Posted in Mom Life, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Anxiety…Now What?

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anx·i·e·ty (aNGˈzīədē/noun
1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
A couple weeks back I shared that I struggle with…ANXIETY. It is something that I have always dealt with, but didn’t really get the best of me until I became a Mother. Since that post I have received numerous messages asking me…now what?

How do you deal with it? What’s your secret? Do you have any recommendations? I totally get how you are feeling, I feel the same…but I don’t know how to overcome. What can I do? I don’t want my life to be like this anymore.

So I decided to really think about what I feel has been the game changers when it comes to my anxiety, and to put together a list of things that have worked and continue to work for me.

I must tell you that I STILL do in fact deal with anxiety, but instead of it being this big huge scary monster that consumes my life, it is now a little tiny fly that buzzes around irritating me from time to time…but is something I can handle and manage.

I will also say, that if this has gotten SO big and out of control…know that there is ZERO shame in asking for professional help. Sometimes our problems are just to big for us to handle on our own, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Here are my tips in no particular order.

  1. Get In Touch With Your Inner Yogi (Not The Bear). I have said it before and I will say it again. YOGA was a four letter word I used to HATE. Who has the time to rest and relax when there is a MILLION things to do? #AintNobodyGotTime I have a chore list a mile long… But I can honestly say that this Fall when it seemed like my world was spinning out of control…Yoga saved me. Yoga helped me get in tune with myself, to check out of every day life, and to finally feel peace. Now, because I don’t live in a big huge area, I Yoga at home. My all time favorite instructor can be found on YouTube and her videos are FREE! So if you need to find your center or just want to drown out all the brain chatter be sure to check out Yoga With Adriene.

  2. Self Help Books…No They Aren’t Granola. I know what you are thinking…REALLY a BOOK? But hear me out…your brain my friend is a POWERFUL thing. Think about it! Your anxiety stems from your THOUGHTS! So why not fill your brain with positivity and confidence? Start your day reading or listening to positive and uplifting messages. Here are a few of my all time favorite.

Find audio books, podcasts, uplifting music, anything that surrounds your brain with positivity and tells you nothing more than that you are AWESOME. Because you are.


3. Write That -Ish Out. Part of my struggle with anxiety seems to be that my brain never stops. It goes a million miles a minute from sun up to sundown. So much static and brain chatter, which could cause anyone to get stressed out. So one of the most helpful things I do is I write…I make lists, I schedule ( but not over schedule), and I empty my brain. I leave notebooks all over the house so that I can brain dump. Getting it out of my head clears things up, seeing what I need to accomplish in a day on paper helps me not get so overwhelmed. So grab some cheapy notebooks at the store and toss them around the house.


4. I Believe In That VooDoo Stuff. That’s what my husband likes to call my obsession with essential oils, but you guys whatever you want to call it. That stuff works! Track down a DoTerra Rep or a Young Living girl and get you some! My top picks are Lavender, Marjoram, and Angelica. Although those work best for me, I would recommend getting together in person with someone and smelling different oils, your body will tell you what you need. You will be drawn to the one that will be best for you.


5. In With The Good. Out With The Bad. One of my friends a while back gave me some incredible advice for the days where I wake up totally freaking out for no reason (if you have anxiety you know what I’m talking about), she said lay in bed and start counting all of your blessings. Name every single thing you are grateful for, and do not leave that bed until you are calm. Now with kids that isn’t always an easy task, so maybe you don’t have the ability to stay in bed and do it, but just keep telling yourself all the things you are grateful for.  OR just BREATHE!! In…and OUT…Over and over again. Focus solely on your breathe. Not able to keep your mind from wandering? Check out the Headspace app for your phone.


6. Most Importantly…Let Yourself Off The Hook. Here’s the deal. You will have days, days where you feel like the whole world is crumbling around you. This is something that unfortunately doesn’t magically go away,  this is a battle you will fight daily. So do yourself a favor and let yourself off the hook. Every once in a while…let yourself have a day…but make sure you limit it to only ONE day. No more than that. Trust me when I say, that IF you keep trying, this big scary monster will turn into an itty bitty annoyance but know that you have to stay alert. Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can.

The truth is anxiety never goes away, it is just something that we learn to control. So find what works for you. I wish there were some magical formula to make it go away, but there isn’t. Luckily we have so many resources available to us, so that we can find ways to keep it at bay. Use them.

Just know that if you do in fact struggle with anxiety, know you aren’t alone. You aren’t going crazy (well maybe you are, but all the best ones are). You aren’t doing anything wrong. Don’t listen to the voice inside telling you all those lies. Stand up to yourself, stand up to the monster who is trying to control your life, be brave and take back control of you life. Reach out to someone you know, reach out to stranger like me, find a support group, do whatever you can so you can live life to it’s fullest with zero limitations.

XOXO Makala

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Posted in Mom Life, Raising Kids, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Six Years Being In The Mommy-Hood Gang.

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Adeline “Lion” Marie Clark – Feb. 8th 2011
Tonight, for the last time…I kissed my five year old goodnight. Tomorrow morning when she wakes up she will have magically transformed into a big six year old. My poor heart can’t handle it.

It seems like just yesterday Struan was demanding that I take a pregnancy test, it seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to have our FIRST baby, it seems like just yesterday she snuggled up next to me for late night feedings….

Yet here we are SIX years later. This girl changed my world. She showed me what really mattered in life. She helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I am better because of her. She is the reason I belong to a super special group. A group that isn’t something all women are blessed to be a part of, The Mommy-Hood Gang.

In my SHORT six years as a Mommy-Hood Gangster, I have to say I have been in some pretty rough neighborhoods. There have been moments where I have wondered if I was truly cut out for the job. Moments where I have told God I understand if He took her away because I wasn’t doing good enough.

But there have also been those incredible moments, where I sit there and think to myself, I don’t know what I did so right in this life, to deserve such a beautiful spirit in my presence.” If you know Adeline our little Lion, you know exactly what I am talking about.

She is the best combination of Sassy & Sweet. She loves EVERYONE with everything that she has.In fact she informed me that all she wants for her birthday this year is for people to be happy. Don’t get me wrong she is stubborn as hell, and can give you a good run for you money. But she is mine, and as much as I would love to say I have taught her everything she knows…

The truth is..she is the one who has taught me. She has taught me MANY life lessons, but in honor of her turning the BIG Six…I thought I would share my Top Six favorites.

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  1. Learn To Laugh…A LOT! Lord knows you are going to have your good days and your bad days. There will be days when it seems like everything is falling a part. Days where you want to run away to the zoo. Days where you have to decide whether you should LAUGH or CRY….My advice…LAUGH!! Laugh as much as you possibly can. Laughing makes cleaning up the mess so much easier.

2. You Can NEVER Take Too Many Photos! Try to limit the number you share on social media, there will be those friends who block, or delete…but trust me when I say THESE will be some of the only things you will have left. Cherish them. Your memory will only last so long before it starts to fade, capture moments! Lots of them. Be the Mom whose kids roll their eyes and groan because Mom is taking ANOTHER picture. Trust me when I say, they WILL thank you later. Even for the embarrassing ones.

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3. Fed Is Better Than Nothing. Having PB&J’s for the FIFTH time this week? Don’t be ashamed & don’t feel guilty! Repeat after me…FED is better than nothing! I can remember as a NEW Mom thinking that I had to have ALL of my -ish together. That I had to be the PERFECT housewife, which included a spotless home and home cooked meals every single night. I set myself up for failure. For far to long, I punished myself for not being perfect. I’ve since learned to RELAX! Remember the basics…food, water, clothing, shelter. Your kids have all of that? Then you have done your job! Stop worrying that little miss Susie Homemaker down the street makes gourmet meals every single night…and you are throwing cold cereal out on the counter. WHO CARES?! Kids won’t remember 99% of the meals you cooked, but they will remember the time you spent together eating those meals. So let yourself off the hook will ya?

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4. Perfect Doesn’t Exist…Find Joy In The Little Things. I tend to be an unrealistic person with huge expectations. I have an idea, and I want it to go exactly how I thought it up in my head. For example the Zoo trip we took a few weeks back (see previous post), back in my newbie Mom phase I would have counted that day a failure, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m here to say PERFECT most definitely does not exist.

If I have learned anything from my kids (especially that girl right there) it would be to find joy in the little things. No matter where you are in life, no matter what they day might look like there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I have multiple photos of Adeline standing in this exact same pose, in different types of weather, and her face is exactly the same…FULL of WONDER & JOY! Shouldn’t we be a little more like that? Excited for what they day may bring, and full of gratitude and joy for the simple fact that we are alive and get to experience it.

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5. Pick Your Battles. If I have learned anything in this journey, it’s to pick what’s really fight worthy and what’s not. Your kid wants to rock yellow and orange shorts, with a green plaid shirt, and an owl hat LET THEM! Who cares about the looks you MAY get!? If your child likes it, and feels confident, let them ROCK IT! Individuality is something we should celebrate, so let them be who they want to be. Trust me when I say, it’s not worth the fight. You will have many more battles to come, save your energy for those that truly matter.

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6. Never Be To Proud To Ask For Help. I have been BLESSED to be raised by an incredible Tribe of strong, confident, compassionate, and loving women. They all shared a piece of themselves with me, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it weren’t for them. All of them. They say it takes a village to raise a child & I believe in that 100%. So take some pressure off, stop thinking you have to be Wonder Woman and do EVERYTHING on your own.Because you don’t.

Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. Never be to proud to accept what others have to offer. Never be ashamed to admit when you feel defeat. There have been so many times I have called my mother in the middle of the night begging for help. Many times I have leaned on friends in time of need. My kids have been raised by an incredible village of people, and I know that I couldn’t have given them everything that they have if it weren’t for those people and their examples.

Six years. Six years I have been a Mom. Six years of tears, heartache, joy, excitement, and so much more. Six years I would never trade for anything. Six years I wish I could get back. Six years I wish I could freeze in time. Yet, I know that as much as I want time to slow down, it’s only getting faster.

So instead of trying to slow time down, I will take time to slow myself down. To enjoy the moments I have, to take time to study the little things like her little freckled nose, or the way she throws her head back when she laughs, and to savor as much as I possibly can. Because ready or not, she is growing up.

And that my friends is the HARDEST part of Motherhood, slowly letting them go. Knowing that every single year you are loosening the grip just a little bit, only for them to eventually let go and do things on their own.

XOXO

Makala
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Posted in Mom Life, Raising Kids, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Confession: I Have A Gambling Problem

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Hi, my name is Makala Clark, and I have a gambling issue. The last time I gambled was this morning when I let myself lay in bed an extra 10 minutes only for breakfast to not be finished in time & my Kindergartner having to eat breakfast in the car. She wasn’t impressed.

You may not know this, but Mom’s have MAJOR gambling issues. Our lives as Mom’s are a CONSTANT bet between which decision is going to be the better option.

If you have kids, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Do you dare jump in the shower and risk flour being dumped all over the floor?

OR do you go on day FOUR of no shower and PRAY that nobody knocks on the door to see you looking like a homeless troll?

Do I hide the ONE green bean in his dinner and risk it being thrown to the floor?

OR do I just fold and give him his usual PB&J?

Do you go to the bathroom with the door open or shut?

Door shut means you run the risk of your child cutting her hair into a nice mullet and then moving on to her brothers.

While door open means you get to hear your children gag down the hall and ask what smells?

Do you get what I am saying? Mom’s risk their lives and their sanity DAILY for their children. We put our lives on the line here people.

So yes, it is true! I have a gambling problem. I have a mean poker face, I know when to hold em and when to fold em. Every day I roll the dice and pray that my decisions are the right ones.

Someday’s I walk away feeling empty handed and defeated while other days  I feel like I won a million dollars and hit the jack pot. But every day I keep coming back, because believe it or not I am ADDICTED.

Addicted to my family. Addicted to my job as a mother. And addicted to the thrill of Motherhood.

What is a gamble you have had to take recently?

Sidenote: All of the above accounts are real life, legit moments I have encountered in my life. They were not embellished for entertainment purposes, they did in fact happen, and are very much real. Thank you very much!

Posted in Mom Life, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Behind The Scenes: Living With Anxiety

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“I lied and said I was busy. I was busy; but not in a way most people understand. I was taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes this is my busy, and I will not apologize for it.” -Anxiety Doesn’t Knock First

Yesterday started out as any typical Saturday, and then my un-welcomed friend ANXIETY reared his ugly head. Many don’t know,but I have struggled a LOT with anxiety in my life. I was the girl who hated going to the Dentist so I would come up with ANY excuse not to go. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s just that the unknowns were to much to handle. Anxiety hit especially hard AFTER I had my babies.

At one point it got SO bad I refused to leave the house. I would make plans with friends, then have irrational freak outs about where to park, what would I say, etc. So I would then bail. I am not proud of it, not even a little bit but at that time in my life anxiety won every single battle.

I then found that exercise, a healthier diet (I still drink my daily Diet Coke and enjoy Taco Tuesday), and reading personal development helped me cope with anxiety. I have been able to control way better than before.

But I still have my days, and my quirks. For example, I still don’t dare to venture out to the grocery store alone with my son. What if he has a melt down, what if my card was accidentally declined, the list goes on and on. But we pick our battles.

Yesterday was a day where Anxiety started to fight. We had planned a fun little trip to the Mississippi River only 20 minutes from our house, where the kids could play on the beach and build sandcastles.

Sounds harmless, right?

Well for someone with anxiety, it’s not that simple. Sometimes the littlest things just aren’t so little. We turn little tiny molehills in to MAJOR mountains. We don’t mean to, but that’s what happens.

My brain started running a million miles an hour. What do I wear? What’s the beach like? What do I need to pack for the kids? It all started to be too much.

I was on the verge of tears, I thought my heart might beat right through my chest, I felt a tingle all over my body, I had to hold back the urge to runaway. Fight or flight is VERY real with me. I started snapping at my husband (again fight or flight) because then maybe the fight would lead to us not going (even though I wanted to).

I locked myself in the closet, took some major deep breaths, and started sifting through my feelings. Figuring out what I could let go of, what sounded irrational, and what I could do to mend what I had done and make this a spectacular day for my family

Eventually I was able to pull myself together and get ready. We ended up having a fabulous day filled with MANY memories!

Yesterday I’m proud to say, Anxiety did NOT win. Even thought she tried with everything that she had.

I don’t believe Anxiety is completely curable, I think it something that I will always have to deal with. But that shouldn’t stop me or you from living an incredible life. A life filled with achieving BIG hopes and dreams.

There are so many tools out there to help manage anxiety, so if you struggle please promise me that you will find what works for YOU! And if you need someone to talk to, know that I am here! I am a friend who understand, who will listen, and will love you for who you are.

“Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear.” – Healthy Place

The above statement may be true, but trust me when I say YOU can overcome! You are a FIGHTER! You are NOT a prisoner to this! You can and you WILL win!

But first you have to be willing to try!

XOXO

Makala

Need someone to talk to? You can find me here > Makala Clark

Posted in DIY, Mom Life, Not A Pinterest Mom, Ramblings Of A SAHM

The Great Cookie Debate

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Can you help us out here? There has been a GREAT divide in the Clark household since it all began…Seven years and counting.

We refer to it as “The Great Cookie Debate” and neither side seems to think they are wrong. I personally know I am not, and just wish my husband would humble himself and just admit HE is the wrong one here.

Have you ever heard of No Bake Cookies? I’m sure you have! They are DELICIOUS! One of my all time favorite treats as a kid. My husband feels the same.

Yet when it comes to the RIGHT recipe…we can’t agree!

You see HIS mom has her way, and MY mom has hers.

There is only ONE ingredient that separates these two cookies…

PEANUT BUTTER!

If you look below you will see that I have shared BOTH recipes. One is right…the other is ALMOST right *wink* wink*

Can you help us settle this great debate?

Whose No Bake Cookie is the RIGHT No Bake Cookie?

PS: If you are a Clark your vote does not count…unless it leans to the Peanut Butter side.

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Makala’s Mom’s Recipe
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Struan’s Mom’s Recipe

 

Cast your votes below!!

XOXO

Makala

Posted in Making Memories, Mom Life, Raising Kids, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Enjoying The Journey

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Before We Walked Into The Zoo.

Yesterday the Clark family went on a fun adventure to the Memphis Zoo, something we ALL love to do.

Struan and I decided we would surprise the kids, so we got them dressed, packed them a snack, and headed out.

The kids were so excited, and spent the majority of the drive making guesses. The Fish Store (Bass Pro Shop, you can guess where Daddy likes to go!), Walmart, Mississippi?

But the minute we pulled up to the Zoo they knew EXACTLY where we were! They couldn’t WAIT to go in and see the animals.

As per family tradition, we asked them each their FAVORITE zoo animal (we always make it a point to visit each favorite animal).

Adeline squealed FLAMINGOS (this truly is her favorite animal, and she always is disappointed when we don’t get to see a flamingo egg hatch. One day!)

Tavi thought for a moment. His usual answer is a giraffe, but this time he yelled ELEPHANTS! He recently discovered a HUGE stuffed elephant on one of our shopping trips, and sobbed the entire time because mean ol Mom wouldn’t buy it.

Struan and I then chose our favorites, his is the giraffes and mine are the penguins. If only I could figure out how to smuggle one home! Kidding…or am I?

We then set off on our Zoo adventure.

We showed our Zoo passes (which I TOTALLY recommend) and went towards the penguins exhibit, they were the closest.

Immediately, Tavish (4 years old) was upset. He didn’t WANT to see the penguins, he ONLY wanted to see the elephants.

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“I JUST Want To See The Elephants!” 

He pouted through the penguins, the komodo dragons, the monkeys, and the pandas.

We FINALLY made it to the elephants. He was SO happy. But then it was time to continue our adventure & leave the elephants behind. The tears began to flow.

He continued to pout the rest of the time while we were there. His legs hurt, his tummy was hungry, he was sleepy, he just wanted to go home.

Even though we had a GRUMPY Gus on our hands, the rest of us still enjoyed ourselves.

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Adeline & Daddy at the flamingos.

When I got home last night, I couldn’t help but think that sometimes I’m like my little guy was at the Zoo. I refuse to see the BEAUTY of my life around me, because I’m not where I thought I would be at the moment.

So many time we tell ourselves, When I reach *this* then I will be HAPPY.  I CAN’T be happy YET,  because I haven’t reached what I set out to do.

We fail to ENJOY the actual journey!!!

My son was SO wrapped up in seeing the elephants, that at times he turned his back to rest of the animals. That photo above was taken in front of a BRAND NEW baby monkey that was SO adorable, but he REFUSED to look because it WASN’T an ELEPHANT!

Because he was so FOCUSED on the elephants, he missed out on so much!

Should we have goals and dreams? Absolutely! But should we be SO focused on getting there that we fail to see what is actually unfolding around us, right here, right now? No way!

“Life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. Life is a challenge, not a competition. You can still smell the roses and be on a mission. Just take a moment to get in touch with your heart.” India. Arie

Remember that in between goals, there is this thing called LIFE! LIVE it! As my good friend Ferris once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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Excited To See The Zoo! 

Yesterday, was an AMAZING day! One that will be remembered for years to come, especially the lesson that my little four year old taught me.

No matter our circumstances, ALWAYS remember to “Enjoy The Journey”.

XOXO Makala

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“Enjoy the Journey” wood carving by my father in law Wade. 

 

Posted in Mom Life, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Bloopers Are The Best Part…

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Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek – This Is My Reality Show.

Where are my movie lovers at?

I absolutely LOVE movies…especially in the theater. The popcorn, the candy, the previews, the sticky floors, and the squeaky chairs. I laugh, I cry, I cheer, I clap, I enjoy every single second at the movies.

But my all time favorite moment, is when the credits finish rolling, there are very few people left in the theater, and they start the blooper reels.

You know what I’m talking about. The scenes where the actors mess up, play pranks, and in those moments you see them as HUMANS. Real human beings, who are exactly like you and me.

I soak that stuff up. I just love RAW & REAL life. The people I look up to and relate to, are those who share the nitty gritty of their lives. Those who aren’t ashamed to share their vulnerable side. Those who inspire others by living their lives OUT LOUD (the good and the bad).

I strive to be the same way. Because as we ALL know. Life is not all highlight reels, it has MANY scenes you wish could be deleted, scenes of sorrow, scenes that are scary, and yes there are those beloved bloopers.

But yet, as humans we have this problem where we tend to forget that others are just as HUMAN as we are. For some reason, we think WE are the only people on the planet who have issues, who have trials, who are failures, etc.

We forget one tiny detail, that NOBODY, I repeat NOBODY’S life is perfect.

No matter if they live in a 6,000 square foot home or a cardboard box down by the river. Each human on this planet HAS problems. Problems that are unique to each human being.

If I hadn’t told you before, would you have ever guessed that my family was completely broke? That our home was in foreclosure, that our boat was repossessed, and that our family had to split apart in order to survive?

Probably not!

The point I am trying to make is STOP with the comparison game. Stop looking at others WISHING you had their life, their body, their whatever.

Just because someone chooses to only show their highlight reel in life, does NOT mean life is all rainbows and butterflies for them.

The truth is. You have an INCREDIBLE life. Your life story is being written every single day. Every day your pages are being FILLED. You hold the power to CREATE the story.

So what kind will it be? A drama or an adventure? Horror story or inspirational tale?

I don’t know about you, but all of my FAVORITE storybooks contain a villain, a hero, a tragedy, some sort of inspiration, and a victory. All the ups and downs are there for a reason, they teach the hero (YOU) a lesson. Whether you will stay knocked down, or get back up.

I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life. So should you.

Oh, and do yourself a favor. Laugh at your bloopers as much as you possibly can. It makes life a whole lot easier to manage when you can laugh it off.  Life is way to short to take it so seriously.

XOXO Makala

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