Hi there! Welcome to Monogrammed Mischief. I’m Lauren- Southerner, Jesus-lover, special needs mama, clean eater, homeschooler, and potty-trainer extraordinaire! This blog is dedicated to adventures (and misadventures) in mindful homemaking as I do my best as wife and mother to four wild and crazy kids.

In the last decade, I’ve been a teen mom, seen my child diagnosed with autism, put myself through college, had another sweet baby, graduated college, gotten a job, become a single mom, turned first job into career, met and married the man of my dreams, watched career take off into dream status, had two more babies, and left said dream job to start the next dream…becoming a stay at home mama to my little troop. They aren’t kidding when they say life is a journey.

The last year has introduced me to something unexpected. When I worked, I had the worst case of mom-guilt. And when I started staying home? I still had it. Except now I was exhausted. And I didn’t have the convenient workplace relationships to distract me from what I inevitably feel as maternal failure on a regular basis. I watched as other moms balanced getting kids to school and practice, went to barre class and moms nights out, and participated in civic organizations, and the best I could do was get dinner on my table every night. I felt like I spent all day every day picking up behind a never-ending barrage of toys and laundry. Then it occurred to me: I can create a happy place here, on my own terms. These kids work for me, I don’t work for them. Our definition of happy doesn’t have to match everyone else’s.

I started digging deeper into my own identity as a mom, and found ways to be intentional with how we operate as a family: making room for understanding our priorities, and intentionally choosing our activities and endeavors based on those priorities. That’s where we find our happiness. We’re no longer humans doing, we’re humans being. If I fail at everything else, hopefully these little people will leave home one day knowing who they are, and who we are as a family. And hopefully our activities and the memories they have will reflect those things. I’m happy to have you join us as we work towards that goal!

What you’ll find here:

  • Alternative lifestyle chronicles: over the last 5 years we’ve deviated from the common approach to most things. For us that means home birth, natural birth control, an all-organic, mostly plant-based diet, and minimalism out the wazoo.
  • Natural parenting (or some semblance of that): my approach to keeping our house and family chemical-free, without losing our minds
  • Household organization: my own approach to keeping all six of us relatively organized (hey, it’s a work in progress) and as efficient as possible
  • Hopefully, encouragement!

A few things:

  1. I’ll do me, and you do you: Please know that absolutely ZERO of what I post on MM is a statement of what is right for you, your family, or anyone else’s. I may post tons about clean eating and “natural parenting,” but if Stouffer’s lasagna is your jam and Babywise is your parenting mantra, go for it Mama, and love every minute of it. Life is about feeling good about our choices- don’t let me or anyone else make you feel less than your best.
  2. The filter is ON: Yep. As a stereotypical Southern lady, I put my makeup on every morning before I come downstairs. True story. So what you see here may very well be the fancy-schmancy version of my life and not exactly an accurate depiction. Rest assured I have dust bunnies under my couch, my kids may or may not be wearing the same clothes from yesterday, and sometimes we count milkshakes as a meal. I once cried in front of Target after realizing I’d unloaded all 4 kids and gotten us inside without our shopping list or coupons. The struggle is real people- I just might choose to keep a lot of it offscreen.
  3. Where are the kids?: Funny story. Call me crazy, but the facial recognition software on the internet is a little scary to me. I’m cool with myself being catalogued, but for now, I’m letting the kiddos enjoy life away from all that. As a late adopter of Facebook, I was also very fortunate to live my toughest years away from all the negativity and exposure that comes with social media, and I want my littles to be able to do the same. So you won’t see them here. (I know, I know- just remember #1 okay?)

Last but not least, I hope that what you find here encourages you to be yourself. Be informed about your choices, don’t let me or anyone else influence you unjustly, and know that you were uniquely and wonderfully made with a purpose! I hope you enjoy seeing me seek out mine as I journey into harried homemaking- talk to you soon!

xoxo~ LWH

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