My Role as a Mother Has Changed Me Over the Last 6 Years…and For the Better

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My days as a stay-at-home mother pretty much start out the same way each morning.  After a night of waking every 3-4 hours to feed and change my newborn, I usually wake to the sound of my son sneaking in my bedroom to grab the iPad (a no-no on school mornings) or to the sound of my toddler sweetly saying “mama” until I stir.  This all sounds harmless enough except that it happens right around 5:30 am everyday.  And the sweetness lasts for a total of about 5 minutes.  Then…reality hits.

Currently, my newborn is cosleeping with me for comfort due to an adverse affect to something that is in my breastmilk.  The doctor and I have narrowed it down to one of three things: coffee, whey protein, and/or dairy.  So far, his symptoms of vomiting everything he eats up have lessened since eliminating my one cup of coffee a day, however there are still some moments still where I wake with a  nice splash of vomit to the face or a full serving of BM down my shirt.  Needless to say, my laundry duties have increased 10 fold.  Perfect timing for eliminating my precious coffee! AHH!!!!

Anyway, as a result of this minor hiccup, my husband is sleeping on the couch as the growling gurgles coming from our smallest cause him anxiety-ridden sleepless nights.  He also thinks its more important that I get the rest needed for the long hours of my day ahead and to be able to comfortably feed the baby without any worry of waking him up.  I couldn’t feel more blessed for this.  As my husband wakes at 4am for work anyway, this also means that I have help in the wee hours of the morning when my toddler decides she wants to scream for attention.  WIN/WIN

As I sit here at the computer, I’m thinking about my years spent as a mother and how much has changed as a result. Prior to the birth of my 2nd and 3rd children, I still used to wake up at 4:30am every morning. But, it would be to cook a tray full of chicken breasts and sweet potatoes, and a pot full of brown rice in order to take my 5 mini meals to work with me.  I’d head to the gym at 5:30 am to get in my first of two sessions of cardio in before seeing my first client.  I’d begin my work day by training clients in the gym from 6:00am-4:00pm with an 1.5 hour break to lift weights and do another round of cardio.   I’d head home to pick my son up from Pre-K, cook dinner, bathe him and read to him and head to bed to start all over again the next day.  In short, I was a machine.  A pure machine.

Nowadays, my schedule looks quite a bit different.  I still wake early, but it’s not by choice to the sound of an alarm.  My children are my alarms now and I’m at their beck and call.  There are no chicken breasts and sweet potatoes cooking in the oven.  There are no morning sessions of cardio.  Instead, there are the incredible tasks of juggling three children who want nothing more than my attention and care.  So far today, I’ve been able to accomplish getting three children dressed, fed and out the door for school drop off, stop at the store with my two smallest, and head back home for morning snack time.  There’s a large basket of laundry staring at me, a happy toddler face covered in cereal and smoothie in a high chair reaching for me, and a gurgling and cooing baby in the crib across the room who is probably prepping another explosive diaper for me to change.  Do I have time for myself?  Sure… I work out, eat well and even shower. (!!!)  But not before tackling a day full of meltdowns, cuddles, dirty faces, smelly diapers, and sticky hands.  And I can’t say that I have the incredible drive, but I still do these things because it’s important.  I no longer do things for the sake of proving anything to myself.  I do them out of love.

This is why I’m deciding to blog about my daily happenings as a mom instead of only about food and fitness.  Because at the end of the day, I’ve spent the majority of my hours as a mom and have a hell of a lot more to share about that than more “How-to’s” on how to shred those last pesky 5 lbs of fat off your ass.  So please feel free to follow along and read my posts.  If you’re a mom, a soon-to-be mother, or someone who just loves reading mommy blogs, please visit my site http://www.opalmom.com where I will share my experiences and strategies on how I get through my day as a mother.  I’ll also be posting my reviews of different services, products and places relevant to being a mother.

My way of doing things includes 4 things: Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go making up the acronym OPAL.  I hope to inspire and share with other mothers so please send along any comments, questions, or stories!  I’d love to hear them!

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NEW! OPAL Mom™ Products Help You: ORGANIZE, PRIORITIZE, ACT & LET GO

OPAL Mom™ Product Line

OPAL Mom™ is excited to introduce a new product line via CafePress that will help you Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go during your busy day.  As moms, we have the world on our shoulders when it comes to maintaining a sense of balance while caring for our children, homes and even careers outside the home.  We now offer four different products to match the four focuses of OPAL Mom™.

Opal Mom Mugs

OPAL Mom Mug BOLD 3

Organize your thoughts in the morning with your favorite coffee or tea in the OPAL Mom™ Mug.  OPAL Mom is For Moms Who: Organize, Prioritize, Act, & Let Go. Start your day with this reminder!

 Price: $14.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information

  • Small measures 3.75″ tall, 3″ diameter; Mega measures 4.5″ tall, 3.75″ diameter
  • Small holds 11 oz.; Mega holds 20 oz.
  • Black color-changing mugs available in small only and are heat sensitive. Simply add any hot liquid to the mug and see the mug turn from black to white with your unique design.
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe

Opal Mom Journal

journal

Prioritize: Need a place to jot down your thoughts? Or perhaps write down your to-do list?  Prioritize your day using the OPAL Mom Journal!

Price:  $19.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Stay organized with our custom journal, available with your choice of 4 different paper options so you can manage all your note-taking needs.

  • Size: 5″x8″
  • 160 blank, dot grid, college ruled, or task pages
  • 60lb book-weight (24 lb bond)
  • Front cover made of 12pt glossy paper
  • Back cover made of thin flexible textured plastic

Opal Mom Sigg Water Bottle 1.0l

OPAL Mom SIGG water bottle

Act: Take action and take OPAL with you everywhere you go! Remind yourself to Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go with every sip!

$29.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Help save the planet while you rehydrate in style with an eye-catching water bottle from SIGG. Made from a single piece of aluminum, it’s ultra-lightweight yet rugged and crack-resistant. To minimize unwanted tastes and scents, the inside is lined with a water-based, non-toxic epoxy resin that is compliant with FDA anti-leaching requirements.

  • Holds 1.0L
  • Recyclable & reusable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Do not freeze

Opal Mom “Let Go” Yoga Mat

OPAL Mom yoga mat

Let Go: Find a moment to “let go” in your busy day with the OPAL Mom “Let Go” Yoga Mat.  Workout, practice your daily yoga routine, or just sit and meditate for 10 minutes.

$54.00  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Our premium yoga mats feature edge-to-edge printing, a textured, non-slip backing, and 1/4″ thick cushioning so you can strike any pose in style.

  • Measures 72″ x 24″ x 1/4″

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

 

Think You Can’t Lift Weights When You’re Pregnant? Think Again…and WATCH.

At 7 months pregnant, I am still able to do a total body workout from start to finish.  As a prenatal exercise specialist, I of course take the necessary precautions and have been cleared for regular exercise by my obstetrician.  This morning, I completed the following TOTAL BODY STRENGTH TRAINING workout and followed it up with 20 minutes of cardio pushing my daughter in her stroller to brunch with my family.  So long as you have  history of regular exercise (and are cleared with a physician), there is no reason as to why you cannot continue to workout as you always have.

Your body will thank you for it, as will your baby!!

 

For More Information, Please visit: http://www.fawnheartcronintraining.com

To join my Community Forum for mothers, please visit: http://www.opalmom.com

This Stay At Home Mom Sh*t is No Joke

Today, was one of the first days in a long while where I had no personal training appointments booked (either in studio or on site), no obligation to be anywhere, no grocery shopping to do, and can simply experience what the fall season will bring as a stay-at-home mom.  Now, mind you, I’ve done this before, however it has been 4.5 years since my last stay-at-home mom experience in the summer time with a child under the age of 18 months.  Sure, I’ve experienced maternity leave, holiday vacation time, and the occasional sick day home with my children and the like, but today, was the first day where I experienced my life to come as a full time stay-at-home mom in full throttle.  And…to put it lightly, it was no f*cking joke.

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A Day in the Life of This Stay-At-Home-Mom

3:00 am: I woke to my daughter, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed  as she was ready to play and have a full on conversation with my tired, pregnant self.  My husband was sweet enough to fetch her from her crib and bring her to me along with a fresh bottle and a fresh diaper so I could simply change her, feed her and fall back asleep in my own bed.  (Yes, I’m a co-sleeping parent).  It took a little while, but luckily, my daughter fell back asleep.

7:00am:  I woke to both of my children in bed with me at the same time as my daughter who was ready as ever to jump off the bed.  So, I got up with her and let my son sleep for another delightful 30 minutes.  Those 30 minutes are rare but oh-so-scrumptious when I’m donning my best aboriginal hair-do and waddling clumsily about the kitchen trying to clean up/organize whatever mess was left either that morning by my husband or the night before by the rest of us.

 7:30am: after I’ve successfully brewed a pot of coffee, fed my daughter dried blueberries, and started cooking for myself, my son comes tip toeing into the kitchen for his morning hug.  I love these hugs.  I know these hugs won’t always be initiated by him so I take them in as much as I can.  I continue to cook breakfast knowing that the morning is about to wind up about 10 notches the minute my son comes to.  But, I’m ready.  But before that happens, I decide to leave the room for a moment to use the restroom  (thank you pregnancy bladder).

7:31am: This is when it begins.  All hell breaks loose.  “MAMA!!! MAMA!!!MAMA!!!” is what I hear coming from my daughter in her high chair with a “MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!!” coming from my son in a mocking tone.  I bury my head in my hands just trying to finish peeing before I say anything.  But before I do, I hear a cluster of giggles coming from my daughter and I think…phew!  I have a moment to wipe.  My son has successfully made her laugh and this has bought me an extra minute.  I wash my hands, return to the kitchen, and am able to pick up where I left off and get the morning started with breakfast.

8:00am:  I hear my son banging on the windows and yelling to the neighborhood kids who are on their bikes getting ready to ride to school.  As we live in a condo complex this is something EVERYONE hears.  I go on my daily repeat of “Logan, please don’t yell out the windows.  We have neighbors you know!”  However, today, my son had a genius idea.  He suggested that I make a sticker chart for him to earn a sticker for every time that he doesn’t bang on the windows.  This kid is smart.  He knows sticker charts are for gaining something bigger.  I have a feeling he’s going to be a great business man someday.

8:30am:  I step out of the door to realize that I left the stroller out all night, in the rain.  (*tear)  Luckily I have a backup, but up the stairs I go, with my kicking toddler in my arms to fetch the spare stroller.  While I do this, my son, the social butterfly of the family decides to sing at the top of his lungs and say hi to every passerby that happens to make eye contact with him. I’ve really gotta make that sticker chart.

8:35am: We finally walk the 3/4 mile length to school.   I don’t even care what I look like as I leave in a pair of yoga pants, two layered tank tops with out a bra (bras+pregnancy=major heartburn) and a pair of bamboo flip flops.  At least the kids look cute.

8:50am:  I look forward to my morning walk with Adelie to the park.  But first STARBUCKS.

9:15am:  I begin to look forward to the nice quiet environment, dew covered grass, and the usual morning meditation that I spend with my daughter when we go to this park.  As we approach the usually serene park, I hear a lot of giggles and shouts coming from the park.  Oh boy…it’s field day for the local kindergarten class.  No biggie for me, but as I turn around to find another park, my daughter loses it wanting to go to the park that she adores.  I push my way as fast as I can to the next park and luckily, within 5 minutes (with the help of one madeline cookie), I make it to the neighboring park where she and I sit happily in the grass and enjoy our Starbucks.

11:15am: NAP TIME.   The dilemna: Do I nap too?  Or do I tackle my list?  THE LIST.  Starting with cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, and my son’s room.

1:30pm: The baby wakes up and I continue working down the list: 1 load of laundry washing, 1 load laundry dried, 1 load laundry folded, 3 rooms swiffered and mopped, all the rugs vacuumed, online work for a dance studio from my hometown completed, phone calls and appointments set for the kids, and dishes rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher.

2:30pm: LUNCH.  Baby screams “MAMA!” for everything from water, to wild blueberries, to apples and finally to cucumbers.  The floor is covered in all of the above mentioned lunch items.  I still need to shower and now…so does Adelie.  A wipe down with a baby wipe will suffice for the moment.

3:00pm: WORKOUT. TODDLER RUN. FOLD LAUNDRY.  This is the mom version of GTL only it’s called WTF.

4:00pm: SHOWER.  This is done very creatively as Adelie needs to bathe too.  So first, I make a shallow bath with all of her toys while I attempt to shower and shave my legs without cutting myself while I try my damnedest to keep her from repeatedly  standing and falling.  Success.  I didn’t cut myself and my daughter had a ball standing and falling repeatedly anyway.

4:30pm: My husband comes home & the dog jumps excitedly on him and proceeds to shake in excitement all of his shedding hair all over my clean hardwood floors.  Adelie is excited too and proceeds to run as fast as possible to her dad only to fall on her butt and throw up milk on another section of the clean floor.

4:45pm: I give the baby to my husband so I can sit for a moment.  Within a matter of moments, I hear the baby screaming in excitement as she runs to the back door to go outside followed by the sound of spilling liquid.  I rush to the clean kitchen to find iced coffee spilled all over the counter tops and my husband trying to pick it up with toilet paper.  *Chuckling shaking head* He then throws the wet toilet paper in the sink.  I fish it out and he asks, “Why won’t you let me help?”  I just blink and walk away.  I’m ready for bed already.

5:00pm: I finally sit down and close my eyes taking in a deep breath.  When I open my eyes, I see clumps of dog hair everywhere,  toys strewn everywhere, my daughter running by with another poopy diaper, and the dog running to drink out of the just cleaned toilet.  Tears fill my eyes and pour down my face and my husband asks what’s wrong.  All I can think to say is

“THIS STAY AT HOME MOM SH*T IS NO JOKE”

This is for all the Stay-At-Home-Moms who do this on a daily basis and hear, “WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY??”

 I will be joining you beginning this fall.  Wish me luck.