How to Cut Out Some of the Chaos

There’s no denying it. Life with an infant can be pretty chaotic.

The crying…the lack of sleep…the pooping…the doctors appointments…being halfway to your destination when you realize you left the diaper bag at home…forgetting the formula…spilling 15 ounces of breastmilk…spit up on your face…baby food splattered all over the floor…the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, and the countless Google searches because you’re convinced that the little spot on the back of your baby’s leg is the plague.

What if I told you you could cut out some of the chaos? (Whaaaaaaat??) 

Yep, it’s true!

Here are some tips for doing so:

Get help!

  • How much of your chaos comes from you trying to do it all?
  • You don’t have to be Supermom. (Please, don’t even strive for it. She’s really not that great).
  • No, things won’t always be done the way you want them to. You’re going to have to let go of control if you want anyone to help you.
  • If someone asks if you want help, take them up on their offer NOW.
  • Reach out to people! Even people you think don’t want to help. They might surprise you.

Say “no.”

  • Part of being Supermom is being a “yes” mom. Remember: don’t be Supermom. Don’t be a “yes” mom.
  • When you say yes to everyone else, you’re saying no to yourself.
  • Even when you say yes to good things for yourself, you’re usually saying “no” to better things for yourself. Say “yes” to the things that truly matter and that will fill your cup.

Strip things down to the bare necessities.

  • Write a list of what you do each day of the week in a typical week.
  • Which of these things do you LOVE doing?
  • Which of these things could you outsource? Could you find people to do those things for free? If not, could you put it in your budget to pay for those things? Just imagine – you could skip the Starbucks and hire someone to clean your house every week instead. Uhh…awesome, right?
  • Which of these things could you eliminate? COMPLETELY eliminate. Remember, don’t be a “yes” person.
  • Set the precedent when your kids are young that you refuse to live a life of constant chaos.

Create buffer time.

  • Do you feel like you’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next? Are you always late? Chances are, you’re living with an unrealistic idea of how time works when you have a baby. Just plan on everything taking twice as long as you think it should.
  • Set your departure time 15 minutes early (or even 30 minutes) whenever you’re going somewhere. If you leave right at your departure time, great! If not, you have that buffer time built in.

There is no magic wand to make your life less hectic. However, you do have more control than you think.

What can you do this week to cut out some of the chaos? Share in a comment below!

Last Day to Register!!

Registration for Mamas Thriving Together closes TONIGHT at 11:59 pm ET!!

Don’t miss out! Today is the last day to register for Mamas Thriving Together!

Mamas Thriving Together is an online group coaching community designed to help mamas build a life that is exciting, meaningful, and true to who they are.

Click this link to check it out!!

Registration closes TODAY, August 21 at 11:59 pm ET. Click this link to sign up now!

Mamas Thriving Together Is Here!!

The day has come!

 


Mamas Thriving Together is here!

Mamas Thriving Together is an online group coaching community designed to help mamas build a life that is exciting, meaningful, and true to who they are.

Click this link to check it out!!

Registration closes Monday, August 21 at 11:59 pm ET. Click this link to sign up now!

Looking Back at Our Birth, 1 Year Later

It was the most empowering experience of my life.

One year ago, I achieved my goal of a natural birth with my son. At 31 weeks pregnant, God lay it on my heart to pursue natural childbirth. From that moment, my husband and I embarked on an incredible journey. We learned, we laughed, we cried, and we were in complete awe of God’s goodness.

While I had found the thought of natural childbirth overwhelming and even laughable, my mind completely changed as my husband and I began our research.

As my due date approached—and passed—my doctors became increasingly antsy. They wanted me to schedule a c-section, since I had one with my daughter. They had me schedule one, even though they knew I would cancel. Twice I canceled and rescheduled, just to appease my doctors. I couldn’t consent to a c-section when, aside from a few research statistics, I had no risk factors working against me. I couldn’t throw away my goal of a natural vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) out of fear of the “what if’s.”

I kept asking God, “Why? Why hasn’t he come yet?” When I was 40 weeks and 5 days, God revealed to me that He had a plan for the time while I was waiting.

At my 41 week appointment, the OB we saw offered another option besides a c-section—an option no one had mentioned before: a low-dose Pitocin induction.

That Thursday, June 30, 2016, We did it. We got our natural VBAC.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from that experience was the importance of a positive mindset. It’s amazing the power our minds have over how we experience events in our lives and how we respond to challenges and stressors.

A few weeks later, I began a series of blog posts sharing our journey. The pictures of us you see in these posts were taken by our incredible photographer, Amy Oliver, who showed us the true beauty of birth photography.

Click here to read “Our Journey Towards Getting the Birth We Wanted, Part 1: The Surprising Benefits of Natural Childbirth.”

Click here to read “Our Journey Towards Getting the Birth We Wanted, Part 2: The Hardest Discussions We’ve Ever Had.”

Click here to read “Our Journey Towards Getting the Birth We Wanted, Part 3: Jump-Starting My Labor.”

Click here to read “Our Journey Towards Getting the Birth We Wanted, Part 4: ‘Baby Out My Butt.'”

I am so grateful for the people who supported me in that journey.

Jeremy—Thank you for going with my crazy idea of natural birth and for trusting in God’s plan for us. Thank you for your support and for staying right beside me every step of the way.

Anna—Thank you for planting the seed (even though you didn’t know it) that would eventually grow into me listening to God’s nudge to pursue natural childbirth.

Ashley—Thank you for encouraging me and sharing your wisdom with me. Without you, I wouldn’t have changed the trajectory of my decisions regarding the labor and delivery of sweet Charles.

Brandy—Thank you for filling us with as much knowledge as you could in 4 weeks as we prepared for our birth. Thank you for encouraging me to advocate for myself and to stand firm in my beliefs and my trust in God’s perfect plan and perfect timing.

Jocelyn—Thank you for being the most incredible doula we could have asked for. You provided exactly what we needed and were such a calming and reassuring presence during our labor.

Amy—Thank you for capturing those precious moments. We will forever treasure the invaluable gift you gave us. You took more than pictures—you captured memories that we will forever be able to relive.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for, encouraged, and loved on us as we prepared for our birth and the days following. We are eternally grateful.

Thank you to everyone reading for being a treasured part of my journey of motherhood. I love you all.

“You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With.” Who Are Your Five?

A week and a half ago my friend and mentor Cliff Ravenscraft reached out to me and invited me to attend his workshop titled “Creating an Online Business Around Your Podcast.” I told him I had checked out the sales page but that it wasn’t in our budget. However, after further discussion with Cliff and my husband, I decided to make the investment.

As I figured it would be, the workshop was jam-packed with amazing information and Cliff’s presentation of that information was outstanding. The workshop was hosted in the Next Level Studio in Cliff’s home (“The Home That Podcasting Built”). Cliff and his family were so welcoming and hospitable. In addition to a great day and a half of content, the networking and relationships built were invaluable.

After the workshop I asked my friend Heather if I could swing by her house to say hi, as she lives just a few minutes away from Cliff. We sat on her back patio, and she asked some questions about the workshop. I answered enthusiastically, still on a high from it all.

Then Heather said, “I bet it was nice to get away and have some adult interaction.” I paused, then said, “Yeah, that was pretty nice.”

It hadn’t occurred to me until then. Sure, the workshop and relationships were awesome. But what I think refreshed me most was getting some time away to be in the presence of other adults—especially like-minded entrepreneurs who all have the same goal in mind: to build a responsible online business.

I didn’t realize how badly I needed it. The life of an entrepreneur can be incredibly isolating, especially in the early stages.

In the workshop, Cliff talked about Jim Rohn’s belief, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Cliff asked us to write down the five people we spend the most time with (outside of immediate family). It could be face-to-face interaction or interaction via phone, text, social media, etc.

I began to write down my five, starting with my church family and another close friend. I then realized that other than that, most of my in-person interactions are with my kids and husband. I have close friends, but I’m not intentionally getting together with them in person or picking up the phone to call them.

Cliff then asked us to take some time in the days coming up to write down the five people we want to intentionally spend the most time with moving forward. Who are the people I want to intentionally allow to influence the way I think through direct interaction?

I realized that in order to write my list and put it into action, I am going to be making some major commitments. I’ll be committing to investing in myself by committing to spending time with and investing in others.

But how in the world am I going to do that?? I’m a full time mom building an online business on the side. I don’t have time for intentional friendships!

That’s the issue though. I historically have not made (keyword “made,” not “found”) the time to be intentional about friendships. I was very academically focused in school. I got married my senior year of college, started graduate school a year later, and went straight into a job from my grad school internship. I worked full time until I had Margaret, then gradually moved down to part time, then resigned after my maternity leave with Charles. No matter which of these stages I was in, I struggled with being intentional about friendships.

After last weekend, I decided: No more. No more playing the “I’m a tired/busy mom” card. No more neglecting the amazing friendships staring me in the face because they’re just so much work. No more excuses. No more.

Is it going to be easy? Maybe not. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely.

Jesus wants us to live in community. After all, he spent a good deal of time with his twelve best buds. It seems to have served Him quite well.

Take some time this week to do the following exercise:

First, write down the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Second, write down the 5 people you want to spend the most time with.

Third, set a plan into action that will help you grow your relationships with those people.

It may seem like a lot of work and time that you don’t have to invest. I get that. But if you make this a priority, you’ll be amazed at the way your world changes.

Are you spending time with people who are lifting you up? Are you intentional about being around positive people who have your best interests at heart? What can you do to deepen those relationships?

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