I’m not even sure where to start. November 14th was my last blog…I had energy, I talked about tackling one goal at a time, I talked about learning one new thing every week, cleaning off my dining room table and teaching myself how to use TikTok…..its December 8th, and I haven’t done 1 of those things. In fact the pile on my table has gotten bigger, my to do list keeps growing, and I can’t even seem to find the focus to scratch one damn thing off my list. Why does it feel so hard to accomplish anything these days? I’ve always been somewhat of a scatterbrain, but I feel like I’m spiraling out of control and don’t know how to fix it. I’m not even sure what I’m thinking most of the time….there’s 8 zillion things running through my brain at any given moment, and I can’t seem to slow it down to focus on anything. I feel like my life is a landfill of both mental and physical clutter…..and I feel like I’m drowning.
As I try to get through this blog entry, my brain is spinning, I need to call the vet for my dogs prevention, make a list of what I still need to buy for Christmas, I should be doing all the reading for school that I’ve gotten behind in, I have to pick up my daughter in an hour and a half, stop by the vet and pick up my dogs prevention pill, get ready for work and stop at the library to pick up my daughters book, get home in time to get the little 2 off the bus….. I should really fold the laundry, make sure my husbands work clothes are out and ready for tomorrow (since he’s at 1 of his 2 jobs right now), bills need to be paid, oh crap, the Christmas tree….its still sitting outside, I need to cut the bottom off and bring it in the house, it’s been out there since Sunday, I worked all day yesterday got home after dark and made dinner, today got up at my usual 4:45am walked the dog, got everyone ready for school, took my daughter for tests on her knee she hurt a few weeks ago, dropped her off at school and have been working on this and trying to read since…..I have an assignment due on Monday (that I’ve had a good couple weeks to complete but have busied my myself with everything but school) I still need to get 2 secret Santa gifts, and find time and money to finish my Christmas shopping I feel like each item on my to do list has 8 others attached to it….I just can’t do it all, yet it all needs to get done. It’s all just so over whelming. I think you get the drift….there’s so much more, I could go on and on…..my brain doesn’t stop spinning. There just isn’t enough time in a day. How does everyone else do it? Seriously? You work. have money, you’re good parents, your houses are clean, and beautiful, you do your jobs well, your blogs are awesome, you have social lives……WTF am I doing wrong?
Hi! My name is Stephanie. I’m days away from celebrating my 38th birthday….that’s 2 years from 40….and I have no idea who I am. The following is my attempt at introducing myself.
I have 3 kids (all girls 13, 8, and 7). My common law spouse and I have been together since we were 18! That’s right, we’ll be celebrating 20 years together in April 2021. I have a 1 year old American Bull Dog cross named Solo, and an 11 year old, one eyed cat named Juno. I am the eldest of 4 children, from a split/mixed family (my Dad had 4 kids from 3 different relationships).
After going to school in 2004 to be a Personal Support worker, I spent the following 8 1/2 years working in the field, I was good at it, but hated the politics and only being able to do the bare minimum for the people I was caring for, so when I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 and had a 5 year old, and a 6 month old at home, I went back to work in efforts of requalifying for maternity leave again…2 weeks after returning to work, they cut my hours in half which meant I had no hopes of requalifying, and now we would be paying more in daycare than I was making…so we took it as a sign, and I resigned. I worked a few days a week at a restaurant that I had started working at as a second job while pregnant with baby #2. I’ve been at the restaurant ever since, working as a server, and 4 years ago when my youngest started school full time, I asked for more hours…this is when my boss offered me a part-time manager/Community Relations Coordinator position. Great I thought, part-time server, part-time manager and Community Relations Coordinator….but what does that mean? She told me to build our social media presence, and advertising, track coupons, build relationships with neighbouring businesses etc….but wait…. I don’t have experience doing anything like that, and with little to no training or guidance I’ve managed to fake my way through….soooo during COVID lockdown, though I worked through most of it, my hours were reduced, so I had time to think, and being tired of faking it, I decided that I should look into learning more about social media and signed up to take an online course both for general interest, and professional development. This course has forced me to do a lot of self-reflection…and though I was already aware of my flaws, and weaknesses, my self-reflection has made me realize that I suck! This is difficult to accept, and even harder to do anything about…..
I graduated high school in 2000, and since have been aimlessly going through the motions of life, trying to figure out who I am. I’ve spent my entire life being terrified of failure, a people pleaser, a worrier, and procrastinator.. I don’t have any hobbies, or passions, and nothing that I’m REALLY good at. How is that possible? To some of my class mates, and friends that read my first 4 blogs (that I had to write for my first course), you would’ve heard me talk about my spouse and I starting a small scale farm and/or market garden, my love of fresh local food…especially what we grew on our own this summer, I mentioned yoga, activities with my kids, and walking my dog….here’s the thing, I’m not good at any of it. I’m faking it. I’m in love with ideas and spend most of my time thinking about what I should be doing and not actually doing it.
I live in a tiny house, that we bought as a stepping stone, when we moved back to Ontario, from British Columbia when baby #1 was 7 months old. Life, and 2 more babies happened and here we are…still same house, with more stuff, and less money. My house is a mess, I have mountains of unfolded laundry more often than I don’t, cobwebs everywhere, and dirty floors. There are piles of stuff (bills, paper…endless paper brought home from school, hair elastics etc) everywhere I look. We have food in the fridge, a roof over our head, and in the grand scheme of things, very little debt BUT, we live pay cheque to pay cheque, and we both work full-time…or close to it anyway (I’m a few hours a week short of full-time, but I work 5 days a week). Most days I’m able to look at my life and be grateful, because I love my small messy house, and everyone and everything in it, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything…I just wish we could fix it up the way we want to, and maybe add a touch more space. Other days its challenging to look around at what everyone else has, and does, and wonder how the heck they do it and what I am doing wrong. Please don’t misunderstand, I’ve got so much in my life that I LOVE and am tremendously grateful for, gratefulness is not lacking here.
So here it is folks, the conclusion of my self reflection, I’ve got to get my shit together….I have to stop thinking and start doing. I want to find something I’m good at, something I love (aside from my family), something just for me. I want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have to stop fearing failure. I have to stop worrying and caring so much about what others think, I have to find small achievable goals, and tackle them one at a time. I have to try new things, starting here! I’m going to attempt to use blogging as my therapy, my accountability, and my efforts to help anyone I can, who might be feeling as sucky at life as I do. Let’s get less sucky together, one hot topic and goal at a time. Parenting, Finances, Organization, Gardening, Exercise, Social Media Apps, let’s talk, let’s find something we love, let’s have some fun and figure it out together!
MyGoals For the Week:
Goal 1 – Learn more about building my blog. How do I categorize topics etc. Do I need a website for that? I don’t know but I’m going to find out.
Goal 2 – Clean off my desk and kitchen table.
Goal 3 – Spend time on 1 social media app that I haven’t used before…TikTok here I come.
Any one else in a similar boat as me? If so let’s turn my journey into our journey! Let’s do this! What are your goals for the week?
This is me….almost 38 years old, the oldest of 4 kids from a mixed family, I’ve been in a relationship for nearly 20 years, I have 3 kids, a dog and cat, a job, am taking a course on Social Media for both personal and professional development….and yet sometimes I’m not really sure who I AM other than someone that worries constantly about EVERYTHING – bills, money, conversations I had a year ago, and yesterday, my schedule, completing my to-do list, doing well at work, being a good person, being a good Mom/partner/friend/daughter/sister, staying in shape,….it doesn’t matter what it is, I guarantee I’m worrying about it. I’ve learned more about social media in the last few weeks than I ever thought imaginable, and it is so exciting, but equally as overwhelming….social media is yet another thing on my list of worries – privacy, how to use it, can I change my username, or should I set up a new account?….oh but wait, my work accounts are tied to my existing accounts, will that mess everything up? I worry about pretty much everything and anything I post, and now I’ve added to my list of worries, can I stay on top of everything I’m learning and apply it in my day to day life? I’m sure you’re starting to understand my dilemma….I spend a lot of valuable time worrying about EVERYTHING…..sometimes I think my use of social media makes me worry more, but yet it’s a necessity…
I use social media daily, both personally and professionally, and I worry about everything I post. Everything I do takes me so much longer than it should because I’m analyzing it, then over analyzing it…should I? shouldn’t I?….Will enough people see it? Am I being too wordy? Am I going to insult someone? does it make sense? are there spelling errors? are my hashtags appropriate and relevant? Did I use the right words to reply to that review? From a professional stand-point I suppose this could be taken as a good thing, but without a lot of time to sink into my job, it can also be a downfall.
I see something funny, like the meme below, and I want to share it to my personal Facebook page, but think “oh crap, who am I going to insult posting this”, at the same time it throws humour into something that drives me nuts so it would be for a purpose right?….I decide posting it will be fun and quickly click to share….then I worry….what will people think of me….will they be angry, hurt, insulted….or will they laugh? GAH! Nothing is simple when you’re a worrier.
I’m not someone who wants to be on display for the world to see. I worry enough without worrying about even more judgment from others. I’m shy, I don’t want to share my whole life with everyone, but I feel like with social media being a crucial part of personal branding, its mandatory and not putting yourself out there can be as Natalie Bracco from Working Mother says “Whether for business or personal use, a lacking social media presence can be suspicious to some…..” Suspicious? I don’t want to be perceived as suspicious….
So since I don’t have a choice, and I’m going to worry anyway I’m looking for advice from my audience, I’m putting myself out there, hoping I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m being raw and honest and I am wondering how you get comfortable with being uncomfortable? How do you stop worrying so much? How do you find peace in the person you are? How do you live in a world that forces you to be on constant display open for criticism, and judgement? How and when do you stop giving a shit what people think?
2020 has been an unusually crazy, stressful and life changing year for us all. Its been months of lockdown, uncertainty, fear and change. The questions, conspiracies, and anger are endless….and its alllll you hear about allllll the time….it’s exhausting, and easy to get sucked in. The fact is life may never be the same as it was before…..even if normal returns, what does that look like? Are we ever going to feel the same as we did Pre-pandemic? These aren’t questions any of us can answer with certainty…but what I can tell you is that’s not what I’m here to talk about that or at least not with negativity. With Thanksgiving in the air, I’m reflecting on all that I’m thankful for, especially things about this year, and as I sit here thinking and reflecting I realize just how much of that is tied to social media to some degree. Let me explain.
Since March when the dreaded pandemic took over the world, social interaction was one thing we all felt was lacking, and though I didn’t feel it as much as some, the need for connection to those I wasn’t able to see weighed on me….that’s when Zoom calls with my co-workers, a live workout with one of my best friends, much needed ‘face to face’ chats with friends and family on Facebook Messenger calls , and Saturday afternoon trivia on House Party with friends as far away as England began. My kids were able to see and interact with their friends on Google Meet, Messenger for Kids, and FaceTime. These social channels allowed us to connect, and socialize all from the comfort and safety of our own home. Not only am I thankful that we had access to them, but also that I had the time and energy I hadn’t had in what seems like ever to spend socializing and enjoying my friends and family, even if it was in a different way than we were used to.
As a Mom, it was of utmost importance that we all but, especially my kids came through this pandemic relatively unscathed and safe from the stress, and chaos going on in the world around us. That meant making sure their minds were busy, they were entertained, that special days like birthday’s were still celebrated, even if they looked a little different, that they were learning and felt useful. Without Pinterest for fun breakfast ideas, learning activities and science experiments, Tasty for the Unicorn Cake my 7 year old requested for her birthday, YouTube for endless hours of how-to drawing VLOGS and DIY craft tutorials, I would’ve been completely lost. These social channels offered endless entertainment for not only my kids but my husband and I too. This is where our small scale farming, and gardening dream started to come together. We watched hours of vegetable gardening, home steading, and market gardening VLOGS on YouTube, and realized that we could do it, we could finally start making one of our dreams come true…..so we did, and it provided us all with a job, something we could do as a family while learning, and being active at the same time. I am so thankful that we had the time to explore and begin our journey, and for the resources to teach and guide us.
As a Mom let me tell you, taking the roll of a teacher was an eye opening and challenging experience. Remote online learning was a learning curve for all of us, but it sure helped having access to some of the different social apps they use in school like Dreambox, Lexia, and Epic, and communication with the teachers using Seesaw. I’m not sure I would’ve known what to teach them without these to use as a guideline. I’m thankful for wonderful teachers, the option, access and ability to teach remotely, my wonderful kids and that we all made it through even if it didn’t always look pretty.
Without social media, these past few months would have looked very different for us all and I’m so thankful for everything that was made easier or possible because of it. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? How did social media help you over the last year?
As a Mom of 3 girls I question everything. Mostly myself. Am I a good Mom? Should I have said yes to the 100th snack request of the day? Are they getting enough sleep? Do I allow too much screen time? Am I doing enough with them? How many chores should they have and what should those be? Do I share too much or not enough with them? Can they go to the park by themselves? Do they need a cell phone? Should I be allowing them to use social media? Am I setting them up to be healthy, active young girls, both mentally and physically? Let me tell you the questions are endless, and are constantly circling through my head. I often find myself referencing other parents on social media. What are they doing? How do they do it? Sometimes this is helpful and other times not at all.
My goal is to raise self sufficient, confident, happy, successful, responsible, empathetic, kind, strong and hardworking girls but in a world that as Julie Lythcott-Haims says has gone from “preparing our kids for life to protecting them from life… is not an easy task, especially without “over parenting”. “Over parenting” is so easily done, especially when you add social media to the mix, it heightens your insecurities, fears, self doubt, and you begin comparing your kids and parenting to others…. but with a little bit of balance it can be an equally reassuring, calming and helpful resource. The addition of social media to parenting is like being handed a never ending interactive Guide to Parenting. If used properly it can be tremendously useful, but if taken too seriously or used too often can be equally futile.
Getting To Know the Girls
My 13 year old is smart, biasly brilliant in fact. She’s mature, a compulsive rule follower, responsible, honest, feisty, and stubborn, and extremely impatient. I’ve never had to worry about her making the right decision, completing her school work, or being well behaved and respectful. She stands up for others, and will fight tooth and nail for what she wants and believes. She is the student that all the teachers go to when they need a student to rely on, the one that her peers go to for help with their school work, the kid every parent wants their child to hang out with, and she talks to me about almost everything. She’s naturally smart and athletic… as her parent proud is an understatement, but I still worry.
My 8 year old is brave, independent, sweet, quiet, creative, kind, loving, strong, feisty, stubborn, patient, and imaginative. She’s also very sneaky, cares far too much about what others think, and rarely wants to talk to me about anything of substance. If she’s having a bad day I have to pry information out of her and most of the time unsuccessfully. What little I get is usually from her sisters – mostly my youngest. As her parent proud is an understatement but I still worry.
My 7 year old is loud, out going, emotional, incredibly loving, sweet, imaginative, smart, funny, honest, brave, inquisitive, unique, and not afraid to be different. She talks to me about everything. Her and my 8 year old are the best of friends, and a great team. Once again, as her parent, proud is an understatement, but I still worry.
Each of the girls are such different people, and with that means our expectations may not be exactly the same for each of them.
Use of Social Media
All 3 of my girls use some form of social media.
My oldest uses it the most…TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and SnapChat etc. and has free reign for the most part. We check-in with her often, follow her on her accounts, and I also have other friends and family members follow her as well, just to make sure there are more caring and loving eyes on her and her accounts than just ours. My youngest 2 use Minecraft, Roblox, and YouTube, as their main sources of entertainment, and have way more restrictions than my oldest, and because of their personality differences it will likely be that way for the foreseeable….to them it may seem unfair…to me, its knowing their differences, embracing them and making a wise parenting choice.
There are so many uncontrollable factors lurking behind the screen. As a parent I can set every parental control, and privacy setting, and hope that technology does what its supposed to, but I think that education, communication, and presence when using social media is key. I in no way know how to play Minecraft, or Roblox, and I have never used TikTok but I make sure one of us is always in and out when they’re playing. We have rules….My oldest isn’t allowed to add new friends or let anyone follow her without talking to us first, my youngest 2 aren’t allowed to add friends to any of their accounts. We talk openly as a family about online predators and how careful we have to be. These conversations may scare them a bit, but it also makes them aware of the reality, and responsibility involved in using social media and also reminds me how vigilant we as parents need to be in staying current and up to date.
To Sum It Up:
It’s an uncertain world these days, especially behind the screen. There is so much information, advice, and opinions, right at our fingertips, being thrown at us at the push of every button. It can be a lot for us to handle, and as a parent of 3 girls I know I feel overwhelmed by it all most of the time. Finding balance, and the positive in a great big world of instant information, advice and opinions can be tough. Knowing what social networks to use, how to use them, who to connect with, what information is factual, useful, and helpful is really challenging. Its important as parents we keep ourselves up to date and relevant, so that we can assist, teach, communicate and help to navigate our kids through this fast pace, constantly changing and evolving world behind the screen. Do you feel like you’re up to date and relevant in the land of social media? What would you tell your childhood self about social media, how to use it, when to use it, and when to put it down?
Facebook: A Scatterbrained Mom Talks – 3 Girls, social media, the good, the bad, the ugly. Check it out here.
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Being a Mom is tough sometimes. Constantly trying to be 20 steps ahead, yet always feeling 30 behind. Trying to have a career, take an online program, stay in shape, eat well, get enough sleep, make sure the physical, mental and emotional needs of 3 kids, my dog, cat, husband, and myself are all met, keep up with family and friends, the house and yard work, and appointments and schedules for 5 of us is a lot. I rely on social media to assist me with the tasks of life, but where do I draw the line between mindful, and wasteful, addicted and helpful?
I open my eyes in the morning, give myself a good stretch, while reaching for my phone, and with sleepy eyes I find the Facebook icon, what did I miss while I was sleeping? Likely not much as when I woke up to pee at 2:45 I did a little scroll through before trying to get back to sleep, but you never know there could be breaking news, or my old high school friend whom I don’t even really know could’ve broken up with her 5th fiancée of the year, either way definitely a must know at 4:45am….
I get up, make coffee, and while watching YouTube gardening VLOGS with my husband (in the few uninterrupted minutes we get together a few days a week), I’m checking the weather, re-reading the recipe for tonight’s dinner, checking my calendar, making a grocery and to-do list, all while keeping a constant eye on the clock making sure we all stay on task. Oh crap….its crazy hair day at school I forgot….better hit up Pintrest for ideas, before heading out to walk the dog at 6am. Sounds romantic doesn’t it?
Before I know it, I’m off to work. Where all day in-between other aspects of my job I’m attempting to take photos and come up with local and relevant content for a franchised restaurant (I’ll talk more about this another time).
Home from work, make dinner, help the kids with their homework, and find out how their days were….oh wait, just got a reminder from the teacher(s), and a notification from the bus company about seating on the bus, a text message, an appointment reminder, and a DM on Facebook about an item I purchased on Marketplace….now instead of talking to, and helping my children I’m once again staring at my phone, lost in the vast abyss behind the screen, and I’m way behind schedule….supper is late, bedtimes are rushed, and I haven’t had a second to breathe or look up all day.
Its a vicious cycle, and before I rush into tomorrow…How much is too much? Where do we draw the line between useful and overboard? When do we stop, look up and breathe?