4 Steps to being better Today


Usually I write about things that I think are more so geared toward moms, but this one applies to everyone across the board.

Lately I’ve been considering what makes people happy and successful- two really broad topics. I feel like I’m really happy in my life, but I have so many dreams inside me, things that I talk about and some that I don’t. I identified some “killers of happiness” and figured I would sort of start unraveling them. All of my ideas comes from how I would parent my kids, but somehow I have to also constantly remind myself.

First of all:

Other people can be happy or successful, and it has nothing to do with you.

One thing that I have noticed is how much people compare themselves to others or judge where they are based on the progress of other people.

My son is an incredible learner. Reading and math come easy to him. He often scores 100’s on everything he does. Last week he scored a 97% because he forgot to capitalize the first letter of the sentence. The first thing he said to me wasn’t that he was annoyed that he forgot the capital letter, it was that he was annoyed that his friend hadn’t.

Literally who cares what your friend did?!

See, I had to explain to him to focus on personal growth. That what mattered was how he did compared to last quiz and whether or not he includes the capital on next week’s quiz.

And then it hit me. WE ALL DO THIS. WHYYYY?

This is something that I have gotten way better with over time, but I have to tell my thoughts where to stick it. Other people can be happy or successful, and it has nothing to do with me.

I’m going to be a bit harsh here:

If you are not happy for other people’s happiness and success then you are the problem.

Social media allows us to see how everyone we have ever known is doing. It is so cool, but it has the tendency to document growth or lack there of.

I have a friend named Raya from elementary school who is living a dream life- traveling the world with her boyfriend, reading about goddesses and women’s empowerment, going to festivals and dancing the night away. That is not my life- but MY GOD, I am overrrrr the moon for her. Do I want to ditch my kids, move to southern California, and grow out my arm pit hair? No, not really. But, her happiness brings me joy from afar and I love seeing it.

ANDDD she empowers me! She writes to me about what a Queen I am for being such a great mommy to my babies. We chose two different paths and yet we still lift each other up when it would be so easy to be a naysayer.

There is another girl I know from high school! Her name’s Jordan! I remember seeing her working out at the YMCA next to me in like 2009. Now she makes a living on her social media empire, influencing others on work outs and living a healthy lifestyle. Do I work out? Nope. Do I do her challenges? Big nope. Do I follow her anyway? Yep. I love to see her growth and success, like, yesssssss, girl. Do big things! Who knows! Maybe one day I’ll start working out again! Guess who I’ll call!

Be happy for other people. Their success and happiness is their own, and it has nothing to do with you. Support people and lift them up. If it’s their budding photography business, their college class, or their 30 days anniversary being sober- whatever! Be supportive!

Stop being annoyed at someone else’s life or glory. It says something about you and your personal opinion of your own journey if you are unable to find joy in seeing other people live their dreams out. You get back what you give out in the world. Don’t be the person worried that someone else remembered their capital letter and you didn’t. Worry about yourself and be glad for others.

Know your strengths and play to them.

What a simple thought. I heard my husband tell this to our son the other day. He was all pissy that he didn’t score a goal on the soccer pitch. Guess what? He’s a center back. Scoring goals isn’t his job. Will he get a chance now and then? Sure. But, his talent is being a big, bad defender.

Not that he can’t decide he wants to be a striker and start working at it. But, every day for the last two years, he’s been practicing being a defender.

I’ll be the first to tell you, I am NOT a math person. I recently found loads of trig and precalc work I saved from high school, why? I was probably REALLY proud. HAHA. I have to work really hard at math to get it. But you know what comes naturally? This. I sit down with my coffee and start banging it out. Do I need practice? Yep. Am I still learning? You bet. But, I don’t have to pull my hair out to get an idea on the paper.

Tim Notke said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Figure out what you’re good at and work on it. If you don’t know, make a list and narrow it down- Runaway Bride style. Get to know yourself. You can’t be annoyed if you aren’t living out a dream that you haven’t put grind into.

God gave everyone talents, and if you find out what yours are and use them to your advantage, you’ll taste the fruits of your labor. But you can’t just sit there and wait for an opportunity to come find you.

And what if an opportunity DOES come, and you haven’t been cultivating your craft for your moment to prove yourself?

Share your ideas with people.

The other day a mom messaged me asking advice about breastfeeding. Here’s the thing- I’ve put in my time in this arena. I kind of know what I’m talking about. But to be honest, I only know what worked for me and MY kids. Do you know what that means? I’m not an expert on what’s going to work for you and your kid. The only thing I can do is share my trial and errors, what worked for me and what didn’t work for me. Like, I don’t KNOW everything- but here’s what I’ve gathered so far.

When I first started teaching, my department head, Bonnie Watkins, was the business. I had no idea what I was doing and I was SO SCARED I was going to be the reason students didn’t learn. Do you know what? She made me copies of everything she had, and she shared EVERYTHING with me. Why would she do that? I didn’t deserve all of this help. I hadn’t put the time in to be able to use all of these resources. I kind of felt guilty taking them from her. After all, they were hers. The resources were a result of her time and effort throughout many years of teaching.

I finally just asked her, “Why would you give me all of these resources?”

Her response is one that I replay often in my head.

“If I give you everything I know- it forces me to keep learning. The day I stop giving out my resources, I am saying I don’t want to grow anymore.”

Freaking WOW. What a poised response.

Do you get it? If you share everything you know, it requires that you learn more and grow more.

Not only that, but she wanted me to be successful. She didn’t want to see me fail.

What a blessing to be that person for someone.

And, by the way, this reinforces the idea that you are your own competition. What a way to live! Share your ideas so you can make other people better and force growth upon yourself so you can be better, too.

Mind your words.

It’s self fulfilling prophecy, people! Self fulfilling prophecy is by definition a prediction that causes itself to be true. The mind is a powerful vessel. If you are constantly telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, then your mind actually believes it.

In the book Start, by Jon Acuff, he talks about the negative voices that everyone has, the parts of our brain that list all the reasons that we can’t accomplish something. It encourages writing them down and proving them wrong. THEN, telling people you love about them. He states, “…never waste time trying to battle a voice alone. In some cases that voice or fear and doubt will have had a ten year start on you.” GEEZE, that’s powerful.

You mean to tell me, I have to battle a negative thought that I’ve had for years?

This morning I scribbled down on a paper, “Your blog sucks.”

Then I wrote- LOL, “Well, it doesn’t, does it? I’m not even done yet.”

It actually really helped me to poke fun at my negative ideas before they could snow ball into something significant in my mind.

You see, the other day my first grade son said, “I don’t have weaknesses.” (Boy is he in for a shock! HAHA) But, at the minute, he really believes it. What an incredible thought that at one point, we all believed there was nothing that we couldn’t do. And then what’s so sad, is one day we were “intelligent” enough to know better.

I really would love to be an author one day. My husband and I joke that it could happen! Am I an author right now? Nope. But, why not? Why is that somehow not in the cards for me? 7 year old me would really have words for 27 year old me. “What do you mean? You don’t have weaknesses! Go for it!.”

Your words matter- but so do the words and actions of the people you love.

One day my husband shared one of my blogs and no one liked it… except me (AWKWARDDD.) BUT, I shared with him that my blog had 107 more views because he shared it AND someone private messaged me saying it helped them. When I told him that, he was stunned! How come no one liked it?! I don’t have that answer. BUT, now he shares every single one of my mushy-gushy-pro-mom-agenda blogs on his manly facebook page where the literal only other thing he posts is facts about Lebron James. My blogs don’t really mesh with the theme. BUT, He believes in my dream. God love him, he’s the best there is. He knows that what he says and does matters- if only to me- and it becomes a part of my reality.

Words are so important. What if we told our kids, “No, Jaxon. Sorry- you’re flawed and not good enough. You DO have weaknesses. That dream is going to be really impossible for you.” What would that do to his spirit? You would never say something like that to your children. I’d like to think no one would.

Why do you allow your thoughts to speak to you that way?

It just isn’t true. Not for Jaxon and not for me and not for you.

Words are critical- choose them wisely.

Today I could have said to myself, “No, my friend. You write mom blogs- stay in your lane.”

I didn’t! I wrote what I wanted. I feel so much better for it.

-SL

5 Things I learned about Motherhood from my Husband

YAYYYY! First brand new post on my new platform. I should have done this years ago, and to be honest, my last post made me realize I needed to just go for it. So here we are! If you have been reading my blogs for some time, I am going to be spending the first few weeks previewing some of my favorite writings so far and writing new material. 🙂 All of my inspiration comes from moments in my every day life, and when I was in the shower the other day, I realized my shower experience has changed quite a bit.

Showers used to be really stressful for me. When my first born was a toddler, he was SO attached to me and would just SCREAM and SCREAM. I would get so much anxiety, and I would start rushing. I wouldn’t shave my legs properly so it would leave me feeling itchy the next day. Showers were NOT relaxing.

Nowadays, my shower is my absolute favorite “me time” of the day. My showers are HOT, and I really take my time. Yesterday I was letting the water hit my face and found myself thinking about how different my life is now. It’s 100% due to my husband and what he has unintentionally taught me about my life and who I am as a mother and woman in general.

Many of you don’t know me well enough to know how special and divine my relationship is with my husband. Our story is pure bliss and romance. I promise to share more and more with time. 🙂 I have been made better through our relationship. We are firm believers in equality in marriage, and there is no one who inspires me more than him.

That being said, here are some life changing things that I have learned about motherhood through my husband. Every woman needs to remember these things, so if you don’t have a Jack Lyons- let me be him for you. 🙂 Consider it done.

  1. Motherhood makes you beautiful. Not like romper and wedges beautiful. Like, falling asleep during a night time feeding and cuddling a toddler crying about the way his socks feel- beautiful. When we came home from the hospital after having our third baby, my mother-in-law said, “Wow honey, you look so amazing!” He didn’t even direct it at me, but as he was walking by his mum (he’s British) he said, “She honestly looked like that two minutes after she had him.” *SWOON.* I’m sure I was far from glamorous, but what I mean is, my husband’s idea of beauty has transformed to match this time in our lives. As I was nursing our two day old baby, completely depleted, wearing a hospital grade pad (I just lost all the male readers LOL), and thinking about the daunting reality that I was now a mother of three- I was feeling pretty far from beautiful. His comment made me feel radiant on the inside and outside. Like, I just HAD A BABY. I am a queen! I can do this.

2. Motherhood gives you anxiety, and he always reminds me to calm down. Oh my gosh- literally from the second you find out you are pregnant, you question every single decision. Too much caffeine? What will happen to my baby if I just eat the lunch meat? And then it just continues on forever and ever. Am I just never going to have everything under control for as long as I live? Like, you never stop wondering. Is it bad my kid isn’t potty trained yet? Is this fever too high? How much screen time is TOO much screen time? Is my kid going to need therapy because of the way I just shouted? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into bed and said, “Am I absolutely blowing it?” Sometimes you just need someone to tell you you’re not. No one knows what they’re doing- just calm down. Cool your jets.

3. You are not alone. It’s really easy to feel alone as a mom. That’s because you go along day to day trying to make the right decisions for your kids and it’s exhausting because what’s best for them is hardly ever what’s easy for you. Mom is always the last to eat. It’s tricky to remember to take care of yourself. My husband reminds me to do that. He shows me that I’m not alone. Before I had Beckham, I used to get Hudson out of the car every morning and walk Jaxon into school. I worried my whole pregnancy that I would have to get the double stroller out every day to get Jaxon to his classroom. Jack suggested the *GASP* car line. Surely not. Surely I wasn’t considering dropping off my child through the car line. How would I know he got to his classroom? Did he get to his little seat? Did he hang up his backpack? Oh, freaking hell- did he put his lunch box in the bucket?!?! Here’s the thing- I needed to let go a little. I needed someone to tell me. And guess what- we did it. My golden child. My first born prize got out of the car and walked to his classroom and I left (and texted his teacher to see if he made it, WHAT A DWEEB.) And let me tell you friends, WHAT A DREAM. Car line was absolute bliss. I’ll never go back. I know I’m not alone, we all have these moments- but you need someone to remind you that they’re right there with you and that what’s easy for mom matters, too.

4. You are SO needed. My kids absolutely LOVE my husband. He’s fun, ya know? He can throw them higher. He can kick a soccer ball harder. He plays the music louder in the truck. I mean, I can play hulk smash for awhile and then I’m done- I need a break. My husband could wear a hulk smash mask for three hours. He doesn’t care. He’s COOL. But you know what? I’m momma. You just can’t take that away. When all hell comes barreling through the door, where’s mom? We are important. Our middle son, Hudson, is OBSESSED with Daddy- but the two times he has been sick, he thought Jack was a fungal rot. He was like a little koala on me for DAYS. Dad was a little disappointed, but he’s the first to say, “he needs momma.” Similarly, when my oldest son, Jaxon, has soccer and they’re driving home and I’m on speaker, I can hear him begging for the phone so he can tell me about the goal he scored or how he skinned his knee. Sometimes the answer is daddy, but let me tell you- momma’s the one. We just never get old.

5. Moms are superhuman. Every single mom can name certain days where they still don’t know how they did it. One night a few weeks ago, the kids had a really rough night. We were both up multiple times. Who sleeps, anyway? It was two days later and Jack said, “I’m so tired, I think it’s still from the other night- you can operate normally on a shit sleep, but I just can’t.” It made me laugh, but how true is it?! I NEVER sleep more than three consecutive hours. Like, not in YEARS. A night’s sleep from two days ago? I don’t even know him. Those are old news problems- sailed ships if you will. A few weeks later we were talking about it to friends and Jack said, “She literally has one cup of coffee and it’s like nothing ever happened- she just does her day.

I’m telling you- he makes me feel super special. But, it’s not just me- it’s moms everywhere that just need a reminder. We are killing it! We are all just out here winging it, and we are making it look easy.