Tag Archives: raising children

Can Mommies Have fun Too?? – Part Two

15 Jun

water one

If you missed the first post here about whether or not Mommies can have fun, (or if we should just resign ourselves to a stressed out and chaotic life b/c we have kids,) read here!  : )  Basically, I talked about how since having kids, through trial and error, I’ve finally struck a nice balance between devoted mommy as well as an individual who has fun, friends, travels, romance, and her own life.  It didn’t come easily though – for the first few years of my kids life, I was super busy.  I worked from home for the most part so I was still with them a lot, but I do feel as though the quality aspect of the time spent with them could have been better and more focused.  For example, if I’m loading the dishwasher while watching youtube videos, my kids may be in the room, but I don’t really consider it spending quality time with them.  Now, I try to spend quality time with my kids doing fun things or just hanging out, while also allowing myself on the other hand to have free time apart from them, time with friends, and time with my sweetie to rejuvenate.

sports 2

So in this post, I really wanted to share a few ways that I make sure to have fun as an individual/mom/friend/wife/working-woman while still being an involved, hands on and devoted parent who is invested in my children.  Some tips are basic, some are funny, and some are more serious, but they have all worked for me.  So here they are:

1. Check out minimalism – my favorite sites on this are The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, and Courtney Carver’s site.  About a year ago, I got rid of everything that I didn’t use or love – that included all clothes I hadn’t worn in a year or didn’t love, house figurines and decorations that needed dusting, all toys that didn’t fit into the few toy boxes that my kids have, and even plates, and silverware – everything literally was on the chopping block to be given away. I literally took like 20 – 30 bags to the Salvation Army, (which also serves as a tax break.)  🙂  I wanted clear counters and uncluttered walls – I wanted to be able to think straight without having a bunch of junk laying around that was stealing my peace and taking up my time to keep up.  The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean and upkeep.  The less dishes you have, the less you have to wash them.  The less clothes you have, the less laundry you have to do.  (I also got rid of most of my kids clothes too except for maybe six of each type of clothes – shorts, jeans, pants, dresses, short sleeves, and long sleeves.)  Basically, if you complain about having to clean it, upkeep it, etc., then get rid of it – problem solved.  : )

(I sold or donated these toys that my children had outgrown – this was probably less than one percent of what I got rid of.)

yard sale 7

2.  Turn the TV off.  I stopped watching TV a while back, and while every now and then I turn it on, for the most part, I never watch it, (except for when friends come over and I have it on then.)  Since I made a choice to stop watching TV two years ago, I started three businesses, decluttered my house, increased my income, have had more time for family and friends, have done lots of interesting and fun outings that I wouldn’t have done if I’d been sitting on the couch, and have been more satisfied overall because I’m not comparing my home to HGTV homes and my life to rich reality TV women.  🙂  Dont’ get me wrong – I LOVE youtube documentaries and shows that actually teach me something like CNBC business shows, and I’ll watch them sometimes after the kids to go sleep for fun.  But apart from that, my TV stays off.  I challenge you to turn the TV off for a month and see how much your life changes for the better, and how much more time you have to devote to friends and family.

sports 1

3. If you have young kids, keep all toys in organized boxes and bins.  I say this not because I want my home to look like Pinterest, (I could honestly care less about home decorations and have no decorating skills whatsoever, lol,) but because by limiting the amount of toys my kids have, it eliminates clutter and allows me to think straight.  Also, because everything has its own box, ex: lego box, puppet box, crayon bag, dress up bin, they know how to clean up even from around age three.  I say “clean up,” and I have trained them to put everything back in the proper place, so they can do it themselves.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not a dictator, sometimes I help them clean. 🙂  But the important thing is that they can do it without my help if I’m tired or simply don’t feel like helping on any given day!lol…

4. Nap time or room time.  My kids have to sleep or play quietly for three hours each day.  When friends ask me how I “get my kids to nap,” I simply smile and reply, “it’s not a choice.”  🙂  My kids have to stay in their rooms for three hours and play quietly or nap.

sports 4

During that time, I catch up on my 60-150 online college students emails/questions/grading; I blog, answer and write emails, update my facebook/instagram, make my to-do list, get some cleaning done, organize, relax and eat lunch, watch interesting youtube videos, or take a nap myself if its the weekend.  (I don’t do all of these at once; I choose which I want to do.)  🙂

5. Always allow yourself to do things “tomorrow” instead of “yesterday.”  Sometimes I’ll hear the generalization that here on the East Coast, we tend to rush and feel guilty that we should have done things “yesterday,” whereas on the West Coast they relax and do it tomorrow, and don’t feel the least bit guilty.  I’m not sure if that’s true since I’ve never been to the West Coast, but it really brings up an idea that changed my life.  I used to push through to get all ten things done on my to do list in one day, even if it meant having no lunch break, staying up till midnight, forgoing a nap, and ending up stressed.  Recently, I’ve learned that if it doesn’t have to be done, it’s OK to push it back till tomorrow, (or the next day or the next day,) and be totally happy with that decision.  🙂  So long as it’s not something that turns into procrastination or never getting around to, I’ll allow myself a few days of grace.

6. Schedule lots of me time.  I find pockets during the day and week to have free and fun time.  I find teenage homeschool girls who work in the church nursery, Sunday school teacher friends, certified teacher friends who have free nights and weekends, or other mommy friends that I know and trust to babysit the kids, and get them to babysit.  Or, I’ll swap sitting with friends for free, or have one of my babysitters watch my kids in exchange for food or home-made beauty products.  (Come on mamas – we have to get creative!!)  🙂  I always keep a running list four to ten sitters that I know and trust at all times, so anytime that I need a break, I can make sure that my children are well taken care of while I go to the bookstore and read over coffee, get lunch with friends, spend the day with my sweetie, take a long nap, or take the weekend off to visit a college friend.  I personally believe that time alone or away with friends or my spouse energizes, renews, and makes me a better mom.  I’m not sure where moms got the idea that devoting every second to our kids, never doing anything for ourselves, and being a “mommy martyr” to our own demise somehow makes us better moms.

In my own life, it’s been the opposite.  Taking time away to refresh has allowed me to come back rejuvenated and ready to be a better and more involved mom and wife.  I’ll also try and schedule a beauty treatment every two weeks – even if its just a $5 polish change at the nail salon or a warm bath at 9 p.m. after the kids are in bed, treat yourself.  If mom is tired, stressed, stretched thin, and lethargic, it will eventually take a toll.  Moms – we deserve fun time, to be well rested, and to look good!  Do some Zumba at night to stay in shape, paint your nails, send your kids to bed early so Mommy and Daddy can have a romantic night alone – do whatever it takes to invest in yourself.  🙂

I’ll stop for now, and maybe I’ll even do a Part Three!  (After six points, I think people get tired and want to be done reading, so this seems like a good place to stop.)  🙂  I’ll end by saying that my kids mean everything to me – this is why I believe that it’s important for me to develop myself as a whole person instead of dedicating my entire existence to them.  And please don’t get me wrong – I spend lots of time with my children taking them to lessons, reading to them, taking them on trips, to classes, museums, activities, etc, but I also believe that I’m happier when I too likewise have alone time, or time with my sweetie and friends.  I want my daughter to know that when she’s married with kids, she should also take time for herself.  I want both of my kids to know that Mommy and Daddy deserve alone time and fun, (just like they get to have fun, take classes, see their preschool friends, take trips, etc.)  I want my kiddos to know that it’s important for everyone in the family to be well-rested and fulfilled, not just the children.  I want them to think of the well-being of others, and not just their own – I started teaching my kiddos empathy and to think about their situation as compared to those people who have less than them since they were pretty much babies.  Anytime they seem to take on a tone that the world revolves around them, I remind them of children who don’t have toys, who don’t have food, whose parents abuse them, who are child slaves, or who  have to work instead of go to preschool and swim lessons.  I want them to be conscious even from toddlers that everyone in the family matters and should be fulfilled.  Some may wonder if kids can even understand those concepts, but I believe they can – my own kids often remind me to be kinder with my words so that I don’t hurt those around me.  Kids are only limited in understanding if we allow them to be.  🙂  Also, if you are still reading even after all my ramblings, lol, one book that resonated with me when it comes to parenting is the somewhat controversial (at least among American mommy circles) book called “Bringing up Bebe” – while I don’t agree with all the parts, (namely some of the sections on early childhood education,) I found upon reading the book that I have the almost exact same parenting style as the author, and am likewise a (for the most part)  🙂  happy, calm, and relaxed mom like she found herself becoming.

sushi 2

All that to say that Mommies can have fun.  It is totally, 100 % possible.  It may just involve a mindset shift, careful planning, and implementing a few more things into your life that you weren’t previously doing.  How about you?  How will you be a great mom while still having fun and growing as an individual?  🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

day 1

Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, Blogger, certified Life Coach, Professor, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of Lauren’s Lathers, an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She is excited to soon be starting her Master Esthetics Program to eventually open a spa for women that will offer a variety of Spa Treatments for the whole woman – (Microderm, facials, waxing, makeup, massage, spray tans, etc.) along with Life Coaching.  She loves Zumba, Pilates, soaking worship, dreaming and manifesting, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission  is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon, and she will soon be re-launching her Coaching Business, specializing in Business Start up Coaching and Parenting Coaching, so keep an eye out!  : )

Can Mommies have Fun Too?? – Part One

12 Jun

christmas 11

As my sweet babies sleep soundly, I began to think about something that I often think about – how so often, us Mommies believe that giving up everything for our children, making them our entire existence, and stopping our lives all together to devote all of our time to them somehow makes us better Moms/martyr’s.  But my personal feeling is that this theory doesn’t hold true.  🙂

Yes; I love my babies dearly.  I want them to be happy, involved, well-behaved, God-fearing, cultured little citizens – I want all that good stuff for them and more!

But they aren’t the center of my universe.  Mommy has a life too.  Mommy goes out with her friends, takes girls weekends away, has date nights with Daddy, has lunch with friends, gets mani’s/pedis/massages every now and then, and takes time to eat right and work out.

Mommy also takes the kids to a few weekly lessons, reads to them, spends time with them, makes sure their needs are met, and loves them.  I love being a Mom, and I love my kids.  They know that. 🙂

But I truly believe that part of what’s made me a happy Mom is that I never gave up my personal life and dreams just b/c my kiddos arrived.  After all, one day our children will leave the roost.  Will we have friends and activities of our own?  Will we have spent time with our spouse and grown to love them more?  Will we have devoted time to our own personal growth, and not just devoted every second to our children?  Where does it say that being a good Mother means that the fun and growth has to end?

While my children are so important to me, I want them to realize that balance is healthy, and that they are not the center of the universe.  While I love them, I was not put here to devote my entire existence to them.  We both have lives.  I want them to know that others matter too.  Mommy having her time is important too.  Often, some evenings, they will play quietly while I have “Mommy time” to read or enjoy a long bath or decaf coffee.  While they don’t always like it, 🙂  they know that they are still loved, (as many days, they spend time with me from the time their eyes open till around 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. when Daddy takes over some nights.)  They get plenty of quality time with me, but they also understand that it’s not all about them 24/7.

I recently watched the movie “Moms Night Out,” and while I found it super cute and funny, it made me think.  …Not all moms are stressed out, struggling to balance their times, and overwhelmed.  It is possible to be a calm, relaxed Mom, and still live a fun, balanced life of your own – the stereotype of a frazzled Mom with a dirty home and poorly behaved toddlers screaming and running around breaking things doesn’t have to be a reality.  It provides a good laugh in movies, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be true.  Now please don’t get me wrong – if you don’t enjoy alone time and want to be with your kids doing ‘kid things’ 24/7 and that makes you feel fulfilled, then more power to ya, and no judgement here – we were all created differently – do what God has called YOU to do, and do it for His glory!  🙂   But if you find yourself like I used to be, (wishing that I had more of a balance,) please know that it can be done.

This is something that I struggled with when I first became a Mommy.  I thought that because I was a Mom, that my life would automatically be chaotic, out of order, and stressful, and that I would have no time for myself.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  It takes some work and intention, but it is possible to have a rich and fulfilling life of your own while still being a Mom and Wife, but I’ll share more about this in Part Two.  (I see that this blog is getting way longer than I’d originally intended, so I’ll share some time management tips and general fun Mommy living tips in the next one.)  🙂  Just know that it can be done – it’s possible to have a balanced life even after the kids come – often, believing that something is possible is the first step, so be encouraged!  🙂

How about you?  I’d love to hear some tips of you how you parent your children well, but still find time for balance, for your spouse, and for fun.  I’d love to include some ideas of your ideas in the next post.  🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

day 1

Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, Blogger, certified Life Coach, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of Lauren’s Lathers, an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She is excited to soon be starting her Master Esthetics Program to eventually open a spa for women that will offer a variety of Spa Treatments along with Life Coaching.  She loves Zumba, Pilates, soaking worship, dreaming and manifesting, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission  is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon, and she will soon be re-launching her Coaching Business, specializing in Business Start up Coaching and Parenting Coaching, so keep an eye out!  : )

Sipping Saints: Alcohol and your Children

13 Dec

alcohol

 

 

 

 

 

 

freedigitialphotos.net

Alcohol: it’s something that all of our children will one day come into contact with, regardless of whether or not they choose to drink.

So how do we prepare our little ones now to make good choices?

I will start by saying that my husband and I choose not to drink at all, but we do not look down on those who do.  🙂  The Bible tells us “not to become drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, but instead to be filled with the spirit.”

Before I met my husband, I drank occasionally, but he did not.  So when we married, I made the choice not to drink anymore.  Because my grandparents drank, and my parents witnessed horrible things due to their parent’s drinking, they also made a choice not to drink once they had children.

Now that I have my children, I believe that this is an important issue as well.

One the one hand, I do not want my children to be so sheltered that when they get to college, they are the drunkest ones at the party because of never having been around the “forbidden fruit.”

But I also want them to know that it’s possible to have a good time without alcohol.  I want them to know that alcohol is not a requirement for a good time at social gatherings; we can still let loose, have fun and be silly without depending on drinks to loosen us up.

Growing up, I think my parents struck a good balance.  Though they didn’t drink in the home, they didn’t shelter me to the point that I was never around alcohol, and I didn’t feel the need to rebel once I went to college.

What about you?  What will you teach your children as far as alcohol is concerned?  (Please…no bashing those who do or don’t drink – I simply wrote this post to hear how other Christian parents are approaching this topic with their children.)  🙂

Blessings!

The book is due out in the Fall of 2012. :)

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or “like” my fan page below. :)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like:

https://lholmes79.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/check-out-my-cool-videos-collection-at-lockerz/3

Is it OK to be a “hot mama?”

12 Oct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

freedigitalphotos.net

Some of you may laugh at the title, but I’m serious…well, as serious as I can be with a big grin on my face. 🙂

But my message is actually one of encouragement for everyone out there, even if you’re not a mom.  Maybe you’re just a busy person in general, and you feel like you don’t have time for yourself.

Can I tell you something?  You’re important.  Make time for yourself!  🙂

Even though I’m a mom, I don’t feel guilty about taking care of myself.  I love the kiddies and the hubby, but I make sure mama’s happy too!

I love working out at the gym, taking naps with my kiddies, and enjoying time alone at the coffee shop with some magazines, a hot drink, and a slice of cheese cake.  I look forward to girls night out at P.F. Chang’s, getting my eyebrows waxed, and throwing on a sexy dress for date night.

It’s OK to be a hot mama.  🙂  I don’t think my kids mind.  And I know my husband doesn’t!lol…

…No shame in enjoying your life and taking care of yourself.  🙂

Blessings!

The book is due out in the Fall of 2012. :)

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or “like” my fan page below. :)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like:

https://lholmes79.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/check-out-my-cool-videos-collection-at-lockerz/3

I’ve lost ten pounds (and still losing) with exercise and an awesome wellness supplement called Visi – read my testimony here and msg. me for more info! http://teamvisi.com/laurenholmes/Bio.html

When is the right time to have kids?

11 Aug

Here is a picture of my babies before a pool party. 😉

I know this post is long overdue. 🙂  I said I’d write it on Tuesday, and now it’s Saturday.  I’ve been having the time of my life in Texas at the MOPS convention – drinking coffee, doing zumba, eating yummy food, hanging out with hilarious moms, and learning about God and being a better leader.

So now that all that’s out the way, here’s my two cents on the whole “having kids thing.”  There’s never a right time.  Of course, I will say that it’s ideal if at least one parent has a steady income.  But even if money’s tight, you just learn how to rearrange.  Less money spent at Sonic, more spent on diapers and milk.  You get the idea. 🙂

If you’re ready to stop being selfish, to do a little more planning, and to take on some extra responsiblities, go for it!  Being a parent is fun!

What about you?  What is your philosophy on when is the right time?

Be blessed!

***The book is due in the fall.  Also, feel free to follow my blog or to like my fan page here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

Who said the fun stops after having kids?

6 Aug

freedigitalphotos.net

If someone told you the fun stops after becoming a mom, they lied!
Yes, having kids requires more responsibility and sacrifice, but it’s a lie that you can’t have fun and do things you did before. 🙂

A few weeks ago, a single girlfriend asked me if life stopped once having kids.

My answer – “of course not!”

As a mom, I still hang out with friends, go to the beach, work out, act silly, go to the movies, eat out with the girls some Saturday nights, and take trips.

Yes, I am lucky to have a hubby who doesn’t mind when I leave the kids with him, and parents who will watch my kids whenever I ask.  But even without that, I have friends that I swap sitting with so that we don’t have to pay for sitters.

If you’re thinking of having kids but have heard that the fun ends, it’s simply not true!  Yes, now the fun requires more planning, but it’s so worth it!

Have those babies, honey!lol… 🙂

So when is it the right time to have kids, you may be thinking?  (…I’ll answer that tomorrow.)   🙂  My opinion of course!  What are your thoughts? 🙂

Be blessed!

The book is due out in the Fall of 2012. :)

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or “like” my fan page below. :)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like:

https://lholmes79.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/check-out-my-cool-videos-collection-at-lockerz/3

And the winner of the $25 Walmart Card Is…

23 Jul

freedigitalphotos.net

Last week I asked all of you to tell me (appropriate) 🙂  ways that you all enjoy relaxing, since I’d recently noticed that I am always in a hurry and never sitting still.

All of your answers were amazing, and it was hard to choose just one. 🙂  I am the kind of person who likes it when “everyone wins,” so I didn’t realize how difficult this would be!!lol…but here is the one that resonated  a lot with me:

I am trying to find little ways to treat myself – I bought some fancy nail polish and decals and have started doing my own manicures and pedicures. I also make a habit of inviting a friend for coffee and cheesecake at my favorite dessert place in town just to have some real adult girl conversation.” 🙂 Lacie

The first thing I love about this answer is the cheesecake and coffee part.  If you’re a mom, it’s probably not everyday you get to go out with a girlfriend and do this.  But even if it’s just once a month, relationships with other women are so important.  As sisters in Christ, we encourage each other, and lift each other up.  And plus, girl time just makes us feel better! 🙂

The pedicure and manicure part reminded me that even as money saving women and busy moms, there’s nothing wrong with finding time (and a little money every now and then) to be pretty and feel good about our looks. No, we don’t have to look like Barbie at all times, but just because we have kids, are on a budget, and are saving money is not an excuse to totally ignore our looks.

Today, take some time for yourself and relax.  Life still goes on if the dishes sit for an extra 30 minutes! 🙂  So long as you get to them at some point, give yourself a break!! 🙂

Be blessed!

***Stop back on Wednesday to link-up here at Loving Life Wednesday’s!! :)

The book is due out in the Fall of 2012. :)

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or “like” my fan page below. :)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like:

https://lholmes79.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/check-out-my-cool-videos-collection-at-lockerz/3

%d bloggers like this: