Lately I’ve just been so burnt out. There really aren’t enough hours in the day.
I just can’t keep up.
For a very patient person, my patience’s has been thin lately. Juggling all our rolls is tough.
I don’t know how some make it look so easy.
Full time working life
Plus all the small things in between. It’s exhausting.
I yell more than usual which is no fun. But when you have a toddler in the hitting stage and a puppy in the digging stage, it happens.
I feel like I’m either asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow or laying wide awake at night feeling guilty about not playing enough or not finishing the laundry or just knowing my head wasn’t in the right place that day.
I know this is just a temporary phase but sometimes even though I have all the help in the world which I am so grateful and blessed to have, I still feel alone sometimes.
It just feels like you have so much on your shoulders and even when the weight is a little bit lifted, something else comes long.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
I guess I’m just trying to say is that, I see you.
I see how exhausted you are.
I see how guilty you feel when you have a bad mom day.
I see the work you put in to your family and your life.
I see how hard you try every day.
I get that sometimes that’s all you want.
To be seen.
For everyone to know how hard you try.
I see all you mama’s out there and I hope you know how great of a job you’re doing.
How all these sleepless nights and tired days and exhausted body’s are worth it.
Spring is upon us and with that comes Spring break! Crazy to think that last year is when the kids never went back to school.
This year though, thankfully there’s a little more you can do! Even though my son is still just a young toddler, I still think of Spring as the start of fun activities school aged or not.
We can finally get outside and play. Bring on the mud and grass stained clothes because I am so ready!
Today I thought I would share some great Spring break activities that you can do as a family, that still is a little more social distanced.
1. Break out the bubbles.
Just like bubble wrap, I feel like you’re never too old for bubbles! Bubbles are such a great inexpensive activity. You can make big bubbles, get a bubble machine or make some fun in a bin with bubbles and water. Definitely a great outdoor activity for the kids.
2. Take a day trip.
As things are opening up it makes it a little easier to take a day trip somewhere fun. Even if it’s outside, or just a drive around.
3. Have a family movie night.
You can never go wrong with a movie night. One of my favorite things to do. Make some popcorn, set up a snack bar or ice cream station. Make some homemade icee’s. So much fun can come from a movie night.
4. Paint a masterpiece.
Painting is such a great activity no matter what age! Get creative with it and there’s so many things you could come up with! Or grab your chalk and head outside to chalk paint.
5. Have an outside adventure.
Check out your favorite trail, rock hunt at the beach, ride bikes, go rollerblading. Head to the park. Outside adventures are what I’m most excited about as the days get longer and hopefully warmer.
6. Sensory bins.
There is so much you can do with sensory bins and they are a hit at any age as well! I have lots of water bin ideas in mind for my son this Spring.
7. Fly a kite.
Spring is so perfect for kite flying! It can still be windy so get to the park and run around with a kite!
Let’s make this Spring a great one and enjoy it as much as we can! I know we all and definitely our kids need it!
What’s your favorite thing about Spring? Mine would be everything blooming and the excitement that Summer is coming.
I’m going to start this post with a bit of an understatement: the last year has been a tough one. Next week will see us meet the one year mark of when our lives all changed dramatically, and what a year it has been. Despite many of us spending more time at home, very few of us have been prioritising taking care of ourselves despite this playing a huge role in our general wellbeing. With parents having to take on the new role of a full-time teacher, key workers under extreme pressure and people struggling to gain a work/life balance now their homes have become offices…where is the time? Sometimes just making it through the day is a success story in itself but these additional stresses that have fallen into our lives only further prove the point that self-care is vital to a healthy mind.
There is still very much a culture where taking time to look after yourself can be seen as an unnecessary luxury but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to be the best version of yourself in work, life or relationships you need to feel like the best version of yourself.
Often when you see the term ‘Self Care’ you think of face masks and massages but actually, the practices are endless and, since we’re not going to be able to get to a spa any time soon, it’s important to find other ways to bring you that same level of peace. Often, the kindest things you can do for yourself have nothing to do with pamper sessions (although I wouldn’t say no!) and everything to do with removing negativity from your life where you can. I’ve listed some of my favourites below.
My Favourite Self Care Methods
Take 30 minutes a day to do something you love – Read that book, listen to a podcast in the bath, be creative…it doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it’s something that makes you happy.
Social Media detox – Take a day away from your Social Media apps, the constant stream of news and other peoples polished lives is a lot and you often don’t realise the damage it’s doing until you take a break.
Review who you follow – Make sure the people you follow on social media are accounts and/or individuals that bring you joy or valuable information. Anyone else can and should be removed (or muted at the very least).
Move your body – I’m a huge advocate for exercise for your mind rather than your body but this doesn’t always have to be an intense workout. I love basic Yoga videos on YouTube, stretching with some relaxing music is really calming even if for 10 minutes.
Get some fresh air every day – This one is so important, especially for those that are working from home every day at the moment. Sometimes getting yourself outdoors if you don’t “need to” is harder than you think, but it’s a wonderful way of taking a moment to breathe.
Journal – Keeping emotions or stresses bottled up inside can only last so long. Talking to other people about these things is so important but if you don’t feel ready or able, writing in a journal is an excellent way to let some of those stresses or worries free.
And the most important and compulsory form of self-care is to be kind to yourself. Life isn’t easy even at the best of times and it’s made ten times harder if you let that negative voice in your head make its way to the front. We’re all just doing our best so make sure you are acknowledging your achievements no matter how small. I’ve said it before but sometimes just making it through the day is a win, so take a minute to say you smashed it!
Benefits of Self Care
Increased positive thinking
A reduction in anxiety
Finding outlets to relieve stress throughout the day can result in an improved sleep pattern
Taking time for yourself will give renewed focus, increasing productivity levels
Learning how to recognise your real emotions/feelings.
Sometimes it feels easier said than done but you need to prioritise yourself. No matter the job, situation or environment you find yourself in, you can’t pour from an empty cup so eventually, something is going to have to give. Please don’t let it be your health.
Thank you so much Amanda and Marissa for having me on your blog and thanks to everybody for reading. If you would like to check out more of my posts you can find my blog here and Instagram here.
Hey Friends! I wanted to do something fun today and kind of a get to know me type post! I love reading these and wanted to share some things about me.
1. I am TOO optimistic! The glass is always half full in my greener pastures! Everything is sunshine an rainbows 99% of the time.
2. I wanted to be an algebra teacher. I know it sounds super crazy but math was always my favorite subject!
3. I performed in plays throughout my childhood until I was a senior in high school! My favorite was Anita from West Side Story.
4. I married my husband when I was 18! We were BABIES (kind of still are)!
5. I HATE cooking, but LOVE baking! If I’m cooking it’s either a crock pot meal or something very simple, but I will bake you ANYTHING from scratch.
6. I hate winter! It was my favorite season for ever, until last year. Now I long for the days of summer!
7. My favorite color is green. More specifically lime green! The brighter, the better!
8. I used to play a TON of musical instruments! I played the tenor saxophone in band, I played a bit of piano, and guitar once I got older. My favorite instrument is the hammered dulcimer. Look it up if you’ve never heard or seen one.
9. I’m very strong willed! I try to speak my mind as much as possible and stand my ground.
10. Family is THE most important to me, but it’s always God first.
Who is having warmer weather lately and getting so excited!? Spring is coming!
Believe it or not but I’m actually itching for the first really nice day to get here so I can open up the windows, put some rubber gloves on and do some major spring cleaning!
Since it’s March, I’m here today to give you some everyday cleaning tips that will make it easier for you to keep your house up throughout the weeks.
In the winter I slack so much on these tips, it’s already dark by the time I get home from work and it’s the last thing I want to do on my days off. But when the days get longer and it’s still light out by 7pm, I get back in my groove.
Here’s my 5 everyday cleaning tips!
Get your laundry ready the day before.
This is a big one because I know we all secretly hate laundry! I’ll be honest though, I’m never ever fully caught up with laundry being a mom and then my husband and I’s clothes as well. I think maybe if I had a first floor laundry room instead of having to go up and down the stairs to the basement all day long, I would be happier. Enough of my laundry hate ranting though.
It makes it so much easier if you sort through your laundry the night before and get your piles ready, that way as soon as you wake up you can throw the first load in and just add to your other piles throughout the day. Instead of being up until 8pm finishing laundry, you’ll most likely be done by 2pm and that way you can have a glass of wine by 8pm 😉
Unload your dishwasher first thing in the morning.
I always unload my dishwasher before I leave for work or defiantly when I’m off. That way you’re just putting your dirty dishes in the dishwasher all day long and keeping your sink clean and dish free.
I LOVE a clean sink.
Plus it makes after dinner dishes so much easier to deal with. I don’t know about you but if I have a clean and dish free sink, I feel a whole lot better!
Make an every two day checklist.
I am a sucker for lists. I love lists. Grocery lists, everyday lists, work lists, CLEANING LISTS. List’s make my life easier and when I feel like I am slacking in the cleaning department and just dreading it because that means I’ll have to deep clean instead of the normal freshen up, I know I have to start making my every two day checklist again.
So basically you can do it however you want to. For me specifically my every two day checklist consists of..
and so on. You can make your list whatever you want but when it comes time for the weekend and if I’ve been doing that every two days then it makes cleaning the rest of the house sooo much easier and cuts down my time by a lot.
Do a mini cleaning pick up each night.
I’m sure a lot of you mama’s have this on your list. Toy’s usually get scattered all around the house. My son loves his toys everywhere and so does my puppy.
Every night I do a mini pick up. I fold up all the blankets, pick up all the toys, put away all the chargers and smart device’s used that day. Clean up the kitchen and coffee table. I just do a quick sweep of everything that got used a lot that day before I go to bed so I wake up more refreshed and not staring at a big huge mess.
Trust me though, it doesn’t happen every single night!
Clean your countertops and used tables everyday.
The last thing I try to do everyday is wipe down my countertops, kitchen table and coffee table. They are used the most throughout the day so no matter what there’s always crumbs or some kind of weird stain on them. I just like to do that everyday to keep them fresh and clean since they are some of the first things you go to when you wake up or when you get home.
Those are my everyday cleaning tips I have for you that I, myself do. I hope you enjoyed this post and I wish you all good luck in the Spring cleaning phase that’s coming!
I know I have so much decluttering to do especially in the clothes and toy area.
What are some of your cleaning tips you use daily?
I also have a free weekly cleaning checklist down below you can download and use this Spring! I’m sure excited about it.
Do you ever wonder what life could be like without comparing yourself to anyone else?
Well, I think it’s time for us moms to stop trying to live up to everyone else and just be ourselves!
Yup! You heard that right, my friend, just be ourselves. Not our neighbor, not our co-worker, not our mom, sister or best friend and just be ourselves.
Friends, your authentic self is the only one I want to be around.
Your authentic stories are the only stories I want to hear. I want to experience the downright ugly parts of your soul as well as all of your triumphs.
I want to cheer for all of your children’s amazing adventures and goals being reached but also gasp at how awful they have been behaving on a daily basis.
So can we make a deal as moms?
Can we stop comparing and rather live our lives as our true selves? Can we stop attempting to live up to all of the online parenting tips, that are often way too hard to attain and allow ourselves to make up our own parenting rules… the rules that work for our family? And rules that take into careful consideration each child living within our unique household.
And please, for our own sanity, can we please stop attempting to live life as a generic woman?
We are all molded, as our own unique selves, but somewhere along the way I think many of us forgot that truth. Or maybe society started to tell us how to behave, how to dress, what our homes should look like and how our children should behave.
But we need to stop this nonsense and just be…
So how do we do this?
It’s not an easy task, let me tell you.
But one thing I know is this…if we all support one another it will be much easier to live as our authentic selves.
Upon a lot of reflection, and there has been a great deal the past year, I have come up with three ways to start living life as our authentic selves.
Take time for reflection:
Set aside a quiet moment or maybe twenty minutes alone, no distractions, just time with good old fashioned silence.
It’s powerful! Within this time, think about you… not the burnt waffles this morning, the four loads of laundry waiting to be folded, a conference call at noon and how you are in desperate need of a haircut. This is a moment for you to delve deep and remember who you are. What are your dreams? Your goals? Desires? What makes you happy? Truly happy? Have you been hiding anything lately? Pushing it away or numbing the pain? And most importantly how do you love yourself best?
I found it helpful to listen to my inner soul quietly and reflect, then write out my thoughts on paper.
My paper was a mess. There were words all over and not organized at all but it was a start.
The simple act of writing out these thoughts was bringing me back to my true self.
If I couldn’t recall who I truly was, how was I going to be able to live a life of authenticity?
2. Putting into action a part once lost.
Remember the reflection time where you made a list? Well, now it’s time to choose one or how many you are comfortable with and begin to bring them to light again.
For me, I knew my true self was a writer. It was my passion and the only way I could express myself as the honest woman I wanted to live. So, day by day I started to write more.
At first I began writing down some thoughts, which then lead to poetry… I forgot how much I loved poetry. I eventually realized it was time to take the next step and really let my true self out of the dark and start to share my authentic self, the writer in me. So for me, as scary as it was it meant starting a blog. My friends, for each of us the experience will be different, the time frame will not be the same but one piece will be constant for all of us and that is becoming the women we are meant to be… our true authentic selves.
So I urge you to take action with your list. Don’t let it sit there in a drawer or in the notes on your phone. Take the leap and call into action one or more of the amazing parts of yourself and let it take hold. You may be amazed at how far you will go.
3. Make peace:
Finding one’s self is not always an easy task. For some of us the thoughts of who we truly are may be easy to find, but for others, muddling through the murky waters of our own self can be daunting. I’m confident though, we can do this as long as we make peace with who we truly are as ourselves and love ourselves more than we expect any other person to love us.
It’s time, my friends, to live our lives fully and to the capacity which works for us… not for the comparison of what we see on HGTV or Pinterest, not for the comparison of ourselves and the other mom at the playground and how she parents. It doesn’t mean we are selfish. It doesn’t mean we should feel any mom guilt. It simply means we should be proud to finally show off our true authentic selves and the phenomenal women we are.
So friends, I pinky promise you this… our authentic selves will bring about more light than we ever imagined and what a blessing for our loved ones to experience. They will be blessed beyond measure with a woman who loves herself and radiates it out for the world to see.
Ali Flynn lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and husband. She is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter and some tears. Ali is a monthly guest contributor for Westchester County Moms and has been seen on Filter Free Parents, Grown and Flown, Today Parents, The Mighty, Her View From Home and His View From Home, where she shares inspirational stories about motherhood while keeping it real.
Being a mom feels like a full time job in itself, but last November I had to take the leap back into the working world. I work only three days a week but so far it’s been a good way to get out of the house, especially with the lockdowns going on, and I definitely think it’s helped this time around to be a little bit less difficult that the first one. It did take me a while though to try and strike the perfect balance with being a working mom. Here’s a few things that I’ve found helpful.
1. Leave work at work. I’ll give an example of this. I had an exceptionally stressful day on Friday, I was so stressed all day about something that I felt sick to my stomach and was tempted to ask to go home, but we all know with Covid going on that’s not something that’s taken lightly anymore. When I left work, I put on some loud upbeat music for my drive home, gave my husband and Baby T big hugs and grabbed a glass of wine. It took me a while to wind down, but eventually I managed to put the whole day behind me and enjoy the time with my family. Also, I don’t have a work phone that I bring home with me, but another thing I always thought was a good idea was something my mom did when she was working. She would turn off her work phone at 6pm when she clocked out and put it on a charger in her home office where she couldn’t check it again until 8am the next day when she started. It really helped her to keep her work separate even though she worked from home.
2. Cooking and eating dinner with my family. When I say I cook, I mean I am the sous chef for my husband who is a way better cook that I am. We spend the time after work in the kitchen together with Baby T in her high chair watching us and upbeat music playing. I give her some of the non sharp kitchen utensils to play with to keep her entertained, then we all sit down together at the table to eat. It’s a routine we started since I’ve been back to work and it’s probably one of my favourites because it’s a time for us to talk about our days and watch Baby T play with her food which is funnier than you would think. We have been trying lately to make sure we don’t look at our phones, a bad habit we have both unfortunately started, but it has definitely helped the conversation to be more free flowing.
3. Making the most of the weekends. The weekends are such a fun time to plan an activity together as a family and just enjoy each others company. I get to spend a few days with Baby T by myself during the week but having my husband home for two whole days has become my favourite part. Obviously right now we can’t really go out and do much, but if the weather is nice enough we’ll bundle up for the cold Ontario winter and go for a walk to the park, or a drive to pick up our online-ordered groceries. Baby T also loves mixing things in the kitchen so we’ve starting baking together, especially things that are easy for her to help us with (like three ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Cookies that I will definitely share the recipe for). Even after Baby T goes to bed, my husband and I make the most of our evenings together by ordering a late take out dinner for two, watching our favourite TV shows or playing card games.
4. Lowering my standards. Did I really just write that? I guess I did. This one was a tough pill to swallow for me, I am a very OCD person with keeping my house neat and tidy all the time. One thing I learned since becoming a mom is that it’s not possible to keep it that clean when you have baby, especially when they start walking and running around the house, pulling things out of drawers and throwing toys that you just put away all over the place. I really had to lower my standards because I started burning out very easily trying to get everything done in a day. One thing I found really helpful, was making a list of my main chores that need to be done weekly and assigning one, maybe two, to a day, so that I knew what was already done by the weekend and wasn’t running around like a crazy person trying to do it all. I still have standards that might be a little higher than a normal person’s but I’ve learned to not stress as much if I don’t meet them all the time. Even as I write this I’m staring at a basket of unfolded laundry, and a while ago I would fold laundry until I fell asleep to get it all done, but now I’m just gonna save it for tomorrow and I’m okay with that.
5. Giving myself time to rest. Like I said above, I found I was burning out pretty quickly after working, taking care of Baby T and getting her off to bed, and doing the housework. I would be disappointed and frustrated if I didn’t get everything done. I started to force myself to sit down and relax in the evenings, which looks a little bit different for everyone, but for me it means watching tv, reading a book, writing some blogs, playing video games (yes, my husband calls me a big nerd for that one) and of course, pouring a nice glass of wine.
These are all things that have really helped me to find the balance with working part time and being a mom to the point where I really feel like I have the best of both worlds. Even in a difficult time like a lockdown I still find myself enjoying both my time at work and my time with my family. If you have more tips to share I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Thank you so much to Evangelyn Tavares for guest posting!
Fun little tid bit about me, I am a total book worm. Before having my son, any free time I had usually consisted of writing and reading. My favorite hobbies by far and every chance I get, my nose is in a book.
Tell me if you can relate but I feel like whenever you finish a really good book, sometimes you are just at a loss. You connect so well with the characters, you go through their journey with them and then just like that, it’s all over and you feel like you just lost a friend.
Books to me are so powerful, I love all the emotions you can get just from reading one book. You can laugh with the characters, you can cry with them and feel their pain and their heartbreak. There’s nothing better to me than an emotional book, I am a sucker for them. Books to me are like my safe haven. Ever since I was little if I just wanted to get away or just clear my mind from whatever was going on, my first instinct was to grab my favorite book and curl up and get lost in it. I love the connection it gives you, it takes your mind right to where the author decided you should be.
“When reading, we don’t fall in love with the characters appearance. We fall in love with their words, their thoughts, and their hearts. We fall in love with their souls.”
Another confession, I’ve always wished I had the talent and creativity to create a story that the reading world would love, to connect your readers to the characters you have fallen so in love with as you’ve created them and come to know them. That has to be the best reward as an author, to listen to your readers feedback. To find out who their favorite characters were, or what book boyfriend they love the most (we all have one!) I love when I find a book and find out the author actually cried while writing it, just the emotional bond we all find with books is amazing to me.
“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too.”
We book lovers feel emotions like no other, in the way we interpret words, in the way that our hearts and mind follow whatever story we are into. I love finding characters who relate to what i’m feeling, just like when you hear a song that just tells your story, some characters just tell our own stories so well in their own words. Let’s keep connecting and keep feeling every chance we get, I will always find my safe haven in a good ol’ book.
I really hope my son finds a love for books. Right now he really loves them and learning new things from each book he has which as a mom and as a bookworm, makes me so happy!