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Getting my Act Together as a Grown-Up Wife and Mom in 4 Super Simple Ways

I can't help but notice that the days I am feeling like a less than stellar mom, always coincide with the days I find myself over tired, over stressed, or over whelmed. It really never comes down to the kids' actual behavior.  Things that I can handle with grace and patience on regular days - turn me grouchy, short, and snappy on days when I haven't had enough sleep or I've overbooked myself for the day.  Leaving the attitude aside, being overly tired or yucky feeling also typically results in accomplishing less during the day, and inevitably procrastinating certain items like laundry, grocery shopping, or really anything that I can "put off until tomorrow."  And as we all know, putting these things off even for a day can often lead to 3 or 4 days of catch-up just to make-up for one lost day, and it's such a vicious cycle that gets SUPER out of hand at our house.

There are a few things I've been trying to prioritize lately, in order to benefit my whole family and keep me at my best.  This is not one of those posts about treating yourself, or big, fancy, expensive things like getting your nails done, getting a massage, or having a get-away (although all of those sound LOVELY), these are just a few simple, everyday things that don't really cost much extra time or money.

*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I will earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you.

1.) SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP - I've finally started prioritizing this idea I keep hearing about sleep being important. I mean honestly, everyone under the sun tells me that sleep is important for all of the things, and yet I blissfully (or not so blissfully I guess) ignored them for all of my years up until this point, and continued to stay up late watching Netflix, cleaning things around the house, finishing off an entire book, or scrolling Pinterest for way too long!  Just beginning in January, my husband and I have both started turning in much earlier, and it's making such a difference.  

I'm not naturally someone who can fall asleep early, so to help myself get in the routine of an early bedtime, I've been loving these Sleep Gummies, this pillow spray, and this tea has been my absolute favorite (and quite frankly only sleepytime tea I enjoy at all - and I've tried A LOT).

Another thing that helps is turning down the lights and using some soothing essential oils in a diffuser in the evening.  I typically start this when the kids start baths/showers/pajamas, and it seems to help everyone wind down!

2.) Drink My Water - Another one that seems SO EASY, and that I've literally heard the important of no less than 2.4 million times I'm sure.  I'm definitely giving it more effort, but it's a struggle each and every day to remind myself to drink some water.  I would live on coffee as my only beverage if at all possible.  Things that help me - drinking out of a big cup with a straw - link here. (literally, if this cup isn't clean, I end up forgetting to drink water all together).  Also, carbonated water like La Croix.  I also really like the Aldi and Target generic brands of this, so that's super helpful.

3.) Eating Less Junk - Man was I on a roll there for a while.  Halloween through Christmas and New Years became a long stint of eating junky stuff without a second thought.  I'm back to working really hard to keep out of the chips, cookies, candy and desserts because.. wow my pants are tighter and I'm on a long string of feeling awful.

I've been also focusing a lot more on protein, fiber and veggies because I am a big carb lover. Every time I'm hungry I would typically reach for some type of bread or cracker item. It is so easy to get lazy and eat terribly when it's cold and frozen outside, but my motivation is to be healthier and feel better to enjoy running around, playing with the kids when Spring and Summer hit!  I can feel such a huge difference in sluggish-ness and bloating and motivation when I'm eating a little better and avoiding all the junk.  I find myself thinking... "If only I ate as healthy as my kids do!" which is ridiculous!  I should not feed them carrots and run off with a cookie!  I'm convincing myself that it's okay to buy and make healthy foods for myself, that I can be a priority as well.  I'm starting small, and taking on healthier eating habits little by little, but it's been so great so far!

I've gotten a few good books from the library to help on this path- Against All Grain (which is amazing, and I'm excited to read more of Danielle Walker's books/website and tell you more about soon! Big fan for sure!), Whole30 Cookbook, and The Paleo Kitchen.  I figure I'll check them out as a library borrow first, and then purchase any that I really love and need at home.  

4.) Decluttering - I plan to do an entire post about this but... after watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo, and listening to this WONDERFUL parenting book called Simplicity Parenting... I have been so inspired to declutter.  I have also been coincidentally listening to quite a few episodes of podcasts on this topic, so it must be a sign!  I declutter ALL THE TIME.  That part is not new.  But I'm taking it much more seriously this time, and paring down in hopes of a better time at home.  Our home has felt like a constant state of chaos and messes lately, laundry baskets I couldn't keep up with, toys that had no designated home, you get the idea.  It had obviously been a while since I decluttered, and Christmas hits our home like a wrecking ball thanks to over generousity from our family members, and basically it just needs a major overhaul.  I've been really reevaluating what we own and seeking out a simpler approach to things.  It's such a work in progress but every box filled for donation or consignment feels like a HUGE weight off of my shoulders and will ultimately result in me being a happier, more present parent.  Every time I see a pared down drawer or closet, or an empty corner in my home I breathe a sigh of relief I swear! I have a long ways to go, but it's funny that I can go through a space, and come back to it later and find more to clear out! 

(I can't recommend this book enough by the way, full review to come on it... I really feel that there is some information in it to benefit every parent out there and our perspective on life with children at all stages- I will link it here for anyone interested.  I have listened to it on Audible and love it so very much!) 

What things do you do to de-stress and keep your act together as a mom, wife, parent, or just adulting in general?

My Favorite Podcasts for Inspiration and Entertainment

Just in the past few months, I've started LOVING podcasts.  It's become my "me" time hobby for sure - My favorite luxury to be able to pop in some headphones and enjoy a podcast while I do housework, or listen while I drive to school pick-up, or any other time.  The game-changer for me has been blue tooth headphones, I just have some cheapos, similar to these, but they do the job and make it so much easier as I'm bopping around the house!
*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I will earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you.

I've come to have a few favorites, although there are a few that I listen to a random episode here and there too, and may not listen as regularly.  There are so many I enjoy, I've had to pick and choose which episodes sound the best to me... but that's tricky too, because when I end up listening to one that didn't have the most appealing title to me, there ends up being some great content in those episodes too!

Here are a few I highly recommend:

Live Free Creative with Miranda Anderson
I find her show so fun to listen to.  Honestly, even just the music and her voice are super relaxing and inspiring!

The Lazy Genius 
This is my everything.  Basically, I wish I had thought of it first because her tagline of "A genius about the things that matter, and lazy about the things that don't," (or something like that) is basically my life mantra!  The tips and show are fun.

Young House Love has a Podcast
 This one is just a good time!

3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms
Every episode is so inspirational and has an immediate effect on my mothering, even if just for a while.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin
This was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and I thoroughly enjoy it! I haven't listened as much as of late, just because I have been exploring new ones and trying to find a few more to make my "regulars."

The Rad and Happy Podcast
There are only a few episodes, but good stuff so far!

The next three are ones I don't necessarily have enough experience with to wholeheartedly recommend, but I thought it'd be fun to share since I'm subscribed to them and have good intentions to give them a fair try!

The Rachel Cruze Show
I subscribed to this before she even had an episode out, and have great intentions to begin listening, because I enjoy listening to her Instagram lives and YouTube show.

The Life Coach School
I can honestly say I've only listened to one episode so far, but I enjoyed it, and listening to more is on my to-do list!

Rise and Rise Together podcasts
This is another that I have only listened to a few, but they seemed fun!

I use the purple podcast app on my Iphone to listen, but most of these are available from other sources like Spotify as well.  I'm still on the hunt for good ones, and getting to explore them one episode at a time, so I'll keep you posted as I listen to these ones more, and maybe discover a few others that I like more/as well.

I'd love any recommendations!  What are your favorites?