The Four Crucial Elements of My Formula

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Guest post by Jamie Scrimgeour

Last year when Kelly asked me to be a guest blogger on Your Formula for Life, I was flattered, but couldn't help but chuckle to myself. A Formula for life? Doesn’t she know I’m just winging it over here? 

Even though that isn’t necessarily true, there are days when I feel like there is no formula in site. In that first post, not only did I talk about my formula, but I talked about how I give myself permission to be okay when my formula goes out the window.

Because as anyone who in the trenches of motherhood knows, there are days when we totally rock this motherhood gig, and there are days when we can barely keep our head above water. The key is to realize that is okay!  

Click here to read last years blog post

It's amazing what can happen in just a year, while my formula is still very much the same (some days I'm totally on my game, other days not to much), life as it tends to do, has evolved. 

With that my formula has evolved too…

For me, success in motherhood isn’t just about staying organized, being proactive, having a meal prep day,  scheduling in date nights and keeping my cup full. While all of those are crucial elements to my formula, there is so much more to my formula for life. 

The key word there is LIFE. We’re not just talking about our formula for motherhood here.

I’m not just a mom. I’m not just a stepmom. (And neither are you) 

As a blogger, freelance writer, entrepreneur, wife, stepmom and mom, there are four crucial elements to my formula, that over the past year I had realized are imperative to my success in all areas of life. {Motherhood and Step-motherhood included)

1. Never get too comfortable. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box.

The other day I had a conversation with my step-daughter about trying new things. We were talking about that nervous feeling you get before you do something new or scary. That pit in your stomach you get, when you’re pretty sure you’re about to puke. 

I told her how even though that feeling makes us want to stop, it’s often a sign that something great is about to happen. We’re about to take a chance. 

Before I hit publish on a blog post, or step in front of a camera, do a speaking engagement, or advertise my online program, I always feel like I am going to hurl. Putting yourself out there is scary. But I push through the nausea and make it happen. 

I refuse to be complacent. I refuse to be someone who lays on her death bed saying “I wish I would have…. but I was too scared”. I make a conscious effort to seek out those “I’m going to hurl” moments in life. It’s where the magic happens. 

2. Mistakes happen. They don’t define who you are. 

When our kids make a mistake, we make sure they know that even though we are disappointed, it doesn’t change how we feel about them. 

We tell them that mistakes happen. Just because you make a bad decision doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. 

You have to forgive yourself and move forward.

We live, we learn. When we know better, we do better. 

Throughout my life I, like everyone, have made some pretty monumental mistakes. Some have hurt other people, some have hurt me, some have just been a flat out inconvenience to recover from. 

My formula involves forgiveness. For me and for others in my life. Mistakes don’t define who we are. It’s the lessons we learn from them that do. 

3. Stay in your own lane. 

With social media, these days its so easy to get wrapped up in what other people are doing, and what other people’s success looks like. 

It is also really easy to get caught up in what other people’s definition of success is.

There are so many “dos and don’ts”. Society’s expectations and “standards” are being thrown at us on a daily, if not hourly basis. 

Some associate success with money, other’s with memories or freedom or knowing they’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. There is no right or wrong way of doing things. 

But when you’re constantly exposing yourself to other peoples “highlight reels” (aka social media feeds)  it’s easy to get derailed and forget about what’s truly important to you. 

A huge part of my formula involves constantly reminding myself that I am the expert on my own life. I know what best for me, and for my family. I know what success and happiness means to us. 

In parenting, step-parenting, business, friendship and life there is no one-size fits all approach.

4. Focus on the things that you can control, and accept the things you cannot

I’m not sure why I put this in at 4. It really is 1. 

So many of us spend so much of our valuable time and energy worrying about things we cannot control. Things like how other people act, react, or the choices that they make. 

It’s easy to get caught up worrying about these things, especially when they, in turn, have a negative affect on our life.

I’m guilty of it too.  But when I find myself worrying about things that are absolutely outside of my control, I give myself a pep talk. 

I remind myself that I cannot control the way someone else acts, the only thing I can control is my reaction.

I remind myself of the people and things who truly matter. My husband, daughter and three “bonus” kids

I remind myself of my goals and re-direct my energy.  

If you ask me, once you start to look at your time and energy as a valuable, limited resource, everything becomes much more clear. 


Jamie Scrimgeour is a straight shooting wife, stepmom of three and mom of one all about keeping it real. As a Life Coach with a specialization in stepfamily dynamics Jamie blogs candidly about her blended family life and provides online support to stepmoms, through her one of a kind group coaching program The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project. Jamie’s posts have been featured on The Huffington Post, Urban Moms, Scary Mommy,, Stepmom Magazine and other popular blogging websites. You can follow Jamie on Facebook and Instagram or check out her website at

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