Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday- Mrs. Lauren

Welcome to another Wonder Woman Wednesday!!!  Tonight's feature is a sweet bloggin mama whose also teacher!!!

Hi y'all, I'm Lauren and I am so excited that Melissa asked me to do a guest post on here! Thank you again Melissa and I hope y'all enjoy :)

My husband, Dusty, and I have been married for four years and we have 2 amazing children. Sawyer is our 2 year old little ball of fire. She is strong-willed, stubborn, passionate and spunky. She's everything I could ever want in a little girl. Jansen is 10 months old and quite possibly the happiest baby on the face of the earth. He never stops smiling or bouncing. He bounces all.the.time. I think he may have springs instead of bones ;) 
Besides being a wife and mommy, I am a 4th grade teacher and I am so excited for the new school year! 

I love Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate, blogging, shopping, all things holiday related, and losing myself in a good movie or a song that you just don't get tired of listening to. My faith, family, and friends are where my heart lies. I tend to overanalyze even the smallest of things, but I'm working on that :) 

I've had many people ask me how do I do it all? Being a teacher and a wife and a mom of a two year old and ten month old.. The answer is -- I don't. I don't do it all. It's not physically or mentally possible for me right now. I wish I could say that I'm a super mom and my house is organized and clean without toys and clothes everywhere. I wish I could say that our laundry is clean, folded and put away at the beginning of every week. Or that I'm always caught up on grades and that my lesson plans are done a week in advance. I wish I could say that our weekly meal plan is done every single Sunday evening so I know what I need for the week when I shop on Monday afternoons. 

But I can't. I can't say any of those things. At least not all at the same time. Where I'm at in my life right now, something's gotta give. But that something cannot and will not be my husband or my kids. I can't say that I do all of the above. But what I can say is that my husband is loved. My kids are loved. My husband gets 100% of me and my kids get 100% of me. Yes that equals 200% but you know what I'm trying to say. They get ME...not what is left over of me at the end of the day. Not what is left after teaching my 4th graders that day regardless of what the day brought. Being a wife and mom come first in all of my "juggling" if that's what we're calling it. And when it comes to work, I am so grateful and blessed to work with an amazing principal and staff that not only understands that, they support it because they are the same way. 

Yes, some people may say that being a wife and mom includes the laundry, the meal planning, the cleaning, etc. and you're right. But right now being a wife and mom for me is giving my time, attention, and love. Somewhere down the road, I know I'll be better about being able to get all those chores done along with everything else, but that's just not right now. Yes, I get frustrated that I can't get everything done or get ahead in my work, but I'm not going to miss out on spending time with my husband or kids just to feel accomplished or productive. I know that there will come a day when my kids are playing in their own rooms or watching TV and don't want me or need me the way they do now. That's why at the end of the day, I'm okay with the fact that there's a basket full of laundry that needs to be put away and a blog post that just didn't get written. 

I wish I could give you amazing tips on how to manage everything that being a working wife and mom entails, but I just don't have anything magical like that ;) I'll just share a couple things with you that stick out  in my mind.

In order to stay sane, I have to find a little bit of time for myself and even more important, time for me and Dusty. When school is over, I've got about an hour before I usually go pick up the kids. If I don't have any meetings or paperwork to catch up on, I'll go and get my nails done or grocery shop (ladies, you know that being able to do this by yourself totally qualifies as "you time"). Dusty and I try to go on a date night once a month and we are extremely blessed that we have family so close by that it makes it easy. My husband I have such great partnership with parenting that it really makes staying close easy. With two little ones, we totally tag-team it all the time. Because we are both so equally involved with the kids and the house work, there's not much that falls through the cracks. Having a husband that doesn't view things as "well you're the mom, that's your job" makes all the difference in the world. There is only one thing that was 100% my job with the kids and that was explanation needed. 

Here is a BIG one that I will say is easier said than done. Don't keep score. I still have days where I find myself "keeping score" and I have to snap myself out of it. It's not healthy for your marriage and it's not worth getting upset over. So what if you've emptied the dishwasher the past 3 times and you've can't remember the last dirty diaper he's changed. There will be times that you have to pick up a little more slack around the house and with the kids and vice versa. When school starts for me, things get crazy. Dusty knows this and isn't surprised when I may not be getting as much done around the house as normal. Does this last forever? No. We both understand that there will be times when one of us is pulling more weight than the other and we are okay with it. It's temporary and it goes back and forth. Don't keep score. Just don't.

I am a complete believer in the whole "find what works for you" way of doing things. Everybody's situation is different and every situation can be change from day to day. What works for me, may or may not work for you. That being said, I totally use my resources--as I like to call them. Friends, family, co-workers, fellow blogger, etc. I am always curious about how other families "run". I love picking people's brains about what works for them and what tricks and solutions they've found to the typical challenges that arise. Do I try everything I hear about? No. But I'm a sponge. I soak in as much information as I can --as a wife, as a mom, as a teacher. I am a life-long learner and I will take in all the research, advice, stories, tricks and strategies that is possible. I take what I've seen, heard, read, learned and tweak it to work for my family. Don't be afraid to ask another momma questions on how they deal with toddler tantrums because you think it's going to make you look like you don't know what you're doing. Don't let the fear of being judged keep you from asking for tips or advice. And keep in mind, one momma's strength may be another momma's weakness.

I know I rambled and I know some things may have seemed random. What can I say? I'm a random rambler. I don't know if this post helped you at all or if you even made it through because it was so long, but I want all of you Wonder Women out there to know that you are doing an amazing job and don't let anyone make you feel different!! Find what works for you and your family and be proud of it :) 

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