The Untold Story of Being a Stay At Home Parent

Before having children, I only dreamt of being able to stay home with my kiddos, being able to be apart of their growing development. I honestly never dreamed I’d ever have the opportunity to do so. Then, God blessed our family and as of now I am able to watch after my son while expecting another one on the way. Although there are so many wonderful things that you get to experience while staying at home with your child, there are so many challenges that come with being a stay at home parent. I am not here to complain, I know I am very lucky to be able to take care of my child but there is so much that people just don’t understand about how much it takes out of a person.

I used to work a full time, career path job. I was a project coordinator for a promotional products company in the San Fernando Valley located in California. I have always held a steady, full time job since I was 18. Being able to fully depend on myself financially is something very empowering and gave me a sense of security. The challenge from this transition is the guilt I feel when I’m not able to help out my family financially. On the months that we have struggled financially, I have really felt the blow of being a burden and just have had the feeling of being a useless asset to our family. Yes, I know I am at home – cleaning, feeding the baby, cooking dinner, washing and folding the laundry, constantly going. But for some reason, it just never feels like its enough.

When my son was old enough, I started my own Etsy shop. Thankfully, it was quite a success but then I struggled with time management and I was often left with not enough hours in the day to get everything finished. I would work until 2 in the morning to finish up orders only to come in to the next room and see it in shambles. The dishes needed washing, the trash needed to be taken out, my son would wake up every hour if I wasn’t sleeping or cuddling next to him and my husband would come home to no meal cooked. I felt like a failure.

Although I was able to make a decent profit and help pay for some bills, something was always suffering. I felt I was neglecting my son’s needs and often just left him to cry so I could finish what I needed to do. This left me feeling so guilty, because he still needed me. I often snapped at him because I was exhausted trying to keep up with so many things – I had to finally close my shop because I realized that I was a wife and mother first.

The guilt never really seems to go away because the grass always seems greener on whichever side you’re not currently on. Women who work bring home money but don’t get to see their children grow up. And stay at home mothers get to watch their children grown up but then are left with years of non work experience and are deemed unemployable because of their lack of “in field” experience. There’s the misconception that we just stay at home and do “nothing” all day – but let me tell you, some days I feel like I haven’t stopped. Being a stay at home parent can be very lonely, especially because you don’t get any interaction with other adults unless its John from Citi Bank trying to collect on your bill. The feeling of neglect is overwhelming sometimes but I often don’t say anything about it to anyone because I truly appreciate my husband for what he does for us and I love my son. I know that its neither of their intentions to have me feel unappreciated.

There is usually no one else to talk to about our struggles so there is no venting allowed. If you do open your mouth, you are often faced with the judgements and criticisms of others telling you “well, you’re lucky that you can even stay home,” or “they will only be young and rebellious for so long until they want to leave with their friends (regarding your kids),” or “girl, you’re so lucky – you don’t have to go to work,” etc. I often just keep my mouth shut because no one will truly understand unless they are in a similar situation.

At the end of the day, yes I do feel so very blessed that I get to be watching over my son and taking care of our home. It is an indescribable feeling to be able to watch him grow and learn and just to continue to grow that bond with him. Although it is very challenging, I would not change it for the world. But it will be a constant struggle and adjustment because there are some days when you need time to yourself. To recharge your batteries, to go out and actually be able to indulge in the soup and salad combo at Panera Bread without feeling guilty for it because the amount you spent there could have been split for a meal for you and your kiddo.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, the guilt might not ever truly fade. You just have to keep reminding yourself that you are an irreplaceable part of your family dynamic. Your family depends on you to take care of the things that they don’t see and take for granted because someone else (you) is getting them done. You are feeding, nurturing, comforting, and loving your family and that itself does not have a price tag my dear. Your “office” will always be dirty, filled with soiled diapers and sippy cups that need to be cleaned but your heart will always be full. One day, all the chaos will settle and you will miss the pile of dirty laundry on the floor with a side of Tonka trucks by the side of the kitchen. Give yourself the time that you need, make your husband stay at home while you take a long drive to 7-ll and get yourself that slurpee. Blast the radio and let your hair dance in the air in its full mom bun glory. And if you see a fellow stay at home mother, salute her, encourage her. Let her know that she is appreciated.

So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.

1 Timothy 5:14

Sunday Sentiments and Target Mini Haul

Lately, I’ve been really thirsting for the word of God. As a mother, you tend to forget about yourself and the things that you need. You loose your sense of self because you get used to putting your family before you and because it becomes a routine, you start to ignore the things that remind you of who you are.

Well, I am not ashamed to say that I need Jesus. When my son was younger, I felt very uncomfortable leaving him alone in the church nursery that we used to go to, only because he was so little and I was scared that for some reason – something would happen to him and I wouldn’t be there to protect him. Maybe it was first time mother syndrome, who knows. But I had a tough time letting him go, especially because I am his sole caregiver at home for the most part – he’s never had a babysitter. Anyway, because of this inability to let go, I missed a lot of sermons and didn’t always get “fed” the word of God. Something, I feel that I desperately need.

On Sunday, we visited a new church and for some reason – maybe because my son is now older, I was able to let him go to the nursery a little more confidently. I was finally able to listen to the word and my soul felt delighted. It was a feeling that I missed. I miss hearing the word of God, I miss being apart of a church family, I miss being delighted in the Lord and worshipping. I am so excited to be getting back to church and I am so happy because I feel in a way that I am getting back to God. I know that you should never get too busy to forget to meditate on the word of God but it does happen. You have to remember that instead of dwelling on it, just get up and finally do something about it. There will always be a reason not to go to church – I know I have many: my son is too difficult to deal with in public, I’m pregnant therefore I am too tired and stressed, I overslept, etc. I am just glad that I finally put my excuses aside and went.

Psalm 43:4

Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God

After church, we went on a little Target run for the little man because since we will be taking our trip back to California soon – little man needed some new summer clothes and swimming trunks! Target honestly has the cutest things for kids – although I wish they had a larger selection for boys! Girls seem to have the majority of the selection. Preggo even tried to find some cute maternity swimsuits.

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Summertime fun in style at Thornton A. Sullivan Park

In Washington state, you have to put up with a lot of rain for the majority of the year. So best believe that as soon as the sun come out, everyone comes out to enjoy its beautiful rays of sunshine.

It was a hot, sunny day last Sunday afternoon and me and my husband were trying to decide if we were going to go out and do something. I was missing California and its beautiful beaches and poolside homes. I really wanted to get out and enjoy the sun next to a body of cool water. I don’t know what it is about the summertime that makes my body just crave being in the water like no other. Must be the California girl in me 🙂

So I went on my trusty Yelp app and came across Thornton A. Sullivan Park in Everett, Washington. I saw that it was a family friendly environment and we decided to give it a try.

Upon arriving, we noticed that there was ample parking space with a lot of friendly people that came with their families. I was already excited as me and my husband love the family feel, especially because we have a lot of family in California. We got out of the car and to the right of us was a huge playground for children with picnic tables and chairs for barbecuing and gatherings. They also had bathrooms that were not porter potties, which makes a huge difference to me. The scenery on our way to the water was just gorgeous, with the usual Washington trees and greenery. Then we got to the beach area, boy was I in love! Soft, sand at my feet with minimal rocks took me back to Cali. My son was so excited to get in that water and what was really comforting is that there were so many children there for him to enjoy the company of.

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I was a little bummed that I had not brought my bathing suit as I love to get in the water but momma still hasn’t gotten herself a maternity bathing suit. Instead, I opted to wear my newly received “Wifey” t-shirt that I had gotten from this company I found on Amazon called Awkward Styles . They offer a variety of novelty graphic tees, and have a huge selection. So I decided to give them a try because I can never say no to a graphic t-shirt that’s offered at a good price! I love its fit and cut, the supplied t-shirt is from Next Level Apparel – which previously being from the garment and promotional products industry, I can tell you is a good quality t-shirt. I can definitely say that I will be wearing this shirt often, and will probably re-purchase from the company because they do offer a quality tee at a reasonable price – which is everything to me!

Overall, the atmosphere at this park/ lake was very friendly and family oriented. I will definitely be coming back with my family and friends this summer and bringing a bathing suit this time so I can enjoy the sun!

 

 

Summer Styles with Pink Blush Maternity: Maternity Style and Giveaway

I have really never been one to wear or purchase maternity clothes, mostly because there weren’t any stores that I could really find with cute, fashionable, and comfortable clothes. Most maternity clothes fit too big, giving me that frumpy look which left me feeling down about how I looked.

So, my only options up until now were to purchase dresses and shirts that were a size or two bigger than my original size so that it would fit my growing bump. The problem with this is that, you can’t use these pieces after baby is born – thus leaving me with a bunch of clothes that won’t fit me afterwards.

Then I found Pink Blush Maternity! They offer an adorable maternity line that is not only fashionable, but reasonably priced – which is a big plus for me. Looking through their site, it was really tough to just pick out one item that I liked because they have such a beautiful selection of trendy clothes. I finally narrowed it down to the Ivory Lace Belted Maternity Dress, which I love! I really like the belted dress look, which gives you so many options to pair with different shoe styles and accessories! This dress comes in a variety of colors and sizes, which I love!

My first impressions on the dress:

-The fabric is breathable, which is really important for that growing and uncomfortable belly.

-The dress is form fitting, but not tight and grows with your expanding bump.

– Material is soft but sturdy, you can tell the fabric is of good quality and will hold up.

-Fashionable, which is so important because most maternity clothing lines offer some hideous styles

– Not only makes for an adorable maternity dress, but you can wear after pregnancy which makes it multifunctional

Another big plus for me was that Pink Blush Maternity is a small family run and operated company. This allowed me to contribute to a small and local shop, instead of bigger corporate companies who aren’t as mindful of their customer platform.

In addition to selling maternity clothes, they also provide a great selection of clothes for women who aren’t expecting, as well as plus size options. They even offer baby and nursing accessories – which I’m keeping an eye out for when baby #2 arrives.

Overall, a great company to purchase from! Great customer service and product packaging! I really recommend their products and will not only be a returning customer but I will be sporting this dress often and proudly! Thank you Pink Blush Maternity for helping me create my mom style and maternity experience! 

I will be running a special giveaway for your chance to win a $75 gift card to Pink Blush Maternity. Add some beautiful summertime pieces to your wardrobe and make sure to enter (instructions on my Instagram account here)! Giveaway will run until Friday, June 10, 2016 at 9AM PST and will be  Be sure to check out their site here to pick up some amazing maternity pieces for this summer!

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