2 years in 200 words

To get all y’all up to speed here’s what has happened over the last 2 years in 200 words and no particular order:

-Got certified as a group fitness instructor and taught BootCamp style classes 2x’s per week

-Put our travel pants on and went to the Ozarks (with kids), Austin (no kids), and London (no kids).  

-Became a runner (what the what?!). 

-Ran my first half marathon and did not die

-Had a third baby girl (yes – we chose to have a third child who ended up being a girl). 

-Got my zen on by becoming a member of a local yoga studio

-Did at least 500+ loads of laundry (that should be a Guinness world record right?!)

-Celebrated 12 years of marriage to the same person, whom I have also known for 18 years!

-Aquired the status of Aunt for the second time 

-Changed a semi-truck worth of diapers (another Guinness record?!)

-Watched the Cubs play in the World Series 

-Helped (very loose term) my parents move 15 minutes away

Beyond that, my goal continues to be keeping my 4 year old, 2 year old, and now 4 month old alive.  Easy, peasy right?!  Some days are tougher than others! 😳

Taking the leap

Well, I am at it again!  Not only am I a SAHM to 2 beautiful girls, President of my neighborhood association  (next up -taking over the world!), and on a committee to bring a Spanish dual language program to the girls’ future elementary school,  I decided to become a group fitness instructor.  Now before you go all skeptical on me, keep in mind two things:  I am a type A personality, therefore I literally do not know how to just do nothing.  Plus, I genuinely want to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

When I told some friends and family members about my new endeavor, there were two typical responses – the first, and most common, was “don’t you have enough on your plate?”.  I am the first to admit, there are days where I feel like I am busting at the seams running on 5 hours of sleep and trying to keep up with the girls and the house.  Add anything else on those days and watch out for my infamous water works (in case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a crier).  The second and less common response was “that’s awesome!”  followed by “what made you decide to do that?”.  At first, my response was “I’m basically at workout class 4-5 days a week, why not get paid for it?”  Sure – it will be nice to bring a little money in per month and be able to attend workout classes for free, but after some reflection there is a bigger driver of taking this leap.

I subscribe to “A Mighty Girl” feed on my Facebook account and have been since Little Miss was born.  Wanting to raise a daughter (and now I have 2 daughters!) who is strong, independent, and kind among other things I knew I was going to need all the help and support I could get.  This news feed is just a small tool in my toolbox.  Each time I see a post, I am inspired by it and look forward to sharing them with the girls when they are a little older.  Each post shares a story of a “Mighty Girl” who made a positive impact on something either in the past or present.  As I read the stories, there is always a moment where someone inspired the “Mighty Girl” to push beyond their limits, break barriers, and make a positive impact on someone or something around them.

So why did I decide to take the leap and be a group fitness instructor?  I want to inspire those around me.  Wether it be the first-time mom who didn’t think they would be able complete a 5k, half marathon, and/or marathon soon after having their baby to the mom with three kids under 5 whose daily win is getting out the door to go to workout class.  But even more than that, I want to inspire my girls.  I want them to see that little things can produce great, big results.  I want them to feel the joy of breaking down barriers and achieving goals.  I want them to feel pride in improving something around them.  In short, I want for them to be the “Mighty Girl” in their own life, whether they be the person who inspires or they are the person who is inspired.

As Dr. Suess says “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”

 

These are a few of my “Grateful” things!

Last week, my mom tagged me in one of those Facebook “trends” of providing 3 things I am grateful for over the course of 5 days. Clearly, she thinks that as a SAHM, I have all the time in the world 🙂 (love you Mom!). Since I haven’t even starting my posting of 3 things, let alone keeping it up for 5 days, I decided that I was going to approach this trend my way – through my blog!

There is no doubt that I am forever grateful for things and people like family, a fabulous husband who is my best friend, a roof over my head, friends near and far, etc. I have yet to meet a person who isn’t grateful for those things. As a result, I am going to focus my 15 grateful things on the topic of parenting. Why parenting you ask? Because as I sit here typing “Little Miss” is pounding her feet on the wall instead of napping and I am trying to remind myself that I am grateful she is not screaming and pitching a fit.

In no particular order, the 15 things I am grateful for in relation to parenting:
15. The Internet. With the help of the internet, I have diagnosed (for better or for worse) Little Miss’ mysterious aliments, regularly connected her with her grandparents who live miles away, and made some Mom friends along the way.
14. Libraries. After reading the same 3 or 4 books at least 10 times a day, you will understand why the library is my best friend.
13. My Baby BootCamp class. Without it, I know I would be an out of shape and unhappy, 32 week prego momma. Not only am I forming new friendships in a new city, but watching Little Miss do burpees or bicep curls at home makes me one proud momma.
12. Today’s medicine/doctors. There is so much out there about what is and is not healthy while you are pregnant, especially if you are considered high-risk like me. I am proud to say that I have been able to carry 2 little girls with minimal complications thanks to the great team of doctors on my side.
11. Coffee. Without it, we would all be acting like it’s the 6th month of winter in Chicago.
10. Strollers. They may be big and bulky, but they sure do make carting around Little Miss a lot easier.
9. Disposable Diapers. I am not and never will be the type of momma who wants to wash poop from a cloth diaper over and over again.
8. Wipes. LOVE them! A clean-freaks best friend. Not just great for bottoms, but also on the face, hands, bathroom counter, the art table full of washable marker scribbles, the floor, highchair. I could go on and on….
7. The playdate. Sometimes, all your kiddos need is something or someone different to play with.
6. Nap Time. One word – GLORIOUS!
5. Chick-Filet-A Wednesday. I love living in a city where there is a Chick-Filet-A close-by for a quick and easy lunch.
4. Indoor Playgrounds. Being pregnant in Dallas during the summer – no further explanation needed.
3. PBS kids app on the AppleTV. Giving this momma 30 or so minutes of veg out/free time each day while Little Miss is learning about shapes, numbers, the alphabet, etc.
2. Pinterest. Because, let’s face it, I am not all that creative when it comes to rainy day activities, decorating the girls rooms, birthday party planning, etc.
1. The opportunity to stay at home with Little Miss (and Little Sister in the near future). The SAHM community is not kidding when they say that this is the hardest job they have experienced, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have learned so much from Little Miss in such a short amount of time and know that I will learn even more when Little Sister comes to play. I cannot wait to experience and observe my girls growing up together as sisters.

Life’s Best Balance

I am not the type of person to just sit around and do nothing. Case in point – I was elected Vice President of my Neighborhood Association within 3 weeks of living in Dallas.  Pause for effect… That’s right, Vice President, 3 weeks.

Last week, Hubby took the day off from work and I was thrilled – he hasn’t taken a day off since the holiday season (not even during our cross-country move). Little Miss was going to daycare that day so it meant we had an entire “Parents Day” – what to do, what to do?! In true form, I started to make a mental list of all the great projects we could accomplish and check off the ever-growing home ownership list. We will get so much done – woohoo!!

After dropping Little Miss off at daycare, I spent the morning prepping my side table for painting (first on my mental list) and observing Hubby playing around on his Ipad, while watching the World Cup (not at all on my mental list). Around 12:30, I asked him if he wanted to join me on a quick errand (also on the list!) and then maybe Home Depot. My goal – get him off the couch so that he can accomplish a tangible task from the mental list (which, oh by the way, I failed to share with Hubby) before the end of the day. His response “I think I am just going to stay here, do some more research (research, what research was he doing?!) and watch soccer.” My Type A, doer response to that was “Are you going to actually accomplish anything this afternoon?” I added a quick grin with the hopes that my blunt, and in hindsight harsh, statement would come across more as a joke than an accusation…didn’t work so well. He saw right through my sorry attempt and gave me the look – you know the one that says, “back off women, it’s my day off and I am going to do what I want”. I love Hubby to the moon and back for giving me that look when warranted – he keeps my Type A personality in balance.

We live in a world where we are constantly seeking out the ever-elusive “sense of balance” – work/life balance, financial balance, scheduling balance, etc. Not a day goes by where someone, somewhere isn’t trying to achieve his or her respective balance. I know I struggle with my new balance of being a SAHM (do I read to Little Miss enough, do I have too many DIY projects going on, am I keeping the house too clean?!) and a mom for that matter. Once I feel like I actually do achieve some sense of balance, it’s totally shot to hell either the next day or in many cases the next minute or hour.

For me, there is only one person in this world that has achieved any sense of “the best balance” and that is Little Miss. Each day, I am awestruck by something that she does or some look she gives me because it reminds me what is important in achieving life’s balance. It’s not crossing things off your mental list (although that helps!), its not living life by a rigid schedule (reading to her no less than an hour a day), or chasing the unattainable insert noun here. I have learned that balance is all about what you need on any given day in order to thrive.  Get this – what is needed to achieve balance changes EACH DAY and sometimes even EACH HOUR within a day (my mind was blown…).  Some days, it’s sending your toddler to daycare (and not feeling guilty about it!) so you can tackle that mile long list. Other days, its saying no to the play date and staying home to read and play with her all day.

Little Miss has taught me a lot about balance in the last 20 months and I cannot wait to continue learning about life from her over the next 20+ years!

Wanted: Person with STRONG professional skills

I always knew that being a parent would be a wonderful compliment to my professional career, no matter what my career was at the given time. What I didn’t realize, but now fully understand, is that being a parent actually develops key professional skills! I spent the last 8 years working in a small education company heavily focused on identifying and attracting top talent for all types of positions. In my role, much of my day to day was focused on reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, as well as selling top candidates on the opportunities available. As a result of these countless numbers of hours, I consider myself an expert on the topic of what is a professional skill and whether or not it is as strong as you say it is in your resume or interview.

 

Today, as I reflect back on some of my most memorable experiences interviewing candidates and being a parent, I came to the realization that I can effortlessly translate my parenting experiences (ahem, failures) into what corporate companies seek out as necessary professional skills. Here are some of those failures…I mean experiences…from “parenting” Little Miss and my “professional skill” translation:

  • Keeping your cool when your toddler is screaming at the top of her lungs because she is tired and hungry and dinner is not ready at that VERY SECOND translates to “Works well under tight deadlines and/or high-pressure situations”.

 

  • Identifying the source of your toddlers temper tantrum and then repeating/modifying that identification process a minimum of 10 times a day translates to “Excellent problem solving skills and capability to think on one’s feet”.

 

  • Putting together a toy that has 50+ components and have it actually work as described on the box translates to “Highly skilled in executing directives to achieve a desired goal”.

 

  • Improvising how to put together said 50+ component toy (AND have it still work as described!) because your toddler was trying to “help” and ended up losing some key components translates to “Expertise in thinking outside the box to achieve a desired goal”.

 

  • Redirecting your toddler back to the activity or task at hand such as actually finishing the story you have read through page 10 at least 20 times within the last 2 hours or putting the 100 Legos back in the basket so no one goes through the excruciating experience of stepping on them translates to “Proven track record of motivating and leading team members through challenging projects while ensuring the projects success within the timeline assigned”.

 

  • Using any and all tactics to keep your exhausted toddler awake on the 15 minute ride home from wherever because you know if she falls asleep in the car now, she will not take her afternoon nap when she gets home (and will be cranky as all hell) translates to “Ability to influence employees across the organization”.

 

Of course, these are just snippets of my experiences. I do miss the working world and interacting with adults on a regular, daily basis (actually, let me be real, I just miss wearing the cute work clothes and shoes), but I wouldn’t trade my opportunity to stay home with Little Miss for the world. Instead of my days being filled with meetings, reviews, interviews, and visa paperwork, they are now filled with Dr. Seuss, diapers, tears (mostly Little Miss’), and the joy of watching my daughter grow into the person I can only wish to be.

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to share some of your parenting “experiences”, I’d love to help you translate them into professional skills you can actually use in your resume or interviews.   🙂