Two weeks ago I put out a Q&A call on Instagram stories and got some really great questions! I answered the first batch here, and am excited to dive into the second today. I find this to be so much fun that I threatened David that I was going to ask if anyone had any questions for him and have him write a post of his own so he could experience the joy. He shocked me when he responded that he’s be game for that. Any interest in a Q & A with David?! I think it would be hilarious.
Anyway, on to the questions!
How do you handle toddler tantrums?
How about five year old tantrums? Because I think those can be worse! Ha. Anyway, toddler tantrums. I really do my best to see situations from the point of view of the child. The viral post It’s Hard for Them Too did a great job of putting some of the frustrations and outbursts toddlers have in perspective and I do my best to keep it in mind.
However, sometimes the reality is that all the spoons are just the wrong color that day and it creates a meltdown of epic proportions. These moments happen more for us when Kaitlyn is hungry and/or tired. In these situations, we use the stairs. Not as punishment, but as a moment to let everyone collect themselves. When she was younger, I would go with her, help her take big breaths (the big breath in, now blow it in my face trick usually works to generate a smile), calm down, and then talk simply through the situation and come up with a solution. Sometimes this took longer than others.
Now Kaitlyn (and Hailey) know this routine, so we will tell them to go sit on the stairs (or room for Hailey) and let us know when they’ve collected themselves and are ready to talk it out. Keeping my voice calm (which I sometimes fail at) is really key. I want to help them process through the boiling emotions they are experiencing not punish them for feeling it.
Oh, also, I drink wine.
What do you do if your kids don’t want to eat the meal you have prepared?
I say tough cookies kid. I almost never get a true rejection from Hailey but Kaitlyn is great at saying no to foods, even the ones SHE ACTUALLY LIKES (smack head emoji goes here). As tempting as it is sometimes to just put something in front of her that I know she wants, I resist. Again, I chose what they eat and when, and they choose if and how much (Division of Responsibility in Eating).
A couple caveats: I always make sure they like some aspect of every meal I serve. I’m not trying to set anyone up for failure. I make sure it’s appropriate (if it truly is too spicy, I make them something different).
Have you ever lost a good amount of weight? How?
I lost about 20 pounds after college. It’s a decent amount considering I am 5 feet and 1 inch tall. I have no doubt it was from the decreased amount of beer in my diet, but also I got on a big health kick (which back them meant Lean Cuisines and diet coke). I also remember grilling chicken and having spinach for dinners to try and balance the occasional late night pizza/Waffle House stops. I also became more consistent with exercise, which then was walking and jogging on the apartment complex treadmill.
college birthday Brittany turning 21
Obviously I don’t think that’s the ideal way to do it now. I weigh about 4 pounds less than I weighed at my wedding now and I think it’s largely because I focus on nutrient intake (in general, I don’t count anything) over calorie intake. Cutting out most processed foods has helped so much too!
How do you balance alcohol and stress?
I joke a lot about wine, of course. Well, I actually do love wine, beer, margaritas, and sometimes straight bourbon on ice. In reality, I probably have an alcoholic beverage 2-3 times a week. Maybe that’s a lot to you, maybe it’s a little. And while I might savor that glass of wine as I unwind from a crazy week, I never truly let it be the direction I turn for true stress relief. If I’m really wound up, I know either a good butt kicking at Boot Camp or hiring a sitter so I can have a few hours to get stuff done is the way to go and will provide me with the real results I’m after. Then I get to sip that IPA in a celebratory manner instead!
Why do you bathe your kids in the late afternoon sometimes?
Early baths for the kids are my jammmmm! For me it just makes the entire evening run so smoothly if we do baths before the kids are overtired and trying to delay bedtime. This is my favorite trick for the times when David has crazy weeks (and I’m handling it all by myself). a 4:00 pm (and sometime even a 3:00 pm!) bath means the girls are clean and in jammies so we can read books or play in the house and all that’s left between them and bedtime is dinner and brushing teeth. Since my kids take approximately 8273546 minutes to eat dinner, I’m less likely to rush them and they are still in bed by 7:15.
What made you decide to homeschool your kids? I’m a teacher but I couldn’t imagine teaching my own kids (so I give you homeschool parents a lot of credit!). I’m not being judgey I’m always curious what leads people to make the school decisions they do for their kids.
Curiosity is not judgey, so ask away! It’s usually the first question I ask other homeschool moms I come across too. I touched on it yesterday when I shared our curriculum choices for Kindergarten in the fall, but in a nutshell, I’m excited for the extra time it will give me to spend with my kids, the ability to tailor things to their learning styles and go at a pace that fits them, and the flexibility of schedule it will give us as a family.
How do you deal with negative body image days? If you have them.
I’m certain everyone has days when they don’t feel they look their best. I know I do! When those feelings surface I try to focus on the other things I bring to the table beyond my stunning good looks (I kid, I kid). I value the humor, kindness, and intelligence in my friends so much and it’s silly for me to push those important characteristics aside when I’m viewing myself. I find if I focus on trying to make someone smile or put a little good out there in the world, I feel a little less focused on my frizzy hair or thighs that will never be gap-less.
Just to play devil’s advocate for a minute though, I’m also not against a little self primping. If getting my hair done or painting my nails will help elevate the way I feel about myself, I’m going to do it. If it’s something I can and want to change, why not? Take that shower, color those roots, put on the heels. It’s OK to want to feel good about the way you present yourself to the world (I say as I’m on day 3 of wearing a baseball hat…).
How do you budget for food now that you work with a monthly budget?
I’m going to write a more comprehensive post on this soon but I’m loving the monthly food budget! We allocate a total amount of money for groceries each month, then track it using Mint.com. In short, this gives me the flexibility to spread the spending out over the month, getting more bang for my buck. For example, yesterday I went to BJ’s and spent $175ish and Whole Foods and spent $75ish. $250 would be a lot for our week typically, but the super-sized items I got at BJ’s (ranch dressing, peanut butter, coffee, yogurt, cheese, rice, etc) will stretch at least two weeks, making next week’s grocery shopping trip significantly cheaper, as I’ll just be picking up some meat and a little produce.
Overall it evens out to make the month less expensive overall than doing it weekly.
What are your tips for maintaining such a positive attitude in life?
How do you keep such a positive attitude even when you are fried/frustrated?
While there is no doubt I must have a genetic predisposition for optimism, I also continuously and purposely chose that path. It’s rooted in gratitude. I always wonder if I searched this blog for how many times I’ve said “grateful” what the count would be, but I can’t help it, I feel SO grateful for the people in my life and it keeps my perspective in check.
I also try to take care of myself. When I’m truly overwhelmed, I try to address it rather than push through it. Do I need more sleep? Sleep is HUGELY important for me. Do I need some time by myself? Do I need exercise? Then I take care of it. I go to be early. I get a sitter or have the kids watch a movie. I put other things aside so I can go exercise. I’m a big believer in taking care of myself so I can better take care of those I love.
Overall, I focus on the good parts of whatever situation I am in. Every season of life has pros and cons and things will always evolve and change. I figure I might as well focus on the good of where I am while I’m there!
Pick a question and play along! I love getting to know you better.
And a Q&A for David– would that be entertaining to anyone besides me?