Don’t Beat Yourself Up

 

As of late I go on FB for 1 of two things, to look at what is going on in my moms group OR check on what my business group is doing. Ok, maybe three things. Every once in awhile I post something inspiring, what I find to be funny or a link to something I think is really worth sharing. Other than that I try and stay off of it. Facebook can be a really great tool, it can also be a really shitty one. Every so often I find myself comparing myself to others or my daughter’s milestones to other kids and then I talk some sense in to myself and kick the madness in the ass. I find that with social media and parenting in general these days there is a lot of comparing going on, a lot of keeping up with the Jones’s and a lot of ‘humble’ bragging. The combination of these three is pretty deadly. It’s like poison, for real.

I recently read a post on FB by a sweet mother asking about anxiety and a kid’s birthday party. She felt frazzled and not overly confident in her parenting abilities when attending birthday parties. She asked if others felt this way or if she was the only one. I wanted to pick up the phone and call this sweet mother and let her know she isn’t alone in this, she never is. But even more I wanted to tell her to not beat herself up over anything when attending a birthday party or even just being a mom. No one cares if your child arrives in two different shoes, messy hair, food on their face. No one cares if you are a few minutes late or if your child is being a little wild. We are all just trying to survive as parents. We all know that kids can be assholes sometimes. That getting kids, especially if you have multiples, to a birthday party on time can be a challenge in itself. It’s about survival guys. It’s about keeping your sanity. Don’t over think anything. Be confident in yourself, in your abilities as a parent. Don’t worry about what those other parents think. If something is working for you keep doing it and never stop. While there are days that can be overly challenging, and for you it may be attending a birthday party, you have to remember to also have some fun with it. Make those moments, even if you are stressed, count. If your child is dressed, fed and arrives relatively on time for a birthday party that is all that matters. And if there are moms there giving you the side eye for whatever reason, kill them with kindness. That gets them every. single. time. Remember to never compare yourself to others, try and stay away from that poisonous combination I was talking about earlier. We all know, or should know, that what we see on social media isn’t real life. It’s a highlight reel of what is really going on. It’s all puppies and rainbows, and guys, that shit is not real life.

 

especially with popusocial media because we all know it’s just a highlight reel of what’s really going on.

Must Know: Class Crasher

 

As you know by my previous post timing lately for me is everything. Anything and everything I can do to save time, make my daily routine easier and more efficient I am all over. Whether you work or are a SAHM I feel like we are always trying to find a way to save time, am I right or am I right?! When I was recently introduced to Class Crasher there was so much YES! going on I can’t even describe. For all of my Chicago mamas, this is a website you must know about. Class Crasher is like Open Table but for children’s classes, drop-ins and camps. It’s everything you want to enroll your child in in one central location. Like I said, so much YES! They have 100s of different classes with 1000s of available spots. There are no membership fees and their prices will always be the same as list price or better for every class on their site! It is truly the best. If you are in Chicago you gotta check it out. That’s all. For now : )

There Is No Time Like The Present

jord

 

If you have followed my journey via this blog or social media in the past year or so you know that I recently shut down my apparel company to focus more of my time on my growing toddler, Maximara Monroe. The goal was to close up shop so I could spend quality time raising our daughter as a SAHM before she went off to school, at what, 3 years old.

Ha.

 

Ha.

 

My SAHM plan lasted all of 2 weeks, if that. It turns out I need to be juggling several projects at one time to be my best self. It is clear now that I don’t know how to just sit still. I’m always the first to say life is too short for ________ (fill in the blank). I try and live my life with very little regrets. So when a girlfriend came to me and asked if I wanted to start a creative company with her, I thought to myself, F it, life is too short to not take chances. Life is too short to think of the what-ifs. Life is too short to not put yourself out there. Would this new endeavor possibly take away time from my daughter? Sure. But it would also be the perfect outlet for me to do things that I love – event planning, interior styling, content creation, photography and so much more. And by doing the things I love it keeps me happy so my family is happy. So in a matter of a couple months our creative company, CRE8, is now live. With this new role I can have several projects going at once. Let’s talk about present day for a minute – I am planning a wedding, designing a website, styling a client’s home, in planning stages of 2 photo shoots and just wrapped an event install this past weekend. Oh, and I just hired a company to create a prototype of a product I’ve been dreaming of inventing that helps moms be better moms while on the go (stay tuned for more details!). Time management is crucial in my life right now. I mean crucial. On top of whatever projects I have going on I still take great pride in my home and the meals I serve. Keeping track of the time and staying on schedule during the day is a make it or break it for me. Wearing a watch, something I never used to do, has become a must have for me. I have a few I rotate through but right now my favorite is my JORD wrist watch. I came across this line of watches and it spoke to me.

“The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.” 

I went from being a 2 week SAHM to someone who wanted to do the most with my time as insanely possible. Not only does this watch keep me on track in life, but it reminds me to not take time for granted. To live life to the fullest. To make the time I have, the time my daughter and I have together during the day, truly count. I look at time a little differently these days and I am so thankful to JORD for assisting me on this journey. I asked JORD to do something special for our readers and they obliged! (see below for deets)

 

EVERYONE who enters at ——> http://bit.ly/29pVOZm  gets $20 off the watch of their choice. ONE winner will be chosen at random will win a $75 e-voucher. The winning e-voucher will be expire after 1 month after the ending date. The ending date for this giveaway is 8/14

 

Now excuse me while I go sip some champagne and pat myself on the back for making it through the weekend with a clean house, happy clients and well fed baby.

 

 

 


Wood Wrist Watch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/strollersquad

If My Kid Is Being An Asshole, Tell Me

 

I swear there was a meme or scary mommy post going around FB about this recently, did any of you see it?! Anyway, I always believed this but after today. holy. shit. I can’t stress it enough. Please you guys! if my kid is acting out in any way shape or form, please tell me. Tell me my kid is a fucking asshole so I can fix it. I’d rather know and correct her actions than live in denial, or whatever it is that’s going on these days with parents.
My husband and I brought our daughter to a splash pad, Chicago’s version of a water park for tots, today because it was like one billion degrees out. And of the, say 15 kids there, over half of them were assholes. Or their parents were assholes which may be worse. We watched this group of entitled, disrespectful kids tear up the park – they splashed any and everyone around, trampled over our poor daughter several times with zero apologies and took over play areas that were clearly not for their age (i.e. for babies). My husband literally almost saved one girl from cracking her head open as her mom sat at a park table doing work or was gabbing on the phone with her friends. And right after he almost saved her she shot me with a fucking water gun. I literally almost lost my shit. Part of me was upset that Maximara’s experience was tainted by these kids but what really pisses me off is that these kids are our future. How are we going to get better, do better as a society when this is what we are raising? This may be somewhat of a shaming blog post, but you know what, I don’t care. We need to take better responsibility of our actions as parents. Being a parent, installing manners and respect in your child, is ridiculously important. Especially given the state our world is in right now. Clearly I’m still hot and bothered from this afternoon so I’ll end my mini rant here as I pour myself a vodka on the rocks. Kidding. Sort of. But really, if my kid is being a dickhead at the park. TELL ME! Can we all make a pact to do this? Let’s try harder to be present and good parents. Ok – that’s all. For now. Hopefully my next post is much more cheery ; )

Less is More

 

 

It’s funny as a kid, and by ‘kid’ I mean annoying teenager, I was all about more. More clothes, more makeup, more shoes, more whatever the fuck it was that would make my room an utter mess. I hated making my bed. I lived in a constant state of chaos. I think that’s how all kids are, right?  I definitely don’t think this was unusual for my age. But now. Now is a totally different story. I swear every week I’m purging another room or closet. I can’t stand clutter. Everything needs to be in order and we aren’t big savers of ‘stuff’. You have to move fast in this house if you want to hang on to something or it’s getting donated/tossed. My habits are borderline OCD, for sure, but I’m cool with it. I feel like living this minimalistic life with an insanely orderly house allows for chaos in other parts of my life like starting businesses and inventing new products. It’s calming to me to walk in to a room free of clutter, free of toys, free of just crap in piles. That’s just the way I roll.

So it turns out this is how I parent as well. I had no idea what kind of parent I would become but I do remember, when I was pregnant, seeing a show on this mom who only allowed 15 toys in their home. I thought this was genius. I’ve talked about this before a few times, if you’re a reg reader of Stroller Squad. When Maxi was born we had all the bells and whistles to assist her when she cried, right? The swing, the shusher, a swaddle, a music box. We had the 4moms swing everyone tells you must buy so, of course, we bought it. We used it sans swinging motion for a good 2-3 months. Everyone was so confused. Basically we just used it as a bed. But we did it because we were saving the swinging motion for when she really needed it. You see if she had gotten used to the beautiful swinging or rocking motion when she was happy and calm, it wouldn’t do anything for her when she was upset. Or at least that was our train of thought. This ended up working for us, not only with the swing, but for all other areas as well. We taught her to self entertain. We’d only bring out our ‘distractors’ when it was really needed. She was bored, restless, you get the point. At 16 months she now makes due with very little and I feel like we trained her that way. When we go out anywhere, with the exception of this past week and an obsession over a severely creepy doll, we have never and I mean never brought a toy with us in public. We don’t bring anything extra to restaurants, to friend’s homes. My diaper bag, which is actually my purse, has a few diapers, wipes, some snacks for myself, a baby pouch and my wallet. That’s all I carry around. Oh and sunscreen in the summer. We aren’t trying to get skin cancer. Less is more for us and it’s working.

We recently went out to breakfast and were sat next to two other families – both of which had 16 month old girls. It was pretty interesting to see how each of our families, with girls the same age, handled breakfast. I won’t get in to all of it because I could write a book, really, but I will say that whatever your engaging/entertaining style is for your kid while out to eat, wait to use it until they are really in need. Let them sit and take in the sights first, let them observe their surroundings, listen to people talking around them. And then when shit gets real, pull out the phone or the bag of toys you schlepped along. Giving them your ammo as soon as you sit, when they are content, does nothing for anyone. Because once they get upset and said ammo is gone, then what? Then we all hear your baby screaming for the duration of the meal.  Is my way right and your way wrong? Absolutely not. There are not rights in the parenting world. I just try and find the way that requires me to drink the least amount of vodka ; )

Listen. We all are unique individuals. We parent our kids how we parent our kids. But I’m really digging this less is more approach. I thoroughly enjoy not having to schlep a bag of toys and shit with me where ever I go. I enjoy that she can entertain herself with a couple of straws and a napkin or an old tupperware bowl. I think what we started from day one has contributed to our current ‘light’ lifestyle. And I totally dig it. Is it right for everyone? Maybe not. But I wanted to share what works for us because maybe I’ll help one of you mamas find your groove in the future.

Random Mom Chats

Hi mamas!

I’m here with some pretty random ramblings but all that matters, to me anyway,  is that I’m actually here.

First. I haven’t forgotten about this blog, really I haven’t. I have just chosen to neglect it for a little while. Not because I don’t love it (and all of you) but because I’m a selfish asshole. Really though. I have made the conscious decision to sit on my sofa when my daughter goes to sleep to chill the fuck out while watching TV and stuffing my face with grapes. I mean my choice of food could be much worse so at least I’m winning in that department. Anyway, I’m always the first to tell you as a mother there IS always time to do it all you just have to decide you want it bad enough. Usually I’m referring to working out and eating well but in my case it’s making time for the blog. So here I am, Tuesday afternoon, making time for it. Go me!
Second. All of this crazy shit that’s going on in our world….. I want it to stop. Like yesterday. It is so insanely disturbing especially given the fact that I’m raising my daughter in the city of Chicago where random gang shootings are taking place, like, everywhere. While I’d like to give my opinion on what’s been going on I’m not going to because this isn’t a platform for political chats…nor is FB but don’t even get me started on that. What I will say is what we, as mothers, can try and do to change the world we are living in is actually very simple. It’s starts with our children. Sharing the importance of happiness, joy, respect for others, not being a bully, accepting others for what and who they are, not excluding others; basically just teaching them to be good g*d damn freaking humans. We can’t change what’s going on out there but we can change what’s going on in our own homes. Any opportunity you have, take it.  Our babies are the next generation, let’s change the way they treat people.

Third. Mom shaming. Can we stop it already? Everyone has their own way. What may work for someone else may not work for you. And that’s totally fine. I strongly believe people shame and bully one another because they aren’t happy with themselves. They do it to make themselves feel better and/or validate their parenting skills. Which is really sad, actually. I wish only the best for everyone, to find peace and joy within themselves. Life is so much better that way.
You will never find me shaming another mother for her parenting skills or decisions unless it harms the child.  And in that case watch.the.fuck.out. If a mother is unhappy and struggling, I will provide my honest opinion because I don’t think it has to be that way for anyone. Everyone deserves to be happy to feel like the best version of themselves. Where am I going with this? I have no fucking idea but  I do know that I believe we should really be nicer to each other. And that doesn’t just refer to mom shaming, its being nice in general. Being kind goes a long long way, my friends.

Like Ellen Degeneres says, “Be kind to one another.”

PLEASE EXCUSE ANY TYPOS I HAVE A HANGRY TODDLER BARKING AT MY FEET TO FEED HER. MY BRAIN IS AT 75%.

You Just Make It Work

 

Hi guys, it’s me Jenna. Do you remember me? Shit I barely remember me. It’s been one of those months. Like the ones you don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for. Well in actuality some good shit is going on over here but while the good is going on I also have to balance mom + home life which isn’t the easiest task. I’m legit balancing what feels like 20 plates in the air right now by my finger tips while being a mom and a stay-at-home (if that’s what you call it) wife. But you know what? You just gotta make that shit work. I’ve gotten ridiculously good at multi-tasking. Which is kind of the point of this blog post. It’s not to be that asshole saying “oh my gawwwd. I am like soooooooo busy.” It’s to say hey guys, anything is possible even when you are a mom.

In the past two weeks I have launched two companies (CRE8 + Salescheck) that I am for the most part running principal on. Did I mention I provided all web content and design as well? And I did this all while I kept my mini-me alive, fed well, kept the dog from chewing her alive, kept the house in check + stupid tidy and I made sure my husband was fed at night when he got home from work. That shit is no joke friends but you know what? You just have to make shit work as a parent. Life gets a little more complicated when you add a little one to the mix but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on everything. You just need to be creative. You need to be fucking efficient and not waste any time. While I absolutely adore my daughter and was determined to stay home with her 100% until school started, life got in the way. A couple of crazy business opportunities came up and I just couldn’t say no. So here I am, working this crazy balancing act, but it feels good. Even when I fuck up it feels good. I know that my daughter will look back on this time and be proud of the mama I am. The mama that hasn’t given up herself, her goals, or her dreams.

As far as how our days go, I’ve gotten our routine down-ish for now. Tomorrow it all may change. But for now it works. How, you ask? I work from my bed when I wake up around until I hear my mini-me hangry-ly asking me to come and get her. I shut down then get her up, changed, and in the kitchen for breakfast. She gets strapped in to that damn high chair and I give her a slew of breakfast options to eat (or play with) – enough that I can vacuum the floor and quick mop if needed. Oh and I woof my food down within that time too. Or at least I try to. Once she is done I throw her in the den and I put on a workout video to get in my 30 minutes of sweat. We move our party to the bathroom where she dumps out a box of q-tips, stuffs them back in the box, and repeats it about 30 times while I shower. I have our toilet, garbage cans and drawers now baby proofed so she can’t get in to anything unless I give it to her. The best $100 I’ve ever fucking spent. Once I’m back to looking like a human we play a bit, I scroll through my business social media accounts and emails, and then hit the grocery store up or anything other errands we need to get done. When she goes down for an afternoon nap I get anything done that can’t be done around her – usually work proposals + laundry. When she wakes up I totally log off and we hang for a bit before she needs to eat. While she is strapped in that high chair (again) I prep our adult dinner, straighten up the house, and get the dishes in the dishwasher. After dinner we walk the dog, read books and get ready for bed. As soon as she is down it’s dinner time for my husband and I, we then put away any child related objects, and try and go in to zen mode in front of the TV. Around 9 I log back on and get in any work that needs to be done by end of day and am usually up until 12. To me I’d rather stay up late and make the next day’s workload easier than crash early. That’s my choice. And that’s what creative parenting is all about. You can really do anything you put your mind to as a parent, you just have to want to make those decisions. And get really fucking creative with your time.

I have heard so many times that people don’t work out because they don’t have time anymore as a parent, or they can’t see friends as much because they are a parent. But you know what? If you want something bad enough you will make it work. You should make it work. In the end you will feel better about yourself accomplishing something for YOU and not just your little one.

Ok that’s it. At least for now. My clock says 11:48pm and I need to wash my face and brush my teeth before I turn in to a pumpkin.

If you want to know more about this crazy routine of mine and how I sanely (well, most of the time) manage it all, PLEASE message me. I’m always around to chat.