Priorities & Getting it Done

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I've gotten a couple of questions of how I balance everything. Kids, (school, pre school, baseball, basketball, speech, etc.) work, marriage, & gym. I can give you the short answer, which is, I don't. But I'll also explain. There are so many things, that we as mothers have to do on the daily. For me a typical day consists of waking up at 6:30AM, making my coffee, (CRUCIAL) taking my older son to school, dropping my younger son off at pre-school OR speech, working (either at home or at a session,) hitting the gym, & then getting home to help with homework, & make dinner. Weekends are filled with my sessions, & Brae's sports. If that sounds like a fuck ton of things to do in a day, that's because it is! I do get a lot of help from family as well, if I need to drop Troy off to get an errand done quicker, or if I have an appointment, I usually schedule them on days I know that my parents or in laws can watch them. I can't express enough how lucky I am to have both sets of parent's so close by & so supportive, its a HUGE help. 

Something that my husband & I have prioritized over the years, is our marriage. When we had our first son, we prioritized parenting & work. My husband had just started his career, & we were new, young parents. Everyone told us to schedule weekly date nights, & to not get lost in parenting. Well, we didn't listen & our relationship suffered significantly. After making a decision to fight for our relationship, we decided to make our relationship the #1 priority. We changed some habits & really worked on how we treated our relationship, & each other. It meant nurturing each other, even when we were fighting.  Also, when we were fighting, to make a conscious effort to really make it a progressive fight where we work together to solve what we are arguing about. I mean we're definitely not marriage counselors, & we aren't perfect, but I can say that our relationship has been it's best, & we have been our happiest since we have put our marriage first, & my heart is truly happy with this man-- the happiest it's ever been.

Now onto the good stuff! Something I have learned with these crazy schedules is to prepare as much as I can beforehand. My husband usually prepares Brae's sports stuff the night before, so that's already taken care of, I'm trying to get on that "prepare their lunch the night before" bandwagon, but I just can't seem to! It's just not for me, so I make their lunches in the morning.I run errands in between dropping B + T off at school, I have an hour to kill, so instead of heading home, I go to the grocery store & do our daily/weekly shopping. It really surprised me how much I was able to do in one hour!

For the gym, I signed the kids up for the daycare that they provide there. It costs $10 per child, but if it means I have the freedom of going to the gym, uninterrupted for an hour, I'll gladly give up Starbucks coffee to budget for that. Not to mention, that they love it there! They get to play with other littles, so they really enjoy it.

Now for the fun one-- housework. This one of very up & down for us. My husband & I have prioritized the things we really care about. For me it's dished & making sure that our downstairs is clean & clutter free. I hate clutter & feel that it makes me anxious. My husband has taken over laundry (YEESS!) which really helps. Most of the time he just throws the loads in & hang dries/dries the clothes. We fold together occasionally, or I fold & put the clothes back. Since he's in charge of laundry, I do find that it gets done rather slowly, so often times we have piles of laundry waiting to be folded 😂 but since it's not something I prioritize, I don't even mind it 🤷🏻‍♀️ Matt also does a bulk of the cooking, because honestly, I SUCK at it, & his is just much yummier! I should also note that my Mom comes once a month to help with deep cleaning of the whole entire house.

 

What I have found that works for us, & our season of life, is to prioritize. Do I feel it's necessary to vacuum every day, or even week? No. Do I feel horrible for letting laundry pile up? Not anymore! Do I get on the kids to clean their toys up every night? I don't.. but I definitely need to.

What I'm trynna say is that there are things that I find are important, that you might not & vice versa. If you're a single mom, or a mom who doesn't live by family, or even if you do & find that there is so much on your plate, I recommend making a list of the things you find most important & tackle those first. I'm able to do most of my things because I've found a way to manage my time to acquire enough, that my priorities get done. I don't get my hair done often (maybe once a year,) but do find time to get my nails done. I don't go to Starbucks every day/week anymore because I'd rather spend that money on other things I truly want/need. I don't do my hair or make up & put little effort into outfits on my crazy days, because if I want to keep my sanity, I just want to get 30 more minutes of sleep or just time to chill the fuck out.

How do you guys keep up with your schedules, & getting everything done? I definitely have NOT perfected it, & would love suggestions as well!

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Creating Self Love

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A bit ago, I posted an image of myself, in a crop top & folded my jeans to show my mama belly. I had Troy on my shoulders, & spun him around a couple of times. I felt so uncomfortable taking these images-- my stomach is one of my biggest insecurities. I've seen a couple of images of mama's with loose skin showing off their tummies, many of them with a serious or frown face. I wanted to showcase my very real, & very ME body in a happy & real setting. I was really nervous before I posted it, & even texted my mama friends for some advice.

Starting this blog has really opened my eyes to Social Media, & blogging in general, & I see sooooo much perfection. Like fuck. It's so unhealthy to constantly see perfection after perfection, & after a while it really starts to skew reality. I'm not a cookie cutter mom. I don't have the patience to look up & do crafts on Pinterest (even though I tried to do that for a while,) I'm not room mom, & I'm not gung ho about the PTA, or school events. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But I can tell you what kind of mom I am. I am a fierce Mom. One who will do anything to protect her cubs. I am their main advocate, & I support their decisions. I teach them manners, lessons, & discipline them. I am fun, & still hip in their eyes-- at this age I am their friend, & the enforcer. To be honest, my only goal with my kids right now is to make sure they are healthy, happy, & that they aren't entitled little assholes. I threw you with that last one didn't I? That may not be P.C. but guess what else I'm not? Yup, politically correct. Although, you will never catch me talking politics or hot topics on social media.

ANYWAY,  back to the subject. I am human, & I have many insecurities. I am learning to love myself through them. I can go on & on about what my insecurities are, but that's not important. We've ALL got them. Yes, even that super perfect looking mom has some. For the longest time, I was on a quest to find self love physically. Silly me thought that self love meant loving every single part of myself, & not having any insecurities. Not to say that that's not possible, but what I've found on my journey is that it's okay to be insecure about some stuff and STILL love yourself anyway. Yes, I have loose skin on my stomach-- but I still love myself. Yes, my boobs are saggy (sorry to the very few, if any, men who are reading this,) Yes, my hips are wider, but I'm still a bad ass bitch. I birthed two humans. I GREW & PUSHED TWO HUMANS OUT OF MY BODY. My body will never look physically perfect, but I love myself. I love what my body has gone through. I have put it through hell & back with weight gain & weight loss, & it has never done me dirty. I'm embracing my mom bod. It's not the normal mom body you'll see on Insta or any other social media, but it is a body that many of us Mama's have. Also, I am not only my body, I am a fierce Mama, a loyal wife, & a loving daughter & friend. My intellectual qualities far outweigh my physical ones, but we'll delve into that kind of self love in another post!

I guess my take away from this post is this-- don't exhaust yourself LOOKING for self love, create it. Little by little every day. Find new, & old things to love about yourself. You don't need to love every single aspect, just love yourself as a whole.

 Yes! If I'm wearing low cut pants, my tummy has a roll. TOTES NORMAL, & I'm sure 80% of women have the same!

Yes! If I'm wearing low cut pants, my tummy has a roll. TOTES NORMAL, & I'm sure 80% of women have the same!

Thank you for stopping by, & EXTRA thank you if you actually read this whole thing. If you took anything away from this post I hope it's to LOVE YA SELF. 🖤

XO,

Nat

Hi Guys!

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Aaaah my first personal blog post! Not even sure where to begin...

I suppose I wanted to start a blog to show our very real emotions, & moments. The saying is true.. the days are slow, but the years go fast. I want some form of way to document our lives. I love reading about other Mama's & their journeys. I think that everyone has a different story to tell, & I'm a firm believer that it's important to showcase my real moments, not just the picture perfect ones-- & I feel like my blog may be the place to do so. As a mama, I go through so many emotions. Am I doing this shit right? Am I enough?

I also found that for a very long time, I only knew myself as a mom.  First as a mom & then as a business woman. After starting my photography business in 2015, I completely threw myself into it. Everyday I worked hard at being the best Mama I could be, while also building a business from the ground up. I had amazing support along the way, but still found that I lost my identity in the process. Recently, starting in the beginning of 2017, I've made it my mission to build myself up. Not as a Mom, not as a business owner, & not even as a wife-- but just me, Natalie. I've put myself on the back burner since having my first son, 7 years ago, & there is no reason why. I have an amazing, supportive husband, my parents have been so, so, SO supportive (there will never be a way to explain HOW much,) & I have a village of mamas, & friends that have been just that-- my village of sanity, calm, & peace. 

I'd love for you to join me on this journey! Some parts may not be pretty, & I may be raw & vulnerable at times, but I promise to always be me-- crazy, outspoken, & very vulgar, me. Don't say I didn't warn ya ;)

 

XO,

Nat