The perfect way to test your marriage

Do you want to find out if your coupledom is rock solid or if you are simply treading water waiting for the breaking point?

Take a trip to Ikea.

It took taking a trip without my husband to this favourite store of mine for me to realize that every visit to the land of meatballs, textiles, and dreams doesn’t need to end in threats of bodily harm.

Our trip always starts out so promising. We hustle in the morning to make it in time for $1 breakfast, but the moment my other half sets his eyes on the massive crowd waiting for scrambled eggs and sausage links his back starts to go up. After dropping off our kids to pick up the latest virus in playland we wander around the labyrinth of furniture and textiles guaranteed to make you want to upgrade.

My husband usually starts freaking out about five minutes in. The child minding beeper turns this trip into a race against time and the challenge of getting out without draining our savings account.

The trip always reaches its pinnacle in the ‘As Is’ section. The inevitable argument of whether or not we can jimmy said furniture into our vehicle always ends in tears (my husband’s).

Recently my husband thought he would test our relationship in  a fun new way when he decided to bring a used couch home against my wishes.

I should have known something was up when he slipped out quietly post dinner with vague plans. I tried to stop him because he had threatened to come home with a forest green microfiber love seat a friend was giving away.

Fast forward to 9 pm and about -5 degrees. My husband had brought home a monstrosity and now required my help to get it in the house.

First we tried the front door, then the side door, then the garage. By this point I had considered a few ways in which I could murder my husband and make it look like an accident, many of them using the couch. Now if I was to simply walk away from this poor choice I would be considered to be ‘abandoning him’, so instead I stood and ‘helped’ as he struggled to remove all the screws except one from the hinges of our front door. thirty minutes and one freak out later he realized he could simply remove the pins in about five minutes.

The entire time I ‘helped’ by watching him struggle and pretend to hold up the door.

So now we are the proud new owners of a second-hand love seat. It’s actually really nice and is not hunter green at all (my husband is colour-blind) but a nice sage green and goes well with our decor.

Still, we won’t be tempting fate with any trips to Ikea anytime soon.

Why I let my kids skip school

While most employers want you to take the day off if you are physically ill, mental health days aren’t always looked at the same way.

With my kids I often encourage them to go to school with a case of the sniffles or a nagging cough. I use the old, ‘tell your teacher if you are feeling sick and they will call me to get you’ schtick knowing full well that they will forget about wanting to stay home once they are surrounded by their friends and the fun of school.

Yet when it comes to mental health I tend to take a different approach. In my opinion and my personal experience, when your mental health is suffering you are not going to be productive or receptive to learning new information.

While weekends may be the ideal time to recharge your batteries, with birthday parties, errands and three busy little girls I find the weekends busier than ever.

Taking time to reconnect

So when I notice one of my kids needing a little boost, I will usually take a day just for the two of us. This past week I noticed a need in my middle daughter. She had been especially crabby after school and I could just tell she was exhausted. The demands of full-day senior kindergarten coupled with after-school activities and a lingering cough had taken her toll and she needed a break.

So when it came time to get ready for school the next morning I gave her a free pass. One of the things my kids like the best about days off, whether it is the weekend or one of their special ‘bonus days’, is the ability to spend their entire day in their pajamas. Even if we go out I will still let them rock a princess nightgown and mismatched bottoms. After all, they are only kids once.Before I know it they will be embarrassed to be seen with me.

Our day off

Our days off usually follow the same sort of formula. We spend part of the day cleaning up the house and striking items off of my to-do list and then we get to do something fun together.

Our latest adventure consisted of cleaning a new to us couch, getting a happy meal (and a very large coffee) and going on the hunt for an out of season winter jacket.

Some days we spend alone at home snuggling on the couch and watching some terrible shows on Netflix. We spend time cuddling, unwinding, and de-stressing.

We get to spend some much needed one-on-one time together and they are able to face the next day of school energized and refreshed.

Mental health breaks benefit everyone

Taking care of my kid’s mental health is a great reminder to also take time for myself. As much as I am needed to take care of my family, if I am not also taking care of myself everything will fall apart. So, as I sip my wine and soak in the tub I am not wasting away my Friday night, but instead taking a great step towards better mental health.

 

How to get skinny for free (cause I’m a cheap and chubby)

Why do they call it a weight loss journey? To me, a journey implies a fun little trip where you can stop for ice cream along the way. The process of trying to lose weight to me is more of a hike. It involves running shoes, drinking lots of water and it is often much harder than you anticipated to reach your goal.

I am certainly not the first mother who wants to lose the mom jeans and get into skinny pants, but I am trying to reach my goal with a twist.

I want to lose weight without spending any money.

I’m not even talking about avoiding buying protein shakes, skinny pills and exercise equipment. I am talking about not spending any money at all.

Yeah, you can say I am pretty cheap.

Why should I have to spend money in order to withhold delicious carbs from my body and sweat out all my poor choices? All I need is to work my ass off (literally) and get a little creative.

The first thing I did was find a willing gym partner and then take advantage of their kindness. My sweet sister has a membership at Planet Fitness that includes unlimited guests. The first time I accompanied her to the gym I simply showed some ID and from then on out I simply had to give my phone number. Now most people would probably just get their own membership. I really do love the gym and it’s really inexpensive to sign up. They even give free tootsie rolls to the chumps like me who are too cheap to sign up. I love it-but I don’t want to pay for it.

While relying on a partner to lose weight is not always the best way to go, I always have my plan B: YouTube.

I actually love finding good quality workouts online to be able to workout in the privacy of my own home on my own schedule. I am actually working on this seven day ab routine that has made my abs hurt in the best way ever. I also love a good old Tae Bo routine. Especially one like this from back in the day where Billy Blanks sweats his butt off and there is always sexual tension between him and the blonde in the first row who keeps yelling, ‘yes sir’ with a little bit too much enthusiasm.

One of the best free weight loss options for me is to embrace running. Since I am not a natural runner, I need a little help with some good tunes and a good app to help get my butt in gear. I love C25K. I can start off slow and build my way to running a 5 k and looking good while doing it.

While exercise is part of weight loss, what I really need is a personal assistant to slap my kid’s leftover nuggets out of my hands and into the trash. Since I need a free option, My Fitness Pal is the perfect pick. I love how easy it is to find the calories on my favourite foods so I can quickly determine how much ice cream I can eat without having to skip a meal.

Of course, there is more than just fitting into a bathing suit motivating me to trim my waistline. I have three girls looking up to me to learn how to have a healthy balance. As much as this little experiment will teach them about healthy living, I am hoping they can also learn that there are ways to get what you need without spending money unnecessarily and utilizing the resources around you. #cheapandchubby

 

 

 

Meet the Robertsons

Take one part hot mess mom, one part reluctant renovator and three little girls and you have our family. I’m a professional writer/child wrangler and in my spare time I like to hide my refurbishing projects from my husband and hunt for deals in thrift shops.

I love to share my original patterns and DIY hacks. Follow my FREE STUFF page for my latest pattern giveaways and do it yo’ self  where I share my thrifty yet trendy designs. I also like to share our daily life with our family on our parenting page. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter

Mom’s night out

 

 

Just because I am a mom doesn’t mean I have stopped being me. It actually took me a long time to work that out. It took years of parenting for me to figure out that while I am a mother, it does not completely define me. I love being with my children and I love being their mother, but before I was a mother I had a whole other life for 28 years and I loved that life as well.

One of the ways that I work towards keeping my life in balance is spending time with good friends. I love having mom friends who would never judge a dirty house or a bad parenting moment because I know they have them too.

A few months ago I got the opportunity to reconnect with some friends that I had not seen in 16 years. When I last saw these friends I was fresh out of college, with a super hot pre-baby body and all the time to hang out in the world. Almost two decades later I have a mom bod, wrinkles and I am piled with responsibilities, children and mom jeans.

I could have of easily said no, or opted out at the last minute. The thought of staying home and soaking in a tub with a glass of wine often trumps any ‘plans’ I may make, yet for some reason I decided I was going, come hell or high water.

And so I found myself knocking on the door of a friend I hadn’t seen in 16 years and yet when she opened it one of the first things she said was, ‘you haven’t changed a bit.’

Well, she may be a wonderful liar, but truth be told, sometimes I need a break from being a mom. Sometimes I need to be around people who don’t want to hear about my kids’ latest ailments and are instead interested in knowing where I would like to travel to or what the next step is in my career. Of course I couldn’t avoid bragging about my kids completely, that would be way too hard for this momster. But I still got a chance to be Melissa for the night, instead of just ‘mommy’.

While the night was fun and I loved a chance to be out late without worrying about my children (I have a wonderful husband) and got to blow off a little steam. In order to be the best mom I can be sometimes I need to get a chance to just be a woman out with her friends. In order to not let the insurmountable responsibilities of parenthood and adulthood overwhelm me I need a chance to once in a while step away from them a remember what life was like at 20 before marriage and children and a mortgage.

And of course by the end of the night I want nothing more to climb into the comfort of my husband and wake up to the sweet faces of my babies, demanding breakfast and attention and their mom.