Mama, take a break.

Happy Mama’s Day to everyone whether you gave birth to em, or just raise’m as your own!

You deserve this day! I hope you had a beautiful day full of love, flowers, maybe some brunch, well behaved children (or at the very least husbands or significant others that could step in and tame them for a few minutes), but most of all, I hope you take a break today. Or tomorrow, or in two weeks. Just whenever you can. Because you deserve it!

I became a mama to this sweet little girl almost three years ago, in the late afternoon of June 10th.

No amount of advice will ever prepare someone for this crazy roller coaster ride that’s called motherhood. There are days where I love this little one so much that I honestly think my heart could explode, and I feel like there’s no way I could ever have enough room in my heart to love anyone or thing else. There are nights when I go into her bedroom multiple times so I can just watch her sweet lil sleep face, and hear her tiny snores. There are days we snuggle until noon watching movies and eating snacks. There are even days she helps me unload the dishwasher, and I don’t think life could get any better.

But then, there are days that I feel the need to run far, far away… or at the very least, shove my face into a pillow and scream at the top of my lungs for a minute, before I can return to this lil thing called mamahood. There are even days where I end up crying myself to sleep, because I feel like I’m just not doing a good job at raising this sweet little girl. I go to bed praying for a better tomorrow. Like I said, It’s a rollercoaster, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Luckily, the bad days are far less frequent than the good ones, and the good ones make you forget all about the bad ones. But the really bad ones break my heart just a little.

I wonder on a regular basis if I’m doing things right, you know? I think we all probably do. I wonder if it was smart of me to start my ol’ blog when I did. Pepper was 8 months old and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t really have much of a clue, but I’m doing it and darn it, I’m even kinda succeeding at it! I’d be lying to you if I said I don’t feel guilty for the hours I spend testing recipes, photographing, writing, editing, and running multiple social media accounts. At this point, I’m kind of a one woman show. but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few days, it’s that I need to ask for help.

What’s all this rambling for? Well, I’ll tell ya. I rarely write personal posts so when i do I ramble, okay? I have a lot to say today. So don’t leave me, keep reading. I do have a point… I probably have a point. Ha!

This past week I was lucky enough to get away to Salt Lake City, UT for four days. Ready for this?

By. My. Self. By myself! JUST ME!

It was glorious! But after leaving Pepper in the car, it’s true… I cried in the airport bathroom.

Do I feel guilty about it? At first I felt really guilty. I felt anxious not having her with me, and I wondered constantly if she was okay. I felt guilty for spending money on myself, and taking some time for myself. I felt like I didn’t deserve the time to myself because Eric works so hard, and he never gets to take 4-5 days for himself.

But y’all, it might have been the most important thing I’ve ever done for my family, as well as for myself.

I took a break. A much needed break. It was hard to do, but I did it. Now technically it wasn’t a vacation. I was at the Everything Food Blogging Conference where I met lots of amazing people, but I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to. I was technically “working”, but I’ve never considered food blogging/creating recipes work because you’ve heard the old saying- “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” And thanks to all of you, I’m lucky enough to do just thatI didn’t have to wake up and start my day with a two year old trying to boss me around. I didn’t have to do several hundred loads of laundry every other hour. I didn’t have to wash one stinkin’ dish. I remembered to put deodorant on AND brush my teeth each morning before I left my hotel room. It was a crazy feeling to have only myself to take care of for a few days.

Are you wondering what a Food Blogging Conference is?
Here’s the jist of it.
I went to listen to some blogging experts, and learned about some stuff to make my life easier, which leads to more time to create recipes and I guess in turn makes your lives easier, and makes my lil ol’ blog even better. Cool, right? I also learned some photography tips, because y’all know I need’m. But, the most important thing I learned from the conference was to, ready for it? Take breaks. AND to ask for/hire some help. For years, I’ve been trying to basically do it all myself and just make it work. But I came home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the massive, never ending to do list that has been sitting there for far too long. I also came home knowing that I’m going to start asking for help. I realize I don’t need to do everything to still feel like Super Woman, you know? So what I really want you to take from this post is that I’m urging you to take a break. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be a vacation. You don’t even need to be away for an entire day. Take an afternoon or an evening, heck take a couple hours out of your morning! Do something for yourself, or surround yourself with some people who motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
If you follow me over on Facebook or Pinterest, you may know that I’ve been struggling with feeling overwhelmed lately. And little miss Pepper has turned into a bit of a threenager. About 90% of the time, she’s the same ol’ sweet Pepper. But that 10%… man alive, there are moments where I could literally run for the hills! The opportunity for this trip really couldn’t have come at a more perfect time… because mamas, I needed a break.

I urge you, don’t be afraid to ask to take a break from mama duties. A little time off will help you tune in to something you want and/or need to do for yourself. It will give you a chance to focus on either your career, hobby, self care, or just because you need to get a dang iced coffee and go to Target by yourself. It’s okay mama, no one will judge you. Your spouse/significant other will survive. They might even learn how to cook something! I’m just kidding, probably not. They won’t do the dishes, but it’s okay because after getting those precious hours to yourself, you’ll gladly do a few dishes for that.

Let’s wrap this up, cause you’re all probably like “Oh my gosh, when is this going to be over?”

Don’t try to pour from an empty cup.

Take a break! While we all love breakfast and/or brunch, no one probably more than me, we don’t always need that. We need a break, a breather, and lil R&R.

I hope y’all had a beautiful Mother’s Day.

Please enjoy these pictures from my plane seat. You can sure tell I don’t travel often! Ha!

I’m also including some other super random trip highlights. I thought Utah was absolutely gorgeous. Also,  I now understand that saying on the tee shirt, “I must go, the mountains are calling!” because I need to travel back out west with my family as soon as possible.

  

Bye Chicago! I also took these because the clouds were cool, and I figured Eric would like the clouds.

More random photos from the airplane window. I kept trying to guess what state I was flying over.

Fyi: It’s not easy.

And then we hit mountains, and I lost my mind… I’ve never seen mountains before!

I love this so much.

 

And more gorgeous mountains as we descended to land in Salt Lake City.

You guys know I’m from Illinois, right? The great plains, land of endless corn & bean fields? (No offense to you awesome Farm folk out there)

If you’re wondering, the answer is yes!- there are about 100 more plane window photos on my phone, and it was really hard for me to narrow it down!

If you’re also wondering if I walked around taking pictures of mountains the entire time, the answer is No… Not the entire time.

I also took selfies with’m!

I also took some photos with a few extra-awesome lady bloggers, who I’m lucky enough to call my friends now! Each of these ladies have a different tale to tell and I just love it.  It’s so good to be around people who just get you and everything that you’re saying.

Who are these ladies? Check’m out!

Whitney from WhitneyBond.com

Amy from Beautifully Broken Journey

Leslie from Life As Leslie

Jennifer with Slow Cooker Gourmet

And, the lovely Kate from Simple Pin Media

 

 

And the no humidity thing? My hair really knew what to do instead of just turning into a gigantic frizz ball.

In conclusion, it’s so good to get away, but it’s even better to come home to a family who missed me!

I’m a lucky woman for multiple reasons. But even so, it’s so important for me to take a break. I’ve promised myself that I will do this every once in awhile not only for myself, but for my family.

Happiest of Mother’s Days to each of you, my sweet friends!

Star

7 Comments

  1. I tried to leave a response but didn’t look like it worked! Basically I said that I love this post and you!

    • hahaha I love you, Leslie! You know how much I hate technology so, I GET IT! I miss ya already. I’m so happy to call ya a friend!

  2. Debra Sitton Kemmer

    That was a great post. As mothers we often forget to take time for ourselves. And yes it is always good to come back to a place where there are people who missed you.
    I love your recipes, and food “porn”. LOL I look forward to more.

  3. It was SO wonderful meeting you at EFC! Your name totally fits you, because you are a STAR! I’m so excited that you’re part of my blogger bestie crew now 🙂

    • Whitney!!! I just love ya and ALL the stories you told. I’m so excited to have you in my life now. I can’t wait to meet up again!

  4. I just recently discovered you and I love all of your recipes! I think you’re great too. Keep up the good work!

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