Sunday series on a Friday… {Contentment}

Hey friends,

Let’s talk contentment… Being content., happy where you are, at peace with what you’ve got – you know the deal.
I shared the other night on insta-stories that I found tremendous peace with where I am currently at with my little blog. In this “online world” every single thing is numbers, it matters greatly how many views, followers, likes, shares, etc – everything, every single number matters and you know what… I’m kind of a bit done with having it be that way. I am sick of watching my numbers go up and down. And wondering what I am doing wrong or right. Bottom line is, I am me – I put out the content I feel I need to and what I want to share. Like me or don’t like me, that’s fine.
I said in that post that I am aware I’m a small fish in a big pond & I’m fine with that, that suits me fine – I’m like 5ft/5ft 1 – being little suits me.
That very next morning I woke up to an inner voice trying to tell me, I’m small because I’m not worthy to be anything else… You know the voice, that voice that comes into your mind and undermines your positive thoughts, the voice that tries to drown out the quiet and loving voice we should all be listening for – you know the one, the voice that means nothing good.
And I let it eat at me, it got me down briefly.
And then I realised my worthiness, my contentment & joy isn’t found in that negative voice – it’s found in the one that’s whispering to me, reminding me about the Mums I have encouraged, the positive messages I get weekly, the beautiful connections I’ve made, reminding me of what I have achieved in my “online career” and assuring me what I put out there is useful and needed in this world of many voices. My voice maybe small, but my message matters.
I think this can be compared to so many scenarios in our everyday life, we feel content and then a voice of doubt creeps in, we compare, we lose that joy and secure feeling and suddenly we aren’t happy, we are envious and we are negative.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13
“I am not saying this because I am need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

That is spot on, Jesus is the one who gave me my contentment and it wasn’t His voice trying to fill my mind with doubt. But that of the enemy.
I pray you remember this when a negative voice tries to drown out your positive and content thoughts.

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I’m so content with my 2 little loves.

I hope this post encouraged you today friends…
Each of our lives and paths are different, but we are all where we are meant to be and still slowly moving to where we are intended to be, all part of a greater plan. We can either be content and at peace with that or be miserable. I chose the joy, each and every darn time, because I want a joy filled life. Even if my current place isn’t the ideal in my mind or the times life is a bit chaotic or hard, I don’t control the end game – that’s out of my hands, but I have faith.
So yes, I will keep striving for more, working and aiming higher – but that doesn’t mean I am not content with where I am. I am grateful for my little platform and I’m thankful you are here to read my post.
Thank you.
Are you feeling content with where you are at?
What are you working towards currently?

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10 tips for Handling toxic people & family estrangement at Christmas.

Hey friends,
It is a few days out from Christmas and in today’s blog post I want to offer support & encouragement to anyone that maybe dealing with family issues or estrangement during this festive season.
It is fairly hard to be an adult child and feel like your family has abandoned you or to feel like you have no other choice but to walk away from family who continually hurt you. It sucks, gosh it is hard, heck it is hard enough writing this post, but I feel it may help someone… So if you are dealing with this right now, I am sorry. I get it.

I filmed a video the other day talking about this, I admit it’s a bit rambly and a bit long – so if you want to watch, I highly recommend you go get a cup a tea/snack/cold drink and then click HERE.
But if you would just like a few tips on how to deal with family estrangement or toxic people, especially at Christmas read on…

  1. Refocus your vision. Instead of focusing on who isn’t in your life, focus on who is. Focusing on those who aren’t in your life, is heartbreaking & can bring up a lot of angry feelings. So instead focus on those who actively participate in your life and bring value to it.
  2. We can’t control the actions of others. Remember this, it doesn’t matter who they are – parents, siblings, children, partners – we ultimately cannot control anyone but ourselves.
  3. Set boundaries. If you are forced to be around people who are toxic during Christmas, set boundaries. Protect yourself, don’t put yourself in a position to be alone with them, have an exit plan if you start getting upset or hurt and remain respectful.
  4. Don’t lower yourself. It is easy to say this and not so easy to do this, but when someone is hurting you, don’t go out of your way to hurt them back. Their behaviour is their choice, you look after yourself – your mental & emotional health and make sure you are behaving to a standard you are proud of. Admittedly everyone occasionally says something they wish they hadn’t or let’s anger take over their mind, in this case – try and pull yourself up and walk away or hang up the phone.
  5. Let go of negative feelings. Let go of anger, stress, resentment & bitterness.
  6. Understand everything happens for a reason. This sounds dreadful in this context. Like it’s hard to understand God’s plan for removing people you love from your life, or forcing you to remove people you do love but you can no longer tolerate hurtful behaviour from. But I truly believe everything is part of a greater plan, we just can’t see it yet. Perhaps the person will never be apart of your life again or maybe you just need a time out from them, who know’s time apart could strengthen your relationship… Everyone’s circumstance is different. But everything happens for a reason.
  7. Don’t be hard on yourself & be prepared. If you have made a decision to distance yourself from family members, be gentle with yourself. Not every person will understand, agree with or respect your choice – be prepared for that. You may lose even more people you love, because of the fall out from this decision. Many people will try & guilt trip you – especially around events like Christmas, if you went through gradual steps and the separation is a mature & thought out decision, don’t feel you owe it to anyone to explain why. You can of course, but be strong in your choice and know that your decision was for the best for yourself/& your family at this current time. Often outside people don’t see a side of a person that you may, so they may not understand what you have been through. Toxic people are great at playing the victim & you maybe painted as a villian.
  8. Reconciliation. If you want it to happen, reach out. But prepared to have that talk about issues and also your part in the estrangement. If you don’t want to reconcile but the others do, be respectful if you respond or just say nothing. You don’t have to have a relationship with someone or accept being treated poorly just because they are family.  Christmas seems like an ideal time for reconciliation, because everyone wants family at Christmas – but I highly suggest thoroughly thinking it through seriously, would you and the other person would be in the right mental/emotional state in such a busy month to properly reconcile. Remember it takes 2 people to mend a relationship & both have to be willing and also have empathy. Some toxic people lack the skills to be empathetic – so reconciling can be hard – even impossible and it may actually require professional help. Christmas may not be the ideal time to do this.
  9.  Seek help & talk. Chatting to a trusted friend or your partner/spouse maybe all you need, but maybe speaking to a professional or seeking out a support group is what you need. Don’t let your feelings build up so you explode – talking is very helpful.
  10. Lose all expectations & don’t compare. If you don’t expect anything you can’t get hurt. I am still learning this and it is hard. I don’t mean material items, but basic support & love. The very basic things we expect from family. And try not to compare your relationships to others, this is also tough. Remember comparison is the thief of joy and if you have no expectations – you can’t be disappointed.

Friends, I hope these tips may help you during the holiday season. If you are feeling abandoned, alone or forced into a decision you wish you didn’t have to make – I am sorry. I understand – I truly do. It is very heartbreaking & hard.
To hear me ramble & be a little raw about this topic please click HERE. But be warned the video is a bit all over the place.
Or for more support please check out this organisation. Stand Alone

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This post/video is designed to help people and that is the motive behind posting it.

To the online Mummy community…

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I’ve been going back and forth in my mind if I should weigh in on the current state of the “Mummy Community” that is ever so present online… Part of me wants to completely rant about it and the other wants to just ignore it completely.
So I’ll meet in the middle and just discuss it…
This next sentence will either make you cheer or make you hate me – but that’s ok.
I am so sick to death of seeing posts (blogs, social media updates etc) by women who speak badly about their children, husbands & lives being liked, shared & celebrated and reading posts by privileged women who constantly complain how hard motherhood/parenthood is.
Being a parent is challenging at times, yes. You are raising a human, at times you will feel like you are failing, like you can’t cope, you’ll lose your temper & you will have bad days. This is a given.
Discipline, toilet training, meal times, sleep – it all can be challenging. But is it the hardest thing in the world? No! Not really, I wouldn’t even call it hard – just challenging.
I would think it would be pretty hard if I lived in a third world country & had to carry my baby on my back & walk to a river to collect barely drinkable water for my family to survive – that to me is hard.
Parenting in the modern world, not so hard. It is hard for some, but not for a lot.
Living in poverty while trying to provide for your children & create a better life is hard.
Having a child with special needs or who is very ill or losing your child that would be unimaginably hard. Battling an illness while parenting, that is hard. Being a single parent with no support system, that would also be hard. I admire so many parents from all walks of life who truly have it hard, but those people who actually have hard lives rarely complain. And before we go any further I want to acknowledge that there are parents out there who truly have it hard and they are in situations I doubt I could ever handle.
But I however do not have it hard, chances are if you have the time to kick back in the middle of the day & read this blog post on some form of technology – you also don’t have it that hard, you just think you do.
Sitting on your ass whinging how hard being a Mum to your “little assholes” is on social media proves one thing, your life isn’t hard – you are spoilt & need a wake up call. And yes, I did read that exact sentence on social media this week. Actually I have lost count of how many versions of that sentence I’ve read online this week. And these women are applauded because they are “honest & real”.
I have been criticised in past posts for being “fake” because I don’t “write honestly” about Motherhood. Yes I do, I feel I write the truth. But I write my truth. I don’t need to fill my blog with a big pity post about how hard being a Mum is. This is a life I chose, I love what I do, I do not chose to dwell on the challenging times. Every part of life can & will be hard, being a young adult, being single, being engaged, being newly married, being new parents, parents of a toddler/preschooler/young child/teenager, empty nesters, elderly – it all has challenges. You would be simple to think otherwise.
The moments so many Mothers are wishing away are the moments they will long for one day. Being a parent I don’t think we will get any easier as your child grows, sure what is challenging right at this moment may fade but a new challenge will appear. It makes me sad when I read posts such as “I can’t wait until my kid is school age and I can have a break”. Breaks are important so we can recharge, but wishing away seasons we are in is not good & I assure one day you’ll wish your child was little again, gosh I have moments when I long for one more newborn cuddle with my daughter.
The moments when I am feeling negative, low and down I take a good hard look around and that fixes my attitude pretty quickly. I have a very beautiful little daughter who is the light of our lives, I have a home in a safe country not a war zone, my husband has a job, we have a car, we have health care, friends & family who support us, we turn on the tap and there is clean drinking water and by the flick of a switch I have electricity & I have the internet. I can either use the over priced piece of technology that can be often found in my hand for good or bad. Unfortunately the current cool thing to do with your smart phone is whinge on social media how awful your life is and liken your kids to terrorists and belittle your husband. Really? I am a firm believer in what our minds are full of, what we speak of (write) is what our hearts are truly full of. (Luke 6:45)
I try to surround myself with like minded, strong, positive women, women who inspire me to be better, wives who love being wives and Mums who enjoying Mothering – not just say they do – but really love it.
I refuse to enter into this trend, even if society makes it seem so acceptable – I will not post endless status updates on how rough my day is going, because in reality it maybe just a bad day but it isn’t that hard. My life is pretty damn easy & most of our problems are trivial. Some days we have really bad days & sharing them makes us get that bit of built up anger off our chests or we can laugh at the situation once we write it down, but I do not have a habit of daily, weekly or even monthly pity parties.
Everyone has struggles – every single person. Just because I don’t share every heartache I’ve been through recently publicly doesn’t make my life perfect, it just means I enjoy some privacy in my life & everything I go through doesn’t need to be shared and if I do share it, I share it at the right time. I am not trying to “pretend to be perfect” or create a “fake life” – I just don’t have the urge to share private details for sympathy – which sometimes is why people over share online. Yes, some subjects need to be spoken about openly more often; miscarriage, still birth, mental health, domestic abuse, PND etc. – those are sensitive topics that should be shared so other women don’t feel alone.
So, I am not shaming the occasional rant status or a sad life update or having that friend you can vent to, no – not at all.
But calling your child & spouse awful names online, questioning why you became a parent & just flat out complaining about motherhood is in my opinion – pathetic.
At the end of the day you decided to have this child – make the most of it and be the best you can be for that child. Don’t trash your child online. Like put it into perspective – you created this child and you belittle your own little human to pretty much strangers online just so you can feel like you aren’t a failure because there are other people who also partake in this bizarre behaviour? I read these threads of women supporting this behaviour & agreeing to having hard days and praising others for hating on Mothering, calling their children dreadful names & making fun of their husbands and I just sit back and think what the actual hell?
Have we lost all respect for our families & any shred of decency & tact?
You decided to have your child, YOU! Your child didn’t ask for this life, but you think it’s ok to call them awful names or humiliate them? I don’t care if you finish the sentence with “oh but I love them” or “I couldn’t imagine life without them” – read the start of the sentence where you degrade them – that is the part that sticks and it’s awful!
People chose certain careers in life, every job has difficult aspects – just like parenthood but complaining about it doesn’t make it any better. That rule applies for anything, if something in your life is hard, not going right and is just falling apart – complaining constantly online will not help you. Make a plan, be proactive, get off your butt and fix it. I do know some people like to inform everyone on the ups & downs of life in one hit online and that’s your prerogative but daily “wah poor me, life is hard” posts – they don’t help, writing them reminds you how bad your situation is and people lose interest in being supportive. Instead try looking around and find 1 positive in your day, share that. Change your mindset and you will change your life.
Everywhere I look on the internet people tear confident Mothers or women who love Mothering down, bloggers, parenting sites, social media users – so many people. That’s bullshit. On one hand the “Mummy Community” wants to celebrate the mediocre & average attempts at parenting and parents who proudly boast they feel like they are failing & just accept that Mums freely call their children “assholes” – but a Mum who thinks she is doing well is torn apart because she thinks she can do this. Are you confused? Because I sure am. You are congratulated for being proud of failure & accepted if you run your children & husband down, but ripped to shreds, made fun of and called a fake & an idiot if you have confidence and don’t find Motherhood hard? *insert very confused face here*
On this site I wish to encourage, inspire & lift Mothers up. And I am not writing this to tear those Mothers down – it makes me mad, but each to their own, I am just trying to maybe change a few minds and encourage women to enjoy Mothering & being wives and that it can be a beautiful season in our lives. It is ok to enjoy Motherhood. Maybe these women don’t realise how their words look, maybe it’s a case of jumping on the band wagon – but I want to encourage these women to change the way they speak about the most important people in their lives.
I know the feeling of being torn down –  it appears no one wants to read you’ve had a good day or you feel like you’ve got this parenting thing kind of figured out, they only want to hear how hard done by you are & how much you are failing so they can feel not alone in their failures.
If you love your husband, enjoy Motherhood & idolise your children – in this day & age you are viewed as some sort of weirdo and you are made fun of as a stepford wife, brainwashed, someone from a cult, a 1950’s housewife, a liar, a fake, pathetic, not honest – the list goes on and I’ve been made fun of in a lot of different & hurtful ways.
But if you get on your iPhone, log onto social media – call your husband awful names, talk about not enjoying being a Mum and how much your life sucks and how you are so hard done by – you are applauded, you are surrounded by like minded women, put on a pedestal & you are accepted.
I am happy to see women supporting women, but it’s almost like a giant pity party of competing who has the hardest life on some sites.
Motherhood is not that hard, it’s challenging. The days can be long & tough, but the work is fulfilling, soul enriching & world changing. We are creating people to send out into the world. What are you sending out?
A lazy, spoilt, self centred brat who complains about life constantly? Because if that’s the way you act, that is what you are sending out – children are products of their environments – they will be a version of who you are.
I strive to send out a well rounded, confident, intelligent, kind, polite young girl who knows she can do anything she sets her mind to if she works hard – someone who seeks the positive even in the darkest situations, who can look after herself and someone that wants to encourage others.
I want my daughter growing up knowing I love her and I don’t take a day with her for granted.
To the mothers who write negatively about their children, I don’t doubt the love you have for your children, but one day our kids will know how the internet works & once you put something online it’s there forever and do you really want your child reading that you thought they were a proper little asshole and you wanted to lock yourself in the pantry drinking wine at 11am while being alone at home with them? Or that you wrote awful things about their Dad online – for the world to see? Will what you write today, make you proud in 5, 10, 20 years?
How about you look at that way you think and consider how you’ll feel in 20 years? Will you long for these days back, will you regret living with the negative mindset & constantly wishing away a beautiful season of your life?
How about instead of making it the norm to speak badly about our children & husbands we encourage women to speak lovingly about them? Sure, speak about the struggles of daily life, don’t pretend everything is just perfect – because life never is, but don’t solely focus on the negatives, celebrate the joys, find those small moments in life, in your day that sparkle and make them your focus.
I think it is rude to call our children hurtful names at any time, but especially online, admit they drive you crazy in a status if that is what helps you cope – but if the last thing you ever wrote about your child was calling them an asshole – would you be glad that’s what you left behind for them to read? I personally would never call my husband an offensive name online – I am not saying our marriage is perfect or either of us are, we fight at times – but if he went online and ran me down & I did that to him, well that would be the point I question why I am married and how much of an adult I really am.
So bottom line is, everything in life is tough, parenthood can be challenging – but it is by no means the hardest thing in the world to do – but you will find it more challenging if you sit online all day complaining about how hard you have it. I can almost assure you if you get up, leave your phone on charge and go interact with your “little assholes”  (your words not mine) & actually put your heart more into mothering than complaining about it you may not find it so hard.
We need to stop making it socially acceptable to be rude & speak awfully about our husbands & kids – these women aren’t “brave, raw & honest” – anyone can be crass and ridicule the ones they love – I find these traits childish, attention seeking & sad.
So no, I will not be jumping on the bandwagon of humiliating my daughter & husband and whinging about my life just because I might be having a bad day. That’s not my style, there are enough of those writers in the world – I aspire to be an encourager.
I do not set out to paint my life as a perfect picture, it isn’t – please don’t think it is – but I don’t need to share every low, because guess what – I don’t wish to dwell on the negatives, I want to celebrate the positives, embrace every joy & encourage others to do the same. I want to encourage women to love Mothering, to love their husbands and be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives. If you focus on the bad stuff constantly your life will be negative, if you embrace the joy & celebrate the highs your life will positive.
Give it a go, stop speaking, thinking & writing negatively for 1 week – I am willingly to bet your attitude, thoughts & life will change, for the better. I truly encourage you to try this.
Find the joy in Mothering & embrace it, it’s there & if you can’t find it change your mindset.
Restore & embrace the joy.
Because in the end, we are the only ones who can give our children a happy Mother who loves life – be that Mumma.
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Of all the the things I’ll ever do in my lifetime, Mothering my children will always be my greatest accomplishment. 
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To read the follow up post to this one please CLICK HERE.

Day 7; 27 lessons I’ve learned in 27 years. {Blogging Challenge}

Day 7; Seven lessons I’ve learned so far this year…  27 lessons I’ve learned in 27 years.
I am going to alter this one a bit… Last week was my birthday, I turned 27. So I thought I would write 27 things I’ve learned so far in my life…

  1. “I spent a lot of years running from believing and looking for another way to save my soul. The longer I’ve lived the more I see it, there is only one way home” (John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 – Keith Urban) For me, knowing God & Jesus has been a wonderful & a beautiful positive in my life. I don’t have to fully understand everything about God to love him. I am so grateful for the life I have. I trust in God, but this does not make me immune to hard times & hurt. But He does give me strength to get through those times.
  2. Honesty is always best.
  3. Let go of anger, hate, resentment, bitterness – just let it go. It lightens your load, your soul feels free and your life becomes sweeter. So forgive when you can.
  4. You cannot change people. You can’t change their type of crazy, their behaviour, their perspective or opinions. You don’t have to understand them or always agree with them, but try to be respectful. Just focus on those who love & care for you, those who understand your choices & listen to what you have to say. Don’t waste time with those who don’t see your worth. 
  5. Celebrate everything, make it an occasion – invite the family, take photos. One day those memories and photos maybe treasured. 
  6. Leave your past where it is, make peace with it. You can’t change it. If you are unhappy with choices, situations & actions you’ve made – let them go, make sure it never happens again, but don’t dwell on the past it will just mess up your present. 
  7. The key to happiness is being content more so than getting what you want. Happiness is always a choice and it’s always a matter of perspective. If you keep searching for reasons & things to make you happy, you’ll never be happy. Learning to be content with what you have now – will bring you happiness. Things do not equal happiness.
  8. Team work, mutual sacrifice, forgiveness and love are the keys to a strong marriage. 
  9. Setting boundaries & standards for everything in life is important & makes true freedom a possibility. The way people treat you, your behaviour & reactions, how much you spend/eat/drink/work/play etc. Self control & control of situations you open yourself up to, is important. 
  10. Never let fear stop you from doing something you can’t stop thinking about. You will never be 100% ready to start something, you just have to learn to deal with the awkwardness, nerves & fears – just do it!
  11. You will never regret being generous or helping some one.
  12. Praying is more about listening to God, not just handing Him a list to fix or talking endlessly. 
  13. Over prepare for every occasion, event & outing. Then just go with the flow.
  14. Try to control your words. It’s better to have a moment of biting your tongue than saying something you can’t take back. (I am still working on this)
  15. Your instinct is normally right, if you feel uneasy about a situation, place or person – your feeling is normally right. Walk away.
  16. Be kind as much as you can. Kindness is so important.
  17. Cry if you want. 
  18. Your children only have 1 childhood, do everything in your power to make it positive & memorable. 
  19. Treat others how you want to be treated. It’s a simple & basic principle taught at primary school. Also treat your spouse how you would want your child to treat & be treated by their future spouse.
  20. Your mind controls your life. Positivity and negativity come from the same place, your thoughts. Fill your mind with positivity & your life will change. 
  21. Drink water. Lots of water – make it your drink of choice. Your body will love you for it.
  22. Surround yourself with people who build you up. People who you connect with, that have good energy, good vibes and people that will teach you new things & help you grow.
  23. Use your special perfume, put the good linen out, burn the special candle, drink the special bottle of wine. Don’t wait for “some day special”, the present is special.
  24. Only own things you find to be useful, beautiful & special. Discard the rest. 
  25. Record as much as you can. Write it down, photograph it, film it – live in the moment, but don’t forget to capture it somehow – one day that captured moment could bring you so much joy.
  26. Always have a book you are reading. Read when you can, feed your mind.
  27. Count your blessings daily. This life is a gift. 

I am so happy to be another year older, the way I see it growing older is much better than the alternative – dying young.
Every day on this earth, in this life is a gift & I am so grateful for it, even the hard days. The hard & hurtful times just make the great times that much sweeter.