Mothering the Mama
When I became a mom, there were 2 things that were for certain: I had no clue what I was doing and I was losing myself in the process. Somewhere between the diaper changes and feedings I forgot what it meant to take care of me. This would all be fine and dandy if this change was something that was necessary to my child’s well-being. But what we mamas always forget, WE are necessary to our child’s well-being, And not just us, but the best darn version of ourselves that we have. 

Now hear me out. Yes, diaper changes and feeding times are crucial to your baby’s survival and should never be something you skip out on regardless of the situation. But your self care should be almost as important to yourself as your baby’s means for survival is to them. Because for you, it is necessary. 

Did you know that it has been medically proven that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health? That is saying doing something that helps you feel relaxed and comforted is just the same as having open heart surgery. A little dramatic? Yes, I agree. But it is as important as you taking a jog or a day in the gym.  The reality is paying attention to the way you feel at the top of your body (your head) can help affect the things towards the bottom end of your body. 

If you joined my Self Care Email Challenge then you’ve heard me say it; self care is not just bubble baths and massages every day. But it is finding ways to intentionally take time out for you in a way that makes you feel loved and cared for. The important word there is intentional. Just saying oh yea I’ll be taking a break at 4pm is not the same as saying it’s 8am and I know I want to take my break at 4pm so I am going to finish up my 3:00 meeting by 3:45 and push my email clean up to 5 so I can be sure to make it to my 4pm break. It is saying at my 4pm break I will walk outside around the block. It is not saying at 4pm I’ll figure out what to do and once you find nothing you start your email clean up early since “there’s nothing to do anyways”. 

You remember me talking about my beginning emotions with my baby boy. Well those emotions were hard. As most initial emotions with a baby are. You are battling yourself not only emotionally but physically and it takes a toll on you every day. You don’t think that earns your little brain a break? When I first started noticing that my own love tank was getting low I knew I had to make a change. I knew that in order for me to properly give my son the love and affection he needed I had to first give it to myself. It’s similar to the saying: 

"You can’t love someone else to the best of your ability until you first love you". 

Oh what, you thought your baby was exempt from that because of the fact that he came from you? Nada mama, wrong answer. This falls under that same principle. 

Here’s some tips on self care: 
1. Make it intentional. Again, decide when and what you’re going to do with your activity and allow nothing but the earth stopping its orbital spin stop this.
2. Understand this is not only important for your well-being but necessary for it as well. 
3. Enjoy it! Don’t always let self care be a moment when you’re at your whits end with the kids and physically can’t take it anymore that you now have to walk out and take your “you moment”. All that does is place ill- feelings on a situation that is supposed to be a positive experience. 

Plan it, understand the need for it and then do it. Your family will thank you, your baby will thank you but most importantly, YOU will thank you. 

Take care of you too mama, 
Aysia B.

p.s. towards the end of the week I will be announcing a pretty big announcement over on Instagram and I am sooo excited for it! And trust me, your self care is excited for it too. See you then! 

This shop has been compensated by Tiny Love.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I am a nurse by profession. Not a teacher, not a daycare personnel, and not a nanny. Yes, I have had my fair share of baby sitting but that mostly presented itself as you drop your kids off I’ll make sure their fed and alive when you return. In short, I am in no way trained to enhance a child’s developmental stages.

When Tate was first born I could do the essentials. Wash, bathe, feed, cuddle (oh boy could I cuddle!) and the list goes on. Being a pediatric nurse those things came very easy to me. Between my precious stages of baby sitting and my current career, I was however trained in the art of caring for a child. As he got older, I realized how quickly I was getting out of my league. I mean yes, trust me to keep a kid alive but to make sure they’re developing intellectually ?! That surely couldn’t have been a job for me. Until, it was.

In discussion (and lots of persuasion) between Tate’s dad and I, it was decided that Tate would remain home from daycare until he was a little older and we both felt comfortable sending him into the care of a facility. That meant it was then on me to ensure that in his days home he was still getting the developmental challenges he would in a daycare setting. I knew I couldn’t do this alone and began to turn to articles and research as well as to products that I knew could make it a little easier on me in the learning department.

When TinyLove reached out to me about testing out their new Super Mat I knew it was one I had to jump on. The super sleek and compact design of the mat makes it so I can easily transport it to provide my busy baby boy with a constant place to sit and learn. Once we had the place to learn, it was easy to focus on other areas.

Here are my top 5 tips for creating an intentional play space for baby:

1. Understand what you’re trying to facilitate in each environment. Being as though Tate does not have one designated area of play in the house, that means every area of play that he goes into will have to be designed a specific way. For example, he knows when it’s time to read he sits in his rocking chair and focuses on reading at that moment. And if it’s time to free play, there is an entire basement filled with toys that he can walk around and explore. By putting these structured areas into place I am teaching him consistency and order.  Like the saying goes, “there is a time and place for everything”.

2. Having the right equipment. As I spoke of before, Tiny Love mat is my go to for creating a space of developmental play. On this mat Tate is able to explore both his fine and gross motor skills. Playing with the wind chime or baby book while sitting up allows him to use his hands to learn how different toys work all while sitting in one designated area. This mat also focuses on language development, cognition, sense, emotional intelligence, imagination and creativity.  And for my mamas with younger babies, this mat starts facilitating development in babies from day one and as they age.  What's better than a play toy that grows with your baby!

3. Be present. Oh trust me there is plenty of times that I let Tate play wild in that basement while I have the TV running watching my 4th episode of Law and Order SVU rerun. But I know that if I want to ensure he’s learning and benefiting from his play at all times, it is necessary to be present. Helping him with certain language toys or simply tossing a ball back and forth allows me to assist with any changes or alterations that need to be made so he can learn correctly. And hey it's not all bad, free play allows him to use his imagination. While I also use mine to guess which criminal is guilty!

4. Do your research! As I said, I am not a school teacher and do not have all the answers on building my baby’s brain and motor skills. But I know I can research the heck out of things until I find answers! Being committed to my baby’s development makes it easy to stay on top of finding the right material to allow me to help him be the best he can be.

5. Have fun! This is almost always final on my lists. Learning doesn’t always have to be a super rigid process. Sometimes toys are meant to be fun and playful. You’d be surprised how much you teach your baby when you just play and have fun. Social skills especially!

Being a mom is so much more than growing and pushing out a baby. It is wiping them off when they fall, kissing boo-boos and ensuring you set them up the best way possible; both emotionally and physically. As a mom you won’t do everything right all the time. But hey we sure can try.

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.

p.s don't forget there is only 3 more days to sign up for the 7-Day Self Care Email Challenge.  Come get some intentional self care mama!

Spring is in the air and warmth has just started to touch our skin. I’ve always loved the winter months but I think we all can agree there comes a time when enough is enough and you are just so ready to be able to slide on some flip flops to run to Target. This year I decided to try to pick a scent and use it continuously for the season. I had a lot fun with it and I loved choosing a theme to run for the season of self care activities. In the Fall, not just due to halloween but also the crisp feeling in the air, I felt like pumpkins definitely had to be on the list of favorite scents. So for Spring I wanted to do the same and this time around Lavender is the scent of choice. 

Let me give you the run down on some health benefits for Lavender: 

  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Increases sleep quality 
  • Promotes new hair growth 
  • Relieves migraine headaches 
  • Help with minor burns and bug bites (due to its anti-inflammatory properties) 
And let’s be honest, because it smells so good. The scent alone is definitely what made me choose to use it throughout my self care activities for Spring. So without further ado, here are my top 5 self care activities for Spring:

  1. Lavender infused face masks. As you know, Target is my favorite store and their under $3 face masks are the best! Its simple and easy to use, but most importantly its cheap. The lavender infused one not only smells good but I totally feel it helps me decrease the few pimples I get. 
  2. Yankee candle house warmer. I love these candles. Had the same one for my pumpkin themed time. Candles are still my jam and I definitely need all the relaxation properties this lavender candle gives with my busy toddler getting into everything. 
  3. Baseball. Now for some people sports may not be a relaxing time but my family has grown up going to baseball games for years and the spring is just the time for that. Soon as spring rolls around I know its time to hang out and relax at the fields all day with my family. 
  4. Flower baths. I have heard so many good things about the use of flower petals in bath tubs. Not only is it totally Instagram worthy but it also releases the benefits of the flower into the bath and your skin. Lavender being infused with so many properties makes it such a good flowers break up in the bath. 
  5. Buy some flowers. Spring in the air definitely means flowers. Now I have the furthest thing from a green thumb, but the presence of beautiful flowers in a space gives me a feeling of clarity and peace. Definitely need these on my desk while I’m writing! 

Failing to prioritize self care activities in your day is a huge fail on many moms part. We always say we will do it “later tonight” or “early in the morning” but we don’t actually schedule a time for us. Failure to do this usually ends in us missing it for the day or somehow forgetting it in between all the other chaos. That is why I am creating a 7-day self care email challenge. After participating in one from one of my favorite bloggers, I realized we had to keep this thing going and get other moms involved. With this intentional mantra driven challenge I will help you purposely schedule self care into your day and make it a priority in your life. Plus, who wouldn’t love to know you have at least 7 days you know you will cater to you. Click the link below to join! Challenge starts April 1st. 


What’s your favorite Spring self care activity? 

Take care of you too mama, 
Aysia B.

Happy first day of Spring Week! If you live on the East Coast like I do, it’s just starting to seem like Spring will actually show up this year. The sun is starting to shine, it’s staying light later into the day and it’s even starting to feel like we just might be able to put that big winter coat towards the back of the closet for a few months. Yay for bright pictures and warmth on my skin! 

Whenever the spring season comes I feel a shift in myself, too. It’s usually around the time I start to get complacent. I sit and think... 

“What is actually going on with my life?” 

Am I growing? Have I changed in the past few months? Has life changed in the past few months? Where am I with my goals?! 

I would imagine with the weather changing outside it’s normal to have these feelings. And these emotions aren’t always bad things to have. However, this definitely needs some type of direction. 

Here’s how I channel my feelings to gain productivity: 

1. Write a list. Writing a list gives you a way to organize your thoughts and visualize all that you want to accomplish. 

2. Prioritize. After writing the list, decide what’s most important! What are the things that you absolutely want to get done before even thinking of anything else. And what are those other things that could probably wait a little bit longer. Deciding the hierarchy for things in your life can also help give you direction as to what’s up next. 

3. Complete a task.  And not just complete it — but complete it to the best of your ability. See one project through before you move on to the next. If I’m being honest, this is what causes me the most stress. I’m always going from one thing to the next. When I feel these things, I force myself to focus on one project in its entirety before moving on to anything else. This also allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment as I complete each individual task. 

4. Keep adding more to your list. As you check things off your list it’s important to keep adding to it too! That helps you avoid feeling complacent. For me when I add things onto my list it not only helps me stay busy, but also reminds me that I am adding to my different skill sets as well!

5. Celebrate! Once I get through this list I usually feel a sense of calmness and am so excited to set forth with life. It’s always good to celebrate the completion of things! 

For me, as a mom it’s so easy for me to start questioning things within my own life. After so much focus on Tate and his needs, it can sometimes feel like my goals are put on hold or put on the back burner. Spring gives me a chance to make sure I keep my goals new and fresh. So excited for the warm weather to come! 

What does the warm weather do to your productivity?

Take care of you too mama, 
Aysia B.

If you’re a mom and you’ve heard the saying “sleep when the baby sleeps” raise your hand. 

Pretty sure every mom every where has their hand up right now. 

We all remember those newborn days and the unsolicited advice.  I mean it sounds like such a practical saying. Clearly if I want sleep then I should sleep when my baby is sleep. Then we’re both well rested for the busy day ahead of us, and honestly, it is a practical saying and one that works great! I mean considering you have a house keeper, chef and nanny at your disposal. 

We all know I never followed the usual pattern when it came to sleep and my baby boy.  I think one of the hardest things for people to understand is the “to- do list” of a stay at home mom. So here’s a shortened version for you:

  • childcare
  • laundry
  • cooking
  • cleaning

Sounds simple right ? Here’s just a little longer version for you:

  • childcare (I won’t even begin to list all the things that go into taking care of a kid)
         •of just one child if you’re lucky
         •of 3+ if you’re not (joking of course)
  • laundry
          •for the one child if you’re lucky
          •for the 3+ if you’re not 
          •for mom
          •for dad
          •for the house (I.e. sheets, towels)
  • cooking
          •breakfast, lunch and dinner for the one child if you’re lucky
          • breakfast, lunch and dinner for the 3+ children if you’re not (I think you’ve got the whole lucky and unlucky thing right? Again totally a joke)
           • breakfast, lunch and dinner for mom
           •breakfast, lunch and dinner for dad
            •food for the dog

  • cleaning
        •1 kid
        •3+ kids
        •the dog
        •the kitchen
        •the living room
        •family room
        •at this point, every room 
I’m so tired writing out all these tasks that I’m just going to stop there because I’m going to assume you got the picture. In short, there is no rest for the weary. And just to be clear, mama is the weary one. 

These lists make it impossible to sleep when the baby sleeps. I mean it’s not like the list of everything else is sleeping then too!

Good we’ve discussed the to-do list now can we discuss the other list? The one that involves the things I’d like to do without having a baby hanging on my boob or crawling in my lap? Here it is:

  • drink some wine
  • read a book
  • watch an adult show that maybe has cursing or crude humor in it
  • eat a meal by myself
  • drink some wine (yea, I said it twice for a reason, if you’re a mama you just get it) 

And yes, that list can go on and on too. 

The thinking process of only going to sleep when the baby sleeps robs you of valuable time. Now it’s not to say I never sleep when the baby sleeps. In the beginning that was all I did! Then after 3 weeks of laundry piling up to basically becoming the other person in the bed with me, I decided some things had to change. 

There are so many times in society that mothers are looked down upon for “making the wrong choice”. If me choosing to use my baby’s nap time to do something valuable for me is “the wrong choice”, then so be it, I’ll be wrong. But I tell you what, I’ll be wrong with a full self- love tank. 

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

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