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Purposeful Parenting

Why Choosing Medication was the Best Move for Me: A Lesson in Humility



Why Choosing Medication was the Best Move for Me | A Lesson in Humility | Chaos & Kiddos
This post originally appeared as a guest piece on the site of a fellow mommy blogger…She has allowed me to cross-post it here as reference to others who may benefit from the information within. Love her! Sharing why choosing medication was the best move for me was so important to my heart, and I hope others find encouragement in this lesson of humility. Be encouraged!
A Lesson in Humility: Why Choosing Medication was the Best Move for Me
Hello, my name is Katy and I’m a perfectionist. Super driven, crazy laser-beam focused and truthfully, pretty successful. My ability to multi-task while managing high level projects has opened some pretty amazing doors for me professionally. I don’t say that from a position of ego. Not in the least. I say all that because at some point, I started confusing my professional drive with the me that my family needed at home. I say that because at some point, I was even so proud as to claim myself capable of managing my OCD all by myself. With some very devastating results. While my OCD meshes mostly well with my professional endeavors and working environments, it most definitely does not have a place in my home. The day I truly realized that and accepted that I needed to ask for help was momentous.
Why Choosing Medication was the Best Move for Me - OCD Medical Inter
My life has never been particularly easy, and I guess over time, I didn’t realize that with each passing challenge, my anxiety increased a little bit more. My need for control and order became more aggressive and insistent. I didn’t see it but it was happening. I was frustrated with my family and with my life for not living up to my expectations of what I considered logical and just. What I didn’t realize was that those expectations weren’t grounded in rational thought. Plain speak. It just wasn’t fair. They were amplified by my anxiety and the compulsive need to have everything under control, excelling at the highest level, and perfectly ordered. All the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Anyone who didn’t see the world the way that I did became an adversary, even at home. Maybe I should even say, mostly at home. There was never a peaceful moment, never a period of relaxation where the never-ending to do list was tabled, never a moment I didn’t feel resentment that the rest of the world and my family didn’t feel the sense of urgency to “get stuff done” like I did. Didn’t they see it?!
I found myself in a very dark, very angry, and ultimately very lonely place. And then the panic attacks started.  My first reaction was to blame. I took the easy way out by pointing the finger at everyone around me. It will come as no surprise that nothing was gained there and the panic attacks got worse. I finally started looking at myself and contemplating my constant edginess and frustration. I started asking myself if I was being fair to my family and everyone else in my life, myself included. And the answer was a definitive no.
At my next appointment with my counselor, I admitted that it was time for me to explore medication. To her great relief, she agreed (I had been steadfastly against it before then, so she was respectfully exploring alternatives to coping with my anxiety). It took a few weeks before I started to notice a change, and then maybe even a few weeks after that before those around me started to notice the change. I’ve reached a happy place. A place where my professional drive can live to its merry heart’s content in the workplace, but where I find peace and a rational approach to life outside of the office. I find myself relaxed, not in a constant rush, and I even see the kids loosening up. I guess I really didn’t know how much my anxiety had affected my daily life and relationships until it wasn’t there anymore. And it felt good. It feels good. Do I still have moments of anxiousness? Yes. But now they are fleeting and I see them for what they are.
Moral of the story here? I’m definitely not saying medication is the one and only right way. Not at all. What I’m saying is that it’s ok to ask for help and to look into options that you previously hoped to avoid for whatever reason. It’s ok to need/choose medical intervention. I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance that I am a better person when I take this medication and that’s a win in my book. Don’t let stigmas or preconceived notions of a particular wellness plan derail your journey. Ultimately, whatever works best for you is best for you. Your journey is yours alone and your chosen path to healing is the right one. Whatever direction that path may take you.
Why Choosing Medication was the Best Move for Me - OCD Medical Inter
Welcome to the chaos! I’m Katy, the writing Mama behind Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s SurvivalGuide. In between juggling twin toddler boys, a rowdy preteen stepdaughter, a handful of fish, a newly acquired snail and a self-entitled bull dog with my husband of almost 10 years, I work full time in sales and also run an engagement, wedding and boudoir photographybusiness in Virginia Beach, VA.
When I’m not elbows-deep in kiddo crazy, you can find me behind the camera, teaching others basic photography skills or managing The Studio Hampton Roads. Yup, I’m one busy gal! Call me crazy, but life is good. I’m not sure how I manage to keep it all together, but I’ve got a good feeling that my obsessive compulsive disorder and raging perfectionism probably keep me running at the speed of light, however precariously.
SOCIAL MEDIA                                                                                              
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  1. Tina

    November 8, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I applaud you for your open honesty! Don’t worry, you are not alone in the meds department 😉 So you are a photographer? I am too! I spent ten years doing wedding and portraits in Kentucky before the move to Mexico. See you around, #ibabloggers!

    • Katy Blevins

      November 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you Tina! Yup! I’ve been a photog for several years now. I used to do weddings and all else, but I’ve really focused my energies on boudoir and female portraiture. That’s really where my heart is. I love celebrating and encouraging women to embrace their unique beauty.

  2. Kristen

    April 18, 2015 at 7:10 am

    I had NO idea you struggled with this and am so glad you found a way to manage it. I am a perfectionist too – but had no idea what OCD felt like. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. Self Move

    May 19, 2015 at 3:14 am

    wow,I got very important information by reading your post.Your blog is too much informative.I was looking for such information.Thanks for sharing this nice information.I am awaiting for your next post…

  4. Haley

    July 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I to suffer from any and panic attacks, and would avoid medicine at all costs. Then I realized I was driving myself and hubby nuts and finally received the help I needed. I wish many more people would be more open minded and speak up like you did. Then maybe the stigma would disappear.

    Thanks for sharing,

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Purposeful Parenting

Self Care Tips for Working Moms



Self Care Tips for Working Moms

Being a single working mom of twins and a teenager means I often put myself at the bottom of the to do list. Whether I’m playing chef, chauffeur, bandager of boo boos or homework advisor, the hat I put on least often is woman. As a married working mom, I practically forgot I was a beautiful woman and wife. As a single working mom, I struggle to embrace myself as a confident available woman. Focused mainly on carrying my family through the days, I forget that taking the time to focus on myself every once in awhile ultimately makes me a better parent. Here are some fun self care tips for working moms that could spark that little feisty woman you know is in there but haven’t seen in forever.

Self Care Tips for Working Moms

 1. Boudoir Shoot: Yup. I’m certain a great many of you just went “Yeah, right. Thanks for nothing.” WAIT! Seriously…I know this is what I do for a living, and I’m not listing this one at the top of the list as a shameless plug. I’m listing it at the top of the list because of the why behind what I do as a photographer. Our tagline at Modern Femme Photography is “because you deserve to feel beautiful.” A boudoir shoot is a fabulous way to celebrate and embrace your unique journey as a woman, be pampered, but most importantly, be reminded that you are beautiful, just as you are. And because it’s important to practice what you preach, I hopped in front of the camera a couple of weeks ago as part of a two-session process I’ve planned to reclaim my confidence and self-worth as a newly single woman.

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2. Support Group: We have a great online community growing at Working Moms United that gives support and encouragement at those low points where being a work mom chips away at your energy, self-esteem and willpower. It’s a wonderful resource for moms on-the-go who need a pep talk but can only pop online here and there or might not have available time to meet up with others. I’ve also recently joined a local church and have been attending their quarterly women’s brunches. They provide child care for a few hours while I sit and chat with other women, feel refreshed and feel supported in prayer as a woman of faith. I’ve also identified a few key accountability partners in my life. Girl friends with similar life circumstances who can serve as trusted encouragers and keep me on track.

Working Moms United | Proud Member | Chaos & Kiddos

3. Learn Something New: Switching up the routine and enjoying something fresh and new can be a great way to recharge. Recently, I booked a makeup lesson with Dhalia Edwards of The Bride’s Corner. Dhalia is not only a dear friend of mine, but she’s incredibly talented both in her technique and her warm-hearted care of her clients. She patiently took 3 hours of her day to sift through my old, dated make up, repurpose old tools for new styles and teach me proper application techniques for everyday looks. Not only did I feel pampered and pretty when I left, but I felt rejuvenated and more confident in how to achieve a flawless look on my own.



4. Schedule Quiet Time: Spare minutes are a hot commodity for the working mom. Every second of every day feels tied to a never-ending to do list that typically revolves around everyone other than yourself. You need to make a choice to declare a bit of each day for yourself. Whether it’s 5 minutes, 20 minutes or the luxurious full hour, diligently schedule quiet time. Take the time to breathe in the quiet, write in a journal, pray, speak out gratitudes, do a few yoga stretches…whatever your peace may be. Do not allow yourself to skimp on this part of your day.

Self Care Tips for Working Moms

Remember, the first step towards being a better mom is being a better you. That better you needs some TLC! It may feel overwhelming or even scary to put any of these self care tips for workings moms into practice, but trust me, you’ll be glad that you did. Remember the positive, reclaim your beauty, refresh your soul and recharge!

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Purposeful Parenting

Year-End Money Tips for Working Moms and Female Entrepreneurs



Money Tips for Working Moms

I don’t know about you but the end of the year brings two thoughts…well, three thoughts for me. One, CHRISTMAS!!!!! Two, fresh start on January 1st! And three, holy cow, what’s my money situation? Taxes are coming.

A big, big thank you to Kristen Robinson, SVP of Women and Young Investors at Fidelity Investments for taking the time to develop these year-end money tips for working moms and female entrepreneurs!

Money Tips for Working Moms

2 Tips for Female Business Owners / Entrepreneurs:

Keep Your Future in Mind with the Right Retirement Account for Your Needs

  • Look into the different plans available to business owners, such as a 401(k) for Small Business, a self-employed 401(k), SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA.  You may need to appoint a plan administrator- someone who takes care of administrative responsibilities and ensures the plan is operating according to the Plan Document.  Learn more about these different types of accounts here.  
  • Contribute to your account. The deadline for depositing employer profit-sharing contributions for the current calendar year is generally the business’ tax-filing deadline, plus extensions (for unincorporated businesses, this date is usually April 15 of the following year, plus any extensions).

Business Succession

  • If you own a business, have you considered how best to plan for the future?  If you plan to keep it in the family, consider creating a structure that makes it easier to transfer the business’s assets to other family members, such as a family limited partnership or a family limited liability company.
  • There are many options; your attorney or tax adviser can help you select one that is appropriate for you in light of your specific situation.

4 Tips for Single Moms:

Get Involved in Your Family’s Finances

  • It’s important to have a full picture of the family financial situation. At minimum, know what accounts you have and with whom. That includes banks and investing accounts, life insurance, mortgages, and loans. Having a handle on this information is an important foundation as you plan for the future, and can bring greater peace of mind.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes! Yes! Yes! I am still getting a grip on my finances after the divorce. I realize now how little I knew before and how problematic that can be.)

Money Tips for Working Moms

Save for Retirement

    • Retirement is not a destination but a journey, and it’s never too early – or too late – to start putting away savings for the future.  Along the way, there are myriad opportunities to get off the path—and back on it.  And at virtually any turn in the road, there are possibilities to speed up your progress.
      • Make it a goal to save 15% or more of your income each year. If that’s not reachable today, make sure to make it a priority to carve out what you can. Even smaller amounts will add up over time.
      • Aim to have no more than 50% of your take-home pay go toward your “must-have” expenses.

Try to Save Three to Six Months of Essential Expenses in an Emergency Fund.

Look for Growth Potential from your Investments

  • Knowing your financial personality can help you determine the right mix of stocks, bonds and short-term investments that match how comfortable you are with risk, and have the growth potential to meet your life’s needs, be that when you want to retire or when you want to send kids to college.
  • If you’re not sure where to start, read up online, or reach out to a professional.  There’s never a fee to come into Fidelity to talk to a financial planner, but we do recommend you reevaluate twice a year. Just like you take care of your physical health by visiting the doctor and dentist, think of this as taking care of your financial health, which is vitally important as well.

Protect your Legacy

  • In order to ensure that what you’ve accumulated is distributed to your children, family and causes you care about most, it is important to name beneficiaries and create a will and health care proxy. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to think about the ‘what it’s,’ but it’s important to be prepared for the unknown. Do you really want someone else making these decisions for you?



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Purposeful Parenting

Be Kind To Yourself: Words of Wisdom from Alyssa Milano



Be Kind to Yourself | Alyssa Milano | Sprout Mom-Bassador

I had the opportunity to chat with actress and working mom, Alyssa Milano, last week as she celebrated her new role as “Mom-Bassador” for the Sprout channel’s 10 year anniversary. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her life as a working mom and her answers always centered around one fundamental rule: Be Kind to Yourself.

Be Kind to Yourself | Alyssa Milano | Sprout Mom-Bassador

I thought this was especially powerful, because as mothers, we so often overlook self-care as we race around taking care of everyone else around us. Her words rang true as she reminded me that I can’t be my best mom if I’m not my best me. So what does motherhood look like for Alyssa Milano?

Things are Always in Motion

You have to be able to shift and make changes, go with the flow! Just when you think you’ve got a routine down…there it goes. Having kids will always keep you guessing and send you moving in new directions into uncharted territory. Be flexible and allow yourself to embrace change. Don’t hold too firmly to what you think you know – Change will always be in process and something’s got to give in order to keep moving forward. You are a great mom and you are doing the best you can right now in this moment. Be kind to yourself, releasing the pressure to be perfect and releasing the guilt when you inevitably fall short of that unnatural expectation. You are a great mom.

Healthy Mom = Healthy Childhood

Alyssa Milano clings to two “must-haves” in her daily routine as a busy, working mom. This type of consistency helps her be her best self, which makes her the best mom that she can be for her children. By being kind to herself, she keeps her mental health sacred so that her children experience the best childhood possible. What are the two “must-haves” Alyssa Milano can’t live without?

  • Break a sweat. She puts aside 45 minutes to an hour every day to get moving. Whether she goes to the gym for a workout or simply takes a walk, she focuses on taking care of her body and keeping a level head with some healthy movement each and every day. If she has busy weeks with jobs, meetings or events, she schedules it into her day like it’s part of her job or another appointment. It’s not optional.
  • Keep the bedtime routine solid. The children go to bed at the same time every night. The routine is solid, it’s something they expect and she sticks closely to it. After 7:30PM each night, it’s time for her and her husband. Quality time that is kind to both of them, keeping their marriage strong and setting a solid example for their children in love and commitment. Carving out time for her husband with a regular routine makes sure that life as a busy working mom doesn’t accidentally let her marriage slip away.

When was the last time you were kind to yourself? What simple changes can you make in your perspective as a busy, working mom to focus more on self-care and less on burn out? It’s encouraging to see working moms like Alyssa Milano step up to the plate to send a clear message to society – Being a mom means so much more than trying to be everything to everyone all the time. Being a mom means taking care with yourself, making sure you are equipped with the love and energy to pour into your family in a meaningful way. You’re doing a great job, mom. Yes, you! Go ahead, pat yourself on the back.

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