Getting Back to You…or the new you!

Getting Back to You..or the new you-2

“So what is it that YOU like? What makes YOU happy?” she asked right after she’d sputtered off her list of amazing and fascinating accomplishments. My mind immediately went to folded laundry, sparkling counter tops, and freshly prepped meals. Was I serious? Were these really the things that brought me extreme joy now?  What happened to the girl who celebrated all month-long for her birthday, skydived to defeat fear, and kept a journal full of endless dreams and limitless possibilities. The reality is that yes, this was now my new form of happiness, but nothing on this list of duties was even about me. Everything I had thought of consisted of caring for someone else. It slowly dawned on me that I needed to be more intentional about who I was and who I intended to be. I made a commitmment right then and there to rejuvanate my now stagnate life as a mom because nothing just happens.

Old ways won’t open new doors…Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you tried something new? Go on… think about it….I’ll wait. If you’re still having to jog down memory lane, then it’s been too long! lol Step out of your routine for a minute and think of something you wish you could do….now do it! Is it learning to swim, booking a trip, or maybe it’s something as crazy as oh I don’t know…..starting a blog! lol Whatever it is you wish you could do, just do it. Shake up your mundane routine with something simple (or drastic) and add some spice to your life! You don’t have to scratch everything off your list in one day. You just have to start somewhere with something. There’s no telling what your hobbies or passions could lead to in life, so just get started.

Write the vision, make it plain….Most of us think of vision boards as a new year, new me approach to life, but that’s just not true! Vision boards can be used at any moment you feel moved to do something fresh and arousing with your life. Start off by using anything you can get your hands on to create a visual image of what you would like to achieve. Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, and websites are all a great way to boost your creativity, and they also offer endless ideas to expand on your orignial dream. Now let me caution you. I’m all for a good social media motivation, but using someone else’s lifestory to compare yourself for the worse is not healthy at all. That is not what I’m saying to you should do. If someone else’s social media influence has you singning woe is me, you probably need to take a step back and try again another day. Instead, I’m talking about grabbing a journal, poster board, or (if you’re tech savvy) a digital portfolio to collect images that inspire you. These images show motivate and remind you of who you really intend to be and what you really intend to do!

Help Wanted…. It was my thinking that when I became a wife and mom I had to do everything myself. For some insane reason, I thought asking for help made me less of a mom or wife. The problem with this is that either you can choose to slow down and accept help, or your body will force you to slow down and get help. Trust me, I know. My little plate is FULL. Yet in my mind, I feel like there’s always room for one more responsibility. This is when you need to be honest with yourself and say, “Girl I can’t do it all!” There is nothing wrong with asking for help! Reach out to family, use a cleaning service, or just have a heart to heart conversation with your spouse about how he can pitch in a little more. If you keep giving off the superwoman vibe, you’ll keep getting the superwoman treatment. You recieve the vibes you give, so choose wisely. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and sometimes you need to remind those around you that your cup needs to be filled.

Make it a Date (with your girls not your man)… This makes me think of Destiny’s Child’s  Jumpin’ Jumpin, “ladies leave your man at home..,” lol,  but that’s exactly what we need to do sometimes. Ladies, you need your girls. I absolutely love my friends, but I’m a true introvert at heart. Since becoming a mom, I’ve realized more than ever the value of friendships. As life evolves and experiences happen, your friends are not only your social companions, but they also become your life coaches and teachers. I certainly don’t believe in airing out all the dirty laundry of your household, but I do believe God surronds us with like minded people who may be able to share advice from similar situations. Sometimes we’re trying to create the picture perfect image for our life and someone right next to us is experiencing the same thing we’ve been praying about. Talk to your girls. Go out. Have fun! You may not be able to hang like you used to, but you can at least find a nice chill spot in town to laugh it up all night long! Everyone wins when mommy is happy. So leave the mom guilt at home, dress up, and go out! I promise you…you deserve it.

All I’m saying is if you’ve lost the old you, that’s fine. You can leave her right where she’s at, but you do need to find the new you. I mean, let’s just be honest. You’re probably not the same. Your priorities are different and becoming a mom makes you see the world through a completely different set of eyes. Just remember to stop and focus on you from time to time. You always give your all to everyone else, but it’s ok to save a little spark for yourself sometimes too.

Don’t Forget Your Big Baby

 

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“Uhh…he’s in here somewhere,” I stammered when a motherly colleague asked to see a picture of my husband. As my finger stroked past the hundreds of pictures of my Livvy, I realized just how much I had recently neglected my “big baby.” I eventually gave up and went straight to my Instagram page where I found a striking photo of him from our dating days. As I walked away, I was truly surprised at just how drastic my attentiveness towards my husband had changed. He used to be my baby (or as I call him my “bae”) that I showed off and gushed over when viewing pictures on my phone.

I understood I was a first-time mom, and the newness of mommyhood was bound to take over in some capacity. However, I didn’t realize just how much being a mom had taken over my life. Now even though I realized my attentiveness had changed, that doesn’t  mean we were in a bad place. We just needed a tune up. I’ve found that constant tune ups and checkpoints are vital to our marriage’s success as parents. To be honest, my husband never even hinted at the fact that he was feeling neglected, but I knew I couldn’t continue to center my attention solely on my child without it eventually snowballing into an issue in our relationship. I needed to focus on my actions (or lack of) in the marriage and how it would present itself if not confronted soon. Was I really doing all I could to keep the romance alive? Nah. I could do better. LOL

Are Those Your Granny’s Panties?

Immediately after birth, you’ll start wearing huge Fruit of the Loom panties! This isn’t because you’ve lost your mojo. You pretty much have to wear them in order for your woohaw to heal. Things will be raw, tender, and….. torn. So honestly, you’re not thinking about your cutest undies from Victoria’s Secret, but you’re most definitely not excited about wearing your new “days of the week” panties either. But then, they get comfortable. After years of wearing v-strings up your lovely and  bikini undies that grip your butt, you kind of start to like them. I mean, they’re the perfect blend of cotton, and they breathe so well against your skin at night. I know. They feel great, but let me be the first to say, “Snap out of it honey!”  Do not get too comfortable wearing your Fruit of the Looms. It’s all just a trap! You’re probably a little thicker right now, and that’s ok. However, take your tail down to Victoria’s Secret  and grab the 7/35$ satin panties right now. The less time you spend in your granny panties, the easier it is to ditch them.

Flirt Alert

Vic and I used to flirt all day everyday through text messages, phone conversations, and even just around the house. However, our flirtatious spirits got a little  lost in the madness once we became parents.  I missed those days and wanted to pick up my phone and see that I’d received a flirty text just to get me through the day. It didn’t happen and I was feeling a little down. Then I had to ask myself, “When was the last time you sent him a flirty text?” Bam… I’d just checked myself and didn’t even know it. While I was sitting there and sulking over the treatment I was wanted to receive, I hadn’t done anything to provide him with that same tender loving care. Remember, it takes two to tango honey. I picked up my phone, put together a teasing text message, and hit send. It wasn’t even thirty seconds later before I heard my phone going off and I saw it was a response from “Bae.” I guess he missed our sweet nothings just as much as I did. Someone just had to get the flirtatious games going again.

Big Babies Love Surprises

My husband works more than anyone I know. It’s just who he is and how he shows his love towards our home. Due to his hectic schedule, I realized I would have to find a way to force him to slow down and relax. Otherwise, he would just keep going and work himself into the ground. My solution for this workaholic was a surprise baecation! In order to have him pack correctly, I had his sister invite us to a “family retreat” in Austin. I also explained we would be taking a road trip to visit his parents in Dallas. (We’ve driven to both Dallas and Austin in the same day before, so this was actually pretty believable.)Once we arrived in Dallas, I unpacked Livvy’s belongings and watched Vic’s face fill with confusion. His mother grabbed Livvy and I revealed that she’d agreed to watch Livvy while we enjoyed the retreat. He beamed at the idea of some alone time with his wife, but still had no idea of our final destination. We then drove on to the DFW Airport where I revealed “another lie of love.” This time I explained a guest was flying in to join us at the retreat. I could only hold onto this lie for so long before “Mr. Gotta Know It All” started asking a million  questions.LOL After watching him suffer with with curiosity, I explained we were there to catch our own flight. We rode the shuttle, bypassed check in, and walked the terminals of the airport before him noticing we were arriving at the gate for Los, Cabos Mexico! He was shocked, surprised, and more importantly grateful that I’d thought to kidnap him for the weekend. I scored major brownie points during that trip, and I’m pretty sure he considers me wife of the year!

But Did You Die?

The first time I even attempted to run a mile is when Vic and I were dating. The crisp cool air burned my lungs. My legs developed “runner’s itch,” (yeah that’s thing) and the cramps in my sides were like fire in my body. When I reached the one mile mark, I literally fell to the ground and pretty much crawled to the car. It was pathetic. However, I knew fitness was something he was very much into. Simply put, I did it because that’s what my boo likes to do, and I wanted to show interest in his hobbies. After all, he did accompany me to Painting With a Twist, and I know that was a bit of a stretch for him. I wanted to ensure I was doing my part and guarding our relationship from becoming one sided. I didn’t want to be  the only one receiving thoughtful acts of love. Remembering how much he enjoyed me as a workout partner, I suggested we hit the gym together again. We were able to get in a workout date, and I was able to work on my baby belly. It was a win-win for both of us!

 

♥Mommy Gossip♥

There’s nothing like the bond between a mother and her child, but there’s also nothing like the romance between you and your spouse. One day, the kids will be gone. They’ll start new lives, enter into college or whatever other path that may be presented their way. Don’t let your spouse be a stranger when you get to the end of your mommyhood road. Keep dating your bae, and have some fun along the way!

I’m Losing My Mind and My Hair! 

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My postpartum hair loss didn’t begin until Livvy was about 3 months. I thought I was one of the lucky ones. There were a few loose strands here and there, but nothing to be alarmed about. Oh, but when it happened it came in full force. My bathroom floor was covered with hair, and my sink wasn’t spared any strands as well. I thought, “Maybe no one will notice.” So I threw my hair into a tight bun and walked the halls of my school with confidence. Head help high. A little sashay in my walk and cute new clothes for my postpartum body. Until one of my kids shouted out, “Oooo Ms. O, they’re talking about your edges!” LOL Kids will definietly force you to tackle reality instead of becoming comfortable in a fantasy world. Now I knew my edges were a little (ok, very) thin, but now I knew the rest of the world realized they were thin as well. That’s when it really hit me. I wasn’t the same woman I was a few months ago. Everything about me had changed. The way I viewed the world, my body, and even my hair. I had to realize that the new changes needed to be embraced. Some I gladly accepted, some were temporary, and some needed my attention in order to return to a more accustomed state. However, the fact still remained. I was a new woman, and this was my new normal. Now one thing I was not willing to accept was my edges providing the comedic material for students at school. LOL That’s when I picked up the phone, called Margaret and asked,”What can we do?”

Pregnancy and Postpartum Hair Loss with Margaret Fahnbulleh

Pregnancy affects women in many different ways. Some women experience little to no hair changes while others experience tremendous hair growth. As a hair stylist behind the chair, I have had the honor of working with my clients before, during and after child birth. This experience has allowed me to ride the emotional rollercoaster of postpartum hair loss right along with my clients. According to the moms I service, there really isn’t anything that truly prepares you for the sudden changes that take place with pregnancy (or postpartum life), so the shocking loss of hair can be frightening if you are unaware of this possible (and very common) change. Just remember, this too shall pass, and you will get through it! Your body has just undergone an amazing process with one heck of a grand finale, so allow yourself time to heal. Many moms experience postpartum hair shedding, so trust me when I say you’re not alone. Breath, relax and let’s tackle this together.

Wait….why is my hair on the floor?!

Your body’s normal routine of hair growth is altered due to the change of pregnancy hormones. Instead of a continuous hair growth cycle, your hair may remain in a “resting place.” This basically means that the daily hair shedding that should have taken place may not be as frequent during pregnancy. Therefore, the dead hair rests upon your head. However, once you give birth, your fluctuating hormones attempt to return to normal, and then the extreme postpartum hair shedding begins! Remember, this is only temporary, and (more than likely) your hair will return to its normal state. It just takes time. Many of my clients call me in a panic, and I have to remind them of the importance of staying positive about their hair loss. Adding unnecessary stress only make matters worse. I do understand that’s easier said than done, but it’s been proven that higher stress levels can actually increase hair shedding. You already have your hands full with your new bundle of joy. Don’t allow a temporary situation to lead to permanent hair loss.

So what can you do to help with hair shedding?

If you start to notice hair loss at any stage, I suggest you consult a hair care professional to get your tresses on a healthy hair regimen as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to sneak away, there are still some things you can do from home yourself. A solid at home routine includes a good deep conditioner as well as a protein moisturizer that should be alternated every two weeks. In order to save on the splurge of multiple products, I recommend Biosilk Hydrating Therapy shampoo and conditioner. These products contain both the conditioner and protein you’ll need with each wash, so there’s no need to alternate. Also, be mindful of your diet during this phase. It may be easy to dig into any junk food that’s easily accessible but take it easy. Everything you feed your body will have some type of effect. It’s up to you to decide the outcome you want to achieve. Choose wisely. I also suggest you continue your prenatal vitamins which can assist in restoring hair health. If prenatal vitamins are no longer an option, Nature’s Made Hair Skin and Nails Gummies are my favorite source of nutrition aimed at hair growth. I highly recommend these to any of my clients who are experiencing any type of hair loss. As always, please check with your physician before taking any supplements of any kind, especially when breastfeeding is involved. Last but not least, try to stay away for the comfy ponytail with hair ties and bands as much as possible. Instead, opt for a clip or even bobby pins to hold your hair in place. When your hair is pulled into a ponytail with a band, the meeting point of the hair and where the band meets can result in even more breakage.

Mommy Gossip

As women, we can sometimes allow the societal pressures from celebrities, men, and sometimes our own inner circles to drive us into an obsession over our outer appearance. We can easily forget that the added external features aren’t the only ways we are made beautiful. Your “snap back,” hair, and even your mind will all return to you at some point. ♥ For now, just remember that you and you alone are enough. You’ve done something no one else on this earth has done. You have given birth to your little one. You were chosen to be his/her personal guardian angel, and that alone makes you beautiful.

Meet Margaret Fahnbulleh

Hair stylist and colorist Margaret Fahnbulleh has been in the cosmetology field for more than 15 years. She is a hair educator for Farouk Hair System and continues to train at various world renowned hair companies for her own continued education. Her latest accomplishments include graduating from the Loreal Institute in New York City and becoming a 2014 winner for the 40 Under 40 Beauty Professionals to watch.  In addition to running her own successful hair studio, FAB Salon in Houston, TX, she has also created a traveling hair service which caters to bridal parties. Margaret is not only extremely talented, but she is also passionate about her craft. Check her out at www.fabthesalon.com to add a fresh look to your style today!

FAB Salon
1112 W 11th St.
Houston, Texas 77008

Perfect Patty (1)

 

Perfect Patty Isn’t Perfect!

Every mom is doing it her own way, and every mom is constantly trying to find her way. As moms, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to one another as we scroll through social media. We see the Kodak smiles, the priceless moments and the gourmet meals all made possible by everyone else. Then there’s you (and me lol). You haven’t straightened your hair in days (ok, weeks), you’re satisfied with wearing anything that isn’t stained, and your little one knows just the right time to poop as you walk out the door.

Everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s support system is different.  No two moms are the same, so why are we comparing ourselves?! Some spouses travel for work, some moms travel for work, and then you have the stretched thin moms who are just trying to make it. So again, I’m asking, “Why are we comparing ourselves to one another? We put everyone else before ourselves, and we still lay our heads down at night concerned that we haven’t done enough. Yet, we’re the ones who have cooked dinner, given baths, tamed the kids, washed loads of laundry, and anything else that requires lifting a finger. We kiss the scraped knees, tend to the broken hearts, and provide the gentleness within our households that only we can provide. Trust me, you’re doing more than enough.

You may envy your yoga wearing, PTA president neighbor because she appears to have it all together. But honey let me tell you, everything that glitters isn’t gold. I’m pretty sure if we did a pop-up visit to Perfect Patty’s house right now, we wouldn’t find anything even remotely close to perfection. Patty only reveals what she wants you to see. Constant comparison only kills your joy and robs you (and your little ones) of precious moments that are reserved for you and your family.  You’ll never become Perfect Patty. Patty’s not even Perfect Patty. She might have figured out what works best for her, but that doesn’t make her mommyhood any better than yours. She’s just found her way.  Now it’s time for you to find yours, but you’ll never find it if you’re busy highlighting her showcased successes while dwelling on your failures. You’ll never be a perfect her. You’ll only be the perfect you.

Stop beating up on yourself. Know that you are already doing an amazing job. Look at just how powerful you already are at this point. You’re the glue that keeps it all together in your home. Without you, exactly how long do you think your household would last? Of course, there’s more than can be done. There will always more that can be done, but take a look around and know that you’ve already done enough!

Step by step. Let’s face it. We’re not going to change our entire lives overnight, but we can focus on one thing at a time. I’m very aware that I need to tackle the mountain of clothes that need to be folded, I also need to focus on my tardiness. Then there’s my frozen meal routine that my husband always thinks is made from scratch. Oh, and then there’s the fact that I don’t feel I spend enough time with my Livvy. Child, the list could go on, but I know I’m not going to turn all this around overnight. This week, I’ll start by focusing on my fashionably late trend by planning to leave by trying to prep Livvy’s bag at night.

Mommy Motivation  If you’re not using another mommy’s strong points as motivation, you need to change your mindset. If someone is making mommyhood work for her, let that be enough reason to say, “Hey, I can do this too!” It’s probably even a good idea to ask how she’s getting it done. Don’t hurt yourself by envying from the sideline. Get out there, talk to other mommies, and get stuff done!

Prioritize> Balance>Perfection. You’d be surprised at just how many moms are feeling overwhelmed with life. Prior to Livvy, I thought everyone was running households, careers, and marriages flawlessly. This was until I sat in on a conversation with a diverse group of women from my church. Our backgrounds ranged from single mothers to seasoned grandmothers. That’s when I was hit with the truth bomb. NO ONE had the answer to achieving a perfect life and having it all. This so-called “balanced thing” came with fine print, and the idea of perfection was a straight up LIE! On this day, the word prioritize became my best friend. By the end of the conversation, I’d realized there are different seasons in life, and different seasons require different attention. Life will always throw something new our way. It’s up to us to decide how to prioritize these curveballs on our list of life’s demands.

 

My New Normal

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Picture this….you take a pregnancy test (you know, just in case), so you can enjoy a glass of wine. The box says it will take two minutes, but before you can blink it reads, “POSITIVE!” Your heart starts racing, and your mind is filled with confusion. How did this happen?! I mean, I know how this happened, but how did this happen?! Ohhhh….that’s how it happened. You suddenly remember that night. In a nutshell, that’s pretty much how I was introduced to mommyhood. Fast forward to sixteen months later, and everything is back to normal. My house is in order, my career is thriving, and my body is better than ever! Talk about bringing sexy back! Did I sound convincing? Chiiiile please…..my house is a mess, my boobs are leaking, and making it to work on time only happens in my dreams.

Addicted to Mommyhood wants moms to stop aiming for perfection and start aiming for balance. We’ve all had our moments of frustration and allowed guilt to beat us down. But guess what? It okay to be #addictedtomommyhood and still want more for your career, relationship, and even enjoy a night out with the girls! It’s also okay to admit that you have no idea what you’re doing, and barely making it day by day.  We’re all walking this journey. So why not walk it together?

This is my new normal, and I’m just trying to find my way!