Mental Health Mondays: Transitioning Gracefully

Mental Health

As a mom of 2 little kids, I am always feeling pressured by: friends, family, society, other blogs… you name it.  Seasons change, and our ability to be flexible and transition gracefully becomes evident. I was not always able to handle transition well. Somedays, I still don’t. However transition is a must in our lives at different points in time. To transition gracefully has been a major milestone in my own mental health journey.

The word transition means changing from one state or condition to another. Change is hard for so many people. We get used to things being a certain way. We like that things stay the same and are predictable. Change is hard, however there are some things you can do to help.

  1. Evaluate Where You Are Now. This is one of those things I sometimes forget. I am so busy with trying to get to where I want to go, I forget to figure out where I am currently. I’m going to use going back to school as an example for this. During the summer, where we are now, there are less rules and more fun. The atmosphere is light, and while we still have rules, they are fewer than during school. We are also having a lot of fun. We sleep in more, there is less structure, and because we all kind of do what we want, there is more cooperation.
  2. Define Where You Want (Or Need) To Be. This means making a conscious effort to decide what things you want to achieve. It means making a list and then prioritizing the list. For me, I want my kids to learn to love learning. I want them to be excited to go to preschool. I also want to increase my bond with them through teaching them and doing fun activities. These are major points on my list. Some minor points might be some things I’d like them to learn (Colors, shapes, letters, etc) however the main point are the ones I am going to work toward. For me, this means home school preschool has to be: exciting, fun, and we need to work together on projects. I can then fit in the things I want them to learn, in ways they will enjoy.
  3. Work Out A Plan. This is the one everyone usually starts on. Planning and deciding what is important for the school year (or whatever you are transitioning to). However, if we evaluate first, and then define where we want to be, we might see things a bit differently. For instance, I notice that when there are fewer actual demands, there is more cooperation. Now, I know that life has demands, and we can’t get away from that, so we have to keep some demands in the picture. But, what if just for a while, instead of dumping all the demands back on your kids, you slowly added an extra one or 2, here or there. What if instead of trying to transition in a week or 2 before school started, you only added 1 new demand a week for 4-6 weeks, and then expect that with increased demand, cooperation will be lower until everyone is used to it. I also know what my main objectives are, so sitting and doing book work for an hour for a 4 year old does NOT meet those qualifications. If I was choosing that route, I know I need to find a route that will meet the qualifications and goals I set in step 2.  Planning is fun, but if you haven’t done the 1st or 2nd step, you are planning blindly and likely to fail as a result.
  4. Plan A Test Run. This is so important. So often we just set out to work our plans, and then if they aren’t right, we get discouraged and give up. This is why test runs are so important. By remembering to call this a “test run” you are giving yourself permission to fail. You are acknowledging that this might not be “perfect” and that you are allowed to tweak it so that you can get it right. It also means you are still actively working on it. For us, preschool itself is a test run. I have allowed myself the grace to continuously tweak our format, schedule, and topics to get us to a place where we are meeting our main goals. The important part of a test run is to give it a time frame. So, we are going to test run throughout preschool to learn what works best with each of the kiddos in how they learn and work. Other plans may only need a week or 2 as a Test Run (I’d consider 2 weeks which makes it a habit and help you hold on to the plan longer).
  5. Allow Yourself Grace And Don’t Give Up. There are a lot of times when “life happens” and your perfect plan may fall to the wayside. It is okay to fall off the plan as long as you don’t STAY off of it. Get back up, keep going, keep trying. Give yourself grace and say it’s okay if I fall off AND I can get right back on. Don’t wait for a “better” time, or the beginning of a day, week, month, or even year. Get right back on by reminding yourself that getting back on right away helps to keep the momentum going. If I have a day in the middle of the week that I am tired and the girls are cranky and I don’t school that day, it’s okay. It is also okay to either have school in the evening, or jump right back to it the next morning.

These steps can be applied to any changes you are wanting to make. A healthier lifestyle, changing jobs, or even moving.

What helps you transition???

Thanks for reading this post. If you like it, considering clicking on the banner below to vote for our blog. Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Continue Reading

Working Together Wednesdays: Making Time for Creativity

Bring you New Bloggers, Businesses, and Causes

It’s Wednesday again!!! Today, I have a bit of a different set up for you, on Working Together Wednesday. I was given the opportunity to preview The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity by Bev Feldman. So without further ado… Here we go!!!

Have you ever felt just completely and utterly stuck in a rut??? I think we all have at one time or another. I get in ruts for different areas in life. Sometimes it’s the “I need some new dinner ideas” sometimes it the “We need a new play area to go to” and sometimes it’s that my writing turns more into a job than anything fun or creative. I often talk about my blog as if it is my creative outlet, and a lot of the time it CAN be, there are those times when it just feels very forced (even when I’m passionate about a topic, it can feel confining at times).

At first, I felt guilty. I have the life of my dreams. I have a husband and 2 kids that adore me, and while we aren’t rich, we certainly don’t want for much. Why am I feeling like I need MORE??? Am I really THAT selfish of a person??? I am happy to say those feelings all came into perspective when I read Bev Feldman’s book. The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity. This book written by an amazing blogger and creative was just what I needed to get out of the creativity rut.

Great workbook to help you make time for creativity

I haven’t finished the entire book yet, as we have all been sick on and off at this house for the last 6 weeks or so, however, from the exercises I have done so far, I have realized 1 thing… I had it wrong. I kept telling myself that this blog was my creative outlet and that all my spare “creative” time should be spent poured into it. I didn’t realize that I have been working myself into the ground in the name of “self care”. I’d spend hours “working” on my creative outlet, all the while feeling like I was drowning and never realized, I need a different outlet as well.

It is wonderful when you can do what you love for a living, and it takes a lot of the “working” feeling out of it, but, there is a very REAL difference between doing something creative for YOURSELF, and doing something creative for your “job”. This brings me to my newest idea. Starting next month, I will be hosting another month long link-up, this time it will be centered around trying something new. I’m not a very crafty person, but I have always wanted to be. So I am choosing to experiment, keep trying creative ideas and hopefully find some things I enjoy that I can add to my list. I’ll be sharing my results each month with you all and then including a link up for you to share your new creative ideas with others.

Bev’s book has been a tremendous asset to me, and I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself. You can find it on Amazon in either Paperback or on Kindle.

How do you find time for creativity???

Thanks for reading this post. If you like it, considering clicking on the banner below to vote for our blog. Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Continue Reading

Top 5 Tuesdays: Finding Time For Everything.

Top 5 Tuesdays winter

As moms, I think we naturally tend to try to schedule MORE into our day than we can physically handle.  We have kids to tend to and teach, a house that needs cleaned, meals to make, places to be, things to do, OH and getting some “ME” time would be wonderful too.  HOW do you find time for Everything???

While I don’t feel like I fit it ALL in, I do feel like I fit everything that is most important to me, IN. Here are some tips for helping you “fit it all in”:

  1. Take Inventory of Your Time.  I think we are ALL guilty of this, “I’m done with the dishes, so I’m just going to check…” (insert social media site here).  Then before you know it an hour has passed and you didn’t even realize it.  Taking a day or 2 to really track what you are doing with your time can help you find pockets of time you can fill with more meaningful things.
  2. Make Use Of DownTime.  I’m sure you have heard this before, but there are usually several times when we are “forced” to be “unproductive” .  Waiting in line is a great example. Is there anything you need/want to get done that you could keep with you do to while you are “waiting” for something???  Doctor’s offices are notorious for LONG waits, I try to spend one on one time with my kids during the wait.  We are there anyway, and watching a couple dinosaur videos with my oldest and then talking about them not only helps us forget about the waiting, but it serves to increase our bond.
  3. Assign Tasks to Different Days. It could be you feel like you are having trouble achieving balance on a daily basis.  I had to learn that some days, just aren’t good to get everything in.  Monday in our house is the busiest day right now because my oldest has preschool and then about 2 hours later, my youngest has speech therapy.  I’ve tried EVERY configuration of “Making it work” and filling those couple hour spaces with productive action, but, it never fails, we are late, or one of the kids throws a fit I have to deal with.  Mondays now are just Preschool, Therapy, and Needs.  The morning is dedicated to getting the oldest ready for school, we come home and I’ll relax, clean up a bit from the morning craziness, and then before I know it, it’s time to go get my oldest.  Afternoon consists of lunch, some quiet time, and therapy, then a late dinner and an early bedtime since my kids normally play through nap time (thus the reason I call it “Quiet Time”).  I have tried to fit a trip to the store in there, or extra cleaning in there… it just doesn’t work.  I have switched grocery day to Wednesday and Thursday (3 different stores) and then Tuesday is my house cleaning day since we only have Dr appointments that day as of right now.  I get stuff DONE, but not a little bit every day, instead, I do things in big chunks on certain days.  Saturdays are meal prep and family time, and Sunday I devote to catching up on blog stuff.  It works, somehow.
  4. Delegate Some Responsibilities. Maybe it is making dinner 1 or 2 days a week, or cleaning a room, sweeping a floor, or cleaning the toilet.  In our house “But Dad” cleans the toilet, the girls are responsible (to some extent) for keeping toys in their rooms. Occasionally “But Dad” will cook.  As the girls get older sweeping the kitchen, cleaning their own table off, and wiping the bathtub out will be responsibilities given over to them.  Every little bit helps.  I never worry about the bathroom since I know “But Dad” has the toilet taken care of, and I can easily pull the shower curtain and wipe out the sink.  Knowing that it is someone else’s responsibility (even if you have to remind them)  eases the “I have to do everything” load and frees up time to get other stuff done.
  5. Know Your “Bottom Line”.  I don’t think I (personally anyway) have ever seen THIS piece of advice given on any post, however knowing what your “bottom line” is, will help you get over what can’t get done.  I write out my “To Do List” and that gives me a starting point.  I have everything I’d LIKE to get accomplished on there.  When craziness ensues and I get behind, I go to my list and do triage.  What can be done tomorrow? What can I skip all together?  Can someone else do some of this? I keep on the list what I KNOW can’t go (meals, appointments, etc) then I decide how much and what stuff will stay on the list.  That night, I make the next days list off my circled items from that day.  Things get done, and I can feel good knowing I have done what I could.

So there you have it, my Top 5 Tips for getting it “all” done.  I’m learning to be more flexible and having these guidelines to go by helps me to realize it doesn’t all have to be done “at once” in order to all be done.

What are your tips for getting stuff done???

Thanks for reading this post. If you like it, considering clicking on the banner below to vote for our blog. Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Continue Reading