You’re Doing It Wrong: Being a Great Mom Starts with Self-Care

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Being a mom is a challenging task that often lacks rewards or praise. We are often trying to balance our time between taking care of the family, the household, balancing the cheque book and paying bills that it has become so easy to neglect our own needs.

This last year has been particularly difficult for my family and until now I didn’t have the time or the energy to stop and breath and am now so overwhelmed with a rush of emotions that I can barely keep my head above water.  For the longest time, I thought that the only way to push through and survive these feelings was to focus all of my time and energy on my family.

I was very wrong. I am ashamed to admit this but recently I have found that I have an incredibly short fuse with most people, including my own children. Now more than ever, I needed to focus on me and my own needs.  I’m not a selfish person and taking time to care for yourself is such a necessary action. After all, who will be there to take care of everything when you are depleted, depressed or buried too deep in a hole that you can’t see the light anymore.

It all started when I realized that I was useless to my family if I couldn’t stand on my own. How could I be expected to take care of anyone else when I couldn’t be bothered to care myself? It’s not rocket-science, I mean seriously, they even announce on airplanes that in case of disaster out your own air mask on before assisting anyone else.

If you are anything like me, you might not even realize that you are neglecting your own needs. Make the conscience decision to evaluate yourself, this may include your physical health, emotional state and even your mental health. You are important and you are valuable. It’s time to find the desire and to invest in some hard work in caring for yourself first.

I know there are not enough hours in a day to get even the basic of things done, and now I’m asking you to find some time for yourself.   To help you on your way, I wanted to share my tips and trick for finding time for you.

  1. Take A Bath

 

In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself enjoying a nice hot bath with bubbles. Find your favorite scent for bubble bath, light up some candles, play some soft music and relax. Let your mind escape for a few moments.

 

  1. Say No

 

Do not take on more than you can handle. You are not selfish for knowing your limits and it’s perfectly acceptable to say no every once in a while.

 

  1. Listen To Music

I often use music as an escape from this world. I love putting on my favorite music and having a little dance session in the privacy of my own bedroom. Load up an iPod or any electronic device with all your favorite songs and just get lost in the music.  I’m often interrupted after a couple of songs by children wanting to join in on the party and I don’t mind it has often been great family fun.

 

  1. Get Some Sleep

 

I know this is easier said than done, especially if you are like me and suffer from insomnia most nights. My advice is to get sleep anyway and anytime that you can. It doesn’t have to be at night time. You can sleep in for an extra 15 minutes on the weekend or grab an afternoon nap.  Even just a few minutes of extra sleep will have you more energized and feeling much more rested.

 

  1. Have Alone Time

 

I’m not suggesting that you go crazy and wild for an entire weekend or even a day. Try to find 30 minutes each day for time to be alone. This can be first thing in the morning, on your lunch break at work or even right before bedtime. Take 30 minutes and go over your daily schedule, or review what you accomplished today and think about what tomorrow will hold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CRYSTAL FROM BUSY MOM DIARY

I am profile-pica full-time working, potty-mouthed and tempered, home-cooking, thrift-finding thirty-something mom on a budget. I am married and have two children, a tween and a teenager. Life is great. I blog to share our personal life experiences and adventures in parenting.

Blog: www.busymomdiary.com

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Mommy Care and Wellness Guest Post: To the Momma Struggling with Self-Care

To the Momma Struggling with Self-Care

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I see you. I am you.

I’ll admit this to ya’ll, I wasn’t very good at self-care even before I had kids (Gasp!)  After the boys came, the self-care level plummeted even more than before.  So for the upcoming year,  I’m making it a priority to take better care of myself.  Being a realist, I understand that as a full time working mom of two young, active boys, self-care will not always be my top priority. But to improve a little is to not digress, correct?!

Taking care of ourselves is important, I think we can all agree on this, right? So many of us just let it all go once the kiddos come because there is always someone else that has a pressing need.  Snotty noses, dirty diapers, spelling words to call out, soccer practice to go to, doctor’s appointments to make, field trip forms to sign, birthday parties to plan…Heaven help, I’m tired just typing that sentence.

So, we know we need to take care of ourselves, so now the real deal is to start doing it, capeesh?! (Remember, I’m talking to myself, so sometimes, she needs tough love J)

So Here Are My Goals for Ya’ll to hold me accountable to:

Washing My Face Every Night

So, this may be a no-brainer for many of ya’ll and mad props to you. I have never been a big girlie-girl, nor struggled with acne, so that could be the reason. I am a lazy face girl. I’m doing well if I run a Neutrogena wipe over my face at the end of the day. Judge all you want.  Picture the mom who drops their kids off at school with yesterday’s mascara on, and you’ve got me.

I have all the Rodan and fields regimens, and have more face stuff than one person should under my bathroom sink. The problem is the actual using them.

Yes, I want to look younger. Yes, I want pretty skin. But lord, I’m tired at the end of the day.

Here are the ways I want to try to achieve this goal for the New Year:

  1. Take off makeup and wash face immediately upon arriving home if we are in for the night.
  2. Set a timer on my phone for a certain time every night.
  3. Make it part of my nightly routine with brushing teeth.

Anyone else have any other great tips?? Help a sister out!!

 

Getting up before the kids

This one, oh she’s a doozey.

In my perfect morning, I will get up an hour before the kiddos, take a run/walk for 30 minutes, drink coffee and do my devotional before the kids get up.

Reality is that my 4 year old is a super light sleeper, wakes up most mornings at 4:45 ready to jump off the walls, and it stays dark until 6:20 now making my outside exercise attempts null. And I’m not running by myself, either, so don’t even think about suggesting that.  We live in the country and we have lots of animals. Nuff said.  Don’t even try to convince me. A neighbor killed a huge bobcat yesterday that had been killing her chickens for months. Plus, we watch a lot of Dateline NBC and I just ain’t doing it!

So this one may not happen all the time, but I plan to make it a goal to get up before the kids at least 3 of the 7 mornings a week.

  1. Set my alarm earlier, which means going to bed earlier.
  2. Enforce the kid’s bedtime and nap schedules.
  3. Have my husband tend to the boys if they are up while I’m doing my morning routine.

 

Do some exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

I do love to exercise, believe it or not.  Feeling better, having more energy, and mental clarity just seem to do wonders for my body and mind.  Being out of the habit of exercise is not good for my mental status. I tend to yell at the boys more, be snippy with my husband, and generally just don’t feel as well when I don’t.

Making time for exercise needs to be a priority. Here are my ways to achieve this goal:

  1. Exercise to a video or Pinterest workout if I am not able to run outside. (read above if you missed my comment about the bobcatJ)
  2. Meet a friend to walk in the afternoons-set the date and keep it.
  3. Find time to exercise during the workday. Small 5 minute segments can add up!

 

Drink at least 80 ounces of water every day.

 

I work at a dialysis unit, am a registered dietitian, therefore I know the praises of drinking enough water and why it is good for my body. I just have trouble actually doing it most days. Anyone else  struggling with this?  In an effort to better take care of myself, this is one of my goals. Here is my action plan for this one:

  1. Get one of those super cute big water bottles.
  2. Flavor my water with my favorite fruits, which I will prep and slice on Sunday for the week.
  3. Make an effort to drink 60 ounces during the workday before I get home. I get side tracked once the kids and I are in full on homework/supper mode.
  4. Not allow myself to drink a glass of wine if I haven’t consumed my daily water goal. (Yikes-this one may actually do the trick!)

 

So those are my top 4 self-care goals to work on this next year! I am looking so forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for me and would love to hear about some of your goals as well!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KYLEIGH FROM SWEET TEA AND COTTON

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I’m Kyleigh.

I’m a small town southern momma with a passion for writing, teaching people to be a little healthier, raising my kids to be sweet and love Jesus, Sonic Diet Cokes (I know, I know…I’m a dietitian), family, and old school gansta rap.

I would love if you would check out my blog, www.sweetteaandcotton.com!

 

 

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Mommy Care and Wellness Guest Post: Natural Remedies Every Mom Should Know

Lemon Balm

As mothers, we tend to be a bit of a worry wart.  It’s in our nature.  Momma bear has a natural instinct to nurture and protect her family.  With all the ups and downs, as well as the occasional curve ball life can throw at us, you may find yourself a bit tense or vexed now and again.  For some, this feeling is a bit too much to handle.  However, rather than turn to pharmaceuticals and prescriptions, give this amazing herb a try.

lemon-balm

Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa leaves happens to be an ancient herb used for multiple medicinal purposes.  Of its many uses one that is beneficial to us moms is its ability to ease anxiety.  Lemon balm is extremely effective at taking edge off.  In addition to stress relief, this miracle herb is known to treat colic, digestive discomfort and protect the liver.  Jam packed with antioxidants, this is an herb that is too good to pass up.

 

Hibiscus Tea

Feeling under the weather?  Kids have a high fever?  Or perhaps you’re in need of menstrual pain relief? Hibiscus tea is a great way to remedy these ailments.  Due to its cooling effects, a cup of hibiscus tea is the perfect remedy for a fever.  Serve up a cup as an easy and safe way to reduce a fever for when the kids come down with a nasty bug.

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Cramps, poor mood and discomfort are also remedied by a simple cup of hibiscus tea.  The benefits don’t stop there.  Hibiscus is known to fight cancer cells by reducing their ability to grow.  As an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, there is no stopping this lovely efflorescence.

 

Oregano Oil

Oregano has an amazing ability to superpower our immune system. Loaded with paramount antioxidant compounds associated to reducing oxidative strain in the body, this herb has the ability to turbo-charge your immune system.

 

Use oregano in your cooking for an added boost to the immune system.  If you fall ill, consider ingesting a few drops of oregano oil to give increase your body’s ability to fight off the infection.   Oregano aids in digestion, increases energy levels and protects the heart.

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Tea Tree Oil

This oil is so versatile.  Used by many for a multiple of reasons.  This magical herb is loaded with beneficial properties such as an anti-fungal, anti viral, insecticide, anti microbial, anti bacterial, the list goes on.  Tea tree oil is also used to treat and heal wounds. Not only does the oil alleviate and protect wounds, it also increases your body’s ability to prevent scarring.

 

As an antifungal, treat toenail fungus, athlete’s foot and many other bummer infections. Planning on spending the day in the great outdoors?  Dab a few drops of tea tree oil around ankles and wrists to keep away uninvited bugs.  Again, this is another remedy that has many more benefits than what is mentioned here.

 

Baking Soda

You can never have enough baking soda.  Commonly used in cooking or cleaning, it’s difficult to wrap your brain around the idea of this being of use for beauty and health.  Nevertheless, baking soda is an all round wondrous compound.  Due to its alkaline properties, baking soda is great at balancing acidity.

 

Therefore it is very effective at treating heartburn when mixed in a glass of water for consumption.  Add a few teaspoons to your shampoo to reduce oiliness and promote a healthy scalp.  If your infant has fallen victim to cradle cap, a simple paste mixture of baking soda and water will calm the infection, reduce the oil secretion and clear it up within a few days.

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We all love to look our best, especially during the holidays during all those family pictures.  Naturally whiten your teething with a paste mixture of baking soda and peroxide.  Don’t be nervous by the use of hydrogen peroxide, it’s technically oxygen water.  Brush your teeth with this mixture once a week until you achieve the whitening results desired.

 

Coconut Oil

Truly there is no end to the amazing uses of coconut oil.  For this remedy I want to focus on our hair and skin.  There are so many beneficial uses for this oil on your body, from rashes to infections, used as a makeup remover and more.  Applying coconut oil is to your hair and scalp is an effective way to treat dandruff, and reduce frizzy hair.  Simply apply it as a hair mask while in the shower and rinse before you step out.  Your locks will be silky smooth.

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One of my favorite ways to use coconut oil as well as soak up its entire anti aging, mineral infused and cellulite preventing properties is to use it in place of shaving cream.  Intimidated by the idea at first considering it’s a solid until melted down, I was shocked at how easy this is to achieve.  When in the shower, apply coconut oil to your skin by scooping out a handful and smoothing over the area.  The warmth of the shower steam and your body make it easy to apply.  Then, shave!

 

The oil melts right off your razor when rinsed under the warm shower water.  Therefore, no build up.  Not only are you going to be silky smooth, your skin will be hydrated and nourished beyond belief.  Coconut oil aids in treating stretch marks, dryness and cellulite.  Lather it on all over!

 

Green Tea

I’m sure you have heard the benefits of this tea for weight loss and cleansing the body and ridding of toxins.  Green tea is a great way to boost the immune system and energy levels.  It is also beneficial to our precious skin.  Green tea has anti aging properties. That is reason enough to want a glass a day.

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Green tea is made up of antioxidant components that when consumed regularly can reduce and delay the signs of aging and prevent cancer.  Don’t toss out those left over tea bags just yet.  Store them in a zip lock in the fridge to remedy dark circles under the eyes.  Place a bag under each eye and let sit for approximately 15 minutes to reduce swollen and dark under eyes.

 

As moms, we work hard.  These remedies are a way to assist in those days when we need something more, yet strive to keep it simple and natural.  I hope you find these natural cures and beauty benefits useful in your own lives as we have in ours.  Good luck momma’s!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DANI ADAMS FROM ADVENTURES AND PREGGERS

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My name is, Dani. I’m a mother of two wonderfully rambunctious boys. We are always on the move seeking out our next adventure.  No one is perfect and nor are we.  Laughter is our priority, no matter the triumph or fail.  My motto is “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward”.

Visit Dani and read more of her awesome posts at: Adventures and Preggers

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A Confession: Ways I’ve Brought Spark Back into My Marriage after Giving Birth

My kids are the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever seen. Never in life have I adored someone as much, thought of as much, or felt incompetent around as much (you all know that feeling, right?). I feel like they’ve opened up a whole new world to me, a world of possibilities, love and devotion – so much stronger than any other love there is. I am blessed.

Like most mothers out there, I too am in a constant spin to give them as much moral, intellectual and physical education I can, be their teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. I wish to teach them to believe in themselves, love themselves and appreciate everything they’re given. It’s a step by step process, and we’ve got a whole life ahead of us… I couldn’t be more excited!

However, a Catch 22 of motherhood is that, after giving birth, most mothers forget about themselves and focus on children, only; they often neglect their social lives and their husbands too, leading the relationship into a rut and often a divorce.

After giving birth to my third child, I’ve noticed a similar thing happening to me and my hubby Mike. I barely spoke to him, neglected him, I was all about Lilly. It was… unhealthy, to put it nicely. And I probably wouldn’t have done a single thing to change this if Mike hadn’t talked to me, worryingly.

I remember it like it was yesterday; we were having lunch and he got very serious for a moment, his face frowning and eyes sparkling… he looked at me and asked “Do you not love me anymore?” His question stroke me like lightning; I felt so bad I could cry right now while I am writing this… “Of course I love you, I love you more than you can imagine!”, I said. “But you barely look at me, let alone touch me.” My heart stopped for a second. “I am awful and you are right. I’m sorry that I’ve been so distant lately. I’ll do my best to work things out.” And I did.  It felt so weird going back to normal (normal being the state of things where I am actually focusing on something else other than Lilly), but I did it!

For all of you gorgeous moms who have been in the same or similar situation as mine, I am giving you a few insights on what I’ve done to bring the spark back into my marriage and rebuild myself from an obsessively dedicated mother to a healthy mom and a great wife.

I hired a nanny

To manage three kids, my business and still be hot with my husband, I needed help. I simply couldn’t do it all on my own, and once I admitted that fact to myself – things became much easier. Once we got a nanny, there was more me time, and more time for Mike. Things started going back to normal slowly but surely.

I was still crazily attached to Lilly (she was 13 months at the time) but I was slowly getting to a healthier spot; what can I say, I adore her (and my other two kids, of course!)! Guilty as charged!

I went pampering

I’ve always linked new beginnings with new looks; my determination to go back to being my sassy self was a sign I needed a change. So – I went to Pier (my beloved hairdresser); he laughed me out from the door for not having come in for a hair appointment for over eight months! He gave me a bottle of amazing hair vitamins, a brand new haircut and threatened to smack me if I don’t show up next week again! Ha-ha! Well, with such a serious threat, I had to go back, right?

P.S. Mike loved the new hair!

I initiated dates

Instead of waiting for Mike to take initiative, I made that step. I would organize movie and dinner dates, galleries and museums, little gatherings with our best friends and it was amazing. We had the opportunity to reconnect, whether it was just us two or in a group. It was like we were dating again except we had these three gorgeous little children to come home to. The spark was back, and I swore I would never let it dim again.

I touched him more

Closeness isn’t just about talking and promises; it’s about physical affection, too (and I don’t mean the bedroom, only). I started hugging Mike more, kissing him more, paying him a naughty look from time to time, holding his hand… If he’s at the kitchen isle, I come behind him, wrap my hands around his torso and kiss his back; or, if we’re watching TV, I curl up to his shoulder and just, sit there. Things like those, you know? They’re seemingly insignificant but mean the world!

My dear mommies, whatever’s happening – don’t despair. Just remember: you are loved, you’ve given birth to little phenomenal humans and you’ve got a life ahead of you. Don’t be stubborn, accept critique and change, and you’ll have your life back in a second. Good luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TRACEY CLAYTON FROM HIGH STYLE LIFE

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 Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles. She’s also passionate about traveling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Visit Tracey on her blog and read more awesome articles by her at: High Life Style

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Mommy Care and Wellness Guest Post: “Mama Care”, By Abby From Mamastebs

 

 

When I think of self care, there are quite a few things that come to mind, from my weekly shower where I’m actually alone, to yoga, exercise or even something as small as making a fun scrub or body lotion. I absolutely love being a stay at home mama, but sometimes it’s difficult when you have a little connected to you at all times. My daily self care comes down to my cup of coffee in the morning, that truly helps me unwind and allows me to still feel like a person. I make my cup of coffee with peppermint flavor, heavy cream and whipped cream, and I use a french press. To me this is relaxing in its own, I boil water add it to the coffee let it sit then slowly push it down, just the aroma alone is comforting. I take this time each and everyday, I sit with my warm cup of coffee and I slowly drink it normally while my son is watching his favorite show, minions. I get a little bit of peace before the crazy day begins.

Other things that help keep me feeling grounded would be yoga, and I am a very early beginner, but I do have to say that it helps you feel so centered, it is a really great workout, which honestly makes me feel proud but it also is somewhere you can focus on your breathing and just let go, I don’t even think while I’m doing it, I focus on my breath, focus on my body and I get so completely relaxed. I find it so important to take a moment to do something for yourself each day, because all day and night you’re doing everything for everyone else.

One thing I do biweekly, is paint my toe nails, ok lets be honest sometimes it’s monthly, but having painted toe nails makes me feel a little more put together. Something that helps you feel confident about yourself is very important, whether that’s doing your make up daily to feel put together, or it’s putting your shoes on strapping your baby on and going on a walk. I am definitely the latter, I am one who loves to be active, and I don’t feel that confident with make up on, so for me doing something active helps me feel very confident. There are things like scrubs, or face masks that can be easily made at home and can help make you feel calm and relaxed, I have made banana honey cinnamon face masks, or a coffee sugar scrub which uses used coffee grounds sugar coconut oil and man just the aroma is amazing. You pull some of that out at during a steamy shower and all the sudden your surrounded by warmth and coffee and I also add vanilla.

Really my most relaxing moment is when my husband is chilling with our son and I am able to take a long hot shower to myself, no worry of getting my soap in my son’s eyes, or the water being too hot or him hitting his head or slipping and falling, those showers are more stressful then anything. During my relaxing showers, I place epson salt and some lavender essential oils in the bottom of the tub and I turn the shower on hot and get in, standing on the salt helps my aching feet and also helps soften them while the aromatherapy helps calm and relax me. I get maybe one of these showers a month haha I wish it was more often but I am still breastfeeding and my sweet 18 month old just doesn’t like to be apart from me.

One of my favorite times of the day is, story time, there is just something so calming and sweet to me reading stories to my little as he sits thumbing through books of his own listening contently to whatever  book we are reading at that time. Life is stressful sometimes, but finding ways to treat yourself can make life easier, find things that make you smile, make you happy and don’t let dishes or laundry push those aside, they need to be a priority to your day just like everything else. One thing I make a priority each week is going to the farmers market with my son, we have a mama and me date weekly on Saturday, we go to the farmers market we buy fresh produce and then we go home and have such an incredible snack. I look forward to our Saturday date weekly, and am actually so sad to say that this coming Saturday will be our last market of the season until June.

 

About The Author: Abby From Mamastebs Blog

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 “I’m Abby, a 23 year old nurse, wife and mama. I just recently started blogging and so far I absolutely love it! My blog has a lot about my life as a mama and a wife, DIY projects, low carb nutrition, and our adventure with a natural pregnancy and childbirth.”

Visit Abby on her blog and ready more of her awesome posts at: mamastebs