REAL TALK REAL MOMS ON COMPARISON

We all know the quote, "Comparison kills joy," but comparison is often painted in this light that the struggle with it is completely within our control and our own responsibility. Though our thoughts can absolutely be the culprit of comparison, there have been moments when moms have compared me to themselves resulting in passing judgement for our differences. I'm not talking about overt shaming, but rather a covert kind of shame that comes with the best intentions but hurts just as much.

For example, here is a sentence that seems good, but rather, is an act of comparison with a potential to hurt moms. "If I can do it, you can do it." Though that sentence can be meant to encourage someone, the person saying it is comparing the other person to themselves and telling them they can do something when sometimes the truth is that the other person can't do it or doesn't want to. And often what follows after that sentence is uttered is judgement and shame even if they don't say it out loud.

Whatever it is (breastfeeding, sleep training, exercising, working, cooking, childcare, etc.) most moms tackle parenting challenges in the best way they can and it looks different for everyone. I tried SO HARD both times at breastfeeding, and I've been met with, "If I can do it, you can do it; Just keep trying, you will get it. It's best for your baby; I didn't have any problems with it at all, you're probably not doing it right." Yucky, right? Have you been there? Or maybe it's the challenge of sleep deprivation....Have you ever said, "I'm so tired. My baby was up twice last night," only to be met with, "That's nothin'! My baby was up three times last night and hasn't slept through the night for over a year now." This idea of one-upping another mom by how much we can handle or do for our kids and shaming others who complain about their hardships isn't okay.

There are no gold, silver or bronze medals for moms. We're all gold medal winners if we are doing the best that we can to take care of our families. To some, the best means baking everything from scratch, having a home cooked meal on the table every night and homeschooling. That's so awesome! Who wouldn't love those things?! For me, the best means hugs and kisses whenever I can get them, reading a book to the kids before bed, and donuts after dance class. Again, what kid doesn't love that too?

I bottle fed my kids, I let them eat Cheetos, I let them watch television, I have a nanny, I order takeout some nights, I let my daughter wear lipstick, my kids wear hand-me-downs most of the time, sometimes I forget to brush their teeth, I don't DIY anything. These aren't bad things or parenting fails. Where did we get this idea that they were? If you craft stuff, bake stuff, eat only organic and are able to do it all without childcare that's so great! I love that! But at the end of the day, that doesn't make someone a better mom than me or the mom that buys store bought cupcakes and works full-time. Kids aren't necessarily better kids because of that either.

We are doing our jobs as moms when our kids are told they are loved, their needs are met, and they are able to learn and grow with joy. There must be equality within motherhood, and we must stop comparing ourselves. To read more on this topic of comparison from other amazing, real moms be sure to check out the posts below:

A Daily Something; Cloistered Away; Design for Mankind; Parker Etc., The Life Styled; The Refined Woman; Sacramento StreetThe Effortless ChicCould I Have That; Sarah Sherman Samuel; Sugar & Charm

Photos by Sarah Waggoner; kids outfits from Carter's

HEALING DIAPER RASH

I've never thought that diaper rash could be one of the worst things to happen to your baby until now. Levi had diaper rash for over a month due to chronic diarrhea. We finally discovered it was because of a series of food allergies, but white we were troubleshooting it doctors suspected things like Toddler's Diarrhea, bacterial infections and parasites. We went through a lot of tests all while dealing with a diaper rash so bad there was no skin left on his bottom. We're talking blood and a lot of screaming. 

He was in so much pain he wouldn't crawl. I couldn't leave the house because I couldn't set him in his car seat. It was the most brutal diaper rash you can imagine. I asked all of my mom friends what their cures were. I tried everything from homemade wipes to essential oils to creams I had never heard of. Nothing really worked until we were able to consult a GI specialist and dermatologist. 

So, to save other babies and parents from a lot of tears and screams here's what worked for us: 

1. Switching from sensitive wipes to WaterWipes. Even sensitive wipes had chemicals in them that were irritating Levi's skin. I also tried making my own with lavender, sensitive soap and paper towels, but the soap was too irritating. WaterWipes worked the best because they are 99.9% water with .1% grapefruit extract. Levi also has eczema, so we have been sticking to these.

2. Zinc Oxide - The dermatologist said to apply every 10-15 minutes a thick layer of diaper cream with at least 40% zinc oxide. We used Extra Strength Desitin, but there are others out there. Applying it frequently even before he soiled himself was a HUGE tip. This kept the skin constantly covered. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it for him.

3. Air drying - As much as you can, try to leave the diaper off. It was kind of a nightmare to do this with a crawling baby that was pooping every 15 minutes. However, the air really helped. We sat outside with him, and when he pooped we rinsed his bottom off with the garden hose and gently patted him dry with a towel. He was much happier that way.

If your child has severe diaper rash be sure to visit your pediatrician. Yeast infections can happen easily when this occurs, and they may need prescribe an anti-fungal topical ointment. For us, the culprit of the rash was diarrhea, and once we were able to stop it his rash healed overtime. It took two weeks for it to heal, but this method really got us through it all. I hope it helps! 

Photos by Sarah Waggoner for Carter's.

 

HOW TO STAY SANE IN THE CAR WITH KIDS

Phoenix, Arizona is the 6th most populous city in the U.S. and the 10th largest city based on square miles. Expect to be in your car a lot when you live in or visit this city. It takes me about 20 minutes to go anywhere. So, my kids don't really have a choice when it comes to liking car rides. 

I remember when Elle and Levi were first born and they would scream bloody murder at every stoplight. My heart would start to race, I would start to sweat a bit and the anxiety would creep in. You can't really escape the screams when you're stuck on the freeway in traffic. You just have to breathe through it and try to stay calm sometimes.  Add a 4 year old constantly saying, "Mommy! Mommy! Snack!" and you have a recipe for a mommy meltdown. 

There are, however, some lessons I have learned and things I do now to prevent fits and screaming sessions. 

1. Make sure everyone has been fed, gone to the bathroom and/or has had their diaper changed. 
2. Make sure to pack snacks for the car, as well as water bottles. Who cares if your car gets a bit messy and you have to vacuum more often. Let your kids snack in the car. You'll thank me later.
3. Avoid getting in and out of the car as much as you can. Drive-thru's are the best invention since sliced bread.
4. Choose music that keeps you calm or that makes your kids happy. If classical keeps you calm then go for it. Personally, my kids like to jam and dance, so I always turn on the pop station.
5. Stow toys that are just for the car. Having special toys they can only play with in the car makes car trips so much more exciting and fun. I put them in my glove box.

Ultimately, planning ahead and having snacks and toys will always pay off. My CRV does smell like spilled milk right now and has crumbs all over it, but I always have happy kids in the car. Haha! Although, this past week, Lexus let me take their RX 350 for the week and experience what it was like to drive a luxury car. Won't lie...It was pretty awesome to have leather seats, keyless entry and built in shades for the kids. I would say the perks of luxury car will also make you and your kids happy too. We're not ready to buy a new car quite yet, but now that I have been spoiled with amazing technology and engineering, you better believe Lexus is at the top of my list. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

PINTEREST LOOK FOR LESS

Autumn is right around the corner and my mind can't stop racing with fall fashion ideas. Recently, this pin of Lauren Nelson's flawlessly executed double denim look caught my eye. Double denim is one of those "love it or hate it" kinda trends. When done with care, I really do love the effortless, laid-back look it creates. If you're thinking about piling on the denim this fall, pay very close attention to hues. The key to pulling off double denim is to either go full on matchy-matchy, or completely contrasting. Notice how Lauren's jacket and jeans are the same true blue, but their rich hue contrasts the lighter blue oxford underneath. If you're still unsure about denim on denim, try wearing black denim paired with a very light washed denim. And if you're ready to dive in head first, get the whole look below for just $115!

ELEMENTS OF AN ENTRYWAY

This is a sponsored post by World Market. All opinions are my own.

First impressions matter. The entryway of your home is your guest's first experience of your style. It's also the last experience of their visit, so you want to make sure it's memorable. Our entryway hasn't been much to look at. Until now, it was just a blank white wall, a wooden front door and wooden floors. Not bad, not great, just there. 

After furnishing my living room, I wanted to make sure that the entryway was just as warm and inviting. I also wanted it to be functional, and have a spot for people to put their shoes on, to check their lipstick their way out and to be able to set their purses down. 

A bench and a mirror seemed like the perfect solution. The warm wood kept the space inviting while the midcentury modern design of the bench and the oversize mirror kept things modern. But, to cozy up the space I found the perfect collection of pillows at World Market.

I kept to the rule of thirds with the pillows, and then I picked up this lovely throw to add some dimension. Adding green plants or flowers to any table or bench is always a good idea too.

I also found a gray floor runner that has flecks of silver throughout. You can't see the sparkle in the photos, but it's really a unique and glam touch to a natural space. The combination of these textiles soften the hard surfaces of the space.

The final touch on the space was to put an interesting piece of artwork on the door. Though the wood is pretty, it was just too plain Jane. I had this woven hanging made by Jenny from Sonoran Handmade.

To get this entryway for your home be sure to shop the space below. Also, World Market still has their living room sale going on. Be sure to shop now before it's over. 

Photography by Rennai Hoefer