strolling into the 'life' part of life with Evenflo | self-care tips for moms | olive june
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strolling into the 'life' part of life with Evenflo | self-care tips for moms

{the trees here in the carolinas are starting to bloom- so gorgeous) 

"it takes someone really brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone more than herself."
my husband and i recently went to a discovery place for kids in charlotte on a saturday afternoon. we had a lot of fun and parks loved the splash table and puppet show. there were kids everywhere; it was beyond crowded. when we left, my husband looked at me and said, 'every mom and dad in there looked so, so tired. exhausted." we both kind of laughed and agreed. i often read about how exhausted moms are... and i get it. it's real and it's where we are in our lives right now. we all need to remember that we are doing our very best and that we should be more gentle on ourselves. in october, i launched my own business and so not only was i still a stay-at-home mom, but i was also a work-at-home mom... putting in very long hours. i often found myself yearning for more; i was yearning for a life that seemed so out of reach. i wanted more balance, while also conquering all of my expectations.

my goal for the new year: inviting calmness + balance. i had sadly lost 'me' in many ways and i had no idea... it had become the new 'norm.'  two things dawned on me: i wasn't actually 'living' and i needed to get out of the house more. i was working over ten hours a day (with a moving baby) and the pressure i was putting on myself was quite crippling. (and i am not sure if i even knew it?)

self-care for moms | 

i think it's important to remember that it is not just a list of things to do, but rather a state of mind; a practice. self-care is making sure you are living the most fulfilling life possible. my son is young now but i know that he won't always be... i want to be a positive aspect in his life; creating an energy in our home that is healthy- and even contagious. he is going to be watching me... my tone, my reactions, the way i decide to take care for myself. i want to be the mom that can come around and find her 'center' during times of absolute exhaustion and times of stress. i want to do this so that my kids can then do this someday when they have a family of their own... just like they saw me do thousands of times.
however, how will i be able to do this without taking care of myself? 

self-care stems from the way you choose to take care of yourself... how you love yourself, how you express your feelings, and how you hold your self-worth above anything else. it comes from within and not from the validation of others. when the new year hit, i realized that the only way i could take care of myself was to focus on our daily practice... we were in a rut and it was not a good feeling. a part of me had been lost in all of the joys, challenges, and new beginnings of the last year. the calmness that i had gained over my years in charlotte had, in many ways, had slowly evaporated. i suddenly realized that i was focused on the wrong things (in many ways) and i wanted to take in the parts of my life that really mattered. (like making memories with my family as often as possible.) 
the first step? 
on wednesday mornings, parks and i started to venture into uptown charlotte together (it's about five minutes from our home). we would attend story time at imaginon library, grab a yummy acai bowl + a latte at the 7th street public market and then we would walk. we would explore so many parts of our city that i had been missing for the past decade. it's a beautiful place to live with so much to offer, but had i taken in everything that it has to offer as a mom? the stroller system, the sibby, from evenflo was the perfect way to do so... i instantly fell in love with the size, how lightweight it is, the full coverage of the umbrella, and most of all, how parks is so comfortable both looking out and sleeping in it. the basket at the bottom is spacious and the cup holder has now carried more drinks than i can name. i also love that it comes with a (super) light-weight infant car seat, which conveniently fits on for easy transferring/traveling. another incredible feature is the sleek kick board for when he gets older. (how much fun will that be for him!) not only is it functional, but it's so cute. i am a huge fan of evenflo products, especially the quality. we would walk and we would stop and i would either read a book, would interact with parks, or i would just sit; taking in my surroundings (not something i am used to doing). sometimes doing nothing means everything and these special times with parks have taught me to take advantage regularly. i truly believe that these simple (yet beyond important) mornings ignited my new journey... my journey to self-care and self-worth as a new mom.

this year has been extremely enlightening and honestly, i feel like a whole new person already... just two months in. most of all, i think i have become a better mom. it sounds simple, but this tiny new part of our weekly routine sparked so much more... it made me realize, more than ever, that i am the only one that can give my son a happy mom; one who loves life. (time to start 'living' more!!) 
the sibby by evenflo in mineral gray

the Sibby travel system offers a unique ride-along board, that allows two children to use the stroller at the same time. the ride-along board connects easily and folds away when not in use. The lift-to-fold design minimizes the Sibby's overall size so it can comfortably fit any vehicle. sleek cruiser tires and oversized rear wheels that make the Sibby travel system easy-to-maneuver. includes Sibby stroller, easy-to-carry LiteMax infant car seat, and a stay-in-car convenience base.
(parks loves the way the foot rest is adjustable!)  
{the handle bars are so convenient and are super comfortable) 


along with our wednesday adventures, i started to re-evaluate many other parts of my/our life... emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc. and i started to set goals and priorities. by planning my days out in advance and carefully considering all options, i found something in myself that was missing... i was finally 'living' in a way that made me feel proud. instead of getting stressed about 'all of the things that had to be done' i scheduled things out and told myself what could wait and what was more important for that day; what my body and relationships needed most. 

what has also worked for me / ideas for self-care

+ swinging at the park (this has been so relaxing for both of us) 
+ drink lots of water
+ our city walks (thank you again evenflo for making it so much easier for us to explore in our sibby stroller- it is truly perfect for our family)
+ grab a fresh juice or smoothie 
+ take a bubble bath 
+ cook a new dish
+ having a 'mom tribe' (wine nights + manicures) 
+ turn off your phone and live in the moment 
+ meditate (any favorite apps you recommend... i am looking for one!)
+ attend yoga/other workout classes while parks plays with his peers at the gym
+ family dance parties in the kitchen
+ take moments to reminisce about a memory with a loved one
+ play spa or piano music 
+ do something artistic 
+ create a 'sacred feel' in the morning with essential oils, coffee, a candle, an inspirational book, and stretching exercises before parks wakes up
+ healthy snacks
+ releasing any thoughts of inadequacy or guilt with 'i am worthy, i am a believer, i got this, etc'
+ making sure i wash my face every night before bed 
+ intentionally getting more sleep / no cell phone in bed 
+ hold a warm drink with two hands and be still 
+ go to a movie on your own
+ smile. 
+ always finding small things to be thankful for 

in the end, i think it comes down to living authentically and kicking harmful obsessions, like the idea of perfection, to the curb. it is about just 'living' in moments as we recognize our desires and our courage to be exactly who we were made to be. it's that tiny voice inside of each one of us waiting to be found; a hidden mystery. i learned that there are many ways, daily practices, that can aid you in achieving fulfillment in this one life... simple, often economically reasonable, and useful tools that can help you as a mom. i still have a long way to go but these things have helped me so much so far.

are you savoring the 'life' part of life?
and if not... do not be ashamed.
there are resources, people, tools, and practices to help you.
always remember...
you are worth it.
 never stop anything until you are proud
and taking care of yourself is taking care of your kids
again, we absolutely love this stroller | evenflo - the sibby travel system 

what are your favorite self-care tips?

shop my look | dress: lularoe (ana dress) + pink sneakers: old navy + diaper bag: fawn design 
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photos by destiny law photography | website + facebook
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Thank you to Evenflo for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Janelle! I'll send you an article I just read yesterday that had the same message about what God wants for us as moms - gentleness. You are such an amazing mom to Parks and an inspiration to me as I start a business!

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    1. Awe, thank you so much!! this means the world to me. love you and i wish you the best with your new business. always here

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  2. I love the look of that stroller! Such a sleek design! Also, your dress is gorg! Great messages, too, about self care. I love your voice in your writing. xoxo

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    1. Thank you! We love it so much and I am loving this Ana (anything floral!) Means so much to me. xo

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  3. This is beautifully written and so true! I think you should add "saying no occasionally" to your self-care suggestions :). You really have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Like someone told me at work the other day, "you can't pour from an empty cup." Really stuck with me. Great post today! And equally great outfits in the pics!

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    1. Love you! thank you so much... I knew it was you! <3 I am working on it and I totally agree. Hope to see you soon. xo

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  4. This is beautifully written and so true! I think you should add "saying no occasionally" to your self-care suggestions :). You really have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Like someone told me at work the other day, "you can't pour from an empty cup." Really stuck with me. Great post today! And equally great outfits in the pics!

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    1. Hmmm...I wonder why my name doesn't show up for comments? -Anna Travieso

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  5. This is beautifully written and so true! I think you should add "saying no occasionally" to your self-care suggestions :). You really have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Like someone told me at work the other day, "you can't pour from an empty cup." Really stuck with me. Great post today! And equally great outfits in the pics!

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  6. These were such helpful tips! I also just recently wrote a self-care post because it is so important. We are always busy and rushed that we tend to forget about ourselves.

    I also love this App called Calm. It's a meditating app :) I hope it helps you out!

    Thanks for these great tips ♡

    Janett

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    1. Awe, thank you! I really appreciate this and I am going to check out this app. Means so much. Hope your week is going well.

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  7. What a great...and important...piece for moms to read! I love that you suggested having a mom tribe, I swear that's what keeps me somewhat sane lol.

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    1. You are so sweet and I totally agree!! I live for those nights... as I skip out of the door. Hope you're well and thank you for the sweet comment. xo

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