Tuesday, June 4, 2019

“Kids are Annoying”

It’s only 8:39am.
And I’ve had an incredibly stressful morning.
Life as a parent = stress.

First of all, I know there are people out there with/without kids who are patient as can be. There are also people out there with/without kids who are impatient as can be.

If you find yourself thinking “kids are annoying” whenever you’re around children....
Guess freaking what?

...you’re not alone.

You think it’s not “annoying” that my kids wake me up at 6:30am every morning?
You think I don’t get “annoyed” that I was up all night with them, for night terrors, for wetting the bed, for coughs and runny noses?
You think I’m not “annoyed” having to take them to a store that’s not kid friendly because I don’t have other options? (I swear it never crosses peoples’ minds)
You think it’s not “annoying” that they misbehave in such stores/places ? Even though I repeatedly ask them to sit still, or not touch anything. They don’t listen. Do you think I find it pleasant or “annoying” that they knock stuff off shelves and scream and run and play tag?
You think I don’t hey “annoyed” having to be the primary disciplinarian? You think I love snapping at my kids 24/7 and trying to redirect their attention, keep them on the right path, make sure they’re making honest, good choices so they can turn out to be decent human beings?
You think I don’t get “annoyed” that they won’t eat their breakfast? That they make food demands? That they are starving at 9:00pm because they didn’t eat dinner?
You think it’s not “annoying” to me that they are restless and noisy in church? You think I don’t want to hear the speakers and songs and worship in peace?
You think it’s not “annoying” for us parents to watch our kid scratch someone on the playground?
You think we don’t get “annoyed” having to completely rearrange our schedule to fit our kids’ needs?!? That we don’t have hobbies, hopes, or dreams of our own? That we haven’t sacrificed literally EvErYtHiNg to become a parent, and spend the next 18+ years being “annoyed”? You think it’s only hard for you to accommodate a small, whiny, irrational, temperamental, messy, poopy, tired, screaming kid?
You think I am not “annoyed” by their incessant “Mom?! Moooooooooom?” The fact that nothing I do anymore is done alone or independently? That I always have a shadow, one that’s asking for something? That my needs will never come first and probably not even be met?
You think it’s not “annoying” for me to be unable to have a phone call without loud kids in the background?
You think it’s not “annoying” for me to wipe up spill after spill after spill? Or spend countless dollars repairing broken stuff?
You think I don’t get annoyed by “children?”

Seriously the list could go on.
Whether or not you have kids of your own (cause I’ve faced injustice from both parties)
People should understand the general level of stress that comes from being a parent. Even being a neglectful emotionally absent parent is stressful. Trying to be a good parent who is in top of your kids, modeling your behavior for them, and guiding them 24/7 is an even harder job.
My plea is to people everywhere to realize the children of the world are our future generations.
They’re not just “annoying” things we should avoid, scold, or judge. The parents working on raising these kids need some support, not judgement. To all the old people who have sat by grumbling and rolling their eyes, why didn’t you think to help? Was it just too inconvenient? Was it just too”annoying”? Was it “not your responsibility?”
To the people without kids, could it be that life isn’t about meeting all your demands and schedules but is actually about helping raise a future generation? That it was always meant to be a selfless endeavor?
Could it be that ALL parents were meant to chip in and help one another, make it a village, offer patience to any and all, alleviate some of the stress from one another as our kids take turns being “annoying”?

Two Sundays ago a college age guy (single) day behind us at church and made very obnoxious and LOUD comments about how many “kids there are under four!” Next to him.
(There were three, actually, the rest were over five years old. Thank you)
He made it known in no inconspicuous way how noisy the children were and that they couldn’t hold still and I just wanted to turn around and say, “Want to do the Christian thing and HELP?” Or were you a perfect silent and motionless toddler yourself? Dip$h!t?”

I’ve also had some wonderful things said to me about how “awesome” of a mother I was and that my kids are a delight during church, being kids but being cute and playful. (Ahem,,.cause that’s what kids ARE. Not adults.)
A huge problem our generation has is holding kids to and adult standard. Ostracizing then for being “kids. Blaming, shaming, and critiquing them. And in my (not humble) opinion, that’s why we are sending so many screwed up adults into society.
Not because of republicans.
Not because of Democrats.
Because of what is going on with children.

The more “annoying” you think a kid is, the MORE you ought to praise that quiet, strung out parent.
It takes a big heart, arguable THE BIGGEST HEART, full of charity and kindness, to tolerate, steward, forgive, and nurture “annoying” children.

Blessed be the parents,
And to all those offering continued patience and understanding.

Humble, calm, controlled people are given challenges of overcoming “annoyances”, the world would be a better place if we all did.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What I’ve Learned So Far

Motherhood is a tricky balance.
I wonder what people think I do all day as a “stay at home mom” of three kids.
(Mind you I do still work part time from home)

Heck, As a young single I probably thought stay at home mom’s had it all.
Free time.
Exercise whenever they want,
Grocery shop for hours for all organic, healthy foods.
Sit around on Pinterest.
Don’t have to deal with the high demands of a stressful career life (not to mention dead beat coworkers)
The list goes on...
  

The truth is, parenting is harder, more time consuming, more emotionally taxing, and more physically exhausting than my high profile career life.
I had more time on my hands, exercised more regularly, and ate better as a young single. I had more energy, slept more (yep, even with two pets), had less stress.

There are a million and one ways to be a good parent, and there are also a million and one ways to be a bad parent.
“Well my parents did it this way....”
Is never an excuse for poor parenting. It’s also not really a good excuse for great parenting since your child’s needs will vary from your own. 
Parenting is a one on one relationship with EACH child.
For example: I think I’m a little bit worse of a parent with my middle child.
He’s a three year old Tasmanian machine with boundless energy, recklessness, and dirt.
He also has the most severe case of “night terrors” his pediatrician has ever seen. We still haven’t figured it out. So, being immensely sleep deprived (more so than just a mom of three who sleep at night) he is also my wild child during the day and my patience runs thin with him.
So.
The point is, one kid may grow up thinking you were awesome. Another might grow up thinking you sucked. Both are right.
My goal is to suck as little as possible.
This means not putting too much weight on “this is how my parents did it” when I can clearly see that my children’s needs are different.
It means avoiding all the bad things that hurt me while growing up, being completely in tune with what hurts my own kids, and then keeping an open line of communication so that they can tell me how I can be better.
I always ask this. Too, on a regular basis because kids don’t always know to ask ahead of time. Sometimes they don’t think they have a right.
Kids always have a right.

One of the things I love about my daughter’s Preschool class are the communication skills they teach. If a kid is mean to another kid, the victim is taught to tap the bully on the shoulder and say. “I don’t like that.”

This level of communication and taking responsibility is something many generations can benefit from. There’s nothing wrong with a child saying, “I don’t like that.”
And a parents response of, “I don’t care!” Is about as harmful as it comes.

I know plenty of adults who would freak out if you said to them, “I don’t like that.”
They take it as if you’re attacking them.
These adults have never learned open communication or how to assume responsibility for their own behavior.
It starts with teaching a child.

Thank you, preschool.

Teaching my kids round the clock is a never ending endeavor. If you want your kids to behave (which they rarely do) you cannot even rest from instructing them. They need CONSTANT guidance. This means, no, I do not sit down and watch my fav shows on Netflix.
What’s even popular?

It means I put my phone down and read books with them.
It means I get off the couch when they’re fighting and go mediate to make sure they use the communications mentioned above, but also monitor that no harmful behavior is happening.
(Hitting, biting, pulling hair)

It means I tell nighttime stories and stay up later than I can handle to make sure they’re tucked in, only to be too exhausted myself to relax and fall asleep.
I have soooo much stress over caring for these three precious lives that I have anxiety, three ulcers, and IBS.

A nine to five job with a crappy boss kinda sounds dreamy.

Just kidding.... ;)
I’d never give up what I have, but oh what I learned.
Have I learned how little possessions matter.
Want proof?
I have a chocolate hand print on my wall that has been there for months. I cannot bring myself to wash it off because of the memory of how it got there.
Couches, chairs, picture frames, even carpet can all be replaced. At a cost.
Children and their precious minds can NEVER be replaced, at any cost.
There is no going back and fixing what you screw up.

You can always say sorry and try to do better, but big errors cannot be erased.

I’ve learned parenthood is the most selfless thing you can ever do.
If done how it was meant to be done, a true parent councils their kids, plays with them, AND disciplines them.
There is structure, learning, and love in the home.
Piano, sewing, cooking, reading, writing, singing.
(If all you do is watch TV or tell your kids to “go play by yourself” we kinda have a problem)

No, there’s no right way, but as I learn and grow, and dive into research of speaking with other people whom I admire, seeking out ideal matriarchs for advice, reading books, and PRAYING PRAYING PRAYING, the inspiration seems to flow.
It is natural.
All the feelings that come with parenthood are instinctual and innate.
“Well my parents whipped us with a belt”
Does not make it right to whip your own kid with a belt. It should FEEL wrong.
Each parent has the opportunity to choose for themself what is right and wrong, and for the good of their growing child.
Without proper inspiration, however, and without the right attitude of selflessness, determination, and never ending WORK, parents’ responsibilities are dwindling.

I’m constantly begging people to step up. Not because I’m perfect but because I also need cheerleaders and inspiration.
We can do this.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mother's Day (Smother's Day)

Mother's Day 2019
for me was....
ground breaking.

My husband took me and our kids on vacation for three days.
We saw a hot air balloon festival.
I was SMOTHERED in lurv.
Came home to warm weather.
I waxed my lip.
And I cracked the uncrackable code of figuring out how to make my DCIM folder appear when plugging in my iPhone X to my comp.
(If you just said in your mind: "You just plug it in via USB and file explorer or iTunes will pop up" then I hate you and you clearly aren't up to date on the latest iPhone drama)

After six hours of tech issues, reading forums, including all the "Apple" help guides, I figured it out and followed ALLLLL the uninstall/reinstall/disable/reinable crap...
Here we are, with 3,000 pics/vids now saved on my PC :)

Seriously, though...
I really do wonder if sometimes the more advanced technology becomes, the worse it truly gets.
(Now an expert however, at getting the DCIM folder to appear when you plug in your iPhone)

So.
Mother's Day.

I had such a wonderful weekend and thought I'd recap some photos here
(that are saved on my PC now...ahem...Cause my DCIM folder finally appeared)

Here we are, just outside of Vernal, Ut. Enjoying camping, hikes, arches, caves, hot air balloons, dinosaur tracks/bones, and FOOD!

















I never thought I'd take a vacation to Vernal!
Of all places...
turns out, it was a massive hit and the kids have been asking to go back ever since.


Good. I'll be glad to take more pictures.
Now that my DCIM folder can be found...;)
haha...

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Documenting Brittany: Overcoming Abuse

Have you ever had someone mistreat you physically, spiritually, or emotionally?
I have.

Have you ever had someone tell you if you’d just been a better wife none of it would’ve happened?
I have.

Have you ever had someone say to you that it must not have been that bad or you wouldn’t have been so in love with him? 
I have.

The thing with abuse is it happens way more than we know, and sometimes the abuser has been raised with so much abuse that it’s so normal to them, that they wouldn’t consider it “abuse”.
That never makes it right.
It also never makes it YOUR fault that they’re abusing you.

One thing abusers do to try to justify their behavior is blame it on you, the victim. If you’d just been, “...X, Y, or Z... they wouldn’t have done it.”
This is so false.

Abusers must and will take accountability for their own actions, as everyone on earth is an agent of themselves.

What you can do as the victim is be an agent for YOURSELF. You can find healing and recovery.
It is NOT your fault.
It is NEVER okay.

For more information on abuse and healing visit
ARP.LDS.org.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Documenting Brittany: Diary Entries by The Perfect Christian Mom

Diary Entries by The Perfect Christian Mom:


I totally work out every day. I really do. I have biceps to prove it. But let’s get one thing clear: My workouts consist of doing planks, downward dog, upward dog, scolding the kids dog, drinking flavored water dog (cause plain water is yuck) and basically ALL the dogs...whilst said kids are climbing, jumping, and hanging from my yoga inspired positions. Need a bicep workout? Just add 65lbs of resistance...not kidding. I can loan you 63 of those pounds for free on any given occasion.

On second thought, can we maybe trade services? I’ll loan you my precious ankle and wrist weights for an evening out on the town. Have you tried hiring a babysitter these days? I’m not sure what is more horrifying: 1) the fact that they expect to be paid above minimum wage for doing what people should, by any obligation, DO. (Keep other humans alive, take one for the team, make it a village) or 2) that they literally sit on Facebook the entire time, and you come home to a 16 month old running around the house with an open sharpie, toilet paper unraveled, chalk drawn on the walls, and spilled food that was probably once the Seashell Shaped Annie’s Mac n Cheese smashed all over the kitchen floor. (Who eats non organic Kraft these days?) Screw babysitters. I have other mom friends who are die hard shape shifters and would watch my kids on the nonnegotiable universal fee of FREE so that society isn’t being led by frazzled, starving women who have been told they can simultaneously demote the highest ranking male CEO of their company (and likely send him to jail, too) and properly steward a home of Christ-centered offspring.

Oh, shoot. I haven’t mentioned my Christian roots yet? Eek...right. Church.
God. Bible. All the prayers.

I can’t miss church on Sundays because heaven knows I need my weekly dose of repentance. It’s good to be spiritually fed. How can we teach our kids right and wrong if we haven’t learned the Christian Code ourselves? Trying to lead your tribe by example? Piece of cake. Take modesty for starters. I make sure I’m within at least a four mile radius of a splash pad before sending my swimsuit selfies into cyber space.
I don’t believe in physical punishments. 
 I’ve never actually spanked my husband. MY CHILDREN! Oops...did I say husband? I’ve never spanked my—cough—children. Not. Once.
 Emotionally abuse them? Maybe. You decide. 
I tell them to “Stop crying!” “Shake it off!” or “Make better decisions!”  Because the end of the world is coming and my family WILL BE THE SOLE SURVIVORS OF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, darn it! And also, Jesus will be there so...we need to be presentable, toddlers and all. 

Holding my kids to an adult level of perfection (one that even I will never meet) is always going to be the first thing I beg for forgiveness for. Why can’t they just stop fussing?! Seriously, if I hear, “Mom! He bit my hair!” One more time...I’m going to break 4 and a half of the 10 commandments. 

(Who? Like. Who, bites hair?)


On the topic of hair. I spent 12 years as a professional cosmetologist so I can confidently say that I have the nicest hair in the chapel. That’s right. I said it. I adequately wash my hair once a week. (Saturdays. The night before Sunday. Lest I lose my reputation as the Sunday Slay Queen of the Congregation) I also take time to shave. All the way up to my knees!! Borrow my husband’s deodorant, and give my kids a good pep talk about being reverent during our worship services. My husband and I {lead by an example of reverence} by not talking to each other. IIf the chitlens last more than eight minutes in the pew I call it a win, and we spend the rest of the hour in the hall playing tag and eating fruit snacks. Be jealous.

Spiritually, I think we are pretty solid. My kids know how to 
Say prayers and actually argue about who gets to say the blessing over meals. I’ve never been more proud than when one of my kids uses, “That’s not what Jesus would do!” in a sibling war. What confuses me is how frequently kids pick fights with one another. We instill values of honesty and open communication, but suddenly our children are possessed by the devil of Tattle Telling (and a Devil she is!)
“He stole my play dough!”
“She said I didn’t like this cartoon, and I do like it!”
“I called the black car seat first!”
“He’s eating the dish soap!”

{Alright, thanks for that last one.} Now go work through it like a half-rational mammal.


I’ve only been the neglectful mother who almost killed her kids a handful of times. Like the time I rolled my car window up on my kid’s throat, or discovered whole, intact Shopkins accessories in my 20 month old’s diaper. You win some, you lose some.

While I’m winning in the spiritual and bicep department, I find myself losing in the bedroom. Anyone else find romance a little gag-worthy postpartum? I really do try for my husband. Truly. I wouldn’t put so much energy into cooking healthy, and balancing three kids on my back to do push-ups if I’d completely thrown in the towel on intimacy. Where things get weird is the fine print between the reality 
that I have to hold my breath while snuggling him
and I have to ask him NOT to bump my thumb-sized hemorrhoid if we get frisky. (Not foreplay, in case you didn’t know)
Wondering if you’re still hot? Still “got it”? Nope. Not even a tiny bit. My hottest moments are catching the eye of the butcher in the deli department at the grocery store or having my 90 year old neighbor compliment me on my sense of fashion. (He was wearing his glasses!)

So what if men forget to tell you you look good, Never wash the sheets, Can’t eat a hot dog on regular bread, Work “so hard during the day” they’re just “too tired to help around the house or play with the children.” They still deserve some lovin’, ammiright?!? 
That is called  sarcasm. The S is pronounced as a Z.
Said in my most Sardonic Snow White Voice: If you’re too tired to help with the dishes I guess you’re just too tired to make love. Awww...

Is that why people start swinging??? Sigh....where’s my bible? Why am I here? I should’ve been a Lesbian...

Who needs attention, anyway? That is vanity, right? And we are good, Christian people with a life focus on faith, hope, and charity. 
(Side note: “Stop screaming! This is a house of harmony!” Ends up number two on your list of things to seek forgiveness for on Sundays) 




It’s tricky toeing the line of raising kids who are sweet buuuut not doormats. Where do you remind your kids to “be nice and a peacemaker” but also teach them that bratty kids have no power over them. “Uh-uh! awwww nawwww, that girl did NOT just say you couldn’t sit with her!”
Kids are straight up bullies these days.
The phrase “LOL, they’re just being kids” is the lazy parent’s guide to discipline.
Sure, they’re just being kids.
Then, they’re just being teenagers.
Pretty soon, they’re just being dipwad adults. And whose fault is that?
50% of a human’s idiotic behavior can be pinpointed to an idiotic parent. (Why do you think I suck) The other 50% is environmental factors and learned behavior, so do us all a favor and freakin turn off Sophia the First.

We must Get off our butts when our kid is being a stinker, make them accountable, have them return the toys they stole, look the other kid in the eye and ask for forgiveness, be polite, and clean up after themselves. It takes conscious, dedication to raise a new generation. It means getting off Twitter and Pinterest and facilitating decent, common curtesy and ACTING as mediatior, not just rolling our eyes as they stink their way through life.
One of my fav parts:
When you bond over parenting skills with your female BFF.
*LEANS OVER AND WHISPERS CLANDESTINELY**
“Please, Marry me.”

Sensitive spirits (like mine and my first born child’s) take bullying to the core. It wounds their spirits and in those “they’re just being teenage years” a sensitive kid can go down a suicidal rabbit hole.

The lazy parent of a bully should get shoved up quite another hole.

Shoot. Love thy neighbor as thyself and forgive 70 times 7. We’re cool, yeah?

On top of all this, there’s the easy stuff.
Spend $800 on back to school clothes. Volunteer in the kids’ classroom 14 times out of the school year. Wait, whhaaaa??? Buy only white furniture. Keep your dogs tranquilized. Only post pics online in front of a chic wall, or standing in the middle of the street. #CauseAesthetics. Pretend you’re snacking on almonds when it’s really handfuls of skittles. Let the noodles dry BEFORE you try to sweep them up (you’ll thank me later). Set a good example at church by listening to the speakers, but don’t create an atmosphere of loathing for your children who will associate gospel learning with whatever you do. (AKA: colorful mini marshmallows)

Get into debt shopping the latest trends on ridiculously overpriced Instagram boutiques. Wipe up the third spilled cup of milk (waste is the new teach your children independence ). Be present in politics but not opinionated. No one wants to lose followers. Wake up before your kids so
 they can eat a nutritional breakfast before school, regardless of the zero minutes of sleep you 
Got the night before. Be choosey about which mom friends you marry, which you secretly divorce, don’t discriminate 
 but send that nasty, foul-mouthed neighbor child home, understand family is family, but know when to ostracize that one cousin who is literally the meanest, spawn of Satan you’ve ever encountered. Refrain from cursing at your child when they wake up screaming for a popsicle at three in the morning. Do us all a favor, squeeze in some quality “Me Time” by getting a facial (your Mom acne, fo real) in all of your spare time. 
If you’ve got tips on mom acne...
Don’t look now, but according to WebMD you’ve got every disease and malady known to man.


Fire the pervy uncle. Try not to be the pervy aunt. Realize some people will read this and laugh while others will be filled with guilt induced rage and seethe, “She’s talking about me!” Call kids’ parents before you feed them gluten, dairy, sugar, before letting them watch Spongebob, and after your five year old reveals to their nine year old Santa is not, in fact, real. Master the art of not texting back. 
Don’t hold grudges...unless the kids don’t have school on Thursday but it wasn’t marked in the academic calendar. 

It’s acceptable to be an excellent mother and a so-so
missionary (Priorities, people). Do your best, have positive energy, love with all your soul. Cut people some slack cause you’re probably more irritating then all of them. ;)
God’s grace will fill in the rest.

I could boast all day about my garden and the seasonal bulbs about to bloom, but the bottom line is weeds are still gonna grow. It’s inevitable for all of us. Life is about picking and choosing your battles. Which snotty kids you’ll let yours punch. Calculating the exact number of 70 times 7 so that A-hole number 4,957 can receive your full, pent up—haven’t been able to take Prozac because you’ve been breastfeeding for five years— justified, wrath.

A probable first step in being a Christian parent is to  Find common ground with people in all walks of life.
A) the “childless”. Perhaps you’re both interested in reconstructive surgery? Hers for a nose job, yours for uterine prolapse.
B) the “I only have one child”. Hey, a lack of sleep is a lack of sleep.
C) the “nine kids and counting”. The older you both get, the more polygamy sounds reasonable. There can never be too many shoulders to cry on or too many sugared pie crusts.

Take a breather.
I’m here for you.
If you’re about to add PARENTHOOD to your resume, I have one suggestion. Learn to meditate, for a previously undiscovered level of hate will enter your bosom when you witness:
1) someone speeding through a school zone.
2) an environmentalist criticizing your choice to keep your two younger kids in the mini van to watch movies while the older one is in gymnastics class.

If you’re a 9-5 working mom, trying to juggle parenthood and date the man child you have eternally sworn to cherish... I apologize. I can’t help you. 

I WILL pray for you. Cause I’m kind of a nice person. But...

It’s effing difficult out there...God bless all you mamas...
Here’s my therapists number and a signed copy of 50 Shades of Grey.

But seriously...Marry me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Documenting Brittany: Patriotism

God. Family. Country.


I remember the first time my dad told me the story of how our National Anthem came about, written by Francis Key. He cried sharing it with us.
I now cry every time I share it, too.

I am a devout Patriot, which is loyalty to one's country first. I love this promised, sacred, chosen land. I support our founding fathers and the constitution of America. 
I know God blessed our founding fathers and inspired them when they created the constitution of the United States. I know God watches over this country. I know that as long as good, Patriotic people are doing their best to keep within the standards God has set, this land will be protected and blessed.

I know Dallin H Oaks was inspired when he recently stated that "labels" are trivial and temporary. I know people have hard hearts and divisions in political beliefs are really destroying people, including patriotism. I fear history will repeat itself.

Anyway, I try to be a "neutral" supporter and vote for candidates that MOST CLOSELY believe in the same things I do (which is becoming increasingly difficult) and vote for those political candidates who support and uphold the constitution.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Documenting Brittany: The Affair That Never Ends (Even After You Stop It)


I post a lot of stuff on marriage (including infidelity and addiction). I’m sorry I don’t talk all rainbows and butterflies. You cupcake people will have to unite together ...and make t-shirts or something. I’ve been volunteering in the Addiction Recovery Program for a couple years now, not to mention I have some experience (heavy ugly depressing) with these topics. My goal is to help other people and open a channel where they can talk about the things many people don’t talk about. (Tosses sprinkles over shoulder)

Also know I’m not trained and I have no degree. I’m zero special. My qualifications are “life” so take it with a grain of salt. I know a thing or two about infidelity, mmmkay? I’ve experienced it. Lived through it. I’ve seen someone lose their soul to addiction and I’ve seen another make mistakes, feel remorseful, and fully repent.

All of these things have added to my strong belief in fidelity and marriage, how the two are delicately connected. How fragile love is, but how eternal commitment is.

Then leave some comments below!!