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Being a human is hard, being a parent is stressful, being an anxious parent is sometimes too much!

As many of you know I ventured into uncharted territory this weekend. I decided to take my book to the Iowa Horse Fair to promote it to a crowd of people that didn’t know me. That meant leaving home Friday at 7:00 AM and not returning until 7:00 PM Sunday. While that might not seem like a big deal for most, it was huge for me. Remember, I’m the girl that hated to stay away from home as a child/teenager.

My family came down to attend a rodeo with me Friday night, stayed in the hotel to swim and attend the horse fair with plans to head back home Saturday night. This was a fantastic plan up until the moment Ellie put on her swimsuit to go for her first dip in the pool, I noticed a red mark on her tummy, looked closer and realized she had hives. My first reaction was, “oh crap it must be bedbugs!” After a quick examination of Grace, who slept in the same bed as Ellie, we realized she had none of the red marks. As we retraced our steps through the week, night and morning of we determined she had had a lot of citrus. She’s had citrus before but we did all comment that she had had a large amount. Luckily, because I’m an anxious mom, I had Benadryl with me and we gave her some which seemed to ease the hives.

Said child must have taken some selfies at the horse fair!

Fast forward to a successful afternoon at the horse fair and my family hitting the road to travel home.  My niece joined me at the horse fair and we had a great time laughing with kids that came to our booth and visiting with each other. As we were finishing up at the vendor show for the night I got a call from Rob that the hives were back with a vengeance. If you are at all like me you know what happened next, my legs went numb, my arms went numb and my heart felt like it was going to fall out of my chest.

Does she have hives because I’m not home?

Does he know what to do if she has trouble breathing?

Will he even hear her if she has trouble breathing with her sleeping?

Why isn’t he taking her to the doctor?

Rob eased my mind by telling me he had spoken to our friend that is a nurse, asked for advice and he had even picked up some over the counter meds for her. My body started to calm down as I talked myself into the fact that he would do just fine, it wasn’t my fault that she had hives and he could parent her just as well as I can. As I tried to fall asleep in the hotel room that night I kept telling myself she was going to be fine, at the time she fell asleep she was having no trouble breathing, and it was just something on her skin.

Fast forward through a restless night of sleep and another phone call that the hives were back and worse. Cue numb feeling in arms, legs, and lump in throat. I began talking to myself, using my name and telling myself that it would be fine, kids get hives. I will admit though I couldn’t stop the feeling that it was my fault because I wanted to go away and promote my book. That was the mom guilt/anxiety kicking into overdrive. I know I’m not the only one to experience this, but man it’s a crappy feeling!

Why do we as mom’s or parents get this guilty feeling? We HAVE to take time for ourselves. Especially when we give, give, give all of the time.

My entire way home from Des Moines I couldn’t turn the negative thoughts off in my mind about it, if I wouldn’t have went to promote the book she wouldn’t have gotten hives and on and on!

Guess what? It’s Thursday and she still has hives and I am still an anxious mom.

I will repeat what I have said before, I am doing this work so that my girls know that they too can dream big and huge! But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with the mom guilt and anxious feelings that many of you may be dealing with, too!

Are you an anxious human? How do you deal with parenting guilt?

From the gravel road-

Jen

8

Truth #1

As I stepped in the shower the other day and nearly tripped and hit my head I couldn’t help but think seriously, why do we need all these different bottles? Then, I answered my own question, let me give you truth number one of being a girl mom. There will never be enough products. When you have one daughter with long thick, straight hair that is in the preteen stage she uses a butt load of shampoo and conditioner and smelly body wash on the daily. When you also have another daughter that you have to force to take showers and has curly hair that she doesn’t exactly like to take care of you; then have to have other products for that kind of hair. Daughter number two does not like the smelly girly stuff and would probably prefer not to use soap in general, so she has regular non-smelly shampoo. I also beg the girls to wash their hair with “the magic keep the crawly bugs away” shampoo a few times a week so we need those products, too. Hence why there are enough bottles of product in our one and only shower to wash the heads of a small nation.

Actual footage from our shower!

Truth #2

Never, I repeat never let your daughters hear you talking about your body or theirs. Never use the words I look fat, these clothes are too tight, that food is going to go straight to my hips, etc. It is fact that the more girls hear this kind of talk from their parents the more aware they become of those things on their own bodies.  According to studies, 80% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Why? Comments about size are everywhere you look! They hear it at school, on television and they see it on social media.  At our house we choose to talk about being strong and healthy.  If you are reading this and are saying these things in front of your girls I beg you to stop, not only for girls, but for your own well being, too! So truth #2 You must use positive talk around your daughters and sons for that matter!

Truth #3, don’t cramp their inner spirit or style. Children don’t come out of the womb knowing about style, size, clothing, or “what looks right.” They come out loving everyone for who they are as a person. Although I may chuckle often at the close my children wear I never make them change their clothing unless it is dirty with mud or manure. Ever since they were little I have allowed them to wear whatever they wanted which meant, a watermelon dress on top of jeans and a sweatshirt may have been worn to church because they thought it looked cool. More recently I turned my head when daughter #2 had sweat pants on that were tucked into her cowboy boots. You see when they’re little they could care less about what they look like or what clothes they have on we put those judgments on them and then teach them to have judgements on other kids. I will try to summarize what Jen Sincero said in her best selling book: We are born not being ashamed of our loud singing voices, we are not born with negative self-talk, we are not born hating our bodies, we are not born judging others. Don’t cramp your daughters style, embrace it and let her shine!

Truth #4 There will be heartache At some point, as a girl mom you’re going to have lots of conversations about relationships and heartache. Why that friend that was her best friend yesterday didn’t play with her today.  Or why Harry the Hottie was shooting rubber bands at her head in class, but while they  were walking to the bus he talked to her like they were best friends.  Or my favorite, why did she invite everyone else (key a dramatic, EVERYONE voice) to her birthday party, expect for me?  Your daughter’s heart is going to get broken. It sucks, it hurts, and you will have to sit on your giant momma bear grizzly claws to keep them from coming out and swiping said person who broke her heart with one grizzly swipe.  Unfortunately, it comes with the territory of being a girl mom.  I wish I could say I have always handled this one with grace.  I haven’t. My sister-in-law told me many years ago, “Jenni, when you have your own kids it is like ripping your heart of your chest and letting it walk around in the big, mean world.”  It’s so true, their heartaches hurt you a million times more than it probably hurts them.  The heartache will pass and the more times you handle it with grace the more graceful your daughters will become at handling it the same.

Truth #5-there will be emotions! In all honesty this does kind of go along with #4. At one moment there may be laughter and giggling and literally a millisecond later there may be tears and eye rolling. Enjoy the ride, those moms that have come before me tell me it won’t last forever. Although, as I am typing this I’m not sure they are being honest, as I recall a phone call made to my mom. I left work with a smile on my face, then got to my car heard my phone ding, read an email and within seconds I was calling my mom in tears venting and bawling like a toddler.  While there will be strong emotions seeping (sometimes weeping) from our daughters, it is what makes them who they are, more than likely those emotions come from loving hard and dreaming big and huge and there is nothing else I would want from my daughters than to do just that!

Truth #6 Be their first role model! Teach them that if they want to hunt, they can. Tell them that if they want to be a vet some day that they can. Role model dreaming big and huge and tackling challenges that come up. Role model being a strong woman and meeting those challenges face on!

So there they are my 6 Truths about being a girl mom, I would venture to guess that some of these truth could carry over to the truth about being a mom in general. 🙂 Any truths that you would add?

From the gravel road-

Jen

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