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“Selfish Sunday” + How to Reclaim Your Time as a Mom

Over the past 15 months, I’ve intentionally been creating space, and making the time to care for myself. Every single “Selfish Sunday” (i.e My personal Self Care Day to res, renew and revive myself), has been lit, and it’s been a game changer for how I show up as a mom!

I know we often talk about “filling our cups” as moms, but how many of us can say that we intentionally and consistently make the time to do just that.

We all know mom life is filled with SO MUCH for us to do, and when we continually push and push and push, without taking the time to recharge… it’s no wonder over 90% of millennial moms say they feel overwhelmed and burned out (Mother.ly survey)!

And believe me, I get it. I know what it’s like to feel completely overwhelmed. Like you’ve been thrown into the deep, but haven’t learned how to swim yet. YIKES, I know!

It all started about a year ago, after one of the lowest points in my mommy journey.  After 2 hours of unsuccessfully trying to put my exclusively  breastfed  baby to sleep that night, I’d reached my breaking point.

Now, It wasn’t my overtired little one that did it, although sleep has been a serious pain point for me. But  that moment was truly the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

You see, up until that point I’d been doing everything and showing up for everyone, but myself. Yes, I’d have a moment to myself here and there, but truly I’d taken on the “supermom” role doing it all alone, when I had people, including a whole husband, ready to support me.

Well that night, I was fading fast.  I could literally feel the tears and tension rising!

My husband came home right on time.  As soon as he walked into the room, I handed our little lady over and made my way to the bathroom. I’d barely closed the door when my knees dropped to the floor.  It was all so much, and I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed.  All I could do was cry out to God and say,

“If you don’t help me I’m not going to make it”.  I’d had enough of trying to do it all.

It was evident that I was running close to “empty”. I needed some serious  self-care, to fill my cup

I got up from the bathroom floor, tears still flowing, and felt led to call my sister for support. As a fellow momma, I just knew she would get it and would be able to speak into my life. She encouraged me, and told me how important it is for us as moms to take time away, especially during a pandemic. So I took her words to heart, grabbed a blanket and sat in the car outside of my home for 30 minutes to cry, pray and regroup. Yes, in my car and it was just what I needed.

In that moment, it was clear that I needed this time, and then some. And as soon as I walked back in the house, I told my husband I needed to take some time to get myself together. He was 100% on board. So I went to my family calendar, looked to see when my husband was off from work next, and scheduled a lunch date for myself… which just so happened to be the very next day 🙌🏾.

I pumped, and prepared everything hubby would need so that I could peacefully enjoy sometime by myself… and it was everything.  No phone, no agenda… I literally sat at the table, and stared at the green bush in front of my while I enjoyed my meal in silence. I can’t explain it, but it was amazing. I was only gone for a little over 2 hours, but I felt like a brand new mom when I came back home.  Since then, I’ve been on a serious mission to care for myself as a top priority in my life…yes as a whole mom.

✅ I’ve scheduled and enjoyed my “Selfish Sunday  every month for the past 15 months… and your girl is still going strong!

✅ I’ve also been able to find pockets of time… EVERY SINGLE DAY, to enjoy self-care using the “Self Care Strategy” I share in my Self Care Toolkit… see below.  I told you all in a previous post, Showers and beauty maintenance are forms of self care for me.  Those “mini moments” they count and I enjoy them all!

✅ I am no longer obsessed with pleasing other, or trying to do it all alone. There ain’t no prize for running myself into the ground, and I refuse to wear overwhelm & burnout as some sort of VIP access badge for mom life. NO! I am learning how to ask for the support  that I need… EVERY SINGLE TIME, and it’s been a game changer!

Listen, I’ve had to do the work, and it has always been worth it!

Selfcare in my life has gone from a once in a blue moon treat, to an EVERY DAY necessity. Yes, I find “mini moments” for myself everyday, in addition to the other ways I need to care for myself… spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and relationally.

I’ve reclaimed my time. Self care has become my lifestyle. 

 I want the same for you.  It’s time to reclaim your time. It’s time to make yourself a top priority. Here’s a great place to start:

1 Get Familiar with your schedule.

Identify when you/your spouse have a day off and pre-plan to enjoy time for yourself that day.  That’s exactly how it all started for me. Start as small as you need to. I know we all want to disappear for a week… or even a month (lol), but for most of us that just is not possible in this season. What is possible, is for you to secure 30 min – 1 hour of time to disappear. Start there, and grow! I promise making this small step will help you to continue on!

2 Schedule Yourself!

Yes, as you identify moments in your schedule where you can slip away… (whether an ice cream break in the car, a lunch date with friends, or a weekend getaway)… take pen to paper and write it down. Use that “mini pocket assistant” (cell phone), and set all alarms, alerts, reminders and timers! It doesn’t matter if it is 30 minutes or a full weekend. Get Your Time, Momma! All those moments matter… so take advantage!

3 Ask for support!

You don’t have to do it all alone. Remember there is no special prize, or reward for driving yourself into the ground, trying to do it all  alone. Ask for the support you need and accept it when it is offered!  For my married mommas, I share a great deal about this in my post here it’s a must read… because Ain’t no way God intended for you to be married, but still feel like you’re single doing it all alone… and you have a whole husband! Sis!!!

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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Jesus, Therapy & Self Care | What Every Mom Needs to Know | Audio

Have you ever felt like God abandoned you?

No, like seriously!

You’re literally in the midst of a rain storm, snow storm, tornado, and an earthquake all at once and you just don’t see Him… Like God where you at???

Listen, the past few months have been… CHALLENGING!

I honestly feel like there was a meeting in the heavenly realm, and God offered me up and said “Have you considered my servant, Theresa”. 😭😭😭  I feel like I’ve been going through extreme testing and stretching… Pruning, and positioning. I feel like it’s been one thing after another and I now truly believe… it is all for His glory😭

Well today, I’m pouring out what’s been on my heart.  I’m sharing what’s been going on behind the scenes, and how I’ve been learning to trust God and how to remain in a place of victory in the midst of it all as a WHOLE MOM!

So we’re testing out a new-ish format, and today’s blog is in audio format! I consume nearly 75% of my content through audio so I decided to test it out on the blog. Hope you enjoy!

Easy to access! Just click below! Listen while you drive, plug in your EarPods and listen while you do your cleaning, shopping, or just sit and allow the words to shower you with God’s grace.  However, and where ever you decide to listen… I know it will bless you!

Audio Chapters

🎙 My Journey: Start
🎙 Jesus: 8:17
🎙 Therapy: 20:57
🎙 Self Care: 26:47

🔥Click Here to learn more🔥

 

xx

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Unpopular Opinion | Maintenance and Showers *ARE* Self Care (For Me)

Over the past several weeks I’ve seen a number of posts circulating on social media stating  that showers, getting our nails done, getting our  hair done, cleaning and running errands without the kids are not forms of self care for moms. They claim that these activities are “chores” and “basic maintenance/hygiene”, and should not be mistaken for self care.

When I see posts like this… posts that generalize our experience as moms… I typically mind my business.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and quite frankly I’m creating and living my own exciting life, and I love it… so I usually keep it moving. 

But in this instance I simply couldn’t move on.

Now, I totally agree with the intent of these posts, which is to address those (society and beyond) who shamefully and dismissively  tell moms  to “just be grateful for the ‘breaks’ they can get”.  Nobody,  can tell moms what they should or shouldn’t do, nor should any mom be made to feel guilty for wanting/needing/asking for more time to care for herself.

Even still, I felt like I needed to say something, for a few reasons.

1. All of the activities definitively deemed as NOT being self care for moms… are indeed forms of self care for me (emphasis on the “for me”).  Like, every single one…  and I am a mom.

2. I love to be empowered.   But any narrative that generalizes and dictates what our self care experiences “should be” as moms, and seemingly disapproves of  those who partake in forms of self care that are considered to be “basic maintenance”…  is a problem for me.  Self care is all about doing what is best for you. One size does NOT fit all.  So what you call “basic maintenance”,  could very well be a moment of rejuvenation for someone else. 

3. Furthermore,  we must be very careful not to disregard the beauty of starting where we are, and giving ourselves the grace and space to grow and evolve overtime. Self Care evolves as we evolve. 

So instead of minding my business, I decided to share my thoughts and take us back to basics, especially for the moms who may have felt pressured by this narrative to reach for some sort of “extravagance” when indeed self care is doing whatever you need to do FOR YOU!

Self care is the act of doing whatever YOU need to do to fill YOUR cup spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and relationally.

It has less to do with the activity (ie showers, target runs, organizing your closet, nails, Netflix binges, lunch/trips with friends… etc), and almost everything to do with what that activity does for you (fills your cup, clears your mind, provides the space to breathe, think, be, process and/or check out completely..etc).

As my good friend and Self Care Expert  Marquia Tyler LCSW puts it, “Self Care clears the clutter so you can be and see yourself more clearly.”  This hit me!

According to Oxford’s Dictionary, “Self” is defined as a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, and  “Care” is defined as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, ***maintenance***, and protection of someone or something. So to be quite literal,

SELF CARE is the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, ***maintenance***, and protection of a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others!

READ. THAT. AGAIN.

So we really can’t say, definitively, what is or isn’t self care for moms.  It’s all about what that mom needs. We must be careful not to minimize or dismiss  the experiences of others, simply because that experience no longer serves us. 

There is an easy fix to ALL OF THIS, though.  An easy way to shift and personalize the narrative,  which  is something that I’ve been learning to do more often, especially since becoming a mom. 

Instead of saying…

“this or that isn’t self care for moms

Simply say…

“As a mom, this or that isn’t self care for me

Remember, one size does not fit all. It is deeply personal.  So, that shower may not be “it” for you, but for another mom that shower is giving EVERYTHING it was supposed to gave. Not because someone told her “she should be grateful for it“,  but rather because it was what she needed.  

That was my experience on many occasions.

Earlier this month, I found myself weeks away from my “Selfish Sunday” (my own personal self care day), and in need of a serious break. There was so much going on, and I just needed the space to take a deep breath.  At this particular time I was not in the position to go out for a massage, or call friends to meet for lunch, nor was my therapist available. And I surely wasn’t going to just “hold on” until selfish Sunday. No… I seized MY moment right then and there. I knew what I needed and decided to act on it. So I asked my hubby to step in and take care of the morning routine with our daughter before he left for work,  and I disappeared for 20 minutes. 

What did I do?

I took a steaming hot shower. Yup, a shower. I prayed, cried, ask God for His strength, as worship music blared in the background. And when I stepped out I was ready for my day with my toddler.  In that moment I provide the space I needed to pour into my cup spirutaully, mentally and emotionally.  That shower, maintenance and all, WAS self care (for me).

The point is,  you decide. You do not have to settle, nor do you need to feel any type of way because you enjoy what others call “basic maintenance” or “chores”.  There is no shame in wanting/needing/asking for more, nor is there any shame in taking advantage of every opportunity you have to care for yourself. 

Let’s celebrate all the moments we take for ourselves, to cater to ourselves, to love on ourselves, to prioritize our needs, to pour into our wellbeing mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally… as whole moms!

Don’t let anyone… not even another mom… limit your experience because of the narrative they choose to embrace.  Our lives are  unique, and each season of support can look drastically different.  The goal is to make sure you check in with yourself, ask for the support you need, and take the time to care for yourself, in whatever form you decide works best for you“Do whatever you need to do to be and see yourself more clearly”… maintenance and all. 

One Size does not fit all.

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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“Mom Support” | How I get the support I need from my Husband

There was a season in my life as a mom, when I expected my husband to  just “get it”. I expected him to look at me and our child, access the situation, and find ways to show up and support me. Like we’re both parents, tap into that daddy intuition, and let’s go!

But that’s not what was happening at all.

He would see me, see the situation, but wouldn’t do what I expected him to do. I was completely frustrated. Like why aren’t you HELPING ME! Can’t you see how much is on my plate right now? Can’t you see I need you?

Now don’t get me wrong, my husband is amazing, and he has stepped up in sooo many ways.  This man loves being a dad, loves his daughter and would do anything for the both of us.  I just knew that  what he did didn’t always match up with what I needed in the moment.

So one fine day, while calmly expressing my frustration and how I felt “like he wasn’t supporting me”… do you know what this brother said to me!?!

He said: “I see you with Dream, and I want to come running, but I don’t always know how to help you”.  

LAWD!!!! Talk about a wake up call. 

So my husband wasn’t ignoring me, or intentionally leaving me to fend for myself. He just wasn’t clear on how exactly I needed to be supported. 🤯 So simple, but I’d missed it, completely!

My disappointment, frustration and resentment had little to do with him and so much to do with me! I don’t like to admit it, but God got me all the way together.

I EXPECTED so much from my husband (in his daddy role) without actually COMMUNICATING specifically what I needed from him! Like idk why I didn’t see it before, but in what world does that even make sense…

Expecting someone to do something and they don’t even know what that *something* is… huh?!

Well, from this one exchange, I was reminded to stop assuming and  to always  communicate my needs. We both apologized to each other. We both noticed ways where we could have done things better to support each other. We’re both new to this whole parent thing, and we’re both growing and learning… the key is to always do it TOGETHER!

Ever since that moment, I have been working on the best ways to enlist the support I need from my husband. I am still learning and growing,  but these following tips have changed the game, for both of us! I hope they help you as well!

5 steps to get the support you need from your husband

1. Check your expectations!

 This is where it all started. I was frustrated, overwhelmed, and felt alone because I had expectations that I’d never communicated with my husband. Remember, we can’t expect someone to do something when they aren’t even aware of what that something is. 

2. Leave your assumption at the door. Men are NOT mind readers!

 As well as our husbands know us… they cannot ready out minds!  I had to stop assuming that my husband would see me and just know what to do. I had to stop assuming that his “daddy intuition” made him a mind reader.  Men can see our frustrations, they can even see that we need help, but that doesn’t mean they’ll  just “get it” and know what do for you in that moment. I remember one time, I was literally struggling to get Dream into her bottoms, and my husband just sat there… I was fuming, but I didn’t say anything until our checkin later that morning. Come to find out, he was sitting close by  waiting to see what I needed from him. He didn’t want to say anything, but he wanted me to know he was available. LAWD!!!  Learned my lesson… now, when he’s around to help… I tell him EXACTLY what I need.

3. Ask for what you want/need and be specific!

Many men want to step up and show off for us, but they won’t be able to do that if they don’t know how.  We have to tell them, and be extremely specific.  I use “tell” pretty lightly, because it indeed works best when it is a partnership; but, the point still remains… we must communicate and be specific.  Just saying, “Babe I don’t feel like  you help/support me”… isn’t enough. You need to be clear about where and how you need to be supported. what exactly does that “support” look like to you? What exactly do you expect from your husband? Does he fully  understand, and are those requests/expectations realistic? 

4. Be okay with questions (LAWDDDD)

 I’m still working on this, but I’m learning to be okay with my husband asking questions about what we’ve discussed. Listen, after deciding what he can do to support me and writing it down on the schedule… the last thing I would expect from him is, “what do you need me to do, again”😭😭😭. I’m learning to give my husband grace, in the same way I would want it for myself. We both have busy schedules, and sometimes we forget. Sometimes we need a reminder.  We always need grace. It’s okay to ask questions. (PRAY FOR ME)!

5. Check in regularly!

 My husband and I have what I call “D-Day” every week. This is baby-free time for us to discuss, decide & date. We discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and how we can support each other. It’s so important for us to check in regularly, because things change.  Schedules change, babies and their needs change… WE CHANGE… so we both have to be flexible.  For example, hubby and I had a whole schedule where we would rotate bedtime duties with our little lady. Over the past couple weeks, bedtime has changed drastically and I’m leaning in to my daughter’s needs in this season. With that change, I realized I’d been doing a lot more during bedtime, and would need my husband’s support in other areas. So during our weekly checkin, I was able to express how I was feeling, as well as provide a list of specific things my husband could do to support me, especially during the evenings when he used to be on bedtime duty. And he has been on it ever since! 

Bonus tip: Make deposits & Empower your man!

Ask yourself are you supporting your husband? Are you giving him that same level of time, attention and care as you desire for yourself? Are you celebrating him, encourage him and let him know how well he’s doing supporting you and the family?  Or do you find yourself only highlighting his mistakes, failures and how he’s disappointing you? Momma… pour into your husband! Build that man up! Stroke every inch of his ego… (no pun intended haha). Momma, I promise you… making deposits and empowering your husband  will only do wonders for the future of how he supports you!

I want to be very clear. I’ve had some huge wins in how my husband supports me. And Although these steps are simple, this process takes work❤️❤️❤️.  My husband and I have specifically been working on our in house “support strategy” for well over a year, and we still have work to do. We’ve had to address certain things for months before figuring out what worked best for us. We’ve also had to unlearn somethings, while growing. And guess what?  With each step on this journey as parents, there will be new challenges to overcome, more things to discuss..possibly  more babies to raise (😭).  It takes time, and it is indeed a journey.  So please approach with love, an open heart and a whole lot of grace. I promise you it will all be worth it!

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re seeing?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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Stop Giving Your Husband Your “Leftovers” | A Lesson for the Married Mommas!

It was a Thursday evening, back in fall 2020.  I’d just ended a Live Training for  Mommy Stylists, while my husband took over all the evening/ night time duties with our 16 month old.

While putting away my tripod, laptop and equipment… my husband came downstairs hyped because he’d successfully put our little lady to sleep with minimal effort.

Y’all… the brother was READY  to hang out.

But I was tired, and all I wanted to do was wind down and sleep.

You see this particular “Thursday”  was “our day”. Before Dream was born, Thursday was our date day, and once Dream popped up on the scene, we decided it would become family day (unless we had someone to watch her, then of course we could date like old times).

But slowly and ever so surely… Thursday turned into my “work day”. 😬

It started off pretty innocently. 

A quick call early in the morning before our day together started.  Then a “quick” client from 7-10. But over time those “quick” work things started to become my norm, and I was working well into the time that was supposed to be just for us. I kinda noticed but hubby really noticed and was feeling some type of way.

I can’t recall exactly what happened on this day, but I do distinctly remember him saying…

“Why do I get your leftovers?”

He continued…

“You’re always so live and bubbly on Instagram and with your mom group, but how come I don’t get that same energy?”

Can you say “OUCH” 😭😭😭😭😭

Yall… I was hurt, angry and a bit overwhelmed by this truth dart. I tried to say “Babe, that’s because that’s just business, and I have an image to maintain”… but God wasn’t finna let me get away with that excuse!

My husband  was 1,000% right…. and I knew it!

You see sometimes you don’t need to step away and pray for God to  show you what you need to do… sometimes He allows you to see it right then and there and you have to decide what you’re gonna do.

So I turned to him and said “I’m so sorry”. 

I’d been giving my all to so many things that season… my little lady (obvi), my clients, my image… all of it… but my husband… the love of my life… my boo bear… was getting my leftovers! And he felt it.

Although I don’t like that I allowed that to happen… I’m so grateful that:

1.  He felt comfortable telling me how he felt, and was not afraid to question me and my motives (we need that sometimes)

2.  That I was able to receive it and that God was able to work on my heart in the moment

Since then… I’ve made several changes…

1.  I’ve intentionally put my marriage in it’s proper place. My marriage is strong, and it’s even stronger now with the challenges we overcome. I realized that my marriage is to be honored above all else, yes… above my career, serving in church…etc.  If my house isn’ t in order (i.e. my marriage), then what am I really doing. Furthermore, if my hubby tried to give me his leftovers…. LAWD! No Bueno!

2.  I honor the day we set aside for ourselves. I no longer work in any capacity on “our day”. If God called me to do it, then I trust that He will help me to align my life in such a way where I am able to show up in purpose, and honor my commitment to my husband and our spending time together. I’ve had to get really intentional about how I structure my week… oh and my “no” game is stronger than ever!

3.  I schedule “our day” on the calendar. To show how much of a priority our time is together, I put pen to paper and schedule our time together every single week. And now that has transformed into what we call “D-Day” where we sit, discuss what’s working and how we can improve, make decisions for our lives and our family together… and we DATE!!!!

Now please don’t miss the message. There will be times when you need “a moment”. There are times when I truly don’t have “it” to give, and my hubby knows and respects that. He’s also been even more intentional about finding ways to support me when I have “one of those days”. However, if you’re constantly giving all of yourself to everyone else… your family, friends, clients… and your husband is lucky to get an ounce of time/love/affection… then I encourage you to check yourself. 

That should not be the norm, momma.

Check your priorities. Are things in their proper place? Ask God to show you your blind spots. Ask God not only to open your eyes to see, but to open your heart to receive direction and correction.  As wives we have to put pride aside… along with all the narratives that would tell us we’re always right and our husbands should bend to our will…  and courageously do the work to make things right. Let’s stop giving our husbands our leftovers.

Your husband and your marriage are worthy of your first fruits!

Living & Learning!

xx,

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5 Ways to Respond to unwanted Questions, Opinions & Advice

A few days ago I got caught all the way off guard while heading out for a quick target run. 

A newer neighbor passed by and it was like a full blown game of 20 questions about me, my child, our whereabouts 😑😑😑 

I was so focused on getting my little lady into her car seat that I didn’t even realize I was giving all the tea without even thinking.

Like I deep down I knew I didn’t want to answer, but I didn’t want to lose focus competing in the EXTREME SPORT of putting a toddler in a carseat! 😭😭😭 LIKE SWEAT & TEARS LEVEL.. THE STRUGGLE!!

It was a lot.. and it was all happening so fast! Like sis clearly had been practicing how to get in and get the tea quickly… and I WASN’T READY!!

Come to find out she’s a daycare provider, and was clearly out recruiting… IDK… so I can only assume she wasn’t *trying* to be intrusive.

But it felt very intrusive and I didn’t like it!!!

 All I know is that once I got settled in the car, I just sat there for like 20 seconds like “what just happened”.  and decided I would NEVER let that happen to me again.

And so I created this list of responses, all of which I practice and use on the regular, because whether with a new neighbor, or a loved one… I want to have full control over what I choose to share and discuss.

And I don’t want any momma to feel how I felt that day… so SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

 

xx

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re seeing?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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The “Grace Plan” | What to do when you’re having a “mommy moment”😭

Listen, I know we love our children and we’re grateful for the opportunity to raise these amazing tiny humans… we all know mom life has its challenges. However, that doesn’t mean we have to sit in those moments. Nor does having a “bad moment” make you a bad mom! (Read that again)

So, let’s shift that internal narrative!

Are you with me? Okay, keep reading… this is good!

As we shift, I encourage you to create what I’m calling a “Grace Plan”. “What is that”, you ask? Simply put,  a “grace plan”  is a list of things to do when you need to give yourself grace! We often talk about “giving ourselves grace”, and  I decided to make it a little more practical for my life. 

Today, I’m sharing my “Grace Plan” with you. These are the 5 things that help me whenever I’m having one of those moments…. or days! It makes a world of difference when you don’t have to think on your feet,  because you have a preset plan of what to do. So I hope it will inspire you to create your own!  Remember, there is no right or wrong. This list is specific to your needs, and will totally vary depending on the season of your life, and age of your kiddos 😭😭😭. So apply what you love, leave what don’t, and create a plan that works for you! Let’s go!

1. Breathe Chi!

Literally stop, take a deep breath. Close out the apps, turn off the TV, or step into another space for a hot second. (I’ve done this several times in my pantry 😭😭😭). Close your eyes if you can, and BREATHE chi…. inhale and exhale!!! Such a simple practice,  but it’s such an amazing and powerful way to settle yourself in the moment.

2. Encourage yourself!

Once you’ve settled yourself, encourage yourself. Create some quick in the moment comebacks to speak over your life. Protip: prerecord yourself saying these in a voice memo so you can easily play them when you need to! A few things I say that are on my list:

“I am capable”
“I can do all things through Christ”
“It’s okay to stop and try again later”
“This moment is temporary”
“I’m having a moment, but I’m a great mom”
“LAWD, help me on TODAY”

That last one though 😭🙌🏾 I feel like I call on God all day. And you know what’s so bomb about that… He doesn’t mind. He actually wants us to rely on Him, and if I’m being honest He comes through for me every single time… even if it’s not the way I expected!

3. Create a playlist

When you don’t have the capacity to speak, it’s a great idea to have someone else help you with the “heavy lifting”. Better to have someone else speak life over you, than for you to allow those negative narratives to run wild internally! We’re done with that, remember?  I have a whole  playlist of worship songs to remind me of who I am and whose I am! It may take a few songs to get me together, but it works EVERY SINGLE TIME!

4. Change of scenery.

Strap the baby in the back and Go! Get out for a quick walk, a drive, walk the mailbox, sit on the deck… just get outside and change up the scenery. If your kids are older, go by yourself. Take some intentional deep breaths, and release the tension in your shoulders.  Idk what it is but the greenery and fresh air seem to  revive my soul and energize me to carry on!

5. Lean in to the moment.

Sometimes, those “mommy moments” require that we remain physically present,  meaning we can’t just shut things down and walk away.  In that case lean in and figure out what it is that you need to do for your little one in the moment. This may require that you reschedule a meeting, push back a play date, or delay your social post. It may require that you gracefully decline that clubhouse invite, or that phone call. And guess what? That is okay! Give yourself permission to lean in to those mommy moments when you need to, and give your littles what they need!  And as you lean in, observe, learn, be present… sometime you’ll find exactly what YOU need when you lean into those moments for your little ones!

Bonus Phone a friend!

There is so much power in community.! Having people you can call on not only to vent, but who will also build you back up, pray, laugh,  come over to help out, or send food when needed… is EVERYTHING! Having  people who are literally ready to do whatever you need to help you  so that you’re able to keep going… yea… we all need those people in our lives!

Momma, was this helpful? What will you add to you “Grace Plan”! Cant wait to hear what you come up with! Be sure to like and share with a friend in need!

XX

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I’m Starting to LOVE Being a Mom | Video + 3 things that helped me!

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1. Giving myself permission to “be” & set my own expectations! 

Knowing that who I am is enough, and embracing what that looks like in each area of my life has been life changing… especially as a mom.  I’ve had to seriously let go of chasing results just to validate myself in the eyes of others (this was huge for me this year). You see before I let go of all the pressure I was putting on myself to perform, I wasn’t embracing the now.  Sometimes, we get so caught up focusing on “becoming” that we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy actually being.  And that, momma,  will always rob you of the beauty of the present.

All of you is worthy and all of your journey is important.

 I truly believe  most of the angst and overwhelm we feel as moms come from trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. We put so much pressure on ourselves. We take all that we see in our community, hear from others, and consume in the media, and allow it to dictate what our lives “should” look like. And what’s wild is that we do all of this without even stopping to ask “is this really the life I want for myself”. Let’s change that.

The life you love is wait for you on the other side of  giving  yourself permission!

2. Embracing gratitude and grace!

I can’t explain it, but as I’ve been  spending time thanking God for my life and being specific and intentional about all that I’m grateful for, it feels like I have a new set of eyes. Like, I used to see my mommy challenges as insurmountable obstacles… like a legit  set up  (😭😭😭).  I now see them as opportunities for God’s grace to overflow, and for Him to help me to grow through it (So I guess it was a set up for God to show up🤭🙌🏾).  Being a mom Is not easy, but shifting my focus from the storm, to The Strong Tower… has made a huge difference in my life! I even look at my husband differently, but that’s a whole other topic for another post.

 Spending time in gratitude has also helped me to recognize, amplify, and enjoy the little things that add so much to my life, especially those moments I spend with my little lady. I laugh so much more,  I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff, and God’s grace looks amazing on me as I grow through my journey!

3 Acknowledging that I’m living the life that I prayed for!

At the beginning of every year, I have this practice of writing out my prayer requests and my vision for the year in the form of praise reports (Thanks to my sister Chris for the Inspo). Basically calling things that are not as though they are. (This is an excellent practice that I’ve helped guide my moms through. It’s been so rewarding, and many have already experienced the life they’ve been praying for, and the year ain’t even over yet!! I’m talking pregnancies, elevation in their businesses… time and intimacy with their spouses… it’s lit in our community)

Well don’t you know I was recently reminded of one of my “praise reports”, from a few years ago!  Here’s what it said:

Thank you Father, for the opportunity to stay at home and raise my family. Thank you that I’m not pressured to work, but my husband and I are stewarding our increase, and are in the position for me to stay home.

Like, do y’all see this! Chills!

 Not gonna lie, after becoming an entrepreneur, I wasn’t always this excited about being at home with my little one.  I told y’all I was wrapped up, tied up… tangled up in that pressure to perform; chasing the success that I thought would gain me the approval of others.  But now… now that I’ve fixed my eyes on God’s faithfulness to me… I can now see and live in the blessing that is my life!

Prayer

Thank you Father, for showing me new ways to enjoy being a mom.  I love my children, and I am learning to love MY mommy journey. I give myself permission to let go of what doesn’t belong, and will replace it with gratitude as Your grace covers me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a mommy, and I know that You will continue to guide me and show up for me, as I continue to acknowledge you in all of my ways. Through trials, triumphs and as I build my testimony… the process doesn’t have to overwhelm me! I am fully persuaded that I am called and equipped to be a great mom; as I  create and live an exciting and fulfilling life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Be Encouraged, momma!

Xx,

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Struggling with selfcare, momma? Get inspired with this list | 7 Thing I do weekly just for me!

If you’re a mom then you know creating time and space for yourself isn’t always the easiest. With all th things we have to manage throughout the day, more often than not we put ourselves last. One thing I’ve learned in my motherhood journey is that I am at my best, when I make the time for myself, and do the things that I love to do just for me!  Even if it’s just for a few moments, I am so much more present, grounded and just ready to face what comes my way when my cup is filled!

So, if you’ve been struggling to find the time for yourself, check out my list of the 7 things I do every week just for me, that keep me at my best!

1 Workout. 

Every week I workout. The benefits of working out, especially as a mom are unmatched! From a 3 mile walk, to a 20 minute HIT workout… I’ve committed to myself (and my accountability partner) that I will workout a minimum of 3 times a week, and its been everything I’ve needed. There have even been days when things just felt off, and  I set up shop for a quick 15 min HIT and it got me all the way together. My workouts are strategic and concise, and most often take place while Dream is right there, and it still counts as time just for me! I will always find time to maintain my snatch!

2. “Read”

Every week I’ve committed to reading a few pages a day.  My 2021 goal is to read 1 book every month, and I’m already 7 books in and we’re just getting to May.  Now this may be misleading because sitting down with a physical book doesn’t work for me, In this season of mommyhood. The secret?  I listen to my books and I’ve become well acquainted with Audible and Libby.   Yaaassss!  And let me spill this tea real quick…  these earbuds have changed the game, and only cost $20! Seriously, I love that I can turn on my app, put in my wireless earbuds, and listen discreetly while Dream is playing or while we’re on our walks and drives! If you haven’t switched to audio books, I Highly recommend that you consider!

3. Show up and Slay

If you follow me on social media you know I love to slay! I absolutely love to get dressed, I love makeup, and I love to look as good as I feel! So at least once EVERY week, I plan a whole look… sometimes I do it daily, depending on our schedule. I get dressed up, beat my face (sometime full glam), and I live my best snatched mommy life in the playroom with Dream. lol. Most times I have nowhere to go, and I do it just for me, because it makes me feel amazing! I no longer wait for an invite, or for the perfect moment to show up and slay. I create those moments for myself, and it’s been crazy fun.  Even on the days when I don’t feel my best, getting dressed is such mood and confidence boost! So weekly, this momma is going to show up and OWN it.

4. Create

I love to create content. So every week, I take the ideas I’ve gathered and batch create my  content. Video is my jam, I even created a whole Video Bootcamp to help women show up and slay using the power of video to build their own platforms! It’s been amazing. And for me, creating gives me so much life!  It’s an outlet, but it also fuels me. From creating videos for IG, blogging, creating courses and ebooks, and even just sharing my mommy journey….whether for 30 mins or 3 hours… I get so excited when I make the time and space to just sit and flex my creative muscle.

5. Uninterrupted Showers

Yes, I do shower everyday. I also  know some have said “this is basic maintenance”, but for me… enjoying an uninterrupted  shower and just getting lost in thought is soooo good for my mental! Most times my showers are super quick and efficient because I have Dream. But when hubby is here to take over, I’ve committed to enjoying a longer than usual shower at least once a week. For some this may look like a bubble bath. But seriously, I cry, I pray, I get ideas, and sometimes I just sit in stillness with worship on in the background. And every time I get to enjoy a shower like this, it  gives me the boost I need to continue to thrive as a whole mom!

6. Rest

I’ve never been one to sleep when baby sleeps because I usually have other things to tend to during those precious moments of freedom, lol… but thanks to my mommy schedule and the flow it has created for my life, I’ve been able to created space and time for myself to rest. I’ve committed to sit and pause once a week when Dream naps. I’m not always sleeping, but I told myself that I will sit in stillness, and rest for those 60-90 minutes while Dream sleeps. Ooooh, but when I do drift off into slumberland, it’s always blessed and anointed! lol!

7. Wine down

When hubby is on bedtime duty, momma is enjoy a glass of wine and relaxation. No work, no laundry… just a moment to breathe and release the day.  Some days “relaxation” is sitting on my comfy living room couch, staring out the window. Other days I’m on my deck letting the breeze grace my face.  And some evenings I’m curled up in the basement watching my fave episodes of Frasier.   No matter what, it’s always just what I need when I need it!

xx,

 

 

 

 

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Feeling overwhelmed at home all day with your toddler? Here are 7 things that will help you!

 

1. Start the day before your toddler wakes up.

As much as I enjoy “sleeping in” I know that I have to wake up first. My day is so much better when I do, even if it’s just for 15 mins to gather myself as I prepare for my day.  And I’m not always up “doing” something. Most mornings I’m up praying and just enjoying the moments of stillness before the crazy starts… it can get very “Wild Wild West-ish” over here real fast and those moments help me to “be ye ready” lol.

2. Create a mommy schedule. 

Having a mommy schedule has transformed my life! I’ve talked a great deal about my mom schedule (click here for the deets) and this has given my day  a sense of Rhythm. From when we wake up to when we go to sleep, for the past year I’ve been following a schedule with a set of routines that have helped me tremendously.  Trust me, knowing what comes next, creates flow… and you’ll find that you have more time now that you’ve been intentional about what you do with it!

3. Have a routine for those every day activities.

So let’s break this down real quick… Your schedule helps guide you to know what to do, the routine is how you do it. For example, I know that every night Dream needs to sleep, so we created a bed time  routine. Our routine is super simple… bath, moisturize hair, brush teeth, cuddles, turn on bed time music and we end in our rocking  chair til sis is knocked out. The routine doesn’t have to be extensive, it just needs to work for you and your family!

4. Get outside. 

I didn’t realize how much I came to rely on going out for my long 3 miles walks with Dream until this winter. It was rough. I was so used to being outside for the fresh air and the workout, and I not being able to get outside due to the weather… I didn’t  like it. Add that on top of the already restrictive access to so many places because of the pandemic… it was a lot. I knew that I needed to do something for my sanity! So I decided to do mommy and me drives. Most often I would set out to take a drive when I knew I had a  mobile pickup at Target or Wegmans! It was mostly for me, and it helped every time we took off! And on the days when I couldn’t go out for a full walk or drive, I’d often step outside for a few deep breaths. Everyday I make it a point to get outside…even if just for a few moments.  And now that the weather is warmer, and Dream is older we go out twice a day! Our community has a playground so in the mornings we walk for mommy, and after nap time we get outside for playtime!

5. Screen free activities!

Now don’t get me wrong we watch circle time and other educational shows… some days more than others because mommy needs her time… but admittedly I find that my day with Dream is so much better when I intentionally engage her with non-screen activities. So I went to Pinterest and found some pretty dope toddler activities!  We color, we read, we play games to review letters, numbers, shapes and colors, we play with building blocks, we dance, we sing… and so much more. Having a catalog  of activities to use throughout the day has been so good for us and the flow of our day! 

6 Reset the room.

Being home with a toddler can get messy! I remember one day it looked like a tornado flew through my house. Stuff was everywhere. And I said “well I have a toddler, so it just is what it is”. But I realized I was feeling this tightness in my chest every time I walked into those spaces… well because it was a mess!  That’s when it hit me,  this messy mom life ain’t for me if I can help it!  I want my house to be in order, as much as possible,  and I’ve been “resetting the room” ever since. Basically all you’re doing is cleaning as you go or putting things back in place once you’re done in that particular space in your home. It started with me cleaning and putting toys away, and now that Dream is older she’s been helping me out! I also have learned to layer my tasks… so while Dream is eating lunch I’ll reset the kitchen… or if we’re in her room, I’ll put things back in her closet… etc. You get the point. 

7. Make time for yourself EVERYDAY!

Finding a few moments just for me…everyday… has become nonnegotiable, and it is always what I need, when I need it! Making time for yourself doesn’t have to be anything major, You don’t even have to “do” anything… it may just be a moment to reflect, to sit, to rest. 

For me I’ve recently decided that at least 1 time every week I’m going to nap when Dream naps… and on the nights when hubby is on bed time duty I’ve scheduled “Reese time”. Yes, on my calendar! This week I’m giving myself a pedicure and I have my fave show to catch up on. Everyday in this season Dream takes a nap, so for  at least 15 mins of her nap hour I try to just reset, practice gratitude, stare at a wall, stare out the window… just intentional stillness.

Making time for yourself is a deeply personal and requires that yo be intentional Do whatever works for you but find a way to do it daily! 

xx

 

 

 

 

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5 Simple Habits That Changed My Life | #Momlife

1. Self Care.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned the importance of “filling my cup” and have done the work to make Self Care my lifestyleMy wellbeing is no longer an afterthought, and because of this I’m better equipped spiritually, mentally & physically to care for my family.  I no longer allow myself to  suffer in silence/sit in overwhelm.  Not anymore.  I speak up and ask for the support  I need in order to get time for myself. From scheduling time for myself every month (Selfish Sunday), to going to therapy bi-weekly (it’s lit)… to taking advantage of all of the “mini moments” to pour into my life daily… I get my time and my life will never be the same. More to come.

2. Waking up before my family.

I wake up before 5:30am almost every single day,  and I’ve been doing this consistently for the past 3 months.  The highlights of my morning include enjoying my cup of coffee in peace, spending time in God’s word, and seeking His guidance for the day. And depending on my schedule for that day, I  also do my workout.  It’s not always easy, but having something to look forward to, that I truly love and enjoy, makes it 100%  worth the push for me. And my day is  just better when I wake up early. Yes, there are still challenges to overcome, but  “My day always flows best when I’m up before the rest”.  Getting a head start on my day, before everyone else “needs me”… has changed the game for me.

3. Spending time with Jesus, Daily.

I’ve really been working on making the Lord my daily delight (Psalms 37:4 ), abiding in Him (John 15:4-11) , meditating on His Word,  and putting my full trust in Him. I gave my life to Christ years ago, but I feel like my desire to go deeper with Him has grown since becoming a mom.  He is The Source… My EVERYTHING!  Making every effort to intentionally seek God first in all of my ways, early in the morning, has made such a difference in my life. There is something different that happens when we seek  God in the calm of the morning., without distractions.   Even as I write this, I’m in the midst of one of the most uncertain and challenging times of my life, yet I feel stronger and more secure than ever.  There is peace that overtakes me when I lay all of my cares at His feet.  I trust Him with my life, and I am now in the midst of that lived experience. I have no idea how any mom can survive with out Him, and I’m so grateful for His grace, mercy, strength, rest, favor, correction, direction and faithfulness!  My life will never be the same and this is just the beginning!

4. Making time to do, wear & enjoy what I love.

If you know me then you know I love to slay! My forever goal is to be snatched for His glory; allowing the work that God is doing on the inside to shine through in all the ways that I show up… and that includes all things beauty and fashion. I feel like this desire has heightened since becoming a mom, mainly because I can’t stand the narratives that imply “once you become a mom, you become a mess.” NOT for this momma!  Your girl has been doing the work to grow and become who God is calling me to be, and I will reflect just that.  So every week,  multiple times a week, I plan a whole slay.  From my face beat to my feet, I show up to reflect the work God is doing in and through me.  I wear one of my favorite ensembles ( from sweats to dresses… I only own things that I love), throw on my lashes, and live my best stay-at-home-mom life with my little one.  It’s been so good for me. I also have a hair schedule.  Yes… a whole schedule of slays for my hair. I seriously love it!  I can’t quite explain it but when I look and feel amazing, I’m able to face the day a bit more confidently.  Besides beauty maintenance is a form of self care for me. 

5. Working out weekly.

I working out at least 5x a week.  It’s a lifestyle, as well as a form of self care for me. Working out is not only good for me physically, but I often find it helps me when I’m in need of a mental break, and even a reset.  Like most, I’m not always in the mood to workout; however, I am always so fulfilled when I push through and get it done. Always!  Not to mention I have a whole wardrobe that’s depending on me to show up, lol.  So working out whether a HITT workout on the free NTC app, a 3 mile walk outdoors, or my own in-house  workout sequence… it helps keep me fit, stable and ready! My wellness is a priority.

What habits have helped you as a mom? What habits are you working on? Share below.

xx,

 

 

 

 

Love what you’re reading?  Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to  COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE!  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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