5 Factors Affecting Your Daily Attitude in Motherhood

17
Apr
2014

5-Factors-Attitude-moms

Motherhood is a tough job – no doubt about it.  We can all have bad days….even a few bad days all in a row.  When mom has a bad attitude it is fought for everyone in the family, but in particular your children.

I have found that when I start to see a shift in my attitude that it really is important me to take a look at a few key areas to examine if there are things lacking  It is my responsibility, not only to myself but to my spouse and children to be caring for what my body needs so that my spirit can be in a right place.

I like peace in my home….I crave that type of environment and I know it is best for my family.  When my attitude starts to crumble I consider the following:

Sleep Habits 

I know this is a key component for all of us – we need good sleep and lots of it.  Quality and Quantity are both important.  We cannot expect our bodies to run and function properly on 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  The best recipe for a good night sleep is:

  • go to bed at the same time each night, or as close to the same time as possible
  • have a bedtime routine in place, which may include having a relaxing bath, drinking a cup of tea or using essential oils to help the body relax and wind down.
  • try to get up near the same time each morning, your body will get acclimated to that pattern and it will set itself up for a pattern of sleep that will be restful and regenerating, which is what our bodies need.
  • have a nice quiet room that is comfortable – take care to nourish your space where you spend time allowing your body to refresh itself.

Your Power Source

We all know this one, but it is often the last thing we think about during our day to make sure it happens.  Spending 5-15 minutes with The Lord is critical to the success of your day, your attitude and allowing Him to direct your path during the day.  I can tell the days that I end up sleeping later than I know I should and then do not get my time alone with Him.

By reading scripture, jotting down a few lines in my journal and praying, I can completely change my entire day – so why do we often disregard this time?  Connecting with the only ONE who can truly change your day from the inside out is important….so why not treat it that way and make it a priority?

Self-Care

Taking the time to fill your energy tank up with what actually nourishes you is important.  It cannot be left at the bottom of the list.  I have been doing this the past few days, and I have been experiencing the depleted feelings and lack of energy that I normally have otherwise, when I take time to care for my self.

I am an introvert, and when I don’t take the time to get quiet time alone, or go for a run, get outside for a walk or even have some time set aside to do errands all alone, I suffer.  Which then in turn means my family suffers.  There are things that we can do as moms that will nourish our spirit, if we do not focus on making that happen, it is unlikely that time will magically appear to do it for us.

Stress

When all of the above things get neglected one area that grows rapidly for us is our stress level.  I can typically now recognize when my stress level is beginning to increase and I have found natural ways to combat it, but there are times when even that doesn’t tip the scale in my favor because I have allowed too much on my plate or had bigger expectations of myself that were not realistic.

Unchecked stress affects your family in ways that are very damaging.  I shared some ideas on how to protect yourself from allowing stress to take over your life, do any of these ideas resonate with you on how you can reduce stress in your day?

Nutrition

You are what you eat – we all know that.  It is especially true as we get older and our bodies begin to change and need more nutrients and better care.  I have taken huge strides in caring for my body in more natural and effective ways, especially with having a chronic disease like Lupus as well as depression.  I know that when I do not eat well, when I consume too much caffeine or sugar that my body will react negatively.

I want to operate on full power – not mediocre power.  When I do not take the time to fill my body with what it needs to operate, it back fires on me.  One of the best things I ever did for myself was to begin a gluten free diet. It changed my life.  I have know went a step further and try to eat Paleo, because I can tell a difference in how I feel – both physically and mentally.  

Are you doing your body good with what you are putting in it?

Remember to give yourself grace too…….you deserve it!  We are not perfect beings and when we can remember that we will serve our family better.

5 Strategies for the Introverted Mom

7
Apr
2014

Introvert-Mom-Strategies

Okay, I am going to come clean right at the beginning of this post, I am mainly writing this post to fulfill a need and reminder for myself.  I am tired and exhausted from working a bit too much and not allowing enough time for my body to rejuvenate.

I know there are many moms who can relate and probably need the reminder and permission to give their body the space it needs to thrive.  Self-care often gets put at the bottom of the list, which is a big problem.

I’ve just returned from a marriage conference, which I will share about on Thursday – and I am tried.  Don’t get me wrong, the conference was great, I connected and spent intentional time with my husband, but I also entertained people, gathered in large crowds and was on the go since the time we left home.  These kinds of activities are exhausting for me as an introvert.  If I am not careful I can easily become overwhelmed, exhausted and depleted and depression can sneak it’s way in.

Before that I was working 8-10 hours a day on my business and picking up the extra pieces that I could.  Thank goodness my husband is home on vacation to provide back up support for me and our family.

But it reminded me and got me thinking that there are things I need to do for myself so that I can be the best mom for my family and also, the best wife too – and one of those things is to find time to be alone!

How can you do that in a house full of kids?  Let’s look at the ways and hopefully one of my suggestions will peek your interest and you can put a plan into action to achieve that needed break.

Evening Bath

This is something that I had put into religious practice for months, but in the past month, I have not given my body the gift of a nice bath.  To be honest, by the time things get settled down in the evening I am too tired to go through the hassle, but I know my body craves the comfort of the quiet, the benefits of the essential oils I use to revive my cells and also the refreshment it provides.

I’ve made excuse after excuse, as we all do.  Well, tonight, I am not making an excuse and will get the job done.

Morning Quiet Time

This one is like a broken record from me – but yes, even I get caught up in the everyday and want to sleep in past my alarm!  With the travel schedule I’ve had in the past several weeks, my body is not back to it’s regular rhythm and I just need my sleep.  I feel it is important to recognize that need your body is craving, but also to realize when it is just a “lazy” excuse to lay in bed.

I’ve been bouncing back and forth with my ‘get-up’ time in the morning and will be catching only a few minutes of quiet time….and my day is reflective of what that quiet time quantity is.  So starting Monday (the morning you are reading this) I am back to my usually 5:30 AM get up – reading God’s word, sipping my coffee with delight and enjoy the peaceful morning before the house begins to bustle.  It is critical for my attitude and my success during the day.

Music

I love music and it is like ‘oil to my soul‘.  Pandora is my favorite place to peruse and be inspired.  To gather courage and energy for my day.  If I had to choose between having a TV or a good stereo in my main living area – it would be a stereo for sure.  Some of my favorite stations to tune in are:  Keola Beamer, JJ Weeks Band, Hillsong United,  or Spa Suite Studio.  It is amazing how my attitude changes and my energy goes up when I turn on my music.  Even for my 4 year old, it sets a tone for the time we are together.

Afternoon Quiet Play

For days when there is  no school, it can seem for me, that the day goes on forever and ever.  I have to give myself some quiet rest from talking, noise and activity.  So it can mean several different things – either my little one plays in his room, looks at books or takes a break with my iPad while I refresh myself with some time being on my own.  {Yes, I use an iPad  - but it is limited}.

Allowing my little guy to run around the backyard too is now another option since the weather is nice again.  I can easily watch him while he hits a baseball or plays golf for 30 minutes, while I make a cup of tea and sip it in peace.

Exercise

Getting physical is a must for me – not only to refill my introverted self, but as a stress reliever.  I am much better at handling noise, little people and the extra stuff that comes from having a house full of people.  This takes planning and intention on my part.  When I do not make it a priority I cannot blame someone else, it is my fault. 

The other day I was feeling a bit irritated that I wasn’t going to get my workout in and then I decided to try something new.  I told my little guy that we were doing a work out together and so we did.  I started my Jillian Michaels’ workout, {love that I can watch it for free with Amazon Prime!} he got to play on my pilates mat that I have to do the floor portion of the work out with.  I told him he could work out on the mat until I needed it, then he would have to move aside while I did that part, but then he could go back.  All was good and we had a great time!

Are you an introverted mom?  

What strategies help you fill your soul and energize you?  

As a last resort, I also love getting away for a weekend, this is the ultimate pleasure!  I am fortunate as I can make this happen a couple times a year, especially when I am working on a project for the blog or writing a new book – it is very good use of my time and allows me to be more creative when I only have to worry about myself.   {I think I may be overdue for a weekend away!}

If you are considering getting rid of the toxins in your home, today is the last day to grab yourself a Premium Starter kit with Young Living and grab two free bonuses from me, A Pocket Reference Guide and The Chemical Free Home.  I shared last week my DIY body wash recipe and there were 29 other great recipes shared too!

Detox-Your-home

5 Favorite Books for Motherhood

3
Apr
2014

 Five-Favorite-Books-Motherhood

I love learning from others and one easy way is by reading what experts have to say on a subject.  As busy moms, reading is fairly simple. You can grab a book and pick it up at anytime and get little nuggets to fill your soul, give you encouragement and help you in your journey as a mom.

Today I thought I would share with you 5 of my favorite books on motherhood.  Some I have shared before, but I love lists and thought you might like having them all in one place too!

No More Perfect Moms by Jill SavageNo-More-Perfect-Moms

This should be no surprise!!  We just finished the book study, if you missed out and want to read this book and get some input from me, no worries.  All the posts are linked to in this post, so you can easily follow along.  

I love doing a book study in this online format on my blog for a few reasons.  I think learning together sheds light on areas that we may not even be aware of and input from others can certainly help us grow.

The Facebook page we’ve had for the past two book studies has been a great addition to conversation.  Have you enjoyed the personal connection with other moms?  For this particular study I think many found that they were NOT alone.  We all have weaknesses and struggles, and when you learn others have the same, it can make you feel, “okay” with yourself. 

I loved that about Jill’s book, we are not perfect, are not meant to be perfect and need to embrace that.  If you are looking for some self-acceptance, finding grace with yourself and experiencing motherhood on a more ‘real’ basis, this book is a must read!

10-Habits-Happy-MothersThe 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Meg Meeker, M.D.

I read this book several years ago and little pieces have molded me to become who I am today.  I love the approach and simple steps outlined.  I am thinking this very well could be our next online study.  It can be easy to wrap ourselves into motherhood in a way that we lose ourselves, and I know that is not God’s desire.

Motherhood is one large portion of who we are and the path we journey, but there are many portion to what makes us His.  This book brings up gentle reminders about friendships, doing less and really reviving our souls in a way that is restorative and full of redemption.

I especially loved that this book was available as an MP3, so I could listen while running.  It was a real treat!

52 Things Kids Need From a Mom by Angela Thomas52-Things

Another goodie – seriously!!  52 short chapters bring a lot of little things to light – which make it totally do able and does not make you overwhelmed.  I hate those books that give big lists and then lay a guilt trip to get you to change.  I especially loved that Angela was a single mom for many years and has a blended family now, very similar to mine. I could identify with her and she was real.

I was able to hear her speak when I went to the Hearts at Home Conference last month too, which was an incredible treat!  The chapters here are short enough to go through one a day – so pick a time to devote to yourself and growth and make it happen.  Keep a journal handy as I know you will want to jot down some notes.  I picked it up on kindle so I can easily read through it when I am on the go!

ReplenishReplenish by Lisa Grace Byrne

This book felt like a great big {HUG} for me!!  I love the way Lisa writes and how she gives practical ways to care for yourself as you move through the seasons of motherhood.  She reveals a lot of personal struggles, which I could certainly identify with.

I have known Lisa for several years, and have participated in many of her coaching programs for mothers.  She is a wealth of info on caring for your body and focusing on your health.  If we do not take care of ourselves, no one else will.  We are better equipped to handle situations when we are in good health and full of energy.  I would say she was one who inspired me to think more about how I was caring for my body and what I could do to make positive changes.  She also has some awesome free resources for moms.

I shared about her book more here when she released it last year – it was a pleasure to read and I look forward to more from her.

Hope for the Weary Mom – by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin

Love, Love, Love this book!!  I have read and re-read it several times and always get something out of it. I have it on my currently list of favorite devotionals for busy moms.  You will relate to each page – unless of course you have a perfect life, with well-behaved kids who never irritate you!!  The stories and scripture give relief and hope in the midst of those crazy days as a mom.

I am always in need of a boost and the best way to get it is by song and word, in my opinion – oh and an outing with a good friend, but we can’t always make that happen.

When I read these books or even pick them up to grab a few bits and pieces from during the middle of a busy day, it is like I am meeting with a friend.  I love that I can relate and that all these authors offer a part of themselves in the writing that reaches mothers.

What book would you add to this list?

Don’t forget you can get a copy of my book through tomorrow at midnight for only $.99!!  Celebrate my birthday with me!

Kindle-book-sale

A Happy Birthday Post from My Husband

31
Mar
2014

Happy-Birthday-Susan

This post is coming a bit early – my birthday is really not until Wednesday, April 2nd – but I have a special post for tomorrow, a DIY Morning Citrus BLAST Body Wash – as I am part of the DeTox Your Home Blog Series that started today and I do not post on Wednesday – so a little birthday fun to start the week!!  

Ahem….I will be 47….yep, that is right…..47.……I can’t believe I am saying that number!

Happy Birthday to Susan, “The Confident Mom”

My name is Don and I am blessed to be Susan’s other-half.  I asked Susan if I could write a blog post for her birthday as a gift to her.  This might seem “sweet”, but the real reason behind this little plan of mine is that I couldn’t stand getting my wife another household appliance for her birthday. 

Seriously, I’m not some inconsiderate jerk of a husband!  It’s just that Susan is so practical and loves things that make her life easier around the home, like Vacuum Cleaners and Carpet Shampooers, past birthday gifts.  And yes….she really did want a pedestal for her front loader washing machine for our anniversary one year!  

Really ladies, she insisted and I made her put it in writing.  {Pst….Susan here, he did take me to a great concert on Saturday night and I consider that my gift  - one of my favorite new listens on Pandora, Keola Beamer.}

For this post, I thought I’d write something about the Confident Mom that you might not have known.  You see, Susan really is as genuine and transparent in real life as she is in her blogs and on social media.  So 6 years ago when Susan decided to start this ministry to support and coach moms, the name “The Confident Mom” seemed perfect as that was a great goal for all in her community to work toward.

What you may not have known though, is that Susan actually went through quite a few different business names and that is what I’d like to share.  During the process of coming up with a business name, Susan considered (drum roll and tongue-in-cheek):

  1. “The Crunchy Mom” – You may know that Susan is Gluten Free and she leans heavily toward a Paleo lifestyle, but I’ve never seen someone enjoy crunchy, salty snacks (e.g. Chips, Cheetos, Doritos) as much as she does.  No kidding, we order Potato Chips by the case from Amazon and I have no idea how she stays in such good shape.  I guess the lesson here is that diets and nutritional lifestyle changes are great, but give yourself a little Grace sometimes to enjoy some fun things as well.
  2. “The Soulful Mom” – Susan feels things incredibly deep in her soul and is very in touch with her feelings, as well as those around her.  We recently had one of our dogs leave us, and the depth of emotional grief that she has been feeling is intense.  Unfortunately, it was also hard for her to give herself permission to grieve that kind of loss.  With 4 kids, a traveling husband, and a successful business to run, it was hard for her to just hurt and grieve that loss.  Sometimes, you need to put the everyday hustle and bustle aside, give yourself some Grace, and allow yourself to hurt and heal.
  3. “The Tenacious Mom” – Sometimes I think of my wife as a beautiful, redheaded bulldog.  Once she sinks her teeth into something, it’s kind of hard to shake her loose until the situation is resolved.  A great trait, but sometimes you just can’t fix something.  Like….. a teenager coming home with a broken heart and Susan wants to call the other parents and give them a piece of her mind.  Tenacity is great, but sometimes you need to give a situation some time, and yourself some Grace, to see what God will have us do.

On New Year’s Eve, both Susan and I picked a “word for the year” to represent where we’d like to go.  Obviously from above, my word for 2014 was “GRACE”.  As you go about being parents, spouses and possibly a job outside the home, don’t forget to give yourself some Grace on a daily basis, because I am certain that our Lord and Savior has done the same for us.

Happy Birthday to my wonderfully complex, Psalm 139:14 bride and enjoy your day off with no blogging to do.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14 NLT

God’s Perfect Strength

27
Mar
2014

God's Strength

We are wrapping up this study, No More Perfect Moms, Chapter 10.

I found it very interesting to read this section and hear a perspective that we often do not.

…..God sees weakness as a positive opportunity.  He celebrates!  Throws a party!  He gives us a pat on the back when we admit our weaknesses!  Why?  Because it’s only when we admit our weaknesses that we realize our need for God’s strength.

This set me back a few, to be quiet honest.  I forget….I struggle with trying to do it all on my own and I certainly would never want to admit I am weak.  In fact, I was just having a discussion about how this makes me feel with my husband…it is like the worst feeling every.  I feel like a failure if I am weak, but I can now see…..this is where God needs me to be.  

Weak.

To admit I cannot do it all.

It is about Pride for me, I am ashamed to admit that.

That word has spoken in BIG FAT LETTERS as I read through this book, Pride.  Each chapter held a bit of ugly about me in that word, and I need to allow God to break me down and then, rebuild me back up.

I read this blog post from another mom who shares her life online, and I was so thankful for her heart, her story, her feelings of being in a place that is lonely and disheartening.  But, it spoke to my heart as well.

I share in her desire to let more of God in, taking the time to allow less control and more of Him.

“When I allow God’s strength to overcome my weakness, there’s a little more of God in me and a little less of me.”

We arrive at pivotal points in our life, where we make choices, they can be positive or negative.  I feel that I am at one of those….a corner where I need to make a better decision than perhaps I have in the past.

Do you ask God for help?

This really resonated with me, and I feel that I need to begin asking more than I do, which is not very often.

“When, in our weakness, we ask for God’s strength, we really see that God goes to work.  God will never force Himself on us.  He’ll patiently wait until we ask for His help.”

 It is my pride that gets in the way ….again.  I feel like I should be able do it, or handle it, or complete it.

I was encouraged with the last section of the chapter, talking about God’s perfect hope.  That is where we come to, a hope in Him and what He offers.  But yes, it is up to us to meet with Him and ask.

I know that He has great things planned for me, even here as I turn ….ugh…47 next week.  Boy that seems really old!! But I know His plan is not old and that He wants to us me in ways that I have no idea.  I need relinquish control, come to Him and ask and be ready and willing to step out of my comfort zone and lose the Pride.

Such a constant battle for me….. but I am committed to change…. I want to change.  I do not want to remain the same, even though that is the easy way.

What spoke to you in this chapter?

What can you work on now to effect change in your life?

Can you commit to being the best mom you can without having all those unrealistic expectations?

I loved how Jill ended the chapter……..  ”just imperfect moms partnering with a perfect God.”   Just perfect!

Come back tomorrow for a quick closing and a blooper video that will be fun to watch.  I will also be sharing a bit of a surprise I’ve kept from the Hearts at Home Conference!