The Friday Five – Ways to Recharge as a Mom

The Friday Five – Ways to Recharge as a Mom

Welcome to The Friday Five!   Each week, a group of five fabulous moms will come together to offer you some really great advice about an important parenting topic.  We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.

This week we will be focusing on the topic of Ways to Recharge as a Mom.  As a mom, it is so easy to get caught up in the needs of everyone around you.  You take care of your kids, your significant other, the house, the finances.  As if that wasn’t enough, some of us work outside the home and need to add work and work relationships to that list.  If you are anything like me, you work really hard to make sure you give your best to each area.  I absolutely love that I have each one of these aspects to devote my attention to.

However, after pouring so much time, energy, and love into each one of these areas of my life, I sometimes realize that I am not taking the time to recharge and take care of myself.  It is so easy to do – so many people depend on me and I want to make sure they have everything they need before I even think about what I need.  Unfortunately, I usually realize that I’ve been neglecting myself when I’m on the verge of a major meltdown!  In order to be there and do the best for our family, we must first take care of ourselves.  There is a reason that they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others!

I am excited to share some great insights from some fabulous moms into ways that you can recharge as a mom and fill your own cup so you are ready to give your loved ones your best.  I hope you enjoy and will take some time to recharge very soon!

Andrea Rhoades | Selfies to Selfless: Real Talk for Millennial Parents

www.selfiestoselfless.com

Recharge as a MomBeing a mom can strangely feel isolating at times even with so much love being shared. With two toddlers at home, I try to stay as proactive as I can to pepper in some ‘me’ time to keep some balance.

I connect with friends at least once a month. Even if that means sipping wine in the basement together after the kids have gone to bed for a couple of hours, it’s worth it to reconnect. Sharing your mommy grievances will remind you aren’t alone in this journey. I also do the same with my husband and take full advantage of those who offer to babysit. And arguably my favorite thing to do for a quick recharge is to go to Target. By.My.Damn.Self. I leisurely stroll down the aisles imagining where all the Nate Berkus décor can fit in my home. Then I buy things I don’t need and all is well in my world.

Dani Wagner | Live Love Learn Gracefully

livelovelearngracefully.com/

Finding ways to recharge as a mom is super important, whether you work at home, stay at home, or work away from home.  As a stay at home and work from home mom, I am with my girls all day every day and babysitters are very hard to come by. I’ve had to learn to be creative in ways to recharge by finding things that we can do together that are fun for the girls but also rejuvenating for me.

Nature walks are probably my all-time favorite. If you know me or have been by the blog, you know that we love nature walks.  For me, nature walks allow us to get outside, soak up some Vitamin D, explore the world around us, and have fun together. I also love to try new things or places. Whether it’s scoping out all the playgrounds in the area, trying a new park, or venturing off to an aquarium or museum, it offers something new! If you can swing it I always recommend a date night with your hubby or a girls night with friends. I love when I can sneak away with my girlfriends for an evening of catching up and a lot of laughs. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to find what works for you and keep yourself rejuvenated and fresh.

Becky Miller | Mommy Takes 5

mommytakes5.com

Recharge as a MomWhen you make it a priority to give yourselves 5 minutes a day you don’t hit that wall of exhaustion from not caring for your needs. I like to do mine during nap time so if I want more than 5 minutes I generally can take longer. My favorite things to do are put on makeup,  paint my nails, make a bath soak or scrub to use in the bath, or even just sit in silence. Day to day I will change what I do, it’s dependent on what my needs are on that day.

Erica Gilliam

www.ericagilliam.com

As moms, it feels as though we are always giving of ourselves.  But if we don’t take time to refill and recharge, we will quickly burn out.  I used to struggle with embracing motherhood but once I discovered the value of allowing myself time away from everything, that started to change. A few times a week I now take the time to reconnect with myself at a coffee shop.  There is something about the environment that sparks my creativity and reminds me who I am outside of my role as wife and mother. These small dates with myself have allowed me to grow and feel more at peace as a mom.  If you don’t know where to start finding ways to recharge as a mom, here are more than 50 self-care activities that are perfect for busy moms!

Mae Johnson | The Gospel of Beauty

thegospelofbeauty.org

As a mom, we sometimes take care of everyone else except ourselves. We juggle closing the deals at work and running out during lunch breaks to buy our kid’s school project supplies. We resolve work-related issues over the phone while doing laundry. We answer work emails while helping our kids with their home works. In short, we have the tendency to be supermoms, but even supermoms need to recharge their energies.

To do this, we need to let go of any guilt to put ourselves first. After all, we cannot give what we don’t have. Unless we learn to recharge, we will eventually run empty and be unable to provide our family the care, attention, and dedication they need.

I practice self-care by giving myself permission to indulge, whether that’s by having a time for myself doing creative endeavors like art or writing, having some quiet time to meditate, taking a long, relaxing bath or heading out to a spa to enjoy a therapeutic massage. I try to do a dedicated “me” time at least once a week. Thus, at least one day a week, I let the laundry pile up, leave Lego blocks on the floor, or not even worry about running the vacuum, as I take care of myself first. When we put ourselves first, we are actually putting our family’s need top priority as we are able to refuel our energy and give more of it in the process.

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I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

The Friday Five – Breastfeeding

The Friday Five – Breastfeeding

Hello.  I would love to welcome you to a brand new weekly feature here on The Crafty Organized Mom – The Friday Five.  Each week, a group of five fabulous moms will come together to offer you some really great advice about an important parenting topic.  We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.

This week we will be focusing on the important topic of breastfeeding.  While every mother will have her very own journey and relationship with breastfeeding, it can be so helpful to get the advice of other moms that have been through the experience before.

My First Breastfeeding Experience

I remember when I was a brand new mom and essentially all I knew about breastfeeding was that I was going to do it no matter what.  Social Media wasn’t nearly the powerhouse that it is today and the class that I took did little to prepare me for the actual realities of being successful at breastfeeding.  It was given by a nurse that preached how natural and wonderful it would be.  So I went in gung-ho and because of a poor latch, ended up engorged with cracked and bleeding nipples.  It took three days for anyone to tell me something was wrong because I just assumed I had to deal with it.

Thankfully I was able to get the support of a lactation consultant that corrected the latch and ordered me a hospital grade pump to give my nipples a chance to recover.  It took my daughter and me another month or so to get the hang of it and we went on to have a wonderful 10-month run.  But gosh, I wish someone had told me how hard it would be to start and how important getting help early was if it hurt.  It would have saved me a lot of pain and tears.  With my next two children, I was so much more prepared and confident and things went much better.  I asked for a lactation consultant to come and assess my latch early and it made a big difference.

I hope you will find some great wisdom in this post that will help you along with your own breastfeeding journey!

Katie Mac | From North to South

www.fromnorth2south.com

Full disclosure, I never had the intention of breastfeeding. I just couldn’t get myself comfortable with the idea. Then after joining some support groups online, speaking with those mamas and hearing about their journeys, I decided I would ‘give it a go’. It was the best choice I could have made. Our breastfeeding journey lasted about 6 months with my first. I rarely fed in public, and if I did it was under a cover that was a battle to keep on. With the encouraging words and support of my groups, I ditched the cover with baby number two and made it 9 months before he lost interest. By the time baby number three came along, I felt like I was an old pro. We are almost 10 months in and going strong.

I was fortunate to have such great experiences overall. There were definitely those days, those days when I just wanted to throw in the towel, run to target and buy some enfamil. Those days when my nipples hurt so bad I had to walk around topless to avoid any irritation. On those days I turned to my support systems. My husband, my mother and every other mother dealing with the same issue. Facebook groups are a godsend to moms. There’s a group for everything. Whether you’re a first time mom struggling with a latch, or a ‘seasoned’ mom who is dealing with a first time issue. The best advice I can give is join a support group and ask questions, share pictures and know that you’re not alone.

Vanessa Pak | The Four Pak

www.thefourpak.com

I think the key to being successful at breastfeeding is to just go with the flow (literally and figuratively!). I had every intention to breastfeed, but once my twins were born, they were four weeks premature and in the NICU for about a week and a half. Feeding at my breast didn’t come too easily for them, and I’m sure my feelings of being stressed and overwhelmed didn’t help. Luckily, they took to bottles very easily so I decided to exclusively pump and give them my milk in bottles. Pumping for two was not the easiest thing in the world, and my babies only got breastmilk for their first four months, but that was pretty good in my book! You have to remember that fed is best and you’ll get through whatever breastfeeding challenges come your way!

Erica Gilliam

www.ericagilliam.com

When I found out I was going to be a mom, I looked forward to being able to breastfeed.  I knew that it would be such a beautiful time with my daughter.  However, my daughter was born 8 weeks early and after being introduced to a bottle in the NICU, she had complete nipple confusion.  She would scream for hours and I became an overwhelmed, emotional mess.  After 2 months of trying, pumping, lactose teas and cookies, diminishing returns, working with multiple lactation specialists and nipple shields, I made the decision to let go.

While it was not what I had envisioned when becoming a mom, switching to formula was the best decision for both me and my daughter.  If you are a mom who is struggling with breastfeeding or simply can’t for whatever reason, know that you are not alone.  Everyone has opinions, but you must make the decision that is right for you and your family.

Tiffany Houseman | The Wholesome Housewife

wholesomehousewife.com

3 Important Things You Need to Know If Breastfeeding

#1 Baby should be checked for tongue/lip-tie ASAP after birth

With my first, I suffered through every feeding for 10 months until we finally figured out that Baby Boy had both a tongue AND lip-tie. They were causing my plugged ducts, nipple pain, thrush, unexplained fevers, and shooting, burning breast pain. First feeding after his laser surgery was nearly pain-free.

#2 Nursing can be uncomfortable at first

Even if Baby does not have either tie, it may still be a little uncomfy at first as your body gets used to the friction from nursing. Changing positions of hold can help and I highly recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter!

#3 It’s worth sticking out

Some mamas can’t produce enough milk or have health issues themselves preventing a good breastfeeding relationship, but in most cases that’s not the case. Your milk is important for baby, and nursing releases feel good hormones to relax you. Don’t give up, Mama, it’s so worth it!

Betsy Smith | Bug and Baby Girl

www.bugandbabygirl.com

I was as surprised as anyone when my son’s first birthday came and went without weaning. I had planned to stop breastfeeding at a year and, believe me, friends, family, and strangers made it clear that I “should;” some because they thought breastfeeding a toddler was strange and others because they were convinced it was dangerous for the pregnancy I was carrying.

But, unsolicited advice aside, my son, my doctor, and I were all happy, so I decided to roll the dice. Everything I read told me that he would, likely, self-wean during the pregnancy and, if he didn’t…well…I figured we would cross that bridge when we came to it.

Well, he didn’t. So we crossed the bridge.

And, because motherhood is nothing if not surprising, I realized that the hard choice I thought I was making was actually the easy one. So many times, I watched them together, seeing the comfort that my son took in being at the breast with his baby sister, and wondered why the world had tried to keep this secret from me. This “hard” thing was easier for my two sweet babies, who never had to question their place or whether there was enough of me to go around.   And it was certainly easier for me than having a one year old ransacking the house while I nursed a newborn all day.

To everyone’s surprise, I nursed my babies side-by-side for another two years. And, like so much of my breastfeeding journey, it wasn’t at all what I expected. It was so much better.

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I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

Heaven Sent It

Heaven Sent It

When I was about nine years old, I had my first experience with death.  My great-grandmother passed away.  She was older and had experienced deteriorating health.  She had lived a very good life and it was just her time to go.  I remember being sad and I very clearly remember that I was not invited to any of her services.  My parents must have decided that I was “too young” or didn’t need to go.  To this day, I am still sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to pay my final respects to my great-grandmother.  I now know that as a parent, it can be extremely hard to know how to support your child through the grieving process.  Especially when you are grieving yourself.

Saying Goodbye

A little over a year ago, my father-in-law passed away after a three-year battle with colon cancer.  While I think we are all grateful that he no longer has to experience the pain and ugliness of the disease, we are all shattered that he is gone.  My husband was extremely close to his dad and he still struggles to figure out how life is supposed to go on without his dad.  As a spouse, it has been a journey to figure out how to support my grieving husband.  Some days I feel like I do okay at it, but most days I feel lost in how to comfort him.

While supporting my husband has been a journey of its own, supporting my children through this loss has been another element that I have struggled to find the best path.  My youngest was just a month old and I am grateful every day that he got to meet his grandfather, even if he won’t remember.  My middle child processed the loss in a very straight-forward way.  “Tata is in heaven”.  To him, nothing else mattered and he was at peace with it.  My oldest was crushed.  She was very close with her grandfather and she couldn’t comprehend a world in which he wasn’t here.

An Angel Named Sophia

Heaven Sent It

One of things that has been an absolutely incredible blessing in helping my daughter process this loss has been an angel named Sophia.  Sophia lost her father in a tragic accident when she was just five years old.  She started a journal to keep the memory of her father alive.  At just 8 years old, she started a non-profit, Heaven Sent It,  to help other kids coping with the loss of someone important to them.  She puts together amazing care packages that help grieving children start their own memory journals and process their losses.  She includes a personalized letter to each kid she sends a box.  You can read all about her amazing story here on Today.com.

Perfect Timing

Heaven Sent It

My daughter received one of these care packages and as fate would have it, the timing was incredible.  She was having a particularly difficult week and was really missing her grandfather.  Sophia and her team of “Heavenly Helpers” personally package each box with a specific friend in mind.  And let me tell you….the boxes look so awesome!

Heaven Sent It

When the box arrived, I knew exactly what it was and couldn’t wait for my daughter to get home from school to open it.  When she got home, I just gave her the box and let her discover what was inside.  She found the letter first and sat in complete silence as she read.  Then, the tears began to roll down her cheeks.  She was so touched by Sophia’s story and that she was chosen to receive one of the boxes.

Heaven Sent It

Inside her box, my daughter found lots of thoughtful gifts:

  • A personalized letter and pictures from Sophia
  • A journal to capture her memories of her grandfather
  • The book, Always Remember by Cece Meng
  • A necklace with a beautiful poem inside
  • A game to play
  • An “adult coloring book” type journal to color
  • Picture frame to decorate and put a picture of her grandfather

I am just so blown away by every single aspect of this experience.  This young girl is so thoughtful and wise beyond her year.  In her pain, she found a way to not only to celebrate her father but to help so many other children suffering from the loss of a loved one.  To a child grieving a loss, it is so impactful to know that you are not the only one going through such an experience.  Sophia is truly an angel!  The work that she does is nothing short of incredible.

Heaven Sent It

Please be sure to check out Sophia’s website!  Also, if this little girl’s mission has touched you in any small way, I greatly encourage you to make a donation to help her continue her mission and help as many grieving kids as possible.

I hope you have enjoyed this post!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!