Category: building a better you (Page 1 of 9)

Operation: Sugar GTFO

About 2 years ago, while delaying with my hobo, I binge watched food documentaries. I learned a lot. Ever since, I watch more of what I eat. We eat way more vegetables. We choose simple lean meats for the majority of our meals. Progress!

I watched quite a few of these. Even some all about the sugar industry. Yikes. I am trying to find Fed Up in a Red Box currently but I think I already know. WE ALL EAT WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR. Unlike some of the other things people find intolerances and allergies too (gluten, dairy, soy, etc), sugar is in freaking everything. It’s not cutting back on the knowns of soda and cake…it’s ketchup…salad dressing…bread. Here is my coworker Kelly to tell you more about Hidden Sugar!

Note Kelly blogs for our company blog about nutrition. There are some great reads on there. I’m not just saying that because I work with the blogging program, promise.  There is even a recipe for homemade ketchup!

10 Day Sugar Challenge

Around the end of last year, the Whole 30(no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no soy, no legumes, etc.) buzz started. We saw people making dramatic changes to their diets and they were feeling amazing. By doing drastic food elimination, people were finding drastic things that they had no idea. This wasn’t fitting into jeans better. This was sleeping better. Chronic pain gone. SO MUCH ENERGY. Skin issues disappeared. Those people are now on the hunt to figure out which food is their trigger but they KNOW.

I watched all this with fascination. A lot of folks writing about it approached it from a “do you constantly feel tired? do you struggle to get out of bed? do you have chronic pain?” informercial type stance. I have to say no to all those things actually. I actually seem to have a lot of energy relative to other mother’s of 2 young children. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need to look at my eating habits. So in December our healthcare center here at work put out a registration for a 10 day sugar free challenge. The basic rules are:

  • No added sugar for 10 days ( no sweeteners*. Real or fake)
  • Only 2 servings of fruit max
  • *You are allowed a small allotment of sugar for honey or maple syrup only

To go along with it, our cafes will be offering more “no sugar added” foods every day for lunch (one entree, soup, sides, etc). So if all else fails I can just get takeout from work for dinner 🙂

So Kevin and I embarked on it this morning for 10 days of less sugar (the kids will get less by proxy). We have already been pregaming, if you will, this month. Eggs and fruit at breakfast. Kevin has cut back on sodas and candy. I’ve steered my snacking to nuts, popcorn and some dried fruit bars. I think we will be alright. I am curious to see how we feel in 10 days but even more excited to see us engrain some new staples in the routine to lower our sugar overall.

So this weekend I went shopping for the week like usual and found I could just skip entire aisles. I am going to live off sweet potatoes, avocados, kale and popcorn.  And with that, I give you week 1 of dinners for sugar free week!

Week1BTW I got a noodler the other weekend at Bed Bath and Beyond (remember those coupons don’t really expire!) and I am LOVING zoodles(zucchini noodles). I really could care less about spaghetti noodles and I can get a giant plate of them for like 80 calories. I also used it to shred sweet potatoes and made myself some great sweet potato hash-browns with just a touch of cinnamon!

P.S. I am really being tested out the gate as I woke up on day one with a scratchy throat and I can’t have cough drops. So whiskey, it is. Sorry, boss lady. JK


5 Things You Didn’t Know You Wanted

Until Now! I don’t do gift guides (well I did one for 2 year olds years ago but I digress) but I have found some things lately from OTHER gift guides that I went “well damn, that’s awesome”. I’m not going to moan on and on in an intro paragraph…let’s just get to it:

  1. A Battery Charging device – So you updated to iOS8 and now your battery is pathetic. Yup…I’m with ya. I am CONSTANTLY charging anywhere I can. For Mother’s Day, Kevin actually got me a charging brick. It happens to be this one right here:
    I like it because it also double as a wall charger (the prongs fold down). I then just keep a USB cable in my purse when I need it. This came in really handy while traveling this summer and all The Thread girls used it at one point 🙂 But then this morning, my favorite photo gadget shop sent out their gift guide and LOOK IT!

    Buy the The Power Wallet at the Photojojo Store!
    t have the charge IN the wallet and it is so adorable and nice to just grab and go!

  2. A Funny Ass Necklace – I love quirky jewelry. Remember my woot necklace? Well I have a good number of different ones. I also really like giving personalized things for gifts and have been shopping Spiffing Jewelry for around 7 or so years. She can customize like a boss but she also has LOTS of ideas on her website (follow her on IG too).
    BONUS FOR DADS: Wanna seem super sweet? Check out these bird necklaces.
  3. Want a smooth way to play your tunes in the car and don’t have one of those fancy new models? No worries! I wrote about my system a few years ago but you can no longer get that specific device anymore but I did find this one by Belkin. This one is actually better because it does phone calls as well where mine doesn’t. There is no getting in and plugging your phone into something. Just get in, crank the car and hit play on your phone. Listen to audio books, podcasts, streaming music, etc.
  4. Jazz up your devices with a new skin. I have a skin on my MacBook Pro for work and I CONSTANTLY get compliments. Nuvango (used to be Gelaskins) uses a vinyl that is really easy on your devices and I have NEVER seen them tear. It still looks like the day I put it on there (years ago). And now I want this one:


  5. Did you know Stitch Fix has gift certificates? That’s right…a gift certificate for clothes you don’t have to fight the mall for or order blindly. Get it shipped to your house and BAM decide what you want. I did this once and have been clamoring to do this again (HINT HINT FAMILY). It could brighten up your post holiday January with a little fun!

There ya go. Something to get your mind working.


Want to make your family into the best gift givers ever? Lead the witness. I unveiled my “want” board years ago and now mindlessly update it throughout the year when I see something cool I like. Sometimes I buy for myself but most of the time I just forget about them honestly…so when my husband or mom buy them? SUPER SURPRISE. Read more about the want board.

The Want Pinterest Board

The Power of Thank You

When you get married you have to do a good bit of blending. Styles, feelings, furniture, and so on but the biggest I think is habits. Some good, some bad. Like how I am notorious for not cleaning the lint trap or how Kevin will pace like a caged animal on the phone…for an hour. Those are pretty trivial but you get what I’m saying. You have to learn to look at each other as a couple and then you have to reflect back on yourself. How can I be the person I would want to be around?

One thing that came up when we got married is how much Kevin and his family say thank you. It seems silly that simply being polite so often was off putting but it really did take me back. “Thank you for making dinner” “Thank you for taking out the trash” “Thank you for going to the store” All things I just…did. No thanks really needed. But over the years I have realized how important it kinda is.

Recently one of my favorite new twitter follows, @DrPsychMom, wrote this article about 5 things you can do for your husband that aren’t sex (because she writes about that a lot…seriously she is awesome guys). In it she said:

“Here’s what you used to say: “Hey thanks so much for putting gas in my car!  That was so sweet!  Nobody was ever that sweet to me!  My friends are like, wow your boyfriend is so great!  And I’m like, I know!  Back off bitches!  Ha ha!”

Here’s what you say now: “When you got the gas in my car you left all your crap in there. Throw out your empty Starbucks cup next time.  Am I the maid?”

Slight difference.  Try focusing for a couple of minutes each day on what you appreciate about your husband.  If you can only come up with that he doesn’t drink to excess on most weeknights and he bathes regularly, start with that.  Baby steps.”

Bingo. But seriously, think about it next time. Simple things to make someone feel appreciated. The ultimate golden rule.

Over the years I have tried to do it more and not just at home. It’s still not always second nature like with the Manns but I try. I try to bring it into work, friendships and even strangers. This has extended to random compliments. Then recently I gained a new coworker who excels at that (Hi Alli!) and makes me realize how important it really is. A true compliment can make your day.

So your mission for today? Go compliment someone and tell some one genuinely thank you. I really don’t think you can regret it.

Some more  awesome Dr. Psych Mom posts:

Reader Q: If Monogamy Kills Libido in Women, How Can I Increase My Sex Drive?

Men: Realize When Your Wife Wants To Have Sex

100 Date Night Questions: Use Any Time You Want to Feel Closer

Reader Q: Is My Spouse Supposed to Be My Best Friend?

Reader Q: How Can I Offer To Watch Our Daughter So My Partner Can Relax?

How To Start Twitter

Twitter_circle.svgFollow Fridays are kind of a thing of the past but I thought I would bring it back today to help convert some folks. Twitter can be an amazing place. I’ve met my best friends there. I’ve helped people. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve talked so much shit it’s ridiculous. But I digress.

In the past people have tried to join based on my recommendation and they get overwhelmed. I realize it can seem like walking into a crowded lunch room but with that analogy in mind, try and just listen. Just join and listen. Decide what you like it for and what you don’t. People aren’t going to just start talking to you because you follow them…so don’t get those expectations. It takes time to find your groove…just like that lunch room.

I think the first step in Twitter success is seeing how YOU want to use it. It may not be like me. You may NEVER tweet but only use it to respond to people. You may use it to only communicate with some friends. The world is your oyster. So I’m going to layout some ways to use twitter and a few recommended follows to get you started

The Library/Newspaper

This one is the most obvious. Follow news outlets (please God not Fox News), local channels and even magazines. You can get snippet headlines all day to keep up to date.


Huffington Post – They have a variety of flavors from world news to entertainment to parenting. They even have a list for happy things.


National Geographic – They have great human interest pieces and stunning images. Also follow them on Instagram for some spectacular behind the scenes stuff.



The Comedy Club

Following comedians is another populate choice. One liners at their finest. I laugh every day at Twitter.


Rob Delaney – if there is a winner for Twitter, it is Rob Delaney…period.

Patton Oswalt – He took the summer off but HE IS BACK YALL.



The Mom’s Group

This one is obvious for me. It’s why I joined Twitter in the first place. I was lonely in the night at all those feedings. It slowly became a safety net to bounce questions off of and then bitch about our kids. Coming up with a list here is a toughie. I follow a lot. It is also a world where you make your own little tribe. So I will just list out bigger time ladies and you can usually find a Twitter button on most mom blogs you like. Start there.




The Tech Wire

Computers are the wave of the future, you guys! Keep up with the fast paced nature by reading 140 character headlines.





The Local Guy

Follow local businesses and groups to keep a beat on  what is going on. Follow the kids museum for special events. Follow breweries for specials. There is a world of possibilities. Sports teams, fairs (the NC State fair is great), venues are great ways to see things to do over teh weekend. Since I am the Raleigh/Durham area, here are a few of my favorites:



Raleigh Parks & Rec

Raleigh & Co.


So get out there and make up a silly handle and get what you want out of the Twitters. And I mean we are infinitely cooler than you Facebook friends and we don’t even make you automatically watch videos 🙂

So you wanna start running…

3579018740_b251523263_bI get a lot of questions about running…especially in fall when it isn’t 5000 degrees. How do I do it? Where do I do it? When can I do it? The short answer is that it’s never the same for any one person but I have seen plenty of “I wouldn’t run unless zombies were chasing me” people turn into runners.

For me, running is the best workout.  Not from a sweat and blood mentality, but a time and balance one.  I can fit a run in my day much easier than most workouts. I get time to myself or I can use it to socialize with friends. I get to listen to my music that’s not You Gabba Gabba and most importantly, I feel powerful in all my roles: Woman, Wife, Mama, Working Gal…so here goes nothing.

Find a Friend

I started by walking with a friend who had a new year’s resolution to walk everyday at lunch. That was it. Then once it got to about March, we decided we were walking as fast as we could and wanted to cover more ground. One day, we just ran until we were tired. I lasted about 6 minutes.  In a week, we made it 10. And so on. We slowly worked up and decided to shoot for our company 5K on National Employee Fitness Day in May. My first time was around 38 minutes. I had to walk some hills but I did it. I have never looked back.

Moral of the story here: friends make it easier.

Having a workout partner to be accountable to makes a HUGE difference. Find a friend or even find a group to join. I use to volunteer for a group last fall for women only here in the Triangle (NC). It was a couch to 5K and a lot of cheerleading.  Seeing those women cross the finish line at the end was tear jerking. All sizes and shapes. Moms, grandmas, single ladies: all working together to accomplish a personal goal. We made new friends and reconnected with old. It is the ultimate in a woman community. So look in your area for running groups and if you are shy, look for an all women’s group. A lot of fitness stores have programs throughout the year for training for a 5K, 10K or half marathon. These are great places to meet people to motivate you. No one is there to make you look dumb or make fun of you.  You are all in it together.

Start Slow

I think many people struggle with how to get started and not crash and burn. Of all exercise routines, you can really do that here. Don’t go out your front door day one and say, “I am gonna run a mile.” Then you get six minutes in and start dying, you give up. You say “running isn’t for me.” Incorrect. You just started off too hard.   A tried and true method many beginning groups use is the Galloway Method or any type of intervals. Start off running AND walking. Over time, you run more and walk less. This is actually a great way to burn calories by varying your heart rate and gives you more sense of accomplishment.  Many people run marathons this way. Don’t be shy about it…you aren’t alone :).

Another analogy I love from my super running cheerleader cousin Sarah is being a penguin.  She read this book and was inspired. You don’t have to be the fastest.  You are already doing more than most people…speed doesn’t matter.

Finding Time

The glory of running is being able to fit it in. Also you don’t need to run for an hour.  Running 30 minutes is HUGE and then? You’re done. And then in that 30 minutes, you have burned calories, had time for yourself, talked with a friend or even listened to new music. Here are ways I fit in runs:
  • Get up. It takes getting used to but being up at 5am alone is kind of awesome…once I roll out of bed.
  • If I can carry clothes in my car, I can run at lunch time or right before I leave for the day.
  • If the kids are napping and the husband is home, I can run then.
  • If we are looking for something to do on the weekends, the whole family can head to the local greenway.  The dog and I can run around the lake and dad and kids  visit ducks or go play at the playground.

Other Help and Motivation

While looking around for information for this post, I found some great sites to help get you going and motivated:

  • Motherly Advice on Running – Pregnant, nursing and multitasking while running.
  • Shedding the Past – Former “fat girl” reinvents herself with running.
  • Mannlymama’s Running Pep Talk – I talk about apps and local NC running groups and finding local fun runs to keep it interesting.
  • See Mommy Run – a social networking site for moms looking to get fit
  • Title Nine – Got big boobs? Nursing? Need a sports bra that won’t make you get slapped in the face on runs? Try Title Nine.
  • RunKeeper – The app I use

So get those running shoes on! Time to get fit!

Get Fitted with Confidence by Vanity Fair

Bra shopping is just the worst.Amirite? To me it is even worse than jeans. So many options. So much riding on awell fitting bra. Sure, when we were younger we just got the cute ones and lived with it. The poking wire. The spillage over the top.  We were cute, right? But now with a toddler on the hip and school lunches to make, the last thing I wantto be worrying about is an ill-fitting bra. You truly get what you pay for.
To go along with this, I happento be a difficult size to find. I am small around but, ahem, not so much upstairs. I am forever stuck in eithermail ordering or relegated to that one style in 3 colors and, hell, never the color I want. But I know my size and how to work with it and that has been a life changer. Once I finally sucked it up and let the nice lady with the tape measure get me fitted, I was a new woman. In a little tiny changing room, I learned so much and have been learning more tips ever since.
So when Vanity Fair® contacted me to talk about bras and their new campaign For Women Who Do to empower women, I was sold. (I mean I reviewed absorbent panties!) Being confident with how you look is TREMENDOUS. Sometimes that can be new lipstick or heels but I think helping your clothes fit better and being comfortable is the cat’s pajamas. Not only that but they are partnering with Dress for Success* to help out all women!

“The “Women Who Do” initiative is a powerfully uplifting campaign dedicated to praising and celebrating everyday triumphs of women everywhere while highlighting the brand’s long-standing commitment to producing quality, luxurious lingerie. Ultimately, Vanity Fair hopes to spark a movement that inspires women to support each other and live their lives according to what makes them happy.”

I know some are thinking “a bra that makes you happy?” and YES. Confidence as a woman is huge. It really can transform a life and if that is starting with perky boobs? SO BE IT. So how do you get that? Well first you got to understand your body and how a bra should fit. Go get fitted properly at a reputable store and learn the “rules”. Here are just a few I use as my baseline when trying on bras (since I know my size).

2 (1)

I actually have this one from Vanity Fair®. It fits great and is super light but supportive. I encourage you to find a Vanity Fair® dealer near you and check out their selections (after your free fitting of course). Making style and comfort effortless for every woman, Vanity Fair® offers feminine and beautiful lingerie available in styles that are feature sleek fabrics with clean lines for a smooth look under clothes. Gain that confidence you deserve.

Be sure to follow Vanity Fair® on your favorite channels to learn more about their initiatives and product line. I know I will be! 

Twitter  Facebook  Instagram  Pinterest  YouTube

*Dress for Success Partnership: Dress for Success® – an organization dedicated to promoting the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, career development tools and a network of support– noticed a need for more intimate apparel to provide its clients. Vanity Fair saw a welcome opportunity to lend its expertise, resources and extensive product offering to help replenish the lingerie of the non-profit organization. Through this partnership, Vanity Fair hopes to provide women with the support they need to be successful. Also on July 17, 2014, Vanity Fair and Dress for Success kicked off the national LiftTOUR – a nationwide bus tour with a focus on fit and philanthropy. The LiftTOUR will travel across the country conducting bra fittings at major retail locations, and for every woman fit, Vanity Fair will donate a brand-new bra to the local Dress for Success Affiliate. Between July and the end of October, the LiftTOUR will plan to stop at 70 different locations in 12 major U.S. markets. Check to see if they are coming near you.

What about your bra gives you confidence? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Postpartum Anxiety and Strollers

1At this time around 5 years ago, I was settling in with my first newborn. I had never really dealt with teeny babies. I had held one or two, of course but not in the trenches.  The adrenaline was wearing off and the tired was washing over me like a dense fog. I knew it wasn’t glamorous. I didn’t think I was supposed to be all googly eyed over something that spat and shit on me. But something still wasn’t right. Weeks old turned to months old and while I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, I found myself constantly anxious. Even when he slept, I could jolt awake constantly and be just as irritable by morning. I would call and cry for Kevin to come home because I just didn’t want to be responsible some days. Nap times were torture and I spent them mostly just pacing waiting for him to wake up any minute. I cried from pure stress.

Luckily, my family recognized these things and stepped in. My mother in law came and watched the baby some afternoons so I could do something other than be a mother including going to see my doctor. I started writing here more about what was going on. But in all that, I was reminded I wasn’t alone. So one night that fall, I put Landon to bed and drove to Rex for my first Postpartum Education & Support meeting. I would never be alone again.

But the sad fact is, there ARE many moms out there that are suffering alone. “In fact, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.”* 

PESNC helped me realize the reality of my problem and hope to come out of it. And I did! Moms Supporting Moms was a life saver and I have always wanted to give back. Let moms and families know I was here to talk (no really, I am) and make them aware of symptoms. I am now the webmaster for the organization. So many compassionate women wanting to help the thousands of moms still in the fog. And one way they are helping is through Strollerthon.

The StrollerThon — our biggest fundraiser of the year — is a two-mile walk in celebration of families and mothers. Proceeds from this event benefit Postpartum Education and Support, and individuals of all ages are welcome to participate. No stroller required!

The goals of the walk are to raise awareness of perinatal mood disorders and to provide a family-friendly outing to financially support the programs of Postpartum Education and Support. The event will feature a Tot Trot for kids, live music, food, and activities for the whole family!

The StrollerThon will take place on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Bond Park in Cary, NC.

Register to walk or Donate to PESNC

If you want to talk about it, email me. I will respond as quickly as I can, I promise. You don’t have to feel alone…there is village waiting for you. If you are local, come walk with me too!

Read more: http://www.mannlymama.com/2013/05/the-mental-health-of-motherhood/#ixzz3CGgrYnPM

*Facts from postpartumprogress.org

Things I Love – That Gal {Benefit Primer}

benefit-cosmetics-that-galBack in the early spring, I ran out of foundation. I was going to the mall and only had a few minutes and dropped by the lovely Benefit counter. I drool there. I would take one of everything if I was made of money. I have used their stuff since my wedding (they did my wedding makeup. PRO TIP: you can totally do that for a fraction of the cost of other places). The lady was super sweet and actually recommended I not really get foundation at all. She tried some on me and it was lovely but she was like “wait”. She pulled out That Gal primer.

That Gal is a “brightening primer”. It is a shade of pink (but it doesn’t go on as pink) and just gives you a nice glow effect. The second she put it on I went “oh my”. It was perfection. There is no glitter or shimmer, just brightens. Then she said what I didn’t think sales people were allowed “you could totally just wear this with nothing”. I about kissed her right there.

So I haven’t worn foundation in over a month. After my shower, I put on moisturizer (Pro Tip: I mix a dab of self tanner every few days to help even skin) and then put this on top. I apply by dabbing lightly with my fingers. I concentrate on the highlight areas (cheekbones, t-zone). After that I dab undereye concealer in the corners of my eyes and blend. Slap on some Benetint and voila. Fresh summer face complete. If I do my eye makeup, it takes a max of 7 minutes from start to finish: Voila (fact: blonde lashes make you look dead):

That Gal Primer transformation


So stop saying you don’t have the time. It’s a few minutes.

Another great thing about using That Gal for this long is that my skin feels SO MUCH BETTER. It’s actually GOOD for my skin! So what are you waiting for?

Here is also the video of how I do a full routine of makeup.


Benefit didn’t pay me or give me anything. They don’t know me or know I did this. Truly just love it. To see more things I love, check out my series!


21 Day Fix: Complete

2_min_flat._1_min_RT_side._1_min_LT_side._Up_to_hands_and_crawl_back_down_for_30_sec._Then_50_sec_flat.__higgymannplankchallengeNote: Read about 21 Day Fix  in my previous post.

Well I did it….well mostly. In the 21 days, I only missed 2 days. 1 day I was literally on my feet all day outside playing with the boys and doing yard work. We were at the River and once kids were in bed, we had guests come by. I literally had no time all day but figured I was active all day anyway. The next day I did 2 workouts to make up. THe second day was a complete fluke. Just no excuse other than I didn’t prioritize it and then went into “fuck it mode”. The next day I kicked my own ass and went harder.

Not Following It Exactly

Now in the 21 days, I didn’t do the videos every day but I did do something in the same realm of what was on that day. Like last Monday I didn’t do a video and went to a body sculpt (upper and lower weights) class at the gym for 45 min. I did heavier weights than I used to and burned out on each exercise. Tuesday? Ouch ouch ouch. So since I didn’t get as much of the cardio with the lifting, I ran that morning. The on Friday a friend from work convinced me to go to this outdoor I.T. class at lunch and wooo boy it burned. Cardio, balance, strength training and even some sad pull up attempts. Then on Sunday morning I went out for a short 2.5 mile loop run and decided to get crazy and ran a new way and went 4 miles. It was great.

I didn’t do the meal plan. I tried to eat better in general. Less snacking. Better choices. Smaller portions. Back to trying to do mostly vegetarian lunches. I can still do better.

Oh and don’t forget #higgymannplankchallenge

Making A Habit

My main goal of this was to get back in the habit of exercising…craving it even .I think it has worked. Going into a holiday weekend away, I prepared by putting all the DVDs on my iPad and packed my weights. Even when it rained on Saturday, I worked out on one side of the living room while the kids played in the other. Later I set up shop between the guest beds and did abs while the boys climbed on the bunk beds. I made it work. I didn’t want to miss a workout.

When I do workout, I am really pushing myself. I crave the burn. The 30 minute video option is great for after dinner and before boys to bed.

So Can You Tell A Change?

Full disclosure: the scale really hasn’t moved but I really don’t care. I feel stronger. I feel leaner. I didn’t drop all these inches or something but I feel less jiggly. My core is even stronger and even in my run on Sunday, I could feel how much stronger my legs were. Once again my goal was getting back into habit, not miracle body.

Now what’s the plan?

Keep it up. Exercise 6 days a week is my goal. I think having 1 rest day is important and takes a little pressure off. My next 21 days is going to be better with eating. I do pretty well and then eat my feelings. My new goal is only occasional glass of wine in the week and more meals at home. When I cook, I eat smaller portions. It’s pretty simple.


I will probably start sampling some other workout videos we have on Apple TV stoked up to keep it interesting. I will try and go to at least 1 class a week at work because my competitiveness helps me work harder. I also want to try and get to running in the mornings before work. The weather is finally stabilizing now to not have to get out cold weather gear at 5 am.

So get out there, you. Find a new habit. Totally worth it.

The Rise of the Mommy Martyr

This_jokester_cried_all_morning._Went_to_get_him._I_get_this.__troubleIt’s been happening for years now. This mythical pedestal we have put the perfect mom on. We all see her differently. Either we aspire to be like her or we violently revolt against her. Putting her there to lash out against it. It’s weird. We see the moms with their pennants at birthday parties and chalkboard signs and we either a) start pinning that shit like it’s hot or we b) start droning on about how “unrealistic” that is. It’s so played out. I’m just tired of it. Some people like crafting…why are we fighting about this?

So either we get a battle of who has the best birthday party (and the posts making fun of said people and moms feeling like they suck) or we get a battle of who can go the longest without showering like it’s some gat damn mommy merit badge system of marytring. “Oh you don’t wear makeup for drop off, well I haven’t washed these yoga pants in 2 weeks”. Congrats? Why is this a thing? Did you just level up in some mommy video game I’m not aware of?

While I think moms trying to put on a show for everyone else no matter what the cost to the family is wrong, the cheerleading for giving EVERYTHING to your kids is just absurd. If you are wondering why I am ranty, it’s this viral video going around. I get the sentiment. I do. I applaud American Greetings for an awesome campaign but it’s a little hyperbolic, yes? Yes. We have all had sleepless nights. Yes. We have been subject to having to serve everyone’s food before ours for a period of time. But the line that rubbed me the wrong way was

“If you have a life, we ask that you give that up.”

::record scratch:: Once again, hyperbole to make a marketing point. I get it but I see this too much already with moms not thinking they are “mom enough”. YOU ARE A WOMAN, NOT JUST A MOTHER. Dear new insecure mom, please don’t strive for a selfless life like this. The list of stuff makes motherhood sound dreadful…and in my case unrealistic. This build up of mom’s who aren’t taking care of themselves is just as unhealthy as these photoshopped models. Now we play the “well I give more to my kids because I never sit down” game? No thanks. I will take care of myself and my family as a unit. No mighty pedestal for me, I suppose.

Straight_mommy_creepin.And this is a pretty big smack in the face to dads and other care givers. I guess they are just babysitting so you can do the dishes? Pretty sure most dads I know are taking on night duty with a baby or wiping off puke from the couch for the 3rd time too. Guess they figured adding “You will be utterly alone with no help” explicitly to their fake job description went a little too far but it came across like that to me. And what about working moms? This basically says there is no way I am carrying for my kid fully if I am at work 40 of those weekly hours, right? Fuck that.

Before we swiss cheese the hell out of my rant with exception cases (military moms, single moms, etc), I still think it is important to take care of you. That might not be going to get a pedicure or hell, going grocery shopping alone but teaching your kids to be independent and the value of other people’s time is something that should be strived for as well. Be it the “ring of neglect” (exersaucer) so you can read this blog post or just decreeing “quiet time” in the afternoons, raising kids who need you and only you for every thing in their lives isn’t the smartest decision in the long run. Those kids are fucking annoying later on…don’t make those kids.

So by all means, go buy your mom a freaking card. I am not against that in the least but do yourself a favor, moms, and be kind to yourself. You don’t HAVE to play cars EVERY time. You don’t have to be the only person making sippy cups. You don’t have to be the only gender at the PTA meeting. It’s ok to play Candy Crush on your phone and block out the rest of the world for some sanity. It’s ok to talk to other adults in the presence of children (and them not interrupt you). It’s ok to stay in the shower 5 more minutes just for the quiet. We are always mothers by nature but aren’t we still humans too? Stop the mommy martyr race. Oh…and go wash your pants.


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