Success: the journey is the reward not only the end result.

Success: the journey is the reward not only the end result.

Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey. Success is every minute you live.”

Jenifer James

How do you define success?

Is it by the praise and awe from those around you when you have completed a goal? Or the feeling of accomplishing tough situations and the process it took you to get there? What about a piece of paper saying you’ve completed something or a shiny award? Maybe success looks like something monetary to you. Whatever it is, I invite you to take a step back and look at success in a different light.

The thing about looking at success as only the end goal, it leads us to become forever searching for the “next thing” that will make us successful. Rather than the result being the marker of success or not, we need to shift our mindset to look at it as a reward for doing the work, that makes us successful. Not the marker of success itself. 

When most people think of being successful in life, the “general” definition falls somewhere along the lines of Once you have a good paying job, a nice big house you own, a fancy car, a perfect partner and family then you will be considered successful. – However, all of these things don’t make you successful, if you aren’t happy. If you are constantly chasing for “more” and comparing yourself to others in your life or on your timeline. Then you will never feel successful or satisfied with what you have in your own life. 

We have all heard the quote

“comparison is the thief of joy.”

– Theodore Roosevelt.

Why has it stuck around and kept getting said years later? Because it’s true, just as it steals your joy it will also steal your sense of success. If you are constantly thinking you aren’t successful because you aren’t where others are yet. You’ll never get there. But as we already stated early what if it’s not even the end goal that really matters in the grand scheme of things. If we take out that illusion that it’s the end result that matters, then how would we compare our success to others?

That’s the beauty. You couldn’t.

See when you take a step back and look at the journey as what makes you successful rather than whatever it is you want to be successful at. You will see that you’ve adapted and changed to be able to obtain the goal.

Let’s say, you want to buy a house before 30. You work hard, find ways to make your income larger, make yourself a dedicated worker, become financially savvy and save until the day comes you can buy that house. In the grand scheme, it’s oh your successful because you bought a home. But, when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Yes, the end goal was to buy that home. However, along the way you learned how to be a dedicated worker, and you learned how to be better at saving money. Worked hard and learned that you can say no to things that would make you take longer to reach your goal. -Vacation with friends instead of saving, or not taking overtime when you had already planned because “something cool is happening”- (Not that you shouldn’t do those things but when you’ve got priorities you have to make those hard decisions)

So yes, the home you saved for and were able to buy at the end is most definitely something grand and a reward for the hard work and dedication you put in. However what made you successful in your goal, and a successful person? It was the hard work and skills you had to learn. Because if it wasn’t for you learning and building them, you wouldn’t have reached that end goal. 

This can be translated into most if not all things in life.

Yes, the end goal is the reward, but success is how you grow and evolve on the way to get there. Do you want to be a successful writer? You learn the skills to write, compile and compose the words in ways others want to read. If you want to be a great sports player you learn dedication, hard work, and the skills to master whatever that sport may be. You don’t just become a great cook, you learn. You take the time and effort to find out what foods click and what others don’t, what spices dance beautifully on the pallet and what makes you run for the hills. 

Success isn’t just something or someplace you can end up at.

It doesn’t have a destination. You can be a successful person: but you yourself will never be “success”. Because just like the world around us forever changing, our own definition of success will change too. This makes the skills that we have learned from one journey may translate over to the next to help us succeed at our new goal. Until we learn and narrow in on our new set of skills we need for the new goal we cant succeed we can not just arrive at the goal. We must take the journey and build our way there, making us successful.

People take so much time thinking about the end goal and not how they will or even why they want to get there. It’s been so ingrained in us as a culture to be “successful” that our own point of view has become skewed. It evolved into the idea of what those around us have deemed successful. However, this isn’t how things are supposed to be. People are not cookie-cutter perfect replicas we all have different thoughts, goals, and aspirations. Which would also make all of our perceptions of success different. But when hearing from so many people and from all different media consumptions of this cookie cutter “success”, can lead us to not find our own path of success and leave an empty feeling of never reaching a successful life. 

But when we take that mindset shift of focusing on the steps, we need to take to be successful.

We can find our own version of success. Not getting that next promotion at work but gaining the skills and knowledge that are needed to be at that level in the company. Not just having what we think is our ideal body but being able to be dedicated, determined, and driven enough to eventually obtain that body composition. There’s so much more reward in the journey and watching yourself grow, evolve and expand beyond what you already are than just having what you have set out to get.

The next time you feel like you aren’t successful or that you can’t or won’t succeed I invite you to step back and look at our journey. Look at all the things you have learned, and how much you have grown. The person you have become rather than that end goal. Give yourself some grace because you can be and will be successful as long as you keep trying, keep going, and keep growing.

-Ashley Cirka.

If you enjoyed todays post I encourage you to subscribe or follow any of my social media to stay up to date with the blog and be notified when a new post comes out. I hope you have a lovely morning, evening or weekend when ever you’re reading.

Enjoy what your reading check in out Working on not beating yourself up. Or Hustle culture.

Journaling: How to start and stick to it.

As someone who has now been journaling daily for a few months, I can tell you that getting started can be hard.

I can not tell you how many times in the past I have told myself, “I am going to start Journalling I’m going to do this, be that type of person.” But it never worked I’d write for a few days maybe a week if I was lucky and then I’d stop and the habit wouldn’t stick. Which was so frustrating because I was reading and seeing videos and Instagram posts almost daily about why Journalling is so great and everyone should be doing it and blah blah blah. –Which spoiler I do agree, it’s just being able to get to the point of consistent journaling before you will see the benefit.

Journaling is something that can really help open up your mind and your thinking. It can help us work through problems in an easy way by pouring them out onto paper and looking at them from a new angle. It’s a great way to brain dump, vent, or even a place where you can set goals and intentions for yourself.  It can be a place you just write without thought, the point is, it is a place to empty your brain and not necessarily bring ourself clarity but pave the road so you can find it eventually.

So how do you start to become that consistent journal-writing kind of person?

You buy a journal and just start.

Yes, it really is that easy. Too many people get caught up in so many tiny things when it comes to starting to journal. “what one do I buy? do I use a pen or pencil? Should I bullet journal or shadow journal? Just silly in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter kind of questions. JUST START.

Back in July when I started this journey, I was not consistent, not until about a good third of the month that is. I was so caught up in all the silly little questions the what and how I was “supposed” to be doing it. However, I quickly realized… There is no right way, no perfect way to journal or write out my inner thoughts. Why? Because they are just that. My inner thoughts they aren’t meant to be well worded, written with the elegant flow of a master writer or any of that. It’s just my brain doing what it does and me letting it out on paper instead of trapping it in my mind.

See that’s the big thing about journaling, yes you can have to structure of “I am going to sit down every day and write at X time.” If you follow my Instagram you will see my stories most mornings at basically the same time: my journal and morning coffee. I find that’s what works best for me, I like being able to dump everything out of my brain before my day starts: for the most proactive start to my day. Maybe that would be great for you, or maybe you’re more of the end-of-the-day before-bed person or middle-of-the-day person. You have to find the time that feels best for you.

Don’t get stuck on the how to part.

Structuring it much farther outside of what time of day you are going to write, can eventually be the downfall which makes you stop journalling. Journaling doesn’t need to have strict rules, it doesn’t need perfect parameters for you to meet while writing. After all, this is for you, and your eyes only so who cares how or what you write? How can you truly start to help yourself work through whatever it is you are writing about if you are so worried about the perception it gives off if someone else were to read it? Short answer, you can’t. Or at least not well.

The human thought process is messy, it’s not exactly linear and forever changing. Your journal will more than likely be a reflection of this. THAT IS OKAY. If someone were to peak in my journal they would see spelling mistakes terrible grammar and random just stop-and-go sentences that don’t feel like they fit into what I’m talking about. But, that was the thought process at the time so that’s what went down in the journal because it’s part of the process.

If you have looked into taking up journaling before than there’s a good chance you’ve seen the laundry list of different ways to journal. -Bullet journaling, shadow journaling, mind mapping, reflective journaling, gratitude journaling, dream journaling and so on. So many it never ends.

Which can leave us wondering well which one is right?

There is no one “right style” of journaling.

The amount of different styles alone can be daunting. But honestly, the style in which you choose or don’t doesn’t exactly matter. One person can find just doing a quick bullet journal is what works best for them and another can find they like reflective best. To find out which one (or which combination of them) works for you. You need to try them. Some days all you might need is a few bullet points of things on your mind and others may require pages of word vomit.

Each person as an individual can benefit greatly from one or many different styles. This as can very person to person but can also vary day to day. When things are feeling hopeless and stressful taking time to reflect and focus on gratitude could be helpful. Or even just giving yourself the grace to be able to say “things suck right now and this is why.” Can help bring mental clarity by addressing and acknowledging how and why you are feeling the way you are. After all, acknowledging and giving yourself room to feel the things we need to (bad or good) is all part of the process and necessary for over all mental wellness.

The longer you go the easier it gets.

Sounds silly I know, doesn’t everything work like that? Yes, however. Journaling is one of those things that the more consistent you are with sitting down and doing it. The easier it becomes to sit down and consistently do it. Especially when you give yourself that “no rule and just let it flow out” kind of freedom when it comes to journaling. You will begin to see a desire to write daily. Your brain will begin to crave that action of letting its thought process out. You will also start to see and feel the benefits of daily journaling and how it can help in many more ways than one would assume at first. -That will have to be a post all of its own-

So what are you waiting for, grab a notebook something to write with and just start.

No rules, no trying to be perfect or well-written. Just write.

Just start.

-Ashley Cirka

If you enjoyed todays post I encourage you to subscribe or follow any of my social media to stay up to date with the blog and be notified when a new post comes out. I hope you have a lovely morning, evening or weekend when ever you’re reading.

Hustle culture.

How many times in your life have you heard “you gotta hustle if you want to get anywhere?” “you just have to work harder” “you can just make the time” “we all have the same 24 hours in a day” and all those other “helpful” pushes – as if it’s supposed to help you hustle harder or get you to go harder for your goal.

I will take a wild guess and say a good handful of times.

Why am I so sure of it? -Because the world we now live in, acts as if that hustle culture is the only way to live. People act as if you need to have at least 3 or more things going on in your life on top of the normal day-to-day life that happens regardless.

The biggest thing that comes to mind is that meme I see all over social media that says something along the lines of “you need three hobbies, one that makes you money, one that’s for your health, and one that grows your mind.” But don’t forget the accounts this post style of meme also will also tell you: that you also need to be drinking your water, and have a full and “perfect” morning/night routine. A 6-7 day a week workout routine, a diet that you follow, flawless social media presents, a good sense of style, a social life and it goes on.

Let’s be real. NO ONE has that kind of time, and if they do? Well, I am going to go out on a limb here and say they are probably social media influencers, more than likely within the realm of “lifestyle” – acting as if this is obtainable for the average person. Now I say average because I’m sure there is the outlier out there who has all their shit together all the time.

Are they giving up quality time for hustle time? Or do they just have exceptional time management?

But I digress, so many of us out there don’t.

My friend and I were walking our kids to school together just chatting about life, when I mentioned how my knee was hurting me and I was worried that I might have somehow hurt it while I was running. It was her response that really took me aback and made my mind go on an entire tangent, not because she said anything rude or off-putting. She said, “I keep thinking I really need to get into something”. Which led to us talking about how anyone finds the time for all the things in a day.

Now, I get it at first that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Why would I be stuck on something so simply put? If she wants to get into something she should. (yes, absolutely I agree I think she should if she wants to, I want to see my friend do all the things she wants to do if they will bring her joy)

HOWEVER. This is a huge issue I see all the time among us mothers (and yes, all people in general.) As I stated above, hustle culture is ramped, always going on about how stay-at-home moms need to have a side hustle or have a perfect routine. Make everything from scratch, or be able to do all the housework, and childcare, oh and don’t forget to have a banging body dressed as if they stepped out of Pinterest. (No shade to getting outfit ideas from Pinterest because I too go searching there for outfit ideas.)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim to do things if you want to, you want to get a “side hustle” do it, you want to start a YouTube channel because you can do it!(one of my favourite creators on there is a small channel and I don’t know how that momma find the time but she does Mommy brain and coffee if you want to check her out!) Work on that routine or build that body you want to. More power to you, hell I will cheer you on while you do it. The thing is though, we so often feel like we have to do these things.

Yes, you should have a day-to-day routine, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Life isn’t perfect we cant make a routine perfect.

You want to find an at-home job, or some sort of hustle you can do in the space of time in the day you can. Please do if that makes you happy. But not because some one on social media made you feel like you have too.

You want to start a workout routine to better your mental, or physical health. Go off bestie I wish you all the health and happiness. But, don’t give into that pressure rod feeling like you have to look some type of way.

But please, do not expect all these things out of yourself when your life already has things that fill you with joy, fill your time, and that you would have to push aside just to feel like you’re “hustling” your life in the right way.

Don’t play into the false narrative that is fed threw social media claiming that if you aren’t working your ass off all the time you aren’t doing enough. There is not a single thing wrong with just enjoying a simple life. You don’t have to have a second stream of income, you don’t have to have a “blog-worthy” routine or a life that would be good to watch on YouTube. We don’t live in Instagram stories. What we see on all these accounts that we’ve idolized as “the ideal life” because they’ve worked their ass off to have “the perfect life”. Probably aren’t showing all their life, or are leaving a lot out that they may struggle with. Not all of us have “pockets of time” to make money from our phones and hustle for that “extra income”.

Because let’s be real for a minute.

Their lives aren’t always that interested, they probably don’t always look so flawless. Some days they wake up late too, a “perfect morning/nighttime routine” varies from person to person. There is no one size fits all, they’re routine isn’t going to be the same as yours because you are not them, and they have a show to put on for social media. (Not that they may not actually do these things, but personally I don’t think all of them ALWAYS do ALL those things every day.) Nor do I as a mother, like so many other moms have any “extra time” -that we are willing to give up anyways because hello sanity- to “hustle”. My downtime is my downtime. just like your downtime, is yours. If you choose to hustle with it. That’s okay.

But just know it’s okay not to.

Its okay to enjoy doing nothing, or to just live a simple life that works for you, if you feel like it. Or because I just wanted to today kind of life. You’re not a highlight reel don’t let the Hustle culture of social media make you feel like you need to be living any other way than how YOU want.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out How to lose your “Mom pouch”-a statement I’m so tired of hearing.or The golden chaos.Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Taking the small steps first.

Last week I opened up about how I felt like my writing was losing its value, and how I was feeling very lost and like I was drifting from myself and the goals I had set for myself. I decided it was time to focus on a journey back to myself. I need to work on my own mental and physical health, my priorities – Just me all over as a mother, a wife, a blogger and a person.

Normally I would go head fist all in. No prep just “I’m changing everything now” however, I don’t see that being sustainable for me. Yes some big changes need to happen but just tossing myself into everything all at once is what left me in this position, to begin with.

I wonder why some people are so drawn to the “all or nothing, go big or go home” approach in life. I am one of these people so it always leaves me wondering, and then wondering why some people aren’t like that. It’s just a loop on repeat in my brain.

Small steps are what we are aiming for, yes it will probably take me much longer to get to where I ultimately want to be but sustainability and avoiding burnout is the goal here.

This week I decided to focus on making some changes to my physical activity and a small shift in my eating. I have talked at length before about how planning meals and prepping things ahead of time can be extremely beneficial. But, as of lately I have been terrible at taking my own advice

Eating habits.

This weeks lunch meal prep. Burrito bowl including shredded chicken, Mexican rice, corn, black beans, shredded cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, salsa, and sour cream.

The first step was to plan out a lunch I could make in bulk, prepare and have ready for the week ahead. – I decided to go with burrito bowls, delicious and nutritious. Also (and most importantly) something I don’t find gets boring over the few days I’m eating them.

Now for those of you who may be wondering, why I feel the need to meal prep when I am a stay-at-home Mom. I tend to just not eat lunch and wait till dinner if don’t have anything ready to just grab and throw together easily. This leads to making poor choices in my eating habits at night, from not fueling my body properly during the day and that leads to negative emotions around food and that is a big no.

A snack at night shouldn’t be something I question or hold any negative feelings toward. So if I am fueling myself throughout the day, my bedtime snack is simply because my body is telling me I’m hungry. There doesn’t need to be any guilt about that.

Having this already made in the fridge and I just needed to portion out depending on how hungry I was feeling and add my toppings. Meant I didn’t skip lunch once this week. Which in turn meant no super hungry me right before bed; so no bad feelings around food and that is a big step in the right direction.

I’m also noting this week I’m feeling much less inclined to want to take out, I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or if the effects of eating better help me make better overall choices for myself and my children around dinner time. Because yes, take-out once a week or once in a while is a great treat. We all need to have that balance but as I was feeling so overwhelmed and burnt out, that I was ordering take out far more often than I’d like to admit.

Physical activity.

As for working on my physical activity, a few years ago I fell in love with weightlifting but after having my fourth child I started to fall out of love with it. Yes, it still brings me joy, however, it doesn’t exactly give me that freeing feeling any longer. Yes, I still think it’s still great and a good way to move my body and help me stay healthy but my brain strongly ties it to change my body. And since I am working on fixing myself and my mental health, I needed to adjust this also.

Which honestly left me feeling a little lost. If I wasn’t focusing so heavily on physically changing my body, what was the point in working out? Logically I can sit here and tell you, that it’s good for both your mental and physical health but for such a long time I couldn’t justify that for myself. Until I recently when decided I needed a change in all aspects of my life. Because of feeling so disconnected from myself. So this also meant how I was treating physical activity.

My first thought was to continue on my same workout routine and just try to look at it different … this was no help. So I decided to try something different. I started running, and it was amazing. Now I am not saying it is easy, because if you passed me on the street while I was jogging you would think I’m in some serious distress. – This doesn’t seem to stop people from honking sadly, but that is a whole other topic for a different day.

The thing is though, as hard as it is, I fell in love. When I’m running my brain turns off, my music is in the world, my responsibilities, everything just melts and all I can think about is breathing, and my feet hitting the pavement. I still didn’t want to give up my weight training however so I cut it down to two days a week instead of five, and have started running two to three days a week to just feel free. My brain doesn’t seem to tie running to anything other than just moving to feel the joy of moving.

Running was different not something I thought I would enjoy, for years I dreaded cardio. But as I grow as a person so does what I need to help myself and you can find answers in surprising places.

Comfort zone.

The last thing I have been working on this week is breaking out of my comfort zone. Because I live basically the same day every day. (if you’ve read some of my past blogs you can probably see this already because I love to schedule out my days and keep the same routine.) I went big in change … well big for me.

I had gotten an invite a few weeks back from another mom at my children’s school asking if I wanted to come out to a workout group she runs three days a week. -To say I was hesitant at first is an understatement. I am not a group workout person… To be completely honest I much prefer to work out alone. BUT this turned out to be something I really enjoyed.

It is such a great group of women, so welcoming and wonderful. I even brought the kids and they got to play with other kids while my toddler and baby stayed close by me. I held the baby for a good portion of the workout and my toddler a bit too. (Because you know how toddlers can be if some one else is being picked up they must be as well) The girls loved doing the workouts with mom though. Gracie ( the toddler) was laughing and trying her hardest to do them. And Maddie (the baby) was loving all the movement of squatting and lunging with mom.

Like I said I never thought I would be someone to enjoy group work outs let alone an in person, outside one. But there’s just something about getting out with a bunch of other people and just enjoying something all together. That makes something that I doesn’t seem like my cup of tea in the beginning so much more enjoyable. If you’re new into working out, or just wanting to get to know other moms/women in your area I highly suggest looking into joying a workout/or mommy group. Even if it seems intimidating at first you might just enjoy it more than you thought!

If you are in the GTA and are looking for an amazing group of women to get moving with I highly suggest you check out Miranda’s Facebook group to find out some more information. Dream Team FIT CAMP she is also on her own health and fitness journey and you can check that out Here.

This week seemed like big changes.

In the grand scheme of things they’re only minor, and maybe I could have tackled more this week as well. But the goal is sustainability and that means slow process, taking things week, one day, and one step at a time. I’m looking forward to taking some time to sit down and plan for the week ahead, to help me keep moving towards the person I am and the person I want to be.

It’s like an entirely new adventure or relearning who I am, and as much as I do love myself now, I also love myself enough to know sometimes change is good. Just like we stride so hard to help our children grow, we need to put the same effort into ourselves.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out Things need a shift.or Learning to love my “mom bod”Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Things need a shift.

The last six months I embarked on something, big. -Or for me it felt big anyways.

I started my blog, and other social media accounts (Instagram , Twitter , and a Facebook page) I’ve spent hours writing and sharing my views on motherhood, and life. Poured my heart and soul into it. Sharing my feelings, and opinions in hopes that if anyone who was looking to not feel alone in their own imperfect motherhood journey would have a safe place to come and read. To know they weren’t alone. And that none of us really have it all together.

Here’s the thing; somewhere in these last six months I feel like I’ve lost touch with what my goal was. With, my true authentic self. Within my blog, and within my everyday real life. Somewhere in all the chaos that I feel I have created I started to drift from me.

I’ve been expecting to much from myself and setting dead lines and expectations- that as a mother of four, and homemaker in our house couldn’t possible keep up with while also keeping myself taken care of, and authentic.

I sit here and babble on about taking care of ourselves, learning to understand we as parents and human being can not take the world on our shoulders and act as if it okay. When I am not giving myself the same grace, or taking my own advice. Telling other parents, caretakers, and people alike to take care of their own mental health and work load while simultaneously ignoring my own.

When I write about how to deal with having a hard time, it is because I am going through a hard time when I write. I’m giving the advice or opinions I need to hear at that moment to help get me through and share those with all the other moms out there who could be having the same issues. Feeling alone and needing hear those words of encouragement or to just know we have the ability to get through it.

Maybe that sounds crazy, or maybe it sounds brilliant after all writing from real life, and from the heart makes for the best work to read.

But I feel somewhere along that path I lost it and started to no longer write from the heart.

All I know is, right now my work, my social media presents, my day to day life. Needs a shift, because I am not going to give up. I set out on a journey to let other moms not feel so alone, to show what my life truly is as a mother of four (from my perspective), and to show the imperfections of motherhood and that we can enjoy them. Grow with them, and be all we can without bleeding ourselves dry.

So with that, I say. There will be a shift for a while. And I will be taking you all on this journey I will be embarking on. To come back to myself, to what my goal was in the beginning, and if you stay for that ride, and watch the journey unfold I thank you.

Welcome to the journey of finding my way back to me.


Mom’s Sumer break survival Guide.

I don’t know about where you are, but summer break is only a few weeks away here. I have to tell you I am both excited and not excited at the same time summer break is weeks on end of: “hey mom can I have another snack” “he’s being rude to me mom” “mom” “moooooooom” and as much as I love my children and always want to hear what they have to say, it can start to all sound like noise after a while.

So I decided this summer break we would take a bit of a different approach to things. Now I might sound a little crazy when I say this but I am going to plan out the entire summer break without actually planning it all out.

What do I mean by that?

Well firstly we have a day-to-day routine that we follow and I had to adjust that first. Not completely however without the bigger kids going to school that throws a big change in the time between after breakfast and dinner. Going threw and deciding how the new flow of things will go can seem a little daunting at first but if we break it down into steps and go over what a realistic day will look like in the summer we can make a basic schedule to go off of.

So I break it down to the skeleton of the routine.

Once we have the basic layout of the day we can start to build around it. First I add in chores to the daily routine. This is just where I start because it’s something that will be the same everyday.

Now there are going to be things we want to add in every day like chores (if you are a family that has the children do chores)-The type of chore will depend on the age of the child and their capabilities and will also change over time as they get older and can handle different tasks. My children have very easy chores right now because they are still quite young, and the baby -has none but we will eventually at about 3 years of age add her in. (that’s the age we feel is the best to start introducing these responsibilities and may be different with each family.)

During the school year, we had pretty simple ones however over the summer will change them to hold a little more responsibility for the older two. Still nothing crazy, but with them being a little older and not having to have their brains focused so hard on learning, this gives us the opportunity to work on life skills a little more.

So just like with the daily schedule, we start by stripping it right down to the skeleton and pick what chores we will be keeping from the chores they already have so we can decide which ones we want to add.

Once we have what we want to keep figured out, we will start picking 2-3 things to add to their chore list, nothing crazy or too hard for them to handle. But something that brings new responsibility over the summer break. For this process, we not only take what we already know they are capable of but we also ask them what they feel they can do, or what want to learn how to. American Academy Of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry explains the importance of chores so kids if you’re on the fence about including them in to your child’s daily life.

With that being said, there are things that they might pick they would like to do, that I will have to do again once they have gone to bed because as hard as they try they are kids and it’s a learning process. (for example: Sophia wants to sweep the floor, which I love but I know I will have to redo and that’s okay)

Now that we have the chore figured out for the summer we need to decide where they will fit into our daily schedule. I put them up into two sections the chore we do in the morning, like feeding the animals and taking laundry to the right place. And section two which are things that happen at the end of the day, like cleaning up and reading.

The day is broken into 4 areas.

This allows us to be able to keep things like mealtimes and nap time for baby set for the same time every day. this also makes things easier on not only myself but also the kids because they get into a rhythm of knowing when things are. (It also makes it way easier if we have a sitter and they can see when and what things happen at what times.)

Because the baby has a nap at the same time every morning (Give our take a dependent on how her sleep was the night before), we will be using this time to play in the day. To take some fun time to be loud burn off some energy and enjoy the beautiful summer weather before that mid-day heat comes in. (I will also use this time to set up at the table in the yard and get some of my own work done in the sunshine while the kids play.)

However, no one can say for certain every morning is going to be filled with nice weather so in this case we will “pick a stick”.  So in a cup, there are popsicle sticks with ideas of things to do on them.  Something from the Science kit, painting, pillow fort, play dough, just dance, and so on. Just fun things that can pass a good amount of time and be enjoyable, or even be something that’s also educational. We will also be using this when the inevitable “Mom I’m bored what can I do?” gets said. This we will actually start introducing on the weekends before school is out, this way it gives us time to add to the options and/or remove the ones that are exactly things the kids are still interested in doing.

Now that the stick method has been explained.

We are also going to use this method with activities for summer break.

When my husband and I can’t decide what we should plan with the kids or if it’s a Saturday morning and the kids ask what we are doing today we don’t really have to think. These won’t be things that take a lot of preplanning but things that we will be able to do on a whim or a couple of hours of prep. These would be things like a nature walk, picnic, park trip, just simple but fun things.

Just easy but simple things that can take a Saturday at home with not much to do to a day filled with excitement. This is another thing that will add to and take away from overtime.

Using the stick methods also gets the kids to feel like they are also making the choices once in while by letting them take turns picking the sticks. This can make whatever it is that they pulled so much more exciting because they picked it.

Rounding back.

With the morning, afternoon, evening, and bedtime blocks set in place. This helps us build around it, and can fill in the other spaces easier. Making snack time and the things to do in between easier to find things to fill, helps pick out the times of day that we can put our chores, independent play when we should find the time to get outside and everything else that we want to be put into the schedule.

Now that we have this drawn up I will put it into notion to add tweak and make finalized copy. If you’d like to see it complete you can check it out here! Complete routine

Every routine and daily schedule or to do list is going to change from house hold. It’s definitely not perfect and life will cause some days to require adjustments, but having something to base each day off of gives the ground for stability and an easy go at things. Life moves much easier when we know roughly what, and when to expect things. And this is can also be a great way to transition from school to home for summer break.

At school our kids know what and when to expect things, and studies show that children thrive off routine. The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. goes into great detail about the importance of family routine and schedule in every day life and over summer break to help children development socially and academically. – It also talks greatly about how this is good for us as adults as well.

Is it a perfect routine/schedule? No, but nothing in life is and it will take time to adjust and completely fine tune. However, having the foundation set, and building off of a pretty oils routine do begin with is the ultimate survival tip for any parent this summer break.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out How to keep the kids busy this spring break or How I get anything done with 4 kids.Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’tw forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

Working on not beating yourself up.

We have all been there. Sometimes it feels like that’s all we can do, it feels like finding the good in ourselves and our capabilities is just impossible. As a mother, a partner and a person.

Now I wish I could just tell you, that all you have to do is “think positive and it will fix it all.” If that were the case well I wouldn’t be here writing this- and you wouldn’t have decided to read it.

There are so many things we can do to stop beating ourselves up, but so many of them feel so much easier said than done. My mind leads back to “just think positive and the rest will follow” Which I am guilty of saying.. often. However, as cliche as it sounds, sometimes it really doe help.

So what do I mean?

Not in the sense of ignoring all the issues and your own thoughts, and shoving toxic positivity down your own throat.

But looking at a situation you might be struggling with. Or beating yourself up over, and instead of picking yourself apart over what you could have/should have done. Look at the situation, and pull out the things you are happy with, what did go right, what you know you couldn’t have changed even if you wanted to and be okay with that.

Sometimes we overlook the good parts of a situation and block them out because we are so focused on what we need to do to “do better”. Or that we need to change this, that, and the next thing about ourselves.

By breaking down our situation

and turning what we first saw as a “terrible day, event, situation, or what ever it was” we can change the own narrative in our head. Into one that wasn’t as bad as we thought, and or realize it was actually a really good one.

Now there are going to be things that we can’t exactly turn into a great event. A child throwing a tantrum for example. At the end of the day you might look back at it and think “I should have just given them what they wanted” or “I was so embarrassed why does my child do this?” “We were having a good day, what did I do to make them have a meltdown, or how could I stop them from doing it again?”

Some of these are valid, you are allowed to feel embarrassed. Not that a child having a tantrum should be see as embarrassing, however sometimes you can’t help but feel some sort of way when you are the parent carrying the screaming child out of Walmart. I get it I’ve been there too.

But, taking all the blame and deciding that you are the problem, or the reason this happened: A) doesn’t fix the situation and B) only makes you feel like you are carrying guilt for something that occasionally just happens. Little people have big feelings they don’t always know how to deal with and sometimes it ends in a tantrum.

The same goes for things like:

burning dinner, forgetting that there was something scheduled on the calendar and you forgot. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it can make you feel silly, or whatever other word you want to use in that situation. But, these things happen, and it’s a lot easier (and in our better interest) to laugh it off, shake it off, and go with the flow. You can make something else, have a snacky dinner and a picnic on the living room floor and now burnt dinner is fun.

Reschedule the appointment and maybe look at your calendar and what’s coming next think of other ways you could go about remembering when and what things are coming. I personally have multiple calendars around my house, and apps on my phone to remind me of things, I forget things a lot if it’s not in the daily routine so I find it helpful to be constantly reminded.

All in all

Even though sometimes as ridiculous as it sounds we really do need to laugh it off and look at the positives or the “it is what it is” side of things and try and move forward. Yes, days are going to suck, and no not everything in life can be positive. But there’s no reason to drag ourselves down when we are trying our hardest.

One day the things we get upset about now won’t always seem as so upsetting we may even laugh at our last selves. That’s not to say the way we feel in these situations isn’t valid, but being able to remind ourselves that we don’t need to beat ourselves up over them is important.

And just a little reminder for all you parent out there.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out Unsolicited parenting advice. or Thoughts of a mother when the kids go to bed. Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

So many personalities in one house.

Four kids, two adults. That’s a lot of people, a lot of very different personalities. To say our house is full of personality clashes is an understatement. But, it’s our home it’s just the day-to-day theme of our life. It’s bound to happen that not every personality is going to match another, and when you have a big family people aren’t always going to match perfectly. I know I didn’t always match my sibling’s personalities growing up.

I thought it would be fun to talk about the different personalities in my home so that another no might feel a little less stressed knowing their house isn’t the only one, whereas much as we know no child is the same. Your children can be extreme polar opposites of one another.

The oldest.

She most definitely has the drive, the work ethic, and the leadership skills to rule the world one day. This alongside her sweet caring and very empathic soul she is. Has created a perfect textbook example of the oldest sibling.

As you could imagine this, drives her other siblings sup the wall. But, she brings that structure and leader way that so many oldest siblings are just naturally born with.

My second oldest child.

He is…the complete opposite. He is a complete free spirit, rolls with anything that needs no planning, no warning happy to just do what he does or whatever he is told it’s time to do. He’s much rougher and willing to try something and then after the fact think about the potential outcomes that could also happen.

Now this sometimes drives us all up the wall, however, this is also the most amazing part of his personality. It brings so much joy and wonders into our home, because it brings us a new outlook on things and that things don’t always have to be perfectly planned out.

The third.. the toddler.

When I say she has the biggest personality, I have ever met in a person. I mean it, she is so outgoing and wants to be heard. She isn’t afraid to speak her little thoughts and feelings. It can be a lot, and understandably so the other kids can find this to be a little overwhelming.

This has opened up a new wave of thinking for my children though. It made them very much more aware, and open to hearing how other people are thinking and feeling because the toddler wants to always share. It’s one thing for us (my husband and I) to say, “Hey it’s okay to let your feelings out” but it’s a whole other, to see that in action and to fully understand that it really is okay.

The baby.

Well, she is a baby we are still learning her personality, but so far she is just a happy bubbly little lady that lights up our home. And reminds us all to laugh at silly things, and that love is pure.

In every home;

Every family there is always going to be so many different personalities and they are not always going to get along. There are going to be times that this causes arguments because someone doesn’t want to do it the way the other does, or because one doesn’t understand the other. In the same breath, all the different personalities can make your family see things in different lights. think In other ways, you can and feel in ways different than the way you are used to.

If one is always worried and needs to have everything perfectly planned out and on schedule. And one that is a free spirit who always goes with the flow. They can teach each other how to find some construct, and learn how to go with the flow. It’s truly an amazing thing to be able to look at your children and see how incredibly different they all are. how they are all their own person, with their own thoughts, and systems, and how as much as they can get under each other’s skin, they are also helping each other grow into the best versions of themself.

It’s part of being a parent that we don’t often talk about but we need to remember just how fortunate we are to have this opportunity to watch and be part of it.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out Things no one tells you when having kids. or Having three girls.ollow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

The One That Made You A Mother.

There’s something about the first child. The one that made you a mom, the one who forever changes our lives, and turns us into Moms. There will always be such a special place in our hearts for that child. Not in a sense of “you love them more” or any of that nonsense. But simply a place in which they helped shape us into a who will be as a mother.

Yes, the ones that come along after the first definitely also help shape you. But, in the beginning when you first become a mother. Your entire world changes, no matter how much you prepare yourself for motherhood it’s not until you are in it. Until you are a mom and have that first child. Do you learn just how much the first child impacts you as a person.

From the moment you find out you are pregnant;

You learn a whole new perception of love. How strong you can feel the overwhelming dedication to make sure you protect, love, and give another person all the things in the world you can.

The first child will teach you so much more than you could even imagine. They are the one that will teach you, that you are capable of the hard things. The moments in time you feel like you can’t move forward. That child will be in your mind, your arms, or your eyesight. Reminding you that you can and will get through the hard times. Because once you have the first child there is a fire that will be set inside you. A drive that will have you set; to be everything and anything you can be for that child. (And all that may come after them.)

They say that your first child is like a “trail” run, a learning curve.

And while I’m not sure if those are the words I would use for it or exactly what words I would put in that place. I can not agree more, in the sense that:

When you do find out you are pregnant with that first child, your mindset shifts. You start to in a way- live for that child, yes in pregnancy it may not be quite as much as once the baby is here and in your arms. But, it starts when you find out. Between Dr’s appointments, find the right time and place to tell those in your life. Adjusting all that needs to before the baby comes, and the overall preparation that having a baby entails. It can, and very probably will consume you. (now I am not saying this in a negative light at all.)

The first child: The one that makes you a mom. Brings so much joy, love, and light into your life. However, I think we do need to talk about the real sometimes overwhelming heavy feeling of fear, anxiety, and complete unknown that is. Becoming a mother for the first time.

Having a baby is… Scary.

Now I don’t mean like watching a horror movie cuddle under the blanket peaking through the side scary. I mean, there is SO MUCH you can learn, and still feel like you know nothing about having kids. There are articles, papers, blog posts, Facebook groups, and Twitter threads every place has something that will “Tell you everything about babies and parenting” and you will still feel like you do not know enough, or that your child doesn’t fit into this category or that one.

The thing is until your child is here. In your arms, living day-to-day life with you. You won’t know what things apply to them. What “master tips” will be the ones that work or won’t work. That’s okay, because if I can tell you anything: It’s that trying to learn all there is to know about babies before they come is only going to make things seem scarier, harder, more overwhelming, and maybe even make you question what you do already know about babies, parenting, motherhood and what YOU want to try and do.

Yes, there are absolutely things you can look into

Read, and even study about regarding babies, kids, parenting, childbirth all of that. However, ingesting all the information you can, may end up doing much less good than you had originally hoped. (I do understand there are people out there who do find comfort in reading every known material to mankind when they are going to do something they don’t know and this may be a situation that doesn’t apply to them)

The first child is a time you probably will worry, and you can’t help it I’m not going to sit here and say “you are never going worried if you choose not to” I mean I am a mother of four. There are times and situations I worry about, there are things I worry about maybe too much. Or that other moms wouldn’t bat an eye at. It happens, especially with your first. That whole situation of it being your first, everything is new and unknown there are many things you are going to worry about because well it’s your first baby you are now in charge of a whole human loving them, taking care of them, keeping them alive, helping them grow into their own person. I mean, one could argue it would be in concerning if we just never worried at all.

All in all.

The one that makes you a mother, the first sweet baby, maybe even your only. They will always hold a place in your heart that everything that helped shaped you into a the mom that you are, and ever evolving into. They hold the first memories of being momma, mommy, and mom. They are the first, they are an amazing wonderful, perfect little gift from of life that you get to help grow into their own person.

(Of course this also stands for all the others as well, but like I said the first is the first. Doesn’t mean you love them anymore, but just like how all of them hold a special place that just there’s.)

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out Baby number 4 and how she changed our family.or How I get anything done with 4 kids. Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

Going out with four kids in tow.

Now if you read that and thought wow that doesn’t sound like a very easy task. Well, my friend, you would be right. It’s not exactly easy, it can be downright exhausting. But it has to be done, there’s not always the opportunity to go while the bigger ones are in school, or simply because it’s nice to go out altogether.

The “easier” outtings.

Now when it comes to things like groceries that’s a two-cart kind of occasion (unless we find a one with two seats up top) , most times anyway. Baby and the grocery items in one, the toddler, the diaper bag, and if we go when the bigger kids aren’t in school then we will also have a child on the back of one and more than likely in the buggy part of the cart the toddler is also in. When this is the case there is always so many “oh you have your hands full, looks like your busy” comments so this also means a lot of polite smiles and annoyed sighs coming from this mom.

I can’t lie some days when we all go out it defiantly feels like people stare as if we are some sort of side attraction at the local fair. I do understand this, to a certain point. I mean yes, okay fine take in the entail shock factor we have four kids, that’s fine. It seems to be less and less common these days for people to have such large families. But really at the end of the day, it’s just a family walking through a Walmart, it’s not that exciting.

The bigger outings.

At first, they were scary I can’t lie, really it felt like such a big, chaotic, out of the realm of my capability thing. However, both my husband and I both knew we had to learn, and we had to learn quickly. Because well once the fourth baby came, we didn’t exactly have a choice but to learn.

Things like the park, we have down. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. We go for parks that are gated, aren’t surrounded by trees, have a large field, and can areas where both the toddler and big kids can play. (The baby isn’t quite big enough yet.) that way even though, yes, we are outnumbered, we can still keep track of them all. It feels like your head is spinning sometimes. Especially when you’re constantly doing a headcount. I swear I probably spend more time counting the kids when were are at the park than anything else just making sure they are all still there and accounted of. And it’s even worse when my husband is at work and I take them myself.

Basically, we had to figure out a system.

When it comes to any outing with all four of the kids. When it’s all four kids my husband and myself the system is much easier. He basically keeps his eyes on the big ones I keep my eyes on the smaller ones and we switch off from time to time. He always gets the baby in the car while I convince the toddler to get in her car seat while the big ones just know the drill and can get in their booster seats by themselves (thank goodness for that!)

When it comes to bigger outings, like the zoo for example. We always bring the stroller for the baby and the wagon. This way the toddler has a place to sit and so will one of the bigger kids if they need a bit of a rest as well. This also makes it a lot easier to carry around all the things we need so an outing.

Speaking of things for an outing, we did ditch the traditional diaper and went for a backpack style. Because there are four children. A bigger diaper bag was needed; however, I didn’t want to be lugging around what would feel like a duffle bag with the space we needed. I would highly recommend this style to any parent that is switching up the diaper bag, not only does it have more space, but it’s also way easier on my back. Or I should say my husband’s back because he is the one that will carry it most of the time.

In the end,

It really comes down to finding the simple things to make taking all four kids out and about less stressful and still enjoyable. Just because we have four of them to tag along with us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the opportunity or abilities to do the things.

If you enjoyed todays blog post I encourage you to check out You aren’t a bad mom.or You are more than just a “Mom”. Follow my social media for extras. Or sign up for the email list to receive an email monthly about what’s to come for that month on the blog.

Don’t forget to check out my Amazon favourites to make day to day life a little easier or just a little more fun.

%d bloggers like this: