Self-care can not be defined or described with just one aspect as I formerly thought. I thought adequate self-care for me was to get out once or twice a month with my husband or girlfriends. I thought everyone, wifommys’ in particular, should have their one thing that they did for self-care. However, the longer you are on this wifommy journey, the more encompassing self-care becomes.

Self-care means making sure you too eat breakfast. Self-care means you too bring a snack if you are going to be out all day and don’t want to purchase food. Self-care means having something nice to wear when you are asked to attend something that requires more than your normal attire. Self-care means masking so you feel nice about the skin you are in. Self-care means smiling at yourself in the mirror as you think and tell yourself that you are pretty.

These are things I do. They won’t apply to everyone but I am using it as an example to show that self-care isn’t one thing, one outing, one activity.  You wifommy are a person. You have varied interest. You are allowed to like more than one activity.  You are allowed to find ways to participate in activities that interest you.  You are allowed to get a pedicure AND have lunch with a friend. You many not be able to do that all in the same day, but you are allowed to do both.  You can not only take your children roller skating, but you can go roller skating too! You can read a book while your child does homework (when they aren’t asking you questions that is). You get the idea.

You must carve out self-care for you.  Self-care is a part of wellness.


The Death of a Classmate = A Dose of Mortality

download-2As I was casually scrolling through Facebook and came across a post saying how much a member of my high school class will be missed.  I reread the post confused.  Still disbelieving, I went to her page and saw a post from her family with her funeral service information. My heart broke. ‘T’ and I were the same age. ‘T’ had four children. FOUR! One is not even a year old yet. She loved her babies with everything she had. She learned to remove herself from toxic relationships.  She endured the loss of her sisters passing. She was a single mother who provided for her children.

I couldn’t find any information on what happened so I messaged around to get details. I’d missed the funeral because I didn’t know anything about her passing until today. I was told she had a sudden shortness of breath and passed out.  She couldn’t be revived. I am emotionally heavy right now.  I know ‘T’ didn’t want to leave her babies. I know she didn’t want to leave her mother. Her mother already endured the loss of one child.

Two years ago, another high school classmate of mine passed unexpectantly. She was married with two daughters. Her family and close friends loved her dearly.  That was hard to digest.  All death is. She had a growth that went undetected; only discovered during autopsy.

I went in for a physical and found that my blood pressure was high. It is connected to my weight.  I’ve not been diligent at getting the weight off.  Older bodies need more effort to lose weight than younger bodies. My younger body efforts with my older body were only good for five pounds and not the 15 I needed. These two passings, but especially the most recent one, have me taking my health very seriously. I don’t think my classmates were unhealthy but I don’t think they were as aware of their health as they could have been. We, mothers, make sure our children are taken care off and often dismiss anything we might notice as odd for ourselves.  The physical I went in for in December was the first physical I have had in almost 20 years. After I started college, I would only see a doctor for sickness or any other concern that seemed obvious to me.  The only doctor I saw annually was my OBGYN. I figured if they noticed something that required my primary care doctor, I would go see them then. How ignorant!

Too much rides on our health for us to take it for granted. No more. My classmates taught me that.

Puberty And Potty Training


As Jazmine eagerly awaits her body changes, Baby Grace shows then shies away from potty independence. It is quite the spectrum we have here in the Lee household. On one hand, we are watching our flower blossom.  On the other hand, our sweet cherub is turning into quite the tyrant.

As a mom who enjoys like-mindedness with other moms, it is hard to straddle this spectrum.  I am fully immersed in each but not exclusive to either. I can speak with some moms and be right in the boat with them in puberty discussions.  Other moms, our potty training woes cause us to click. The tricky part is when I need to leave one conversation to tend to the part of motherhood that I have but they don’t.  Discussing the necessity of undergarments for budding girls is cut short because I need to discipline the toddler who thought it was a great idea to remove things from shelves.  Exchanging funny toddler stories is cut short because my big kid has another activity to get to.

I am in a unique position not because it is exclusive to me but because in my circles, I am the white tiger in the room. I don’t quite fit. I used to struggle hugely in this area.  When it was only Jazmine and I was waist-deep in step-motherhood, I was still a white tiger. I hated not feeling fully apart of the mommy tribe because I had one child and not multiple to juggle on top of having blended family uniqueness.  That was a hard time. Praise God I learned a few things from that experience.

I am better able to accept my motherhood duality now. I can pass easily from puberty, to potty training, to being a step-mom to teenagers and back again seamlessly because it is ALL my life.  Each unique stage of life applies to me simultaneously.  I wear that fact as a crown.  In my bag, I keep snacks for the tyrant and spelling words for the blossoming one. On any given day, we could have teenage boys or our adult daughter over. It is my life and I am grateful to live it.

I Don’t Want Worldly Children

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Raising pagan or worldly children is one of my biggest fears.  I don’t say that to mean that I expect my child never to veer off the straight and narrow way. I say that to mean I don’t want to call myself raising my child in a Christian household when the only “Christian” thing about it is going to church and saying grace before dinner.

In the last couple days, I have had to accept the truth about a few young ladies in my life. I know they were raised by Christian parents but I don’t think they were raised in Christian homes. I know their parents have trusted Jesus as their Savior but I don’t know if they chose to raise their children under the nurturing and admonition of the Lord.

Why do I say these things?

Teaching someone, anyone about Jesus and who He is, is not a one time event.  Even if you only come across that person one time, once that seed is planted, it takes a lot of water before that sucka comes up.

I don’t want worldly children.  I don;t want to take my chance, my opportunity to pour into someone else who cant help but be near and arround me, and blow it by not telling them about Jesus! I don;t want to take this grand privilege I have of being Christ’s child and being a mother of children and not deposit Christ into them.

As human beings, we get caught up in the distractions of this world. As parents we get caught up in not wanting our children to be the odd ball out. Unfortunately, it seems that parents’ desire for children to be accepted by their peers, and the world in general, has superseded their desire for them to know God and, more importantly, to live for Him. I don’t want that for my family. This is hard.  This is a daily fight for balance and requires great wisdom.  I pray that I do not succumb to the pressures of this world when it comes to raising my children.  I pray that I, and many, many others, plant and water like crazy, that seed of Christ so that our children may grow and flourish in Him

(Originally penned 2014)

My Belly


I was in the best shape of my adult life in 2014. It was one year after we lost January and Jazmine was 5 years old. It took time, food tracking, and finding a fitness genre I love to be able to get back to a shape and scale numbers I formerly knew.  Baby Grace is a few months shy of 2 years old and I STILL am no where close to the fitness level I previously attained. Yes, things have changed.  I don’t have the time to spend in the gym or at my home gym like I had previously, I don’t teach classes anymore, and I have a few injuries that need healing. I still want my body back! (insert tears here).

I was looking at my stomach. I bemoaned as I noted the stretch marks, the C-section pouch, and the very newest addition post Baby Grace, my swollen upper belly.  (It is not swollen because I have an internal issue.  It is just loose where it was not like that before.) That is when I realized it.  My belly represents that I am a Mommy! My stretch marks, pouch, and swollen upper belly means that I have babies!  I asked (begged) God for children. He answered my snotting, slobbering sobs with an affirmative. I would rather have my belly, with all of its imperfections instead of having a day without my girls.


That’s It


I just got back from the doctors.

Everything is fine. No worries there, praise God.

But something still doesn’t feel right.

Despite my best efforts, I still don’t feel myself.

I talked with my best friend today.  She gave me permission to chill.

I needed someone to do it.  My husband gave me permission but I thought he was just being nice 🙂 When my best friend did it, I actually heard what she was saying.

After Baby Grace was born, I was rarely home. I stayed gone for reasons I’ve already extensively written about. I was always on the move. I literally could not sit still. In order for me to be in a good head space, I had to be gone. Now that we’ve moved, it is just the opposite.  I am happiest when I’m still. I am calm and at peace when I am home taking care of husband, children, and hearth. I felt bad about that. I thought I should remain active for my Jazmine’s sake. I asked jazmine if she wanted to go strawberry picking or go to the playground.  Her answer?  “No. I don’t want to go.” So there is no pressure there. She loves the pool and that is really easy and convenient to get to.  As soon as its hot enough, we can certainly get there.

Since we’ve moved and gotten settled, I’ve been trying too hard to “get back.” Get back to my regular exercise.  Get back to being active. Get back to going out with friends. Get back to going on field trips with Jazmine. Getback to my healthy eating. Get bak to life and what I was before Baby Grace was born but with her in tow.  I am still ob the road to “get back” but I am taking a different method.  I am taking a break from that thinking. I am resting through July. No purposeful exercise. No making daily step goals. No diets or dietary restrictions. No filling up the family calendar. No making plans to fill up the day. No ‘I gotta’ phrases because truly, there is rarely anything that absolutely has to get done.  None of it.

The ONLY thing I am going to do is stretch and drink more water.  That’s it.

Let the (true) healing begin.

(Originally penned August 2016)

My Husbands Words Hurt

imagesHe said I always push him away.

That. Those five words have caused marriages to crumble. That small phrase is a seed that, when full-grown, causes a chasm in a marriage. When he said those words to me, it was as if I had been doused with ice-cold water.

To me, that phrase was a warning light.  Not a yellow light but a flashing red light. “Fix this now!”, it screamed.  I prayed and I cried.

I asked God not to let me be that person.  The person who wants all the affection and love my husband has to offer me but refuses touches and stolen moments when those touches and moments stop me from the task I am in the middle of. The person who is always ready to fulfill my wifely duties but bats away all other affectionate offerings. I did not know that my husband received that as refusals.  Until then, I did not classify my actions as refusals.  To me, he was trying to get me to slow down and hinder me from completing my task to which, his linear minded wife, would get intensely upset about.  I didn’t know that he received my look of ‘dude, why are you slowing me down?! You see I’m in the middle of something!’ as refusal of his affections.

How could I have been so dumb!

I had already been praying and asking God to help me with Jazmine.  She is so in need of physical touch. A hug, a tickle, a kiss, rest my head on hers, hand hold, all of that numerous times a day.  That is not my love language but it is hers and I struggled with filling her cup everyday. After hearing my husbands words on top of what I was already aware of with Jazmine, I wilted.

Something had to change.  I had to change but I was at a loss on how.  How to change into something that was so innately foreign to me and how to sustain it.  My strength would fail at the second perceived interruption to my task and the third time I heard, “Mommy you never kiss me!”, when I know I kissed that girl at least twice in the past hour. I needed God to do something permanent in me. I didn’t want to lose my family.  I didn’t want seeds of infidelity to begin to grow in my husband because he was looking for his affections to be reciprocated. I didn’t want my daughter to have to look past me for a mother figure who filled her need for physical touch. I knew what I didn’t want but I didn’t know how to prevent it from happening.

God speaks. God speaks, but I will tell you, rarely is it when I am unmoving. I was putting something away in my daughters’ room when God answered my specific prayer about responding to those cries of affection from my family.  It is hard to pen what He said but the gist of it was ‘to remember this is important too’.  When my husband or daughter seek me for affection, I need to remember that this meaning them and their need, is important too.  Their need takes precedent over my current task.  Their need is just as important as what I am trying to do for the house.  Their need does mean that I stop what I am doing to give them that touch, smile, hug, or moment they need to continue their day. Their need does not make my task unimportant, but, the task can wait a few moments. Fullfilling their need does not take any significant amount to time but it is of great significance to them.

I needed God to give me this mental shift. I could not have decided on and executed it lovingly with any type of sustainability without Him.

Mommy Who Is Scared Of Chore Enforcement


First of all, I understand.

You are not alone.

Let me relay my story.  I hope you take comfort.

My daughter Jazmine is 8 years old. If you are new to this blog, for the first 7 years of Jazmine’s life, we lived with my mother-in-law.  Life was very different then.  I had a lot of “help”; most of which was an easy fix to a current situation. During this past 11 months of living under our own roof, I’ve had to grow A LOT! Jazmine had to grow a lot. It could not and did not happen all at once. Discipline is an area where I’ve had stunted growth. I am not talking about behavioral discipline. I am talking about enforcing chores and household responsibilities.

Jazmine has chores, meaning I’ve assigned them and she knows what things she is responsible for doing.  She also knows how to complete each task to Mommy’s specifications. However, I have not done a consistent job of enforcing those responsibilities. She knows she is to vacuum after dinner but, often enough, because I dismayed at having to address her non-verbal unpleasantness at being told to complete the chore, I would not say a word but let it go.  Other times, it’s not that I didn’t feel like enforcing but that a greater need arose. Namely, Baby Grace needed and eye kept on her while I finish something in another part of the house. Jazmine can not yet vacuum and watch a toddler so, I nixed the vacuum for babysitting.

My husband and I just got back from having some time away.  Now that we are back home, and our weekly routine gears up again tomorrow, I have had time to reflect. I can not be that worn out anymore. I can not stay up late after our girls are in bed to clean, fold, and wash. My husband does not need to stay up after working to straighten up.

The Bible is clear. It says, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).  Although that verse is referring to the Israelites teaching their children to carefully obey God’s commands, you will notice that the children are with their parents. The children are with them in the house, on the road, at bedtime, and in the morning. I’ve not had Jazmine by my side while doing most of the things needed to run a household. I’ve let her entertain herself while I completed my chores. I’ve done her and myself a disservice.

I was afraid to enforce before because of what it would cost me. Time.

It’s like teaching her to tie her shoes all over again.  When she was 5, I had to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the get-out-of-the-house routine to allow her time to work at tying her shoes. It was worth it but oh so labor intensive. Until today, I’ve shied away from enforcing chores because I did not want that labor intensive work day-in and day-out for the next few weeks (months) on end while raising a toddler whom, I swear to beans, has hit the terrible twos at 14 months of age!

But the Bible says, “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17) I can take comfort in that, as much hard work that will go into this next stretch of mothering, delight is awaiting me on the other end.

So, fellow scared Mommies, let us journey on together shall we?

Disclaimer:  My decision not to act was selfish and unloving. My desire for perfection (regarding cleanliness) in my home effectively killed much-needed instruction from me to my child. I am armed with laminated and posted chore charts (one of which is pictured above) and a determination to make household responsibilities just as important as school. I will enforce the chores she knows how to do.  Whatever task I am about to do in our home that is new to her, my Jazmine will be by my side.  I will be teaching and she will be observing and learning. We will be conversing. I will not expect perfection when she first attempts task nor when it’s her 50th attempt. I will, however, expect improvement. 

How To Let Go And Let God

PreparingBabyLayetteLet Go and Let God is a song and a cliché within the church. Not that that saying has no truth, but it is often used so haphazardly that the full weight of the words is missed.

I long for more children. An itch has been scratched since having Baby Grace but it still feels that my family is not yet complete. I long for the boy my husband can father in the home; a boy from my womb. While we have been trying, I have not yet felt the desperation I had while waiting for Baby Grace to come. As Baby Grace continues to grow and out grow, I have not parted with a thing.  I have been, once again, hoarding but calling it wisdom.  Better to store and wait for another child than to give away and have to repurchase right? No.  Saving is wisdom.  Hoarding is folly.  Hoarding/Storing takes on the mindset that if we give it away, we could never again regain it. God provided the first time and He can and will provide again. Let go and let God.

During today’s sermon, God impressed upon me that I was hoarding his blessings.  He had to remind me that He provided for Baby Grace and He will provide for the next baby, whenever that happens.  I had to release my coveted Puj Baby Tub, stretchy car seat canopy, sneak-a-peak car seat cover, and nursing cover. My bargain bought breast pump, Close & Secure Portable Infant Sleeper, and my numerous baby wearing gear, all I released.  I released EVERYTHING over and over and over again until it was complete and real and not just lip service.

God provided before.  He will provide again. Why? Because He told me to let go. I didn’t decide to just let go and hope he’ll catch me because I desire for new. No. He told me to let go so I am. I know He will provide yet again because He did for Jazmine and Baby Grace.  I KNOW He will do it for whenever the next baby comes.  By the time you read this, I will have already made a call to see if a new mom needs anything I have and I will have sent a text asking another mom to come view my wares and to take whatever she needs. Whatever is left will be posted on my MOPS group Facebook page.  Whatever is left after that will be consigned at the next local Tot Swap for $1-$3.  I look forward to being a conduit for God’s blessings.

“I Want Hot Breakfast Mommy.”

I put the brakes on what type of Mom I was not going to be long ago.  One of those types was the fresh-breakfast-making type. I have a friend of mine who makes her children’s’ breakfast even now.  She has two high schoolers. She has been frying up bacon, sizzling sausage, scrambling eggs, and flipping pancakes for many a school day. Couldn’t be me.  That is what I said to myself.


I have brought many brands of cereal, pop tarts, toasters strudel, cereal bars and the like to make the morning meal as easy and portable as possible.  As a preference, I don’t do mornings. It was a sad day for me when Jazmine was a baby and I could not longer offer her the breast as her pre-breakfast meal while I remained in the bed. I now had to get up and gather breakfast up! Baby Grace still takes her morning tata-meal and goes back to sleep for at least an hour before requiring that I get up and gather her breakfast.

My Jazmine is not a big breakfast eater. I usually have to force her to eat something.  She will eat a donut or pop tarts without hesitation though, but we can’t have that every morning.  (Her father’s preference, not mine…regarding the pop tarts).  However, recently, my husband has taken to making bacon in the morning. I bought orange juice to help my husband get over a cold. Since then, my Jazmine will get up, toast some cinnamon raisin bread, eat it with bacon, and drink orange juice. I asked what gives?

“I like hot breakfast Mommy,” she says. Truth be told, she has been saying it for years but this is the first time I heard it for what she was saying without trying to shortcut my way out of it.  I used to make pancakes in bulk and freeze them so she could have them every morning.  That worked for a time but one day she abruptly quit that. I asked why.  She said she prefers fresh pancakes.  I asked why.  She said because there is no love in frozen ones. I would make her bacon on occasion in the microwave.  She prefers pan-fried. I bought chocolate cereal. She stopped eating it after a while.

This is deeper then just breakfast.  My Jazmine likes to be pampered and catered to. It seems that one of her love languages is Acts of Service.  My primary love language is the same. I thought it would be easy to express this love language to her since we speak the same language.  I was wrong.  Her acts of service are different from mine.  I think that is because at her age, how many acts of service can she really receive as love? I can’t vacuum for her.  I can’t do her school work.  I can’t put her toys away.  I can do all of those things but those chores are her training for adulthood.  I can’t show her love in those things on a regular consistent basis and still expect to raise and adult who can take care of herself.

What I can do is make her hot breakfast every morning.