The Intuitive Mommy Blog

Welcome to the Intuitive Mommy Blog! This blog is all about the chaos and the calm of motherhood, with a spiritual twist! I will be writing about my own personal spiritual awakening, being a single mommy, and maintaining my career as a police officer. So go ahead, grab a glass of wine and enjoy! Let's talk about motherhood!

How many parents out there have traveled alone with an infant? How many parents out there have traveled alone internationally with an infant, or a toddler? I have, and if you’re a military wife I bet you raised your hand twice, and good for you for surviving that challenge! Seriously, that has to be the biggest, toughest, emotionally draining, alcohol inducing, thing I have ever done, and that’s coming from a former Marine and Police Officer! Coworkers, friends, and social media followers ask me travel related questions almost weekly. My followers on social media look at Liv and I and think we travel domestically and internationally with ease, but we don’t. It’s not easy, but if I can do it, YOU can do it. Oh, and without tears. Here are some tips and tricks I have personally come up with when it came to road trips and flights, with my very energetic toddler;

Number one; iPad screen time. Not to quote Linsay Lohan’s character from Mean Girls, but this is absolutely correct. When it comes to screen time “The limit does not exist.” Oh, and bring a backup battery charger. When it comes to long flights or road trips, make sure to have an iPad or some sort of video entertainment on hand at all times. Don’t feel bad for the excessive screen time either. Remember, you are in survival mode, and your mission is to get to your destination unscathed, and sober. Make sure to have movies and games pre-downloaded the night before, just in case you are unable to find wifi. This expensive little tool will help you get to your destination, and hopefully with the help of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, will help your little one get there as well with little to no tears.

Number two; Travel games. Amazon should do the trick for this one, and the best part about it, travel board games are pretty cheap! Here is my list for travel board games I have used with Liv;

Melissa & Doug Travel Bingo.

Coogam Travel Tangram Puzzle- Magnetic Pattern Block Book.

Eraseable drawing pad book by AriTan.

“Take ‘N’ Play” magnetic game boards.

Good ol’ fashioned crayons and coloring books, or color wonder markers and books.

These are just a few of the travel games, but will come in handy on road trips or layovers! All can be easily searched for and found on Amazon.

Number three; Endless snacks. Your job during this taxing process is to continuously feed the toddler. I have never had an issue with TSA in the past when it came to traveling internationally with prepackage baby food, or toddler snacks. You will however, have to take them all out of your insanely organized diaper bag you packed so perfectly the night before, and present them all to the TSA officers at screening time, but you should not be told to toss them out as long as you actually have a child with you. I have traveled internationally with full bottles of formula and baby food, and I have never had a problem. Snacks are good to have specifically for bribes. For example, “I will give you this bag of Pirate Booty, if you can sit down properly, and stop jumping on your seat.” If this does not work, keep offering other snacks until one catches their attention. To this day I am very snack driven, like my three year old.

Number four; Stay organized and travel as light as possible for Customs. I learned this the hard way. The first time I traveled internationally with Liv, she was 8 months old. We flew from Japan to San Diego, and I had no idea what I was doing. This was the first time I had flew or even traveled alone with Liv, and it was all trial and error. I took notes on what worked for us, and what did not. What did not work was checking our Bob Stroller. Terrible idea. I put Liv in the oversized jogging stroller, while dragging our giant 75 pound luggage bag behind me, and an infant carseat in a TSA approved travel bag (backpack style) on my back (also a great Amazon find!). It was heavy and obnoxious. Oh, and at every customs stop, you have to take the baby out of the car seat, fold the stroller, place the stroller on the conveyer belt to scan, all while holding the baby, then place all luggage on the belt, unpack the diaper bag because, snacks, then take you and baby though security, just to get to the end of customs to unfold stroller and repack the diaper bag. Oh, and they dont give you much time to do this. There will be a very long line of tired and angry people behied you, if you were to take your time. There is an easier way, and here is what I learned the second time around. Strap baby to you so you have free range to move around through customs, and layovers. If you have to travel with a stroller, the POCKIT travel stroller will be a life saver. It even folds into a tiny square to fit inside of the overhead compartment above your seat. Thie was also another Amazon find. This will come in handy for toddlers up to three years old as well. I love this stroller, and when Liv grew out of it, I donated it to another mama who was traveling solo with her little one. We both agreed, this was perfect for traveling with! You don’t even need to check it because of how perfectly sized it is, so baby can remain inside while walking around the airports during layovers.

Number five; “The extra” stuff. If you are staying with family, try and send all hygiene products to your destination a week before your trip. Do not travel with them. You need that extra room for clothing, diapers, or even to make your luggage a little lighter. I use Target or Amazon to send all shampoos and body washes, straight to wherever I am staying. Keep your luggage light and organized because heaven forbid Customs has to break open your suitcase, because they saw your curling iron as a threat and needed to investigate it ( true story) so they dumped it. Do not expect them to put anything back nicely either. Diaper bags as well. Get one specifically for traveling. A lot of compartments and side pockets! You will fill them all, trust me.

Last but not least. If you have to travel with an infant, call your airline after you book your flight to request the baby bassinet. You will get more space for you and baby, and your little one will be able to relax and sleep during the journey! This is something a lot of parents did not know! There is usually only one or two of these on a flight, so request it quick.

Traveling solo with a child will be stressful, but the more you do it, the better at it you get. It will be rough at first but take notes on what worked, and what you could do better next time. Like anything, it takes practice, but I can honestly say after three years of traveling with Livvy, its actually getting a little easier when it comes to the process.

There is a lot I am leaving out but I wanted to keep this topic simple and light so, if you have any other questions or need any advice on this topic, please leave a comment or email me, and I will get back to you!

Thanks for reading!

Here it is, the topic I’ve been trying to avoid but have been told by my co worker, I needed to talk about. I wanted to avoid this topic due to the fact that my dating life is pretty much non existent, and although I have no shame, I felt that I had nothing to bring to the dating table. So, here we go. Lets dive in.

Dating and the single mother. Eh, well, the legally separated mother thanks, to COVID-19 slowing me down. But, I am well on my way to legal freedom. Even with a mild technicality in my relationship status, I am still being asked out on dates. Now, guys are not lining up at my door, not like that. But here and there, some nice man will come out of nowhere and either “slide into the DMs”, or the most popular one, ask my work partner if I was single. Now, here’s where it gets complicated.

I absolutely love staying home on a Saturday night with my daughter, Liv. I feel like its just where I belong. I honest to God enjoy my weekends together, but I wouldn’t mind a date or two here and there. Ya know, to feel like I have a somewhat of a normal life. To get dressed up in cute heels and a dress, and be complimented for an hour or two. who wouldn’t want that?! So here is why after approximately a year and a half of being single, I haven’t gone on a single date. Yep, not one.

Reason number one; Mom guilt. Its real. The first time I was asked out, I agreed to meet up on a Saturday evening. We were meeting half way due to distance, and I was semi excited. I found a sitter last minute, a super cute outfit, and rocked out in my bathroom to all the good music as I got dressed for my “first date”, to pump myself up. Then, an hour before I was supposed to head out, the mom guilt kicked in. Like, full on, head to toes, mom guilt. My chest felt heavy and my stress level went up. I went from excited, to “omg, I need to cancel”, in a matter of minutes. So, I canceled. I made up some lame excuse, changed out of my date attire, and snuggled up with Liv on the couch as we watched Moana. Did I feel bad for canceling on who I perceived to be an amazing, sweet, guy? Hell yeah I did! I felt terrible, but mom guilt feels worse. The heaviness I felt on my chest went away as soon as I hung up the phone to tell him I wasn’t going to make it. Needless to say, I never heard back from him.

Reason number two. One guy seemed very okay with me being a mommy, but in the end, I started getting the feeling he was not. Let me explain. We were set up. My partner at work mentioned to me a friend of his was interested in asking me out. Oh, and he knew I was a single mom. My partner gave him my number with my permission, and we started texting. Texting turned into phone calls, and phone calls turned into Facetime. He was cute, sweet, and we had a lot in common. We talked for weeks. He never asked about Liv, or even “liked” any of her pictures I would post on social media. But, he was quick to “like” solo ones of me. I thought things were going well, and at that point we had been talking every single night for over a month. I got the feeling he wasn’t interested in ever meeting up with me after a short conversation about kids. He mentioned he wasn’t interested in them, and didn’t even know if he wanted them in the future. I knew right then this wasn’t going anywhere. We never spoke again after that night.

Guys who are not “kid friendly” won’t stick around. Im actually okay with that too! Does it hurt to feel rejected? Yes. Yes it does. But I come with a child. An amazing one at that. My life isn’t easy or simple either. If I’m “talking” to any guy, I have to explain to them that dating me can be complicated. It’s work. I can’t just “get up and leave” to meet you. I can’t sleep over your house, I need date plans scheduled at least one week in advance, and texting constantly throughout my day is not going to happen. Please, for the love of all things good, call me! It’s super hard to have a three year old climbing on me, eager to get my attention, all while texting you and making small talk. No. Just no.

Also, I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe in soul mates, and I believe we have more than one in this lifetime. Yes, more than one. I really am in no rush to find my soul mate, but isn’t the fun part about dating supposed to be the journey? Dating should be fun and exciting, but I actually dread it. Child or no child, I have honestly never liked it. Dating feels like a competition. A competition I want nothing to do with. I’m an old school kind of girl, with an old soul, so I believe in the old way of going about it. I know, confusing, so stay with me for a second. What happened to locking eyes with the cute boy at the coffee shop, and he walking up to you to make small talk, then he asks you for your number, then that ultimately leads to a date? I want this so badly. I have been so close to being asked out this way, but I ruined it! long story short, one early morning I was waiting in line at a Starbucks. I had a million errands to run that day so I decided to get dressed up. I looked adorable, and caught the eye of a gorgeous San Diego firefighter, who I actually had never seen or met before ( being a police officer requires me to work with these guys, so I know a good majority of them). We locked yes, he smiled, I smiled back, and he walked over a little closer to me. I got nervous. Like, a little sweaty under my cute top, nervous. He said “You have really pretty hair, and I just had to tell you that”. My reply? “Oh, thanks! I haven’t washed it in three days!”. That’s all it took for him to awkwardly smile at me and turn around to walk away. WTF is wrong with me?! A moment I had waited for was ruined and I had no one to blame but my dirty, but perfectly curled hair and my mouth. Needless to say, if this was to happen again, I will not bring up my hair routine habits. Then, there’s online dating. I cant. No judgment for those who online date, its just not for me. This is where dating feels like a competition. Why would I want to compete with all the single girls within a 25 mile radius of this guys home. Its too easy to log in to some app, order yourself a Friday night date, the same exact way you would order your clothing or groceries. Where is the chase? Where is the fun in this? If I have to cancel on a date, its super easy to replace me with a new girl you found on Tinder. Again, dating sucks. For now on, I will not be afraid to be the pursuer if I need to be. Its okay to see someone you would love to get to know, and ask them out. I no longer have any shame when it comes to that. But, it will take someone super special to pull me away from a Disney movie with Livvy on a Saturday night.
I know one day I will find my “perfect man” but it will take some time, and I’m okay with that. It will happen for me, and if this pertains to you, you as well. To quote an early 80’s band I love “Hold the line. Love isn’t always on time”. -TOTO

Have a question? Ask me in the comments section or send me an email! XOXO

First and foremost, before I dive into this thing I have to say thank you. Thank you for supporting this blog and me. This blog is becoming so incredibly therapeutic to my out of control, but exciting life. 

I have a bad habit of making my life appear flawless on social media, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. So, I promise to be open and honest from this day on. I promise to be real with the struggles and the happiness that motherhood brings. Mothers almost weekly message me on social media asking this one simple question, “How do you do it all?!” and my reply has always been, “I don’t.” Shame on me for downplaying myself and my abilities as a mother, and shame on me for not giving an honest answer to a mother who may be seeking a little advice, or might be struggling herself. Aren’t we all put on this earth to help and support one another?  This is hard. Being a mom is hard. Stopping your child from accidently killing themselves every hour on the hour, is hard. But the good news is, we are not alone. And no one should be making you feel like you are alone in this. If you don’t have support or a “village”, please reach out to me, because I would love to be those things for you.

The question EVERYONE asks me. How did I get here? Well let me tell you…

Soon after my daughter was born in the summer of 2017, my husband at the time was being transferred to Okinawa, Japan, for his job. So, I put my career on hold, packed up our household furniture, and moved with him. Our daughter was three months old and I was a brand new mom, living in a country where English was definitely not the primary language, and on top of that, I had no one around me for support. Not one single soul. I felt isolated and alone. My husband immediately started working once we landed on the island, so I was left to figure everything out on my own. I stayed inside for weeks. I only ever left our small hotel room to venture out for a good cup of coffee (Japan has the best coffee in the world if you didn’t know that) to help my very sleep deprived self. My fears ruled my life. Fears of taking an infant outside into a very unfamiliar place seemed reckless to me, and I wanted nothing to do Japan. But, I craved socialization. I wanted that “go-to” girlfriend who knew it all. Who was a mother herself, all while making motherhood look good! The mother who is fearless, adventurous, and sweet. Someone who I could call at any hour of the day or night just to vent about struggles with.

Ask and you shall receive!

For privacy purposes, lets call this super hero mom, Sally. Approximately one week after landing in Japan, Sally immediately began texting my husband (our husbands worked together) asking him if we needed absolutely anything. In fact, Sally insisted on picking us up in her vehicle to take us out for tours of the area, and show us fun places to eat. I politely declined. Mistake number one. It’s too easy to live in fear and stay inside, alone, and isolated. Anxiety, or postpartum depression in my case, kept me from reaching out for help when I needed it the most. I was comfortable being alone and figured I had no control over my situation, or environment. In fact, in my mind, I was a victim of my circumstances. That mindset was mistake number two. I lost myself completely. But thank the Lord for Sally. She insisted we take our kiddos out for walks along the seawall, with coffee. Who am I to pass up an offer like that? Coffee and the ocean? Yes, please! With my daughter Livvy in her brand new jogging stroller, and a cup of delicious coffee (seriously, try the coffee) I had an amazing time. But Sally didn’t stop there. My time in Japan became an awakening. A self-discovery awakening. I was pulled out of my depression and was taken to some of the most beautiful places Japan had to offer, with Sally and our kids. Sally stayed by my side my entire two years on the Island of Okinawa, through thick and thin. My marriage fell apart (to no fault of our own, we just couldn’t make it work) and Sally was there to allow me to vent and complain (we all need a Sally in our lives). Looking back I’m sure it got super annoying listening to me, but she never left. I have her to thank for the mother I am today. No, seriously. If I had not met this woman, I would still be stuck inside of my house, too afraid of the world, living in complete fear of what someone might do to my child. Years of being a police officer has shown me what the public was capable of, and my mission in life is to keep my perfect daughter safe. Who knew I could do that, all while allowing her to live her best life. And thanks to Sally, Livvy did just that. I will always be greatful for this beautiful mom.

After seperating from my husband, I moved back to Southern California, and bought a house. It’s been a little over a year since then, and my life has never been the same. I have had ups and down, sleepless nights, a lot of toddler vomit, bed wetting incidents at 2am, kissed a million “boo-boos”, first day of preschool, gymnastics and swim lessons, and a lot of wine and coffee (not in that order), and honeslty, I AM HERE FOR IT. I wouldn’t change a single thing. Okay, now to the good stuff. So, lets finally dive in!

I have to get something out into the open. I have been experiencing something that is literally blowing my mind. I’m talking about a word we all know well and use daily, but why is it considered a “bad word”? Why does this one little word affect relationships with friends and family? It can tear friendships apart. I’m talking about the little two letter word, “No”. That’s right, I said it! No.

 Before I begin my rant, I want to throw some fun facts out to you,and give you an explanation on how this word has changed my life.

Fun fact number one. Women are people pleasers. If you’re a women reading this right now, you probably can relate. More women than men feel the need to please everyone around them regardless of relationship status. Strangers included. We can’t say no. Even if we are stretched thin, and have a million things going on all at once, we feel the need to fulfill the requests of others, at the expense of our own sanity. For example, your best girlfriend calls and asks if she can come over to hang out with you tomorrow evening. You know that in the evening time, it’s the only designated time you have to get your laundry done, or even the only time you have away from your kids, and have been looking forward to this alone time for weeks. YOU STILL SAY “YES”. You say yes to everyone. You’re a people pleaser. You feel like a terrible friend because let’s be real, being a parent is hard and time consuming. You give every ounce of your energy to the health and safety of your children, not leaving much for your own. Mental health to be more specific. And your friends are left hanging in the meantime. If you’re a new mommy (for mommies of 3 year olds or younger), you’re in what I call “survival mode”. Your “sleep derived” little world is stressful. You’re over caffeinated, under hydrated, haven’t had a moment alone in years, or even been able to use the bathroom alone, because heaven freaking forbid you close the door for some privacy on a 2 year old, and being used as a jungle gym is actually really annoying. So, if you fit into this category, like me, it’s okay to say no to friends. If you can’t fit them into your already insane schedule, do not make yourself feel terrible because you have nothing left to give. If your friends try to make you feel bad for your absence, and you’ve tried to explain your situation to them, and they’re still not getting it, maybe it’s time to get some new friends. Is this harsh? Hell yes it is. Maybe even a little bit extreme, but you make the call. If the friend is worth having around then maybe set a specific date, place, time, and location. Let everyone know you have allotted time open for a coffee or a wine date. Set the location, and put out the mass invite. If they make it, great! If they don’t, then you tried, girl.    

 

Fun fact number two. Sometimes, your family doesn’t get it. Whether you’re a single mom, or a happily married mom, raising little people is hard work. Having family members who are constantly judging your every “mommy move”, makes it even harder. Let me paint you a picture of how my family operates. I come from an extremely close family. Everyone knows everyone’s business at all times. We are loud, loving, involved, and have zero filters. No questions or topics are off the table because, hey, we’re family! This also includes the expectation that you will sleep over at their homes, instead of getting a comfy hotel room. I travel up north to visit family approximately four times a year. I always drive the ten long hours from Southern California to Northern California to save money. It’s always the expectation that Livvy (my baby) and I stay with a family member. It’s actually insulting to them if you don’t. In the most loving way, of course. As much as I love spending the nights at their homes, it requires me to share a bed with my three year old, with all of our luggage stored in the corner of the room, and with the AC always off, because my family be like that. Not cheap, but “budget friendly”. To put it kindly, I don’t sleep. My toddler is a violent sleeper. She attacks me multiple times during the night. She uses her knees and elbows to thrash around the bed, constantly assaulting me. Every co-sleeping mom reading this right now is shaking their heads in agreement. Toddlers cannot just stay in one spot during the night. It’s just a fact. I wake up pissed off and feeling victimized as I check my rib cage for bruising. It’s terrible. Oh, let’s not forget about the excessive sweating most toddlers have. The room can be a cool 62 degrees and Livvy will be sweating her cute little butt off. Why does my child turn into a hot furnace during the night? I have no idea. But, apparently this is not uncommon for toddlers to sweat while sleeping. For the first time in my short 33 years of life, I advised my mother that Livvy and I would be getting a hotel room out in town. I explained to her that I needed to be able to get a full night of sleep, with AC, and two queen sized beds. To my surprise my mother replied “okay”. Word spread quickly that I had made plans to stay in a hotel, and my phone began to ring. I had other family members trying to make me feel bad for making this choice. I still said “no thank you”. I explained I needed to be able to sleep and be comfortable during my time there. If I’m tired and sleep deprived during my visit, then I’m just not myself. I said no, and guess what, I had an amazing time up north, and my family still loves me anyway. So, in conclusion, even if your family doesn’t agree with your actions, they are still going to love you anyway.   

 

Getting back to the “time allotted” thing I mentioned before. I came up with this idea after losing some friends by politely declining invites to hang out. Every week I send out a mass text message to girlfriends who I rarely get to see. Some who have kids, and some who do not. I tell them I am having a wine night with snacks, and give them a specific time, and the place (always my house). Then, I wait to see who comes. If they can’t make it, I honestly don’t take offense to it. But, in return, they can’t give you a hard time about how they are never able to spend time with you. You are trying. You have made these plans in advance and it shows you are trying so very hard to maintain your friendships. This may or may not work for you right in this moment, but it might work at a later time. Like, maybe when your child starts sleeping through the night.