The Juggle Struggle

As a working Mom my biggest struggle is finding time for everything I need to do amongst making sure I get ample time with my family. Every time I cross 5 things off of my list, 10 more items get added. When I get time to hang with the kids, they want to do their own thing, when I want some time to myself, my kids want my undivided attention. When I’m off work, I’m working, when I’m working, I’m working. It’s a never ending cycle. 

You would be astounded at my multitasking skills. I make calls on my way to work, while getting coffee, doing my makeup, and texting my hubs anything I need help with (at stop lights of course.) Thank God for Bluetooth! 

Work. To say I love my job is an understatement. My boss is an inspiration, and her family are some of the best people I know. Not only am I passionate about the bakery, but it also allows my hubs to be a stay at home Dad, which is something I cherish, it makes life a lot easier knowing that Dad is taking care of the kids and I don’t have to worry. 
That being said, my job is hectic & unpredictable! High volumes, events, fundraisers, and people basically using every holiday imaginable to come see us! I’m not complaining, it’s great for business, but I also put every ounce of planning into every single one of these things while dealing with the day to day operations. It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because that bakery is a huge part of my families life and I’m honored to be a part of it. I also have a team of employees that pour their hearts into that place! 

There’s no place like home! Nate is the best support system I could ask for, the rock of our family. I’m amazed at how well he tolerates the craziness that is, well, ME! We have an 8 year old girl who is as sassy and emotional as they come, and a 3 year old boy who is like a human tornado, you do the math. We literally clean one room while my son trashes another while listening to Riley sing the song from Trolls at the top of her lungs. 🎵“I got this feeling, inside my bones!🎵 Needless to say, we keep Advil in bulk. Costco!
Our kids have their moments, (see picture to the left) but of course, we love them day in and day out. I’m pretty sure that’s the law. 

Finding balance. Here are some tips I have picked up over the years that have changed my life, and help me to stay organized. Hopefully they can help you as well. My mind is constantly racing, I am always planning my next move. One thing I do to help is before I go to sleep I make a list of things I need to do the next day in order of importance, that way when I get up I know exactly what my plan is, inevitably it will change throughout the day, but I still have it there to pick up where I left off. I go down the line and check off as I go! For this, I prefer to use Apple Reminders because it links to my calendar as well as my computer at work. 

                                        There is an app called Hub. 
If you are not using this app, you are not living. I have one account with my hubby and one with my assistant which you can easily switch between with 1 click. You share with that person: calendars, lists, meetings, doctors appointments, notes, reminders, grocery lists, you name it! You can even assign someone a task as well as a deadline. Great for home & business! It is my lifeline. 

No matter how overwhelming life can be, your children always need to be your top priority, we can all agree on that. I always plan “no cell” times when I know my assistant will be available and I can truly focus on my family. When it comes to my kids activities, schooling, important moments, etc. I work extra hard the day/week before to make sure I am there. I work hard to provide, but refuse to be absent from memories I can’t get back.  

These are just a few of the ways that I help manage my somewhat chaotic life. If I really broke it down I would have to write a book, not a blog! The best advice I can give is go to Starbucks, but you already knew that. I hope some of this helps you busy MamaBears! 

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Mom vs. Stepmom

When you are young you always picture yourself getting married and starting a family. Never in that picture do you see yourself being a part of raising someone else’s child. In today’s world, sometimes that is where life takes you and I am here to tell you that though, yes, being the “step-parent” can be challenging, it can also be extremely rewarding. I have a beautiful 8 year old step-daughter, Riley, who I love as if she were my own. I love our blended home. 

Things have not always been perfect. When there are ex’s involved and children especially, tensions tend to run high and everyone always wants the upper hand in the situation. It wasn’t until we all truly put our pride away that we got the best out of our situation. We learned to come together, work with each other instead of against each other, and focus on what we should have been all along, which was Riley. 

We definitely had our ups and downs in the beginning. For the longest time it was so hard for me to not get angry, I immediately got defensive, but my feelings didn’t matter because I was just a 3rd party. That was probably the most stressful part for myself. It wasn’t until I had my son, Drew, that I learned the most valuable lesson, which was, “Think of how you would feel if this were you & another woman splitting time with Drew.” I learned to try to understand instead of jumping to conclusions, I learned to put myself in her Mom’s shoes, & I learned that were fighting for the same outcome, so why not fight together? 

Communication is key. For years I would keep my opinions, my thoughts, etc. to myself because I felt like I had no place. I finally reached out to her Mom & opened the gates of communication not only to let her know that I am always there for her, but to let her know that my heart is pure and that she can rest assured that I only have her daughters best interest at heart and nothing less. I was hoping to give her comfort in knowing the person who is spending such a large amount of time with my child. I also wanted her to know more than anything that I was not then, nor am I now trying to compete with or replace her in any way. I had to do that not only for her, but for myself. We had a really good talk and now my stresses are completely gone. 

Riley was recently baptized. Her Mom invited myself & my family to the ceremony. I was so nervous because through all of these years we had never been in the same room together. My fears were immediately put to rest, it was not awkward, there was no tension, & I could see in Riley’s face that she was comforted knowing that we got along and were able to have a good time. 

The best part of that day was when they asked the parents to come up for a picture, I automatically assumed I would not be a part of that so I stayed back, but to my surprise her Mom invited me up. That was a moment that meant so much to me I don’t think she could ever understand. I finally felt like I was a part of this. I felt whole. I felt appreciated. 

I know a lot of people have different situations and some are not as easily rectifiable, but if you are on the same boat as me and everything you disagree on is petty, put your pride aside. It is worth it for everyone involved. I am sure we will have our moments from time to time, but I know we will try everything in our power, woman to woman, to work it out. I respect her as Riley’s Mom and as a woman. 

“Behind every successful woman, is a team of other successful women who have her back.”