Why I Will Not Judge Your Parenting

I’m too damn busy.

I’m too busy making mistakes and praying my kids turn out alright anyway.

I’m too busy looking at my musty smelling laundry pile and wondering if I should fold it or light it all on fire.

I’m too busy teaching my kids a good work ethic which means saying “stop playing and keep cleaning” over and over until everyone is crying.

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Dear Strong Willed Child, You’re worth it…

Dear Strong Willed Child,

Today we had many battles you and I. We had battles in the sun, battles in the sand, battles over popsicles, and a battle while I walked you screaming and kicking back to the house. You were red and fuming, I fought back tears. We’ve had thousands of battles you and I.

Today our battles were about little kid things, someday they might be about curfew or boys or doing the dishes.

No matter what, here’s what I want you to know:

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Confession: I am not a Super Mom.

Sometimes when I don’t know someone and I see them wearing makeup, I kind of assume that they are also good at everything else, like cooking and having a clean bathroom for example.  Their children probably worship them while arguing over who gets to fold the laundry and take out the trash. So, incase you’ve seen me wear makeup, I want to set the record straight.

I am not a Super-Mom, and these are my confessions:

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I love screens and I love screen time. Possibly more than my children love them. If Netflix or Amazon Prime were people I would want to marry them. I hide this love, just like I hide my love for those tacos from Taco Bell with the cheesy Dorito flavored shells on them, or how I binge watched Sister Wives that one time. There’s some things you just don’t share.

I usually engage in conversations about the impending doom caused by iPads with a solemn head shake, but my inside voice says, Girl, you’re good, Wild Kratts is educational.

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Dear Husband, When I forget to see you…

Dear Husband,

Sometimes everything feels chaotic and fast, like a whirlwind we can’t stop. Time is flying by and I forget to really see you.

When I stop and I notice, I see the etching of life, the processes that have made you older, stronger, and wiser. You are the same as when we married, but you’re different too. We’ve grown up together.

I am proud of who you are and who you’ve become.

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Finding Joy in Thailand

When we stepped off the airplane we were hit with a wave of humidity. Instantly my face felt ten years younger, thank you, Thailand. I haven’t visited this part of the world since I was in my teens, and a flood of memories came rushing back.

When I came the first time I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I waged war with a vicious eating disorder, and more importantly, I waged war with myself. You cannot isolate one area of your life to numb. If you numb your appetite, it numbs every part of your soul, and most especially it numbs your joy.

It was not just my frame that was skeletal.

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Dear Kids, I hope you see the world with wonder…

Dear Kids,

As we travel you will see many different things. You will see beautiful things, you will see hard things, you will see happy things, and you will see things that will forever leave you changed. That’s a good thing my love. I hope you meet the world, that you come to know it as your friend, and that you learn to love it with your whole heart.

I hope that no matter what you see, that you never stop opening your eyes wide with wonder.

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Dinnertime Madness: Why it’s the Worst, and How to Survive

They say that family dinners around the table are very important. I completely agree. Mostly because it’s character building. It’s very important to learn how to feed people that do not want to be fed, while attempting to have meaningful conversation. It’s kind of like highschool math…it’s unclear HOW this is going to help you in your future, but it will.

I guess It teaches patience. At least I’m assuming that’s what it does, it hasn’t worked on me yet, but we are all awaiting this gift with eager expectation.

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I Never Wanted to be a Helicopter Parent, but I am one.

I like to think of myself as fun and relaxed, as brave with a touch of crazy. I’m the one who loves to laugh and awkwardly dance in public, the one who jumped off the cliff first and who shaved her head because she felt like it. I’m the one who traveled across the world alone.

So naturally, I thought I was going to be a really fun parent. A free spirit, spontaneous and unconcerned with dirt or danger. I’d probably raise kids who were sponsored by Red Bull they’d be so fearless and capable.

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10 Reflections on Raising a Threenager

I have raised four threenagers. The first one was a kleptomaniac. The second one was a nudist with a rage problem. The third one was a tiny dictator. The fourth one is not out of the woods yet.

When I discovered my first one had a problem with stuffing his backpack with other people’s baby monitors and sound machines, I realized that I had failed as a mother. First step Sophie the Giraffe…next step diamond heist.  I was plagued with visions of visiting him in his orange prison uniform.

Turns out being three is not permanent. I don’t usually find iphones and name brand sneakers in my nine-year-old’s backpack.  So, hang in there parents.

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Family of Six Travels the World with Friends

I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!

On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include  the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!

Through the blog and our brand new company Wylder Pursuits we have been able to make connections and gain sponsorships for our trip. (To discuss working together, email jess@wonderoak.com for more information.)

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