I Hope I Don’t Crush Their Spirit

I never thought I would be the angry mom.

I never thought I would become annoyed at the tiny things. Or impatient.

But I am. And it eats me up inside.

When I silently wish for them to hurry up with a task; when I unknowingly hurry them along with a story; when my voice sounds irrated because it’s the seventh-million time I heard “mom” in one day. I’m tired, I’m spent, I’m mentally, emotionally, physcially DRAINED. But it’s not their fault.

It’s not their fault and that makes it even worse.

I know I do it– I’m portraying annoyance and frustration. It’s all over my face. You can hear it in my voice. And as soon as it’s over, I pray to god that I don’t crush their spirit. I pray to god they walk away from my imperfections unscathed.

It’s so hard. It’s so SO hard. Mothering. Motherhood. Keeping these children alive, fed, busy, and all the in-between and behind-the-scene stuff that nobody, besides you, gets to see. The shit that people pretend doesn’t happen and nobody wants to deal with. The baby has a dirty diaper, the toddler is melting down over a candybar, the teen is having an attitude over nothing.

I often replay things that I say to my children and I want to cry. I realize how harsh I can come off or how I shouldn’t have lost my cool so easily. How can I do it differently next time? And I just hope I don’t crush their spirit…

Perhaps I’m being hard on myself; most of the time, as mothers, we are our own worse enemies. It’s true. I can never be the perfect mother or the calmest mother and I yell more than I should but, you know what?

I love them like nobody in this world can love them. Because I’m their mother. Despite imperfections, I try like hell to be the mother that they deserve.

Do I fall short? Hell yes. Most days, actually.

Is that normal? Hell yes. We are only human. Even mothers. As strong as we are, we are so imperfect. Which makes us perfect in our own way.

<3

 

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Oh-So Yummy {And Toddler-Approved!} Elderberry Gummies

Goodbye Summer! The end of summer, for me, is a bit bittersweet– I’m always said to see the warm, sunny days go away, but on the other hand, I love the cool, crisp autumn days and seeing the beautiful fall foliage around me. (And do I need to mention, pumpkin spice lattes?!)  Yes, I’m a sucker for everything fall.

 

 

disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links which, when you purchase an item, can help me continue to run my blog (yes, it cost money to keep this thing going!)

 

But what I’m not a sucker for is my kids getting sick. The cooler weather always brings on those seasonal ickies– Mother Nature’s reminder that it’s officially time to put the swimsuits away–the dreaded cold and flu season.

During this time of the year, I would rather stay in my house every single day then to risk exposing my kids to a potential germ. However, that is not possible and since nobody has invented a human bubble yet, my plan has been to load my kids up with vitamin goodness.

Which brings me the reason for my post: Elderberry gummies.

I will tell you how to make them…keep reading!

Last winter, I discovered the amazing benefits of Elderberry syrup. Holy moly. I swear by this stuff now. I really do. My I’m a believer story is when I was feeling a sickness coming on, so I took a tablespoon every 2 hours– I kid you not when I say that I felt better the next day. No Advil, Day or NyQuil needed! Elderberry syrup has since been stocked in my fridge ever since.

 

all that yummy goodness!!

 

With the cold/flu season approaching, I wanted the syrup in full-stock for my family, but I also needed an easier way to make sure my two toddlers were getting the goodness into their tiny bellies. Because if you have toddlers, you know how, *ahem* difficult, they can be.

It’s when elderberry gummies came into my mind– so I began to research how to make them. It turns out, making your own elderberry gummies is INSANELY easy. I mean, really, really, stinkin’ easy. And wayyy cheaper than buying them already made.

Before you make your gummies…

You will need elderberry syurp. I make my own because again, it’s so insanely cheap and easy.

Here is my favorite (and I’m tried quite a few) recipe that is tasty and equally easy to make!

courtesy of Wellness Mama

2/3 cup dried elderberries, or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen

  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 TBSP fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (local honey is best)

Instructions

  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  9. Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Notes

Standard dose is ½ tsp – 1 tsp for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

 

Now, what you have all been waiting for…..

 

recipe adapted by Coconut Mama

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Homemade Elderberry Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 Cup water

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of elderberry syrup with gelatin.
  2. Let the gelatin sit in the water for a minute or until it gels up.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan on low heat. You want the water to be hot but not boiling.
  4. Pour the hot water over the gelatin mixture.
  5. Use a whisk and mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add the honey and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. Pour mixture into molds.
  8. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.
  9. Store fruit snacks in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Take 2-3 gummies a day for optimal well-being!

 

toddler approved by my picky three-year old (:

 

 

I’m happy that I could share with you my trusted and well-loved recipe for elderberry gummy bears. These gummy bear vitamins will help keep your little ones healthy this cold/flu season.

Did you make these? I want to hear what you think in the comments, please!

 

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How to Feel Better When You’re a Sleep-Deprived Mom

If I were to ask you, what is the number one thing that you miss pre-children, what would it be? I can guarantee that half of my moms out there would tell me the number one thing they desperately miss is sleep.

Are you shaking your head right now? Can you totally relate? I’m not surprised!

*disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links which, when you purchase an item, can help me continue to run my blog (yes, it cost money to keep this thing going!)

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

My boys are 3 and 18 months and I’m still exhausted so I get you, mama. The truth is, the sleep-deprivation doesn’t go away when your baby hits toddler hood.

I know how tough it is in the beginning of motherhood– you’re experiencing so many new changes, (with your body and your new baby) you’re juggling this new normal, (whatever that may be) all while battling barely any sleep.

I’ve always heard people say that moms need to rest when they can, but in reality, that is just not happening– even when we know how crucial sleep is for our overall health.

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

Getting enough sleep isn’t just crucial but  it turns out, when we are sleep-deprived, it can drastically affect postpartum issues such as postpartum depression and anxiety and intensify the symptoms. Sleep-deprivation also leads to these other health issues:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • affects mood
  • problems with relationships

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

 

I will share with you how to feel better when you’re a sleep-deprived mom.

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

 

 

1. Sign up for a sleep program

 

Do you need help with getting your baby on a good sleep schedule? Is your 6 month-old still waking up several times during the night? Is your toddler waking up or taking short naps? Are you just about at your wit’s end because of exhaustion?

I may be able to help with that!

Now, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you feel drained, overly emotional & irritable on a daily basis?
  • Are you anxious at bedtime, worrying about how much you’ll be up at night?
  • Is your marriage strained, because you have no energy for each other?
  • Do you get frustrated or impatient with your baby because you feel like you never get a break?

Signing up for a sleep program for your baby may be your answer to getting more Zzz’s at night time. I have teamed up with Jilly Blackenship from Baby Sleep Made Simple— a Mom as well as a Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Registered Nurse to give tired mamas everywhere a chance to get a better night’s rest.

21 Days to Peace & Quiet may be for you!
for more information:

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

 

2. Take an epsom salt bath

A simple self-care love can do wonders when you feel down and out! My favorite go-to is to soak in a nice epsom salt bath.  I looooove Dr Teal’s epsom salt soaks, like these ones from Amazon.

These are my favorite epsom salts because essential oils {like lavender and eucalyptus} are already mixed in for an extra soothing experience.

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

 

3. Call a friend

It’s crucial to have a mom tribe– we all need a helping hand now and then– to call upon a trusted girlfriend and just say hey, I’m exhausted, Timmy has been running me ragged… send help {and wine!}

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

It’s the best when you can just unload on someone to help you out in times of need!

 

4. Eliminate the toxins from your life

When your already exhausted, even the littlest things can set you off– try to eliminate the toxins from your life so you can focus on yourself and your family.

Some small ways to eliminate toxins from your life are:

  • limiting social media
  • improving diet
  • cutting ties with non-supportive people
  • limiting alcohol/drugs/etc.

 

5. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating a well-balanced diet can drastically improve the way you feel. This means…

  • cut out sugars/processed foods
  • cut out soda/sugary drinks
  • cut down on coffee/other caffeinated beverages
  • eating more veggies
  • getting enough protein and good fats
  • drinking at least 8 oz. of water a day

Not only will you begin to feel better, but you will gain more energy to keep up with your tiny human(s)!

 

6. Exercise

It may sound a little counterproductive, but fitting in at least thirty minutes of exercise per day can have you feeling energetic and just plain great. I realize how hard it can be to fit in a daily workout, but I’ve made it a priority to squeeze in some form of physical fitness 3-4 times per week.

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

Daily Burn offers amazing workouts that you can do {right in your home} and there are various fitness channels available on YouTube. Involve your baby. Get creative with it. You will feel better!

 

 

7. Meditate

Get out of your head for a little bit and meditate to feel better. In case you are totally new to meditation, Headspace is a cool app that offers guided meditation and psst, I heard meditation helps with insomnia.

 

 

How to Feel Better When You're a Sleep-Deprived Mom

 

8. Know your limits

Forget about all of those dirty dishes waiting in the sink or the mountain of laundry scattered on your sofa. It’s okay to not get it all done right now and it’s important to know your limits and rest.

Remember: your house will never be spotless again and that’s okay. Take care of your baby and yourself. Rest when you can and know that you are doing an awesome job!

 

I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to feel better when you’re a sleep-deprived mom and that you will use these tools to help yourself. What did you think of them? If you have any tips of your own, please leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Thanksgiving Books for Toddlers to Learn About Being Thankful

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday because it’s a chance to reflect upon family and being thankful. This year, I’m looking forward to explaining to my three-year-old the reason for celebrating the holiday. And what better way to do that then by reading?

It turns out, there are a lot of really great children’s books that explain what it means to be thankful. In our house, we have begun to read a few of these books and talking about what we are thankful for. It’s never too soon to start sharing why we appreciate each-other!

I complied a list together of the best Thanksgiving books for toddlers to learn about being thankful. I can guarantee that your toddler– as well as yourself– will enjoy these cute books.

*disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links that, at no charge to you, will help me keep this little blog running, (yes, it costs money to run this thing!)

The Best Thanksgiving Books for Toddlers to Learn About Being Thankful

 

 

Llama Llama Gives Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving time for Llama Llama and his family! That means yummy foods and autumn leaves and being thankful for everything from pumpkin pies to blue skies. Thanksgiving may only come once year, but in Llama’s family, giving thanks is always here.

Peppa Gives Thanks

Suzy Sheep has a new teddy bear, and Peppa wants one, too! Mummy and Daddy Pig remind Peppa that she already has her own teddy–and so much more! This storybook includes an exclusive Peppa Pig card for readers to fill in what they are most thankful for.

 

Thanks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the year, this charming book of pictures is the colorful way to tell loved ones “thanks!”

 

Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving

From the school play to a surprise dinner for all of Critterville– celebrate along with Little Critter and his family as they give thanks this holiday.

 

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks!

Sure, Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history–and turkey, of course!–but most importantly, it’s a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for.

 

Thankful

Thankful combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings

 

Thanks for Thanksgiving

From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what’s most important is being able to share them with family!

 

God Gave us Thankful Hearts

Mama reminds her little wolf that not all animals hibernate, and how he can be grateful for the beautiful autumn season.

 

I Am Thankful

I Am Thankful follows a young boy through his busy holiday adventures, from running in the turkey trot to helping his family bake pies. Even though the weather might ruin the annual family football game, the jam-packed day proves there’s never a shortage of things to be thankful for

 

Just A Special Thanksgiving

From the school play to a surprise dinner for all of Critterville, celebrate along with Little Critter and his family as they give thanks this holiday.

Biscuit is Thankful

Biscuit is thankful for his bone, his biscuits, and lots more, too. This adorable board book will have your toddler entertained and giggling at all the things Biscuit is thankful for!

Thank You, Thanksgiving

In this exuberant Thanksgiving story, a little girl goes on a last-minute errand for her mother. Along the way, she thanks all the familiar things she loves—her warm boots, the song of the birds, the pretty clouds in the November sky. And when she gets home from her errand, her family thanks her for what she has brought.

 

The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

 

I hope you found my list of the best Thanksgiving books for toddlers to learn about being thankful to be informative and perhaps– you will introduce a few of these books to your toddler this holiday season!

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How to Reach Out When You’re at Your Breaking Point

I know you’ve had those days– you’re exhausted, stressed to the max, have a billion things on your plate, the kids are too much to take on and it’s not even noon yet.

Oh, do I get that.

I’m a stay at home mom and I feel like I never get a break from my kids because well, I don’t! I’m constantly making sure someone is well taken care of– meeting everyone else’s needs before my own– and it all can be way too much at times.

But you need to practice self-care.

Have you read my self-care for those that suffer from depression post?

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

Believe me, I know how difficult it can be to squeeze in a whole ten minutes alone just for yourself. And let’s face it, that is not always realistic. So you put it off. But you’re still stressed out and still in desperate need of a break.

And then like that, it happens–  before you even realize it, you reached that point where you can no longer do it anymore. Maybe you are suffering from postpartum depression, you’re a new time mom, or you’re just having a terrible week– we’ve all had those points in motherhood when we just need a break.

Please check out my postpartum resources list.

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

So you’ve realized that you are at your breaking point and you desperately need help– what can you do?

I am going to share with you a few ways in which you can reach out for help.

 

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

 

 Realize it’s perfectly okay to ask for help.

It takes a village isn’t just a corny saying, but the truth! It really does take a whole village to help shape and mold children and once we realize that we can’t do it alone, the healthier we can be.

Don’t wait until you’re on your last string.

We can almost always realize when we are starting to burn out– you know yourself better than anyone– so don’t wait until you are at that point. You know what I mean. The point where you are hazy and feel like screaming because you are so pent up with frustration. Recognize where your at and reach out before you’re on your last string of patience.

 

Have a mom tribe.

It’s so essential to have at least one other person that can be there for you– other moms get the struggles and when you have someone you can depend on, it makes reaching out so much easier.

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

Use the resources available to you.

Thankfully, mental health awareness has come a long way– meaning there are resources out there made readily available to you.

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 Take the help you get offered.

If someone offers to babysit while you run to the grocery store or take a cat nap, then do it. Honestly! The people that are willing to help you are a God send.

Faceboook messenger and text can save you.

Nowadays, we are all tuned into technology and social media that even the most introverted human can open up to others. Use this to your advantage to open up to others when you need it most.

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

Just say it.

Sometimes, we can be uncomfortable talking about the heavy stuff, and we sometimes feel like we don’t want to burden others with our problems.

Some of us may also feel like bad moms for opening up about postpartum depression or needed some time away from the kids.

I actually wrote a post that talk about some of the reasons why moms don’t speak up about postpartum depression.

Take a deep breath and just say that you need a little bit of help. There is someone who can help you!

 

Do you have a friend that is struggling with postpartum depression?

read my post on how to help your friend, right here.

How to Reach Out When You're at Your Breaking Point

 

I hope this helped you to become more confident in reaching out when you’re at your breaking point. I am always here to talk and to listen so please, feel free to reach out to me as well.

We got this, mama.

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