Little man turns 6 months this week! I can hardly believe it.
Rolling over, sitting up, new teeth popping through… Third time going through this new baby thing and I’m still amazed by these ever-changing, fast-growing little creatures.
Mostly, I’ve loved this time learning what it’s like to juggle being a mama to three. Yes, it’s been hard. Some days I throw up my hands and declare, “I CAN’T do this anymore!” And after leaving all three kids with my husband for the first time since babe #3 was born, to get my haircut and enjoy coffee BY MYSELF, I feel liberated! Ready for new beginnings and a new stage.
I will share more soon about how real life is going and some new things I’m working on for mamas. In the meantime, I’m consumed by fulfilling the constant needs of a teething baby, a learning his independence 3-year-old, and a 6-year-old on spring break. And I’m taking advice from other mama’s on how to keep integrating my need to work-from-home and be with my babes.
Today I’m excited to share a guest post from my friend – the lovely, kind and oh-so supportive mama and coach, Kathy Stowell, creator of Bliss Beyond Naptime.
Kathy definitely has experience learning how to balance the whole WAHM journey, and I think you will find her advice helpful and affirming! (Make sure to check out Kathy’s Mama Bliss School that starts March 24th!)
Designing a Self-Care Rich Flow to Your WAHM Day
~ written by guest contributor Kathy Stowell
I was so optimistic at the start of this school year. Both kids were to be away the whole day through, freeing me up to bask in a perfectly choreographed dance of work, yoga, coffee dates and creative expression.
Not exactly how things are rolling.
Instead, I have come to the WAHM (work at home mom) – realization that a) kids will take turns being home sick from school well into February and b) time flies when you’re having WAHM style fun. I find myself with barely enough time to get my magical three things off of my to-do list if all goes well.
If self-care isn’t designed into your work at home mama flow you can pretty much count on it not all will go well. Without this important component designed into your work day you’re just making yourself more susceptible to the next ‘bug de jour’, feel overwhelmed by your perceived lack of time and frustrated by the sense of imbalance haunting you.
Making sure there are pulse points of self-care rituals designed into your WAHM days ensure your days are peppered with the reminders that a healthy and productive routine contains moments of excursion followed by deep but brief injections of self-care to properly revitalize.
1) Begin by making a list of your favourite self-care practices
Take five minutes to brainstorm big and small ways to treat yourself to some self-love. Include indulgences such as creative play, movement, stillness… essentially whatever thoughts that make your cells jump up and down a little as if they’re saying ‘yes, please’!
2) Slip these lists into the appropriate time commitment box
Draw three boxes of three different sizes: small, medium, large. Jot down the self-care practices that require a bigger time commitment, like dance class or a hike in the woods, in the bigger boxes. Smaller ones like an herbal tea break or two sun salutes with a five minute savasana can go into the smaller box.
Everything else can find its home in the medium sized box.
Throughout the day, treat yourself with a dip into the little self-care box as a reward for an hour of work. I’m inspired by the Pomodoro technique that suggests working for twenty minute chunks of time and then taking a break to recoup and maximize brain waves and minimize burn out.
Write this out if that helps you to remember. For example:
9 – 10:00 Work
10-10:15 Read a chapter from a book on the couch
12- 12:30 Lunch followed by walking the dog to the mailbox
3) Save the bigger gestures of self-care as part of a weekly ritual or for after work hours
At the beginning of the school year I was taking a noon hour dance class but I found I couldn’t really let go due to this nagging feeling I was missing out on my optimum work time and creative peak hours. Instead I’m taking such classes in the evening and I’m feeling so much more relaxed during and after it.
Now when I come home the dishes are done, the kids are peacefully sleeping and my husband is waiting for me on the couch with Downton Abby all ready to go. Bliss!
Like everything else in our WAHM world it takes constant experimenting and trying on new approaches to see what works best. But as with anything in life, and especially in tree pose, dramatic discoveries of balance often only takes the most minuscule of adjustments.
This, along with many doses of Vitamin C and as much sleep as you can muster to keep the sniffles at bay, and small steps will be taken forward every day in both your business and this sacred business of being a present and joyful mama.
Kathy Stowell is the founder of Mama Bliss Coaching School (spring session begins March 24th) where she helps moms create a thriving and sustainable coaching practice.
She’s a full time work at home mom herself and a certified Simplicity Parenting Coach and Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. She’s a wife, proud mom to two kids and shares her work at home mama secrets in her free ecourse Money Bliss.
Thank you, Kathy, for reminded us mamas that we CAN take good care of ourselves – while we work from home. You have inspired me to keep on trucking down this crazy, unpredictable path…
I hope she has inspired you, too!