encouragement · Mommy Life

5 Simple Habits That Changed My Life | #Momlife

1. Self Care.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned the importance of “filling my cup” and have done the work to make Self Care my lifestyleMy wellbeing is no longer an afterthought, and because of this I’m better equipped spiritually, mentally & physically to care for my family.  I no longer allow myself to  suffer in silence/sit in overwhelm.  Not anymore.  I speak up and ask for the support  I need in order to get time for myself. From scheduling time for myself every month (Selfish Sunday), to going to therapy bi-weekly (it’s lit)… to taking advantage of all of the “mini moments” to pour into my life daily… I get my time and my life will never be the same. More to come.

2. Waking up before my family.

I wake up before 5:30am almost every single day,  and I’ve been doing this consistently for the past 3 months.  The highlights of my morning include enjoying my cup of coffee in peace, spending time in God’s word, and seeking His guidance for the day. And depending on my schedule for that day, I  also do my workout.  It’s not always easy, but having something to look forward to, that I truly love and enjoy, makes it 100%  worth the push for me. And my day is  just better when I wake up early. Yes, there are still challenges to overcome, but  “My day always flows best when I’m up before the rest”.  Getting a head start on my day, before everyone else “needs me”… has changed the game for me.

3. Spending time with Jesus, Daily.

I’ve really been working on making the Lord my daily delight (Psalms 37:4 ), abiding in Him (John 15:4-11) , meditating on His Word,  and putting my full trust in Him. I gave my life to Christ years ago, but I feel like my desire to go deeper with Him has grown since becoming a mom.  He is The Source… My EVERYTHING!  Making every effort to intentionally seek God first in all of my ways, early in the morning, has made such a difference in my life. There is something different that happens when we seek  God in the calm of the morning., without distractions.   Even as I write this, I’m in the midst of one of the most uncertain and challenging times of my life, yet I feel stronger and more secure than ever.  There is peace that overtakes me when I lay all of my cares at His feet.  I trust Him with my life, and I am now in the midst of that lived experience. I have no idea how any mom can survive with out Him, and I’m so grateful for His grace, mercy, strength, rest, favor, correction, direction and faithfulness!  My life will never be the same and this is just the beginning!

4. Making time to do, wear & enjoy what I love.

If you know me then you know I love to slay! My forever goal is to be snatched for His glory; allowing the work that God is doing on the inside to shine through in all the ways that I show up… and that includes all things beauty and fashion. I feel like this desire has heightened since becoming a mom, mainly because I can’t stand the narratives that imply “once you become a mom, you become a mess.” NOT for this momma!  Your girl has been doing the work to grow and become who God is calling me to be, and I will reflect just that.  So every week,  multiple times a week, I plan a whole slay.  From my face beat to my feet, I show up to reflect the work God is doing in and through me.  I wear one of my favorite ensembles ( from sweats to dresses… I only own things that I love), throw on my lashes, and live my best stay-at-home-mom life with my little one.  It’s been so good for me. I also have a hair schedule.  Yes… a whole schedule of slays for my hair. I seriously love it!  I can’t quite explain it but when I look and feel amazing, I’m able to face the day a bit more confidently.  Besides beauty maintenance is a form of self care for me. 

5. Working out weekly.

I working out at least 5x a week.  It’s a lifestyle, as well as a form of self care for me. Working out is not only good for me physically, but I often find it helps me when I’m in need of a mental break, and even a reset.  Like most, I’m not always in the mood to workout; however, I am always so fulfilled when I push through and get it done. Always!  Not to mention I have a whole wardrobe that’s depending on me to show up, lol.  So working out whether a HITT workout on the free NTC app, a 3 mile walk outdoors, or my own in-house  workout sequence… it helps keep me fit, stable and ready! My wellness is a priority.

What habits have helped you as a mom? What habits are you working on? Share below.

xx,

 

 

 

 

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Married Life · Mommy Life

“Mom Support” | How I get the support I need from my Husband

There was a season in my life as a mom, when I expected my husband to  just “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!

xx,

 

 

 

 

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♥️♥️

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Mommy Life

Our Trip to Sesame Place + A Lesson on Expectations

Y’all I learned a serious lesson about expectations over the past few days while away with my family. I learned that if not properly set,  and checked regularly, they can literally ruin a good time.

Let’s explore shall we…

So we decided to visit Sesame Place for some summer time fun. My little lady has been somewhat obsessed with Elmo the past few months, so I figured it only made sense for us to see him in person.

So I got our season pass, booked two nights at a nearby  hotel, and planned to have everything packed and loaded for  our adventure.

Well the day arrived. I got everything packed, and my little one surprisingly breezed through our nighttime routine. We we all set to drive through the night (during her bad time). All we had to do was wait for daddy, pack the car and head out.

Easy!

Y’all… once little miss got into that car… things got a little wild. I expected Dream to sleep during the 3 hour drive at night, but sis was looking like 👀 👀👀👀 for 99.9% of the ride. She basically said “these eyes ain’t finna close til we get where we going”! Lawd! Talk about a LONG drive!

After a long night (driving and in the hotel trying to get our little lady back to sleep), we all woke up refreshed and ready for our day. We met up with my sister who was joining us for the day, and made our way to Sesame place.

I expected the park to be nearly empty, but quickly realized I was wrong as we pulled up to see droves of people pushing their strollers and lugging their bags across the walkway. I’m like isn’t this a weekday? Isn’t the school year approaching? Isn’t this a pandemic?  Talk  about a total shock!

We get in, get our tickets, and I try to ease all the pressure by assuring myself that Dream was going to love it when she saw Elmo and all the rides! I expected her to run, skip and play. But sis was in observation mode most of the time. She wasn’t excited about no rides, barely flinched when Elmo came out… and seeing all those people… She was NOT IMPRESSED!

With all of this going on, I also expected my husband to have all the answers. I was tired, and didn’t want to think about anything anymore. But this… taking a toddler to an amusement park… was a brand new first time experience for both of us, and we were both figuring it out as the day went on.

It. Was. A. Whole. LOT!

I’m so grateful for my husband’s patience and  for Aunt Jess helping us to go with the flow, because with the way I was feeling idk we would have left sooner rather than later lol. (THANKS GIRL)

Here’s a glimpse of our day!

 

It wasn’t until that night, that I realized I needed to check myself. I apologized to my hubby, and just sat with God for a few moments to release all the pressure and frustration from the trip. I seriously don’t like it when things don’t go my way. I was disappointed, but I also knew I wanted to posture myself to learn from this moment.

The next morning, after prayer and talking to my therapist, I realized that I didn’t leave room for the “what if”.  I just expected things to go my way, and when they didn’t… I didn’t have any type of recovery plan in place, which led to my frustration and dissapointment.

Like…

I expected my little lady to sleep through the night on our drive… but I didn’t have a plan for what to do if she doesn’t.

I expected for my little lady to have the time of her life… but I didn’t prepare for how I would respond if she didn’t

I expected my husband to take over… but I didn’t communicate my needs or prepare for what to do if neither one of us had an answer

You see expectations aren’t bad, but we must be super careful that we are being realistic especially when we put those expectations on others (especially on our children, spouses and loved ones). I am an optimist by nature, I’m also learning when you travel with a toddler ALWAYS HAVE a back up plan… ALWAYS!!!!

I can’t control the circumstances, but I can control how I respond. I can also  have a plan (or two)  in place for what to do if things don’t go as expected.

I won’t get got again.

XX,

Mommy Life

Let’s Talk | Mom life & getting “unstuck”

I’m super excited about this month’s cover stories!!

One of the main things I’m determined to do is to create a life that I love; a life that serves me!  A life that I can be proud of, where I am not only showing up for myself… but one where I am  becoming and fully embracing the woman I know God is calling me to be… yes, as a whole mom.

I know you feel the same. I know that you know you’re more than a mommy. I know you desire to rewrite the narrative,  and you want to live your absolute best life…. as a wife, a mom, a business owner… as a woman!

And as eager as you are to redefine mom life on your terms, and FINALLY create a life that excites you…

YOU. FEEL. STUCK.

You can’t seem to figure out how to finally move forward and embrace the beauty of who you know you want to become. You’re trying your best to show up, but you can’t seem to get past the disappointment of things not going as you expected.  You’ve even gotten to the point of trying to  force things to work out;  trying to keep up appearances because you want to prove that you can do it all… instead of operating in the flow and freedom that God has for you….

Well… It’s time to get unstuck and walk in the freedom that God has for you! I’m so grateful to be used by Him!

This month is all about getting “unstuck” and we’re starting with the basics! Because let me tell you this….You will never be able to create & live a life that excites you until you do this one thing!

So if you’re ready to walk in freedom, Check out my first July cover story (video) below, and as always be sure to comment, and share with a momma who needs this!

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♥️♥️

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Mommy Life

I’m Starting to LOVE Being a Mom | Video + 3 things that helped me!

👇🏾Watch this👇🏾

1. Giving myself permission to “be” & set my own expectations! 

Knowing that who I am is enough, and embracing what that looks like in each area of my life has been life changing… especially as a mom.  I’ve had to seriously let go of chasing results just to validate myself in the eyes of others (this was huge for me this year). You see before I let go of all the pressure I was putting on myself to perform, I wasn’t embracing the now.  Sometimes, we get so caught up focusing on “becoming” that we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy actually being.  And that, momma,  will always rob you of the beauty of the present.

All of you is worthy and all of your journey is important.

 I truly believe  most of the angst and overwhelm we feel as moms come from trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. We put so much pressure on ourselves. We take all that we see in our community, hear from others, and consume in the media, and allow it to dictate what our lives “should” look like. And what’s wild is that we do all of this without even stopping to ask “is this really the life I want for myself”. Let’s change that.

The life you love is wait for you on the other side of  giving  yourself permission!

2. Embracing gratitude and grace!

I can’t explain it, but as I’ve been  spending time thanking God for my life and being specific and intentional about all that I’m grateful for, it feels like I have a new set of eyes. Like, I used to see my mommy challenges as insurmountable obstacles… like a legit  set up  (😭😭😭).  I now see them as opportunities for God’s grace to overflow, and for Him to help me to grow through it (So I guess it was a set up for God to show up🤭🙌🏾).  Being a mom Is not easy, but shifting my focus from the storm, to The Strong Tower… has made a huge difference in my life! I even look at my husband differently, but that’s a whole other topic for another post.

 Spending time in gratitude has also helped me to recognize, amplify, and enjoy the little things that add so much to my life, especially those moments I spend with my little lady. I laugh so much more,  I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff, and God’s grace looks amazing on me as I grow through my journey!

3 Acknowledging that I’m living the life that I prayed for!

At the beginning of every year, I have this practice of writing out my prayer requests and my vision for the year in the form of praise reports (Thanks to my sister Chris for the Inspo). Basically calling things that are not as though they are. (This is an excellent practice that I’ve helped guide my moms through. It’s been so rewarding, and many have already experienced the life they’ve been praying for, and the year ain’t even over yet!! I’m talking pregnancies, elevation in their businesses… time and intimacy with their spouses… it’s lit in our community)

Well don’t you know I was recently reminded of one of my “praise reports”, from a few years ago!  Here’s what it said:

Thank you Father, for the opportunity to stay at home and raise my family. Thank you that I’m not pressured to work, but my husband and I are stewarding our increase, and are in the position for me to stay home.

Like, do y’all see this! Chills!

 Not gonna lie, after becoming an entrepreneur, I wasn’t always this excited about being at home with my little one.  I told y’all I was wrapped up, tied up… tangled up in that pressure to perform; chasing the success that I thought would gain me the approval of others.  But now… now that I’ve fixed my eyes on God’s faithfulness to me… I can now see and live in the blessing that is my life!

Prayer

Thank you Father, for showing me new ways to enjoy being a mom.  I love my children, and I am learning to love MY mommy journey. I give myself permission to let go of what doesn’t belong, and will replace it with gratitude as Your grace covers me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a mommy, and I know that You will continue to guide me and show up for me, as I continue to acknowledge you in all of my ways. Through trials, triumphs and as I build my testimony… the process doesn’t have to overwhelm me! I am fully persuaded that I am called and equipped to be a great mom; as I  create and live an exciting and fulfilling life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Be Encouraged, momma!

Xx,