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Welcome to An Ideal Mom. My ‘Ideal’ means trying my best, forgiving myself when I do not, and learning from my mistakes and triumphs. On this site you will find honest reflections  on life, marriage, and parenthood, fun educational activities, an occasional simple recipe, and inspiration as you join me on my journey to become an ideal mom. There is more to know, click here to find out!

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I am very excited to announce I am now the creative director over at http://www.saratogamama.com!! Be sure to check out this great parenting resource for even more ideas and inspiration.

See what I have been up to!!!

SaratogaMama Magazine

The other day my three year old kissed my nose and told me I was beautiful. Having just woken up with my glasses on, hair undone, and suffering from some sort of sinus, throat ailment I wanted to say,”What?!! I look awful. My hair’s a mess, I am wearing my glasses, I have no makeup on,” but I stopped myself. Instead I kissed her back and said,”Thank you, you are beautiful too!” In that moment I fought all my natural instincts to deny her compliment, and began teaching my sweet girl about beauty.

From a young age my mother taught me she was not beautiful; she would often make negative comments about her appearance and push away compliments until they became few and far between. My mother wanted to be beautiful but she never felt it. Slowly I began to see my mother as she saw herself; not beautiful. I look back at pictures of my mother and think how pretty she looked, but I struggle between seeing her beauty and hearing her criticism of herself.  I want to deny my likeness to her and can not help but feel insulted when someone mentions how much I look like her. She always told me I was beautiful but how can I be beautiful if I look like her?

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. My daughter thinks I am beautiful because I am. I am her mommy; no matter what I look like I always look the same to her. I am hugs and kisses, and warmth and so much love, I am safe and reassuring, I am laughter and fun, I am a boo boo healer, a princess story teller, and a good night tucker inner. This is beauty to a three year old. This should be beauty to a 40 year old. I want her to always feel beautiful; no matter what she looks like. If she has on glasses, or has no time to apply lipstick, if her hair is a mess, or there are dark circles under her eyes, I still want her to know she is beautiful. I want her to learn a different definition of beauty than I did. I want her to know it is how you see yourself that matters most. She always tells me, ‘I am not cute, I am beautiful!’ Her confidence amazes me and I hope in ten years she still feels the same way. If I denied my beauty and criticized my appearance I would be teaching her to see not only me in a different way but to look for those negative images in herself as well.

My own mother is beautiful. I see her wedding photos and I think how can she not see her beauty? I feel sad I was not able to teach her about beauty the way my daughter is teaching me. Maybe it is not too late…

Usually when a package arrives at our door it is one of two things: a boring, work related item for my husband or something fun and exciting for the kids. But last week I was the one jumping for joy as I heard the delivery truck pull into our driveway. I knew inside the neatly wrapped box were deluxe sized samples of some of the latest and greatest beauty products just waiting for me to give them a try!

image: BirchBox.com

image: BirchBox.com

(read more…)

Driving my newly turned six year old boy to school in the morning is not a task I have encouraged or welcomed. Why add an extra 10 to 20 minutes to my already hectic morning when he could easily hop on a bus and be whisked off to school safely. Lately though I have been more open to doing things a little differently. The freezing cold temperatures and the extra ten minutes to stay snuggled in our nice warm beds seems a fair trade for those extra minutes spent driving him in. That, along with the recent memory of a terrifying event, is why I did not hesitate to drive him to school this morning despite my natural instinct not to.

Image: Amanda Vitti Photography

Image: Amanda Vitti Photography

(read more…)

I could not wait to be a mom.  My journey was not an easy one but the result was amazing and truly a miracle. After everything I went through I was beyond ecstatic to find out I was  pregnant. As we prepared for all the changes that were to come I had one nagging thought  I could not banish; what are we going to do with all of the stuff that will soon be part of our lives as well? Awful, right? To be worried about keeping my house neat and clean when I was so undeniably fortunate to be having a child in the first place? But that is me, a neat freak, married to a military man who had actually won an award for his professional demeanor and neatness. The challenge of keeping our house from looking as chaotic as it feels is never ending. As my kids grow so do their toys. But with a little creativity and a lot of trial and error I have come up with some affordable, easy to implement ways to keep the mess from looking like a mess!

If you have a boy, you most likely have more cars, blocks, tools, dinosaurs, and action figures than you ever dreamed you would own. Here are some ways to keep your little boys room organized now and as he grows. (read more…)

If you have a daughter anything like mine, chances are you have drawers overflowing with hair clips, bows, leggings, tights, fancy underwear, and princess dresses! I like to be organized but when a three year old that loves to dress up and accessorize is in control, organization slowly unravels. In an attempt to gain back some control and get out of the house in time, I have added some very simple, affordable solutions. Now I just keep my fingers crossed the chaos that was her room is gone for good.

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Barrette and Bow Holder: Use a nail or damage free hanging hook and tie a ribbon or scarf on it. Let it hang down and simply attach barrettes and bows to it. Hang it at a height that your child will be able to reach so she can help pick out her accessories. photo(14)

  (read more…)

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