Survive: when life gets crazy!

I don’t know about you, but I have a gazillion things going on every single day. If you are new to my blog then you probably don’t know that I am a working mother of 3, who last week finished another semester in college, who likes to exercise, and who mostly likes to do fun things with her kids. All of these requires more than the 24 hours a day has if I also want to add sleep because you know, rest should happen! How do I do it all?

Well first let me tell you the difference between surviving and living according to me. Surviving is making it through the necessary stuff: eat, sleep, care for your family, work. Living is when you do all of the above and you add sparkles and glitter to it, wrap around with a bow and got spare time for a mani/pedi. My life is crazy busy. Some days I live but others I survive. Works gets crazy busy, and then there’s an event I have to attend, but wait a minute I also have to go shopping for food and meal prep and get the kids ready for bed and it goes on and on! By the time I go to bed, I am fried. A part of me dreads another day like that but this it is all about perspective.

Learning to prioritize will help you survive a busy day. Do the things that need to be done, and postpone or cancel if possible the things that are unnecessary. Organize yourself to make the most of your day. Simple things like making a list before going to the grocery store will save you time deciding what to cook for dinner, or saving you time from walking every aisle wondering what you need/want. For other busy moms out there, remember we are programmed with this magical “reset” button that automatically goes off every night. I might be super tired after a long day and like I said before kinda hating on the next day, but when I wake up my mommy attitude kicks in and is all about “let’s get things done!”. Out motherly instincts are good about letting go off the unnecessary stress to focus on the good stuff and be able to enjoy life. Does it happen all the time? probably not, but most days it surely does.

Surviving as a working mother is common I’ll say.  And let me tell you one more thing, there is nothing bad about it.

Cheerios!

 

via Daily Prompt: Survive

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All-day yoga pants?

Am I the only person who gets annoyed by women wearing their yoga pants all day?! (to include actually any workout leggings and such) Seriously! Is it too much to ask for them to change after the gym? I think not! But, oh wait… they don’t even go to the gym! They just wear them all day because it’s comfortable and I think that is so beyond wrong!

Sure, I know you want to go out and about your day and be comfy. Me too! But I seriously don’t understand why women refuse to do the small effort to wear something comfy that is not gym clothes because they don’t even go to the gym! Could this be the reason it drives me nuts? That they dress as if they are going to the gym but they don’t do it? It could be. After all, I get pretty upset because my busy life doesn’t allow me to spend as much time at the gym as I wish or to go as often as I would want. So seeing all these women walking around as if they are running errands after their workout makes me upset because I don’t get to go the gym! Well, I think that is just part of the problem. My evil selfish inner person who wants it all but can’t have it all because it’s too busy conquering the world gets crazy jealous seeing others going to the gym… or looking as if they are going to the gym!

I know I’ve read somewhere that when someone is trying to workout more they should wear their gym clothes because you are more likely to workout once you’re in your workout gear. Makes sense. I think so, don’t you? And that part I support. I mean there’s research behinds this and it does make a lot of sense. If I will have a workout late at night, I change into my gym clothes right after I am done with dinner and wear them while I get my kiddos ready for bed and while I prepare whatever I need to until enough time has passed that I can safely workout. If I don’t change into my clothes I do the things I need to do, and maybe snack on something unhealthy and that point is like: “forget it, not going to the gym anymore, and oh yes, hello Netflix!”. Now note that after I change into my workout clothes I only stay home not go out to the store or a restaurant or anywhere other than the gym… interesting.

If you are wearing your yoga pants because you took a yoga class and then had to go buy stuff at the mall, for instance, but decided to save yourself 15 mins that it takes for a really, really, really quick shower and a change of clothes, then sure, I get. Still, I think you can change clothes before leaving the gym. Even small gyms have a locker room, right? So go change before you leave feeling glorious about not listening to you inner fatty asking you to just sit at home and watch Netflix while eating ice cream and popcorn instead of those 25 minutes in the ellipitical + 20 mins in the assisted weight machines… you know, for instance! My point was, if you’re short of time and need to get a lot done with a deadline, then sure, I’ll give you a pass.

But the truth is that I see more and more women out and about in their workout clothes. And there are many of them whom I know don’t even go to the gym or workout at home. They just want to be comfortable. Yes me too, but for me that means jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. I do admit that this is “my look” all the time. I don’t do well in high heels… ever! I use them only if I really have to and even then they are not really high heels. Now let me get to another great point while at it even though is not totally related but it kinda is, ya know? I hate to see ladies at parties, club, or even a concert struggling with high heels!! You can see the pain of walking with those shoes. Yes you can! They walk slow and often are assisted by their date because their legs are a bit on the jelly mode. Not all but many of them pick “sexy” over comfortable. I mean what is the point of wearing high heels if you can’t comfortable walk in them or dance or enjoy anything?! So on that note, my “heels” are hardly high and I make sure I am comfortable enough to last all night dancing in them if I wanted to because I think is gross to walk barefooted anywhere that is not the clean floor of your own house… yup. Ok, let’s get back on track.

If you want to be comfortable while out and about wear comfortable clothes that are meant for that purpose. Ha, clarification here! Sure your PJs are comfy but does that make it acceptable for you to run errands in them? No. Heck-to-the-NO! Change before you leave the house for crying out loud! I know that more people make workout clothes “fashionable” these days by pairing it with sandals or adding a jean jacket for instance. And while your effort is sure appreciated please take the hint and freaking change!

The End.

Finding balance

So remember how this page was about my fitness journey? Well that has changed. A lot. I am still working to become the best version of myself but so many things are going on that it has been hard to keep up with anything and everything. Let’s recap so it makes more sense:

  1. I welcomed baby no. 3 in late August last year
  2. I work full-time job because this is the Bay Area and I doubt we could give our family the quality we want with just one income
  3. I went back to college to earn a certificate in Graphic Design… this will take a while btw!
  4. I have an amazing Pinterest board with recipes I am desperately trying to cook for my family because eating is still essential to live
  5. I need to workout so I can reach my fitness goal
  6. I need time to do fun activities with my kiddos

So as you can see, I have a lot going on at this time. And the only way to accomplish it all is to find the right balance. This post is about my plan to do just that.

Let’s start with the basics: sleeping! You need to be rested to be functional. I mean it! Unlike a car that can ride until the gas tank hits empty, our energy output is not the same with a full tank of energy than with half thank and even less with an empty tank. My little one is not a great sleeper yet. He went from waking up twice for feedings at three months to waking up every hour and a half at five! Usually they sleep more as they get older but he missed the memo. He is now waking up one time only for night feeding he is almost seven months old. My point here was, for the last two months my sleep has been horrible and I haven’t feel rested in a while! Now that he is sleeping better I am planning to go back to the gym in mornings. More on that to come.

Another basic: eating. I seriously do not know nor can imagine how certain people can “forget” to eat all day. Seriously? How? I mean it, how??? The problem that I have is that when I lack sleep and I am low in energy, I run to food for comfort and that is not okay. Nope. Not at all. Not even the tiniest bit. With the baby sleeping better and as he has gotten older that he can entertain himself with toys, I am having more time to cook on the nights that I am home. This is super important! The easiest way to make healthy choices is to be prepared with healthy choices. When I have the time to meal prep, my meals are on point most of the time. I rarely give into cravings and don’t have to run through the drive thru for choices.

Another basic: family time. I don’t know about you but it drives me insane that my kids prefer to spend tons of hours in front of a screen. Whether is the TV or the computer, or kids shows or computer games, I hate if they spend more than 1-2 hours in that. The only way to keep them away is to take them to the park, for a walk, or to play outside. But for my sanity, I can’t just let them play outside unless I can sit with them to keep a close eye on them. And of course, while I am there might as well play catch with them too! Finding time to do this when you barely have time can be challenging, but this is what we are trying to figure it out so let’s add this one to the list, shall we?

Now let’s move to necessities. First need: work/commute. Don’t get me wrong, I would absolutely LOVE if I could get paid for not working but that is just not how the world works. Bummer! If you are a financial guru who knows how to make your money work for you even when you sleep, please show me how! But if you are like myself, regular mortal kind, and need to be part of the workforce to earn a paycheck, let me tell you, it sucks but you are not alone! Sure I would love to be an stay at home mom. WOULD. LOVE. IT! But life is expensive, and we are not wealthy to do that right now so both  my husband and I work. It happens and it is totally acceptable. Some workplaces are more flexible than others. Maybe you need to be at the office at an specific time or maybe you can work from home. Whichever way works for you it will certainly require a specific amount of time that you have to dedicate to it. So you need time for that assuming you work a regular 40 hours workweek + 1 hour of commute time daily. Let’s add this one to the list.

Second need: growth time, aka study time. I just recently attended a seminar at work. The guest speaker was the new SVP of Finance. He has held several strong positions over the last 20 years with a different company. He shared his success story to motivate us to aim always for more. One of the things he mentioned and he said were extremely important for any person to achieve greatness was to never stop learning. Those guys who basically own large parts of the world (you know who I am talking about) have one thing in common regardless of the industry they conquered: they learn something new every day! He said they save at least one hour of their busy day to learn more. Whether is something new or to become the expert in your current field, never stop learning. Which is why I decided to go back to school and learn about graphic design. I am already interested so why not become an expert at it and who knows, it might mean another income so let’s put some eggs on that basket! I know school isn’t for everyone, but learn something new every day. A new recipe, a new skill, a new something! Let’s add this to the list for sure.

Third need we are adding and probably the last in our list of important stuff because the rest are wants not needs is health. Now health is many things. Is eating right, working out more, staying active constantly, sleeping well, mental state, spiritual state. You need time for this. All of this will give you great health. You have to make time for this important stuff. Trust you me. This is not me typing my opinion, is research speaking through me. Did I mentioned I am taking a wellness class online? Oh yes, I am doing that too! The book I am reading for the class talks about this and how when we can’t find the correct balance we stress out which leads to several bad things that include chronic diseases, increase/loss appetite and/or weight, lack of sleep, swing moods, and you know all that crazy stuff stress makes us do. So we need time to be healthy because it is not all DNA or environmental circumstances, is what we to do balance and clean our bodies. Let’s wrap the list and make a plan now.

Everything I mentioned are actual needs we have because that is our nature. To find the balance you have to first learn the difference between the things you want and the things you actually need. For instance, I would love to get a mani at least every other week but I am not going to die because I haven’t had one in 4 months. Natural is cool, right?! Once you realize which things are wants and can be postponed or pushed to the bottom of the list, you can focus on the important stuff. For me to fit on my busy schedule all the stuff I need I have to learn to compromise in certain things because the day only gots 24 hours ya! This is how I do it:

  • Make a schedule and stick to it. I have an alarm set up on my phone to go off at 6pm every night before my kids go to school. When the mimi alarm goes off, we know is time to start the night routine. Is that simple and by 9 o’clock we are all in bed (as long as baby cooperates of course).
  • Plan your meals. Whether is your work lunch or family dinner be prepared for it. When you don’t have a plan you settle for convenience which can easily translate into McDonald’s and heck no, I don’t think so! The same thing happens when you go grocery shopping. If you don’t have a list of the ingredients you need to prepare such yummy meals, you will end up grabbing a bunch of unnecessary stuff like chips, ice cream, cookies, more ice cream, more cookies!
  • Cook meals ahead of time. If you have a crockpot, then use it! My husband and I have a list of crockpot recipes for dinner. Throw everything in the morning and set to low and when you come home, dinner is ready! PLUS, leftovers are great for work lunch next day!. You are so very welcomed 🙂
  • Take turns with your partner. If my husband is cooking, I am spending time with the kids reading or working on homework, and the other way around. He is your partner! Get him involved if he is not yet.
  • I go to school two nights a week and when I come home kids should be in bed. Even it the plan fails and they are waiting for me (this has happened more often than I wished) kiss those kids and tuck them in! These are precious moments so enjoy them! These nights I might not to go to bed by 9 but for sure by 10, and that is still okay my dear. Again, learning is so important. Education is the one thing no one can take away from you. You are not a nerd, you are smart! And even if you are a nerd, you know shhhtuff, so awesome! Invest time in learning, is really, really, really, really good for you
  • On weeknights, I have my cellphone around because of work. My boss sometimes texts me changes for the next day and I do check work emails for about 10-15 mins every night and do a final check of his calendar. BUT on weekends, I don’t even carry my cellphone sometimes! Why? Because that little maniac is such a distractor! I stay away from social media as much as possible and gave up on any phone games. Waste of my time! I do share the occasional “heck, these kids are too darn cute!” picture but I don’t post 842 pictures per day! HECK. NO. TO. THAT! Trust me, a lot of your precious time is wasted on paying attention to your cellphone. Here is some of the time you can spend learning instead. Checkmate!
  • Separate work and personal life. When you are work be all work. When you are at home, be all personal stuff. Do not bring your work home, and do not take your personal problems (if any) to work. Is part of the balance and it is so very good for you. Always remember, your company does not care about your emotional health and balance. They are about profit. Don’t compromise your well being for your work. Ever.
  • Take turns. Like I said, I can’t make one hour available every day for the gym but how about if 3 days of the week I sleep 1 hour less and put that hour into a workout? I think is a fair compromise. You can also eat your lunch just a bit faster and go for a little walk. Do this every day and your body will thank you the fresh air and activity. I don’t know about you but sometimes I watch a show via Netflix on my cellphone during lunch. And I finish my meal, but I still got time so let me finish watching this episode. NO! Put the phone down or in your pocket, and instead take the walk I just mentioned. The bit of time is there, and is up to you what to use it for. Sure maybe once a week watch Netflix but stay active the other days if you can.

These are some of the things I got for you. This is a work in progress. Not every week is perfect or easy. Sometimes the balance happens better than other times. Just keep going. Just keep trying. Every day is a new opportunity to rock it so go for it!

Life with a baby

Your little bundle of joy arrived! I hope you had a short and smooth labor. Now the dream is a reality. There is this tiny little creature whose entire universe revolves around you. Motherhood is here! Whether this is your first baby or you are an expert, lots of emotions are probably revolving around you. You are excited, and happy, and tired, and you love someone like you’ve never loved before, and you are scared, and you are worried you’ll make a wrong decision, and you are happy again, and worried again, and even more tired than you imagined, and it keeps going on and on… yup, motherhood is here!

The first weeks with your little one are wonderful. It feels like every second is a new milestone and if you are like me, you are probably taking a picture like every other minute! These are the moments to treasure and you want to keep all those memories in a form that is easy to remember, aka pictures. So, if you want to share a thousand pictures a day, then go for it! There are no rules to it, is really up to you if you want to share them or save them for you. And because you are probably super duper tired because, oh well, there’s a baby at home, don’t be surprised  if you are delayed a day or two when you want to share those precious moments. More likely, every time you mean to post pictures your baby will need you, or you have to take that time to do something for yourself instead like grabbing a bite, or taking a shower, or applying makeup on your other eye because it’s been two hours since you started with your other one!

In case you don’t know this yet, you will be tired for many months to follow. Tired. Super tired. Like all the time! Please don’t forget to pay attention to yourself first. We can only care for others when we care for ourselves first. Remember that announcement on the airplane about putting your own oxygen mask first before helping others? It will be hard to put yourself first and your little one after, but you have to do this to be able to take care of him or her. Now, when I say take care of yourself first, I mean eat, sleep, rest as much as you can. Sometime later, and with a good support system at home, you will be able to go get your nails done, or grab a bite with a friend, or do some other activity you enjoy for yourself. The first months are mainly about your real needs and the baby’s needs. I promise you will not die if you don’t get a mani every week for now.

So I was saying, there is a new life who needs you. One of the most important things to always keep in  mind is that all babies are different. Yours might eat every 2 hours and your friend’s every 4; that’s normal. Yours might sleep 2-3 hours at a time and your friend’s sleeps 3-4 hours; that’s normal. Yours might have colic and your friends don’t; that’s normal. Yours might be scared of the vacuum noise and your friend’s isn’t; that’s normal. Don’t feel the need to force your baby to act like your friend’s (I know I keep saying friend’s but it could also be your sister’s or cousin’s or whoever’s) baby. Certain things will be unique to your baby and that is normal. Work with that. There is no point to try to force a baby to be like someone else. Babies get it. They don’t believe in peer pressure. They will be and will do whatever it is that they need to and that is fine! And while you are trying to learn the things that work for your little one, you will more likely receive advise from family and friends telling you what to do or not to do to “fix” your baby… gosh! this is so beyond wrong and don’t worry, I will get to it!

Some of the advise you will receive will be helpful. Some. Most of it will likely not apply to you and your baby and is more than okay to let that slide. For instance, most babies sleep better when swaddled yet not all babies like it. So don’t try to force it in your little one if he or she doesn’t want it. People might feel the urge to remind you that is best for them, that they sleep better, that you will rest more. They might be right if your baby is into swaddling, but if your baby isn’t then try something else. Trust me, is okay to ignore the advise that doesn’t do you or your baby any good. It might have worked for others, but it doesn’t work for you so no need to force it. I know I am paying a lot of attention to the unsolicited advise but new moms project this unseen “give me your advise even though I am not really asking for it” aura which is why you will receive tons of it. Some might help, some might not, you get it, right?

Most people are lucky to have a support system at home at least during the first weeks of a new baby at home. This is great! Accept the help you are offered as much as you can, like on a selfish way. Yup, you heard me right! You will want to do everything or at least witness someone else doing it if you are a scared new mommy but like I said before you need time to rest. Stress is not good for you, the baby or anyone really. Enjoy every moment you can with the baby and when you get a chance take care of yourself. Drink lots of water, you will need it especially if you are breastfeeding. I know is hard but avoid caffeine if you can… I don’t have proof is bad but that’s what doctors recommend given a small amount of it goes to your breastmilk (I don’t have proof of this nor I believe but oh well) and will make your baby fuzzy. Also, you will hear from many people to watch what you eat because some foods make your breastmilk production low or make the baby gassy or colicky. This could be true but there are many  mixed opinions about it so my personal experience was as long as it doesn’t give me or the baby I rash I ate it.

Life with a baby is all kinds of beautiful, and amazing, and tiring, and again AMAZING! There will be great moments, tiring moments, scary moments and unforgettable moments. All is part of the package. Enjoy it all as much as you can. If this is not your first baby and you are a pro (like people call us), do not forget to also make time for your other munchkins. I mean think about it, we all need some mommy time.

Good luck!