Parents Of More Than Two Kids Are The Heroes Of Our Day

Parents Of More Than Two Kids Are The Heroes Of Our Day

The real MVPS.
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If you’ve followed my articles at any point over the past few months, you’ll know that I share every aspect of being a mom. From how to grocery shop while keeping your sanity to learning how to appreciate all the hard moments, I’ve shared a lot about parenting and the trials that come with it. Failures come easy to me it seems, but I’ve realized that there are parents out there that need a bigger appreciation than a single day a year. Parents of more than two kids deserve a shout out.

Some days I’m on a roll and can be the mom from 7th Heaven. Kids both bathed, fed, teeth brushed and in bed by 8pm on the dot. Home cooked meals all day and a clean house. And still able to have a chance to take my own shower and reserve time to have a conversation with my husband when he gets home. Those are great days.

Then there are days when I’m the mom from The Middle. Frozen waffles for breakfast, messy hair in buns that was not brushed, baby wipe bath, teeth possibly brushed and struggling to get in bed by 8 p.m. These kinds of days usually end up with a not so clean house, microwavable meals and no shower for me. And most definitely no conversation with my husband when he gets home.

There really is no in between. I’m either an all-star or a “you tried” star. This past week I watched my friend’s two children from Wednesday morning until Friday night. In addition to throwing them in the mix, I watch my niece in the afternoons for a few hours every weekday. For several hours a day this past week, I was responsible for five little people. Five little, beautiful and ever impressionable people – it was an experience.

I don’t know how people have more than two kids do it. I’m not talking about celebrity families that hire nannies, au pairs, live in chefs and house cleaners; I’m talking about the everyday parents who do it on their own. You are champions. You are considered the beasts of the parenting world. If this was an Olympic sport judged on performance, you could show up in yoga pants covered in throw up and still take first place.

All of the kids were on their own schedules. One of them liked peanut butter sandwiches while the others had to have jelly. Some wanted their sandwiches cut one way and one didn’t want it cut at all. Bedtime was a breeze for half of them and a battle for the other half. Baths were awful all over because my bathroom floor might be rotting through from all the water that hit the laminate, but that’s okay. One was up at 5:45 a.m. every day and ended up waking all the others up at the same time too. There was never a single time when all the kids could be in the same place, doing the exact same thing and staying on the exact same page even though they are all around the same age. It was ridiculous.

I loved being able to watch the kids. My own children learned to appreciate sleeping in their own beds. My youngest has been attached at the hip ever since and really had a hard time sharing her mommy. And my friend’s kids that went back home probably has a better appreciation of her. Every parent parents differently. Some things that are acceptable at my house probably isn’t acceptable at my friend’s house, and that’s okay. But I feel like if I had more than my two girls the rules would fly out the window. I’d be lucky if they all had pants on in time for school.

So to all you moms and dad with more than two kids, this one is for you. I struggle every day with the two I have, yet, most of you make it look easy with these four and five kids you have. Maybe it’s because after the first two kids you can be considered a professional. Or maybe you all really are just all-stars who deserve the recognition. Whatever the case may be, you rock.

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany R

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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