Why There are Little to No Posts about Working Moms

I find so many articles online for and about stay-at-home moms and work-at-home moms. I think it’s amazing that some moms can stay at home with their kids all day! It’s a luxury I would actually love to be able to afford. However, so many of us can’t afford to stay home. Other women choose to work outside of the home. I say GOOD ON YOU TO WHICHEVER YOU ARE! Power to moms!

I often wondered, though, why there weren’t many articles for us full time working moms. I haven’t found many articles praising our decision to work and support our family. I haven’t read any helpful lists to explain how to keep things organized, keep the kids busy, make the best meals, and entertain the best parties all while also juggling a full time job. I have been thinking about it for awhile. Why aren’t these articles being written? And then I realized…there are too many reasons to count why these articles aren’t circulating around the web. I’ve listed a few for you below.

Why There are No Articles About Working Moms

  1. We’re too damn busy. After working eight hours a day, picking our kids up from daycare or school (often out of our way), and coming home to make dinner, we don’t have much time for anything else…including writing.
  2. We’re too damn tired. We’re basically running around merely surviving from the moment the alarm clock goes off to the moment we can crawl back in bed.
  3. We’re trying to spend time with our kids. We get precious little time when they’re in daycare or school all day and we’re at work. Additionally, since most activities for daycare aged kids are during the day (geared toward stay-at-home moms) we’re having to entertain them ourselves with trips to the museum or the park. No classes or sports for those kiddos!
  4. We feel like we have nothing to offer. I can’t speak for all of us working moms, but most of the time I feel like I’m just surviving. I’m not making the finest dinners, my kids aren’t bathed every night, the tv is on far too often, the house is in a constant state of chaos.
  5. We’re always working. Working at work. Working at home. Working weekdays. Working weekends. If we’re not at work, we’re thinking about work. It’s not ideal, and sometimes we can step out of the work mind, but the point is that work is a major part of our lives. It sometimes consumes us.

I know there are several other reasons why working moms aren’t writing articles for each other. We’re so tired and busy, we’re lucky to get our kids dressed and out the door in matching clothes most days. Keep up the good work, working moms. You’re a superstar in my book!

Do you work full time outside of the home? Do you find the lack of helpful articles disheartening? Share your story!

Writing Process Blog Tour

Recently, I was invited to participate in a Writing Process Blog Tour. I was tagged by What the Bride Wore to write a blog post linking back to her, answering the following questions about my writing process, and nominating three other bloggers to do the same.

Writing Process Blog Tour

  • What are you working on? Currently, I’m working on keeping my blog current and updated. I’d like to be able to post at least three times a week, but sometimes life gets in the way. I’m going to keep working at consistently writing a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I know you’ll forgive me if that doesn’t happen every week though.
  • How does your work differ from others of this type/genre? I feel like the biggest difference is my own voice. I try to write as if I’m sitting down with a friend and talking. I want all of my readers to feel like they just had a coffee date with me.
  • Why do you write what you do? I write about what’s important to me. I want my blog to be authentic. I write online as a creative outlet, but I want others to gain something out of the result. I try to keep the topics positive for the most part and helpful or informative in some way.
  • How does your writing process work? I sit down and type! HA! I’m not the most organized blogger. I hope to be more organized some day. Sometimes, if I come up with an idea, I’ll jot it down for later, but for the most part, I just type up what I’m thinking at the time.

Now, go check out these lovely ladies who I’ve nominated to continue the blog tour:

  • Dianna from Stop Existing and Start Living, a blog about gardening experiences, recipes, crafts and various other homesteading adventures.
  • Dara from Living Story, one woman’s journey as a wife, mother, and musician.
  • Lavende and Lemonade, a blog about stylishly sustainable living, and fresh, healthy food!

Nominees: Feel free to stop back and link up your posts below so we can check them out! Readers: What do you think? Is my writing process what you thought it was?

Pet Peeves: Late People

We all have those pet peeves that get under our skin and make us unreasonably angry. We seethe over them, because they drive us absolutely crazy. Most of the time, these pet peeves are nothing we can control. In fact, they almost always involve other people doing something that inconveniences us in some way. I have several pet peeves that drive me batty, but my number one pet peeve of all time is waiting for people who are late!

Pet Peeves: Late People I get that sometimes, we run a little late. Heck, I’ve been late a time or two. I work full time and have three kids. I totally get it that things pop up. The alarm didn’t go off on time, the kids lost their shoes at the last minute, the keys to the car suddenly ran away to some unknown location. My issue, however, is waiting for people who are constantly late. Some people call it “island time,” some people say they were born this way, some people just don’t care. The fact of the matter, for me, is that making others wait (especially consistently) is beyond rude. The messages being sent when you make people wait for you are as follows:

  • My time is more important than your time. You obviously have nothing better to do than wait for me.
  • I don’t care if you have other plans after our plans. You can always be late to your other plans…after all, I always am.
  • Whatever we have planned wasn’t worth me putting any effort into. My need for more sleep or a longer shower or more makeup on my face or a cup of coffee is worth the effort, but your time with me isn’t.
  • I don’t value your time or your feelings. I am only thinking about myself.

While I understand most people aren’t literally thinking these messages when they’re late, these are the messages that are being sent to the people who are waiting for you. Eventually, the waiters are going to give up on you. Why would they spend their own time on you when you can’t do the same in return?

What about you? Do you hate waiting? What’s your biggest pet peeve? Share in the comments!

TOMs – One for One

I have a thing about shoes. Not a typical girl thing about shoes. Not a “Ooh, how many pairs can I buy?” thing. I hate heels. I hate uncomfortable shoes. Shoes, for me, have to be comfortable. If they’re cute, all the better. This is why I love TOMs shoes. They’re ultra comfortable and the designs are super cute, funky, and personal.

In addition, I absolutely LOVE that TOMs has a One-for-One program. For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is sent to a child in need. With your purchase of one pair of shoes, you’re actually buying two pairs: one for you and one for a kid who needs them. How amazing is that?

Toms Black and Silver Paisley Classic

TOMs Black and Silver Paisley Slip-ons

I just purchased this pair of slip-ons that I’ve been coveting. I’m so excited to pair them with some jeans. And now, you can get $20 off your purchase with my referral code! Give it a go and let me know which ones you decided to get. Your feet will look great and so will your soul! Helping others never looked or felt so good.

Currently

It’s time again to link up with Anne over at In Residence and Jenna at Dearest Love to share what I’m currently smelling, loving, planning, baking, and celebrating. Come play with us and share your “currently” list. Currently Smelling, Loving, Planning, Baking, Celebrating Smelling: The end of fall in Alaska. It’s a mix of dampness, rotting leaves, and wet dirt. Fall doesn’t last long in Alaska. Tuesday brought termination dust on the mountains (snow that signals the end of fall). Time to prepare for hibernation.

Loving: Myself, of course!
Planning: Our annual mini-vacation to Alyeska Resort. We are not skiers, but we love to go in the off-season for a short weekend. We go for two nights and enjoy eating out, ordering room service, and swimming in the salt water pool. This year, we’re going a little earlier than normal, so the tram will still be open, more food options will be available, and Oktoberfest will be in full swing. I’m excited for a fun family weekend.
Baking: These Gooey Monster Cookies from Lil’ Luna are a favorite around here. Not only are they fun to make, they’re absolutely delicious! I’m excited to get the boys in the kitchen this month to make some monster fun!
Celebrating: My oldest son’s birthday. He turned fifteen in September, but we’re planning a small birthday bash for this weekend. He’s having some friends over for a sleepover and video games at a local gaming place. I’m so enjoying watching him grow into such a cool, fun, hilarious individual.

Book Review: Girl Reading

Girl Reading by Katie Ward

Confession: I totally bought this book based on the cover. I mean look at it. It’s beautiful. (Unfortunately, the new cover is not as beautiful as this one.) And the name. Girl Reading? That’s me! I purchased it at Powell’s Books in Portland when we were visiting my parents this summer. I wanted a pretty book from an amazing bookstore. Mission Accomplished.

Girl Reading by Katie Ward is a collection of seven stories all based on (you guessed it) girls reading. Each story is centered around some sort of artwork that features a woman reading a book. The artwork actually exists for six of the seven stories. One story for example, imagines the origins of the Annunciation with St. Margaret and St. Ansanus. The stories span seven centuries, and while each story can be read as a separate entity, the stories combined provide a beautiful look at the lives of women through complex relationships, powerful emotions, and a love of literature.

I had a difficult time getting into the book, partly because the dialogue in the book is not offset with quotation marks. This editing decision annoyed the hell out of me at first. However, once I was invested in the stories, I hardly noticed the lack of quotation marks. I really enjoyed each little “slice of life” that I became part of as I read. Even though the book reads more like a collection of short stories, I think by the end, you too, will enjoy the connections that have been made.

Is this a book you think you’d enjoy? What are you currently reading? Leave a comment and let me know!

Lisa of Balancing Bedlam is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Meditating on Self-Love

I’ve been putting off writing about my Ladies Yoga Retreat with All Life is Yoga on here. Not because I don’t know what to say or because I didn’t learn anything. The problem is that I have SO MUCH to say. I had a wonderful time, met some absolutely amazing women, and learned so much. The entire weekend focused on Self-Love. Self-Love is not something I had considered much in life. After this glorious time away, though, I’ve learned that self-love is absolutely essential, especially for us hardworking women who try to be everything to everyone except ourselves.

Meditating on Self-Love

During the weekend, we did awesome projects, ate delicious food, and had deep conversations. I may write about some of these aspects later on the blog, but for now, I wanted to share a huge lesson I learned about self-love. One of the women at the retreat, Marlo, is a Manifesting Mentor. One of the quotes she shared with us really struck me:

If we want our children to love and accept who they are, our job is to love and accept who we are. ~Brene Brown

From this, we learned that self-love is not selfish. As women, we often receive messages that we should not take time for ourselves. We should not focus on our hobbies. We should not spend time away from our family. We should not be doing anything besides taking care of our families and our jobs and our homes. And, if we do try to take care of ourselves in any way, we’re being selfish.

This quote, however, gets to the heart of the truth. If we can’t love and accept ourselves as women, how can others love and accept us? And, as moms or mentors, how can we teach our future generations to love and accept themselves as they truly are? Taking care of ourselves creates a ripple effect on the entire world. We can positively change our entire universe if we choose to focus on ourselves.

Self-love is difficult. I totally get it. I am often the martyr in my house, and I think women often are the martyrs in their own households. We put off anything for ourselves for the good of the whole. We become so lost in these messages and this cycle that we no longer even know how to show self-love. Marlo so graciously shared this path with us. One step must be completed in order to move on to the other:

  1. Know Yourself.
  2. Accept Yourself.
  3. Trust Yourself.
  4. Honor Yourself.

When we follow these steps, we can begin to love ourselves. So, I beg of you ladies, take yourself on a date. Spend time alone so you can get to know yourself better. Write in a journal. Try new things. Once you begin to know who you are, accept that you are worthy, you are special, and (most importantly) you are enough. After you accept yourself, you can trust that you can do anything. You can make decisions that you know are right and true to yourself. You can now move on and take action. Honor yourself by doing what you love and what makes YOU happy. These actions can be little or big: an extra long bubble bath, a new book you’ve been craving, making your favorite meal for dinner, or even…treating yourself to a yoga retreat!

What do you do to show yourself self-love? Share some thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to share some of your ideas here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram! Also, check out my previous post in this series about life lessons and impactful quotes: Meditating on Responsibility.

Stitch Fix Review

Stitch Fix Review - September

September brought payday which means a new Stitch Fix box for me! This month, I asked my stylist for some fun fall clothes to wear to work. I was pretty excited when I got the box in the mail, but didn’t want to love everything because I was on a budget. Here’s what they sent along with what I decided to keep and what went back.

Rizzo Skinny Pant and Tara Abstract Blouse

Skinny Pant and Abstract Blouse

The Rizzo Pull-On Skinny Ponte Pant by Liverpool were a horrible fit. They were loose around the waist and very baggy in the front. They were supposed to be skinny pants, but they basically hung an inch away from my legs. I’m not a fan of cropped pants either. At $98, these pants definitely went back.

The Tara Abstract Print Roll Tab Blouse by Daniel Rainn felt and looked like a maternity shirt. I was excited that a cami came attached underneath, but it was very low cut and wasn’t flattering at all. The print was interesting, but I couldn’t spend $68 on something I didn’t like at all. It went back with the pants.

Joey Graphic Print Split Neck Blouse

Graphic Blouse

The Joey Graphic Print Split Neck Blouse by THML fit perfectly and offers a long sleeve choice for chilly fall days. I love the interesting print and the pop of color at the neck will be fun to pair with some jewelry. I kept this one for $64.

Fulton V-Neck Short Sleeve Knit Shirt

Short Sleeve Knit Shirt

The Fulton V-Neck Short Sleeve Knit Shirt by Pink Martini got mixed reviews. I liked it, but everyone else I asked said it wasn’t flattering enough. My husband hated the line down the front, my teenager said it looked too baggy, and my best friend said it wasn’t worth the cost. The color was amazing, but I couldn’t justify spending $68 on a shirt that was not something I was totally in love with. I sent this shirt back.

Layla Striped Elbow Patch Open Cardigan

Elbow Patch Cardigan

The Layla Striped Elbow Patch Open Cardigan by Honey Punch is my absolute favorite. I love a good open cardigan that can carry me from fall to winter. The navy stripes will pair well with some tanks I already own. Besides, who doesn’t love a teacher in elbow patches?!?! The lowest priced item in my box at $48 went in my closet right away!

I kept two items. Together, they were $112, but I had a $50 credit so I only paid $62. Check out Stitch Fix for yourself. Sign up to try some new fashion sent straight to your door. And check out the last box I received here.

Ipsy Glam Bag Review – September

Have you all heard of the Ipsy Glam Bag Monthly Subscription? For only $10, you get a a cute little makeup bag with five beauty products to try out delivered right to your door. You fill out a little style quiz so they can determine what you’ll use, and if you like the products, you can purchase them at discounted price online. I just received my September Glam Bag (my first one ever), and I’m excited to share the fun products with you.

September Ipsy Glam Bag Review

First off, I love that you get an actual little makeup bag every single month. You can use it for anything you like – makeup, art supplies, purse essentials. This month’s theme was “Street Style” and the bag is a shiny silver soft pleather-like material with four silver studs near the black zipper. Super cute. Here are the products inside:

  1. Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – I used this in my hair this morning after shampooing, and my hair is silky soft without using any product before drying. It was easy to use and very creamy. The smell is heavenly as well. I’ll definitely be using the entire sample.
  2. Pacifica’s Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil in Fringe – I usually don’t like eye pencils, because they’re hard to put on and keep a consistent look. This one was actually quite smooth and creamy though. It went on easily, so I’m excited to use it during the week with my makeup. I also love that the ingredients are natural. The color Fringe is a pretty brown color that would look good on anyone.
  3. NYX’s Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Rehab – This product scares me the most, because I’m not used to wearing single eye shadow. I usually purchase the kits that include coordinating colors. I’m excited to try something new, though, even if the color is a bit dark for my liking – a greyish green color called rehab.
  4. Cailyn Cosmetic’s Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct – I don’t usually wear anything on my lips, but I’d love a bit more definition sometimes. This went on smoothly and felt good on the lips, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the color. It was too pink for me. I’d prefer something more neutral or natural looking.
  5. Crown Brush’s Infinity Shadow and Crease Duet Brush – I love eye makeup brushes and don’t know how I ever lived without them. I love that this one has a brush on both ends. The bristles are synthetic and very soft. I’m excited to use it with the eyeshadow I received.

What do you think? Is Ipsy something you would try? At $10 a month, I don’t think you can beat it. That brush alone is about $7 if purchased alone. What a fun way to try out new products and an affordable way to show yourself a little self-love.

There is a waiting list, but you can bypass the list by completing a few tasks like sharing on facebook. Check out my referral link if you want to sign up so I can earn points toward free products, and let me know in the comments if you signed up. Or, if you’re already a subscriber, let us know what you received in your Glam Bag this month!

Mother of the Year: Locking My Kid in the Car

A typical Monday night for me involves dropping Miles off at dance and then finding somewhere to entertain Emerson for an hour while we wait. On this particular Monday night, I was excited to take him to the local coffee shop to share a bit of time together. I opened the passenger door, threw my keys into the driver’s seat, unlocked all the doors, opened the back door, put Emerson in his carseat, unlocked all the doors again, and then closed the doors. Except I hadn’t unlocked the doors the second time. I locked them. With my kid AND MY KEYS inside! I had won my Mother of the Year award.

Mother of the Year: The Time I Locked My Kid in the Car

“Not cool, Mom! Not cool at all!” ~Emerson

To my credit, I did not panic. I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream or freak out. I just called my husband to ask what I should do. He works late on Monday nights teaching a class, so I figured he’d tell me to call the insurance company for a locksmith. Instead (after some choice words), he said he had just enough time to drive to town to unlock the doors for me. His work to the ballet studio is about a twenty minute drive, so it was time for me to get creative.

I began playing peek-a-boo with Emerson to keep him entertained. He thought it was hilarious…for about three minutes. When he started to freak out, I thought I’d try to teach him to undo his carseat so he could unlock the doors himself. In hindsight, teaching a two-year-old how to unbuckle himself was probably a terrible idea. Can you imagine driving down the highway when he decides to pop himself out and wander around the van? Stupid idea. Thankfully, he couldn’t figure out how to unbuckle his seat. However, he was still pissed.

I was jumping and making faces to entertain him so he would stop screaming when a lady walking her dog wandered over. I’m sure she thought I was an absolute crazy person, so I explained to her what I was doing. She tried to help out by showing Emerson her dog and trying to pry the back window open. She was very nice. I never caught her name, but thank you anonymous lady who didn’t completely judge me for being Mother of the Year (at least not outwardly).

Finally, I had a genius idea. I opened Netflix on my phone, turned on Emerson’s favorite show, and turned the volume up all the way. Then, I held my phone directly against the window. He immediately stopped screamed. Tears dried up. He was a happy camper. My husband showed up not long after (he must have sped almost the entire way home, because it only took him fifteen minutes to get to us.) Later that night I texted my best friend: “Sorry friend. I won mother of the year tonight. You’re out of the running. Maybe next year.” Sorry to all the mothers out there. I’ve clinched the title. The trophy is in the mail.

*Just a note: I am very grateful I wasn’t so stupid midwinter or midsummer. It was a nice 55 degree day. No danger of my kiddo overheating or freezing.