Who am I?

I’m Tiffany. If you can name any role you could have in life, I’m probably that. I don’t claim to know it all and most of the time, I don’t want to.

If I could get my toddler to sleep in his bed all night, I’d consider myself golden and boy oh boy the attitudes that radiate from my confident little girl... if I could figure those out, I’d be better equipped to handle it when we hit teenage years. But alas, I’m clueless.

At the end of the day, I’m just faking it until I make it. That’s what I’m supposed to do right? Wing it until one day it either magically comes together or it becomes something I don’t stress over anymore? I’m not entirely sure. Nevertheless, this blog is my journey in parenting and marriage, my story, and my perspective. Welcome to my world.

Freaky Friday 2.0 (or Saturday?)

You’ve seen Freaky Friday, right? Where Jamie Lee Curtis plays a single mom who switches bodies with her very different teenage daughter played by Lindsay Lohan because of some Chinese fortune cookies? Cool, setting the scene here. Except I have two kids and a whole husband.

My 9 year old daughter has been frequently telling me that she wishes she was an adult because she would have no responsibilities and can do whatever she wants. She would never make her kids do chores and would never have to do anything hard. Cute, right? I think we all imagine adulthood to be like that when we’re children. Unfortunately, this mindset has transformed into me having to constantly repeat myself and be responded to with huffs, puffs, and blowing the house down attitude. My last straw was pulled and I figured that now was the time to make her wish come true. I introduced the idea to her and she was SOLD. She was super excited to take over the household and throw her two weekend chores into my lap. I’d gladly clean her room and bathroom and I honestly couldn’t wait to sit down and read my book when I was done. Everyone was on board.

Let me break down the day.

Morning: Rise and shine! My two year old wants food and he wants it NOW. My daughter promises him strawberries before realizing we ran out two days ago. Big mistake. We have tears. He settles for peanut butter toast and grapes. She makes Dad and I breakfast and then heads off to make herself something to eat. I usually eat last, so this played out wonderfully. Midway into her breakfast, my son needs a diaper change. She stops eating and heads off to handle that task.

Let us not forget that Saturdays are my catch-up days. Everything from the week that I couldn’t get to, gets done on Saturday. I also take advantage of everyone eating breakfast to write out a meal plan and clean out the fridge so guess who was in charge of that? (Hint: not me!) She ate her breakfast standing up while rummaging through my Pinterest board to find recipes for the week.

Midway into the grocery list, my toddler needs to be wiped down of peanut butter. At this point, he’s following her around much like he does to me and she can’t get a single thing finished before having to start something else. Laundry, dishes, another diaper change, oh wait there’s eggs on the counter, and who needs something else? Is there another cup of juice that needs to be refilled because holy mess, I still haven’t finished the first thing. Wait, what was I doing? Meanwhile, I’m done with her two chores and I’m parked on the couch reading my book, like she usually enjoys doing on Saturday mornings.

Lunch rolls around and she handles that and gets back to it. Things are really stacking up here. Toddler wants to play and she’s struggling to balance his needs and the things she needs to get done.

Here’s where the breaking point happens. My toddler is tired and I don’t mean yawning tired—I mean screaming and crying tired. We missed his window for nap and it’s a nightmare. She goes to put him in his bed and he’s not having it. Much like he does on a regular basis, he runs out of his room and she had to go back and tuck him in. She tried laying with him and nope, that’s not working either. After about thirty minutes of a frustrating “PLEASE LAY DOWN,” she comes to me and says, “Mom, I can’t even finish one thing before someone else needs me for something. I just want to sit down and be left alone.” She taps out and I was happy to resume my role and put him to bed, finish the grocery list, and the things she halfway started in the house. She’s reading her book and I’m back to being mom.

As unconventional as this was, she made it half the day and I am very proud of her effort. She told me how she’s glad she has her few chores and will be happy to help out around the house in the future because teamwork MATTERS. It’ll be a long time before she juggles being a wife, mother, employee, and college student. Who knows, she may not be those things when she gets older but she will be an adult with responsibilities and it’s mine and her father’s job to teach her how to navigate those as they come.

As much as I was tempted to make her do my homework or pay the bills, I decided that the basic Saturday catch-up was enough of a lesson. I barely handle it all myself and I’m sure she would have had a mental breakdown if I attached all of my obligations to her little body.

In conclusion, if felt good to be understood and I’m excited to see how the week goes. She finally understands that being a kid is her job right now—enjoy third grade, enjoy cleaning your own messes, and if we work together as a team, things are a lot easier. Needless to say, she doesn’t want to be me anymore and is happy to go back to being carefree and beautiful.

Mama’s got you, girl. Just lose the attitude and clean your room.

Self-Love Is Not Just A Fad

I love myself in a Snapchat filter. Where are my pores? I don’t have any. My freckles go *poof* and every stray hair disappears within the camera grain. Camera filters capture reality unrealistically.

Sometimes I paint my nails a different shade of the same color for months because I love it. I know after I wash one too many dishes, it will inevitably chip. It doesn’t last long.

I have my fair share of face masks tossed in a bathroom drawer in case I need a little pick-me-up. They are my chocolate on a bad day. But after a few minutes, I have to wash it off. That doesn’t last either.

I use facial serums like my skin will wither up and die tomorrow. Why? Because I love it. It doesn’t last. Ultimately, I’ll have to buy another vial and if the wind blows during the winter season, my skin stays dry no matter what I do.

These things make me love me when they last but what lasts when those things go away?

Now let’s talk about real self-love. I mean real, RAW self-love.

The love that you criticize.
Love that makes you sit down at the end of a long week and consider all of your weaknesses, triggers, and downfalls.
The hard conversations. The tough love.

I’m talking the bubbling rage you feel when you’re pushed in all different directions—the stretching of a rubber band of your emotional intelligence and how you learn to manage that.

I want to talk about the growth that goes into the love we are capable of having for ourselves.
The ebbs and flows of love that changes when we look into a mirror and see imperfection perfectly, or perfection imperfectly.

We’re all human which means we are not strangers to the emotions that come with being able to breathe and live our lives. We are privileged to have the option to love ourselves and all of our fibers, despite not being everyone’s cup of tea or shot of whiskey.

Self love isn’t material. Materials contribute, but are not forever. Materials do not feed our soul affirmations quite the same way that our thoughts do when we use them to succeed.

I want to admire me.

Self love is a continuous battle between needing validation from others to being able to walk outside with the confidence that can make a tulip bloom all year round. Self love is a journey—finding strategies to cope with the bad days, to be strong when we need to be, and knowing it’s okay when it’s time to be weak.

Self love is growing and maturing. Self love is knowing that “enough” isn’t enough forever. It’s the consistent effort to be better than you were the day before and respecting yourself enough to try to make that happen.

It’s the continuous effort you make every single day to look in the mirror and say “I am worth it.”

“My body is amazing, but how can I reach my physical goal?”
“My heart is full, but in what ways can I contribute to my self worth?”

It’s also knowing when it’s time to ask yourself:

“What can I do to be a better me?”
“How is the love I have for myself influencing the love I have for others?”
“What triggers me and how can I learn to manage my reactions?”

Self love isn’t manufactured. It’s work. You can’t find self love in magazines, department stores, and in someone else’s perspective. You have to work to find it within yourself.

Put the work in.