Why aren’t more people talking about the fresh hell that is moving with small children?
Long story short, our previous home (expected to take 4-5 months to sell due to a slow market) sold in 3 weeks and our new build wasn’t going to be ready for 5 months – so we sold sold/donated all of our “got this at a thrift shop for 4 bucks because we were poor university students” stuff, and packed everything else into storage and moved in with my inlaws. They have a small guest house on their property that they’ve graciously let us conduct our gypsy shenanigans in since.
Now we are 2 days away from not being homeless anymore and it is crunch time. I was trying to pack up some toys today and my 2.5 year old found a toy, covered in a thin film of filth and smelling like neglect, that hasn’t been touched in 80 years, and decided it was The Toy. The one that has to go to the potty with her. The one that has to sit beside her dinner plate. The one she takes to bed. This toy is embarrassing, and it is now her favourite. Cool. All the influencer blogs about moving said to just authoritatively talk to your kids about the importance of de-cluttering before you ditch their old toys but I am started to wonder if they were talking about human kids or fake kids because mine have taken de-cluttering as a blood oath challenge to protect what is rightfully theirs.
Then we have my almost 5 year old who is less concerned about her toys and way more concerned about the big picture. “Do the toilets work in the new house? Will it be warm? Can we bring all our clothes and blankets? Will the fridges have food in them? How will I get to school? Are we ever going to see Grandma and Grandpa again?” – she’s been inside our new house many times (that is 15 mins away from her grandparents) and yet still seems to think we’re moving away to start fresh in 1960’s Soviet Russia.
Then there’s me, wandering around looking for boxes, asking no one in particular if these are moving boxes for ants because they need to be at least 3x bigger, while my husband looks for imaginary tools to do imaginary things with – and our children just yell for more snacks. There are so many fruit snack wrappers in my garbage can right now I think I made an FBI watch list or something.
Thank GOD Past Rachel was smart enough to spring for movers to assist us (and enlist Grams to take the girls all day) because I am approximately 1 snack request away from an accident with a lighter and some extreme hold hairspray (to my stuff, not my kids – don’t call CFS on me).
I cannot be the only one in this boat – does moving with kids always suck this bad?
There is a 10 year photo challenge circulating – one in which you share photos 10 years apart to see how you’ve aged. I could post photos of me 10 years ago and me today, but I won’t. It’s not because I am chubbier now, it’s not because my hair is sprinkled with grey streaks, it’s not because I have the kinds of dark circles under my eyes that 2 kids in 2 years brings. It’s not because I only wear leggings now, it’s not because I just don’t have the time or energy for the biweekly mani/pedi I grew accustomed to in my 20’s. It’s not because I have a bit of a double chin that cheekily reminds me how damn much I love chocolate after 7pm. And most importantly, it’s NOT because I’m embarrassed that I HAVE aged 10 years.
It’s because photos are 2 dimensional. They show you nothing except the state of your physical shell. And what all these photos don’t show is how much your mental state can change in 10 years. 10 years ago, I’d venture to guess I was at my mentally unhealthiest state. The end of a long term relationship sent me into a toxic rollercoaster of crash diets, crippling insecurity, damaging romantic flings, and a general feeling of worthlessness. Was I pretty? Yeah. Did I turn heads? Sure. Was I healthy on the inside? NO.
And now? For the first time in a long time I can truly express how emotionally strong I feel. My insecurities shrink by the day, as I am acutely aware of how my projection can affect my daughters. I wake up happy and healthy, next to a man who sees my stretch marks as remnants of how hard my body worked to grow our kids and not evidence that I let myself go. I love myself. I am finally seeing all the cool fucking things I have to offer as a woman/wife/mother/friend and I refuse to waste even one more second on anyone who doesn’t agree.
So yeah, I’ve aged. I don’t look as asethetically pleasing (as dictated by our broken society) as I did when I was 23 years old. But I am the healthiest and happiest (physically and emotionally) that I have ever been, and that doesn’t translate well to photographs. I have never been more excited to have aged 10 years emotionally.
So I won’t join this challenge – and before you look at someone’s perfectly curated photo set and wish you still “looked that good” – take a step back and evaluate your physical being on a bigger scale. Because comparing your real life to someone’s highlight reel with no understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes is silly. This is me. Chubby and stretched marked and sleep deprived and fucking HAPPY.
Let’s talk authenticity for a hot minute. I was approached recently by a pretty large company, wanting to work together. They would pay me (in actual cash dollars) and in return I would promote and use their product in my photos. Only problem? I don’t like their product. I’ve used it. Wasn’t a fan. So….I turned it down. I’m not exactly raking in the dough with my Instagram hobby but I still turned it down. And that’s because I vowed that I will NEVER trade authenticity for approval. I think the most valuable thing I have is your trust in me and I don’t take that lightly. From day 1, I promised to only share things with you (especially ones I’ll profit from) that I truly like/use/believe in. And even further, I would always focus on small, local, handmade shops because I believe quality goods are a dying breed. It’s important to me to know where my belongings come from if I can help it. I really do choose all my sponsors and partnerships and collaborators mindfully – making sure that I believe in the maker and their products so you will too. Would it be easy to partner with every company that asks (and there are a lot), and in turn maybe make a living wage myself? LOL sure. There are tons of super successful IG influencers that do that daily and I respect their hustle immensely. It is just not me or my jam. I don’t want to trade money and likes and followers and exposure and social media growth for my authenticity. If people don’t trust me, believe in my word, than I have nothing. I started this account 9 months ago – never dreaming that my hustle would net me the success I’ve had – and I don’t take it for granted. I’m not tooting my own horn here, I’m really just trying to convey how important I feel it is to be myself in a world where everyone is trying to be like someone else ❤ This Bento – Yumbox Original in Bijoux Purple (lunch for me!)
2 mini cucumbers, halved & scooped out
french baguette slices
tuna salad topped with Everything But The Bagel seasoning
raspberries, blackberries, mandarin orange segments, and dried apricots
On a scale of coma to Tom Cruise Couch Yelling, how awake are you when your daughter climbs into bed with you at 1:45am, wiggles her little spoon into your big spoon, gently starts stroking your cheek, and then quietly asks you, “Mommy, when our house burns down, can we buy a farm?”
Answer: Sonic the Hedgehog on speed, awake.
This Bento: Little Lunch Box Co Bento 5
carrots & cucumbers
peanut butter and blackberry sandwich (mom hack: if you’re watching your sugar intake, use fresh blueberries/blackberries/raspberries/strawberries in place of jam in sandwiches – the bit of sugar already in PB and other nut/seed butters softens the tart berries and tastes just as delicious).
apples & plums
hummus with Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes
Before I had kids, I had CAPITAL O opinions about screen time for children. Mine weren’t gonna have any. Big Bad TV ™️ wasn’t gonna rot my kids’ brains. Cute right?
Fast forward to now. Dora taught my 2.5 year old to count to 10 in Spanish and my 4.5 year old casually tells me last night while getting ready for bed that “Mama, your hair & nails are made keratin and to keep them strong you gotta eat lots of broccoli and protein, that’s why I love broccoli” (at first she told me she learned this at school but I found out it is actually from Wild Kratts). So now the Kratt Brothers are my nanny and I ain’t even mad about it.
This Bento: Yumbox Original in Blue Fish
2 cranberry pistachio figgy pops by Made In Nature
Don’t you even, for one single solitary second, come on my page to check my lunch inspiration, and feel bad about yourself. Don’t do it.
Nothing separates us. I am NOT a better parent because I cut fruit into shapes and arrange it in a bento box. You are NOT a bad parent if all your budget allows for is bologna sandwiches in a ziploc bag, or your kid refuses to eat anything except for pepperoni sticks. At the end of the day, every single one us is just trying to do our best to raise KIND womb trophies. That’s it. Here’s a helpful list:
What makes someone a good parent?
Offering your child food in regular intervals (if they actually eat it is another story but really, not your forking problem)
Worrying about being a good parent
Loving your child
What makes someone a bad parent?
Not feeding your child(ren)
Not loving your child at least sometimes
Like anyone, I have good days and not-as-good days. I have organic rainbow pasta with expensive cheese and fresh vegetable days and “leftover A&W chicken strips & packaged snacks” sorta days. I yell at my kids. I have to apologize to my kids. I get frustrated and often feel like I’m one forking tantrum away from an atomic meltdown. I send my kids to bed when I’m angry and then tip-toe back in with tears in my eyes to kiss them 500x. I know you do the same.
So if you have a wicked Internet worthy lunch today, huge fist bump to you. If you only managed the bare minimum, I hear lemon lollipops can ward off scurvy and also great work putting in the effort you’re able to. I love you all.
I’ve learned a few things about bedtime as a parent.
First off, bedtime is the #1 leading cause of dehydration in children. Even say the B word and everyone starts sniveling about how they’re hungry and thirsty and surely going to die in the night if they don’t receive more sustenance immediately.
Two – it’s a rookie move to let your kid read the bedtime stories. It’s all fun and games until Wonky Donky meets up with Pete the Cat and then some random queen shows up and you’re looking at your watch like it might speak up and send help.
Three – you can ruin your kid’s whole entire life by offering the incorrect pyjamas to them and suggesting they might be warmer in something else.
Four – “maybe” is the word sent by the Devil himself. If you say maybe to something hypothetically speaking, your kids will for sure 100% take it as a true blood oath never to be broken. Tread lightly.
Naïvely, I thought bedtime was just calming getting tiny humans dressed and washed and tucked into bed when really it’s more like everyone’s screaming in Russian and nothing makes sense and it doesn’t really matter what you do because you’re gonna see these kids again in 10 minutes when they sneak back outta bed “wif a question” like the turd that won’t flush.
If you’ve found yourself here and things like bacon and cuss words tend to offend you, you might want to re-think those two life strategies because I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to be friends with me.
I’m Rachel. I’m a Snack Bitch to two womb trophies by day, and a work-at-home mama by night. I’m married to a man who travels extensively for work, so I’m a bit of a lukewarm mess solo parenting most of the time. I’m also a digital creator, a bento box maker, (not a candlestick maker), and a writer of all things crafty, foodie, humour-y, life-y and parent-y. I’m authentic, sarcastic, hilarious, and a little messy – aren’t we all, though?
I think about food way too much, love making things, drink too much diet coke, and spend more time than I care to admit laughing at memes on the internet. I believe weekends are best spent at the local Farmer’s Market, followed by embracing my inner sloth and becoming one with my bed. I’m fluent in sarcasm, and humour is the way to my heart.
Here’s what you’ll find on my blog – healthy-ish bento box meal ideas for your little crotch fruit, some bomb-ass recipes that I mostly make up in my head, and hilarious stories from my actual real day to day life. Basically a metric shit-ton of fun stuff, so pull up a seat because I can’t wait to interact with all you forkers.
Thanks for popping by, you bloody champs. Drop me a line sometime.