Blog: Momhood

Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.  

How My Mental and Physical Health has Inspired Me in Motherhood

My journey started long before motherhood.  I grew up around others that struggled with mental  and physical health issues. As a matter of fact I remember being told that it runs in the family and I’m susceptible to it.  I do believe that there are certain genetics that can cause certain things, but I also believe that there are ways to cope with mental illness so that you can live with it but not let it run your life.

I witnessed how mental illness can lead to health issues by using food as a coping mechanism or not having the energy to do anything at all.  I’ve seen how mental and physical health can land people you love in divorce or the hospital with heart failure and almost dying in their hospital bed.

I had issues both mentally and physically growing up.  Mentally I felt lonely and suffered from low self esteem and physically I had no boundaries with food.

Years later in my life would be when I’d start to put the pieces together like a puzzle that I needed to change.

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my first son that was a true blessing in disguise.  I took the steps in the right direction to not only change for my growing baby, but to create a lifestyle beyond birth.  I knew I wanted to have another baby and I didn’t want to have to go through the same routine I did with my first so change was necessary.  I learned what I needed to do to be healthy.  I started working out and running and stayed with my nutritionist until after my second son was born.

After my second son,  I felt different.  I felt down. I cried a lot.  I felt empty.  Here I was with a two beautiful boys and I had no feelings to show for it.  I was easily offended and I cried.  I was irritable and didn’t want to do anything. Months later I  found out I was suffering from sever anxiety and depression. That everything from my past had come crushing down on me like a ton of bricks.

I was a mother now with two beautiful boys that deserved something far more than what I had experienced from my past.  And that’s when I decided that my family needed me to be all in for them so I made the change to become better for them.

My journey has helped me to lead by example for my kids.  To know what it means to be healthy and to make good food choices.  They know what it means to be mentally healthy and happy in life and that is all I wanted for them was to have a mom that was there for them to show them that life is worth living.

I have been able to take my past experiences to motivate me to fuel the fire to be one a better version of myself for me and my family.  It has been my ultimate goal for a long time and know that if I wasn’t blessed with the challenging health issues with both pregnancies I wouldn’t have probably been motivated to change my ways and who knows where I’d be.  Everyday I feel grateful for these challenges because it’s made me a healthier, and far better mom, wife, and person.

My journey with mental and physical health has truly inspired me as a mom to do and be better for my boys and for that I am grateful.

Be Awesome,

Amber

PS If you struggle with your health your not alone and there is opportunity to change!  if you would like to know more about the tools that have helped me overcome my mental and physical health challenges my inbox is always open and I’d be happy to chat with you more about it and how we can get you on the right track to success!

Ways to Embrace Motherhood With Multiple Kids

I think we can agree as mothers especially when you have more than one child, it is easy to let ourselves down and allow ourselves to get overwhelmed and anxious.  I knew I wanted to have more than one child because it made sense that they have a sibling to hang out with, but I never imagined how challenging it could be.  You just learn to put your mama pants on and just do it.

I invited one of my good mama friends, Amanda, on the blog today to share her journey in motherhood.  She recently had twins and has Addy her sweet little toddler and boy she inspires me with how she handles three under three with grace.  I took these photos with them and she admired me so much with her grace and love with her children during the session.  I am so excited to share her thoughts and tips with you today!

Hi loves! I’m Amanda, mama to a sweet two year old toddler and nine month old boy/girl twins! You can find me on Instagram over on my motherhood page, @three.darling.littles. I couldn’t be more honored to be a guest on Ambers blog today and it means even more to me that she asked me to share tips on motherhood/being a mama of multiples for such a special holiday, Mother’s Day! This day means so much to me for so many reasons and I see it as a chance to celebrate and praise all of you incredible mamas out there, you’re not celebrated enough!

First off… Guys… motherhood is HARD! I have learned and continue to learn so much about myself through this journey and there has been a lot of growth in all aspects of my life since becoming a mama. By no means am I an expert on motherhood but through my journey I have learned, grown, loved, cried (like a lot), triumphed, prevailed, failed and trusted. Trusted this journey, trusted myself, trusted my partner, trusted my children, trusted the unknown… being a parent truly is the hardest and most rewarding job there is out there. Long days, tired nights, kissing boo boos, feeding babies, being teachers, friends, wives, running a household, being the glue that holds it all together and safe place to land for these sweet little babies. It’s a job that never ends but a job that comes with so much reward and LOVE!

Being a mom in this day in age can be so intimidating and scary! Not only do we have the pressure of society, but we also live in the age of social media where the perfect super mom image is blasted everywhere! Suddenly becoming a new mom has so much added pressure! Research, books, classes, blogs there is information literally everywhere! So much so that it can be overwhelming at times! I know it certainly was for me!

I wish I could write you a perfectly scripted manual with tips on the perfect way to Mom… the truth is, I don’t believe there is one! There are so many different and right ways to Mom and through each of our individual journeys, we find what works for us. Some of the things that I have learned that have helped me overcome and that I hope can help someone else do the same are these…

Comparison! The icky C word. As much as we try not to, we all do it. Comparison truly is the thief of joy! Our journeys, our children, us as moms, our homes, our marriage… they are all different! If you’re constantly comparing your journey to that of someone else you will never find joy through your own! This has been my biggest area of growth throughout these last few years. Trust me it has taken work! Just remember mamas that you are exactly the person these children need you to be and there is no one better for them then you! trust your journey because it is yours and yours alone!

Celebrate your wins! As little as they are, celebrating your wins can make a world of difference! It’s important to recognize that everything you’re doing is all for a purpose and if you’re constantly focusing on everything you haven’t done as opposed to all the things you’ve already done and accomplished, there will always be that feeling of not doing/being enough. You are keeping humans alive! You are doing THE most important job there is, that in itself is the biggest win! On the days you only get a few things done, still see those things as a win! On the days you do surprise yourself and get your entire to do list done, PRAISE yourself even louder, you deserve it mama!

Me time! Me time is one of the most important ways to reset for me. Us mamas wear so many hats and we’re constantly pouring from our own cups to fill the cups of others. If we don’t stop to refill our own cup, our cups run dry and there’s nothing left to give! Focusing even just fifteen minutes a day for yourself is so important. Drink your coffee hot, have a shower, workout, read a book eat your lunch in peace! Do something for you that will help you reset and recharge! I promise a reset makes the world of difference!

Find your tribe! There is so much community in motherhood mamas, I promise, you are not alone! Reach out to someone going through something similar even if it’s on social media! You would be surprised by the outcome of reaching out to someone with a similar journey! Find a tribe that loves you, supports you, lifts you up when you rise, catches you when you fall, encourages you and motivates you to be the best version of yourself. My tribe keeps me level and recharged on my hardest days and our mission together is to always make each other and other mamas know that YOU are not alone!

To all of you beautiful mamas don’t ever forget that you are STRONG, you are CAPABLE, you are a WARRIOR, you are RESILIENT, you are AMAZING and you are EXACTLY the mama you need to be for these babies! Trust your journey, give yourself SO much grace and remember that you are not alone! Let’s celebrate ourselves and each other and create a unite in motherhood so strong that it will start to move mountains!

By sharing motivating, empowering motherhood, I know we can all change how the world sees motherhood and I hope the expectations for perfection start to subside because there is so much beauty in imperfection… there is so much beauty in motherhood! I’m always here if you ever want to reach out or be heard mamas, and I would love to hear your stories! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you amazing mamas out there! I see you and am rooting for you all!!

Xoxo, Amanda

@three.darling.littles

 

Thank you Amanda for these tips and sharing your motherhood heart and journey today!

Be Awesome,

Amber

PS Mother’s Day is fast approaching! Give the gift of memories to that special mama in your life.  Gift Certificates are available for any photo session.  Contact me to order  a gift for the special mama in your life!

 

Ways to Push Through Fear and Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all experience fear in our lives wether we know it or not.  Hidden fears are usually what holds us back from perusing goals that we have for ourselves.

Some of the most common fears that most people  experience include fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of uncertainty, and fear of being judged.

I have experienced most these fears in my life.  For example For the longest time fear of not being good enough had impacted a lot of my life.  That I wasn’t pretty enough, had enough followers or had what it took to succeed.  Once you can realize that you are just as capable as any one and let go, there’s something powerful that happens and you just do it anyway regardless.

Fear of being judged and caring what others think of you or reverse it to comparing yourself to others is toxic!   If people are judging you for the way you live your life that’s their problem.  There will be nay sayers that don’t agree and you just have to get over it… period.  I struggled with comparison and comparing yourself is deathly and is a serious dream crusher.  It steels so much happiness and joy out of life.

You don’t know where it will take you if you don’t try.  Fear of uncertainty is completely understandable but you never know where life will take you if you don’t take the leap of faith no matter how scary it seems.  You’ll never know who you’ll become from the experience of taking the leap. I have learned that it’s about the journey of going after your dreams not actually achieving them. From taking big leaps in life, I have been fully able to let go of fear and find true joy in life.

Some ways that you can push through fear and out of comfort zone can be:

  • Take the leap and do it anyways.  What is you want to become?  A photographer? A coach? A blogger? A stay at home mom?  Just take the leap and just start.  Multi passionate like me? Do it!  But I only suggest focusing on a couple at a time.  This is a call to action in your life so just do it now… not tomorrow… now!
  • Be vulnerable: this. Is. Scary.  Being vulnerable is seriously one of the hardest things for me.  It truly brings out a lot of fears including being judged or not good enough. We live in a storytelling society and people want to know, like, and trust you.  Being vulnerable is hands down the most scariest things BUT through it I have come to really dig deeper into who I am and being able to share my journey has truly helped me get thoughts out and perhaps inspiring someone else along the way.
  • Turn fear into fun: make overcoming fears fun.  When I am challenged to do something, I’ve just been doing it without a second thought.  The worst that can happen your in the same spot you are now Right?!  But overtime you just keep challenging fears and making  a game out of it and the journey  just might take you further than you thought.  Know that it won’t be over night results BUT overtime challenging yourself just might get you beyond the dreams you had for yourself.
  • Have courage.  Be a warrior.  Fears are no easy task to get away from but know that it can happen!  Have courage within yourself to let go of the limiting beliefs holding you back.  Work on your mindset everyday that gives you hope and excitement for the future.  You are encouraged to work on your mindset everyday.  Thats were it all begins.  Start out by having gratitude or writing in your journal on how you can take your fears to help you move forward.

Most fears don’t come to pass and they are most of the time a imaginary thing your brain is telling you because fear is a defense mechanism telling your brain to stay away from danger.  But what danger does setting goals and going after them bring to you?  Nothing!  It was a struggle for me for the longest time, but the more I work on it, say YES to the things that scare me the most… I feel those fears taking me out of my comfort zone every day.

Have belief in yourself that you can push through those fear barriers and really grab ahold of your goals and dreams.  I believe in YOU!  Pick one fear this week and push through it!

Be Awesome,

Amber

Mental Health Awareness Month: My Journey with Depression and Anxiety

I remember driving home after a movie one night just week after it happened.  I couldn’t believe that she was gone.  I had this feeling come over me and I pulled over.  I couldn’t breath and I started shaking and crying.  It took me about 30 min.  To get over this feeling.  Luckily my husband, my boyfriend at the time was driving behind me to comfort me.

My best friend had died in a car accident.  We had gotten our licenses a week apart and a week later she was driving to work, overcorrected, and hit a flat bed truck head on.  I was one of the first people to find out.  We turned on the 11:00 news and saw the photos of the car and there was nothing left.

I haven’t talked about this moment in my life very much.  But I bring it up because looking back it was one of the first times I had suffered a panic attack not realizing it what was really happening to me at the time.

Fast forward to 2017 many years later,  I had another panic attack but this time I knew what was going on.  It’s a moment that you feel so out of control of your body shaking, crying, heavy breathing.  You think you are dying or having a heart attack but you are fully aware of whats going on.  It wasn’t until this moment I realized that I had suffered panic attacks before after my best friend died.

I have lived with depressed and anxiety for a very long time without realizing it.  Events from my childhood I know have contributed to this.  Being a child of divorce two times,  being around people I know and love that suffered from mental trauma themselves, and life events growing up.  I didn’t know how to control it so I acted like nothing was wrong with me and I held it in inside because that is what I thought you were supposed to do.  Thats what everyone else around me did.

Going through certain times in my life I knew that there was something wrong mentally, but chose to hold it in and not let it bother me.

When I found out that I had a lump in my breast the day before I was supposed to graduate college, I started a pattern of OCD and every single day for 6 years I would do self checks many times a day.  Most days all it was doing was making my boob hurt.  But I had no control.  My mind just freaked out.  Leaving the house I would shut the garage door drive down the street turn back around and go check it to make sure it was closed and this would happen 5 times until I would get the point and drive to my destination.

After having Nate, my second son, it was to the point I felt nothingness.  I felt nothing.  Here I was supposed to enjoy having a new baby and  feeling blessed for my children and all I would do is break down and cry for no reason.

I was easily offended more than I ever was in the past  and I’d just broke down crying all the time.  I tried to fix it on my own, but I couldn’t.

After 6 months after having Nate, I sought help which was the best decision of my life.

Gaining control of my thoughts and having an understanding of the circumstances that created my mental stress was one of life’s greatest blessings.  Learning that life gives us people and circumstances that we can not control but we have control over the thoughts and feelings that we have towards those people and circumstances.

Through this uncomfortable process, I have been able to peel many layers of the onion off.  I’ve had to let go of people I love, I have to do mental work every single day , and I have had to feel feelings I have never felt before and sometimes it has sucked.  I am the person that has to talk about my thoughts and feelings that I always was taught that people don’t care so don’t burden people with your problems.

Being able to talk about my experiences has truly blessed me to let go and reflect that these circumstances were truly blessings in my life especial with all the platforms we have now to speak out truth and what we stand for. Through my experiences I can shine hope to others to know that there is away out and they don’t have to be alone in this.

Mental illness leads to lack of confidence in one self, that nothing ever good happens in life, sadness, pain, denial, and a sense of not being good enough for any one.  You have to seek approval from others all the time.  It get to the point that it is tiring.

Keeping a healthy mind is a work in progress and takes effort every day but it can be done.  I have been able to do it without any prescription medication which was my main focus and goal.

I do several things everyday that keep my mental health in check.

  1. Personal development: I read books, listen to podcasts, follow mentors and leaders in the personal development industry.  I have a personal mentor who coaches me weekly how to react to circumstances to change my thoughts and and feelings with life situations.  I invest in myself because I know that I am worth it and I want to strengthen my mind with positivity.
  2. Exercise:  I exercise or run daily.  Through this trauma I have found exercising to be my way to cope with all the mental health issues I have had to overcome.  This journey has given me such a new found passion for health and fitness that I love so much.  I understand how our bodies are such a gift and they worth the effort to take care of.
  3. Self care: finding ways to take care of me each day even if it’s just a soak in the bathtub before bed or giving yourself a facial with your favorite skincare products.  Find things to do through out the day that puts a smile on your face. Buy fresh cut flowers, eat your favorite fruit, watch your favorite movie. Write down gratitudes every day.
  4. Let go: learning to become neutral and letting go of people and circumstances in your life that don’t serve you any more.  This may even require people you love and are close to but sometimes it just is necessary to say no to toxic people that effect your well being.  Understand that life is for you and everything that happens is a blessing and is teaching or leading your to something more.
  5. Talk about it:  I have learned that talking about the things in my life has truly helped me to see new light.  That I wasn’t given this trial just because but I was given this blessing to inspire and be an advocate.  Maybe you don’t want to talk about it on social and that’s okay! Find someone to talk to.  Wether it be a therapist, mentor or coach who is experienced with helping you with life experiences .  I have a wonderful coach who has helped me over the last year and I highly recommend her!  I’ll share her site with you here.

May is mental health awareness and thought would be a perfect time to share more about my journey.  I am huge advocate in taking care of your mind daily wether or not you have experienced trauma or not.  Everyone can benefit  from a mental bath everyday. Here’s to a happy healthy mind.

Be Awesome,

Amber

PS Want to know more about the tools that have helped along with my health and fitness journey?  Id love to share more.  If you are interested lets chat!  Contact me here.

9 Time Save Tips for Busy Moms

Pet unicorns sound like a fun idea but in actuality they don’t exist. Kind of like having free time in a day sounds awesome but does it really exist?

Are you s busy mom who always has these ideas in mind if things to do like working out but at the end of the day you are just tired from all chaos?

I have two energetic boys who take up a lot of time in the day. I have huge goals for myself and finding time to do all the things plus being their for my boys can get a bit tricky at times.

It happens I know but there are ways you can make your day just a little bit easier to carve out some time for YOU to focus on your goals or just have a moment of free time!

  • Say no: we as moms will have times in motherhood where I children will want to do basketball camps or ballet lessons. Focus one the thing your child really wants to do. Say no to other things that aren’t worth the effort and won’t help your family reach individual goals or your own personal goals. Saying no to things that won’t bring you joy just say no. It’s worth the no than over exhausting yourself and your family.
  • Making most of your morning: mornings can get a bit stressful trying to get ready for the day. I wake up an hour earlier before anyone else to get some me time in before the chaos of the day starts. I start the day with prayer, scripture study, devotional, journal writing, planning the day, and read a personal growth book. Once the kids get up, I cook breakfast and then I do a little bit of work before it’s time to go to preschool or whatever is planned for the day. Other time saving morning tips can be gave lunches and snacks prepared the night before and having shoes together. Nothing is more obnoxious than trying to find a shoe right as you are leaving out the door.
  • Put free time on the calendar: whatever it is you like to do on your free time… put it on the calendar! Want to go to target alone? Put it on the calendar. Want to read a book? Put it in the calendar. I schedule my hour in the morning to read and journal, I schedule my workouts and running so everyone knows when it’s time for me to do me. It’s non negotiable. You just have to learn to carve the time out in between school pick ups, lunch dates with friends, and play dates. “Just like we make the time to go to the grocery store, we also need to make the time to take care of ourselves,” says Amy Cooper Hakim
  • Keep track how you spend your time: keeping track of how your time is didn’t daily can help you get a big picture of where your time is being spent and where you can improve. I keep a schedule on my google calendar and keep the appointments I made to myself.
  • Batch tasks: you don’t have to answer an email or an Instagram message every time one comes in. Schedule a block of time to do all your messages. Schedule errands all on the same day. If you are able to use a service like instacart to do your grocery shopping… it’s seriously is a time saver rather than hauling two boys around the grocery store for a trip the would be 10 minutes and ends up being 45 minutes. Set a timer o tasks that you know that can easily suck you in like Pinterest or instagram.
  • Put yourself first on the calendar then your errands and everything else that can be done throughout the week. Schedule your me time and if your a at home working mom, carve that time to work on your goals.
  • Have your kids help: kids can learn to help prep meals, make lunches, clean the bathrooms, and empty the dishwasher. Make it a game have chart with a reward. My boys love to help put their lunches together, emptying the dishwasher, and folding kitchen towels.
  • You don’t have to do it all: and resist the idea that you have too! Other parents are just as stressed as you are so help each other out by doing car pools to activities or events. Or if you don’t have school age children ask your significant other to help with the kids as you do something for you.
  • Getting healthy together: if you are like me and love to live a healthy lifestyle get your kids involved! I just went on a long run for my marathon training and my husband and kids came picked me up at a destination place. They were all about the high fives and good job mom! Get them involved in working out with you. Go on hikes and family walks. It’s about making them feel like they are involved and in the mean time you are leading by example.

Momhood isn’t easy and I understand how life happens and gets in the way but I also know that as you are mindful, there is time for you to work on your own personal goals whatever they might be. Just don’t get caught up in the mind suck that time us against you because Everyone has the sane 24 hours in a day, it’s just about how you utilize that time to make it more productive.

Most importantly just find time for you to take care of you and to work on your goals. You got this!

Be Awesome,

amber

PS I often get asked from busy moms how I live the healthy lifestyle that I do. The secret? It’s simple. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to take up hours in a day. If you want to learn more about making a healthy lifestyle change that is simple, contact me here.