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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 year or so, 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, go for a walk, workout, or listen while I drive to school pick-up, or any other time.  It also can feel super productive, because I am learning and absorbing new information, perspectives, and life hacks while I'm accomplishing other things as well.  I still love a good audiobook, but really enjoy the quick episodes of a podcast as well! 

I've come to have a few favorites that I go back to again and again, subscribing to new episodes, and browsing back through the older ones to listen also!

Here are a few I highly recommend, that I've listened to a lot of the episodes and really gotten something great from each one:

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!  She speaks a lot about mindful, intentional living, and has a book on the topic as well!  She has a great perspective and is a must-listen for sure!

The Lazy Genius 
This is such a great one and total life hack.  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," is basically my life mantra (or should be at the very least)!  The tips and show are fun, her perspective is great, and I really enjoy it.  Some episodes offer more concrete tips and hacks to start using in your day to day life, while others offer more of a mindset adjustment that is equally as helpful.  Super motivating, super inspiring, highly recommend.

Young House Love has a Podcast
 This one is just a good time!  It is a husband and wife, and they are super entertaining together.  They quiz each other, do segments, share things they are loving, and chat about DIY and Home Improvement type things.  Super fun for any homeowners, but also anyone just looking for entertainment.

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.  She often has guests on the episodes and they talk about a wide range of parenting topics. Parents of infants all the way up to parents of teens and older can find helpful episodes on this one.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin
This was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and I thoroughly enjoy it!  I've always enjoyed her books and the way she really researches topics and approaches them with such a factual perspective. 

Rise and Rise Together podcasts
The Rise Podcast is hosted by Rachel Hollis, while the Rise Together Podcast is typically hosted by Rachel and her husband Dave.  Rise is typically for focused on womens' personal development, business, etc. while the Rise Together podcast is focused on having an exceptional marriage/relationship.  Both of them have tons of great episodes, and I've listen to so very many of them.  I have even turned on a few of the Rise Together episodes with my husband for us both to listen to, and we've really enjoyed them!

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  more good ones, and getting to explore them one episode at a time, so I'll keep you posted as I  maybe discover a few others that I like more/as well.

I'd love any recommendations!  What are your favorites?  Leave them in the comments!