Wellness Wednesday: Trusting the Process

Well, 8 days in and ish started getting hard.

I was able to keep up with most of my coaching work on a daily basis, despite going away to Toronto.  Luckily we had some down time in our gorgeous suite in the hotel.  I plugged in my headphones and made it work! It’s so so easy to quit when things get hard, but I promised myself to focus these 21 days and get it done!

My overall goal is to create a better work/life blend and to not be so stressed out and feel so chaotic.  I don’t like the stress that it creates and neither does my body!  I absolutely love my life, but I don’t like feeling spun out of control.

So how am I doing with that?  Ehhhh to be totally transparent and honest, I don’t feel like I’m doing that great.  I yelled Tuesday. (So much for being calm amongst the chaos).  I felt like that meme where Mary Poppins is all, “Let’s go!” and then 20 minutes later Batman voice yells “LET’S GOOOOOO!!”  It was a crazy early morning as Bradley had his final “Helper Day” at preschool, which I still had to buy snacks/drinks for AND I had his parent conference at 8:30.  Since I had made a choice to go to a favorite workout class the night before at 6pm, it made for a later bedtime.  I solo parent on some evenings as per my husband’s schedule, and for the last 6 years, I pretty much let the kids’ dictate my routine.  Well, since I’ve started putting ME first a few times more, it’s an adjustment for ALL.  I sometimes feel counter-productive, as in maybe if I just do what is always best for kids and husband, then I can keep the peace…but the reality is, I feel like I’ve woken up to a new light.  What if I die tomorrow? Did I get to do what I wanted to do?  I get that being a parent is all about selfless-ness and giving, giving, giving even when you don’t feel like giving any more, but I also see the need to fill my cup.

I used to think filling my cup was a once in awhile thing.  But I’m realizing I do need to give more attention to me, a lot more.  The “Do You List” has been SO helpful.  It’s been eye opening because I’ve noticed that I don’t feel guilty when I do the dishes, fold the laundry, clean the rooms, scrub the toilets, braid the hair, brush the teeth, iron the work clothes, cook the eggs, do the grocery shopping, prepare the meals, walk the dog, work on real estate, cuddle…but when I consistently do things that make me, just Jenn, not anyone else, happy, I feel bad. So I am learning to push through that uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes me. ** This is what Lindsay would refer to as your IMG (Inner Mean Girl) I didn’t think I had any (haha!) but once I listened to her videos, took notes and reflected I realized I am so a people pleaser and then some.

I’ve created my daily habit of meditating 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.  I find the morning to be harder than night–I actually love listening to a meditation and falling into a nice quiet sleep…I am also noticing perhaps I would do better with a mid-day meditation?  I may play around with this.  My morning routine is not exactly pristine.  My body is fighting me for sleep!! (I’m blaming the uber hard workouts I do some days!) Either way, I am seeing the need for it. Slowing down is helping me A LOT!

I’ve also started saying a daily mantra: I live a calm and intentional life.  (I’m finding Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal methods kind of intertwining here!) Basically, you say things in present tense, as if they’re already happening.  There’s a huge brain connection (I’m not getting scientific here, but there’s huge research done on this!) Lindsay does a great job at explaining it in her course, so it’s not all hokey!

So all in all, in just a week I’m noticing huge differences! Even though I felt like I was struggling a bit yesterday (Tuesday) I love that Lindsay has a closed Facebook group where we can share our thoughts.  We were to share what we are grateful for, so I did, but I also was real and said how things were getting hard.  Her response, “I know you want things to change now, but it’s a process. Just keep showing up like you’re doing (even though you feel overwhelmed I know) and it will get better.”  I know that I needed to hear that because I always want to rush things and sometimes, most times, we need to let things go at their own pace and fall into place as they will.  I know I’m so, SO hard on myself and I need to lighten up (a lot.)

All amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone, right?  Well I am certainly stepping out of mine and cannot wait to see what’s to come.  Just don’t quit, right?

My Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mom

So many thoughts.  Good thoughts. Frustrated thoughts.  Scary thoughts. Silly thoughts. Wonderful thoughts.  FOMO thoughts. Unforgettable thoughts. Questioning thoughts. Breathing thoughts.

It’s funny, if you think too much how crazy you can drive yourself.  Staying home to me has been one of the biggest gifts, blessings, passions, best and most wonderful thing!! At the same time, it can be a tad lonely, scary, worrisome, and if I let it, questioning.   In today’s world, women are told we can be and do anything.  Yay!  No I am not a feminist (far from it) but I love that we have the ability to do whatever we want.  I think the hardest part is that you have to find what you’re happy with.  Throughout the last 5 1/2 years I have had thoughts cross my mind that maybe I should go back to work. I will admit that it’s mostly when things are hard, (duh life is hard!) but also as teacher friends get ready to go back to school in the Fall, I have a twinge of “what if…?”

But as with anything, I allow myself to work through my feelings.  I write, I talk it out, usually with my husband and good friends, or my mom.  I try to figure out why I may feel a certain way and go from there.

I will say that running a business and staying home is not for the faint of heart.  I truly believe there is MORE than enough work to do taking care of a child, or children, cook from scratch, clean the home, care for dogs, and take care of a husband who works crazy intense hours.  It’s hard to find time to do things that need to get done, things you want to get done, plus play with the kids, enjoy the time with them and possibly give yourself some down time too.

I believe it takes a village to raise children, and villages don’t really exist in my world, so other than an awesome sitter who actually just had a baby of her own, it’s hubby and I.  Family lives far away and so a lot falls onto my shoulders.

I had to take a good look at our life and pick and choose what and where I want to spend my time.  For me, there are several non negotiable terms when it comes to our home life.  I find it extremely important for the kids to eat a warm breakfast most days.  Even if it’s a bagel and cream cheese or one little egg.  I think that a hearty meal first thing in the morning sets you up for success.  I also will always be here to greet the kids off the bus.  Until they are in high school, I truly find that after school time to be crucial.  Is this the only way to be a mom?  Absolutely not! But in my heart, it’s the way I want to be.

I’ve recently discovered my true need to break a sweat at a gym.  We had a monthly membership to the Y, but I decided it was a tad expensive and canceled it in August.  Well, September was absolutely nutty trying to get into a groove with one in Kindergarten and one in preschool a few hours each week.  Once we settled into the swing of things, it was all of a sudden Halloween.   I would make lame attempts to do at home workouts, or walk the dogs and play with the kids, but I missed socializing with people! I haven’t even been there a week yet, but I can tell you in the few times I’ve gone, my smile is bigger and my mind is quieter. I’ve also implemented a few more things, but I’ll touch on those later.

Bottom line, being a momma is hard.  We worry even if we don’t want to and I always want to do the right thing.   I will tell you it’s difficult to not give into the tantrums, the junk food, the instant gratifications.  But it’s so worth it.  Stay at home or work at home, moms are amazing.  (Dads are too, but this post isn’t about them!)

Like I’ve stated before, there is not “right way” when it comes to staying home or working as a mom.  There is only what’s best for you.  For me it’s a crazy combination of staying home, and also working.   I believe that once the kids are both in school full time I will be open to even more opportunities.  I have quite the ‘bucket list’ of dreams I’d like to accomplish and the ultimate dream being to work with my husband every day.

Regardless of what your “job title” may be, the best advice I can offer is to stay focused.  Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing.  This I am learning, is very tricky with social media in my hands.  I can very quickly get down on myself for not being where I would like to be.  It’s good to push ourselves, but it’s a whole different ball game to compare and lose sight of what is right in front of us.

Would I stay home or go back to work if I had to do it all again?  

I’d stay home 100%.  Even on the hardest of days where I feel like I accomplished nothing, I know that I am making the right choice for my family.  If you stay home and feel like you’re in a rut, then I highly suggest shaking up your routine.  Get out more; have more fun; meetup with some other mommas or do a baby or toddler class.  Leave the dishes be and get on the floor with the kiddos.  Snuggle them on the couch and ignore the laundry.  It’s all gonna be there anyway.

Also, mamas, ladies, women friends, do not ever feel guilty for filling your cup!!  Take the bubble bath and lock the door.  Pour a glass of wine and play the jazz music.  Sneak off to the coffee shop and bring your laptop.  Join that gym and go do your favorite class.  Read that book or follow that dream inside of you.  You are worth it!!  If you’re so caught up in your crazy busy life and don’t even know where to start, then you definitely need to stop and take a pause…

I’ll be sharing more on my pause in an upcoming post.  Until then, feel free to comment or reach out to me. You are not alone!! Motherhood aint easy, and there are way too many mean girls out there competing.  Life is not a competition; it’s your journey and yours alone.  Tune out the negativity and quiet your mind…I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Make today beautiful friends.

 

Wisdom Wednesday

I have been feeling the pull lately. That tug from the other side that stresses me, stretches me and causes a bit of frustration. I find myself gripping for something, and yet cannot seem to grasp.

I think I often forget my little children are just that. Little. They need, and need, and just when I feel like I have nothing left, I find myself just giving a wee bit more.

I feel exhausted and wonder if I’m actually doing anything right at times. I try so hard to enjoy everything– and I get so mad at myself if things aren’t going the way that I feel they should.

I truly believe that things come into our lives at the exact right times; maybe a book falls on the floor, a photo appears that speaks to you, or even something as silly as a you tube video appears on your phone.

HowJenDoes it channel is one of my favorites! I know I have shared her previously on my other blog; she runs her house like a pro, is a loving mother of two older boys and a devoted wife.  I sometimes watch her videos and get down on myself because, well, my house is not always spic and span like hers…toys are all over, crumbs are on the floor and the laundry is always piling up.

A few months back she made a video, for viewers just like me.  This hit me HARD this morning as I changed the sheets on our bed, sorted the laundry and picked up the kids’ rooms.  You can hear in her voice, how it cracks a little as she remembers when her boys were young–she shares what she remembers about that time.  Yes, it was hard and yes, it was a lot of work and she was exhausted, but the memories? They are there, embedded in her mind, that create her story of her staying home with her boys.

I’m living this right now.  I get to cuddle on the couch, wash their hair, make their day with hot cocoa and playing in the snow.  Everything is pure wonder, almost magic.  The innocence is surreal at times and although I am worn to the bone some days, these are the days.

These are the days we will look back on.

These are the moments I will miss.

Sometimes I try so hard to jump ahead and my word for 2018–BE–brings me right back down.  I need to just be their momma some days.  That’s all.  They don’t need much, in the grand scheme of life.  They need my love, they need to feel safe, they need to have fun, and of course they need structure.

This video even prompted me to stop and enjoy some lunch at the store before we picked up a few odds and ends.  Dining with a 3 and 5 year old is a bit crazy, but so much fun.

So if you’re a mom to young ones, maybe take a few minutes and watch Jen’s video.  One day this will be us, telling our younger mom self, we made it. The kids turned out great. Life is a beautiful and messy ride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.