What if self care with kids at home was simple, easy to do, and effective?
Discover the method to design essential habits that work for you - in a few minutes a day - without overwhelm, so that you can feel joy in your everyday life.
It was 2018. I was exhausted, irritable, and grumpy a lot of the time (even if I hid it from the kids, I took it out on my husband). I felt burned out with three little kids at home, no family near by, and a husband busy with grad school.
Everywhere I looked I was told the answer was self care, but even when my husband took the kids on a Saturday morning for some alone time, I returned just as overwhelmed and frustrated as I was before.
I really want to enjoy the years with my kids at home because everyone kept telling me, "It goes fast," and I felt guilty that I didn't like it more when being a mom was what I wanted for a long time.
I kept thinking that maybe I needed a big trip away when my friend came home from a cruise with her husband. She told me she was surprised that she wasn't excited to jump back into life with her kids like she hoped she would be.
And that's when I realized I needed to figure out what type of self care would actually help me feel better.
I was complaining to my friend about how hard life was and all that wasn't going well. She said that was all in my circle of concern (things I couldn't control), and asked me what was in my circle of influence (things I could control)?
At the time I could only think of two things: I could smile (which felt unfamiliar) and I could eat (hard with pregnancy). She told me I would think of more things over time.
Compare That To Today...
I homeschool my four kids, so we are together all day long - and some stay up later than I do reading! We live even further away from family and my husband is now a busy professor. My days are fuller than I could have imagined 6 years ago (and I wouldn't have been able to handle it if I knew), but I'm telling my kids all day long, "This is my favorite part of the day!"
I find fulfillment in doing the household tasks. Instead of sending the kids away to play and leave me alone, I enjoy including them in the work, listening to them, and teaching them how to do these life skills (and have patience for the messes and slow downs that come with a preschool or toddler in the mix).
When I start to feel like I'm on edge, grumpy, and irritable, I take that as a warning light that I'm getting a little too excited about getting things done and have dropped a few of the self care basics that make a big difference.
It only takes one day of prioritizing my self care again (which can take just a few minutes) to notice a change in how I'm showing up to my family, and a few days later I'm back to feeling more patient, energized, and even tempered - you know, like an adult instead of a toddler about ready to launch into a temper tantrum!
What Type of Self Care Works?
I started on a quest to find tiny habits that would give me energy, think more positively, reduce my stress, and feel more connected with God after the conversation with my friend all those years ago. Things that I wouldn't take a lot of time or even have to be done alone - because those circumstances were staying put.
I read A LOT of books (a small sampling: High Performance Habits; Atomic Habits; Tiny Habits; Designing Your Life; The Happiness Advantage; The Happiness Project; Help, I'm Drowning; Own Your Life) and there were clear practices that made a difference.
You might have heard of them before. Things like: exercising, scripture study, prayer, drinking water, practicing gratitude, tidying your space, getting together with friends, reading, and sleep.
I would go through spurts of getting really excited about doing all the things, make a list, and then try to track my progress of doing them every day.
It went GREAT - for a day.
But by day 3 I stopped tracking and by day 7 I had pretty much forgot my list.
The advice I often read about struggling with consistency was to replace your time watching Netflix with the habits you are implementing. But that same advice doesn't work when you are nursing a baby or making three meals a day or potty training or helping with schoolwork.
I simply did not have enough time and energy to do all those things and the things that I needed to do to keep things running, and with pregnancy and then new baby, I couldn't manage to wake up before the kids consistently.
Go Slow, Make it Stick
Two years ago I decided to do something wild and crazy for an over achieving girl who likes to do things all-the-way right (perfectionist?):
Pick one tiny self care habit and focus on it for a month.
I began implementing these habits, slowly, imperfectly, but strategically. In a way that worked for me as a mom with a full life.
Over time, I was amazed at how little time and effort was required to make a big difference in how I felt.
I just needed to make sure I was focusing on the right things.
Mom Matters Too
A monthly membership to empower you to take care of yourself, so you can enjoy the people you love without the burnout.
What you get:
This isn't about adding to your to-do list or putting this above the other projects and goals you have for your life. In fact, there are no checklists in sight!
I will be guiding you through the process every month of creating a simple, effective, micro self care habit with a video training and then you have community support to ask questions, get encouragement, and celebrate your success.
Easy, Sticky Habits For Moms Masterclass
What you'll learn:
Monthly Micro Habit Training
What you'll get:
Mom Matters Too Community
What you'll get:
Deep Dive Mini Courses
I often get emails from moms who are surviving motherhood and have hope that it doesn't have to stay that way, but aren't sure where to start.
The reality is there isn't a one size fits all answer. The journey from surviving motherhood to thriving has many different parts and we each come to it from a different place.
I created a quiz that you can take that will point you towards one of these mini courses that are a collection of podcast episodes from the past six years. They will meet you where you are at and give you clarity and direction on what to focus on.
This is a resources you can return to again and again and you continue to learn new skills and your season of life changes.
If you hired me to work with you 1-on-1, this is the exact process I would walk you through (for $1200) for developing your self care.
But you want to know how you really improve?
By teaching others and giving advice - because then you are more likely to implement it yourself.
By being part of this community of intentional mothers, your chance of success increases not just because you'll have accountability, but because when we learn together, we all progress much faster.
Answers to Common Questions...
What habits are included?
The first habit we are starting with is Time with God. We have people in our community from all over the world with different religions, cultures and beliefs. I LOVE this. So you get to define what specific habit in this realm is most impactful to you (and I break it down as to how in the training in this habit, which you have access to immediately). It could be time in nature, scripture study, prayer, meditation, attending a place of worship, or journaling.
The other habits will fall into the category of taking care of your mind, body, soul and space. When I teach this principle to my kids we draw a tire that has these different parts on it. If it gets a flat because we are neglecting one of these areas the wheel gets a lot harder to push and the load it can carry quickly diminishes.
Some of those habits for body are drinking enough water and exercising/movement. For the mind, reading books and being aware of your thoughts. For soul, connecting with friends and going outside everyday. For space, putting your phone in a different room at night or tidying up one peaceful space.
Which brings me to a new bonus KICKOFF CALL for all founding members on Friday, January 19 at 2pm EST/ 12pm MST! I would love to gather on zoom and find out what your priorities are put the next few months' habits in order. We won’t script out the whole year yet because I imagine that as you start to make progress your priorities will change so we’ll continue to plan things out in the community together (same reason why I only plan a quarter a time).
What does it look like each month?
Each month you will get access to another monthly training and invitation to work on establishing a micro habit in your life. I walk the habit through the 5 step process. The first training I did was 18 minutes, and I anticipate the rest being around that same length.
Then the fun starts! You get to customize the habit to fit you and share your focus in our community. If you want to get in there and report your progress every week - great! If you want to only login when you are getting stuck or have a question, also fine. If you just login once a month to report how things went and state your next habit, that works too. I just ask that when you do login to post, also comment on 2-3 others post so that you are giving encouragement back and we have actual conversations happening.
What if I already do the habit well or just have another focus?
I always want this to support you and your goals, so I created the easy, sticky habits masterclass specifically to empower you to take whatever habit you’d like to focus on and have success with it. I expect that in our community we will all be in different places and working on different habits, and have structured the principles so you can do that.
How much time will this take?
I've designed this membership to not be THE THING that you do, but to be the thing that will support you in continuing to do the things that matter most to you. It gives way more than it takes. With a 20 minute lesson and 10 minutes in the community asking questions, sharing progress, and cheering others on, you can make big strides in how you feel in the next 30 days. The micro habits themselves all take just a few minutes a day, so you can make them fit into any season of motherhood (I'll teach you how!).
I don't want to spend time on social media - could this still work for me?
Great choice! The platform is hosted on a separate website. When you login the only thing you will see is the community discussion - no other rabbit holes to go down or get distracted by. All of the teaching content is on a course platform so if you really want to go at it alone, you can.
I don't wake up before my kids. I'm not great at self care.
I've been there so many times in pregnancy and with babies and kids waking up during the night. But not doing your self care habits solo can actually be a strength you have in your mom tool belt. When you practice these micro habits during the day, you are modeling them for your kids. You can all learn how to take care of your mind, body, soul, and space together!
I’ll also be sharing my strategies and how I set things up so I can have some time in the morning even when they are awake (without the use of screens).
I'm surviving, depressed, and lacking serious motivation to do anything.
Whether it is from postpartum depression or lack of sleep, these self care habits aren't the magic bullet to mental health (I've tried!). However, when I've continued to practice these habits even when I don't feel like it, I still get to experience the positive consequences of my efforts. And when things change and I've had more sleep or hormones balance and the fog lifts, I am so grateful to myself that I didn't completely give up and have some things in place that I can actually feel the joy of now.
Extra Bonuses That Come with Your Membership:
I believe in a whole family approach - including mom - when it comes to making things run more smoothly. Included are resources that support you in creating a family culture of unity, self reliance, and soul nurturing habits.
Join the Mom Matters Too Community as a founding member for $37 $7/month (that's less than a bag of chocolate)!