Free to Be a "Fun Mom"

I have a confession: I have stopped by toddler from doing a plethora of fun things in the past, simply because I didn't want to deal with the mess. Big pile of mud by the side of the road on our walk? Keep on cruising and pray he doesn't see it. Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner? Sorry, I don't want to be picking noodles off the ceiling for a week. Homemade sensory activities? Sounds awesome, but I just can't deal with the aftermath... and I know I'm not the only one! I was happy in my little mess-free bubble until one day it just hit me. I was depriving my little boy of a fun, memory filled childhood for my own selfish, slightly OCD reasons! Sure, we do fun things, but some of my best memories from when I was a kid are the messy, disgusting ones that probably made my mom want to rip her hair out, but she let me do it anyway.

So, in an effort to build lasting memories AND become the "fun mom" I know I can be, we spent this past week going on adventures. Every day, I let Jack do something that I always thought sounded fun, but had never wanted to deal with. He fed himself yogurt for breakfast and enchiladas for dinner. We went to the park and I let him play in dirty puddles and roll in the mud. I tried (and failed) my hand at making homemade play dough and let him play in the sticky mess.

And with great restraint, I didn't even yell when he started rubbing it in his hair.

And you know what? His big smile and happy giggles made all the extra time cleaning up messes 100% worth it.  Still, it doesn't hurt to have a secret weapon.
If you read my blog post a couple weeks ago, you know how much I love all free clear. Not only do I not have to worry about Jack's skin breaking out in a rash, but I can just throw everything in the washer with a little bit of this all free clear with Oxi and not worry about if the stains from all our new adventures will come out! This gives me plenty of time to take a relaxing bath and unwind from the stress of all the mess!

all free clear is affordable, toddler-friendly, and yet still tough on stains. It rinses clean and has a gentle, hypoallergenic formula with a powerful clean. Plus, it only has 9 ingredients, which is less than HALF the ingredients of Tide Free & Gentle.) I've said it before and I will say it again... other detergents we have tried simply don't measure up! They have a complete line of gentle laundry products from fabric softener to detergent pods, which means all free clear is the ONLY brand in our laundry room and we plan to keep it that way.

Now that I've found all free clear to ease my mess-hating heart, I am free to spend my days being the "fun mom" that I've always wanted to be. Now, if only someone would invent a magic product that would clean my bath, high chair, and kitchen with such ease! ;)

How do you deal with those crazy toddler messes? Tell me in the comments below!

The End of an Adventure

For the past 3 years since we have been married, I have continuously had to put off my schooling for one reason or another. Whether it was no money, pregnancy, or a new baby, I had almost given up hope of ever finishing my degree. Finally, after struggling for years to get Scott through school, it is finally MY turn. I was accepted to a new university close to our new town and have transferred all my credits there. I start next week and if all goes well, I will be graduating this time next year! I've am so excited (and nervous) about finally completing this chapter in my life. 

However, to start one new adventure, another has to end. If I am to have any success in school and being a good mom, I have decided I need to say goodbye to LuLaRoe. I know this is the right choice for me and my family at this point in our lives, but that hasn't made it any easier. I have grown accustomed to that great feeling I get when I help women find that perfect item of clothing that gives them their self confidence back, and my heart breaks with this decision to quit. I love the company, the clothes, and more importantly I love the friendships I have made. I will miss being part of a huge community of strong, smart, lovely women who would do anything to support and uplift each other. 

Even though it was only part of my life for 6 months, I honestly learned things about myself and grew in ways I would have never though possible. I've always been a baggy tee and sweat pants kind of girl, but LuLaRoe challenged me to develop my personal sense of style and branch out from my comfort zone. It helped me to develop a new sense of self-confidence with my new(ish) post-partum body and that confidence has carried over into all aspects of my life. I am more willing to branch out of my shy bubble and talk to people I don't know, make friends, and go out adventuring in the unknown because that has been my norm the past six months. Because of this, I have been able to transfer my life comfortably to this new town and not feel completely alone without all the familiar faces and places. I've been bragging about how friendly people are here, but I think a lot of it is that I'M more friendly. Although I also have discovered direct sales is definitely not the thing for me, it changed my life and I will be forever grateful for the skills LuLaRoe taught me. Plus, it doesn't hurt that now I have a closet full of some of the cutest clothes around! ;) There were more times than I would like to admit that I wanted to scream and rip my hair out with all the stress, but when all is said and done, I'm grateful for every stressful, nerve wracking, delightful moment I spent as a fashion consultant and hope that my next adventure can be just as lovely. 

Here's to bittersweet changes, growing up and new beginnings. I can't wait to see what else is in store!