Laresa Watkins

Balance in the Chaos-Taking Care of Yourself

Nov 30, 2017
mommyinbonlee

 

In my mom’s group a few weeks ago we were talking about disciplining in anger and how to avoid that.  One mom pointed out that she had a difficult time dealing with her children when her blood sugar was low, and all of us agreed that we had a hard time when we were running on little sleep.  I’m sure all of us have gotten into a habit, at some point or another, of not taking the best care of ourselves.  We do things for other people all day long, and it’s hard to stop and spend time on ourselves. The problem with this is that everyone around us suffers when we don’t take care of ourselves.

While being healthy and feeling good are important to me, the main reason that I need to take care of myself is for my mental well-being (in other words, so I don’t lose it on anyone in my family).  When Charlie cries for an hour because he can’t wear shorts in December, I cannot handle myself very well if I only got 5 hours of sleep.  When I have 10 emails to return, school to teach, and my phone won’t stop beeping with text messages, I get frazzled and can’t focus if I’ve had too much coffee and no breakfast.  In order to handle life’s everyday stressors with grace and compassion, I have to care for myself.

My suggestions aren’t things that take a lot of time.  You don’t have to find a babysitter or take your kids to a germy gym childcare to work out.  You don’t have to get up at the break of dawn or spend hours cooking an organic farm-fresh meal.  These are just a few simple things that you can incorporate into your day that will enable you to have more balance when a chaotic moment is inevitably thrown your way.

1-Get a good night’s sleep

It seems to be the cool thing for women my age to brag about how much coffee they need to drink during the day.  Now, I am a coffee lover, so I’m not downing coffee, but on an everyday basis we should not have to drink coffee all day long in order to get everything on our to-do lists completed.  It’s not healthy.  We need to take care of ourselves by getting more sleep!

I am putting this first because it is so important to me.  I need at least 7 hours of sleep at night, and if I don’t get it I am cranky all day long.  Even thought I know this about myself, it is still really hard for me to make myself go to sleep at night.  After I get the kids in bed I want to spend time reading, watching TV, or playing a game on my phone.  After 15+ hours of hearing “Mom! Mom! Mom!” and “Laresa! Laresa! Laresa!”, my time alone at the end of the day is just wonderful and I hate for it to end. I have to really be disciplined and make myself stop whatever I am doing, turn out the lights, and go to sleep.

It really helps me to sleep better if I get up at the same time each morning, so I have also gotten back into the habit of setting my alarm.

That being said, for all of my friends who have new babies: you just go on drinking your coffee all day.  😉

2-Work Out

There is nothing worse than the 3:00 slump.  That time in the afternoon when we feel like shirking all of our duties and laying down for a nap? Whether you work at home like me or work at a job outside of the home, I know we all experience this during our day. It’s difficult no matter what you do, because we can’t just stop what we’re doing and sit down when we feel a little sluggish.

I have found that if I have a good workout in the morning I don’t experience this tired, cranky feeling in the afternoon. The problem is that I don’t have much time to work out. I used to love going to the gym or walking miles at the park, but that just isn’t feasible for me now.

I have tried lots of different YouTube workouts that I like, but right now I am really enjoying a new app called Aaptiv. You download the app and instantly have access to tons of great workouts.  You can choose from strength training, outdoor running, yoga, and so much more.  You can also select how long you want to work out, which is a huge plus for me since some mornings I have more time than others.  If it’s a morning that I have to take Maddie to gymnastics or we have a MOMS meeting or science co-op and I have to get everyone ready and out the door in a hurry, I choose a short workout so I can get a good workout in without putting a strain on our chaotic mornings.

Aaptiv even has a series of workouts for parents-they’re all around 15 minutes long and give you a great workout in a short span of time.  And, for all of my friends who are expecting, they even offer a great prenatal workout program with different workouts that are appropriate for each trimester.  I wish it had been around when I was pregnant.

They’re offering a free trial right now, so if you’re like me and you need a quick, easy workout you can do at home, you should give it a go.

3-Essential Oils-I have become an essential oil freak.  I used to burn candles all the time to have my house smelling good, but now I constantly have some sort of oil running in my diffusers to not only make my house smell nice, but to keep us all healthy.  When it comes to keeping me balanced, I turn, of course, to DoTerra’s Balance.  🙂

I think I finally convinced my husband of the awesomeness of essential oils last week when he used my Tea Tree Oil on an ulcer in his mouth.  It was gone the next morning!

4-Eating Well- I’m not talking hours of meal planning or crazy shakes or anything like that. I once heard the advice that I should eat 5 servings of fruits/veggies every day, and that’s what I do.  I also try to drink plenty of water.  Doing those simple, non-time-consuming things makes me feel so much better and better-able to handle life’s craziness.

 

Our bodies are gifts from God, and it’s so important we take care of them.  When we do, we feel better, are kinder when faced with tough situations, and can find some balance in this chaos.

31/31 Days!!!!

Oct 31, 2017
mommyinbonlee

I can’t believe this day is here-day 31 of the Write 31 Days blogging challenge.  It hasn’t been easy for me to write every day, since I have to do it at nighttime after I get the kids in bed and I am usually exhausted at that point.  I feel like I didn’t do a great job writing for that reason, since I didn’t have the time to really work through my thoughts or think about good topics.  I’m pretty proud of myself, though, for just getting my writer’s juices flowing.  I can definitely tell that I am more motivated to write now, which was my goal in taking on this challenge.

This month has been awesome.  Our new batch of chickens started laying eggs. I’m so happy not to have to buy eggs at the grocery store anymore!

We got to do all of the fall things:  make applesauce and apple pies and apple butter, go to the state fair and pumpkin farms with our friends, and take many, many hayrides. Seriously, I don’t care to take any more hayrides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then Halloween, of course. We have so much fun with the kids.  They have such great imaginations and they love dressing up all year long, not just at Halloween.  To them, Halloween is an excuse to wear their costumes out of the house and get some candy!

 

For me personally, one great thing about October was that I finally hit my stride in our homeschool.  I feel like I have a good understanding of our new curriculum and we’re on a good daily schedule, which is a huge relief since it took me awhile to get a handle on things.

I feel like this quote sums up my feelings about October:

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”-Rainbow Rowell

30/31 Days

Oct 30, 2017
mommyinbonlee

A friend of mine posted some pictures on Facebook today, and the caption along with one of the pictures said something like “I’m living the life I once prayed for.”

This is so true for me.  I vividly remember my middle school self sitting on my bedroom floor, my back against my white iron daybed, holding my Bible in my lap.  It was a white KJV, and I had a hard time understanding what I was reading.  It was always clear to me, though, that I would be ok.  That my prayers for a nice life one day with a good husband and kids and a home would all be answered.  I just knew it in my heart, and I know now that God was with me every step of the way.

Now here I am, living the life I prayed for 25 years ago, and now I find myself often wondering, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b, ESV) I know that these words were spoken to Esther when she was faced with saving the Jewish race, but I can’t help but feel that God also means them for me.

The reminder that I am living the days that I once prayed for gives me new perspective.  The mundane days full of teaching and cleaning and cooking and laundry don’t seem so unimportant.  God put me right here where I am for a specific purpose and this is my “such a time.”

 

28/31 Days

Oct 28, 2017
mommyinbonlee

Jason and I just got back from a wedding.  This was our second wedding this month, and both were pretty, out-doorsy, vintage-style weddings.  Very beautiful and each special and original in their own ways.  The cool thing about weddings now is that they’re so personalized and there are so many neat little details.

We talked a little about what we would do differently if we were to have another wedding.  We got married 15 years ago, and our style has definitely changed since then.

There isn’t much I would change, but one thing I would approach differently is the music.  I don’t know why, but in 2002 I had something against group line dances, so I told the DJ not to play anything like that if it was requested.  He did play a couple of songs like that and they were fun, and if I were to do it over again I would be more relaxed about that.

Jason would change the food at our wedding.  At the wedding we went to tonight, the food was exactly what the bride and groom wanted, and it was great! Jason says that he would have a big milk dispenser and lots of ice cream.  Hahaha!  Now, the food at our wedding was great, but it was really fancy.  I would maybe tone it down a bit and save my mom a little money.

Other than those things, I can’t really think of anything major I would change. Of course styles of clothing have changed and I would go in a different direction with my dress, but I would keep our flowers and my bridesmaid’s dresses and things like that the same.

Oh, another thing I would change is our wedding would definitely be over by 7:30 so all of the old people like us could be home by 8:00!

27/31 Days

Oct 27, 2017
mommyinbonlee

The 5 best things about Fridays:

5-Closing the blinds and then the curtains in my bedroom so not a bit of light can get in and wake me up in the morning, because I can sleep as late as I want on Saturday.

4-Not having to nag the kids about picking up their clothes or their toys, because I know it can just wait until tomorrow when they have to clean their rooms.

3-Looking forward to drinking an extra cup of coffee while I’m cooking bacon on Saturday morning, then….

2-eating all of the bacon I cooked while I was drinking my coffee.

1-The afternoons.  After science, we do things with friends, or sometimes come home and watch a movie or take a nap, or just do whatever we want to do without any pressure.

Pretty sure it is obvious that I’m happy that it’s Friday! I hope you all have a great weekend.

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