Congratulations to our winner, Shell! Hope you enjoy your free copy of Becoming A Happy SAHM. Contest Closed - Thank you for entering!
I knew it was going to eventually happen ... I'd finally get the sense to do a giveaway. (Honestly, it was my Mom's idea. Thanks, Mom!)
My new book
released last week and besides giving out free high-fives to anyone who walks near me, I'm also giving away a free copy to one lucky reader!
- PRIZE: Free copy of my new eBook, Becoming a Happy Stay at Home Mom
- TO ENTER: Comment on this post below with the words "BOOK ME!" and tell me ...
- BONUS QUESTION: ... what is one thing about being a Stay at Home Mom that makes you happy? Watching your toddler learn to dance? Having a flexible schedule? Being able to wear spandex at 2pm and no one even thinks twice about it?
- GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Monday, November 12, 2012 at 2:00pm, EST
- NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
- PRIZE SENT: Via email, at close of contest.
- CONTEST RULES: One winner per email address is permitted. The winner will be selected at random. Winner will be announced on Monday as an update to this post, and the winner will be contacted via email. Good luck!
Two weeks ago I posted The #1 Secret New SAHMs Need to Know about the SAHM Lifestyle
and today I'm going a step farther. I'm releasing the whole kit and caboodle on how to be happy at home.
I planned on waiting until next week to release my very first eBook ever, but I am ready, and excited, and well, I just can't wait to share this with you!It's Launch Day! (Surprise!)
I wrote Becoming a Happy Stay at Home Mom
because I want to call out the ugly relationship issues specific to SAHMs. My aim is to share my story with you, so that you see that you are not alone if you're struggling with the personal aspects of being home and to give you a few good laughs. ('Cuz that's how I roll.)
If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I'm not into complaining about how rough it can be at home. No, I want to give you ideas on specific actions you can take to remember who you are, reconnect with your real self, and get perspective on your lifestyle.
So, what are you going to get yourself into if you read my eBook? Good question.
You will find strategies for creating a happy life for yourself at home in this small 46 page eBook and it will make you laugh, it will make you cry and everything in between...
Can I tell that I totally believe in this book? Good. Because I do. I put a lot of hours into this. And I'm so glad I did. I grew a lot in writing about my personal struggles. I was thinking of you the entire time
- and I wished I had someone a few years ahead of me on this trail that was brave enough to record her screw-ups and how she pulled out of it.
If you want to read more about Becoming a Happy Stay at Home Mom
or to purchase the eBook, here
is the link.
If buying eBooks is not your thing, because you are way cooler than me, (not difficult, I will admit), then you can sign up for my newsletter
instead. That's free, and you won't have that pesky technology stuff cramping your style! (Totally kidding!!)
That's me after the birth of our son
The lifestyle that a Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs) has is different from the rest of the world. So, it might be a bit of a shock if you were on the fast track to career-ville and one day find yourself home with the babies you love so much. (Shah-zam!!) Why? Because everything you've learned about being a productive, successful, happy adult woman is about to be challenged, flipped around, and laughed at.
It's just that most of us, including myself, weren't trained for being home. We were trained to manage our time, be organized, be outgoing, and independent. Nothing is wrong with these things, but they aren't necessarily the most important skills needed to be a happy (and not overwhelmed) SAHM.
I'm about to share a secret with you. It's the #1 skill you need to be personally happy at home. It is all about making a lifestyle change, and just as if you were moving to a foreign country for the first time, learning the ins-and-outs of being home will make your transition smoother.
Read on, dear SAHMs, read on.
There are times in my married life when I feel disconnected with my husband. Sometimes it’s because he’s been gone on a week-long business trip. Other times it’s because we've just been too busy with our four kids. If we’re not mindful, life can get in the way of our relationship. Does this ever happen to you?
I’m going to tell you how to know if you are disconnected with your man and then how to fix it.
I usually know that I’m feeling disconnected with my husband because I tend to pick fights and get irritated with little things that normally wouldn't bother me. I’m like that naughty 8-year old boy that fights with the kids he wants to be friends with – just to get on their radar. Negative attention is better than none, right? Wrong.
Me with my older two
The first day I was home alone with two kids was memorable. (So very horribly memorable.) I remember trying to get my 17 month old down for a nap, and the newborn wanted to nurse as I was sitting in my medium-toned, wood stained oatmeal microfiber glider and ottoman. I had the older one on my lap, and the baby in the bouncy seat screaming her head off. I tried putting the older one in his crib, and picked up the baby. The older one screamed because he wasn't getting his normal naptime routine. The baby wanted to nurse. I started crying, too. I felt pulled in both directions and didn't know what to do.
Going from one child to two was the biggest transition for me so far in motherhood. Not being able to give my oldest my complete attention when my second came along was hard. I felt really guilty about it. Would I ever be so close to my oldest again? Would he resent having to share me? Would I be ruining him for life? (These are actual things I worried about during my second pregnancy.)
How I finally settled my angst was in the thought that I wasn't taking anything away from my oldest by having a second child. I was giving him a gift that no one else could give him - someone to grow up with, know his whole life, complain about his parents with, share secrets with, play hide-and-seek with, go on vacations with, and run through the sprinkler with. I was scouring my old Marriage & Family Therapy books from school and found one little section about how of all the people in our lives, our siblings are the ones we have the entire time. Parents pass away when we grow up. We don't meet our spouses or children until we're adults. But siblings are special and unique, and good. And that's what I finally settled was what I was giving my son.
On that first day home when both kids wanted me at the same time, I knew in the back of my mind that someday it would get easier (the two kids would play together and be able to wait their turn), but in that moment it didn't matter. Because you can’t ignore an infant and a one-year old can be very demanding of his mama's attention.
I’m writing this blog post is in memory of that overwhelming feeling (and I still have them from time to time with four kids), and for any SAHM out there preparing to transition from one child to two in the near future. So, how is a Stay at Home Mom to cope, when she needs to show love, care, and availability to two children from this day forward?
Here's my three essential skills needed for having more than two kids.
I was driving, and I got to thinking...
I was driving my one-year old through the curvy mountain roads of Tennessee - he wouldn't fall asleep.
This country song, For You by Keith Urban, came on the radio. I'd never heard it before. (I'm a closet Country music person - mostly liking whatevthe old stuff from Alabama like I'm in a Hurry to Get Things Done and John Denver's Country Road.) It got me thinking. It got me thinking about what we do for the ones we love. How we'll go all out for them, and give our last ounce of energy to care for them. It got me thinking about my four kids. I wrote this for them, and in my mind I'm looking really cool and playing a guitar and just being country-style-awesome. (I'll let you read my Mama-Baby love note, too.)
My Sweet, Dear Honeys,
For you, I'll make your favorite foods just the way you like them because I want you to learn that doing small, kind things for people makes them feel special. You are special to me, and I will show you as much as I can.
For you, I'll get up with you every time you cry in the night. I'll always be at your side to comfort you when you're scared, lonely, or sick. I won't complain about it, and you can count on me to be there for you until you fall back asleep. I'll be there with you in the dark.
For you, I will reinvent my dreams so that you are apart of them. I won't give up on myself. I will give you an example of a person that makes her own path in life, in spite of all the twists and turns that life throws her way.
For you, I'll see past your naughtiness on days when it's difficult to do so. I will instead see the wonderful person you are first. I'll see your potential, your dreams, and your gifts. I won't get stuck thinking you are your faults. You are so much more than that.
For you, I'll guide you back on the right path when you wander off when you are young. I won't let you get lost. I won't give up on you. I won't lead you to believe the world is one way when it's another. I'll do this all with a humble heart - because I'm not perfect, and I've wandered in my day, too. I'll look for the time when I have to let you go your own way. And I'll wait for you at the end of the path, even if it's a long time, and even if it hurts.
For you, I'll love your daddy and treat him right. I won't let you get in between us because you'll resent that one day. I'll kiss and hug your daddy everyday, in front of you, so you see that committing to someone is a good thing. And loving someone for a lifetime isn't always easy, but it's not always difficult, either.
For you, I will figure out how to be happy at home so I can be with you, even though there are days when I am frustrated, or think that life would be easier if I had a job. I will hang in there with you, because I love you more than I love myself.
For you, I would die. I would put your life before my own. I will look over you and defend you. Whenever I am around, you do not need to worry. I will go to the end for you.
Love Always, Forever, To the Moon and Back,
Me and my Grandma.
"This, too, shall pass." -My Grandma
My Grandma passed away last year. She was a SAHM when they were called housewives. She kept the 3-bedroom brick ranch that my grandpa built spic and span, had a large vegetable, fruit & flower garden each year, and she raised four children. She volunteered at her church, had a small cleaning business on the side, and had plenty of time for her family. I'd say that's the kind of lady SAHMs of today can study.
A painting I did in 2011. I call it Stacks.
I am a creative person. But when I first began this lifestyle of a stay at home mom, I put that very fun side of myself on the back burner. After a while, I felt like I couldn’t sustain the passion and upbeat attitude that I was known for before kids. Why? It could have been the sleep deprivation, it could have been the on-call 24/7 thing. Or, it could have been that I didn’t intentionally include my natural talents into my new life.
Once I figured out that I was hindering some really great aspects of myself in the name of being a great mom, I woke up. Because holding back the best parts of me was making me bitter and resentful - the opposite of a great mom. So, I put on my thinking cap to figure out ways I could be creative and be home. Before I share those tidbits with you, let's make sure you're going to get something useful from reading this blog post.
How you’ll know you got something out of this post:
I drew this picture yesterday so I could put it in my Newsletter
. But I had some technical difficulties and so the sketch just sat on my desk (in the kitchen). My 6-year old looked a little serious when I showed him the drawing. He studied it carefully, and took me aside. In a low voice, he said, "Mom, you mostly look exactly the way you think
you do. The only thing from this other side is that you do
have those fat arms. But nothing else is true."
I laughed out loud when he said that, then I looked at him straight in the eye and thanked him for his honesty. I guess if I ever feel a little delusional about my appearance, I should ask him!
You know, I used to be really sensitive about the way I look, but nowadays, I'm cool with it. I know I'm working out again and that I'll eventually fit back into my swimsuit. I'm glad that my son could tell me the truth and I can get a laugh out of it. But bless his heart for being so sweet that he needed to privately set me straight!
(PS- After I got breakfast cleaned up, I did
run upstairs and look in the mirror and pinch my arms to see how fat they really were! He was right! Better do some pushups tonight!)
Day after day, I fought the same battles as a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM). I felt like I was making no progress.
And honestly, I was seriously questioning how well of a job I was doing when most of my day I felt stressed-out and rushed.
One day, though, I stopped and noticed that I since these "rough days" were happening over and over again, maybe I was (unintentionally) setting myself up for stress and failure.
- I consistently put off doing dishes after dinner. I always kicked myself the next morning when I walked into the kitchen to see the mess. It was not a good way to start the day.
- I stayed up late to try to have some personal time. It left me drained the next morning.
- I never had a plan for the mornings. I was half-awake and in “survival mode.”
I was feeling like the household and I were unpredictable. I really didn’t like how I was doing my job as a SAHM. I was setting myself up to fail. Can you relate? (Please, someone say yes!)
If you can relate, I've got a treat for you. Because I'm going to explain my most effective strategy for Setting My(Your)self Up For Success. I am going to lessen the learning curve for you so that you can jump right from wherever you are now to consistently successful days. The added benefit of Setting Yourself Up for Success is that you are taking care of yourself in the process.Here's how you'll know you've gained something worthwhile from this blog post: