|Getting in my morning snuggles with this 10 year old!!|
I am a stay at home mom. My job is to take care of my family. For me that has always meant keeping up with the laundry, providing nice home cooked meals, and making sure that my house is spic and span. It’s my job and it’s what I do. I’ve always been okay with that. Until recently, when I realized that something was missing.
These days, I find little time to actually play with and enjoy my children. Too often I find myself being short tempered, telling them no and not being much fun. All because I have an idea of how my house should look.
That makes me sad. My self imposed job duties are getting in the way of my actual job which is just being, mom. My kids don’t really care about the laundry, the home cooked meals or whether the floors are mopped regularly or not. I’m the only one who cares about that.
Once of my friends on Facebook recently posted something that spoke to my heart. She said “Be a happy mom. Choose to be happy and have fun with your kids. Stop trying to be perfect.”
As I read it, I felt like she was talking to me because lately, I have not been a happy mom. I’ve been too busy trying to keep things “perfect”. I don’t desire to be a cool mom or even the best mom but I deserve(as do my kids) to be a happy mom.
So, why aren’t I?
Being a stay at home mom, I feel like I will be judged if my house isn’t perfect at all times. Who am I worried will do the judging? My husband, my friends, the mailman? My husband has already told me that he doesn’t care if the house isn’t perfect. My home is tidier than 90% of the people I know(and I’m not judging them) and I’m pretty sure the mailman isn’t coming over for tea or a play date.
“Perfect” is making me tired. I’m not a better mom because my floors are clean. I’m not a better mom because my kids rooms look like they are never played in. This isn’t a museum, it is a house. Where we live, where we love, where we should PLAY!
I want my kids to look back at their childhood with fond memories but if I keep up my current habits, they are going to look back with memories how I cleaned more than played. How I was always frustrated and how I yelled at them for ruining all of my hard work. I don’t want to look back at this moment in time and wish I had taken the time to enjoy the little things. Housework will still be there waiting long after they have left our home.
Am I saying I want to let my house go completely? Heck no! Listen, it is in my nature to like order. I cannot change that about myself. I cannot relax if my house is a total mess. I am my best “me” when I can sit back and enjoy a clean, organized space. Plus, I think it is important for children to respect the home they live in. I believe that chores are necessary to teach value and team work. I think there has to be a middle ground and I am going to work on being okay with a house that is “clean enough”.
I’ve got to learn to choose my battles. Can I deal with a ton of dishes in the sink? Probably not. However, I can learn to let the dust settle on the furniture longer than I am used to. I can turn my head to a few dirty paw prints on the tile but dirty toilets, that’s not going to happen!
I don’t expect that I will change over night. I can almost guarantee that there will be a “my house is not clean enough” meltdown at least a couple of times this Summer. But you know what, as long as I am being a happy mom in between those meltdowns, I can deal with that and I bet my kids can, too.
Here is to more picnics at the park, getting my hair wet at the pool, dirty bare feet, puzzles on the living room floor and plain ol’ good, Summer fun!!
Do you find yourself struggling with perfection or have you found a happy balance?
What is one chore that is a must for you? What is one that you can be a little more laid back with?
When I think of Summer, there are a few things that immediately pop into my mind.
Flip flops, bikini’s, grilling……and s’mores! There is just something about graham crackers, melty chocolate and gooey marshmallow that say, “Summer is here”! As delicious as they are, they aren’t exactly diet friendly, and that’s okay! At least most of the time. You know I am all about the splurge!
However, sometimes you want something that tastes amazing and won’t wreck all of the hard work you have been putting in at the gym. No problem, I’ve got you covered!
Meet my new favorite Summer treat. S’mores Protein Balls.
Ohhhhh yeah, they are yummy!!!
Now, admittedly, they don’t taste exactly like a S’mores but I would describe them as being “S’mores like” with an extra peanut butter punch.
My daughter says they taste like a Snickers and my friend says they remind her of a Butterfinger. My husband just says they taste darn good.
S’mores, Snickers, Butterfinger. Allllll of my favorite treats rolled up into one little bite!
The original recipe for this delicious treat comes from Kristine @ Busy But Healthy. She is one of my favorite go to websites for that sweet treat that won’t sabotage your good eating and exercise habits.
I did make a few changes to the recipe, like using Vegan protein powder vs whey(and less of it) as well as using regular dark chocolate chips rather than Stevia Chocolate chips. Either way, you are sure to love these S’mores Protein Balls!
S’mores Protein Balls
Original recipe by Kristine Fretwell
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 scoops vegan protein powder
- 3/4 cup crisp rice cereal
- 1/3 cup marshmallows, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 sheets of graham crackers, pulsed into crumbs
How to make
- In a bowl, combine the honey and peanut butter, mixing together
- Add in the protein powder, rice krispies and marshmallows until the ingredients are mixed together. You may need to use your hands to combine well. The mix will be slightly crumbly.
- Make small balls(quarter size or slightly larger) by rolling the mixture together will your hands.
- After rolling the balls together, melt your chocolate and coconut oil together by placing in the microwave for about a minute.
- Using the back of your spoon or finger spread a thin layer of chocolate over the protein balls.
- Roll the ball in the graham cracker crumbs to coat.
- Store the balls in an airtight container, freeze them(like I did) or eat them right away(like I also did!!).
The original recipe said it made 22 balls but I only got 16 from the batch I made. Apparently, I like a generous serving when it comes to my S’mores Protein Balls. Make them big, make them small…….just make them!
Vacation was amazing. While it was not necessarily relaxing in the normal sense(is looking after three kids ever relaxing?) it did my soul some good! Time with my family, time with my best friend, beautiful white sandy beaches and blue ocean waters…..there wasn’t much to complain about.
We started out our vacation by driving from Fort Worth to Baton Rouge where my best friend lives. Perdido Key is 10-11 hours from us so we figured breaking the trip up into two days was a much better idea. It worked out well. And can I just say that my kids are traveling rockstars! My big kids did not complain once(there or back) and the baby only fussed a few times the entire road trip. I was prepared for the worst but they were fantastic. Of course, there were a few hitches in the road trip but that was due to rain, car accidents and shut down highways. What are you gonna do?!
After staying one night with my bestie, Stephenie we said see you tomorrow (because she was joining us with her kids the next day) and headed for the beach. Upon seeing the water and sand, we all got a little bit giddy!
My kids had only been to one other beach and that is Galveston. If you have ever been to Galveston, you know that it isn’t exactly pretty. As a matter of fact, last year the water looked a lot like chocolate milk. And it smelled. YUCK! Needless to say, Orange Beach and Perdido Key were so much better.
Our first day there was beautiful! While we waited for our Condo to be ready, we hit the beach and let the kids play in the sand. One thing led to another and playing in the sand turned into playing in the ocean, fully clothed. I didn’t care though because the delightful laughter that was coming from their cute little faces made me so happy!
Our second day wasn’t quite so lovely. From the time we woke up until about 4pm that afternoon, it poured rain. Of course, this is par for the course. It seems like no matter where we go, at least one day is a wash, quite literally due to the weather.
We decided to use the rain as an excuse to hit up some inside activities that we were interested in. We headed off to Pensacola to check out the Naval Air Museum.
It is safe to say that we all enjoyed learning the history behind many of the Naval Air Planes along with information about some of the newer ones as well. This was actually a highlight of the trip for Liam.
After we finished up at the museum it was time for lunch. Cosmo’s came highly recommended by more than one person so we knew that was a restuarant we wanted to try out for sure. Thank goodness we did because it was the best meal of the trip!
We started with an appetizer of Firecracker Shrimp and it was delicious. The batter was light but the flavor was intense. For our entrees, we ordered the Andouille crusted Catfish and a crab cake sandwich, knowing we were going to split the two. The catfish was incredible! It was baked rather than fried and was fall apart tender with zero fishy taste. The crab cake sandwich was also delicious but I loved it more than Lance did. For the record, he isn’t the biggest fan of crab. If you are ever in the Orange Beach/Perdido Key area, this is a place you must try!
After lunch we headed back to our condo for a little relaxation. We also crossed our fingers that the weather would straighten up for the late afternoon and evening. Lucky for us, it did! We took advantage by throwing on our suits to get as much beach time as we could.
Coastal weather is so funny. One moment it is storming and looks as if the day is ruined and the next, the sun is out and there is not a sign of the bad weather that existed earlier in the day.
Lance and Liam saw lots of sea creatures in the water. Liam spotted multiple sting rays and a baby shark. Lance spotted a not so baby shark, at about 5 feet tall. That was in knee deep water. Thank goodness it was him and not me that spotted it because that would have been the end of me in the water!
Wednesday and Thursday included more of the same. Well, not the rain but lots of wonderful beach time. The difference is that my best friend and her girls were there to join us!
This has got to be one of the greatest pictures, EVER!! We were attempting a group picture with all of us jumping but instead we look like big ol’ goobers. Every time I look at it, I laugh out loud. How is this one for the memory books?!
On our final night in Perdido Key, we went out to eat one last time. This time we chose the Flora Bama Yacht Club.
The food was good(not great, in my opinion) but I loved the atmosphere. There was a sandy area for the kids to play, live music and open air seating with a wonderful breeze, all with a pretty water view.
The next morning, we packed up and said goodbye to Stephenie (she stayed at the beach one more day) and headed off to New Orleans. New Orleans is a great little city for people watching and site seeing so I was pretty excited. Until it started to rain again. No, not just rain. It was a torrential down pour. Dang it!
Part of the reason I was so excited is because I wanted my kids to see all of the talented street performers. Sadly, the rain drove most of them away. We made the best of the situation and hit up Cafe Du Monde for some beignets because obviously that is a MUST! Camryn loved them just as much as I did but Liam said they were too sweet. Crazy, kid!
Ignore the quality of this photo. iPhone plus crappy lighting=really bad picture.
After Cafe Du Monde we headed for the Saint Louis Cathedral and French Market. The Saint Louis Cathedral is always such a pretty site to see, no matter how many times you see it. I might have looked like a drowned rat by that point but it’s all good.
For some crazy reason, I thought it would be a good idea to take my kids down Bourbon Street as well. Let’s just say…..mom FAIL!!! Even in the day time, it is not kid friendly. In the ONE block that we walked, there was lots of explaining to do, lol!!
We definitely made some great memories during the week away of vacation but I think we were all very happy to be home again. No matter where you go or the people you see, there is just something comforting about home, sweet home!
Summer. Oh, how I am so happy that you are right around the corner. Actually, for me, Summer is already here! There is no need to wait for that official date. As of today, school is out, the pool is open and sandals are an every day occasion.
The temps here in Texas can get incredibly hot but to me, it is worth it. I will trade in the short, cold days of Winter for the hot, long days of Summer any day.
I am most definitely looking forward to some lazy Summer days, soaking up the sun poolside(with my SPF 50 of course) but I also want to get out and make some amazing memories. To get started, I have created a Summer bucket list. This list definitely includes some laid back moments but they are mixed in with lots of fun, too. Parts of this list are just for me and some include time with my family. The perfect combination if you ask me. I have a feeling this is going to be one heck of a good Summer!!
What are you excited about this Summer? Tell me one of your Summer bucket list items!