Mother of Ambition

A Body Love Mission

I was given the incredible honor of speaking at and participating in the first ever Body Love Conference in Tucson, Arizona on April 5th. As a mental health professional and advocate for self-love, the body love mission is near and dear to my heart. Since I’ve come out on the other side of an eating disorder and experienced incredible changes with my own body thanks to both recovery and motherhood, I know the body love journey can be a hard one and it brought me a huge amount of joy to be surrounded by women on a body love mission with me, regardless of where they were on their own scale of self-love.

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I met some of my blogging idols as well as some friends I’ve always wanted to embrace in real life. I got to rest my head on the bosom of the amazing World Famous *BOB* (although I think everyone else did too!) and spoke to a room full of women (and one man!) about eating disorders; where they come from and how we can help them go away.

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I am so proud of the women who put this thing together. There were 400 conference attendees and the event went off so smoothly, no one would have guessed it was its first year. The day was packed to the brim with presentations on sex for curvy girls, reclaiming body trust, abolishing the “thin white ideal,” boudoir photography, and so much more! It closed with a Burlesque review which was the icing on the ‘we’re not counting calories, body love cake,’ right Jes? It’s a thing…. Or it will be…

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I waffled on the decision to post a reaction to my experience at The Body Love Conference and then I got a troll comment on my blog post Fat Does Not Equal Weak and knew I had to respond somehow. Since I have a pretty strict ‘No Feeding the Trolls’ policy, I’m here, embracing my heavy, beautiful body as a result of hard work on my journey to self-love. You don’t have to engage with the troll either, just know that he thinks I’m fat because I have no willpower and we’re all just making excuses for being lazy.

One of my points in my workshop on eating disorders was that we’re each given a set amount of “self-control” or “will power” to work with. Study of the brain tells us that this differs in each of us based on a vast number of factors but that the bottom line remains true, you only have so much of it and once you’ve reached your limit, something’s gonna give.

It takes a lot of will power to meticulously measure portions of food while counting calories and food groups. You know what else takes a lot of will power? Not screaming curse words at your kid when they’re making you crazy, waking up seven times a night and then completely defying your every wish during the day. What else? Maintaining a ridiculously happy marriage (with lots of awesome sex) during early parenthood years with 2 under 2 and a million other stresses and obstacles. As it turns out, I have a great deal of self control and will power, I’m just using for things that are actually healthy, both physically and emotionally, so there’s none left to reintegrate DISORDERED EATING into my life. Bottom line: Fuck you, troll. You’re an asshole who didn’t get the whole point of the post, obviously.

In the presentation from Be Nourished on Body Trust, it was so clearly stated, “We prescribe the same lifestyle for the overweight that we try to eliminate in those with eating disorders.”

Whoah, right?

When people want to lose weight, we tell them to use their will power to cut food groups, reduce calories, avoid pleasure, and increase self-hatred since they’re obviously unacceptable the way they are.

Bullshit.

Welcome to the world of body love where it’s perfectly acceptable to love the body you’re in right now, whether you’d like to make some changes to it or not.

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No healthy body came from a place of shame and self-loathing and The Body Love Conference completely drove that point home to every person there that day. I cannot express how much love I have for the leaders of this movement and how ecstatic I am to be a small part of it.

Love your bodies, ladies! Life is too short to use your will power for anything that doesn’t make you stronger, happier, and more joyful!

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The Body Love Conference is Coming!!!

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I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to be speaking at the first ever Body Love Conference!!!!

If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be, enjoying some time away from the kids and lapping up all the body positive goodness I can!

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Motherhood Growing Pains

As it turns out, kids aren’t the only ones who suffer from growing pains. I’ve learned that there are such things as motherhood growing pains and I know it’s not just me who experiences these pangs of guilt, confusion, emotional turmoil, and the occasional, literal physical growing pain. Seriously.

photo-6  This morning, Ryan took me out for brunch (the kids go to daycare on Mondays, thank goodness for that!). We were chatting, as we usually do because we’re cliche like that, about our kids and how different they are. I expressed to him the fear I have about loving Annabelle so differently (read: less) than the way I love Emmaline. Our kids are different, of course, but the way I’ve experienced them is entirely different as well. He feels thesame, thank God, and we both wondered about how our future relationship with our littlest will be impacted by what we’re experiencing now.

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Annabelle will be 2 years old in May. She’s been speaking since she was 9 months old, giving us two and three word sentences before she turned 1. That said, she didn’t roll over till that same month, crawled at 12 months and walked at 14. The kid does things in her own way at her own pace and I get that. Now, she has an advanced vocabulary and verbal communication skills but everything is else average and on par with where she should be.

Until she freaks the fuck out.

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This kid has a rage like I’ve never seen before. Her anger can come out of nowhere and when she’s in the middleof an episode, she becomes self-injurious on top of her aggression toward anyone in her path. We’ve been getting some help to figure out her triggers and develop some better coping skills for her but what it boils down to is that Belle is a mean, angry girl.

I know *gasp* I labeled my kid! Negatively! And I’m a mental health professional and I know better!IMG_0417

But you know what? Right now, I’m experiencing some motherhood growing pains. I am learning to CTFO (chill the fuck out) and walk away from my child who’s biting me while pulling out her own hair and trying to pinch her sister. I’m learning to gently guide her to a corner where she feels safe so she can calm herself down while I helplessly watch from afar. I’m learning that, sometimes, all the appropriate prompts for using your words and taking deep breaths and calming down and we don’t hit our friends and please don’t scratch your face and you’re going to be okay and please stop crying and let’s take a deep breath together and please tell me what’s wrong so I can help you… sometimes these things don’t work and all you can do is be there when your child is ready.

The label? It’s helping me deal. When you meet someone who’s generous and caring, you don’t hesitate to label them, right? And then, when someone asks you about them, you are ready and willing to share that they’re both generous and caring, right? Well, why is it necessarily a bad thing for me to say that, for the time being anyway, my kid is mean and angry. I hope she won’t always be that way. I hope that we can continue to work on her angerissues and physical aggression and that next year I will say that she’s as sweet as I always knew she could be.

Today though? Anyone who crosses her path deserves to know what they might be up against.

It’s hard to say. It’s hard to open up about with family. It’s hard to type here today.

These are my growing pains right now. Fighting every instinct I have to rush to my child’s rescue AND defense from herself and others physically pains me sometimes but it’s what she needs. And it sucks and it hurts and I wish I felt like I loved her more than I do more often than I do but I don’t. I love her enough but, as her mother, that doesn’t feel like enough and until I feel ready to drop that “mean and angry kid” label, it won’t.IMG_0158

But I will grow. And she will grow. And together, we’ll figure it out and will all be stronger for it.

Until then… anyone want to babysit? I’ll provide the band-aids and ice packs. Seriously.IMG_2217

Why Moms Tell Lies

I recently appeared on Huffington Post Live to talk about sex after having babies. The women present for this segment were intelligent, experienced, and well-spoken. We discussed how pregnancy, the birthing process, recovery after delivery, and just “being a mom” impedes our sex lives and what we do (or could do) to make it better. During this open, honest, incredible conversation, we were all a bit… well… vulnerable to what viewers had to say. And the repercussions… well… this is why moms tell lies.

Before the conversation even started…

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And in response?

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Seriously people? We’re trying to talk about a serious issue, one which can lead to infidelity and divorce and this is how you choose to interact? Lovely.

Then,

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Mic drop. I’m sorry, we’re scaring you by talking about our bodies and minds and how they change when we become mothers? We’re scaring you by openly talking about how we’ve worked hard to reestablish an active sex life with our husbands? I don’t believe this response is unique. It seems to me that many individuals (men, especially) run away when we talk about the evolution of woman from wife into mother and the struggles we have both physically and emotionally. Scared are you? Try alone and sexless because avoiding this issue with your woman is guaranteed to make her feel even less sexy and desirable. Feeling as though her man not only doesn’t care to know what’s going on with her but is scared of all that she is going through is not going to turn her on.

Then, when asked if those changes could make a mother resent her children or her situation, I mentioned that I had recently written a post entitled, “I Hate Being a Mom.” In return, I received a threat.

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And this is why I write here. This is why I openly talk about the challenges of motherhood in a way that other mothers, feeling isolated, alone, and completely conquered, can relate to because newsflash all mothers hate being a mom sometimes! And apparently, there are those out there who think we should grin as we endure sleepless nights and destroyed wardrobes and a changed body and potential permanent chemical imbalances and the constant need to put someone (sometimes everyone) else first.

And this is why moms tell lies. This is why PPD goes undiagnosed and women kill their children. We live in a society that chooses to ignore the demons we sometimes face daily as mothers to the children we love so much but sometimes can’t stand to be around.

Please, if you don’t feel safe to express yourself at home or to a friend, come here. Here is safe, I promise. With me, and the lovely ladies who so openly shared with me, you are safe to say how you feel, what you think, and talk about the problems you have.

While I loved our discussion on HuffPost Live, I am disappointed with the comments that scrolled on by. Some were honest questions from men and women looking to participate and add to the conversation. And others? Well, I’ll let you decide…

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Noted.

I Hate Being a Mom

Honesty time because that’s how we do!!

Crickets? That’s cool…

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Mamas, don’t lie, I know there are days when, like me, you hate being a mom. It’s cool, you can tell me because I’m about to tell you that today, I hated being a mom.

I haven’t written about it yet because we’re still figuring it all out but we’re receiving support from a behavior analyst with Annabelle. Since birth, the kid has had a temmm-perrr and, since she turned one, her rage has been out of control. Her tantrums are epic and completely not normal. From seemingly unprovoked episodes of aggression to pulling out her own hair in anger, the kid has struggled. And so have I.

When your child is miserable, it’s pretty much a given that your life is going to suck donkey balls too. This is part of being a mom. Bummer, I know.

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So, at least once a day for the past 9 months, Annabelle has had explosive, dangerous, long-lasting (like an hour sometimes) tantrums that I cannot blame on any one particular thing. When she’s going off the deep-end, she yells and cries that she wants me but if I try to hold her, help her, or even talk to her, she becomes violent.

This has not been pretty. And I’m done. Like, totally done. So done, in fact, that I tweeted this just this afternoon:

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Why did no one retweet that, by the way? Was it too real? Too honest? Are you ashamed to admit you’ve had the same thought?

It’s okay. It’s not really socially acceptable to say you hate being a mom. You know, however, that I’m here to break those social norms and open up the flood gates of honesty and reality and make you feel like you’re not alone when you start to cry and your 3 year old hugs you and tells you that she’ll give you “true love’s kiss” to make you feel better (shut-up, okay, I let the kid watch too many Disney princess movies, I know).

Dude. It’s totally fine (read: normal) to hate being a mom some days. It sucks! Just when you think you’re free to sit down to drink your tea and check in on Facebook on your phone, someone needs something! And the moment you sneak away to pee in peace is the exact moment when the younger one decides to scale the bookshelf and everything comes crashing down. And when you say, “Mommy has to go do some laundry, I’ll be right back,” and not five seconds go by before you hear, “MOOOOOMYYYYYY???? WHERE AAAAAAAAAARRRRRE YOUUUUUUUUU?????”. This is your life and it’s fine to hate it sometimes.

As for me, I took the kids to the gym and did some mindless cardio while reading a romantic comedy on my phone. Then, I sat in the hot tub, took a shower, and put on clean clothes. I talked myself into retrieving BOTH kids from the daycare, fed them dinner, and put them to bed. Sometimes, all it takes is a little reset to stop hating motherhood. For me, that comes in the form of quiet time spent alone (something really hard to come by when you’re a stay at home mom). For others, it might be reading a special book with the kids or having a night out with your spouse.

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Whatever it is for you, make sure taking care of yourself is on your to do list. Do the thing you need to do to snap out of the hatred mode and into the “I guess I can handle this whole motherhood thing,” mode. Because you can handle it and so can I. Tantrums and all!

10 Ways to Know It’s Real Love

My lovely lady readers, I’m about to clue you in on how to know if what you’re feeling is real love. Whether it’s your partner or your baby, you can use this post as a reference to know if you really are truly, madly, deeply, and completely in love.

Now, it might just be the wine talking, but I believe that if you experience even one of these, it’s real love. Sure, you might be able to stake your claim to more than one of the tidbits listed below but fret not if there’s only one you identify with. Many is not more valid or valuable than one, fantastic sense of true love. Trust me.

1. When you’re with this person, you breath slower. Think about the moment you hold your newborn for the first (or seventieth) time. You took a couple slow, deep breaths to take in the smells and the sensations of that moment. This is real love.

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2. Your heart always beats harder and faster when you anticipate being in their company. Perhaps your spouse leaves for work in the morning and a mere hour later, you’re texting him excitedly that you can’t wait to see him again. Or, even though you’re touched out and exhausted after a long day of “mothering,” you get a little excited to see your kid after the habitual 1am nightmare (just me? ugh…).

3. You dream of a future. I’ve told I don’t know how many people that, had my husband asked me to marry him a week into our relationship, I would have said yes. Sappy, I know. Don’t be jealous though, it took years for me to convince him (why is that always the way it goes?).

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4. You can’t recall loving anyone or anything in the same way. The love for your one and only is different, as is the love for your child, and you find yourself wondering if you ever felt this kind of love for anyone or anything ever before in your life.

5. You get irritated by the littlest things but, at bedtime, they no longer matter. My family makes me crazy. This is no secret. From Emma asking a million times a day to play a game on my computer even after I’ve told her “no” and that “my answer will not change,” to Annabelle’s neeeeeed to wear her snow boots without socks every waking hour of the day to Ryan’s lack of understanding that my BRF ( Bitchy Resting Face) doesn’t mean I’m mad at him… All the little things that make me want to poke my eyes out during the course of the day, aren’t even a thought when it’s time to snuggle, read some stories, and enjoy one another’s company for one last moment before bed.

6. You fight fiercely. When Annabelle and I but heads (which, by the way, I typed as ‘butt heads’ in my first draft of this), it’s explosive. Her temper is intense and, honestly, I didn’t know I had one but I guess she gets it from me because when we battle, it’s epic. We fight this way because we’re passionate… especially about one another.

IMG_01457. When you’re reunited, it feels like no time has passed. Whether it’s picking up the kids from daycare or meeting a spouse after a deployment, you sink into that hug, kiss, and all the snuggles that follow with complete surrender, vulnerability, and the comfort that comes with truly loving that person.

8. You are always on their side. I remember clearly a moment when I knew Ryan fell a little bit more in love with me. He had been having some difficulty communicating with his family about some of our questionable life choices (hey, we were, like, 25) and as we talked about it, and I pointed out some of the validity of someone else’s perspective, he questioned whose side I was on. My response was calm because I knew it in my heart to be true that, it wasn’t a fight, but if there was ever a need to be on a “side,” I would always be on his team. Always.

15757_102151339808591_7365154_n9. You forego yourself and your own needs for them and theirs. You already know that sometimes a whole day will go by before I realize I never got to pee in the morning. I am not proud to neglect my self-care but, from time to time, it’s what has to be done in order to take care of the people I love sometimes more than I love myself.

10. You honestly don’t know what you’d do without them. For better or for worse, I literally don’t know what I would do all day, what my occupation would be, who I would think about when I can’t sleep at night if I didn’t have these three nutty people to love truly, madly, deeply.

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Books to Help Mothers

I’m over here waving timidly about to toot my own horn so fair warning about that, my loves! So, I haven’t been talking it up as much as I should be, but I happen to be an author of books to help mothers! Born of this very blog was the idea to chronicle my experiences with having 2 under 2 in order to support moms who were preparing for this crazy time and my first book, 2 Under 2: Pregnancy and Parenthood was published last year.

I wrote the book on two under 2!

I am so very, VERY proud of this book (even though a second edition is warranted and will be coming out this year) and it set afire something in me to start writing more books to help moms with all sorts of issues that come with motherhood.

I am so very, VERY proud of this book (even though a second edition is warranted and will be coming out this year) and it set afire something in me to start writing more books to help moms with all sorts of issues that come with motherhood.

In my private counseling practice, I help moms individually to conquer all kinds of issues from depression to poor self-esteem and even marital trouble. While I love my private online counseling practice, I recognize that helping one woman at a time is limiting. Recently, I decided to take some of the most prevalent issues I help my clients with and create “guides” to help women who might not have the means to have a personal therapist in their corner. So today, I excitedly launch my book series with my first little book, “The Mother’s Guide to Sex After Babies!”

The first in the series of guides for mothers!

These “guides” are quick, easy reads with practical tips and exercises to help moms navigate some of the challenges of motherhood. We start with sex because… sex. You’re welcome. Next up, coming in the next couple of months, will be “The Mother’s Guide to Self-Care After Babies,” but I’d LOVE to hear from you if there’s any area of difficulty you’re having that you’d like some help with!

I’m also crazy excited to be speaking at The Body Love Conference in April and you can bet my next full-length book, “Loving Your Body After Babies,” will be on the e-shelf at Amazon before then.

Thank you all so much for supporting me here and with my books! It means the world to know I have such amazing posse of mommies on the Mother of Ambition team!

I Knew I Had an Eating Disorder When…

I can so vividly remember the day I knew I had an Eating Disorder. The day my whole world was turned on its side and I saw what I was doing to myself as if through another person’s eyes. My reason for living, my entire purpose shifted that day as I was able to catch a glimpse of what my disease, which I’d nourished so much more than my body, had done to me.

I remember that moment when, for the first time, I knew I had an Eating Disorder and I knew I needed help. Now, I am a writer and speaker on a mission to support women and men who’ve been through what I’ve been through and are struggling to come out on the other side. Maybe you’ve been there before, maybe you’ll be there tomorrow, maybe sitting here, reading this, you will get there right now…

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I had run my 5 miles with the dog that morning as I did every Saturday, preceded by a pre-run snack of half a piece of whole wheat bread with a dainty smear of peanut butter that I had weighed on the food scale to ensure it wasn’t too many grams of fat to add to my day that hadn’t even begun yet.

After weighing myself and making a mental note of the number that determined my worth that day, I stepped into the shower and felt the familiar stinging sensation of the skin on my back covered in the eczema I allowed to continue to grow by reducing my fat intake and sweating too many hours in a sports bra. I got dressed in an ensemble that I didn’t necessarily like, but my favorite healthy eating food blogger (who I imitated, emulated, and worshiped) wore on the regular, and I went to make breakfast for myself and my boyfriend who was just rousing in our bed.

As I did every morning, I weighed the servings of dry oatmeal, measured the skim milk, and squirted the natural, low-calorie sweetener into the pot on the stove. I determined whether or not the banana in my hand was, in fact, a small or medium-sized piece of fruit and sliced it into the pot.

As the oatmeal cooked on the stove, I sat down at my desk nearby and opened up my calorie tracker. I made notes about my run, my weight, my 8 grams of peanut butter, and relished in the fact that I had a whopping 1600 calories left to eat that day since my run had earned me an extra 400!

When the oatmeal was finished cooking, I put my bowl on my food scale and zeroed it out. Alternating weighing my bowl and my boyfriend’s, I’d ensure we each received exactly half of what was in the pot before, again, placing the jar of peanut butter on the scale and watching the numbers go negative as I removed precisely 8 grams to be enjoyed with my oatmeal.

We had a leisurely morning after breakfast. I found myself starving an hour after eating and downed as much water as I could to numb the feeling in my stomach. The boyfriend left for work and I was on my own to relax, walk the dog, and enjoy some down time (which meant reading every healthy eating food blog I could find and tirelessly refreshing pages until lunch updates posted).

Before it was lunch time, I had already logged back on to my calorie tracker a total of three times just to be sure I knew what my plan was for the remainder of my calories. I carefully prepped my sandwich and grabbed a bag of baby carrots from the fridge. I sat in front of the computer, as I did with most meals, even when I was eating “with” someone, and logged all that I was consuming. Then, I started counting my baby carrots.

And then I stopped. And I cried. All alone, in our beautiful apartment with a dog I loved and a boyfriend at work who’d do anything for me, I saw what I thought no one else had seen. I saw that at home, at work, at play, I was always counting. I was counting steps on my pedometer, heartbeats and burned calories on my heartrate monitor, calories earned and consumed on my computer, and the numbers on my scale as they painfully fluctuated up and down day after day.

It was scary and I was angry. Why had no one said anything? I thought. How could I think this was normal… even healthy? I asked myself. Alone, in my beautiful apartment, on that Saturday afternoon.

I found a therapist online and talked on the phone with her for over an hour right then. I scheduled a session with her for Monday. My boyfriend came home and I cried into him, clutching the shirt on his chest and asking why he had never told me that was I was doing was crazy. He told me he knew I’d figure it out on my own when I was ready. He told me he knew he would have just pushed me away if he did more than watch me and gently poke fun when the batteries of my food scale died twice a month.

Today, I’m proud to say I’m recovered and entirely happy with my body, postpartum bulges and all. My healing lead me to gain weight, of course, but also gain time. At one point, I calculated that I was spending eight waking hours every single day entirely consumed by calorie counting, food blog reading, and obsessing about my diet and exercise. Without all of that, I found time. I experienced a renewed sense of my relationship with my now husband, rekindled and redefined friendships, and figured out just what to do with my newfound freedom and flexibility in life, and in food.

Eating Disorders can be deadly and are both physically and emotionally debilitating. They sometimes come disguised as “healthy eating” and are often slow to develop, leaving them hidden from the general awareness of the victim. If you are anything like I was, there’s a part of you that’s sad, mad, or stressed, and you’re filling a void with obsession, compulsion, and deprivation of food. My message is that it’s never too early, but it can be too late, to get help. I urge you to take a moment, maybe on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and reflect on yourself, your habits, and your happiness. Then, if there’s even a fleeting feeling that you might need help, talk to someone. You’ll never regret it.

 

The Art of Forgiving Oneself

I screw up. A lot. I forget my promise to spend less time sucked into my iPhone and neglect defrosting dinner until it’s too late to be made. I overcommit to work thereby creating a stressful environment and unwarranted pressure on myself to meet deadlines. I say I’m going to yoga and then I don’t. I screw up. A lot.

This new thing I’m trying is the art of forgiving oneself. Forgiving myself, I suppose. In motherhood, it’s pretty much all about surviving the different stages of doom that come at you while trying to mess up as little as possible. I’ve got the survival thing down pretty good. I’ve been functioning on few hours of interrupted sleep since 2010 and know when to shut and lock the door to the bathroom even when I don’t actually have to go, just so I can simply take a deep breath and maybe brush my teeth.

The whole “trying not to mess up” part of motherhood is much harder than the “survival” side, if I do say so myself.

If you’re a longtime reader, you know I once had an eating disorder. This started in part from the shame that was placed on sugar in my childhood household. I hid my sweets consumption from a very early age because sugar=shame in my house. I have worked hard for years to recover from the disordered eating and exercising that perhaps started with such a little thing when I was young so I obviously am working hard to not repeat this pattern for my own children. Herein lies the issue with that though, I pretty much let my 1 year old and 3 year old eat whatever they want, whenever they want. For right or wrong (probably wrong), they pretty much choose what and when to eat. Most of the time, they want berries, mac’n’cheese, or spaghetti so I feel like it’s going ok overall but there are moments (like when Emmaline wants Hershey Kisses for breakfast) that I feel like I’m making a mistake, swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction of the way I was raised.

You know what though? From sugar to television consumption to carefully choosing medications, I’m probably making mistakes and that’s okay. I’m not perfect and I make it known that I don’t know everything. I tell my girls every day that I try my hardest to do a good job but everybody makes mistakes. Emma equates it all with potty training verbiage still and says, “It’s okay mommy, accidents happen,” and then I know that my mistakes are actually learning opportunities not just for me but for my kids.

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When I have the opportunity to acknowledge a wrongdoing, make it right, and then forgive myself in front of my kids, I’m teaching them humility, flexibility, and forgiveness, and don’t we all want our kids to know those things?

Maybe, as mothers, we’re actually supposed to make a mess of things and then our children are supposed to watch us clean up after ourselves so that they learn those life lessons and how to deal with them in stride, from us? This is what I’ve chosen to believe. I know I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got and even on the days when I realize that I haven’t let a single Facebook post on my newsfeed go unnoticed because I’ve been obsessively watching my phone all day, I really do want to raise my daughters well and I am trying with every exhausted bit of my being to not screw it all up.

#TargetWedding: Be Yourself, Together

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

 

Okay, everybody, calm down. I know it’s not wedding season and I’m interrupting all the holiday goodness with a post about wedding registries but hear me out! I recently read somewhere that there are more engagements on Christmas than any other holiday with the exception of Valentine’s Day. While I don’t know if that statistic is true or not, it certainly makes sense. I mean, when else in life can you give a woman one tiny little (expensive) gift and it covers a whole plethora of occasions. I can promise you, if she get s ring for Christmas, she’s not going to be asking for a whole lot on her birthday!

Anyway, with that in mind, Target asked me to pretty please come up with some fun ideas for wedding gifts that celebrate Target’s wedding registry motto, Be Yourself, Together. Now, I happen to looooove this because it’s entirely true that when you get married, you are yourself, of course, but you are also a “we” and that changes everything. When a couple is choosing registry items, it’s often the first time they discuss home decor, cleaning styles, and organizational preferences.

So, for fun, I did some shopping on Target’s list of most awesome wedding registry items and came up with a potential wedding gift that can reflect a couple’s individual and couple style and awesomeness, and provide an overall good time, because who doesn’t want that? So, here’s what I got!

I confess that I got Ryan the Keurig for Father’s Day but, if I hadn’t, it would be on my wish list and it should be on every wedding registry. That said, if a couple had the most amazing coffee maker ever invented on their list, I’d make a little care package with all the awesome single serve cup coffees, teas, and cocoas that Target has on their shelves. I will not lie, a large portion of our grocery budget is blown on K-cups.

For the happy couple, I’d get the coffee maker and a cute basket with a whole bunch of awesome coffees and other drinks for them to make in their new Keurig.

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Now, if you’re not into a big ticket item like the Keurig, I came up with a few other ideas for awesome wedding gifts from the #TargetWedding list of awesomeness.

1. Create a romantic bedroom setting the the Fieldcrest Luxury silk bed set and some memory fiber pillows!

2. For those who enjoy a cocktail, the OXO Softworks Cocktail Shaker is to die for and can be paired with martini glasses for fun (and practicality, hello!).

3. For my wedding, I would have loved to have received some new dishes so I have to put this elegant, simple set in white on the list. Just don’t forget some sleek utensils to go with it!

4. If it’s not too intimate, towels can be a lovely wedding gift. Who doesn’t like getting out of the shower and wrapping themselves up in a nice, soft, fluffy towel? Find something that suits their personality or go neutral.

5. And finally, if you’re on a super-tight budget, why not have some fun putting together an affordable relaxation kit for the happy couple? Toss in a candle, a funny movie, some popcorn, and a yummy chocolaty snack and you’re good to go!

What creative ideas do you have for wedding registry gifts? Am I making it too easy with the coffee maker and k-cups or is that acceptable because I’m a busy mom with good intentions but too little time?

***Disclaimer, this post is sponsored by Target. But you knew that ; )