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,

 

 

 

 

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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,

Married Life · Mommy Life

5 Ways to Respond to unwanted Questions, Opinions & Advice

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!!!

 

xx

 

 

 

 

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encouragement · Mommy Life

The “Grace Plan” | What to do when you’re having a “mommy moment”😭

Listen, I know we love our children and we’re grateful for the opportunity to raise these amazing tiny humans… we all know mom life has its challenges. However, that doesn’t mean we have to sit in those moments. Nor does having a “bad moment” make you a bad mom! (Read that again)

So, let’s shift that internal narrative!

Are you with me? Okay, keep reading… this is good!

As we shift, I encourage you to create what I’m calling a “Grace Plan”. “What is that”, you ask? Simply put,  a “grace plan”  is a list of things to do when you need to give yourself grace! We often talk about “giving ourselves grace”, and  I decided to make it a little more practical for my life. 

Today, I’m sharing my “Grace Plan” with you. These are the 5 things that help me whenever I’m having one of those moments…. or days! It makes a world of difference when you don’t have to think on your feet,  because you have a preset plan of what to do. So I hope it will inspire you to create your own!  Remember, there is no right or wrong. This list is specific to your needs, and will totally vary depending on the season of your life, and age of your kiddos 😭😭😭. So apply what you love, leave what don’t, and create a plan that works for you! Let’s go!

1. Breathe Chi!

Literally stop, take a deep breath. Close out the apps, turn off the TV, or step into another space for a hot second. (I’ve done this several times in my pantry 😭😭😭). Close your eyes if you can, and BREATHE chi…. inhale and exhale!!! Such a simple practice,  but it’s such an amazing and powerful way to settle yourself in the moment.

2. Encourage yourself!

Once you’ve settled yourself, encourage yourself. Create some quick in the moment comebacks to speak over your life. Protip: prerecord yourself saying these in a voice memo so you can easily play them when you need to! A few things I say that are on my list:

“I am capable”
“I can do all things through Christ”
“It’s okay to stop and try again later”
“This moment is temporary”
“I’m having a moment, but I’m a great mom”
“LAWD, help me on TODAY”

That last one though 😭🙌🏾 I feel like I call on God all day. And you know what’s so bomb about that… He doesn’t mind. He actually wants us to rely on Him, and if I’m being honest He comes through for me every single time… even if it’s not the way I expected!

3. Create a playlist

When you don’t have the capacity to speak, it’s a great idea to have someone else help you with the “heavy lifting”. Better to have someone else speak life over you, than for you to allow those negative narratives to run wild internally! We’re done with that, remember?  I have a whole  playlist of worship songs to remind me of who I am and whose I am! It may take a few songs to get me together, but it works EVERY SINGLE TIME!

4. Change of scenery.

Strap the baby in the back and Go! Get out for a quick walk, a drive, walk the mailbox, sit on the deck… just get outside and change up the scenery. If your kids are older, go by yourself. Take some intentional deep breaths, and release the tension in your shoulders.  Idk what it is but the greenery and fresh air seem to  revive my soul and energize me to carry on!

5. Lean in to the moment.

Sometimes, those “mommy moments” require that we remain physically present,  meaning we can’t just shut things down and walk away.  In that case lean in and figure out what it is that you need to do for your little one in the moment. This may require that you reschedule a meeting, push back a play date, or delay your social post. It may require that you gracefully decline that clubhouse invite, or that phone call. And guess what? That is okay! Give yourself permission to lean in to those mommy moments when you need to, and give your littles what they need!  And as you lean in, observe, learn, be present… sometime you’ll find exactly what YOU need when you lean into those moments for your little ones!

Bonus Phone a friend!

There is so much power in community.! Having people you can call on not only to vent, but who will also build you back up, pray, laugh,  come over to help out, or send food when needed… is EVERYTHING! Having  people who are literally ready to do whatever you need to help you  so that you’re able to keep going… yea… we all need those people in our lives!

Momma, was this helpful? What will you add to you “Grace Plan”! Cant wait to hear what you come up with! Be sure to like and share with a friend in need!

XX