Actually make the time to pour in to yourself. You “make the time” by taking a real look at your current schedules (plural because you have multiple schedules when you consider your spouse and your kids), identifying “pockets of time” (or a moment to get away on days off, early mornings, during nap time…etc), and then scheduling the time for yourself (actually writing it down is a game changer). I am a firm believer inSCHEDULING time for myself and embracing the “mini moments” to fill my cup spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and relationally.Spending time with Jesus, therapy, sun filled walks, sitting in silence in the car, daily affirmation using God’s word, lunch with friends, doing whatever makes you look and feel your best (my fave)…etc. It all counts! Whether 30 minutes, or a full weekend… Prioritize pouring into yourself!
2. Identify your own specific needs.
From childcare, to home schooling… being a working mom, mompreneur, corporate mom or SAHM… to Hiring a chef, or a house keeper, or investing in the equipment to handle it yourself… get super clear about what you need and findyour OWN FLOW! All schedules, routines, systems and lifestyles ARE NOT created equal. One size DOES NOT fit all. So you must get super clear about what you need. When you’re doing what’s best for you and your family, and let go of the need for approval from others… chiiii…. that’s freedom!
3. Ask for and accept support!
The more I do this work the more I realize that most moms feels overwhelmed and lack confidence as moms because they are trying to do it all by themselves. And sadly so many moms say that even with their best efforts, they feel like they’re falling short. Momma, let me free you with this NEWSFLASH… there’s no special reward or extra stimulus check coming because you’re trying to DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF! Running yourself into the ground, is played out. Believe me I speak from experience… Ask for support, accept it and allow those trusted loved ones (family, friends and YOUR HUSBAND) to pour into your life!
When you prioritize yourself as a mom, you show up more confidently, present and grounded as a mom, in your marriage, in your home and career! All the areas that matter most to you are impacted by how you care for yourself. So, take care… and prioritize yourself!
I want to hear from you! Whether a working momma, mompreneur… How are you prioritizing yourself? What do you do to help you show up confidently as a mom!? Share with me on social media…@Reese__Dennis
Over the past 15 months, I’ve intentionally been creating space, and making the time to care for myself. Every single “Selfish Sunday”(i.e My personal Self Care Day to res, renew and revive myself), has been lit, and it’s been a game changer for how I show up as a mom!
I know we often talk about “filling our cups” as moms, but how many of us can say that we intentionally and consistently make the time to do just that.
We all know mom life is filled with SO MUCH for us to do, and when we continually push and push and push, without taking the time to recharge… it’s no wonder over 90% of millennial moms say they feel overwhelmed and burned out (Mother.ly survey)!
And believe me, I get it. I know what it’s like to feel completely overwhelmed. Like you’ve been thrown into the deep, but haven’t learned how to swim yet. YIKES, I know!
It all started about a year ago, after one of the lowest points in my mommy journey. After 2 hours of unsuccessfully trying to put my exclusively breastfed baby to sleep that night, I’d reached my breaking point.
Now, It wasn’t my overtired little one that did it, although sleep has been a serious pain point for me. But that moment was truly the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.
You see, up until that point I’d been doing everything and showing up for everyone, but myself. Yes, I’d have a moment to myself here and there, but truly I’d taken on the “supermom” role doing it all alone, when I had people, including a whole husband, ready to support me.
Well that night, I was fading fast. I could literally feel the tears and tension rising!
My husband came home right on time. As soon as he walked into the room, I handed our little lady over and made my way to the bathroom. I’d barely closed the door when my knees dropped to the floor. It was all so much, and I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. All I could do was cry out to God and say,
“If you don’t help me I’m not going to make it”. I’d had enough of trying to do it all.
It was evident that I was running close to “empty”. I needed some seriousself-care, to fill my cup
I got up from the bathroom floor, tears still flowing, and felt led to call my sister for support. As a fellow momma, I just knew she would get it and would be able to speak into my life. She encouraged me, and told me how important it is for us as moms to take time away, especially during a pandemic. So I took her words to heart, grabbed a blanket and sat in the car outside of my home for 30 minutes to cry, pray and regroup. Yes, in my car and it was just what I needed.
In that moment, it was clear that I needed this time, and then some. And as soon as I walked back in the house, I told my husband I needed to take some time to get myself together. He was 100% on board. So I went to my family calendar, looked to see when my husband was off from work next, and scheduled a lunch date for myself… which just so happened to be the very next day 🙌🏾.
I pumped, and prepared everything hubby would need so that I could peacefully enjoy sometime by myself… and it was everything. No phone, no agenda… I literally sat at the table, and stared at the green bush in front of my while I enjoyed my meal in silence. I can’t explain it, but it was amazing. I was only gone for a little over 2 hours, but I felt like a brand new mom when I came back home. Since then, I’ve been on a serious mission to care for myself as a top priority in my life…yes as a whole mom.
✅ I’ve scheduled and enjoyed my “Selfish Sunday“every month for the past 15 months… and your girl is still going strong!
✅ I am no longer obsessed with pleasing other, or trying to do it all alone. There ain’t no prize for running myself into the ground, and I refuse to wear overwhelm & burnout as some sort of VIP access badge for mom life. NO! I am learning how to ask for the support that I need… EVERY SINGLE TIME, and it’s been a game changer!
Listen, I’ve had to do the work, and it has always been worth it!
Selfcare in my life has gone from a once in a blue moon treat, to an EVERY DAY necessity. Yes, I find “mini moments” for myself everyday, in addition to the other ways I need to care for myself… spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and relationally.
I’ve reclaimed my time. Self care has become my lifestyle.
I want the same for you. It’s time to reclaim your time. It’s time to make yourself a top priority. Here’s a great place to start:
1 Get Familiar with your schedule.
Identify when you/your spouse have a day off and pre-plan to enjoy time for yourself that day. That’s exactly how it all started for me. Start as small as you need to. I know we all want to disappear for a week… or even a month (lol), but for most of us that just is not possible in this season. What is possible, is for you to secure 30 min – 1 hour of time to disappear. Start there, and grow! I promise making this small step will help you to continue on!
2 Schedule Yourself!
Yes, as you identify moments in your schedule where you can slip away… (whether an ice cream break in the car, a lunch date with friends, or a weekend getaway)… take pen to paper and write it down. Use that “mini pocket assistant” (cell phone), and set all alarms, alerts, reminders and timers! It doesn’t matter if it is 30 minutes or a full weekend. Get Your Time, Momma! All those moments matter… so take advantage!
3 Ask for support!
You don’t have to do it all alone. Remember there is no special prize, or reward for driving yourself into the ground, trying to do it all alone. Ask for the support you need and accept it when it is offered! For my married mommas, I share a great deal about this in mypost here… it’s a must read… because Ain’t no way God intended for you to be married, but still feel like you’re single doing it all alone… and you have a whole husband! Sis!!!
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There was a season in my life as a mom, when I expected my husband tojust “get it”. I expected him to look at me and our child, access the situation, and find ways to show up and support me. Like we’re both parents, tap into that daddy intuition, and let’s go!
But that’s not what was happening at all.
He would see me, see the situation, but wouldn’t do what I expected him to do. I was completely frustrated. Like why aren’t you HELPING ME! Can’t you see how much is on my plate right now? Can’t you see I need you?
Now don’t get me wrong, my husband is amazing, and he has stepped up in sooo many ways. This man loves being a dad, loves his daughter and would do anything for the both of us. I just knew that what he did didn’t always match up with what I needed in the moment.
So one fine day, while calmly expressing my frustration and how I felt “like he wasn’t supporting me”… do you know what this brother said to me!?!
He said: “I see you with Dream, and I want to come running, but I don’t always know how to help you”.
LAWD!!!! Talk about a wake up call.
So my husband wasn’t ignoring me, or intentionally leaving me to fend for myself. He just wasn’t clear on how exactly I needed to be supported. 🤯 So simple, but I’d missed it, completely!
My disappointment, frustration and resentment had little to do with him and so much to do with me! I don’t like to admit it, but God got me all the way together.
I EXPECTED so much from my husband (in his daddy role) without actually COMMUNICATING specifically what I needed from him! Like idk why I didn’t see it before, but in what world does that even make sense…
Expecting someone to do something and they don’t even know what that *something* is… huh?!
Well, from this one exchange, I was reminded to stop assuming and to always communicate my needs. We both apologized to each other. We both noticed ways where we could have done things better to support each other. We’re both new to this whole parent thing, and we’re both growing and learning… the key is to always do it TOGETHER!
Ever since that moment, I have been working on the best ways to enlist the support I need from my husband. I am still learning and growing, but these following tips have changed the game, for both of us! I hope they help you as well!
5 steps to get the support you need from your husband
1. Check your expectations!
This is where it all started. I was frustrated, overwhelmed, and felt alone because I had expectations that I’d never communicated with my husband. Remember, we can’t expect someone to do something when they aren’t even aware of what that something is.
2. Leave your assumption at the door. Men are NOT mind readers!
As well as our husbands know us… they cannot ready out minds! I had to stop assuming that my husband would see me and just know what to do. I had to stop assuming that his “daddy intuition” made him a mind reader. Men can see our frustrations, they can even see that we need help, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just “get it” and know what do for you in that moment. I remember one time, I was literally struggling to get Dream into her bottoms, and my husband just sat there… I was fuming, but I didn’t say anything until our checkin later that morning. Come to find out, he was sitting close by waiting to see what I needed from him. He didn’t want to say anything, but he wanted me to know he was available. LAWD!!! Learned my lesson… now, when he’s around to help… I tell him EXACTLY what I need.
3. Ask for what you want/need and be specific!
Many men want to step up and show off for us, but they won’t be able to do that if they don’t know how. We have to tell them, and be extremely specific. I use “tell” pretty lightly, because it indeed works best when it is a partnership; but, the point still remains… we must communicate and be specific. Just saying, “Babe I don’t feel like you help/support me”… isn’t enough. You need to be clear about where and how you need to be supported. what exactly does that “support” look like to you? What exactly do you expect from your husband? Does he fully understand, and are those requests/expectations realistic?
4. Be okay with questions (LAWDDDD)
I’m still working on this, but I’m learning to be okay with my husband asking questions about what we’ve discussed. Listen, after deciding what he can do to support me and writing it down on the schedule… the last thing I would expect from him is, “what do you need me to do, again”😭😭😭. I’m learning to give my husband grace, in the same way I would want it for myself. We both have busy schedules, and sometimes we forget. Sometimes we need a reminder. We always need grace. It’s okay to ask questions. (PRAY FOR ME)!
5. Check in regularly!
My husband and I have what I call “D-Day” every week. This is baby-free time for us to discuss, decide & date. We discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and how we can support each other. It’s so important for us to check in regularly, because things change. Schedules change, babies and their needs change… WE CHANGE… so we both have to be flexible. For example, hubby and I had a whole schedule where we would rotate bedtime duties with our little lady. Over the past couple weeks, bedtime has changed drastically and I’m leaning in to my daughter’s needs in this season. With that change, I realized I’d been doing a lot more during bedtime, and would need my husband’s support in other areas. So during our weekly checkin, I was able to express how I was feeling, as well as provide a list of specific things my husband could do to support me, especially during the evenings when he used to be on bedtime duty. And he has been on it ever since!
Bonus tip: Make deposits & Empower your man!
Ask yourself are you supporting your husband? Are you giving him that same level of time, attention and care as you desire for yourself? Are you celebrating him, encourage him and let him know how well he’s doing supporting you and the family? Or do you find yourself only highlighting his mistakes, failures and how he’s disappointing you? Momma… pour into your husband! Build that man up! Stroke every inch of his ego… (no pun intended haha). Momma, I promise you… making deposits and empowering your husband will only do wonders for the future of how he supports you!
I want to be very clear. I’ve had some huge wins in how my husband supports me. And Although these steps are simple, this process takes work❤️❤️❤️. My husband and I have specifically been working on our in house “support strategy” for well over a year, and we still have work to do. We’ve had to address certain things for months before figuring out what worked best for us. We’ve also had to unlearn somethings, while growing. And guess what? With each step on this journey as parents, there will be new challenges to overcome, more things to discuss..possibly more babies to raise (😭). It takes time, and it is indeed a journey. So please approach with love, an open heart and a whole lot of grace. I promise you it will all be worth it!
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It was a Thursday evening, back in fall 2020. I’d just ended a Live Training for Mommy Stylists, while my husband took over all the evening/ night time duties with our 16 month old.
While putting away my tripod, laptop and equipment… my husband came downstairs hyped because he’d successfully put our little lady to sleep with minimal effort.
Y’all… the brother was READY to hang out.
But I was tired, and all I wanted to do was wind down and sleep.
You see this particular “Thursday” was “our day”. Before Dream was born, Thursday was our date day, and once Dream popped up on the scene, we decided it would become family day (unless we had someone to watch her, then of course we could date like old times).
But slowly and ever so surely… Thursday turned into my “work day”. 😬
It started off pretty innocently.
A quick call early in the morning before our day together started. Then a “quick” client from 7-10. But over time those “quick” work things started to become my norm, and I was working well into the time that was supposed to be just for us.I kinda noticed but hubby really noticed and was feeling some type of way.
I can’t recall exactly what happened on this day, but I do distinctly remember him saying…
“Why do I get your leftovers?”
“You’re always so live and bubbly on Instagram and with your mom group, but how come I don’t get that same energy?”
Can you say “OUCH” 😭😭😭😭😭
Yall… I was hurt, angry and a bit overwhelmed by this truth dart. I tried to say “Babe, that’s because that’s just business, and I have an image to maintain”… but God wasn’t finna let me get away with that excuse!
My husband was 1,000% right…. and I knew it!
You see sometimes you don’t need to step away and pray for God to show you what you need to do… sometimes He allows you to see it right then and there and you have to decide what you’re gonna do.
So I turned to him and said “I’m so sorry”.
I’d been giving my all to so many things that season… my little lady (obvi), my clients, my image… all of it… but my husband… the love of my life… my boo bear… was getting my leftovers! And he felt it.
Although I don’t like that I allowed that to happen… I’m so grateful that:
1. He felt comfortable telling me how he felt, and was not afraid to question me and my motives (we need that sometimes)
2. That I was able to receive it and that God was able to work on my heart in the moment
Since then… I’ve made several changes…
1. I’ve intentionally put my marriage in it’s proper place. My marriage is strong, and it’s even stronger now with the challenges we overcome. I realized that my marriage is to be honored above all else, yes… above my career, serving in church…etc. If my house isn’ t in order (i.e. my marriage), then what am I really doing. Furthermore, if my hubby tried to give me his leftovers…. LAWD! No Bueno!
2. I honor the day we set aside for ourselves. I no longer work in any capacity on “our day”. If God called me to do it, then I trust that He will help me to align my life in such a way where I am able to show up in purpose, and honor my commitment to my husband and our spending time together. I’ve had to get really intentional about how I structure my week… oh and my “no” game is stronger than ever!
3. I schedule “our day” on the calendar.To show how much of a priority our time is together, I put pen to paper and schedule our time together every single week. And now that has transformed into what we call “D-Day” where we sit, discuss what’s working and how we can improve, make decisions for our lives and our family together… and we DATE!!!!
Now please don’t miss the message. There will be times when you need “a moment”. There are times when I truly don’t have “it” to give, and my hubby knows and respects that. He’s also been even more intentional about finding ways to support me when I have “one of those days”. However, if you’re constantly giving all of yourself to everyone else… your family, friends, clients… and your husband is lucky to get an ounce of time/love/affection… then I encourage you to check yourself.
That should not be the norm, momma.
Check your priorities. Are things in their proper place? Ask God to show you your blind spots. Ask God not only to open your eyes to see, but to open your heart to receive direction and correction. As wives we have to put pride aside… along with all the narratives that would tell us we’re always right and our husbands should bend to our will… and courageously do the work to make things right. Let’s stop giving our husbands our leftovers.
Your husband and your marriage are worthy of your first fruits!
A few days ago I got caught all the way off guard while heading out for a quick target run.
A newer neighbor passed by and it was like a full blown game of 20 questions about me, my child, our whereabouts 😑😑😑
I was so focused on getting my little lady into her car seat that I didn’t even realize I was giving all the tea without even thinking.
Like I deep down I knew I didn’t want to answer, but I didn’t want to lose focus competing in the EXTREME SPORT of putting a toddler in a carseat! 😭😭😭 LIKE SWEAT & TEARS LEVEL.. THE STRUGGLE!!
It was a lot.. and it was all happening so fast! Like sis clearly had been practicing how to get in and get the tea quickly… and I WASN’T READY!!
Come to find out she’s a daycare provider, and was clearly out recruiting… IDK… so I can only assume she wasn’t *trying* to be intrusive.
But it felt very intrusive and I didn’t like it!!!
All I know is that once I got settled in the car, I just sat there for like 20 seconds like “what just happened”. and decided I would NEVER let that happen to me again.
And so I created this list of responses, all of which I practice and use on the regular, because whether with a new neighbor, or a loved one… I want to have full control over what I choose to share and discuss.
And I don’t want any momma to feel how I felt that day… so SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!
Love what you’re seeing? Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE! And be sure to connect with me on Instagram@Reese__Dennis♥️♥️