Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

IMG_3853

I’ve talked a lot about gratitude here over the years. I credit focusing on gratitude as one of the ways that I overcame my extreme anxiety. But I do still struggle with it when it comes to my parenting. I wasn’t gifted with easy-going compliant children. So most tasks on most days are a struggle. There are tantrums, there is screaming. I really hate that it’s like that. I’m continually evaluating my parenting and trying to see how I can improve as a mom, but in the short term I need to hang on to thankfulness. I have two beautiful children. They have good qualities that I need to focus on. There have sweet moments that I need to try and record and remember, so that at the end of the day the disasters won’t be the only thing etched on my mind.

We all have something we can be grateful for. As a mom, it’s my kids. My life would be so different without them. On my rough days I sometimes wonder if me becoming a mom was a mistake, but I know that it wasn’t. I don’t believe that the existence of these amazing little creations is a mistake. So somehow, even in my failings, I was meant to be their mother. So I take a deep breath, pray for strength and thank God, even if only under my breath, for my job as mom. Gratitude will be my anchor that holds me fast to this place I call home.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Web

Categories: Mindset for Moms, Stay at Home Mothering | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Raising My Olive Branches: Five Minute Friday

4148570922_4b7f73966c_o

Photo Credit: Furumaru via Compfight cc

Today’s writing prompt is Bloom.

He’s using sentences now. After a year of halting inarticulate words and lots of pointing and screaming he is finally communicating. We still struggle at times and he falls back onto “dat” and “I dant it, mine!” She has finally begun to learn to enjoy her brother’s company. After last week’s insanity of packing and traveling, we’ve settled into a more normal routine and she seems happier. There are good natured screaming contests and fun loving scuffles instead of hourly brawls. I occasionally catch them playing nice together and I stop to watch.

There are still plenty of difficult days and I’m trying to enjoy these peaceful moments without worrying about the chaos that I know will eventually come. I don’t know for sure who is doing the blooming, them or me. Is it that they are developing and coming into their own as they grow up? Or is it me as I settle into my role as mom? After five years of motherhood I doubt myself more than even, yet I feel like I’m beginning to reach a place of peace. Acceptance of all that I cannot be, and prayer to help me to grow.

They use pots, pans and a cake carrier to reflect light and patterns onto the ceiling of our kitchen. They don’t notice that the pots are beat up and out of date nor that the old drop ceiling. The fact that the kitchen is small and cluttered doesn’t occur to them.  All they need is this sunny spot. When did my needs become so complicated that I can’t enjoy these simple joys. A sunny day, a morning spent in a cozy kitchen. We need to do more blooming around here and less growing up.

4042180234_25898ae616_o

Photo Credit: Mukumbura via Compfight cc

Want to join us? Read more about Five Minute Friday here.

 

Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fit2B Training: The Tummysafe Path to Great Abs Part 2

Join Fit2b.us

Last week I reviewed the first half of The Tummy Safe Path to Great Abs. It has been great both reviewing old workouts and even tackling a few new ones. I can’t say that I feel like a different person, but I feel confident enough to keep going. I really want to believe that this can be enough for me. If I’m being honest, I know part of me doubts it. I keep thinking I must not be sweating enough or hurting enough for this to be doing the job. I haven’t lost any weight, but I do feel like I may be a little stronger. When I lift my son I try to do a proper squat and focus on an engaged core. I’ve begun getting up early most days to try and start the day right. I do feel like there might be a little more definition in my arms and tone to my legs. So I’m going to keep pressing forward

Balanced

This workout really is balanced between arms and other body parts. It involves weights so it does have that extra element, but it could be done without the weights and still be a good workout. The main component of this workout is balance, something that is so important, especially as we age. Having good core engagement and balance will help keep us mobile and independent as we grow older. Beth mentions in the workout that this is especially good for helping to strengthen our bone density, which is something that as a woman in my thirties, I realize may become an issue for the first time. I subbed this for an arm workout one day (such as Ultimate Upper Body or Insane Upper Body) and I found it worked well. I was a little sore from overdoing it earlier in the week, so this took the difficulty down a notch, but still really made me work for it. This was a favorite when I encountered it during Fit2B Beginning and it continues to be so.

Pilates in Pajamas

The first of two of it’s kind, this is a low key workout, but I wouldn’t quite call it relaxing. I loved Pilates before I discovered Fit2B, and then I realized that almost everything I was doing was damaging my core. I was so disappointed. So I was happy to see a couple of more traditional Pilates based workouts on the Tummy Safe protocol.

Pilates in Pajamas II

I think I this even better than Pilates in Pajamas the original because it incorporates the weights aspect to it. Even though it wasn’t super long, I definitely felt like I was getting a good workout, yet it still manages to feel somewhat relaxing. While I don’t usually do this in my pajamas I do like that Bethany is promoting fitness, regardless of what you wear. Having to change into the proper clothing can be a real barrier to working out, but the whole philosophy behind Fit2B and Pilates in Pajamas especially is that what matters is that you are ready to take care of your body, not what you are wearing. Since you are at home, you don’t have to worry about anyone looking at you and wearing the proper attire, as long as you are comfortable.

Love Handles Lost

I like the alignment check up at the beginning, which makes this another great workout if you are transitioning from abdominal rehab. After doing this workout for the third or fourth time I remember why it isn’t a favorite of mine. All the incline planes. I know these are great for your abs, but I’ve never really liked them. It probably has to do with my subpar upper body strength. I find it especially difficult when Beth has us in a modified inclined plane position and using our hips to swing up onto one hand. That really is tough on my upper back and it takes everything I’ve got not to compensate with another muscle group. However, since the point of this is to see some progression in my strength. I will probably come back to this one again in the future to see if it’s gotten any easier.

Pilates & Yoga Loaded II

This workout embodies much of what I love and miss about traditional Pilates workouts. It has the difficulty I’m looking for while still feeling relaxing. Adding the weights is really great. I am a fan of Ultimate Upper Body and Insane Upper Body, but I don’t always have time to do workouts that only focus on my upper body. So ones like this are great because they add the weight component while still giving a soothing, Pilates and Yoga style workout.

Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates

This workout still hasn’t been fixed on Roku since last time I reviewed it. Which is a shame because if it was I would do it more often. I like the length of this workout because it reminds me of the kind of workouts I used to do (before I realized how bad they were for my core.) It definitely has the difficulty I was looking for. Who knew that Tummy Safe workout could include V sits and Teasers, as long as you do them properly? (Not that I’ve ever loved Teasers). It was nice to see Bethany promoting the difficult abdominal movements, once your core has recovered. Healthy abs and flat abs should be synonymous.

Hold It!

This workout seems deceptively simple. But sometimes slow and sustained movements are much more difficult than fast or complicated ones. It is aptly named. The routine is make up of various poses, movements and postures focusing on core engagement and alignment, each held for 20-30 seconds. Sounds easier than it is. As usual Beth provides suggested modifications or alterations but the focus really is on holding the positions with engaged core. The difficulty comes when trying not to sacrifice proper alignment, especially the one legged movements that also require balance. This is not a fast moving workout, but neither would I call it relaxing. It’s a great choice once you start getting more comfortable with engaging your core on command.

Ab Attack!

This is closest to traditional abdominal exercises that I’ve seen on Fit2B. If you are used to focusing more closely on your abdominals, such as Pilates ab workouts, then this is what you’ll want to try. There are no crunches, no hundred but lots of strong core work. Many of the movements mimic what you would expect from a regular ab workout, except they are totally tummy safe.

So the question is, where do I go next? Next week I’ll be reviewing the Pathway to Amazing Arms and then I’ll see what inspires me next.

Bringing Back Fit2B: An Update

What Are the Foundational Five?

Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

Fit2B on Vacation: A Week of Relaxation

Fit2B Transitioning: The Tummysafe Pathway to Great Abs

Fit2B Training: The Tummysafe Path to Great Abs Part 1

 

Join Fit2b.us
Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Endeavoring to Enjoy: The Quest to Cherish My Children

IMG_4023

My title sounds awfully lofty, and my goal feels like a simple one. Well, simply phrased. I want to learn to enjoy my kids. It sounds simple, but anyone who has small children knows how hard this can be to do in reality. There are days when I find myself hiding from my children, if not physically then emotionally. But one of my goals for this summer was to try to occasionally set aside the to-do lists and really be with them. It hasn’t been easy. One thing after another has fought for my attention. Vacations, family wedding, church projects, swim lessons, fall homeschool planning (including serious curriculum debate and deliberation). For the first time this week, I feel like I’ve really stopped and willingly engaged them.

Before you start imagining me as some kind of super mom, let me bring reality into that vision. These are baby steps. My daughter has a half hour swim lesson each morning for the next few weeks. I’ve been bringing a stack of books and reading to my son. He sits in my lap and I read, read, read. Sometimes several books, sometimes the same one over and over again. It’s humid and the grass is damp. I can feel the sweat clinging to his neck and soaking his hair. He is a sweaty little ball of energy but instead of pushing him away, I pull him closer. Someday he won’t want to do this with me anymore.

My daughter and I pursue some low pressure reading exercises. At first she resists so I read aloud to the empty air, my son is always happy for mommy to sit on the floor with him and is immediately interested. Soon my daughter wants to make sure her brother doesn’t get the hang of this reading thing first.

Yesterday they played together happily in the living room with limited fighting and it felt like a dream. Rather than worry about whether it will last or rush to finish things up before they created trouble. I watched and enjoyed.

These are little things. Just moments. That is what I’m striving for right now. Grand plans of family bonding tend to go bad quickly. So for now I’ll settle for this. I wanted to share this small victory, not because I think I’ve accomplished so much. But rather because even these baby steps felt impossible not so long ago. So if you feel you’ll never enjoy your kids, take heart. I’m not there yet, but I’m on the way. You can be too.

IMG_4018

Categories: Parenting, Stay at Home Mothering | 2 Comments

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

3899825528_13e32ac502_o

Photo Credit: Helga Weber via Compfight cc

This has been a tough one for me. I get really frustrated with myself when I don’t feel happy. I look at my life and I think “You have so much. How could you not be happy?” Sure, I can always find someone who seems to have it better and easier than me. (Thank you, Facebook). I think part of it is because being a stay-at-home mom was supposed to be my dream, and like most dreams it was unrealistic. The reality of being a mom to two kids is that it’s hard. We want to homeschool, which adds it’s own set of challenges, but bottom line, no matter how you go about it, it’s still hard.

There is a great blog post from last year by Modern Mrs. Darcy that really changed me. It’s OK for it to be hard. That’s right, some things are hard. Parenting is one of them. Saying it should be easy, when it’s not just makes you feel worse. Just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean you won’t do well or that you aren’t good at it. It just means it’s hard. It’s OK to feel down as a mom sometimes. But do your best not to wallow in it. Accept that today is a bad day, don’t assume that next week, next month and next year will be too. (I’m talking to myself right now).

Be aware of the effect of hormones. I’ve discovered that the biggest indicator of PMS for me is the desire to quit everything and move away. Suddenly nothing seems manageable and I just want the whole world to leave me alone (an impossibility for a mom). That’s when I need to take stock, check a calendar and extend myself some grace. Yes, the issues are real, but the emotions are heightened. So I need to try and take a step back. If possible, try not to make major life decisions when you are overtired, overly emotional (whether due to circumstances or hormones) or especially hungry. When our bodies aren’t in good shape, our minds don’t function as well. This is difficult for me to do sometimes because I tend to want to push through until I’ve “fixed’ whatever the problem is, but sometimes I just have to let it go and pick it up again when I’m in a better frame of mind.

I’ll close with this great quote from Jamie Martin.

“The promise of the seasons reminds us that down won’t stay down forever. The tide turns, the seasons change and soon we will find ourselves up again. It’s OK to be down. You won’t stay there.”

 

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

Web

Categories: Mindset for Moms, Stay at Home Mothering | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 139 other followers