Back in 2017 (!) I wrote a ‘confessional’ post about my reality as a food blogger vs what you see on the internet. With all the changes for everyone these past few years, I’ve been wanting to write an update.
Here is my I-have-4-children-and-recently-became-a-single-mom-again-during-the-pandemic confession.
Really, this is less of a confession (I don’t feel any guilt associated with this) than it is a reality check for YOU, so that you’re reminded of the real person behind the keyboard.
Four kids oddly is easier than 3 or 2.
- Everyone has a friend. With mixing and matching, nobody is the odd man out ever.
- This baby stuff is muscle memory. This fourth time around my hands seem to buckle the baby into the carseat, change the diaper, and carry her around without me even thinking about it. I know how to baby proof this house, what the tired vs hungry cry sounds like, and that the night wake ups really do end.
- Peer pressure, baby! They all know that one tantrum can ruin the fun outing for everyone. And so it’s not just me who wants the kids to behave appropriately whether we’re at the fair, park, grocery store, or on a trip.
- I’m more intentional with my time and energy. There is much less wiggle room, so I’m more decisive about what I say ‘no’ to, and more excited about what I can say ‘yes’ to!
- We do what works, not what we think we should do. The idea of ‘fair’ isn’t about being the same, it’s about everyone getting what they need.
- I know what phases pass now, for the littler ones at least. That 7 year old who is making a face in every.single.family.photo this year? He will stop when he realizes there are no nice pictures of him in the family photo album this year ;)
Lots of things need to be an OR not an AND.
This is what I want you to take away today :)
I may show pictures of my children doing chores, going on hikes, making dinner, and also in clean clothes, going to school, and participating in sports… but this doesn’t all happen at once!
- I can show a child how to clean the bathroom during clean up day (or do it myself), OR I can teach another child to re-thread the weed eater line (or do it myself). Both can’t happen at once, and my yard hasn’t been weed-eated in months.
- I can cook with a beginning-to-cook child OR I can clean up the kitchen as I go. I know that I need at least double the time to cook with a helper. We set aside special time to cook with them rather than allowing it every day.
- I can take the kids on a hike OR make keto lasagna for dinner. On hiking days we usually have leftovers.
- I can get all the school supplies and back to school clothes and meet all the teachers OR have all homemade lunchbox foods. The beginning of the year chaos means buying more pre-packaged lunchbox foods.
- I can drive to a local ranch and farmers markets OR I can drive to sports practices. Right now we order from ButcherBox and use Smith’s curbside pickup and go to all the football games.
- I can do bath night OR cook. My 14-year-old is in charge of tacos, chili, or my 12-year-old is in charge of burgers on bath nights. This only happens now because I spent years supervising them in the kitchen.
- I can have a high-needs baby OR a clean floor and caught up laundry. This baby is really easy going, and is my first to contentedly play on the floor or sleep without being held in her first year. Don’t compare what someone with an easy going baby does to what you can get done with a higher needs baby, toddler, or preschooler!
I quit alcohol
I went from being a non-drinker until 27 to a social drinker, to a more-often-than-social drinker, back to social drinking (out of the house) and I’ve recently found that alcohol has absolutely no redeeming qualities for me and have become a non-drinker again.
I have an article about my findings surrounding alcohol lies here! I’m excited to share this with you, I feel like the culture of alcohol lies is disrupting more of you than you realize.
Teenagers and pre-teens are a LOT of fun!
- Our hard work paid off! After years of feeling like I was instructing into a void for way too often, my work has paid off and there is now evidence that our children actually were listening and watching! There is nothing sweeter than watching this unfold!
- Texting them is hilarious! Whether it’s text reminders to take out the trash, or reaction GIFs, I love this additional way to communicate with my teens.
- Being able to watch TV shows that I actually enjoy is making the after-dinner hour much more relaxing. We love Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, and even the Brady Bunch!
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I loved reading your post. It makes so much sense and you are importantly investing in the big picture. My children are more grown up, but in ways its all still relevant. All the best. ❤️
Thank you so much Josie!
Hi! I appreciate this post. Such a good way to explain our choices…”OR”…can’t have both. I was wondering when you buy packaged foods, what do you get? My daughter is 10 and overweight. I think she needs to be GF and DF. I have a lot of trouble with her lunches as she loves pasta and is not into pb n j or any sandwich, really. It’s almost like she wants dinner for lunch. I am really struggling with her diet. If I start eliminating gluten and dairy, she cries and has a fit. I already have so many battles throughout the family (my son has SPD, extremely picky) etc. that I don’t stand my ground. I know it would be best for her, though.
I would greatly appreciate a “food haul” type of post on packaged foods when you are in a time crunch sort of thing. Or have you already done this?
HI Devon, it sounds like you’re on the right track! First, have you seen my Picky Eating Solution? https://healthhomeandhappiness.com/picky-eating-solution
Second, these are the packaged foods in my house right now: Nut packs, jerky packs, individual yogurt cups, freeze-dried strawberries, frozen veggies, Teton Waters hotdogs, RX Bars, applesauce cups, pork rinds, and more but that’s what I can think of :)
Every day I read our law enforcement call logs – every call or incident involving police officers gets recorded on the logs.
If it weren’t for alcohol and drugs, our crime rate and nuisance calls would drop 90%. Really. Such a waste of…everything. now days you cant even pick up a book or read a blog about how recipes or anything depend on adding alcohol. Pathetic.
I believe it! I bought into the ‘alcohol everywhere’ thing and it did NOT serve me well!
I agree with you about alcohol lies! Have you read “This Naked Mind”?? Such a great eye-opening book. Changed my relationship with alcohol completely.
Yes! A friend loaned it to me and I ended up buying the audio book so I could listen to it.
I’m so impressed by your positive attitude, your energy levels, to want to have and to be able manage four children and take care of all their special needs, together with running your own business successfully, AND take pleasure in all what you do.
Awe, thank you! It is only my oldest with special needs, so that helps for sure! :)
Good Job Mama! That’s balanced, beautiful and inspiring!
Did you do your September 75 hard? Was hoping for an update.
God’s blessings to you being a single mom of FOUR. I honestly don’t know how you have done this all these years raising children and doing the GAPS thing; blows my mind and I admire you for it.