Category Archives: Lifestyle

Our Normal Routine Getting Flipped Upside Down

I am a routine person true and true… I do not handle abrupt change well so needless to say this last few weeks have been extremely hard.  I went into the week with everything planned and scheduled, by Friday everything was chaos.  No routine, no schedule, just a lot of unknowns.  

Let’s start with my career, I work in hotel sales. Thursday, March 12th, is when it all started to unravel for us…  We were going into back to back sold out weekends and then the coronavirus began to hit. In a matter of hours, it seemed like the world had changed…Hundreds of hotel cancellations had came thru, concerts cancelled, the NHL postponed… St Patrick’s Day activities were all put on hold. What started out as a typical Thursday had ended as one I will never forget.  It just escalated the next week with having to furlough most of our employees. I still feel at times I’m just living in a dream… 

That just transpired into my home life with sports cancellations, play dates postponed, stores closing,  and then the announcement of online learning would begin. So many abrupt schedule changes… and before that Thursday my biggest worry was having to get one kid to cheer and one to soccer at the same time..

Fast forward a few days.. The kids have now started distance learning and I’m working from home.  So much to process with changing schedules and all activities coming to a complete halt. It was complete overload.  I have a hard time making an instant transition when it’s not pre-planned.   

So here we are the first day in and I’m just a mess… I’m a creature of habit. I get up at 5:20 each day  go to the gym before work, come back and get ready… here I am with all gyms closed. I scrolled thru you tube for workout videos and there is about a million to choose from…which gives anyone a migraine. 

So instead I skipped working out for today, stayed in my pjs, ate chips while I worked from the couch.  By 4 pm, felt defeated and so overwhelmed with all the changes. I was crabby at my kids all day and yelled at them numerous times for the smallest things. It finally got to a point where my daughter said, “ why are you so crabby” nothing seemed to feel normal or in order. 

I think it was a lot of the abrupt changes and disruption to my normal schedule. I decided that night that I needed to get back on track. No one knew how long we would all be together and I would not survive without sticking to some sort of routine.  

The most important thing for me was still getting up and exercising. So starting the next day, I would be up by 6:30 and go for a 3 mile walk or run.  It felt like an accomplishment and some what normal. I also added in another short walk at the end of the day. I then get ready for the day and listen to a podcast, the same as if I was driving into the office.  

The distance learning is still a challenge for me and will take some time to get into more of a groove. I try and stick to the school schedule but with working from home and many interruptions it doesn’t go as planned. Honestly, if it says optional we skip it.  I have enough going in life right now without trying to be the overachiever teacher.  

I’m learning just do small things through out the day that keep it as normal as possible. Exercising, organizing, making a to do list, are all things that have kept me in as much as a normal routine as possible.  

I don’t make my kids do every activity that is sent out by their teachers… we do the best we can and we get through it.  We take it day by day… 

-snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Weight

All I need to do is lose 5 lbs of weight, I am only drinking alcohol on weekends,  I am going to drink a glass of lemon water before each meal, I am only going to eat lettuce for lunch yep, these are the things I would tell myself over and over again every Sunday Night for the last couple years.  

About 6 years ago, I lost over 40lbs from a weight loss program.   I was finally at a weight that I was comfortable with maintaining. I had gained tons of self confidence and felt great about myself.  I was 100% committed to losing the weight and it was a top priority for me.  

I knew that I would have to move into the maintaining phase once I hit my goal weight.  However, maintaining that goal weight was even harder than losing the weight. I had to still follow the program and it was really tough. It’s even harder than losing because this was now my life. 

So, over the last couple years I have gained about 10 lbs of my weight back.  However, every week I would struggle with trying to get my body back to that magical number that I was at when I hit my goal.  I stressed over this….every week I would try to get back on the wagon and by Wednesday I would fall off. It affected how I left about myself and my self confidence.  I would beat myself up over it all week. 

And then I realized that  I just wasn’t 100% committed to being at that magical number as I had been years ago.  It was an unrealistic goal for me. I will probably never get back to that weight… why? Because right now I like to enjoy myself.  I like to have a drink some nights. I like to have pizza with my kids, and I like cake. I am running kids everywhere and my lifestyle has changed.  

However, what it comes down to is this… back then weight loss was a top priority for me and now… I have other priorities.   It does not mean I can not do it, however It would have to be the top priority for me in my life. Back then, I would have spent hours meal planning and prepping for the week.  Today, I spend hours shopping with my teenagers, running to sporting events, socializing with my friends, and writing about my life…it’s all about priorities and what’s important to you. 

I realized I could beat myself up for it every week or just come to terms. I was not putting in the work needed to reach that goal each week.  I had to be realistic and not expect to magically lose a lb each week when I was not following my eating plan. Especially when my dinner consisted of popcorn and wine.  Weight loss is hard and you do not magically lose weight without a consistent plan and a lot of self control. I had to finally be real with myself.  

I am happy with my life and my body.  I am healthy and I still workout every day.  I think I have mentioned before about how exercise is just part of a routine for me, so that is routine in my life.  However, I set little realistic goals to keep me satisfied with where I am at…like starting to drink water before each meal or I started not eating after 8pm during the week.  

I added in these small little goals each week and that made a huge difference.  I was proud of accomplishing those instead of setting unrealistic goals of losing so many lbs every week.   

I am not at that magical number on the scale and that is ok. I have a range that I continue to stay between and that works for me.  I have learned to not beat myself up every Monday morning because of what I indulged in over the weekend. I have learned to be happy with how I am and enjoy my life.  

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Alexa, Please Help Me With Mornings!

“Alexa, wake me up at 6:45”

My 8 year old son snuggles up to his stuffed dog while I tuck him in.

It’s the first night back to a bedtime routine since winter break. Everything is peaceful; it’s not even 8PM.

Rewind twelve hours before though, and peaceful is not the word I would use.

“You’re always yelling at me!” My son cries from the bathroom floor as if the task of putting on just one sock in 10 minutes is simply unattainable.

Sound familiar mamas?

You’ve gotten up, poured the cereal, thrown your hair in a messy bun, and cheerfully woken your child up with a “good morning sweetie”.

What went wrong? Why are you always 30 seconds from yet another tardy slip as you fly into the drop off line, trying not to spill your coffee? Again, sound familiar mamas?

I don’t know the answers to a perfect morning, actually I despise mornings; but here are a few things

I’ve learned:

1. Set a Routine that Works and Follow it.

Your kids like a routine. For mine, setting an alarm with Alexa gives him the power over his day. He knows when his alarm goes off it’s time to get started. He sets it for a few minutes before I get up,so he can have some time to wake up alone. For yours, it may be turning on a certain type of music, having a cup of hot herbal tea, or hopping in the shower. Think about it mamas, do we like the lights turned on to wake us up with someone hovering over us saying: “get up, get dressed, eat, brush your teeth”, all within a matter of a half hour or so? Be mindful of this in the morning with your kids.

2. Lay Out Clothes for the Next Day.

Mamas this is a lifesaver. Before your bedtime routine, even if you don’t really have one (that’s an article for another day) make this simple, but so very valuable task, something you do each night. I’m talking the whole entire outfit: socks (oh dear, don’t forget the socks), shoes, coats, and even gloves if needed. Get your child’s input. This will avoid the “these pants don’t fit me” or “this shirt is scratching me” “I wanted to wear shorts instead!” Trust me, putting these few minutes as a priority the night before will save you much turmoil in the early morning hours.

3. Give Yourself Grace

This is important.

When nothing works and your morning is a mess, you’re tardy for the 7th time this month, and your coffee did spill (oh no, anything but the coffee),

Give yourself grace.

If you’re anything like me after a morning of tears, lost socks, short tempers, and rushed breakfasts, (or let’s face it a quickly slurped go-gurt thrown into the backseat of the car)- You’ll worry all day at work. Is his day okay? Did I ruin it all? Can he focus on his school work? Is he sad at lunch? Does he hate me? For what, mama? For being human?!

I think as single mothers we often forget: we are rocking this thing on our own. You’re the one who worked all day, the one who made the dinner, the one who gave the baths, and read the books, and put the laundry in, and said the bedtime prayers; and that’s just the start.

You’re the one who woke up to face another day of doing it all over again.

You are the one who deals with the tears and the melt downs and the homework; but you are also the one who gets the hugs, the cuddles, the “I love you mama”, and the “can you tuck me in?”

You, working single mama, are the one in your kid’s corner. Don’t forget it.

The world’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad. Here’s to messy buns, almost spilled coffee, and asking your kiddos to put their socks on for the 182794633479315th time….. all without losing your mind.

Happy Everything,

~Katie B.

Are You Settling?

Are you settling?

If you have been keeping up with my blogs, my life is …well… It’s kind of messy.

Some of it I can control.

A lot of it I can’t,

But what the gift this chaos has given me is some moments to look inward.

Look at who I really am and what I really want.

I have had these conversations with myself before and a little bit even with you all.

The big difference is I am not sure if I listened. I also was never this close to losing so much.

I started to wonder, am I settling?

Have I settled?

I think I have.

In my career definitely. It was easy. I knew it, it felt safe so I stayed even when there were many times I shouldn’t have. Even right now. I should probably be running for the hills, but I’m hanging on to a shred of I don’t know what, because I’m afraid of the unknown.

In my personal life. I don’t speak up like I should. I do but I don’t. I am so afraid of upsetting the person I’m with, that I don’t speak up sometimes until it’s much too late. The hurt is already there. The irony is – he wants me to. But what I know- is to say I’m fine and move on. Put the wall up. Be hurt and hope maybe he’ll figure it out.

No he won’t.

I need to tell him.

But I won’t because it’s easier not to.

I cross my arms and quietly stew.

The only place I don’t settle is how I deal with my friends. I call, I reach out. I am incredibly honest with them.

I wish the person they see. The person my daughter sees. Was who I could always be.

I have used the word easy a lot in this blog. Except by taking the easy way out. By settling, I think I’ve made things harder on myself.

It’s time to uncross my arms and use my voice again.

It’s time to quit settling as scary as that is.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Dealing With Back Talk Moments

Did you know that when your child rolls their eyes…it is considered back talk?  When they grunt or groan or cross their arms in thin air… it is considered back talk?

And how you respond will make all the difference in the world.  Friendly Reminder: you are the parent & it cannot  matter if they like you or not.  You are here to raise them up to be responsible adults, so they can leave home, make something of themselves and understand the rules, rewards & consequences of life.

This starts at home… and since you’re a single mom…. you may ALWAYS be the bad guy.  And that HAS to be okay with you.  In your response to their backtalk, without screaming and yelling, choose your words wisely and watch what you say.

I remember one time I told my son if his bad behavior continued, we would not be going to “Mommy & Me”.  He continued acting up, so we didn’t go.  I was looking forward to seeing my mom-friends., so I was also punished by his consequences  The next time he acted up before Mommy & Me, I said it like this…. “You will not go to Mommy & Me but instead stay home with a sitter, as I am going without you”.  Oh…. he changed his tune right away on that day.

Another time he would act up is at the grocery store.  If it was a day that he asked me to buy something for him & I didn’t, he might act up.  Some days he would accept my “NO” & others I’d get backtalk. So I planned a mock visit to the grocery.  We’re shopping, he asks for something, I say NO, he acts up, I tell him if he doesn’t stop, we’re leaving & he’s going in time out.  He doesn’t stop.  YUP….We leave.  That was the last time he did that.

Girls… I’m telling you this so you can be two steps ahead of your kids and their backtalk.  Speak to them with a firm solid voice that means what you say AND stand strong to follow-through.  The message you send when you don’t follow-through will send mixed signals and they won’t trust what comes out of your mouth.  Not Even I LOVE YOU.

xoxo

Your God-girl,

Tracy

What Is Intent?

Intent is a word that I have been tossing around in my head all morning.

If you are anything like me, a conversation like this has gone on in your house:

 

Boy Child: “I didn’t intend to knock over the Christmas tree. I’m sorry, Mom.”

Me: “But surely you did not intend NOT to knock over the Christmas tree, you were doing handstands right next to it.”

 

You try having that discussion with a straight face, I dare you.

But intentions are two fold, aren’t they? On the one hand you have the outcome that you intended to happen and on the other you have the outcome that you did not intend to prevent. Sometimes they are equally important and they have a wide range of applications.

For instance, I did not intend to gain back the 30 pounds I lost 2 years ago, but we have established, in my last post, that I did not intend to stop it either.

We also get ourselves into trouble when we assume someone else’s intent. Even in our closest relationships in life, we do not always know what outcome the other person is looking for in their actions. We tend to assume we know and we can do a lot of damage that way.

I read this story today (I will put a link at the bottom) where this young man kept getting annoyed because a college mate would always put stuff on his desk and then have to clear it off when he arrived. This was followed by a high five. The student was irritated every day. He could not understand why the other man would not just keep his stuff to himself and he really did not want to high five first thing in the morning, until he showed up late and heard the man telling another student that the spot was reserved for his good friend. He had been holding the desk for him all that time and considered him a friend.

The story really motivated me to look deep into the intent behind people’s actions, because the truth of the matter is that we are not all walking zombies as the media would have you believe. We are people, and we do things that matter to us. My son wanted to do handstands, that was important to him. It was not important to him that the tree remain standing, because he was not focused on it. It was important to me to feel numb and not important at the time to watch my weight. It was important to the student to sit in the same desk every day, and maybe it was important to him to have something to be irritated at first thing in the morning, but the other man was motivated to be kind to another human and make a friend in class.

So maybe we need to look deeper. Maybe the guy we went on the date with last week who wore too much cologne and laughed too loudly at his own jokes was nervous. Maybe his intention was to mask that. Maybe when we feel our parents are overstepping their bounds, their intentions are to help us not make the same mistakes they did, not to annoy us. And honestly, maybe life needs more handstands and high fives.

So, I’m going to stop and appreciate them and try to figure out just where they come from.

https://www.upworthy.com/viral-tweet-classroom-seating?fbclid=IwAR3RVUWmJfPdZbPrn6tiGrnXl-XN_U4AV2mFlkOx7BzeB-4wGz79lMOwqOE

 

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

That’s A WHO Problem

That’s a WHO problem…

Have you ever been in a situation where someone said to you:

“I don’t like it when you….. (insert here) …..”

“I wish you wouldn’t …. (insert here) ….”

“Why can’t you be more like …..(insert here) ….”

“You make me mad when you….(guess what, yup, insert here)….”

 

When someone disapproves of your actions/words/choices, that is not a YOU problem…. it is a THEM problem.   The fact that they don’t like XXX about you, it is not for you to change to appease them, it is for them to accept XXX about you or go.  Especially if this “(insert here)“  is something that truly makes you, the most amazing & great you.  In fact, if how you act, how you be, what you say, what you wear, etc… if these things upset them, that is on THEM.

Now put the shoe on your foot….if you don’t approve/like/accept something about them… guess what… that is not their problem that you don’t like it, it is a YOU problem.  And same goes for you, you can accept it or you can go.   The fact that you’re not liking it, not approving of it or not wanting to be around it…  is a YOU problem.  An easy way to fix that is to leave the situation, remove yourself from the space and take care of you.

Do you see the separation of who’s problem it is?  You are responsible for you and they are responsible for them.

So the next time someone gets upset with you and goes on and on about something they don’t like about you, you can turn to them and lovingly say “Well now…looks like that’s a you problem isn’t it?” and go be the amazing & great you.

 

xoxo

your God Girl

Tracy

Sitting In Silence

Websters definition of silence is “complete absence of sound”, “the fact or state of abstaining from speech” and “the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something”.

Some truly enjoy sitting in the silence and they look forward to it, while others cannot bear it.

Are you on the like side or the dislike side?

Do you struggle in the silence? Have trouble sitting still? Or do you look forward to it? Finding it to be a refuge? Finding peace, joy, happiness & bliss there?

If it’s like a prison for you, the silence can easily bring about too much emptiness, darkness, & loneliness and it can be unbearable.

If you learn to sit with the silence and learn to manage the emotions and feelings that come in the quiet and begin to heal those places that are upset or hurting, the ones that show you your deepest despair….. When you start to heal those places, the silence can become a wonderful place…. a place of reprieve, reset, and renewal.

When you sit in silence, are you being recharged, refueled and filled up? Do you find time to read the book on the coffee table, write in your journal, iron your clothes for the week or tinker in the garage, ….All the while appreciating no noise, no conversation, no words.

In those silent moments we don’t necessarily have to be alone…we can sit in quiet solitude with a friend, a lover, a coworker. ….it’s not about being alone perse, it’s about the peace and quiet you can find within …. enjoying what’s right there, at that moment. No words, no communication, no thing.

For those who do not like the quiet it can be a difficult time, with no noise to focus on, they are only left with their thoughts, their body, their quiet. They may tend to go inward and some people have a difficult time with that.

If you enjoy the silence, I stand beside you and applaud that you can be free in the NO-thing. And if you struggle with it, I pray that you find someone, something, somehow, somewhat…. to work through whatever fears you have there so you too, can be free as well. Ever Onward…in the silence. 🙂

xoxo

Your God girl,

Tracy

 

 

 

Welcoming A New Year Of Growth

I am welcoming a new year of growth, a 41 year old single mother of two small children. Yes, you read that right – I was 35 when I had my first child.  My youngest child was born on New Year’s Day, and as this new year begins I am pondering not just her life, but my own.

My divorce from my children’s father was final last December (Merry Christmas to me!!), but I was doing the single mom gig for a long time before that.  Even before my marriage ended.  When I look back over the past few years there are so many moments that seem significant.  Separation, manipulative ex, mediation, divorce. I started dating again, and have met the most amazing man who is still in my life.

But it has been in this part year, in particular, that I have done and have learned so much.  In this past year there have been so many things that have changed.  My boyfriend and I have had to work through things as a couple.  I bought my home – the first I have ever bought alone.  I have had the difficult job of continuing to heal.  Of recognizing that some of the patterns and responses that I accumulated for years in a toxic relationship, while helpful and protective to me in THAT relationship, are no longer needed and in fact are hurtful to new and current relationship(s).  I have had to work on not just recognizing those patterns, but BREAKING those patterns.  It’s been a pretty grueling year, really.

But looking back now, and looking ahead into 2020!

I am proud of myself.  Proud for continuing to WANT to do the hard work of healing and moving forward.  Proud that I work, try to be the best mom I can be, and that I was able to save enough money to buy my house.  I am thankful that I have such a supportive boyfriend.  I have gained a whole new Mom Tribe of friends, acquaintances, and people I can lean on.  I have had to say goodbye to relationships that were holding me back.  I have been able to work on myself, focus on my personal growth, while also focusing on the needs and growth of my children.  While my past is painful, it has led me to here.  And here is a pretty good place to be.

So I look forward to 2020, with open arms.  May it continue to bring love and growth, peace and happiness.  May it do the same for you.

~H

Getting Out Of Bed Has Saved Me

Getting out of bed and morning routines have saved me. If you knew me in college, this would never have happened.  20 years later I would be a person that loves a morning routine. And now I set my alarm to get up earlier than I need too including on the weekends, I still stick to a routine.  Yes, I set my alarm most weekends because otherwise I just won’t do it.. I come up with some excuse and then I’ve missed my opportunity.  We all do it.. say we are going to get up early but it just doesn’t happen. Setting a routine and sticking to it everyday works.

After my divorce,  my life seemed to get crazier with my kids and settling into a new lifestyle… there is a lot of adjusting with schedules, emotions, and just life.  I know people think that when you share custody you have all this free time. FALSE. I almost think I’m more busy ( that’s a story for another time).  I knew I had to do something different with my daily schedule. I needed to find time for myself and not finding time to exercise was making me more stressed. I felt so overwhelmed with the changes in my life and my mind was going to explode.  Like when you are trying to think about all these things to get through but your head is just scrambled.

I decided to start a morning routine, which includes getting up at 5:15 am.  This is not something that happens easy … it takes time to change habits and it’s hard.  I had to change my nightly routine and go to bed earlier.  And many days I have to drag my body out of bed and I still do..but I love it.  Morning is my favorite time.. it’s my time. I usually go to the gym and workout for that hour.

Crazy thing happened…After a couple of months of sticking to a routine.  I noticed that I am more prepared when my kids wake up and I’m not losing my shit every morning.  I am more productive at work because I’ve had time to plan my day and think about what I need to accomplish.   And I feel better about myself for getting up and doing something. It’s that feeling of accomplishment.

It’s my time of the day and I schedule it.  I get to prepare myself for the day ahead and not feel so rushed.  I hate that rushed feeling of not being caught up with life…. You start to feel scattered and running behind on everything in life..Routines keep me on track for the week.

Some days I go for a walk, write a blog, listen to a podcast, follow up on small projects or just sit outside..but I stick to the same routine that includes time to focus for myself.  Your daily routine does not need to include exercise, it can be whatever you want.  What is something you want to do each day but can never find time… this is the time that you can schedule it.  For me, this gave me an extra hour in the day.. one hour, 60 minutes, for seven days adds up.. it’s amazing what you can find to fill that hour.. and pretty soon it’s a routine for you and feels normal

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog