Perfect Women Finish Last

“Freedom is Found when we let go of who were Supposed to be and Embrace Who We Really Are” – Anonymous

Most of us were raised to be a certain way. Maybe it was to be seen, but not heard, or to be the ideal wife, or a consistent helper. Many of us without even acknowledging it, may be raising our daughters the same way. For decades women are taught to be classy, polite, thoughtful, good cooks, great at cleaning, good listeners, and the list goes on. As times have progressed and changed, we are now required to be smart, hard-workers, and quick thinkers. In certain places it’s expected of us to be smart, but not smarter than our male counterparts, and in other areas we must be twice as smart just to be recognized. Being a woman is a tough task, it’s like we are consistently people pleasing and it only increases in marriage and motherhood.

I have spent the last past 4 years, approaching 5 being a wife and stepmother and almost 4 being a mother. Initially I walked in trying to do it all. Trying to be the great wife, the loving stepmom, and good mother. I worked hard at it and felt like I was chasing behind a bus that I never was going to catch most days. Some days I was good at some parts, and other days I was just muddling my way through. There have been days that I felt like walking out the door and never returning. The strange part is that I have never really felt overwhelmed with motherhood, that just hasn’t been apart of my story.  But, as a wife and a stepmom, I feel consumed often.

What I learned is that the reason that I was consistently missing the mark, was because I created the mark myself. I decided that I was going to be perfect. I placed on the badge of perfect stepmom and perfect wife on my chest. I created the platform that I was expected to perform on. That’s the trick with expectations. We start assisting others with creating them for ourselves, then we begin living in them, and next thing we know we feel trapped inside of them. We lose sight of what makes us happy. We forget how to pick ourselves first. The truth is that perfect women finish last. We allow things that we know aren’t right to be okay for the sake of making everyone else feel better.

If any of this sounds familiar, STOP IT NOW. STOP BEING PERFECT and start just being you, because honestly you are perfect just the way you are. No matter who others want us to be, we must stay focused on being exactly who we are. Start speaking your mind more, start allowing yourself to say no more often, to make changes, to stand by what you feel, and to have moments where you allow you to finish first every once in a while. Stop the perfect routine ladies, because its a setup!

Kristina – The Wife and Stepmom

Mommy Needs a Drink

8637BE34-4EA2-47E8-A427-C47ED5063522I’m sure Kristina and I have said this over 5000 times but parenting is hard…well, being a good parent is anyway! Trying to balance everything from career goals, housework, quality time with your child/children, and time with your spouse is very difficult, let alone finding time just to pee in peace! Sometimes I feel like I’m balancing and juggling everything well and sometimes I feel like I’m one second away from unraveling!

Moms really do make the world go around! No disrespect to the Dads, but multitasking is Mom’s superpower! I’ve compiled a list for those Moms who are one dirty dish away from losing their shit and are on the verge of saying screw it all and running away, LOL!

1. Just Breathe- Some days it’s enough to just make it through the day.

2. Ask for help- If you have a spouse sometimes you may have to guide and instruct them on exactly what you need them to do. They can bathe and feed the kids just like you can, well maybe not the same but, its ok! I’ve come to realize that if I don’t ask for help then my husband will assume that I have everything handled.

3. Stick to a set bedtime in order to have a little time to yourself-Sometimes I get home late and feel guilty for being at work and not getting to spend a lot of time with Kodie. But I’ve realized that he still needs his rest and I need a little time to myself to unwind.

4. Sometimes you may need to take shortcuts to maintain your sanity-The house might not be up to par all of the time but it’s better to have a house that’s not the neatest versus everything being in perfect order except for you!

5. Find adult time when you can and don’t feel guilty-It’s ok to take time for yourself or you risk losing your identity and sanity!

6. Don’t listen to the Mom that says everything is perfect- Either she’s lying and too embarrassed to admit that she’s losing her shit, or she has a Nanny, LOL!

7. If you don’t find the above tips helpful, then drink wine! It helps!

~Kristle (Kodie’s Mommy

A Letter to My Husband

Have you ever just wanted to write your husband a letter, or better yet; just tell him off? Maybe, some of you are blessed to have the amazing husbands that clean up at home, help attentively with the kids and don’t drive you even crazier than you already are! Me, I’m well….. let’s just say I have the husband that God saw fit to give me. Lol. There are days that I come home completely exhausted from work and I still must figure it all out, while my husband seems to be way too tired from his hardworking job!! So, if I could write him a letter it would go like this….. 

Dear Husband, 

 Where I totally understand that you work oh so hard, I just wanted to remind you that so do I. I’m not sure if you remember, but this morning I woke up and got dressed for work too, and right after I finished getting me dressed I got a cranky three your old dressed as well. I stood in the bathroom while he peed and brushed his teeth, when I really needed to make the bed and start his quick breakfast. No worries though, because once he finished I did all of that! 

I went to work and worked all day, just like you! I had to both listen to and resolve the problems of an entire caseload with a smile. And, when my supervisor asked me to do something 5 minutes before it was time to go, I did that too. Don’t fret though, I still made it to pick up our son and as soon as he got into the car I listened to all of his stories and was able to resolve where his missing Spider-Man was. 

When I walked into the house door, I wasn’t greeted by cheer, but the pressure of preparing for the morning. I packed a lunch, prepared bath time, completed homework and learning time, cooked dinner, and wiped up crumbs that both you and my stepson seem to not see on the island or floor after you eat. I also, swept the kitchen floor up to clear away any extra food that was dropped and emptied the overflowing kitchen trash can that is only visible to me. Once all my maid duties were done I read a story to our son and tried to watch a part of something on television before drifting off to sleep.  

I’m sure you’re wondering the purpose of this letter. The next time you want some special adult time or wonder why Mom is in such a funk, read this until you figure it out!  

Love

Your Wife

LOL!!! Sometimes we just need to get a few things off our chest. When you want to kill you husbands next time Monumentals, just write a little letter for yourself. If you’re feeling bold go ahead and leave it on his pillow. Just don’t be alarmed if he doesn’t really get it! Lol 

Kristina – The Wife

Making Room for Mom

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When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with watching shows about new parents making room for babies. I even use to watch a series called “Making Room for Baby.” It’s not until my son is three years old going on four, where I am busy every single day preparing lunches, working a full-time and part-time job, and trying to care for an entire family; that I realize that I have failed to make room for me! I have no idea where time for myself has disappeared to. I’ve tried daily to better keep up with my morning devotionals, make more frequent post, journal more, and to take time out to read a book for personal enjoyment, but they all seem to be the most impossible tasks. I’m not sure if it’s that it gets dark earlier, or if I’m just lazier, but making room for mom has become unfeasible.

As a working mom, I frequently feel that I am being pulled in multiple directions. I get to work and must perform for an entire new family (clients, coworkers, and supervisors). While, we all try to give our career our undivided attention throughout the day, it’s not always easy when you still must schedule appointments, make market list, plan meals, and keep your mind from wondering about how else everyone day is going. Most days you find yourself finishing up work, just in time to start a new shift at home. If you are any thing like me, the one thing you look forward to is the car ride home. If your life is truly like mine, that time doesn’t belong to you either. During my rides home, I catch up with friends, return calls from the day, and plan things. By the time my car pulls up to my son’s school my time is up!

I’m sure that this is something that all moms experience at some point in motherhood. It’s moments like now that I don’t exactly feel like a super mom and it sucks. Yet, I remind myself that I’m not perfect and I deserve a spot in my own life as well. As Moms, we must remember that if we don’t choose us daily, there will be no them. Well, maybe, they would somehow make it, just not well! Lol.

Today, I’ve decided to make room for me again! I know that many Moms all over the planet are saying the same thing and failing at it. I’ve accepted that I may fail at it too. However, I believe it’s still worth the try. They say, “Nothing beats a failure, but a try,” so I’ve created some simple ideas of how I’m trying to MAKE MORE ROOM FOR MOM!

  1. Adequate Sleep – There is only one thing worse than a cranky you, and that’s a cranky mom! Unless you ask your husband, because he will swear the absolute worse is a cranky wife! Lol. Part of the cure for crankiness is sleep. Most of us have had months, if not years of sleepless nights. Establish set bedtimes Moms, for EVERYONE. This includes husbands too. They don’t have to go to sleep, they just need to understand that you have a set time that you need to.

 

  1. Waking up a little earlier to have a little more me time – 15 to 20 minutes in the morning can make the world of difference in your day. In my house, early mornings are the only time that everyone is sleep! That means peace and quiet for Mom!!!

 

  1. Prayer – No matter what you believe, take some time out to pray. Cover yourselves and your family.

 

  1. Positive Affirmations – They keep me motivated and encouraged, when everything else is dragging me down. Is a great way to stay uplifted.

 

  1. Hide- sounds crazy, but it works. Sometimes you just need to hide. Some of my favorite hiding places are the bathtub, the back porch and the basement.

Let’s face it moms, we have already learned to live off the bare minimum, that’s just a part of being a mom. Trying something new will not hurt.

Kristina – Kristopher’s Mom

NEW Year & New Beginnings

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Time is moving at a rapid rate, it seems like it was just 2016 and now 2018 is here before we could realize it! It is traditional for people to make resolutions and plans for the coming year. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we stick to them. I don’t necessarily have a resolution, but my plan is to keep growing, challenging myself and becoming a better version of myself. I’m also learning to live in the moment more and not overthink the future.

Gratitude is something that I’m trying to have more of instead of complaining about how things should be I’m trying to be thankful for the way that things are now. When you think about your problems, just remember that some people would gladly take your problems and give you theirs! Life is short so do what makes you happy!

Thanks for all of the support that you all have shown to monumentalmoms last year! Kristina and I have had a lot of fun sharing our toddler and inspirational stories! Soon we will be moving out of toddlerhood and stepping into the kid phase, may the force be with us, LOL! Please continue to read our blog and recommend to other monumentalmoms! Have a prosperous New Year!

Peace and Blessings!

~Kristle (a Monumental Mom)

Holidays as StepMom

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I pray that this post doesn’t put a damper on anyone’s holiday, because it’s not the usual upbeat, Christmas cheer post. This week, I’ve decided to discuss a bit of a off beat topic, about being a step-parent for the holidays. Where the holidays are full of tinsel, trees, ribbons, bells, presents and bows, as a stepparent they can also be full of uncertainty, depression, and stress. Creating and keeping Christmas cheer is not always the easiest task when you are a stepparent; especially a stepmom. I’ve put together some common issues that I have encountered as a Stepmom around the holidays.

As a stepmom, one of the most difficult things that I face around the Christmas holiday is the expectation to preform. Everyone expects you to be cheerful, accommodating, helpful, and nearly perfect during the holidays. You are often not entitled to your own feelings. You have to decorate homes, put up trees, and host dinners all with a smile. While dealing with all the things that may have occurred throughout the year. During the holidays, EVERYONE wants to see you have perfect holiday cheer! This can be an easy way to start feeling a little depressed and to become exhausted quickly.

Another, stressful issue that many stepmoms face is the gift dilemma. I am known to be a BIG gift giver. I absolutely love to give gifts and I typically will go above and beyond, however, I’ve never (prior to marriage) had to buy gifts for someone that doesn’t always treat me the best, or rarely wants to speak to me. For years, I’ve been creating great Christmases (toys, clothes, books, etc) just to receive a quick “thank you,” and only to return back to the regular nonchalant borderline disrespectful treatment. This Christmas, I have decided to gift accordingly. After all, I am an additional parent, my gifts are pretty much extra. After, about 5 years; I now have accepted that its unacceptable to expect me to spend my hard earned money, but not be treated well on other days. It sucks to have to feel that way, but at some point, every Stepmom has to put her foot down and it may have to start with the wallet on holidays.

Something else that I’ve learned to live with around the holidays, is that it’s not always all love! While Daddy gets gifts from the kids, pictures drawn, big thank yous, and tons of other acknowledgements; stepmoms sometimes just get left on the back burner with awkward side hugs and forced acknowledgment. You’re not the first one or sometimes, even the one at all to get called over to see the cool new toy. You watch Christmas sort of just happen without you. No matter how tough you are, emotionally it stings a little. You often end up feeling like the unwanted third wheel in your own home on Christmas.

I just picked out a few issues that tend to arise around the Holidays for Stepmoms. My advice for dealing with them is…. Wine, lots of wine! LOL. Seriously, my advice is to be sure to take some time out for yourself and remember that you don’t have to be a people pleaser. Where Christmas is a be deal for the kids, it should also be memorable and enjoyable for you as well. If the family gets to being to much: step into another space, put your feet up, tone them out for a little, and take a minute for yourself. Handling the presents….. don’t beat yourself up about making a choice to stand your ground. Also, buy yourself something nice for Christmas!!! Trust me Stepmoms, you have earned it!! Last, but not least, when dealing with the lack of love and acknowledgment, be sure to include some of your family in the mix as well to offer a balance. If you have biological children, remember to share your joys with them as much as possible. And, at the end of the night, be sure to cuddled up with the hubby for a little extra time. We can not always change the behavior of children, but our husbands should be our safe places. Don’t spend the night hashing it all out, but just take some time to receive some extra attention from the head member of the group.

StepMoms, remember that you mean just as much to the family as anyone else. You probably work harder in the family than anyone else, and you therefore deserve just as much as everyone else. This holiday, be cheerful for you, while you’re considering everyone else!

Kristina – The Stepmom

The Xmas Budget

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Christmas is approaching at a rapid pace and there’s a lot pressure to finish and or start shopping. There’s so much temptation to spend and overspend your hard earned money everywhere you look, from online to sales in the mall. Below I’ve compiled some helpful money saving tips to keep you from overspending:

1. Set a realistic budget. It’s important to set a specific amount of money that you are going to spend and no matter what don’t break the budget!
2. Assign a set amount of money that you are going to spend for each person on your list.
3. Consider thoughtful gifts versus expensive gifts. Also remember that toys are toys. They don’t have to be expensive! The cheap ones work the same and the expensive ones. Places like Five Below, Dollar Tree, and Big Lots have really affordable toys.
4. If you are buying gifts for a family such as a mother, father and kids, then consider getting a gift that they can enjoy as a family such as a gift card to a restaurant or a movie.
5. It’s great to be generous and have the spirit of giving, but don’t give what you don’t have. If you can’t afford to give then find other ways to show your generosity.
6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. After all Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, it’s not all about material possessions.
7. If you have small children like my son, then remember they don’t need a lot to make them happy. Don’t go crazy and buy an entire store!
8. Compare prices at multiples stores when shopping and use coupons and promo codes when shopping online. Remember that most stores will price match!
9. If you are an emotional spender like me, then you have to be very tactful when shopping. Have a plan when Christmas shopping. I need a list before I go into stores, otherwise I will buy things that aren’t necessary and get carried away.
10. Have fun! Remember to laugh, love and make memories with your loved ones.

~Kristle (A frugal shopper)

Embrace, Love, and Share

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Growing up my family was not the super affectionate kind. We didn’t say….I love you when leaving, or have to hug and kiss when we encountered each other. We pretty much just assumed that we all knew how the other felt and carried on from there. I didn’t grow up feeling unloved or unattached in any way. I actually felt pretty close to my immediate family growing up. It wasn’t until I became an adult, and started experiencing death that I begin to notice the differences in my families interactions. It was when I experienced loss that I wanted to be closer to those alive. I guess we don’t realize what we have loss until we lose love ones. The missed or avoided hugs, kisses, and I love you’s, all become wishes that will never be met.

That is why now, I have opened up much more emotionally and learned to express my love while I have my love ones here with me. During this this holiday time, many of us will travel to see family members, and some of us will have family come over to visit with us. But, let’s not forget the family that doesn’t come or the family that we may have falling out with in the past. It’s never too late to forgive or just embrace someone that you have limited contact with. It’s also never to late to step outside of your comfort zone and start showing those around you more love and affection.

Our family and friends, are the people who will be able to love us unconditionally. Sure we will argue with each other and disagree, but that doesn’t mean that we love each other any less. Showing each other love creates a memory that will last forever in our minds. It could be the last memory for some and the happiest memory for many. There are times that I feel drained and I will think of a love one smiling at me or them hugging me and immediately feel warmth again. Our lives are emptier without affection. Not being affectionate does not make us stronger. It makes us weak and often means that we’re afraid. Most times we’re afraid to get too close, because we fear the connection. This holiday, be sure to embrace all of your love ones and let everyone know why you are thankful for them!! Let this Holiday season, be full of giving.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Kristina – Kristopher’s Mom

Letting Go Of The Security Blanket

 

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Security blankets can be anything that makes you feel safe, comfortable and secure. It can be people, places and or things. I lost my security blanket when my mother passed away. She was my safe place. It was the worst thing that I’ve ever encountered and it still hurts every single day. Recently I’ve let go of another security blanket, which was my job as a probation officer.

I was at my job for 6 years, which to me is a lifetime since that’s the longest that I’ve ever been at a job. All of my big life events happened while I was there. I got married, had a baby, bought a house and lost my mother. Although it was hard to leave, it was even harder to stay. I was very comfortable there. I had freedom, job security, decent pay and great relationships with my coworkers and supervisor, but I wasn’t happy. I was unfulfilled and I was becoming bitter due to the constant negative environment and the doom and gloom of my clients circumstances. It’s a bad feeling when you see so much despair and feel completely helpless.

I’ve actively looked for jobs for about four years consistently! Yes four years, LOL! I was also very particular my job search. If I was going to give up all of the perks that I had, it had to be worth it. I’ve gone on so many interviews and felt confident that I would get most of the jobs that I’ve interviewed for, LOL. That, however, wasn’t the case and for whatever reason things don’t always go according to our plans. Eventually I understood that it wasn’t my time yet but I refused to give up because I was on a mission so I still looked and applied for jobs almost daily.

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Now my time has come. I’ve started a new career and it’s been an interesting transition. I get up earlier in the morning and my commute is much longer. I don’t have the freedom or the security blanket that I once had. I’m starting from scratch with having to build my leave back up and learn a whole new job. I’ll be the first to tell you that change is scary and hard and sometimes it hurts! One of my favorite quotes is “change cannot occur until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change “(author unknown). I wholeheartedly agree with this. Although I’m completely out of my comfort zone, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. We all have our own paths in front of us, but I encourage you to let go of whatever is no longer serving you, be it so-called friends, associates, jobs or negative situations. Also, don’t let fear hold you back from doing what you need to do for you and yours! If fear is no longer a factor then the possibilities are endless. You can choose to live in fear and let it hold you back, or you can learn to let go, take risks, and follow a better path.

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“If it doesn’t scare the Sh** out of you then don’t do it” (Author unknown)

~Kristle (a Fearless Mommy)