Emily J Artist Small Business Saturday Giveaway

I’m all about a good Black Friday deal, but I enjoy Small business Saturday even more. I love having the chance to support other small business owners because I understand just how important their little businesses are to them. This year I’ve partnered with a few small businesses  to bring you an awesome giveaway. Here’s how it works:

Shop at any of the participating businesses (including me!) and get entries to win one of the fabulous prizes. Each participant has something fun to offer valued between $15 and $90. I’m giving away an 8×10 print on watercolor paper of any of my paintings. You can choose one I’ve already created or have me do a custom painting from your photograph.

You can also get more (FREE) entries by finding our post about this on Facebook and following the instructions provided. You’ll find there are LOTS of ways to collect entries and hopefully win one of the amazing prizes!

Here are a list of the participating businesses for you to shop at (with their prize listed next to them):

Happy Shopping!

Emily J Artist Cyber Week Sale

Art therapy has been a crucial piece of me regaining my muchness. Pushing beyond my fear of failure and just creating to create has been so freeing. I have found a new depth to my art as I have attempted to put my thoughts and feelings into my images. I have also found a lot of healing and validation in sharing that art with others. Working on creating my own financial independence through selling my artwork has boosted my confidence and increased my self-esteem. As a thank you to you my loyal readers and supporters I have decided to put my entire collection of art on sale for Cyber Week.

Emily J- Artist Cyber week Sale 2018 | muchnessmama.com | etsy sale | christmas sale | Black Friday sale

Etsy Cyber Week Sale

I have a few ready made pieces and several custom artwork slots available in my Etsy shop. Prices range from $3-350 (pre-sale price) and the discount is already applied automatically, no coupon code needed.

[etsy-shop shop_name=”EmilyJArtist” section_id=”16359153″]

Fine Art America Cyber Week Sale

Most of my art prints can be found on Fine Art America. Everything there is also 15% off. You do have to use a coupon code for this sale though “PXZMKC”. Fine Art America has all sorts of different products to print on as well from watercolor paper or canvas to shower curtains and phone cases. If you aren’t a big art on the wall kind of person, but still want one of my pieces this is a great option.


Worthy Written Words Cyber Week Sale

All of my scripture journaling kits on Worthy Written Words are also on sale. Use code CYBERWEEK2018 to save 15%. They are also running 15-50% off sales on several other products on the site. You can see all my products here.

If you have any questions about product options, custom orders, or anything else please feel free to contact me! Also make sure you head over to the right sidebar to subscribe to the blog via email and be notified of an AMAZING giveaway I’m doing with 12 other amazing small business owners starting on Small Business Saturday.

I Am Broken and That Makes Me Beautiful

Have you ever heard of the Japanese art of Kintsugi? Artists will take a broken piece of pottery and repair it with a special lacquer that is dusted with silver, gold, or platinum. The broken piece becomes even more beautiful as the precious metals gleam through the seams which were once broken. Kintsugi is a celebration of seeing beauty in the flawed, expressing regret when things are wasted, and the acceptance of change. As I spent more and more time in the world of addiction, betrayal trauma, and abuse I began to feel like on big broken mess. There were little pieces of who I was scattered across the floor of my life, and I couldn’t see myself or my beauty anymore. As I have worked on healing the past few years I have allowed God to Kintsugi me back together.

I am Broken and That Makes Me Beautiful | muchnessmama.com | Japanese art of Kintsugi | repairing pottery with gold | betrayal trauma healing | addiction recovery

God Uses Broken Things

Not only does God find glory in repairing broken things he actually requires that we be broken before he can use us. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17) God can not use us until our hearts are humble enough to accept his will and instruction. None of us escape trials in this life. We all face things that can leave us feeling cracked and broken. If we allow God into our hearts he will put us back together stronger and more beautiful than we could ever be on our own. As he works in us we can begin to see the beauty in our flaws, refuse to waste our precious time and lives, and accept the changes that are an inevitable part of this mortal experience.

Seeing Beauty in the Flawed

When I was in my twenties I listened to the same radio station every morning on the way to work. They would often have a fun little trivia question with a prize for whoever called in and got it right. One day they asked what is the #1 thing people criticize about themselves that the opposite sex actually finds attractive. All sorts of answers were given. It was fascinating to hear men and women both talk about the little things they loved in their spouse or significant other that they wished that person loved in themselves as well. Answers ranged from a little bit of extra weight to freckles. The correct answer according to some survey somewhere was a gap in the two front teeth. I wonder how many people have spent money on braces trying to remove that gap that others may find incredibly attractive. How many things about myself have I seen as flawed or broken when they were the exact things about me that God could use to bless others? I can’t reach out to someone in my own perfection and be received. It is through our imperfections, our weaknesses, our struggles and our trials that we are able to connect with others. It is our willingness to let others see those cracks that allows us to truly serve them.

Regret in the Wasted

How much time have I wasted over the years trying to put forth a perfect image? How many relationships have fallen by the wayside because neither of us was willing to be vulnerable and form a real intimate connection?  How much money have I wasted on trying to look perfect, have the perfect accessories, or say the perfect thing? How many opportunities to truly serve others have been wasted because of my inability to see the beauty in my brokenness and the value in what I had to give? I don’t want to just float through life unconnected and unfulfilled because I allowed my brokenness to become trash instead of beauty. I want to connect. I want to be used. I want to let the light of Christ shine through me. I can’t do that in broken pieces on the floor. I can only do that through the beautiful glints of gold Christ repairs me with.

Acceptance of Change

Change is inevitable. We all know that, and yet we all fight it. Even when the life we are currently living is broken and ugly we resist change because we fear “what if it gets even worse?!” Well what if it gets better!? I have spent so much time in my marriage walking on eggshells trying to avoid rocking the boat. The biggest change that I have embraced through working my recovery is the need for boundaries. Not only can I embrace change, but I can create it. I can say no more. I can decide what I will and won’t live with. I can open myself up to the threat of more pain because I know that I am strong enough to handle it. I know that I have an amazing support network of women surrounding me and a God standing under me to lift me up. I can embrace the changes in life with not only trust and humility, but with excitement at what the future may hold. Sure I may trip and fall. Sometimes I may even tumble end over end back down that hill. As long as I keep getting back up, patching up each new crack with a little more gold lacquer, I know I’m not only going to survive, but I will thrive!

I Am Broken and That Makes Me Beautiful

I am Broken and That Makes Me Beautiful | muchnessmama.com | Japanese art of Kintsugi | repairing pottery with gold | betrayal trauma healing | addiction recovery

Yep I crack under the pressure. We all do. There was only one perfect man to ever walk this earth, and even Jesus needed alone time to rest and recuperate. So how do we embrace our own broken beauty? For me it starts with owning my story. Being vulnerable and sharing my heart makes me stronger. As I share my broken parts with others they have so graciously shared theirs with me. I see the beauty and strength in these women. I see their courage and their hearts. I listen to their laughs and see their tears. Every one of them is radiant and beautiful. As I see and embrace the beauty in them it becomes so much easier for me to acknowledge it in myself. It is only in the dark of night that we can see the stars. So it is with us. It is only in the cracks and broken pieces that we can truly see our beauty.

How do you find the beauty in your broken pieces? What has helped you to stop wasting life and embrace change with optimism? Who has inspired you through their broken beauty? Do you have a story of brokenness that you’d like to share as a guest blogger? Come join us in the Muchness Mama’s group on Facebook and let’s chat about it!

Create and Self Publish Your Own Book With Blurb

As the holiday season begins many of my friends are talking about how they can make sure their kid has fun time off, but also keeps their mind active. It is so easy as a parent to just set them in front of a screen and let the time pass. I know, I’ve done it! Well what about helping the kids write and publish their own book and/or magazine with Blurb instead?

Create and Self Publish Your Own Book WIth Blurb | muchnessmama.com | self publishing | publish a book on Amazon | create a family yearbook

I’ve been planning to print my enormous collection of photos into books with Blurb, but have just been procrastinating it. You see the artist in me just can’t use pre-created drop in pages or worse yet a blank background. I think that may be a crime. I’ve got o create myself some fun scrapbook pages and journal the memories. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make it a family project! I’m sure their perspective on different events will be a great addition. I think I will scroll back through my Facebook and include some of their best funny quotes as well. Maddy and Ben have really shown an interest in photography lately, so it will be a lot of fun to include some of their images too.

In addition to including our family images I’m going to ask the kids to write out our adventures. For the younger kids I can write as they tell me the story in their own words. This will not only be educational, but it will be an awesome addition to our family history! I’m going to make one for each year. I’m planning to make a nice book for me to keep and an inexpensive magazine for each kid. That way when they grow up and leave the home they’ll have a set of magazines from each year to take with them and show their own children in the future.

Photo books aren’t the only thing you can make. Blurb allows you to create any book you can imagine, and even allows you to self publish for others to purchase. Your children can write a short story or novel, create a cookbook of their favorite recipes, design a themed photo book, or write a graphic novel or comic book. Blurb also has these fun notebooks where you can create your own cover then choose what type of pages to put in it. You can use these to create a journal or an idea book for them to brainstorm ideas for their story. They also have simple online book making tools, so anyone can do it!

Have you printed your family photos and included the stories? What fun holiday projects do you have planned? Come chat about it with some other awesome ladies in the Muchness Mama’s Facebook group!

The Ultimate Betrayal Trauma Resource Guide

When you are married to an addict and/or abuser a lot of the typical marriage advice just doesn’t apply, in fact it can be downright dangerous. Tips on how to love your husband more and serve him more can just feed the abuse. For example following the  telling you to never go to bed on angry feelings just might be forcing you into a difficult conversation with an addict who is in a bad frame of mind which can then escalate to full-blown abuse. Remember you are not a codependent; you are a spouse in betrayal trauma. You and your spouse each need to heal yourselves before you can heal the marriage.

Most marriage and relationship advice is based on the assumption that there are two willing partners both ready to give their all to the relationship. When dealing with addiction and abuse this is frequently not true as the addict/abuser has no interest in changing their ways to make the relationship more healthy. Their goal is to change their spouse to fit their expectations and fantasies. Even when your dealing with an addict in active recovery there are a lot of unhealthy thought patterns that are ingrained into the way they handle relationships. Healthy boundaries are still essential and will be different from the ones a couple in a healthy relationship maintains.

The Ultimate Betrayal Trauma Resource Guide for Women Who are Dealing With Addiction and Abuse in Their Partner | muchnessmama.com |

The following is a list of resources that myself and others I trust recommend for those dealing with an addict and/or abuser.

Healing From Betrayal Trauma

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal

Intimate Deception

Helping Her Heal (directed towards the sex addict, but very good info for wives and extremely validating)

Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts

Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed

The Body Keeps the Score Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Feelings Buried Alive Never Die

Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder: The Six Stages of Healing

Before the Dust Settles (Advice from a Sex Addict’s Wife): 8 Mistakes to Avoid Immediately After Discovering Your Partner’s Sex Addiction

Mending A Shattered Heart

Living with a Sex Addict: The Basics from Crisis to Recovery

Moving Beyond Betrayal: The 5-Step Boundary Solution for Partners of Sex Addicts

What Can I Do About Me?

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Boundaries in Marriage  (be cautious, this is NOT a good book for the addict/abuser NOT in recovery to read. They can use some of the principles to abuse you)

Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships

Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal: The Essential Tools for Healing

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

The Gifts of Imperfection

Make My Burden Light Blog

Boundaries Blog

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Blog, Podcast, and Coaches

Healing From and Dealing With Abuse

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?: Encouragement for Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men

Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics: How Manipulators Take Control In Personal Relationships

In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

How To Kill A Narcissist: Debunking The Myth Of Narcissism And Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse

Becoming the Narcissists Nightmare

How To Kill A Narcissist: Debunking The Myth Of Narcissism And Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Boundaries in Marriage  (be cautious, this is NOT a good book for the addict/abuser NOT in recovery to read. They can use some of the principles to abuse you)

Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships

Boundaries Blog

Rebuilding a Marriage

**These resources are for when you are dealing with an addict/abuser who is in active recovery. Please study and apply these principles with caution and only after reading the book Boundaries and having a solid grasp on their effective use**

An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples: The Two of Us

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

Created for Connection: The “Hold Me Tight” Guide for Christian Couples

Seven Desires: Looking Past What Separates Us to Learn What Connects Us

International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

What are your favorite resources for understanding and healing from betrayal trauma and abuse? Is there a resource on this list that is new to you? What are you reading now/next? What has been the most useful thing that you have learned in your study? Is there anything you would add to this list? Come on over to the Muchness Mamas Facebook group and let’s chat about it!

5 Things Sex Addicts Say When They are in Denial

Almost two months ago I first wrote out our story of sex addiction and betrayal trauma. I shared it in a few Facebook groups and got some amazing support and love. Not one single person judged us or was unkind, well at least if they did they kept it to themselves. For some odd reason one of the religious groups I shared with didn’t approve the post until today. Honestly I’d kind of forgotten I’d even submitted it there! I think God may have had a hand in it, however, because we got a few comments that two months ago would have sent me into deep trauma. Thankfully today I was able to see that they were clearly coming from someone who would rather deny their addiction and blame-shift everything onto their spouse than accept responsibility for their own choices. In fact at one point I actually laughed at the absurdity because, rather than accept the truths my husband was presenting to him he accused me of writing my husband’s responses! Aint nobody got time for that!

You don’t have to live with an addict in denial. Here are five of the most common excuses they use to avoid taking accountability for their choices refuted by my recovering sex addict husband.

5 things sex addicts say when they are in denial | muchnessmama.com | bullshit excuses for addiction | be 100% accountable | sex addiction recovery

Ladies and gentlemen I have to say that the way my husband rose to this occasion literally had me in tears. The validation that he gave to my trauma as well as that of other women was beautiful. It’s not like he said anything new, but the way he said everything all at once without a single smidge of justification, blame-shifting, gaslighting, or minimizing was exactly what my heart needed to hear today. I wanted ot share his words with you because I feel they are incredibly powerful and need to be heard by both the addicts and the betrayed.

I don’t feel it would be right to copy directly the comment he was responding to, so I will just give you a brief synopsis of each point that he responded to as he gets to them.

But did You Have Enough Sex?

The first comment accused me of not giving my husband enough sex. If I was using sex to manipulate him as most women do (his view not mine!) then it’s no wonder that my husband had to “step out”.

Was she sexually active with me? Yes. Not one or more times per week, but three times per week and often even more frequently. For 11 years. Not just for the newlywed/honeymoon phase. She did everything I asked. She took pictures. She tried every position I wanted. She dressed up the way I wanted. She broke down certain techniques and tried to do them just the way I wanted as though she were a student taking a typing class and I was the teacher. She almost never got to tell me no. Many nights, she would be physically or emotionally unprepared to have sex with me, but I always pressured her, and I always got my way. I wouldn’t call it rape, but I certainly abused her sexually, and often. During the periods in which I acted out in adultery, we were having sex with the same frequency we always had. She and I had sex within one or two days of me being with other women.

After just this one paragraph, you should be able to see clearly that she experienced deep betrayal and legitimate emotional trauma. But let’s continue.

You Can’t Get PTSD From Betrayal Trauma

Next this man took offense to me describing my betrayal trauma as PTSD and said that I couldn’t claim that unless I was officially diagnosed.

PTSD must be diagnosed by a professional. PTSD can’t have occurred unless your physical life was threatened. Think about relationships you have been in where you felt someone else had power over you that you couldn’t break. That person made decisions that were harmful to your welfare, and you felt powerless to defend yourself, change the way you were being treated, or ask for help from someone else. This happens at many levels: in superior/subordinate relationships at work, peer situations at work and school, sibling relationships at home, and many other situations. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the classic human condition in which one person consistently dominates relations with another person over a long period of time, and for whatever reason, the person on the short end of the stick stays in the relationship. I have experienced this in work situations myself. I had a boss who lied to me, cheated me out of money, asked me to do unsafe/illegal things, etc. I stood up to him and to his boss with as much vigor, logic, commonsense, and appeal to emotion as I could, but in the end, they would find anyway they possibly could to get their way. I couldn’t leave the situation because no other companies would hire me with the experience I had. The situation was drastically affecting my welfare. I was operating unsafely. Time was going by and I wasn’t making the money I should’ve been making, and my bills were not stopping. My bosses were making money off my efforts and looking for every opportunity to screw me out of what they should have been paying me. I was getting taken advantage of and I wasn’t getting compensated for it. I had nothing to show for the sacrifice I was making for this company, which included weeks upon weeks of travel time away from home. I felt like a rat in a cage. I felt like a slave. I was powerless to get what I needed. I was alone. Every time the phone rang, every time a message came through my communication system, my stomach knotted up. To this day, I still have a wave of negative energy flash through my body, stomach knots, and feelings of rage when I think about that situation and those people.

That, my friend is trauma. I was in a situation where I should have been safe, but I found myself alone, fighting a losing battle for my own welfare. It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical safety or spiritual or emotional safety. That is the situation I put my wife in. She knew she was being abused. The way I treated her felt unfair, one sided. But because she didn’t feel empowered to leave or to set boundaries, she couldn’t change the situation. She lived like this for over a decade.

Thankfully, we don’t need a doctors opinion to understand the truth. Her experience being married to me has colored her world in such a way that she now has a hard time trusting others. She is getting much better, but the way I treated her led her to believe she was fundamentally not good enough or didn’t really have anything to offer people in relationships. Little arguments still set her off so easily because she still believes I am going to drive a freight train through her life and take everything I can from her while leaving her in shambles. I have trained her to live in fear of never being seen, validated, having her needs met, or having her emotions mean something to her husband. The person who is supposed to make her feel like the most important person in the world, like she is special, valuable, needed, powerful, and beautiful, treated her like a sexual and emotional ATM, and she NEVER (yes, I will say never), ever got her needs met. She was starving emotionally and spiritually.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the kind of trauma she truly experienced and how it doesn’t just go away without a lot of love, support, therapy, and time.

Porn Isn’t That Big of a Deal; Stop Shaming Men Who Look

Yep, a supposedly good Christian man really tried to say that women make way too big a deal of this. If we would just stop shaming them then they wouldn’t have to look because they would feel better about themselves. Basically it’s all our fault they look because we get hurt when they do, and it’s really not that big of a deal anyway. I really didn’t follow the logic on this one, but ok.

Too many women treat porn like an unforgivable sin. First off, what is pornography? Do you realize that there is no such thing as a porn star? They are all in slavery in someway. Even the ones who got into it voluntarily find themselves pressured to do things they don’t want to do (pornharms.com). It’s a lifestyle they wish they could get themselves out of, but there is an abuse cycle that keeps them in it for much longer than they wanted. That’s the ones that were approached in a bar by some studio owner and went along willingly. The ones who got drugged and kidnapped and are now making videos in some warehouse in Sri Lanka are straight up sex slaves. I remember watching some movies thinking, “Wow, she doesn’t look like she’s having a very good time here.” Even when I sought out pornography for my own pleasure at the height of my addiction, it still bothered me deeply to watch these women going through this abuse. And at the time, I didn’t understand it. I really didn’t know that that’s what happened to a lot of the women that end up in those videos. But it is. Every time you watch pornography, you are creating a demand for some woman like your wife or your daughter to be kidnapped and raped in front of a camera every day of her life until she is no longer useful to her captors, at which point she will be murdered. So, since you to contradicted yourself and said women regularly use porn, I will say NOT ENOUGH women treat pornography like an unforgivable sin.

But that’s not really the point you were making, is it? You were trying to say that porn isn’t that big a deal for the user, without any regard to how it affects the people who create it. But let’s just assume for a few moments that, just like the fantasy world most people want to live in, the women in pornographic material are doing it willingly and are fairly compensated. That’s the best case scenario. It STILL violates the law of chastity. It’s still violates the social expectation of marital fidelity, whether you made a covenant in the temple with your eternal companion or married in a civil ceremony. It still hurts the women we claim to love. That is elemental and will never change. If I punch you in the face, you’re gonna be pretty pissed about it, right? Well the same goes for watching pornography. It hurts our wives’ feelings. Period. It hurts them just as much as if we went out and screwed some woman. We are telling them they are not good enough, not beautiful enough. The women in the pictures will continue to be young, fit, exotic, or somehow fitting a fantasy. The older our wives get, the more they realize they can’t live up to that expectation. We are telling them that when we have sex with them, we don’t do it because we love them and want to give ourselves to them and receive them in the most intimate, vulnerable, complete way possible, but rather because we have a bestial urge that they just happen to have the proper equipment to help us satisfy. That doesn’t sound like true love. That doesn’t sound like a celestial marriage. That sounds like abuse. So no, I don’t think enough women treat pornography like an unforgivable sin. Maybe if they did, the divorce rate in the church wouldn’t be so high.

Don’t forget how vehemently President Hinckley denounced unchastity in ALL its forms. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Pres Hinckley, pp 217-219. Go read his comments there, then ask yourself if you aren’t guilty of that type of abuse? Claiming that women have too big of a problem with men who view pornography and that their hurt feelings over OUR egregious sin make the problem worse? God have mercy on whatever man spews that vile drivel in public like you just did.

But Women Have Porn Too!

He then said that women have their own porn, mostly in the form of romance novels and movies, but they just aren’t willing to admit that is what it is. If they indulge then why can’t I?

Women ignore their own versions of porn. Yes, they do. Women of the world who have not made covenants with the Lord. But how can you compare those women to the women in the church who by and large do not indulge in that stuff? I know there are women who don’t wear their garments on cruises with their husband while they’re wearing immodest dresses. They went to see Fifty Shades of Grey. They lost weight and posted immodest pictures of their new bodies on Facebook. But I also don’t see those women in the church anymore. The women in the church don’t do that stuff. But the men do. So you can’t justify pornography usage based on the fact that “everybody’s doing it, even the women who claim it’s such a big problem for them.“ Besides, even if that were a correct premise, try saying that to the Savior when you meet him and see how far past the gate that gets you.

Men are Visual, Women are Emotional

Men are more driven by their eyes and women by their emotions. It’s just sooooo hard for men not to look and they aren’t capable of the emotional connection that women want.

This comment highlights the type of emotional retardation for which men are infamous inside and outside the church in this day and age…Probably since the beginning of the world. I declare that men and women are created exactly equally both in terms of sexual drive and desire for emotional connection. See, once you start figuring this stuff out, you realize that what you were looking for all along in all the ways you acted out was an emotional connection that made you feel loved, important, and secure. Sexual relations are the pinnacle of such a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. But Satan knew what kind of havoc he could wreak if he were able to confuse us into believing that sex was the beginning point in seeking out emotional satisfaction. And he is winning that battle quite handily at the moment. Satan wants us to believe that men are built for watching football and drinking beer and fixing stuff and slapping each other on the back and hurling jestful insults at each other while women were built to connect and talk about their emotions. But that is false. Men were created to talk about their emotions and connect with other men and with women just like women were built. So long as Satan has us believing that we are fundamentally incompatible, he will continue to tear apart our families. But if you can accept that you will feel happy and free when you really get in touch with your emotions and feel a connection to yourself, God, and others all at the same time, it becomes so easy and so clear to see that we are all the same. Male and female, we are all worried that we aren’t enough, that nobody will love us, that we are really a fraud. Relationships with others in which we reveal ourselves and lovingly accept what others reveal to us gives us the true freedom and security from all of that negative self talk Satan wants us to buy and sell every time we have a lustful thoughts or commit an unchaste act.

Be 100% Accountable

Here’s the thing ladies and gents; an addict is ALWAYS 100% responsible for his/her actions. It doesn’t matter if you came from an abusive home, were assaulted, bullied, shamed, didn’t get enough sex, oh I could go on and on. You are always capable of making a better choice. Always! The only thing an excuse can do is keep you stuck in a pit. IF you want to get out you have to be willing to do the hard work to change. Sure God throws a ladder down there in the form of 12 step groups, books, therapists, community, and more, but it’s up to you to grab hold and climb out one rung at a time. We all have trials. We all have bad things happen that hurt us. It is always our choice to grab life by the reigns and move forward with grace and dignity or wallow in the mud feeling sorry for ourselves. This speech by Lynn G. Robbins is an excellent read on the subject of taking responsibility for your life regardless of the circumstances.

Now please don’t think this means you have to stuff down any negative emotion and pretend life is a bed of roses. Nope. You cry. You rage. You process. Then you move on. Healing and growth are lifelong processes. They never stop, so we shouldn’t stop either. You got this. You just have to be willing to do it.

What other excuses have you used or heard to avoid working recovery? What fears hold you back from your own healing/recovery? What are you going to do today to take more responsibility for your life? Come on over to my group Muchness Mamas on Facebook and let’s talk about it!

Creating and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

To say being married to an addict is difficult would be the understatement of the year. Let’s face it, even without addiction relationships are hard work. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is crucial to finding health and happiness both for the addict and their betrayed spouse. When I first heard the word boundaries I was both empowered and confused. What exactly are boundaries? Are boundaries Christlike? How do I go about setting a boundary? How do I know if my boundaries are healthy?

Creating and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in Relationships | muchnessmama.com| addiction recovery | betrayal trauma recovery

What are Boundaries

Boundaries allow us to take responsibility for ourselves while not shouldering responsibility for the actions of others. Boundaries are invisible lines that say what we will and won’t tolerate. Boundaries are like the fence that defines our property line. There is a gate and we can let people in when we choose and boot them out if they are disrespecting our wishes. I love what Dr. Cloud, author of Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life, had to say in a recent blog post about boundaries.

Personal boundaries allow you to have ownership over your own thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions, while freeing you from being responsible for anyone else’s. Virtually everyone sets some form of boundaries without thinking about it, but when we consciously define our boundaries, we gain a huge degree of control over our happiness, comfort and the quality of our relationships.

A boundary is a simple statement saying what you will or won’t tolerate and what you will do if that boundary is violated. Remember, a boundary without a consequence is simply a threat. Boundaries are not about controlling the actions of others. Boundaries are about controlling yourself and defining how you will respond to keep yourself safe in unhealthy situations.

Are Boundaries Christlike

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for me when I first learned about boundaries was the feeling that I wasn’t showing Christlike love when I was enforcing them. President Russel M. Nelson said “Real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior.” God himself has given us the perfect example of healthy boundaries, we call them commandments. He does not force any of us to obey, but he does withdraw his spiritual guidance, peace,  and certain blessings when we choose not to follow the requirements he has laid out for us. There are also many examples of healthy boundaries from Jesus Christ’s life here on Earth. Remember the rich young man? Christ told him to sell all that he had and follow him. Christ did not encroach upon the man’s agency, he simply said if you do these things then you will be welcome in my presence and in heaven. Let’s look at the story of the young woman caught in adultery. Christ didn’t tell her accusers that they couldn’t enact justice. He simply reminded them of their own imperfections then allowed them the opportunity to make the right choice. Jesus also took time to care for himself. He had boundaries that said “I need time to commune with my Father” and there are a few different accounts of him going alone into the mountains or wilderness, once for 40 days! If you want to read more about Christ setting boundaries this post from Soul Shepherding is wonderful.

How Do I Set Boundaries

As stated above a boundary without a consequence is simply a threat. Threats are useless. Remember boundaries aren’t about controlling others, they are about controlling yourself. We all set boundaries naturally every day through our choices. We choose not to spend time with someone who is unkind. We choose to rest and engage in self-care rather than accomplishing yet one more to do task on our list. We choose to disengage from emotionally abusive conversations. We choose to speak up when we something unfair happening. When dealing with an addict I’ve found that my boundaries around his addiction need to be very clearly stated. This is the pattern I use for most of my boundaries:

  1. State the action that you can’t tolerate
  2. State how that action makes you feel
  3. State the consequence/boundary you will enact to create safety for yourself

Three Steps for Creating Healthy Boundaries | muchnessmama.com | addiction recovery| betrayal trauma recovery

Here are some examples of some actual boundaries written out by some of my fellow WOPA (wives of porn addict) friends.

  • When you choose to watch pornography I feel betrayed, hurt, and angry. I need to detach from our relationship and sleep separately from you.
  • When you are not actively engaging in recovery work on a daily basis I do not feel safe in our relationship. When I feel unsafe I will need to detach from you emotionally.
  • I can not remain in a marriage with infidelity. If you choose to act out with another woman then I will file for divorce.
  • I can not accept any form of pornography in my home. I will be placing filters/blocks on all electronic devices that are brought into this home. If you do not want filters on your device then it will have to remain outside fo the home. If you can not agree to this then I will enact a physical separation.

Also check out this post from my friend Kate about boundaries. She has a ton of great advice about the nuts and bolts of setting boundaries along with some other great examples.

How do I Know if My Boundaries are Healthy

A healthy boundary is one that keeps you inside your fence and keeps things that will hurt you out. A healthy boundary is about controlling yourself, not others (though it is ok to hope that our boundaries will motivate them to a healthy change). At the Determined to Rise retreat this past September Dr. Sharon Rinearson of Core Relationship Recovery described boundaries as a hedge of thorns. Because fo the thorns people who want to hurt us can’t get in, we will protect ourselves from them. At the same time the thorns keep us inside our safe zone. Sometimes boundaries hurt. Healthy boundaries are hard. When you have been a doormat in your relationship setting healthy boundaries will most often result in resentment, anger, and a lot of push-back from your spouse. Sometimes the addict will even try to set counter boundaries that are meant to control you and your boundaries. Good, this means you’re doing it right! The hardest part of a healthy boundary is continuing to enforce your boundary even when it hurts you. Separation from your spouse isn’t easy, but it is necessary if they are abusing you. A healthy boundary is paradoxically also flexible. If you are setting healthy boundaries then you are able to recognize when they are not working or no longer necessary.

Setting Boundaries Requires Support

Healing from addiction can’t be done in isolation and neither can healing from betrayal trauma. If you had a physical injury you would visit a doctor, go to rehab with a physical therapist, and find others to help and support you through your healing. Emotional injury isn’t any different. You need help and support. A good therapist who is trained in betrayal trauma can be an amazing help in setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. You can find therapists who have been certified in betrayal trauma on the APSATS website. Support groups are another great source of strength. When I initiated a separation from my husband earlier this year I never could have followed through on healthy boundaries without the support of the amazing ladies in my support groups. In person, online, and phone support groups can be found via ARP support, S-Anon, and Betrayal Trauma Recovery. There are also several Facebook groups available for support. For safety and privacy these groups are secret, so you will have to find a person who you know struggles with these issues as well and ask them to have you added. It can also be helpful to reach out to a few people you trust that can support you, even if they haven’t endured this specific trial. I have two amazing friends who have been there to help and support me whenever I need it. I have also had some amazing bishops (religious leader) who have given me strength to create and maintain healthy boundaries. I have also had friends and religious leaders say less than helpful, and sometimes even traumatizing things to me when they hear my story. Prayerfully consider who you will seek support from and it’s ok to set a healthy boundary around who you talk to and what you share with them.

Have you struggled with setting and maintaining healthy boundaries? Where have you found help and support? What are your biggest struggles with boundary setting? What advice would you give to someone who is just learning to set boundaries in an unhealthy relationship? Come join me in the Muchness Mamas Facebook group and let’s talk about it!

Five Steps to Deal With Trauma Induced Anxiety

Anyone who has ever dealt with trauma can tell you that the worst moments are when triggers hijack our brain causing anxiety that makes it nearly impossible to function. When you get stuck in fight, flight, or freeze mode it can be really hard to get back into your rational brain. And the best part is that anything can trigger these episodes! Here are five techniques to help you deal with your out of control brain when you are dealing with trauma and/or anxiety.

Five Steps to Deal With Trauma Induced Anxiety | muchnessmama.com | betrayal trauma recovery

1- Identify Your Trigger

It’s hard to know what to do if you don’t know what you are dealing with. Often we can feel anxious or triggered without really understanding exactly why. Sometimes we don’t even realize that a triggering moment is building up until it overwhelms us. Learning to recognize what a trigger feels like for you then follow it down to identify what caused it is crucial to being able to master your brain and control it. For me I notice that my shoulders and neck get tense, and my heart starts beating faster. I will start to breathe faster and shallower. If I am in a conversation my speaking will pick up speed and frequently raise in volume as well. In extreme cases my hands will shake and my right arm and hand will get numb and tingly. I also often experience brain fog, where I can’t seem to string two words together into a coherent thought. When I start to notice any of these symptoms I try to take an immediate self assessment and identify what exactly is triggering me. One simple technique to identify triggers is to take a deep breath then say, think, or write the first word(s) that come to your mind.

2- Get Out

Once you have identified your trigger the first step is to get away from it if at all possible.  That may mean turning off a show or movie, walking away from a conversation, or even just putting on some noise cancelling headphones. In some cases it may mean limiting your contact with certain people or places that you know will be a problem for you. It is much easier to deal with your triggers if you can get to a calm quiet space far away from outside influences and distractions. Sometimes I hide in my bedroom or the shower. When my husband is the main source of my triggers I have to take a break from being with or speaking to him.

3- Ground Yourself

Once trauma brain takes over the challenge is to get yourself back into your logical brain. One of the best ways to do this is by grounding all of your senses in the real world. Sit or stand straight, plant your feet, take a deep breath then do the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 senses check-in. Name 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 4 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste. If you can’t identify that number then just move on to the next thing. The key is to get all five of your senses involved to place you securely in the real world. Many women choose to have a trauma box they can use for their grounding. For example they may have a soft piece of fur or silk, a couple of pieces of chocolate, a favorite essential oil, an mp3 player of favorite music, or any other pleasant thing with which to engage their senses. One friend of mine has a large soft microfiber blanket that she can literally cocoon herself in as she runs through her grounding exercises.

Five Steps to Deal With Trauma Induced Anxiety | muchnessmama.com | betrayal trauma recovery | Essential oils for anxiety

4- Breathing Exercises

Once you are grounded in reality then it’s time to calm the body. Breathing exercises are the quickest way to take control of your mind and force your body to slow down. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly or forehead. Breathe in deeply for five seconds then exhale forcefully with a sigh. Do this a few times then switch to lions breath. Put your hands on your knees or down to your sides. Clench your fists and as you inhale raise your shoulders tensing your body. When you exhale stick out your tongue, roll your eyes up to the top of your head, splay your fingers wide and huff out forcefully. I dare you to do this without giggling!

5- Do Something You Love

Hopefully by this time you are feeling more grounded. Now it’s time to do some self-care to solidify your foundation. This can be any thing you love. Art journaling, writing, listening to music, do yoga, go for a walk, take a bath or shower, eat a healthy meal, talk to a friend; he options are endless. Anything that fills your bucket and makes you feel safe and secure.

Have you dealt with trauma induced anxiety? What are your favorite grounding items or breathing exercises? Do you have any favorite smells, tastes, or other sensory items in your trauma box? Come on over to the Muchness Mama’s Facebook group and let’s talk about it!

Overcoming Fear- I Walked on Fire, I Can do Anything

I have spent way too much time letting fear run my life. Fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of losing people, and yes, even fear of success. Why is fear such a powerful force in our lives? To answer that question we have to understand what fear is and where it comes from.

Overcoming Fear I Walked on Fire, I Can do Anything| muchnessmama.com

What is fear?

At the Determined to Rise retreat in Randolph, UT we were given the opportunity to participate in firewalking. I’ll admit I only went to watch. I had absolutely zero intentions to actually participate. What type of crazy person walks on 1200 degree coals?!?! Before we were allowed to move to the fire an amazing instructor spoke to us. He explained how fear is programmed into our brain. Fear is simply put the brain’s way of keeping us alive. Every experience we have is recorded and stored then accessed when we are in a situation so we know if we should fear.

For example a baby is sitting on the floor and is approached by a harmless daddy longlegs spider. The baby laughs. He doesn’t fear that spider. The spider crawls on the baby’s leg. He just giggles because it tickles. He grabs the spider and pops it in his mouth right as mommy walks into the room. Now mommy doesn’t like spiders and she screams “NOOOOOOO!” Well that is a scary noise and baby starts to cry. Mommy runs over and scoops him up and babbles something about that mean old scary spider. You’d better believe that for the rest of his life that baby will now fear spiders. His brain has recorded that experience and now tells him that spiders are scary. That fear overrides reason and logic. The only way for us to get out of that fear is to choose to take control of it.

Fear can be a very real warning of danger, but as often as not fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real. Just like in the story of the spider we often are trained to fear things that hold no real danger to us. Before publishing my post about my husband’s sex addiction I was paralyzed by fear. It took my nearly a year to even write the post and another several days to hit publish. I was afraid others would judge me. I was afraid they would reject me. I was afraid that after sharing my hope it would be dashed by another relapse from my husband. I was afraid that I was a total imposter in the world of healing betrayal trauma, I mean after all what do I know?  Want to know what happened after I published my story. I got messages, lots of them. Every single one of them was from someone who wanted to reach out in support. Not only did my fears not materialize, but the opposite actually came true. I found strength, healing, and support that I didn’t know was possible.

How do You Conquer Fear?

So how did I overcome my fear enough to push that publish button? Conquering fear takes both logical thought and decisive action. Every single one of us has an inner voice that will guide us if we can push through the fear to listen to it. Sometimes it will tell us that the route we are considering is not safe. Our inner voice is very smart after all. Sometimes listening to the fear is the proper choice, as long as we are doing it out of rational thought and not being controlled by the fear. More often though by thinking through things logically we will allow our inner voice to calm the fear and give us the courage to take action. I had to ask myself what if all of these horrible things I am imagining actually come true? What if my husband relapses? Can I live through that? I’ve done it before. What if my friends abandon me? Can I handle that? Well I have two real friends that already know my story and they’ve stuck by me. I also have huge amounts of support in my FB groups of warrior women! Even if the rest of the world turns against me I know I will always have them. What if I get hateful and judgmental comments from the peanut gallery? Well I suppose I’ll live through that too. Not like I’ve never had a bully in my face before. I can survive that too. Not only can I survive all these things, but I can thrive through them! Then, with my inner voice cheering me on, I hit publish, shut down the computer, and went to bed. I wanted to make sure people saw it before I had a chance to back out. That was my decisive action!

We can only conquer fear when our motivation to succeed becomes bigger than our fear. The most important part of conquering fear is knowing your why. What is it in this world that you are willing to fight and sacrifice for? Family? God? Yourself? Find something that gives you the power to keep stepping one foot after the other no matter what obstacles are in your way. Everything starts with why.

I Conquered My Fear

When we got to the fire our instructor told us it was time to set our personal intention if we were going to walk across that fire. He said “Who or what would you be willing to walk across fire for?” He had told us earlier that he usually sees his family. Now maybe this makes me a bad mom or wife, but I can’t honestly say I felt that conviction that they would carry me across that fire. Instead what came instantly to my mind was a vision of myself emotionally healthy, full of confidence and strength. Could I walk through fire to become that woman? Did I believe in her enough? Did I love that woman enough to walk through fire to become her? In that moment I knew my inner voice was telling me that I had to walk. I hesitated a bit. Man this crap was SCARY!! I took off my shoes, squared my shoulders, and got in line. I knew that this challenge was something I had to do in order to propel myself into greater health, strength, and self-love. As I came to the front of the line I said “I am walking tonight because the girl on the other end of this path is worth it!” I raised my hands as a symbol of surrender to the process, and stepped out onto the hot coals with my chin high. I honestly didn’t feel a thing other than a slight crunching under my feet. As I reached the other side I felt a new power and self-confidence. I made a commitment to myself to push through all of the fears that are still holding me back from becoming the person that God created me to be.

COnquering Fear- I walked on fire | muchnessmama.com | listening to my inner voice | finding my strength

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am wise.

I am confident.

I am courageous.

I am capable.

I am victorious.

I walked on fire, and I can do anything!

What fears do you need to conquer? Do you know your why? Who or what would you walk through fire for? Come join us in The Muchness Mamas Facebook group and let’s talk about it!

You’re Not Alone- Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Remember that moment you became a parent for the first (second, third, or eighth) time, suddenly all you could think about was how amazing this tiny human would grow to be. You thought of their future job, spouse, how many children they would have, and all the amazing things they would accomplish in their lives. All of your hopes and dreams for them seemed limitless and I was the same.

I used to think of all the things my sweet babe would need to learn in order to grow into the man I hoped to rear. He would be strong, a defender of the weak, humble, God-fearing, faithful, honest, loyal, and a good listener. I would teach him to cook, and clean and be self-sufficient so his future wife would have a true helpmeet. He would be a man with values and strong moral courage to stand up for what was right. He would be all of these things and more. What I didn’t plan for, is he would also be suicidal.
Parenting a Child With Mental Illness | muchnessmama.com | You're Not Alone | anxiety | depression

Hi – I’m Brandy, and I’m the mother of an 11 year old who has suicidal ideations!!!

I’m willing to bet you didn’t know depression and suicidal tendencies occurred in such young children. It’s a sad fact that more and more preteen boys and girls are having thoughts of self harm. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of death in children from ages 10-18 according to the CDC!

I’m not here to give you a list of reasons why this happens, or even bore you with the specifics of the physiology of the human brain. What I do a want, is to encourage you or anyone who is raising such a child and help you understand that you’re not alone. So maybe you can find hope in my story and some normalcy in mental health and raising a child who struggles with major depression and suicidal thoughts. Here’s my story.

Three years ago my son’s father and I divorced. It was a surprise to me, and of course my, then 8-year-old, thought for certain he’d done something horrible to make his dad leave. My ex did not leave us gently either, for lack of a better word, he abandoned us. Left me with all the debt, all the bills, a child, and no way to take care of any of it. We were devastated! With much counsel and support from a loving Bishop we began family therapy with a licensed therapist to work through this difficult ordeal and the feelings that came with it.

During this time I knew I needed to find work that would support us. I had so me college classes but no degree that I could use. So I had some tough decisions to make and ended up going back to school full-time to become a nurse. The school I chose was accelerated, completing a 4 year Bachelor degree in 2.5 years. That meant I needed to make some sacrifices. Time was a precious commodity now. I went from being a stay-at-home-mom to full-time student and part-time employee within a very short period of time. This meant less time for fun and family. I tried as best as I could to only study when Ethen was a sleep or at school, leaving what little time I had left just for him. We talked about the sacrifices we had to make often, but still he struggled. He would cry to me saying how much he wanted time with me but knew how important it was I study. No amount of therapy helped. We persisted though.

There came a point when my ex moved back to the state we reside in and we agreed to a bi-monthly weekend visit. The time off for me was hard but a welcome reprieve. I missed him when he was gone, but enjoyed my time for self-care. Then trouble started really happening! Every time my kiddo would come home, he would be a terror for several days. Attitude, yelling, talking back, not doing homework or chores were constant struggles between us. As much as I assured him he was loved but insisted that rules be followed he would fight me. This only made power struggles more difficult. Come to find out, there’s very little structure and rules at his dad’s, a stark contrast to my home. We had so many conversations between us and with our therapist about the differences between our homes. Things only got worse.

Fourth grade was the worst year. Enter school yard bullies! Don’t get me wrong, my child is no angel, and I fully warned his teacher that year. I asked her to work with me, to help him learn to better control his emotions. That went out the window it seemed, because that year my son was suspended from school FOUR TIMES and the last time they actually wanted to expel him. He would be bullied and harassed at school and told “ignore it” when he would report it. Of course this direction doesn’t work and gives bullies more power, so after ignoring it for so long, my son couldn’t take it any longer and explode (verbally not physically thankfully). On one occasion, he was physically assaulted and yelled at the kid to not touch him. Guess who was suspended… if you guessed my son, you guessed right. When this happened, it broke my son. He had his first real moment of contemplating ending it all. He was 10.

I thank God that my relationship with Ethen is strong enough that he willingly confides in me these feelings. I’ll never forget that first time he told me that, while in his room, he held a knife to his heart. I grabbed him, hugged him, and we both cried. My anger and frustration about whatever had happened previously faded, and so many emotions took their place. I was afraid, sad, and relieved all at once. We went to therapy the next day, and determined he wasn’t currently (in that moment) a threat to himself, so we made a safety plan and continued on with life.

Things did not get easier though. He would spiral out of control emotionally. He was becoming lost to me. It didn’t help I was busy with school/work and he had an emotionally unavailable father. But we kept at it. Over the course of the following year and a half, he would make two more serious threats to his life. He would say to me things like he wished he’d never been born, or could be born over again so he could start over. He would say he wants to be good, but doesn’t feel he can ever be good so he might as well not be here at all.

The final straw was only a few weeks ago. We hit a major wall in this uphill journey. There was some argument about some insignificant topic that sent him spiraling and falling fast! He came downstairs crying carrying his pellet gun and BEGGING me to throw it out. He had held it to his head and was going to pull the trigger. Now a pellet gun is, technically a toy, but it uses compressed air to propel a pellet (about the size of a bb but more oblong shaped) out of the barrel. At close range and in direct contact with the temple (a soft tissue area of the head), it could have been very dangerous.

Panic set in! I threw the gun away and called our therapist immediately. We were at a point of no return! We had an emergency meeting with his therapist, this time he was asked on a scale of 0-10 how likely he was to hurt himself. Ethen responded with “an 8 or 9!” My heart sank! I was told to take my son to the emergency room for an emergent mental health evaluation. That was the longest drive of my life!

My son would spend the next five days in a mental health facility. It was the worst experience of my life, and certainly his. He hated being there, and begged me to take him home. He was there under a doctor’s order which meant I couldn’t take him even if I wanted to. Visits were very restricted and limited to 30 minutes every day, and only at specified times. There was also phone calls, but again, highly restricted time frames. I visited and called every day I could. Each time crying as I left the facility or hung up the phone. Where had I gone wrong?
Parenting a child with mental illness | muchnessmama.com | you're not alone | anxiety | depression

The truth of the matter is I hadn’t done anything wrong. My child is simply one of the millions of Americans and American children who suffer with major depression. The chemicals in his brain do not function properly. It’s as simple as that, and nothing I did caused it. Though it doesn’t feel like that at all! We still have a very long road ahead of us, but he’s on the road to recovery.

We take it one day at a time. We maintain balance, structure, and I ensure he takes his medication as prescribed. I still keep open communication with him, laugh with him, snuggle with him, help him with homework, and everything else a parent does. Just like every other parent out there, but perhaps I’m more vigilant and must take EXTRA steps any other parent wouldn’t necessarily take to ensure his safety. All weapons are locked away with the keys in safes he doesn’t know the combination to and the kitchen knives, razor blades, even staples and glass are closely monitored to ensure he doesn’t use them to harm himself. It’s exhausting and scary!

This is my story about parenting a child with suicidal ideations. It is not at all what I ever imagined for my son, or for me as a parent. I’m learning new ways to parent. I’ve never prayed so hard in my life. I’ve reached out to my support systems and even found new support systems specifically for this. Our journey is far from over, in fact it’s really only begun. But I know that Heavenly Father loves us and he wants us to rely on him. He’s not going to magically take this away from us, but show us how to live with it. I trust the perfect parent, to show me how to be the parent my suicidal child needs!

Learn more about mental health and depression by visiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness website at www.NAMI.org – together we can end the stigma that surrounds mental health issues in our country!

A Huge thank you to my favorite bestie Brandy for this guest post. Have you dealt with mental illness in your child? What resources have you discovered for yourself or your child? What do you wish people knew about parenting a child with mental illness? Come chat with us in the Muchness Mamas Facebook group!

Do you have your own “You’re Not Alone” story to share? I am looking for more guest bloggers! If you have an idea for a post that will help other women who may feel alone in their struggles please contact me.