World’s Okayest Mom

blog-2

If you follow Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site, you are treated to a feast of motherhood perfection.  Photos of blissful babies sleeping while mom smiles happily down at her angel.  (Mom’s makeup and hair are flawless, by the way!)  Or maybe you’ve seen the blogs about the beautiful, perfectly healthy lunches packed for the children heading off to school who look as if they just stepped out of a Gap commercial.  (Little Sally just LOVES her tofu and kale wrap made with all organic ingredients!  She eats every bite and never complains!)  So hold on…why doesn’t this look like MY life??

Let’s stop and think about what most of our lives really look like.

I have a 21 month old daughter.  She usually wakes up with a random booger on her face, hair that rivals Albert Einstein’s ‘do, and doesn’t particularly want to wear whatever I picked out.  (This means I have to take time to convince her that the shirt with the kitties on it is AWESOME!)  So once she is dressed and her face clean, we rush downstairs to get her shoes on, maybe get her teeth brushed, and out the door so that I can get her to daycare before the breakfast cutoff.  Is any of this sounding Pinterest-worthy yet?  The reality is that most of us would really like to be Pinterest moms and have the perfect pictures of the perpetually smiling babies.  It’s just not realistic.  Parenting is messy and funny and challenging and exhausting!  Ever wonder how many pictures they took to get that one perfect shot?  More than one, I’ll bet.  So what if we stop comparing ourselves to what we see elsewhere and start honoring ourselves for what we are doing really well?

Stop and think about the moments when you’ve been particularly proud of your parenting skills.  You know, like that time you soothed your crying baby, or the time when your child came home and actually talked to you about doing pretty well on a spelling test?  These moments matter!  When my daughter came home from the hospital, I worried that I wasn’t feeding her right (I struggled with breastfeeding), so I took her to the pediatrician and cried because I thought I wasn’t producing enough milk so I gave her formula.  (I thought giving her formula was going to mess things up.)  He jennifers-bloglooked and me and said “Let me understand this:  your baby was hungry, so you fed her?  Sounds like you’re doing
everything right to me!”  All of a sudden, I was empowered!  I was a mom and I knew what was best for my child.  And so do you!!  It’s time to shut off the social media and stop letting those images dictate how you feel about your own parenting skills!  Enjoy the messy pictures of you and your little ones!
No makeup?  No problem!  Feeling like you aren’t doing the mom/dad thing right?  I bet you are.  Sit down and think of even the smallest thing you did for your little one.  Are they wearing clean (or mostly clean) clothes today?  Are they fed?  Those are good signs you’re doing something right.  Take a moment to celebrate the little victories. These little tiny humans running around your home?  They think you’re the best thing ever!  If you didn’t take your shower today, they don’t care.  You didn’t get to the gym?  Yeah, they don’t care about that either.  They care that you hug them, kiss them, and tell them you love them.  If you do those things, you are doing it right.  And that’s worth more than an Instagram photo.

Jennifer Circle– By Jennifer Willis, MA, LPC-Intern

6 Helpful Questions to Ask Yourself When De-cluttering Your Home

listing-quality-over-quantity-blog-header

Did you know that it is National Organization Month? Who knew? How many of you set this as a New Year’s resolution? “2017 is the year I get organized?” Does this sound familiar?

One study done at UCLA found that the more stuff was in a woman’s house, the higher her level of stress hormones. This same study found a relationship between how happy women are with their home life and family to how they feel about their homes. Wow! So simply put the more clutter and chaos in the home, the less happy the woman is with her family and her life. Our stuff it stealing our joy!

Whether or not you made a resolution to get organized or are feelings overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have to clean up, here are some suggestions for helping you get your joy back and get started.

When organizing your space it is helpful to start with decluttering it. Think, less is more, or at least better. Start slow, don’t try to tackle everything at once. Start with one room or corner and work your way to a more simplified space.

One strategy is to remove, but not discard. Put your items in a box and set them out of sight. Set a reminder to look in the box in 15-30 days. Haven’t missed or used anything? Toss it.

Are you feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of even starting to declutter? Try a time limited challenge. Set a timer and only work for 30-60 minutes. Or try a four-week challenge that can be done on any day of the week. The point is to get started and be successful, so you can enjoy your simplified space.

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when deciding if an item should be kept, tossed, or donated.

  1. Have I used this in the last year? If your answer is no, it’s time to toss.
  2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
  3. Is the only thing that’s keeping me from disposing this item that I don’t want to waste money? Think of it this way: you wasted money when you bought an item you don’t use.categories_declutter
  4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value? Be strict and keep only a few of the items in a small memorabilia box.
  5. Do I have a realistic plan to use this? Remember, don’t lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for Halloween. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don’t use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.
  6. Does it fit me or my living space? You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep — your space is sacred.

Some people have difficulty discarding things due to emotional attachments. “What would Great Aunt Susie think about me donating her collection of salt and pepper shakers that have been sitting in a box in my garage for that past 8 years?” It can be difficult, but try to put your emotional attachments aside. Realize objects do not have feelings. The benefit of decluttering your space may far outweigh the cost of letting go of stored items. Analyze and measure true value. What does it really mean to you? Does it have value elsewhere?

When decluttering get rid of duplicates. You do not need multiples of anything. Keep the best quality and get rid of the rest. If you begin to feel uncomfortable removing items, just focus on all the good thing you still have. Find small things to be grateful for. Set exciting goals to help motivate you. Plan a vacation and pay for it by selling the items you removed in the decluttering process. Plan a party to show off your new decluttered and organized space.

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of what we most value, and the removal of anything that distracts from it.”
– Joshua Becker

Remember quality over quantity. Invest in high-quality pieces that will last years and look amazing…in every aspect of your life.

Jennie Circle– Written by Jennie Fincher, Ph.D. LPC-S