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Hey Little Mama

Hey Little Mama

My Child Didn’t Invite Yours to His Party… and I’m OK With It

When my sons were little, their birthday parties were insane. I mean, I was THE Pinterest-y birthday party mom! The theme was evident throughout every aspect of the party – the invitations, the decorations, the games, the food! They were nauseatingly adorable, every single one of them. I made up invitations for every kid in their classes, baseball teams, Scouts, plus all the family and friends who were always invited to everything. I would spend a ridiculous amount of time and money on them (most of them – when we could), and then when they were over I would collapse from pure and utter exhaustion!

The year my oldest turned 9 was the last year of this insanity. We did the whole shebang – invited everyone and their mama (literally), had an awesome theme, and everyone had a blast. Well, ALMOST everyone… until two of the kids at the party got into a fight. These two kids from different sides of my son’s life (one I found out later my son wished had not been invited) clashed – BIG TIME – and it showed its ugly face at his birthday party. Parents were called – they argued in my front room while I tried to keep everyone outside and keep the party going – it was no fun. Then they all went home. It was all over, I thought. We could go on and enjoy the rest of the party! Right? …wrong!

About an hour after everyone left, I’m playing a game with one of the kids on the side of the house when the father of one of the kids comes storming up, turning off the music, lining all the kids in the party up, and fussing at them all… at my house… shutting down my son’s birthday party!! My husband thankfully broke it up, pulled the dad aside and had a chat with him. They went home, and we were done with it.

And you know what else I was done with? BIRTHDAY PARTIES!!! The next year, we didn’t have a party for either of their birthdays – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it again. Then I realized, you know what? That’s not fair to my kids. They didn’t do anything wrong!

But how do I avoid the debacle from that crazy drama-filled party? I decided to limit the number of kids he was allowed to invite, and for the first time ever, I did not tell him he HAD to invite anyone. I made up a few invitations for him to take to school, and HE was 100% in charge of the guest list.

The party was wonderful! Everyone had fun, and my son is still smiling days after, thanking me for letting him have the party he wanted. Mom win! I did something right!!

Apparently, however, by limiting my son’s guest list, there were some that got left off the invite list. I know, I know, that NEVER happens, right?? Well, feelings were hurt. Tears were shed from what I’ve been told. And immediately I felt bad. Should I have made him invite his whole class and every member of every activity he’s in like we used to do? Should I have limited the guest list so soon?

I remember a few times in school watching the invites get handed out on the playground only to realize at the end of the stack that there wasn’t one for me. It hurt of course, especially because some of the girls I considered really good friends. But the party happened, I didn’t go, and I lived to tell you the tale today. I’m quite certain we’ve all gone through some sort of “why wasn’t I invited” type situation in our lives, haven’t we? Even as adults!

So as I think back on the whole situation, I have to remind myself that it’s ok that my son didn’t invite yours. He didn’t exclude him on purpose, and just because he didn’t change his mind when asked if your son could be invited, that doesn’t mean he has anything against your son or had any ill feelings toward him at all. It simply means that he’s growing up and deciding who he is and who he wants in his circle.

I couldn’t be prouder of the young man he is becoming. I WISH I had the sense when I was 11 years old to know who was worthy of my friendship and who wasn’t.

So with that, I say, “Sorry, not sorry!” My son has my full support in deciding who to invite to his parties or anything else in the future. It’s my job to raise him and teach him independence, and I’m not going to get anywhere by continuing to limit the decisions he’s able to make.

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Hey Little Mama

Top 10 Things I Always Keep Packed

When you travel for work as much as I do, you tend to get into the habit of packing the same things over – and over – and over again! Honestly, I got tired of packing, unpacking, and repacking. After about 5 trips in only a couple of months, I started keeping my toiletry bag stocked and never need to repack the whole thing again. And man oh man, has that saved my life! I no longer need to block out time to pack. I can literally throw my bag together in about 10-15 minutes before my coworker shows up (we like to carpool together).

Here’s a list of some of my favorite things I like to keep packed and ready to go!

1 – Shampoo and Conditioner – I have to be very particular about my shampoo & conditioner that I use, so using the little freebies in the hotel room just aren’t an option for me. Thankfully, Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree line (my FAVE) has tiny little travel size bottles that fit PERFECTLY in my toiletry bag, AND they’re only 2.5oz so they will make it through airport security with no problems!

2 – Dry Shampoo – Sometimes it just isn’t convenient to have to wash my hair while I’m on a work trip. And sometimes, well, it just isn’t in my hair washing schedule (I probably only wash my hair twice a week)! I have quite a few favorites, but for traveling I like Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. Again – can’t beat the travel size!

3 – Razor & Shave Gel – Because when you need it, you need it! Not much is worse than getting dressed in the hotel, accidentally tearing a hole in your only pair of tights you packed, and having less than smooth gams, my friends (trust me on that one)! The walk of shame down to the little shop by the front desk can be pretty crucial too. What if you run into one of your coworkers?! My favorites? I’m a simple girl, so the travel size Skintimate is perfect for me!

4 – Epsom Salts or Bath Bombs – I don’t know about you ladies, but when I have an entire hotel room to myself for the night, I take advantage of the opportunity to soak in a nice hot tub with my favorite smelling epsom salts or a bath bomb! Dr. Teal’s is just what this mama needs! They have so many delicious scents, too (I’m rather partial to lavender – ahhhh)!

5 – Mani/Pedi Tools – Just the basics – clippers, file, some polish. When I have an actual chance to sit down and paint my nails or toes, it’s usually on these trips! I like to use the OPI brand polishes because they last so much longer than others I’ve tried.

6 – Toothbrush & Toothpaste – How many times have you gone on a trip and forget to pack your toothbrush? This was probably the final trigger for me before I started just keeping my bag packed. I like to keep a full sized toothbrush in a travel case in my bag. It just seems to get the job done faster and more thoroughly than those tiny little travel ones. Toothpaste of course is travel size – no need for a giant tube of toothpaste taking up more room than necessary!

7 – Travel Straightener/Blow Dryer/Brush – Isn’t this BaBylissPRO set the CUTEST?! The straightener is perfect for those quick work trips to touch up any creases in your hair from your soak the night before. Also, you never have to worry about the hotel blow dryer not working when you have your own – without sacrificing half your suitcase in order for it to fit! And then they wrap them all up in this ADORABLE quilted rose gold bag? Y’all, I can’t even… https://www.ulta.com/nano-titanium-125-ionic-straightener-travel-dryer?productId=pimprod2005001 Now the brush is one of those things in my bag I would prefer not use (I’ve got a LOT of hair, so a full size is better), but it’s come in handy so many times when I forget to pack my real brush.

8 – Magic Makeup Remover Towel – Y’all, these things really are magic! Just wet them with warm water, and wipe away all the makeup, dirt, and travel grime from your face. The coolest part? The makeup doesn’t transfer or leave the towel until you add soap to it! So if you really layer on the eye makeup like I do, you. will. LOVE. this!!!

9 – My Favorite Skincare – Yep, I keep a spare set of my favorite skincare items in my bag so I don’t forget it. Because who wants to “make do” with the little makeup remover wipes and bar “facial” soap in the hotel room? NOT THIS GIRL! My skincare regimen is quite simple, and I absolutely love that I can support my favorite Boss Babes in their businesses by purchasing their stuff! I love Mary Kay’s Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser (I know, it’s been discontinued… I’m not rushing out to buy the new one yet because I stocked up before my 3-in-1 was gone forever. I’ve heard good things about the 4-in-1 though). I just recently started using Arbonne’s Moisturizer, and I love how light and clean it makes my skin feel. And my absolute favorite part – my Joyome serums from Plexus! OMG my skin has never felt so smooth and bright, and the few little annoying wrinkles I did have are gone – bye bye!

10 – Body Spray – Last but certainly not least, I like to pack a bottle of the body spray for whatever perfume I’ve been wearing. I still get the ability to smell sweet and yummy while not being afraid that my expensive bottle of perfume might break or leak inside my bag. My go-to scent right now is Ralph Lauren Romance. I just love the soft floral scent. I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of it!

11 – The Perfect Bag – I know I said 10, but what good would it do you if you didn’t have the perfect bag to hold it all? Vera Bradley makes my favorite – the Iconic Hanging Travel Organizer. It has all the pockets I need, it hangs on the back of the door or on the towel rack close to the shower, and it ties instead of zips! That way I can put whatever I want in there and I know it’ll all fit… hehehe!

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