able to be fully present with your children, to take care of them and do fun things with them you need to first take care of yourself.
Have a cup of coffee and turn your show on for an hour. Take a bubble bath. Read a book you’ve heard so many good things about. Buy a new outfit. Take a walk.
Self-care doesn’t have to be hard, and it really helps you focus back on what’s important, yourself and your family and not focus on the negative.
There are so many ways to be present with your kids. I am going to try my hardest to use all these tips and really make the most out of this Summer with my bub!
Giving our full attention to our children when we are home or spending a day with them should be easy, not hard!
Do you use any of these tips to be more present with your children?
If you have any other tips, please share them with us!