Friendship

Only the strongest friendships survive life. I say life because it’s not just the ups and downs. It’s everything in between. Finding a good friend is like finding your soul mate. It’s not easy and you go through so much to get there. But when you find that person, it’s like something clicks.

When we were little we were so focused on making lots of friends. I think it’s fantastic for little kids to be nice to everyone and want to be friends with everyone. But as an adult, that’s an unrealistic hope that we can be “friends” with everyone. I hate to say it, but not everyone wants to be your friend. And that’s totally ok! You just need to find those select few people that you click with.

As you age, if you notice your circle of friends getting smaller, don’t be alarmed! As we get older, people change. Our views and beliefs don’t always align and this can cause rifts in relationships. Some people’s ability to accept can make it difficult and put strain on a relationship. Also, people have different life paths. Sometimes friendships dissolve without any actual problems. People just lose touch. It’s normal for life to get in the way.

My best friend and I don’t have the same views on everything. But we respect each other’s view even if it’s not fitting for us personally. We do however have the same values and similar (not the same) goals in life. We are both very supportive of each other in every aspect of life. That is part of what makes our relationship great. Without a strong support system you will find yourself feeling lost and maybe a bit alone.

Find that friend who encourages you and brings positive light to your life. Someone who can laugh with you at the stupid things. Someone who loves you even at your worst. Those are the friendships that will bring you support, strength and happiness. Find someone who makes you a better person.

Redo/undo life

If you could go back and “redo and undo” parts of your life, what would they be?

Me? I would undo some arguments with my parents. Now having a child, I understand a little more. They weren’t being “mean.” They we’re trying to protect me and teach me a lesson. They wanted me to make the right decisions. However, if I’d done what they said and made the “right” decision, would I be the person I am today? Probably not. But I do regret some of the ways I talked to my parents. Yes I know teenagers and young adults have their moments, and it’s expected. But I hate to be “expected.” I think I’d like to keep the arguments but undo my words and tone if I could.

I think for the most part I was a good rule follower growing up. I did my best to do as my parents said. I never liked the feeling of disappointing them. When I disappointed them, I think I was harder on myself than they were on me. I think that’s the gymnast in me. There’s something about gymnasts and toughness. They internalize a lot, are critical of themselves, and are typically harder on themselves than others.

My “undo” would be to undo some friendships. There were some toxic friendships in my life I probably could have done without. Although, if I hadn’t had those friendships, would I be the person I am today? Probably not. I learned a lot about me, about other people, about life and how you should treat a friend.

So ultimately maybe nothing should be undone. But again, I wish I could redo the tone and wording of some conversations. Lesson learned though in the end.

What would you redo and undo if you could? Could you find things that you could absolutely redo/undo or are you like me and know you probably needed the lesson that came with the choices originally?

Everyone has an opinion

Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to give you advice when you have a child. Some people’s advice can be helpful and others can be confusing and strange. I personally try not to listen too much when people give me their unsolicited advice. I don’t do it because I’m trying to be rude, it’s just that I’m someone who would rather find their own way. I like to figure things out on my own. I learn better that way.

Not everything that works for one child will work the same for all. Every child is different. When I first had Ryder I took a few peoples advice and tried what they recommended. It didn’t workout well. It either upset him more or just did let have a affect. That’s when I made my decision to just ignore the advice of others and find my own way as I went. There were a few people I listened to, like my doctor and my mother, but I tried to filter out all the other random advice.

I still laugh when I remember being at an event and someone asked me if Ryder was crawling yet. I told them that he skipped crawling and went right from army crawling to cruising. She got a look or horror on her face and said “oh my gosh he’s going to be behind developmentally. You need to get him to crawl.” I have no idea what look was on my face when she said that. But I replied by telling her my doctor said crawling is no longer considered a milestone because so many kids skip over it. Her reply was “I guess times have changed.” Lord! Imagine if my doctor hadn’t told me that. I might have panicked and thought something was wrong with my child! This is exactly why you need to take peoples comments and advice with a grain of salt.

When someone gives you advice or makes a comment about what your child should be doing at a certain stage, take it as you want (unless it’s your doctor). Use it or just forget about it. It’s your child and you are free to raise them as you please. You’re their momma (or daddy) and your instincts will tell you what you should do. Go with what YOU think is best. It’s all a learning process and no one is perfect!

Your job

Recently I bumped into an old friend from high school. We did the usual “how have you been,” surface conversation. When that friend asked me where I was now working and I told them I was a stay at home mom…..you should have seen their face. It actually made me laugh out loud. That friend apologized for the look, although it wasn’t necessary, and said they never would have expected that of me. I was such a career driven person who could never sit still.

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would eventually become a stay at home mom, I probably would have laughed at you. In my mind, back then, stay at home moms had the easiest job in the world and did little to no work. I assumed they had all this free time. I thought, how hard can it be to just feed and change a child. I was so naive…..

Having not been a parent yet 10 years ago, I had NO IDEA how much energy and work goes in to raising a child. I feel like I owe all stay at home moms an apology for thinking (never saying out loud) they had it easy. I get it now! There are very few “easy” moments. I don’t get time to sit down. Ryder is always on the go, especially now walking. Most days Im just doing my best to make sure he’s fed well and doesn’t injure himself. By days end I’m more exhausted than I was working in corporate America or teaching/coaching high schoolers.

It’s definitely a different world I’m in now. But I don’t dislike anything about it or regret it at all. Some days are easier than others. But I look at it like a new adventure. No it’s not a paying job but it’s so incredibly rewarding. To be able to see every little thing Ryder does every day and not miss a minute of it is more than I could ask for.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I miss certain parts of my previous jobs. When I was a PM I was always traveling, presenting to large groups and doing something huge within the automotive world. I literally felt on top of the world. Then teaching and coaching I was working with students and athletes. Helping them learn in the classroom and at practice. Getting to see them excel was such a good feeling. But like I said, I wouldn’t change anything. I loved both of those jobs at the different times of my life that I worked them. I’m now in a different stage of life with a new “job.” One that I never really saw myself doing but am so incredibly grateful I have the opportunity to do.

My advice to everyone is to never judge someone based off their “job.” There are different stresses and difficulties that come with every job. Some bigger than others and some easier than others. We all have our battles. But please don’t ever discredit someone for doing a job like raising their child.

Never under estimate a toddler

I used to think the infant stage was going to be the most difficult part of having a new baby. I figured because they were so little they were going to take so much time and energy.

Go ahead and laugh all you veteran moms. Yeah yeah I was SO wrong. Infants are easy! They eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom with little movement. I say little movement because they aren’t walking and depending on age, just learning to crawl. I could put Ryder in a front carrier and get so much done around the house when he was really little! He would just sit and watch or fall asleep!

A toddler, now that’s a whole different story! They get into everything! What little free moments I had before are now gone. I spend most of my day chasing him around making sure he doesn’t hurt himself. That and picking up whatever he’s torn up or pulled down. I swear the minute I get something put away, he’s already gotten in to 3 other things! By the time his bedtime hits, I’m ready for bed too!

Forget having a clean house. Those days are over. I’m just happy if we can get through a day where he doesn’t get hurt or the house is torn apart too much. I’m sure someone is shaking their head at me for saying I hope we can get through a day without injury. You’d understand if you took care of my kid for a day. Baby proofing has nothing on this kid. He will get the dog to lay down so he can stand on her to reach for something high above him. Never under estimate a one year old.

Every day is something new. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love every messy, exhausting minute of it. We have our good days too I promise! 😉

Kids and technology

I always said I would never be one of those moms who just stuck their kid in front of the tv or let them spend hours playing a video game. I’m still not. However I will use technology to my advantage.

I grew up in a time with no cell phones and only one tv in the house. People had pagers and made calls on land lines or pay phones. People didn’t have a tv in every room of their house. You had one in the living room and that was it. In our house, tv time was only allowed if homework was done or on weekends in the mornings. After the morning tv time was up we could either play outside or in our rooms.

Going to dinner as a family we all sat together and talked or my brother and I would eat fast, find a tree on the restaurant patio and go climb it! We didn’t have phones or video games to entertain ourselves. I want Ryder to grow up not fully relying on a tv, a cell phone or a video game to entertain himself like I did. I know it’s not logical to completely avoid this. So that’s where I feel moderation comes in.

Ryder’s so little right now that he has no interest in the tv or video games. However going to a restaurant it can be a battle to keep him entertained. He’s in a throwing phase so we can’t bring toys our we spend the entire dinner picking them up off the floor. At football games he wants to run all over the place and there’s not much space for him to do that. That’s where the cell phone comes in handy! Ryder loves to watch videos of himself. He thinks it’s so funny. What’s even better is he will sit still for a good 30 minutes watching videos of himself!

I know as he gets older the battle over the tv or phones will get worse. That’s part of growing up in a tech savvy world. But I do hope we are able to be that family I see on occasion, out to eat with no cell phones in hand, just hanging out spending time together. But for now I’ll be appreciative of cell phones and their ability to entertain my child through a short meal or and event like a football game!

Must haves for a baby no one told me about

Recently I’ve had a few new Mom friends ask me what items I put on my baby registry I couldn’t do without. Honestly everything! 😂 However there are a few items no one told me about that I recommend to people. Here are my must haves for a baby no one told me about:

1. Electric nail trimmer: It’s literally an electric nail file. SO much easier and less stressful than trying to use clippers.

2. Bandana bibs: I knew babies drooled but I didn’t realize how much! Ryder would go through 3-5 bibs a day some days. After doing some Amazon searching I found some really cute bandana bibs for him! I swear boys get jipped in the clothing department. There’s way more cute clothing options for girls than boys. But these definitely made his outfits a little cuter!

3. More than 1 diaper bag: Sounds crazy I know! But I swear it’ll save you. I have my nice one that I take to dinner, shopping, etc. Then I have a small inexpensive backpack diaper bag for daycare at the gym. The gym daycare has small cubby’s for bags so my regular diaper bag wouldn’t fit in them. Plus, I don’t need everything I put in my regular diaper bag. He’s only there two hours max so diapers, a sippy cup and a changer of clothes are all he needs. My third diaper bag is an inexpensive larger backpack. I use it for days we go to swim class. Often the floors are wet at swim class and I don’t want to set my nice diaper bag in a puddle of water. Not to mention I have to carry wet swimsuits after. So the backpack is perfect because I’m not worried about it getting ruined there. You don’t have to spend tons of money on extra bags. I used ones I got as gifts from judging cheer competitions. They’re sparkly but blue so I figure it works for now! There was one time that my husband and I were handing off Ryder so I could go somewhere and I forgot to take the diaper bag out of the car. I remembered the child! Just not the bag. 🤦🏼‍♀️ This is where a backup bag came in handy!

These might seem like simple little items but they’re all incredibly helpful, even now that Ryder is one year old! The nail trimmer saved us on so many occasions. He’s a wiggler so nail clippers just scared me to death. The bibs saved so many outfit changes. And the extra diaper bags were fitting to our busy lifestyle!

Obviously, get what you think you need for your registry. But in all honesty these are 3 things, looking back, I now know I can’t live without!