Say Bye to Comparison

So I did it. I fell into the social media rabbit hole looking at profile after profile of my mom friends and even complete stranger moms who just seem to have it all together. With every scroll I felt myself starting to judge them or question their lives. How are they going on vacations and buying high end bags or clothes for every day of the week? Why is it so easy for them to bounce back to their post-baby bodies and I’m here working my ass off every morning? How does she always look so put together? Who has time for that when you have kids? I felt my insecurity monster getting worked up and I just stopped. I turned my phone off, took a deep breath, and silently told myself to shut up.

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These are the times I not only have to check my attitude, but I also need to forgive myself. No one is perfect so why am I expecting myself to be? Insecurity can be such a beast and honestly brings out the ugliest part of ourselves. Aside from only catching everyone’s highlight reel on social media, it’s also none of my business if the truth is that not everything is all sunshine and rainbows in their lives off camera. And if it is, well then good for them! Seriously, at my core, I want everyone to be living their best life so why do I allow myself to fall into the trap of comparison?

My mom once said that her 30's were some of the most insecure years of her life. The 20's are when we are figuring ourselves out, living life without many cares. Then the 30's hit and bam! We suddenly start to evaluate and question ourselves when it comes to our status, our income, our material posessions, etc. After some extensive heart-to-hearts with some of my amazing girlfriends, I realized I’m not alone in falling into a place of unconscious judgement and insecurity. But the real question is, are you genuinely happy? My answer is yes, yes, yes! My life is nowhere near perfect or even close to what I had envisioned for myself many years ago, but it’s better! Everything that is mine right now, is meant to be for me. This is in no way bragging, I am just purely thankful for the life I am living and for those that I’m surrounded by. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others but it’s so much more satisfying to work on being thankful for what you have first. Once you compile your huge list of gratitude, (and trust me, you’ll easily be able to list things off if you really try) you start wishing for others to be just as fortunate as you are.

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So if you’re someone who has fallen into the comparison trap like I did, I challenge you today to step away from social media and write down at least 10 things you are grateful for. I bet you will instantly feel that insecurity begin to wash away and feel more at peace with yourself. And if you want an even bigger challenge, every morning or night, write at least one thing you’re grateful for in your own life, and one thing you’re happy for in someone else’s life. Keep your eye out on the positives and life will be that much sweeter.

XOXO,
April

 

Photo Cred: Crystal from Studio Salty

Worst Helicopter Mom?

As much as I'd love to be able to protect my kids from all the physical and emotional pains of life, my kids prove to me everyday that I can't, and everyday I'm learning to be okay with that. I know in the end, what may seem like negative experiences, turn out to make them stronger and hopefully, wiser. With that said, can someone just invent some phenomenal protective body wear that keeps my 2-year-old from constantly hurting himself?  Cars have those sensors that go off when they get too close to another car or a curb, why can't kids have those too? Let me know when you're working on a patent.

Adrian is just a little over 2-and-a-half and he's had more trips to the ER/urgent care than I've had in my own life. His adventurous and fearless personality is both entertaining, and terrifying from a parent's perspective. I don't know how many times in one day I yell careful, or slow down. He constantly makes me laugh while he also keeps me on edge. I'm probably the worst helicopter mom there is because as much as I try to keep him from getting hurt,  he literally gets hurt right in front of my eyes sometimes and it always seems like it happens in slow motion. You know what I'm talking about? You see your child falling off the chair, (or swing in our vlog's case,) and the world seems to stop and you see your arms slowly reaching for your child but he falls to the ground anyways. Yup, it happens. All. The. Time. 

I used to feel like a failure as a mom when that would happen but really, what does that do? A whole lot of nothing. The best thing to do is just to love our kids when they hurt. Hug them when they fall and then help them to stand back up. We do this over and over again until they learn on their own and even then, we wait on the sidelines ready to run and hug them again if ever they fall back down. 

Adrian is definitely tough and I'm thankful he has such a fighting spirit. Whether it's a dislocated elbow or a busted lip, he is so resilient. I love seeing his personality develop as he grows and how it's shaping him into the person he will be when he's all grown. And you know what? I'm not worried at all. 

So moms and dads, don't feel guilty when your babies get hurt. It's going to happen, and it will happen a lot. For now, just be thankful that you get to be the one to kiss those "booboos" away. It's a tough job, but I will always choose to be the one to do it.

XOXO,
April

Our First Home

After 8 years of renting, Raf and I have finally jumped on the homeowner bandwagon! As much as I could say that I pictured us as owning our own home a lot sooner, it really did happen at the perfect time. Raf and I have been through A LOT, and I think we needed to grow as a couple even more before making another huge commitment such as rooting down and owning our own home together. Yes, three kids is already a huge commitment but as husband and wife, we put in a shit ton of work as a couple to be where we are today and I could not be happier that we've entered this new chapter together, happier than we've ever been. I'm a true believer that everything happens for a reason, so when it came time to put down an offer on this home, it finally felt so right. 

Our home was on the market for 5 days, and after 14 offers we were chosen! I'm sure it was because we had the best offer financially, but I like to think the sappy note that I wrote along with a photo of my three kids gave us the mega boost! Even as I signed the papers at closing, I still felt like I was living in a dream that I never wanted to wake up from. 

So here we are, in our first home together and I could not be more grateful. It may not seem like it, but Raf and I worked our butts off to make sure we could make this happen by both saving money when we can and earning extra money where we could. Being able to do this on our own, makes our winning offer that much sweeter. Teamwork makes the dream work Baby! 

There's not much else I can say in today's post except for thank you to everyone who has rooted for us and supported my little family. Thanks for the positive vibes and prayers. Thanks to our parents and my grandparents for taking on extra hours to watch our babies while we packed, cleaned, and moved. And last, but definitely not the least, no amount of pizza could ever be enough to show how grateful we are to our siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins who spent countless hours helping us smoothly transition out of our old townhome and get settled into our new home! I love you all so much! 

XOXO,
April

LOVE IS LOVE

I won't lie, this past year has been quite an eye opener for me in seeing how we continue to live in a world that is still full of so much hate and discrimination. It is no longer about politics, but about decency and respect towards others who may be considered "different."

I became paranoid about strangers and even people who were close to me. I questioned if their intentions or comments were genuine, I kept my children closer to me when out in public, and I even considered homeschooling them (ok, that's extreme because I'm not sure if I have the patience for that BUT the thought was there.) But one thing that I have learned is that with all the negativity, there have also been so many positive movements towards change in attitudes and outward expressions of love for all. As dark as these days can be, there's also a huge beam of light that is helping lead our younger generation to one that is more open-minded, tolerant, and nonjudgemental. 

We see it in the news and social media, but really, the lessons of love start at home. I cannot stress enough how much it breaks my heart knowing that there are children out there who experience discrimination and abuse towards them at a young age. And while I can't prevent it from happening to other children, I want my children to be ones who not only support those who are hurting but also to empower them. I want them to help others feel like they belong even when others say they don't. I know I can only say and do so much and the rest is up to the natural personalities of my kids and how they are influenced by everyone else around them, but you can bet your ass that I'm having those important conversations at home to keep their hearts and minds as open and understanding as I can. 

LOVE IS NATURAL.
HATE IS TAUGHT.

Now, I'm not saying I myself am an all-loving person, no one can be that perfect. (Or can they? If so, teach me your ways.) I do strive to be a light for others though, especially for my kids. Fortunately, Austin is fairly mature for his age and has always expressed a gentle and happy spirit. I am definitely one lucky mama to have him, along with Adrian and Aila who look up to their big brother so much. Adrian copies everything he sees Austin do and Aila lights up the moment Austin even smiles at her. It's a ripple effect and I'm just hoping the light continues to spread through everyone they come across in life. 

Love is love guys. It's as simple as that.

Xoxo,
April