If you have read my last blog post, I was struggling. I felt like I was being swallowed up by my own life. I love having all these kids, I wouldn’t say no to more. I love having businesses on the side that if I groom them they will make money. I love everything about my life but somehow I have been feeling like I’m not controlling it. I felt as if it was controlling me. I was getting bogged down by all the stuff I needed to do, that most the times I was too tired to even do it. My house felt chaotic, unorganized, cluttered, and unclean even though I felt like I spent most of my time cleaning and doing laundry, and reorganizing.
I’ve been doing some soul searching. My husband is returning in 3 weeks and I just feel like I gotta get myself in order. Well I’m here to tell you my shit is still not in order haha, BUT I have made strides in figuring it all out and I wanted to share what I have found because I know I have a lot of friends that feel like I do on the regular. I have been researching and listening to podcasts with every hour drive I take to clean our rental home. Ive learned ALOT. I know I have friends who feel the same. Picture this:
Summer Vacation. Not for the faint of heart.
“He’s touching me!”
“She took my toy!”
“I’m Hungry!” (20 minutes after cleaning up from breakfast)
They are driving you crazy right? Me too girl, me too.
You are also looking around at everything you haven’t done. You’re brain is fried and it’s only 11am. You are trying to start a diet but you already said to hell with it, and had that second cup of sugary drink or coffee.
I also have the problem with this logic. “Do I clean the house or do I sit with my kids and watch them play because they are only young once?” (FYI my mom says sit with the kids and I can’t tell you how much she’s been right in my life.)
So if you find yourself drowning in your own #momlife, here are a few tips that I think might help you. While small and seemingly silly they may help you. They have helped me.
Today I discovered a rare gem. Something I did not know and made me almost burst into tears. DID YOU KNOW, that mom brains are wired differently?? Yes. Studies have been done on a women’s brains before and after children. Studies show that after having children, the grey matter shrinks. So this idea that “mom brain” is just a funny thing we say to make up for the fact that we walk into a room and forget why, well it’s not untrue. Moms brains also are wired for that super mom stuff. You know like, when you get a feeling about something and sure enough your kid has a grape in his mouth and he could choke. Yes, mom intuition.
Our brains are smart. It may shrink the grey matter to move some room around for our new mom intuition but it NEVER lets us forget the words to 90s gangsta rap, ladies. That vault is sealed.
So why does Mom brain matter? Well because we are wired differently we have to start thinking differently! This is a perfect example.
My husband can say, Hey I’m gonna go do yard work. And for 4 hours, that man can go outside and work nonstop without so much as a pee break.
I sit down to write for 10 minutes, and my focus is on the baby, on the dinner, on the groceries getting delivered, then a thought pops in my head about a bill I needed to pay. My brain doesn’t focus hardly. Maybe its because I’m never “without child”.
The other day I went out to pick up dog poop, clean out the garden, and just general maintenance to the yard. 20 minutes was all I needed each time I was checking on the kids they seemed fine. Then my husband calls and says he sees on the home cameras this kids being maniacs near the sweet headed baby. 20 minutes! I couldn’t even just finish. Which is why I also don’t do yard work and clean up the dog shit. Nor do I want to but I do envy his ability to do one thing at a time. I’ve caught myself trying to take out the trash in the middle of scrapping dirty dishes and just letting the water run hoping I could do two things at once. It’s crazy how unfocused I can be. So anyways, this lady I learned this from is Hannah Keeley, go to Hannahkeeley.com and find out more. Take the quiz… yes you are mom fatigue syndrome. It’s incredible the things she talks about. If anything, whether you take her courses, or just read some blog stuff, it makes you feel like you aren’t alone. You definitely are not. Her story is pretty interesting how she literally couldn’t feed her kids at one point she was so totally out of sync.. Also, she has 7 kids. How she manages, I have no idea. Now I think she’s a millionaire? Or close to. Either way, she teaches us how to rethink our thinking. I haven’t dove in yet, but already she has spoke to me, and thats something!
2. (1. was Hannah Keeley, mom coach, Im just all over the place right?) Jenna Kutcher is my favorite podcaster and biz guru. While she is more business focused she is also a brand new mom ( after YEARS of infertility struggle, you also may have heard of her. she received a lot of attention for her hot husband and she’s a plus sized girl. The internet is cruel y’all) But aside from the gossip, she is AWESOME. She gave me some good advice this week. Like I mentioned in my last blog, I make lists. HUGE lists that overwhelm me and I never get them done. Jenna says pick your biggest three things. Get those done. Yeah, the 3 things you totally try to ignore b/c A. you don’t want to do it. B. they take the most time. C. b/c housewives is on and oh please can I watch?
Anyways, just do them. then you will feel like you’ve conquered the day. All the little things are much easier. She says we tend to check our email or cross of little things that makes us FEEL like we did a lot but really they didn’t take away that nagging burden feeling in the back of our head.
3. Once a month meals.(onceamonthmeals.com) So there is this site you can sign up for (membership is currently closed right now) but it gives you freezer meals for a month. Im talking the shopping list, what to chop, recipes, and how to freeze them all. One lady on a random podcast I was listening to said she made 72 meals in one day. ( I need a bigger freezer) I realized I have been spending so much time on breakfast, lunch and dinner. I need some go to meals. Not every night, but something easy. This site and this thought process has taken a load off my shoulders. The girl said once a month she goes to Costco ( that reminded me, I probably need a membership and possibly a bigger freezer) and she stocks up, prepares all day and BOOM, meals for 72 nights. So this type of thinking has me realizing instead of cooking every single night ( or turning to unhealthy cereal for dinner) that I can be more streamlined in my dinner process. I also learned that “batching” seems to be something business entrepreneurs do. For instance, sitting down and writing 4 blog posts instead of one. Preparing for 8 meals instead of one each night. Pick a day, make that your dinner prep day. SO genius.
4. My husband taught me this trick and I’ve really been trying. Clean up after yourself. Now that sounds stupid but hear me out. Getting ready to go somewhere. I leave my straightener out or a few tubes of mascara. Then when I come back I leave my toothbrush out. All that adds up and before you know it your bathroom looks like a hurricane hit it. Just pick up, clean up, as you go. Also, make your kids do it too. ( I know you just laughed at that.)
5. Start getting in a routine of certain things. For instance, I started making my bed every.single. day. It has made me room look clean every morning. Its also gotten me off to a good start. When a bed is made, it just changes the room. Write for 10 minutes, Stop checking emails in the morning if it stresses you. Morning yoga for 5 minutes. Something that starts you off in the right direction. Whether its doing something or NOT doing something. Make a small change and see the ripple effect it has on your daily activity.
6. This is my personal new thing…my health is good but my eating habits can be poor. I love to veg in front of Big Little Lies on HBO Sunday Nights like the rest of normal people. However, I have started making little changes. For instance, I started making juices for my morning (also see #5). Before coffee I have a celery juice or a carrot juice. (I make a killer green juice, I’ll try to post at some point or just DM me for it.) It makes me feel clean, refreshed, and like im doing something for myself. It doesn’t negate the 12 cheese puffs I had during my Reese Witherspoon love fest but it does help.
7. Be productive even when you don’t have to. SO podcasts. Who listens? I get tired of the same ole songs. Though Im obsessesed with Chill Electronic playlist on Amazon music. Apple Podcast app is awesome. Here are some I love:
- Jenna Kutcher -Goal Digger
- Juicy Scoop with Heather Mcdonald
- Coffee Convos with Kail and Lindsey
- Brilliant Business Moms
- Make Speidi Famous Again ( DO NOT judge me)
- Pursuit With Purpose- Melyssa Griffin
- Creative Empire
Look, I know Im not learning much from Speidi but its funny, they interview Siesta Key people and it makes me happy. However, with the exception of two more ( Juicy scoop is awesome especially if you love housewives, Heathers impressions of Ramona and Lisa Rinna are on point) most of these are helping you learn and grow in business and/or personal life.
7. Do me a favor. I know work was hard today, and its 11pm and you still have things to do. But take 20 minutes and do something for yourself. Everyday. Take a shower. LONG shower. Watch some of that show you missed, read a chapter in your book, drink a glass of wine and cry in the corner. Just do it. You’ll be a better mom for it. I swear, when I get just one thing I love each day I think it recharges me. By 7pm I am spent. I hate my life and my kids are driving me mad. I’m like a baby who’s well beyond bedtime. Inconsolable. THAT is why my kids have a bedtime. My husband recently asked me why we don’t let the older kids sleep with us. Let me tell you why. Aside from the one stuck to my boob, I need my space. You can’t hang out with anyone, ANYONE 24/7 and not crave time alone. That is why the baby stage is so hard. You literally can’t hide from them.
8. STOOOOOPPPP FEEEEELINGGG GUILTYYYYYYY. That was me, shouting from the roof tops. Listen, I’m speaking to myself when I say this. STOP feeling guilty for not being super woman. Its okay. Those instamoms you see, they aren’t real. I heard this little story today:
“Yesterday while at the pool I watched a young Mama and her little daughter enter the pool area dressed in very nice coordinating swimming suits. The mom, with her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf, spent the first few minutes talking loudly on her phone to a friend while her daughter stood waiting to get into the pool. Mom ended the phone call and proceeded to spread out pool toys and sunscreen on a matching towel. Then after finding just the right angle and the right light, Mama pulled out her tripod and took a few selfies with her daughter. Little One asked to get in the pool. Mama said wait and then posed her daughter in front the pool, then going in to the pool and then coming back out of the pool. Little one smiled big and said “cheese” like she’d done it a million times. Then Mama told her she could play. Little One walked in and swam around for a couple of minutes. Mama called a friend on her phone and began another conversation while Little One politely and repeatedly asked “Mama, can you come in the water with me, please?” She was ignored. “Mama, come play with me?” she asked 4 more times. Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone. After 10 minutes Mama ended her call, collected the sunscreen that was never applied, the water toys that never touched the water, and then her daughter and left the pool.
I sat there thinking about what I’d witnessed for awhile afterwards. I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like “Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories“.
Somewhere another Mama is going to be at home with her children, the house a mess from their play, her hair unruly from a day of mothering and her clothes dirty with spit up or peanut butter. She’s going to be tired because she’s spent her day cooking, caring, cleaning and playing with her children. She’s going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect Mama at the pool. The Adversary is going to whisper into her ear “you aren’t good enough… You don’t look like that Mama at the pool… You don’t have money to buy expensive swimming suits like that and you don’t have time to make memories like she is” and that young Mama is going to believe it. She’s going to feel like a failure. She’ll never know that how she spent her time that day was so much better in God’s eyes and in her children’s eyes than that “perfect Mama” at the pool. Ugh!!
What we see on Social Media isn’t always real. Sometimes and often it’s a complete set-up. It’s staged and filtered and it’s counterfeit.
Sometimes we do see absolutely real photos of vacations and beautiful homes and freshly done hair but it’s only ONE moment. It’s the very best moment out of a whole day spent much like our own. Working, cleaning, and messes…
Mamas, don’t compare yourself. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL! Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!”
Look, we are all just doing the very best we can. You’ll fall short. Somedays you will KILL. IT. But most days are the same Groundhog Day. Don’t forget, cherish your kids, take care of yourself, let people help you, your house will get cleaned, you will be okay. Try to do what you can. Im learning to use different websites, ways of thinking, figure out what I want and what’s important, learning to work smarter (not harder), and just be a better person. It’s all for my kids. Me bettering myself, using the tools at hand, all so they have the best mom I can be. Whether that’s being successful at my business, or the best damn craft maker for school projects, or just more present b/c I learned to juggle my tasks more efficiently, then thats what I can do. I heard once that we are always a ‘work in progress” and to never give up on yourself.
I’m trying really hard to keep my sanity b/c once you lose that, you have to remember, aint no-one in your family gonna survive… not a single person can cook.