Mad Props

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I received a fist pump with the words “mad props to single moms” from my male coworker. He voiced to me the challenge it is to raise a child and he is married. He told me he thought very highly of single parents. Having that recognition was truly encouraging. It gave me a little extra oomph.

keep momming

Parenting in and of itself is hard. I don’t care who you are, it is hard. And so many are afraid to say that for fear of being judged as a bad parent. Admitting struggles is not a form of weakness. It takes courage to voice what others are afraid to say out loud. There is such a pressure around being a parent who has it all together. Well, that just doesn’t exist. Every single parent at one point or another, or at multiple points in one day, falls short. That’s called being human, and most likely, sleep deprived.

I LOVE to hear stories from other parents about their child throwing a tantrum because they gave them the blue cup instead of the orange cup. Or the kid that threw their self down in the middle of Walmart because they couldn’t push the shopping cart that they inevitably run into fixtures and people. That last one is my kid…

parenting

I say embrace your reality. Share. Bond. Lean on one another. We all need it. If not for support, then the comedic relief! We all have stories and experiences to share. I have found that when I let others in on my day to day, I am reassured that I am not alone and get wonderful tips and parent hacks. Like putting coffee grounds on vomit to take away the smell and dehydrate it. You are welcome.

Oh, and don’t forget, strong coffee.

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E-Collars

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What? Now there is something called an “e-collar?” Well, kind of. E-collar is short for Electric Training Collars, a misunderstood device that causes some to cringe. E-collars have some of the worst reputations out there as far as dog training goes. The reason for this, people view them as painful and cruel if used their beloved pets. That is not the case.

ecollar

E-collars have prongs that sit on the neck, they do not penetrate the skin, and generate a muscle stimulation. This stimulation is used either to distract the dog from a current bad behavior, such as chasing a squirrel, or to get their attention for recall. (Excellent for hunting dogs!) The basic function of an e-collar is to help train your dog, not to punish it and by no means should ever be used excessively.

Most e-collars have various settings. One setting that is widely popular is the vibrate mode. This mode is used for the same purposes, to distract or recall, it is just a lower setting for the less stubborn canines. Some collars even have tones so the dog will respond to a sound instead of a stimulus. Another interesting tidbit about e-collars, the stimulus that is used which targets the neck muscles, this stimulus is that similar of a mother getting the attention of her pups when she gathers them by the neck.

E-collars have been shown to help with the following:

  • Better control
  • Off leash ability
  • Safety and peace of mind
  • Easier learning curve
  • Reduced frustration
  • Increased desire to learn more
  • Easier on the dogs
  • For more information, click here

ecollar what they do

“Any tool can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Education is key.”

I Took the Challenge

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Life is too short. Try something new.

A fitness challenge group. What can it hurt? Really! In the grand scheme of things, what can it hurt?

I held off doing a group fitness challenge for a long time. Mostly for the fear of failing. Not being able to do it, or do it well enough. Will the challenge be hard or not hard enough? Will I be able to find the time? Can I make this commitment? Largely though, it was something new, out of my routine, out of my control. And I very much like to be in control.

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Well you know what, so far, I am kicking butt. I mean some serious breakthroughs going on here. What is exactly that has given me this surge? I workout all the time, so this really shouldn’t be anything new right? What is it about this challenge that is so empowering? I think it is a couple of things. One, there is a group of us, coming together, sharing our struggles and our successes. We are a community. We inspire one another and celebrate each other’s victories. Second, it has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I went in with the fear that I might not be good enough. Through the interaction with all those involved, I have fed off of other’s stories and posts and have found that I am good enough. I am because I decided to try and not give up. I have felt a sense of pride for all of those who are pushing themselves and in turn, I have pushed myself. It has shown me that I can succeed, even if it is a small victory. Small but monumental.

I am only four days into this challenge and I do not regret one second of it. I feel empowered. I feel revitalized. I feel like I can do anything. I am serious. I am a badass. This is a great lesson. If you think you can’t, you’re right. If you think you can, you’re right. Get out there and DO SOMETHING. NOW!

 

She’s Got It

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Oh la la. Ya baby. Check her out! And that smile, oh, and those dimples! Everyone loves dimples! Did you know that dimples are actually classed as medical deformities? Cute deformities. Regardless, these are not the dimples I am referring to. I am referring to cellulite. Ya, those “dimples.” I do not like cellulite but I am comforted in the fact that it “affects nearly 90% of women at some point in their lives, even women who are otherwise slender and fit.” Halle-fricken-luah!

cellulite cartoon

I am in the best shape I have ever been in and I have the most cellulite I have ever had. You have got to be kidding me with this! I am going to blame unrealistic standards placed on women to have the perfect body. I have long given up on that, but come on, all the cellulite! Is it really necessary???

There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. No amount of exercise, creams, wraps, scrubs, or fancy oils will make it disappear. So what now? Accept this cruel fact and embrace what Mother Nature has blessed me with. Thank goodness for those celebrities out there who are calling attention to airbrushing and photo shop. I am in my mid 30s and face the pressure of fitting a mold, but now, our young girls are growing up with social media 24/7. It starts with us. We have to teach the coming generation of girls positive body image. Give them confidence. Show them to love themselves. You know what that means don’t you? It means you need to be good to yourself too!

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Try. Just try a few of the following things. Start the change. For your sake and all the others around you.

 

  • Write yourself a letter
  • Go commando
  • Draw
  • Exercise
  • Choose the people you engage with carefully
  • Don’t compare
  • Respect yourself
  • Dress up
  • THROW AWAY THOSE MAGAZINES

 

You got this!

 

High and Mighty – Part 2

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I did it! I wore flats, to work! And you know what, I am going to do it again. I am not going to get carried away, I am still going to remain professional in my attire. I will still be in dress code, as I usually am, with my nod to my fashion roots, but I will embrace the very chic, and dare I say sassy flats. Oh, and guess what, I got multiple compliments.

flat shoes drawing

So what did I learn?

  • Choose the RIGHT style of flats
  • Walk with confidence
  • Coordinate the outfit well
  • Walk with confidence
  • Do your job as you always do, 100%
  • Walk with confidence

I do not plan on wearing flats every day to work. After all, most of my suits are made to fit with high heels. I do however plan on altering the perception of being labeled “unprofessional” because I am opting for footwear that doesn’t cause throbbing pain. High heels are absolutely acceptable to wear every day, especially is that is what you prefer. I prefer high heels. I just need to give my feet a break once in a while. And I also need to give myself a break.

High and Mighty

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Bunions suck. They hurt, they make finding shoes a challenge and they are ugly! Some bunions are hereditary, however, I got mine from high heels. Working in retail, 12 hour days in high heels. I remember days I would take off my shoes after work and see two swollen feet twice their size. The pain was excruciating. No one prepares you for that. Throbbing feet, bunions, calluses, aching back. Those descriptions aren’t in the employee handbook dress code section. Neither is the section about women having the right to wear flats but it is verbally suggested you not.

high heels

I will be the first to admit, women do look better in high heels than flats. High heels, demand attention and, when worn in the workplace, symbolize a smart, well-educated woman.  Flats fall, well, flat on the “professionalism” spectrum. But then, why don’t men need to wear high heels…hmm. Never thought of it that way. I enjoy getting dressed up for work. I really do. Putting on that suit makes me feel like I am powerful. The shoes are a finishing touch of a polished look. But putting on flats, that’s for the weekend, in your leisure wear and no makeup.

casual

I overheard one of my male colleagues say to a female coworker, (in regards to women wearing high heels and being in pain), “I don’t get that. You should be able to wear flats.” Let me make this clear, we are allowed, absolutely, but, once again, it is not recommended, if you want to be perceived in a certain way that is. And I do.

I know what you are saying, “that’s your problem then.” And you are partially right. Ultimately, this is my choice. If I wish to remain under the radar, there are things I can do to remain there. I however want more. I strive to move up the corporate ladder. I am not going to get there in penny loafers. Us women have enough stacked against us. What can we do? What can I do? Small, baby step changes. A little bit here, and a little bit there. Perception will not change overnight, but with the courage to change the mindset, slowly but surely, we might actually rewire aged thinking, including mine.

 

Oh, and for an interesting article, read more here about the woman sent home for not wearing high heels to work.

 

#Momming

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Momming. Yes, that is an actual word…in the social media realm. I really hope it gets added to Webster’s Dictionary, because let’s be real, #momming is real life stuff. I love being a mother. I never knew love like this. My daughter has completed my life in ways I never could have imagined. She also has this amazing capability to push me to the furthest extremes of sanity.

I am a single mother and proud of it. I work hard and do my best to give my daughter everything she needs, and, yes, wants, within reason. But one thing I have come to realize, no matter your status, whether you’re married, divorced, stay-at-home mom, work full-time, all moms share something in common. Not 100% sure what that is, but it’s something rooted in us that we can just look at each other and without speaking, say “I know.” “I feel ya.” “Been there!”

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We all are about 5 years behind on sleep. Our hair is long overdo for a trip to the beauty salon. A massage always sounds good. Getting to eat a warm cooked meal, slowly is a thing of the past. You can now add chauffeur to your resume. You have bags under your eyes, and they aren’t even designer. And all the while, you can’t stop thinking how lucky you are to be a mom.

Look, you don’t have to feel guilty about admitting the struggles and challenges. Everyone has them. Saying them out loud just let’s other mothers out there know they aren’t alone. Just because you have a hard day, week, let’s hope not year, doesn’t make you inadequate, it makes you normal. Embrace it all, it goes in the blink of an eye.

(And just in case you are in the midst of a difficulty, it’s nothing a trip to Target can’t help with. Hello dollar section!)

I’m Sorry…Not Sorry

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Wait, maybe I am wrong. Am I? Now I am not so sure.

Have you ever known something to be true? That your feelings are reasonable? Then what happens? Them. They make you believe that you are in the wrong. That it is your fault. You need to make the changes. You need to do better.

Manipulators can quickly take a situation and turn it around as fast as it started, and before you know it, you are uttering those same two words, “I’m sorry.” Having now removed myself from a damaging environment, I can see all the times I shrunk away, dissolving my true self to fit the wants of the other.

Emotional abuse is real. The damages are real. The effects are real. But so is power. Your power. Find it and grow it. Take baby steps if you have to, but find your strength and don’t let go.

  • Be confident
  • Look them in the eye
  • Speak in a calm and clear voice
  • Act rationally and not out of emotion
  • Practice being more assertive in other situations
  • Reach out for support
  • Take care of yourself

You can’t change others, but you can change the situation. And you most definitely can change how you continue to be treated.

Nom Nom Nom?

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4 giant cinnamon rolls or a peach?  $1.99 or $2.40? 4 giant cinnamon rolls for $1.99 or 1 peach for $2.40. And we wonder why America is overweight. It is far cheaper to buy junk food than healthy food. Does anyone else find this disturbing?

This has a ripple effect. You can save a considerable amount of money buying frozen pizza and chips versus organic fruits and vegetables. It is a short term “fix.” Jump ahead 5 years. How is that waist line? Diabetes? Knee problems? Breathing okay? Pretty tired aren’t you?

I am all for the occasional indulgence, but every day, I have to draw the line. So, my grocery bills are high. But, my doctor’s bills are nearly non existent. And, as a mother, you better believe I am putting my child’s health first. Which means the cut up fruit and antibiotic free chicken nuggets instead of McDonalds. But what about those who do not have that option? Because I have been there. Being able to afford more nutritious food is a luxury. One I did not always have. One many people do not have and that is a horrible reality. Something needs to be done. What can be done?

Education, sadly, is not enough. People are fully aware but still do not have the means. There is no one solution that will fix this epidemic. Everything has cause and effect. For me, I refuse to sit idly by and hope one day it will magically get better. I am doing my part. It may be small, but I believe my acts can also have a ripple effect. I shop local. I read labels. I know what is going on in the government. I offer input. I teach my daughter about health. My tiny acts may not change society, but it sure doesn’t hurt.