It’s Simple Really.
I want to be happy all the time, like in the movies.
When I start to feel like I’m not happy I inject some happiness into my life.
Here are some of the things I do that help me feel happy all the time.
- Buy Fresh Flowers
- Eat Fresh Fruit (Cantaloupe, Berries, Watermelon)
- Drink Infused Water (Cucumber or Coconut is my favorite but I like Hint when I’m in a pinch and can’t make it fresh)
- Dark Chocolate (any chocolate will work)
- Drink Tea (Zen Green Tea is my favorite)
- Focus on Nothing but Sitting and breathing for 10 Minutes (it calms me down, helps with my posture and makes me feel refreshed)
- Get Fresh Air and Sunlight
- Indulge in “Better Option” Sweets (Chocolate Covered Strawberries – the pattern here is chocolate helps)
- Listen to Your Favorite Music
- Tell Someone I Love Them
- Use Glitter
- Take a Shower
- Get Dressed Up
- Watch movies/pictures of puppies and kittens
- Wine (specifically a glass of Cabernet)
Here are some reminders that help me stay on top of my game:
- Avoid Salt
- Eat Healthy (no sugar, no caffeine)
- Let Others Talk (you don’t always need to be saying something)
- Stay Hydrated
- Take Your Vitamins
What are some of your favorite things to do for a little pick me up?
My biggest fear was how do you go about raising a strong, kind man in a world like today. When even our president makes demeaning comments about women?
This isn’t just about equality and sexism. I believe everyone is different and everyone is equal. I want to tell him to be strong and manly and that be okay. BUT… if he likes dolls and dresses – that’s cool too.
I just don’t know how to explain to him in today’s world that it’s okay to be tough and determined regardless of what you are fighting for without sounding sexist.
FEARS…here are just a few more of mine:
- He won’t want to be my buddy.
- I don’t know anything about sports.
- He will be too strong for me.
- Breastfeeding. Is it weird because he’s male and I’m a female?
- He’s going to get someone pregnant. I might not like her. I hope he gets married first. What if she’s a bitch?
- Circumcision seems really cruel (leave that one up to the hubs.)
- I hate the word Penis. HATE. It just freaks me out.
- I will never be able to have nice things because they are all going to get broken.
- I’m not a good cook and boys eat a lot.
- He’s going to have friends. Gross friends. They are going to do dumb stuff.
- All my friends and family have girls. Guess play dates are out.
- My dad is going to like this kid more than me.
- My mom is going to be sad she isn’t having a granddaughter.
- Boys are bigger than girls and I have to push that thing out my…
- If our second is a girl, he won’t have a brother and I will have failed him.
HOPES…what I want to teach my son:
- Be Kind. To yourself, to women, to other men, to the elderly, to those in need. Just be kind.
- Be Strong and Be Tough. Your determination will help you get through anything.
- Be Yourself. If you like sports. Great! If you like music, Great! If you like art, Great!
- Dress Well. It changes how people perceive you. Wear a belt, wear a tie occasionally, and don’t have holes in your pants and food on your shirt. You have a home, please look like it.
- Shave & cut Your Hair. There is NOTHING better than a well-groomed man (or human for that matter).
- Wear Cologne. You ever want to get married? Smell like it.
Going back to work after having a baby has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I thought that I would be fine – I work from home so how bad could it really be – right?
Here is what I learned.
- It’s not easy.
- Allow extra time and practice your morning routine a few times before you have to actually go into work. You don’t want to be late on the first day back to work.
- You don’t get a break. Work. Home. Sleep. Repeat.
- You have to make sure to take time to step away and give your mind and body a chance to relax.
- The anxiety is REAL. I am only a floor away so I can’t imagine all the mommas that have to leave their kid for the day but I can hear him when he cries and it kills me. I know he is learning new things and I’m not there to see it. I worry about him constantly.
- Keep a planner handy. There are so many things that go through your mind and you have to stay focused. This has helped me write down all the things I need to do or handle or think about when I’m done focusing on work.
- Make sure you have someone to talk to about it. Other mommas get it. Don’t try to act tough – you are human and you have feelings.
- Coffee is your new best friend.
- You don’t get to devote your whole life to work anymore. I was the type of person who would do anything to get something done – regardless of the personal sacrifice (time, event, etc.) but having a little one that I have to get home to makes it much harder to keep working late into the night. I have to take a break and I have to be okay with that.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if you can’t work all day and all night – if you don’t you will end up missing out.
- Your priorities will change and every minute will count. I know I used to spend time during the day organizing files and cleaning things up just to make them look nicer but now I have to let some of that go and force myself to focus on what really matters and making sure I’m on top of the important stuff – if I have spare time then I can revisit dressing stuff up later.
- If you choose to breastfeed you are allowed to pump and you should be able to find a comfortable location in your office to do so. There are laws – learn them.
- They are only little once. Use ALL your vacation time.
I’m sure I will have a lot more to add to this as time goes on.
I would love to hear from you – what tips and pointers do you have for moms going back to work after baby?
As if life isn’t busy/stressful/crazy enough add in all the reminders that cross your mind every day, hour, minute, and second.
The list that follows is the key item I focus on when I need a “reality check” to keep my life running smoothly and make sure I maintain my sanity.
- It’s okay to step away and breath
- They will only be little once – soak up every second and don’t feel guilty about letting things that will be there later wait
- Yelling doesn’t get your point across any better than explaining why you are upset
- Have self-confidence
- Love yourself
- Run slowly, and you will get there faster (not literally of course – but basically a reminder to just make sure I do things right the first time and not rush them)
- Occasionally, take some time to be an observer in your own life
- Speak only to improve upon the silence
- Tell someone you love them every day (or make someone feel loved if you don’t have anyone)
- Take control of your money, even if you have more of it you will spend more of it if you can’t control it
- Spend at least 15 minutes showing your family you love them (cuddle during a movie, play outside…etc)
Getting Tasks Done:
- Just start
- Do the worst task first
- Have a plan
- Develop a routine, and stick to it
- Proactively plan ahead (a calendar with all of your to-do items, meetings, chores, needs, and wants is really helpful)
- Think minimal
- Don’t file or sort anything you won’t use in the next year
- Make a family yearbook and ditch the rest (mine are not super cute…yet – a three-ring binder and folders are enough)
- Remember the BUN (to enter into your home it should be beautiful, useful, or nutritious/necessary)
- Keep a folder with all your important info with you at all times (coupons for the week, phone numbers, envelopes with an address label and stamp)
- Learn how to master “the art of waiting” – when you are just sitting there waiting for an appointment, think of all the things you can get done if you just had “an envelope and stamp” or some papers to sort – plan ahead for the downtime when you are just “waiting” and use it to your advantage
- Have a “family/spouse” conference every day (30 minutes where you can discuss important or upcoming things)
- 2/3 and 5/7 – a meal cooked at home (or at least healthy meals)
- Take Vitamins
- Fuel your body with nutritious food
- Break your own bad habits (find ways that work for you to break them, for me a bet with someone I know will hold me to it if I lose works great)
- Get outside every day
As I embark on this journey called motherhood, there are a ton of tips and tricks that I wish I knew as soon as I became a mom.
I can’t wait to share them with you! Enjoy!
- Onsies are designed so you can you can just pull them off babies shoulders! No need to do acrobatics to get that poo covered diaper off baby!!
- Invest in a good thermos, like a really good one. Sitting down for a full cup of hot coffee is a thing of the past. A good thermos that keeps your coffee hot for hours is a game changer!!
- Invest in a water bottle you love and stay hydrated. This will helps you keep your energy up. It’s even more important if you are breastfeeding.
- Find healthy snacks and meals you you can prepare and eat with one hand.
- Diaper blow outs typically happen when you need to go up a size in diapers.
- You don’t need need a lot of cute outfits early on. Invest in one cute outfit for each age (newborn, 3 month, 6 month…) and then a lot of easy onsies/sleepers.
- Zippers make life 100 times easier. Skip the snaps!
- Leave a packed diaper bag in the car and a bag of essentials at places you go often (like grandmas) just incase you forget something or need to drop baby off quickly.
- Put a pair of small scissors in your diaper bag. Makes cutting up food much easier, not to mention those extra long straws they put in kids cups!!
- Keep a few empty ziplock bags in your diaper bag. You can use them to store pacifiers, half eaten snacks, dirty diapers if you need to change one in the car and so much more.
- You won’t be able to entertain them all the time. Find this they enjoy that you don’t have to do for them. A 15 minute educational TV show is the difference between wearing the same clothes for 3 days or having clean laundry.
- Plan to live your life in 2-3 hour increments based on their sleep schedule.
- You can schedule all your babies doctors appointments for their first year at the first visit.
- Don’t pre-open diapers and don’t pre-wash all clothes. Leave the tags/receipts on them. Babies grow fast and you might need to return or exchange some of them.
- Ask lots of questions at the hospital. Don’t be shy. You only get one chance.
- If something makes you uncomfortable, raise your voice – you have a choice!
- As long as you listen to everyone’s advice, you don’t actually have to take it. Listen to your gut!!
- You will get overwhelmed, tired, scared, mad, frustrated, sad. Take time for yourself. If you need a minute, put baby in a safe place and walk away. Sometimes you just need to reset to stay sane.
- People will offer to help help with the tasks they want to do. If something makes you uncomfortable you can tell them you need help but with a different task. “I appreciate that you want to help but it makes me uncomfortable having someone else wash my dirty undies/laundry. Would you mind helping with X, Y or Z”
- No is a complete sentence.
Babies don’t move fast, slow down with your little one and enjoy watching them grow. It goes by way to fast!!