The Still of The Morning

I will never forget being pregnant with James and chatting with a friend who just had her third boy. She was imparting mother/wife wisdom and said something to the effect of “I can’t stay up that late because my 5 a.m. alarm comes quick.”

Insert record scratch. I replied, “Why on earth is your alarm set that early? Why do you need to be awake then? Those are unGodly hours!” I’ll never forget how simple her response was. She took a deep breathe looked me dead in my eyes, smiles and said, “Peace. Trust me, you’ll get there.” I continued thinking she was crazy until about 5 months ago. 

As you read in my previous post, things got really really really bad for me and I began the work of healing and putting me back together. Do you know how hard that is to do when you don’t have peace? I mean, almost all of my waking hours were used to take care of other people. When I sat down and looked at my day, what I wanted to happen, what I needed to happen and how to make it work- getting up before my kids and my husband was the only way.

You guys, I kid you not, I was transported back to that conversation and all I could think and feel was the serenity coming from her heart (that I interpreted as insanity in my pre-mom days) when she said, “peace” and I knew that was what I was going to get.

So, turning this into action, I set my phone alarm for 5:30. The first morning I hit snooze a million times and before I knew it Jude was awake. Didn’t work. So, I set my phone alarm for 5:30 and the alarm from my watch, which charges away from my bed, for 5:45. I had to get up and turn off the alarm which made it MUCH harder to get back in bed. It worked but needed improvement.

Fast forward a few weeks of ups and downs and now we have this: Monday-Friday, my phone alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. because I need a buffer. I can’t just jump out of bed Marry Poppins style at 5:30. I know my strengths. The alarm on my watch goes off at 5:30 a.m. The day before, I put on my clothes, athleisure attire of course, in the bathroom. I stumble from my bed to get my watch, fall into the bathroom and get dressed while I pee.  (Multitasking at its finest, people!) I also turn on lights. It is really hard to get back in bed after that.

I also make sure I am in bed by 10 p.m. This means I have showered, I have on pajamas-not workout clothes-, my hair is wrapped and my skin is moisturized. In Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, she delves into the need to prepare your body for sleep. Let’s she just say she knows what she speaks.

Also, my friend was right. There is so much peace in the still of the morning. I mean, even the birds respect it.

I’ll have more on what I actually do with my morning time later.

What is stopping you from getting up early?

Love you. Mean It. 

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Self-Care: What That Really Looks Like

Hey Loves!

So, let’s talk about #selfcare. No, really-we need to-because everyone needs it. For so very long, I thought that wasn’t for me. You know, I didn’t have time for an hour-long bath, weekly mani-pedis were not an option. So, I couldn’t participate, right? WRONG. Very very wrong! 

If you ask me, self-care is a fluid movement in which certain practices enable you to be the best you and/or improve yourself. I should copyright that. That was a taste of the awesomeness that comes straight from my head that no one gets to hear because I am in negotiations in tiny dictators 90 percent of the time.

I digress. My apologies.

So, self-care, what does that look like? Well, for starters, it looks different for most. It may be keeping your A/C temps very low because a hot sweaty you is very far from your best you. It could also be being around people who hold you accountable so you don’t do that harming activity.

For me, it is making time to do my nails. It is also investing in me. So, if that is spending $1.99 on a book I want but also carving out the time to read and reflect on said book. It is sometimes making my plate first to ensure I eat. (*see tiny dictators reference above). It is also being aware of my water intake-oh my word! How dehydrated I was! I also make sure I have time with friends and time to myself in the evenings-very small but extremely achievable and effective things that I can do regularly that improve my mood, my health, and my self-esteem. Things that expand my knowledge and encourage me to be more self-aware. 

Also, I tried baths. I even bought a candle. I like them but I can’t every week. It is a lot of water and a lot of cleaning after.

What does self-care look like for you? I’m dying to know.

Love you. Mean it.

Losing Yourself In Motherhood

Hey Lovelies-

Let’s chat.

Let’s talk about what no one tells you about motherhood. No one tells you exactly how incredibly hard it is. No one alludes to the depths of exhaustion, mentally and physically, it can take you to. No one says how you just wake up one day and have no idea who you are.

Enter me. You should know I was loved beyond measure as a child. My parents worked. I was raised by my dad but my mom was active in my life. So, I didn’t know the SAHM life. I made up what this was supposed to look like in my head and what was supposed to take place and, because I work in extremes, I went all in. There was no happy medium. Anxiety, Depression, kids having special needs-nothing slowed me down. Then, “oh! We ARE homeschooling.” Again, I was all in…

And then, I knew nothing about me. I knew who I was (and if I’m being honest that was wavering because I defined myself by who I wanted to be; I was very much trying to put my finger on the pulse of me while chasing the next adventure. Then “pregnant” appears 27.6 seconds after peeing on a stick.).

I’m not sure if you have ever been there, but this is, I’m sure, where the tread meets the pavement. I would go to my closet and have no idea how to dress. What did I like? What was appropriate? What fits? Does this match? And then I would give up.

I meal plan according to the needs of my family. I had no idea what I really liked to eat. What food just made me happy and smile. I knew what I could eat. I was very aware of what available to me and if I wanted to eat it but what I loved? Not a clue. Friends, not even an inkling.

TV Shows? I’ve always said ‘Greys Anatomy’ is my longest committed relationship. Outside of that, I watched TV for a mental escape so I honestly can’t tell you if I looked forward to these shows because I loved them and they were so great or because I didn’t want to think or feel things about reality. I can tell you when episodes would maybe hit a little close to home, I wasn’t feeling that episode.

Beauty products? For what? I mean, is there more to life than EOS lip balm I share with my kids? Self-care… stahhhhhhp.

So, post-break-down, I started doing the work to know me, who I am right now, in all the mess and all the glory. Guys, it wasn’t pretty. It is a far cry from a work of art now. But I have things I know I like. That is HUGE! I’m also building my personal principles that will do what? Define me! Yay!

What is crucial to know- I am still, very much so, an all-in mom. I just learned that me being an “all-in mom” does not mean that I can’t be an all-in human. I don’t have to stop being kind to myself to show love to my kids. Crazy I’m just figuring this, right?  I know.

But guess what? I’m building a “My Favorite Things List” to share with you because those aren’t exclusively reserved for the likes of Mother Oprah.

Love you. I mean it.

Homeschool Room Updates

Hey Loves!

So, if you are new here, I am a homeschool mom. This year, I am homeschooling 2 preschoolers. Thus, updates were greatly needed.

The first thing we needed to maximize was space. One of the reasons I chose to homeschool was individualized lesson plans and one-on-one learning. I don’t think you can do that without space to learn. That meant re-organizing what we already had, removing some things and adding a few things (I know adding things doesn’t make sense but go with me).

Removing

Don’t hate me. I got rid of the train table while my children were sleeping. Yes, I waited until they were sound asleep, dismantled it and put in the garage and the immediately gave it away. There was an adjustment period of maybe 12 hours. Why? That’s simple. Valuable real estate. That thing was freaking huge. Plus, the kids didn’t use it properly. Train tracks, trains, cars and whatever else were always flying and my kids would not stop crawling up on to the train table. It was no longer safe…for my sanity, of course. So, off it went. Man, oh man. The joy of that space.

Re-organizing

To start, for me, meant evaluating our space and seeing what works for us. I new our circle time wall and safe space for reading and calm down time worked and worked well. Our art table is very close to the bathroom and that works very well (easy access to handwashing is a must!). What didn’t work was our lack of storage. So, I took the cubby organizer we got from Ikea from its horizontal position and placed it vertically. BAM! Not only did that make the cubbies more effective for children to access their toys, it gave two cubbies AND a shelf to store curricula supplies and supplements. What????

I also moved our world map to a blank wall that was lower, giving my children more visual and physical access.

The cars, trucks, planes, etc. from the train table I placed in storage bins and totes under our bench in the learning room.

Adding

I added a map of the USA (Dollar Tree). Geography and map studies are going to be a big focus for us this year and I wanted constant visuals of this. I also added a small table from Ikea (who doesn’t love Ikea???) in order to have to learn/work spaces for my boys because …frenemies. #thestruggleisreal I also made another art display because double kids equal more art to show off. I thought I was done and then… Target dollar spot got me. I bought two more pocket charts to display our visual schedule and one for WORD WALL. What in the actual world, people???

That’s it! Any suggestions for me? For pics, check out my facebook page! You can also keep up with my (almost) daily ramblings about life.

Love you. Mean it.