Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reconciling My Life

There were a few weeks back there in August where I felt like I was just...sinking. I was in need of something, yet I didn't know exactly what that something was. Insert my husbands departure and I decided to chase after a break through. I can proudly say, I believe I have experienced one. A break through that is.

As horrible as it sounds, I was not all that happy with my role as "mom". I love my son and I love my family but the day to day and the level of commitment required to care for a little one was so overwhelming that I found myself extremely dissatisfied with my new role. Any new mom will tell you, there is nothing that can prepare you for the drastic change that occurs when you introduce a child into your life. So, for a long while, I have tried to contain my new role as mom and keep it from taking over my life too much. ( I know that sounds crazy!) I wanted to still be able to accomplish all the goals I had set for my life (in the time frame I wanted) while still being a fabulous mommy. I have tried to keep mommy in one box and all my other life goals in another box.

No matter how hard I tried it seemed like the mommy box kept expanding and it was consuming all the time and energy I had, leaving nothing to go into the ever shrinking "goal accomplishing" box. Because I was trying so hard to keep these things independent of each other, I found myself very unhappy in the role of mom because it was (in essence) keeping me from my goals.

Then, somehow, someway, Sunday night I thought, "They don't have to be in opposition of each other!They can live in harmony!" (The two boxes, that is.)

Previously, I had a picture in my mind of what success would look like. And I have put all my energy into making that picture a reality. That picture is what has kept me in this constant struggle. That picture was the pre-baby edition. Now that I am post baby, that picture needs an update. But, for the three years that I have had my son, I have not made that update. I've just been trying to squeeze my old picture into the new situation. It was much like trying to wear a pair of size six jeans when you have clearly been promoted to a size eight. Of course you would come to despise the extra weight you have put on, it is what's holding you back from wearing the jeans you so desperately want to fit into. But if there is no way on earth for you to lose those extra pounds, how long are you going to try to squeeze into the six before you just buy a new pair and rock those?! 

How long have I been trying to squeeze into that six when I am clearly an eight and will be an eight for the rest of my life? It is time for me to buy the eight and be fab in those!

Sunday night, I thought, "Sunshine you are a mom. Your son is home with you. Even though you wanted to be able to work a 'regular' schedule without a child sitting in your office or demanding that you play train with him and sing humpty dumpty... Guess what! You are a mom! And you have the pleasure of being home with him right now and working from home. You can teach him and love him and experience him while still going after what you want! Will it be easy? Will it be the same as being able to work totally uninterrupted? No! But do you want your new picture of success?Then make it work. And stop trying to separate the two parts of you. Reconcile them and find a way to have them live in harmony with each other."

I feel so much more peace. I cannot tell you what a load off of my shoulders it is to not feel like I have to work on attaining the life I imagined before. It is comforting to know it is okay to make modifications  to my vision of success that include the harmonious marriage of my role as mom and my entrepreneur dreams. Yes, the picture looks different, but at least the picture is possible. What I wanted before was impossible, no wonder I wasn't getting anywhere.

It's a little sad that it took me three years, but I am finally done being mad, sad, frustrated, annoyed and  bitter because I can't have it the way I thought it would or should have been. I am now in the process of figuring out... What does success look like, for me, now? How can I work from home, on my goals, while caring for my little one? What resources do I have that I can actually afford that will help me? How can I include my son in this? 

I have been putting into practice a few principles from Getting Things Done and I am in the process of organizing my life in a way that takes all things into account harmoniously instead of trying to keep each aspect of my life neatly in a separate box.

Pray for me!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Learning to be Humble

As I was editing the last post, "Re: I'll Watch Him For Free", I realized that a huge part of my break through, is the need for me to be more humble.

When Wedding Cake Bree and I were at the bakery and she wanted that huge expensive cake, my pride would not let me tell her, I could not afford it.

When Katie offered to watch Dimeji for free, my pride did not want to accept charity, so I asked her how much she wanted to charge me. Truthfully, I don't really have the money at this time to pay her anything, but my pride insisted that I ask her. After all, I wouldn't want her to think I was broke, even though I am.

Over the past few weeks, it has become apparent to me that my pride holds me back from a lot of things, and I need to humble myself or be humbled. I would much rather humble myself than be humbled.

A few weeks ago, when we took  Dimeji out of full time day care, it was a rough transition for me. I sunk into a mini depression and needed some serious help with what I was experiencing.  I humbled myself and called one of my sisters in Christ who I admire as a mom, and I confessed to her that I was drowning. I told her how I felt like a failure as a mom and I told her I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with Deimeji at all. I admitted, that the day before, Dimeji and I both spent the entire day in pajamas and he actually just had on a pull up and nothing else. I told her I needed her help because she seemed to have it together as a mom.

The first thing she told me was, "No matter what mom you talk to, they all feel the same way you do at some point in time, and most moms feel that way every day. We all feel that we could be doing something better than we are. We worry they are watching too much TV or they aren't eating healthy enough...."

She went on to bless me in ways that I cannot describe! After talking with her, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I felt released from the huge expectations I put on myself to be this perfect mom.

It took a lot for me to admit to her what was going on with me. I had to put my pride aside and actually admit to her that I was feeling like a failure. I had to let her in on the secret that even though I look all put together and made up with a smile, behind all that, I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. She is someone I was trying to impress with how "together" I was!

That, and many other things that have been happening, have been showing me the need for humility.

**When I reference me being broke, I am only speaking about myself and my own personal income. I have recently decided to focus back on making my own money and  not living off of my husbands income. Even though, he is okay with supporting the entire family, I am ready to be a little more independent of him and contribute to the household again. So I am merely referring to my own little personal account and the lack of funds therein. M is a great provider!

Re: I'll Watch Him For Free!

I did it! I took Katie up on her offer and I asked her to watch Dimeji this evening while I went to the gym. I am so happy I did.

Dimeji came home so worn out from keeping up with her kids, he actually asked to go to bed! Then on my way out Katie suggested we set a schedule so he can come over a few times a week, regularly. And yes, for free!

What made me really give in today and call her was remembering what had just happened a few weeks ago...

I co-hosted a birthday party with one of my sisters in Christ whose birthday is  a few days before mine. Since it was joint party, we were making decisions together on things like, what kind of cake, whether to get balloons, etc. When we went to pick out the cake, it was a nightmare! She wanted the equivalent of a wedding cake and I wanted something simple. We made no decisions on that visit, but afterwards I had decided to back down and just let her get what she wanted since she seemed to care so much about it...

Then at church on Sunday, another sister walked over to us and said she was not going to be able to make it to the party, but she wanted to come over to my house and make cup cakes for the event. Immediately I was thinking, "Yes! This is great! This is an answer to my prayers." My fellow  birthday pal, was very hesitant. She was so stuck on her wedding/birthday cake that the thought of anything other than what she had envisioned was not going to suffice.

She eventually gave in to the cup cakes, but she was not all that happy about it. A day later when we talked about it, I told her I thought she was being ungrateful for the act of kindness being shown to us. I told her how much of a blessing this was; not only were we getting what we wanted, which was cake for the party, but now it was going to be free (and mind you,  I was the one footing the bill for the cake, and unbeknownst to her, my funds have been more tight than those jeans I was struggling to button in the NatSun challenge video!) and it was a gift from her to us. She wanted to do it for us. It would be so rude to say, "No thank you, your gift is not exactly what we wanted so don't bother!"

I thought about that incident today and it was like the whole cake incident happened to prepare me for this moment with Katie.

 I do not like to ask for help. I am getting better at it, but for some reason I feel like I need to pay for or suffer through everything. Someone offering me help, when their help is  something that normally would be paid for, makes me feel like I should just pay the person and not let them do it for free.

But I didn't feel that way about the cup cakes. When Nina offered to make them I was truly excited about it. Not paying for the wedding cake was a great relief and I love her cup cakes anyway! Not to mention it was  good way for me to get to know her better since she was coming to my house to make them. Maybe since she offered it as a gift, I was able to accept it. I don't know.

When I compared to the two incidents, I told myself, "Okay Sunshine, now you are acting like wedding cake Bree*, Katie has offered to baby sit and truth be told, affording hourly care would be a tight stretch. A stretch you could benefit from not attempting to make at all. Why can't you just accept this as a gift? You can get to know Katie better in the process and it would be a good thing for you."

So when I thought about it like that, I accepted Katie's offer as a gift from God. I did something that  does not come naturally to me, I accepted her help and I did not make a promise to do something for her to earn her kindness towards me. I can really learn from this. I often find myself in situations where people are willing to do really nice things for me, and I always mess it up by trying to pay them for it. It is something that I have been trying to grow through. I guess I am making progress!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'll Watch Him For Free!

Last week, Dimeji and I went out the park and made friends with Katie and her three (out of four) children that were with her. Katie and I instantly connected and the kids played very well together. We exchanged numbers and planned to meet up at the park again since it's always better to meet friends at the park than just show up and hope for friendly parents and kids.

To my pleasant surprise Katie followed through and called for us to meet them at the park a few times. It never really worked out for us to go and join them, but I assured her that I still wanted her to keep me in mind and not to give up on me.

So this morning when she called it was perfect timing. Dimeji and I were dressed, we had just finished breakfast and the appointment we were rushing off to was canceled. In essence we were all dressed up with nowhere to go. I was very happy we were finally going to say yes.

Just like the first time, the kids played very well together and Katie and I had good conversation. I mentioned to her that I was going to put Dimeji into hourly care a few days a week since I need to get into the gym. We talked about her fabulous, I never work out figure and other military wife/mom things.

As we were getting ready to depart, she says, "If you want to just bring Dimeji over instead of taking him to hourly care, you can. I'm always at home with the kids so you can just bring him to us. It is closer and the kids get along so well..."

I was shocked. Mostly shocked that she offered out of the blue to watch him when I did not ask nor hint at wanting her to. So we talked about it a little, and she as well as her daughter absolutely insisted it would be no big deal, they are always baby sitting. Katie said it would actually make her load easier if her kids were occupied with Dimeji.

As I have tossed and turned the idea over in my mind today, I've fluctuated between feeling like, Thank you Lord for this provision! and also thinking, I would hate to impose. And then I finally thought, maybe I will take her up on her offer.

It would be nice to bypass dealing with the uncertainty of getting a spot in the hourly care. And having the option to just run a quick errand without Dimeji would be great. So I'm thinking I may say yes and see if I can get a work out in tomorrow.

This is such a blessing! Thank you Lord! Please bless Katie and her family. Pour out your favor and abundance in their lives and please intervene in whatever areas you see they stand in need of. Let me be a blessing to them or to others in the same way they have been a blessing to me.

In Jesus name,

Prerequisite For My Break Through?

Can following through on the findings from a previous breakthrough be considered a new breakthrough or is it just the prerequisite for a new one? That is the million dollar question today!

I recently ran across a blog I wrote, a year ago, on the epiphany I had the last time my husband was gone. As I read through what I wrote there, I ashamedly admitted to myself, "Sunshine you have not been following through!"

 The epiphany translated into a list of rules, which when followed, set me up for success in life and juggling my many roles. The list;

  • Take your duties at home seriously. It is your job. 
  • Get ready for work every day and be up before Dimeji aka Shea Baby.
  • Don’t be lazy!  Stop wasting time on unimportant things and get to work!
  • Plan to be baby free 20 hours a week and stick to it. 
  • Schedule  time to be out of the house, without the baby and without your husband seven hours a week.
  • Work out three times a week (out of the house, at the gym for at least 1.5 hours each time) Take your multi- vitamin daily.
  • Do not cook dinner and wash dishes each and every night, either it won’t get done on the days you take off or the husband can pitch in. You cannot do it all around the house, you are not the maid.
  • Take Sundays off. No cooking, no cleaning. Only resting and going to church.
  • Do things for yourself weekly, either take a long hot bath, have a glass of wine, paint your nails, get a pedicure, buy some make up, try a new hair style. Shoot for 72 minutes of me time daily, but don’t be mad if you don’t do it each and every day, just try.
  • Set a bed time and stick to it. (for me it is 10pm Sunday through Thursday)

When followed, this makes a huge, GIGANTIC difference. Yet somehow I have drifted very far from it and wonder why for two weeks back there in August I was sinking into depression. I began to belittle the importance of the list in comparison to "working towards my goals".

LOL! Now that I think about it, my reason for not following through on the list doesn't even make sense!

So now I'm wondering, "If I follow through on this, will I be experiencing a breakthrough or is this just the prerequisite for the new break through?"

Re: Thinking Good Thoughts & Praying Through

I prayed through yesterday.

There were two moments in particular where I felt like prayer was the only way to cope.  In one instance I had made up my mind that I just had to record a video for NatSun. In my mind it seemed, if I did not get the video done, things would just fall apart. So I began frantically searching for good lighting in the house. Dimeji was supposed to be taking a nap, but wasn't, so I was attempting to find good light and record the video, all with him on my heels. I became very frustrated!

Not only could I not find good lighting, but my voice sounded terrible on camera since I was having an allergic reaction to...I don't even know what! As the frustration began to rise, I thought, "This is too hard! Why am I working so hard to get this video done? Everything else seems to working against me. I am now all of a sudden annoyed with my son, when up until this moment we have been having a great day. I am beginning to feel overwhelmed at my lack of accomplishment when the truth is, today has been going quite well. It is time to pray through!" After praying, I felt released from recording the video and I was able to move on.

I also thought good thoughts. Yay me!

One of the biggest things that has held me back in the past and sometimes sneaks up on me even now, is   these horrible and nagging thoughts in the back of my mind of how many times I have tried and failed. Thoughts of how many times I have declared "This time I am going to..." only to fall flat on my face again. Add to those thoughts the ammunition of, "And you blogged/vlogged about it, so everyone knows how much of a failure you are." I have been taunted by thoughts of, "They are all sick of you and your failed attempts and all of your whining!"

Yesterday, such thoughts attempted to come upon me and slow down my momentum. But then I remembered something I read that said, "as long as you are still trying, you are winning." All of sudden I began to rebuke those evil thoughts and I reminded myself, that the only difference between me and successful people is, they didn't give up or give in when the going got tough. I recounted all of the stories of people who kept going after what they wanted in life until they got it. Now that they are successful, no one is referring to all the times they failed, we're just celebrating the fact they arrived at their destination!

I began to encourage myself that what I am going through, as I fail my way towards my goals, is just me paying my dues. As long and I do not give up, I am succeeding. The only way I would be a failure is if I decided today, "You know what? I've tried and tried and I am still not where I want to be so I'm just gonna stop and do something else. Something easier." That would be me failing.

I also gave myself permission yesterday to be where I am. I have been looking toward the finish line with such desperation that my currently not being there annoys me. Normally. But yesterday I thought, "You are still figuring everything out and it's okay! You don't have to be at the finish line today." That was a comforting thought.

I fail at times to take into consideration the circumstances of my life and I expect myself to perform, at a super human pace no matter what. I don't allow myself grace for the fact that I am a young, military wife and mom, with no steady support system in place since we move all the time. I have a young child (who is home full time again) who demands my attention. My primary role, despite my desire to work like I have no strings attached, is to be a wife and mother. All of these are things I need to learn to juggle, so it is unfair for me to expect myself to perform like a single woman or a woman who lives in her home town with family and life longs friends around for help. I am me, and I have to figure out how to accomplish my goals with the hand I have been dealt and stop comparing myself to a person with a different hand.

If I had to sum up the day and what I learned I would say:

I am learning how to be me and accept my own limitations. Before, I thought of my limitations as my weaknesses and therefore I  ignored them. I attempted to be who and what I wanted without even considering my limitations. I am learning that it is actually to my advantage to acknowledge my limitations and learn how to soar within them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thinking Good Thoughts and Praying Through Today

Yesterday was...okay. I could have done things a little bit differently and perhaps it would have been great, but it was okay and I'm okay with it just being okay :-)

Hope that makes sense. Makes sense in my mind :-)

So far, today promises to be better than just 'okay'. I was able to get up on time (thank you Jesus!), and spend a little quality time with my Father. And I had the pleasure of taking a shower without sticking my head out every few minutes to listen out for Dimeji. He was still sleeping.

There is something, so wonderful about waking up before my busy body son. Having a cup of coffee, brushing my teeth, applying a color to my eyelids...There is just something motivating to my spirit about being able to do those things before he gets up in the morning.


Today I am choosing to forget those things that are behind me and press forward to what lies ahead. Today I am thinking of all the things I have to be happy about no matter how small and I am minimizing all the things that would otherwise get me down, no matter how big!

Like the mess in my office...

...oh well! I'll clean it up when I feel inclined, but on the bright side... I gave myself a manicure and pedicure last night. 

And I am going to try praying though the day. This morning as I read through the Word for the Day on JoelOsteen.com I was encouraged to press through. And although I could stand to do some of that, I feel the need to focus on praying through even more. I have a tendency to think I can handle my life all by myself. Usually, the minute that sense of pride comes over me I am immediately tested and reminded of how much better my days are when I just rely on God to be my strength. So today, I am praying through.

I have a list of "to-do's" and prayerfully at the end of the day it'll be a list of "done dids".

As far as that break through I'm chasing, despite yesterday being okay, I do have confidence that I am heading in the right direction and the break thought is in reach.

Time to get busy!

** I just had to capture my feelings this morning on video. Enjoy the vlog!**

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Sunshine!

It is 5:09am and I am up and running! Well, not running exactly, but I'm up!

Last night after I posted a couple blogs and the video about the book I'm reading, Getting Things Done, I laid in bed and I prayed. I acknowledged that without Jesus I can do nothing and I asked Him to help me. Right before falling asleep, I thought, I'm going to start following the Joel Osteen Ministry for the next seven weeks. Joel is always talking about exercising your faith muscles and I know that's what I need to do in order to receive the breakthrough I am currently chasing.

So the first thing I did after getting out of bed this morning was log into his website to hear/see the Word for today. Sure enough, it was an on time word! Before getting out of bed, I spent a little time in prayer.

Run Your Race was the title. It was very much in line with some of what I prayed about last night.

So many people today spend valuable time and energy trying to make everyone around them happy. They want to be approved, accepted and affirmed. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you can’t let the opinions of others become your focus or distract you from what God has called you to. (emphasis mine)
I can relate to that! I have been guilty of allowing the opinions of others to distract me from what God has called me to do. Just recently I wrote a blog post about my hair and how I find it necessary to intentionally try to define my curl pattern, otherwise as my hair dries, it morphs into a frizz ball. Even though I knew I was going to receive some flack for talking about defining my curls, I was still distracted by the disapproval that came.

I hate to admit it, but the comments were enough to make me hold back on another post I wanted to share. I know this is just a distraction and I am allowing the opinions of others to keep me from what God has called me to do. God has gifted me with the ability to style my hair and it is an honor to share my journey with others. Any time I allow the disproval of others to stop me from using my talents in a way that helps others and honors God, is no longer acceptable to me.

God please help me today and every day, not to allow the opinions of others to distract me. Please help me to not allow the approval of others to be my focus either. In Jesus' name. Amen!

In the natural, when a professional runner races, you don’t see them looking around at the other runners, wondering how they are doing. No, they have their mind focused on one thing: the finish line. They don’t waste valuable energy comparing themselves or wondering what’s going on around them. Instead, they focus on winning the prize. This is how we should be in life—focused on winning the prize of the victor’s crown in life. (emphasis mine)
I have wasted plenty of time and energy looking around at others and comparing myself to them. I confessed last night to God that this was an area in which I needed His grace. It is easy in todays ultra connected culture of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to see what everyone else is doing. And if I'm not careful, I can find myself getting sucked down into a feeling of inadequacy jealously as I compare what I have or don't have with others. I sometimes look at the view count of other vloggers and feel defeated by my own numbers. I puff up the work of others in my mind and belittle my own.  I have got to stop this and focus on winning the prize.

Intellectually I know that I can only accomplish what I am meant to accomplish and I know that God has a special plan just for me. I know this in my mind, yet my actions do not always line up with that knowledge.

God PLEASE help me! I need your grace in order to stay focused on winning the prize that you have specifically for me. I know I am your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to walk in the good works you prepared for me in advance. I know this. Help me to act and think in a way that demonstrates revelation knowledge of this truth. In Jesus' name. Amen!

My challenge to you today is: run your race. Don’t let people squeeze you into their mold. Remember, you don’t have to try to play up to people. You don’t have to worry about what everyone else thinks. As long as you’re being true to what God has put in your heart, don’t look to the left or to the right. Stay focused on your goals. Run your race to win and honor God in everything that you do! (emphasis mine)
Today I accept the challenge. Today I am going to focus on my goals and not worry about what any one else thinks about it. It is always my hearts desire to be true to what God has placed in my heart and to do the things Her has given me to do. So for today, as long as I believe in my heart that what I am doing is true to my God given purpose and it honors Him, I am doing it! I am not looking to the right or to the left!

Today's Prayer:

Father, today and every day I set my focus on you. I declare that I will not look to the left or to the right, but I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. Give me wisdom and grace as I dedicate every area of my life to You in Jesus’ name! Amen.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.1 Corinthians 9:24, NKJV. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

What I'm Reading: Getting Things Done By David Allen

Chasing Down My Breakthrough!

It's really weird to be sitting here writing this right now. We (Dimeji and I) just returned home earlier today,  from our weekend in San Diego, where we left M, for recruiting school. It's not the first time my husband and I have been separated and perhaps it won't be the last, but this time it feels weird. Although M is only three hours away, and we can go see him as often as we would like, I miss him.
The last time he left, the time apart was a huge growing phase for me, and I know this time will be no different. I guess I'm slightly nervous about what I am about to undertake over the next seven weeks.

*Sitting here trying to think of how to start this, or even what to say... I guess I'm just gonna blurt it out*

It is time for me to experience  a break though! I just turned 30, we are moving to a city that is perfect for the launch of my business and with a new city, there comes opportunities to be a new person. With all that in mind, added with the fact that my husband is gone for seven weeks, I know now is the time for my breakthrough.

I believe in the product I make (whipped and scented Shea butter items), I have sold them before and there is not a week that goes by without someone e-mailing me wanting to buy it. I believe I am a talented blogger/vlogger and thanks to God I have managed to have people willing to read and watch the content I produce... Yet, I am not where I want to be right now. I still do not believe God has truly released the full blessing He intends for my products and website. I know there is so much more waiting for me. But...

I keep getting stuck in the same places. Which is why I need a breakthrough. One huge issue for me is my lack of organization. No matter how hard I have tried in the past, I have not been able to get organized. It seems like I have all the best ideas and best intentions in the world, but wen it comes to acting on them, there is a major disconnect. Because I have no real way of managing my time and no structure for how to go about my day, I am left frozen in place not knowing what to do. I beat myself up about it for a while because I felt like I "should" know how to be an organized person. I have spent time getting organized in the past, but it never stuck.

I need a break though in that area.

My confidence is not where it needs to be. (There. I said it!) It's a battle, one in which I have had some victories, but it still keeps popping up. I wrote in a message to a friend on NatSun once,

I sometimes wonder if confidence is really an illusion. What I mean is; you are doing the very thing you think you need more confidence to do. So perhaps you have all the confidence  you need. Maybe we just want all the discomfort to go away and all the hurt that comes when others dislike our decisions. But what if, it's just human nature to struggle with that. Perhaps, the fact that we don't back down from what we have decided, proves that we are sufficiently confident and the level of confidence we are still aspiring to, is nothing more than a mirage.

Just a thought!

With that thought in mind, I wonder how much of this "lack of confidence" I have is even real.

Bottom line, it's time for a break through. I am ready for change in my life. I am tired of going around the same mountain over and over again. For the next seven weeks my breakthrough is what I am chasing. I don't know if you are even supposed to chase a break though, but I want mine so badly I don't know what else to do.

In the area of organization, I am so thankful to have recently come across a book on the topic that has been very helpful to me during this short time I have had it. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen (I recorded a video about the book.)

I hope to use this space over the next seven weeks to document my journey. Please pray for me that I will be steadfast and committed to receiving my break though!


Real HouseWives of NatSun! : TOTD | Treat your Home, Wife & Mommy Duties like a Job!

Originally posted on NatSun Sept 16, 2011

Tip of The Day (From A Real House Wife!):Treat your home, wife and mommy duties like a job. Get up. Get dressed. Get ready for work each day.

Once upon a time I was just a house wife, then 22 months ago I became a stay at home mom and boy did my world get rocked big time. All of a sudden the time I once had for myself when my husband would leave in the morning was gone! I used to be able to get out of bed, blog a little, read my daily dose of other blogs, check e-mails, sip on a glass of orange juice, and then once I had my fill of BGLH and NatSun I could mosey on to the shower, get dressed, and casually float through my day. 

Not, any more! Once the baby came along there was no longer any time for me. I would be awakened every morning to the sound of my new full time job ringing in my ear, jolting me from peaceful sleep, demanding that I perform. Immediately! My new boss didn’t care if I still had a full bladder that needed to be emptied. He didn’t care if I had showered, had breakfast, stretched, made the bed, read my morning blogs, nothing! All he cared about was having his needs met. 

So, dare I say it, for close to two years, life went on like this. Me being awakened by the screams of my boss rattling off orders in a language I couldn’t even understand. Each morning I was met with a long list of demands!  As a result, I felt completely out of control, unhappy, and discontent with this life I thought I wanted. Wasn’t it my dream to be a stay at home mom? Wasn’t I blessed to be able to stay home with my son and breast feed him and be his first teacher? Wasn’t it an honor to be able to bond with him on a deeper level? 

Why was this fairy tale turning into a night mare?

Truth was, even though I was living the life of my dreams, I was just plain miserable. My husband didn’t seem to notice the effects my new responsibilities were having on me. Each day he would get up and he would get to leave the house and interact with people. He was able to get dressed and go somewhere important while I sat around the house in pajamas feeling like a prisoner with an unbearable warden. He would come home and not even think to offer me a break. I sat there day in and day out and waited for my husband to notice I was still wearing the same clothes I had gone to bed in the night before. I waited for him to offer to take care of our child so I could take a shower, or go get a cup of coffee or go get a manicure or go work out! Anything! As I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into despair, fate would have it that my husband would be sent away for a full two months! 

I was happy and sad at the same time when I found out he would be gone that long. I was dreading the idea of having absolutely no help with my son and no breaks. But then I was happy because I had a strong belief that something wonderful was going to happen in me while he was gone. I just knew it was going to be a time of growth for me.  Boy was I right! What happened in the two months while he was gone was amazing! In order for me to tell it all, this would have to be a book so I will attempt to share the lessons learned and how I have been applying them, which has resulted in a new and improved marriage, and  a new attitude towards my job as a stay at home mom and house wife, one blog at a time. Due to these lessons, I now have joy that once was merely a wish. I now have a purpose and I now get the help I need around the house. You might ask if my husband changed at all and I can enthusiastically tell you that he didn’t. I changed! My behavior, my attitude and my thoughts!

{Allow me to add here, that the biggest change was the change in how I looked at my husband. If I am completely honest with myself, prior to this 2 month break from him, I put way too much of the responsibility for my happiness in my husband and my marriage. I was too wrapped up in my title of wife and mom to the point where there was no me aside from it.  I dressed to please my husband, I worked out to please him, I tried to cook what he wanted to eat.  I tried to grow NatSun to make him proud! I did nothing for me. I just took care of the baby and the house and my man. I was their slave.  All of my worth and identity were in them (and NatSun and Sunshine Products which is a different series altogether (-: ). I worked toward being the best wife and mom,  and tried to mold the best Sunshine around that.

While he was gone I was able to focus back on me.  I also learned that the unconditional, all consuming, overwhelming love and devotion I was working for my husband to give to me, can only come from God. I had to take my husband out of the Sanctuary of my heart and placed God there where he belonged. I learned that only God could love me and care for the way I craved to be loved. And once I shifted my focus away from totally satisfying my husband and being the most perfect mom on the planet I have been able to find balance, rest, peace and purpose!}

The first  (outward) change which has had the greatest impact on me was my decision to get up each day and treat my home and my child like my job. I decided to get up every morning, before my son and get dressed for work!

Allow me to give you the wake up call I was given. If you are a stay at home mom and housewife, that is your job. Imagine you worked at Starbucks, and your shift started at 9am, if you were taking your job there seriously, and wanted to do your best, odds are you would get up in the morning and get dressed for work before your shift started. You would shower and put on your uniform. You might have a cup of coffee (if you are a coffee drinker) or eat breakfast. In other words you would prepare yourself for work. You wouldn’t sleep in your car, in the parking lot and then without washing your face or brushing your teeth, stroll in the front door wearing pajamas and ask your boss what he needed you to do. Better yet, you wouldn’t sleep in your car, in the parking lot, in the clothes  you wore for your last shift and  sleep until 9:05 am  when your boss  would  come tap on your car window to wake you up for work.

I realized this is what I was doing. I was sleeping  until my boss came and tapped on my window and told me I was late for work. Not to mention, the person who signs my checks (my husband) was leaving out for his job every day seeing me, still sleeping in bed as though I didn’t have a job to do.  Needless to say this was not working.

So my rude awakening was, I was doing a poor job! Even though I was consumed by my duties, I didn’t treat my home and my responsibilities like a job. Therefore I was getting poor results and my boss was less than eager to give me rewards or praise for a job well done or vacation time. Just because I was in the house and the baby was still alive after 12 months didn’t mean I was doing a good job. I was just showing up!

So to all of you whose children are sleeping through the night , I want to encourage you to do what I have been doing. It has been working for me and my life has drastically changed as a result.

  1. Get up every morning before your children and  preferably around the same time as your husband (within reason, if he goes to work at 3am you may not be able to do this, but if he gets up around 5am or later, you can do it!) And if you are super motivated, try to get up a little bit before him!
  2. Take a shower!  Wash your face, brush your teeth, make your hair presentable and get dressed. No, you do not have to get dressed like you are going to work in an office, but get dressed for your day. If you are staying home that day and cleaning, put on your cute, I’m cleaning the house today uniform. With an emphasis on the “cute”. Even though you are staying home all day, that does not mean the door bell won’t ring with a surprise guest. Not to mention when you put on something kinda cute, it’ll make you feel better than wearing sweats or pajamas all day. Trust me! 
  3.   Eat breakfast, drink a cup of coffee, read a scripture, pray or do something that is just for you before the kids get up.

Then start your work day! 

Since I’ve been dong this I have seen some major improvements to the quality of my life. 

  • I am much happier when I first greet Shea baby for the day. Since I was able to get up on my own and not be awakened by his screams, I am able to walk into his room in the morning with a smile on my face singing Good Morning baby!

  • My husband, sees that I take myself seriously when I get up in the morning with him. He sees that what I have to do for the day is just as important as what he has to do and I prove it by getting dressed for it. He sees me as his equal and not just someone reaping the benefits of his labor each day.

  • Having a little me time before jumping into work allows me to feel more in control of my day.

Try it! Begin getting up in the morning and getting dressed for work and see if that doesn’t change your out look on life.
During his  two month absence, I made other changes as well and will go into detail in future posts but for those of you who are ready for the whole list, here are the rules I now live with, which have changed my life for the better in more ways than you can imagine.

  1. Take your duties at home seriously. It is your job. 
  2. Get ready for work every day and be up before Dimeji aka Shea Baby.
  3. Don’t be lazy!  Stop wasting time on unimportant things and get to work!
  4. Plan to be baby free____ hours a week and stick to it. (for me, it’s 20 hours)
  5. Schedule  time to be out of the house, without the baby and without your husband (for me it’s 7 hours)
  6. Work out three times a week (out of the house, at the gym for at least 1.5 hours each time) Take your multi- vitamin daily.
  7. Do not cook dinner and wash dishes each and every night, either it won’t get done on the days you take off or the husband can pitch in. You cannot do it all around the house, you are not the maid.
  8. Take Sundays off. No cooking, no cleaning. Only resting and going to church.
  9. Do things for yourself weekly, either take a long hot bath, have a glass of wine, paint your nails, get a pedicure, buy some make up, try a new hair style. Shoot for 72 minutes of me time daily, but don’t be mad if you don’t do it each and every day, just try.
  10. Set a bed time and stick to it. (for me it is 10pm Sunday through Thursday)
*** I had a great time writing this and am looking forward to continuing this series. Are you a Real Housewife of NatSun? Share your thoughts on this!

Free Ball Gown Givaway

Friday night I went to the Free Ball Gown Giveaway held on the base where I live. It was really nice!  Each year, the Marine Cor...