I was given the amazing opportunity by Author Davina Hamilton to review her children’s book Riley Can Be Anything . I was given a copy direct for the author and received no other compensation to write this review. The thoughts listed are mine own.
My children are above the age level of this book, but it is perfect for my granddaughters ages 2 and 6. I read through Riley Can Be Anything myself first to get my own feeling about the book. Right away, I loved the art work. It is vibrant and energetic, yet simplistic enough to hold the attention of a young reader. I looks like something a child could draw too if they were telling the story. I loved the story. We are always encouraging our children that they can be anything they want to be and this book empasises that there are no limits. Riley’s cousin Joe gives him suggestions based on the people Riley knows, his family. Striving to be like a family member is always amazing, “ I want to be just like you “ can be some of the most powerful words an adult can hear. Riley certainly has many great people to follow. What I loved most about this book was, when in class, Riley’s teacher asked him what he wanted to be after all the other children had given very specific answers, Riley said he could be anything, he is not limiting his dreams or his choices, the future is wide open.
When I sat down with my granddaughters I let Olivia who is 6, and entering the first grade, read Riley Can Be Anything to me. She did a very good job, needing minimal help. The girls loved the pictures and talked about everything that was happening in each image. Kinsley who is 2 sat attentively listening and pointing out items in the images. When we finished reading the book I asked the girls what they wanted to be when they grow up. Kinsley had no idea, but she’s 2, she’s got a long way to go. Olivia really couldn’t decide. A princess, teacher, and a vet were tossed out as potential careers. So I asked the both, do you think you could be anything? They both cheered “YES” and both girls loved the book. We read it 3 more times.
This book is definitely a hit for young children. It is easily readable for beginner readers, has beautiful artwork and a story that is easy to follow. We truly enjoyed Riley Can Be Anything. Be sure to check out the website for Davina Hamilton at Davinahamilton.com and sign up to receive updates on her work. We will be anxiously awaiting the release of her next book “Riley Knows He Can”. You can purchase a kindle or paperback version of Riley Can Be Anything on Amazon.
I love reading books with my children and grandchildren, if you have a children’s book you would like reviewed please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I am the most indecisive Mom you will ever meet. I can talk myself in and out of situations over and over. Going out to dinner is the one thing I think my husband would say stresses him out about me the most. I have no idea what I want to eat, let alone where I want to go.
I may seem like I’ve got it all together, but it is an illusion. This indecisive mom changes her mind faster than people change their underwear. I will say when I do make up my mind about something I do it. We have some very organized routines in our home, for bed and getting up for school, how we handle homework and chores, but getting to those routines was very time consuming and a lot of back and forth.
When I first started my blog I wanted to write about my blended family and how I use online sites and apps to earn money each month to help supplement our family budget. My family and friends told me I should be teaching a class and helping other people do the same. My first few posts started talking about money earning, but then I thought I wanted to share more about my blended family. I then expanded and added the All For Mamas Link Party #allformamas, hoping that would expand my Mama circle and see if I could build a place for Mamas to share their work. The link party also included a Facebook Group Page. I realized I was missing working on my craft projects and I wanted to work on incorporating some quick and easy craft projects for busy moms . Through all of this I lost site of my money earning tasks I had been doing which were earning me several hundred dollars a month. This indecisive Mom, who can’t put her finger on one project at a time and do it well, was missing out on money that my family could really use and my blog is not a money-making blog so it’s not like it was a financial trade-off. This indecisive Mom who can’t decide what she wants to do typically ends up with too many irons in the fire. This indecisive Mom then feels like she’s letting people down if she changes her mind. My husband is always supportive. He tries to help me talk through what my concerns are and always promises to be right there by my side, he hasn’t let me down yet.
Being and indecisive Mom comes from being indecisive all my life. For some reason I never feel completely confident in my decisions. I’m always afraid I’m not doing something “good enough”, second guessing and rethinking everything I do. I’ve tried the pros and cons list and sometimes that helps, but at this point in my life the things that are making me feel like an indecisive Mom have a pretty equal pros and cons list, nothing is really jumping out at me either way. I become afraid that if I make one decision I will regret it, but if I go the other way I’ll regret that decision…arrrrr!
So I’ve decided that I have to do what I think is going to make me the happiest. I know that the money I make with online sites and apps helps my family and it does take some “paying attention to” during the day. I’ve been spending so much time on social media for the blog (I am literally on my computer all day) that I don’t have time to take surveys, etc. I know that I want to write post and maybe even do some video lessons on exactly what I do to supplement my family’s income. I know I want to do this at my own pace with no deadlines or restrictions to what and when it’s going to happen. This indecisive Mom wants to become more decisive, make a decision and stick too it, feeling good about that decision. Taking almost 2 months off while being sick set everything to do with my blog back. I lost followers and momentum that was really growing. I have yet to recover from that set back because I am just to wrapped up in everything else. With all this being said I have decided that as much as I love building my Mama circle with a link party and Facebook group, it is to time consuming for me to really focus on the things I need to do for me. The link party has had dwindling participation. This week 9 different Mamas entered a total of 10 posts, of those 9 Mamas, 4 did not complete the steps of the link party. Honestly, the re checking, follow-up and reminders for not completing the link party is very discouraging. The participation in the Facebook group has been the same. It is rare that more than 1 or 2 people will post on a share thread and I feel bad that they are putting their work out there on the thread with no one to share it. We had some group conversation about what would help with participation, etc, but nothing seems to help, it is a small group but the usual response to posts and links is well under 10%. I had a couple of Admins jump on with the group to help me,, but it is even hard to keep in contact with other admins to coordinate what is being done and even extended the length of the Link party to allow more time for me to get done what I needed to. This indecisive Mom has gone back and forth about these changes. I have changed my mind no less than 100 times in the last 2 weeks. Keep it open, close it, close the link party keep the group open, close it, keep it open, close it, keep it open?
The final decision from this indecisive Mom and the one I need to stick to is; it is time for me to stop doing what doesn’t get me to my end goal and focus on what does. So that being said. I will no longer be hosting the link party and after the share threads close today at 7pm I will close (archive) the group page. I will however for the next week, promote the featured blog post and finish my commitment
Thank you for sharing such an important reminder that we need to take care of our selves too. We get so caught up in caring for our families that we forget about us. I’m fortunate that my children are older, but the tips to help for Moms with small children will help more Moms to make sure they are getting self care
The timing of her post was ironic and even though I was thinking more about the self-care of my indecisive mom ways, the reminder to take a minute for me and relax, breath and refocus was important. I was so busy worry about what everyone else would think, I wasn’t worrying about me. So I took time to breathe, I stepped away from the computer, didn’t worry about what was waiting to be done, just enjoyed the sites, sounds and smells all around me that I am missing by being consumed by too much. The kicker is I do it to myself, so now I need to learn how to say no to myself. Breathe and clear my mind before making decisions so I can stand behind them confidently.
It has been a joy to expand my Mama Circle, I have so many internet friends that bless me in different ways. The majority of you I see on social media daily in groups and I follow your own social media sites, so this is not goodbye, it’s see you over there.
I will be spending the time I need to dedicate to making my blog what I started out for it to be a stay-at-home Mom raising a blended family and how I earn money to help my family’s budget as well as talking about the adventures with my children and grandchildren. Also, stay tuned, my 2 older daughters and I are working on a potential product we want to sell. The great thing about this is it working together as a family and with 3 of us, my time commitment will be minor. My oldest daughter is a stay-at-home Mom too so she is looking for a way to provide income for her family too. She currently has a vlog on youtube for makeup, I wish she had an opportunity to go to school to be a makeup artist because she does beautiful work. Check her out and help a Mama on her way and stay tuned, if we launch a product I will let you know.
Thank you for supporting me and being so understanding and caring when I have needed it. This indecisive Mom is on a mission to become more confident in my own skin. This indecisive Mom is going to live her Blended life being confident in her choices and a Happy Wife
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this post is a sponsored post and I received compensation for posting it to my blog
5 Tough Movie Moms
As many mothers can attest to, being a mother is like being a real-life superhero without a cape. Juggling family life, a career, and a personal life, it takes multi-tasking to a completely different level.
While Hollywood does not usually put the difficult side of motherhood under the spotlight (such as the perils of changing diapers or dealing with a squalling infant and a toddler throwing a tantrum all in one go), it has captured the toughness of moms on the silver screen. With all of that in mind, this article takes a look at 5 real life lionesses.
(Image credit: Comicvine)
Sarah Connor tops the list of the toughest moms in film, and this list on Movies Talk goes someway to back up this claim. She transitioned from being a relatively frail woman in the first Terminator movie to a freedom fighter, taking inspiration from the fact she had to protect her son, John.
Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Connor is one of the reasons why Terminator 2 is considered the best film in the franchise. This can be further backed up by the variety of games and memorabilia that have appeared online that focus on the second installment of the famous action flick including the Terminator 2 slot game showcased on Slingo. There are also plenty of other games released off the back of the success of the second film including Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 2: The Arcade. While they don’t necessarily focus entirely on Connor, she certainly made her mark on the franchise in more ways that one.
(Image credit: Star Wars Report)]
Princess Leia, portrayed by Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars film series, forever changed the concept that princesses are nothing more than damsels in distress. As royalty, she was an active leader in the resistance. In the recent films, she transformed into a general, despite the fact her son turned to the Dark Side. It remains to be seen whether she will be reunited with her son, but one thing’s for sure: she will continue fighting for what she believes in, according to an article by ScreenRant.
Molly Weasley vs Bellatrix Lestrange - YouTube
(Image credit: YouTube)
At the start of the Harry Potter series, Molly Weasley’s role was far from that of a fighter. She is sweet and plays a typical loving mother, although she was relatively tough in the way she disciplined her children. While she joined the revived Order of the Phoenix, she was not portrayed as an active combatant. The death of Fred, as well as the threat to Ginny, changed all of this, leading Molly to killing Bellatrix Lestrange, the toughest of Voldemort’s supporters. Talk about a lioness protecting her cubs.
(Image credit: AMC)
Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, may not be the birth mother of Newt, but the threat to the little girl’s life caused her maternal instincts to kick in, leading to her confronting – and defeating – the Queen Alien. It’s one of the most iconic female roles in film, and has a cult following. This is in no part down to Weaver’s stellar performance.
The Bride/Black Mamba
Uma Thurman was cast as The Bride/Black Mamba by Quentin Tarrantino in the two Kill Bill movies, and she certainly took motherhood seriously. Having been left for dead and presuming that her former comrades killed her child, she went on a killing spree in seek of vengeance. Thurman played a tough assassin, but behind her tough façade is a grieving mother, so much so that Chinomatography included her in their ‘Top 10 Badass Movie Moms’ article.
Some of the tough Movie Moms made it into my post Family Movie Time in Our Blended Family, they are iconic Movie moms and movies that stand the test of time. How many times has your family sat down to watch a Star Wars or Harry Potter movie or have you watched an action movie with your spouse like Terminator, Alien or Kill Bill and thought, man she is one tough mom. Can you relate to the strength and courage of these Movie Moms? Did your favorite tough Movie Mom make the list? If not, tell her about me in the comments below. I may not be a Movie Mom, but my Blended Tough Mom Life makes me a very Happy Wife.
The word is slowly getting out about the All For Mamas Link Party and I appreciate the efforts of everyone who helps promote the Link Party and the Facebook Group Page. Remember if you post about the link party and tag me in it I will share, retweet, repost etc.
Will all the amazing posts entered, it was again difficult to pick only one as a featured post. However, I did chose one,
This post really made me take a minute to stop and think. I have very few pictures of myself that I can say I like, and because of that I have very few pictures of me. I tend to be the one behind the camera taking the picture. Remembering that our children will be looking at these pictures as they grow and after we are gone, and will want to see us in their memories was just the push I need to make sure going forward I am in pictures. During family events, with my children, posed or silly, whatever they are, they will be the memories my children and grandchildren will always have. It doesn’t matter how I look, it matters that they can see me. Thank you so much Our Everyday Chaos for sharing this wonderful post.
The All For Mamas Link Party Week 12 #allformamas is now open for your Mom related blog posts and will remain open until Midnight on Wednesday, August 16.
Thank you for joining me in the All for Mamas Link Party Week 12 #allformamas – a place for all things Mama including: Parenting Tips, Family Life, Children’s Activities and Crafts, Family Recipes, Family Travel, Mom Life, Pregnancy, Post-Partum, books for families and children, basically anything to do with being a Mom, Stepmom, Bonus Mom or Adoptive Mom.
1. Like the Facebook Group Page #All For Mamas Link Party For Mama Bloggers. I will be sharing Link party posts there, as well as having share threads and information; it’s a great place to get to know the Mamas of the link party better and expand your Mama circle.
2. Link 1 or 2 of your Mom related post(s) by clicking on the Blue button a little further down in this post. Your posts can be old or new as long as they are Mom related.
3. Copy the All For Mamas Badge (you will find it in the sidebar of my blog, copy and paste the text into your blog/blog post) into the sidebar of your blog or on the blog post you are linking so you can be recognized as a member of the #allformamas link party. This also helps spread the word so we can get more Mamas to join us. If they see they badge on your post hopefully they will visit the link party. (if you have any questions on the process of installing the badge please reach out to me and I will help you )
4. Comment on my Blog post – Remember, When Life Hands You Lemons… Tuck’em Inside Your Bra, Couldn’t Hurt, Might Help– I can use some love too. I put in a lot of love and share your linked posts across social media and comment on your post, this is your thank you to me
Read this part carefully ****
**You MUST complete all of the steps above to have your post shared to social media and to be considered for the featured post in next week’s link party. I will be holding firm to this. I have to hold each Mama to the same standards. I cannot reward you featured blogger status if you did not complete the steps for the Link Party when another Mama has followed through with them all. The purpose of this link party is not to drop a link and run, it is to support other Mamas and the hostess’ efforts in return.
*** I will not be chasing you to finish the steps. PLEASE HAVE TIME AVAILABLE TO COMPLETE THE STEPS AT THE TIME YOU ADD YOUR LINK. The link party is open for 10 days so if you can’t complete the steps now, wait and add your link later when you can. If I go in to share your post and the steps were not completed I will not be coming back to check again later. I’m sorry; I just don’t have enough time to keep checking back.
***If you have a problem completing any of the steps on the link party please reach out to me through the Facebook Group Page #All For Mamas Link Party. Last week I did not know some people had problems posting a comment on my blog post until I reached out stating that they hadn’t completed the step. If I know you are having a problem I can work to get it fixed before the link party closes so you can finish the steps. If you haven’t reached out to me there will be no choice but to expect that the steps weren’t complete. I have no way of knowing if someone doesn’t tell me. I don’t anticipate any problems going forward, but I am human and sometimes make an error.
Use this blue button to add you Mom related blog post to this week’s link party
To view the blogs in the All for Mama Link Party Week 12 click on the Blue button above. You do not have to enter a link to be able to view the posts that are linked in the current link party.
You can follow me on social media, links can be found in the top left corner of my blog. I love growing my Mama circle and will follow you back.
It is my belief that paying it forward gives you great joy. There is nothing I love more than supporting other Mamas. Please take a moment to check out some of the other blog posts linked in this week’s link party. Commenting on each other’s post is a great way to be supportive and help your our circle of Mamas grow and get more exposure.
Thank you for being a part of the #AllforMamas Link Party
**As hostess of this link party I reserve the right to remove any posts that do not meet the criteria list above, any post that contains information that may be deemed inappropriate or offensive, or posts from people who have not completed the steps in the Rules above on more than one occasion**
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When I was in my early 20’s I was struggling. I was dealing with so many different issues that I was overwhelmed. My Mother, bless her heart, sent me a card and it said…”Remember, When Life Hands You Lemons …Tuck ‘em Inside Your Bra! Couldn’t Hurt, Might Help!” Of course, it made me laugh. I hung it over my desk at work and looked at it every day. It was the strength I needed to work my way through the issues I was facing. There’s no doubt there are always issues facing us in our lives. They’re always different and change with what is happening at that time. The card my mother sent me followed me to several different jobs. It has multiple thumbtack holes from being moved from bulletin board to bulletin board. It is now yellowed instead of bright white, but the message is still the same, and the big signed Love, M is a reminder that my Mom always has my back. Now that I am a Stay-At-Home Mom the card hangs over my crafting desk at home.
Sometimes it feels like I get nothing but lemons. It feels like the situations I am dealt are so much more than I can manage. But no matter what has happened to date, somehow I have always found my way out to a brighter day. People say “you aren’t given more than you can handle”, I’m concerned the man upstairs doesn’t know who he is dealing with. I’m not trying to have a pity party, or wallow in the negatives, in fact it just the opposite. I’ve learned many times over that with these “lemons” there is always a blessing that follows. It may not always be easy to see what that is a first, but it is there.
I’ve always had my family for support. That is a no brainer for me, if I need something they are there. I am remarried and my husband’s family is just as supportive. I never had this kind of support in my first marriage. A lot of the “lemons” were left on my shoulders to manage alone. Now I have found my best husband and he says “I am stronger than I think”, he might be right, but I won’t tell him.
A challenging “lemon” for any parent is when your 15 year old daughter tells you she is pregnant. In my heart there was no other option than to help her through and be there for her and her baby. The blessing; my beautiful granddaughter is one of the smiles in my heart. She is funny, smart and a love bug. Her mother was the best teenage mother. Better than stereotypes would define. She finished high school, graduating on time with her class and obtained her CNA certificate as well. I’d have to say that When Life Hands You Lemons you get the cuddliest blessing that I reap the benefits from every day.
Some of my biggest “lemons” to tuck in my bra had to do with my both of my daughter’s eyes. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Atrophy, which is a progressive eye impairment where the Optic Nerves “waste” away, restricting vision in varying degrees, from mild to blindness. There is no answer on where a person will “end up” with their vision, so the uncertainty is a big “lemon” There are also no treatments, cures, surgeries or glasses that help this condition at this time. Her daughter, my oldest granddaughter, has been diagnosed as well, two “Lemons” to balance the bra. My youngest daughter was born with bilateral cataracts. An extremely scary “lemon” when you are passing your one month old over to an anesthesiologist to be put under for surgery. She has had a total of 5 eye surgeries and will never have better vision than she has now. Corrected with glasses her best vision is about 20/80. These two vision impairments have absolutely nothing to do with each other, no gene connection or link. The blessing that helps When Life Hands You Lemons is our amazing Ophthalmologist who has taken the best care of my girls for the last 17 years. He feels like part of our family at this point.
I had “lemons” that pertained to the death of two grandparents four days apart, with funerals on the same day. My Mom’s Mom and My Dad’s Dad. It is extremely hard as a teenager to comfort two parents that are grieving at the same time when you are grieving yourself. My brother and I did our best along with help from our extended family. The blessing was the tighter family bond we gained within our home and with our extended family.
A “lemon” occurred when my Mother at age 57 had a heart attack. A heart attack that could have been prevented with closer attention to her family history and simple testing being ordered. Watching her be brave going through her hospitalization was inspiring. Watching my Dad worry about her was frightening. The blessing from the “lemon” was that one of her older brothers who was having a physical a few days later mentioned to his doctor that his sister had just had a heart attack at a young age, his doctor acted immediately ordering testing for him. He required bypass surgery for the blockages in his heart, but recovered much quicker because he avoided the damage to his heart that my mother had, he could have fared much worse. Along with that, my Father, Brother and I have all had baseline testing done as well, to keep on top of our strong family history.
We have had cancer “lemons”, my paternal grandfather being diagnosed with melanoma that metastasized to his brain which was terminal. When Life Hands You Lemons you get your moles checked. My father got a mole he was concerned about checked to find that he also had melanoma. It was caught early enough to be cured and 27 years out he is cancer free.
Now my life has changed. I am a stay-at-home Mom. I have four children, 2 grandchildren and the world’s most amazing husband. I have a beautiful home with plenty of space and life is the best it has ever been.
But…now there are different “lemons”…
These “lemons” are the struggles that go along with living off of one income, a choice we made that requires sacrifices, but the blessing is being available for our children. There are also the “lemons” of raising a blended family. It’s not what happens in our home, our home is very happy, loving and family oriented. Plain and simple, the kids come first. It is always a “lemon” thrown at us like a baseball pitch clocked at 100 miles an hour. It often comes in the form of hectic schedules, excessive travel, Co-parenting that doesn’t always go smooth and one parent living out of the country. I find that the “lemons” are easier to handle when they are our own issue, but the “lemons” from outside often take deep breaths and patience. It is a must that the children will always come first for us, no matter what. When Life Hands You Lemons you remember the blessing which is most definitely the love we get from our four amazing children. They are all amazing in their own ways and provide us with unlimited joy.
I could go on a list dozens more “lemons”, and I am sure most people could. However, the end result is what matters most. Now my bra should be a size ZZ with all the “lemons” I’ve tucked in them over the years, but I’ve learned that lemon squares are really yummy, and I think it’s time to bake again. I do know with my family’s support, and my Mom’s card of wisdom from years ago will help me through anything. When Life Hands You Lemons My Blended Life surely helps me make lemons squares and be a makes me a Blessed Happy Wife,
Before you go, if you enjoyed this post then please take a moment and vote for my blog on the Top Mommy Blocks by clicking the banner below. Thank you
It was fun to have votes to pick a featured blogger. There was no way I could have chosen myself from all the amazing, talented, creative and inspiring Mama bloggers that take the time to link in their incredible work. After collecting all the votes I can announce the featured blogger as chosen by the fans isThe Mama Playbook. I love this blog, it is one of the sweetest but yet blatently honest blogs I’ve ever read. I enjoy the stories about her beautiful twins, I laugh regularly at her vlogs no muss, no fuss delivery, and I anxiously wait until the next Monday when a new vlog is released. Check out The Mama Playbook and see for yourself.
I will be sharing links to these three blogs with the primary focus being on The Mama Playbook.
I would like to thank you again for your participation in the first 10 weeks of the All for Mamas Link Party #allformamas and look for more exciting weeks to come.
With that being said, The All For Mamas Link Party Week 11 #allformamas is now open for your Mom related blog posts.
There are a few changes in how the link party will run going forward. My family has had a change with the custody of my bonus children (which is a huge win for us) but this means I am a busier Mom then I was so I am going to extend the time the link party runs to 10 days instead of 5 and change the frequency of when the link party starts which will be every other Monday versus weekly. My hope is this will give more time for Mamas to find the link party and link in and also allow more time for me to share your work through social media.
Thank you for joining me in the All for Mamas Link Party Week 11 #allformamas – a place for all things Mama including: Parenting Tips, Family Life, Children’s Activities and Crafts, Family Recipes, Family Travel, Mom Life, Pregnancy, Post-Partum, books for families and children, basically anything to do with being a Mom, Stepmom, Bonus Mom or Adoptive Mom.
1. Like the Facebook Group Page #All For Mamas Link Party For Mama Bloggers. I will be sharing Link party posts there, as well as having share threads and information; it’s a great place to get to know the Mamas of the link party better.
2. Link 1 or 2 of your Mom related post(s) by clicking on the Blue button in this post. Your posts can be old or new as long as they are Mom related. I often suggest to bloggers, link one new post and link one older post to give the older post new visibity.
3. Read other bloggers posts , at least 1 for each post you link (more is you are so inclined) and leave a genuine comment using the #allformamas tag in your comment. This helps me see that Mamas are sharing the love. The more posts each Mama visits and comments on the more visits and page views you gets which helps with analytics and getting blogs found/seen . The most important part of this Link Party is to help Mamas get visibility
4. Copy the All For Mamas Badge (above) into the sidebar of your blog or on the blog post you are linking so you can be recognized as a member of the #allformamas link party. This also helps spread the word so we can get more Mamas to join us. If they see they badge on your post hopefully they will visit the link party. (if you have any questions on the process of installing the badge please reach out to me and I will help you )
5. Comment on my Blog post – I’m Not Trying to Replace Your Mom– I can use some love too. I put in a lot of love and share your linked posts across social media and comment on your post, this is your thank you to me
**You MUST complete all of the steps above to have your post shared to social media and to be considered for the featured post in next week’s link party. I will be holding firm to this. I have to hold each Mama to the same standards. I cannot reward you featured blogger status if you did not complete the steps for the Link Party when another Mama has followed through with them all. The purpose of this link party is not to drop a link and run, it is to support other Mamas and the hostess’ efforts in return.**
Click this blue button to add you blog post
To view the blogs in the All for Mama Link Party Week 11 click on the Blue button above. You do not have to enter a link to be able to view the posts that are linked in the current link party.
I would appreciate help in getting the word out about the All For Mamas Link Party #allformamas. Share posts on Facebook, Instagram and twitter mentioning the link party, tag me and I will be sure to repost and comment on them.
You can also follow me on social media, links can be found in the sidebar of my blog. I love growing my Mama circle and will follow you back.
It is my belief that paying it forward gives you great joy. There is nothing I love more than supporting other Mamas. Thank you for being a part of the #AllforMamas Link Party
Interested in hosting a link party on your blog – click here to find out more
**As hostess of this link party I reserve the right to remove any posts that do not meet the criteria list above, any post that contains information that may be deemed inappropriate or offensive, or posts from people who have not completed the steps in the Rules above on more than one occasion**
I love my husband more than life itself. I found my perfect match, my soulmate when I met him. Not only do I love him, I love his two amazing children.
I know he feels the same about me and my two girls. We blended together as a beautiful family and when we are all together under one roof, it is just us, there are no other parents and the world is amazing. But, the reality, there are two other parents and we have to co-parent with them. We often say if we didn’t have to deal with them our life together would be absolutely perfect.
My situation with my Ex-husband is easy. He moved out of the country and our 15 year old daughter lives with me full time. I keep him posted on important details related to school, medical and her wellbeing. He leaves the parenting decisions up to me.
My husband’s Ex-wife lives almost an hour away and that creates some difficulties in the custody schedule. The biggest co-parenting struggle we find is the difference in parenting styles. Even married parents can have different parenting styles and somewhere along the way you find a way to compromise, but when you are divorced the other parent doesn’t have to listen to you, with the exception of items addressed in the guidelines of your divorce. Things like bedtimes, brushing your teeth, how to handle homework, and nutrition become decisions of the individual home, and they shouldn’t be difficult, but they can be.
Because we have a significant distance between the children’s two homes we often find the children are exhausted when they come home to us. We stick to a consistent bedtime to make sure they get their needed rest. They tend to do a lot of running around and at one point were involved in so many activities that they literally had no time at their other home. We were compensating for that by staying home and allowing the kids to enjoy just playing on the weekends, sleeping in and relaxing.
We found our children’s grades slipping from being so tired and not having enough time to do their homework because they were running around. We spoke with teachers and put in extra effort with our children in the subjects they were struggling in. We were regularly spending our Thursday nights which was the children’s first night home with us getting caught up on the week’s homework so they could turn it in on Fridays. No fun for us, but important to keep the children on track.
The one thing we do know is when we say we put the children’s needs first we can stand behind that. We sacrifice watching a movie or playing games with the children to do what is necessary first, then if there is time we have fun. It’s called being a parent and being responsible
There are so many different types of Blended Families
Some Blended families are parents coming together that each have children, some only one parent has children and some have half siblings. There are adoptive families. There are foster families. Whatever way your family blended there is some struggle you face. I reached out to other Moms and Dads to see what they are facing. I would like to thank every person that responded and took the time to add there information to this blog post.
Our biggest struggle is co-parenting with someone who makes the minimum effort. He takes our kids on his allowed visits and that’s it. There are no phone calls, no ball games, no practices, and no dance recitals. We only live 45 minutes away, but he has lied to his friends, family and coworkers saying I took the kids and moved 3 hours away. It is hard to co-parent with someone that lies and refuses to communicate about what’s going on in our kids’ lives.
The perspective having been a child in a co-parenting situation
When I was 7 on my way to 8 (Grade 2 for the Australian), my parents got divorced. This is hardly an uncommon occurrence this day and age but that doesn’t make it easy.
I am 19 years old and when it first happened 11 years ago, my naïve young mind couldn’t comprehend the meaning of what was happening. However, in my father’s case, I don’t think he could either. He didn’t cope very well and while things started off well, it all went downhill over the years.
Initially the time with mum and dad was split almost 50 -50. There was no legal contract, they didn’t want that, it was simply an agreement they had come to. Things were good for a while, I remember dad taking us to school in the mornings and it was good.
Then things began to change. I don’t know what changed, but dad stopped having us. Over the space of the next couple years it dropped from 50-50 to 80-20 to seeing him every second weekend if we were lucky.
Mum handled it really well. Every time dad rang and said he couldn’t have us, mum would act so excited to get ‘bonus mum time’ with us.
The next hurdle in our lives was when mum started seeing someone. I had always been a ‘daddy’s girl’ and this new male figure in our lives threatened to replace him, at least in my young mind that’s how it seemed anyway.
So, we didn’t get along, my step dad (though they aren’t married it’s simply easier to call him that) yelled a lot. He had stricter rules than I was used to and while he wasn’t mean, his communication with an 11-year-old that hated him was understandably difficult.
The situation in seeing my father got worse over the next 6 years until I didn’t even go to see him anymore. My younger sister did, she still idolized him. Then he moved states without so much as a warning. From there he texted occasionally but would get annoyed that I wasn’t putting in effort. Eventually I gave up, he wasn’t trying so, why should I? I told him as much and then didn’t talk to him for 18 months.
In this time my relationship with my step dad improved greatly. He became my biggest role model and I’d figured out how to communicate with him well where grown adults still struggled to deal with his strong occasionally harsh presence. I will always be thankful for what he did for our family.
I was finally forced back into contact with my father when my grandad passed away. The night ended with him walking up to where I was sitting and yelling that he would always love me no matter what I thought. I kept silent and simply laughed at the obscurity of the act. These days we talk occasionally, a message on a birthday or Christmas or if my Nanna needs something.
It may not be the most dramatic tale. We weren’t abused or homeless or fought over. But it influences who I am as a person and I hope that someone benefits from hearing my side of the story.
When you lived through it and now you are doing it again as the parent
From: A blogging friend
The words every co–parent family hate to hear is ‘…you can’t tell me what to do, you are not my Dad’ – we heard that quite a bit. My daughters Dad was never in the picture…I don’t know what I was thinking when I met him – I was 18 yrs old and doing a music degree ( I think it was his rock band that made me think he was something he was not) -Last I heard he was living in a squat in Germany, still in a band and doing all the things old musicians do ( if you know what I mean ) So I got pregnant in my first term at University ( not the best decision I have ever made ) and at the same time my Mum died of Sepsis and my Dad ran away leaving me and my sister. I came from a small city in Somerset – my Mum a teacher, my Dad a carpenter and a younger sister, not forgetting the dog Casper. This was the worst time in my life; I could not believe that my happy little family had just gone! I went back to halls at University, pregnant and suddenly on my own – like completely on my own.
I became a single parent at 19 years old, I had never even heard of benefits and I was a scared little girl holding a baby.
My now husband moved in when my single child was 11 years old – 11 is a hard time anyway but to bring in someone made it that little bit harder! We have had our ups and downs – but my daughter is now in her final term at University – ready to come out with a 1st! My husband and I live on a farm in Cornwall. The relationship between my husband and my daughter has become more like friends – he doesn’t really do the Dad thing. To be honest I class myself still as a single parent and I think I always will. I look at her now and think – Wow, we did it …not sure how but we did. I suppose what I am saying is no family is perfect and you create one that works for you and be proud of that – My Dad met an amazing wife, and they live in France and became a big part of our family, my sister became best friends with my daughter (online now as she lives in Australia) they Skype a lot!
So my family looks a bit like this…
A daughter who is funny, pretty and very clever, a Step Dad to my daughter who gets it wrong a lot and they fall out over things but the bottom line is they love each other and are friends, grandparents who live in France but come over to see her all the time, a party Skype Auntie and Uncle who with their two children are a massive part of my daughter’s life, A Great Grandma, who even at 93 works full time because she believes she is 30 and lives close to my daughter and loves being ‘part of the young scene’ and loves it when she has to open her front door at 3 am when my daughter and her friends have gone clubbing and they need a bed to sleep in. Our family is made up of step- parents, step- grandparents, far away family and a few ‘Auntie’s’ who are in fact good friends but are classed as family. We are not perfect but it works for us. Me, as a single parent … I think I did alright in the end!
For me I’d say the hardest part is just being in sync. We all parent slightly differently, even when your core values are the same. And when you’re not around to back each other up in can be tough to stay on the same page.
Just with small things like rules and routine. I think having a routine is really important, as are clear rules. It can be difficult to get them the same. Especially if you don’t get on that well, or when new stepparents are introduced who also have their own ways of doing things.
Our main struggle is my husband and I live with My boy, and our girl. We do it our way. My ex is actually quite similar and we still get on well. So generally it works. But, my Husband has 2 kids from a previous relationship. So, he has to parent mine like I do. But his like their mum does, or they go home “I don’t want to see daddy”.
This causes trouble for us, as to me it seems like he’s treating his children differently and I worry that when mine are older they will feel its favoritism.
My biggest struggle as a parent raising four children alone was learning to balance being the best friend and the disciplinarian at the same time. I wanted a close relationship with my children. I wanted them to be open and able to talk to me about anything. However, at the same time, I needed them to understand that I made the rules and that there had to be a level of respect also. That was the hardest thing for me as a single parent to accomplish.
My children were all within 2 years of age which made things much harder. They have all homeschooled also, so they were always with me. Finding a balance that worked for all four of them was tough. So I made sure the rules never changed, therefore they knew what to expect at all times. I made things pretty routine.
In the end, I learned that you need to keep an open door of communication, while at the same time, instilling punishment for bad behavior. If they did get in trouble, there was a punishment, but we talked about why they were punished, and how it could have been avoided by different actions. I always ended my conversations with "I love you.", or "I am proud of you for learning and understanding." They are full grown now and our relationships are still strong.
As you can see from the many different posts shared here, each of these Moms is facing a different situation. They have either lived it as a child, or lived through it as a child and now are doing it again, are raising children alone, have His, Mine and Ours, or working with a co-parent who just doesn’t try. No one situation is easier or harder it is just what they deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Raising a blended family can be very difficult, as the struggles above point out, but there are so many wonderful moments as well. We can find our blessings in all of those incredible moments. Most importantly a blended family is a bigger family with more people to love and who love you and I don't know about you, but I value that. My Blended Life Makes Me a Very Happy Wife.
There it is… the picture of a beautifully glowing pregnant Beyonce, and twins no less. My first reaction is, “that’s exciting for her”, I am always happy for someone adding a blessing, or two to their family. My second reaction is jealousy.
I’ve given birth to two daughters of my own, so mine is not the jealousy of not being able to conceive. I certainly feel for anyone who faces that struggle. My jealousy is meeting the man of my dreams at an age where we didn’t feel it was the best choice for me to have another pregnancy.
When my husband and I started our relationship I was almost 43 years old, he was 38. He has two beautiful children as well, my bonus daughter and son. Together we made a beautifully blended family of 6. We also were blessed to have a granddaughter who was 2, now we have 2 granddaughters. I now having a baby well into your 40’s is beginning to become more of the norm. Heck, Janet Jackson just had a baby at 50. But there are so many more factors to think of when you are starting a second marriage than just having a pregnancy at an older age.
At the time of our decision, our children spent 50% of their time with us and 50% of their time with their other parent. How would they feel if they had a new sibling that got to spend 100% of their time with their parent while they couldn’t? We wouldn’t want any of our children to feel like they didn’t deserve the same thing and unfortunately that choice isn’t ours alone. Their other parents deserve time with them too.
There were medical concerns to think of. My husband was born with a heart defect requiring open heart surgery as a baby. His two children’s pregnancies were closely watched for any heart issues. Happily, there were none, but another child may have had a different result. My two daughters were both born with visual impairments, one with Optic Nerve Atrophy and one with bilateral congenital cataracts (for more information read my previous blog, Remember, When Life hands you Lemons…). There was the concern that a third child for me may have a visual impairment as well. There were also the concerns of being “advanced maternal age” that increased the odds of too many birth defects to mention. I would never be able to terminate a pregnancy due to defects and I was working full-time, what would we do? If I had known I would be a stay-at-home Mom two years later that might have changed this part of the decision.
We were also Grandparents already. The age difference from our oldest child to a new child would be too significant, 18+ years, for them to ever really enjoy a true sibling relationship and certainly never be able to grow up in the same home.
Based on those concerns, we decided that a child together was not in the plans for us. We have struggled with that decision ever since because nothing would please us more than to have a child that was a piece of both of us. Even though we struggle and wonder “what if” we know it was the best decision we could make for our family. What we didn’t know at the time was that blood doesn’t make you feel like children are yours. The bonds my husband and I have with all four children are amazing. They are ours in every way.
So now I get my baby fix from my granddaughters. I’m certain with four children between us there will be many more grandchildren to come. Our youngest child is 9 so we have many years to enjoy new family additions.
Beyonce, yes I am happy for you, and yes I am still jealous, but I have an amazing Blended Life and that makes me a Happy Wife.
Before you go, would you please take a moment and click on the banner below to vote for me as a Top Mommy Blogger. Thank you
When you get awarded by your peers for the work you are doing, it is truly a satisfying feeling. I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award at a time that I needed motivation more than anything. I was sick for several months (I’m doing better now) and I was wallowing in self-pity and uncertainty of where I was headed with my blogging.
I got a message from Nandita at Nandyz Soulshine and to hear that she was recognizing my blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award was the boost I needed to know that I was going to continue blogging after I recovered. I appreciate her nominating me. We met through a Facebook Group and I have enjoyed reading and following her blog posts and will continue to do so.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is passed on through the blogging community by nominations. It’s an amazing way to show support and love for each others blog and a great way to get to know everyone a little better!
The Guidelines for the Nomination of the Sunshine Blogger Award
· Thank the person nominating you.
· Answer 11 questions asked in the nominating article.
· Nominate 11 other deserving bloggers and let them know about being nominated.
· In turn, present your 11 questions to the nominees.
My Answers to Nandita’s 11 questions
What motivates you to blog?
I am motivated to blog because I feel like we all have something to learn. I love reading other people’s blogs and learning new things. My hope has always been that someone walks away with new information, something they didn’t know from reading my blog
How long have you been blogging and what would be your advice to new bloggers?
I have been blogging exactly one year. My advice to new bloggers is patience…it is the rare case where a blog takes off overnight (there are few that do) put your best foot forward, work hard and know that it takes time.
How do you like to unwind?
I love music. For me hopping in the car and cranking to radio to sing my heart out is my favorite release.
What is the motto of your life?
Never settle. There was a time in my life when I would settle for the best I could get because I never thought I was going to get more. Now I know that with patience and determination I can have what I want, do what I want, be what I want. It is a very freeing feeling.
Which is the topmost location in your travel bucket list?
On the top of my bucket list for travel is England. I am a genealogy buff. With online research I have found a lot of information in my family tree from England and their records are amazing. I want to learn more, see more, take pictures. Someday when I get over my fear of flying over the ocean I will go.
What are your hobbies?
I love crafting, genealogy and spending time with my family.
Have you ever written a book or are you planning to?
I have never written a book, I’m not planning on it, but never say never.
I am born and raised in Maine along the coast. The nearest beach was 20 minutes away so I am an Ocean girl.
What would be your three wishes if you had a genie in a magic lamp? (“more wishes” not allowed as a wish )
I have two visually impaired daughters and a granddaughter, I would wish for each of them to have 20/20 vision again.
Any nuggets of wisdom to your readers out there?
Never settle, never give up and love with all your heart.
These are my 11 Nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award, I enjoy their blogs and enjoy interacting with them I hope you will take a moment and follow the link through to their blog and check them outl. They are incredible writters writing about so many different topics. There were so many blogs I could have nominated, it was hard to only select 11.
My 11 questions for the nominees of the Sunshine Blogger Award
When and Why did you start blogging?
What has been your biggest challenge with blogging?
What is one piece of advice your parents gave you that you can rely on?
Describe your workspace, do you have an office, work on the table, work where ever you can?
What is your favorite book and why?
What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you started blogging?
What has been your biggest blogging win?
Where can people follow you?
If you could experience life for one day as a famous person, who would it be and why?
What do you look for in a blog your read?
What do you do in your spare time?
I want to thank Nandyz Soulshine again for nominating me. for the Sunshine Blogger Award. It was fun answering her questions and coming up with questions to ask others. I hope you learned a little something about me you didnt already know. I know that as bloggers we are all very busy, please don’t feel a time crunch to write your post. It took me almost 3 months to do mine. I nominated you because I enjoy your work and have interacted with you through groups and i enjoy the relationships we have built. Congratulations to you on your nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award
I send you much love and happiness and continued success in your blogging.
My Blended blog Life makes me a very Happy Wife.
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