I’m not having a birthday party for my baby.

Bobby’s not getting a first birthday party.

He’s great, my third child. He’s a dream. I say it all the time. Happiest baby ever. By far.

Honestly, I feel bad for the other two. Cause if it was a competition (which it’s clearly not) and if I did have a favourite (which I don’t and never would) he’d be an easy front runner.

He’s sweet, funny, chubby and full of joy. His giggles makes baby birds fly in the windows and dress him like a Disney character.

Well I think you get the point here. Bobby is awesome. I love Bobby. Everybody loves Bobby.

But he’s not getting a birthday party.

now THIS is a baby’s idea of a good time.

You see, Bobby, while turning one next week, is still very young. He doesn’t need (or want) a birthday party because he doesn’t know what parties are. Or what birthdays are for that matter.

He’s a baby. And like all babies, enjoys milk, sleeping, pooping, and touching toilets. He really doesn’t give a shit about birthday parties. Not his own or anyone else’s.

 

He typically likes to sleep all afternoon, which is when birthday parties are typically held, so even if I did have a party for him, he’d probably miss it. 

 

But the cake smash! the Cake! Nope. He’s had cake. His siblings have birthdays. Sure, I’ll let him smash a slice, but no I’m not making or buying him a beautiful cake just to smash for a photo – op and then immediately tear away before he has “too much sugar”. Nope. He’s good. We’ll take his picture. And even if we don’t, he’ll still turn one.

 

But you have to celebrate! It’s his first birthday! he’s one! Come on.

Yes. You’re right. You’re completely right. But you see, I had parties for the other two when they turned one. And in doing so,  realized that first birthday parties for aren’t really for the 1 year olds, they’re really for the moms. 

 

So I’m not having a party for Bobby.

I’m having a party for me.

 

I celebrate my kids everyday. I cheer them on, praise them, love them, treat them every single day of their lives.

 

I give my heart and soul and every ounce of my energy to my babies. Especially in the first year of their lives. Sleepless nights, endless cuddles, feeding, loving, giving, giving and giving.

 

This time, I’m celebrating me. Me keeping Bobby, his siblings and myself alive for the last year.

I’m proud of that. I’m so proud of myself for what I do. I love being a mom, but it’s a hard ass job. And I do it with my heart on my sleeve and give them everything I’ve got. That deserves to be celebrated.

 

All my friends are moms too. And they deserve to be celebrated too. So I’m inviting all of them to my party.  We are willing to give up time, energy and money for a party for a 1 year old who will not remember it, just to have a few pictures and a mess to clean up? No thanks. I’m doing it all for me this time:

 

I deserve a party. That’s that.

 

This past year, I’ve survived stomach bugs, sniffles, and everything in between. I’ve powered through potty training. I’ve battled bed-wetting. Kissed my kindergartener Goodbye as he stepped on the bus for the first time. I’ve breastfed. I’ve birthed. My nipples have bled. And so have many other parts of me. I’ve comforted, cuddled, coddled, loved, and scrubbed every inch of these babies.

 

This baby, lovely and sweet as he is, has not done much more than eat, sleep and poop. So while I’m happy to celebrate his life, because a joyous occasion it is, this party doesn’t need to be in his honour.

It needs to be in mine.

I need a party. And so do all my friends.

Because they too have given it all for their children. This year and every other.

I love parties. 

I do. I love having friends around. I love being surrounded by my people. I love music, and noise and laughter. I love cake and presents. I love wine and cheese. I love letting loose and having a good time. Parties are my thing, and throwing parties for my friends makes me sooo happy. And I throw a damn good party if I do say so myself.

So although I do deserve this party, I don’t need to deserve it. I can just have a party because I love parties. I can just celebrate life, be it life I made or life I’ve lived or the very life I’ve been blessed to live this very day. I just love to celebrate, and this time, it’s all about me.

And by the way, no one else was about to throw me a party. If I didn’t do it, it might never have happened. I waited through 3 pregnancies for someone, anyone, to throw me a baby shower. Three newborn babies for someone to show up with a pastel cake. It never happened. I felt alone, lonely, unappreciated. I felt insignificant. I thought my friends didn’t love me. I thought my family didn’t care I was having babies.

But look, no one is going to throw you a party you don’t ask for, not when you’re an adult. Sorry, mama, it’s just not going to happen. No matter how much you deserve it. I’m a grown-ass adult and if I want a party, it’s up to me to make it happen. Isn’t that the whole point of growing up? So we can do what we want? I want a party.

Listen, you can keep having parties for your babies. 

Hey if that’s your thing. More power to you. Throw another party for someone else. But don’t go doing all the work and then complain about never being appreciated. At least in this case you have a choice. For me, the choice was easy. I’ll take pics of Bobby eating cake. But these celebrations are about me spending time with people I love.

This includes my children, friends, and family.

Celebrating motherhood, it’s trials and hilarity and the over all accomplishment it is just to keep everyone’s limbs attached day in and day out. 

Being a mom is hard. Being a grown up is hard. But it doesn’t have to be boring. What do you want to be doing? Is it having a party for yourself? Cause if it is. I say to do it. And if you’re sitting there wondering what it is that you do want. I say figure it out. Cause this, right here, is what you’ve been waiting for. This is your life.

 

Divining Your Dreams

5 Tips for Making New Year #goals That Actually Stick

 

The onset of a new year is one of the most controversial times of the year. Like one year we’re making resolutions, the next we’re swearing them off. Then it’s a new year’s challenge, then it’s #fuckchallenges. It feels like we can never get it right. No matter what you want to do going into a New Year it feels like everywhere you look someone is telling you it’s the wrong thing to do.

 

Honestly I can’t keep up. With 3 little kids at home I can barely keep up with the laundry let alone what I am and am not allowed to do in the New Year. The fact is, New Year’s Eve represents a new beginning, and with it, an opportunity for change. The calendar turns over and it’s literally a new year, so why not implement some changes?

 

If every day is an opportunity to start anew, then there is no reason we can’t have a new beginning on January 1st. 

 

Look, I’m not here to tell you there’s something wrong with your life. I’m sure you have everything you ever dreamed of: the job, family, body, house and lifestyle you’ve always wished for.

You’ve got it all right?

But entertain me here, for a moment, say you didn’t. Say you still had some lingering bad habits, some late night bingeing you could kick? Maybe a little shopping addiction that needs to hit the road? Or are you still giving your work just a “good enough” effort? Yea, let’s dig into that.

Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. But if you are still reading, then there are definitely things you want to change. And only you have the power to do that, no matter what time of year it is. But why not take the opportunity of a New Year as a “new beginning” and grab life by the ovaries and really get what you want?

Seriously girl, why not?

If you want it, why not go for it? Well, I can answer that. Because you don’t know how. Trust me if it was that easy I wouldn’t hit snooze an undisclosed number of times every morning. There is a way, you can have the things you want. We all can. There’s just a few steps you have to take first.

Now how ever you word this, however it works for you: resolution, #newyearnewme, or just #goals, I am here to bring you the best way to do it, and manifest the fuck outta your dreams without feeling like shit about the way things are now.  Cause that’s the reason we’re making changes isn’t it? So we can stop feeling awful, exhausted, fat, ugly, lazy whatever poisionous words you’re throwing in the mirror. Let’s kick that habit and get better. Starting today; here’s my top 5 tips for #goals-setting this New Year:

1. Decide how you want to feel, not how you want to look. 

So many of us have goals that are centred around health and fitness. I mean, it’s one of our biggest struggles, not just how we look but how we feel about how we look. This goes for material things too. We are always comparing what we have to next mom, and that is no way to get what you want out of this beautiful thing called life.

Now I’m all for the kind of goals that get you your dream body, or driving that LandRover, whatever your thing is, but let’s be clear, if that is your goal, you will not make it happen, or at least not with integrity.

You must make your goals about how you want to feel. So if it’s your body, you need to visualize how it would feel to have that body. Would you feel healthy, strong, energetic? Would you feel powerful, full of potential? Are you searching for financial security, financial abundance, or success? All of these are good, but you need to understand that there is a lot more than just dollars involved in getting what you want. You have to be that person the day you start working toward the goal.

2. Understand what a habit is and how you form new ones.

A habit is something you do over and over without needing to be reminded. It’s the coffee you drink the second you get up. It’s the shit-talk you give yourself when you’re trying to squeeze into your dreams. It’s the workout you talk yourself out of and it’s the snooze I hit over and over, morning after morning.

If you really want to form new habits, which is what making is all about, you have to let go of the old ones. That being said, you can’t just decide on a list of new habits and kick the old ones out on the way. They have been with you a long time. You will need daily reminders of what you want and don’t want. You will need accountability. You will need a plan and you will also need to give yourself grace to slip up.

You will also need integrity. When things don’t go the way you planned you have to take responsibility (without beating yourself up) and move on. Wake up the next day and be a bad ass. Remain responsible and in control of your habits, because that’s all they are.

3. Make plans – real dates & times. 

Be specific about what you want. If you want to get up and workout every day then decide on a time, set an alarm, decide how long, how many times, and what you’re going to do. Going to bed, setting an alarm and thinking “Yea I’ll workout tomorrow” will not make it happen. Not a bit. You have to have a plan. You have to know exactly what you’re going to do when your feet hit that cold hard floor.

The same goes for business, family, finances. Be specific. With numbers, dates, tasks. Whatever it is. You want a big promotion? Put in the time. You want to strike out on your own? Figure out how to save enough to make it happen. Make a plan. Write it down. Study it, memorize it. Allow it to be flexible but know what you want and how you’re going to get it.

4. Specific – NOT perfect.

You read #3. You panicked: “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, I can’t promise this, what if I get a flat tire and have to spend my savings, what if my company goes under, or I get pregnant, or or or or”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These thoughts are totally normal. Which is why you are going to make a plan.

So that when you start to doubt, and panic, and think you’re not cut out for that big job, or you’ll never have that body, that you can always come back to the plan. See what you wrote, see the specific framework you created and believe in it again.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. I repeat: It does not have to be perfect. It just has to be.

Action over everything else.

5. If you’re going to make changes, make sure you actually want those things.

Oh, I could say this over, and over and over again. I could pound it into your head. You would still find yourself chasing someone else’s dream. It’s so hard to shut off what the rest of the world wants for you and from you and actually go after what you want.

I have been chasing other people’s dreams for years, only to end up back where I started because I had no fuel for the fire I was trying to keep burning day after day, year after year.

Until I actually sat down, did the work, put in the time and searched my soul to find what I really wanted.

I don’t want it to take you years to get what you want. I want you to get it this year. So I have a gift for you. I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts, for getting what you want. I know how hard it is to sort through all the clutter in your mind so I am helping you along the way by narrowing it down to a few quick questions that will help you find the thing that you can really do this year. Because you can. I promise you. It’s all in your hands.