Yes I’m a wife and a mom, but I’m also still me

I put myself out there, I love hard, lead to the best of my ability, and am never afraid to try anything once.

Yes I’m a wife and a mom, but I’m also still me

Lately I've spent a lot of time putting myself out there. Not my physical self or person, but my inner self. The thoughts, heart, and creativity that beat within my heart. I have built and launched a family page, tried to start making something babyish and selling it, and started writing. Sticking myself right out there in the spotlight. Not my cute little babe that everybody likes, but myself.


I have asked myself this a lot these last few weeks.

Why in the world am I doing this? It would be MUCH easier to just, you know, not. To just keep the pictures flowing of my baby that everyone loves. Everybody responds well to those. That's easier.


So why?

Because I'm still here.

Yes I'm a wife, and I am a mom, but I'm also still me.

I'm still here.

I still have goals and dreams that go way beyond dishes and the laundry pile.

I am more than a reheated cup of coffee and wiping bottoms.

Make sure you hear me correctly: I am not above it, but I am more than it.

Before I was a wife and before I was a mama, I was me. I am still me, and I'm still here.

I want to see my husband and children grow, love, succeed, dream and achieve, but I also need to want all of that for myself.

As mamas we are called to love hard and lead well. In our actions, in our speech, the way we live our daily lives, and what we set out ahead of us to achieve.

For our family, right now that looks like me being the primary care for our babe, making an impact inside of the home so I can make an impact outside of the home later. Through Hensley, and any other children we add to our family. All while making a few pacifier clips here and there, and word vomiting onto our cute little family website.

I want them to see that I tried. I don't have to get a book published, or have my own podcast, be a multimillionaire, or have a huge following to show my children what success looks like. I may not be the world's or society's definition of successful. But in our home, I am successful.

I put myself out there, I love as hard as I can, lead to the best of my ability, and am never afraid to try anything once.

Not all mamas may have the same goal, and no dream is bigger or better than any other.

So put down your phone (of course after you finish reading this) and stop comparing yourself to the working mama, the stay-at-home mama, the single mama, the married mama, the work from home mama, the make vegan-organic everything, even for the dog, mama

And set your own goals, mama.

If I can do it, so can you.

Scared? I still am too.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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    The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

    Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

    When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.

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