Life makes us serious 👵🏼

Isn’t it crazy how serious becoming parents makes us?

Everything suddenly becomes so much more intense, so much more important. We suddenly take everything so much more to heart, because we become in charge of- in the most literal sense, another person’s whole life.

I think this is a big reason why the divorce rate, and the amount of single parents has increased. No one wants to be serious anymore, commitment is pretty much a thing of the past for most people, and there’s nothing fun or care free about broken up sleep for three days and your partner not getting up with the baby. That’s when the resentment starts.

Once that little seed of resentment is planted, you’d be surprised at how quickly it grows and sprouts off into other parts of our relationships. It’s relatively easy to try to nip it in the bud when it starts, and work against that initial feeling of anger and bitterness- but when it grows, and more issues arrive and go unaddressed then it gets a little bit more serious.

Parenting is serious work, don’t get me wrong, I know that as much as the next person. Coming from someone who has spent too much time taking things too seriously since becoming a mom, it’s not the way to be. Not only is it bad for your health, but it teaches your kids to be stressed out too, and it pushes your partner away.

Not everything is the end of the world, not everything needs to be talked out, or nagged about.

I remember a time when I was as wild as a storm (also as destructive). I went where I wanted, when I wanted. I jumped off cliffs into water, swam in the rain, camped on the mountains, and slept by the glow of a campfire. I wasn’t worried about anything, I was just so young and free of responsibilities.

Somewhere along the road that all changed, and I’m glad it did, because I think a parent should be steady, grounded and stable. But I do miss how fun I was, and how much more laid back I was about things.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be that person again, age and children have definitely changed me, but I work daily on becoming more easy going. On not taking life so seriously, on letting go of the little stuff, and not worrying about stuff I can’t control. Life is definitely too short to waste being stressed out.

How has becoming an adult or parent changed your life? Do you ever miss who you used to be? Are you happier with who you are now?

• Less is Moore •

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Religion & I

Something not a lot of people know about me is that my papaw was the pastor for a church. It’s a little tiny church, that used to be yellow, right beside my grandparents house. I grew up going there and hearing him preach, but looking back now I wish I would have went every single Sunday.

Religion isn’t something that seems really “popular” to talk about anymore. It’s almost to the point where it’s mocked if you are religious. It’s really sad, but we live in a fallen world so there’s not much else you could really expect. I think it’s just easier to believe in nothing and do whatever you want, than to believe in something which requires the effort of goodness and morality.

When my oldest daughter’s father passed away, I cursed God. I tried to bargain with Him, I screamed at Him, I blamed Him, and I also leaned on Him. I felt so alone, but somehow I knew He was there with me, which made me feel better.

As I have walked through my life, all the different paths that I have taken.. I’ve realized that most of the ones I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen were the best ones for me. Every time I thought God had forsaken me, or just been downright cruel to me, I was proven wrong.

Some people like to ask, how can you believe in Him? You can’t even see Him. They mock religion as though it were the same as fairytales. My reply is simple. I do see Him-

I see Him in the faces of my children.

I see Him in the forgiveness from my husband.

I see Him in the early morning light of each new day.

I don’t just see Him though, I feel Him.

I feel Him in the patience that comes over me when I pray, the love that comes over me when I look at my children, the bond I have with my husband, and in so many other places and moments in my life.

My walk with God has not been an easy or smooth road. It has been riddled with doubts, anger, mistakes, and a whole ton of repentance. I can honestly say though, that my faith has gotten me through a lot, and I don’t know where I would be without it. I still work everyday on learning more about Him, and trying to be a more Godly wife and mother. I strive to teach my children the value of faith, and to someday see them able to lean on it in their life’s trials and struggles.

Are you a Christian? If not, what religion- or non religion are you? What are your reasons/ thoughts? I’m not one to judge or force my beliefs on you at all. Or to try and convince, or change your mind. I have just always found religion to be so interesting. As well as the lack of. I truly believe just as we all have our own lives to live, we are all entitled to our own beliefs! I look forward to hearing yours!

• Less is Moore •

Discipline & Children

There are millions of parenting books out there. Each one promising you that if you do things this way, or that way, that you’re sure to raise good kids.

With all this different advice being thrown around it’s hard to know what’s truly best for your kids.

I think the thing I’ve struggled with the most is finding an effective discipline method.

As a child I was spanked, with a belt, brush, coat hanger, stick, spoon, etc. I was given time outs, I was grounded, my things were taken away (including my door), and I was popped in the mouth with both a hand, and a bar of soap a time or two. 🖐🏻

Despite all of this, I don’t feel afraid of my mom even though she chose those methods of discipline. I don’t feel damaged or scarred by any of it. I know I was a mouthy kid, and I know I pushed my boundaries a lot. I also know being a parent is really really hard, and she did the best she could.

For my kids, I do want to do things differently.

But it’s hard to do things differently when your whole life you were shown that firm and immediate physical punishment or threat of it is the only way to discipline a child.

My kids test my limits, they push me up the wall sometimes, but they are kids. That’s just what they do. For me personally I work daily on being patient, and kind. Using a loving tone of voice, getting down on their level, and trying to see things through their perspective.

I fail a lot. I get short with them, use a harsh tone, and get aggravated easily sometimes when I am hungry or tired- or just overwhelmed. But not a day goes by that I don’t try.

Somewhere in the Bible it says that if you don’t discipline your children you hate them, or something along those lines. I do firmly agree with that, and I think that by showing your children that there are real consequences for their actions you prevent them from being entitled, and out of control later in life.

I don’t think there is just one method of discipline that works though. I think as the parent you know your child better than anyone else, so you just kind of have to follow your gut and do what you believe is the right thing.

Some practical tips that work for me, (keep in mind, my children are all under five), so I’m still learning everyday, are:

• Be consistent, no matter what you choose to do, keep at it. That way they know what is expected of them.

• Don’t parent out of guilt. Nobody wants to be the bad guy, but as their parent sometimes you’re gonna have to be, you can be their friend later in life.

• Parent the same in public as in private. This definitely goes for any discipline methods. Don’t let others staring at you stop you from getting down on your child’s level and letting them know they need to behave. However, I would recommend taking your child to the side to discipline them if possible, just to protect their hearts.

• Don’t compare. Your child, your life, or your parenting methods.

• If you discipline calmly, you will never look back with regret.

I would love to hear your thoughts or things that work in your household. What are your policies on discipline?

Till next time ❤️

• Less is Moore •

Anti Social Media ⌛️

My relationship with social media has been a rocky one to say the least.

I have gone back and forth between wanting to have it, and being convinced that I shouldn’t. I see a lot of positives as well as negatives about engaging in sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.

I love that you are able to communicate with family members, especially ones you aren’t often able to see due to distance. I love that I get to keep up with the people I care about’s lives, to see their children grow up, and have them see mine as well. I love that there are recipes so readily available, and that I have an outlet to share photos and ideas.

I don’t love how alone it can make you feel.

Or how much time and mental energy it can consume.

I don’t like that it can begin to get almost to the point where it’s addictive. Or that everywhere I go people are just staring at their phones like zombies. I don’t like the amount of pride I get from the amount of people that like my stuff. I just don’t think that’s healthy, basing your life around how many people you don’t even ever see choose to “like” your post.

We live in a time where we pay more attention to people we barely know, or don’t even ever see. We give more of our goodness, kindness, and thoughtfulness to them, rather than to the people who actually love us. The people outside of our “social” networks. Our families and real friends.

I have made so many excuses to convince myself I “needed” to stay on the sites, from-

All my pictures are on there!

To

Everyone will just stop contacting me (most of them do)

And

How will I share all the amazing things about my children?!

And…. probably a few (or a lot of) others, in order to stay on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. BUT, I’ve really come to a few startling conclusions.

I can always pull my sites back up when I am ready to print my photos, I have a phone to be able to contact or be contacted by, and anyone who wants to be involved in my kids lives will be. Even if they aren’t seeing their faces through a screen anymore.

I just want to be way more aware of how I am spending my time. I want to be more present. I want to spend my time doing more of what I love and less of comparing myself to others on Facebook.

I want real connections.

I will definitely keep my blog updated on this new journey social media-less.

As well as of course, keep posting in general on here!

Does anyone else ever feel the need to go off the grid in terms of those sites? How has it helped, or worsened your life? I look forward to any tips and comments or even just hearing about your journey!

🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

• Less is Moore •

Wolves. 🌕

I once heard someone say, “Every single person alive has a war going on inside of them. The war is between two wolves. One wolf is anger, bitterness, resentment, lies, jealousy, and chaos. The other wolf is joy, peace, kindness, patience, love, hope, humility, and truth. The one you feed is the one who wins.”

Ever since I heard that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Then recently I was reading a blog on here, and the author of it was saying how people who are happy don’t go around talking badly about other people. Truly happy people don’t need to because what you say is a reflection of what you are feeling inside.

Things like that just make me think.

About the person I want to be, the things I choose to say, and the example I want to set for my children. In the past the wolf inside me filled with all those negative things has definitely won, more times than I would like to admit. Sometimes it’s discouraging thinking about how many times I have failed. Failed to speak only kindness, failed to be patient, failed to be loving.

I try to keep in mind that failures in life are what teach us. What shape and mold us into better and stronger human beings. Every night I sit up and think of how I can do better the next day, and I pray for strength and compassion.

I think a lot of people, myself included, have at one time or another thought of being a good person as simply a destination. As though you could just take certain steps and all of a sudden be a good person for life.

I now believe that being a good person is more like a job. You have to just work at it every single day. Some days you will do great, and some days you will fail. But every day is a new chance to change, and to keep working at the person you want to be.

I want to be kind.

Patient.

Loving.

I want to speak with grace, to listen more, to see the good in people.

To see the good in myself.

I guess in the end we are all just works in progress right? 🐢

• Less is Moore •

Alone but not lonely 🦋

I see you.

Struggling.

Trying.

Hoping.

I see how hard you are working to try to keep everything afloat in your life. Bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I also see him not doing his part.

I hear the pain in your voice, even when you try to disguise it with just being tired.

And I know you’re exhausted, but I also know it’s not just physical.

I know you’re mentally and emotionally drained. I know you want so badly for it to work, that you make excuses for him and his behavior.

For the poor choices he makes.

The nights he isn’t home.

I just want you to know you are worthy of so much more than what you are receiving. You are beautiful.

You are strong.

You are kind.

You are brilliant.

You are all of that and so much more, and it breaks my heart that you keep settling for these men that don’t see that. Then staying put. Refusing to go or to make them go even when you know you should.

I want you to trust me though when I say that it’s better to sleep alone, than with someone you can’t trust.

And that lying to everyone else is one thing, but when it gets to the point where you are lying to yourself, where do you draw the line?

You have secluded yourself, old friends you’ve spent your life loving no longer hear from you. Family members have drifted away, growing older, their children growing up without you.

Missing you.

I don’t know if you are afraid of being alone, or just afraid of the pain the final break will cause you. But I do know with almost certainty that the break will come.

I think you know it too.

And I pray that you are the one to cause it. To finally end it.

And I hope that when you do that you feel peace, joy, and freedom.

I hope you rebuild your bonds, recreate your life, and learn that being alone does not equate to loneliness.

I love you more than words could ever say, and I miss you.

Xo.

A girl who’s been in your shoes.

• Less is Moore •

Breastfeeding 🤱🏻

This is kind of one of those topics that has become taboo for moms to really speak too much on, but also one that is so near and dear to my heart. I couldn’t help but to post about it.

I have been breastfeeding since June of 2015, so three years in three months! I never could have imagined that I would be able to make it this far, but I am so happy and proud that I have. I made it through mastitis in one boob, attending college classes, working, a full pregnancy, and a breast lump removal surgery.

I did take the week before Landon was born off because Leah kept biting me and my stomach was so big! I didn’t want to wean her too quickly, or to traumatize her in anyway by forcing her to stop before she was ready. I also worried that she would harbor resentment toward Landon, so I waited and luckily she did wean herself in that final week before he arrived.

I honestly think it was more traumatic for me than for her to stop. Our relationship/bond has really revolved around her nursing, and I was so worried that it would somehow lessen when we stopped. Of course it didn’t, we still have such a special connection, which I think in part has a lot to do with her breastfeeding.

With Landon breastfeeding was easy, he latched on right away and has been going strong ever since. There have definitely been times when I wanted to give up and give him formula because I get so exhausted with the constant need that goes into breastfeeding a baby. The way it makes me feel seeing his little rolls though and knowing my body did that, just isn’t comparable, and looking at them keeps me going on the hard days.

Sometimes I just don’t want to be touched or laid on, sometimes I want to be by myself.. sometimes I just am sweaty and wanting to do just one thing without being interrupted. But I keep going.

The health benefits of breastfeeding are insane, it is so beneficial for your baby/child. There are reduced risks for SIDS, obesity, ear infections, allergies, etc. Breastfed babies respond better to immunizations, have better oral development, are protected against respiratory infections, and those are just a few of the long list of health benefits!

I could go on and on about my love for breastfeeding, but I will end this post by saying that breastfeeding has changed my life, and I am so pro booby! I really believe more women should breastfeed till at least six months, but I also acknowledge that not all women are able to.

Donor milk and pumping are excellent options for anyone wanting to feed their baby breast milk, but struggling! Breast is definitely best and I will always stand by that, I feel like the evidence behind that is impossible to argue with.

Anyways, if you want to share your breastfeeding journey with me I’d love to hear about it! Every single drop counts. ❤️

• Less is Moore •