Quit Making Me Mom Every Single Day! Or I’m Telling!

Once you’ve got a child, you’ve lost all chance of being a woman who has no worries. Might as well accept that those days are finito. They’re yours, your theirs..forever!

And sometimes, that kind of annoys me.

Starts 5/15 At 8AM EST- While Supplies Last! So, I mean, is it just me as a mom, or do you too have a dream (or three) of the day when you’ll only have yourself to worry about, no kids to constantly take care of? Ok, well maybe not “day”, more like just a few hours? With the only thing racing through my mind being what I have to accomplish? Just for me..silly as that may sound? That’s not really a choice anymore though, is it? And I AM all too aware that.

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But it still kinda irritates me sometimes. 

So, let’s talk about what we’re STILL trying to get a grasp on as being just a part of our normal Mom routines, shall we? Things like – 

ETA? Um…How About 2 hrs. Past NEVER. I’ve always been a bit of a “Hitler” about leaving the house on time for things. So, I’m not what you’d call – patient. Talk about dragging your fingernails slowly down a chalkboard; and with my youngest? AND my husband to wait on?? Good God! I’m a hot, stinkin’ mess once that car’s finally moving.
Some of you mothers know nothing about what it is that I’m preaching on. Simply because, your rare breed seems to have all of your wits about you when you’re arriving to your destination (with prettily painted fingernails to boot!!).

However – and I’m just taking a shot in the dark here – we’re going to go ahead and assume that you, too, have to go through similar checklists to even make it out the door; this mom has to have the babydoll at all times, a device for the YouTube videos to get watched on, a sweater – just in case it gets cold in 99 degree weather, oh!, and an extra drink..because, you know it’s not a true adventure without making at least TWO restroom stops. (My next vehicle MAY have some kind of port-a-potty contraption in it, I’m just sayin’.)

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Pro-Mom Tip: Forgotten Necessities. “Oh dang, hon, I forgot the stinkin’ milk.” Grab the purse, iPhone (and charger), then book it. Sometimes, if for nothing else, just to prove – to myself – that I still have the ability to keep my head on straight when leaving the house.
And for those 25 minutes, y’all..boyyyy howdy! I am THAT girl. You know..that one who’s living freely, and not the frazzled mom back in reality world? Or, at least in my mind I pretend to be. And you can bet your sweet bottom that I’m getting back home RIGHT on that 25 minute dot! Mhmm. Because, pfft, I don’t have hold-ups making just ME late, no siree, Bob! #bossstatus

Date Nights. Looking back, I really spent a helluva lot of time beautifying myself for date nights! You know? The days when we’d 100% drink too much, and party too hard; resulting in skipped classes at the college, and calling into work that next day. When we also had the chance to sleep it off, if anything, just (maybe) waking up in spurts. Remember those crazy, irresponsible days? “Baby, come back!”
Back then, there was no having to PLAN ahead, to then PLAN a day and time with someone trustworthy, someone who’s willing and able to offer this mom and dad a little reprieve.
Ahh. To be able to do what you want, when you want it! That’s not really something that you ever think about losing. Yes, yes…I completely get that my youngest eventually won’t require as much of our time (ha! Lies BTW..all lies!!) however, right now I’m beat. 

Pro-Mom Tip: Taking the time that’s available. These little moments might be when the kids are home; at the times they’re busy doing something in their room..for however short of time that is. However – those uninterrupted few minutes, of being able to converse with my husband, is something I now understand should never go wasted!
We’ve had some nights where our first real conversation’s of the day in our bed, when all the lights are out and the kids are in their beds, to just catch up on each other. I can’t stress the importance of this, because for me, it’s a way of feeling our souls still connect on a mental level. That brings a sense of peace to my heart. 

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Missing Me. I don’t think this longing is mentioned quite as much as the others, maybe because it could come off as a tad needy or selfish? Who knows? But missing who I am (or was, because I’m sure I’ve changed) as an individual, NOT as a mother, is something I believe that most moms have felt.
Now, I do get those school-day hours to be without the youngest child (which begs the question of “WTH were you doing by signing up as a room mom?!”), but the times when I do get “mommy freedom” – well, it’s not really for mommy per se. That is, if you’re still trying to earn a living!!

ALL of “my time” during the school-days will typically be spent on marketing my real estate business: working on obtaining more clients, showing homes to buyers, running market reports for sellers, following up by emails and phone calls, while constantly checking on how much time I have until I need to be at the school for the final bell. The hours seem to speed by, and there never seems to be enough of them to get what needs to be accomplished completely finished.
We won’t even mention (honestly, because I can’t remember) the last time I got my hair done. Not being able to focus completely, on whatever it is that I’m doing, is just a normal part of life these days. I mean, focusing is kind of hard to do when there’s constantly clocks ticking in your brain!
OH, but my brain…it endures so much. God help me, if one day it chooses to fail on me. 

Pro-Mom Tip: One Day at a Time. As I go through everything that’s required to get done for the day: my work, home stuff, kids stuff, pet stuff, etc. – this brain of mine has started searching for ways to get it all done, with the least amount of stress possible! I’m much more aware of things that I do with my time, so that I’m able to make the absolute most out of my minutes in the day.
Very rarely will you catch me in an “Oops! I just mindlessly spent way more time on social media than I intended to” moment. Instead of just “yessing” it up to everyone, I’ll think through whether I’m successfully setting myself up to complete the request in the time that I have available.

I appreciate the other agents in my profession who are able to identify with me on this, too. Because, like in any other job, there’s those who will make comments about whether there’s true commitment if you’re always pulling the family card.
Just in case I need to make it a little more clear for anyone, for where I’m concerned: MY priorities will always fall in the direct order of God, Family, Career. They each have significant importance in my life, but certainly not equal importance.
And guess what, y’all? If I came upon a potential client who didn’t understand these priorities, I’d happily refer them to another agent! One just as fantastic (well..close enough anyway 😉 and more suitable for their requirements. ‘Nuff said.
To close this unintentional rant, it’s gotta be said, that I’ve been extremely blessed with the majority of my clients! There has been NO question of my work ethic, and I’m humbled to call most of them friends now. #micdrop

My (Too) Thin Figure. The craziest thing I think I’m able to laugh at now, is the way that my current body’s not as..shall we say, easily molded as it once was. Kinda like everything else that you lose control of when you enter motherhood, I suppose!
The desire to be the “perfect” weight still exists..based on much healthier perspectives of what “perfect” entails. I don’t feel bad at all about wanting to look – and feel – good!
The small things I do to work towards this might seem like a waste of time to the outside viewer, but for me, these small things can make all the difference. The days I have more work to do from the computer, I might wear my yoga pants. So that I’m able to do comfortable stretching and leg lifts, in between or while doing my tasks. I’ll use up every bit of muscle strength I have in the “small stuff”, too! I’m finishing those damn reps, yo.
I try to take time to fix myself up, not to where it’s a job getting ready, but to where I feel…kinda beautiful? Bonus: having a life partner who never fails to make me feel as if I’m anything other than attractive – even through some of my most hideous days! 

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Pro-Mom Tip: Facing Reality. Whether it’s taking a little bit of unexpected money that comes in to use for buying a new accessory, or getting a new pair of jeans because I’ve finally lost a few pounds, I have to choose nice treats for myself every now and then. A teeny boost for the ego never hurt anyone! Small rewards make me beam with pride at my accomplishments. Taking care of myself and striving to be more fit helps a lot when you get frequent physical reminders that, like it or not, you are getting older. BUT breaking the bank’s never a good solution! However, getting things that I already need, and doing so in helping me to keep my motivation up, is part of me taking care of myself. So, splurge on the manicure occasionally, ladies! Don’t feel bad about getting that yummy plate of Chinese food for yourself before everyone gets home. It’s ok to have a rare indulgence in peace!

I couldn’t possibly name all the blessings that go hand-in-hand with mothering. It literally saved my life, from the way I see it – even though I try my best not to wring their little necks on some days. HaHa! The reality is, I’m never going to have things back from the life of pre-4 children days. I’m always going to be a mother! No matter how old they get. And I’ll admit – go ahead, you can too – I really despise some of the things that motherhood brings with it sometimes. Don’t bother trying to convince me to just love it all. Because if you do, well then, I’m telling!

I’m focusing my vision these days on the beauty found in the Kindergarten art and bedtime stories! I mean. Why focus on the walls that have been colored on and fit-throwing?


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I’d love to hear your own stories of surviving motherhood!

How have you gotten a grasp on your day-to-day routines? HAVE you gotten a grasp? Share the love with me in the comments about it! Keep mommin’, girls! You’re doing great! Xoxoxo
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What You Don’t Expect From A Teen Mom

Life As A Teen Mom

I was a young girl, in middle school, when my rebellion years started. I’d never had bad grades, always was pretty good, up until then. I was, what some might consider, the typical blonde, blue-eyed, American girl. But my blue eyes had started wandering, namely, to the “bad boys”. I remember a football player being “interested” in me (as much as a 7th grade, 12 y.o. boy gets interested, I suppose) and I attempted paying attention to him for about 5 minutes..that is, until someone else I found more interesting came along, like the cute boy getting into fights and getting suspended. Sigh. Dreamy! Brass knuckles are frowned upon in school, apparently. Who knew? Either way, my attention was drawn. And that pretty much became my story for years to come – some would say, it still is

Towards the end of middle school, I began running away from home. Of course, there WAS a boy; older, troubled, but kind and sweet, too. The thing is, these boys always needed to have both – the traits combined is what it took to catch my attention. A boy who was bad ALL the time was just boring. 

By the time I was halfway through high school, I’d become certain that I must be an adult, stuck in a teenager’s life. At 15, I got my first job and left high school, with my mother’s permission. As expected, the group that I was around in my new job was older. This is where I would meet my two oldest daughters father. Before I became a teen mom though, knowing that my mom disapproved of me seeing a guy who was 4 years older, I left home again. This would be the final time I would leave. 


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I became sexually active at the age of 16, and discovered I was pregnant soon after. I’d been gone for approximately 8 months when I reached out to my mom. She was a big help in getting my child’s father and I into an apartment, which was also very close to her. My mom assisted me with getting enrolled at the college, too; and after delivering my precious little girl, and officially entering life as a teen mom, I started courses at 17 years old, the youngest in all of my classes. 

 

It was a challenge being in school and a relationship – not to mention, being a new & very young mother. The relationship between my daughter’s father and me wasn’t what I’d call a happy one, but we were both unmotivated to change anything, also. Meanwhile, I was dealing with the pressures of raising a baby girl & having the emotions that a teenager experiences in NORMAL  circumstances, let alone, what my circumstances were. Stress from the life I’d chosen was starting to show up in a major way. I can honestly say that I had never been one of those young girls that fantasize about being a wife and mommy one day. But it happened, and I accepted it. Then, I experienced it – that kind of love where you know you’d use your very last breath in order to provide for and protect them. This is the moment I knew my wants, and my needs, would never again take precedence over another human beings. 

Growing up without a father for most of my life, I was determined to provide a family for my girl, if for no other reason. Eventually, however, that proved to be unrealistic. We had a young infatuation that was forced to get serious really quickly. When we finally separated, I was thankful that I was so close to where my family was. 

That summer, my daughter and I traveled to New York with my mom and brother. We were going to spend about a month there and visit with our family who lives that way. When we got back home, there was a brief reconnecting with my ex, in which I became pregnant with our second daughter. I remember the anxiety I felt..mostly from worrying about how my sweet girl – who was growing smarter and more beautiful with each passing day – was going to be affected, as this new baby would require attention that she was accustomed to solely being the recipient of. Also, I was stressed out about gaining back the weight I’d already lost…Hey, I WAS still only 19 years old! 

My second daughter was born ten days after my birthday; she was completely healthy and just beautiful. We embarked on our new journey, now a family of three…

You Never Know How Strong You Are…

Just before I’d left for the summer I spent in New York, I’d met this guy – he was kind of annoying, in the sense that, he wasn’t as friendly as I felt like he should be (HAHA!) AND he wasn’t blatantly hitting on me, like some of his buddies were. Damn, I found him so attractive, though! The fact that I perceived him to be “unfriendly” probably had a little to do with it.

Chris & I became friends; we saw each other occasionally over the next couple of years, through my cousin, who was also a friend of his. Actually, it was through my cousin that we’d met. We would usually have barbecues at my place, or watch football games – those kinds of things. My youngest girl was 2 and a half; my oldest was now 5.  

When the attraction started growing stronger between us, I invited my very good-looking friend out to the club to go dancing with me and my best friend. From this moment on, we became almost inseparable. The girls grew attached to him, nearly right off the bat; in particular, the youngest did. More than likely, because he was around so much, and though they would visit with their dad, my youngest daughter had never lived with him, or even stayed the night, as her sister had done. So, when it seemed like the obvious thing to do, and not very long after we officially started dating, he moved in. 

So there we were, growing into our lives together as a family, when lo and behold – not 2 years later, Chris and I discovered that we were expecting!

We’ve Got A Boy!

Our little man came and stole these hearts right out of our chests! I was just smitten all over again. I don’t think I really knew what to expect when I had him. I’d been adapted to raising little girls up until this time! This was a whole new reality. 

He was born two days before my birthday and I actually got to take him home the day I turned 24. Looking back, I think I experienced a little postpartum. I remember feeling really down when he was sleeping, which was a lot – as newborns tend to do. The girls were in daycare, and Chris was at work. I actually have quite a few gaps in my memory from the first couple of years after he was born. One thing I can remember is that the love I felt for my little guy was so strong! 

Grandparents

Hitting Roadblocks 

I started exhibiting some unhealthy habits that, in turn, began affecting my behavior. My need to control everything was getting OUT-OF-CONTROL. I lacked self-esteem, and a large part of that was coming from my bad choices. It was a vicious cycle. 

Things took a turn when Chris decided to approach me with his desire to get back into church. He’d gone while growing up, but their family had fallen away from it when his sisters and he got older. My family – my grandma and some of my aunts and uncles, even my mom, occasionally – continued with their Catholic traditions, but we barely ever attended church. My brother and I did have our First Communion, though. In later years, my mom had no affiliation with the church at all. She had become more spiritual through her beliefs that had grown during her recovery. 

When he brought this up to me, knowing I had not been to church in my “adult” years, I could tell he was set on it. My need to control kicked into high gear and I said I’d be willing IF I were to choose the church; I wanted to make sure it was somewhere that I’d feel was suitable for my children, first and foremost. 

I suggested a church that I’d seen on some flyers; they had family events that seemed like could be enjoyable, and they were close by. We attended Grace Point Church one time. Then we had a nasty exchange soon after; a heated argument, with words said that wouldn’t be easily forgotten. Separation seemed to be the only answer.  

Mother and children

It took a couple of months for me to get back to a levelheaded place, and then I made the decision to take my kids back to the church. On my own. Except..he also ended up attending. And just like that, we were back on, only months after we’d parted ways.

His Strength Alone 

We were back on, yes – but something had changed. I was stronger now..we were stronger together. Everything was different. We embraced being a part of our new community and began attending a lifegroup. Lifegroup is a group of people, typically in similar stages of their lives, doing day-to-day living together, with a foundation built on faith. There was so much that changed at this point, and in such a small amount of time. 

There was a wonderful, godly man who led our lifegroup, along with his beautiful wife. Chris and I both had developed an enormous amount of respect for them. Steve, in particular, began personally ministering to us. He felt like the father figure we both needed at the time, and he wasn’t afraid to call things the way the Bible said it. One day, Chris was talking to him about something going on and Steve told him, “The first thing you’ve got to do is get right with this woman.” 

We were married in the church, by Steve and 2 other amazing Pastors, less than a month later. The woman who’d initially made me feel so welcomed, and comfortable enough at Grace Point to keep coming back; who’d also given me my very first Bible – Lisa Tomerlin – helped me pick out a cake; our whole lifegroup had planned & set up the perfect little reception. I had become Mrs. Jennifer Rutledge!! </ahref=”http:>

The same girl who had never wanted kids, who said marriage was for people needing validation of their relationship, and the one who said – and I say this with tears in my eyes, but also praise – that believing in a God somewhere out there was purely a fantasy – a joke – while laughing and smirking at the thought; THAT girl, was now a devoted, BAPTIZED, Christian wife and mother. 

Baby Makes 6
Life was getting calmer, and then…Oh, that God. He likes to come and shake things up occasionally. I don’t know how to really describe the differences in a pregnancy being 16 and unwed, to being in my 30s and married; a whole other level of comfort. After the initial shock of what was happening wore off – the fact that we were about to add a newborn into the mix of our 9, 13 & 16 year olds can briefly paralyze you, I’m just saying – there was a great deal of excitement! Our world was about to get completely altered. Again.

 

Our youngest princess is quite the firecracker! I have said many times that God knew precisely what He was doing by making her our last (yes, REALLY!); things would’ve gotten much more..intense. Considering patience levels between the two time periods; and boy, do I require loads of it with this nugget. AND also, the others would’ve never existed, because..I’d have tied my own damn tubes if I had to. 

Current Situation 
After countless tears and debates, circumstances led to me exiting my career in corporate America, which couldn’t have thrilled me more! My husband is still working in the company that I left. I went & got my Texas real estate license! I can be available more for my kids now, due to the flexibility of being in charge and making my own schedule. 

Our 2 oldest girls graduated and are now living out on their own. It’s hard to believe that my babies, the other parts of the “Just Me and My Girls” squad, aren’t dependent on me anymore. Sometimes I wonder if they ever really were. At least to the extent that I was on them. I believe they saved my life..only the love I had instantaneously for them could’ve brought my world to a screeching halt back then. 

My girls are working hard, and I’m so proud of them! In fact, one of our girls is engaged to the perfect man for her. They will be married next month! What??! Crazy. 

Our son started high school this year and he is playing football; he also is excelling in orchestra and playing the cello! Miss Firecracker started Kinder and she keeps the world on their toes daily.

Mother and Son
To sum up the life I’ve had so far..let me start by saying: I’m relieved that my two girls didn’t repeat history. Being a teen mom is an extremely difficult life. I don’t recommend it to any young ladies out there who might be glamorizing the lifestyle in their heads. However. If you’re already there, just know that God always – ALWAYS – has your best interests in mind! He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Trust Him. Don’t wait as long as I did. And the other thing I’d say is – dream big, set goals, lots of them! But also, don’t be surprised when God shows up and changes it all around. Embrace it – the good, bad, every part of it! Because you never know what each day brings, and you’re on to new seasons before you know it. 

RIH Stephen Stoner
4/19/1949 – 8/1/2012
“To Know Him, Make Him Known” ✝️

“We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬


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