Let's Talk Exhaustion & Morning Routines

Our founder Teresa & today’s article author Erin laughing it out (as they always seem to be doing)

Our founder Teresa & today’s article author Erin laughing it out (as they always seem to be doing)

Hey friends, Teresa here! Consider today’s article a “Choose Your Own Adventure” of sorts, because we’re sharing it in two parts. Feel free and read whichever you think would impact you the most as we chat about Morning Routine

The first section is written by Erin, one of our & Gal Leaders, as she shares her struggles and successes in getting her day started well (sometimes we need a #metoo story so we’re reminded we’re not alone).

The second section is for anyone who simply desires the quick and gritty info. The mom who wants the cursory a + b = c to help her mornings flow better.

Enjoy choosing your own adventure! If you’re like me though, you’ll end up reading all the things because you need all the help you can get. (raise hand here)


We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.
— Richard G Scott

Maintaining the forward momentum can be challenging at times. However, remembering that you will be able to gain time for yourself, less stressful mornings, and the entire environment in the home becomes peaceful is worth it.

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. ONE .

What do your mornings look like?

Do you find your mornings stressful, full of chaos, and promising to make tomorrow better?

Or are they calm, peaceful, and focused?

Setting up a Consistent Morning Routine can create the most beautiful mornings, glorious afternoons, and restful evenings. You take the stress away and free up time to move toward the goals and achievements penciled in for the day.

Many years ago, I was a morning person and woke up early for work, and by early I mean 3:30am, because coffee addicts are in line at 4:30am * wink *. On the days I wasn’t working at Starbucks, I rose by 7 and was ready to get my day started. I thrived in this same schedule for six years. As the years have flown by though, I have become a Tired Mom.

And by that, I mean neither a morning person nor a night owl.

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Two kids and a couple employment changes later, I am an alarm clock that wakes up, works, checks an item or two off a list, and goes to bed. Sound familiar? Pretty robotic. Ugh.

My schedule changed drastically when baby number two arrived and ohhhhhh girl, did she set a new tone for the family. School drop off and pick up, bringing an infant to work every day (which involved naps and feedings, as well as time to interact and play with baby), dinner and chores, and ending each day with our bedtime routine. I’m not exactly sure how I managed to work from home at night or simply bathe, but I did.

I was exhausted and quite honestly, am still quite exhausted!

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Mom and wife are two roles I have always wanted and would not change for anything.

But my stress and anxiety began to increase and cause internal turmoil.

Turmoil that would often come off as short and abrasive, indirectly toward my people, in turn heightening the exhaustion and stress. Talk about a cycle, so normal for many of us yet and completely uncomfortable and painful.

Is this really what the essence of motherhood is? When do I get to do anything for myself or what I love?

I needed change and quick!

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My breaking point hit hard and quite honestly ladies, it can still knock me off my feet and shake me up from time to time.

I have struggled to ask for help and truthfully, am still working on it every day, and in every situation. Why is it so hard to ask for help?

Why is it difficult to look at my sweet husband, the father of my children, and say “I need some help with_______________________”??

Pride.

Moms can do it all, and we can do it all the time.

That’s what we tell ourselves, right?

But boy are we wrong.

I began to set my pride aside and embrace the support of my husband. Sounds simple, right? Well, for this Enneagram Two, not so much. I do a great job at loving and helping others through life, however, recognizing that my ‘I can do it all’ mentality is not what my family needs. What they DO need? Consistent mornings, consistent schedules, and a mom that’s not stressed out all the time.

We decided to sit down and really set forth a basic daily agenda. Initially, he would help me with simple tasks: getting kids dressed, driving them to school, or something as easy as daycare. As the months went by, we found that penciling in two, sometimes three, mornings a week, which he would take over the entire morning routine, was a game changer.

Consistency is key.

Consistently doing small things will lead to great results. Working daily on following through with routine and the things that matter most, create a progressive movement for you and the family.

Momentum that feels successful and prevailing, graduates from a penciled in task to a naturally recurring habit.

I am still in progress, so no I am not a Morning Routine Professional, but I can attest to the glory of progress. Heading to the office early a few days a week has led me to asking myself what else I am not finding time for. Recently the answer has been my health and gym time. Next up, earlier mornings for more self-care time.

What is it that you would like to add to your routine that sits on the back burner?

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. TWO .

Picture perfect routine comprises of what, exactly?

I took that question to some mamas and found the answers were near identical.

  1. Planning the night before, if not for the week

  2. Positive attitudes

  3. Accountability

  4. Prioritize

Tamil, a mother to three darling divas, has learned the art to routine and keeping it simple. She stated that the following is the basic nightly schedule followed to ensure a smooth-sailing morning.

1.     Double check the alarms to ensure everyone wakes up on time.

2.     Pre-plan the night before by making lunches, reassuring all books are in book bags and outfits are chosen and laid out.

3.     Positive morning attitude.

Knowing the fluidity allows for Tamil and the girls to arrive on time to both school and work.

Improved morning routine sets the entire day up for success and lasting change in life.

Keep cheering each other on and loving on the Working Mamas around you. We need support in everything, including morning routine!!

**For more on this topic, head to THIS POST on How Time Blocking Changed my Life.


READ MORE ABOUT  ERIN  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION

READ MORE ABOUT ERIN (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION

WRITTEN BY ERIN PERSON: BAKER, DESIGNER, MANAGER

10 Healthy Snack ideas (and what you didn't know about pre-packaged stuff)

We are living in a pre-packaged world, which means we’ve GOT to be more intentional about creating healthful children. As families become increasingly busy, we look for quick ways to feed our families with foods that our kids will love as well as provide them balanced nutrition. Sadly, much of even the prepackaged fruit and veggies have things added to them, usually to preserve their color and freshness for longer. But if we dig in to what those preservatives are…most of it really is not stuff we want in our bodies.

If you’re thinking, “Well that’s great…but my kids just won’t eat healthy food like this” then I just want to encourage you to know that just like everything in life, it might take time, but we need to teach them how to live well. And because of this, that time is worth it.

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When my kids were really young, I was told that it takes many interactions with a food before kids adjust to them.

In fact, recently a dietician I met with told me 40-50 times.

But let me say one very important thing:

There is no substitute for fresh fruits and vegetable. Period. Full-stop. Let’s just start by being honest. Our kids need it and they simply aren’t getting enough.

Today, with my children, we are a mostly plant-based home and even so, I am still very concerned about my kids’ veggie intake.

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I’ve come up with a few suggestions for quick snacks on the go (and most of them you can have Amazon Primed to your doorstep!). Yes, some of them require prepping but 15 minutes of prepping on a Sunday can change the game. And hey, get the kids involved…create an assembly line. You do the cutting and they pack the veggies.

 Here are my top 10 right now:

1.     Veggie sticks:

Carrot sticks, celery, snap peas, sugar peas, bell pepper slices with hummus or nut butter.

SIDE NOTE: Baby carrots are washed in a chlorine-bleach solution to clean them (!!!). You have to decide what you are comfortable with but in our home, we strive to eliminate as many chemicals as possible. My kids love the many colorful varieties of heirloom carrots so I cut them myself.

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 2.     Bare Products

a. Bare Sea Salt Beet Chips:

You would be surprised what you could do with veggies that aren’t looking as fresh as they once were and a dehydrator but if you are in a pinch, try beet chips. They are a great combination of lightly sweet and salty. This brand is made with only two ingredients: beets and sea salt, you can’t beet that!

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b. Bare Apple Chips:

Just apples. That’s it! We just love these. Oh! And I should tell you that Trader Joe’s has dehydrated apple rings and banana chips that my kids love, too. We call them “sometimes food” because they could literally eat them All. Day. Long.

 3.     SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed:

I love this brand because not only are they organic but they use olive oil instead of canola. Nori is a good source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc. Seaweed is a vegetarian source of DHA. And they naturally contain sodium…whereas most brands add more for flavor. Their tagline is “strangely addictive” and my kids would agree! (They even have Lime, Barbecue, Jalepeno, and other flavors in addition to the Original!)

 4.     Fruit:

Seriously… fruit doesn’t go out of style. If we can get our kids to crave and choose whole fruit, we’ve won! Eat more plants!

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 5.     Biena Sea Salt Chickpea Snacks:

Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), sea salt and sunflower oil make this a better alternative to chips. Folate and protein are added benefits. These are a favorite because they taste fantastic! So easy to grab a handful while working or running out the door. Yay for easy snacks!


6.     Once Upon A Farm Pouches:

Every ingredient used is sustainably grown, certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and can be traced right back to the source. Their food is kept simple and doesn’t contain preservatives, colors, concentrates or added sugars.

SIDE NOTE: Much of the fruits and veggies that are used in Once Upon A Farm comes from co-founder, Jennifer Garner’s family farm in OK!

 7.     Figgy Pops:

I mean, so many good things to say about this brand. Kids love sweet things, let’s get real. The ingredients are real and they don’t skimp on last. These unbaked energy balls are a sweet treat for after school or a kids lunch box.

 8.     Super Seedz Pumpkin Seeds:

You don’t have to wait until Halloween to enjoy these guys! Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain anti-oxidants like Carotenoids and Vitamin E? They can reduce inflammation and flight free radicals. They are also linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers and they are high in magnesium.

And helloooo…curry, cinnamon sugar, and even a dark chocolate and sea salt? Major yum.

 9.  Chia Pod:

My goodness, how I love these. Chia pudding is really fantastic. Chia seeds and pure coconut milk, blended with vanilla bean and a pinch of cinnamon. This simple combo is my favorite but the company offers several lovely flavors. Chia helps to sustain energy, improve digestive and heart health. This power packed seeds provide a lot of nutrition that modern diets really lack.

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 10.  Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips:

This brand is the absolute yummiest. And while kale was the sexy green food for a minute, don’t let trends tell you that it’s out. Kale is still a nutrient beast. I know you may not believe me when I tell you how easy these are to make (I really do promise), but if you’d like to try your hand at it, here’s a favorite recipe!


 We cannot possibly control everything that goes into our kids mouths, but we are the ones who work hard for the money and buy the groceries.

When my kids are 18 they can make all the choices but today, I am doing my level best to fill them with as much colorful goodness as possible.
— Kiesha Yokers

READ MORE ABOUT  KIESHA  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION

READ MORE ABOUT KIESHA (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION

KIESHA IS A PASSIONATE SUPPORTER OF SOCIAL EQUALITIES THROUGH HEALTH AND HOLISTIC LIVING