Tiffanie Smith

When unpredictable life experiences happen, like the loss of a job or death in the family, we have two choices: react or learn. When we choose to learn from the experience, we can change our life and get out of a rut.

When we react to something that happens, it’s usually never good.

When we react, we are living in the past by wishing about what could have been, what we could have done differently, and putting blame on ourselves and others. When we react, it feels like our world is shattered, and we end up hurt. Our minds, bodies, friends, faith, health, family…they all suffer because of our reactions.

When we accept the outcome of a situation, we start to look for the learning opportunity, and something strange happens…

We grow and get out of the rut!

We grow in our mind, our health, and our families. We begin to focus on the present and plan for the future.

Here Are 5 Unpredictable Life Experiences that Shattered My World and Taught Me How To Get Out of a Rut

1. Loss of a Loved One

“Happy Birthday! I love you!” That was the last time I heard his voice. My dad unexpectedly had a heart attack the day after my 25th birthday. He was my everything! I was the epitome of “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

Bride and father of the bride photo

His death shattered my world.

Over the next few years, my life fell apart. I quit my job, blamed myself and God for my dad's death, lost my belief in God, gained 45 pounds, became extremely depressed, was overmedicated with antidepressants, lost my drive to be or do anything, and had no faith in the world. There are two years of my life I literally don't remember. I was reading fictional novels to get lost in a fantasy world of somebody else's “amazing” life.

I never got the help I needed. I thought I was fine.

I was broken and had never really experienced great loss at this level. I stayed up all night and slept all day. My husband had no clue how depressed I was because I lied. Hell, I had no clue how depressed I was.

It took me years to see what depression was doing to me.

When I finally learned I wasn’t supposed to feel this way, I realized I needed to change. I didn’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life!

How I got out of the Depression Rut

    • I struggled to get out of bed but knew it was what I needed.
    • I forced myself to go places just to be around people.
    • I made a promise to make conversation with at least one person a day.
    • I had a desire to be needed.
    • I discovered my faith in God again.

[Have you lost someone and struggle with how to cope? Here is some information on working through the stages of grief.]

2. Depression Leading to Weight Gain

After my Dad’s death, I took antidepressants. I was overmedicated, and I don't remember two full years of my life. I never wanted to take a pill again. I just didn’t know how to manage my depression, and I didn't know what to change.

I was tired all the time, skipping meals, not working out and

not motivated enough to care to fix it.

Due to my depression, I had gained 45lbs after his death. This isn't who I was, and I needed a change. 

How I got out of the Overweight Rut:

    • I used exercise and clean eating as my antidepressant and got off my antidepressant medication.
    • I created a desire. I had a goal to get back to the weight I was before my father died.
    • I started reading A LOT of self help and personal development books.
    • I showed up for myself and kept my focus on healthy goals.
    • I played with my kids, even when I didn't want to.

Working out mother son photo - how to get out of a rut from depression leading to weight gain

[Need help getting back on track with your health? Check out what is working for me!]

3. MOMGuilt

Wait, what?! Hell yes, having kids is an unpredictable life experience that can shock your world! I have three kids now, and I never anticipated how my personal identity would become “Mom.” I somehow lost who I was along this journey of Motherhood. I stopped showering daily, buying things for myself, and wearing make-up and pretty clothes!

Mom reading to daughter and son - getting out of a rut from MOMGuilt

However, I did start shoving bites of mac and cheese and PB&J in my face over the sink. I started wearing work-out clothes daily (even though I wasn’t working out consistently). I started taking naps on the playroom floor. I started drinking wine… at noon.

So in walked Depression (again). I was gaining weight again and getting more and more depressed. I was lost in my role as a Mom and as a Wife. I was lonely. Very lonely. I was tired and lazy all the time. I didn't know what to do, but I was certainly not motivated to do anything. There was no passion, there was no purpose, and there was no fulfillment in my life. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my children and I love my husband, but I needed something more from life- something for ME. I needed to find myself again!

How I got out of the MOMGuilt Rut:

    • First thing I did…you got it! I started working out and eating better. Even though I had to make multiple meals, I still made my health a priority.
    • I got help. I got babysitters or mother’s helpers so I could just get out of the house alone. I got a house cleaner because I hated cleaning with tornados behind me! You feel me, Mamas!!
    • I started a side gig with an MLM. Helping others encouraged me to stay on track, too. It gave me an identity and cash I could spend…guilt free!
    • I made routines and schedules for EVERYTHING!
    • I went to more Mom groups and church events where they could watch kids while I interacted with adults!! SO needed that!!
    • I found hobbies and DID them!

4. Loneliness

Oh boy did we move. I have moved 19 or so times in my life. I have lived in eight states and owned seven houses. I once moved five times in six years and these moves were WITH two kids under the age of three! I met and made so many friends by getting myself out the door and going to playdates, mom groups and church events. And each time I had to leave them. I was lonely. Very Lonely. With each move I was more hesitant to make friends because I didn't want to leave them again. So for a bit I secluded my children and myself from making friends.

My husband travels weekly for work, so I was home with kids and no friends. I so NEEDED friends.

How I got out of the Loneliness Rut:

    • Once again, working out makes its way on the list! I went to a group bootcamp workout to meet people.
    • Before we moved back to our “home” state, I started a new Ladies Group for the community so I knew people before I got there! It was great to know so many people so soon!
    • I made it a point to call at least one friend or family member a day to chat.
    • I volunteered at school events and even tried Room Mom once…won't do that one again, but hey, I tried it!
    • I did have that MLM remember? But I have stepped back from that since then, and now I enjoy blogging.
    • I picked up some REAL hobbies. Sewing, boxing, writing, blogging, and drawing with my daughter. I found things I enjoyed to do again! Without MOMGuilt.

5. Shock

Because I lost my dad, I thought I would have my mom until she was 90+! But I was wrong. My mom recently had an unexpected heart attack at age 64 right BEFORE my birthday. I guess my parents always wanted me to know they were surrounding me on my birthday! {Looking for the positives!} 

Grandma and grandkids

I took her for granted. I thought she would always be around. I lost three more extended family members and my last living Grandparent within four months. After a six month bout of depression moping around and wondering how to go on, I started thinking about life differently. Her legacy. His legacy. My legacy…. What do I want to leave for my kids? What would I want them to say at my funeral?

How I got out of the Shock Rut:

    • I forgave everyone and asked for forgiveness.
    • I tried to find the positive in life and how I can make the most of things.
    • I spent more time with my family and made them a priority over everything.
    • I stopped worrying about laundry, dishes, and cleaning.
    • I started journaling by writing to my mom and dad, dreams, and daily gratitude.
    • I purged my house of clutter because this felt like part of grieving for me.
    • I started this blog to help other Moms who struggle to get out of a rut and find themselves again.

Through all that I have done over the years of unpredictable life experiences, I have come out knowing I have support, tools, knowledge, drive, hope, belief, and desire when I need it!

I have the ability to change or adapt when necessary. I have faith in God’s path for me. I have my health so that I can hopefully live a long life for my kids and their kids like I wanted for my mom. 


I want to help as many Moms as I can make a change in their lives, whether it be health, faith, spirit, or mind. I want to help you make the MOMShift and survive MOMShift by getting out of the rut and finding yourself again!

MOMShift Calculator - how to get out of a rut



What have you learned from an unpredictable life experience? How did it help you?

Please share this on your page or with someone you think might benefit from reading it.

  1. Tasha says:

    I’d love to read more on how you started your ladies group before moving back home! Excited for the MOMShift Calculator!

    • Hey Tasha! Thanks for asking! I actually requested in the community fb page before we closed on the house. Then I started connecting with the community and started a “mom” group which later turned into just the ladies group. I posted it in the community page. When women would request in from the community, I would (and still do) send them a pm to say hi and introduce myself and also to confirm they are community members and not outside people trying to get in our community page who didn’t live here. Then in the group we use it to talk, laugh, sell, and do girls nights out. The pinned post is where you introduce yourself to the group.
      Hope this helps!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a comment

sign me up!

freebie time

Hey Mama! Wanna be the first to get your hands on any FREE content from MOMShift?! Be sure to sign up below and we will send it out the day it's finished!
You're going to LOVE what you see!!


Get On The List


    Pop in your details now!