3 Ladies blended into 1 SuperMom

Author: Eva Jenkins

How Bruno Mars Helped My Son Find His Voice

How Bruno Mars Helped My Son Find His Voice

“Twenty-four carat magic in the AAAIIIIRRRR!” The sound caused her to slowly peak around the corner into the kitchen where then 4-year-old Nate stood facing the radio, eye-level with the speaker, bellowing at the top of his lungs the lyrics to the chorus. My aunt […]

What I Wish People Understood About Mental Illness

What I Wish People Understood About Mental Illness

I wish more people understood mental illness. I’ve been a mental health nurse for 8 years, and I can tell you with great certainty that you know someone with a mental illness, whether you are aware of it or not. We all know someone, because […]

If My Kids Are In School, Why Am I Still At Home?

If My Kids Are In School, Why Am I Still At Home?

For as long as there are stay-at-home moms, there will be moms that question that decision.

I had to be a stay-at-home mom.

I still remember it, the feel of it, the heartbreak of it. We were living in Alaska at the time, and after work one day, I headed off to pick my girls up from daycare. As we stood by the door chatting and talking about the day, the sitter handed me my sweet baby, Grace. As our conversation went on, Gracie reached back out of my arms for the babysitter. She reached back like that was where she was comfortable, like that was where she belonged, like that was her mama. And I was just a stranger passing through. That moment forever sealed itself into my story.

On the drive home, my babies in the back seat, I cried. That was my baby. I’m her mama. I knew at that moment I had to be a stay-at-home mom. After the sting of it wore off, I started planning. If I worked x amount of overtime for x amount of hours for x number of months, we could pay off the car. I spent the rest of the evening with my mind spinning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a difficult conversation to have with Lou. There was no pushback. It was decided: when we left Alaska (we’re a military family), I would officially become a stay-at-home mom.

And a stay-at-home mom I was. My babies were ages one and two, they needed me. We bought our first house, the house needed me. I started couponing to help out however I could. All said and done, we were fine. There was so much to be done. School enrollments, drop-offs, pick-ups, potty training, home decor: the list was endless.

But it seems that while I was cleaning the bathroom, the world had moved on.

What now?

Once the girls were in school full-time, I found myself wondering what I should really be doing all day long. I plan meals, run errands, bring lunch to my husband when he can’t get away. So what? How did I get to the point where what I do seems so unimportant? Did my importance boil down to whether or not I had hand soap in the house? And yes, one day when my husband asked me for soap, I cried.

I briefly thought about returning to the workforce; however, I was quickly hit with the realization that the band played on and whatever I could bring to anyone’s table was just irrelevant. How can that be an example to anyone?

I encourage my girls to be something, to do something, and to rely on only themselves. When they say they want to be like mommy and stay home to take care of their family, I don’t feel the sense of pride that I think I’m supposed to feel and it makes me sad. I don’t want them to ever wonder if they are enough. I don’t want them to ever feel as though the world has moved on. I want them to do and be so that if someone ever tries to pull the rug out from under them, they will land on their feet.

My mother raised my sister and me to be women who don’t have to stay (something that has proven priceless once in my life already). I want the same for my girls. I struggled to reconcile how I can be for myself and still be there for them.

Raising my kids is the most important thing I could ever do.

After some serious soul searching, I realized that what I am doing is so much more. I am there to hold my babies when they are sick or there to hold them just because. I get to spend the time with my children so many other parents long for with their own. Still, with all the time I am given, I find myself wondering where it all goes, and why so fast.

Being present is important, but so is being an example. I have shown my girls how to be kind and empathetic towards others. I have shown them how to keep a home, not just a house. I have even shown them how to make a chicken dinner on their own. Now, as they grow older, I want to show them what being proud of yourself looks like, and selfishly, a little part of me wants them to be proud of their mom.

Having something beyond motherhood is good (for everyone).

I decided to become a freelance writer and blogger. It’s the perfect storm, really. I could write about the things I love and maybe help others in the process. I am able to work on my terms, and still be available for my kids and my husband when they need me. Writing, researching, and blogging have given me a newfound purpose. I am excited to work on my blog every day and I go to bed every night unable to fall asleep because my mind is spinning with new ideas. I have something to pour my creativity into, something that is mine. I found my happy medium.

And as I sit here writing this article, my daughters are sitting at the table with me, working on their own “blogs.”

My cup runneth over.

This piece was originally published on Her View From Home.

I Was A Victim Of Sexual Assault, But For Years I Told Myself It ‘Wasn’t That Bad’

I Was A Victim Of Sexual Assault, But For Years I Told Myself It ‘Wasn’t That Bad’

I spent over 20 years denying my experience of sexual assault and harassment during college. It wasn’t violent, so I didn’t think I had a right to complain. I blamed myself and assumed there was something wrong with me for not being able to let […]

Here’s What Happened When My Tween Tried A Weighted Blanket

Here’s What Happened When My Tween Tried A Weighted Blanket

For a couple years now, I’d been hearing about weighted blankets, and each time I heard about them, I thought to myself, “My son should try one.” Ever since my son (now a tween) was a baby, he’s been kind of a live wire. He’s […]

Today Was One Of ‘Those’ Days

Today Was One Of ‘Those’ Days

It has been one of those days.

Those days that start hours before the alarm to get the kids ready for school goes off. When you hear one baby crying for you and the other coughing in her bedroom, surely sick and needing to stay home from school.

The ones when you walk into your baby’s room and the smell of urine smacks you in the face at the same instant you feel three little Legos impale the sensitive arch in your right foot like shards of broken glass.

That’s the kind of day it was.

When at breakfast, your previously urine soaked baby screams louder and more shrilly than the thousands of Justin Beiber teenyboppers you were surrounded by with your oldest daughter at the concert last night.

The kind of day when there is no Excederin left in the medicine cabinet, and your 2-year-old has just dropped an entire bowl of milk and Cheerios across the freshly swiffered dining room floor and then decides to take that moment to do an ice skating piroutte, fit for the Olympics, landing nose first into the corner of the wall. And you have to stop yourself from thinking that at least it got the baby to shut up.

That day when your husband is at work on his third 14-hour double shift in a row, and you are stuck in the house with no transportation and three children demanding snacks and fighting over what cartoon to watch — when you start counting down the hours until bedtime before 9 a.m.

It was one of those kinds of days.

That kinda day when naptime finally rolls around and after struggling to get your baby down in his crib, he is awoken minutes later by your screaming toddler as you bring her upstairs to put her down for her nap.

It’s that day when you suddenly realize you cannot remember the last time you showered as you look down at your two napless two-year-olds, and see that while you were reheating your coffee for the third time, they had gotten into the garbage and were now putting pieces of sticky banana peel in each other’s hair.

That’s the type of day it’s been.

The one where I snap at my kids too often. I curse under my breath. I ask myself how I have made it this far as a mother. I question not how I will make it through the rest of the day, but even the next half an hour.

That’s the day I’m dealing with it.

But as I finally sit down after this hell of a day, I realize that I made it. It’s over. My kids are still healthy, and taken care of. We are safe and provided for. And I remind myself that these kind of days are going to happen. And they’ll drive me to the brink of insanity again and again. But I’ll make it through each one of them. And I’ll have good days that outnumber these.

Who knows… maybe tomorrow will be one of those days.

This Viral Image Shares Some Awesome Strategies To Help An Anxious Child

This Viral Image Shares Some Awesome Strategies To Help An Anxious Child

We tend to think of anxiety as something that primarily strikes stressed out adults. But the fact is, many kids deal with anxiety on a daily basis. The latest statistics from the CDC show that as many as 1 in 7 kids have a diagnosed […]

Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Quit My Job

Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Quit My Job

When I got pregnant with my third child five years ago, I sat down one day to do some money math.  My teaching job, which I loved, paid a decent salary. But our childcare bills, which would grow again with the addition of another baby, […]

Islands Celebrates Pineapple Season *Giveaway*

Islands Celebrates Pineapple Season *Giveaway*

For years, I dreamed of visiting Hawaii. When the four of us finally jet-setted across the Pacific Ocean to the majestic island of Maui, I found the breathtaking beauty of that place to be intoxicating. The crystal clear water and white sand beaches seemed to leap off the pages of the travel magazines I had studied intently before our trip. And while I knew that pineapples would be in abundance, I had no idea just how many different ways the tropical fruit could be served up.

Mahalo

Image: Islands

{Consideration provided by Islands}

Pineapple Season at Islands

Pineapple Margarita

Photos remind me that our trip was more than just a dream, and thanks to Islands, I can get my pineapple fix! Through July, Islands Restaurants across the country will celebrate Pineapple Season with featured menu items and the return of their Makaha Maggie Margarita with Pineapple-Infused Tequila.

Islands Restaurant

Pineapple Menu Items

Hawaiian Burger - Islands

  • Hawaiian Burger: Fresh pineapple, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, swiss and mayo
  • Toucan Sandwich: Grilled chicken breast, teriyaki sauce, fresh pineapple, swiss, lettuce, tomato & mayo

Yaki Tacos - Islands

  • Yaki Tacos: Flour tortillas stuffed with grilled chicken, teriyaki sauce, cheddar and jack cheese, fresh pineapple salsa, lettuce and tomatoes with a side of ranchero beans
  • Chicken Hoisin Bowl: Grilled chicken, topped with fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli & diced scallions w/hoisin sauce, served over brown rice. Also available with teriyaki sauce.
Hoisin Bowl

Image: Islands

  • Grilled Fish Hoisin Bowl: Seasoned and grilled fish, fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli and diced scallions with hoisin sauce, served over brown rice. Also available with teriyaki sauce. (available at select locations)
  • Big Island Iced Tea: Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice and strawberry purée
  • Mai Tai: Dark rum, pineapple & orange juices, sweet & sour, orgeat syrup, grenadine and a float of Myers’s Rum
  • Piña Colada: Don Q Rum, pineapple and coconut cream
  • Lava Flow: Don Q Rum, pineapple juice, strawberry and coconut cream
  • Side/Dessert: Fresh Pineapple with Yogurt Dip

Thanks to Islands, I recently visited our local restaurant at the Shops at Mission Viejo to try out their Pineapple Menu. I’ve often incorporated tropical fruits into my fish dishes at home so we opted for the Yaki Tacos with grilled fish. The mildly sweet flavor of the pineapples was a wonderful compliment to the grilled white fish. The Yaki tacos traditionally come prepared with chicken, however, you can customize many of the dishes based on your taste and dietary preferences.

Cobb Salad

Queso Burger

My memories of Islands go way back, and it wasn’t uncommon for our family of three to be dining at their Burbank location on a Friday or Saturday night. It was here that I was first introduced to spinach & artichoke dip and made it a habit to order their Moa Kai every time we visited the restaurant.

Kona Pie - Islands

I tend to have a sweet tooth, which is why I exercise discipline during the week and allow myself the freedom to indulge a bit come the weekend. We ended our meal with Islands Kona Pie. Each of us had planned to simply take a few bites. But the combination of mocha almond fudge ice cream, chocolate fudge, roasted almonds and a cookie crust was enough to throw us over the edge. Not a single bite of that pie remained.

Islands uses nearly 182,000 fresh pineapples per year for their dishes and tropical drinks. So while the Pineapple Season runs through the end of July, you could easily enjoy their featured dishes throughout the year.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Margarita Month at Islands

Through the end of May, you can save $2 on select margaritas including the Rocks, Frozen, Mangorita, and Strawberry Margarita (not available during Happy Hour).

Pineapple Coloring Sheet

Kids Pineapple Coloring Contest

Through the end of May, kids are encouraged to design and decorate their own pineapple coloring sheet (provided by the restaurant) for a chance to win $50 to Islands. You can view the official rules here.

Win It!  One of you will win a $25 gift card to Islands Restaurants. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave me a comment with the dish you’d like to try. Comments will close on June 7th, 2018 at 11:59 PM PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.

Your Complete Guide to Visiting Knott’s Soak City

Your Complete Guide to Visiting Knott’s Soak City

Our summers here in Southern California can get quite warm, so an escape to cooler (and wetter) places is typically in order.  If you’re looking for things to do in Southern California with kids this summer, a trip to Knott’s Soak City may just be […]