Browsing Category

Motherhood

Uncategorized

One Room Challenge Week 2 | A Kitchen Makeover — Painting the Kitchen Cabinets

October 11, 2017

This week I’m sharing the progress we’ve made on our kitchen cabinets that are part of our kitchen makeover for the Fall One Room Challenge. 

Welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge! Once again, I’m blown away by the ideas my fellow ORC guest participants are coming up with for this round. If this is your first time hearing about the One Room Challenge (also known as ORC), it’s a bi-yearly six-week design and renovation challenge where bloggers from all over the internet get together and share their room transformations.

Week 1 | The Plan

Last week, I shared with you my plans for our modern-farmhouse kitchen makeover. This has been a project on our to-do list since we first laid eyes on our townhouse almost 2 years ago, so this is so exciting to be finally getting started and seeing our ideas come to life. The overall goal for the makeover is to brighten up our kitchen, so each project we have planned will help achieve this in some way or another. We have been dreaming up the perfect color for our cabinets

We have been dreaming up the perfect color for our cabinets for a really long time. I didn’t want to go with white because that just seemed too boring. There are so many fun colors out there to choose from and so many designers have been opting for color on their cabinets. Our cabinets are in great shape and we love them, we just weren’t in love with the dark wood. I knew I wanted to go either blue-grey, green-grey or beige-grey. We just knew whichever color we ended up choosing needed to compliment the floor tiles and the countertops. As much as we’d love to rip them both out and do concrete countertops and floors (someday!), it’s just not in our budget right now.

I started the process of choosing the cabinet color by pinning kitchens I loved the looks of and the funniest thing happened — I kept pinning the same kitchen over and over again. At that point, I figured I must have found a color I was helplessly in love with. So I started investigating what this paint color was because it was perfect. Here’s what I determined: these custom cabinets are from a company called DeVOL that are custom mixed by DeVOL using Farrow and Ball paints. Great. I thought I hit a road block. BUT, I found this blog post by Laurel Bern Interiors where she hunts down the paint colors they use on their custom cabinets. BINGO. I wasn’t the only person lusting after this color, after all!

Lisa Gutow

At the very bottom of the blog post, Laurel links to a blog post with the Benjamin Moore equivalents of the Farrow and Ball colors. At this point, I started to weep happy tears. She had matched Farrow and Balls Cromarty to Benjamin Moore’s Night Mist. Armed with my paint chips, I brought it home to my kitchen and knew it was the perfect color. Not stark white. Not grey. Not green. Not blue. Somewhere in between. And honestly, it’s a dream color to work with. If we ever want to change our complimentary colors, we can go any which direction on the color wheel and it will still look fabulous.

So here’s the part where I broke One Room Challenge rules. In the summer when the kids and I were at our summer cottage in Ontario, my husband got to work on the cupboards while he had the time and the space to get the job done. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the delight of taking cupboards off to paint with children crawling around, but I don’t think it would be a blast.

I wish I could do a tutorial showing how easy it is to paint kitchen cabinets, but the truth is, my husband did the whole job using an industrial grade sprayer. It was a huge job and definitely not something you do in a weekend. It took some serious time. I’m so thankful we weren’t in the house when he did it.

But what an amazing surprise to come home to at the end of the summer. I cried. A lot. It looks so good, guys! What a difference a coat of paint can do for a space, especially a space in need of brightening up!

It’s amazing, huh? I feel like changing the cabinet color was so big and made this project really start to come together in a hurry. I’m amazed at what paint color really did to change this space! And for only about $100, our cabinets look like they’re brand new and look like they cost us a fortune. Now all we need to do is figure out drawer pulls and knobs and we are all set! I’m still lusting after these brass knobs and pulls, but we’ll see!

So that’s the progress so far! Now it’s time to take out a wall and put in an island. Let’s just say Ikea couldn’t have opened at a better time here in the Maritimes! I have a feeling we are going to be outfitting this kitchen out with a lot of Ikea products.

Come back next week to see how the kitchen looks with one less wall. Lord help me. Drywall dust is my absolute least favorite thing on earth. Nothing worse than a layer of chalky powder on E V E R Y T H I N G.

Make sure you are following along on Instagram for some sneak peaks and behind the scenes.

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Motherhood

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

September 7, 2017

Think you have to give up your sense of style to keep your living room functional once you have kids? Guess again!

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

I’ve always been adamant that you don’t need to throw away your sense of style when you have kids. Easier said than done, I know. But we’ve successfully managed to keep our home on-trend and functional without breaking the bank, yet still comfortable and kid-friendly.

This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy for more.

Re-think Baby Gear

You spend a lot of time looking at the baby gear that you keep out in common areas so it might as well be cute, right? Cute baby gear is a bit of an oxymoron, but I swear it exists! You just have to hunt. Take this IKEA play gym, for example. I loved the wood but wasn’t a fan of the bright colored toys hanging off it so I gave it a bit of a makeover.

IKEA DIY Hack

Trendy Storage Solutions

There’s no shortage of cute baskets and bins to use to store toys in. I especially love these vintage wire baskets for storing our wooden blocks, but you can find awesome decorative seagrass baskets or these fun cloth sided baskets that come in so many fun prints!

Metal Basket for Wood Baby Toys

Hide the Clutter

A chest of drawers or a cupboard where you can stash the toys, puzzles, and games will be the best thing you ever put in your living room. Having this spot to put everything makes clean up a breeze. About once a month I go through our little chest of drawers and put everything back up in the kid’s rooms. Eventually, little odds and ends make their way back into the living room and into this little catch-all.

Living Room Storage Solutions with Children

Give Old Furniture New Life

I try not to buy new furniture for several reasons, one of them being that with little kids, I know wear and tear are inevitable (and I’m super cheap!). When you can find great furniture at a yard sale or thrift shop and transform it into a fun and functional piece for the living room, that’s a major win. Knowing I can slap another coat of paint on this little side table makes me breathe a little easier when I see the kids using it as a race track.

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

Choose Classic Toys

We are fortunate to have a number of really old wooden toys that date back to my husband’s childhood and some go back even further. Not only do I love wooden toys for my kids to play with but I also enjoy looking at wooden trains, trucks, and blocks in my living room. I mean, if I have to look at it, it might as well be aesthetically pleasing, right? If you don’t have any vintage wooden toys from your own childhood, you can find great wooden toys at your local thrift shop. We especially love playing with wooden blocks because it really forces you and your child to get creative and use your imagination.

Wood Toy Train with Succulents

What did I miss? Do you have a tip that you think I’d just love? Leave me a comment and tell me how you keep your living space stylish and still functional.

Make sure you give me a follow on Instagram to take a glimpse into our life.

stylish and functional living room with children

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Baby, Motherhood

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON’T!)

August 30, 2017

I’ve flown with my kids in all different ages and stages and there’s only one thing I know for sure: Flying with kids is NEVER easy.

Blog post over.

Just kidding!

It might not be easy but we have learned a few things over the years. Every time we travel we always say to ourselves, “OH LETS REMEMBER THIS FOR NEXT TIME”… and I either forget about it or by the time we travel again we are into a new stage and there’s a whole new learning curve. ugh.

note: this post contains affiliate links. Please see full disclosure policy for more details. 

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON'T!)

  1. SNACKS  – Maybe this is a no brainer for most but I always severely under pack the snacks and always regret it. Usually when we fly it’s only an hour or two for the flight which isn’t bad, but I forget about the bag check up line, security, waiting in the terminal, boarding the plane, waiting for our bags…. there’s a whole lot of time spent waiting where the kiddos are hungry, bored, and frankly just not happy. Having snacks at the ready like boxes of raisins or these healthy goldfish alternatives save our butts every time. I just need to remember to pack more than I think we’ll need.
  2. STROLLER & CARRIER – Flying with a big stroller sucks. But sometimes you have no choice! Fortunately, we usually can fly without a stroller or a car seat and family picks us up on the other end with all the stuff we need. When we are able to do it that way, we opt for a carrier or an easy to fold up umbrella style stroller. Unfortunately, you can’t wear your baby in a carrier during taking off and landing (at least in Canada) which is an absolute pain in the butt. I kept my 3-month-old in a carrier during a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast and he slept almost the entire time and I was even able to sleep because I didn’t have to worry about dropping him or turbulence.
  3. PRE-BOARDING – When you travel with kiddos, you are able to get on the plane first and receive assistance if you need it. But just a tip, if you DO need extra help, you’ll have to ask for it. I’ve been so close to breaking down in tears while flying alone with kids and it’s not fun. I wish I hadn’t been too proud to ask for help when I needed it. Even if it’s someone to just hold your baby while you get settled, a flight attendant would gladly help you.
  4. ENTERTAINMENT – Our kiddos don’t use screens at home and I’m pretty adamant about not letting them use them, even if it’s educational. But flying and traveling is a whole different ball game. It’s literally about survival. Loading your phone or a tablet with some downloaded Netflix shows is a really smart idea. I’ve personally never done this but will be doing it ahead of our next flight so I have a back up plan.
  5. TOYS – Before a trip, we usually head to Chapters with $10 – $20 to spend on little toys, books, and stickers to surprise out toddler with. We found these awesome stickers that are reusable and they worked amazingly on the windows of the plane and on the tray table. Little trains and cars make awesome little surprises. The trick is keeping them hidden until you need to pull them out and gain another 30 minutes of sanity.

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON'T!)

 

Baby

How to Cottage with Kids Without going Insane

July 31, 2017

I’m not going to pretend I know it all because I really just wing in 99% of the time when we travel to the cottage with the kids. But through all that trial and error we’ve learned a few lessons and have started to figure out this whole traveling with small people thing. Scroll down to see some pics from our trip!

And keep reading to find out the single best tip I discovered this year.

This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy here.

// Baby Life Jacket // Disposable Diapers // Wipes // Travel High Chair // Rashguard // Silicone Play Mat // Sunscreen // Water Bottle // Sun Hat // Closed Toe Sandals //

Baby Life Jacket  // Essential for us because we need to take a boat, but also just the best for peace of mind, especially when you have two tiny people to watch near the water!

Disposable Diapers // As a cloth diapering family, we don’t mind to take a break from diaper laundry. The single best thing I did this summer was order diapers and wipes ahead of time. Figure out where the closest post office is and have your diapers and wipes sent to it so you can just pick them up on the way. Obviously, if you’re going to a place that’s near grocery stores, this isn’t the greatest tip. But for us, this has been a real life saver. Our cottage is on an island so trips to town are far and few between. We ordered our diapers and wipes on Well.ca and had them shipped to the post office with Canada Post’s Flex Delivery program. But Amazon also gives you the same option!

Wipes // You can never have too many wipes. From diaper changes to cleaning up after digging in the garden, wipes are my best friend.

Travel High Chair // The highchair we use at home is actually designed to be a travel high chair that can clip onto a table. We take ours to restaurants all the time but especially love how easy it is to take along with us to the cottage.

Rashguard // Kids usually don’t enjoy getting sunscreen applied and reapplied through out the day so I like to minimize the amount of exposed skin by throwing the kids into a sun safe suit that can go in the water!

Silicone Play Mat  // Our littlest guy just started solids, so meal times are messy! To protect the countertops and prevent plates from hitting the ground, we just use an Ezpz Play Mat that suctions to the table! Plus it does double duty by also being a mat that Oliver can paint and get messy on!

Sunscreen // Sunscreen is kind of a no brainer, but this specific sunscreen is one we love because it’s safe for baby and toddler, smells amazing, and blends in well. It also comes in a stick for easy application and my personal fave is the tinted face sunscreen!

Water Bottle // I love using glass with the kids because I know it’s clean and safe but hate the idea of them dropping glass cups. We love these ones because of the silicone sleeve to protect the glass. + the colors are so fun! They even make sippy cup and nipple tops for the glass bottles.

Sun Hat // My favorite sun hats! So many fun patterns to choose from and the quick breakaway clasp and drawstring are an amazing feature. We’ve lost every other hat in the wind, except this one!

Closed Toe Sandals // Water proof leather sandals! The best of both worlds. I have a pair for myself, too. I love that you can wear them out in the rain or get them muddy and they’ll clean up easily so you can wear them for something formal. I detest bringing so many pairs of shoes to the cottage with us so when one pair can work for so many different outfits and activities, I’m happy!

A post shared by Stephanie McDougall  (@mommyzoid) on

A post shared by Stephanie McDougall  (@mommyzoid) on

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Baby, DIY & Home

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

July 18, 2017

My favorite thing to do once the kids are both asleep is to kick back in the living room with a good HGTV show and a glass of fizzy water. But I just can’t truly relax until all the toys are put away. But there are some things that you just can’t put away. Like the IKEA Baby Gym, for instance.

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

We originally got this little gym from the in-laws for Oliver for him to use while we were staying at the cottage. He loved it! And eventually used it to learn how to stand up and then pushed it around the house for his first few steps. Fast forward to now, this little play gym has a few scratches and I’ll be honest, the color scheme is not my favorite.

I had some leftover Fusion Mineral Paint from the Tones for Tots collection that we used to fix up a chest of drawers that we found on the side of the road. It calls our living room home and hides all the toys out of sight. I had been eyeing up the play gym for quite some time, waiting for the right time to make my move. On a nice sunny day, I opened up the garage door and set to work! You can see the transformation in the video below:


Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

 

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Baby

My Baby is Half a Year Old?!

July 14, 2017

It’s true what they say: Babies don’t keep. How on earth is my littlest baby a half a year old? And more importantly, my maternity leave is half over. Where is time going?

|Reid’s Shirt|

Photo Credit: Morgan Webb Photography

Now that’s he’s six months old he’s starting to sit up for longer stretches and even trying really hard to crawl. Guys, it won’t be long until I need to install baby gates. Holy stairs. We are so excited to start trying foods with him. He has been watching us and his brother with such interest and gets quite vocal about the fact that he has no food in front of him yet. Patience, my little Ellie! We will be giving baby-led weaning a shot, just like we did with Oliver. His first food will likely be some banana or avocado. Something mushy!

|Reid’s Shirt|

Photo Credit: Morgan Webb Photography

He’s loving to watch his brother. Elliot might be crying but if he hears his brother’s voice, he starts to calm down immediately. No one can make him laugh like his big brother can. I truly am in absolute awe watching them together. Their love for one another is so obvious.

|Oliver’s Shirt|Oliver’s Shoes|

Photo Credit: Morgan Webb Photography

So much babbling! Oliver wasn’t much of a babbler so this is all new to us. He’ll just be laying there in his car seat kickin’ his feet and making funny noises. He is always in a good mood. Like, seriously. It’s a bit bizarre!

We are such a happy little family of four! It’s better than I could have ever imagined. We feel pretty complete. <3

Here’s to many more milestones with our sweet little Ellie-Bean.

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy here.

Baby, Mom

My Post-Pregnancy To-Do List: Home Teeth Whitening + GIVEAWAY

July 12, 2017

Before kids, I loved doing my makeup, my teeth were always sparkly white and my hair was always nicely bleached. Once I transitioned into being a mom, I was either too depressed to keep up any of that stuff or there was just literally no time for it. Somewhere around 7 months pregnant with Elliot, I started thinking about the things that I wanted to make a priority after the pregnant, and one of them was my self-care. Self-care looks different to everyone and even to me, it can look different from day to day. I made myself a post-pregnancy to-do list for once the baby is born: I wanted to go back to being blonde, buy myself a bunch of new makeup, and get my teeth whitened. So when Smile Brilliant approached me to try out their custom teeth whitening system, I was beyond excited to knock something off this to-do list.

Need to whiten your teeth? Stick through until the end for all the giveaway details! 

When I was younger, I had braces for 5 years and it sucked. My teeth weren’t too crooked, they were just misaligned and it took forever to get them to where they needed to go. In the end, the midline could never be lined up on both the top and bottom. My dentist hooked me up with some custom trays to do whitening at home and it was quick and easy. But it cost an arm and a leg. Plus I had to go to the dentist to have the impressions made of my teeth so they could create the custom trays.

Smile Brilliant is the exact same product I received from my dentist, except there were no trips to the dentist. I was able to create my impressions at home, mail them off to Smile Brilliant’s lab and they sent me back the custom trays for me to start using. I was able to create my impressions quickly and easily while the kids slept. Guys, I didn’t even have to leave the house!

Once the custom trays arrived at my doorstep, it was time to start the whitening process.Within about 2 whitening sessions, I saw a noticeable difference in the color of my teeth. Yahoooo! Buh bye coffee stains, hello white teeth.

Since becoming a mom, my coffee intake has like, quadrupled, and so has the staining on my teeth. And let’s be honest, the coffee ain’t going anywhere. I’m going to keep drinking my coffee! But now I have my secret weapon to combat the coffee stains. and what a boost in confidence I have now that my teeth are whiter and brighter! Still have questions about teeth whitening?


How Much Is Teeth Whitening

 

Now for the fun part. Enter to win your very own custom home teeth whitening kit so you can get those pearly whites in tip-top shape. The winner will receive $139 store credit to www.smilebrilliant.com*Giveaway open to UK, Australia, Canada, and USA residents*

If you just can’t wait, here’s a coupon code for 5% OFF: mommyzoid5

HAPPY WHITENING!

 

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: This post has been sponsored by Smile Brilliant. All opinions (and teeth!) are my own. Please read for disclosure policy for more information.

Baby, DIY & Home

Toddler Jeans-into-Shorts Upcycle

July 4, 2017

I feel like it was only yesterday that I was trying to convince my toddler to go from shorts into jeans in the fall. Now I’m trying to coerce him out of jeans and into shorts and he’s just not having it! But it’s nearly 30 degrees and he’s way too hot. Enter JORTS. Jean shorts!

A perfect little DIY for those jeans that still fit in the waist but the length in the legs is just way too short. It’s a common problem with growing kids!

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Mental Health, Mom and Baby

Download These Apps Now to Organize Your Life + Save Your Sanity

June 23, 2017

I feel like I’m constantly on the hunt for the best apps to help organize my life. There’s literally an app for everything you need and even an app for the things you didn’t think you needed. Since I received my diagnosis of adult ADHD, I have been searching out the best apps to help me stay on track and remember the playdate schedule, our meal plans and even when to take my medications…the list goes on. Basically, my phone is my lifeline!

Here are the apps I use every single day to help keep me focused and organized. It’s easy for me to forget to remember, which has been something I’ve struggled with my whole life:

You can read more about my ADHD diagnosis here.

Medisafe

I can usually keep track of my medications without an alarm or an app, but why I chose to start using an app to track my medications was the ability to enter how many pills I have and then the app reminds me when I reach a predetermined threshold to make a doctors appointment or call in a renewal. I also have the ability to track any side effects and make all kinds of notes. This app also has the ability to add other people and their medications (maybe your spouse or your kids) as well as gives you the option of adding a Medfriend which is someone who will also get the alerts when you’ve missed a dose and can help remind you to take your medication.

Bliss

A simple journal-like app that I use to help stop and reflect on my life. I’ve found it really has helped me stop and look on the bright side and really see the positive in situations that I previously would have been upset by. The app is based on the notion that positive focus = happier and more motivated. It includes really great prompts to help you get started and you can save all your entries so you can go back and read them.

HabitHub

I use HabitHub to help keep me on track with my healthy habits. If you’re working towards a goal or wanting to make a healthy lifestyle choice become a routine, this app is a great tool for helping keep track of those positive choices. You can organize your habits according to different aspects of your life, for example, relationships, health, work, family, etc. You can set reminders for your habits so you get a little alert. At the end of the day, I get a little reminder to check in my habits and make sure I’ve checked them off if I’ve done them that day.

FitBit

I got myself a FitBit after my first son was born because I really wanted to motivate myself to reach my step goal every day. What I didn’t expect was the motivation I would find in the Challenge groups. FitBit has several challenges you can invite your friends to join you on. I find I am much more likely to go out for a run or take the kids for a walk when there’s the added element of competition!

TD MySpend

Do you remember the good old days when you would take a bill to the bank to pay it? Now that I have all my monthly bills and transactions automated, I find I don’t watch my transactions the way I once did, which is one way to slowly spiral into debt. I use the regular TD Banking App to manage my accounts but I also use the TD MySpend App to track my transaction. I get an alert on my phone within seconds of a transaction, which I have found to be super helpful with helping me track my spending and be more mindful with my debit card. It almost harkens back to the days of using cash when you’d actually physically see and feel the money leaving you.

Keep by Google

Like a notepad but way better. You can quickly jot down a note, write a to-do list, draw a picture, record a quick audio note or even capture a picture. I think of it kind of like my digital notebook. I can keep all kinds of records or notes and access them from my computer or on my phone while I’m out and about. I can even “add a collaborator” so my husband and I can have a running shopping list on the go or even a place to share funny memes or videos!

Calm

I started using this app toward the end of my pregnancy to try and meditate. I love the guided meditations! They help me fall asleep when I’m having trouble doing so on my own. I have a reminder set for 12:00 noon every single day (usually the kids have just gone down for naps at this time) and that’s my reminder for some me time. I throw on a guided meditation or just listen to one of the pre-loaded background soundtracks like rain on a tin roof or ocean waves and I just take a little quiet time for myself and really concentrate on my breathing. It’s amazing what a few moments of quiet can do for your mood and energy level for the rest of the day! Meditating feels weird at first but I promise if you stick with it, you’ll come to look forward to it.

Calendar by Google

I have a Google phone so my user experience with the Google apps might be a little different than if you aren’t on a Google operating system. Basically, this Calendar saves my butt constantly. My husband and I created a calendar together and sat down and plugged all our withdrawals, deposits, and contributions into the calendar and their amounts. We also color coded them so we knew whose account the money was set to come out of. It was a lot of work up front but now I’m able to quickly glance at my calendar when I have a question. It’s these sort of little details that I’ve never been able to remember, so instead of wasting my brain power on trying to remember these things, I outsource it to the Google calendar!

I wish there was one super app that could just help me do everything. I guess that would be my own robot, huh? Do you use any of these regularly? Did you discover some new ones?

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: This post contains affiliate links. Read full disclosure statement.

Baby

A Proper Diagnosis: The Road to Recovery

June 16, 2017

I’ve been pretty open and honest about my experience with depression and anxiety during my first pregnancy and during my second pregnancy. It’s been cathartic for me to share my journey, but also really awesome because I know I’ve helped some other women out along the way. I know this because they’ve reached out to me and thanked me, which was so brave! It’s because of those people and their kind words that I’m able to keep on sharing so others can read through my experience, see themselves in my story, and maybe get some answers to some questions they’ve had, or even get a proper diagnosis like I finally did.

The first time I really felt depressed was when I was 17 and I had just moved out on my own. I would have daydreams about driving off the highway and crashing my car on my way to class, wondering if anyone would even notice or care. This was the first of many times in my life where I would attempt something new, not enjoy it/lose interest, and feel like a complete failure. This cycle has been playing out for years and years and years and it wasn’t until very recently that it become clear that this wasn’t just a flaw in my character, but rather a really common disorder that I had no idea I had been living with my entire life.

Lets back up to the feelings of depression and anxiety. Since I was 20, I’ve been taking medications to help ease those feelings, and they worked, somewhat. I was certainly less depressed and less anxious, but still not living my best life. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child when I started receiving really amazing care at the children and women’s hospital in my city and I was given a whole new diagnosis. Sure, I was depressed and anxious but the underlying reasons for those feelings was because I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Say what? When my psychiatrist told me this I was so shocked. I mean, surely she was mistaken. But she wasn’t.

I was under the impression OCD looked a certain way because I’d only seen it portrayed in movies and TV one way. But there’s a type of OCD called Pure-O where you have these really intrusive obsessional thoughts. Here’s an example of an intrusive thought I have quite often. When my husband says goodbye before leaving for work and I wish him off to work, tell him to be safe, and that I love him, the second he shuts the front door I think back to what was the last thing I said to him in case he dies on his way to work and that was our last exchange. and instead of just leaving that thought there and thinking about something else, I’ll create this entire narrative about how I’ll be a widow with two kids. I let myself wander down this really unhelpful path.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my therapists:

There is no such thing as good thoughts or bad thoughts. All we have is thoughts and some are helpful and some are unhelpful.

With the help of my psychiatrist, we found the right medication that actually helps me with the real problem, which was these scary and unhelpful thoughts, and it was these thoughts that caused me anxiety and depression.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.

This journey has been like peeling back an onion — each layer that gets peeled back reveals even more.

The intrusive thoughts were all but gone which meant the anxiety and depression lessened considerably. But then I started noticing other aspects of my life that weren’t improving and becoming glaringly obvious as other aspects of my health improved. For example, I could stand in the kitchen and look at the sink full of dishes, go to wash them. But then I’d see something else I needed to do and start working on that, meanwhile the dish water is getting cold and the dishwashers half unloaded and the washer has wet clothes in it that I forgot to switch to the dryer last night and the garbage needs to be emptied and then I remember that thank you card I need to send, an appointment I forgot to book and my to-do list is growing and I can’t seem to focus on one thing long enough to finish a task. In these moments I feel like I’m spinning in circles but going nowhere.

I had all but accepted that this was just who I was. This was part of my character. That I just wasn’t cut out to be an adult. I would go to the store to get a specific thing and leave with everything but that one thing I needed. Then I’d beat myself up about forgetting something so basic. I would cause myself to become depressed and anxious over these things that felt out of my control. I was trying so hard to stay on track but nothing worked. It didn’t matter how many reminders, day planners, calendars, and to-do lists I had. I couldn’t get my s-h-i-t together.

But then a friend posted an article on Facebook about Adult ADHD in women. As I was reading this article the tears were streaming down my face. WHAT? Who wrote this? How do they know exactly what I’ve been through? But then I was confused because I thought ADHD was for hyperactive little boys.

What I didn’t know is there are different types of ADHD and girls don’t get diagnosed like boys do because boys generally have the hyperactive ADHD while girls trend toward inattentive or impulsive. I fall somewhere in the inattentive zone and I can see so much evidence of this behavior all through my life.

For a moment I was really sad. I thought about all the time I’ve lost and how much of my life I’ve spent beating myself up, calling myself a failure, starting things and never finishing them. But then I became so happy. Happy that I finally have some answers. Finally able to start living my life and enjoying it. The way I felt before was that I was just getting through life but never really enjoying the journey. The journey was agonizing and arduous so why would I enjoy it?

It’s been such a journey to get to this point and I know it’s just beginning but I have to say it’s such a wave of relief to know I’m on the right path, surrounding myself with the right information and learning lots of new skills to help me cope with my new diagnosis.

The moral of my story is if you think something is going on, trust your instincts. Talk to your doctor and keep digging. My doctors were never wrong. I was depressed and I was anxious but that was just a symptom of a much bigger issue.

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: All photos c/o Morgan Webb Photography