Taking Time For Yourself – Yes, It’s Necessary!

Yes, taking time for yourself is necessary. No, it’s not always possible. But I’m here to help you figure out how.

Last year I wrote a post about how to beat the Stay at Home Mom Blues. I laid out some of my favorite things to do to stay on top of it.

When I was working full time, it actually was a lot easier to take time for myself then now that I’m not working. I would run to get my nails done while Dylan was still in daycare when I got off early. I would drop him off early at school and go to the gym before work. I feel like you hear more often than not that it’s more difficult for stay at home moms to get that alone time.

But it’s just as necessary as working moms. Now, when I say taking time for yourself, I do NOT mean working that full time job. I mean doing something solely for yourself. While grocery shopping for the family alone or sitting at the pool reading a book while your kid has swim lessons is a nice break, it’s not for YOU.

It may seem like this is impossible. But to make sure it is possible, the first thing you need is support. You need your spouse to be on board with alone time. People aren’t mind readers. So you have to tell them you need alone time. Make your plans and let them know you are peacing out for a few hours. If not (or if you are a single parent) you need support elsewhere. A family member, babysitter, neighbor, daycare, nap time, whatever. You have to free yourself of the responsibility of being a parent to get something done for yourself.

Once you’ve figured that out, find what makes you happy. Reading, shopping, creating, crafting, sewing…the list goes on. I reached out to my lovely mom group and asked them to hit me with their most favorite alone time activity or selfish habit. Everyone deserves one!

It is also so, so important that you SCHEDULE this alone time. I have found that if I don’t write it down or schedule it, it isn’t less likely to happen – it just flat out doesn’t happen. And that sucks.

  1. Direct Sales – It’s something for YOURSELF. Yes, you are helping other people by giving them products in which you believe but some people truly enjoy it. They are sharing things that you love. (Side note, think about that next time you roll your eyes at someone’s direct sales post on Facebook 😉 )
  2. Gym – This is a pretty popular one. When I go to the gym, I drop off the kids and lose all sense of adultness. I turn my music up as loud as it goes (Samsung, stop telling me it’s bad for my ears. I don’t cuuurrr) and I just move. Run, steps, bike…just go. To be totally honest, I’m not there 100% for the work out. I’m there for the private shower. I’d say it’s about 50/50 for me. I also enjoy going to a class or 2 during the week.
  3. Massages – OH MY. If you don’t do this AT LEAST once a year for your birthday, you are missing out! I think the best part about my massages is I have to disconnect from the outside world. Phone stays off and in the purse for a whole hour. That’s huge for me. But I’m okay with it! It feels nice to just turn off.
  4. Take a bath – This was also a pretty popular one. I know some moms who do this at least 2 times a week. Put some baking soda and/or bath bombs in there too! Just make sure to lock the bathroom door if the kids are awake 😉
  5. Girls’ Night – Yes, this is a must as well! I have 2 friends that I see probably once a month. We get together for dinner. We plan it for later (like 6:30ish) because I have to wait for my babysitter (read: hubby) to get home from work. Plan something monthly for dinner with friend(s) – maybe the first Tuesday of every month or something. It’s nice to just chat with an adult not about kids and not about work.
  6. Pampering – Mani/Pedi is a popular one, too! Again, another time to just sit down and unwind. Let someone else do all the work! And you get pretty nails at the end.
  7. Write – Part of the reason I started blogging was to do something for myself. I always used to journal growing up and I missed it so much. So I started writing and you know what? It feels so good to just sit at my computer and type, type, type.
  8. Sleep – Also possible. Go to bed right after you put the kids down. Toys don’t need to be picked up right now. Laundry doesn’t need to be folded right now. Just go to bed at 8:15. Try it.
  9. Skin Care Routine – No, this is not a sales pitch 😉 I have a friend who has a 10 step skin care routine each night. 10 steps. I am way too lazy for 10 steps, but she loves it. She literally told me “it’s my me-time.” Get you some, girl.
  10. Take a day off work – if you are a working mom, take a day off. You have personal days for a reason. Take a day off to sit at home in your jammies. Send the kids to daycare/school and do not feel guilty about it. You even can spend the day cleaning. If that’s what relaxes you. I don’t judge. If you’re a stay at home mom, your spouse gets personal days too. He/she can use them on you. Take a day off and handle the kids while you do your thang.

My new Favorite Planner

I am an unorganized mess. Part of it stems from the fact that my brain runs 100 miles a minute. I will have an idea and then run off to Hobby Lobby for all the supplies, only to get home to realize I had 3 other things I needed to get done.

Story of my life.

I wanted to start blogging again and I knew with blogging and mine and Gina’s other website (noshamemommies.com – shameless plug. Completely shameless), I was going to need a planner and it was going to need to be good.

For my 32nd birthday (ha!), I was determined to find the perfect planner. I needed something with the following:

-Week at a glance
-Month at a glance
-Monthly goals
-Weekly goals
-Yearly goals
-Monthly tabs
-Monthly notes section (on the month at a glance AND at the end/start of the month)
-Perpetual calendar

That is a needy list. So I set off to Etsy, because planners that were already made were just not working out for me.

I had no idea what to search for so I just started searching and sending messages asking if they had a planner with the aforementioned sections.

Finally, like a light at the end of a dark, 5 year, random post-it note filled long tunnel, I got a response from Erika with Write it Down Books. She was so patient with me and answered all of my ridiculous questions before I placed my order.

I am only a few weeks in, but I am obsessed with this planner. It has everything I needed and more. Each month there are places you can write things you need to do, things you’d like to do (because we all know those are 2 totally different things), a place to doodle, and some writing prompts (which is great for bloggers). You can also have her start in any month you want.

It fits perfectly in my every day purse and matches great with my notebook I snagged up at Wal-Mart before I bought the planner.

Doesn’t this picture make you want to just plan everything?! AHHHH!

I don’t think I could have created a better planner. Honestly. I have tried 😉

This planner is the horizontal planner – so the week is laid out horizontally in the book instead of vertically. Here is the week at a glance list….

While browsing her shop, I went ahead and added a password/address book and a bookmark for my planner. You can customize pretty much anything – and for planners that can be customized, her prices are on point – trust me, I’ve done research for years.

I love that she puts your name on the front too!

She also has an option of printing your own planner. Oh, and you can print out a few of her styles and try them out for a week or so before you order. FOR FREE.

Here is my little trio that follows me around the house – besides the kids obviously – my planner, my notebook and my Kindle.

Erika was kind enough to give us a coupon code for the next week. 10% off of your order in her shop and it expires on 4/20/17. The code is MOSTLYUNDERCONTROL10. I encourage you to use it! Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I am in love with this thing.

So take advantage of this code, people. You will NOT regret it.

“Are You Ready?”

**DISCLAIMER: This is not directed at anyone in particular, nor is it meant to make anyone feel bad for asking a pregnant woman “are you ready?”**

I know Fridays are saved for educational posts, but this is my blog so I make the rules 😉

I have realized that when you are pregnant, there are only a few questions that people ask you as you get further and further along…

“Are you so done being pregnant?” (this is especially popular when you’re pregnant in the summer months)
“How are you feeling?”
“Do you have names picked out?”
“Are you ready?”

I have to admit, I had very different answers for both pregnancies. When I was pregnant with D, my answers were always “No, I’m not done being pregnant. He can stay in there as long as he wants. I feel great. Yes, we have names but we’re not telling. And no, I’m not ready.”

With this pregnancy, my answers are much, much different: “Yes, I am completely done being pregnant. I feel like absolute garbage (If I’m being honest). Yes, a girl name, but not a boy name. And we’re still not telling. And no, I’m definitely not ready.”

I always walk away thinking long and hard about one of those questions though – “Are you ready?”

Is anyone really ever truly “ready” to become a parent? Someone asked me the other day at the dentist office if I was ready and my (new) answer was (before I could shut my mouth), “I’m still not ready for him, and he’s 3.” She kind of just stared at me, like she should’ve called DCFS on me or something. I still have a hard time hearing him call me “mommy” – shoot, I still have a hard time saying I have a husband or that I am a wife and that’s been 6 years. Forget about adjusting to “fiancee” when that was happening for a year.

So, I compiled some honest, truthful answers to the pregnancy question: “Are you ready?”

Yes, I’m ready to not get heartburn with literally everything I drink or eat, regardless of how much Zantac and Tums I’ve consumed.

Yes, I am ready to be able to paint my own toenails.

Yes, I’m ready to be able to get off the couch or get out of bed without moaning in pain.

Yes, I’m ready to take something stronger than Tylenol for my headaches and body aches.

Yes, I’m ready to not have disgusting swollen feet (well, basically swollen everything) regardless of how much water I’ve been drinking or the weather outside.

Yes, I’m ready to not have to weigh the options in the middle of the night – get out of bed and deal with the pain, or just pee the bed?

Yes, I’m ready to be able to be active with my son again.

Yes, I am ready for a delicious ice cold beer.

Yes, I’m ready to be on my feet for longer than 60 seconds without them itching.

Yes, I’m ready to cook dinner while not sitting in a chair.

Yes, I’m ready to not have to wince in pain or want to puke each time my unborn child decides to switch positions.

No, I’m not ready to have 2 in diapers (please, D! Let’s go!)

No, I’m not ready to have to explain breastfeeding to my 3 year old.

No, I’m not ready for figuring out how to divide my attention between 2 kids after my husband goes back to work.

Have no fear, I am a positive person…

Yes, I’m ready to find out the sex of my baby.

Yes, I’m ready to see what he / she looks like.

Yes, I’m ready to see the sibling relationship between my 2 kids.

Yes, I’m ready to see my husband care for a newborn again.

Yes, I’m ready to hold my beautiful baby in my arms finally.

So, am I ready? The simple answer: I am as ready as I’ll ever be.

Hello, Blog World!

Hello out there!

I just wanted to take my first entry to explain a little bit about myself and my intentions. 🙂

I live near Chicago with my husband, son, (soon to be #2 son or daughter), dog and cat. Recently I became an accidental stay at home mom and have been climbing the walls alongside my 3 year old. I have always had a job and have been in Early Childhood Education – my passion – for about 10 years. Throughout high school and college, I have always been told I am a great writer.  I have always wanted to try my hand at blogging, but my excuse was always “I don’t have time.” Since I’m home now, I decided to try.

The name comes from my life (and the struggle to find a name I wanted that wasn’t taken!) I always tell people I have my life “mostly under control,” and when trying to think of a name, it just popped in my head and I thought about it for quite some time and just couldn’t come up with anything else. The few people that I told right away all said it was awesome. Forget the fact that they were my family and close friends so they probably had to say that, but it seemed genuine! 😉

PS, thanks to my “focus group” – the group that helped me pick out a logo and name. You know who you are 😉

Throughout this blog you will find recipes of my own, reviews of recipes from my family and friends (and my Mess Hall friends – shamless plug – check out my facebook page!), educational ideas to do at home with the kiddos (or if you’re a teacher you can do them at school), some really detailed instructions on DIY projects (because I always feel like they’re not detailed enough) and some new listings from my Etsy shop and ideas on what to do with them.

I also sell Thirty-One and Rodan + Fields (so you may see that throughout once in a while) and have an Etsy shop. I was nervous about debuting this blog because I was afraid that people would think I was crazy for doing it all. But you know what, I’m keeping it all Mostly Under Control 🙂

I am super excited for people to read and get something out of this. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have a DIY project you’re stuck on and would like to see written out or a recipe you’d like to see done. I’d love to help.

Happy reading, friends!