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.
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!
I am celebrating 10 years of being a mom this week! I still remember the moment that I first looked into our little girls big eyes. It’s crazy how fast that time flies!
This week I wanted to tell you my top 5 beauty must haves. If there is one thing that I’ve learned in the past decade of “momming”, it’s that some time self-care isn’t a long luxurious bubble bath, or a day trip to the spa. Sometimes it’s simply getting your self presentable within the 10 minutes you have before bolting out the door in the morning.
This little device has changed my life SIGNIFICANTLY! It has literally knocked a half an hour of time off my routine. I had asked my husband to get it for me for my birthday, and he did, and I have used it every day since. The best thing about it was I could dry and style my hair at one time, and for being a busy lady, it drastically improved my life!
Nuetrogena Hydro-Boost Line
I cannot recommend this product line more! I started using the moisturizer the moment it came out. I have dry skin, but in the winter it turns extremely dry! This line has literally saved my skin. It gives me that nice dewy glow without looking oily and greasy. It is perfect under makeup, but quite honestly it’s made me comfortable in my own skin too. That’s a lot of pressure for a product!
I think Vaseline is a very under rated product. I use it for literally everything! Lips, eyebrows, even on my cheek bones to give an extra glow. My hands have been dry and cracking for the past year now (thanks COVID), and at night time I will coat the top of my hands. So soothing!
I don’t use foundation anymore. Even before masks over took our faces. I started buying a good concealer. I started with Tarte Shape Tape, and then Elf came out with a dupe. It’s the 16h Camo Concealer. I honestly can’t tell a difference, but I’m no expert. I just apply under my eyes, depending on how dark the circles are, blend it out, and go!
Wow, I’m not going to lie. I totally inteded doing my top 5, but it’s “mid winter break” and they are still responsible for school work “virtually”.
When we women first discover that we are pregnant, we begin a journey in which we expect our lives to change – in the most wonderful of ways. We watch in awe as our bellies grow into these sweet bumps that hold our growing mircles, our wonderful little babes. We excitedly prepare a nursery in our home and we begin shopping for the smallest, sweetest pieces of clothing. We stock up on necessities like diapers, booties and the softest blankets you can imagine. It’s such a thrilling time for expecting parents and we allow our maternal instincts to go into overdrive as we prepare for the arrival of our first born babies.
We love counting down the nine months of pregnancy week by week, celebrating each milestone – we take monthly bump pictures, updating our social media followers, friends and family members on the size of fruit or vegetable our growing baby currently is. We wait for the tiny flutters of kicks and we enjoy the feeling of our babies rolling around inside our bumps until the grand finale of pregnancy is upon us and we are ready to deliver our baby. We are more than excited to meet the tiny person inside of us that we have created.
Then, suddenly….. it happens. Labour. Delivery. Birth. And, ahhhhh, the sweet arrival of our newborn.
It’s a whilrlwind of excitement and hormones and the biggest love you’ve ever known; and then – if all goes according to plan – you find yourself bringing this tiny bundle home, ready to begin your adventure as a new parent to this precious gift.
Up until this point, chances are that not too many things have caught you off guard. You were probably well read on and prepared for the pregnancy and birth of your baby. You likely had everything in place, planned and arranged. And – if you are anything like me – you kind of thought that caring for a newborn would follow in that suit. You did your homework, you were knowledgeable and prepared. You were ready.
And – if your experience was anything like mine – you quickly realized that, despite your best paid plans, you were in for a surprise.
Having a newborn is hard. Every single second of every single day is suddenly consumed by your brand new baby and any notion you previously had of being in control quickly goes O-U-T the window. Nothing is as you expected it to be. Your body is a strange place you now inhabit. Sleep is just not happening. Personal hygeine is nothing like it was before and you kind of feel alone in this, despite having a partner there with you. After all, YOUR body is the one recovering. YOUR body is the one feeding the baby. YOUR heartbeat is the one that’s familiar and comforting to your infant. It all feels as though it is 100%, completely, solely on YOU.
And, sweet new mama, if you truly are anything like me – you’re not going to ask for help. You are going to do it all yourself. You are going to fight to stay in control and you’re not going to open up about your struggles as a brand new momma. I get it. I didn’t want to, either.
Well, it’s been two babies and five years now since the first time I was a brand new mama and I am here to tell you that if you don’t reach out, speak up and validate the way you are feeling; if you truly do take the weight of the world on your own shoulders – you are going to crack. Life, parenting, and raising children is not a one woman show. And it certainly is not a show you can put on when you are not maintaining your own health – mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. It is imperative, new mama, that you are prioritizing your own wellbeing, even though your life has drastically changed and chances are you’ve probably put everyone else at the top of your priority list.
It turns out that is is not just a slogan we have all joked about, heard or on a t-shirt; the old adage ‘if mommy’s not happy, nobody’s happy’ – it’s the actual truth. You NEED to take care of yourself, for your baby. For your family. For yourself. This is a lesson that I personally learned the hard way and, even when it isn’t comfortable or doesn’t come naturally, I am learning to ask for help and to lessen the amount of pressure and expectations I have put on myself.
There are a lot of ways to practice self-care and everybody’s practice looks different. But, what I am going to share with you today, are seven really awesome ways that most momma’s will enjoy that are designed to cultivate mindfulness as a way to help restore sanity and promote self-love and self-care – even when you have a newborn and a circus of a household around you.
* If I had written this article prior to being a mom myself, I probably would have suggested waking up before your children in order to secure yourself some quiet time in the mornings -which actually is a beautiful way to begin your day – but if your children wake up before the crack of dawn like mine do, that might not be a realistic option. Therefore, it is crucial that you intentionally take time during the day to practice mindfulness.
1) Something I like to do in my home is to set up little ‘stations’ that serve as little reminders for me to take a quick moment to decompress. For me, my ‘stations’ each have a diffuser, some essential oils premixed and ready to drop in as well as a roller to apply, a book with a short reading and some flowers, just because I love them. I can quickly pause what I am doing, read something inspirational, get some oils going and take a few deep breaths before I continue along my day. I have several of these throughout my home and not only are they beautiful, but they serve as a physical reminder for me to pause and reconnect to the present moment.
2) If space allows it, having an alter or area to lay your yoga mat, meditation pillow and some relaxing essential oils readily available is the perfect way to offer a gentle reminder for you to practice a short flow during your day. Stretching our bodies, getting the blood moving in our system and allowing ourselves to breathe is a beautiful practice to employ when you have a minute or two to spare. My space like this now has two mats because I have a little blonde three year old yogi who likes to stretch alongside her momma, but that’s just fine by me. Whether she and I stop for five minutes or thirty, having my mat ready reminds me to stop, stretch and breathe and I hope it models that same practice for her, too.
3) A mindful practice you can employ on the go, whether you are out dropping your children off at day care, in like at the grocery store, watching their sports practice or on the phone is a breathing exercise. One of my favourite ones is a learned practice from Gabrielle Bernstein – my personal guru, picutres below – called ‘Nodi Shodhana’ or Opposite Nostril Breathing. It is designed to calm your mind, relax your nerves and help you focus as you balance the left and right hemispheres of your brain. There are many ways to practice this, but what I like to do is simply doing a full exhale, then covering your right nostril with your right thumb and doing a full, deep inhale. Hold for 3-5 seconds and then remove your thumb and exhale. Repeat on the opposite side with your left thumb and nostril. A few minutes of breathing this way helps settle our bodies and minds, as well as our emotions. Often times we find ourselves feeling frazzled, anxious and ‘out of sorts’ because we are unbalanced. We can find ourselves doing too many things at once, having ‘too many tabs open’ in our minds or are simply overwhelmed by our surroundings. This practice helps restore this balance and is a wonderful way to reconnect to the present moment.
4) Something I love to do at least once a day is a quick, 5 minute Journalling + Gratitide practice. To make this quick and easy, I literally use The 5 Minute Journal because it’s a simple way to jot down my thoughts for the day and it’s a guided writing practice. Meaning, I fill in the blanks and carry on. It’s designed to be written in in the morning and again in the evening, but you can create your own ritual with it. It’s a proven fact that being grateful for what we have helps adjust our mindset and can help us attract even more things to be grateful for. Especially for new moms, when the days truly blur into one another, having a keepsake like this will be a beautiful thing to look back on for years to come.
5) EnVISION your future. OK, this is kind of a cheat one because it can sometimes turn into a little bit of a ‘mindless’ mindfulness practice – if that makes sense. This form of mindful practice is a Pinterest Vision board. Done on your tablet or cell phone, use the Pinterest app or website to design a Vision Board. I like to do one for each year. I save pins that have inspiring quotes, trips I want to take, moments I want to create with my family, big ticket items I would like to puchase, renovations I would like to do to our home, goals I have for myself, etc. This is something I can come back to when I need motivation or inspiration and something I like to add to all through the year. It’s fun to look back on year after year to see how my dreams and vision change. The reason I say it can be mindless is because I do often tend to get lost in the endless scrolling that’s available on Pinterest, but it can be a useful tool to take a mindful minute, grab a coffee, relax a bit and save some dreams – big or small – to your board.
6) If you need some guidance in getting into a more positive frame of mind, or you simply need some assistance in being mindful, I suggest giving a walking medititation a try or testing out an app like ‘HeadSpace’. A walking meditation allows your mind to wander as your senses take in your surroundings, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and then be released as they pass. An app like ‘Head Space’ helps guide you through a meditation, so whether you are practiced in meditating or are brand new, you can spend a few minutes getting zen with the guidance from a pro. When practicing either (or really any form of meditation) I apply + diffuse oils, tell my husband that I need some time alone, and truly cherish some time to be alone with my thoughts. I am slowly learning through meditation that it is safe for all my feelings to come, to validate them, and then to allow them to pass – knowing that both good and bad emotions serve a purpose and that they are tools I can use to help learn more about what is really going on inside of me.
7) Of course, my mini-list here of ways to be mindful would be incomplete without incuding a truly mindful practice – albeit one many new moms truly may not have time for – and it is reading. Reading for joy or to further your learning and self-development, something all new moms can do for their own mental well being is to rest, relax and read. My favourite author, Gabrielle Bernstein, is a wonderful source of inspiration for me and I use her works as guides for my own spiritual journey and to improve my mental wellbeing. I also like to read romance novels, books about spirituality, home design inspiration and cookbooks – the options are endless for topics to discover and read about. If you’re not a reader, but still want to tune in, Audible or PodCasts are great, too. Anything that you can read or listen to that directs your thinking and gives you the sense that you are doing something solely to benefit you momma, is great.
Like I said, there really are so many wonderful ways to practice self-care and sometimes it takes testing several out before you find the one that works for you. Sometimes even just loading the kids into the stroller and getting out of the house to go for a walk is enough to get you – and them – out of your environment and into some fresh air. Maybe you’ll find that a creative hobby is what moves you and makes you feel mindful, maybe it’s cleaning your home, talking to a friend, writing or journalling, cooking or building something – whatever it is that works for you, it is important that all moms – whether you’re in the newborn days or are a mom to teens now – find ways to take some mindful moments, to create space and to intentionally focus on mental health and wellbeing in whatever way suits you best.
Please remember; if you are truly struggling with being mindful, if life seems unmanageable, if your emotions truly are not in check and you feel your anxiety/depression heightening – seek professional help. Whether its an online counsellor, a therapist, a service you can call into or something else. Connect with your family doctor and discuss what’s going on, making sure to consider your environmental, sleeping, eating and substance use habits. Speak to someone you trust, someone who is educated in the field of maternal mental health and who can direct your best on the path to healing.
We moms spend our entire lives giving our love to our families – it is imperative that we practice self-love first. Taking mindful moments in our day is a beautiful way to show our own selves that love, to honour our needs and to create space in our day to care for ourselves.
Parenting, mothering, nurturing and raising babies is a beautiful, messy, unpredictable and hard season. It is one to be honoured and celebrated and enjoyed, too. Our hard moments help us grow and our joyful moments help us cherish our days. Wherever you are in your journey, know that your worth is important and that self-care is not selfish.
Take some mindful moments, momma, love on yourself and then share that love with your babies.
Thank you so much to Marlys Morden for guest blogging for us!
To connect with her be sure to visit her blog and website for a healthier lifestyle!