Showing posts from February, 2020

In Time, When the Season Ends

"It's a season"
"Treasure the moments" "This too shall pass" "They're only little for a little while"
Sound familiar? If you've been apart of the Joy in the Journey family you've heard us speak these truths over you again and again.
Well, I had the reality of all of those sayings happen! I've mentioned (complained) over and over about my baby hating the car.

"Oh, he'll get used to it" I've heard. "Just let him cry" was another piece of advice but regardless my baby just HATED the car from the time he was a little, tiny baby. He would scream inconsolably at times. Other times he'd make it for ten minutes before melting, as he's got older that "done" time has increased (thank the Lord!) but he still doesn't like the car.
My son is now one and a half and though he sometimes tolerates the car quite well now, it's still very stressful to travel any length with our little boy.

So here&#…

It's a Balance...

I love memes, but I don't like this one:
I don't like it because it implies that you are only "killing it" as a mom if you have it all together. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of the days that she describes as "not killing it". Actually, it pretty much describes every day of mine. And that is ok. Because, whether I am "killing it" or not, I am a GOOD mom. I do like this one:

Mothering is a delicate balance. It's a balance in so many ways. And a lot of time I find myself teetering on the edge of loosing balance. But that's ok. And that's normal. Because there is enough grace to cover all my mistakes. And all of your mistakes, too. Most days aren't going to be picture perfect.

You are a good mama. You are making a difference. You are amazing. YOU ARE KILLING IT.

Way to go, mama.


Brain Dump! (A How-To)

Have you had those moments were your brain in so full you don't even know what your thinking? Or when your feeling three things at the same time but are not sure where those feelings are coming from?

I get that way. I get overwhelmed with thoughts, plans, concerns, decisions, and feelings! I was feeling this way just the other day. My brain had been flooded with information, pressure, and thoughts that day. At bedtime I knew I couldn't go to sleep yet.
I needed to write. I needed to brain dump!
I got out my journal and started to unload the piles of thoughts that had been churning around in my brain all day. I identified three main things I was feeling and then wrote out thoughts on each. After several pages of putting my thoughts down on paper, I felt lighter. I could see why I felt overwhelmed. I understood where my feelings were coming from and it helped so much!
I wanted to share with you Mamas, how I do my Brain Dumps in case it might help give you a new tool when you are fee…

At What Sacrifice?

Some women are amazing at keeping their house together. I'm not that kind of girl...

I video chat with a friend quite often, and I must say, she is a stellar house keeper (kudos, my friend!). The fact that she is minimalist helps a lot, I'm sure, and she has sent me a video of a messy kitchen before, but most of the time she is really good at keeping things in tip-top shape. My mother-in-law is like that. But me? Well, let's just say that my hubby did not marry his mother...
It's not that I'm a slob or lazy. The first thing I did when my hubby and I became friends was help him clean his very bachelor apartment (he had science experiments growing in dirty dishes all over the place and in many rooms there were just trails through his stuff, haha!). I did not marry a neat freak. 
I think I am somewhere in the middle. I feel like I am very good about doing my daily chores and making my kids do their chores, but not so much that we sacrifice having fun times, too. I kn…

Riding the Struggle Bus & A Powerful Word

I'm riding the Struggle Bus.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. The baby has been fussy a lot and as I've struggled to get things done while I have a little one screaming and pulling at me.
I feel like the mom from Mom's Night Out "I just want to sit down to a nice meal with out little people CLAWING ALL OVER ME!"

Then there's my preteens...

My oldest is doing pretty good. She has days were she's pretty mad about everything Dad and I do and we get a lot of "Your not LISTENING to me!" If we disagree with anything she wants or says... But she's doing pretty good over all.
It's my second child... Who has just hit the full on slot of hormones and changes that went from feisty but fun, to down right MAD about nearly everything in life.
I'm struggling. 
I'm struggling to enjoy motherhood. I'm struggling to keep heart. I'm struggling with having anything left to give after I deal with difficult behaviors and a fussy baby all…

CRAPPY Parent!!

I had "a moment" today...

A bad moment.

The day had gone great. Nothing out of the ordinary. My middle child was sick with a cold that made her feel kind of crummy but we still had a normal day. School, chores, walk the dog, and met a friend at the park.

All was going well...


I noticed that my daughter's reading book, that had been BORROWED, had puppy chew marks all over it!

"Oh no!" I said, "What happened?"

My daughters response: Immediate denial followed by lame excuses like "I don't remember" and "I don't know what happened." Her sister ratted her out saying she saw the whole thing (and honestly, I vaguely remember it as well). The book had been on the coffee table, the dog had got a hold of it. My daughter said "No Zena!" grabbed the book and put it up. I thought nothing of it.

"I don't remember the dog getting my book? WHY would the dog chew the book? When? What day did she eat the book?" My da…

So Close, Its Scary

Have you ever had a near death experience?

Friendships that INSPIRE!

I don't know about you, but I have found motherhood to be the most challenging stage to invest in friendships. We're all so busy! We have so much to do! We feel so much pressure and have such large responsibilities with a young family. Hang out time is not in an abundance anymore!

We talk about over and over that WE ARE NOT MEANT TO DO THIS ALONE! Not only are we not meant to, but there is so much more joy and life and encouragement in joining together with other moms, spending times with friends, and know you are not alone in this!

Friends are inspiring!

For me the internet can give me good ideas but it's not inspiring. Seeing what others are doing doesn't motivate me to action, but friendships do. Friends that I actually talk to and share real life make me want to try new things and grow more.

I have a friend in Alaska (who was my leader on my first mission trip) who I talk to over Marco Polo. We have talked about marriage, kids, homseschool, you name it. As we talked sh…

Unmet Needs

Why does a baby cry? When my baby cries, I go through the list: is he hungry, tired, bored, uncomfortable...So on and so forth. And when I find the problem, I do my best to fix it...
When my tween is acting grumpy, I go through the list with her. Are you hungry? When did you last have a drink of water? Do you need some time alone? Do you need me to explain this school work/chore better for you?
We moms are pretty forgiving and nurturing when our kids act out because they have an unmet need. And we are usually pretty good about making sure those needs are met. 
So why, dear mothers, don't we do that for ourselves??? 

We have all kinds of reasons for why we can't stop and focusing on meeting some of our needs. 
We don't have time for this. If I take the time to take care of myself, how will I have time to do the things I really need to do? 
Mama, you REALLY need to take care of yourself.
If you are feeling tired or frustrated or angry all the time, just like my sweet little…

This TOTALLY surprised me...

I just had to share with you a funny thing that happened last night. I talked about my baby's nap strike! Well, that lasted for a full week of NO NAPPING! Then came a week of very few naps that were very hard to get him to take.

Along, with day-time napping problems, night time suffered as well. A few nights he woke up multiple times while others he slept through like normal. Putting him to sleep was also difficult. The nurse, rock, put in crib routine that now feels like worked so long ago (realistically a few weeks, max a month with molar teething, growth spurt, and then the nap strike) hasn't been the routine at all.

Instead, it's gone to nurse, rock, put in crib and he screams and cries, then 5-10 minutes later daddy comes and rocks baby to sleep which seems to take FOREVER, no really, it was lasting up to an HOUR. Not a working bed time routine for us... It was working out for baby but Mommy and Daddy need MOMMY AND DADDY TIME at night. No kids...

Last night, both my hus…

My Uninhibited Self

Is there parts of yourself you feel less eager to share? Is there things about your personality you try to keep quiet till you really get to know someone?

Everyone feels differently about how much of themselves they share with a stranger, a friend, or a family member. We all have different levels of comfort in different situations.

Recently, I was processing some relationships that have left some depth to be desired. As I looked at a few different relationship I tried to evaluate what made some deep, meaningful, and fulfilling, and some more surface level. I know that I'm the common denominator in all my relationship, *wink*, so I always like to see if I'm the problem, since I can only change me anyway.
As I asked this question to myself I had different answers based on which relationship I was asking the question for, but I discovered something along the way.
I inhibit myself.  I get in my own way.
Yes, there's relationships that are just not going to be as deep or close as oth…

Dear mama, it’s worth it...

Do you like playing games? I love board games. I’m not very competitive, I don’t really care if I win, I just love spending time with someone and playing games. I find it relaxing and fun.
Have you ever played Monopoly Junior with a little one who just turned four years old? It’s not the most relaxing thing. It’s actually a lot of work. You have to remind him when it’s his turn. Then you monitor to make sure that he does the right thing on his turn. You have to help him count...

Don’t get me wrong, it is still quality time spent with your kid and it is still fun, but getting through a game can be tough because his attention span is only so long. By the end of the game you are pretty much playing for both of you. The end of the game and the cleanup are kind of a relief.
However, it is worth the effort. I know this from experience. Because each time you play with them, they learn. Not only do they learn the skills of the game, but they also learn patience and perseverance.
Fast forward…

Finding a Little Joy

I've been sharing a lot with you lately about the struggles, parent burnout, and the sacrifice side of parenting. All the things I have been wading through lately.

As I searched for answers to questions like "How do I stay me while giving myself to my kids?" and "How do I simply stay sane in some of the difficult phase?" I was looking for a little joy, a little encouragement, a little something, anything.

Self care.

We've talked about it many times because it's just so important. I feel like I do a pretty good job taking care of myself in general. However, when things are particularly difficult I find that instead of getting away and enjoying something, I tend to stay and battle even more when I'm already exhausted and done. 

I went out. I went out with a good friend and fellow Mama. It was wonderful! I had to leave the baby, who wasn't feeling well, but he was with daddy and I knew he'd be okay. My friend and I went to dinner and talked for nea…

This is Not a Test...

Today, I heard news that made me feel like a failure...
If you know me, you know that I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. I have taken breastfeeding education courses and have had my share of difficulties in my own breastfeeding journey: low milk supply, lip tie, tongue tie, thrush, mastitis...I always have trouble getting my kids to gain weight the first few weeks as my body catches up to their needs. But we always get there and they do better once my milk is established. I have spent over 7 1/2 years of my life breastfeeding.
My first baby was my fastest growing baby. She was always in the 95th percentile for her weight and height. I always wondered if it was because I supplemented with 2-4 ounces of formula a day until she started eating solids.
My second I only supplemented with goat milk, and only for the first month or two. She was always in the 20th percentile range. I would worry that this was my fault because my milk wasn't good enough for her (though she was a happy, gr…

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