There are Two Very Important Things I Did Differently This Morning That Made Me More Productive.

Well it’s Monday morning again, and it’s time to get the house ready for the entire week. As always, there is laundry to be washed, carpets to be cleaned, furniture to be dusted and produce to be chopped and organized for the week. Oh yeah… I’m also home with two children under the age of two. Let’s not forget that.

20141006-112524-41124203.jpg

Usually I wake up with the dreaded hours ahead feeling quite overwhelmed from the items on my to do list that I never write down. The morning usually seems rushed, uncomfortable, and full of chaos. So this morning, I decided to do something different. I decided that I wasn’t going to leave my bedroom until the bed was made, and I was fully dressed from head to toe; socks, shoes, everything. The night before, I had spent some time reading a blog by another mother who swore by this method of starting her day. Her reasoning was that if you have your bed made and your shoes on before you start your day, you approach your day with my professional outlook.

So I thought I’d give it a shot. This morning, I took my time, made the bed, got dressed head to toe, & put my socks and shoes on before even leaving my bedroom. From there, I started my day. And to my surprise, everything went more smoothly. Not only was able to move quicker with more control in chasing the kids, I had a more confident stride my step…Along with a better attitude. I was able to empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, make breakfast for the entire family, pack my sons lunch and snack, & get everyone dressed and ready and out the door within 1 hour’s time.

As someone who thrives on being productive, I find some of these days where I am home with two children under the age of two very frustrating. And what frustrates me the most, are those moments when I think that I’m being clever with one child in a highchair eating breakfast, another sitting at the table eating breakfast, and I think I can leave the room for a moment while the baby of the group is sleeping to unload the dryer. And when I return, I find blueberries strewn across the floor, strawberries squished and splattered against the wall, my oldest boy taunting my toddler in her highchair and the baby of the group screaming for a feed. Pair that with me being in my pajamas with only 30 minutes left to get everything together before my son needs to be at school. Seems about right that I should be putting myself first and getting dressed top to bottom with shoes on before any of this chaos inevitably happens.

So what’s the point of my story? The point is I’ll be putting myself first every morning from here on out so that I can take myself seriously as a stay at home mother. I can’t imagine that my children take me any more seriously than I do with my hair disheveled, my clothing askew and running around in slippers all morning so why should I? Being a stay-at-home mother is not only a privilege, it’s a profession. It is my job to raise these little rascals to be decent human beings but above all to know how to take care of themselves and be able to do so in the midst of chaos. Because that’s exactly what the professional world is, at least where I live – one big world of chaos.

Advertisements

Trying to Stay Fit While Pregnant? Get Creative at the Park!

Summer has come to a close, but staying fit in these last weeks of warmth can still be an option…especially if you are at the park with your little ones!  Pregnant?  Even better!  Get creative!


Fitness Tip: If you have children that are not in school that will go to the park with you, use the opportunity in between sets to get in a little cardio and chase them around. They will love it you will burn some extra calories!

For more from my mommy blog, please visit: www.opalmom.com

 

My First Go As a Mommy Blogger Has Me Hooked

A few months ago, I decided that I would take on the new world of mommy blogging.  I experimented with writing daily, weekly, biweekly and even a newsletter.  I’ve had such a great time that I have decided to continue with this new venture into my life as a mother of 3 as I’m due September 22nd.  Taking this new step into the world of mommy blogging has allowed me to reflect on the importance of my experience as a mother, which includes my daily life raising my children and additionally, my work.  I never realized that my daily schedule included required me to be resourceful with my time, my energy, as well as my income.  I came to realize through writing that these strategies that I use on a daily basis are not only applicable to me as a working/stay-at-home mother, but also to other mothers who stay at home, work part time, or are expecting first, second and third babies.  Heck, these strategies are even applicable to the stay-at-home or working dad!

346_517162125999_6504_n

So, please feel free to follow me on this journey as I explore the world of blogging outside of fitness and juggle three small children.  In the meantime, feel free to explore my website: www.opalmom.com.  If you like it, please sign up for my newsletter which I have decided to release on a monthly basis due to the demands of my current work schedule and my schedule with my family.  The newsletter includes stories from OPAL Mom™ Members, Followers of my FB Page, and my Twitter followers (@OpalMomBlog) in addition to special offers from companies that I support and love:

And MORE!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you as well so please feel free to email me at any time at opalmomcom@gmail.com!

Finding Balance When Pregnant and Caring for Multiple Children

This past week, I’ve been caring for my two children with the help of my in-laws while my kitchen is renovated in the city.  Being in my third trimester, I’ve had to strategize the day accordingly in order to reserve my energy and still be able to parent effectively while my husband remains in the city to oversee the project and continue to work.  So, how do I do it and continue to work as well?  I always refer back to OPAL. Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go.

There are always going to be days where I seem to have way to much on my plate despite my best intentions to plan ahead.  These are the days that include endless demands from my children, seemingly endless work emails and deadlines, and of course, making sure to take time to address my own needs as a mother and this time around, a pregnant woman.

So, this week, this is how I’ve utilized O.P.A.L. to set myself up for success:

ORGANIZE:

WORK

  • I reserve time in my schedule for my work obligations and other appointments.

KIDS

  • FOOD: Snacks and quick breakfast foods are placed in a bin where they know to go if they happen to wake up early or get hungry before meal times.  At the beginning of each week, we talk about what these foods will include. Usually, it comes down to 3 choices of Lara Bars, dried berries, and roasted plantain chips.
  • ACTIVITIES: In the morning, the kids have the choice of either drawing or reading while I blog, email and make work phone calls.
  • NAP TIME: Scheduled for the same time each day
  • QUALITY TIME: Every afternoon, I’ve set aside time to bond with my son with a quiet activity, and the morning, with my daughter.

adelie park logan park

PRIORITIZE:

This varies between WORK and KIDS.

logan painting

However, the kids always come first so what I do to prepare them for my workday is I fill them in on how the day is planned.  My son and daughter both are familiar with how my workday unfolds with regard to blogging and training clientele, so what we do, is we plan activities for them during that time.  Perhaps one day it will be reading quietly, another working on an art project or spending time with their grandparents.  This planning together helps them understand that their well-being is my first priority.  Of course, if things come up, work takes a back seat, but at the same time, my children know that in order to live, I need to work.  So, we work together always.

 

ACT:

In order to make some of my most well thought-out plans work at least 50% of the time, I need to act upon them.  This not only includes following through with work, but following through with my children.  This means honoring promises made and also holding them accountable for their activities so that I can honor my work appointments.  I find it important for my children to know that while they are my first priority, they need to learn patience as well.  As a mother, it is always on my mind to jump to their every request, but taking these moments to pause are important for me as well to be able to follow through in teaching them to wait when the time calls for it.

 

LET GO:

*Sigh* This is my biggest challenge.  I’m one of those people who sets out to conquer the world on a daily basis and expects just that.  Letting go for me doesn’t mean letting go of my goals and aspirations for the day.  It means trying my best and letting go of the result.  Sometimes this means letting go of the fact that all of the items on my list my not be finished, but that the ones I do finish are done to the best of my ability.  It may mean that I need to let go of my best intention to stay patient with my children and not carry the guilt of borderline losing it during a very packed day.  Sometimes, it means that I just say, “My best today may be my worst tomorrow and that is ok.”

 

 

FitMOM Workout: Playground Mommy Workout

This morning, I took my children out for our routine morning walk to the park.  During our extended stay on the cape, I will make this a morning ritual as my kids wake well before the rest of the world regardless of the day and need to be run like puppies.  So far, this has been working well for all of us as it’s given me an opportunity to workout while they play without worry of them running off.  This morning, I needed to get in a quick upper body workout before seeing clients for the day so I decided to trade off the following three exercises with pushing my daughter in the swing and running after my son.  No need for any special equipment.  Just use what the playground has to provide and get creative!

Here is what I call my Playground Mommy Workout:

For more workouts, please visit my YouTube Channel

 

Are you a Crunchy Mom?

I never really considered myself a “Crunchy Mom” until I read this article and realized that most of the things listed were normal occurrences in my daily life.  Sure, I work with pregnant women on a weekly basis, have a 5.5 year old, 15 month old and am 7.5 months pregnant, but all the same.

Crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

My crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

After I read this article, I remembered a conversation that I had with my OBGYN last week where we were talking about summer foods that children eat.  I distinctly remember her saying, “Well most kids eat hotdogs and all that in the summer, so why should I be worried about it?  I mean, do you really check for nitrates in your hotdogs?”  It was all I could do to not gasp in horror and say, “Ummm, yes.  IF my children even approach a hotdog that I MAY consider preparing, it’s usually made with an alternative meat product that is nitrate free and all the other crunchy granola rules regarding processed foods.”  But, I didn’t.  I just smiled and shrugged.

Stirring up organic protein cookie dough for his mama

Anyway, that being said, coconut oil is a household name in my home, baby wearing the norm, and of course the practice of “using our words” and “gentle hands” is routine.  Take a look at the article and see if you happen to be with a Crunchy Mom or are one yourself!

10 Things Guys Married to Crunchy Moms Understand via Still Mommy