3 Ways to Stay Sane as a SAHM

For those not familiar with the lingo, “SAHM” stands for Stay at Home Mom. And that’s me. Lately it’s been feeling like an incredible amount of work and I’ve been rather overwhelmed. We were sick with various viruses for nearly 2 months, which put me farther and farther behind on cleaning and various household tasks. I’ve really had to sift through my task list and prioritize to keep myself but going crazy and becoming too exhausted. Here are 3 things I’m doing to stay sane.housewife-23868_1280

1. Napping or resting during naptime. It’s so tempting to run around getting stuff done while the kids are out of my hair. However, that means that when they wake up I’m exhausted from all the things I was doing. Even if I don’t nap, I force myself to lie down on the couch. I either read, watch a show, or surf the internet.

2. Writing things down the second I think of them. There are so many little things I have to do, some more important than others. Long ago, I abandoned the idea that I might actually remember things on my own, and the second the thought occurs to me, I write it down. I have a grocery app on my phone where keep a list of food I need to buy. I have several task lists on my phone and one on the fridge.

3. Clocking off when the kids go to bed. Generally, I stop all work when my kids go to bed. I think of it as clocking off. I stop running laundry. I stop trying to do dishes. I stop making phone calls. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and enjoy some tea or a treat while reading or watching a show.

What keeps you sane during the week?

Essentials Oil and Why I’m Still a Skeptic

I have heard essential oils referred to as “snake oil.” This basically describes something that people think of as a magical potion. I’ve seen folks apply this idea to a lot of things. My chiropractor’s office for instance, thinks they can heal all problems with adjustments. I’ve read books on how magnesium can fix all your problems. I’m very cautious when people act like one thing is a fix all.

While I do feel my family has been helped by the essential oils I’ve tested and tried, I’m still keeping a close eye on the results as I try different oils. I’m keeping a little journal of sorts to track when and how I use an oil and whether it was effective. As time passes, I plan to share my findings here.

The first oil I ever used is Young Living’s “Thieves” oil. It’s a blend that supposed to be great for immune support. I have noticed a difference, particularly for myself. I apply some to my wrists every day and I’ve been sick the least of all of us lately. Immune support is one of the hardest things to measure or quantify in my opinion. Maybe I wasn’t going to sick anyway and the Thieves oil is getting the credit. Maybe I just think it’s the Thieves oil that is helping me and this is a placebo effect. This is an example of my skepticism when it comes to things like this.

I found it much easier to measure the effectiveness of the DiGize oil I used this last weekend (see my last blog post). I noticed my pain was better within 15 minutes from ingesting this oil. I feel certain the oil was the cause of my pain relief. IMAG1034_1

If you are considering essential oils for your family, I encourage you to do your research and approach with a critical eye. I found one blog in particular to be helpful with my own research. Rebecca is the author of “A Beautiful Ruckus” and she posted her research and facts. She has quadruplets and has had enormous success using these with her kids, several of whom have special needs. Follow these links to read more.

http://www.abeautifulruckus.com/2014/01/essential-oils-do-they-really-work-or.html

http://www.abeautifulruckus.com/2014/06/essential-oils-how-i-saved-money-switching-to-young-living-essential-oils.html

Disclaimer: I am not an aromatherapist, and I have no formal essential oil training. This post (and all other posts about essential oils) should never take the place or be considered a substitution for a doctor’s advice. The information contained in these posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions when you are considering lifestyle and health changes.

Thoughts on the New Year

I love the smell of a freshly waxed new year. I know it’s mostly symbolic and I could technically get a “fresh start” anytime. But there is something about January and the numbers “2016,” numbers that I will inevitably write wrong on my checks for the next two months.

As a child, I loved making a long list of lofty and impossible New Year’s Resolutions. As an adult, I refuse to disappoint myself in that way. Some years I made some loose goals for myself. This year I’ve chosen a phrase. While I wish this year was going to be a year of “rest,” I know some of the things it will hold will not be so restful. Therefore, for me, 2016 will be the year of:

New Opportunities

risk, courage, trust

I’m reminding myself to be open minded about the new opportunities that I will and may encounter this year. I want to remember that it might be risky, have the courage to face it, and trust God with the outcome.

Have you set any goals for 2016?

My Favorite Strategy for Getting Things Done

I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post how I used to be a terrible procrastinator. I did. I would put things off endlessly or pretend there wasn’t a deadline. Then the task would hang over my head and nag at me until the guilt was overwhelming.

What holds us back from starting a project or doing a task? I think it is often because we don’t know where to start. We see the whole project as one enormous boulder and no way to get a grip on it to move it. My number one strategy to get a grip on the boulder is to break the project/task into manageable steps.

For example, making a photo book. I did a post recently on steps for making a photo book. These steps could be broken down into even more manageable steps. For example, the first step is gathering the photos. This step could be broken down into 3 steps. 1) Gather photos from Instagram. 2) Gather photos from Facebook. 3) Gather photos from computer. If you able to even just gather the photos from Instagram, you could check off that first step and voila! Progress! I think it’s super important to feel a sense of progress especially during a big project.

Just identifying these steps can also expose what piece of the project is the piece that is overwhelming you. A recent example from my own life is finding dental insurance for my husband. We’ve been putting some dental work off for some time (two years!) because we lacked the funds. We finally have the money to move forward and I signed him up for a dental plan. I expected I would get a confirmation email from the company, but some time passed and nothing came. I found myself paralyzed by this task. I realized that the first step was to call the company and this caused me to also realize that I was nervous about calling for some reason. For myself at least, I often find an emotional element that is preventing me from finishing a task or project.

What helps you get things done?

 

The Story of My Life

A month before my 9th birthday, I received my first journal as a Christmas present from my aunt. I didn’t particularly like the cover (naked baby cherubs), but it started 20 years of journaling for me. At the time I was really into using mechanical pencils because it’s what my dad used. My journals generally last at least 2 years. For a long streak of years, a different aunt would buy me a new journal as a birthday gift.

The first entry in my first journal

The first entry in my first journal

As I felt myself shifting and growing throughout the years, I would start rushing to finish the last pages so I could begin a fresh journal. During high school and college, I journaled the most prolifically. During this period I was particularly committed to using gel pens and wouldn’t journal if I didn’t have one with which to write. I have to admit, looking back, those gel pens were often so sparkly and metallic it is pretty hard to read my entries!

When I realized that Jan 1, 2016 would mark 20 years of journaling, I was pretty amazed. It’s hard to believe I’ve been chronicling my life, thoughts, emotions, joys, and pains for 20 years. It’s been a cathartic way to dump out the hurts and pains of life, a permanent record. A way to look back and even when I doubted my memory (or others did), to be able to look back and say, “That really happened.”

It’s also been a time to highlight special events in my life and has often turned out to be my only record of the people I’ve met over the years. When you’re in the midst of life, it’s hard to imagine ever forgetting these people, but I’ve been amazed how fast some names have slipped out of my long term memory. When I was in my senior year of high school, I was able to secure an internship at the juvenile court as a file clerk (back when I planned to become a lawyer). This was because of a woman named Margaret, whom I met through a different avenue. Although I’ve forgotten her name at times, I haven’t forgotten how she advocated for me and went out of her way for a 17 year old girl.

My journals over the years

My journals over the years

I journal much more infrequently now. The reason is threefold. First, I have so much so say that sometimes I just give up and don’t write anything at all. Second, I married my best friend and so I usually tell him stuff instead of journaling it. Third, sometimes I’m just too tired and overwhelmed to put anything to paper. I did do a pretty good job journaling both my pregnancies, but I did it on the computer because I just couldn’t keep up on paper.

I’m almost done with the journal I’m working through now. The timing is appropriate. This year has been one of enormous change for me and my husband. I’ll be shopping for a new journal soon. I’m looking for something smaller than I usually do, so I won’t feel obligated to fill a large page. Just something smaller, maybe 4”x6”, to jot down a few sentences each day about what is going on. This new season deserves a new journal.