6 Ways to Stop the Cranky Pants Dance

We all know that one person. The person who could be on fire with a stick in their eye, and they would still tell you they were “living the dream”. The person that simultaneously aggravates and impresses us. We want to smack them and also be them. Their lives aren’t inherently better than anyone else’s, they simply know how to cope with life and it’s many adventures, wanted and unwanted. Here are some tips to help YOU be that aggravating person who is unfailing cheerful!

 

Validate your emotions

Emotions don’t go away suddenly when you decide you don’t want them. Sadness and anger can’t be exchanged for store credit. (I know, super disappointing!) But they are easier to cope with when you give them a name and recognize them. An example would be “I felt helpless when I couldn’t figure out why my son was crying. I felt overwhelmed when he had a blow out on the way out the door. And I felt embarrassed when I got to work and realized that my shirt was on inside out. And all of these things together made me feel incredibly stressed out”. It’s acceptable, normal even to feel this way.

 

Stop looking for evidence

Stop looking for reasons to be happy. Stop looking for reasons to be sad. You control your destiny, and your mood, so quit letting the world around you influence how you feel. Just stop it. Your day, your week, your whole year can be a self-fulfilling prophecy if you let it. If you look for good, you will find it. However, if you look for bad you will find it as well.

 

Fake it

Sometimes the only way to get over a grumpy mood is to pretend that you feel good. If you smile enough, you will start to believe that you are actually happy.

Please don’t misconstrue this to mean that you should ignore significant mental health issues. I don’t recommend pasting a smile on your face and pretending everything is fine through a deep depression, but a simple cranky mood is a completely different story.

 

Tell those around you that you are cranky

Tip off the people around you that you are grumpy. This allows you to do two things. One, it allows you to poke fun at yourself. Whenever I say out loud that I’m cranky, I have to laugh a little bit because it makes me sound like a toddler. I’m usually grumpy because I need a nap and snack, so it’s really not too far off base!

 

The second benefit is that it allows those around you to know not to push you until you have gotten through this funk. It’s not the time to tease, it’s not the time to ask you to do something super difficult. They won’t know that unless you tell them!

 

Treat yo self

First off, I won’t ever apologize for using parks and recreation quotes on the blog. And with treating “yo self”, It doesn’t have to be food, but it can. It is WAY different to treat yourself when you need a pick me up versus stress eating. The main difference is moderation, and mindfulness. Enjoy every bite. Savor the taste. Other options include a new outfit, a walk in the park, or a nap.

 

Prayer

Sometimes this is bigger than us. We need some help shouldering our burden, and there is someone who is always more than happy to listen and give us the strength we need. Don’t be afraid to go to your knees get through a bad mood.

 

 

How do you cope with being super cranky?

Your Self-Worth Can’t Be Measured on a Scale (Your Weight Doesn’t Determine Your Value)

My beautiful sister visited me for a few days last week, and while we were having a heart to heart and we talked about our weight loss goals for the summer, and somehow the topic of high school came up. We talked about the how some people LOVED that time in their lives and actually miss it. Neither of us belong in that camp, for multiple reasons, but one of the big ones was our confidence and our self-esteem. Or rather, lack of those things back in high school. We both feel much better about ourselves now than we did back then.

The credit for photo below goes to my wonderful friend Davina. We love featuring her lovely pictures on the blog! This article may contain affiliate links. This simply means that if you click the link and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog and allowing me to continue to provide free content!

 

In high school, I was a girl who didn’t know where she fit in the world. I had a wonderful and supportive group of friends, many of whom I am still in intermittent contact with to this day. However, I was incredibly insecure, and definitely didn’t feel beautiful. I even had a list of things I needed to change about myself in order to be attractive. I had very unhealthy thought patterns, and constantly engaged in negative self-talk. And while I still have a long way to go, I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was back then.

 

No big deal right? Many of us hated high school and love life now, so what? Here’s the kicker:

I weigh 50 pounds more now than I did in high school. While I’ve become accustomed to making myself pretty vulnerable on this blog, that does embarrass me a little.


 

You know what I realized that meant?

 

My weight doesn’t determine how I feel about myself. It doesn’t define my self-worth.

 

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t care about my weight. That couldn’t be further from the truth, I am actually working on losing a substantial amount of weight right now. Actually, as of this week I am down 7 pounds, and I’m pretty stinking proud of myself. I’m trying to be patient with myself as I shed this weight that I have gained for various reasons.

 

Why is this significant? (And why should you care?)

If I can be more confident with 50 additonal pounds on my body, what does that say about where confidence and self-worth comes from? Does it come from the outside?

Heck no.

 

Our confidence comes from ourselves. And not from how good our bodies look, or what other people think about us. While the people around us can bring us up or even down, it is our job to create a positive inner dialogue for ourselves. And recognize toxic relationships and interactions that are bringing us down.

 

I am a mother now. I want to model for my child what it looks like to love yourself, and be confident. It is important to me that he know that loving yourself isn’t contingent on how you look, or how much you weigh. It is important to not put conditions on loving ourselves. Our self-worth doesn’t diminish depending on our circumstances.

I know women who weigh 200 pounds who are confident and happy in their own skin. In addition to that, I also know women who weigh 100 pounds who hate their bodies and lack confidence. I also know many people in between who are all over the map in their self-esteem and confidence. Their attitude, their inner self-talk, and the people they surround themselves with make a big difference. It is not how you look on the outside that determines how you feel about yourself.

 

So if you are waiting for a future event or goal to be confident and feel good about yourself, you need to stop it. If you want to lose weight, or make other healthy changes, go ahead and do it. But don’t wait until it happens for you. You will be the same person when that day comes, no matter how drastic the changes you make are. So learn to love yourself now.

 

What have you learned in your life about self-worth, and self-confidence? What have you learned in relation to your confirdence and your weight?

 

If you read this and think, Hailey, you have never been overweight, so you don’t get what I’m going through. You are absolutely right, I can only write from my own experiences and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

If you read this and think, Hailey, you have never been overweight, so you don’t get what I’m going through. You are absolutely right, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.)

How to be Happy (According to “Trolls”)

I don’t know about your kiddos, but the one thing that gives me a few minutes of peace is putting on “Trolls”. I don’t like having television take care of my son very often, but mama’s gotten clean because we also don’t want to be living in a giant pile of garbage…so it’s a trade off.

So guess what we have watched multiple times this week alone? Trolls!

It’s a cute movie, it’s colorful, they sing and they dance, I can see why my little one likes it so much.  In addition to being adorable, there are some powerful life lessons contained in this little film. (Below is a picture of my little sweetie, a cheese crunchy in each hand, absolutely enthralled).

 

A quick warning, if you haven’t seen it yet, this contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and buy it using the link at the bottom of the article! Because it is amazing. You need it in your life, trust me!

1. Happy people know that they are responsible for their own happiness.

The main storyline of the movie is that the Bergens can only be happy if they eat a troll. They RELY on them to be happy. On the other hand, the trolls make their own happiness. They have a positive attitude, and everything they do contributes to making their lives wonderful.

When the trolls escape, the Bergens throw the chef out of town. It is all HER fault that they can’t be happy, and that they are miserable. They refuse to take any responsibility for their own happiness.

If you wait for someone to improve your life, you will be waiting for a long time. Its no one’s job other than your own.

 

2. Happy people have happy habits

The trolls are almost always happy. They do things that make them happy. They dance, they sing, they hug (every hour!), and they scrapbook.

What about the Bergens, what do they do? They can be found kicking each other, giving each other wedgies, digging their own graves (literally!). They do things that contribute to their misery.

Think about what you do on a daily basis. Are your habits making you happy or sad?

3. You can convince yourself of (almost) anything if you try hard enough.

The Bergens are convinced that the only thing that can make them happy is eating a troll. It is apparent at a few different times in the movie that this simply isn’t true, but they believe it. They are so convinced that it’s the only way to be happy because they truly believe it.

We can convince ourselves that we are sad, and it can become true. We can also convince ourselves that we are happy. Think of Princess Poppy yelling  “I haven’t been this excited since, I can’t remember when!”, when things are not going well at all for her. We can’t talk ourselves out of all states of sadness or depression, but often we control our state of mind. I hate to break it to you, but often you decide how you will feel.

4. The space you live in, and the clothes you wear affect your mood.

Compare the living spaces of the Bergens and that of the trolls. The trolls live in a bright, happy clean place. The Bergens live in a dark, dirty town. They cut the blooms off of the flowers, the heads off their yard flamingos.

The trolls (the ones who wear clothes!) wear bright and happy clothes. The Bergens wear ill-fitting, dirty, and dark clothes.

You don’t have to wear neon colored clothes by any means, (or even super expensive ones!) but wear something that makes you feel good about yourself. Something clean that you can feel confident in. A good outfit goes a long way to improving your mood. As far as your living space goes, you don’t need to live in the fanciest house, but  make sure the space you live in makes you feel good.

5. Making someone else happy makes us happy. (It’s contagious!)

At the end, when there is no visible hope and this trolls are sad, we see Princess Poppy (and all the other trolls) turn gray and lose all of their vibrant color. They all become the same color as Branch. (Side note: as a pessimist who is working to improve, I love Branch. He is so cranky and always convinced that the world is ending. I absolutely identify with that cute little grouch!)

Branch starts to sing, and Princess Poppy begins to regain her color. After Poppy regains her color, Branch gets his color again. By making his friend happy, Branch becomes happy. And then all of the trolls become happy, and regain their vibrant colors.

In the end of the movie, the trolls show the Bergens how to be happy. The trolls helped creatures who wanted to eat them! That is the definition of being selfless.

Sometimes helping someone else is the only way to find happiness ourselves. It is easy to get lost in our own sadness, and service is the best way to get out of a funk.

6. Happy people don’t dwell on negative thoughts

Everone has negative thoughts. It’s not like the trolls didn’t have negative thoughts. When Princess Poppy finds herself thinking negatively, she says, “No! I can’t think that way!” and she moves on. The Bergens on the other hand, stew in negativity. I have found that it is much easier to replace negative thoughts with positive ones than to simply remove a negative thought. Take a leaf out of the trolls book and sing an upbeat song!

6. Your circumstances don’t doom you to sorrow (Or guarantee you happiness).

Bridget, (A scullery maid in the Bergentown castle) who had led a sad and dreary life previously was able to find true happiness. King Gristle was able to find happiness although he had never eaten a troll. Branch was able to find happiness in spite of his tragic past.

 

On the other hand, Creek (blessed with good looks and charisma) betrayed his friends and because of that he did not live happily ever after. We can be born into difficult circumstances, and find happiness if we put forth the effort. We can be born with every advantage the world and be miserable. Your life is truly what you make it.

What other kids movies do you think contain valuable life lessons? Post in the comments below!

If you haven’t yet bought “Trolls” so your kids (or you!) can watch it over and over, buy it using the link below. Disclosure: This is an affiliate link, which means if you click the link and purchase something I receive a small commission at no cost to you! Thanks for supporting my blog!

What You Need to Know About Stopping Your Antidepressant (SSRI)

I started drafting another post,  but this is all that I could think about today. And as someone who gets easily fixated on topics, it was easier to choose to write about this instead. Know that there is nothing wrong with needing to take an antidepressant, and there is nothing wrong with choosing to stop either.

Don’t stop cold turkey

If at all possible, taper off of your medication. You decrease the risk (or severity) of your withdrawal symptoms. You can cut your pills in half, or take them every other day, whatever works best for you and what your doctor recommends. I have also heard the recommendation to take a full dose, and then take a half, and alternate every other day for 2 weeks.

 

You may experience physical symptoms

Even if you didn’t experience any symptoms while you were taking your antidepressant, this is a possibility. If your dose was very small, it is still possible to experience withdrawal. You might feel dizzy, fatigued, nauseous, or many other things! (In my own experience, if you feel dizzy, try taking some Dramamine).

If you do experience these, DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t refill your prescription to get rid of the symptoms, or you will have to start over, and you have come so far! Some people are lucky enough to be able to avoid these altogether, so don’t let this scare you if you are considering stopping your SSRI.

 

You may feel depressed/anxious

This is a tricky one! It is difficult to differentiate between returning depressive symptoms, and SSRI withdrawal symptoms. They can feel very similar. The only way to find out is to give it time, and focus on your personal self-care.

You may notice yourself feeling irritable as well. Give it time, and do what you can to limit your duties (personal and work wise)  for a week or two . If these symptoms persist, then it is possible that your depression symptoms are still present. You may want to consider restarting your medication in this case.

Also, remember the power of placebo. Sometimes, in addition to the power of medication, knowing that we are taking a medication and expecting it to help has an enormous amount of power. Use this to your advantage, and expect yourself to be happy without the medication.

 

You aren’t addicted to your antidepressant

Withdrawal symptoms from ceasing your SSRI does not indicate addiction. Your antidepressant simply blocks the reuptake of serotonin, so there is more available in your brain, elevating your mood. Your brain gets used to this, which is why many people need to increase their dosage over time. Also, because your body gets used to the presence of increased serotonin, it is an adjustment for your body when you stop taking it. Addiction only applies to harmful substances that can permanently damage your brain.

 

Talk to your doctor

They are there to help, you can make an appointment to talk to them or simply call. And if they aren’t willing to take the time to talk to you about it, you need to find yourself a new doctor!

To read more about SSRI withdrawal, visit the Mayo Clinic website here. (A very helpful article, that helped me fill in the blanks of my existing knowledge for this article!)

 

Why I Refuse to Apologize for Choosing to be a Working Mom

I’ve talked before about choosing a quality daycare for your child (read that here) and also about why I refuse to apologize for taking my child to daycare (read that here). However, I think it is time I address my decision to continue working now that I have a child. I am not doing this to justify my choices to anyone, but simply to help others understand the decision that I made. And be warned, I am going to borrow some Leslie Knope quotes (Parks and Rec! Woot!) to help me express my feelings on this.

 

While it is a decision that I am mostly comfortable with, I’d be lying if I told you that it was something I hadn’t questioned over and over. And over…

 

 

My Story

I changed jobs in the early stages of my pregnancy, due to my previous workplace becoming toxic and stressful. (read my post about dealing with difficult bosses here) My new job is a much better fit for my family and myself. I always had the intention of coming back after maternity leave, but I stressed over this choice for my entire pregnancy.

 

 

In the morning, when I drop off my sweet baby at daycare, I wonder sometimes if I doing the right thing. It is not a decision I take lightly by any means. I am going to borrow a quote from Leslie Knope to illustrate my point: “Do you miss your kids when you’re at work? Of course I do. Everybody does. And then, you know, sometimes I don’t!”

 

 

True story! Sometimes it is absolutely heart wrenching to drop my little boy off. Other times, it is an absolute relief, and I am ecstatic to have grown up conversations (and pee by myself!). I also sometimes wonder if I am a terrible person for taking my kid to be taken care of by other people. And for another Leslie Knope quote, “Are you trying to have it all? That question makes no sense. It’s a stupid question. Stop asking it. Don’t ask it.”


Personally, I am just trying to find balance. I’m trying to keep myself mentally healthy. I work for me, and for my family, no one else! I can’t take care of my son if I am depressed, or anxious, and that is how I find myself when I have too many days at home. My son deserves to have a happy and healthy mom, and with the way I am wired it is just not possible for me to be that for him without working. For some moms, they wouldn’t be able to work and be away from their children without it adversely affecting their happiness. We are all different people, and you know what? That is perfectly acceptable! And our differences are one of the things that make life so exciting.

 

 

It is also important to note that my husband will start grad school this fall, and I don’t want him to have the burden of working to support our family financially on his own while attending full-time year round school for 3 years. Some people choose to handle education with kids differently, but this our decision. However, when he is done with school I do plan to continue working.

 

One last word from Leslie Knope!

 

To close, here is one more Leslie Knope quote:

 

“If you want to bake a pie, that’s great. If you want to have a career, that’s great too. Do both, or neither, it doesn’t matter, just don’t judge what someone else has decided to do.”

 

I have been incredibly lucky to run into minimal judgment with my decision. I know that it is a very personal choice for every mom. Do what you need to FOR YOU And YOUR FAMILY. Don’t worry about what is expected by those around you. Do what you need to for your own mental health, your own sanity, and your own life! Be sure to give those around you the same understanding. We are all moms, just trying to take care of our families and ourselves.

For the Single Woman at Church

So I have an awesome surprise for you this week. We have our first ever guest writer on Thoughts, Dots, and Tots, one of my very good friends-Davina! (And she is a very talented photographer, so the gorgeous photos in this article are all hers!) She received an unusual assignment at church for a young single woman, and I asked her to write a post for me to share with all of you. She very kindly agreed to share her experiences. So here it is!

 

About a month ago, I found out that my teaching assignment in church was to talk about nurturing an eternal marriage. My initial reaction was, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’m S-I-N-G-L-E. Why are they having the SINGLE GIRL talk about marriage?!!” Being in my upper 20s, having dating experience, but not yet reaching sealed-for-time-and-all-eternity status, I was in a panic over how this would all turn out, even shedding a few tears.

After discussing my feelings with the Relief Society president she suggested that while the emphasis on the lesson is and should be on marriage, that I can include the fact that since there are those who like me, are not married or divorced/widowed that we can apply it to all relationships, with friends, family etc., because all relationships that are worthwhile need nurturing. I was incredibly grateful for her understanding mind-set (she has a single daughter). I know what a fantastic marriage looks like- my parents have one. I’ve observed other couples and while I don’t have first-hand experience at a strong partnership that lasts for eternity- I certainly know what I want mine to look like once I get there.

Loving parents and supportive friends, both single and married gave me the confidence I needed to do this- I told them I was nervous and felt insecure. When I began to prepare, an overwhelming sense of peace came over me and a lot of the fear I had was gone. After carefully reviewing and preparing, I felt as ready as ever, or as Mia Thermopolis says in The Princess Diaries, “This is as good as it’s gonna get.” Now all I had to do was keep up the positive attitude, pray a lot and wait until Sunday.

Sunday arrived and the anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt ready, but all of the sudden during Sunday School, I was sweating buckets and having a hard time breathing. Support from loving ward members and lots of deep breaths helped. As soon as the lesson began, I was able to get up and say everything I needed to, without hesitation, pause or uncertainty. Thankfully the other sisters in the room were kind and interacted by discussing each question and sharing personal experiences. The anxiety went away as we talked, and learned together.

 

 

One of the major points I made in my lesson was, that marriage is an eternal principle and, because of that it extends beyond just earth life. I talked about how one of the things I LOVE about the gospel is that it’s not, “Till death do us part”, and that for those who are not married happily in the temple, that the opportunity is promised to them as they remain faithful (just as once you’re sealed- it requires both husband and wife to KEEP their covenants). We also discussed protecting the sacredness of marriage and how we can uplift our spouse by not making demeaning comments about them to others, in public or private- and how in a world full of social media temptations that we need to be mindful of those interactions.

 

 

I was so incredibly grateful at how much love I felt in the room- from them and from my Father in Heaven. I was able to stay composed, and didn’t even cry! It was a huge blessing to have it turn out so well, and to have others compliment me on a job well done. As soon as I ended my remarks and closed, I knew everything had turned out- better than expected. It is truly amazing what the power of prayer and careful preparation can do.

Davina Porter was adopted as an infant from India by her parents and raised in an LDS home. She grew up in Seattle as an only child and graduated from Brigham Young University in 2013 with a bachelor’s in Family Life with a minor in Geography. She currently works as a teacher in the Seattle area. Her hobbies and interests include traveling, history and photography.

For the Days When You Have Nothing Left

I’ve had those days. Days where you are too tired to get out of bed, where you hear the baby crying and you pray they will go back to sleep. When they keep crying and all you can do is drag yourself out of bed, pick them up, and lay back down. When you have nothing left to give, but you keep giving.


When people you love are doing all that they can to help you, and you can’t help but feel angry at them for no reason.

When it seems impossible to go to work, but you do it anyway.

 

Then when you get home and you just want to lay down, cry and sleep but people need you. You tell yourself that you can’t possibly do anything else, and you take care of the baby for 6 more hours and then you finally get to collapse into an exhausted pile in your bed.

 

And then in the morning you do it all over again.

 

I want you to know that it gets better.

 

Take care of yourself, and it will pass.

 

Take care of your body, and it will take care of you. Eat well, do what you can to get adequate sleep, and ask for help when you need it. Learn what is normal for you, and what is very much not normal, your body and your mind screaming for help. Unfortunately I have become far too familiar with the not-normal, the depressed, the angry, and the exhausted.

 

I’ve been absent from the blog this week because I have finally come out of my exhaustion funk. I have been busy, but not on here. I am cleaning the house regularly again, and I took advantage of my new found energy and overhauled the entire house. It was like nesting without an impending baby.

 

And it feels AMAZING.

I am determined to keep my house in order.

I am determined to do my best work at my job.

I am determined to recommit myself to my religion.

I am determined to lose the baby weight, the marriage weight, the grad school weight, and the antidepressant weight. I am embarrassed to admit to the world that this totals up to almost 40 pounds.

I want to be healthy for my son, my husband, and myself. I want to be happy when I look in the mirror, and to feel confident again.

I am also incredibly proud to say that I am in the process of scaling myself off of my antidepressants. I am not ashamed of taking them, but I am happy to say that I am to a point that I no longer need to rely on medications to be me again (If you missed my article about my experience with postpartum depression, you can read it here).

 

 

I’m not perfect. All of my struggles aren’t suddenly gone.  But I’ve reached a turning point in my life. And I’m proud to say that it is a rare day that I find myself running on empty, with nothing left.
As corny as it sounds, I am going to be the best version of myself that I can be. And I am so excited.

 

*Update* A few days in, I realized (and readers expressed concern about this as well) that this was far too many goals to work on all at once. I am currently focusing on two of these and will work on the others at a later date! I got a little over zealous!

Why I Refuse to Apologize for Taking My Child to Daycare

I had so much fun writing about why I refuse to apologize for my loud baby at church (you can read that here) that I decided to write about something else  I refuse to apologize for. So here it is, why I refuse to apologize for taking my child to daycare. Daycare gets a bad rap, but don’t let a few bad daycare centers give you bad opinion of all of them. (And credit for the photo below goes to the lovely Katy Cooper Photography!)


After my son was born, he was in the NICU for 5 days. During that time, I would look at my sweet baby, with his oxygen tubes, hooked up to the monitors, wrapped in a bili blanket, and wonder how I was ever going to leave him with someone else.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. I was loving the time at home with my little sweetheart, but I was going absolutely crazy. It  was hard to go back to work, but it was the right choice for me and my mental health. I love my job!

 

 

Sort of on-topic rant time!

Generalizing that women should all stay home with their kids, or that women should work, is just as ridiculous as saying all women should be nurses, or all women should be teachers. It is absolutely insane to generalize all women in such a way. Some women need to be at home with their kids. Other women need to have some time away from them in a work setting. We all have different personalities, and different needs. Therefore, it is ok that we all make different choices and choose different paths. (Gasp! Revolutionary, I know!) Rant over!

I could go on for a very long time about my choice to return to work (I will elaborate on this in a future post), but let’s get back on track! Here are my reasons why I refuse to apologize for sending my child to daycare. If you read this and think, “Hailey, you are so paranoid!”, this is not news to me. I already know. But here are some of the reasons why I am way more comfortable with my child attending daycare instead of going to a sitter.

 

 

Accountability

We chose to go with a daycare center instead of someone’s house because if you choose a reputable daycare, the staff are accountable to each other and to the daycare owner. (Read my article about what you need to know about choosing a daycare here) As for someone in a house, unless you absolutely know and trust them you are taking a big gamble with the welfare of your child. It is just them, they are not accountable to anyone.

And not to spread my extensive paranoia to you, but you need to trust the caregiver as well as anyone who visits that individual during the day. Think about it, they could be all kinds of wonderful but might have some friends who are simply not good people.

At a daycare, the only people who work there or children who attend will be near your child. People who have been background checked and trained. I am much more comfortable with that concept to ensure my child’s safety than anyone who wanders into a friend’s house.

 

 

Socialization

My little guy gets to hang out with other kiddos during the day. At home there are no other kids for him to socialize with. When I drop him off, I see the other children who are incredibly excited to see him. That warms my heart. Some of the babies (as in their parents) gave him presents for Valentine’s day. Probably one of the cutest things ever, but you should know that I don’t have my life together enough to do that. He has also had the opportunity to grow some special friendships with some of the caregivers as well.

Patience

One of the other things that I am grateful for that will be beneficial in the future (that doesn’t sink in for him yet, with him being an infant) is that he will learn to take turns and be patient.

 

 

He will learn to share and to wait his turn to get the attention of an adult. He will learn that life doesn’t always revolve around him. Because at home, life definitely does revolve around him. And while that is absolutely ok, I’m glad he will get time getting used to his concept before he starts school. That will make that less of an adjustment for him.

 

 

Flexibility

I rotate which days I send my little cutie to daycare depending on mine and my hubbies work schedule. It is never the same week to week. If he went to someone’s house, they would have their own life and schedule to contend with and I would likely not have the flexibility that we currently need.

Sometimes I drop him off early so I can run some errands. Sometimes I pick him up or drop him off at odd times. It is fantastic to be able have the flexibility when I need it.

 

 

Knowledge/Training

Daycare centers are required to maintain certain standards. All good daycares provide training. Sex offenders can’t be employed at a child care center, as well as individuals with other charges. If you are thinking about hiring a sitter,  are you prepared to background check the individual that will be watching your child on your own? Are you prepared to background check and interview every friend of theirs who visits during the day? Something to think about.

 

 

Safety

Reputable daycare centers will be baby proof and not hazardous. Someone’s house might be safe, but that space isn’t specifically set aside to care for children. Good daycare centers are clean, and consider what state of cleanliness your caregiver keeps their house.

There is only one door that leads to the front of the building at the daycare that my son attends. Multiple doors lead to the outside fenced play area. Can your child run straight out the front door at their caregiver’s house? Are there any other possible safety hazards? Furniture that is not anchored to the wall, TVs that are not mounted on the wall, electrical cords? How safe is it there?

Dedicated Staff

Staff at daycares are dedicated to caring for your child. They aren’t trying to get chores done, or pay bills, or care of their own children. If their child and your child both need something at the same time, they may help their child first. While it is good for your child to learn patience, you don’t want your child to start to feel that they are second class by always being attended to last. In someone’s home (even without children) they have other responsibilities and distractions. How much time a day will the caregiver spend on social media, or watching television? At a daycare, they are being paid to take care of the children. That is it, no other obligations while they are on the clock.

All in all, this is your decision. It’s very personal. But I don’t feel bad about mine, because it was the best decision for my child, and I am very comfortable with it. What choices do you refuse to apologize for? And if you liked this, subscribe to receive new posts and share this one!

Why Should You Quit Caring What Other People Think

The days I drive the baby to daycare, my 15 minute commute turns into 40 minutes each way in the car. This gets old fast. Driving is boring! One day, I was singing my heart out, using my steering wheel as a drum, and just having an awesome time. It made my drive go by so much faster. When I pulled off the country road and back into town, I toned it down. But why?

 

Because I didn’t want anyone to see me.

This is completely normal. I doubt I’m the only one who thinks like that. But here’s what is wrong with that picture. Why do I care what people I don’t even know think? And really, why should I care what people think even if I actually know them?

As I’ve written about before, there is a really limited amount of people that really matter. So why are we so focused on impressing random people? And I totally get trying to put a good foot forward, but what we are working towards, really?

I am someone who likes to fly under the radar, (part of what makes this blog so scary for me!) I’m drawn to more muted colors, and I drive a charcoal colored car. I like these colors, but I also like how they don’t draw attention to me. I really should wear what I darn well please though. (And I am getting better!)

We live for us. We don’t live for those around us. The part people outside our family unit play in our lives is miniscule. We interact with them in a limited capacity.

We spend all of our time in our own bodies. We spend the majority of our time in our homes, with our loved ones. Our interactions with those outside our essential systems are very inconsequential, but we allow them to make a big impact in our lives for some reason. (Social workers are focused on the systems individuals are a part of, so that is why there is so much talk of systems in this post!)

So what point am I trying to make here in my ramblings? I’m not saying that we need to start wearing our pj’s to the grocery store and stop wearing make up. I personally think that it is important to look nice and presentable. But like I have previously stated in other posts do these things for yourself, not those around you.

My challenge to you is to take baby steps toward not caring what people think. What is one small thing you can do this week? My personal challenge for myself is to sing in the car (when people can see me!) and I’ll continue to make baby steps from there. What are you going to do? Leave me a comment, let me know!

 

Why You Shouldn’t Care if Someone Unfriends You (Digitally or in Real Life!)

It’s happened to all of us, whether we notice or not. As a lifelong people pleaser, when I notice that someone unfriends me it can hurt my feelings. But I gave it some thought, and these are some of the common reasons, and why it shouldn’t bother you. (Warning, this is a very frank article, and if you shy away from honesty, maybe read something a little softer like this…)

 

1. Do you really want them in your life?

I don’t want someone in my life, (or following my blog) who doesn’t want to be there. The truth is, I can’t make you like me, and frankly I don’t want to. I have enough people that I love and that love me that I don’t need to waste my time on those who don’t. And neither should you!

2. Understand follow/unfollow

People do on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter…in order to get followers. These individuals choose to follow you, and if you don’t follow them back in a set amount of time, or even if you do follow them back, they unfollow you. So when you see that your numbers go down slightly, it might just be a part of a ploy to get more followers. While watching numbers on my social media channels go up is very gratifying and I can’t pretend not care at all about them, I would rather have a few engaged followers than tons of people who are only following me because they feel obligated to, and don’t care about my content.

Just for your own gee-whiz, when I am notified that I get new followers (on Instagram or Pinterest), I scope out their profiles, if I looks like something I’m interested in, I’ll follow them. But I don’t follow people just because they follow me if I don’t think their content looks interesting. That doesn’t make sense to me. Because all content is meant for a specific group of people, and not everyone is going to like it.

3. Struggles/Trials:

I’ve had some difficulties recently . Our baby was in the NICU briefly. I have left two separate toxic job situations. I was pregnant with a 9 pound baby in July heat. My neighbors had loud dogs! (And were apparently doing drugs in their house, what?? But they moved away!). My husband and baby got into a minor car accident. I struggled with breast feeding, and postpartum depression. The type of people who don’t want to be there for you when things aren’t rainbows and unicorns, aren’t true friends. So sayonara!

4. Blessings and Success:

I’ve also been incredibly blessed in the past few years. I have a healthy and happy marriage, I was able to further my education and earn a master’s degree, I have a fulfilling and low stress job, and of course I was blessed with my beautiful baby boy. Some people don’t want to see success when they are unhappy in their personal lives. My success in life has driven some people away. I don’t know about you, but people who don’t want to watch me succeed and get jealous when I find happiness aren’t the type I want as friends!

5. Relationship changes:

Sometimes relationship changes with those around you result in unfriending. If you were friends with someone that you met because of a romantic relationship with someone you know, if that relationship ends it is highly likely they will want to cut off all contact with everyone associated with that person and will unfriend you. Also, if you were in a relationship personally with someone and it ended, whether on good terms or not, it is likely you will delete them or they will delete you! Life moves on!

6. Confusion:

Sometimes people go through and clean out their friends list, and if you changed your name due to legal reasons (marriage, divorce) or just for kicks and giggles, people may not recognize you right away and unfriend you. Oops! I look very different than I did a few years ago, so with that on top of my name change, there is definitely some confusion.

7. Distance:

Maybe you drift away from someone, due to physical distance or life changes. This type of unfriending is the definition of not personal. As someone who has moved around a few times, I have people I have lost contact with and I don’t have any shared interests with anymore. No need to force things and hang on to friendships that aren’t alive anymore.

 

8. Misunderstandings, and actual fights:

This is probably the only one you should care about in this entire list. We aren’t all perfect, sometimes we offend people. Do your best to work it out, but sometimes people want to stay mad and don’t want to fix things, or don’t tell you what they are thinking so you don’t have the chance to do anything about it. Try not to dwell on it.

9. Politics/Religion:

I’m not one to be very vocal about politics or religion on social media, but I know people who get very into it. Some people can’t handle having a friend who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum or who has different religious views, and their friendship ends. Life is exciting because of our differences, and I don’t want to live in a world where we all think the same way. How boring would that be? As my husband says, you are entitled to your wrong opinion…;)

10. Game requests/other annoyances:

Back before I figured out how to block certain games (Flashback, remember Farmville??) I definitely unfriended people who requested  to play games too often. I know I’m not the only one who did that!

11. Who even knows??

People are crazy sometimes, and sometimes they just do things. Maybe they have a reason, but spend your time on the people who matter!

To summarize, there are thousands of reasons why people decide to end a real or digital friendship. The people who matter aren’t hundreds or thousands of followers, they are the ones in your home, and the real friends, the ones who love you and are interested in what you have to say. Focus on the ones who matter, and feel free to ignore the rest!