The Biggest Mistake I Made as a New Mom

When I first discovered we were pregnant with our first child, I couldn't read enough articles, have enough Pinterest boards and ask anyone and everyone about their experience as a mother. 

I was literally a sponge, trying to soak up every bit of knowledge and lesson from women who have been there, done that

But I learned quickly that books, advice and pretty pin boards could only better prepare for the technical aspects of motherhood. Because the moment I was induced for delivery, all those hours of reading and note-taking went out the window. 

In the famous words of the Fresh-Prince, "my world just flipped-turned-upside-down."

 

 

Nothing prepares you for the endless night feedings, the creams, sprays and special "bottom napkins" worn for weeks post-delivery - not to mention chest soreness and leakage.

Sure, there are endless highlights to giving birth and raising littles but the heat behind the scenes doesn't always relay through a friend's picture perfect delivery on Facebook, does it? There are SO many filters and editing tools nowadays that we soon begin comparing our lives to theirs.

At least I did.

I know how this goes because I fell victim to this lack of transparency far too often. This is what ultimately led up to my biggest mistake as a new mom.

 

I completely and utterly ADORE my sons, I really do. My husband is a rockstar for the continuous love and support he gives our family. But it was me - just me with a newborn while he worked and our families were hours away. And while being a stay at home mom has many perks, it can be lonely at times.

 I started visiting blogs of moms who were in the same boat as me and wondering, "how in the world do they have all their stuff together??"

There I was with a newborn, sitting in three-day old shirt, in envy, wanting what she had...

Hi my name is Amy and I am victim to this little thing called comparison. 

One minute, I was googling 'the age a child starts walking' then I'm on WebMD self-diagnosing 3847 different things between my son and I. I had allowed the feeling of guilt and "not enough" linger in my thoughts much longer than I should have. 

It robbed me of joyful moments, time from family and left me paralyzed emotionally. I just stopped living FULLY. 

I had to STOP this persistent thief of comparison from defining who I was and what I needed to be for my children. I say children now because, at times I still struggle with comparison but I know now, no matter what I read or hear, God is in control

FRIENDS...

Do not let your negative thoughts from within or from others dictate your life. 

Others cannot make you feel inferior without your permission; because ultimately, the only opinion that matters is Gods. 

You are a fantastic mom and human being! Yes there will be tough days ahead. Yes you will want to lock yourself in a room to just breathe, cry, and maybe sneak a treat or two without little hands grabbing at you...but you know what, those moments are temporary. 

Find the silver lining in all things. 

There is one. I promise.

Continue to take too many pictures, give too many hugs & kisses and love on your family like there's no tomorrow.

 

If you reasonate with this post, I'd love to hear from you and your experience below, or privately...we do need each other to get through one of the toughest life seasons and yet so rewarding! 

xoxo!

Here's a Twist to Girls Night Out

This post is sponsored by Painting with a Twist, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

 

If you're sitting at home on a Saturday night (or even a weekday) struggling to come up with a unique and effortless night out with a girlfriend or even with your kids, well I think I can help you out!

I've never considered myself to be the "artsy" type and to be honest, I'm that person who still draws the stick figures and wish I had some artistic ability. When I first heard about Painting With a Twist, I was most definitely hesitant. 

I took my sister-in-law to Painting with a Twist for her birthday to see what it was all about and sure enough, we had an absolute ball! 

 

The fun began as soon as we walked through the door, the head instructor greeted us with smiles, laughter, and adorable little aprons. To our left was the "Inspiration Station" filled with a variety of yummy drinks, and to our left was artwork wall to wall that I instantly envied

 

Throughout the two hours of painting, there was singing, some dance breaks, and a whole lot of encouragement. Their motto, just have fun.  And I'm ok with that.

 

During the breaks, there was a fun contest that entailed painting a portrait of your partner...yikes! Naturally, my sister-in-law wins the GRAND prize (a paintbrush pen) with her somewhat fierce picture of me. 

 

I enjoyed my time with this group, because that is what made the experience so memorable -  your fellow creatives. No one took themselves seriously, some were on dates, others with their daughters, and we all came out with a gorgeous sunset to hang

 

I would highly recommend Painting with a Twist for a group of gals looking to have a laid back and silly evening, or a fun day with the kids (they even offered a kids painting camp during the week and weekends!.) No artistic ability needed. (if I can do it, you most certainly can.) 

Looking for a Painting with a Twist studio? Find one nearest to you here

 

My son is going to LOVE waking up to the warm sunshine every morning! 

Why You Need This In Your Summer Bag

*This post is sponsored by Kleenex but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.*

 

If you could start building a list of all the items you MUST HAVE for your summer vacationing bag,  what are some that first come to mind?

 Gum, credit cards, first aid, sunscreen, sunnies....I'm sure our lists are equally endless. But what about for  cleaning up runny roses, messy faces or a quick hand wipe??

 

I recently came across Kleenex GoAnywhere product, packed with 30 (SUPER soft) facial tissues that literally clip to your bag and off you go!  Here's what I found to be so wonderful about carrying this mini-pack in my summer bag.

Being a boy mom, its tough keeping up majority of the time. When they need a quick face or nose wipe, I have my pack clipped to my purse, on the inside or out. 

 

This one keeps me on my toes. I find it so convenient that the Kleenex GoAnywhere pack can snap off my purse and I can carry it with me, not my entire Mary Poppins bag. 

 

Kleenex GoAnywhere is so easy to carry, SO so soft and multipurpose. I've used them for hands, face, and a 1-2-3 noise blowing. 

 

 

I highly recommend Kleenex GoAnywhere tissue pack for on-the-go families. Thats another feature I found so nice was how "easy to share" this travel pack is with others. We were able to use this packet for my entire family at our family lake house get-together. 

 

Needless to say, the only thing we'll be catching this summer are the creepy crawlers . We are loving our Kleenex Anywhere pack

 

What is one essential item for your summer travel list? 

What Marriage Has Taught Me

*This post contains some affiliate links.*

 

What I'm learning as a newlywed and a fairly new mother is that these years are some of the most challenging, and demanding years I have experienced in my life. I call them, the molding years. I don't mean to give them a negative connotation, but I have struggled within my marriage and being a mother that always lead me to this question, how can I be better?

My sweet friend Madison Weaver recently released a devotional called, "Becoming One." A 30-day devotional helps reconnects you and your spouse on a deeper level through Christ. I firmly believe that the relationship between the husband and wife set the tone for the household. A healthy marriage is paramount for a well-balanced, thriving home.

I'm so excited for her to share her heart behind her devotional and why she chose (and continues to) blog about marriage. 

_________

 

Writing has always been a passion of mine. I was the kid who was always stuck at a desk writing stories and memoirs, and I’m a sucker for a good love story. At one time I even thought I wanted to be an author, but I dismissed it as a hobby and continued on thinking it was a dream I'd never achieve.

 


Flash forward years later. I was newly married at 18, trying to figure out what God was calling me to do with my life. The years before had been rough. My husband and I had been heavily judged by others in regards to us getting married at such an young age. We lost relationships with family members and friends, and it seemed as though people thought marriage was a bad thing. As if God cursed us with it. We felt like we were the only young couple deciding to choose love over what the world had to over. We felt like we had very little support as a young married couple.

As I was reflecting on all of the things that had taken place over the past few years, I felt God was calling me to share my experiences with other couples and help them in some way. Finding ways to better my marriage and draw us closer to God and each other has been my passion for a long time. I could sit and write about it for hours and hours. Then one day I thought, “Why don't I start a blog to help other young wives (or even wives of all ages) better their marriages and draw closer to their husbands?” So I did, and it has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things I've ever done!

 


My hope for my ministry is to encourage and equip wives to love and care for their marriages with all their hearts as well as their relationship with God. They should never be separate! In order to have a Godly and passionate marriage, God must be the foundation. Many couples struggle in their marriage because they don't know how to place God in the center, as well as deal with difficult situations and problems that arise in marriage. There are lots of devotionals out there today that give great encouragement and vaguely explain what you need to do be a better wife, have a more happier and Godly marriage, etc. Do they all refer to specific scripture related to common struggles, give you specific tips on how to rekindle your love, and give you a challenge to complete everyday with your spouse that will help you truly become one? Most don't! That's why I created the 30-day devotional for wives titled, "Becoming One" that will do just that; help wives truly become one with their husbands.

Are you looking for a way to bring the spark back to your marriage? Are you looking for help in making God the foundation of your relationship? Do you want to actively pursue your husband on a daily basis and become the wife God calls you to be? "Becoming One" will help and encourage you every single step of the way. By the end of the thirty days, you will have a fresh perspective on how God views marriage and what a sacred and beautiful thing it is.

"Becoming One" is originally $5.99, but I want to thank all the wonderful readers of The Gilded Wife by giving you 10% off using code "thegildedwife"! I don't want you to miss out on this amazing opportunity to strengthen your marriage and your relationship with the Lord. To purchase, click here.


I also have an exclusive Facebook support group only for Christian wives! This is a place where wives of all ages can be encouraged, connect with, and get advice from other ladies! We would love to have you join us. Click to join here

If you're looking for more encouragement and Christ-centered marriage advice, head on over to my blog and follow along for more updates and announcements!


Connect with Madison!

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3 Ways To Squeeze VitaTops into Your Daily Routine

This post is sponsored by VitaTops, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Spring is in full swing and schedules are as busy as ever with extracurricular activities, work projects, and packed planners with all sorts of to-dos! It just never ends!

And with all the busy comes a break, SPRING BREAK! Time to unwind with family and make amazing memories. So what's in your cooler for the long-awaited road trip? 

I think I can help you out with a delicious, family-friendly and healthy snack that's ready to go, at home or on the road! 

 

 

Bursting with antioxidants and crafted with organic ingredients, VitaTops are simply your go-to snack. They come in several flavors (blueberry pictured) and packed with plenty of protein and fiber for everyone in the family.

I'm sharing 3 ways you can squeeze VitaTops into your busy, busy schedule today, including a few other fun ideas for the upcoming holiday!

 

 

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, VitaTops are a great way to start the day at breakfast. My boys devoured this tasty snack and couldn't help but ask for a second helping. They loved the blueberries!

 

For mom, I was able to sneak one away while at the computer and another as I was heading out the door. Only 120 calories with a dash of tartness - yes please! 

 

I was so excited to hear that my son and his classmates enjoyed their VitaTops for snack time! He was excited to share them with his friends.

 

A couple other creative ways to slip VitaTops in your "on-the-go" lifestyle, especially this time of year for spring breakers, is a road trip snack! VitaTops come in large packages (I purchased mine on Amazon - packet of 24) that are perfect for last minute, nutritious snacks. 

Other VitaTops flavor options:

  • Gluten-Free
  • Organic
  • Protein-Rich
  • Superfood

 

**Also, another great idea for Easter baskets! VitaTops is a great healthy substitute to the Easter sweets!**

 

VitaTops can be found at the following local stores: Kroger, Target, Publix, Shop-Rite, HEB, Stop & Shop, or Giant.