With a busy bee of a toddler running around at all times, books and coloring are so important to have accessible when it’s time for some down time.
Redfin reached out to us and asked to write a short piece describing an at home learning area that would work well.
You can read the full article here but I thought it would make a fun post to show you the little nook my toddler has for all his fun activities.
When it comes to at home learning or activity areas it’s so important to have everything open and easily accessible because I feel like it makes less of a mess. That way your kids will see it automatically and be able to grab what they need.
I love using little bins for crayons, art stuff and activity books. I use this cute personalized basket for my toddler’s things.
Another great tip is storage cubes! I feel like they are so great for toy organizing, book organizing or even learning and school organizing.
Adding pops of colors with books and crayons are always great to keep your kids engaged.
I like to keep our seasonal or favorite books on this bench ottoman and a couple inside it as well for easy reading access since majority of our time is spent in our main living area.
Also it’s a great place to store toys away and still have your living space look nice!
So many fun ideas you can do for a little learning nook but these are some of my favorites!
What type of areas do you have for your children when it comes to their learning and activities?
From the moment those two pink lines show up, you are being told how hard being a parent is.
Constant crying, feeding on demand, diaper overloads.
And of course those 3am wake up cries.
But they never tell you the pure emotional exhaustion you will truly feel from trying to be the perfect mom.
And I’m not talking about I’ve just worked a week of 12 hour midnight shifts in a row…I’m talking your whole body is tired, your shoulders and neck are sore and kinked from constantly looking over at your baby, chasing after your toddler. Your mind is on auto-pilot and you forever hear crying even when they aren’t.
It’s just exhausting being a mom.
There’s no explanation needed.
It’s. Just. Hard.
You put all your energy into these tiny little humans that you have been so blessed to have.
Every thought is about them now.
How do I make my baby happy today?
Is my toddler getting too much screen time?
What can I do better so we sleep better at night?
How do I split up my attention equally?
How do I keep them healthy and safe always?
How can I be better?
How can I be perfect for them?
How do I make time for my husband? For my home? For my career?
That’s the root of it all. We always want to be better, we want to do better for our babies.
We want to be the perfect mom.
The one who looks flawless without a hint of dark circles under her eyes.
The one with hair that looks like she is able to wash and exfoliate regularly.
The one who never has a spot of spit up on her clothes or the smell of it radiating from them.
The one who looks like she’s never changed a blow out diaper in the Target bathrooms in her life.
The one who’s kids look like they would never have a tantrum in aisle 5 at the grocery store.
There’s no such thing as a perfect mom.
Yes, some might hide it way better than others but we all have one thing in common.
We are all exhausted.
We are all at some point everyday dealing with diaper overloads and spit up and drool stained clothing.
Meltdowns during the day and waking up to those 3am cries at night.
So don’t ever think you aren’t a good enough mom, please.
Because we’ve all been there.
We are all exhausted.
We are all emotional.
We are all so blessed to have these babies.
But one thing I hope to never happen to any mama’s in this world? You will never be alone in your feelings, EVER. Please just know that.
And if you ever need a reminder? Well, we are here even during those 3am wake up cries.
If you’re a busy working mom like me, you know what it’s like to juggle a hectic personal and professional schedule with a never-ending list of things to do. One of the few benefits of the global COVID-19 pandemic is that it has caused many people to pause and reevaluate who and what truly mattered in their lives. I used the time during lockdown to launch my dream coaching business My Life Couch and more importantly – to learn how to take care of myself, respect my own time and ask for help.
I compare us working mothers – and parents in general – to a very sophisticated smart phone: Running a ton of applications at once, a life saver for many and a constant companion that always deliver value. But what is the use of a phone if the battery is low or not charged? It becomes a very expensive paperweight, right? Or whatever use you have for a phone that isn’t charged at all. We need to be intentional about carving some time to nurture and care for ourselves more, not just when the battery has died out completely, so we can be the best mom/dad/sibling/friend we can be.
Here are my 5 strategies to recharge your batteries to be always on and full of energy:
• Take some time off
Knowing yourself, what makes soothes, heals, recharge you is key to defining your self-care exactly HOW and WHAT you want it to be. Whether is being surrounded by people or staying alone to do some self -discovery, meditation, reading a book , journaling, running a bath, do whatever nourishes your soul
• Learn the power of NO
If like me your natural tendency is to say yes to keep people happy, you will quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of commitment you are taking on, without the bandwidth to match. By being selective on the responsibilities we undertake, we can truly focus on the tasks at hand and being present – think quality vs quantity – and deliver outstanding results every time, minus the extra stress.
• Ask for- and accept help –
Asking and accepting for help doesn’t always come easy for working mothers, myself included. I used to see it as a reflection of my inability to “be it” and deemed myself a failure. But you realize that by asking, you are opening your doors, your mind to the kindness of people who in some case may just be waiting for you to ask. Asking for help is another way to extend your reach and getting things done. And you have to be willing to accept the help, even if it’s not exactly how you are doing it, aka don’t focus on the HOW it’s done – of course safety is primordial – but WHAT is done. At best, you and your family are exposed to a different way of doing things! And you can always repay the favor when someone else needs help .
Get your body going by incorporating movement into your routine. It could be a walk, running or even dancing to your favorite tune or playlist. Exercise is proven to release tension and stress and it’s good for your mental health overall so it’s a win- win. Find your movement and practice. I also count singing on top of your voice on a song you like – karaoke nights anyone – as exercise, although your family, neighbor etc… might disagree.
• Have your tribe
Have in your circle, someone other than your spouse that understands the pressure you may face. It could be another mom, a close relative, or a friend. The point is to be having a safe place to show up as you, to share your joys, doubts or vent your frustrations. It’s a place to been heard, understood, and connect with another person on common topics and interests and get another perspective on things. Bonus point if you combine making a phone call with that friend whilst going for a walk!
It’s sometime feels we don’t have time to even recharge, but let’s not leave until our batteries are completely out to put a plan in place shall we. By carving a non-negotiable time often to do things for ourselves, we are filling ourselves so we can pour out love, support , focus , guidance or whatever we can , instead of constantly running on an empty tank. I would love to hear about what works for you and if you need some motivation to create a recharge plan , I’ll be happy– to be part of your tribe !
If you would like to read more about my self-love tec
Gladys Simen – a life coach for moms who are trying to balance their work and family life.
She is a life enthusiast who lived in 5 different countries, mastered 2 languages, and changed several professions. It took becoming a fabulous mama for her to tap into some BIG superpowers within herself.
Former quiet introvert, today is passionate about helping women live big, beautiful, shooting-for-the-stars kind of lives right now. Gladys considers herself an advocate for the working mama!
We kicked off summer with an INCREDIBLE vacation to Port Austin, MI. It is our favorite spot to camp, and we go back as often as we can.
We tent camp, and I could write a whole blog on camping with kids and a dog. It’s a lot of work, but the work is totally worth the reward!
I wanted to talk about this awesome small town at the tip of Michigan’s thumb! This is the second family trip we’ve taken, and we plan to go back again as a yearly tradition.
We always camp at a Michigan state park, Port Crescent State Park. It is called that because the park is on a crescent shaped bay right before the Saginaw bay.
The water is shallow and crystal clear and super sandy for many yards out. It is perfect for kids or young swimmers. The sand bar was insane this year. It actually started at the shore which is something I have never experienced at a Michigan beach.
The sunsets are INCREDIBLE. I live on the east side of MI, so we get stunning sunrises, so experiencing sunsets is my favorite part about the trip.
It’s also a pet friendly park, so we were about to take Addie with us! She REALLY enjoyed digging in the sand with the girls. She loved exploring all things!
There is plenty of hiking and fishing you can do as well at the park. There’s also a nice playground and two bathrooms with showers if needed!
We kayaked one year to a very famous rock structure, Turnip Rock! That trip was so much fun. We rented kayaks from Port Austin Kayak. We rented them for the four hour time. It took roughly two hours to get to the rock structure. It was totally worth it. My phone died just before we got to the structure, so I borrowed an image from Huron County Park’s website.
There is also Caseville up there too! That is home of the “Cheesburger Festival”. Yes it is a festival dedicated to cheeseburgers. Such a fun little town.
We loved traveling so far and are planning another trip in August! Do you have any recommendations in or near MI?! Let me know!
As a mom I feel like one of the biggest struggles is staying organized.
It’s a huge goal but it rarely happens, am I right?
I know in my family, I’m the one being asked what time everything is at or what day and where is this and where is that?
It’s a tough job to stay organized!! I definitely struggle on the daily no matter how hard I try. I’ll be good for maybe a week and then I slack again.
So I came up with a list for myself to help me with the areas I struggle with most in hopes that it will stick in the long run. Plus I hope sharing it will help you as well.
So let’s get started on my 5 tips to becoming more of an organized mom ☺️
1. Clean out your purse.
If there’s one thing that makes me feel like a bad ass mom, it’s a clean and organized purse and diaper bag! Throw out those random receipts, old snacks that have found their way to the bottom. Go through your wallet and organize those cards and coins. It is such a relief when your purse is organized and it’s a great start!
2. Keep a planner.
Do I have a planner? Yes. Is it halfway filled out? Also, yes. It starts out so promising but I never keep it up! A planner can be a savior in the organizing department and I’m going to try my best to stick to it! Maybe putting it on display will help my hubby not to ask a million daily questions on activities…maybe 😉
3. Use storage bins/Storage furniture.
Now this I am wonderful at! Storage bins and furniture that is used to storage is my go to! I have an ottoman that stores so many toys and I love it. I always have cute decor bins all around that hold toys and other things as well. They not only help to stay organized but it helps your house stay more picked up!
4. Meal plan.
My downfall. I am a terrible meal planner and my biggest goal is to be a great one! If I am a better meal planner I can then avoid the “what do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” Argument that happens a lot. Planning dinner ahead and having a cute meal calendar is my goal! So let’s achieve it together!
5. A solid routine.
Let’s face it, it all comes down to routines! When you have a solid morning and night time routine your whole life is just so much smoother. Is it easy? No? Is it worth it? HECK YES! I strive to perfect a morning and night time routine and it’s a struggle but it’s a priority that needs to be made as we navigate through this mom life.
As I work on these organization tips, my goal is for it to help me be a better, a more calm and happy mom.
They all help make our everyday lives easier and therefore we have more time for the fun things!
What do you struggle with the most?
Let’s help each other out! Moms supporting moms it’s my favorite.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!
Does time get away from anyone else or is it just me?!
I just thought I would share a little life update since I’ve been so MIA!
We lucked out tonight, and softball was canceled due to weather. Michigan got snow last night, and if our bodies haven’t reacted enough to spring, we get to go through it again!
I am starting a new job with a huge corporation this week! I have been a dispensing optician for the past (almost) 9 years, and I truly have loved every moment of it!
The first office I started at was awesome! The doctor and his wife were some of my favorite people. What is that saying though? People don’t quit a job, they quit the management? Yeah, that’s what I did. The manager was not the nicest person. In fact the 7.5 years I was there, we had 25 employees come and go. Some lasted a year some not even a day… it was so sad because I had truly gained so much from that office.
The last office I worked at was amazing all around. Such good people! One of the docs though… I’ll just stop there. 😂 I just knew that it wasn’t going to be a good fit for me in the long run, so I’m taking a turn with a corporation from HOME! No more going to an office!
There is SO much to learn though. I am on the computer 100% of my day. Not really a bad thing, but there is no face to face interaction. Although during a global pandemic, I’m not mad about it.
SPORTS! My daughters are in sports! I had mentioned softball earlier, that is what my oldest daughter is playing. My youngest is playing soccer! I know nothing about softball, however I played soccer as a kid and really enjoyed it, SOOO I volunteered to coach! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I did that!
We have had some health problems here too! No COVID, at least that’s what the tests say, but I’m not sure what to believe or not to believe anymore. My girls are still having issues that may or may not be related to whatever “virus” they did have, BUT they are overall healthy and were just praying the heal quickly!
Oh, and I dyed my hair pink! I love having fun with my hair, and this just seemed right!
That is my life update! Lots going on daily, but that is pretty much the just of it!
We want to thank you all for your support! This week actually marks one year of blogging for us! We enjoy every post we do, and every connection we make with each and every one of you! Keep reading, stay healthy and stay safe. ❤️
Becoming a mom was the best/scariest experience! Being a first time mom myself I know just how scary it can be not knowing anything.
I’m here to give you a few tips today on the mistakes I’ve made as a new mom in hopes it will help all you other mamas out there!
Moms supporting moms is my favorite thing!
Believing everything you hear.
I can’t even tell you how much advice you will get while you are pregnant or a brand new mom.
Some of it is fantastic but then there’s the horror stories and the snarky comments.
Trust me when I say, you just can’t believe everything you hear. Every parent has a different experience with parenthood. Every birth is different.
Most of your anxiety comes from listening to others and your own mind so relax mama, you’ll be fine!
Not napping while the baby naps.
I was notorious for this. I felt like I needed to get EVERYTHING done while the baby napped but you don’t.
You really, really don’t!
Take that nap, or just take time for yourself when your baby naps. It’s so important and you will appreciate it in the long run!
Comparing your baby or yourself to others.
Just don’t do it. Nothing good will come of it. Each baby goes at its own pace and that’s perfectly fine. Just because your friends baby is walking at 8 months, doesn’t mean your baby won’t be up and running around soon!
So many women I know were having babies when I had my son and I felt myself comparing and it was the worst thing I could ever do.
Just because one mom looks like a superhero by getting everything done, doesn’t mean she’s not exhausted and feeling as defeated as you are at times.
Ignoring your spouse.
I feel like the easiest thing as a new mom is to get wrapped up in the baby, it’s just the most natural reaction to motherhood.
But don’t get so wrapped up that you ignore your spouse, the one who helped create this beautiful tiny human. Yess they might seem annoying because they get out of the house daily or get to sleep more but they are feeling overwhelmed too so lean on each other.
Communicate and be kind to each other.
Take time for yourself.
Even if it’s just an hour at your favorite store or 30 minutes reading a book. Or even a nice long hot shower.
Take time for yourself as much as you can to recharge, to clear your mind, to breath.
You’ll be a better mom, you’ll feel better and you just need to do it.
Ask for help.
As much as you want to, you can’t do everything. It’s impossible.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having a support system will be the best thing for you and your family.
Whether it’s meals being dropped off or maybe just an extra hand with laundry or dishes. The best thing I ever learned as a first time mom is definitely not to be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
I hope this helped you out mamas! And if you are a seasoned mom please feel free to leave advice in the comments below!
Always love hearing others experiences since everyone’s is always so different ❤️
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.
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.