Saturday, September 14, 2019

My Personal Experience with Depression


   This is a topic that a lot of people deal with… depression. I've dealt with it many times in my life and in order to combat it I went to therapy. I had to do the work to better myself. As a mom you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself. What’s the saying… you can’t pour from an empty cup? Therapy was the best thing I could have done for myself. 

   I met with my therapist for a few months and I learned a lot of things about myself, depression and anxiety. The truth of the matter is I had gone to see a doctor before about depression prior to seeking out therapy. I went to a primary care physician to seek help for anxiety and depression. Upon signing in I was given a questionnaire. I think it had maybe 8-10 questions on it. The doctor determined from looking at my answers to questionnaire that I had depression and should be treated for it. She didn't ask me any personal questions to try to get to know me or find out maybe what was going on in my life. Over the years as I look back I feel she handled me the wrong way. Instead of getting to the root of the problem she just scribbled on her pad, handed me a prescription and said take these and see how you feel. 

  A prescription is not a one size fits all solution to a problem that affects millions of people. Anyway, desperate to get rid of the depression I filled the prescription. Once I had it all I could do was sit and stare at the bottle. I turned it over and over again in my hand and I thought to myself is this the answer for me? 

  Don’t get me wrong, it definitely is the answer for some people and I'm not here to judge. This is a judgment free zone but this was a personal decision I had to make. I had to decide if it was the help I needed? Was this how I wanted to treat the situation? I didn't want to take pills and just ignore how I was feeling.  I genuinely felt like something more going on with me. So I threw away the pills and continued to be sad and anxious…. all the damn time.

   Fast forward a couple years after that to a time I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. There was a lot going on in my life and I felt like I was losing control. I felt alone, my grandmother had just passed, there was a hurricane headed for Florida and I was still dealing with other unresolved problems. I just didn't know what to do or how to handle it.
 If I could put into words exactly how I was feeling I would imagine it to be what a nervous breakdown felt like. 

   So that’s when I decided it was time to seek professional help. It was the greatest thing that I could have done for myself. Now mind you, this was a couple years after I originally went to a doctor first and she gave me the pills that I threw away, but now!! Now I would have been OK with being treated with the prescription at this point in time I would have done whatever I was told to stop the way I was feeling. What I discovered at this time was the depression was situational and I feel like it had been all along. So taking pills wasn't going to fix MY situation. 

  Getting to the root cause and fixing what was going wrong in my life would have gotten rid of the depression. Finding out what I was worried about is what helped with the anxiety. I sat down with my therapist once a week and I learned how to deal with the situations in my life past and present. 
The main thing I learned is to deal with my past and the way people have treated me. I held on to a lot of things I needed to let go of. Not only that but I also take on other people’s problems. I had to learn their burdens are not mine to bear. 

  I've come a long way. Sometimes you just have to really sit in your mood if you're anxious about something or if you're depressed about something. Sit in it and figure out what's causing it. If it's a chemical imbalance than absolutely by all means take whatever you have to or do whatever your doctor prescribes as long as you feel comfortable with it. Whenever I feel down I sit in those feelings and I think what's causing it right now. Is it situational? Did I eat too much sugar? Have I not been taking care of myself? Am I going through a transition? I don't say struggle, I say transition. It’s all about a positive mindset during a difficult time and I tell myself this too shall pass. 

  There is air in my lungs, my heart is beating and my family is healthy. That's what's important that's what matters. There is food on the table and a roof over our heads. Anything else is not worth the worry. It's not worth putting that stress and strain on your body, it's just not.


   At the risk of sounding cliché there is a quote I came across and I feel it would help… “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”

   I fully believe that a series of small changes over time can create the biggest impact. Every week at the end of each podcast/blog post I’ll give you a minor tip for a major impact on your life. 

   This week’s Minor tip for a major impact is… talking to yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking I’ve lost it! But no really! Talk to yourself and say something positive. We are always in our own heads with so much to say, but what if every time we thought of something negative we turned it into something positive? I want you to come up with a list of positive affirmations this week that you will say to yourself every day, all day, as many times as you need it. I’ll start you off with a few.

I am grateful for my life.
I am enough.
I have everything I need at this very moment. 

   Say those and be sure to come up with your own. See how it changes your mind set. And above all else… pray. I don’t know what your personal beliefs are but I whole heartedly believe in God. So pray, say your affirmations and always, always consult a doctor or tell a family member if things ever get too much for you. 

Share this with anyone you think it will help.


Best of luck,
SJM


Listen on...
iTunes
Radio Public



Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Making Mom Friends #thestruggleisreal








   On this episode of A Minor Mom Makeover podcast you can hear me rant about the struggle that is making mom friends. You can find the links below to listen or continue reading if that's your thing. 

Making Friends as an Adult
   I never knew how hard it was to make friends as an adult until I left Behind everyone and everything that I knew in Arizona and moved to Florida. Starting over fresh in a place where you literally only know the people that you moved with… that's really hard. I met one person when we first got here. She was the wife of my husband's friend but things like that don't always work out you know? you want to meet people on your own… organically. You don’t want to feel obligated to the friendship like little kids put together on a play date. Anyway, I had it all planned out. Or so I thought. I figured Hey I'll just use one of those websites to meet people or join some Facebook groups. I'll join some mom groups and it'll be OK. I'll make new friends. Yeah, that didn't happen not at first anyway. 

   You see, my quest to make friends was put on pause because shortly after we got to Florida we found out that I was pregnant with my little Jayda, child # 7. So between working from home for Apple, doctor's appointments and 6 other kids it was even harder to make friends. I fell into kind of a depression. I was really freaking sad. The loneliness you get as a mom can hit pretty hard at times. once I had Jayda I really had to start getting out and meeting people.


Desperately Seeking Susan (or who ever)
    I did join a couple of mom groups. One kicked me out because I didn’t attend enough of their events. The other… I became close with a few of the moms but I ended up getting a full time job and no longer worked from home. Which means I lost a lot of the flexibility I had and wasn’t able to go to their events and play dates either because they were mostly during the day while I was at work. 

   I still hadn't met my tribe yet I mean to this day I've been in Florida for 6 years I still have not met my tribe and everybody needs a tribe, right?

   I want a friend that calls me to ask if I'm watching 90 day fiancé because we both love trash reality TV. We watch it together over the phone while having a glass of wine yelling at our kids to get out of our face so we can talk on the phone all while talking shit about the people on TV! 

   If your husband is pissing you off and you need to go for a walk and vent that's cool my husband is probably pissing me off too or he's about to so I better get out of dodge now! 

   Hey, it’s taco Tuesday… your place or mine? Mine, ok cool I've got the tacos you bring the margaritas! 

   I meet moms at different events. A school function, at work, the mall, the doctor’s office. We hit it off and then I never hear from them again. Then I'm left thinking shit! Did I come off too strong? Did I seem too needy or eager for a friend? Oh no did I scare her away with my bright purple lipstick? I knew it may have been too much for the farmers market. 

Refusing to Settle
   Being an adult and making new friends is hard! Throw some kids in the mix and it feels impossible. Hell you would think it's easier! Put the kids together to play and let the moms talk! But no! I'm constantly hearing about moms shaming other moms. The great bottle or breast debate. Who cares?! It’s not going in your kid! So what Jenny is giving her kid formula. Maybe she is physically unable to nurse. Did you think about that?? We have to stop passing judgment and start uplifting and nurturing our relationships with other moms. 

   All I know if I’m ready for some real friends. Someone that’s willing to put in the work just like I am and doesn’t leave you hanging. 

   We have to start treating our friendship prospects the same way we do a romantic relationship. Find someone who is like minded as you. What common interests do you have? Do they have goals? Do they prefer talk or text? Do they have time to nurture the friendship? Believe it or not I’ve learned I have to start looking at people’s past relationships. I’ve met quite a few women who are in between boyfriends and only want a friend to pass the time until they’re no longer single… true story. 

Tip of the week
    Make a friendship check list. List all of the things you want in a friendship. Be realistic. Yes you can say you want a small group of sex and the city type besties that are always there for you to laugh, cry and shop with but maybe try to be a little more specific. I mean we have standards and lists for men, right? Let’s set some standards for friendships and not settle. 

What are some of your friendship deal breakers and must haves?
I’d love to know! 

Best of luck,
SJM

Listen on...
iTunes


Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Thursday, August 8, 2019

What is Mom Guilt?


   Hey moms! I hope you’ve been enjoying the Minor Mom Makeover podcast. I’ve been enjoying coming up with show ideas for you. I try to think of something that is an issue among us moms and will be beneficial to someone. On episode 2 I’m talking about something that I spent many, many years dealing with. Mom guilt… now by definition “mom guilt is the guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work that does not involve her children”. As I mention in this episode I do believe there is a bit more to this definition… that I did not make up by the way. 

    In my opinion (because you know I have plenty of those) mom guilt is for working moms, stay at home moms, married moms and single moms. Did I forget anybody? It’s something all moms deal with at some point in time. 

   From the time I became a mom I began to suffer from anxiety and I constantly felt like I was screwing up, so I kept pushing myself to do better. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a good parent but I took it to the extreme. I mean I was throwing little kid birthday parties like it was a Real Housewife franchise! Like I said… extreme! 

   In this episode I’m keeping it all the way real. I’m sharing my personal stories of my own mom guilt. You’ll also hear experiences other moms have gone through but overcame!   

   If you’ve ever felt guilty for going to work, taking time for yourself, or simply wanting to go to your room and close to the door to breath then this episode is for you! 

Listen on...




Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Minor Mom Makeover Podcast


     So, I did something that extremely excites yet terrifies me. I started a podcast for moms. I know there are a slew of parenting podcasts but let’s face it, there’s also no shortage of parenting blogs either yet here we are. I started A Minor Mom Makeover podcast because I felt there was something missing support wise. Personally, speaking as a mom, I felt lonely. Sure, I have a large family and I’m married but what there is a shortage of around here are friends… genuine friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. I sought out mom friends through different Facebook groups, through my kids and their friends’ moms and nothing stuck. I was making friends at work, but they didn’t have kids and therefore couldn’t relate to how I was feeling most days. 

     I got to thinking, If I felt that way other moms probably did too, and I was right! For years other moms would ask me for advice or my opinion on something or just plain vent to me! Once I opened my eyes to everything around me I started seeing more and more moms in those Facebook groups post about their issues and how they were suffering from depression, anxiety, and mom guilt. Oh, don’t even get me started on the mom guilt!! I felt awful and wished I could help. 

     It wasn’t until I worked at MAC that I had a real ah-ha moment! A customer, mom of two boys and I got to talking… we tend to do a lot of that at the makeup counter. She told me I had a gift to share with other moms and I needed to find a way to share it. So, this is me sharing what I’ve learned over the past 21 years of motherhood. I’m not perfect, (kinda glad I’m not), I didn’t get a secret handbook on being a mom and I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I do believe women are full of magic but when we have kids we forget just how magical we really are. Being a mom is not easy and we tend to lose parts of ourselves while giving so much of us to the kids we raise and the men we love. 

     My goal is to help you create yourself. The new version of you that’s still full of magic but you have a kid(s) now. 

     I want to build a community of moms that support one another and picks each other up when we’re down. We don’t pass judgment and we share stories of our triumphs and our failures. 

     Comparison is the thief of joy. I know I used to compare myself to other moms. Maybe, just maybe if we communicated more and actually shared our stories we would see less of a reason to compare ourselves to anyone because we all fall short in one area or another.  

     So, I’ll be sharing a new episode of A Minor Mom Makeover every week. Right now, while I’m trying to get approved on multiple platforms I don’t have a specific day yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I can. In the meantime, you can listen to my intro episode and learn more about the podcast and what you can expect. All available platforms are below.

     Please feel free to share on social media and with all of the moms in your life. 

Best,
SJM 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Legendary Mama Blog is now A Minor Mom Makeover


     For anyone that’s been following me for a while knows this blog or as I like to call it, my little corner of the internet was originally called Legendary Mama. I used it to share my adventures in parenting. I loved being able to write about times with my 7 kids and occupy my time but in doing so I found something I wasn’t expecting… a whole community of moms that also blogged! I found myself excited to post something on my blog and then go look to see what everyone else was doing on theirs. When all of this started I was pregnant and moved across the country from Arizona where I knew everyone to Florida where I knew no one. Having that community of moms helped me cope with a lot of loneliness. This went on for a couple of years. 

     Then after starting a new job that required a lot of my time I stepped away from Legendary Mama. Let’s just say I also wasn’t feeling very legendary. I was juggling kids, a full-time job, a husband and a side business. For the sake of work-life balance, something had to give. So, I walked away from the blog in 2016. A whole helluva lot transpired during that time. I’ll talk about it soon, but I thought many times about coming back to my little corner of the internet I just didn’t know how. In the meantime, home life seemed to be suffering a bit with both mom and dad working crazy hours. Not only that, I was working a job that was unfulfilling, kept me away from my kids, I was tired and uninspired. So, I quit my full-time job and went to work at MAC Cosmetics as a makeup artist… my true passion. 

     However, while I was there I kept feeling like something was missing. Like I was supposed to be doing something I wasn’t. That’s when the idea of creating a podcast for moms came about. It was kind of an ah-ha moment, but I knew I couldn’t just have a podcast with no blog… so here we are. A Minor Mom Makeover. There’s so much more to the story but I wanted to at least address the change first. Mainly because the podcast is already live, and I have no intentions of taking down my old posts. Those stories have so many memories and meaning to me. If you’ve made it this far thanks for reading and stay tuned to find out all about the podcast and learn all about A Minor Mom Makeover. 

Best,
SJM







Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Friday, November 25, 2016

New Job, Leaving My Kids & Family Emergencies


   November 14th was a really hard day for me as a parent. I felt unappreciated and unfulfilled at my job so I found a new one. More on that at a later time. My new job is here in Florida where I live. However, after I got hired I found out training was in St. Louis Missouri, for 2 weeks… insert sad ominous music here. When I tell you I was sick to my stomach with worry you have no freaking idea. The longest I’ve been away from the big 5 was 2 days for a weekends in Vegas. And as for the youngest 2 I’ve only been away from them for 24 hours. WTF was I going to do without my babies and what were they going to do without me?!?!

   I was excited for the new job. It’s an amazing opportunity. For weeks leading up to the trip I was praying hard!!! I really wanted something to change and I would stay home for training. No such luck. All of my friends told me to look at this as a much needed vacation. I told them I would try but I felt guilty for even thinking that way. What if they needed me? What if someone got sick or hurt? I’d be way too far away to do anything.
   Sunday morning, the day before I had to leave… I sat in my bed and hugged my 2-year-old Jayda and I cried. Real tears. Ugly faced and all.

   I made sure I spent as much time as possible with everyone. I even stayed up until midnight watching cartoons with Jayda. I barely slept at all for the 2 hours I had. I was up at 2am and my taxi came at 3am. I was off for a 5:20 am flight meeting 3 strangers I was in training with. What a way to meet people. I’ll share more of that story on the other blog.
   We arrived in St. Louis for week 1 of training going straight to the office at 10am after our flight landed at 9am. I was way too tired to be stressed about leaving my kids at this point. After work I headed to my cute little extended stay suite. It was a reminder of my first apartment. A studio in Phoenix Arizona in 1996. The last time I lived alone and had only myself to think of. This studio however was bigger and nicer.

   After getting settled in we went to the grocery store and each got food for our individual apartments. Shopping for one was really weird. I mean really weird. I over shopped and still had money left over. Weird.

   I video chatted with the kids every single night, several times a night. By night 3 as I nestled in my bed after going out to eat with coworkers, I grabbed a glass of wine and watched whatever I wanted to in a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets and no fighting period. Wow. I felt good and no guilt at all.  I slept like a woman without a care in the world.

   That quickly changed as I got to work the next day and started getting calls from the hospital down by my house in Florida.

   My husband ended up really sick and needed emergency surgery. So while I’m in training in St. Louis my husband is in the hospital and the kids are at home. Alone. Thank God for my 18-year-old Dee Dee. She handled everything flawlessly. My husband had to be sedated so I had to make all medical decisions by phone. Which meant a couple of things. I was again sick to my stomach, stuck in Missouri until the next day when I was scheduled to come home for the weekend and even if I could catch a flight that day the drs needed to be able to get a hold of me which they wouldn’t be able to do if I was flying. So I sat in my little studio after work awaiting the dr’s call to let me know when he was going into surgery and when it was over how he did. Thank God everything turned out alright. He was in ICU recovering, the kids were taken care of and my close friends came to the rescue and picked me up from the airport the next night.

   When I walked through the door of my house all of my kids ran and hugged and kissed me… all except 1…. Jayda. My 2-year-old shadow. My light. She stood in the Livingroom and looked at me as if for the first time in ages and she cried. Long, hard, sobbing cries. As if she had been holding it in for the whole 5 days I was away. I held her. Rocked her and kissed her as she let it all out.

   The 2 days I had home was spent going to and from the hospital and home. The guilt kicked in again as I had to leave his bedside to spend time with the kids as well as when I left them to go back to the hospital. Thankfully he was out of the hospital Sunday night and I again left at 3am for a flight back to St. Louis. Believe it or not the second time around was harder to leave than the first. Even thou this time would be a much shorter trip due to Thanksgiving I got to leave Wednesday evening.
   This time in a hotel room with a super soft comfy king sized bed I was asleep each night by 9pm. The faster I went to sleep the faster a new day would begin and I could go home. Missouri experiences cold that Florida knows nothing about. While it was raining in the 20s and 30s in St. Louis it was sunny and in the 80s back home. I was cold, lonely and in need of cuddles from my little and big kids. Kisses from sticky faces and to hear “Mom” every 5 minutes. The first week was relaxing and a much needed break. The second week felt like a punishment for enjoying the first week.

   I feel like there is so much I’m leaving out. But I think you get the gist of it. Would I do it again? I can’t answer that right now. Not while the aching still lingers in my heart from my time away. I do know this… we all need a break. There is nothing wrong with a little time away from our families. We can become pretty run down without it. Cranky even. We have to take care of ourselves. So I have decided to check into a nice hotel close to home once in a while. Just me. In a room. A glass of wine. Watching whatever I want. In a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets. No fighting. Just me having me time.


Photo credit: Hernan Piñera via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fashion Tips For The Busy Mom


    Mom is a title that carries a lot of weight and is full of so much responsibility. We spend most of our days tending to the needs of others we can easily forget about our own needs and ourselves. As moms we tend to look as exhausted as we feel but we don’t have to. With just a few basic pieces of clothing, some accessories and a little time you can look like an off duty model instead of an on duty mom.

   Let’s start with the basics. Believe it or not a pair of great fitting jeans and a simple t-shirt is the foundation for a put together look. When choosing your denim go for what is comfortable for you. If you’re not into the latest trends, then don’t attempt them. Hey, distressed denim is not for everyone. Your t-shirt can be a plain solid color or it can be a vintage band tee just make sure it’s not too tight, too short or too long.  I like mine to go to mid hip.  

Every day outfits

   If you’re running around doing errands with the kids opt for cute and comfortable shoes. My favorites are white low top converse. They are comfy, easy to clean and always in style.


All white Chucks




   I stopped using diaper bags a long time ago. Big bulky bags with characters on them just didn’t cut it for me. Instead I just carry a large purse with me that can double as a diaper bag. The key is it has to have a lot of inside compartments.


Big stylish bags


   The next step is makeup. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Where am I going to find the time to apply makeup?” Have a “go to” look. A signature look is a real time saver. Once you’ve done it so many times you begin to get into a rhythm and it becomes second nature to you. What may have started out as a 30-minute process can become 10 once you’ve mastered it. My go to look? Polished brows, dark lips, winged liner and lots and lots of mascara!



   To take your look from day to night is easier than you’d think. Simply dress it up with a pair of heels and a statement necklace.



   I hope you find this advice to be of some help. Give it a try and I bet all the moms at the next PTA meeting will be wanting to know how you look so good!


On the go





Photo via Visual Hunt

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