We are always multitasking, especially women. Women can be folding the laundry while watching a television show but still making sure the kids are okay or cooking dinner while listening to a podcast. We are regularly doing more than one thing at the same time. I believe women are the masters of multitasking. But mindfulness is the exact opposite of multitasking.
Mindful.orgdefines mindfulness as the ability to be fully present in the moment, being aware of where we are and what we are doing, but not overwhelmed by what is happening around us.
At any time during the day, one can practice mindfulness, which can have many benefits.
Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness into mainstream medicine. According to Helpguide.org, he was the founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He showed that practicing mindfulness brings improvement in both physical and psychological symptoms. It also provides a positive change in attitudes, behavior, and health.
Scientifically, experts view mindfulness as a critical element in reducing stress and enhancing overall happiness.
Mindfulness improves mental health.
Psychotherapists have used mindfulness meditation as a treatment for many problems like substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, to name a few.
Mindfulness improves well-being
Because mindfulness focuses on the present, using this practice can help people not be so worried about the future or think about past regrets. Mindfulness makes it easier to be fully present in current activities and make them more pleasurable or enjoyable. Also, it helps with a positive attitude that contributes to the satisfaction of life.
Mindfulness improves physical health.
It can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, treat heart disease, and reduce chronic pain.
How can you practice mindfulness?
There are many ways to practice mindfulness; the primary goal of any mindfulness technique is to focus on the present, be alert, and focus on relaxation. Being present, there in the moment, not worrying about anything else but being present in the moment.
Meditation is the most common way to practice.
Start with sitting straight back on a chair or with your legs crossed on the floor.
Focus on your breathing.
Once you have concentrated on your breathing, become aware of sounds and your ideas.
Embrace your thoughts without judging good or bad, and if your mind starts to race, go back and concentrate on your breathing.
Can mindfulness have a Christian approach?
Absolutely! FocusOnTheFamily.com mentions how Christians and faith-based counselors use mindfulness as a therapy tool, Christ-integrated, by making mindfulness rooted in scripture and focus on connecting with God during the technique.
Psalm 104:34, “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.” (NIV)
Prayer is a practical way that Christians apply mindfulness to their daily lives because when people pray or worship, they are concentrating on God; their focus is connecting with God and drawing God’s presence near.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually.” (NIV)
Some can be fearful because they find that mindfulness is self-centered or self-focus, but as a Christian, making it God-centered or God-focused shouldn’t be a problem. It is setting time apart to just be present in the moment, in that precious moment with God. It’s very comforting and brings so much peace.
Mindfulness has many benefits to our overall health. It is a technique that should be practiced because it can improve our focus. When done correctly, it can help bring us closer to God.
Set some time apart during the day, maybe in the morning before you start your day, or at night before bed to whine down and practice mindfulness for about five minutes, few times a week and see if you can notice a difference.
Let me know what difference it makes!
With Love, Heidy
Is a personal development newsletter an interest of yours? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”
Around my birthday last year, I came across the article, How To Declutter Your Mind: 10 Practical Tips You’ll Actually Want To Try on Forbes.com. It mentioned how keeping a journal is a great way to relax your mind. The author explained how, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General writing could improve memory, help with anxiety, and cope with depression. I was sold. I told myself I would buy a notebook that weekend.
The very next day was my birthday dinner. I had invited a few of my friends and come to find out one of my friends gifted me two notebooks! (Look at God!) One was for poetry; it gave you poetry prompts. The other one was a regular notebook/journal small enough to carry in my purse. Now, that I’ve been using that notebook for literally everything, I don’t know how I survived life without it. LOL Here are the five ways journaling has helped me.
1. Organize My Life
In the journal, I write my ‘To Do’ lists, so I don’t forget any tasks to complete. I also write down my budget for the month. I’ve seen a difference in writing these things down, especially my ‘To Do’ lists because I don’t start a task and then halfway through it remember another task, stop and start that other task, leaving the last task half done. I can also focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking and not completing them at my best. When it comes to writing down my budget, it keeps me on track on how much money I am spending, I am going to spend, and I won’t spend unnecessarily.
2. Organize My Thoughts
Since I take my journal with me everywhere I go, when I have a random thought or the urge to write I do. This way, I can get my thoughts all out on paper and then organize them later. Writing down my thoughts has helped me with my memory; I am not as forgetful as I used to be. I’ve noticed that it has helped me stay organized, on track, and de-clutter my mind, like the article says. And whenever I get an idea for a poem, I have my journal ready to write.
3. Reach Goals
There is another article on Huffpost.com called The Power of Writing Down Your Goals and Dreams. It talks about how Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, studied the art and science of goal setting. She had gathered 267 people from all different professions and divided them into groups by those who wrote down their goals and those who didn’t. She found out that those who wrote down their goals on a regular achieved them at a significantly higher level, 42% more likely. I write my goals, and every certain amount of time, I go back and check on my progress. Writing keeps me on track with what I need to do, or I can change my goals if need to be. Since starting this, I can say I’ve reached the majority of my goals and only have had to change a few.
4. Grow Closer to God
After about two months from receiving my journal, I started writing down my prayers in the morning before starting work. I absolutely love doing this! Gets my mind ready for the day while also giving me a sense of gratitude. I find that with writing down my prayers, I can get right to the point and not feel like I’m rambling on like I would if I were speaking them out. I still pray throughout the day and at night before bed, but there is something about writing them down in the morning that gives me complete satisfaction.
Since I write everything down, I can go back and reflect. I can see what goals I had, and if I reached them, look at my accomplishments, go through the journey it took me to get there, and evaluate how I was feeling. It’s important to reflect and take time to see what you’ve overcome, the obstacles you’ve faced, and see your growth. This also helps for memory because as time goes on and new memories are created, old memories tend to fade, but if you have certain things written down, it can be a beautiful reminder of all you’ve overcome.
Overall journaling has helped me in many areas of my life, and I wish I would have kept my old ‘dairies’ from when I was younger LOL to look back on, but I have my journal from now to reflect on when I’m older. I’m glad I came across the article last year, started journaling, and now I’m able to share how it has helped me. If you do start journaling or already do, I would love to hear how it has impacted or helped you.
With Love, Heidy
P.S. I’ve created a few journals – you can check them out here.
Is a personal development newsletter an interest of yours? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”
Moms, do you experience this, you’re getting your hair done, or your nails done, or you’re working on your business and some variation of these thoughts start coming to mind:
Do I spend enough time with my child/children?Do my kids think I’m a bad Mom?Should I be out without my kids?I shouldn’t have gone out with my friends.Are they missing me right now?Should I be feeding them this?Am I too strict? Am I not strict enough?Am I allowingtoo much screen time?
So if you are a good mom, you have experienced, at some point, some version of “Mom Guilt.”
What is Mom Guilt
There is no real medical or clinical definition for it. But it usually occurs when the feeling of guilt, anxiousness, doubt, or even the uncertainty that you are failing or falling short as a mother or the other version that you are a selfish mother for doing something for yourself.
This feeling of guilt can happen at any time, and it comes from unrealistic expectations from society, social media, family, and friends on what a mom should do, how a mom should act, or even what a mom should look like.
Mom guilt varies for different moms; if you’re a working mom, a new mom, or even a single mom, you can experience different variations of mom guilt, and it affects each one of us differently.
I mean think about it, how many times have you wanted to go get your hair done and decided not to because you feel your child might need you or that you can use that money for something your child needs. Maybe you want to simply get your nails done and have put that off too, or merely want 5 minutes alone, and if you do get five minutes, you don’t even know what to do because your life revolves around your kids.
Mom guilt is a lie but here are some truths to help you combat the feeling of guilt.
Motherhood Is Hard
Being a mother is the hardest most rewarding job there is because once you become a mom, there is no “off” button. Not when you’re sick, not when you’re working, not when you’re on vacation. And not even after they move out of the house.
You are always constantly thinking of their well-being and want to be there for them when they are in need. But there is no “guide” in how to parent or how to be a mom; there are only suggestions.
And each child is different, so you cannot even parent the same for each one.
Social Media Is the Worst
When it comes to mom guilt, social media is the devil. The comparison starts. You see, other moms being so creative with their children or always doing different activities with their kids, and you begin to think, I wish I were that creative, or I wish I could do that with my children.
You don’t post those picture-perfect family moments or pictures that you always see online, and this really takes a toll on you as a mother but STOP IT! Stop comparing yourself with other mothers because, honestly, we are all struggling, just no one posts that on social media.
I’ve come to accept the type of mom I am, so when I see pictures online of different types of moms, I just think to myself, Good for them, I’m just not that mom. And that doesn’t make me a “bad mom” – I’m a different mom because my personality is different and my kids are different.
Moms Are Too Hard on Ourselves
You are an individual, and your kids should know who you are outside of “Mom.” You should be more than just a mom, and your life should be more than just your kids. Don’t lose yourself in being a mom, remember who you were before you were a mother.
Remember, just because someone parents differently than you doesn’t mean they are doing it the wrong way, maybe it’s something that works for them. Every child is different, so their needs are different, and the approach for each one should be different. Not everything works for every child.
Taking time for yourself is OKAY! As a matter of fact, it’s a requirement to be a good mom! You need time for yourself, you need to be able to relax and clear your mind for your sanity. If you’re in the state of frustration all the time, you’re going to take it out on your kids. Take some time to be alone; your family will thank you later.
Find a hobby. Do something you love. Take a break from social media. Catch up with a friend. Write. Read. Sing. Dance. Whatever it is that will make you be you again.
You are ROCKING it! You’re doing a fantastic job, and no one but YOU can be the best mom to your kids; that is why God chose YOU as their mother!
With Love, Heidy
Are you interested in a little bit of a personal development newsletter? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”
Recently, I finished reading “Overcoming Underearning – A five-step plan to a richer life” by Barbara Stanny. It was gifted to me by my business coach, and honestly, at first, I didn’t think I was going to read it. First, I had never heard of Barbara Stanny, and second, I wasn’t interested in earning more money; my goal was to get my finances in order (you don’t necessarily need more money to achieve that). However, I’m glad I read this book, and I encourage any woman who has a business or needs to get their finances in order (like me) to read it.
In this book, Barbara provides five steps to a better life, as the title says, and today I want to talk to you about step four, create community.
Barbara says, “Whatever we achieve (or don’t) is significantly affected by our cumulative interactions with everyone we associate with on a regular basis.”
And this statement hit home when I read it. I immediately thought of my spouse, friends, and family members, who have supported all my projects. She says that there are four types of supporters:
True Believers – say, “Go for it.”
Confidantes – say, “I understand.”
Way Showers – say, “You can do it, too; let me show you how.”
Messengers – say, “I can help.”
It’s imperative to have support around you to reach any goal because we cannot do anything alone. I mean, you could, but it will be ten times harder and take ten times longer. You need people around you who will hold you accountable, provide resources, and inspire you.
Think about your support system – do you share your goals with them? Why or why not? Can you share your goals with your friends? What about family members? Are they supportive? Why or why not? Barbara mentions that you are more likely to reach a goal or the next level by sharing your goals with one other person.
What about your spouse? Are they supportive? In the book, she mentioned that after finishing her workshop, some women ended up separating from their spouses because they realized the spouse was holding them back. Now, I’m not saying to get a divorce; I’m saying to re-evaluate who you have around you.
I share my goals with my husband, and I share the steps I am going to take to reach those goals. The kids are with my husband when I have events, meetings, or need to record a podcast episode. When I am struggling or have doubts about anything, I go to my husband for support. He gives me his perspective and sometimes suggestions on how to approach my challenge. If not, he always reminds me to pray.
My closest friends celebrate my wins like they are theirs, and I do theirs. I try to support them in any way that I can. And you should have people around you like this, who believe in you and your dreams and will encourage and support you to achieve them.
Let me finish by giving you the six principles Barbara says you need to create a powerful community.
Realize no one will do this for you, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Reach out and ask for support.
Hang out with the kind of people you want to be, not who you’ve been.
Recognize the role of the naysayer.
Watch what you talk about.
Respect yourself by taking time for you.
Do you have a supportive community? Reach out if you need someone in your corner; I got you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you brought in the new year surrounded by loved ones or exactly how you wanted to. I cannot believe it’s 2023, and I’m writing my blog post about my word of the year. I swear, every year goes by faster and faster. (And I probably write that EVERY SINGLE YEAR LOL.)
Last year’s word was growth. I wrote that I wanted to grow in my career, which I did (check), in motherhood (adjusting to being a mom of two), and in my writing. And if you read my recap of 2022, I feel like I did a lot of growth last year. So, this year – it makes sense that God gave me the word discipline.
Here are the three areas where I’m going apply discipline this year.
So, after having my son, it’s been a struggle to stay consistent in trying to lose the baby weight. I know that losing weight, in general, is hard work, but I’ve never had to do that in my life before because I’ve always been skinny. Even after having my daughter, since I had her so young, the weight came right off. This is the first time I’ll have to work to lose weight, and it’s all new to me.
I want to be consistent in working out, and it’s not only for losing weight but to be healthier too. I would like for it to be my lifestyle. My biggest problem is not being consistent. I’ll start working out, do it for like a week or two, and then I’ll just stop. So, this year, I want to be disciplined in working out.
Did you know I have a business? Probably not because I’m not very good at promoting it, but I do. I provide writing services to small businesses (newsletter, social media, blog posts, show notes for podcasts, etc.) And I help podcasters launch and manage their podcasts. (Official name of my business is coming soon).
So, in this new year, I want to be disciplined in growing my business. Last year I did a few networking events, so I’ll continue to do that but also, I need to promote my business better. If you want to start a podcast, send me a message, and let’s talk.
With my podcast, I’ve been consistent, and I definitely want to continue to grow. Eventually, it would be nice to have my own podcast studio and have guests come and do the interviews in person.
Okay, for the past few months, I’ve been reading finance books, listening to audible books, and learning as much as I can about investing, budgeting, and savings. Hubby and I have been working on getting our finances together and being more financially literate. So, for this new year, I want to be disciplined with my money. Our biggest goal is to get out of debt (it’s so easy to get into debt, but such a hassle to get out of it). We have set a plan to pay off debt, and I want to stick to it.
My biggest problem is seeing events happening, and I want to go to all of them. And I want to buy all the books! And I want to travel, and I want to make all these memories with my family. I want to do everything at once and right now because life is short, LOL. But then we get into more debt, and it’s a cycle every single year.
But this year will be different! At the end of the year, I will write that they are debt free! 🙂
It’s that time of year again! It is time to do my yearly recap, write down all that went down in the year, and get ready with the new word for next year. It seems like every year; it arrives quicker.
I feel like these posts will be great for when I’m old and want to reminisce on my life – I’ll pull up these yearly recap posts and read them to my grandchildren. LOL (They probably won’t care.)
Alright, let’s get started.
We brought the new year at home with our newborn Jayden and hubby’s family. It was quiet and pleasant. We spent the majority of this month at home; we were both on parental leave from our jobs and very sleep-deprived. I started having guests for my YouTube channel this month! I started with my friend LaUni who is a musician – you can check out the interview here.
I bought a cookie decorating kit at Sam’s Club for Valentine’s Day. Lia and I decorated the cookies with our neighbor and her two girls. I attended a Galentine’s Paint Night with the ladies from church, which was nice. And they surprised me for my birthday and gave me flowers and a gift. This month is my birthday and our wedding anniversary, so this year it was hubby’s turn to plan something, and he did a romantic picnic in our little patio, which was so cute. He ordered Hibachi, and we watched the Super Bowl while eating. This month I also started writing on Medium – if you’d like to sign up, you can use my referral link here.
This month hubby and I opened an online t-shirt business. We ended up closing it a few months later, but I’m planning on using the LLC for something else (stay tuned – it’s still in the works). Also, thank you to all who supported us and bought t-shirts.
Jayden got his first ear infection, which was the first time I had dealt with that because Lia never got one when she was a baby.
Maternity leave ended this month, and I was NOT ready to start work. I wrote about that for Medium. While on maternity leave, I saw a coding position available, so I emailed the link to my work email, and on my first day back, I applied. One of my goals for 2022 was to land a coding position.
The first episode of my podcast was published! I was so excited to finally get a podcast going since I’ve wanted to host one since like 2019. Thank you once again to those who have supported the podcast. New episodes are available every other Tuesday on all major podcast platforms.
This month we flew down hubby’s firstborn son for Spring Break so he could meet his baby brother. We took all the kids out to Disney Springs. For Easter, we attended our church’s annual Easter celebration. It was an adjustment going out with a baby now. LOL, we were so used to just going out with Lia.
I attended the LifeWay Women’s Live Conference with the ladies from the church. You can read about my experience here or watch my video on my YouTube channel. I believe it was my first time being away from Jayden all day, and towards the end of the day, I was feeling mom guilt because I felt like I shouldn’t have been away from him for that long.
So, remember that I applied for the coding position? Well, the following week, I had an interview, and they gave me an offer right away – I started at the end of this month. I was so excited because it was a goal of mine for the year that I could check off and a goal I had for my career.
This month hubby and I had our first night out away from Jayden, but I wasn’t ready to leave him yet. We went to see Ricardo Arjona in concert, and he is one of hubby’s favorite musicians. His songs are literally poetry that tells a story. Anyways, I had gotten floor seat tickets the previous year, so I said even if I’m not ready, we are going. (I enjoy his music, too, LOL). We enjoyed the concert very much, but I ended up getting COVID.
I got COVID, and I called the pediatrician, and he told me that Jayden would most likely get it, so monitor his symptoms. So, Jayden got it, and my husband got it; the only person who didn’t get it was Lia. I talk about our symptoms and how we handled them on my YouTube channel; you can watch the video here.
After we were all done with COVID, well, Jayden and I, because hubby had lingering side effects, my daughter brought home the flu from school. So that was another week of being sick. It felt like we spent the whole month being sick.
This month I launched my gratitude journal! Check it out on Amazon!
I almost forgot the most important thing that happened this month – I GOT MY BRACES TAKEN OFF!
I saw Juan Luis Guerra again in concert – I attended with my friend and my aunt. It was so much fun!
Lia left for the summer to be with her dad in the Dominican Republic.
I started the self-publishing process of my poetry book, and that was a challenge. I wrote about my process here. If you are interested in self-publishing or have any questions – contact me; I’d love to help.
We spent the 4th of July at home, and family came over, which was nice. We went to see the sunrise at the beach, which was beautiful. If you haven’t done that yet, I recommend you do that at least once in your life. Lia came back from DR!
And my poetry book was published this month! Barnes & Noble, Target, and Book Depository were the first websites to pick up my book; now, when you google it, there are websites from all over the world that have it! I spent the majority of this month creating my marketing plan, and I did a photoshoot to help promote it. I contacted fellow writers to read the book and provide reviews, and some of my friends did too. And I set up podcast interviews to discuss my book, the journey, and promote it. I was also planning a book launch party. This was a busy month for me.
August is one of my favorite months because it’s my husband’s birthday, a few good friends, and some family members. Lia started 3rd grade – so she’s an upperclassman now, LOL. Hubby and I went to the batting cages for the first time, which was cool. And towards the end of the month, I had my book launch party!
The feeling of seeing all your family and closest friends together celebrating your book is something I cannot even express. My best friend from high school flew down for the book launch party, and it was nice to have her stay with me for a few days.
I was invited to be a guest speaker at a Latina business networking event. I spoke about my journey with my book, why I wrote it, and what it is about. I also talked about my podcast, and I booked two sisters to share their journey of being children of immigrants. (Once their episode is published, I’ll let you know).
We took our first family road trip down to Miami for Labor Day weekend. We stayed in a nice Airbnb in the middle of the art district, so we were a few blocks away from the Wynwood Walls. We took the kids to the Miami kid’s museum, we ate, and we shopped. Overall, it was a nice family getaway.
One of my friends from high school sent me a picture, letting me know that my poetry book was in the district library in my hometown. I cannot wait to visit back home to see it in the library.
My dad’s birthday was such a blast this year. The family gathered at his house to eat, play dominos, drink, and we ended the night singing karaoke.
This month I did spoken word poetry for the first time! It was hosted at an art museum, and I thought there wouldn’t be too many people, but the turnout was good. I was so nervous, but I did it, and I’m proud of myself.
Lia and I went to a fall festival at a church close to our house. She had fun playing games and getting her face painted.
My sister got her senior pictures taken, and I helped her with her make-up. I cannot believe she’s a senior in high school already!
I started therapy this month because I thought I was going through another depressive episode and found out that I was burnt out – I wrote about it on Medium.
The busy season started! Lia and I went to paint pottery with my friend and her daughter, which was fun! This was a new experience for all of us. We also saw HAMILTON, the musical, and we LOVED it! I was a vendor for the first time at a Pink Friday event. That was an experience.
We celebrated Lia’s 9th birthday! And I was interviewed for an internet radio show. (So many firsts this year). I slowed down on scheduling podcast recordings because of being burnt out, but I am still doing interviews and being a guest on podcast shows.
Do you remember when I told you my best friend came for my book launch party? Well, she told me her job needed medical coders, and I applied. Getting hired took a while because I applied at the end of August but didn’t start until the 7th of this month. So, I am a coding analyst for a non-profit insurance company.
Oh my – we made it to December! I honestly cannot believe how fast this year went. It feels like time goes by faster and faster as I get older. But I started this month performing poetry again. Once again, I was so nervous, but I’m so glad I did it! And I cannot wait to host my own poetry night. I went to a friend’s surprise birthday party and had an amazing time; I also got to meet her baby boy. 🙂 We put up the Christmas tree and attended Lia’s Christmas presentation. Lia and I went to my sister’s winter dance showcase (her last one since it’s her senior year); hopefully, I can make it to the one in the spring too. We took family pictures. And I was a vendor again at a 2nd-anniversary celebration for Femme Strong. It was a great celebration, and I connected with other amazing women business owners.
Alright, since this post is out today (December 19th), this is what we still have coming up:
Jayden’s first birthday
New Year’s Eve
If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for your time, and I hope I’ve inspired you in some way or another. I pray that you and your loved ones have a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous new year. God Bless You Tremendously.
Hello wonderful reader! I’ve realized that I’ve been writing blog posts and haven’t given a life update on here in awhile. So, today I’m writing about what has been going on in my life.
In Medium, I wrote about how I wasn’t ready to return to my job after maternity leave; you can read that article here. And I wrote about getting a promotion; you can read about that here. I am currently working full-time as a medical coding specialist. I’m still working for the same hospital, and I’m still working from home. The department I work for has been remote for the last six years, so since before the pandemic, and as long as I stay within this department, I’ll be remote. I absolutely love what I do, and I love my team. I didn’t realize how stressed I was until after I started this position. I’m enjoying how laid back my job is, and I don’t see myself changing for now.
Home life is good! My son is getting bigger every day, my daughter is getting smarter every day, and my hubby is good. I love that since I work from home, I’m with my son all day, every day. Although it sometimes gets overwhelming, I love that I get to see his every milestone. Unlike with my daughter, I worked away from the house, so I was only with her during the evenings. I want to write about this in more detail later, but I’m enjoying my home life for now.
Side Hustles/Passion Projects/Hobbies
I don’t even know what to call this paragraph; as you can see, I added three things, LOL. So, in addition to blogging and writing, I started a podcast. It’s called, The American Dream In The Eyes of Immigrants. I started it in March, and it’s been amazing! I talk with immigrants about their immigration stories to the US. They share the culture shocks they experienced, their first memory and feelings when they arrived, and how they adapted to living in a new country. I’m learning a lot, and I love hearing people’s stories. My goal with this podcast is to help change the narrative of immigration in the US to a more compassionate and empathetic way. I feel the best way to do that is by sharing and listening to immigrant stories.
In addition to doing my podcast, I’ve been a guest on several different podcasts, sharing my story and promoting my poetry book, which I wrote about here. I share the podcasts I’ve been a guest on Twitter – you can follow me there to keep up with the shows.
So being a guest on podcasts, hosting my podcast, and keeping up with my writing projects has kept me extremely busy. However, I’m enjoying everything so far. God has provided me with many opportunities after publishing my book, and I’ve been networking with other businesswomen around my city.
Plans for the Future
I want to start providing workshops and classes to share my knowledge. I’ve been brainstorming about creative writing classes, journaling classes, hosting poetry slams, art showcases, and how to start a podcast class (in person and virtual). Also, I want to continue to network with people online and in person and be guest speakers for podcasts and maybe conferences. I want to build my brand! I am so thankful for everything God is doing in my life, and I’m so humbled by all the opportunities. I’ve also LOVED all the people I’ve met and connections made.
I’m absolutely in love with life right now. 🙂
Let me know how things are going on in your life – I love connecting!
I recently went to a Latina small business owners networking event, and one of the other attendees was talking about motherhood, and she said something that really intrigued me. She said (this is me paraphrasing), “when a new baby is born, a mother is born, which is a new version of yourself. You don’t know how to be a mother, you have to learn as you go, but you were also a person before you were a mother; you still have an identity.” It reminded me of this blog post I had on my list to write, three ways not to lose your identity in motherhood.
It seems like once you become a mom, that’s all society wants you to be, a mother. But we are much more than just a mom. Yes, it’s a demanding, tiring, most rewarding job, but it’s not the only thing we are. Think back to who you were before you became a mom. What did you like? What did you do? What brought you a sense of self? Do you still do those things? Why or why not?
Yes, there are certain things you probably won’t continue to do once you become a mom. For example, if you were an everyday party animal before, that cannot continue. But that’s not what I’m talking about; I’m talking about what was your identity before you got the title “mom?” So, today I want to bring three ways not to lose your identity in motherhood.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of spending time with your children? Do you like to read? Do you like to write? Do you like to go for walks? Do you like to swim? Write down a list of things you like to do and schedule a time to do them.
I love reading and writing, hence why I’m writing this blog post, but I have to make time to do this with being a mom of two. Currently, my husband is with my son, and my daughter is next door playing with her friend, so I am able to write this blog post. When it comes to the reading part, I include my kids sometimes. I’ll read to them what I’m currently reading if it’s age-appropriate, of course, or sometimes it’s poetry that I read to them, but it’s something I enjoy.
Self-Care / Take a break
Being a mom is exhausting! And if we do not take a break, we will burn out, which can cause harm to ourselves. TAKE.A.BREAK! Make a list of things you like to do to feel relaxed or take care of yourselves. For example, massages, getting your nails done, taking a nap, going to the beach, or meditation. Whatever it is for you, make sure to schedule it throughout the week.
What self-care looks like for me is reading the bible, journaling, getting my nails done, and getting a massage every once in a while. Yes, I have mom guilt at times, thinking that getting my nails done is taking too long, or maybe I should be doing something with the kids. But then I remember, how can I take care of my family if I’m not taking care of myself? I cannot pour from an empty cup. I’m always putting my family first; sometimes, putting myself first is okay. And you should too.
I wrote an article for Medium about why adult friendships are so hard, and as mothers, we know that once you have kids, certain friendships fade. However, true friendships will last because those friends understand that you no longer have the same freedom you once had.
Although adult friendships are hard, I still believe it’s important to maintain friendships and not lose our identities in motherhood. Why? Because we need adult conversations from time to time. We need connections with other adults and a good laugh every once in a while.
When was the last time you had a lunch date with a friend? If you cannot remember, text a girlfriend and set up a time to meet. If you cannot do a lunch date, maybe a dinner date, or even invite them over to your house for a little bit for some coffee or tea. Whatever it is, make an effort to meet up with at least one friend because you deserve it.
*Bonus* Don’t Neglect Your Marriage
Many people say kids come first, but I don’t believe that is true when you are married. Before you go clutching your pearls, hear me out. Yes, my children are a high priority to me, and my husband and I take excellent care of our kids, but my marriage comes first, and here’s why.
Once my kids leave the house, my husband is who will stay with me, and if during all these years, I’ve lost my identity and I wasn’t putting my marriage first, I’m not going to know who I am anymore, and I’m not going to have a marriage because I haven’t been putting effort towards the marriage, I’ve just been kids, kids, kids. Do you see what I’m saying? Yes, you aren’t just a wife, but your partner should help you to not lose your identity, and if you have, they should help you get it back. Don’t neglect your marriage.
Alright, all you wonderful mommies – you have some homework to do! Make sure to make a list of your hobbies and do them, make a list of things that you find relaxing and do them, schedule a friendship date, and work on your marriage.
Hey! Today I am bringing you another guest post. It’s been a while since I’ve had a guest writer on my blog, so it was overdue. Today I am bringing you my blogger friend Michelle, all the way from South Africa!
While she wears many hats like mom, blogger, YouTuber, career woman and wife – she is just a millennial mom trying figure out this thing called life, as she likes to say.
As she guest wrote for my blog – I also wrote for her blog and you can check out my post here.
Enjoy her post!
3 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do When Juggling Life
Hi there! Michelle from Growing With Spawn here. If you know me, you probably know me as Shelly – the blogger, YouTuber, corporate woman, wife, and mother who has her life together. However, today, I’m Michelle – the overwhelmed, messy girl who fed her daughter yogurt and bread for dinner. I’ve shared my tips on juggling it all before, but what I never shared was what happens on days like these—the days when I can’t be bothered to take off my pajamas or wash my face. And yes, those days happen frequently. So instead of presenting a perfect picture, I thought I’d share some things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to juggle … well, life!
Don’t Take Rest Lightly
We all have those moments when we feel like we can conquer the world. For me, that’s usually two hours after my bedtime, after scrolling mindlessly on social media. I’m not sure what is so enticing about the darkroom and tiny screen, but it’s a habit I can’t seem to kick for the life of me. So, every single night without fail, I find myself covered in my duvet, nose poking out and phone in hand.
If you can relate to this, I’m sure you know what’s coming the next-the morning after, the ‘hangover’ feeling!
We sometimes just scrape through the day on caffeine, energy drinks, and way too much sugar. And while this may be okay every now and then, it surely isn’t sustainable. Especially if you are consistently juggling many responsibilities, so as hard as it is, rest is something that we really need to treat with respect – almost like a full-time job.
Hmmm, I see you lowering your coffee mug!
Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Burnt Out
So here’s the thing, I don’t quite have a set routine for anything, which means I always barely get things done. You will find me writing blog posts at 2 am or taking my morning shower at noon. Heck, if I were allowed to, I would probably work on weekends and use my weekdays for – well, nothing really!
But the thing about juggling life is that you need to be strategic about what you do. If you know you have bursts of energy in the morning, get the most work done then. If you know, you have a full-time job but still want to write blog posts, set aside the time for it. And if you have other responsibilities, make sure you allocate the time accordingly.
As the huge hypocrite that I am today (i.e., Michelle, not Shelly), I feel extremely qualified to give this piece of advice. Failure to actually plan things then rushing them last minute can leave you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Yes, working well under pressure is really a thing, but it can’t be the thing you do every time.
So please don’t be like me!
You Probably Shouldn’t Skip Your Self Care
People who say that self-care is very easy have no real clue what self-care really is. Yes, I said it – you’re doing it all wrong! Self-care is not just painting your nails or taking a long bath. It’s much more than that, really.
Let me break it down for you.
If you aren’t journaling or finding some way to address your emotions as they come along, then you’re not caring for yourself. If you aren’t feeling great emotionally but would rather have drinks with your friends than see a therapist, you’re not taking care of yourself. And if you are spending way too much time in denial, running through the motions of life, then you are not taking care of yourself!
So, what does this have to do with juggling life?
Simple – if you plan on conquering the world, you definitely need to make sure that the ball between your shoulders and hair is actually doing okay. Take it from me; the gym isn’t just about abs, and sleep isn’t only for babies.
What I love about writing brutally honest blog posts is that I feel like I have to come up with some action plan that will be realistic to both you and me. I could easily advise you to set aside 3 hours a day to focus on the things you love, and I’m sure you would find a way to do it. But what most people often forget to tell you is that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s absolutely okay to feel overwhelmed every now and then, so always keep this important rule written on the back of your eyelids:
Don’t be too hard on yourself – juggling life isn’t meant to be easy!
Thank you so much Michelle for being so raw and honest with us. We all have our days when we are struggling with life. I know I do.
This past weekend I attended the Lifeway Women Live conference for the third time. You can read about my first time attending in 2019 here. Last year, the conference was virtual, and our church hosted it, but we met on Zoom. This year our church hosted again but physically at the church, and I loved it. I loved being with other Women of God pursuing Christ together, worshiping together, and praying over each other!
Angie Smith was the host this year, and I believe she did the first session, but since Lifeway was having some technical difficulties at the beginning of the conference, we weren’t able to hear her speak. I was looking forward to hearing Jamie Ivey’s message, but she and her family have been dealing with COVID, so prayers for them.
The worship band was Austin Stone Worship. And musical guest was Point of Grace, I had never heard of them before this conference, but apparently, they were popular in the 90s. Let me know if you listen to their songs or have heard of them. 🙂
The first message that stood out to me was Kristi McLelland. She asked, “What is your relationship with silence?” She wanted us to think if we try to avoid silence if we try to fill it, do we reach for our phones, and what gets stirred up inside us when there is silence? I found this question profound, and it got me thinking of doing a blog post about it. She tied the message by saying that what gets stirred up inside of us when there is silence is what we need to work on. Jesus can help us, but it’s up to us to want to get well.
The second message that stood out to me was Lisa Harper’s. Her message stemmed from Luke 11: 5-13, and this passage talks about seeking and you shall find and how the Lord will provide more. She mentioned that God always provides more than we could ever imagine and to always Aim towards Jesus. At one point during her message, she wanted us to lay hands on each other and pray. At this time, two ladies came up to me, we laid hands on each other, and prayed. That prayer was so powerful, and I felt the presence of God so profoundly that I felt like I wasn’t in the conference anymore. Also, I took over the prayer at one point, and I didn’t even have to think about what to say next; the words were flowing out of me!
The last message that stood out to me was Jackie Hill Perry’s. She had three points:
The tongue is accountable
The tongue is powerful
The tongue is inconsistent
Now, when it comes to Jackie, I didn’t take many notes because the way she speaks has me captivated the whole time that I forget to write. I did write one thing she said, “words can hurt, but words can heal.” This reminded me of a blog post about word selection I wrote back in 2019 because words do hold much weight, and words are very powerful. Whether used for good or evil, words have power. I always try to say positive and encouraging things to others and myself because I’m not too fond of negative energy. I find it very draining.
Overall, the conference was refreshing and empowering. Since the first one I’ve attended, I love conferences and have attended writing and speaking conferences too. Jackie Hill Perry has a conference coming up later on this year, and one of the cities she will be at is Atlanta, which I would love to attend.
Have you attended a Lifeway Women conference before? If so, what was your experience? Maybe you have attended another conference, let me know about that one; I’d love to hear all about your experience.