Does Inspiration Inspire You?

Inspiration Inspire you

Does inspiration inspire you?  I mean, we see it everywhere.  Every social media platform has people sharing inspirational quotes and articles and has everyone claiming how it has, “CHANGED THEIR LIVES.”  Now it is not like I don’t believe them, I just don’t believe all of them.  I mean some of those amazing life changing articles have MILLIONS of shares, and if everyone was so inspired and changed their lives…..why is everything still the same.  I have read those articles, I am still stressed, overwhelmed, and most of the time feeling like I am slowly sinking.

Now I know I may just be one of those people who that article just didn’t work on.  But those same people who said, “LIFE CHANGING!” on that article, will turn around and talk about how they are struggling trying to be a good parent or wife the next week.  I often wonder why we pretend that reading inspirational quotes and articles constantly changes our lives.  They are sort of like a false advertising for peoples lives or the lives that they want to lead.

inspiration inspire you

I am not saying I am not guilty of falling into the hype of covering my house in inspirational paraphernalia.  I feel like you go into any store and all the pictures you can buy are covered in motivational quotes and sayings.  Now I used to love this, which is why every room in my house is covered in them.  But as I have gotten older (probably not wiser) I have realized that these just are not realistic.  The more time I spent reading these signs everyday the more I realized that they didn’t even pertain to my life and it was unrealistic to think my life would ever be as perfect as they made it seem.

I mean one of the most popular quotes is, “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories.”  I mean, I HATE THAT QUOTE!  The only thing you are teaching your kids is not to pick up after themselves.  Or your are convincing yourself that you don’t have to clean because your kids are, “making memories.”  I highly doubt your kids are going to think back on the messes they made fondly.  Do you remember making a mess when you were young and cherish that memory?  I just wish there were more real life sayings out there.  Such as, “Don’t beat yourself up if not everyday is rainbows and butterflies when your a parent.”  Or, “I’m usually frustrated, oh well.”  I’m guessing my ideas probably wouldn’t sell well in a store.

There is just something people like about the illusion of perfection.  They want people to think they have the perfect family, perfect kids, perfect life.  I feel like by having the perfect inspirational wall gallery you are just adding icing to the cake.  But lets be real, parenting is not easy and it is not always like those beautiful inspiration quotes your read.  Reading those inspirational quotes and stories just makes me feel nothing now and I wonder if they really truly work for people.  Do they work for you?  What types of things motivate you?

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

My husband and I recently got back from a trip to the Dominican Republic, and let me tell you it was amazing.  Now I feel like most of my posts lately have been dreary and I don’t want that to be all of what I share is about.  My family and I do a lot of traveling so I would love to share the tips and tricks I have for you from some of the places we have been.  We went to Disney recently so look forward to some great tips on how to go on a budget and see and do everything!  My husband and I, along with our sisters are also going to Italy in october (can you say OMG) so I can’t wait to share how we got a DIRT CHEAP deal and how we plan to do it on a very tight budget.

Moving on to what you are hopefully interested in, the Dominican Republic.  My husband was actually asked to be in a wedding so this was not somewhere we actually chose to go.  In fact, had we not been invited, I’m not sure the Dominican would have ever made it on my radar.  I guess I never really thought about it as a vacation spot I wanted to go.  Well let me tell I am so grateful to have gone here because it is STUNNING.  We have been to the beaches in Mexico and Florida but the beaches here are unbelievable!  This is truly what paradise is with the softest sand and bluest water you can imagine.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

We stayed at the Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana and we decided to upgrade to a swim-up room (I mean you only live once, right).  The hotel itself is amazing and the staff really does go above and beyond to make you feel welcome.  The swim-up room was worth it for sure, though really it is just a pool side room as there is no way to get from the pool to your room without pulling yourself out of the pool(our your husband pulls you out).  The food was probably the only disappointing thing as it just wasn’t very good.  The buffets were the only thing available for breakfast and lunch and they just were not great, their main restaurants for dinner though had some great food if you were able to get in.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Ok, now for some tips!

1. Book With Cheap Caribbean

Ok, there is some leniency to this, but let me explain.  We paid around $2800 for our trip, though it could have been around $2200 without the upgrades.  This is an all-inclusive resorts so that means ALL of your food and drinks are included.  You literally would not have to bring any other money if you didn’t want to, but that is mean, we brought $300 for tipping.  Now with Cheap Caribbean we had to pay for the flights up front, which was about half, and then 6 months later we paid off the rest.  Now this is a great feature as you have time to save up if you don’t have the funds to pay for the whole trip at once.  Now this isn’t so great if you aren’t great at saving (meaning don’t do it!!!).  I personally love this because this makes me get really strict with my budget and I can get a lot saved this way.

2. Don’t bring a mug

If you ever research an all-inclusive resort you have probably read, bring your own mug!!  Now, yes this is true, if your bring your own insulated mug they will fill them at the bars and you can be sippin’ ice cold pina colada’s all day long.  Let me tell you why this is a bad idea.  I found that having 32ounces of a frozen drink was far to much to have at a time.  Their drinks are very sweet so I found myself wanting to change them up often and with a huge mug, well, either drink it fast or dump it.  The thing that bothered me the most though is that the mug gets DISGUSTING.  After the first day it starts developing this weird ring around the top and it really started to gross me out.  Now you can try wash it in your room, but there is no dish soap and I am still left thinking of all the germs still floating around in it.  Now if you don’t have a problem with dirty dishes, you probably won’t care, if you do skip the mug.

3.Bring Aloe Lotion

We all know what happens in tropical places, you burn.  I told myself this time it would not happen to me….it happened.  I was so burnt it hurt to sleep, get dressed, or you know walk.  The funny thing is I put on sunscreen many times a day but sometimes that sun just does not care.  Now I purposely did not bring my favorite aloe lotion because I was confident I would not burn, bad idea.  I sent my husband to their little market and he came back with just aloe because it was $5 cheaper at $15.  I put it on and it did NOTHING!  So off he went again to get the $20 aloe lotion which somehow just makes everything feel a tiny bit better.  So just pack it, even if your like me and think you can walk on nails or something.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Just a few more things to round it out is if you buy your tourist card before your trip(which is something your will need to enter the country).  Pay attention when you get off the plane.  We ended up getting in the line with the people who still needed to buy a tourist card even though we already had one.  There are not clear signs, but you will want to go all the way around the first set of people waiting.  You will also need to fill out a custom card when departing for home.  This is also something that is not clearly known, but when arriving to the Dominican airport, unless you need to check a bag, just go to a self check kiosk and their are the custom cards you can sit and fill out before you enter security.  I absolutely LOVED the Dominican and I am committed to going back with my kids someday.  Let me know if you have ever been there, and where you stayed.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

The Anxiety Diaries

TheAnxietyDiaries/stresswiththemess.com

Anxiety

It affects so many people differently and in varying degrees that it is hard for people to know if what they are feeling is anxiety, or maybe they are just having a bad day.  It is easy to live in denial,  it is easier to tell yourself that, “tomorrow is going to be better”.  Well let me tell you that living with anxiety means tomorrow may be a better day, but the day after that could be even worse.  It is something that feels impossible to control which can be so frustrating because I feel like it has taken over every aspect of my life.  How can I be the best person I can be, when I barely even like myself in the first place?  These thoughts race through my head constantly and its not easy to just will them away.

Excessive Worrying

This drives my husband crazy.  I worry about the craziest things.  Would if my son gets hit by a car while riding his bike.  Ok, this may seem like something parents should worry about.  But I worry about it every time he rides his bike, I stare out the window, watching.  I also worry every time my husband goes away on a trip.  He does not travel for work to often, maybe two to three times a year, but I start worrying about it weeks before he even leaves.  I worry that one of the kids will get hurt and I will have to take them to the doctor by myself.  I also worry that I may have to run to the grocery store and maybe I am not feeling up to it that day.  Because of this we always make sure we grocery shop the day before he leaves in hopes I will not have to run to the store at all.  We also have dogs, which means worrying they will run away, or get hurt, or bite someone.

WHY WOULD THAT HAPPEN!

Because I excessively worry about him ever leaving(this includes hunting trips he likes to take) this takes me to my next topic.

Sabotage

I am guilty of trying to be so sick that he feels like he has to cancel his trips to take care of me.  I know sad, right?  I also start getting in the worst moods ever as the days get closer.  I get so mean to him, the real reason is because I’m nervous of being alone, I just truly am that nervous.  Now he tiptoes around the subject of ever going anywhere because he knows it makes me mad, when in reality I don’t want to care if he goes, and it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.  I have gotten better at faking that I am happy he is going places within the last year or so.  I mean lets face it, no relationship will ever work if one of you is being held captive.  My husband is going on a hunting trip in September and I think about it everyday (I know, I know).  I mean that’s how deep anxiety weaves its way in!

Truth be told my husband just makes me feel at ease.  If we go to an event and he leaves my side, I start to freak inside.  I start thinking people are wondering why I am just standing there and other random things that I am sure are not even on their minds.  But my husband is a charmer as I like to call him, everyone loves him.  Old ladies hit on him, guys want to be his friends; he is the ultimate people person.  And I am the opposite, not quite by choice I might add.  I hoping to make more progress towards being more comfortable with being on my own when he is gone and just being a more active person.  Do any of you deal with anxiety?  Got any tips I can try?

Do holidays stress you out?

Does anyone else hate when holidays are on the weekends, because you feel like the weekend just ended up being work?  Yup, that’s me.  I mean as a parent there is just so much responsibility that comes with some holidays; outfits, presents, dinner, keeping secrets, hiding said secrets until the actual day of.  The anxiety I feel as the day gets closer sometimes gets so overwhelming that enjoying the holiday never really happens.  All you see on social media is these perfectly posed families all dressed in coordinating outfits that is just another expense to the already expensive holiday, and if you don’t include your family there is some sort of guilt that settles over your head.

Keeping the “magic” alive with these holidays is also something that is important to me but almost impossible.  If you read my previous post here about not doing well with going shopping by myself, I usually prefer to go shopping for holiday things with my husband.  This means needing to find a babysitter just to go pick up things, and having a 10 year old means they obviously find this odd when we come home and bring nothing in the house.  Then you have to find somewhere in the house to hide these things where your kids are somehow not going to stumble upon them.

I let my husband hide the Easter things this year, and by hide them all he did was shove them in our closet.  He also left the door open to our closet, which may not have been the brightest idea he has ever had.  The day after I realized this had happened my daughter asked for a certain pair of shoes she wanted from my closet.  I found this odd as she always just goes and grabs whatever shoes she wants from the closet, whenever she wants them.  This was my first clue that she must have seen what was in there.  The next day my kids were playing hide and seek and my son was going to hide in my room and she scream at him, “YOU CAN’T GO IN MOM AND DAD’S ROOM!”  I don’t have rules that they can’t go in there, so now I had known for sure that she had to know what was in there.

I am going to be honest now and just say I was more upset with myself about not being more bummed that she had found out.  I mean I wasn’t about to go buy all new things that were from the Easter bunny so we still just went with what was in our closet.  I am just relieved that I have one less kid to hide things from.  There is just so much stress involved when there are things hiding in your house that you don’t want your kids to see!  I am constantly worried about where the kids are at, what they are digging in, and if they will just happen to find things.  This Easter weekend involved shopping, cooking, staying up late, tipping around the house as quite as I could, waking up early, cooking, dressing the kids up nicer than usual, spending all day watching the kids destroy things and once again…..staying up late.  This weekend was worse than a weekday.

This is about the time I start to appreciate my mom as I feel like my holiday memories were even better than the ones I am giving my kids.  It is just so hard sometimes to do all the things that are expected of you.  I know there are some great parents out there that have taken some easier approaches to the holidays so to all you new or thinking of becoming parents out there….TAKE THE SHORTCUTS.  Seriously, I wish I would have done the simple things.  But as a new parent you want the over the top, amazing, magical holiday experiences for your child.  Then all of a sudden that is what your child remembers and you are locked in to doing that forever( at least that’s how it feels).  I just have to remember my kids will appreciate it in the end, but that won’t let it stop me from convincing them to do things easier with there kids!  Now I will leave you with a picture of my perfectly posed family, and go clean up the aftermath.

Are you failing as a Parent?

Do you ever feel like you are failing as a parent?  I feel like I am constantly battling my feelings of being barely able to keep my head above the water and thinking maybe I can do this.  The funny thing is everyone on the outside thinks I am one of those super moms.  I love to throw huge birthday parties and make my kids personalized valentines.  But other than things that involve planning and creating things, you know that actual raising of children, I’m not great.  I feel like this is something that a lot of others deal with, that constant pressure from society to be that parent that can do it all.  You want your kid to be the smartest, to have everything, to eat the best foods.  I am not sure at what point things got out of control but at some point it got to be more than most people could handle.  This constant pressure is enough to break most people and most my nights involve a beer or two to try and pretend I didn’t suck at everything I tried to do that day.

I want to take this time to say that there should be no rules to parenting.  I wish others didn’t judge you for the way your raised your children, but sadly the world is full of bitter and judgmental people.  Well I’m ready to give you some examples on how I fail most days at parenting and maybe some of you can relate.  My daughter is a picky eater which means I spend almost every morning packing a lunch for her.  When she was in kindergarten I spent my morning cutting shapes for sandwiches and drawing faces on fruit.  Teachers passed her lunch around and commented on how amazing and creative my lunches were.  For the last two years she has taken a peanut butter sandwich every day for lunch.  I’m guessing the only thing teachers say now is should we call someone about what kind of nutrition this kid gets.

This year is also my sons last year home before kindergarten.  I told myself that we would play everyday and make it count as pretty soon he would be gone everyday and I would regret not spending time with him.  Well so far all I have done is tell him I’m working while playing candy crush on my phone.  He has caught on and tells me he hates this family and then goes and drives his power wheel down the street.  I don’t want to sound horrible but when we play all he does is say watch this and I stare at him flipping a Ninja Turtle around and around for hours….HOURS.  It’s a battle internally not to pretend I don’t have something better to do.  My other techiniques is say I’m doing the laundry and hide downstairs or even I might even try say I’m cleaning the bathroom and lock myself in there.  These aren’t exactly proud moments in my life.

My daughter is almost 11 so somehow she is in this stage where she just cries, all day.  I can tell her no you can’t have a cookie, supper is in 10 minutes…and she cries.  I feel like a good parent would try get to the bottom of it, or even console their child.  I may have decided to take the off the beaten path and just yell every time she cries.  I mean why is she crying!! I just don’t understand it! Her brother will poke her, and runs away sobbing.  How can you console someone who is acting so irrational.

I feel like I should be embarrassed by all my failures yet at the same time maybe I can convince myself I do it so I don’t raise spoiled children(I can try).  I have to admit my favorite time of the day is bedtime yet somehow its is the most stressful.  Getting them to bed seems to be some sort of Olympic event.  They seem to remember everything they have ever meant to tell me in a day at that moment and they will never fall asleep without giggling and whining for awhile.  Yet when they are finally sleeping I can peek my head in and think they are the cutest things(they both wear sleep mask lol). Then I can finally have a glass of wine and realize that I have to do it again tomorrow.

 

Anxiety runs my life

Anxiety.  A word that seems to run my life.  It has been swirling around me since my daughter was born ten years ago, though thinking back it is something I can remember dealing with all my life.  Some may think of anxiety and just think that you are stressed about things.  And then in their heads I am sure they are thinking, “well I am stressed all the time and its not like I think I  have anxiety”.  And maybe people don’t think these things, this is coming from the mind of someone with anxiety.  I am constantly thinking people are thinking I am being mean, or rude or whatever else I think of.  Today I will only be able to tell you a small part of my story as having anxiety for 15 years means telling you every bit would result in a book/books.

As I mentioned I know I have always had anxiety as well as depression but after my daughter was born things seemed to be so much worse.  I just did not feel like myself at all, I felt so empty and it drove me crazy.  I could not make my husband understand what I was feeling and he was left dealing with a lot of crying and conversations that he just didn’t understand.  Anxiety affects everyone differently but with me I was just empty.  I spent most of my time laying on the couch, staring.  There was a battle in my head, I hated myself as I felt like I was just being lazy, but I physically could not get myself moving.

Social anxiety was probably even more of a problem for me as leaving the house became my worst nightmare.  There was a point where I couldn’t even go to the grocery store by myself because in my head I thought, “would if my card gets declined.”  Now there was no reason that my card would have ever got declined but I was convinced it would happen.  This went on for 3 years.  For 3 years I never went into a store without my husband, he needed to be the one that paid.  Being a stay at home mom, that made me feel like the ultimate failure.  I never left the house, my kids never had/have play dates, we don’t go to the park…not without my husband.  Maybe you can see how depression so easily creeps into your life now.  You constantly feel like a horrible mother, wife and person.

Even though this seems awful, its not even the worst thing anxiety has given me.  Did you know that in all the years my daughter has been in school I haven’t called the school once when she was sick….she is 10.  I have real issues with talking on the phone, I don’t know what it is.  It’s not like I can even see the other person.  But I will not answer the phone, sometimes even for people I know.  But like I had said I have never called the school, my husband does that as well.  I bet your starting to wish you had my husband, he is a good one.  I don’t even bring my kids over to friends houses, I wonder what the mothers think.  I am sure they think it’s weird that they text/call my husband and that he is they one that drops/picks my daughter up.

I KNOW ITS WEIRD

I promise you living with anxiety is not without beating yourself up over your lack of ability.  I mean why can’t I just do things!  Why be a stay at home mom if I can’t do anything mom related!! It is extremely frustrating and depressing to see such little progress when you feel like you try so hard.  But I am happy to say that I am able to go grocery shopping by myself now (most of the time).  I am here to say its ok.  Its ok to not be perfect.  I want to share my struggles with you.  I want to share my fears.  Like my fears that my kids will just remember the mom who sits on the couch, spaced out for hours and never move.  I here for you if you feel at all like I do, I understand.  Lets find a way to crawl out of this hole together.  To be better, for our kids, husbands….for ourselves.