Why Moms Yelling At Their Kids Isn’t the Problem – and What Is

There’s so much buzz and maybe even a little controversy around the topic of whether or not moms should yell at their kids. Tons of articles are floating around the internet telling moms how and why they should stop yelling. I’m actually one of those parenting bloggers who’ve written quite a bit on this topic but I want to set the record straight.

I don’t believe the real focus of the conversation should be on moms not yelling… without any context, of course. Why? Because moms yell at their kids, or at the family pug for that matter, for an endless list of reasons. 

The cold, hard truth is motherhood can be painfully hard some days. And when you combine the behavioral issues of our kids, our own emotional challenges and seriously crappy days – yelling seems like an inevitable occurrence.

I probably used to yell at my kids on some level at least once every day. That’s a lot! And I really hated how I felt as a mom. Sure, I also had many great days, but those sweet moments always got overshadowed by a dark storm cloud of yelling at some point. 

That’s because over time yelling seemed to morph into how I communicated everything. Normal yelling like when you’re running late and need to announce it upstairs to the whole house at once and angry yelling like when my kids started an argument in the living room over what to watch on Netflix – all began to run together.

I’m convinced that if there was a way to measure the stress hormones surging through my body in those days, mine would’ve been off the charts! I was always running on a 10 and found it very hard to be in a state of calm or ever be relaxed or playful with my kids. There was always too much to do to slow down… or at least that’s what I thought back then.

What’s Really Behind All The Yelling

This is just my story, you have your own story and so does every other mama on the planet. And that’s why I don’t believe yelling is the issue. Yelling is a symptom. A sign that (in most cases) something isn’t working. 

And everyone knows treating symptoms isn’t a great plan to get rid of any problem long-term. The only way to do that is to go deep and find the root cause. 

The only way for moms to stop yelling at their kids (or anyone else for that matter) is to do these two things first:

  • Acknowledge you have a problem and want to change.
  • Do the real work to learn the root cause of why you yell.

If you’re reading this post and feel totally fine with when and how you yell at your kids, then you don’t believe you have a problem. And that may be accurate. We all know in our hearts when we’re not doing something the way we intended. If you have no issue… neither do I. I’ll never shame or point fingers at another mom until I walk a mile in her shoes. 

My story is my story and shouldn’t be used to make another mother feel bad about her story. My goal is to support and encourage moms who believe they need to make a change… not convince another mom why I think she needs to change. I fully trust your own ability to do what is right with your family.

Less Yelling is a Happy By-Product…

But if you’re feeling stuck in a cycle of yelling and can’t figure it out… it’s time to do some work. That’s because you don’t have to yell unless you really want to. 

You can become a mom that’s calmer and more playful than you’ve been in a long time. 

One who’s not burnt out and overwhelmed to your max. 

And get your kids to really listen without needing to scream every time. 

If I can do it… you can do it.

Yelling less at our kids is simply a by-product of fixing the actual problem!

Several weeks ago, I stumbled on a funny mom blogger who made a video that caught a lot of attention. She was making a public plea to other bloggers and parenting experts to stop telling her (and other yelling moms) that she should stop yelling at her kids. 

Why Moms Don’t Really Want to Yell

Why? Because she said her kids simply don’t listen until she yells. Period. That was the gist of the video. It made sense and I see why she got such positive praise for it. It was done in a very satirical and humorous way and I’m in no way judging this mom for what she said. But after I watched it, the lightbulb in my head turned on. 

I realized moms don’t want to yell… we want to get our kids to listen so we don’t have to yell. The yelling isn’t really the problem and shouldn’t be the focus. 

Now, what about the mom who feels snappy and uptight all the time and doesn’t remember the last time she felt joy in motherhood? 

She’s like a ticking time-bomb that could be set off by anything… not just the kids. In fact, her kids could be doing all the normal kid stuff and still set her off. As a result, she feels overwhelmed by guilt. 

She too needs help and again yelling isn’t the problem. It’s only a reflection of the fire on the inside. 

If you’re a mom who’s stuck and feels alone… please hear me now. You are NOT alone! You are NOT a bad mom. And you do NOT need to spend your days in guilt and frustration. There is freedom for you. 

I got to the end of my rope. I was tired of hiding and as a Christian mom, I felt even more shame because I felt like I was “suppose” to be walking in love and grace… not anger. 

One day I surrendered my guilt, frustrations, and my pride before God and decided that it was time I committed to doing the work I needed in order to change. 

There is Hope for the Mama Who Feels Alone

I did… and He helped me love myself again and find the grace I needed to overcome my challenges and now I love my life again. It’s been several years since I was in the thick of yelling and anger. 

Yes, I have good days and bad days. Yes, I still yell in frustration now and then. But the cloud of burnout and anger is gone. I now have the tools to stay calm when I get overwhelmed and things get crazy in my house. And that’s a priceless gift I’m so grateful for.

One of my greatest tools was properly understanding my own emotions and state of mind when I was angry. My latest freebie is so amazing to help moms understand how to stay calm when their instinct is to react. You can grab your free Calm Down Cure copy here!

And up to now, I’ve kept my journey mostly to myself and my family. But now I feel a passion to share my story and pain with other moms who are walking the same path and want to experience freedom, peace, and joy in motherhood. 

My yelling and anger were taking a very hard toll on the relationship I had with my kids. I knew I was damaging it at the time and needed to change. Now I have a wonderful relationship with my teenage daughter, my 9-year-old, and my toddler son. 

I’m not the same uptight mom I used to be. I’m playful and fun which is something I never felt in those early days. And I even surprise myself of how calm I am in the midst of things that used to make me scream.

Finally, when I start feeling those familiar uptight, snappy, and edgy emotions creeping back in I know how to get rid of them. When that happens, I know I’ve neglected myself and allowed myself to fall into my old bad habits. This is a lifestyle and one that I’m grateful for that allows me to actually enjoy his awesome life and family I’ve been blessed with.

Do you relate to my story? How is your story unique? Share your thoughts on yelling or how you’ve overcome your own yelling story in the comments below!

With all the advice telling moms to stop yelling at their kids, I believe this is bad advice for moms. Why? Because there's something huge that's missing when we say to moms to just stop and calm down. Here's what moms should focus on instead... #kidsandparenting #momanger #parentingtips

Summer Fun List: 31 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids When It’s Too Hot to go Outside

fun indoor activities for kids

It’s summertime and kids are out of school and looking for fun activities to do. And us moms are looking for anything our kids will think is fun that isn’t attached to a screen!

But what does a mom do when it’s too hot to send her kids outside to play? I mean, we live in sunny Florida where some days it’s not even safe to play outside.

fun indoor activities for kids

She finds something fun on this list and lets her kids have at it!

These fun kid’s activities will keep them happy and occupied so you don’t feel the cabin fever getting to you too much! Plus, these activities are perfect for those soggy, rainy days too!

If you have very little ones running around and messing up with the bigger kids are doing, try making your toddler a few busy bags like these.

Indoor Activities for Kids on Hot or Rainy Days

1 – Make Slime – Yes, I know this one is probably the most overdone kid’s activity ever. But for good reason! It will keep your kid occupied for hours both in the making and playing with their newest slime creation. Plus, it’s science! Here are some great science-focused slime ideas.

2 – Create an indoor obstacle course – This idea can be really fun and can use just about any supplies you already have on hand. Here’s an easy step by step post on creating your own.

3 – Do activities in a subscription craft box. My kids really love KiwiCo and each get crates (activity boxes) shipped to them each month. My kids literally scream when they see their delivery and learn a lot working through the activities each month. And if you just want to order crates in the cold months, you can pause your subscriptions in the summer months! Get your crates here.

Here’s my little guy making his own bean bag horseshoe game! He’s loves it!

4 – Have a book read aloud sessionRead alouds are so fun for kids. My daughter still loves when I read a chapter book aloud each night. It’s great for bonding and connection over a great story. Here are some recommended read aloud books.

5 – Build and giant fort and play games inside – Kids are more apt to stay in one place and to one thing, like play a game, if they do it from inside a fort. Just skillfully pile up the couch cushions and blankets and make anything that resembles a fort. Then get your kids’ favorite board games and let them have a game day inside. Here’s a great 2019 game guide.

6 – Make giant tracks for your kid’s cars – This one may sound strange but if your child loves cars and trucks this one is really cool. Simply use painter’s or masking tape and make highway lines all over your floors that your kids can drive their cars. It’ll keep them busy for hours! Here are some fun ideas.

7 – Binge Watch a Kid’s Series on NetFlix – This idea is perfect when the whole family is sick or you just need a break. Pop some popcorn and just hit play. Your kids will be happy and you’ll probably love the show too. Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events is a fun show for the whole family and there are 3 seasons on NetFlix already.

8 – Make a Hallway Laser Maze – This is so much fun and your bigger kids can actually do the whole thing by themselves and you get time to yourself. All you’ll hear is tons of giggles and “aw man’s!” Check out the video example below:

9 – Make a window sun catcher – Though your kids might not be able to go outside, these cute sun catchers will make looking outside fun, especially if it snows where you are! Here’s a great sun catcher tutorial.

10 – Put on a play – If you have a bunch of little performers in your house encourage your kids to put on their own performance. They can create a script, choreograph dances, and make their own set and costumes. This could literally be an all day event.

11 – Learn new dance moves – We used to learn the latest dance moves by watching music videos on MTV. Now kids just learn them on YouTube. Put on some dance tutorial videos for kids and let them practice till their heart’s content. Here’s one to learn to Floss:

12 – Have a Marshmallow Toothpick Challenge – This is the cheapest game you can pull together for your kids. Just buy a bag of marshmallows and a box of toothpicks and let your kids have a building contest. They can construct whatever they want and challenge themselves! Here’s how to do it.

13 – Let them have paint! – Yes, I know this is a messier activity. But if your kids are older and to be trusted with paint alone or slightly supervised, this is a wonderful creative activity. Plus, you can buy art canvases rather inexpensively so they can even hang their creations when they’re done. If your little one wants to get in on the painting action, here’s a mess-free toddler option.

14 – Have a paper airplane flight contest This is the coolest idea I’ve seen. Simply make your airplanes and build a target with holes and scores.

15 – Make an indoor tape game – Not only can you make car tracks with tape but you can basically create an endless list of games too. Here’s an exhaustive list of indoor tape games from What Moms Love.

16 – Build a DIY marble maze – This is easy enough that bigger kids can do this on their own. Here’s the tutorial. Then let them have a contest to see who can get their marble through the maze the fastest.

17 – Learn how to do origami – My kids love learning origami. There are so many fun creations they can make. Here’s a fun and easy video they can watch to teach them.

18 – Do cupcake wars – Make a batch of yummy cupcakes and give each child three and have them decorate each one creatively. Have them present each of their designs for judging and then have fun eating them!

19 – Make a DIY corner page bookmark – My kids love reading and they actually don’t like dog-earing their pages. This adorable craft will give them a fun activity and will encourage them to keep reading.

20 – Make Toilet Paper Roll Animals – This craft is fun and can get as involved and artsy as your kids desire! Here are some ideas for inspiration.

21 – Build a rainbow prism mobile – Rainbows are beautiful outside, but this mobile craft lets you have rainbows inside! Here’s the full tutorial.

22 – Have a board game day – Just let the kids go into their games and choose a few of their favorites and play as long as they want. Here is a great board games recommended list.

23 – Play card games – Card games may not be the first thing kids think of to play with but they are still a lot of fun! Here is a post with 15 card games you can teach your kids to play with a regular deck of cards.

24 – Make an indoor scavenger hunt – Make a list of random items around the house and have the kids take pictures on their phone, tablet, or digital camera of all the items they find.

25 – Have an indoor picnic – Lay the blankets on the floor and prepare a picnic style meal.

26 – Put together a puzzle – Puzzles are fun and can take up an entire snowy afternoon. The older your kids, the bigger and harder the puzzle. The ones that cover the entire kitchen table are the best!

27 – Make DIY playdough – this non-toxic, homemade playdough is just as fun as making slime but is a less messy option for little ones. But bigger kids love playdough too.

28 – Shoot hoops – Find any ball and a larger sized basket or bucket and have a shoot out contest. I honestly can say that my husband can do this with the kids all night and they have a ball… literally!

29 – Make crystal geode eggs – This activity is so much fun and equally educational. These are naturally forming geode crystals that form inside egg shells. Here is exactly how to do it.

30 – Go camping inside – Camping is fun no matter where! So why not sleep in the living room and even get a tent. Make smores in the microwave.

31 – Have a micro treasure hunt – Every kid gets a little matchbox and has 10 minutes to fill it with as many tiny objects as they can. Thinks like a bead, a button, or even a pea.

When it's too cold to go outside these super fun indoor activities for kids will deliver a fun filled days and no excuse for boredom! #activities #kids #parenting

End Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrum Quickly with These Simple Steps!

toddler tantrum tips

Toddler temper tantrums can happen in a split second and can be caused by many different reasons. But the resulting cause every single time is frustration and even embarrassment when your sweet little angel decides to unleash her reign of terror in public.

That’s why I believe we as parents should work to skillfully play offense with our kids instead of pounding it out on the defensive line. There, I sounded like I know what I’m talking about with football. My husband would be so proud!

How to stop a temper tantrum

Basically what I mean is, working on the front end to prevent temper tantrums in the first place instead of working so hard to stop them when they happen. Yes, it’s really possible!

That’s why created this first post, Easily Prevent Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums with These Fool-Proof Tips, and I recommend you read it first. Unless, you’re in the midst of a tantrum right now and in that case, please read on!

However, even when you do all these things to help prevent tantrums, chances are, one or more will still happen. Here are some easy and effective tips to help calm your child and your nerves when your child is in full-on fit mode.

1 – Get on Their Level

No one likes being talked down, including our kids. Toddlers are short and if we want to stop talking down to them, we need to intentionally get down on their level.

Talking to your toddler eye to eye isn’t just helpful during a tantrum but really is how we should be talking to our children every time.

If you ask your little one to do something and you’re getting totally ignored, don’t keep repeating yourself. You’ll only get more frustrated and angry. Simply stop and get down to where they are or bring them up to where you are, and speak to them in a calm and direct tone.

And look them right in their eyes.

This takes some practice, and in the beginning, you’ll most likely be met with aversion and them trying to escape your space. But keep at it. Once they realize you’re no longer going to be towering over them barking demands, they’ll begin to respond positively.

Doing this ensures they’ve actually heard you and also makes them focus. This practice is extremely effective with my toddler son. And talking to him from across the room almost never works.

And one more thing, talking to anyone in this way is a sign of respect. It shows them they’re important and deserve your full attention. This really goes a long way.

Think about the last time someone talked to you while staring at their phone. Feel ignored much?

Related: 50 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved in their Own Love Language

2 – Give them a Firm Hug

I know, I know giving your little tornado of terror a hug in the middle of a tantrum is probably the last thing you’d want to do. And you’re probably thinking it’s equally as ineffective. (source)

I dare you to give it a try the next time your toddler goes into fit-mode. Not a warm and fuzzy hug, though. Give them a close, firm and disarming hug.

Think of it like those weighted blankets that help people overcome night-anxiety or how swaddling a baby helps them feel safe.

Pulling your toddler close when they’re acting out is like yelling I Love You to your husband in the middle of an argument… it’s a pattern interrupt.

It’s also a lot more effective than walking away, yelling, or punishing them for their tantrum.

3 – Lower Your Voice

This tactic pretty much works for any human interaction with conflict. If you’re talking to an angry person, the least effective thing to do is elevate your voice too.

Instead, lowering your voice to one that is calm, confident, and firm is the perfect way to talk to your angry toddler. NEVER, yell! I know this can be really hard.

But it’s really only a way to release your own frustrations but it in no way helps the situation get any better and really just models that yelling and emotional outbursts are OK.

Also, toddlers can be really sensitive and will often hold onto your anger.

Try these practical tips to get your kids to listen without yelling and the corresponding regret. 

3 – Control Your Own Anger

Here’s where things can get a little sticky because when our toddler isn’t listening, talking back, or having an outright tantrum it’s really easy to allow our emotions to go into overdrive.

When our emotions are in control we’ve more likely to say things that aren’t helpful, add to the problem or things we don’t mean and will regret. So when your little one is acting out, always take a breath before you say anything or make any parenting decisions.

As silly as this may sound, take a couple slow and deep breaths or count to ten in your head. This serves as a reminder to you that you’re the parent and you’re the one in control – not your toddler.

Then decide how you want to handle the situation. Just remember, that once you open your mouth and say something, you need to stick by it.

If you say to your child that if he runs through the clothing racks at Target again, he isn’t going to get that cookie he asked for. And you can’t go back on that… ever! No matter if you went too harsh with your punishment and feel guilty.

Take a moment to think first and don’t act out of your own emotions.

4 – Get Outta There!

If you’re in a public place, get out as fast as you can. It’s obviously great for all the innocent bystanders and just plain good manners. But it also resets the location and works to interrupt their tirade.

Just a few words to consider while you’re running out of Wal-Mart. Stay calm and take this time to breathe and count, NOT to yell, complain, and yank your kid’s arm off.

I know this is easier said than done. I’ve screwed this one up many times. But modeling calm behavior is SUPER important!

5  – Hear Them to Understand

Remember, tantrums are a form of communication. Not the best, but communication none the less. If your child’s form of getting their way is a tantrum or if tantrums are a way of life in your home, I would strongly suggest reading this post.

This is a sign that your child hasn’t learned a more appropriate way of sharing their feelings. And this behavior isn’t likely to go away on its own as they get older. I have witnessed many shocking tantrums in public with older kids berating their parents. #Sad

This occurs when children aren’t taught how to properly communicate and haven’t been shown that this is unacceptable behavior. Or at least, they haven’t in the right way.

However, on the occasion tantrums or angry displays of emotion do happen and this is where we need to do our best to find the source and help them work through it with compassion.

Related: 9 Things Your Kids Wishes You’d Do but Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

6 – Stay Firm and Do NOT Bargain

Never, ever bargain with a child! If you were headed to get ice cream and needed to make one last stop at the store and your child starts misbehaving, give her a firm warning that she won’t be having any ice cream if she doesn’t stop NOW.

If she doesn’t listen, no more ice cream. Period.

They may cry, beg, and try to bait you into a bargaining session, but you Must. Stand. Firm.

7 – Keep Your Language Positive

As tempting as it is to unleash your true feelings of frustration and call it like you see it, do your best to reign it in. Calling your son a bad boy over and over isn’t going to fix the problem.

I’ve witnessed name calling from parents many times and it rips my heart out because they just don’t know how powerful their words are and the impact they make.

Our words have power and calling your son a “bad boy” is actually making a declaration that your son is bad. Certainly not what you really want to accomplish.

I always work to speak what I desire to see in my children, my life, and my family. Our words have creative ability and have the power to change our circumstances.

In Romans 4:17, it says to “call those things that do not exist as though they did.”

Instead, try saying something like, “you are a good boy, so let’s start showing it.”

Do you have some effective strategies to stop your toddler’s tantrums? We love to hear it! Please share in the comments below!

Related: How to use Your Words to Raise Brave and Vision Focused Kids

If you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a toddler temper tantrum and feel your own tantrum coming on... try these tips to stop that tantrum in it's tracks! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #kids #momlifeThese simple and highly effective steps will help you defuse and end your toddler's temper tantrum fast! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlife Toddler temper tantrums are hard to deal with. But with these simple steps, you can end your toddler's tantrum fast! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #kids #toddler

How to Keep Your Marriage Strong Even When it Looks Healthy!

3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

I’ve always been fascinated by “that couple” who seem genuinely happy in every situation in their marriage. The ones who constantly hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes at every opportunity. I wonder if they really have a healthy marriage. I wonder if they’ve ever had a real fight, or are even wired to fight at all. I know I am.

My husband and I have had more than our fair share of fights over the course of our 17-year marriage. Not major blow ups but a few strong, emotional disagreements.

3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

I’ll probably never be able to go home with that couple to see how things really go down in their home. To see if it’s all an act or if there’s genuine love holding them together. And if they really are that good.

Whatever the truth is, one thing’s for sure about ALL marriages – they require hard work. There’s not one single couple that’s immune to this fact, even “that” couple.

But enough about them. Lol

Two Enemies of a Healthy Marriage

One is much easier to spot and widely known. The other is much more subtle and unexpected. It will invade your marriage like a parasite – sucking the life out of it without you ever knowing until it’s too late.

The widely known enemy to marriage is selfishness. It’s not always easy to fight and overcome, but at least you know it when you see it.

The unexpected enemy – the one with the superb skill of the sneak attack – is complacency.

Just like selfishness, every marriage is vulnerable to the parasite of complacency if you don’t know how to guard yourself against it. But before we can effectively protect ourselves, we need to know what complacency really is.

What is Complacency?

Complacency is defined as a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some danger or defect.

When I read this definition it brings to mind someone laying in a hammock with their eyes closed thinking about how their life seems perfectly, perfect. While their enemy quietly makes their approach.

Complacency may seem harmless – a lot less than selfishness. Right?

Let me tell you, it’s a lot more harmful because it works like a Trojan Horse. Once you let it in, it’s already done its damage. When you feel complacent, you have this overwhelming sense that you’ve arrived. You finally did it! You’re no longer “working at it.” You’ve become finally “that” couple.

This is exactly where my husband and I got to in our marriage. We fell in love in our teen years and quickly became inseparable. We got married very young and were never, ever apart. Outside of normal disagreements, we always enjoyed being together. We really considered ourselves best friends.

Then, drumroll, please … we started having kids. Nuf said there, right?!

It’s not to say our children messed up our marriage. But we fell for the trap of complacency and had no clue we were headed for danger.

Looking for great books to help you strengthen your marriage? I highly recommend these books and authors:



Related: 4 Habits to Guard Your Family From a Life of Complacency

Living in Our Quiet Comfort

We had the feeling we were “that good.” We didn’t need to take intentional date nights when our children were still little. After all, I just couldn’t hand over my angels to just ANYONE. So, my babies took precedence over my marriage.

And my rockstar husband said, “no problem”. He’s a good man who’s always trying to relieve my stress and make my life easier, so letting it ride seemed like the right to do.

We continued like this three kids later with less and less #TeamUs time. All the while, we rolled with it, feeling none the wiser about the whole thing.

What we didn’t see happening was the slipping away in our hearts. We went about each day in our quiet comfort totally unaware that we went from wishing we had more time together… to get used to our regular routine… to finally not caring so much about it.

Not in an “I don’t want to be married” kind of way. But in an “I forgot how good it used to be” kind of way.

It became easy to not have to work at anything. To just foolishly believe our healthy marriage was divorce-proof. Even though we took a solemn vow to stay committed to each other till death do us part, doesn’t mean we don’t equally have the responsibility to cultivate and nourish our marriage as well.

Now going back to “that couple.” The truth is, if their marriage is indeed the real deal than I’ve got shocking news for you – they’ve put in real work to get there. And more importantly… to stay there.

Related: 21 Questions to Ask When Conflict Rises in Your Family

3 Lies to Resist in Your Marriage

There are 3 lies that couples tend to believe that set them up for failure down the road. If you can recognize them early, you’ll be armed and ready when complacency tries to show up in your marriage.

Lie #1 Your marriage doesn’t require work

Maybe you want to replace the word work with another like nurture. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same. Every single marriage requires attention to keep it healthy and strong. The moment you think you’ve arrived; your strong marriage is in danger. Maybe not tomorrow, but later down the road.

Related: 4 Strategies to Win the Fight for Your Family in Challenging Seasons

Lie #2 Date Nights Aren’t for Every Marriage

This is a lie that invaded my marriage. We felt the whole date night thing was kind of clique, so we didn’t take them seriously. What we failed to realize was it doesn’t matter what we label them – it only matters that we do them. Having one-on-one alone time on at least a weekly basis is a must for all marriages.

The point is, find something you both enjoy and do it together. It doesn’t have to be a “date” at all. Just be you.

Lie #3 Putting the Kids First is OK While They’re Still Little

God created an order for families – God, Spouse, then children. Outside of the necessary taking care of your children, placing them before your spouse can have devastating consequences.

Your husband was there first and he’ll be there with you after they’re gone. If you’re struggling with this one, think of it like this; placing your marriage first will keep your marriage healthy. That’s something your children will be thankful for later. My parents divorced after I was already married with my own children. Simply put… I was devastated.

Your children would rather you take time apart from them if it means they don’t become yet another family torn apart by divorce.

Pray and ask God to show you any areas in your marriage that may have slipped or are vulnerable to complacency. Watch Him give you the wisdom to come back together and leave any trace of complacency behind.

Share your testimony of how you personally overcame a trial or challenge in your marriage in the comments below!


All marriages, even super healthy marriages need work and attention. Learn how even happy couples can end up in trouble and how to spot that trouble before it starts so your marriage can stand the test of time!Keeping Your Marriage Strong3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

We know we need to work on our marriage when things get rocky, but what about when our marriage looks healthy? Learn the secret to keep your relationship strong and fresh! #marriage #relationshipgoals #marriageadvice

7 Surprising Reasons You Yell at Your Kids and How to Break the Cycle

As a new mom of two little ones I spent my days cycling through being a happy and grateful mom to an angry yelling “blowing her top” mom, to an ashamed and guilty for yelling at my kids mom.

As the days went on the cycles got more frequent, the happy and grateful mom showed up much less often and I ended up trapped in a sad and paralyzing state of tired, grouchiness.

I snapped very often, my demeanor was pretty uptight most of the time, and I felt like a complete and total failure as a mom. Until one day it hit me and I asked myself, “why am I such an angry mom?

This certainly wasn’t what I thought motherhood was going to be like. I dreamed of being a mom and though we struggled through infertility for almost 5 years, I was overjoyed to bring our first child into this world.

Then the reality of mom life showed up… and my idea of motherhood didn’t seem to fit my reality of motherhood.

It was hard for me.

And the fact that is was hard for “me” the mom whose dream it was to even be a mom, was pretty devastating. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in over my head and felt consumed with shame all the time.

Why Good Moms Get Angry

I finally decided this craziness needed to stop. I genuinely wanted to have fun as a mom and have a close and fulfilling relationship with my children. So I got to work.

With loads of prayer, study, and tons of trial and error I’m now at a place in my life where I LOVE being a mom and actually feel like I’m pretty good at it! But that only changed when I stopped letting dysfunctional behavior patterns just happen, and started getting intentional about changing them.

One of the first things I learned (HUGE!) were my anger triggers. Little did I know, I was setting anger traps for myself every single day. And that’s what this post is about… helping you to set yourself up for those good, no-blow up days!

Now, let me be clear here, I did a lot of work in the process of healing from mental and emotional lies and past hurts that were greatly contributing to my overall anger. This is not an overnight process.

Recognizing my triggers for yelling was just a part of the puzzle but helped tremendously! Doing these things won’t likely be a total solution to why you are yelling at your kids but they are vitally important to an overall anger management solution.

Here are some helpful posts to getting kids to listen and not causing anger in the first place:

Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

How to Respond When Your Child Disobeys on Purpose

Common Parenting Mistakes Any Parent Can Fix

I would also like to add that yelling to be heard or because you tend to be on the louder side of the communication spectrum isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you just talk louder or are more intense than all your mom friends… that’s totally OK. I personally still fall slightly into this category!

In this post, I’m addressing moms who struggle with anger in this post. The kind where you feel like a horrible mom after. That’s what I wanted to break free from, and you can join me!

Surprising Mom Anger Triggers

These surprising anger triggers are the things we commonly do every day that we’re usually unaware of that can open the door to blow-ups. And as the saying goes, “when we know better… we do better.

If you read this list and notice one or more that you’re doing, I want to encourage you to make a plan to set up borders for yourself to allow yourself the change you desire.

You want to be a more peaceful mom who really enjoys her children or else you wouldn’t still be reading this post! This process is going to take work but you owe it to yourself and your family to give it all you got so you can be the mom you know you really are inside!

1 | Working with Kids in the Room

I’ve been a work from home mom since my first daughter was born. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to work right in my home while raising my kids, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it! Over the years I’ve done crappy work totally because we needed the money and work that I absolutely love – and this rule still holds true either way.

Honestly, I could write an entire post on this topic, so I’ll do my best to keep it brief. Working on your laptop (or whatever work you do) with kids actively in the room is a setup for disaster. Unless you make a very intentional mindset shift.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d be intensely working (head down, eyes on screen) and blow up because I kept getting interrupted again and again. Silly, I know.

After I realized this to be a huge anger trigger for me, I totally shifted how I work. I now get up very early in the morning and do the bulk of my work that needs my full concentration while my kids sleep. This doesn’t have to be how you do it, but find what works for you.

Then, here’s the mindset shift, I make any work that I do work on in the presence of my kids, second to their needs… ALWAYS.

It looks like this – if I’m working (on a less intense work task) and my child asks for a snack, I put my laptop down and get a snack.

If my children break out in a fight-mob in the living room, I put my laptop down and handle the issue. No more, let me finish this really quick… one more minute sweety… stop fighting! Don’t you see I’m working!

By mentally shifting to my kids and not my project as the priority, it totally changes things for me. Sure, I’m not nearly as productive as I used to be when I was putting my work first but I’m so much more peaceful and my kids no longer resent it or try to fight for my attention when they see me working. It’s a total win-win.

2 | Not Setting Boundaries Up Front

One major source of mom blow ups is when our kids don’t listen until we yell. It’s a cycle that doesn’t have to continue.

In fact, yelling undermines our authority because we don’t have to yell to get their attention. One of the biggest reasons our kids do things we don’t like is because they don’t know the boundaries.

Think of behavioral boundaries like physical boundaries. If you told your son he could ride his bike outside until 5:00, chances are, he’ll go exploring beyond where you had in mind. If you caught him riding his bike on the main road, you might be upset.

This really wouldn’t be fair because he wasn’t given a boundary line like, “do not ride your bike past our street.” Now, this doesn’t mean he won’t try to test this boundary but we’ll get to that in the next point.

For now, we need to establish simple boundaries like, “when we play with one game, we need to clean it up before we open another game.”

This keeps us from going into a screaming fit when we walk into the playroom and see every game they own dumped out on the floor after a very exhausting day at work!

There are endless boundaries you can create, but you get the point.

3 | Not Giving Natural Consequences

When we create and effectively and repeatedly communicate our boundaries, we must offer natural consequences when those boundaries are challenged.

And they will be challenged! Your kid isn’t bad when she deliberately disobeys what you just told her. She’s merely testing your resolve and if you’re really telling the truth. Hmmm, think about that for a second.

When we say, “if you don’t pick up your Legos by the time I get back upstairs in five minutes, I’m going to box them up and give them away” and we don’t follow through (if the Legos aren’t cleaned up), we’ve just lied to our child.

And they know it.

This is why giving natural consequences upfront is so important. Don’t give great big threats that you have no intention of doing just to scare them into obedience. This cycle of giving threats and not following through is a recipe for disobedience every day of the week. And your sanity goes right out the window!

Make sure your child clearly knows both the boundary and the consequence to their behavior upfront. If they cross that boundary… that’s where the next point comes in.

4 | Not Keeping Your Word

This is so important to establishing trust with your child. They know when we won’t stick to our word and it’s like blood in the water to a kid.

They aren’t trying to destroy our patience, they’re just trying to figure it all out.

Take a moment to be sure the consequence you’re about to give makes sense and you are willing to dole it out when needed.

Never ever waiver or bargain with your child. This is the key to keeping your peace.

If you’re currently trapped in this cycle, I give you permission to stop right now.

Just know, it’s going to take work and your kids will likely not appreciate your new found change. But over time, they’ll know you mean business and will listen when you talk without needing to yell.

5 | Pouring Out of an Empty Cup

As a mom, we’re in a perpetual state of pouring out. We pour out spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We know that’s all a part of the job of mom.

But what we all seem to forget or treat as unimportant is the filling back up part.

We can’t run on empty any more than our car sitting in the driveway can. Sure, we can try but at what cost?

There are harder mom seasons than others, and in the hardest ones, we need to find pockets of rest. But when we’re not caring for a newborn or for 3 kids under the age of 3, things get a bit easier.

And it’s our job to carve out time to rest and recharge because honestly no one else is going to do it for us!

Doing things that recharge you like getting enough rest, exercising consistently, reading purely for enjoyment (audiobooks are great for moms), having a quiet devotional and prayer time, and even time with close friends you can connect with.

Just remember, these things are only effective if you schedule them regularly… not once a year around Mother’s Day.

Sure, it’s wonderful to have a family who shows their appreciation for all you do, but I’m pretty sure that’s a rare occurrence for most moms. The good news is, you can take charge of your own happiness and show appreciation to yourself. You totally need and deserve it!

6 | You Take it All Personally

Kids misbehave and test boundaries… it’s kind of their thing. It’s NOT personal towards you. There may be things we’re doing that contribute to undesired behavior, but it’s not an attack on you.

Kids are tiny humans and whether we believe it or not, they have their own reasons for doing what they do no matter how strange or annoying those things are to us.

I find one of the best ways to get in our kids’ little heads and hearts is to ask questions before we assume what we see is accurate.

One day I was looking for my daughter who was 5 at the time and heard her in her closet. When I turned the corner I almost lost it! There were clothes everywhere!

What looked like a, destroy my closet for no reason type of situation, was actually her attempting to reorganize her wardrobe. She was just doing it the really hard way kids at that age do. Yikes.

I’m grateful that in that moment, I didn’t start yelling and lecturing but mustered up enough self-control to ask what she was doing.

When I realized that she was trying to do something helpful, I dropped down and started to help her. We had a good conversation and I found out that she didn’t like the way I had organized her clothes and she felt like her way would be easier to get ready in the morning faster.

Who am I to argue that?

Even in the moments when our kids are disobedient and rude right to our faces, we must know there is something else at the root. And ironically, they need us most of the time to help them work through their emotions.

Not taking it personally helps us show up and do that.

7 | Not Managing Things Well

When life gets too hectic and I’ve allowed too many things to overtake our family schedule all the important stuff gets pushed to the side.

What’s left is a very messy house, no plan at all for dinner every night, running late for everything, and a mom that’s always on the edge of a meltdown.

I think in many ways, this is the hardest part about being a mom… the managing the home stuff.

It took me a long time to realize that something’s gotta give and I can’t allow our routines to fall by the wayside.

Making sure that the house stays livable and the kids are actually doing their part in keeping the house clean is so important. When the house is filthy, it’s very hard for me to stay in a positive mindset.

And making sure there is a plan for meals that don’t involve giving all my money away in the drive-thru is also super important. Meal planning is both my nemesis and lifesaver. I honestly hate doing it, but it’s the only way to not operate in chaos.

Finally, practicing intentionally leaving with plenty of time totally reduces fits of yelling at my kids. Running late for appointments is such an open door for yelling, tears, and frustration.

Why Moms Get Angry

This is not an exhaustive list of anger triggers. Moms yell at their kids for many reasons, some are not even being addressed here in this post. These are just some anger triggers that I became aware of personally in my own life and from talking to other moms who struggle with anger.

I want to encourage you to observe your life and time with your kids and look for those things that set you off, and do what you can to eliminate them.

The important thing to remember is, you are NOT a bad mother! Simply the fact that you’re reading this to the bottom proves you’re a good mom.

The first thing I learned is that I needed to change, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I am a Christian and knew I needed to surrender my emotions to Christ. I believe surrender is the first step to change. It acknowledges that I can’t do this on my own or I already would have by now.

I then needed to be honest with myself and transparent with others. I stopped being isolated and found out that other moms were struggling with the same issues. There is freedom in openness.

Finally, I made a quality decision to change and become the mom I knew I was meant to be. I apologized a lot to my kids along the way, and now they hardly have memory of those old days. Which means there’s a better life ahead of you that’s free from guilt and shame.

You can do it if it’s what you really want… you just have to decide.

Want to stop feeling like an angry mom and yelling at your kids all the time? These simple tips really helped me find my anger triggers and stop yelling at my kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingadvice

3 Things Happy Moms Know and Do Every Day to Really Enjoy Motherhood!

how to be a happy mom

Let me start off by answering the big question lingering right now… what makes a happy mom?

I’d like to first tell you that a happy mom is NOT

a perfect mom.

immune from messing up and making mistakes.

happy all the time.

And a happy mom…

does NOT have it all figured out.

does NOT have super powers.

Happy moms

Years ago, I used to be the exact opposite of a happy mom. I was a tired mom, a short-tempered mom, a stressed-out mom, a burnt out mom, and a worried mom. But I never would have defined myself as a happy mom.

It’s not at all that I didn’t love being a mom or loved my kids with every part of me but I was so consumed with “getting it right” and “getting it all done” that all the fun in my days got sucked right out the window like a vacuum, leaving me suffocating inside.

What Happy Moms Do Every Day

I needed a brand new perspective – one that freed me from the bondage of carrying my motherhood on my own. I wanted to learn what other happy moms I knew were doing who didn’t seem to feel so overwhelmed all the time.

And I did. I pinpointed three things that happy moms do every day. And doing these simple things really help so much to remove the pressure and stress that come with motherhood and focus on being free to focus on the things that matter the most.

The Bible calls children, His reward. And I believe that with all my heart. No matter how much stress I may experience as a mom, it will never ever outweigh the joy and gratitude I feel for having the title mom.

“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!”

Psalms 113:9 NLT

So what does a truly happy mom look like?

Well, she’s a humble woman who knows she can’t and shouldn’t try to get it all done on her own. She’s wise to know that there’s no badge of honor for working her mind and body to the bone. She sacrifices by finding her tribe and gains so much in return.

She survives on grace instead of coffee. I mean, coffee is the nectar of the moms and I love my hot cup of goodness every morning. But I couldn’t live without the fuel of grace from Christ allowing me to do what I do with a joyful heart.

A truly happy mom takes responsibility for her own happiness. This simply means our happiness is a choice. We can be happy even when our kids aren’t acting right or when our spouse isn’t giving us what we really need. We have the power to choose joy in the midst of things that aren’t joyful.

And finally, she’s a woman on a mission. She’s on a mission to win the heart of her children. And while she’s cleaning, teaching, feeding, and disciplining those kids she’s paying attention to the biggest goal – relationship.

Keep reading to know how to experience these things in your own life and home with these very simple tips.

1 | Happy Moms Don’t Do #AllTheThings All At the Same Time

I’m not sure where the belief comes from that we, as moms, must do everything. This is simply not true and not healthy. I used to feel as if caring for the kids, for the house, cooking all the meals, doing all the driving, and on and on was my sole duty as a mom.

Meanwhile, I’ve always been a working mom. I quickly wore myself to the bone and had no joy… at all. Sure my kids were smaller back then but that isn’t a good enough reason to not enjoy one of the best season’s of a woman’s life… raising her babies.

So here are my tips for NOT doing #AllTheThings all at the same time!

Ask for Help

Asking for help isn’t asking for a favor. It’s having an honest conversation with your spouse and your kids about what it means to be a part of a family. If you’re doing all the cleaning, cooking, and house duties in your home… stop.

I’m not saying that there’s one way to distribute labor in your home because there’s not. But it should be appropriate for your family’s dynamic. Consider your children’s ages and when you feel it’s time to introduce chores. And it’s been scientifically proven that giving kids chores is a really beneficial thing for them. So absolutely no downside there!

Also, consider your spouse’s work schedule with yours. If you both work equal schedules you both may find that dividing household responsibilities equally works best. Just start talking about it positively and without negative emotions or nagging getting in the way.

Keep a simple schedule and put yourself on it

Having your kids involved in each activity under the sun can feel overwhelming for both you and your kids. As our kids have gotten older, we’ve allowed them to be involved in one activity per child, per season. There are case-by-case exceptions that pop up along the way but this is the norm for us.

This goes for your schedule too. If you are a compulsive people pleaser who just can’t say no, chances are you’re drowning in obligations. It’s OK to say no to volunteering every week at your kid’s school or being on the roster for every event at your church.

Being overloaded isn’t doing you or your family any favors. And do NOT forget to put time for yourself on that schedule. It doesn’t take much but you need to care for yourself too.

Separate work and kids whenever possible

Finally, the one thing that stole my joy faster than anything was trying to do work regularly in the presence of my children. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been a work at home mom with a computer and a baby in my lap at all times!

This led to many, many tantrums (eh hem… from me) when I couldn’t manage the constant interruptions while I was trying to get my work done. I finally had an Aha moment that my kids were doing nothing wrong. It was me that needed to make the adjustment.

I either needed to learn to seamlessly bounce back and forth between my work and my kids’ needs, or I needed to schedule my work around my kids. And because I just didn’t handle the back and forth very well, I make a huge sacrifice and started working around my kids. You can read about that here.

Since making that single change, I am soooo much of a happier mom!

2 | Happy Moms Give Themselves Heaps of Grace

Grace is knowing that we’re all highly imperfect and we need so much grace along every step of this motherhood journey. There are so many decisions, choices, and the many opinions of others that can make us second guess everything we do.

From the very beginning, we’re making big choices like whether to breast or bottle feeding or whether we should co-sleep or sleep train in their nursury. And the truth is, sometimes we totally rock it and other days we feel like the biggest hot mess ever.

And what we don’t need is more mom guilt eating us alive!

Learn to forgive yourself freely

When you do have one of those days, or weeks, where you yelled so much your throat hurts and you feel like the worst mom that ever lived… stop. Stop beating yourself up. It’s not good for you and it’s also not good for your kids.

The best thing your kids need to see is a true example of a person who knows how to positively respond and recover when they make a mistake. Simply make it right however appropriate, apologize genuinely, and move on!

Know you weren’t made to do this on your own

None of us were meant to do this mom life on our own. Whether you’re married to a husband who helps or one that doesn’t, or whether you’re single, divorced or widowed – you shouldn’t strive to do this life on your own.

This is a very in-depth subject in and of itself without a one-size-fits-all answer. But what is true, is we all need a support system. This can be a group of other mom friends that all help each other out when we need it and when we don’t. Or simply having an honest conversation with our family on why it’s important that everyone in the house do their part.

But you were made to do this

The most important part I want you to really know is though you weren’t meant to do this on your own, you were made to do this.

You were given the privilege of becoming a mom and therefore I truly believe you are already equipped for the job. God created you and called you to be a mother before you were born whether you adopted or birthed your children! There is a special grace given to all moms… you just need to put a demand on that grace through faith.

3 | Happy Moms Foster Connection Above All Else

The final and most important thing that happy moms do every day is foster connection above all else. Too often we can get caught up in teaching, leading, and disciplining our kids… and I didn’t even mention cleaning up after!

But happy moms see that the relationship that they build with their child is one that actually helps make the rest of the mom stuff so much easier. Kids naturally want to please those they love and respect.

When we’re truly connected to our kids, they don’t like breaking that bond by doing things that can rock the boat. And the seeds we sow now in bonding with our children is a harvest that will last a lifetime!

There are many ways to foster this connection. Here are a few of my favorites:

Have one on one time

It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, having one on one time with your kids can easily be done every day. Simply schedule a time block for each child every day. Ten minutes is just fine.

You and your child may just love to talk and catch up on the day. You may love reading a book outloud together or even playing a short board game every night. What you do isn’t as important, as your child knowing they have your undivided attention.

Just keep in mind to do what is most fun or interesting to your child. Showing that we’re “into” what they love, even if we’re not, shows how much we care!

Hug it out

Hugging has been shown in many scientific studies to help children deal with emotional challenges, make kids smarter, grow bigger, and even stay healthy. Yes, all that!

Hugging your child for at least 15 seconds is highly recommended. Now, not all your kids will be natural huggers and others will love to stay in your arms for days on end. And other kids will be wiggling out by second-2! But getting those hugs in every day is beneficial to them and us.

Focus on the good

The final way to foster connection with your kids is to always be looking for and focusing on the good in your child. Your kid might be going through a challenging season or a difficult phase and it may take a lot more energy on your part to see the good… but do it anyway.

This doesn’t mean you ignore the bad, but you praise and high-five all the good moments you can find and this helps inspire your child to keep repeating the good behavior. Instead of getting all the attention from their questionable behavior.


Final Thoughts

Happy moms aren’t perfect or immune from mistakes and bad days. Even after you’ve read this entire post and even put these tips into action, you will mess up.

Just remember that section on grace! You can do this AND enjoy the day because as the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. In other words, time flies way too fast, so why not work on enjoying this journey!

These fool-proof tips will help you become a happier and more relaxed mom even when you're feeling stressed! #happymom #motherhood #parenting #kidsandparenting

Why Putting Yourself First Makes you a Much Better Mom!

Are you making time for yourself as a mom? Our kids need a mom who is refreshed, energized, and happy. Putting yourself dead last can leave you feeling cranky, tired, and resentful. Learn how to be your best self today! #Momlife #Motherhood #parenting

Are you a Martyr Mom? You know, a mom who sacrifices everything for her family and puts her own needs dead last on the priority list. Who gives all her energy, strength, and focus on meeting the needs of her children and forgets about her own.

The definition of a martyr is to lay down your life for someone or something you feel is more important or valuable than your own life. Wow, that’s powerful… seriously.

Are you making time for yourself as a mom? Our kids need a mom who is refreshed, energized, and happy. Putting yourself dead last can leave you feeling cranky, tired, and resentful. Learn how to be your best self today! #Momlife #Motherhood #parenting

And a mom laying down her life for the needs of her family may sound like a noble and selfless picture of motherhood, but let me tell you vehemently that it isn’t. That’s because when God created the woman – He made her a woman first… then a wife… then a mother. Well, at least that was the intended order.

It was never intended for us to forget about our amazing identities as women so we can then become worn-out, over-stressed, and cranky mothers.

Nope!

It was fully intended for us to hold on to our pre-baby selves while embracing the amazing season of motherhood as it unfolds.

And motherhood doesn’t always unfold pretty… like those awful fitted sheets, nobody knows how to fold!

Why Moms Should Put Themselves First

I want you to imagine for a moment, a beautiful vase being used to pour out water into smaller glasses. That beautiful vase represents you being poured into the little glasses… those are your children. Everything’s great when you’re filled up and they can easily get your nourishment.

This is actually a picture of what motherhood should look like. Being able to easily pour out what your family needs most.

But what about when you start getting low on water in your vase? What about when your vase goes dry? Does your family get what they need now?

Have you asked yourself where the water comes from in the first place? 

I’ll tell you. It comes from you filling yourself up with your needs first.  Those needs will come in many forms such as:

getting enough sleep

having a consistent devotion or journal time

eating healthy foods

getting exercise

reading a book just for the enjoyment

giving yourself a break

working on a dream you have 

meeting with a friend

Those are just examples of ways women, not just moms, need to fill themselves up so they’re ready to be used and serve the world. I don’t know where you are, but I’ve been the mom who never considered how important my own needs were until I totally lost my joy in motherhood. It was a bad place.

Have You Lost Yourself in Motherhood?

When we think it’s OK to deny ourselves completely so we can endlessly give to our families, we’ll ultimately lose ourselves slowly over time. Our identity and needs get placed on a shelf – becoming covered in dust and forgotten over time.

When we allow ourselves to become Martyr Moms:

We stop nurturing our bodies and neglect the signs of our health taking a nosedive.

We stop nurturing our spirit and slowly pull away from our quiet time with Christ – becoming spiritually weak.

We neglect our relationships and become isolated in our loneliness.

We end up taking on too much in an effort to feel valuable in the eyes of others, only to let our peace get entangled by the roots of stress.

We tell ourselves that our dreams and passions must wait for a better time, all-the-while allowing feelings of resentment to run free in our hearts.

I’m certainly not saying that motherhood doesn’t and shouldn’t require sacrifice and change on our part. I’m not advocating that we forget our family and launch into a new self-centered life. I am saying, however, that we’re better able to serve our families when we’re healthy and filled up!

It’s Time to Find Yourself Again!

He created us to be that loving, strong, joy-filled, healthy, patient, wise, and FUN mom. Not the tired, cranky, stressed out, over-burdened, and burnt-out mom.

The truth is, it’s the love I have for my family that causes me to give them all I have and all I am. And that’s OK as long as I don’t leave myself out of that love equation.

As moms, we MUST love ourselves the way that God loves us.

This means giving ourselves unconditional love AND grace… no matter how many times we fall short or miss the mark.

We need a balance between loving them and loving ourselves and meeting their needs and meeting our own.

After all, my family’s deepest desire is for me to be happy and fulfilled. To be strong and healthy in my mind and body. To be well taken care of and treasured.

Does that sound like the definition of martyr to you? No, it sounds like the virtuous woman in the book of Proverbs whose price is far above rubies.

Know Your True Worth as a Mom

Almost twenty years of marriage and over 13 years of motherhood has taught me that I’m only able to serve my family at my very best when I serve myself first. Not in a self-seeking “everyone else get behind me” kind of way. But where I learn to love myself the way God loves me and the way I love them.

Where I put myself on the schedule to ensure I’m eating when and what is best for my body. Where I slow down to pay attention to my health and stress levels and make the necessary adjustments before a health crisis shows up.

Where I do things that I enjoy, just for me.

But most importantly, I allow God a real place in my life by connecting with Him on a daily basis so He can lead me into becoming the very best version of myself. Ultimately, our Heavenly Father desires for us to experience the fullness of His blessing every day!

He never intended for His daughters to be rundown versions of ourselves.

Allow Him to show you who you really are, and surrender to His will for you to be all you were created to be. He’ll walk you through every step if you allow Him to.

Have you been living as a Martyr Mom? How have you forgotten yourself? Share in the comments below so we can all decide to change together!

Feeling like you're running on empty these days? When we go too hard with our mom life and forget to take care of ourselves, we do our family a HUGE disservice... exactly what we didn't want in the first place! Learn the secret to practicing self-care with the right mindset to be the best mom our family really needs. #selfcare #momlife #motherhood #parenting

Keep Your Home Cool This Summer with the NewAir Portable Air Conditioner Review

portable air conditioner review

Summer is quickly approaching and one of my family’s favorite things to do in the summer is be outside but the summer heat here in Florida is brutal!

Not only are we forced to huddle indoors during peak hours, but our central A/C unit also runs overtime trying to cool our house. I’m not complaining over here… I adore living in Florida! It’s just that we need to be creative to enjoy the summer without getting overheated or paying a ridiculously high utility bill.

That’s where the NewAir Portable Air Conditioner review comes in. This simple to use portable air conditioner was a delight to use in our home and works efficiently and quietly to keep our home cooled.

Why would we want to use a portable air conditioning unit when we have central heat and air?

4 Reasons to Buy a Portable Air Conditioner

1 | Save On Your Utility Bill

We love to bring the outdoors inside in the warm months (which is almost all year here!). We have a large sliding glass door that takes up an entire wall and our favorite thing to do is open that door all the way and let the fresh air in and allow the kids to play freely outside on the porch and in the back yard.

This is too costly because our central A/C would go nuts running constantly! Now we simply raise our thermostat way up (not totally off) so it wasn’t constantly running all day trying to cool the house.

If you have a two-story home, it can lower your home’s cooling costs by running your unit upstairs where heat rises.

2 | Cool Your Garage

If you love working in your garage, workshop, or other outdoor space but hate how overwhelmingly hot it gets during peak times of the day, running a portable air conditioner can help reduce both the heat and humidity.

This is great for working comfortably but also fantastic if you work on projects like DIY painting or other projects. By keeping your workshop cool, it’ll help your projects dry better and faster without bubbles or warping.

3 | If You Have an Addition that Doesn’t Cool Properly

Many older homes have additions that never seem to cool properly causing your home to cool inefficiently. Using the NewAir air conditioner in that space will keep it delightfully comfortable and help keep the rest of your home running more efficiently.

This also works for rooms that heat up due to a large sun-facing window.

4 | If you have an Older Home

If you live in an older or even a historical home, chances are, you may not have central heat and air. And frankly, window units are very heavy, hard to install in the window, and don’t look very nice from the outside. This portable air conditioner is the perfect way to cool your home without the hassle.

How Does the New Air Conditioner Work?

Before I share how this air conditioner works and how easy it is to set up, I want to disclose that I was sent the NewAir Portable unit in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation was exchanged and all opinions are my own honest experiences.

Now, let me share how easily you can cool your home!

After you remove it from the box, you need to choose a location near a window and slip in the window bracket. This will allow you to place the output hose out of a window.

Then you’ll need to open the hose and connect it to the outlet window and the unit itself. This is a very quick process!

The hose is simply removing the hot air from the room and pushing it out the window so your room will cool faster and most efficiently.

Then all you’re left with is a refreshingly cool space! Our living room is an extremely open and large space and our unit keeps it cool just fine, even with the sliding door open!

The Coolest Features of the NewAir Air Conditioner

  1. The unit is on casters and can be easily wheeled from room to room.
  2. Installation is super easy and takes about 15 minutes altogether.
  3. The unit has a digital thermostat that makes setting your room’s temperature super easy.
  4. The unit has a remote control so you can easily change your settings from the couch!
  5. It runs very quietly. We used to have a window unit in our older home because the A/C would go out frequently and it was extremely loud!

NewAir 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner | AC-14100E

Purchase at NewAir

Use code FF20 for 20% off!

If you live in a solder climate, I would suggest purchasing the similar unit with a heater so you can get use out of the NewAir unit all year long!

50 Simple Ways to Speak Your Child’s Love Language Everyday

speak your child's love language

Did you know there’s an actual language of love… no not Italian. Seriously, we all have a unique Love Language that’s tailor-made to our unique personality. A language that when it’s spoken to us, can make us feel love in a deeply personal way.

And understanding the power of love languages, especially as it pertains to our kids, makes such an impact on how we give and receive love. This post shares simple and tangible ways to bond closer with your children using their love language.

We all know what it’s like to feel loved. It’s this experience of love that hits our heart much differently than merely knowing we’re loved. So many of us live the majority of our days in the “knowing we’re loved” zone, versus actually “experiencing that love” in action.

speak your child's love language

We all want to feel that love a whole lot more than just knowing it’s there. I know I’m guilty of letting the days go by without going beyond the usual hug, kiss, and I love you as I drop them off at school. And, of course, the thought that feeding them, clothing them, and sheltering them is an expression of love.

And though they are clearly expressions of love, I have to ask myself when was the last time my child “felt” love. A love that was meant just for them, and not a one-size-fits-all love that merely got tossed to all the kids at once on the way out the door.

The truth is, far too often we all take for granted that our spouse, children, and friends simply know we love them and leave it at that. Until a holiday (#Valentine’s Day) or other special event rolls around. Then we bring out the big guns!

This list is designed to help you become an even better mom and a positive parent than you already are!

We Speak Love in our Own Language

But our loved ones need so much more than that, especially our sweet children. Who are generally sweet most of the time. 

They need to feel and experience a clear and tangible expression of our love. One they can’t question or talk themselves out of later. And the best way to do this is to show them love in their own love language.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or mounds of your children’s dirty laundry) and haven’t heard of love languages; let me catch you up.

The concept is taught extensively by Gary Chapman who wrote several books on the topic including The 5 Love Languages of Children – which I HIGHLY recommend along with all of his other books on the topic.

He teaches that there are basically five main ways (languages) we humans uniquely communicate love to one another. We all communicate on some level using all five languages, but Gary believes we each have one overarching language that’s stronger than all the others. That’s our love language.

Why are Love Languages Important?

The interesting part is, we naturally communicate our love to others using our own love language. I mean, that’s our own language, right? But this can hinder the flow of the “love exchange” because, as you know by now, we receive love best in our own language. Confused yet?

Please don’t be. Think of love languages as actual languages. If your husband spoke French and you only spoke English, your relationship would be challenging at best. But if you knew each other’s language and chose to speak that language to each other – you’d be in business. No more mixed signals. Well, hopefully.

This gives us the challenge of identifying and understanding the love language of those we want to show love to the most – our family. This way you can shoot your arrows of love like The Mocking Jay and hit the bulls-eye every single time. Imagine that!

The whole point of understanding and using love languages is the concept of filling each other’s love tank. And doing things that fill our child’s love tank in the specific way that they need it, sends the message loud and clear to your child – I AM LOVED.

Tips to Identify Your Child’s Love Language

In case you don’t know your child’s love language, I’m going to briefly list a few clues to point you in the right direction. I’ll warn you, it may seem at first that your child has ALL the love languages.

But if you observe your child over time, it’ll become more clear. Once you know your child’s love language, you can have fun delivering love messages to them in a way that’s sure to fill their love tank all the way to the top!

Physical Touch

  • Your child is touchy-feely and never seems to leave your side.
  • Frequently grabs your hand to hold it, leans on you, or rubs you in an affectionate way.
  • Loves to snuggle, cuddle, and be close.
  • If you reject this snuggle-fest request, they’ll likely feel rejected themselves.

Words of Affirmation

  • Your child is highly motivated by your words of encouragement.
  • They tend to feed off the validation of others.
  • They also will be more affected by harsh verbal correction or discipline.
  • Compliments and praise are like fuel to their soul.

Quality Time

  • Your child will frequently ask to spend time with you, even after you just had an awesome one on one day yesterday! Lol
  • Every time you turn around – they’re there looking to see what you’re doing.
  • If they aren’t getting the attention they’re seeking out, they will often resort to getting attention elsewhere. This is where getting negative attention can come in.
  • They’ll ask to come along when you’re just running errands. The point is, they want to be with you. Here are some great ideas for family connections!

Gifts

  • Your child sees receiving gifts a special moment.
  • On big gift giving days like Christmas and Birthdays, they’ll often remember who gave each and every gift.
  • They will often collect and store seemingly random mementos from places they’ve been or from things they’ve been given by friends.

Acts of Service

  • Your child always wants to help and will even try to take over doing things like folding the laundry or putting away dishes as an act of love.
  • They will look for things that need to be done, like cleaning up the pile of blocks that got left in the corner. They’ll feel proud and accomplished after doing this, so showing your appreciation will go a long way.
  • They will naturally look for ways to help others.

How to Bond with Your Child Using Love Language

Even when you’re busy and overwhelmed with life, these ideas are so super, simple that you’ll find yourself inventing new ideas. The ways to speak your child’s love language are really endless and are only bound by your creativity and FUN! Let’s get to it.

 Physical Touch

  1. Watch their favorite TV show or read a book snuggled up on the couch. For ideas, check out my Epic Summer Reading list here!
  2. Create a special one-of-a-kind handshake.
  3. Give a lingering hug every day. One that just holds for an extra moment or two.
  4. Offer piggy-back or on the shoulder rides (if they’re still little enough!)
  5. Invite them into your lap to read as long and as often as they’ll still accept the invitation.
  6. Challenge them to an arm or thumb wrestling contest.
  7. Play a board game. Twister is a great one if you can handle it, Mom!
  8. ALWAYS tuck your child in for bed whenever possible.
  9. Wake them up sweetly with a warm snuggle instead of the light on and a, “wake up!”
  10. Do yoga or stretches together using each other for gentle resistance and support.

Words of Affirmation

  1. Write them a love note in their lunch box.
  2. Send them a text message telling them how awesome they are. Be specific and genuine! They’ll spot a canned praise a mile away.
  3. Always be ready with something awesome to say about them when they’re with their friends and/or siblings.
  4. When disciplining/correcting use the sandwich method. Praise – correction – praise.
  5. Offer words of praise that are very specific such as, “it was so awesome when you did … “
  6. Talk openly about them in a positive way around other family and friends.
  7. Always reserve correction to be given privately within your home and not around others.
  8. Create fan signs for your child at their sports games or other activities. And scream their name loudly if appropriate.
  9. Purchase a nice journal for them and write an inspiring message for them on the first page and date it. Words are important for those with this love language so journaling is usually a great activity to encourage.
  10. Create a secret journal that only you and your child know about that you use to write back and forth to each other. This is wonderful for those challenging tween years.

Quality Time

  1. Have a regularly scheduled date day. Could be simple and free like going to the park every Friday. Here are some great FREE ideas! 
  2. Go for a walk alone. Allow them to lead the conversation.
  3. Order a fun subscription box for kids. They are so much fun. My kids are obsessed with these!
  4. Find a way to include them in your work, if you work from home and they’re old enough. Get creative.
  5. Play with your child. Enter their play fort, hide really well in a game of hide-and-seek, and learn how to give their dolls the most stylish do’s for their latest date to the ball.
  6. Create a project together that the whole family can enjoy when it’s done.
  7. Reorganize or rearrange a room together.
  8. Take up a physical activity like running together. You can train together and run marathons throughout the year.
  9. Cook a meal together. Allow them to plan, shop, and prepare it.
  10. Identify a talent, hobby, or sport they love and find a way to get involved. Become a coach, a volunteer, or start your own group.

Gifts

  1. Give unique and meaningful gifts like planting a beautiful tree together in the backyard. Preferably one of their favorites, if possible.
  2. Tap into your inner DIY crafter (get on Pinterest) and find something to make for your child that they can use every day like a jewelry organizer or a nice phone charging station. The fact that you took the time to make something won’t be lost on this child!
  3. Get creative in making gifts for classroom gift-giving seasons like Valentine’s Day. They like giving gifts as much as receiving them.
  4. Give them the gift of quality stationery so they can beautifully express their appreciation for the gifts they receive from others.
  5. Make their gifts an event or experience by coordinating a gift treasure hunt.
  6. Work on a project that allows them to use their talents as gift giving opportunities.
  7. Give them gifts with a deeper meaning or significance such as a piece of jewelry or a personalized journal. And make the packaging thoughtful!
  8. Bring them a personal memento from an interesting place you went that day or from your travels. For example, a cool looking rock or flower. Repay the “look what I found” sentiment we get from them so often.
  9. Buy them personalized items with their name on it. This could be as simple as a dinner plate or cup with their name printed on it but can get more special as they get older.
  10. Create cool spaces for them to store their new gifts or mementos. Like baskets, shadowbox shelves, or cabinets with open spaces.

Acts of Service

  1. Give your child special responsibilities they personally enjoy doing such as cooking, walking the dog, or watering the plants. Allow them to have feedback in the process.
  2. Create opportunities to display random acts of kindness to strangers together.
  3. Offer to be a teacher’s helper in your child’s classroom and allow your child to work as your assistant.
  4. Discuss how you can work with them to use their interests to help others on your street. If they love animals, you can both offer to wash their neighbor’s dog for free together.
  5. Payback their acts of service by doing one of their chores secretly.
  6. Let your child HELP! Even when they roll the shirts up instead of folding them.
  7. Plan simple random acts of kindness just for them.
  8. Take the time to teach. Instead of just “doing” everything, slow down and teach your child how to do something.
  9. Always bring extra to share. If you get a snack in the kitchen put extra on your plate so you can freely share. Or better yet, offer to get them their own plate!
  10. Cook them their favorite “real” breakfast every now and then on a school morning

This is just a list to get your imagination working. As a mom, it’s important for us to take the time to learn how to deliver the message of our love in a way that speaks uniquely to them. No more generic love! 

Do me a favor and put in the comments below what your child’s love language is. My oldest daughter’s is giving gifts, and my middle daughters is physical touch. I’m not yet sure of my toddler’s yet but I’ll keep you posted.

Tell us what love expressions you’re planning next in the comments below! Let’s keep this list going beyond this 50!

Does your child "feel" your love every day in a tangible way? It's super easy when you know their love language! Get 50 super simple ways to speak your child's love language every day! #parenting #momadvice #kids #kidsandparenting #parentingtipsKnowing your child's love language is very helpful in being able to show love to your child in a special way every day. These 50 ideas will get you started today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #momadvice #mom #kidsLove is unique for everyone because we all have a love language. Find out how to speak your child's unique love language today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momlife #motherhood These super easy and unique ideas will have you speaking your child's love language everyday and strengthening your relationship in the process! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101

Want to know the secret to making your child feel loved every day? It's learning to speak your child's love language! This post will both help you learn their love language and give you 50 simple ways to speak your child's love language every day! #lovelanguage #parenting #kidsandparenting #positiveparenting #gentleparenting

7 Ways To Be a Parent Your Kids Won’t Talk To or Share With

Tips to communicate better with your kids

Little kids and toddlers talk and share… a lot. It’s pretty much what they do best. In fact, many parents consider their small children to be “over-sharers” of oodles of random thoughts and information.

But as kids get older all that can change. Suddenly, your abundantly chatty 6-year-old becomes a tight-lipped 12-year-old overnight.

Tips to communicate better with your kids

Why does this communication phenomenon happen with so many kids as they get older?

It all boils down to trust and how we set up the boundaries of parental communication early on in our parenting relationship.

The younger a child is, the less they pay attention to what and how we say things. They genuinely just want to talk and be with us. So in order to keep this lovely over-sharing going strong into the teen years and beyond, we need to start preparing now.

It turns out the connection a kid needs to feel with his parents in order to open up and talk to them is cemented long before the teen years. Julie Romanowski, a parenting coach in Vancouver, says communication skills are built even in infancy and toddlerhood. source

And if you’re wondering how you connect and communicate with your little ones, if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Mommy will you play with me?” you just heard it.

Toddlers and small children talk, share, and connect with us through play. I personally am not the mom who loves “playing with my kids” but it’s a necessary sacrifice that seals the path for open and healthy communication down the road.

We need to break our bad communication habits now and work to develop healthy ones that create openness in our relationship with our children.

Our Highest Priority as Parents

I believe one of our highest priorities as parents, beyond feeding and clothing, is to win our child’s heart. If you have a person’s heart, you have everything to need to be in a healthy and thriving relationship.

And it’s every parent on the planet’s goal to be in a healthy and thriving relationship with their child that lasts a lifetime.

It’s hard and is work that takes more sacrifice that our society thinks is necessary or even possible, but it’s oh so worth it.

If you strongly desire to raise kids that want to come to you first to share their joys and victories along with their fears, questions, and problems you need to be sure you aren’t making the following communication mistakes.

Kids, tweens, and teens all have their own levels of sensitivity. And being repeatedly exposed to any of the following mistakes can cause your child to inadvertently shut down and stop sharing with you on a meaningful level.

And that alone is devastating for a parent.

How to Become a Parent Your Kids Won’t Talk To

When your child decides to share the random events of their day at school, confides in you about a peer pressure situation they’re struggling with, or wants to tell you a dream they have for their future… it’s a big deal.

Talking and sharing is the access to our child’s heart and that’s always my goal with my kids – to win their heart. If you can successfully win the heart, you win the child.

But we need to be acutely aware of ways we might not even know that stand in our way of being a parent our kids want to talk and share with, especially as they get older.

Here are some really huge actions to watch out for in your own behavior the next time you find yourself in a kid conversation.

1 – You Try to Fix Everything

A huge mistake loving parents make as an act of love is to swoop in mid-conversation to help your child fix their problem. After all, we’re the parents with all the experience and wisdom, right?

Wrong. Well, yes you have wisdom and experience but you can’t use all that right now. Your kid is wading through their issue and finding the right words and emotions to share them with you.

That’s all that matters right now. Not fixing anything.

In fact, we all probably know what this feels like. My hubby does this to me all the time and it drives me nuts. We all need to vent and let our thoughts out into the open without solutions and ideas shooting out of the sky like heat-seeking missiles.

When we’re quick to offer solutions, what we’re really saying to the other person is they aren’t smart enough to come to a good solution on their own. We also rob our children of developing the skills to think critically and solve problems on their own.

2 – You Aren’t Fully Present

One of the most damaging things we can do repeatedly when in conversations with anyone is not give our full attention to the person.

Like when your kid tries to talk to you but your phone is literally still in your hand as you umm hmm through the conversation only occasionally meeting their eyes with yours.

This tells them you’re not really listening.

I know as women we’re known for great multitasking skills but there’s no place for multitasking in communication, with our kids or our spouse.

Eye to eye communication is best with our phone out of sight.

I already know what you’re thinking… the last time your 10-year-old held you hostage to talk about their awesome Minecraft world they just created you thought you actually fell asleep with your eyes open.

I get it, kids’ conversations aren’t always the most interesting for us but every conversation lays the groundwork for more meaningful ones down the road. Hang in there!

3 – You Judge Their Feelings

When your child is sharing how they honestly feel about a situation or even a person and we shift right into parent mode and say something like, “now that’s not a nice way to think about her.” or “is that how I taught you to talk to a friend?”

If your kid is in the middle of sharing their raw, unedited feelings our best course of action is to listen, listen, and keep listening.

Judging them no matter how much we may want to, in the moment, is off limits.

Again, think of how we feel when we vent to a friend or spouse and we know deep inside we’re totally overreacting but the last thing we want is to feel judged for our feelings.

All we want is an ear to listen.

After they’re done, try asking a question like, “how do you think you handled the situation?” or “would you have done things differently if you could?”

These are non-judgemental questions and allow your child to think and reason for themselves. This line of questioning helps your child learn how to solve problems and self-edit their own behavior.

Plus, they keep the conversation going and building more trust!

4 – You Try to Change Their Feelings

Imagine being in a conversation with a friend and you are very upset about a situation and they responded to you like this:

  • “I think you may be over-reacting a little…”
  • “I think you should…”
  • “This could get better for you if you just…”
  • You don’t need to cry about that...”

Everyone has emotions and we’re all probably guilty of way overusing them. And when we’re smack-dab in the middle of a cry-fest the LAST thing anyone wants is to be told their feelings aren’t valid or need to be changed.

The only thing your kid needs when they’re experiencing strong feelings is support and empathy.

To fully understand empathy in a way you’ve probably never heard but WILL open your eyes, watch Brene Brown’s super short video on understanding empathy (this will help you so much!):

5 – You Blow Them Off

Blowing a person off doesn’t always look like making a date with someone and not showing up. Nope. When it comes to our kids it’s often much more subtle than that.

This happens to me a lot… I’m working and one of my kids comes in the room and starts to share something amazing that happened at school and I say, “in a minute… let me finish this first” and then totally forget them when I’m done.

Kids (humans) know when they’re being blown off and though we probably do it so often we don’t even notice it anymore, we need to stop!

If you are truly unable to speak with your child at that moment (that’s real) we need to be very skilled at keeping our word when we are available. That means getting up and finding your child, apologizing, and give them your fullest attention.

Why should you apologize? This is not out of admitting that you did something wrong but as a means to acknowledge how sorry you are for not being available when they needed you.

And if you are truly able to stop what you’re doing at that moment… DO IT.

6 – You Make it All About You

Nobody likes a narcissist. If you compulsively turn conversations with other people toward you… stop now.

When someone is sharing with you, the conversation is and should be about them. Responding repeatedly with statements like…

  • “when this happened to me as a kid, I did…”
  • “what I would do is…”
  • “I know I didn’t raise you like that…”

…leaves your child feeling less-than in your eyes. You are sowing seeds of comparison and competition. And if you’re a mom talking to her daughter, this is very dangerous ground.

Often times self-absorbed communication stems from the desire to fix a situation so we end up looking good in the end. For example, if our child is acting out, we don’t want to be judged by others so we attempt to fix it fast.

We must keep our own motives out of our kid’s conversations and keep it about supporting and helping them. Instead of offering advice and opinions try asking, “how can I help?

If the answer is nothing or not now, leave it alone and don’t push to be the savior. This is a wonderful opportunity to pray for your child and let God work it out!

7 – You Freak Out

Let’s just all agree that part of being a parent is spending most of your time being shocked.

Shocked when your newborn blows out more poop than seems humanly possible and when your toddler paints a sharpie mural in your living room.

So when your kid trusts you enough to tell you that a boy hit her at school today and you immediately fly off the handle you’re sending signals that you’ll freak out every time you hear freak out worthy news.

You’ve gotta compose yourself and be cool. Count to ten, breathe slowly, or whatever you have to do but stay calm and listen. And help them work it out.

Then excuse yourself to your closet and shout into a pillow!


Parenting isn’t easy… that wasn’t part of the deal. But one of the greatest joys a mom can experience is the trust and loving relationship with her child. It takes work but is the greatest work we’ll ever do!

How do you connect and keep communication flowing in your home? Share in the comments below.

We want our kids to share all their deepest hopes, fears, and struggles... but there are a lot of reasons why they don't and share them with someone else. Learn the behaviors we might be doing that's costing us a close relationship with our kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting