Married Life · Mommy Life

“Selfish Sunday” + How to Reclaim Your Time as a Mom

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 serious  self-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’ve also been able to find pockets of time… EVERY SINGLE DAY, to enjoy self-care using the “Self Care Strategy” I share in my Self Care Toolkit… see below.  I told you all in a previous post, Showers and beauty maintenance are forms of self care for me.  Those “mini moments” they count and I enjoy them all!

✅ 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 my post 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!!!

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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encouragement

Jesus, Therapy & Self Care | What Every Mom Needs to Know | Audio

Have you ever felt like God abandoned you?

No, like seriously!

You’re literally in the midst of a rain storm, snow storm, tornado, and an earthquake all at once and you just don’t see Him… Like God where you at???

Listen, the past few months have been… CHALLENGING!

I honestly feel like there was a meeting in the heavenly realm, and God offered me up and said “Have you considered my servant, Theresa”. 😭😭😭  I feel like I’ve been going through extreme testing and stretching… Pruning, and positioning. I feel like it’s been one thing after another and I now truly believe… it is all for His glory😭

Well today, I’m pouring out what’s been on my heart.  I’m sharing what’s been going on behind the scenes, and how I’ve been learning to trust God and how to remain in a place of victory in the midst of it all as a WHOLE MOM!

So we’re testing out a new-ish format, and today’s blog is in audio format! I consume nearly 75% of my content through audio so I decided to test it out on the blog. Hope you enjoy!

Easy to access! Just click below! Listen while you drive, plug in your EarPods and listen while you do your cleaning, shopping, or just sit and allow the words to shower you with God’s grace.  However, and where ever you decide to listen… I know it will bless you!

Audio Chapters

🎙 My Journey: Start
🎙 Jesus: 8:17
🎙 Therapy: 20:57
🎙 Self Care: 26:47

🔥Click Here to learn more🔥

 

xx

Mommy Life

Unpopular Opinion | Maintenance and Showers *ARE* Self Care (For Me)

Over the past several weeks I’ve seen a number of posts circulating on social media stating  that showers, getting our nails done, getting our  hair done, cleaning and running errands without the kids are not forms of self care for moms. They claim that these activities are “chores” and “basic maintenance/hygiene”, and should not be mistaken for self care.

When I see posts like this… posts that generalize our experience as moms… I typically mind my business.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and quite frankly I’m creating and living my own exciting life, and I love it… so I usually keep it moving. 

But in this instance I simply couldn’t move on.

Now, I totally agree with the intent of these posts, which is to address those (society and beyond) who shamefully and dismissively  tell moms  to “just be grateful for the ‘breaks’ they can get”.  Nobody,  can tell moms what they should or shouldn’t do, nor should any mom be made to feel guilty for wanting/needing/asking for more time to care for herself.

Even still, I felt like I needed to say something, for a few reasons.

1. All of the activities definitively deemed as NOT being self care for moms… are indeed forms of self care for me (emphasis on the “for me”).  Like, every single one…  and I am a mom.

2. I love to be empowered.   But any narrative that generalizes and dictates what our self care experiences “should be” as moms, and seemingly disapproves of  those who partake in forms of self care that are considered to be “basic maintenance”…  is a problem for me.  Self care is all about doing what is best for you. One size does NOT fit all.  So what you call “basic maintenance”,  could very well be a moment of rejuvenation for someone else. 

3. Furthermore,  we must be very careful not to disregard the beauty of starting where we are, and giving ourselves the grace and space to grow and evolve overtime. Self Care evolves as we evolve. 

So instead of minding my business, I decided to share my thoughts and take us back to basics, especially for the moms who may have felt pressured by this narrative to reach for some sort of “extravagance” when indeed self care is doing whatever you need to do FOR YOU!

Self care is the act of doing whatever YOU need to do to fill YOUR cup spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and relationally.

It has less to do with the activity (ie showers, target runs, organizing your closet, nails, Netflix binges, lunch/trips with friends… etc), and almost everything to do with what that activity does for you (fills your cup, clears your mind, provides the space to breathe, think, be, process and/or check out completely..etc).

As my good friend and Self Care Expert  Marquia Tyler LCSW puts it, “Self Care clears the clutter so you can be and see yourself more clearly.”  This hit me!

According to Oxford’s Dictionary, “Self” is defined as a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, and  “Care” is defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, ***maintenance***, and protection of someone or something. So to be quite literal,

SELF CARE is the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, ***maintenance***, and protection of a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others!

READ. THAT. AGAIN.

So we really can’t say, definitively, what is or isn’t self care for moms.  It’s all about what that mom needs. We must be careful not to minimize or dismiss  the experiences of others, simply because that experience no longer serves us. 

There is an easy fix to ALL OF THIS, though.  An easy way to shift and personalize the narrative,  which  is something that I’ve been learning to do more often, especially since becoming a mom. 

Instead of saying…

“this or that isn’t self care for moms

Simply say…

“As a mom, this or that isn’t self care for me

Remember, one size does not fit all. It is deeply personal.  So, that shower may not be “it” for you, but for another mom that shower is giving EVERYTHING it was supposed to gave. Not because someone told her “she should be grateful for it“,  but rather because it was what she needed.  

That was my experience on many occasions.

Earlier this month, I found myself weeks away from my “Selfish Sunday” (my own personal self care day), and in need of a serious break. There was so much going on, and I just needed the space to take a deep breath.  At this particular time I was not in the position to go out for a massage, or call friends to meet for lunch, nor was my therapist available. And I surely wasn’t going to just “hold on” until selfish Sunday. No… I seized MY moment right then and there. I knew what I needed and decided to act on it. So I asked my hubby to step in and take care of the morning routine with our daughter before he left for work,  and I disappeared for 20 minutes. 

What did I do?

I took a steaming hot shower. Yup, a shower. I prayed, cried, ask God for His strength, as worship music blared in the background. And when I stepped out I was ready for my day with my toddler.  In that moment I provide the space I needed to pour into my cup spirutaully, mentally and emotionally.  That shower, maintenance and all, WAS self care (for me).

The point is,  you decide. You do not have to settle, nor do you need to feel any type of way because you enjoy what others call “basic maintenance” or “chores”.  There is no shame in wanting/needing/asking for more, nor is there any shame in taking advantage of every opportunity you have to care for yourself. 

Let’s celebrate all the moments we take for ourselves, to cater to ourselves, to love on ourselves, to prioritize our needs, to pour into our wellbeing mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally… as whole moms!

Don’t let anyone… not even another mom… limit your experience because of the narrative they choose to embrace.  Our lives are  unique, and each season of support can look drastically different.  The goal is to make sure you check in with yourself, ask for the support you need, and take the time to care for yourself, in whatever form you decide works best for you“Do whatever you need to do to be and see yourself more clearly”… maintenance and all. 

One Size does not fit all.

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

Not for you? Share with a momma in need! 

encouragement · Mommy Life

Are Moms REALLY Blessed… all day everyday?

 Are moms really blessed… all day everyday?

I used to think being “blessed” was all about focusing on the good things and good circumstances in my life. That having “good” and “favorable” things happen in my life, was truly the essence of being blessed… Until I became a mom.

I am not sure about you, but when I’m having a serious mommy moment with my little lady, or when I’m faced with checking my own expectations… or when hubby and I have to do the hard work of figuring out how to parent on one accord… that whole “children are a blessing from the Lord” can seem a bit far fetched.  (Just me… oh okay)!

Listen, when I’m faced with a poop explosion, or a toddler tantrum that seems to last ALL DAY, or a toddler who is overwhelmed with extreme tiredness and refuses to sleep unless I hold her  (and I have other things to do), or when I’m faced with literally  NOT one THING  working out as planned…  I’m not thinking “I’m so blessed”. I’m actually questioning myself, trying to figure out where I went wrong,  because clearly this ain’t the life God promised me.

So I’ve been really praying and thinking about it. What does it really mean to live the “blessed life” as a mom?  How are we really “blessed” when we all face various tests and challenges as moms? 

Then I read Matthew Chapter  5… and verse 6 stood out to me;

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied. Matthew 5:6 AMP

Well, that’s when it hit me. In that very moment of prayer and divine access to the Father… I felt a tiny little shift in my perspective. (Won’t He do it).

I’m not blessed simply because of what I have or because of what I do/don’t experience.  I am blessed because of my position in Him.  (Read that again).  My position grants me access to HIM! And as I posture myself to seek/trust/obey Him, always, in the midst of EVERY triumph, trial and test, I find EVERYTHING I need. I find JOY, PEACE, REST, LOVE, STRENGTH, FAVOR, GUIDANCE, ABUNDANCE, ASSURANCE… THAT’S the blessed life!

Please don’t miss the message. Yes, I am extremely aware of how “fortunate” life is.  I’m am grateful for my life, my family. I am grateful for every resource, tool and gift. I am grateful for the protection, and keeping power of my Father!

I am also grateful that my “blessed” position in Him, isn’t swayed by any of those things,  nor the circumstances I am trusted to overcome!

So yes! As a mom, I can live a blessed life… ALL DAY EVERYDAY.

I am blessed because God is with me and Jesus lives within me

I am blessed because God is covering me, He is my strong tower

I am blessed because God is directing me, all I have to do is seek and I will find Him, always

I am blessed because God’s grace and mercy follow me, EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF EVERY DAY

I am blessed when life is going “great”, as well as when I’m in the midst of the tears, challenges, and difficult circumstances.  I have access to Him!

We have access to Him.

We have access to everything we need because of our position in Him! And all things are working together for our good… all of it is a part of the blessed life.

xx,

 

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

Not for you? Share with a momma in need! 

🔥Click Here to learn more🔥

 

Married Life · Mommy Life

Stop Giving Your Husband Your “Leftovers” | A Lesson for the Married Mommas!

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?”

He continued…

“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!

Living & Learning!

xx,