I am saying NO to Mom guilt!

Mom Guilt is real. After running my kids around to swim practice, cheer, then coming back around to pick them all up 2 hours later. My 3 year old eating dinner in the car because dinner time is dinner time. No matter if you are in car pool frenzy or not. The girl has gotta eat.

Getting home, kids tubbed. I RUSH them off to bed: my patience is worn to the last thread. I was all done. I clean up the chaos I’ve created in the kitchen. The silence throughout the house is bouncing off every single wall. As I ring out the bubbles from the washcloth I feel it coming. That huge lump in your throat you only get when your momma asks you what’s wrong.

Tears pour out and I gasp with guilt. I was impatient. I didn’t listen to that special half hour before bedtime. As I turn around and slide my back down the kitchen cupboards I land on the floor. Head into my knees, I sob.

I am feeling pulled apart at all ends. My kids are getting the last of me when I should be giving them the most of me. I want to show them to work hard but my feelings are all how bad I want to give up.

I hear my oldest say “mom”. I see her standing there watching me melt on the floor. I see the sleepy eyes turn into concern and she sits next to me and I cry. The silence that was bouncing now turns into a low hum. And we just sat together.

That was the most recent mom guilt experience. I hated that she saw me cry. That she saw me “weak”.

I feel like we are “set” up for this. Mom guilt. For feeling inadequate. You scroll through instagram, Facebook and seeing the highlight reel of influencers, moms that pretend to have it all together, women that have it all together.

But what if they do have it all together? What if we are taking the wrong perspective on things. What I have learned is that I am going to celebrate my highlights on my highlight reel. I am going to genuinely give atta girls to women that throw that Pinerest party. WHY NOT! My mom guilt comes from a place that I know I could do better! Not from comparing myself to other women. Cause I know we all slip somewhere. We all have a hiccup in the land of being a mom. And that’s where we need to come in as mothers, daughters, and as women to support each other. Pick up your bffs pieces where they lack. Text them about school functions because you know she might need a reminder. She is scraping at the sides to keep her business, house, and marriage afloat. Then add on those extras. Throw her that life preserver!

We are teaching our babies that it is not normal to have emotions. That you need to be up to par every single freaking day! Who does that?? NO ONE! I wanna teach my girls that its okay to be sad, to be over it, mad, happy, excited, scared, and to know what to do with that. To not compare. To help each other. We as women are a unstoppable force. Lets rewire ourselves that yes, mom guilt is real. But to share your trials so we can get rid of guilt in general.

 

 

 

Molly’s Mexican Restaurant

I can still remember the first time that I was invited to Molly’s. I was about 8 weeks pregnant with our first born and had the biggest craving for a burrito and chips and salsa. A friend assured me they were the best; and I can say, they are! Walking in automatically reminded me of my abuelo (grandfather). He was sick at the time and living in his last days and four hours away, but being at Molly’s made him feel closer to me.

When growing up he would cook us breakfast, eggs and beans with fresh homemade chili and tortillas. And always (yes even as a very small child) with a cup of coffee. We would sit together, sometimes in silence and sometimes laughing uncontrollably. As I grew up, we sadly moved away from him and breakfast was never the same. He passed away before he could meet my first born, my heart was broken. If eating at a family restaurant could help my heart, even just a little, then count me in!

That first taste of homemade chili and tortillas took me back to being a little girl, comiendo con mi abuelito. Let’s just say, we went weekly during that pregnancy and got to know them very well! 12 years later, we still eat with them on a very regular basis. You know how regular? We call in our order and they don’t ask us our name, they already know it’s us. That’s either because they are committed to getting to know their customers, or we eat out to many times; I’ll go with the first. I will go with that because they are truly some of the sweetest people we’ve ever meet. You walk in, and someone yells hello! When people truly care and have great food, you can’t help but love them.

As I was thinking how to honor Molly, I thought of her daughter. So I’ll use her own words to describe her mom.

“My mom loves people, loves God, and loves to serve. 

She’s passionate about her business because she values her customers. Her name is Amalia Villalovos also known as Molly.

Her purpose behind her opening this business was to provide a better opportunity for her family. She always had a passion to cook but knew working for someone else would be much harder to provide a college education for her children. She opened Molly’s Mexican Restaurant in February of 1997, with the help and support of her husband.

Her favorite part of her business is being able to cook and bring people together, whether for lunch or for families meeting at Molly’s for breakfast.

Molly sees herself as someone who can use her business to help others, not only through food but by being able to give back to the community that has supported her business. She loves being able to support local churches, schools, and little league teams.

Her favorite thing to do when not cooking at work, is cooking at home with her family. She enjoys having all her children & grandchildren gather around the kitchen table for good food and fellowship.

She is fierce with ambition, humility, and God’s grace. She has taught to me to work hard, push through adversity, and always keep Faith in knowing that God is with you in all that you do when seeking His guidance. 

I am a proud daughter of an Immigrant mother who came to the US with hopes of a better future. Glad, she braved the journey because now she’s a proud US citizen and established business owner in our community.”

Go by and say hello, eat amazing food, by an amazing lady and her staff.  And while doing so, you help support a POC business owner, a dream, y familias.

::Molly’s Mexican Restaurant 3211 Bellmead Dr Waco, TX::

Guide to Beauty in and Around Waco

beauty-guide-waco

Disclosure :: We know that there are so many options in and around Waco when it comes to all things getting beautiful. Waco is fortunate to have numerous options, but we’ve compiled a list to help you navigate the beauty industry here in Waco. We are thrilled to provide this guide resource, brought to you by our many sponsors! Thank you to those that participated in this guide. 

More Around Waco

Want to be a part of our 2020 Beauty Guide?

We want to show our readers all the great beauty options available right here in the Waco area. Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Join us and help enrich the lives of Waco Moms!

Guide to Photographers In & Around Waco


Disclosure :: This guide is brought to you care of our many photography sponsors! Thank you to those that supported the creation of this resource.

Waco moms frequently ask us for recommendations on family photographers as there are just so many local ones to choose from. To help, we compiled a list of our well-loved favorites from the Waco Moms team and we are so excited to share it with you!

Let us know if you’re a photographer and would like to be featured below.

Rachel Whyte Photography

:: More of our Favorite Waco Family Photographers ::

  • Willow Sage Photography
  • Kristie Mason Photography
  • Holmes Photography Art
  • Roaming Wild
  • Tiny Hearts Imagery
  • Rhonda K Photography
  • Hipsta Alyssa
  • Christian Marie Photography
  • Willie + Rose Photography
  • Casey Nystrom
  • Jennifer Gauer Photography
  • Taylor Nicole Photography
  • Bri Wachsmann Photography
  • Photography by Cecy
  • Photography by Legacy Imaging
  • Mayfield Fine Photography
  • Photography by Kristyne
  • Ashley Quinn Photography
  • Wanderlust Photography
  • Casey Summers Photography
  • Dust in the Wind Photography
  • Aurora Henry Photography
  • Living Water Photography
  • Jamey Laree Photography
  • Recycled Heart Photography
  • Shelly Taylor Photography
  • Awaken Photography
  • My Jane Girl Photography
  • Bonnie Neagle Photography
  • Alex Wolf Photography
  • Swaddled Birth Photography
  • Southern Sass Photography
  • Focused Memories Photography
  • Kim Cheri Photography
  • Erin Woody Photography

Want to be a part of our Photography Guide?

We want to show our readers all the great photographers available right here in the Waco area. Sponsoring this guide allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Join us and help capture special moments and milestones for Waco Moms!

Parenting in a Pandemic is hard {tips to get through the hard days}

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These are not normal days.  And there are not a lot of examples for us to follow on how to Parent in a Pandemic.  So what are we supposed to do?  How do we help our kids through this?

Parenting is hard!  (Can I get a witness?!)  A quick Amazon search results in over 60,000 books, Google provides over 257,000,000 results, and every person you ever come into contact with has their own opinion on how it’s supposed to be done and most are all-too-happy to tell you how you’re doing it wrong.  This is on a normal day.

First, please know: you’re not supposed to know what to do.  We’re all figuring this out: parenting, work, school, quarantine, reopening, all of it!  Below are some suggestions from counselors and therapists on how to help your kids deal with the pandemic situation.

Realize your kids are stressed.  Some kids are visibly struggling with the restrictions of these days.  Others have a different perspective.  As my friend’s son exclaimed, “Y’all are all stressed and crazy, while I’m over here livin’ my best life!”  Either way, they are stressed.  The loss of structure, predictability, interactions, and activities causes stress in them, just like it causes stress in you.  They may exhibit it in different ways, but it is there.

They may also be scared.  Scared for their health, as well as family/friends’ wellbeing.  Scared they won’t be able to go back to school.  Scared things won’t be the way they were.  Scared things will return to the way they were.

Recognize kids may not be able to communicate any of this.  Kids may struggle to identify how they feel and why they feel that way, much less articulate it in a conversation.  Their behavior is how they communicate, and it can be challenging to interpret.

  • Anger: Remember that anger is a secondary emotion resulting from hurt or fear.  If your child is angry, identify the triggers and de-escalate the situation at hand.  Then, when things are calmer, ask your child about their fears of the pandemic or their grief from losing the normal things.  Help them identify the physical signs of anger in themselves (increased heart rate, raised shoulders, higher-pitched voice) and ways to counteract these such as taking deep breaths, pushing against a wall, or squeezing a pillow tight.  These things give them a sense of control they may not be able to get otherwise.
  • Regression: Some kids regress in social and/or communication skills.  They will whine when they are unhappy or baby talk when they want something.  They may forget how to greet others or carry on a conversation with a friend.  They may throw a temper tantrum reminiscent of toddler times or grunt a request while pointing.  They may return to a favorite food from their younger years or pull out an old toy.  They are trying to find something that grounds them to a more comfortable time. While the whining and infantile behavior can be frustrating, recognize their unconscious goal and help them find a more productive way to cope.  Watch a family movie or make their favorite food.  Pull out photos and scrapbooks from fun times in the past and tell stories of favorite family moments.
  • Withdrawal: Kids get depressed.  Prior to the pandemic, the CDC reported 3.2% of children ages 3-17 have diagnosed depression. They might sleep way more than usual, avoid physical activity, and prefer staying in their room.  These things in moderation help with coping but prove dangerous in excess.  Insert some type of family physical activity each day – walk the dog, ride bikes around the neighborhood, jump on the trampoline.  This produces endorphins that help combat depression.  Set timers on electronics or schedules for sleeping.  We use the Amazon Echo to set reminders for different activities throughout the day and this helps, too.

Get them moving!  Physical activity is essential for kids’ physical and mental health.  Especially during a Pandemic where we are at home. Unfortunately, screen time and couch lazing can be an easy default these days.  Studies show that screen time physically reduces function of your brain, causes impaired vision, contributes to obesity, and decreases mental health – all very serious and very real dangers, even more so in children whose bodies, minds, and emotions are developing.  It is important to intentionally and actively combat this!  Take family walks early in the morning or late in the evening.  Ride bikes around the neighborhood.  If you have access to a pool, go swimming.  Golf and tennis are great outdoor activities that allow for social distancing. Check out our summer buck list for a few social distancing ideas! Parents can enjoy this too.

Go on a media diet.  With 24/7 news available on multiple devices from various perspectives and everyone all together all the time, your family may be consuming more media than usual.  While adults may view this as informative, it often can overwhelm children (and other adults).  It makes their world feel like it’s all bad all the time.  Though they may not appear to be paying attention, they absorb the information around them way more than you know.  Carefully choose, and possibly limit, what media will be consumed around the kids.  Make sure you are sensitive to their presence and what they hear.  Help them process the information they absorb by having family discussions about the day’s news stories they heard.

Above all, grace upon grace!  Grace: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (rejuvenation).  Give your kids grace.  They don’t know how to handle this well without your guidance.  They are trying to understand, cope, and adjust without the benefit of the years of experience you have.  Their first response often will not be good, so consider it an opportunity to show them love and teach them how to cope and manage unexpected situations.  Give yourself grace.  Recognize that you are winging it on the fly here!  We all are.  You are not supposed to know how to do this, so learn as you go, adjust, and try again. Give others grace.  They are winging it, too.

Parenting in a pandemic is difficult and some days are mere survival, but this can be a time when you connect with your kids in ways that “normal life” doesn’t make time or space for.  Help them through this and they will trust you to help them through other challenges in life, as well.

Waffle Chic: Just Like Your Mama’s Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Okay Waco

If you haven’t heard of Waffle Chic yet, you are surely missing out! Last fall 2019, Waffle Chic owner (aka Chic in Charge, as she calls herself)- Shamica Evans – won first place in the Extraco Big Ideation Challenge at Start Up Waco. Since then, Shamica, a local Wacoan and mama, has expanded her pop-up chicken and waffles tent to a mobile food truck – most often parked in front of Pinewood Roasters at 2223 Austin Avenue. 

Photo Courtesy of Okay Waco

Shamica spreads her love for food, family, and mama’s cooking through her small business. Upon arrival to the truck you will find many menu options starting with the basic Classic Chic chicken and waffles. You can also find gluten free chicken and waffles along with savory, sweet, and vegetarian options. Lately my favorite has been the Bacon, Avocado, & Egg waffle. And more recently Waffle Chic released their Peaches & Cream Waffles with a side of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. And if you’re having a hard time deciding between menu items you can choose a Pick Two split decision waffles. 

Photo Courtesy of Okay Waco

As a fellow small business and food truck owner here in Waco, shopping local and supporting small businesses is a direct investment into our community – not only impacting families and employees but also the schools, non-profits, and organizations that small businesses continually support. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the foundation of innovation and economic development in our city. Let’s show our support to ensure that our small businesses in Waco, like Waffle Chic, can continue thriving for years and generations to come!

We need to stop judging other moms

We need to stop judging other moms. Why is this still happening in today’s society? Long before we have children, we have standards and expectations for them and their behavior. We KNOW that our children will NEVER melt down in public causing a tornado of bad behavior and embarrassment. But, as our children begin to grow and develop, we must alter those best laid plans as well as our expectations.  What we realize is that we seem to let a lot more go than we had planned.  Those tantrums YOUR CHILD will never have in public have, in fact, happened.  Now what?

We seem to adapt to our child’s behavior and adjust our parenting strategies, but what we forget is that all other moms are dealing with the same thing.  None of us know what we are doing.  There is no trouble-shooting manual that you are handed after delivery.  You can read all the blogs and parenting books and still feel completely helpless. Eventually, our children grow out of the terrible twos and threes and we very quickly forget how helpless we felt.

 

But what we don’t always think about are the many families out there struggling with this long after the typical child has grown out of it.  The families with kids with visible and invisible disabilities struggle with daily.  Their child looks to be what the world deems as “normal,” but underneath that seemingly average exterior, is an invisible disability that makes it hard for them to control their bodies and their emotions.

 

Although we have all been there with our littles at some time or another, we judge the mom and the child for what we think is unacceptable behavior for a child their age and/or size.  We say “I don’t judge other moms,” but we do it.  An adolescent completely loses it, yelling and thrashing in public and the parent can’t seem to get them under control, a kid way too big to be using a pacifier is in line behind us at Chick-Fil-A or that overly aggressive child in your child’s kindergarten class.  We judge.  We assume that the parent isn’t doing something right.  They need to spank their child, or set more boundaries and take charge. The list goes on and on.

 

I’m not sure when we began to think we have it all together. Rewind a few years, and you were the mom scraping your child off the floor of Target because they lost control.

 

Just because a child appears to be “normal” doesn’t mean they are neuro-typical.  My daughter, for example, is a beautiful blonde-haired vivacious girl who is friendly and very verbal.  She has Autism Level 1.  She has gone to years of therapy to be able to handle her feelings and her body at someplace like the Chick-Fil-A play area.  She can get overwhelmed because of the noise and excitement and become aggressive if she forgets how to use her coping skills.  You can’t physically see that she has an underlying condition. It makes balancing the sensory input to her brain and her emotions difficult to handle at times.  These are things we take for granted having typical kids.

 

I avoided places like Chick-Fil-A for several years because I knew my child couldn’t handle it. And, in turn, I couldn’t deal with the judgement from other moms.  Because I can’t put a giant sign on my child labeling her disability so others would understand it is hard.  I shouldn’t have to go around announcing her disability so others don’t judge me or her.  We teach our kids to be kind to one another and yet we, as adults, are the worst at this. We are so judgmental and easily irritated with others and their children.

 

What do we need to do?  We have to quit judging and scrutinizing each other for things seen or unseen.  We are all struggling with something in our parenting, and if you’re not then you probably will be soon.  We have to take it easy on each other and help when we can.  If you are unsure how, just be kind to her.

 

Kindness goes a long way. It starts with us.  We have to start showing kindness even when it’s not easy.  You never know what it means to someone just to seem understood.

 

You can check out our therapist and counselor resource here.

 

Sips and Small Bites for the Fourth of July

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Summer is finally here! And with July 4th right around the corner, I wanted to share some ideas for cool sips and tasty small bites to enjoy while celebrating America’s Independence Day!

fourth-of-julyIs there ever a wrong time for a margarita? It’s worth the time and effort to ditch the prepackaged margarita mixers and make them from scratch. And I’m sure this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen won’t disappoint. But you’ll want to plan accordingly: the mixture has to steep for 24 hours!

Because not everyone likes their drinks spirited, and you want to have kid-friendly options on hand, here’s a recipe for a festive, non-alcoholic punch for your July 4th celebration: Firecracker Punch! https://boulderlocavore.com/firecracker-punch

And if you’re one of those people who prefer to stick with the basics, this recipe for a picnic pink lemonade is just for you! https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/05/pink-lemonade/

Now let’s talk about food. I know grilling is fairly popular, but I think the real stars of the holiday are SNACKS. These mini corn dog muffins are a family favorite in our house all year long, but they’d make the perfect bite-sized snack for your holiday! https://iowagirleats.com/super-bowl-recipe-week-mini-corn-dog-muffins/

Another Summer staple to have on hand for snacks is chips and dips. Cowboy Caviar (also called Texas Caviar) should hit the spot for your snack cravings. One of the great things about this dip is you can use the recipe as a guideline and customize it to your liking! https://www.culinaryhill.com/cowboy-caviar-recipe/

I’ve made this 1-2-3 Mexican dip for years and it is SO GOOD. And bonus, you can make it up to a day ahead! https://cookingwithjill.com/2017/11/28/1-2-3-mexican-dip/

Finally, it’s a good idea to have something cool and refreshing, and this mojito fruit salad (it’s non-alcoholic) has been a crowd favorite every time I’ve made it! https://iowagirleats.com/mojito-fruit-salad-non-alcoholic/

Wishing all of you a fun, safe, and delicious food-filled Fourth of July!

Be sure and check out our Summer bucket list for more summer fun.

Write For Us {Open Call for Waco Moms Contributors}

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ARE YOU THE NEXT WACO MOMS CONTRIBUTING WRITER?

Are you a local mom and want to write for us? Waco Moms is proud to be a resource for ALL moms in the Waco area, but we are uniquely aware that in order to best serve our diverse audience and readership, our team must be diverse, too! We are looking for FIVE fresh voices to join our incredible team in July and would love to hear from you! This is a volunteer position, but there are some really fun perks to make it all worthwhile.

Waco-write-for-usWhat you GIVE…

  • One original post per month that fit within the brand and mission of Waco Moms
  • An active presence on social media
  • A six month commitment
  • Availability for at least 1 Mom’s Night Out
  • A passion for moms, kids, and the greater Waco area

What you GET…

  • Your photo and bio on the Waco Moms contributor page {with links to your personal blog and/or social media handles if you choose to share them}
  • A head shot and team photo shoot with WM’s official photographer, Rachel Whyte Photography
  • Access to the WM Contributors Facebook group and other internal communications
  • Opportunities to test out products and/or services before reviewing them on WM
  • Information and professional development in the areas of writing, blogging, SEO, social media, and event management
  • New friendships and an AMAZING opportunity to do something great in our city!

What you should DO…

  • Complete the form below in its entirety, including…
    • Basic contact information
    • The area of town you live in
    • A little bit about your family
    • Are you a business owner or do you have a personal blog
    • Any social media handles you may have
    • Links to TWO blog posts that best showcase your writing ability – it’s okay if your work has never been published!
    • A few sentences about what makes your perspective on motherhood unique
    • And a brief explanation as to why you would like to be part of the WMB Team

Deadline is 10 pm Sunday, July 12th.  {Unfortunately, there will be no exceptions.} The newest members of the Waco Moms Team will be announced in early August!

 

Choosing to change instead of crumble

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From great pain comes great change.  At least that is what I have experienced in my time on earth.  I used to believe that life would be bliss most of the time with a few bumps along the way.  That was of course before marriage, kids and adult responsibilities.  The first major interruption that came my way happened suddenly and very early on in my adult years, just 2 weeks before my wedding.

I went for a routine doctor visit before we got married since we were moving to Florida right after.  My doctor seemed different than usual, and she looked concerned.   Unfortunately, she found a very large mass behind my uterus.  She was so sad for me and talked about the possibility of cancer due to the rate of growth and its abnormal appearance.  Instead of going into surgery within the week as she recommended, I wanted to forget it all and enjoy my wedding, so I did.  I was very angry that this was getting in the way of my wedded bliss.  And this bump in the road caused me to be bitter for a while.  My blissful but incorrect perception of life without interruptions.

One month into our marriage, I returned to my hometown in Amarillo which was a lifetime away from where we were living in Panama City, FL.  It wasn’t a vacation, but instead it was a trip for surgery.  I stayed there for four weeks until I was cleared to fly home.  For years I would bitterly joke by saying, “yeah I was in the hospital on the labor and delivery floor, even had a c-section, but all they took out of me was a tumor.  I didn’t get a baby.”  This was a tough way to start a marriage, but it set us up and prepared us for all the trials that would come our way later on in life.

Difficult times have a way of changing our outlook–reminding us that things can change in an instant and how we need to see each day as a gift.  When I look back at the day we were told to shelter in place this year, I recall many emotions:  fear, disbelief, panic and even calm at times.  As a pre-pandemic mom, I worked hard to NOT be busy.  I limited our activities and classes.  I encouraged boredom and time spent at home.  Good old fashioned play was and is important to me.  But even so, we still managed to stay busy.  When all of our activities were suddenly halted in March, I was secretly happy  at first because–I HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR THIS DAY MY ENTIRE LIFE!   After all, I am a true 80’s child who grew up playing outside, riding my bike from house to house.  I remember waking up and going outside before 8am to wait for my friends to come out all summer long.  And I probably stayed out until dusk just like the Goonies.

But despite all that, having everything forcefully stripped away–even church–became more and more difficult to manage as the days dragged into months.  I then had a choice to make.  Either I would choose to crumble or I would choose to change.  If I’m really honest with you, I’m still trying to choose change over crumbling.  Each day is different.  Some are easier than others.  These months spent away from society have been trying for us.  But what I am pushing myself toward is remembering this:

  1. Be content in ALL things.  Not just the things that go my way.
  2. We are guaranteed today–this moment.  We are NOT guaranteed tomorrow.  So cherish today and all it carries with it.
  3. Creativity is born out of boredom.  I have seen this first hand with our 8 year old.  She has created so much during our time spent at home.
  4. Stillness brings the opportunity to listen.  And sometimes that stillness is uncomfortable.  Don’t be afraid to sit it in a little while.

So I want to know, how has this time changed you?  What changes are you making in your home that you want to be permanent?  Don’t let this time pass you by without taking the time to reflect on all the good that has come of it.

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Parenting In Waco

Let’s Play “Mom Wins!” Strategy

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One of the hardest things about being a Mom in our current global pandemic is being at home All. Day. Long. Every. Single. Day....