In the two years that I have been a mother I have not just learned how to be a parent, I have also learned which tools are really necessary as well as the luxuries that are worth adding into your home. One of the first overwhelming experiences you can have as a parent is deciding what to add to the baby registry. You haven’t even held this tiny person yet and you are supposed to know every single thing you need to buy in preparation. That’s a lot of foresight to ask from a person.
In all honestly, I’m not 100% bought in on religion. Try as I did for years, I could not drudge up the passion for God that I felt I should have to identify as Christian. I mostly lean towards Agnostic. But there are times when I feel like someone must be running the show. The way that miracles can just come out of nowhere or you can be thrown into so many situations and your limits are tested, pushing you past what you thought you could originally handle. The day this post was originally scheduled to publish, I had one of those days that just rocked me. August 11th, 2016 marked 731 glorious days that my two little blessings have been on this Earth; it was James and Emma’s 2nd birthday. And I was so prepared to celebrate and dedicate the day to this wonderful beings. I wanted to take in everything they had to offer and just fill myself with appreciation for them.
It’s currently Wednesday afternoon, and I’m just starting to type up the Tuesday scheduled post on self care with kids. Yikes! I am a bad mommy blogger right now. But my reason for being so late to post relates pretty directly to what I want to talk about today – taking care of yourself! After an extended weekend visiting family and spending 5 hours behind the wheel during a torrential downpour, I needed to do something to take care of myself. So with the contents of our vehicle scattered around the kitchen and the living room filled with new toys from family members, I peace’d out and drove my butt over to Pure Barre Madison. If a year ago, you would have told me that the best thing to do when you’re tired, stressed, and overwhelmed is go for a workout, I would have thought you were crazy. But 55 minutes later after a very intensive class with the owner Meredith, my legs were shaking, but my confidence was rock solid. I was motivated and ready for a grocery run, dinner, and lots of cleaning. And now that I’m finally sitting down to write this post, I’m thinking “I probably could have written at least half a post during the time I spent at barre”. But I would have gone into the evening feeling completely frazzled. And there wouldn’t be a lot of truth behind the lessons I want to share with my readers. If I’m telling y’all to step away from the computer screen and go for walk, but I’m glued to my phone, you’d be a lot less likely to listen to me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I bang out this Tuesday morning-scheduled post on a Wednesday.
This Thursday marks the 2nd birthday of my fraternal twins, James Russell and Emma Jane. To say it has been an incredible ride so far is the quite the understatement, something I’m sure many of you can relate to if you’ve been in the throes of parenthood. And like most, I’ve learned so much through the unique challenges I faced as parent.
For the past couple months I have just felt so unmotivated. Keeping the house looking half decent and putting dinner on the table are pretty much all I’ve been able to accomplish. But about two weeks ago, something just hit me. Like a ton of bricks. All of sudden, I realized I was just wasting my time. I was wasting all the opportunity that was presented to me. Not even just considering the fact that I have been lucky enough to stay home full-time with my children instead of going into work, I am an able-bodied human being with a creative mind and a good amount of privilege. Why am I not taking advantage of everything that is just sitting right in front of me? And when I say, it hit me like a ton of bricks, I mean, I physically felt it. When the realization came to me, I just started weeping. I was completely alone, but I felt embarassed and disappointed in myself for allowing such a long period of stagnation to go on.
As I’ve slowly witted down my wardrobe from 2 overly packed closet rods about half of 1 neatly organized closet rod, I’ve become less interested in rotating out my wardrobe each season and more interested in having one cohesive wardrobe that works year-round. Even during the periods I was fully committed to a capsule wardrobe, I was still thinking about how all these seasonal wardrobes worked together. My spring/summer items were bright, almost neon, at times, in contrast with my fall/winter pieces that were more neutrals and jewel tones. And during the transitional periods, I just didn’t know what to do. Should I just hang up everything I own or should I select a transitional capsule? Does that mean I’m technically going to have 4 extra capsules a year? It really just began to feel like a lot of unneccessary thought was going into these capsules, when a year-round wardrobe was really the solution. Just thinking about having everything I own hanging nicely next to each other in my closet makes my heart happy.
As I sit here writing this post, my home is currently clean. Like actually clean. Like everything is orderly and put away. There might be a pile a boxes on the counter waiting to be dropped off at USPS, but, overall, things are looking pretty damn clean. And why is this worth mentioning? Because today just felt so much easier than it usually does. My day was pretty usual. Woke up before 5am for barre, had a yummy breakfast, showered and dressed, woke up and fed the twins, played in their room while a contractor cleaned our chimney, went to the grocery store, made lunch, played a bit, and put them down for a nap. If this were any other day, the beginning of nap time means me collapsing on the couch with a bag of snack food while simultaneously watching Netflix, reading blogs on my laptop, and checking Instagram on my cell phone. This goes on for an hour or so while I contemplate the chores I’ve been putting off and stress about everything I have to do. It feels nearly impossible to lift myself off the couch and pry my iPhone from my hands just so I can accomplish SOMETHING before nap time ends.
My first foray into the world of intentional purchases began with beauty products quite a few years ago. If the brand advertised themselves to be “green” or “natural” (I’m looking at you, Tarte and OGX) I was immediately interested. I had no idea that the personal care industry is barely regulated, thus these descriptions meant nothing. Fast forward to present day when I have a much better grasp on what it means to purchase safer, cleaner personal care products. It has been over six months since I shared with you my current beauty ritual, so here’s an update:
Happy August, folks! I’m kicking off this month with a quick recap of the 30 Days of Less Screens challenge I completed from June 17th-July 18th.
Of all the self-imposed challenges I have completed, this was, by far, the most difficult. To recap, I challenged myself to complete the following during the 30 day period:
- no social media
- limited TV
- limited cell phone
- limited computer
- more blogging