I’m Tired: A Mommy Monologue

I’m laying in the bath, candle lit, writing this with tears in my eyes. Nothing “big” or “bad” happened today. It was a normal day of waking up early, diaper changes, bottle feedings, two baths, exploration of new foods, messy high chairs, laundry, toys scattered everywhere, new discoveries, chasing a hyper boy around, teething, falling down, laundry, cooking, cleaning… the list goes on and on.

That’s what a usual day looks like here at the Richards’ house but today I am just…. tired. I feel at my end and my limit. I feel like I have said nothing else today but “No no John,” “Don’t do that, John” “Come here baby” “Please don’t hit” “Don’t throw your food” “Don’tdrink the bath water”. So many NOs and not a lot of YAYs. As I got him ready for bed I just was so ready for him to be asleep so I can enjoy a minute of quiet.

And then overwhelming guilt hits me like a punch in the gut because I realized all day I haven’t got to enjoy John because I feel like I have had to discipline and parent. Instead of giggles and cuddles, today was a bunch of pitching fits and yelling. It doesn’t help that I was reminiscing all of his newborn pictures and videos last night either; making me miss those days of hectic quiet, coos, and soft cuddles.

Parenting is not easy. It is a never ending battle of wanting to slow time down and soak in every moment to please let this day hurry so I can enjoy some peace and quiet.

Time has moved so quickly lately. John is almost 10 months old and my heart is breaking. There really isn’t a point to my post except just to share what I’m feeling, which is raw feelings of sadness, exhaustion, immense love and joy, all at the same time.

But I think that’s what motherhood is; high elation and low valleys. Tears and laughs, smiles and frowns, yelling and praising. I know there will be more days like today; where I feel more like the principle from Matilda (bun included) than the teacher who comes in and saves the day with sunshine and giggles.

But that’s okay, because I wanted this and I love this. And its also okay to be exhausted and tired and frustrated in the midst of all that you wanted. Sometimes we feel so pressured to not seem “ungrateful” that we go along steaming up inside until we boil over.

You’re allowed to feel emotions, you’re allowed to miss the times when it was just you and you could do whatever you wanted, you’re allowed to crave solitude and maybe even a vacation where it’s just you, a beach, and a bible. When we strive to fit this perfect “mom” picture, the instagram mom, who always seems to have it together and enjoy every second of motherhood, then we find ourselves trying to fit a triangle into an oval; it’s impossible (yes, even my analogies now involve baby toys).

So, I just wanted to share with you mamas (and daddys) out there that, I am so tired. And I feel like poo for yelling today a lot. And I’m crying in the bath tub, simultaneously enjoying my quiet and fighting the urge to go wake the baby up for cuddles and kisses.

And I want to encourage you in this season, that you’re not alone. And God sees what you do for your family every day. And God sees your grateful heart thats just a little weary at the moment. And God wants to take away the shame that’s trying to tell you you’re not good enough for your family. And God wants to wrap you in His arms and tell you everything is alright and a new day starts tomorrow. And God wants to let you know He can carry you through the tough days as much as He’s present in the beautiful days. I want to encourage you to take a breath, start again, and truly try and savor these moments.

Parenting is hard. Motherhood is hard. Humaning is hard. But life is beautiful, messy, and amazing. So if you are like me, in the tub exhausted, tired, crying, and guilty. Stop it. Breath in. Pray for strength. And smile at this crazy, silly, beautiful life God has picked for us to live. Love you guys. Happy homemaking!

#Momfail: They All Fall Down

Can I just be honest and vulnerable here? This week has felt like a non-stop strand of mom fails. Non-stop.

Have you ever just messed up so many times you just feel like stopping? Or running away? Or just crying? Or maybe all of the above? That’s been me this week.

So John has been accelerating in movement. I’m talking crawling, pulling up on furniture, moving from item to item, trying to LITERALLY JUMP OFF OF STUFF. I’m pretty persuaded he wants to injure himself.

It’s one thing if babies hurt themselves when you’re not watching, but to have them hurt themself everyday when you’re just two steps away is pretty frustrating.

Let me let you in on this week. He fell off the bed, he hit his eye on the dresser knob (don’t ask me how), he’s fallen from holding on to the table about 15 times, slipped in the bathtub and got water in his face, and the list goes on and on.

It has really made me question my ability as a mother this week. I am sucking it up real bad at the moming. I know all babies fall down, especially when learning to move their little bodies, but at the same time you can’t help but blame yourself when it happens and you can’t stop it!

In all honesty its just been a really hard week for me in general. As a mother and wife I’ve been going and growing through some things. I have felt like no matter how hard I try, I end up failing. I’ve been studying the fruits of the Spirit and ironically feel like I’ve done nothing but walked in the flesh this week. Impatience, anger, frustration. Just falling on my face, over and over.

And as I write this, maybe that’s the whole lesson for me this week? Maybe God is wanting me to realize, like babies, we all fall down. But scripture says the righteous man falls seven times but gets back up.

So, if you’re a mama who has failed this week? Get back up. If you’re a wife who has been naggy a little too much, get back up. If you’ve complained instead of being thankful, cursed instead of blessing, or have really done a bad job at portraying Christ, my answer is this: get back up.

Keep pursuing holiness and not perfection. Keep pursuing His strength and not your own. Keep leaning all of yourself on Him completely.

Paul says that he boasts in his weakness, because where we are weak, God is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God’s grace is sufficient for you AND your clumsy little baby.

I love you guys! Happy homemaking!

Easy Salt Dough Crafts for Kids

With the Holidays coming up, nostalgia and memory-making is at an all time high! Here is a fun and easy craft for you to do with your babies or big kids! A simple at-home recipe for old-fashioned salt dough makes making memories so much easier!

So, this is one of my favorite crafts that I found this year! Having a new baby and going through the Holiday seasons for the first time, I kept wanting ways to make those crafts that scream nostalgia and memories. I found this recipe for salt dough crafts and fell in love!!

Salt dough is soooo easy to make, you most likely already have these ingredients in your home, and it is a fun craft that you can do with your babies, toddlers, or even your big kids! You can make ornaments, picture frames, and pretty much whatever your mind can create!

So a lot of people have begun Christmas decorating already and I will be sharing some Christmas crafts soon! However, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought some cute turkey crafts would be a fun way to bring a little more warmth to your home! Salt dough crafts are also so much more fun and less costly than expensive at-home ceramic kits or cement kits that don’t work and are hard to use (especially with a baby who will not cooperate)!!

So far I have not ran into any issues with baby John letting me use his cute little fingers and toes for memorable craft-making! I have been making so many types of crafts using his hands and feet, and I want to keep everyone of them! I never knew that you would feel guilty for giving one away (cursed mom guilt).

So with such an easy recipe, you can make so many more crafts so you don’t feel like you’re giving a piece of your heart away!

Let’s get started so you can get crafting and memory making!

salt dough thanksgiving crafts

What you will need:

  • ***1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional if you want it to smell a little more like the Holidays)

*** So a small disclaimer that I learned through trial and error. When choosing what flour to use for your salt dough craft, I would HIGHLY recommend using an unenriched flour that does NOT contain any kind of leavening agent (such as baking powder or baking soda). I found if there is a rising agent in the flour your salt dough craft will bubble up and not stay in the shape you make it into. So just a note!

There will be directions for all three of the crafts shown of the turkey hand print, the hand turkey, and the foot print! Choose whatever you like or do your own thing and let me know how it goes!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (F). [cooking your salt dough at a low heat for a long period of time creates a hardened clay-like substance that lets you keep it forever!!]

In a mixing bowl, measure out your flour, salt, cinnamon (optional), and water. Mix together until it forms into a dough-like ball! (It should be malleable and not sticky – underneath is what it should look like).

Once you have the dough ready, prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and divide the dough into thirds.

Circle turkey hand craft

Take the first third of the salt dough and form it into a smaller ball, taking a rolling pin (or your hand if you don’t have one) to smooth it out into a perfect circle.

Once you’ve smoothed it out to the size and thickness of your liking, then you will want to press your babies/kids hand down, making sure it is deep enough to get the print but not too deep to make the bottom weak. Pull the hand up and you should have a perfect print! (If the first try doesn’t work, just re-roll the dough and try again!)

You can also use the end of a pen to make a hole in the top in case you want to tie a ribbon around it to hang!

Like all of the rest of the salt dough crafts, bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until all moisture is gone). Let cool and then paint however you desire!!

This is raw, unbaked dough! Final craft will be shown below!

Cut-out hand turkey craft

Take another third of the salt dough and do the same procedure of smoothing out in a circle, pressing your babies/kids hand, and setting aside. This time, rather than pressing so hard to get a good print, just press hard enough to get the general outline of the hand, leaving enough volume of the dough behind.

Then take a knife and cut out the outline of the hand and remove the excess dough from around the cut out. Take a small ball of dough and add it to the bottom of the hand (this is where the turkey’s legs will go). Make sure to use your finger to reconnect the hand to the small square at the bottom so they will bake as one piece.

You will need to bake again at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until all the moisture is removed). Once cooled, decorate and have a memory forever!

Pictured is raw craft unbaked! Final craft will be shown below.

Thanksgiving foot salt dough craft

So if you want to just have a keepsake memory craft of your babies/kids foot, this one is for you! You can do this craft any time of the year or for any milestone in your baby’s life (or if you just feel like it).

Take the remaining amount of salt dough and form into more of an oval rather than a circle (this is necessary if your baby has sasquatch sized feet like mine – who is only 7 months old btw).

Press baby’s foot into the dough, making sure it’s pressed in deep enough to get each little toe! (An easy way to achieve this for bigger kids is to set the pan on the floor and let them step on it themselves).

Then bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until moisture is fully removed) and decorate as you please!

This dough is still raw! Final craft will be pictured below.

Yay crafting!

Now that your salt dough crafts are cooled and decorated, it’s time to set them around your house and let the memory-making begin! I remember growing up loving to look at all of the crafts I made as a kid, so I wanted to do the same for John!

Not to mention, I will now have a forever keepsake that will have his little hands and feet captured for a moment. I am a very nostalgic person, and want these salt dough crafts everywhere around my house for every Holiday!

And when John is older you better believe we will create salt dough ornament crafts together every year!

It’s okay to want to make memories, and easy recipes like this will make that actually seem doable! I hope you find much fun and memory-making from this, and most importantly, happy homemaking!!

finished salt dough crafts:

Yay!!! I love them so much!

Below are some more ideas that I’ve done for this fall!

Acorn Craft
Pumpkin Craft!

I hope you all enjoy this Thanksgiving salt dough craft as much as I always do! Can’t wait to see your keepsakes and memories, happy homemaking!!!