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

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

Perfect Truth, Perfect Love

25
Mar
2014

God's Perfect-Love

Boy, I needed this chapter TODAY!  Seriously – today, and I need to remember this everyday.   No More Perfect Moms, Chapter 10.

I am NOT perfect, but God is.  

I often cause a lot of my grief and despair with my unrealistic expectations – I want to try with all my might to be it all – but I just cannot.  

Why can I not remember this?  Why do I often almost kill myself trying?

We must understand that the imperfect parts of our lives are counterbalanced with the reality of a perfect God who longs to shine HIS light through the cracks in our lives.

Such a great reminder…. I am full of cracks and need to share how imperfect I am so that others can rest in the comfort of knowing they are not alone and we can fine hope in the one thing that is – HIM.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippines 1:6 NIV

My soul needs to be reminded of this daily….some days…hourly.  He has presented us with challenges along our path to mold us into who He desires us to be.  We often fight against these challenges, do you get me?  

In fact, right now I am in the midst of a HUGE challenge that I am not really digging too much.  I am struggling, fighting to keep things the same, but I know there is something bigger on the other side, I just need to let go of the control and let Him lead me through.  Why do we resist?

So many parts of our lives are like that – we want to keep control.  We want the reigns…in parenting, motherhood, our marriage, controlling our space……it all comes to a head when we cannot allow Him to come in and do some switching around.  We can fight, or we can surrender…it is a choice.

God loves you and me whether we’re having a good mothering day or a bad one.

Can you remember that?  I have to say I have a real hard time remembering.  I wish I could sticky note that all over my house, my car and the inside of my eye lids.  I can carry guilt around so heavy that it is suffocating.  

I have to grasp how much He loves me, even when I disobey His commands and do it my way.  All the times that I know I disappoint myself and Him as well….He still loves me.  He never fails me…..NEVER.

How can you remember that God loves you even on your worst days?

What identity in the Appendix do you want to memorize about your identity in Christ?  I am still reading through to figure out the one I will hold onto.

How can you fit more time into connecting with the truths that God so lovingly wants to lay on your heart?  Is it through reading scripture, listening to worship music, meditating in stillness?

What is your biggest take away from this chapter?

Homemaking Tips and Tricks

20
Mar
2014

Homemaking-Tips-Tricks
As I sit and type, it is 2:12 PM on Wednesday, I am behind on my blog writing, I need to leave in 25 minutes to pick up my little guy from school, this post will likely be left to finish later, I just threw my first load of laundry in the washer, have two phone calls to make and I have no idea what is for dinner.

UGH!  But I was able to get together with my ladies for our bi-weekly bible study.  Sometimes days just do not go as planned!

“There are no perfect homemakers – just real moms, deciding what’s right for their families and working to create a warm, nurturing home for those they love.”

I share, because I want you to know there are days……often many days where I struggle a lot to keep things together.  For me, it seems to be especially when my hubby is out of town. 

After thinking though, I remember – I have some soup in the freezer that is perfect for days like this.  I was out of town at the Hearts at Home Conference all weekend and have yet to get to the grocery store, so when I remember those ‘bits’ in my freezer I am quite relieved.  {I still have to tell you all about my wonderful trip and the time I septa visiting with Jill in her home before my flight home….so treasured!}

I love this chapter of homemaking and learning tips (From No More Perfect Moms) on how to make it work a bit better for you.  We all have areas that we are strong at and areas we are weaker in.  For me, meals are a bit stronger, than say decorating.  I always seem to feel defeated before I even start with decorating, and right now while we are in the midst of ‘re-decorating’ or family room I am feeling very un-inspired.

Hospitality is also a weak area for me, but this year I am trying to stretch myself and invite more people into our home, even in the midst of it feeling like it is not together yet.  Will it ever be all together?  I think we can all feel like our homes will never be quite there, so instead of fretting and delaying, just step out.  I am doing that more and I feel so thankful.

What have I learned about these areas of homemaking?

There are no perfect meals, but there are ways to streamline the meal-making process!

Meals

I love the tips Jill gives and will reiterate a few.  I have already shared my little tip on preparing in bulk and freezing, think about all your family favorites and then out of those what can you cook in larger batches to freeze?  I bet you will be amazed.

I also use eMeals to help me plan meals and keep me sanity.  I honestly enjoy looking at recipes on Pinterest, but to take the time to put together all the ideas, make a shopping list and such is a bit too time consuming for the season I am in right now.  I love that I can grab my eMeals meal plan from my computer or even their new APP and decide if I like all the ideas on the menu or delete a few and add in some family favorite, like simple tacos or chili.  My life is made easier and it doesn’t break the bank, especially when I am trying to eat PALEO or at least Gluten Free.

Decorating

I am like Jill, not much of a creative thinker when it comes to decorating – but I can re-create an idea from Pinterest or a magazine. I can allow the negative self-talk get me down as well, but try to remember that I can’t be great at everything, so that I why I have friends who are gifted in decorating!

Hospitality

This is a goal for 2014 – creating and spending more time in relationships.  

“Hospitality is our opportunity to be Jesus to those around us.”

What resonates with you when you read that line?  Are you living out your life as The Lord would want you, sharing His love with others?  I know that I am not and am intentionally working on this.  I am happy to report I have stretched myself and it feels good. Relationships are important, in fact….they are almost THE most important thing.

Which of these areas spoke to you most?  What do you feel is truly at the heart of the issue and why you struggle?

Where did you learn about the art of homemaking?  Did you have a good role model or did you have to learn to ‘wing’ it?

In what way can you stretch yourself this week or weekend?

Please begin reading Chapter 10, I will see you Monday!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a great giveaway you will not want to miss – if you care about improving your family’s health – do not miss it!

If you missed my post on Facebook {Which most do since only 2% of followers see it!!} here is the opening from the Hearts at Home Conference on Friday – it was incredible!!  The best part, the performer is none other than Jill’s son Austin.  It was incredible – take a minute and enjoy – YOU ARE AWESOME!!  

If you are reading this in your email – you will need to click through to the blog to see the video  :-)

 

Finding and Embracing Margin in Motherhood

13
Mar
2014

Finding-Margin-Motherhood

This chapter is speaking to my heart, deeply.  I am such a control freak and realize that perhaps God’s way of getting in under my skin and helping to refine me is giving me the gift of mothering this sweet 4 year old little boy whom we’ve adopted and who has totally SHAKEN up my life!!!  {Yes, even after 3 years it is still shaking me up!!}

I realize that I often miss so many chances to just be in the moment because I am set on keeping things going and having a routine.  Don’t get me wrong, routine is good, great actually, but not allowing yourself to break from it can be a really bad thing.

I need to allow myself to be more in the moment, and break from my “schedule” of what I think needs to get done, be done or wish I had done.

“We need the perspective that the moment we are in is just as important as the moment we planned on that didn’t happen the way we thought it would.  Think about that for a moment.”

Those moments which comes into play that we can miss if we are too busy and overwhelmed, I admit….I often miss them and shoo them away because of my effort to accomplish more.

I think it is my DNA, as Jill shares – that tasks actually take priority over people and that is so backwards!  I need to keep focused on it being the other way around, where people always take priority over tasks.

Building Margin

I am working toward the sifting out of unneeded tasks and duties which can clutter my calendar.  I tend to have a list that is too long and truly unrealistic to complete.  Then I can get pretty darn negative on myself about not completing the list, but if someone else looked at the list, they would understand that it is highly unlikely anyone could get all those things done. 

I have unrealistic expectations on many levels.  I need margin.  I need space in my day to be able to feel good about taking a break and walking outside to look at the ducks with my little one, or to break away for an hour lunch date with my hubby, even when I feel so overwhelmed with tasks that I see it as a frivolous activity because of the other seemingly “more important” tasks.

But is is people over tasks, I must remember that as often as I can.

As I venture off for a few days to the Hearts at Home Conference, I am taking a look at the book Jill mentions in the chapter, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, by Dr. Richard Swenson.  I will have some “margin” time on the airplane and this will be a good place for me to start.

“Most importantly for an imperfect mom living out her imperfect days, margin is essential in handling the twists of everyday family life.”

I love the reminders given:

Trust Experience – being realistic with the time is actually takes to do tasks and/or arrive at destinations, always allowing for the unexpected.

Set Boundaries – having a set criteria around your time and what you will commit to and what you will not.  What adds value to your day and what takes away from your day.

Say No – this is always a big one for us mom, we want to please everyone and we are often the ones that feel like we suffer, but in fact I think it is often our families.  We just cannot do everything and the sooner we realize that the better it is for everyone.

Increase Time – so true!!  Whenever you have something to complete always estimate it will take longer than you think, always!  When you finish early you will be rewarded with a bit of extra time.  Love that.

Decrease Activities – this is my favorite and one that I have held dear for many years.  I love allowing my kids to have fun and do activities, but too many and it can ruin family life.  We can be a family so much on the ‘go’ that we are never home to enjoy our home.

Out of the questions near the end of the chapter, which spoke most to you?  For me, it was pondering, “What is I learned to accept the world as it is, rather than being frustrated with it, stressed by it, mad at it, or trying to change it into what I want it to be.”

I am writing that down to help remind me – Lord help me.

Next week we are doing two chapters in one week, so you will surely want to begin reading chapter 8, as we will discuss that on Tuesday and discuss chapter 9 on Thursday.  Have a great weekend!