I don't have it all together, but here's how I survive ...
Here’s a secret: I don’t have it all together.
Sure, it might often appear differently on social media, but on most days I’m a hot mess. Luckily baby Noa is cute because she keeps me on my toes right from the moment she wakes up at 5:30AM. I hope that you don’t take this post as negative, but the first year after baby is not easy! Everyone told me that it would be harder after the second and boy, were they right!
My two mat leaves were also completely different. With Harper, we had swimming lessons, play groups, drop-in centres and daily walks in her stroller to our neighbourhood park. With Noa, I have been working, juggling photo shoots, keeping Harper busy and trying to settle into our new home. I also don’t have a lot of help during the week, so getting to the gym has been a bit of challenge. A lot of days I feel defeated and tired, but with all that said, I make it through and here’s how:
1. I write (or think of) two things the night before that I want to accomplish the next day.
It could be two small and simple things like ‘pick up the dry cleaning’ or ‘marinate the chicken for dinner’. Or it could be “write one chapter in my book” or “send out a newsletter”. Someone gave me this advice and it stuck with me; they told me that if I was writing my to-do list in the morning I was already behind. Gulp! Try it and it could be a game changer.
2. I asked for help.
No really … you have to ask or no one will know you need it.
3. I make travel and vacation plans far in advance.
This gives me something to look forward to and it makes me happy.
4. I practice gratitude daily.
I’m not just writing this because it sounds pretty. I really do. I have a gratitude journal, plus every night during Harper’s bedtime routine we share 1-3 things we are grateful for that day. Best way to change your mood.
5. I commit to movement.
What does this mean? Before you could’ve found me in the gym 5 days a week. Today, I might not be able to hit the weights as often as I’d like, but I am moving and getting active each day. This could be a stroller walk or a short workout at home. PS - I also remind myself to not worry about what every other mom is doing to work out. We all have a different postpartum fitness journey. Period.
6. I meditate.
YES, I really do. If meditation is something you really struggle with, try not to overthink it. Keep it simple. Start with just listening to your breathing for 1 minute. If that’s too hard try using a guided meditation app (there are many that are free) or find a mantra you like and just keep repeating it. That usually works best for me.
7. I drink coffee. I drink wine …
Often and with no regrets.
8. I put my phone away for certain periods of time to have dedicated family time.
This is partly why I don’t share a ton of Insta-stories - I am actually present and in the moment as it happens. I find disconnecting for a short time throughout the day helps to ground me too! I can easily get caught up with what everyone else is doing and forget about what I should be doing.
9. I don’t stress over extensive meal prep ….
but I do stock my fridge with healthier options. This way when I’m in a pinch, there are always good things to grab on the go.
10. I laugh now … and sometimes cry later.
If you’re ever feeling stressed beyond belief, try distracting yourself with something funny. Shout out to No Flabby Daddy for always making me crack a smile. So seriously, save the tears for later and by that time, the stress never seems as intense.