This post is the first in a short series on my experience as working mom so far. With only one baby who is ten months, I am no expert. But, I have dreams of more babies some day and I started to think it was about time I figured out how to make this working mom thing work for my family. I am learning a lot and I want to share what I am learning with other moms who are struggling to make working motherhood work for them.
I'm a new beginnings junkie. New years. New months. New weeks. Beginnings are what keep me trucking along. It is a natural ebb and flow for me. As I wrap up one thing, I need to give myself permission to be fresh and new again. To embrace all of the grace that exists for the failures or frustrations of the past and step into the grace that exists for the coming season.
I know that a lot of people hate Mondays. It's a rough start for some. Not me. I thrive on Mondays. I need 52 reasons to start new again. I need to pull myself together, make note of the lessons of the last week, and step into a brand new week.
So my first tip for working moms (any moms, really)?
Embrace Mondays. Step into the forgiveness a brand new week offers. I know this is a little vague. Practically, what does this look for me?
Plan for a new week. Sundays are focused on equipping myself for a brand new week. Church on Sunday morning gives me the spiritual refresh I need to start over again. I spend a good chunk of time on Sunday evenings writing out my meal plan, grocery lists, to do lists, and schedule. I'll break these down in future posts.
Don't play catch up. If I didn't complete something on last weeks list, I don't sweat it. Most importantly, I don't pull last week's to do list into Monday in order to catch up and the new weeks list is not any longer to compensate. If I missed a few days on my Bible reading, come Monday, I am no longer behind. I just start where I left off and continue at the pace of one day at a time. If Thursday's weekly vacuuming didn't happen, it waits until it is Thursday again. This has become vital to my survival as a working mom. Feeling behind can bring a heavy cloud of discouragement into my week so I do what I can to eliminate any pressure to play catch up.
Learn from last week. I make a deliberate effort to evaluate how the last week went. Was it a stressful week? If so, why? Last week, for instance, I over scheduled myself and I was feeling stretched too thin by Saturday morning. This week, I am scaling back a little so I can get the rest I need.
How do you feel about Mondays? What routines have you implemented to help you start new each week?
Friday, May 24, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
- 1 package of fresh shelled edamame
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 medium gala apples, diced
- 1 lemon
- 2 avocados
- 1 cup of red quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, ground
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
Mix together first six ingredients in a tupperware container. Cover generously with the juice of one lemon and mix well. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
Store quinoa in a separate container to avoid sogginess
Mix together garlic, ginger, vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce/coconut aminos. I store it in a mason jar and then pour individual servings into a small tupperware before work.
Pack your lunch the day of or night before your shift. I spoon 1/4 of the quinoa into the bottom of a tupperware, top with 1/4 of the veggie mix, and slice the avocado fresh each morning. Pack your dressing separately and mix everything together right before eating.
Do you pack your lunch for work? If so, I'd love to hear any creative and healthy recipes you have been using!
Monday, May 20, 2013
Have you ever been in a season of survival and felt like you were really holding up only to get to the end of that season and have exhaustion take over you? That is what happened to me, and that is in part the reason for my absence. All of sudden, Clementine was sleeping more and I was working less and I was tired.
So, I'm sorry but not really sorry for letting my posting taper off to nothing in the last month. I've been crawling into bed early next to my honey. While he fiddles on his phone, I turn through a few pages of a good book, journal a little, and read through the #SheReadsTruth devotion for the day. I've been meeting up with new friends from our church and soaking up the chaos of having fifteen kids under six in one home. I've been slipping on sweats and taking Clementine out for long walks in the morning. We've been spreading a blanket under the big tree in our front yard and laying in the afternoon sun.
I've been recovering and resting and relating.
This week, I am starting to feel like I can give again. For the first time in weeks, I am feeling like there might be some creativity floating around in my brain somewhere.
So, Hi. Glad to be back. Glad to be writing again.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Yesterday, Clementine and I ventured down to the River Market in Kansas City to take her 9 month pictures. Our friend, Jason, took them and did an awesome job! He even got the edited and emailed to us by the end of the day. If you are in Kansas City and need a photographer let me know and I can pass on his information.
Friday, April 26, 2013
I am throwing open our windows and letting spring into our home and into my heart.
This winter was hard and I am ready to say hello to a time of newness. As it draws to an end, I am grateful for the lessons it brought. I am grateful for the grace I was shown during this time as I battled through exhaustion and depression.
But Spring is here and it is more than just new weather for me. My spirit is feeling refreshed and renewed, ready to embrace this new season in my life. After six months of seven day work weeks, I am ready to throw myself into the rest and slowness of the next few months. My body needs it. My heart needs. My family needs it. I am refocusing on relationships. I am concentrating on the word relate. Giving to those who have not received much from me over this past season.
I want quiet cups of a coffee at the dining room table. I want prayer and sharing with a friend while baby sleeps. I want sitting in the grass with another mama while babies play around us. I want napping in the afternoon and late night movies with my main man. I want sharing of books and meals and lending a hand to busy sisters. I want to throw myself into the community of my church and daily unity with my Savior.
Where are you focusing your heart this season?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
You are nine months old and your little personality is less little and more loud and defined and strong. It is amazing to me that such a little thing could have so much noise bottled up inside of her. You feel strongly about most things in your life. I love this about you. When you are happy, you are fiercely happy. You love without apology or hesitation. When you meet new little friends you offer kiss after kiss after kiss until your new friend grows frustrated and mama has to intervene.
With the same fervor you address every big issue you are opposed to in your life. If you were a politician, your platform would be No more nap times! Peaches all day, every day! Green vegetables must go! At least, that is what I imagine you mean when you furiously resist sleep until your head wobbles back and forth and then falls in defeat or when you energetically send food flying off of your tray and onto the floor where Miles-puppy is waiting.
I am starting to pray more specific things for you based on the personality I am watching form. I pray that you will be bold and strong, but that you would also learn to surrender your will to your parents and most importantly to God. I pray that you would continue to be a fearless lover of others but that your lover heart would be satisfied by the love of God alone. That you would be a person of conviction but that you would also understand that the grace of God is laced into every cause and fight for justice. That you would be a picture of that grace no matter how passionately you feel about an issue.
I pray these things for you, but I also pray these things for my heart. I think it might be easy, as someone who is quiet and introverted naturally, to look at you through my own biased and sinful lens. To see stubborn instead of strong. Loud instead of brave. Confrontational instead of enthusiastic. I never want to waste time fighting against the way He has made you and I know He made you with a vibrant and passionate heart. I think it will be a delicate dance, raising a daughter to be gentle and submissive to the will of God without crushing the bold adventurer in her heart. So I thank God over and over for the zeal He has given you and I pray that He uses me to develop your fire and to teach you what gentleness looks like for someone who feels strongly about everything in her life.
We dance to sleep almost daily right now. I mind less and less and I am starting to treasure these times with you. You are alert and vocal until, suddenly, you are not. You collapse on to my chest and I settle into the rocking chair. You are a big girl, twenty-one pounds of rolls and dimples at nine months. The weight of your sleeping body on my chest is entrancing. We breath in unison and for a few minutes I remember exactly what it felt like when you were growing inside of me.
In those quiet moments after you have given in to sleep, I feel something much heavier than the physical weight of your body on my chest. I feel the weight of the responsibility of motherhood. I feel the honor of being the one entrusted with such a vibrant human being. I feel a wild, untameable love for you that has nearly reached obsession.
Happy nine months, my daring darling girl. My most precious daughter. My vibrant heart. May you always be fiercely happy and love without hesitation. May you always feel strongly about everything in your life.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Welcome to the weekly social blog hop party, THE Collective.
This is a link up for bloggers who want to gain followers and meet awesome people.
Not sure if this is the blog hop for you? Listen to what other bloggers have to say...
"Just to let you know, your blog hop is the best I've participated in for gaining new friends!!! I couldn't believe the results!! Thank you!"
- Danavee, This Vintage Grove
I'm putting the blog hop button on my side bar, like, permanently! Everyone should know about it.
-Vickie, Oh Abby Day
"Hi BreAnna, just want to say that your blog is beautiful, creative, and fun. The GFC collective is one of my favorite parts of the blogging week. Love meeting new friends and fellow bloggers. We just started our blog and were amazed at how helpful the GFC collective is! Keep up the amazing work."
-Alea and Rachael, Sparkle Your Life
"This GFC Collective Hop is seriously one of the best link ups out there! Through this hop I have found so many great blogs & friends that I wouldn't have otherwise found! Thank you so much for hosting such a fun link up! Please take the time to link up & join along! You won't be sorry that you did!"
-Amy @ Keepin' Up With the Smith's
Has THE Collective done wonders for your following? Let me know, shoot me an email at peacoatsnplaid(at)gmail(dot)com
Bre @ Peacoats and Plaid
and my co-hosts for the week
Shannon @ Gin and Bare It
Mary @ The Sauers
Bethany @ The Sepia Puppy
Rachel @ The Year of Slow Fashion
...want to co-host? Email Bre at peacoatsnplaid(at)gmail(dot)com