Diagnosed with ADHD at Age 36

Diagnosed with ADHD at Age 36

Yes, I was diagnosed withe ADHD at age 36. If you are in the neurodivergent world, you may have noticed that there are MANY adults being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) right now. Why is this? I think it comes from a few factors.

First, definitions, detections, and diagnostic criteria have expanded SO much since we were in school in the ’80s and ’90s. Much more is known about ADHD, which leads to easier diagnoses. Secondly, many of us have children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Being the mama bears we are, we have entrenched ourselves in learning every thing we can about how our child’s brain operates. We are their advocate, protector, and cheerleader. While parenting in the neurodivergent sphere, some of us began to see characteristics of ourselves. What we thought was typical, might not have been as normal as we thought.

My ADHD Symptoms

I am here to share my own personal experience. Keep that in mind. No two people have the same story. But here are some things I learned are actually characteristics of ADHD, and that I saw in myself:

  • Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. This is an overwhelming emotional sensation that someone experiences due to actual or even perceived rejection or criticism. I have a really difficult time when I think someone might not like me, misunderstands something I’ve said, or critiques my work. I have to pep talk my way out of these intense feelings.
  • Difficulty with Task Initiation. It can be INCREDIBLY difficult for me to start something. It’s an odd feeling. I know in my head that xyz task is important, not hard, won’t take a lot of time, and/or really important. But if I don’t want to do the task, then my brain cannot make my body do the task. I know it sounds insane, but this can be a real struggle in daily life.
  • Task Switching. This looks like multitasking, but task switching is moving rapidly from one task to another. I do this often, especially in things that my brain considers “work”. This can occur on a bigger scale, where it is obvious because a person has multiple projects going on at one time. Or it can happen on a smaller scale, which is how task switching manifests for me.
  • Hyperfocus. This is a more common characteristic of ADHD. If there is something I want to learn or a task I am excited about, then I can spend HOURS on it. Easily.
Accurate image of me trying to make sense of my brain. Image Credit: Womanlog

Seeking a Diagnosis

One important thing I want to point out is many of the things I listed above are not “official” ADHD symptoms. They aren’t listed in the DSM-5. However, they are all characteristics many people with ADHD have in common, and many practitioners agree these are unique to ADHD and other neurodivergent diagnoses. Additionally, these characteristics are easily masked, and they can be easily overlooked if someone is functioning well in their day to day life.

I operated well in my daily life. I used planners and organizers to keep things moving efficiently day to day. Furthermore, I accomplished my daily tasks well enough. Yes, some days/seasons were hard. But that’s life, right? That’s adulting. Then the pandemic happened. I suffered from long haul covid, and it changed me. I experienced neurological symptoms like brain fog, insomnia, depression, and memory loss. Covid changed my brain. It is almost like covid tipped the scale for me. Systems in my life that worked well before no longer worked. All of the symptoms listed above became more pronounced and problematic in my daily life. I couldn’t plan or organize my brain out of them. My days became harder and harder. It felt like I was moving through mud. Finally, I decided to talk to my doctor, and he diagnosed me right then and there.

Treating My ADHD

I decided I wanted to try medication. After a discussion with my doctor, we decided on the non-stimulant Wellbutrin. Now, I know many people have strong opinions on Wellbutrin. I know some have experienced horrible side effects. Yet, for me, it has been WONDERFUL. It is hard to describe, but my days are just easier. I am back to cooking dinner for my family most nights because I am not as tired at the end of the day. I can maintain my home in a way that I prefer. Most importantly, I don’t feel like I am moving through mud.

There have been two occasions where I have unintentionally missed a day of medication. Both times, I didn’t realize it until the end of the day, but it was definitely a hard day. The first time was a day that I had a long to do list. I started multiple tasks all at the same time, and I kept bouncing from one thing to another. I felt extremely frazzled, but I couldn’t slow my pace down to concentrate on one thing at a time. The second time I missed a medication dose was a normal day filled with normal responsibilities. Yet I was EXHAUSTED. I could barely speak at the end of the day because I was so tired. I realized how much harder my brain had to work.

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Final Thoughts on Being Diagnosed with ADHD at Age 36

My overarching thought on my ADHD journey is I am so glad I sought help. I have what would be considered as mild ADHD, yet my medication has been extremely beneficial. Even though most would look at me and think I was functioning in life just fine, things were harder for me than that of a neurotypical person. My brain had to do more than others to maintain the same baseline, if that makes sense.

I hope you found my journey helpful and enlightening. Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult? I’d love to hear about it! Make sure to share this post with your friends if you found it helpful.

How To Survive Year-End Stress With Your Elementary Student

How To Survive Year-End Stress With Your Elementary Student

Woohoo! Summer break is almost here, and it is time for a busy but beautiful season of vacations, pool parties, and lemonade stands. But before you can dive in and enjoy the fun that summer vacation brings for you and your kiddos, you must partake in the end-of-school-year Olympics and figure out how to survive year-end stress.

Yes, I am talking about the weeks after spring break and before summer vacation, when school tests the fortitude and dedication of every elementary school parent and beyond. You will be stretched to the limit some days, but the end result is worth it: watching your child’s face the day they walk out of school for the last time before summer break. What an exciting, squealing, ice cream-faced reward!

Manage Year-End Field Trip Stress

Children looking at a train car on a field trip to the train station.
Field trip to the train station was so much fun!

Is it just me, or do schools cram as many field trips as they can into the last 3 weeks of school? Aquarium, pizza arcade, Zoo, nature walk, CRAM IT IN! Oh and do not forget the permission slip. Or close-toed shoes. And the money for snacks on site. Or the sunscreen! While it may seem like a ton of extra stuff to cram into your pint-size child’s backpack, it’s all worth it to see their ruddy cheeks at the end of the day. Filled with stories and excitement from the trip. Remember your why!

Do Not Stress Report Cards & Grades

While the report cards and quarterly grades may not seem like a big part of how to survive year-end stress, they certainly are for your children – elementary school and beyond. When my daughter began 3rd grade, the report cards got a bit more serious. And so did she.

Reward all grades, as long as you know your child has done their best

Remind your kiddo that there are no bad grades as long as they have done their best work. Grades do not make a kind or empathetic spirit. Kick the stress and discipline when a disappointing report card rolls in. Celebrate the small victories!

Year-End Teacher Gifts – What To Give?

I am positive your kid’s teacher has some different ideas about how to survive year-end stress, which is why I always love to gift them something special at the end of the school year. 

Here are some “how to survive year-end stress” gift ideas for teachers:

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How To Survive Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences can be intimidating and leave everyone feeling defeated if handled improperly. My daughter’s elementary school requires at least 2 conferences a year. But you can have a great conference with your child’s teacher!

Focus on the positive.

Do not hone in on your child’s worst but choose to focus on their best.

Ask questions.

Do not begin the conference without a list of questions to ask your child’s teacher.

Request positive feedback to give your child.

Your child’s teacher wants them to succeed. They watch them learn and grow every day, so grab some of those compliments to share with your child.

Make Year-End Class Parties Fun

You might not be an over-achiever. You know what I’m talking about – a Pinterest-Perfect mom. One of those moms who set the table for every holiday and take the Christmas tree down by New Year’s. If you are, elementary class parties might not be your forte. That is okay momma! Take a chill pill and bring in the store-bough cupcakes. You do not have to cut the carrots into star shapes. 

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More than perfection, your child will remember your presence.

This is a hugely important part of how to survive year-end stress and school madness. Your child will not likely remember your perfectly styled hair or the cupcakes you stayed up until 2am baking. No, they will remember your smile as you laughed on the bus headed to the Zoo. They will remember your compassion when they got a 75% on their math test.

Choose to focus on the reason why you are running around like a chicken on mountain dew. Your children and the memories you are making amidst the madness. Do you have any tips for surviving the year-end stress of elementary school? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Howdy, Miranda here from planitmiranda.com 

I am a full-time working mom and small business owner. I work for a local law firm while trying my best to juggle mom-sponsibilities, 40 hours of work for “the man”, and entrepreneurship. My days are spent meticulously planning what is to come so nothing falls through the cracks. My daughter Dorothy is 9 years old and my joy.  We make a great planning team.

Stress Free Holiday Tips for Mom

Stress Free Holiday Tips for Mom

It seems like every year, everyone is searching for the best stress free holiday tips to stay sane during the impending hustle and bustle. Having a perfectly stress free holiday is always the goal. Am I right? I know it is for me. November and December are a busy time for our family. Four out of five of us have birthdays in November. My husband and my anniversary is in November, and of course, there is Thanksgiving. Then comes December. My husband is a pastor, which means lot of extra commitments on his schedule. Furthermore, the kids are off schedule because of school breaks. All of these things are outside of my control. I have had lot of opportunities to practice the art of giving myself grace and letting go during this season. But, like everyone else, I also want the holidays to be filled with peace, wonder, and awe. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I want to slow down and enjoy the magic too. So, how do we accomplish both? How do we meet our commitments well without getting completely stressed out? Well, here are my practical and easy stress free holiday tips that you can actually accomplish this year.

Write It All Down

If you’re like me, there are so many things that you want to accomplish during the holidays. Not only are there outside obligations and commitments, but there are family activities and traditions to participate in as well. My tip is write every single thing down. Make a list of all the things you hope to do during this season. Then, transfer everything to your calendar. Schedule everything – the big and small things. For example, every year we make homemade gingerbread houses and cookies, and we have a little decorating party with the kids. I need to make sure I plan which night we want to do this. Otherwise before I know it, it’s the week of Christmas, and I will be frantically trying to squeeze in the tradition last minute.

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Do What Brings You Joy

Speaking of that list you made. You have permission to cross of things that do not bring you joy. If the last couple of years taught us anything, it is that life is too short to spend time doing things that rob you of your joy. This year, I know I do not have the capacity to do a daily advent activity and devotion with my children. As a homeschooling pastor’s wife, this feels almost sacrilegious! But I know it is not. We will experience the glory and birth of our Savior in other ways that fill all of us with joy instead of feeling cumbersome. I know that we will not be able to attend every single event our city offers. However, I do know that what we do choose to do, we will do it wholeheartedly. So my friend, it is okay to do less when that means you can do it well. If you’re interested in reading more about editing your to do list, you can read my post from last year here.

Make Peace with Clutter

Clutter. Oh the clutter! This is a big one for me, so I am especially preaching to myself here. There is going to be extra things in your environment during the holidays. There are decorations, crafts, baking, and so on. We need to keep our expectations for a perfectly clean house in check. I can get visually overstimulated when there is random stuff every place my eyes land. Then, it feels like the wall are closing in on me. I know this about myself. To help mitigate this, I carefully consider what and how many decorations I put out each year. I also make sure there are areas in a room that my eyes can go to and rest. Maybe it’s leaving a corner of the living room without decorations, or maybe it’s taking some pieces of furniture out of the room before adding in any more decor. Also, because my kids are in the “toy years,” I make sure all the toys are picked up and put away at the end of the day. This is a habit I already have, but it is even more important to achieve a stress free holiday season.

Have a Wrapping Party

This is my favorite stress free holiday tip! Wrapping presents can feel like a chore all too often. Instead of thinking of it as yet another thing to check off the list, make it a party. After the kids are in bed, open up a great bottle of wine. Make a scrumptious snack (I know you’ll be doing some great holiday baking!), then put on a cheesy, feel good Hallmark movie. Boom! Your chore is now a party. I usually do this twice during the holidays. Once to wrap friends and family’s gifts that go under the tree. Then again on Christmas Eve because, you know *wink*.

There you have it! My stress free holiday tips that you can actually accomplish this year. What do you do to manage your expectations during the holidays? Tell me about it in the comments below. If you enjoyed these tips, please share this with your friends and join my email list for extra goodies.

What I’ve Learned Using Social Media App Timers

What I’ve Learned Using Social Media App Timers

Intentionally Well: Striving for Present Intentionality Every Day

I have been using social media app timers on my phone for about four months. And let me tell you, I have learned some things about myself. Let me first start off admitting that everything that was 2020 had a negative impact on my relationship with my phone. I will be transparent and tell you that scrolling and zoning out on social media became a coping mechanism for all the hard things. This became my escape because I had cultivated my social media to be an uplifting space. In theory, this was a good thing. We all needed some sort of way to deal with the stress we were all experiencing. The problem was when I was ready to scale my consumption back, I struggled.

When Scrolling Became a Problem

I can’t say there was a singular moment when I realized I was relying too much on my phone. It was a slow build up. But one day I had this awareness that I was missing it. My real life, my days, were passing me by. Honestly, friend, I think we all have those realizations from time to time. It is so easy to become engrossed in what is happening on our phone, and we get these little gut checks that tell us we need to scale back. I had the gut check, but I had a really difficult time breaking the muscle memory habits I formed. It was hard for my brain to just be. I felt all squirmy when I tried to let my mind be still and quiet. I realized my brain was constantly craving some sort of stimulation from my phone. That was when I realized my phone was a problem. Was I actually addicted to my phone? The definition of addiction is as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness. Here is an article published by CNN about phone addiction.

Implementing Social Media App Timers

No. Based off the clinical definition of addiction, I was not addicted to my phone. However, I wanted to break the habits I had formed around it. Enter app timers! Did you know this was a feature on your iPhone? I honestly didn’t until I started researching them. However, there they are. To find the app timers on your iPhone go to Settings>Screen Time>App Limits>Add Limit. From there, you can choose which apps you would like to limit your time on, for how long, and what days you’d like to have the limits. I decided to use these timers on my social media and news apps. I am sure other phone companies have this feature, so feel free to let google tell you how to access them if you do not have an iPhone.

What I learned

Every day I get the pop ups saying I reached my limit. And let me tell you, there are still days where I override my app timers. I do this for different reasons. Sometimes, especially with Instagram, my time is spent promoting this space or engaging with my community there. I don’t feel like that needs to be lumped together with the unhealthy scrolling habit I am trying to break. Sometimes I override the limit at the end of the day when I just want a little extra time to laugh at funny Tik Toks. However, many days I do stick to my goals. Regardless if I override the app timers or not, having them in place brings so much more awareness to my phone consumption. Do I need to check the news 4 times a day? No, I don’t, and I am better for it. Is it easier for me to leave my phone in another room? Yes, it is. That is something I am really proud of because that used to be a struggle. I am still a work in progress, but I am making progress. And that is something to celebrate.

What do you think? Do you have a healthy relationship with your phone? Let’s chat about it in the comments below. As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Road Trip with Kids: Surviving to Thriving

Road Trip with Kids: Surviving to Thriving

Intentionally Well: Striving for present intentionality every day.

Going on a road trip with kids isn’t something that conjures feelings of rainbows and sunshine. I get it. Having your whole family crammed in the car for an extended amount of time feels overwhelming. As you probably know (or maybe not), we live in Indianapolis. Our entire family lives in Alabama. So, over the last three years, we have become accustomed to long road trips with our kids. I am here to share with you all the things we do to make these trips not only bearable but also fun.

Prep Expectations in Advance

If you are familiar with Intentionally Well, it shouldn’t surprise you to see preparation at the top of the list. Ha! I like to plan. Here is what I do. First, I talk often about the trip with my kids. I mark the dates of the vacation on my children’s monthly calendar which is always posted on our refrigerator. They really love counting down the days until we leave. I remind them the travel days will be spent in the car. I tell them over and over again that we will be driving all day. This helps manage their expectations. It takes about eight hours to our house to my parents house according to Maps without stopping. However, we know that stopping often is a given when traveling with kids. Last time, it took us about eleven hours to make that drive. Eleven.

Snacks

We usually keep pretty basic snacks in our house. Fruit, Larabars, raisins, etc.. But when we go on a road trip with kids, we go all out with the snacks. Gummies…you got it. Chips…you got it. Literally, whatever the kids want, I will pack it. I promise having favorite snacks on a long car ride is worth it. I mean, I love the strawberry sour straws like there is no tomorrow on a road trip. Treat yourself and your kids, mama.

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Activities

I did a pole in Instagram, and it was about 60/40 as to families preferring activity books to screens for road trips. We utilize both. My three year old also plays with his favorite toys really well in the car, so those always get packed. As far as what my children do to occupy themselves in the car, I let them choose. I don’t limit the screens or a toy or a book. They can to do whatever they like as long as they are being respectful of others (use headphones, share, etc). I am also a fan of listening to audiobooks during long car trips. I’ve included some links to a few of our favorite car activities below.

Potty Breaks

It’s inevitable that you will have to stop multiple times during your trip. We usually end up stopping for one reason or another about every one and a half to two hours. If your kids are younger, you might be stopping every hour. It is what it is. However, I have found some tricks to get the most out of each stop. First, stop at the big truck stops if you can (Love’s, Pilot…). I find that the bathrooms at these establishments are bigger and cleaner than most of the regular gas stations. They offer more snack choices, and they are usually situated at exits with several food options. Next on the list is rest stops. These are great if you don’t need food. Rest stops almost always have some sort of green space. Kids are able to run around and really get those wiggles out. Lastly, we enjoy stopping at the restaurant Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel has the little store you can explore and you can also order a drink to go from the register. The facilities are clean, and it’s just something a little different and unexpected for the kids.

I hope these tips and tricks help you thrive on your next road trip with your kids. Have any other tips to share with others? Post them in the comments below. As always, please share this post with your friends if you enjoyed it!

Entertain kids wherever you go with On-The-Go Craft Kits from Kid Made Modern.

You Are Loved

You Are Loved

Sweet friend, you are loved. I am so glad you are here – reading this. This post came as an outpouring of my heart on a day when the world felt like it was screaming and being filled with hate. I hope the words written below fill you with hope and encouragement today.

To the mother, to the daughter, to the childless, you are loved.
 
To the Christian, to the Jew, to the Muslim, to the deconstructing, you are loved.
 
To the LGBTQ+ person, you are loved.
 
To the hurting, to the addict, to the depressed and anxious, to the lonely you are loved.
 
To the immigrant, you are loved.
 
To the BIPOC, you are loved.
 
To the Republican, to the Democrat, you are loved.

 

 

I love you. I love you because you are an image bearer of the Creator of love itself. A love that is beyond understanding. I love you because He commands me to love first, always. Because He lives in me, it is the easiest command to follow. When you truly know the One who orchestrated love, it is easy to love those whom He loves. It is easy to love you.

I know this is not my typical post. But it needs to be said more. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops. I am honored to use my little space here to hopefully allow others to feel seen. I hope you feel seen by a Christian woman, especially when the Church is currently at such a crossroads. I see the talk all over social media about the hurt and the trauma people have suffered in the name of the Church. And while those traumas are deeply personal and complex, at the very least, I want you to know – you are loved. And if you are reading this and you want to show love to the people God has placed in you path, you might like this post.

 



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Social Media: Cultivating a Positive Experience

Social Media: Cultivating a Positive Experience

Social media has infiltrated every aspect of human life. There’s no denying it. It’s everywhere, and every single person and entity has some sort of social media presence. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy social media (let’s connect on my social channels listed on the sidebar!), but it’s something you have to use with such focused intentionality. Otherwise, it can quickly get out of hand. On the flip side, if you steward your social media content and consumption well, it can be a wonderful experience.

Real Life Comes First

I know how easy it is to develop a habit of checking social media whenever you have a free moment during the day. What often happens, though, is we get sucked into the scrolling game, and we miss out on little moments that are happening in real life. I know I am guilty of logging on to Instagram just because I can, then I tell my kids to wait while I finish watching stories. This isn’t how it should be. My real life needs to come before my social media life always.

Utilize Timers

Timers are a great way to keep our priorities with social media versus real life in proper order. If I am logging on to social media, I started seting a ten minute timer. This has been a game changer. Furthermore, I will only do purposeful things during this time, like engaging with my community or creating a post. I will only allow myself the treat of mindless scrolling when my kids are asleep.

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Consider Your Follow List

Doing regular audits of who you follow is imperative. Do these accounts uplift and encourage you? Do they make you feel hopeful for our world, when the news cycle is so often doom and gloom? Do the lifestyles of the influencers you follow make you feel discontent with your personal life? Are these accounts your following worthy of precious mental space and energy in your mind? These are important things to consider. I typically do a big audit of people and brands I follow a couple of times a year, and it always feels like a weight has been lifted afterwards.

Pause Before Entering the Comment Section

I, personally, don’t think there are very many positives from entering the comment sections on most things. So, before expanding the comments on that account, I would encourage you to really know your motivation. The comment sections, especially on large social media platforms, tend to have a least some sort of trolling. How will reading these things effect you? This applies even more so if you are wanting to actually post a comment. Will commenting add value to this particular community? Did this account ask for your advice or opinion?

Just Keep Scrolling

And that leads me to my last tip. More often than not, just keep scrolling past that thing that irked you. Social media did not exist until I was in college. I’m part of that Oregon Trail generation. I went through my entire adolescence and early adulthood without expressing my opinions on a public platform. Commenting was not even a thing in the early days of social media. So, I say this with love, not everyone needs to know your thoughts and opinions about every single thing. No debates are ever won through social media, but divisiveness is easily fueled. As a Christian, I believe I am called to love first, and sometimes that means keeping my mouth closed on that crazy thing I read or saw on Facebook.

Cultivating a pleasant social media experience takes some intentional effort and self discipline. There’s no denying that. I hope this post encourages you to take a look at not only what you’re consuming on social media, but also what you are producing. If you enjoyed this post, check out this post on having intentional days.

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Hey there, mama. I am so glad you’re here. I am excited to share with you some really easy and simple self care tips for you to incorporate into your daily life. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly eight and a half years now. With three kids under my care, I can tell you that there are seasons of thriving and seasons of surviving. You can read here on why I am passionate about self care, as well as why I feel so strongly about having appropriate and realistic expectations of ourselves. But now I want to give you some simple tips on how to implement self care into your daily routine. And no, I’m not going to tell you to wake up an hour early every day. Sleep wins in my house, always and forever.

#1 Drink Your Coffee Hot

I know you’re rolling your eyes right now. I know how hard it is to finish a cup of coffee with littles running around, especially while it’s still hot. Reheat that cup, mama. Reheat it as many times as you need to. Make a fresh pot even. Drink your coffee hot. There is something comforting about a hot cup of coffee. Drinking lukewarm coffee makes you feel blah, and no one wants to start the day off felling blah. To level up, drink that morning happy bean juice from a special mug. I really like this one with a verse from the book of Proverbs. Whatever mug you use, let it be one that inspires you and motivates you.

#2 Get Dressed

I know. Pandemic life made daily pajamas socially acceptable. But think about how you feel when you put on real clothes versus your sweats. I know for me, I always have a little more pep in my step if I’ve gotten dressed for the day. I’m not saying get glammed up when you’re spending your day at home with a baby and toddler. My point is to make an effort. Sometimes I prefer a hoodie to a sweater. I really enjoy make up, so I wear it just about every day. You might be more of a moisturizer and mascara only girl, and that is okay. But spending ten minutes in the morning tending to yourself can really help you feel refreshed for your day.

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#3 Have a Special Afternoon Snack

The house is finally quiet, and the babies are napping. I know you have a never ending list of chores to get done before they wake up. But hear me on this, that never ending chore list will actually never end. There will always be something else to do. Take 30 minutes. Fix a favorite snack, you know, the snack you keep hidden from the kids in the back of the pantry or that random cabinet. Then, put on a show that doesn’t have J.J. or Mickey Mouse as a main character, and just relax. I promise the day will not fall apart while you take these 30 minutes for yourself. My favorite afternoon snack when my middle child was a baby was a glass of Prosecco and chocolate chips. Yep, it sure was. And while, of course, I’m not advocating for being irresponsible, and I really don’t like this wine mom culture that has become prevalent over the last couple of years – that glass of bubbly and chocolate made me feel fancy and fun when my days felt pretty mundane. My go to afternoon snack these days is a cup of black tea and (again) some sort of chocolate.

#4 Move Your Body

I will confess that exercise was not something I was very good at maintaining during the years when my kids were babies. However, having a fulfilling exercise routine now, it makes me wish that I had made my physical fitness more of a priority sooner. It’s one of my regrets of those early years. Mama, you are worth it. Even if you are taking five minutes at the end of the day to just stretch, it will help you to unwind and recharge. Now that the weather is turning, I really encourage you to get outside and move your body. Maybe that means going for a walk or playing with your kids in the backyard. What ever it is, work up a sweat every now and then. I promise you will be glad you did. And if you’re looking for great at home workouts, I really like Blogilates.

#5 Write It Down

Journaling has so many benefits. For me, I find journaling really helpful for processing life. It’s not something I consistently do, but whenever I am in a season of survival mode, journaling is what gets me through. Writing out all the things gets them out of your head and on to the paper instead. It helps you think and process those challenging times in a more objective manner. Journaling is also a wonderful way to keep track of your prayers and/or meditations. If you want to explore journaling from a Christian perspective, I love these Write the Word journals. I am currently working through the one on worship.

#6 End Your Day With a Hot Bath

I am convinced that people who say they are not “bath people” haven’t actually given daily baths a chance. If you know me in real life, you know that I deem my nightly bath essential to my mental health. I say that with all sincerity. Soaking in that magnificent hot water relaxes my body and allows the daily stressors to melt away. Sometimes I make it a fancy bath with bubbles and a candle. But most of the time it’s not. My husband and children know not to come near the bathroom door while I’m taking my bath. A quiet bath centers my introverted and often touched out self. Give it a chance. I even turn my husband into a bath person.

Often when we think of self care, we think of these grand excursions like spa day or girls’ trip. However, I have found self care to be more effective when you can do little things for yourself throughout the day. It’s also important to communicate with your person about what your needs are. Having a self care routine reminds yourself that you are worthy, lovely, and called to the season you’re in. That season might feel like thriving or it might feel like you’re barely surviving. Either way, I hope these self care tips help you feel loved, because you are!

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Easy Goal Setting Tips for the Busy Mom

Easy Goal Setting Tips for the Busy Mom

Learning how to set goals changed my life, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that. They brought clarity and focus when I was in a season of uncertainty. We all have a set finite days to our life. I decided that I didn’t want to waste a single one any longer. I stepped into the calling that I was created on purpose for a purpose. And so are you, sweet friend. You have a worthy life to live! Goal setting takes practice, and it can feel overwhelming for someone just starting out. Here are my tips for learning how to set goals for your life.

Start with the Big Picture

What do you want your life to look like when you are 80? This was the question that sparked something in me. I realized I needed to be doing stuff now if I was to have the life I envisioned when I’m old. So, here I am asking you this same question. Think about all the aspects of your life. What do you want them to look like 50 years from now, and most importantly why? Why do you want your life to look like this vision? When you’re struggling, always refer back to your way.

Break It Down

Now that you have your long term vision, it’s time to break it down. Grab a piece of paper and write out various categories. Things like family, relationships, spiritual life, finances, and so on. You tailor this to you. Next, write out what needs to happen in each category for you to reach your end of life vision, and once again, don’t forget your why.

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Bust Through the Doubt

We all encounter doubt and fear in life. Your goals might seem pretty far off right now, almost unreachable. You might be hearing whispers of insecurity, or maybe you feel trapped in the comparison game. I am going to ask you to do something hard here. I am going to ask you to do a deep introspection. Meditate and/or pray about what the root of your fear really is. Think back to the first time you felt that feeling. Replace those lies with truth. You are WORTHY. No one can do what you were divinely created to do. Dear friend, let me encourage you. I am here for you, and I am cheering you on.

Write It Down

Now it’s time to get after it. Go back to your categories and start thinking of small actionable steps you can take this month to move to needle forward on your goals. Small steps over time lead to big progress. You are not required to make perfect progress. In fact, I can guarantee that there will be mistakes and missteps along the way. My fellow enneagram ones might be panicking right now. I don’t like the idea of making mistakes either. However, I would rather make a mistake and learn while making progress on my goals, than stay stuck in the same place for the rest of my life. I like to have daily, weekly, and monthly check off items, when I am writing out my action steps. A daily step might be as simple as drinking water every day (why is this so hard??), while a monthly step might be paying down debt by a certain amount. You do you. This if your one life. But here is the MOST important thing. Are you listening? Put your action steps in a place where you see them every.single.day. I have mine taped to my bathroom mirror. It is so easy to get distracted by the day to day. Having your goals in front of your face will help to keep you focused.

Tips and Tricks

  1. While you do not need any special tools to set goals, I really like the resources from Cultivate What Matters. Makse is another popular tool, but I have not personally used them before.
  2. Set a word for your year that encompasses all of your goal. I know it’s not January, but here’s a secret – there’s nothing magical about January 1st. You can read all about my word for 2021 here.
  3. Your goals should stretch you. Be really honest with yourself with what you are capable of. Have realistic expectations of your goals, but you should also be stretching yourself. I will usually set my monthly goals to where I know I won’t accomplish them perfectly on purpose, so that I am always reaching. Does that make sense?
  4. Decide today is the day, because why not you? Why not today? You got this!

Tell me about your goals, and as always, please like and share this post if you enjoyed it.

Let’s Review a Book

Let’s Review a Book

I am so honored to have the opportunity to review a new book for expecting and new mothers. 15 Ways to Manage Stress and Stay Sane: The Actually Useful New Mom Care Package by Kelly Mager is the book I wish I had when I had my first child 8 years ago. Kelly’s writing is concise and straight forward. This book is an easy read, which is refreshing when you’re running off little to no sleep.

What It Says

15 Ways to Manage Stress and Stay Sane is not like other new mom books. The author is an experienced mom of three. She anticipates the struggles new moms will have and provides easy and actionable steps to combat them. Things like the need for community, meal planning, money management, and even discipline. These are things that I, as a new mom, didn’t realize I would need help with. I didn’t know how to find mom friends when I had my first child, but man, I’m so glad I did! This book gives you ideas on how to meet other women in the same season of life as you are now in. I can promise you, that the friends you have when your babies are little will be friends for life. I don’t think I’ve seen another book address this need before.

How to Read It

The structure of Kelly’s book is a breath of fresh air to say the least. Sitting down to read a book comes in low on the list of things to do when you’re a new mom. How do you find the time? But this book is SUCH an easy read. The chapters are clear and concise. Each chapter ends with a list of actionable items in reference to the topic discussed. If you are struggling in a particular area, all you need to do is find the related chapter. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out this post all about self care.