Mothering the Mama
As moms, there’s plenty of times in life that we try to do it all.

Working out, dinner on time, work from home, create bed time routines, keep your kids in the newest clothes- it’s exhausting.

A lot of times this build up causes us to do exactly the opposite of what we want to do. Basically we end up doing none of it at all.

It feels like we’re gliding by and things are just sort of happening with no real intention behind it.

Well if you’re a regular here then you know that intentional living is no stranger in my lifestyle. Now this isn’t to say every single day of mine is planned to the T (I mean come on, I’m still a mom after all). But it is to say that I try very hard to be intentional with my days and activities for the day.

The other day a friend (that’s a new mom) asked me:

How do you do it? Be a mom, go to work, be a blogger, still work on things for you? I mean it just feels impossible.

The honest truth is, it is impossible. To do all of those things at 100% every day is impossible.  There’s just not enough time in the day.

So here’s the secret to how I do it, ready mama?

I don’t do everything at 100%.

I do SOME things at 100% and others at barely 5.

Before starting my day I think on what is truly important to complete that day. What is the most important things I want to get done, the things I’d kinda like to get done and then the things that would be nice to get done but am not holding my breath for. And then, I let my day and schedule go around that.

Let’s call it my to-do list.

Many people have to- do lists. They have a notepad with 10 plus lines on it and they fill it with as much things as they can and begin working on the day. But there are so many flaws with that to-do list thinking.

  1. 10 daily tasks are just not manageable.
  2. They’re just cramming the list with every single thing they think they need and not having any true focus  or direction.
  3. Their to- do list isn’t working for them!

In order to have a productive day you need to have tasks that are attainable.

Let’s compare two lists.

  • wash laundry
  • sweep floors
  • mop floors
  • take out trash
  • write out content calendar
  • cook dinner before 6 pm
  • fold laundry
  • help kid with school project
  • fluff pillow
  • walk dog
  • take dog to vet
  • go grocery shopping

Okay you guys get the point, I’m list fluffing. Which is honestly what most of us do.  We think of all the things we possibly could want done in our life and write them on the spacious to-do list paper.

Now let’s look at this list:

  • sweep & mop floors
  • Write out content calendar
  • walk dog
  • grocery shop

Which list looks more manageable?

Now I know it looks like I have taken a lot off the initial list, and in fact I did. But the way I decided on what to remove from the list is the key. I’ll explain.

When I first wake up in the morning I have a ton of thoughts. Many of them are filled with household or motherhood tasks that just need to get done at some point. If I don’t take the chance to clear some of those things, then they ALL will seem like immediate things that need to get done. But the truth is, they aren’t.

Enter in: A Brain Dump

If you’ve never heard of this, it my favorite organizational tool yet. It is how I plan my day and clear out my head all at the same time.

A brain dump is literally what it sounds like. You dumping out all the things from your brain and organizing them into tasks and to do lists.

When asked with the question how do I do it “all” I had to refer to my system. Large to-do lists seem unmanageable. The list is daunting and we don’t know where to start so we either try to start at the beginning, miss important things that are actually at the end, do just the easy things or simply don’t start at all.

With a brain dump you not only release all your thoughts but you can then organize them too.

So let’s get into how to do a brain dump.

What you need:
  • an empty paper/ notebook/ black computer writing screen
  • quiet space
  • noisy brain

Pretty simple in terms of supplies right? Now let’s start.

Personally, I set a timer (3 minutes) and then I literally just write. Letting every single thought that hits my brain flow through my pen and onto the paper. Sometimes it’s Tate, sometimes it’s the laundry, sometimes it’s groceries, etc. Once the 3 min is up, I then organize that dump. For me categories like personal, home and work are the most typical things that show on the list. Then once I have divided all of those thoughts into the sub lists, I then choose 1-2 activities from each category that are the most important to get done TODAY (not this week, not this month). Finally, those 1-2 activities from each category becomes my to- do list for the day! If anything on that list goes undone it is the first thing put on my list the following day before I even begin my brain dump. I try my hardest not to let more then one thing go incomplete but sometimes life or should I  say motherhood happens. 

This system has allowed me to not only increase productivity by attacking the most important things of the day, but also increase motivation!

As stated before, large to- do lists are intimidating and can decrease motivation before you’ve even start the day. There’s this huge list staring back at you, just teasing you knowing you won’t complete it all, talk about a huge buzz kill.

With this system I look at my list in attack mode and am ready to take on the day!

I have even created a document that I use daily that helps get this done! You can grab one for yourself HERE NOW!

Finding motivation is hard when you’re a mama. Just like everything else in motherhood it takes little tricks to keep the machine oiled up and working smoothly.

Have you ever tried a brain dump? Has it worked for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Take care if you too mama,

Aysia B. 

Don't forget to grab you Brain Dump freebie!

We have officially reached the point in the year where we attempt to find a gift for the person who literally gave us life.

This is by far always the hardest holiday for me.

When I was younger I was too young and broke to give my mother the world and as I got older I realized even with all the money and giving her the world, it still wouldn’t possibly be enough to say thank you for everything she has done for me.

When you become a mom it’s like your view on the world changes. You realize that the large gifts brought with the most money often hold less weight then the gifts that come from the heart and are perfectly thought out.

You realize the things you would want the most usually don’t come wrapped up in tiny gift boxes or covered in way too many colors.

Okay okay yes, as a mom you love your child’s artwork and honestly it’s such a great keepsake for later in life.  That statement was not to deny that we need those things too.  They are all a part of motherhood.  That statement was merely to say, we need more.

More thought.
More gifts out of packages.
More real gifts.

Have you ever sat back and truly listened to your mom?

Listened to her talk about the dishes in the sink or the meal she has to prepare after a busy day of work?

Before I became a mother I would simply ask my mother what she would want for mother’s day. She’d give me some surface answer and I’d then get whatever she requested.  But I now know the surface answer is just the easier answer.

It’s easier to say the physical item someone can get, then to ask for a break.

I mean what does that look like?

I need a break from my kids.
I need a break from my husband.
I need a break from this mother/wife life.

Sounds pretty terrible to say huh?
But the reality is, it might actually be what you need.

As mother’s we’re always looking for a way to make everyone else’s life around us easier. But the truth is, it’s the one day of the year we can truly ask for what we want, so why don’t we ask for it?

This Mother’s Day mama you deserve to get what it is you really want.

Here’s 10 gifts to ask your family for without them having to spend a dime:

  1. A Nap.
  2. A Cooked Meal that you didn’t Cook
  3. An Uninterrupted Netflix Binge
  4. Another nap if we’re being honest.
  5. A solo car drive.
  6. An uninterrupted glass of chilled wine.
  7. Kid(s) in bed early without you doing it
  8. Night out with your friends/ Uninterrupted zoom call with friends
  9. Laundry done (and folded, AND put away)
  10. Uninterrupted mommy & daddy time
  11. Uninterrupted family time (with nothing on the agenda to do)

Mother’s Day doesn’t always have to be tons of gifts and money spent.  It can truly be at home with the people and things you love most.

This day is for you mama, ask for what you want and then get it.

I always say to my family “closed mouths don’t get fed”, and it’s the truth for us too.

If we need something we should ask for it and what better day then Mother’s Day.

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

When many pregnant mamas think of their labor plan I’m sure they have many of the same basics.
  • goal: healthy baby
  • process: fast and easy if we’re lucky
  • route: vaginal delivery
There aren’t many mothers I know who have voluntarily chosen to have a cesarean delivery with no precipitating factors (ie health risk to mom or baby). If I’m being honest there aren’t many mothers I know that even truly consider the idea of a c-section.

Of course we know they happen, heck it might have even happened to our own mother if you’re like me, but the idea of actually having a c-section isn’t one we regularly think of. 

For example, when looking at the healing process for post delivery, did you look up the healing for post cesarean birth or just for vaginal delivery?

I thought so.

Don’t worry I’m not judging because I didn’t either.

Typically “consider the idea of a c-section” means just that, “consider it” but don’t let it ponder in your mind for too long.

Somewhere between your second and third trimester your doctor or midwife will ask you for your birth plan.

If they’re anything like mine was, they’ll ask the basic questions:

  • Who do you want in the room?
  • Do you want drugs?
  • Dad do you want to cut the cord?

And other questions along that line.

But aside from the “I want you to also consider the fact you may have to have a c- section”, my doctor didn’t really elaborate much more on what that meant.

And if you ask me, I think she should have.

You may have heard me say it before, but while planning my birth plan and reading countless baby books I never really sat with the idea of having to have a c- section.

When it came to those points in the book I’d skim through or foolishly skip them all together. In my mind if I did everything I needed to do to prepare for this birth then there was no possible way I would have to have a cesarean delivery.

I read the natural birthing books.
I went to the birthing classes.
I even practiced some hypnotherapy.

But the reality was none of those things stopped me from having a cesarean birth.

The CDC reports that in the year 2018 almost 31.9% of births were reported c-section deliveries.

I don’t know about you, but this seems like a pretty high number to me.  That’s over 1/4 of all deliveries.

And the reality is, in that pre-delivery phase it just isn’t talked about enough.

So for all my pregnant mamas, here’s 3 ways I would have looked at my birth plan differently.

  1. Prepare for anything. Notice, I did not say PLAN for anything I said prepare. It’s easy to have the thought in your mind and dismiss it, but it’s another to actually put things in place for it. Research what you might need if you happen to have a c-section. My top picks would be a tummy band, low bed height/high bedside bassinet and some household activities ready to go since you can’t drive for 3-4 weeks post surgery.
  2. Write down the alternative birth plan as well. Again putting things IN place. When I got rushed to the surgery room my midwife had NO idea the things I’d want for a c- section because I hadn’t written it down for her. I would have added: slight delayed cord clamping (even with a c-section), skin to skin immediately with mom (not taken to the side so only dad can see while I’m still stuck on the table), and definitely would have added a clear tarp covering so I could see the baby coming out (hey what can I say, the nurse in me was very intrigued).
  3. Work through your emotions. This one is a prep action and not a full “do” action because it’s hard to fully prepare for something you’ve never had happen. However, my emotions toward a c-section was very present. I didn’t want to talk about it, hence me not reading those parts of the book. Had I spent some time working through and journaling my true fears and dislikes with c-sections it might have prepared me more for the during and after part of the delivery process. 

As we all have heard before, the way your baby comes out has no determination on you as a mother.

So if  c- section is not in your plans, great! Do everything you can to prepare your body for vaginal delivery, but don't ignore reality.  Preparing your mind for the "just in case" c- section is just as important as preparing your body.

Ask the right questions, buy the right things and prepare yourself for delivery!

You're having a baby mama, no matter how he/she comes into this world remember:

You're body is opening up to give life and that is the greatest act of sacrifice there is. 

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.

If you’re a mom and tights aren’t a part of your weekly attire then are you really even a mom?

If my mom heard me say that just now she would laugh.

Ever since I left college tights have become a main piece of my wardrobe.  And once I became a mom they became a staple.

In college it was less likely I would ever be found in public with tights but now in full blown mommy mode it’s quite the opposite.  If you ever see me in public with jeans, just understand I truly had somewhere to go.

When going shopping for clothes it’s usually simple for me.

T-shirts, tights and always have to have nice sneakers around.

But at some point my “casual attire” has changed.

Before it was quite normal for me to leave a store with a crop top, short shorts and other “revealing” clothing threads.  But since I have become a mom it has felt that the stigma of the world is that “mom’s can’t wear that”.

What does that even mean?

Moms can’t wear that.

Once you become a mom society seems to put so many additional labels to motherhood. 

What you can wear, where you can go, what you can do, etc. When in reality, you can do whatever you want.

Let’s say it all together:

You can do whatever you want.

Motherhood is a personal journey.

If partying is your thing, don’t let motherhood stop you.
If taking trips is your thing, don’t let motherhood stop you.
And if you love a crop top mama, don’t let motherhood stop that.

Being a mom is one of the greatest joys of my life but I’m sure people have heard me say it plenty times before, I wasn’t going to let it change who I was at the core.

Between frequent travels, my breastfeeding journey and my self care indulgence I was determined to redefine motherhood to fit ME and definitely not the other way around.

Motherhood is the starting point of a new journey and that does not have to mean an ending to another one.

Don’t be afraid to treat it as such mama.

And remember,

Take care of you too,

Aysia B.

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. 
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