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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,

 

 

 

 

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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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Are Moms REALLY Blessed… all day everyday?

 Are moms really blessed… all day everyday?

I used to think being “blessed” was all about focusing on the good things and good circumstances in my life. That having “good” and “favorable” things happen in my life, was truly the essence of being blessed… Until I became a mom.

I am not sure about you, but when I’m having a serious mommy moment with my little lady, or when I’m faced with checking my own expectations… or when hubby and I have to do the hard work of figuring out how to parent on one accord… that whole “children are a blessing from the Lord” can seem a bit far fetched.  (Just me… oh okay)!

Listen, when I’m faced with a poop explosion, or a toddler tantrum that seems to last ALL DAY, or a toddler who is overwhelmed with extreme tiredness and refuses to sleep unless I hold her  (and I have other things to do), or when I’m faced with literally  NOT one THING  working out as planned…  I’m not thinking “I’m so blessed”. I’m actually questioning myself, trying to figure out where I went wrong,  because clearly this ain’t the life God promised me.

So I’ve been really praying and thinking about it. What does it really mean to live the “blessed life” as a mom?  How are we really “blessed” when we all face various tests and challenges as moms? 

Then I read Matthew Chapter  5… and verse 6 stood out to me;

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied. Matthew 5:6 AMP

Well, that’s when it hit me. In that very moment of prayer and divine access to the Father… I felt a tiny little shift in my perspective. (Won’t He do it).

I’m not blessed simply because of what I have or because of what I do/don’t experience.  I am blessed because of my position in Him.  (Read that again).  My position grants me access to HIM! And as I posture myself to seek/trust/obey Him, always, in the midst of EVERY triumph, trial and test, I find EVERYTHING I need. I find JOY, PEACE, REST, LOVE, STRENGTH, FAVOR, GUIDANCE, ABUNDANCE, ASSURANCE… THAT’S the blessed life!

Please don’t miss the message. Yes, I am extremely aware of how “fortunate” life is.  I’m am grateful for my life, my family. I am grateful for every resource, tool and gift. I am grateful for the protection, and keeping power of my Father!

I am also grateful that my “blessed” position in Him, isn’t swayed by any of those things,  nor the circumstances I am trusted to overcome!

So yes! As a mom, I can live a blessed life… ALL DAY EVERYDAY.

I am blessed because God is with me and Jesus lives within me

I am blessed because God is covering me, He is my strong tower

I am blessed because God is directing me, all I have to do is seek and I will find Him, always

I am blessed because God’s grace and mercy follow me, EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF EVERY DAY

I am blessed when life is going “great”, as well as when I’m in the midst of the tears, challenges, and difficult circumstances.  I have access to Him!

We have access to Him.

We have access to everything we need because of our position in Him! And all things are working together for our good… all of it is a part of the blessed life.

 

 

 

 

 

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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Our Trip to Sesame Place + A Lesson on Expectations

Y’all I learned a serious lesson about expectations over the past few days while away with my family. I learned that if not properly set,  and checked regularly, they can literally ruin a good time.

Let’s explore shall we…

So we decided to visit Sesame Place for some summer time fun. My little lady has been somewhat obsessed with Elmo the past few months, so I figured it only made sense for us to see him in person.

So I got our season pass, booked two nights at a nearby  hotel, and planned to have everything packed and loaded for  our adventure.

Well the day arrived. I got everything packed, and my little one surprisingly breezed through our nighttime routine. We we all set to drive through the night (during her bad time). All we had to do was wait for daddy, pack the car and head out.

Easy!

Y’all… once little miss got into that car… things got a little wild. I expected Dream to sleep during the 3 hour drive at night, but sis was looking like 👀 👀👀👀 for 99.9% of the ride. She basically said “these eyes ain’t finna close til we get where we going”! Lawd! Talk about a LONG drive!

After a long night (driving and in the hotel trying to get our little lady back to sleep), we all woke up refreshed and ready for our day. We met up with my sister who was joining us for the day, and made our way to Sesame place.

I expected the park to be nearly empty, but quickly realized I was wrong as we pulled up to see droves of people pushing their strollers and lugging their bags across the walkway. I’m like isn’t this a weekday? Isn’t the school year approaching? Isn’t this a pandemic?  Talk  about a total shock!

We get in, get our tickets, and I try to ease all the pressure by assuring myself that Dream was going to love it when she saw Elmo and all the rides! I expected her to run, skip and play. But sis was in observation mode most of the time. She wasn’t excited about no rides, barely flinched when Elmo came out… and seeing all those people… She was NOT IMPRESSED!

With all of this going on, I also expected my husband to have all the answers. I was tired, and didn’t want to think about anything anymore. But this… taking a toddler to an amusement park… was a brand new first time experience for both of us, and we were both figuring it out as the day went on.

It. Was. A. Whole. LOT!

I’m so grateful for my husband’s patience and  for Aunt Jess helping us to go with the flow, because with the way I was feeling idk we would have left sooner rather than later lol. (THANKS GIRL)

Here’s a glimpse of our day!

 

It wasn’t until that night, that I realized I needed to check myself. I apologized to my hubby, and just sat with God for a few moments to release all the pressure and frustration from the trip. I seriously don’t like it when things don’t go my way. I was disappointed, but I also knew I wanted to posture myself to learn from this moment.

The next morning, after prayer and talking to my therapist, I realized that I didn’t leave room for the “what if”.  I just expected things to go my way, and when they didn’t… I didn’t have any type of recovery plan in place, which led to my frustration and dissapointment.

Like…

I expected my little lady to sleep through the night on our drive… but I didn’t have a plan for what to do if she doesn’t.

I expected for my little lady to have the time of her life… but I didn’t prepare for how I would respond if she didn’t

I expected my husband to take over… but I didn’t communicate my needs or prepare for what to do if neither one of us had an answer

You see expectations aren’t bad, but we must be super careful that we are being realistic especially when we put those expectations on others (especially on our children, spouses and loved ones). I am an optimist by nature, I’m also learning when you travel with a toddler ALWAYS HAVE a back up plan… ALWAYS!!!!

I can’t control the circumstances, but I can control how I respond. I can also  have a plan (or two)  in place for what to do if things don’t go as expected.

I won’t get got again.

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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Let’s Talk | “Mommy Pressure” and how to get unstuck

Let’s Talk, “mommy pressure” 😭. We’ve all felt it before, and whether you want to admit it to yourself or not… it’s keeping you from creating and living a life that excites you! Let’s change that! If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the “demands” of motherhood… this is for you!! It’s time to get unstuck, release that mommy pressure, and create a life that excites you!

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

👀Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. If you’re experiences symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety please call your medical professional ASAP. If you are not able to reach them and feel like you want to harm yourself or your child please call 911 immediately. For further assistance or to talk to a licensed mental health professional please see the resources listed below.

http://www.psychologytoday.com
http://www.melaninandmentalhealth.com
“Therapy for black girls”

🔥Get my free affirmation & reflection guide just for moms here: http://www.ownyourslayuniversity.com/bibleformoms

🔥Learn how to Build your confidence and SLAY on camera here: http://www.ownyourslayuniversity.com/videobootcamp

xx Reese

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Let’s Talk | Mom life & getting “unstuck”

I’m super excited about this month’s cover stories!!

One of the main things I’m determined to do is to create a life that I love; a life that serves me!  A life that I can be proud of, where I am not only showing up for myself… but one where I am  becoming and fully embracing the woman I know God is calling me to be… yes, as a whole mom.

I know you feel the same. I know that you know you’re more than a mommy. I know you desire to rewrite the narrative,  and you want to live your absolute best life…. as a wife, a mom, a business owner… as a woman!

And as eager as you are to redefine mom life on your terms, and FINALLY create a life that excites you…

YOU. FEEL. STUCK.

You can’t seem to figure out how to finally move forward and embrace the beauty of who you know you want to become. You’re trying your best to show up, but you can’t seem to get past the disappointment of things not going as you expected.  You’ve even gotten to the point of trying to  force things to work out;  trying to keep up appearances because you want to prove that you can do it all… instead of operating in the flow and freedom that God has for you….

Well… It’s time to get unstuck and walk in the freedom that God has for you! I’m so grateful to be used by Him!

This month is all about getting “unstuck” and we’re starting with the basics! Because let me tell you this….You will never be able to create & live a life that excites you until you do this one thing!

So if you’re ready to walk in freedom, Check out my first July cover story (video) below, and as always be sure to comment, and share with a momma who needs this!

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♥️♥️

Not for you? Share with a momma in need!

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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 Organizing my Home, Here’s What I’ve learned so far #momlife

That before was taken right at the moment when I said to myself “why am I living like this, enough is enough” and I didn’t even capture the dining table bc I was so embarrassed. It was covered with mail, toys, old containers &  dishes😩😭😩

You see I kept hearing & seeing  a lot of things about momlife, and how mess and clutter are inevitable when you have kids. But it’s so wild  because for me, I was using the “I have a kid” narrative to cover up a problem I’ve had for years with clutter😭😭😭

To be honest, I’d also convinced myself that “my mess wasn’t that bad” because I was comparing it to what others had… and their mess was way worse… smh!!! Just awful! I Told y’all comparison will keep you all the way stuck in your mess! Figuratively and LITERALLY!

Well A few months ago (after immersing myself into the world organizing), I decided to change that narrative in my life. I wanted to become a woman of order especially in my home. And although kids can add a whole lot of “messy” to your life & home… I  decided I no longer  wanted to live in that mess as my norm.

So I’ve been on a journey of creating a lifestyle  where everything in my home has a place (ORDER), and I set a few moments daily to maintain my space (FLOW). 

It’s funny bc all of this started when I took those first small steps (for example making my bed daily). And once I started with those simple daily habit, it’s like the energy to continue was overflowing from within me! I’ve tried to organize before, and fell short every single time! I realized this happened because I was only focused on the task. Once I decided to make this a lifestyle, and focus on who I want to BECOME in the process, the shift happened… and here we are! And I’m just getting started 🙌🏾

I’m no expert or guru in the art of decluttering or organizing… but what I do know is that your life will seldom change if you only focus on the tasks. 

I encourage you to decide who you want to become, and create goals that are in alignment with that as you TAKE ACTION.  Start as small as you need to. Be intentional and watch the energy that you need to carry on kick in and overtake you!  This is not a competition, but rather an amazing opportunity for you to create the life you’ve always desired for yourself. A life of becoming all that you know you’re called to be, filled with the overflow and results you crave the most! 

The choice is yours!

xx

Reese

 

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

👇🏾Watch this👇🏾

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!

Momma what’s on your weekly  list? What are you doing just for you to keep your cup filled? How will you make time for yourself this week?  Comment below, or share on social!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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♥️♥️

Not for you? Share with a momma in need!

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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

 

 

 

 

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♥️♥️

Not for you? Share with a momma in need!

 

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Create the Life that Excites You!

I’m a whole mom and I’m creating a life that excites me…

From how I show up and slay (imma be that snatched mom 💋💁🏾‍♀️)… to the time I spend with my family, my child my spouse…. to the way I create 🤩… even how I have to shift as the seasons of my motherhood journey change (learning from the different circumstances I face🙌🏾😭)… I’m create the life I desire through it all🙌🏾🙌🏾

Periodt.

Idk who needs to be reminded, but Moms can absolutely SLAY and experience amazing, fulfilling, purposefully abundant lives…

and we don’t have to wait until our kids are grown.

Idk about you but I’m doing just that! Creating a life worth bragging about… not bc of me… but to be a living witness of just how dope God is and what He can do in and through me as I surrender to Him and stay in alignment… yes… as a WHOLE mom!

How about you, momma? What are you willing to do to experience the life you desire? Are you courageous enough to say “YES” to you?

“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Xx
Reese