Self-Care Thursday: Try not to panic

I am struggling with self-care this Thursday. I typically try to incorporate some sort of self-care into my Thursday routine so I am more successful at writing my blog posts.

Today I started the day off strong! I actually printed blank calendar pages so I could work on finally creating our Fall schedules for childcare and school. Since I teach, now primarily from home, and J will be in first grade, now at home, there’s more to add to our Fall schedule.

Like many other parents, I am sure, I have been avoiding creating the plan. I have been dreading the end of summer because going back to work and school feels much more overwhelming than a traditional year. But, I knew having a plan would bring me peace, which is truly what I needed for my self-care today.

I was quickly proven wrong. There are so many moving parts to creating our schedule, and I realized half of them are still missing. No school notifications with schedules. Half of the pieces I need from the college I teach for are not available. And developing even a skeleton schedule for our nanny soon became impossible.

Alas, this was not a very caring day for myself. It is only the evening, yet I am exhausted, defeated, head pounding, and anxious. At one point today I was reciting over and over, in my head, “Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” Then a friend and neighbor reminded me I am not alone. So many of us are in the same boat. This isn’t easy, not for anyone.

So, my call to action for you all, and for myself, is to plan, not panic. Maybe we can’t plan everything right now. Maybe we don’t have schedules yet. Absolutely this will be different. Absolutely it will be challenging. But, we also absolutely can handle this! I challenge you to put a focus on planning our self-care first. What self-care will you do each day or each week? How will you plan to take care of yourself? We are going to need it to get through this next season. Are you with me? Let’s plan!

Work it Wednesday: Choosing to grow together

This Work it Wednesday, I am choosing to focus on a growth mindset. I have big dreams, and I want so badly to achieve them. And likewise, I want to help others in achieving their goals. I want to help you!

If you are reading this on my blog, I’d love for you to comment. If you are following me on social, post your comments there. I want to know, what are you doing? How are you choosing to grow? And how can I and my readers help?

This Work it Wednesday I’m also asking for a bit of help in my growth. I would love for you, my reader, to subscribe to my blog. Even share my blog if you love what I write. I am working on growing my following and creating something that is so important to me.

Together we can achieve greatness! So let’s come together and support one another.

P.S. – If you don’t share, then I cannot offer support. So please, share your desires and goals for growth! And you never know who else might be reading and ready to support you too!

Falling off track for your good, and when to restart

I’ve fallen off track recently. If you follow me, you know I have a themed post every day. And some weeks I’ll miss a post, but I’ll get right back to it the next day. My daily micro-blog posts keep me going and inspired. And hopefully they keep my readers inspired as well.

But, I fell off track, starting Friday. I didn’t post Family Friday, and subsequently I didn’t write on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

It wasn’t that I lost interest or have given up. In fact, it was the opposite. Last week I struggled to find myself, in the business sense that is. I want so badly to be a successful writer, and create this Parenting Roller Coaster brand of mine. To build my following and inspire others the way I dream of. But this past week I was feeling defeated, as if this dream couldn’t happen.

So I paused for a long weekend. I paused not because I didn’t want this, but because I needed to reconnect with why I started this and continue everyday. What is that? My family of course. I spent more time with them, worked on projects for a comfortable living environment, played in the blow up pool, watched movies, and just plain played.

So what about you? Why do you do the things you do? Or why did you stop? Are you inspired to do something, or drawn to a goal but haven’t started yet? Or stopped because it was uncomfortable or felt impossible?

We can work through this together.

It is almost guaranteed that you will feel defeated and want to give up at different points in your journey. For runners there is a point right before the “runner’s high” where a runner feels like moving forward is impossible. It is only the runner that pushes past this point that will grow and improve, and experience the coveted “running high”. This is a great analogy to attach to any goal, big or small. We have to work through the hard parts to experience the successes we desire.

Pushing through these challenges, or rather, working through them, is important. And at this time one of the best things we can do is to reconnect with our WHY. Why are we here? Running this race?

If reconnecting with your why means taking a break, and being with that value that drove you here, then you absolutely should. But not too long of a break, because consistency in our actions can be a valuable asset to our successes. However, reconnecting can mean recharging and coming back even stronger.

This, of course, doesn’t have to be about parenting. This can be for parents working toward any goal. Even for non-parents, though I’m here writing this blog today primarily for the parenting crew.

The truth is, anything worth having and achieving takes discomfort and work. We just have to be ready to accept the hard parts. And we have to move in stride to make sure our actions still align with our goals and values.

So what are you going to reconnect with today? Why are you running on your current path? Does it still align with your goals?

You’ve got this! You can reach those goals!

Self-Care Thursday: Give the kids self-care

Today our two older kiddos were picked up by their Papa (grandpa) and headed off for a couple days of fun.

This is exactly what they had been begging for, for many days now. They wanted to get out of the house and see new faces. The faces of the people that spoil and love on them.

And, truthfully, this is what I needed too. After they left, and the youngest was down for a nap, I took some time to myself. Yes, I should have been writing. But instead I worked out, my last workout in an eight week program. Then I watched a TV show that only I watch. You know, a sitcom that has a chick flick theme written all over it? Yup! I’ve had this season of my girly show waiting for me for quite some time. And today I watched two episodes! I haven’t sat and watched my own show in about six months. So long!

So, this Self-Care Thursday, I encourage you to think of the self care your child or children might need. If you bless them with this self care, they will come out of it feeling happier and more willing to follow directions. And, this might just give you the self care you need (in one way or another). Remember the saying, “do unto others as you want done unto you”? This definitely fits here!

Happy Thursday!

Work it Wednesday: Believe in the journey – an homage to the barre

Tomorrow I complete an eight week program. A program that has transformed me in a way I didn’t think possible, especially in just two short months.

What program could have this much impact? Well, as silly as it may sound, a fitness program.

But this fitness program is far more than just exercise. This Barre Blend class was designed to inspire people to meditate, reflect, believe in themselves, and use this platform as a launching point to strengthen their entire lives, not just their physical beings.

In 8 weeks, no two days were the same. The program kept building and up leveling. And I got to watch the women on the video grow, just as I was growing.

And, amidst all of the personal self-development, there was physical change to be had as well. While my goal was not to lose weight, I did shed a few pounds. I also developed core strength, balance, and a belief in my body’s ability I had lost.

This fitness program was a blessing in disguise. But, it didn’t stop with the program. My lovely Beachbody coach introduced me to a Facebook group she runs with another like-minded coach. There were daily check ins and motivational posts. This place, this extra accountability, made all the difference in the world.

I am sad for the program to end tomorrow. Much like the feeling I get when coming to the end of a good book. But, it truly doesn’t stop here. I get to pick a new program, I’m thinking a yoga retreat option, then a return to another round of Barre Blend. Why? Because I have some more growing to do, some shaping and strengthening to achieve, and some more inner work to empower my external world.

This Work it Wednesday, I encourage you to find something that will allow consistency and development in your life. It doesn’t have to be a fitness program, though if it is, let me know. I can connect you with my wonderfully loving coach who believes in wellness and personal development in such a powerful way.

You’ve got this! Go get it!

Daddy Takeover Tuesday: Help out

After a Monday that started the week off rocky, it was no surprise that my husband suggested a Daddy Takeover Tuesday theme that focused on helping me (the wife) out.

In all honesty, my husband helps all the time. But he doesn’t think he’s as helpful as he actually is. So, instead of focusing on helping out, I’ve chosen to tweak the theme a bit to: helping out a little extra.

Monday was a difficult day for me. No particular reason. But some days we just have bad days, and yesterday was one of those for me. My husband, wanting to make me feel better, asked for all the input on how to help out so I could have a break, or take some time to myself. And I was very appreciative.

Sometimes all that is needed is just a little extra help that your partner needs in the difficult times. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to make an impact. Likely, that’s not what is desired anyway, as that will add extra strain and guilt on your partner who is already feeling guilty.

The little extra helping moments, such as watching the children for a half hour and giving them positivity is key. This is what I needed yesterday, and exactly what my husband did. The kids had a boost from a perspective other than mine (which was no doubt grumpy), and I needed a little time to recuperate and gain some positivity and stamina to work through the rest of the evening.

A little extra help is sometimes all your partner in crime needs. Supporting each other is the key to our success, and I encourage you all to see if you can help out a little extra as well today. Or, if you need the extra help, don’t be afraid to ask. Communicating our needs is where it all starts.

Mombie Hack Monday: Sometimes there isn’t a hack

Today I am struggling. I have no ideas for Mombie Hacks on this Monday because I feel captured by my Mombie status.

Truthfully, what I can say is, sometimes this happens. And it is okay. Sometimes we cannot pull ourselves out of the darkness that is the Mombie state. Sometimes we just need to be okay that we are not okay, and know that tomorrow will be better. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little grace. Sometimes even a lot of grace.

But what a challenge this can be, especially when we know there are others relying on us to be our best selves. Our littles rely on us for comfort, love, compassion, care, food, shelter, and everything else in between. We do not want to let them down. And our partners in crime, those people that support our children and us, well, we don’t want to let them down either.

But what if we have placed our expectations of ourselves so high that we cannot reach them? Today is a bad day for me. Today I am grumpy. Today I can’t seem to pull myself out of it, no matter how hard I try. I am so upset with myself for being grumpy. So upset I have been on the verge of tears all day.

So what if those who need us, don’t have the same exponentially high expectations?

Today our youngest son has a cold, with a low grade fever. So I’ve been trying to keep him comfortable, and cuddle him.

And today our other two children woke up on the wrong side of the bed (just like mama). There is a bunch of sass, fits, and attitude directed all at each other and at mama today. So I’ve given them grace, and tried to be rational and calm, despite my inner need to scream.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband, who has been working all day, swooped in to rescue us all. While Baby B and I hang out inside he’s outside with the other two, encouraging better attitudes and fun moments.

Not all days are easy. And certainly not all days can be fixed with a simple hack. It, of course, is important to try to be our best selves. But it is even more important to give ourselves grace when this simply won’t happen.

This grace is perhaps the hardest thing to accomplish as a mom, and even harder as a Mombie. But the grace will set us free. Maybe today I am a Mombie, with seemingly no relief. But today I am choosing to give myself grace, and perhaps, with that, I will relinquish my Mombie status after all.

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Nurture your relationships

I’ll admit it; I get so busy in life. So much so that sometimes I can seem antisocial.

It isn’t that I intend to, or that I don’t value the relationships I have. It is more so the obligations I have tugging at me. They can consume all of me until there’s nothing left.

Today, while I felt the pull of obligations, I chose to listen to the need to just be present and connect. Yes, I still worked on some pertinent things, but I put aside many. Why? Because sometimes business can wait, but the relationships that keep us strong cannot.

This Setup YOUR Success Sunday, I encourage you to remember your relationships. No matter how busy, stressed, and overwhelmed. Make sure to take a little time to spend with the people you care about. And not just today, but a little bit everyday. Because without those people, YOUR people, you could not be successful.

Also, take a moment to tell those important people in your life how much you care about them and appreciate them. They should hear you say it, because just knowing it inside is not enough.

And to all of those friends and family out there that put up with me, thank you! I appreciate you, and I love you.

Happy Sunday!

When do we know it’s right to make a change?

When our youngest child was born I struggled to return to work. Having our third and final child brought me to a place of wanting to be home with our children. I want to be able to help them learn and grow, and be the person to care for and inspire them in these younger stages of life.

However strong the desire to stay home, I needed to return to work. Our finances do not allow for one of us to stay home, though I’d even find satisfaction in having my husband home with our children. Truthfully, our wonderful nanny gives me piece of mind as well, when we are not able to be home with our children, but I still have the desire to be the one at home with them. Thankfully I have a career I chose, and I get to do what I love, but still, the desire is there.

Lately, so many things have been driven by COVID-19. And this feeling of mine has also been influenced by the pandemic.

Now, instead of teaching in a classroom, I teach online, from home. For all of you now working from home, I see you, I get it, and I am sorry. In so many ways working from home has been a blessing because I get to be with my children all the time, and I get to see them so much more. But, I also see my children all the time, and working is so much harder!

Additionally, our oldest is not at school, but in school while at home. We finished the last three months of school this way last year, and will be entering the new year this way as well. This shift is almost enough to prompt us to switch to a home-school platform, though I wouldn’t honestly know where to begin.

I do not aspire to only be a stay-at-home mom. This is a wonderful thing, and I value every parent who has the strength and devotion to take on this thankless job. But those that know me know I am not good at focusing on one thing and being present. I work on presence everyday, but this is a weakness of mine.

So my dream of being with my children is perhaps a bit more complex than it should be. I dream of writing. I dream of writing books, getting published, and creating works that people want to read. That they choose to read. And I dream of doing this in my own time, while working around the schedule my children have created for our household. You know, the schedule often driven by morning routines, eating many meals, needing educational moments, having story time, taking naps, and going to the potty.

My dreams of writing and being home with my children have been pulling at me more and more lately. This idea of writing, and publishing, has given me a platform for my dreams of staying at home with my children. But yet, it is still just a dream. I am nowhere near making this dream happen, and it hurts my heart.

But my children will still be at home, trying to learn, as I try to teach others. My job is important, and I make an impact on other futures. I remind myself of this everyday. And I worked hard for this career, this career I am proud of. Perhaps that makes this war inside me even more tumultuous.

So as parents, when do we decide to make a drastic change? When can we choose our career, or our children? How do we decide what the best move is for achieving our parenting goals? And are we even capable of recognizing what will have the most positive impact for our children?

I know I am not the only parent who has felt a shift in thought and desire since COVID-19 hit. And, if we think this will change, it likely won’t. Even if this pandemic ended tomorrow, which it will not, we have already grown. This pandemic has given us a new perspective on our lives and our parenting. We should be thankful for this shift, for this motivation to want to do things differently.

Yes, it sounds odd that such a disheartening and harmful thing can give us new light and motivation. But then, sometimes the best things come from the darkest moments in our lives.

The inspiration is there. Now, we just need to figure out what the right thing is. We just need to determine what each of our families need, and what each of us as individuals need. How can we be better in ourselves and in our parenting? Does that look like slowing down and changing careers? Or starting something new and showing our children perseverance and grit? What if it is figuring out a way to set everything else aside to put our children at the forefront?

Whatever this looks like for you, I hope you can determine if now is the time to make a change. Believe in your why, and believe in your family. After all, these are perhaps the most important things.

Family Friday: When to not lose your mind

By the end of the week, who else struggles to keep it together as a parent? I know that I struggle, especially since my world has shifted to being at home with the children all the time, work or not.

Today has been a particular challenge for me as our daughter is communicating only through whining and fits, and our oldest is choosing to shout at others and throw tantrums when needing to consider others. Even our youngest has chosen to squeal at his siblings every time they take a toy from him. I have been channeling my inner calm, but it feels as though it is ready to fail.

So at what point do we have to make a choice? Lose our minds, or continue on the path to betterment? Sometimes the choice doesn’t even seem to be our own, as our emotions take the wheel and steer us in whatever direction they feel is appropriate. Here is what I would like you to try today…

Every time you feel the anger or frustration boiling up, getting ready to take you over: Stop. Just stop whatever you are doing, and whatever action you think you need to take. This, of course, is superseded by the necessity of keeping your child safe, so if they are in danger, continue on. If all is safe: Stop.

Now, take a deep breath, and now a few more. While you are doing this think of the best way to approach the situation. Why is your child frustrating you? What could be driving their own emotions? Could your emotions even be feeding theirs? Now, address these things in your mind before addressing them out loud.

Sometimes we are reactive when we shouldn’t be. Perhaps our children are just being children. Maybe they are taking extra long to clean up their messes because children learn through play, and they are playing as they clean. Or maybe they are trying to learn how to work things out among themselves, even if that means crying and getting frustrated with one another. There are a million other maybes, those possible situations, so stop and think about yours.

Now, if the actions warrant your response, you can respond. But, now that you have stopped and taken some nice calming breaths, your response should be calm, without raising your voice, or getting overly frustrated. You should be able to deliver your message clearly and fairly.

I encourage you, on this Family Friday, to implement these steps. In the end, everyone benefits short and long term. You have got this!