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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My Foolproof Potty Training Tips for Toddler Boys

Ever since I found out I was having a baby boy, one of the things that stuck in my head was: “potty training boys is SO MUCH harder than girls!” Obviously, I’m a boy mom of 2, so I have no idea if it’s true or not– but I DO know that potty training my first son was a breeze.

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!)

 

I put off potty training my toddler a little longer than I probably should– I think he was ready right when he turned 2, but, we just moved to Germany and he was adjusting to some pretty big changes, so I held off. And then some of my fears probably held me off a little longer after that– I believed that potty training would be a nightmare. I wasn’t ready for it. AT. ALL.

Seriously though, my son was out of diapers (during the day) and going pee/poop on the potty like a champ. I was stunned. He caught onto the whole potty training bit fairly fast and I’m here to share with you my tips that made the experience easy (for both of us) and how yes– it IS possible to potty-train a boy without ripping your hair out.

My Foolproof Potty Training Tips for Toddler Boys

 

1. Ask yourself: is your toddler ready?

Is your toddler really ready to potty train? Here are a few signs you can look for to figure out if it’s time to ditch the diapers:

  • shows interest in using the potty
  • tells you after he went poop in his diaper
  • has a dry diaper after nap time
  • knows the meaning of words like ‘potty’, ‘pee’, and ‘poop’

2. Buy big-boy underwear.

The very first step (obviously besides buying the actual potty) is to pick out some awesome and cool big boy underwear. Getting your toddler involved in picking out their very first pair of big boy undies can make this new transition an exciting one.

Explain to him that his big boy undies need to stay dry– that he can’t pee or poop in them– he does that on the potty, now. It helps to pick out some underwear with fun characters that your son LOVES. For example, my son is a PAW Patrol fanatic, and so he got so excited putting these on to wear (and keep dry!)

Amazon has a great deal on my son’s fav. PAW Patrol underwear.

 

3. No diapers during the day and ABSOLUTELY NO pull-ups.

We did the naked method– meaning, my son was naked basically the whole first day of training and he only wore diapers when he slept.

I hated the thought of using pull-ups…it was going to be an all-or-nothing thing for us, so those weren’t used, just the underwear. I did it this way because of two reasons:

Reason number 1: I didn’t want to confuse my toddler by putting a pull-up on him.

Reason number 2: Putting real underwear on my toddler let him understand that yes, if he goes pee/poop in his big boy underwear, it won’t feel nice!

 

4. Consistency and patience.

It will take a lot of consistency, especially the first 3 days, so keep persisting and most importantly, be patient.

I loaded my toddler with cups of liquid and constantly had him on the potty (even if he said that he didn’t need to go, he still sat on the potty to try) every 20 minutes. Like clock-work.

We love these Munchkin brand Miracle 360 sippy cups!

I also had to find patience (somewhere between the end of day 1 and the beginning of day 2, I can’t remember) because yes, this WILL get super frustrating. Just don’t give up!

 

5. Self-reward instead of treats.

Toddlers feel a huge sense of pride once they accomplish something on their own, so let them feel that!

I didn’t want to give my toddler candy or stickers just because he used the potty– I mean yes, it IS a big deal, and call me mean mommy but I wasn’t jiving with that. Instead, there was A LOT of praise, jumping up and down and high 5’s all around.

 

6. Buy your toddler a training urinal.

I waited far too long to do it, and I’m here to tell you, fellow toddler mama, to NOT WAIT ANYMORE.

This training urinal for boys is the real McCoy.

Best of all, my son loves this thing.

I’ve heard from several boy mamas that there toddler doesn’t pee standing up yet and wondering how to introduce that (besides uhm, watching dad). Lo and behold the training urinal.

Those are my foolproof potty training tips for toddler boys– they worked for me and didn’t leave me pulling out my hair!

Reply back to me and let me know if you tried any of my tips, I would also love to hear about any potty training questions you may have.

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5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

I love essential oils. I know, it’s crazy—  I never expected to be so into the whole oily thing but once I tried them, I wonder why I was always so against them. Really. They can do wonders, ESPECIALLY to help fight off the moodies and the stress life. Aka Mom Life.

*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!)

 

I’m always on the hunt for (natural) ways to help reduce my stress…. and essential oils may be the best tool for that. I found 5 oily moms and I asked them which essential oils that they recommend to help battle off stress.

But first….

 let’s get to the very basics.

What are essential oils?

An essential oil is a natural product extracted from a single plant species. Not all plants produce essential oils but the plants that do, the essential oil may be found in the roots, stems and leaves. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use. *healthline.com

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor, or “essence,” of their source.

 

How to use essential oils.

There are quite a few ways that you can use essential oils (contrary to what I used to believe, it does not include slapping some oil onto your body).

 

On your body.

When applying essential oils on your body, use a carrier oil.

It’s always a good idea to avoid putting an essential oil straight on your body– using a carrier oil will help avoid skin sensitivities because an essential oil alone is too strong to use straight.

I choose coconut oil as my carrier oil when applying essential oils on my kids or myself.

 

Diffuse them.

Buying an essential oil diffuser  was the best decision I made last winter. My kids went through bouts of the ickies, and diffusing oils like orange and oregano helped shorten the duration of their colds by so much.

Diffusing oils is a great way to have your home smelling amazing– without all of the yucky chemicals that candles or scented wax have.

Here is my favorite oil diffuser that is under $20! I use this in the our bedrooms.

 

Clean with them.

Ditch those yucky chemicals, because you can also clean with essential oils.

I use lemon essential oil in my steam mop, orange to polish wood surfaces and oregano to disinfect.

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff.

 

 

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

 

 

 

 

1. Ylang-ylang/  YL ‘Peace and Calming’

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

Andrea says:

“ylang ylang is one of the key ingredients in Young Living’s “peace and calming” which is one of my favorite anti-stress oils.. when i have sleep problems it usually zonks me right out when diffused. So i pulled YY out of it because studies have shown it’s a great anxiety reducer and started using it specifically for stress/anxiety mixed with other complementing oils like Lavender or Tangerine”

you can purchase YL’s Peace and Calming below:

 

 

2.Peppermint/eucalyptus mix

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

Jamie says:

“This mix also takes my migraines away!”

you can purchase peppermint essential here here:

you can purchase eucalyptus essential oil here:

 

 

3. Orange

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

Molly says:

“Smelling orange essential oils gives me an instant boost of happiness. Orange smells cheery and clean and vibrant to me. I associate it with good memories of eating oranges fresh from trees in Florida as a child.”

you can purchase orange essential oil here:

 

 

4. Rose

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

Genni says:

“Rose essential oil is another fav. It’s feminine smell is known to elevate the mind and create a sense of well-being!”

you can purchase rose essential oil below:

 

5. Citrus mix {bergamot, orange, lime, grapefruit and lemon oil}

5 Essential Oils That Moms Use to Battle Stress

Jennifer says:

“I use a blend called Cheer up Buttercup with bergamot, orange, lime, grapefruit and lemon essential oils. It’s the combo of stopping to apply, then breathing in the sent to focus on positive thoughts.”

you can purchase the CHEER UP BUTTERCUP blend here:

 

So there you have it– 5 essential oils that moms use to battle stress. Will you try any of these? Let me know in the comments!

 

*Resource:
Healthline.com- What Are Essential Oils and Do They Work? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils#section1

 

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All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

I didn’t know any-thing about postpartum psychosis until I saw the movie Tully (not giving away any spoilers!) and did a little research. Man, was I surprised– sometimes, I feel a bit ignorant when it comes to women’s health and the dozens of postpartum issues I have once failed to acknowledge. A lot of people may be blindsided or even unaware of what postpartum psychosis is and that’s why this post is so important to read and share with ANY and ALL of your soon-to-be-mama friends.

I need every women out there, pregnant or not, to read this post and absorb what this condition is about– because frankly, it’s downright frightening how dangerous postpartum psychosis can be, and there needs to be talked about.

 

 

 

 

What is postpartum psychosis?

 

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

there is a dramatic difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. you can read about them here.

 

 

 

What are the symptoms of postpartum psychosis?

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

in one of my recent posts, i talk about postpartum anxiety and how to cope. you can read about that here.

 

 

 

 

Did you know that women with bipolar disorder are more prone to postpartum psychosis?

 

 

All About Postpartum Psychosis and Resources for Help

 

 

 

Prevention for postpartum psychosis.

For women with known bipolar disorder, taking medication during pregnancy as well as immediately after, greatly reduces the risk of postpartum psychosis.

And while there is no data to guide women whether or not medication should be taken, it’s best for doctors to monitor women that have a bipolar disorder. It’s especially important to be monitored postpartum and for a trusted person to know about your condition.

 

 

How postpartum psychosis is treated.

In many cases, hospital admission is necessary where the proper medication can be distributed.

Family support can be available through therapists and family counselors.

 

Resources.

this is an amazing resource guide. there is a list of doctors for the United States, Canada, and Australia.

 

this is where you can find statistics on postpartum psychosis.

 

this is where you can find information on postpartum psychosis.

 

You are not alone.

While this may feel like an extremely lonely and scary time for you, I want to reassure you that you are not alone.

Struggling with a postpartum issue is one of the most daunting things that I have been through…I want you to know that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you or someone you love may believe to have postpartum psychosis, PLEASE seek out the appropriate help– there are people out there that will help you, and there are people out there that NEED you! <3

 

Help is there for you.

 

 

 

Have you seen the movie Tully? If you have, what do you think of it? I want to hear your thoughts on it and if you believe that it was a good portrayal of motherhood/mental health.

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20 Reasons why Moms Don’t Speak up About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 women the first year following birth.

For many moms that struggle with postpartum depression, there are many reasons why we don’t speak up about our postpartum depression– I say “we” because I know all too well about hiding my postpartum depression.

 

My postpartum depression story.

After my second son was born, my experience was completely different. I felt very depressed and not myself– but why? I Googled postpartum depression so many times and read a ton about it…yet, I still couldn’t bring myself to reach out for help.

 

In this article that was featured in Scary Mommy, I open up for the very first time about my battle with PPD.

We all have our reasons

We all have our own reasons why we don’t speak up about postpartum depression. Below I listed 20 reasons why moms don’t speak up about postpartum depression.

 

 

 

1. We feel like bad mothers.

2. We have so much guilt.

I know all about the mom-guilt. I talk about it here in Scary Mommy.

3. People will think that we don’t love our baby.

4. We think that it will go away.

5. We listen to our family or friends say that it’s just the baby blues.

There’s a huge difference, mama.

 

6. We feel like nobody will understand.

You are certainly not alone in your postpartum depression.

 

7. We don’t want to burden anyone with our problems.

8. We feel like we can handle it all.

We are the mother and we feel like we are supposed to keep it together for our family.

 

9. We fear that our children will be taken away.

10. We don’t want to be labeled as crazy.

11. We believe that these feelings are our new normal.

We hear other mamas talk about how motherhood is an emotional and over-whelming experience, so when these feelings surface, we think that this is our new normal.

 

12. We don’t know how to reach out.

Most of the time, we simply do not know how to make that first step in asking for help.

Here are some great online resources that can help:

13. We don’t want to be loved any less.

14. We want acceptance.

In a society where mental illness is a stigma, we just want to be accepted.

 

15. We’re in denial.

16. We just want to be that picture-perfect mom that does every-thing right.

17. This was what we wanted, so we’re not supposed to feel depressed.

We wanted to be a mama. We wanted to have babies. So, we’re not supposed to feel depressed. Why should we?

 

18. Everyone keeps telling us that we’re so blessed…making us feel even worse for our depression.

 

19. You don’t want your partner to love you any less.

You’re afraid of what your partner will think of you– what if he/she stops loving you because of your postpartum depression?

 

20. You didn’t have it with a previous child and you feel absolutely guilty.

I know this all too well because I didn’t have PPD with my first son…but I did have PPD with my second.

 

There can be many reasons why moms don’t speak up about postpartum depression. If you have postpartum depression and you can relate to a few or even all of these reasons, I want to tell you– you’re not alone!

Can you relate to me, mama? I would love to hear what your reason for not speaking up about postpartum depression is… leave it in the comments below or shoot me a message.

There are resources. There is help out there. We can battle this, together.

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