How to Make Mom Friends and Beat Stay at Home Mom Depression

How to Make Mom Friends and Beat Stay at Home Mom Depression

How to Make Mom Friends and Beat Stay at Home Mom Depression

 

It can be lonely  as a stay at home mom and easy to slip into stay at home mom depression if you don’t intentionally surround yourself with other mom friends.

 

So often our spouse doesn’t understand what we’re going through, our family and friends might not be in the same season of their life, and the expectations that we put on ourselves (or society or loved ones) can make the mom guilt unbearable intense.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

 

After my son (who is currently a year old) was born, I struggled with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. I found myself isolating myself from even my other SAHM friends, withdrawing from my family, and feeling generally worthless. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I’m thankful that I currently have seen the ‘light on the other side of the rainbow’.


But during that period, I struggled deeply and felt so alone. I am so thankful that I had a mom tribe that I connected with, both in person and online, because it helped me realize that, no matter how tough things were, I wasn’t alone.

 

What type of SAHM are you?

 

My first suggestion when it comes to connecting and meeting other moms is to think about the type of SAHM you identify with.

 

When I first started to meet up with moms at the library or ones that I met in groups, I made the mistake of thinking that I would immediately connect with them all right away. And while I still am close friends with some of the first moms I met, there are many that I didn’t connect with.

 

Your energy is so valuable and you don’t want to spend it with people who are going to bring you down or make you feel bad about the type of mom you are. And it’s OKAY if you don’t connect with everyone.

 

There are a lot of different types of moms out there so you’ll want to find your tribe. If you’re a “Pinterest Mom” you might not want to spend your time with moms who make you feel bad about wanting to craft with your kids.

 

Or if you’re more of an “Amazon Prime” mom, you might not want to spend time with moms who want to spend more time creating homemade decorations for every event.

 

Give yourself permission to feel other moms out on playdates or in groups but know that you don’t have to vibe with them all. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilted into a friendship that makes you feel bad about yourself or drains all of your energy. You deserve to be around others that make you laugh and feel joy!

 

 

 

 

Finding Mom Friends Near  You

 

There are two main ways I’ve been able to connect with other moms friends and that is in person and online. There is an incredible power in meeting up with like minded moms in person for coffee, a walk, or just to get some sanity and talk to another grown up.

 

Some of my closest mom friends are ones that I have randomly met in Facebook groups and we’ve just clicked. We connected because our 2.5 year old were super close in age as babies and now, we all have 1 year olds too!

Once A Month Meals

 

The first place you should go to find moms near you is Facebook! Search and see if you can find a local moms group. You can be bold and simply post that you’re looking for like minded moms, and put a few words to describe this mom (coffee loving, like to craft but isn’t that good at it, enjoys working out, primarily seen in a mom bun… wait I’m describing me!) and suggest a time and place to meet up.

 

One of the easiest suggestions is to suggest going for a walk at a local park or place where you can get to actually talk to them. I’ve met up with moms places where it was super busy or my kids were all over the place and I felt like I didn’t get to talk to them at all!

 

Always start with meeting at a public place (free is best!) before inviting them over for a playdate! There is nothing more awkward than having a mom come over for the first time and you don’t vibe or your kids don’t get along (and I’ve been there!)

 

You should also look and check and see what local mom groups already exist (we have a MOMS group in our town), check out your church or religious center or see if you can find a MOPS group (Moms of Preschoolers)!

 

Often many of these places will offer child care for you and it can be a great time to refuel yourself and connect with others!

 

Meet like minded friends online

 

Because life is so busy, I sometimes only see my ‘in person’ mom friends once a month. I knew that I wanted to feel more connected on a daily basis and needed someone other than my kids to talk to.

 

Insert my virtual MOM TRIBE!

 

Over the past few years I’ve been able connect with so many moms from around the world who are feeling similarly than me all online! Heck, it’s one of the reasons that I created A Purpose Driven Mom! I knew that there were more moms out there like me, I just had to find them!

 

 

 

Social media is going to be the best place for you to connect with other like minded moms. You can use hashtag or group searches to find other communities where your ‘mom’ is hanging out.

 

Search things like ‘crunchy breastfeeding moms’ or ‘work at home moms’ or ‘2 under 2 moms’ and a BUNCH of suggestions come up (make sure you search A Purpose Driven Mom and come join our group too!)

 

Become active in those groups, answer questions from other moms and ask questions! I can’t tell you how life saving it was at 3am when I was cluster feeding my daughter to have other moms awake in baby sleep groups to talk to!

 

Once you find mom groups you love, ask for suggestions for podcasts or other groups that they love. I have found so many other members of my mom tribe by connecting with other podcasts and blogs that moms have suggested to me!

 

Some of my favorite podcasts for moms include;

Young Wife’s Guide

Cultivating the Lovely

Mom Struggling Well

God Centered Mom

Raising Arrows

Hello Mornings

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of these are perfect podcasts for Christian Moms who want to get some inspiration and find communities that they can connect with! Many of these bloggers also host virtual conferences which can help you feel even more connected!

 

Virtual conferences are my FAV (Heck I even ran my own this past year! You can go back and get all the recordings here) because you don’t have to leave your house and you can connect with some many incredible women.

 

One of my favorite ones is coming up in just a few weeks so, if you’re looking for a great place to start connecting with moms, I highly recommend the Homemaking Ministries Conference this upcoming September! And if you're reading this after September, go and grab the recordings!

Stay at Home Mom Quotes

 

Being a stay at home mom is tough. We get lost, we feel lonely and stay at home mom depression is a real thing.

 

So when you’re feeling lost, make sure you reach out to other moms, connect with people, and surround yourself with positive influences that bring you joy!

 

In the meantime, check out this list of positive mom quotes and affirmations (you can grab a copy of my fav ones here) to build you up when it’s tough.

 

Because mama…. It’s going to be TOUGH! But you’re doing a GREAT JOB! 

 

 

Make sure you SHARE this post with of SAHM who probably feel just like you! PIN it to read for later!

 

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How to Set up Your Week To Be More Productive

How to Set up Your Week To Be More Productive

How to Set Up Your Week for Productivity

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full-time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

 

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays, if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt-free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more.

 

productive mom

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons. Sundays, since we go to church, still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6 am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success. I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

There are a few things that I like to do on Sundays to make sure that my week goes as smoothly as possible and I am going to share my system and routine with you! I think that if you spend some time on Sunday (or whatever day you choose to set up your day) preparing for the week then, the rest of the week CAN be more productive and run smoother. I find on the weeks that we are away or I don’t take the time to do this system, the week is much harder. Things fall through the cracks, I feel more stressed and I start the week feeling behind and having to play catch up on Monday (which then sets my whole week back)

Creating a Sunday Routine

Meal Prep

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day.

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in Tupperware as much as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for.

Cleaning and Organizing

 I have a cleaning system where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up but that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. And what I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 But that doesn’t mean I won’t try to make it just a little cleaner. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mop the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!)

 Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy haha) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week.

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is to make sure I have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman.

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren, google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than overplanning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

Next, I go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write a blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for a birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

 Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt!

 I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

If these tips helped, make sure you share on your social media and PIN them for later!!

 

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How to Schedule Your day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Schedule Your day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Get Work Done as a Work at Home Mom

 

Being a work at home mom has become my dream job. Prior to being a WAHM, I was a school teacher and loved it. I would have stayed teaching forever except for one big problem… I was burnt out. After 8yearsr, I was having major anxiety going into work, putting in so many hours I barely saw my family, and really had lost myself. And 4 years ago, I decided that enough for enough.

I got into entrepreneurship through network marketing because I had found a product I loved and couldn’t stop talking about (and wanted a great discount) and it was a catalyst for me. I started to believe in myself, to believe that I didn’t have to feel so burnt out all the time, to believe that I could do things that lit my fire and that I loved, and to believe that I could stay home with my kids.

Over the past 4 years since I’ve been a full time entrepreneur, I’ve shifted my focus from primarily helping women with their health and fitness to being what I call a ‘mom empowerment coach’. I help women create systems and routines to decrease their stress, feel more in control and design a life they love. I get to do this via this blog, e-books and e-courses, virtual conferences, mentoring, coaching and more! 

And boy do I love it… but dang it can be hard to create time to work when you’re home with the kids.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commision. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Why it’s hard to work from home when you have kids.

As much as being home and working around the kiddos is my dream job, it can be so tough to do. You need to prioritize time with them, not always been on your phone or computer, make sure you’re still working your business, do the home chores, and stay focused.

It took me a while to come up with a routine and system that allows me to be the most productive but, I’m excited to say I have found a good groove!

And even though I find myself often moving and grooving with my routine, I still know to give myself grace. Kids need you, someone gets sick, naps get messed up and life happens. Working from home is very different than leaving to go someplace each day. Your hours are less predictable, you have to make adjustments and you need to give yourself grace when things don’t go as well.

You also need to make sure you have realistic expectations. Because here is the thing, mama, you CAN have everything… just maybe not at the same time. My husband and I have had many conversations about roles and responsibilities and he understands, while the children are my numero uno, I also am running a business. That means that sometimes, some of the house stuff may get a little neglected, gourmet dinners don’t happen that often, and I’ll need a little help, support and if possible, a few times each month where I take 3-5 hours on a Saturday to work at Starbucks and get things done.

work at home mom schedule

Creating a Schedule that Works 

 

While crafting a workable schedule for yourself, realize that your season and my season of life may be very different. I currently am responsible for my 11 year old step son who is with us every other week and goes to school 45 minutes away. While my husband luckily works right by his school, there are still times I am in charge of the commute, attending school events, and all of his friends and sports are in that area. I also have 2 small kiddos at home (currently a 10 month old and a 2.5 year old).

Your children may be school age so you have more time during the day, or you may be a new mom with a newborn working in the fringe hours when you are up nursing… whatever your situation is, you need to create and adapt your schedule to fit your needs.

But no matter what… you NEED a routine and schedule. I don’t believe you have to live your life by the minute but I use power pockets and chunking to make our day run a little bit more seamlessly.

Depending on your work at home job, you may have required hours that you have to work so you’re schedule is more rigid. This might require you to get a mother’s helper during that time, a babysitter, or utilize daycare. I think a mother’s helper is a great idea if you can find one! Mother’s helpers are often junior high or high school students who will come and play with your kiddos while you do things around the house like work or clean. Because you’re home, you can often pay them a really reasonable rate as well! They are easier to find in the summer or over school vacations and breaks.

If you currently aren’t working at home but are interested in ways that you can make money, check out my fav ways to make money, that isn’t just doing a million surveys and getting $3 each month! 

Sample Schedule for a Work at Home Mom

 

Below is a copy and description of my current routine that really works for our family. It allows me to feel more ‘balanced’ and get more done. It’s taken us some time, and we’ll have to adjust again in September because my 2.5 year old will be starting preschool (eeep!!!) so I’ll have more time from 9am-12pm each day … and I CANNOT wait!

 You’ll see that I break up our day into sections called power pockets. I never say“At exactly 9:33, Isaiah will sleep” but we use a round-about time and chunk out what actions will happen during that time. My goal is also to be as present as possible with my kids (I mean they are the reason WHY I do this, right?) but there are times where you do activities that allow me to get small bits of work done. There are also times, like as I am typing this blog post, that I have a busier work season and maybe am launching a product so I may have my mother in law come by so I can work more or the TV helps us out a bit. I do my best each day to make sure though, that she watches limited TV (because she turns into a gremlin if she watches too much), we do intentional play, I have 1:1 time with each of the kids for even just a few minutes, we add in reading and some fun learning, and aim to let them play independently.

 Does it happen beautifully everyday?

Nope.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t try!

 As for reference below, I’m going to show you a typical day when it’s just me and the littles. My stepson is with us every other week and things change a bit, but for this example, Arianna is my 2.5 year old and Isaiah is my 10 month old. I will also write down what I am doing and put down what the kids are doing at that time in {brackets} to differentiate the tasks.

 I also have learned when I work best and have created a schedule around that. I know my brain is best for writing in the early morning or midday. During my evening work time, I don’t even bother to put out quality unless I have to because I’m fried. I try to do more rote tasks than that I could do easily or even when watching a show with my husband.

 

 

Power Pocket 1: Morning

 

5:00 – 5:30 Wake up, Quiet Reflection, Bible and Prayer and Morning Routine.

5:30- 6:30  Work Time (write blog post or emails)

6:30 – 9:30 Kids Up

  • Nurse baby (answer emails, messages + DMs while nursing) + Breakfast
  • Bible Reading with Kids
  • Clean Up Breakfast, Start Laundry, Quick Sweep of Floors, Dishes {kids play in playroom independently}
  • Workout in Playroom {kids watch a show and play}

9:30-11:30 {Isaiah Nap}

  • Shower {Arianna either jumps in with me or keeps watching her show. This is a very quick ‘mom shower’ + dress. Often, after I get out of the shower, I’ll let her play in the bathtub while I get dressed}
  • 20-30 minutes 1:1 time with Arianna where we do some tot school activities, puzzles, or intentional play
  • 20 minutes of manual pinning {Arianna has snack and does a craft, puzzle or colors}
  • Daily cleaning tasks (check out my cleaning routines and systems here).
  • Put laundry in the dryer.
  • Eat lunch (I purposely try to eat lunch before Isaiah wakes up so I can get their lunch ready and done without worrying about me).

schedule for work at home mom

 

Power Pocket #2 Afternoon

11:30- 2:00 {Both Kids Awake… Mom hat ON!}

  • Nurse Isaiah (get back to those messages and emails)
  • 20-30 minutes where kids play in their bedroom. I sometimes use this time to scroll my phone for blog post ideas, connect with people on social media, clean up their room or put away laundry upstairs.
  • Run and errands or a play date. I HATE car naps so unfortunately, we only have about 60-90 minutes a day where neither of them is sleeping and we leave the house. I’m okay with that but, do try to get out of the house each day, even if just for a small Target run. I go a little crazy staying in each day and like to split our errands up throughout the week)
  • Lunch
  • Clean up lunch, dishes, sweep up floors, fold laundry straighten up. This is a great time for me to listen to podcasts or audiobooks and get some personal growth and learning in. {Ari might play outside or watch a show and play in the playroom}

 

Power Pocket #3 Late Afternoon

 2:00 – 5:00 pm {Yay! We made it to nap time!}

  • Hopefully they go down easily between 2-2:30. My kids share a room so it’s been interesting finding nap routines that work but, fingers crossed, they keep it up! They are both pretty good nappers and I know I’m lucky there.
  • After I put them down, I sit on my bed to listen for them to stop talking to each other and read a personal growth book for 10 minutes. This helps me stop, slow down, feel gratitude, and get my head in the right place. Would I love to get moving, pee, eat, and conquer my to-do list? Sure. But I found that if I don’t do this than I am not as productive and my self-care matters too.
  • This is my best time to write so I use this time to get a snack, grab my coffee, curl up on my couch where I love to write and get going. During this work blog I work on blog posts, write emails, continue any project tasks that I need to do and have previously determined needed to get done that day. I use Trello to organize all of my tasks so, when I sit down to work, I never wonder what to do, I can just get started.
  • Isaiah will wake up between 3:30-4:00 so I use this time to nurse him (check social media + messages) and then have 1:1 playtime with him.
  • Arianna will stay asleep until around 4:30-5:00 pm or when I drag her out of bed.

 

Power Pocket #4 Evening

 

5:00 – 11:00 pm 

  • Make dinner {kids play in playroom, Ari asks me for a snack a million times and I let her watch a show while she wakes up and stops being grumpy}
  • My husband comes home between 5:30-6 (which is such a blessing because at his last job, he wasn’t home until almost 8pm) so we have a tech free dinner and I get to sit down and breathe a little.
  • Clean up dinner, take out trash, do dishes, fold and put away today’s laundry (okay.. This might happen haha. Often I’m folding yesterday’s laundry because it was in the way when I went to put today’s in the dryer), make lunches. {Kids are playing outside or in playroom with daddy}
  • We then get about an hour or so of family time which might include outdoor play, a walk, a movie or just all hang out in the playroom.
  • My kids go to bed at 8:00 pm and I then promptly toss myself in my bed so I can have some alone time and center myself again. I literally just sit there for 20 minutes and mindlessly scoll social media (no shame in my game!)
  • I start my final work block around 8:30-9 pm. Like I said before, I’m not all that productive at this time so the tasks I normally do include; creating images or freebies for my site, scheduling social media posts, putting together outlines or workflows or getting on calls with my Beachbody Team, coaching clients or accountability buddies.
  • I try to shut my brain off around 10:30 so I put on some terrible reality TV, scroll social media, and decompress, heading up to bed around 11. Some days, I am up much later finishing work and some days, I’m so fried that I don’t work at all.

 

Then I get up and do it again! I love routine and our system really seems to work for us. There are always curve balls being thrown my way and adjustments that need to be made.

Currently it’s summer break so when my stepson is home, I work less during nap so that we can have 1:1 time together. If my kids don’t sleep through the night or someone is sick, I make adjustments. I follow this schedule Monday through Friday, take Saturday completely off to rest and relax (and nap!), and use Sunday for church, to complete grocery shopping and meal prepping, organize my calendars or work tasks and set my week up for success.

On average, I work on my blog and business somewhere between 20-30 hours a week. Some weeks are less and some weeks are more. I love what I do so much though that the time often just flies by and I wish I had more hours. I also try to go ‘off site’ 2-4 times a month and take a few hours to get extra work time in while hubby or my mother in law stays with the kids.

Get Organized and Focused 

 

While it can be super hard to get things done at home, it’s completely possible. No, I don’t get everything done but I do feel that I am much more productive with a routine than without. I do allow my schedule to get flexible once and awhile, and that’s the best part of being a WAHM. If I want to take the day to visit a friend or go to my sister’s, I totally can. I just change up my schedule, move things around and go for it! Knowing my plan for the week allows me to do those things without guilt, spend more time cuddling or playing some days, and still run a business.

 

I recommend getting as organized as you can so that when you do sit down to work, you have limited distractions and waste minimal time. Your time is so precious when you are trying to be a WAHM and handle it all that it’s silly to spend time trying to remember what blog post or email you have to write instead of just writing. I can waste 20 minutes ‘deciding’ what to do and that could be 20 minutes I use for my business.


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How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

How to find time to workout as a busy mom.

Taking care of ourselves is something most moms struggle with. We feel guilty about taking time to exercise. Our time and attention is pulled in a million different directions. The to-do list becomes so long that taking care of ourselves doesn’t always seem like a top priority. We’re tired and don’t always have the energy to do it. And honestly… we just sometimes don’t feel like it.

The reality is, exercising can be tough enough when you don’t have kids but, adding kids to the mix can make prioritizing your health and self-care even tougher.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commision. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

workout mom

Why you need self-care.

I know that it can be super hard to create the time for you between the real like stress and the guilt but can I tell you something…

You matter.

Yup, you matter more than you realize and more than you’re willing to admit. Because if you take the time to actually acknowledge how fabulous you are, you’ll have to admit that you haven’t been treating yourself the way you deserve. You’ll have to admit that you’ve put yourself on the backburner and that you need to get back to it.

But taking that time to workout a few times a week (I currently work out 5-6x a week for around 30-40 minutes) does more than just get your heart pumping. When you leave a workout, you feel accomplished. You feel proud and you are reminded that you are worth that effort.

You are better when you fill your cup and when you do, you can be a better mom. There is a reason that on airplanes, you are told to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s because if you’re a panicked mess, there is NO way you’ll be able to help someone else.

And it’s the same situation in life. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and have little energy, poor health, low self-confidence, and just feel generally bad, then that trickles down to your family.

I find that when I am exercising regularly (which I do now and, though it’s taken years, is now a habit that I hate to miss in my day), I am happier, I snap less at my kids, I feel good about myself, I have more energy, and am just a better mom.

The thing is, and I’m going to toss you some real talk right now, your kids deserve a happy and healthy mom. None of us can guarantee how long we’ll have on this earth but, don’t you want to spend as much time with your kids as possible? And wouldn’t you do anything you could to make that happen? Then you need to find a way to fit exercise into your life and take care of your health. For you, for them, for the grandkids you’ll hopefully get to be around for, and the pictures taken of memories that you aren’t hiding in because you hate the way you look.

 

 

How to find time to workout

 

When it comes to working out, you need to decide what you need and how you want it to happen. I personally, haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years and love working out at home. Some people need to leave the house to get that extra motivation to get it done. Determine the type of person you are, be okay with it (because you don’t have to be like anyone else), and come up with a routine that fits that.

If you need alone time and want the gym to be your sanctuary, then go for it! I coach and talk to so many moms that tell me they’d love to workout at home like me but really need to get out of the house, have interactions with people, and get time alone. If that’s you… go for it!

Find a gym that has a daycare included so that you truly can feel at ease. It can be pretty tough to find childcare for just an hour or two to go to the gym each day but, if your gym has a daycare center then you’re kids get interaction, which they need, and you get the time to workout. The first place I’d recommend checking out is your local YMCA. Not only do they have great rates but you can get family packages, which includes childcare, classes, swimming and something for the whole family.

If you’re going to leave the house to workout, make sure you pick a time in the day that works and makes the most sense to you. You don’t want to go when you’ll be cutting it too close to nap and fearing cranky littles or the dreaded car nap. We have a 2-hour chunk in our mornings that is our only time where we can leave the house to do anything without someone napping so if it were me, I’d make sure that we left for the gym then.

Get yourself prepared the night before so that you don’t waste any time. If you know that you have 2 hours to hit the gym after one of the kiddos naps but before the next nap (which is our schedule), take 5 minutes the night before and lay out your workout clothes and pack your diaper and gym bag. If you bring bags for the kids with activities for them, make sure they are packed along with any water cups and snacks. This way, as soon as the kids are up and your window to workout begins, you’re not wasting 10-15 minutes packing things up. If you can pack the bags when they are sleeping, you can get it done super fast since you’ll have limited distractions.

Make sure you also sleep in your workout clothes to save a step and have any shower stuff packed. Many gyms have showers you can use so, you can grab a quick one before you pick up the kids and be on your way!

 

beachbody on demand

 

Working out at Home 

 

Working out at home is my jam. I get to wear whatever I want, get all sweaty and not care, try moves I would never do in public, and get my groove on to some great dance workouts all while looking pretty embarrassing. I also don’t have to worry about commuting or taking the kids anywhere and can be flexible if they are fussy.

That being said. It’s not easy. Getting my daily workout in at home takes planning and a system that it’s taken us a few months to really get the hang of. But, once you get the routine it can also be fun.

My kids LOVE workout time and a tantrum normally happens on the weekends when I go to workout in our home gym alone since my husband is home. I get to be an example of health to them and they get to join if they want. I always invite my 11 year old stepson to workout with me and, though he almost always says no, the other day he asked if I could help him train for basketball and my heart swelled up with excitement.

My first suggestion is to find a workout you love. I use Beachbody On Demand and have for the past few years. I used Beachbody workouts to lose 70 pounds before I had my kids, the 50 I gained with my daughter, during both my pregnancies and currently using it to stay healthy and drop the baby weight after my son.

 

21 day fix pregnancy

 

There are so many workouts out there that you can pick but, here is the thing… if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. In the past few years, I did some soul searching when it came to workouts and decided that just because everyone else was trying the newest workout, didn’t mean I had to. I love to stretch out of my comfort zone and try new things but, if I don’t like doing a workout, I just pick something else.

 Now, at first you might not like any workouts because working out isn’t the most fun all the time (particularly when you’re out of shape), but I guarantee there is something out there for you! When I was pregnant and my goals were different, I did some home dance workouts or yoga because I knew it would make me feel good. Find what lights you up, challenges you, and makes you happy and I swear, over time exercising will become a part of your lifestyle.

 You can also find something that your kids love to do can include them. Another reason that I love Beachbody on Demand is that they have a kids channel but my toddler loves doing the dance workouts with me, climbing on my back for pushups, and kickboxing is her fav! Your workouts with them may not be as hardcore as before, but remember DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

 You can always workout at home during nap time if your kids still nap. I choose to do it when they are awake because I use naptimes to work but, you can make that your time to take care of you, grab a shower, and then get to all the other tasks. The cleaning and laundry can wait… your self care cannot!

lose baby weight

How to include your kids in your workout block

 

My first tip is to find an area of your house that is the most conducive to you getting the workout done, not being frustrated with interruptions, and sets them up for success. I tend to do more bodyweight exercises than weights because, when I do have to use our gym and bring the kids in there, they are ALL over the place. On those days, I put my 9 month old in the pack and play and my daughter plays with her kitchen set or easel that I’ve left in there but, since there is so much more to look at and touch, it’s normally more of a headache for me.

I choose to workout in our playroom on most days. Their stuff is there, they can watch a TV show, and it’s baby proofed. That does mean I have to pick and choose workouts that fit in that space and don’t have weights but I”m okay with that. It helps to keep them contained so grab a good baby gate or pack and play so that you know that they aren’t trying to escape or eat little things off the floor!

Keep them occupied

 

Next, figure out how much time your kids can hang before they don’t want to play independently anymore. My kids (2.5 years old and 9 months) have a sweet spot of 35 minutes. If I do anything longer than that, someone is fussy or needs more attention from me, so I try to average a 30-minute workout.

30 minutes is also about the time of one kids show so yes… this is when they get to watch TV. The baby could care less about TV but my toddler loves it so, during a workout, she gets a show. I do try to do my best to limit the amount of TV she watches and besides working out and when I do her hair, we keep a mostly tech-free day.

 There are some super cute shows out there that don’t include too much sass (my biggest pet peeve with shows today!) and the kiddos love!

 We love;

  • Little Baby Bum (Netflix)
  • Owlegories (Amazon Prime)
  • Super Why (Netflix)
  • Daniel Tiger (Amazon Prime)
  • Doc Mcstuffins, Nellie the Princess Knight, Sofia the First and anything about a girl show isn’t just a damsel in distress
  • Sesame Street (PBS)
  • Word Party (Netflix)

 We could go on about some other shows we love but I always give her two choices of what she wants to watch and, if I’m being real, this keeps her attention long enough for me to workout in the playroom and her not to attack or take all of her brother’s toys so he gets fussy.

Oh, and I have to toss in a disclaimer because maybe you’re rolling my eyes at the fact that I let them watch TV so I can workout. You need to take care of you too mama, your kids are fine with a little TV while you do so, let go of the guilt, and stop judging any mom who does things you might not *drops mic*

Be Prepared 

 

The best tip I can give you for working out at home is to be prepared before you begin. I always make sure that we have a few things handy.

 My 2.5 year old is recently potty trained so I make sure she tries to go before I workout. I also keep the portable potty in the playroom so, if she has to go, she can go there. But be careful… one time I did not stop my workout to empty it and my 9 month old pushed it over… ONTO ME during my pushups.

 I also make sure all the toys are there for the baby and he has plenty of things to chew on, bang together, or build.

Also, make sure you get the milk cup filled up and have a snack ready so that you don’t have to stop. I workout pretty much right after breakfast and it never fails that my toddler will ask for a snack at least once during my workout.

 You’ll also want to make sure that you pick the right time to workout so that you aren’t dealing with too fussy of kiddos. My son normally naps at 9:30 so I aim to workout at 8:15 am which gives me enough time to workout without him being fussy because it’s too close to nap. On the days when he gets up early and his nap is at 8 or 8:30, I put him down first and then workout with just me and my toddler.

 

Adjust your expectations

 

There are times when working out either at home or in the gym just doesn’t go as planned. Kids need things. Life gets in the way. You may have to stop and modify and hold your kid during that last set of squats, let them play horse with you while you do pushups, or sing “if you’re happy and you know it” through the last 10 minutes of your kickboxing workout.

 That’s mom life.

 But you’re a better mom for just trying to take care of yourself than saying “well it might not be perfect so I shouldn’t do anything”. 30 minutes of your day will go by super fast with you guys just sitting around playing or watching a show, so why not get your workout in at the same time?

 This week, I challenge you to find 30 minutes or less each day to do SOMETHING active with them. And if none of these suggestions work for you, put them in the stroller and take a walk! Something is better than nothing and DONE is better than perfect!

 

 

Know that it is possible to workout with kids but you have to create a routine, be prepared, realize it might not be perfect, and do your best. Your kids should be one of the reasons you take care of your body and health, not an excuse not to!

 

Did this help and inspire you to get moving??? Share it on your Facebook or PIN it for later!

 

 

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The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

Creating a Goal Setting System

I’ m a goal setting junkie, like I’m sure most of us are around January 1st.

 

Does this sound like you;

  • Dream big about what you want out of life.
  • Get a new notebook or planner and make a million lists.
  • Decide THIS is the year you focus on you.
  • Have a really great first few days or week once you’ve picked your goals.
  • Life gets busy.
  • You forget about your goals.
  • You get put on the backburner.
  • Those notebooks get lost on the junk table.
  • The end of the year comes and you have no idea if you’ve even gotten any closer to achieving those goals.

 

It sounds like me a lot of times too. I am the queen of buying cute notebooks, love to write things on my to-do list just so I can cross it off, and love to dream big. But I also love data. I love systems. And I love giving myself a gold star whenever I achieve even a small goal.

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 trello for goal setting

 

Organizing Your Goals

I got tired of all the paper clutter and making lists that I never checked in on, so I knew that I had to find a system that would work better for me.

Enter Trello.

Trello is an online website and app that allows you to create charts, workflows, and organize anything in your life. It is PERFECT for creating goal charts that you will actually check, stick to, and accomplish.

If you’re typically a paper and pencil girl, stick with me on this. While Trello may move you into the digital age, it will also help you check in with your goals more and keep them organized. Trello lets me see what I’m prioritizing for the current and next few months, shows me where I may not be as balanced, and lets me have a massive thought catcher for things i want to accomplish, suggestions other people give me, link and website I want to check out, all while tracking my progress towards me goals.

Trello is perfect for us busy moms who already have a million things to remember. We don’t need another paper system that might get thrown away or colored in by our toddler. We need our own space that will sync up with our phones and give us alerts and reminders when it’s time to kick butt and work on us. It’s super simple to use and is much more streamlined than putting a million notes in your phone that you forget to look at (guilty!)

 

I want to share with you a step by step walkthrough on how I use and create boards on Trello to track my goals and keep my life less of a hot mess! I’ve already done a few other videos that you can check out on how I organize my prayer time, cleaning routines, and birthday party organization so make sure you go and read those too!

 

You can watch the video above to create the board with me or just read through the steps below! You also can directly copy my board and save it to edit with your own goals!

 

 

Step #1: How to Copy My Boards

 

If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free so that rocks. Once you log in and go to the link, head right on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

 

 

Step #2: Create Workflow Cards

 

The first thing that you’ll want to do is create lists with all of the headings for your goals. I suggest creating a list of the general topics such as;

 

-Personal

-Professional

-Social

-Finance

-Health

 

I also like to create lists for the time frames I want to complete them. This allows me to really be focused on a goal because I can drag the appropriate cards over to either ‘This Month” or “Next Month” or even “December” and know that I have a plan for when I will complete them.

 

 

Under each list, create cards for that specific goal. For example, if your list is ‘health goals’ you could create a goal card that says ‘lose 15 pounds’, ‘run a half marathon’, or ‘track my meals’. Dream big and create whatever goals your heart desires! If you need help figuring out what areas of your life could use a boost or how to create goals, check out this series I did on just that!

 

 

Step #3 Breakdown Cards

 

After you’ve created each card, you can customize them to not only keep lists of things you need to do to accomplish your goal, but a timeline of when it will happen, and links you might want to check out. I tend to always add things to Pinterest but forget to go back to them when I need them! I like to add them to my Trello cards for that specific goal so, when I am ready, it’s just a click away.

 

 

I suggest putting a few checklists on each card. You can create one for things you need to do AND create one to track what gets done. For example, if a goal of yours is to read 2 books a month, you can have a checklist with books you want to read or that others have suggested to you and a second checklist that tracks if you’ve accomplished it. This might say “January Book 1” and “January Book 2”.

 

If you don’t track the progress to your goals, how will you know if you’ve achieved it! And instead of using a separate planner or checklist, Trello allows you to keep the to-do list AND the tracker in one spot!

 

On the right-hand side, you can also add in labels to organize what type of goal they are or maybe what month you want to complete the goal in. This will let you see a big picture of your goals when you glance at your board as a whole.

 

 

The right-hand column of each card gives you a ton of things that you can use to customize the card. You can add in a due date of when you will accomplish something or a LINK or IMAGE you want to go back to later! These are listed under ATTACHMENTS and, as I previously mentioned, are the perfect place to put blog articles or PINS you come across and want to check out!

 

Trello is a super easy and efficient way to track goals, progress, and remember to take care of what matters to YOU too! Hopefully, this tutorial helped you feel ready to conquer the world (and decrease paper clutter!)

 

trello for prayer requests 

Did this help you get organized?? Loved some tips? Do me a fav?? Hit that Share or PIN IT to help another mama!

 

 

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Create An Action Plan That Works in 4 Easy Steps!

Create An Action Plan That Works in 4 Easy Steps!

When it comes to setting goals, most of us could rattle of 5-10 things we’d love to accomplish. And each year, almost everyone makes these goals or resolutions and swears “this is the year things will be different”. But often, by February, most of of these goals have been thrown aside because life got in the way.

 

 

If you want to accomplish BIG things this year, you will need more than just a goal. You need an ACTION PLAN. But instead of making a plan that makes your goal overwhelming and scary, I am going to encourage you to make a plan that breaks your goal down in small chunks and sets you up for success.

 

 

Step #1 Pick Your Goal

 

 

If you haven’t had a chance to go through my series on how to create amazing and manageable goals, head over check out parts #1-3 first!

 

Part #1: Reflection

 

Part #2: Visualization

 

Part #3: Goal Setting

 

 

The best way to not get overwhelmed with achieving your goals is to not pick too many to tackle at one time. Sometimes we try to do everything as women and what happens is we are doing ‘okay’ at tons of things but feel like we are drowning. I would rather pick 1-3 things to work on and be AMAZING at than just mediocre at everything!

 

 

Go through and pick 1-3 of your top goals that you think would leverage the most joy in your life and use them to create your action plan.

 

 

Head over and get a goal setting workbook here is you need a jumpstart to creating yours!

Step #2 Make Your Timeline

 

The biggest game changer in achieving my goals came when I stopped looking at my goals as a one year goals and brought them into the 12 week year light following the principles laid out in the book The 12 Week Year.

 

After reading the 12 week year, I realized that if I put a quarterly timeline on my goals I would be more likely to achieve them. How many times have you made a big goal and done nothing to move towards it until, you get to the end of the year and start to hustle to make that dream come true? If you look at your goals with a quarterly deadline, you’ll be more likely to push harder to get them done. If you look at each day as a week of the year, you’ll stop putting off the important or even non important tasks and GET THINGS DONE!

 

Pick your 1-3 goals and give them a date that is 12 weeks or LESS! Put it on the calendar and make it a date you celebrate because you’ll get things done!

 

Step #3 Create your 10 minute tasks

 

Okay here we GO! Let’s create manageable tasks to complete your goals in just 12 weeks.

 

Yup.

 

Those things that you have been putting off for years WILL be accomplished in the next 12 weeks if you are ready to go for it.

 

As a busy mom, I know how tough it can be to complete your goals with all of the other things you have to do day to day. So instead of deciding that you’re going to just get a 3 hour task done each day to move towards your goals, your job is going to be to break it down into tasks that can get done in 10 minutes a day.

 

Go through the workbook (download below!) and pick the goal you want to focus on. Use the lines below each goal to break down action steps for them. If the goal can’t be done in 10-20 minutes IT IS TOO BIG and you need to break it down more.

 

 

For example, say you have a goal to create a scrapbook for your kid’s birthday. Instead of just saying ‘create book’ you need to break it down. I don’t know how many times I’ve said I was going to do this and don’t even print pictures to get started (do people do that anymore?) What you need to do is BREAK it all down super small and write down each and every step you will need to complete such as;

 

  • Use FREE prints app to order pictures
  • Search for coupon code for album
  • Buy photo album
  • Organize pictures chronologically
  • Space out pictures
  • Buy background paper
  • Cut background paper
  • Assign picture to paper
  • Put pictures in album
  • Buy stickers and other decorations
  • Fill in graphs in alum with decorations
  • Write in memorable events

 

And you could probably even break some of these down even further! But see how, when you make them smaller tasks, your goal is MUCH more manageable and less overwhelming. If you take these tasks and pick even just ONE per week, you can accomplish your goal in those 12 weeks by your due date.

Step #4 Assign the items

 

If you’ve gone through and done the work of breaking down your goals, I don’t want you to stop here! I want you to go to your planner and give each of these items a date to accomplish. Write them each week in pen and don’t change them. If you are like me, and you don’t write it down, then you are less likely to actually get it done and completed.

 

So take your tasks, give them a date and get started!

 

If you are ready to get started with your goals, head over and get your workbook now so you can break down all of your goals here! Just drop your email and it’ll be sent right to you to get started!

 

 

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