Mothering the Mama
Remember when this whole quarantine thing was only supposed to last 2 weeks?

Well now here we are with schools out until the end of May, travel bands fully in place and basically social distancing our lives away. Let’s all put a major LOL here.

As we’ve talked about, this time spent at home is one of the most important times for us to take care of ourselves in all aspects. We have touched on many different forms of self care so far during this series: physical, emotional, mental and now it’s time to move right along. Today we are going to discuss practical self care.

I’m sure this is the last thing we all want to discuss right now, but we're going to do it anyways because trust me at the end of this, you’ll understand.

Let’s first discuss what practical self care is.

It is all the practical things you do with no explanation that allow your days and weeks to run as normal.  For example: washing the dishes, folding laundry, sweeping the floor, etc.

I know I know, loud groan here because to be honest who willingly wants to talk about these things? I know I didn’t. Until I did that one thing we always talk about: mindset shift.

I shifted my mindset from making it into a full on boring chore and started use it to benefit me instead.

Now let me put a full disclosure here by saying I do not openly and completely LOVE doing any of these things. I mean folding and putting away laundry, still my least favorite thing ever. I battle myself every step of the way before starting any practical tasks, but the shift in my mindset truly makes all the difference.

So let’s dive into this mindset.

The act of completing practical self care allows you to free up some of the clutter. Mental clutter and physical clutter. When you’re house is dirty or the laundry isn’t washed it’s just one extra thing constantly on your brains “to do list”. As mamas we have more than enough on our brain and could always use just one more free space on that list.

Shifting the mindset that by performing some part of practical tasks you are allowing yourself multiple wins: a free mental space win, an item crossed off your to do list win, and a clean house (or laundry bin) win, because everybody loves that one.

Now that you have your mindset down, here’s my favorite list of practical self care tasks:

  • sweeping my main floor
  • storing away Tate’s old clothes
  • washing the dishes
  • cleaning the bathroom
  • straightening up my room
  • rearranging my closet
  • organizing my desk drawers
  • organizing my bill drawer
  • laundry (see told you, it’s truly a task I don’t love)

Your list may look very similar or very different to my list and that’s okay! It’s your house not mine and it should look different. Every practical thing you do around the house will definitely NOT be on your list. Again, that’s okay. This mindset shift wasn’t to say you would love all of these must do things, instead it’s to say find some of the ones you don’t mind and give it a go. Notice your feeling after completing some of these tasks and use that as your push the next time you need to get some things done. Take care of that house...

And take care of you too mama,
Aysia B. 
It’s week two of this whole quarantine thing and if we’re being honest, we’re all starting to lose our minds just a bit.

If it’s not from the quarantine, it’s from the media, lack of supplies, the kids, or just the emotional stress of it ALL.

So I ask again,

How are you doing mama?

We are in a rough season right now.
We can’t answer questions for ourselves, for our kids, honestly for anyone and that is scary in itself.  Don’t they know motherhood is the world of answers?

 And it sucks doesn’t it?  Not to have any answers.  To not be able to truly lessen the fears of your kids and loved ones surrounding you?

I don't know about you but it makes me feel really emotionally bound.  Like there are all of these emotions about the situation that I have that I am keeping inside due to fear of scaring more people or even worse my kid.

It’s time for an emotional recharge.

This past week I have been giving out so many of my own personal tips for self care that I use. Planned parenthood discussed there are 6 types of self care and if you know me then you know tapping into them all at least on a weekly schedule is so very important to me. So far we’ve discussed, mental tips I use to help keep me mentally sharp.  Physical tips I use to help me stay in shape while trapped inside.  And now, it’s time to sit down and get out the real stuff. The emotions.

Emotional self care for me can sometimes feel like a daunting task, I mean who wants to sit down and cry all day.  But in certain situations, it’s totally necessary.

In a moment in time where everything feels so very uncertain, it’s easy to hold it all in and store your emotions.

It’s time to let it out mama.

Here’s my favorite ways to keep your emotional baggage in check:

  • Brain Dump. I know, you’ve heard me say this a gazillion times, but it’s because it actually works!! It’s like a journal entry without the whole “Today was a good day” part. This dump allows you to get everything that is on your heart and mind onto paper.
  • Therapy.  Ooh such a bad word but one that could also be your saving grace.  With all that is going on in the world, it’s important to not only put everything down on paper like I mentioned above, but also to talk it out with someone that can be trusted and even give guidance on how to maneuver through the feelings.  I know we can’t leave our home and physically go to the therapist right now, but we can definitely call one up on the phone with telemedicine and get in contact.
  • A friend/ loved one.  Let’s be honest sometimes our friends can be the best form of emotional connection we receive.  First be sure to ask your friend are they mentally able to handle an emotional rant right now and then when they say they are, lay it on them.  It doesn’t even have to be a negative rant! Just one of how you’ve felt lately, the positives from this situation, anything your heart desires. Just get that emotional connection going.
  • Meditation/ yoga.  We talked about this last week with physical self care, but honestly this helps us all around.  Using this quiet and intentional time to focus in on your feelings and release them with each stretch can be a total game changer.  Try hitting both self care points with this one tip!

Times are hard for everyone right now. We’re all emotionally, physically, mentally drained and more. The best way we can take care of ourselves at this time, is to pour so deep into us that it overflows healthily to others. Stay strong mamas, 

And take care of you too,
Aysia B. 

It’s been a week of quarantine homeschool and I’m sure you’re exhausted mama.

Not just mentally but physically too.

With so much going on, self care is on the back burner for many of us. But if I’m being honest, that’s the wrong way to go. Working hard, creating meals, creating a schedule, finishing coursework and then doing self care is a bit backwards. 

Let’s think about this, you wouldn’t drive before turning your car on and warming it up would you? Well that’s what you’re doing to your body. Every time you continue with your day adding more and more stress without giving it a chance to reset, you are killing the “engine” in your body.

Now I know you’re not doing this on purpose mama.

Trust me, before self care became a habit to me, I forgot it just as easily as I forget where I put my airpod case. It’s a lot, you don’t want to know how many AirPods I’ve had to buy.

It’s so simple to go throughout your day and have the Dory motto, just keep swimming just keep swimming, and completely forget to swim to your own corner of the ocean for a while.

Changing this habit is imperative to your health, especially during this Covid-19 quarantine time.

The last post I gave ways you can take care of your mental health and today I want to discuss ways to take care of your physical health.

No, I’m not telling you to run to the gym or honestly even to run outside, don’t worry I know we’re quarantined. However, I am telling you that it’s possible to stay on top of your physical health right from the comfort of your own house.

Here’s my favorite ways to stay physically healthy during this social distancing:

  1. Rest. Yes this is definitely a part of physical health! Did you know that increased stress (which comes from running on fumes) has direct affect on your overall health? It can suppress your immune system (even if for a short time) putting you more at risk for illness. In a time like now with a major pandemic going on, that is not what you want.  Get your rest. 
  2. Short exercises. For me, full hour workouts in the house just aren’t it. I love short workouts that I can squeeze in my regular routine. And with so many things on our mama plates right now, we need all the “simple” tasks we can get.  My favorite short workouts are from MadFit on youtube.
  3. Unconventional exercises. As mamas we need exercises that allows us to habit stack aka to do while we are subsequently doing something else. Squats while washing dishes are my fav! Throughout the day it’s important to find little ways to do things like this. When picking up your child, always do it in squat formation. If folding laundry each time you fold a load, separate some of it and use it as “weights” for some arm exercises.  You get my point.  Just find ways to use what you have at home to get moving.
  4. Balanced diet. Okay this one is the biggest struggle for me and this is why I say balance. 3 balanced meals for breakfast lunch and dinner definitely deserves a treat throughout the day as well. For me dieting or always eating so strict doesn’t give me joy. I know neither does cavities. But if you’re like me, here’s your instructions to allow some belly joy in your life.  In the present day it is imperative we get vitamins from the foods we eat since many of us are in the house away from the sun and other natural vitamin sources. 
  5. Stretching/ recovery. Just like any workout you have to allow your body to recuperate. It is necessary for your physical health, especially if you want to continue to push yourself.  Stretching (along with that rest mentioned above) lets your muscles recover and get ready for the next workout. Without this step, your muscles can become short, tight and not give you the same range of motion necessary for that next move.

As a mama I’m pretty sure running behind our kids count as cardio in itself. And if anybody thinks different, give them a 2 year old for the day. But if we want to be intentional with our self care we’ve gotta take it a step further. Try some of these activities, paired with last weeks mental self care activities and see how you feel! Remember summer is right around the corner, don’t let this quarantine and chill have an effect on your hot mom summer bod.

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B. 
We’re two days into the “quarantine”, how you feelin’ mama?

I know, completely thankful that you did not decide teaching or childcare as your career.

Wondering how much it would cost to send your child’s teacher on a roundtrip flight to South America once this is all done for all their hard work.

And also silently wondering how you’re going to make it another day.

As a mom who stays home with her kiddo every day trust me, I know.

But no matter how many times during the day you think you won’t make it, trust me you will.

Mama strong is always full in effect.

But being a strong mother does not prevent this entire situation from taking a toll on you.  Not just the homeschooling process, but also taking on the role as a full time chef, housekeeper and counselor.  In times like these is when we truly realize how important stress management is.

In your current day to day process do you utilize different techniques to help you stay calm and manage stress?  It’s a weird concept that many of us take for granted.  We are usually out working our 9-5’s running from one work task to the next and once we get home at night dinner is to be made and kids are to be put to bed that the only stress management technique we have is sleep!

In the state of the world now, stress management is more important than ever.  Trust me mama, your plan to just keep holding on until bedtime can only last but so many days.  It’s time to put other plans into action.

Here’s my list of 10 things I love to practice in high stress situations/ moments:

  • Deep Breathing.  I know this sounds so trivial but trust me it’s not something that is second nature.  In times when I feel myself getting super high strung or reaching my boiling point, I immediately turn away from whatever it is that is causing the stress and I take 3-5 big breaths.  Not little ones but truthful FULL belly out big breath in through the nose, and then a huge breath out from the mouth and deflating of the belly.  The breath is so impactful, my massage therapist Angie would be so elated of the correct form from that breath.  This time allows my brain to switch gears if even for a second and then return with a new look to the situation.  This step takes us to the next point.
  • Time out.  Time out for me, for the kid, for the employee, for the IV pump, for the parent, for- whatever the situation is; it’s time for a break. Doesn't have to be a long one.  Even just 5 minutes is enough to allow the body to reset.  During this time away I might even incorporate another one of these tips or I might just simply sit and let my brain settle!
  • Meditation.  Now this one requires some time and could best be performed during nap time, feeding time, bath time or bed time.  This simple settling into the moment experience is amazing.  Now if I’m being honest, I probably don’t always meditate the right way each time, #momlife. The entire sitting cross legged with music or guided imagery in the background isn’t exactly what I get to do every single time, but I do spend the time sitting in a chair or my bed and just simply be.  Be thankful for the peaceful moment, be thankful for the gifts of breath, thankful for the passing of a stressful moment.  There are many ways to complete this task, you just have the find the one that works best for you. 
  • Yoga/ Stretching.  My friend Sami would be is happy to hear me say this one.  I love simple stretching or yoga as a form of stress release.  For intensive sessions I definitely need an instructor but for short periods where I know I am just needing some form of movement to release stress, I practice a few ones I know from memory that are simple and easy to perform in a short period.  The movement of your boy allows your muscles to stretch and then relax also giving you the feeling of true relaxation in the physical and mental state. 
  • Peeing.  Okay this one probably sounds weird and honestly might be from either escaping off the floor to the bathroom at work or from escaping my toddler at my full time job of being a mother.  But I’m sure all moms know how special that solo trip to the bathroom is.  The moment does not have to be rushed or be a game of scavenger hunt on your actual body. Just the art of being able to empty my bladder allows me to imagine everything else like stress or tension leaving my body as well. 
  • Shower.  This is my favorite technique and probably one of my favorite asked questions, “how do you take showers alone or peacefully?”  Here’s the first secret, I don’t always get to do this.  Here’s the second when I get to it’s usually when Tate is eating his food.  Yupp.  I slap my toddler in his high chair, with breakfast and a movie in front of him- GAME CHANGER. While in the shower I can breathe, relax and honestly just take moment to enjoy the solo dolo time. Now the nurse in me is always worried about him choking so occasionally I’ll yell out to him to make sure he can respond, at which point I usually get the “good!”, response and I’m right back to my water oasis. Stress and dirt, gone. 
  • TV show.  A super easy and self explainable tip.  Things getting too mad or crazy around the house?  Alright!  Everyone take a seat and let’s watch a show.  Gives both them and you a good 30 minutes to sit down and relax.  I let him pick the show and then I take a pick of my activity.  I either close my eyes while he’s curled into me, read a book, watch my own show on my phone, scroll through social media or more.  
  • Nap.  I don’t need to explain this one.  Trust me, every mama knows the importance a good nap has on stress.  On one of those days, just hop right in the bed with them while putting them down for their own nap. 
  • Glass of wine.  Another one not necessary to explain.  Find the corkscrew mama and have you some good ol' mom juice.  

There is so much going on in the world right now it might not even be just our kid’s that’s causing us the stress.  Be aware of your surroundings and notice when you feel off.  In that moment grab a tip above and chill out mama.  You got this. You can take care of those kids…

And take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

By now, everyone and their grandmas (no really)  have gone apocalypse shopping.   Everyone has stocked up on enough toilet paper to last them for the next 5 quarantines.  Sorry guys the toilet paper fetish is truly blowing me away.  Nonetheless, if you are just heading out to shop today then you my friend, are very late. 

Don’t worry I am not here to pass judgement because I myself just went out yesterday morning.

If you are worried there will be no toilet paper, don’t, this weekend Target placed a new shipment out at 8am each morning and placed a ban on families stating they can only have one per family of rolls and Lysol cleaning products. 

In short, you still have time.

But here’s the thing, I don’t want you to head back home with just enough toilet paper to soak up Covid-19, I want you to truly have what you need in terms of the things most families don’t think of.

I know you have your meats, foods, cleaning products and more.  But what about your baby’s health?

It is common knowledge that during the cold/ flu months kiddos catch many colds.  Most of which yes, come from daycare.  So most moms are thinking, well no daycare no colds- super wrong.  Colds and common illnesses can come from so many other things besides just sick people.  Bad meats, contaminated surfaces, and more.

As a nurse mama, one of the worst things I can think of is I packed up on all my goods to keep my family alive in time of crisis but not keep them healthy and well in the day to day.

So here’s my list of top 5 wellness things you need to grab at the store before heading into quarantine:

  1. Anti-pyretics.  Whew do these kids love to catch some fevers.  I mean seriously it feels like: plays a video game- fever, goes to the park- fever, sits down- fever; truly it’s inevitable.  So the best thing you can do as a mama is to be prepared.  Make sure you have at least one bottle of Tylenol, Ibuprofen or whatever your preference is on hand.  Remember, too high fevers (or fevers that spike and not brought down) can lead to further serious illnesses in children like seizures.
  2. Kleenex.  While you are on your paper goods kick, make sure you stock up on Kleenex’s as well.  If we all use toilet paper to the extent it is made to be used for we should have more than enough to last us during this Covid-19 quarantine.  This brings me to my next point.
  3. Antihistamines.  Allergies are very much still in effect (especially if you live in my body).  During this time it is expected to be very very nice weather.  This will make many of us want to open our windows especially since we cannot be outside.  Just remember, open window means the same symptoms us allergy peeps would experience outside we will now experience inside.  Another use of this product is for allergic rections.  Those of us mamas with tiny tiny kiddos may be allowing the babies to test and taste new products during this time.  The last thing you would want is an allergic reaction on your hand with no plan of action.  Yes, please call 9-1-1 if serious enough, all of us medical personnel will still be at work (you lucky dogs).  But, something like Benadryl could be enough to hold your kid over for the time being or until the arrival of emergency personnel.
  4. Vitamins/ orange juice.  During this time locked away there will be many families that will be terrified to leave their house.  Hear me mamas, yes your kid will be totally fine to sit out on the deck or the backyard.  But, in the event that you don’t want to take the risk it means a lot less exposure to things like the sun. Keeping their vitamin level up can help keep their immune system high in these next few weeks.
  5. First-aid kit.  I grouped this together because it makes for a much shorter list.  But what I mean by this is your every day cuts and bruises supplies.  Band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol swabs, etc.  With kiddos in the house they are bound to get stir crazy and start jumping off cabinets.  Oh just my kid?  Good to know.  Having these supplies on hand allows for quick and easy treatments of the every day cut and prevents having to show up in over crowded emergency rooms during this time. 
  6. Bonus: Soap.  Okay honestly this is less of a “wellness” product and more of an every day one.  Please please please I beg of you, still wash your hands.  Even if your trapped inside germs can still live in your home. And we need them off our hands. 

These next few weeks will definitely be a difficult time for everyone.  Not just because everyone’s kids are home and they’ll will want to strangle them, but also because the world is experiencing a major major event right now.  It’s best to take care of yourself from the inside out.  This week, I’ll be releasing a blog on mental self care for us mamas and how to take care of ourselves and our little ones during this time.

Stay safe mamas.

And take care of you too,

Aysia B. 
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