Five Tips to Practice Self Care

It’s been an insanely stressful week this week. Life has felt like it’s moving too fast, work has been chaotic, to say the least, and well, there are other things going on with Little Man that we recently learned about that is just adding to my emotionally overwhelmed state.

It was funny, last weekend a friend of mine and I were chatting while running about Body Back and she commented about the hippy-dippy meditations and how sometimes people get really emotional. I chuckled with her, thinking that I love the meditations and stretch routine we go through at the end of workouts because it’s 5 minutes for me where I can turn my mind off.

During stressful weeks especially, I keep reminding myself of the importance of self-care. Taking time to take care of oneself so that you can take care of your little one(s).

Here are five ways that I practice self-care to maintain my sanity during stressful weeks.

Meditate or Practice Mindfulness

I don’t often meditate, but when I do, it’s always a refreshing way to slow down for 5 minutes, clear your mind, relax and re-center yourself. There are dozens of apps out there to guide you, or if you’re really needing some more guidance, check out your local yoga studio for a meditation or mindfulness class – which I always enjoy because the music just makes the mood. I use the Calm app but Greatist has a great list of meditation apps for every personality.

Work-out

My workouts – whether running, body back, yoga or taking 30 minutes to do an at-home workout – are imperative for my sanity. It’s a chance for me to release aggression and recenter myself and I generally just feel better and refreshed after my workouts. Even going for a 20-minute walk in the middle of the day after lunch has an amazing effect on my mood and motivation for afternoons. This week has been tough to fit them in, but I’m realizing just how important they really are.

Get to bed early

Sleep is so important. I mean, we all know this, but it’s even more important when you’re stressed out. Nothing makes me feel refreshed like a good nights sleep. Not is it good practice in self-care but the experts say sleep helps balance everything else out. If you’re not sleeping well, chances are your stress levels will only be heightened so make sure you get your zzz’s.

Read a book

It’s a novel (see what I did there??) concept but turning off your mind from all the stresses of every day life to escape into a good novel is such a fantastic way to turn off and take time for you. Take 30 – 60 minutes, turn your phone off, get a cup of tea or your favorite beverage and curl up to read for a bit. I love reading before bed because it’s a way to reset, and clear you mind of any stresses

Treat yourself

Schedule a massage, get a pedicure, go shopping solo. Whatever you do to treat yourself, take the time to do. It’s not easy to manage stress, but it’s so important to take time to take care of yourself during stressful seasons in life. Take an afternoon to yourself – even if you, like I did the other day, leave early to go home and take a nap in peace and quiet. It’s amazing how even an hour will make you feel better. Just make sure whatever makes you feel good about yourself and happy, is something that you make time for once in a while.

It’s tough as moms – we’re juggling so many things, whether it be school aged kids with after school appointments, a kiddo (or kiddos) with special needs and multiple therapy appointments or even just multiple kids with a husband or partner who travels a lot. But taking care of ourselves makes us better moms and better partners.

practice self care

What is YOUR favorite way to practice self care? 

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Life as a Working Mama

So a month and a half ago or so I accepted a job as a marketing manager for a local firm and made my foray into the world of being a working mama. For as difficult as it was at first, I’m really enjoying life as a working mama

Of course starting back at work at the beginning of my job search when I was expecting it to take much longer, certainly presented its own challenges. Mainly, child care.

The search for child care was incredibly daunting and frustrating – which is probably mostly why I was so willing to stay home for so long even though I knew I never wanted to be a full time stay at home mother long term. Not that stay at home moms are bad – they’re amazing, truly. It just wasn’t the life I wanted for me or for my family. I worked hard for my career and I didn’t want to sacrifice that (color me selfish), also I wanted to contribute financially to make sure Ethan has the life and all of the opportunities I want to provide him so he can be successful and happy later in life. Going back to work just made sense for me. Also, I got the feeling that I bored him as much as I was bored by staying at home and singing hours of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Not my jam y’all. Not. My. Jam.

That being said, having been on both sides of the stay at home versus working mother equation, this new lifestyle presents it’s own challenges.

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There is for one, never a boring moment. Always busy. It really just makes the sweet moments that much more worth it though.

Mornings are crazy with me making my lunch, my breakfast, Ethan’s breakfast, and Ethan’s lunch. Not necessarily in that order. Usually I forget something – the other day it was my lunch, or my mid day smoothie another day it was my work journal after an afternoon of working at home. I’ve lost Ethan’s formula dispenser more than once and just…gah. I’d lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on tight.

Thankfully, his lunch is usually the same (or similar to mine) and we usually have the same thing for breakfast as well. Meals need to be easy or else they just don’t work in this house. Anything that takes less than 3 ingredients and cooks in less than 5-25 minutes is a win in my book depending on the meal.

Evenings are just as hectic especially depending on if Adam has class or if I have a Junior League meeting/event. Also if Ethan is cranky then evenings can be hit or miss – his bedtime is usually between 630-730p.

Things I’ve been struggling most with?

Working out. It’s tough working out around 7-7:30pm each night. Or missing time with Adam to go to Pure Barre. You know, all of those things. Tough decisions. Thankfully, I’ve really started taking advantage of weekend workouts and the 30 minute workouts for the 21 day fix are amazing…even if they don’t count toward my Gym Pact (FML). I’ve been fitting workouts in at night after Ethan goes to bed. Good for me but not so good for my running/training. Something is better than nothing though.

Eating dinner at a decent time. Generally I get home sometime between 5-6pm depending on the night. Depending on his mood, we’ll get some play time in, then give Ethan his dinner, and then by 630pm-7pm it’s bath time followed by bedtime for baby. Which means, depending on what we’re having and what I made for Ethan, we may not eat until 7:30pm-8pm. Oy.

Keeping my house clean. Unpacking my house (oh yeah, we just moved. Hello craziness!) You know…minor details. Thankfully, getting ready for Ethan’s party last weekend resulted in a fast tracking of the unpacking and we’re about 75% done.

Missing my mama pals. I really miss my mom friends. I miss our play group. I miss play dates. I need to schedule more weekend play dates and more moms nights out – the moms I met over the past year are amazing, hilarious, and your first mama pals, sometimes they just…get you. They understand you. So I want to make sure I’m doing what I can to maintain friendships. (MORE Moms Night In…and out!)

Being present and in the moment. I’ve made it a point to not be on my phone constantly or on my laptop during Ethan’s waking hours because that whole me not around and him usually in bed by 730pm means that we have not a lot of time together during the week – so I want to be present. I don’t check email before 8am (that was my Lenten sacrifice by the way. It’s working pretty well so far.) and I usually only fiddle around for an hour or so depending on if Adam is around after dinner/workout/any clean up that needs to be done.

These struggles are probably the same as most working mamas. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit more frantic just based on the fact that we’re not 200% moved in. And we just finished hosting family and friends for Ethan’s birthday (more on that tomorrow!) and Ethan had 2 weeks where he had been sick and now he’s battling the yeastiest of all yeasty diaper rashes. It’s been rough friends. Rough. The thought of unpacking boxes after 8 hours of work was just…mind numbing the past few weeks.

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Friday Five: A Lot of Life Edition

I survived my first full week back as a working mom. I did miss my play group on Wednesday, and I did miss the whole leggings bit but…small price for the benefits. I (somehow) landed in my dream job at a boutique marketing agency in town and I couldn’t be happier – more on this all later. In short, it was the right opportunity at the right time. I had said when Ethan was born that I wanted to go back to work full time for the right opportunity, not just any opportunity and this one was perfect.

So I’m jumping on the Friday Five bandwagon because I want to write and I have so much going on, so let’s just outline it in five happy bullet points:

Friday Five

1. We’re moving! Finally. I mean, we could have stayed where we are for another year or so but it was getting too tight and no matter what we said or did, we were never really going to purge anything. So we started casually looking using a realtor and will be moving in the first week of March! We’re super excited to have a yard, a bigger kitchen, and a 3rd bedroom – of course this also means more to baby proof. But we’re moving to the other side of town – closer to my office and downtown so yay! And good news, is our place is already rented out for end of March so we really need to get a move on. Packing…is going slow as of now so I’m trying to make a little bit of progress each night from here until the 6th when our movers come.

2. Working. As I mentioned, I went back to work. The childcare search has been hell to say the least. BUT we found a solution – two part time solutions to be exact which is good enough for now. The day care I wanted to get him into has a waiting list so long that they’re not accepting any more people. I think we’re going to put him on the wait list for 2 year olds. Things I should have thought of about seven months ago. Harrrumph.

3. Which brings me to the fact that baby will be a year old in a month. !!!! Where did the time go? I’ll have his 11 month update on Monday or Tuesday (tomorrow is his 11 month birthday) so there’s that. Trying to get the move ready while simultaneously plan his birthday party – which is going to be low key but i’m struggling with the invitations – is making me cray-cray. I know, I know, I KNOW. They’re just invitations but have you seen the sheer selection of first birthday party invitations on Tiny Prints, SimplytoImpress or Shutterfly?! SO MANY. Color me…overwhelmed.

4. I’ve been binging. Not with food, though my eating habits are not great as of late, the whole adjusting to work thing is a killer. Rather with a touch of online shopping. A new pair of jeans (11 months later I finally am going to stop wearing my uber comfy gap maternity jeans), a couple of new work tops, and a new pair of knee high boots that *fingers double crossed* will hopefully fit.  I’m addicted to fashion blogs at the moment, specifically ones that focus on “mom fashion” (Hi Get Your Pretty On – love her!) so if you have a favorite budget fashion blog, please share! I blame them on my latest little online shopping binge.

5. Looking forward to…a night out with my mama pals tonight. I’ve been out of commission for two weeks and now back to work so I feel like I’ve missed them as far as socializing goes. I’ve not been as social as of late due to whatever plague we’re all getting over over here. The other morning Ethan’s conjunctivitis came back like a damned banshee – oy. Needless to say it’ll nice to be out to socialize and catch up. 

What’s going on with you freaders? What’s keeping you busy these days? 

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Postpartum Woes: When Depression Hits

Last week I hit a sort of rock bottom.

I hadn’t really wanted to face anything, I tend to be a bit ostrich like when it comes to having all the feels.

But last week, it was a new low. Even for me.

The never ending feeling of that lump in the back of your throat like you’re just about to burst into tears, the constant napping, the scowling, the moodiness. I just couldn’t explain why. The tears, the lack of motivation. I felt like everything was a burden and about to come crashing down around me. Trying to answer the question “how are you doing?” or “what’s wrong?” was like torture because I couldn’t answer without breaking down.

I don’t have a history of depression and being almost ten months Post Partum, I didn’t think I could get PPD. (Note: I’m not self diagnosing here, I’m contemplating.) But PPD this late is possible, not self diagnosing, but we’re not ruling it out for now until I figure out if it’s a hormonal imbalance with the mini-pill.

I do also know that opening up to hubs and a couple of pals has done eons for me. Maybe it was the polar vortex last week that kept Ethan and I shut in that set off this avalanche of emotions, but really, my ambivalence towards everything I once gave two effs about was just growing and growing and I was getting tired of not caring about anyone. Or myself.

Then of course there was this neverending guilt. The guilt over having all of these feelings that were making me just…not care. Guilt over feeling blase. Guilt over my desire to go back to work (another post, another time); I felt like I was being crushed and I hit my breaking point.

It’s surprisingly easy to not really think things are different. Or notice that you’re on a downward spiral until you hit rock bottom and talk things out with someone and look back and think. Oh. Right. Huh. That all makes a lot more sense now.

But I think the changing hormones from ending nursing, side effects from the mini-pill (which I read is more common than one might think), the winter blahs, the end of my part time job in December all combined to equal a lot of emotional stress that I hadn’t really admitted to.

Talking things out has made me feel better. Talking them out with mamas who get it. Who have been there, makes me feel just a tad less alone. I am forever thankful for my mama pals for their comments, support and advice.

I did stop taking the mini-pill and will be changing up the birth control in the next week or so. I did read that some people had depression like symptoms with the mini pill so it could be just that and maybe I’ll start to feel better sooner, if things don’t change here shortly then I’ll be going to talk to someone because I want – nay, need – to be the best I can be for my family and feeling just…down is not the best version of myself. I’ve talked to my OB and she’s on board with my wait and see approach for now at least. We’ll revisit when I go in for the IUD in a week or two, but for now, I think seeing if it was simply a side effect of the mini pill is the route I want to take for now.

Things have been better this week. I’ve felt better. I’m a bit happier and I’m working on things. Things are looking up and I’m beginning to feel a bit more like myself every day.

Did you have any depression issues after baby? How did you handle them? 

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MNO: Crafty Night In

Grab a bottle of Boordy and sit right down.

Recently a gal pal of mine and I had a crafty night in. Well technically we had two. We’re not the craftiest of the bunch so this shouldn’t be surprising to those who know us. I’m pretty sure after we were a couple in, we were in no shape to handling hot glue guns so really, it was probably for the best that this was a two part endeavor.

The first night (also known as the first fail) was a Saturday and there were three of us. And we were going to get around to making autumny wreaths, really we were. Instead, we sat around being Chatty Cathy’s enjoying wine and beer to our delight. One pal had to go so Liz and I watched You’ve Got Mail – because what else do you do when you have full control of the tivo for the night and aren’t in any shape to be creative and crafty?

This was earlier this month when hubs had Drill and was post baby’s bedtime.

First of all, any night sitting around a table with a couple of awesome gal pals and a bottle of wine will always be a great night. That’s just a fact of life.

Far fetched from the wanna-be table dancing days of my twenties, but everyone evolves.

Second of all, making autumny wreathes is super easy. And should be done with wine. But watch out for hot glue guns. We finally got around to it on a Thursday night.

autumny wreath DIY

What you need: 

A grapevine wreath ($5 at Michaels)
Burlap ($10 for a large roll)
Fake Autumny flowers and leaves ($1-3/bunch at Michaels)

Total spent: $20 for two wreaths ($10/wreath)

I wrapped the burlap around 1/4 of the wreath, and then stuck in and glued the flowers to the other 1/4 of the wreath.

I think they turned out really great. We put on a fun movie (Admissions with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd – a bit more serious than I was anticipating!) had a touch of booze (Liz with the beer, me with the wine) and had a grand ole time!

Here’s the finished product hung up!

 

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Failing to Plan

I am constantly telling hubs that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

And it’s true. Especially with an infant.

He keeps forgetting that he can’t just go out for a run for an hour.

It’s true. You also can’t leave your infant for an hour past bedtime while you go to cover an event for an article – baby doesn’t like that.

I plan out my weekly workouts so I know when I’m going to classes, when we have play dates, or when I have deadlines.

Each week, I update my google calendar so that Adam and I can better coordinate schedules.

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I have his schedule and mine color coordinated – we share calendars with each other.

My workouts this week are:

Monday – 8:30a Pure Barre with Anne which KICKED my butt.
Tuesday – Stroller Strides followed by a Plum Moms Group play date
Wednesday – Pure Barre in the afternoon
Thursday – Stroller Strides
Friday – 8:30a Pure Barre
Saturday – Family day for stroller strides though we may just go for a run/walk after swim lessons depending on weather
Sunday – rest or run

Given that the two of us are currently at home – me freelancing/working part time, and him looking for work/MBA student, we take advantage of our schedules to coordinate child care and this way we both get enough time with Ethan to play and also to get work done – when I block out a couple hours to get writing/blogging done, I make sure it works for him so I can leave the house for that time otherwise I don’t get nearly as much work done as I should because Ethan is just too cute and distracting.

Planning out weekly workouts (and leaving flexibility because life can’t all be planned) gives me a sense of organization, and sets my overall schedule for the week and gets me excited knowing that I have that built in time for myself.

How do you keep yourself organized? How and when do you fit in your weekly workouts? 

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Mommy Wardrobe: Comfort is Key

A few weeks ago, when discussing getting ready for the Femworking conference, there was a discussion about yoga pants on twitter.

Ahhhh yoga pants – they’re like a staple in the unspoken mommy wardrobe must-haves.

No really, few days will I ever go out without yoga pants. I was a bit worried when I couldn’t find my wunder under leggings (not the crops) because it’s getting cold outside and crops, despite the fact that they’re a touch longer on me, aren’t cutting it anymore.

Confession: when not in my beloved wunder unders, you’ll probably find me in my beloved Gap maternity skinny jeans – I heard on the radio when I was pregnant this segment on the Kane Show about women wearing maternity pants after they’re no longer pregnant…and yes. I’m one of them. Listen, I spent like $50 (okay probably not that much, I think I got them on sale) on these jeans and dangit, they’re comfy and they do not cling to my ah-hem…wobbly bits (in the words of Bridget Jones) like my other jeans. So of course I’ll wear them 7 1/2 months post partum. Sue me.

But really, I’d rather wear yoga pants.

I probably could have gotten away with wearing my “nice” leggings and a nice sweater to Femworking, but alas, I didn’t. I went with a dress – a pseudo-casual dress but man, I should have gone with jeans. Hindsight is always 20/20.

But listen, about the leggings. I can dress them up. Add a pretty sweater, and a pair of Tory Burch flats (or JCrew flats, you know, whatever your style) and I’m ready to go to play group. Throw on a pair of Hunter boots for a rainy day. Literally, I can do anything with these lululemon leggings. Add a comfy sweatshirt and you’ve got your lazy day slug wear. Boom. What more do you need?

{leggings | tank | Sweater (similar) | Shoes}

That being said, given that I work part time and do go into an office, I do get dressed up. Sometimes.

{dress | sweater}

This was taken towards the end of summer before heading into work. Don’t mind the mess in our room. Also random, but those sandals were purchased back in 2009 at my bachelorette party at the Steve Madden store on Newbury Street in Boston. I’m pretty sure this was their last summer as they’re stretched out and worn down and just in general, sad looking. I am beyond devastated. But this means, for my birthday I’m upgrading to a pair of gold Jack Rodgers.

I digress. It’s not impossible to look nice and be a mama and be comfortable. Listen, i spend half my day on the play mat entertaining baby.

Here’s how my day breaks down and this is a rough estimate, it sometimes changes day to day.

I think what I come back to – even when I do go into the office – is comfort. Comfort to crawl around on our floor or the carpeted area at the mall during play group. Comfort to walk around the mall or the Towne Centre. Comfort to do whatever it is we’ve got on tap for the day. Some of this may be an exaggeration depending on Ethan’s nap schedule. Sleeping for 6 hours however is par for the course and a good night at that. And I do most of my writing after Ethan goes to bed which is by 7pm.

The next conference I go to, I’m going to dress up my leggings with no shame. You just wait.

What’s your mama-wardrobe must have?

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On supporting other moms

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about being a mom – that moms are judge-y. Not all moms. I seem to have picked a great group to be a part of here in Annapolis but women in general are judgey and when you’re a mom, and think that what you’re doing is the best and right way, they can sometimes get scathing and judgmental.

I don’t quite understand it really.

It’s like this with this article about the mom in California with three kiddos who is super duper fit and posted a picture of “what’s your excuse” with her in a skimpy top and her three kids.

(source)

Kudos to her for looking like that and finding/prioritizing the time to get her workouts in. I personally happen to like television (sometimes a touch too much I admit), but I do try to work out four or five times a week (three at the minimum per Gympact. Thank god for that app. Otherwise my butt would never leave the house) but you probably won’t see me working out for multiple hours a day.

However, that type of “fitspiration” as it is, seems to be a bit more condescending than anything and just unnecessary. Here’s the thing – everyone has their own story and their own priorities. Not every one cares about having a six pack. Not everyone cares about “having it all” and not everyone wants to be preached too. Want to be inspirational? A different quote rather than “what’s your excuse?” probably would have done the trick and came off as less condescending and wouldn’t have generated so many negative comments criticizing her self righteousness.

So really, it’s not the picture thats the problem – it’s the attitude. And it’s those type of holier than thou attitudes that give moms a bad rap. We’re not all preachy, condescending, my-way-or-the-highway mamas. In fact some of us are open minded and supportive and go out of our way to be such.

It’s like a conversation I recently had in one of our playgroups where I was commenting on how we’re done nursing. That Ethan just wasn’t having it anymore and after our emotional trip to South Carolina where feeding was a fight and he didn’t sleep (likely out of hunger) and now, we’re both a lot happier that he’s supplemented. We made it to six months and that was my goal. One mom commented that her goal is to nurse for 2+ years. Which seriously, is awesome. Not that I’d ever want to go that long but I do commend mothers who do because it’s what they feel is best for their child.

After play group however, I got a couple of facebook messages after saying that I was doing a great job with Ethan.  I wasn’t offended by this mom’s comment because I brush the dirt off my shoulder and I’m at peace with our decision to stop nursing (mostly). Some people get a little holier than thou and defensive about breastfeeding which is fine because there are a lot of people out there who are super negative and easily offended by nursing mamas, so I get it, I’ve been there.

But really, why can’t we support each other and trust that each mother knows what’s best for her and her children without the judgmental eyes, the irked tone, the “why would you do it that way” attitude? I just don’t get it and for our sake as mothers, can’t we all just get along??

I digress though, back to the Fitspo mama.  We can be supportive of one another without being a bunch of a-holes. We can give kudos to a mama who seemingly has it all together (she probably doesn’t have it all together, becuase no one’s perfect) and secretly wish we had that six pack after three kiddos (seriously. my scale has been going up lately. which is…not the direction it should be going in….thats another post for another time though).

But as mamas we need to accept the fact that we do the best we can and we make the decisions that are best for us and our families. Let’s just agree to not be catty bitches to one another when someone doesn’t do the same thing that we do or has something that we want. Whether someone’s breastfeeding longer than you, has more time to workout than you do, or somehow manages to have a clean house and perfectly dressed children or whatever it is you have a beef with.  Let’s cheer them on, let’s use these examples to look for ways we can improve our own lives – whether we want to work out more, have a cleaner house, or whatever it is that you want to do better.

To the mama’s who do “have it all” (or appear to) –  whether it’s having the baby that sleeps 10 hours every night since they were four weeks old, whether you have 6 pack abs or got back to running 8 minute miles 10 weeks after you gave birth – let’s not be condescending d-bags about what we have that others don’t. Don’t assume that every other mama wants to nurse till their baby is five years old, or that every mama wants to run 8 minute miles or that every mama wants those 6 pack abs while working three jobs and raising three kids. Everyone has a story and that doesn’t make their struggles any less meaningful than your own or that they’re not trying as hard to be the BEST MAMA EVER.  Because we’re all doing just that – we’re all just doing the best we can and looking for support in every way possible.

You can be motivational, you can motivate a community without being an a-hole about it.

 

 

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Happy 6 Months…and a Giveaway

This day, six months ago, at 1:30pm, Ethan John was born via cesarean. It’s been an amazing journey – this whole motherhood thing but not without many lessons along the way.

Over the past six months, I’ve become acquainted with many a fabulous baby products – and some not so fabulous. Today, I want to talk about some great baby products and throw in a little surprise at the end.

Recently, as an Honest ambassador I was hooked up with a couple of cool kits. I had already tried out the essentials kit and I used the diaper kit for Ethan since we subscribe to the diaper bundle – that one lived in his diaper bag. If you haven’t tried their ridiculously cute diapers? I highly recommend them! So, I thought the extra essentials kit would be a great giveaway for y’all to celebrate little man’s 6 month birthday!

honest essentials kit giveaway

I keep the lotion and body wash for when we travel since they’re not drying to Ethan’s skin and I use the lotion on my self as well. The diaper balm lives in his diaper bag – it’s not my absolute, must live without favorite, Target brand diaper cream won us over early on for clearing up his first super angry diaper rash in about a day. But this stuff works great on the go, and will usually do the trick at keeping any angry redness at bay.

That being said, I’ve heard great things about the healing balm being great for super dry skin in tough areas – elbows, knees and heels.

I love the hand soap for it’s gentleness and subtle fragrance, and the laundry detergent is still on my list to try – I currently use 7th Generation laundry detergent and love it but I’m itching to try this stuff out since again, I’ve heard awesome things. All of these – baby or not – are super great products and are just like the bundle refers to them… essentials. 

honest diapers discovery kit

I’ve really tried to put a priority on using safe and sustainable products with baby which was one of the reasons I was so drawn to Honest. I actually became curious after reading about them so much over on Jaclyn’s blog. I tried out the free kits, canceled the essentials bundle (it didn’t make sense for us) but kept the diaper bundle.

The great thing about any of the Honest bundles (aside from the actual product) is that you can set your own ship dates. We don’t receive our bundle every month. We had one bundle of the size 1’s which lasted us until he was in size 2’s. We had a free case of size 2’s so after we used that, we set our ship date for our next bundle. I don’t know when he’ll be in the size 3’s but I can keep pushing the date back as needed so when people say $80/month on diapers? Outrageous. Not every month. $80 for 3 months? Less outrageous no?

So today, as little man celebrates six months of life on the beach, I want to know from you all how do you practice ‘green’ living? What are your essential products?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I did receive products for free from the Honest Ambassador program, however, all opinions here are my own and I was not compensated in any way for my review or giveaway of these products. Additionally if you are interested in trying any of the amazing Honest products, I do hope you’ll sign up through my referral link. 

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On Motivation and being a mama

A common theme I’ve seen amongst mama’s as we strive to get back to our pre-baby bodies is motivation or lack thereof.

I get it. Trust me, I get it.

But the problem as mama’s is that it’s easy to make excuses.

I’m tired. Nay, exhausted. I only slept for x hours or baby was up x number of times. 

I have too much to do around the house.

It’s too hot.

Here’s the thing, as women who are looking to get fit, it starts with setting goals. Duh. My goal is the Baltimore Half/Army 10. I have four more races on the docket for the rest of the fall and so while I’m not looking to finish with a PR for either the Half or the 10 miler, I do want to run a race I feel proud of and know that I trained my best and am comfortable with where I am.

When we make excuses the only person we’re doing a disservice to do is ourselves. I’ve been using the sleep excuse as a crutch for who knows how long. And the past couple of weeks my training has really suffered. Thankfully I have been keeping up with stroller strides, and we did a fun little 5k as a family and now that the weather has cooled down, I don’t really need to wake up at stupid o’clock after being woken up 2-3 times in the night so I can get my 3 days of running in.

But really, whether you run at 5am or 8pm, just take the thirty minutes. Tell the husband that baby is down for a nap and you’re going out. Go after bedtime. Hell, let the husband deal with bedtime. Whether you walk, run, skip, jump or fly  – just move. Not only will your muscles feel better for being pushed – even just a little bit – but you’ll feel better for taking the time to clear your head and get a peace of mind to working out by yourself for 30 minutes.

Making excuses is just going to restart the cycle of “I feel awful about myself” and then making up excuses…none of my workout clothes fit…I’m too tired…I don’t have the time…and the cycle repeats itself. So stop the cycle and get out – better yet if you can’t find 30 minutes for you? Take the baby out and go for a walk. Even when I haven’t ran, I’ve been pretty good about getting out and walking anywhere from 3.5-6 miles at least 2-3 times per week and after those walks, everyone is happier.

This week’s workouts

I found that a large reason my training has suffered over the past few weeks is that I stopped my weekly workout updates. Traveling. Whatever. It screwed up my groove. These little updates keep me accountable after all, no one wants to post a big fat “I sucked last week” so I’m going to get back to posting.

Mondaystroller strides (now Monday evenings at the Naval Academy Stadium! Come get your butt kicked by Erin with me!)
Tuesday – stroller strides
Wednesday – Free intro session @ Crossfit Old Bay (am gunning for Adam’s intro time of 7 something. Will blog about it later 😉 )
Thursday – Traveling to South Carolina
Friday or Saturday – Would love to fit in a 5-10 mile run but we’ll see.
Sunday – rest up!

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How do you get out of the cycle of making up excuses? What do you do to get back on the wagon after you’ve stopped working out for a couple days/weeks?

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