5 Tips for a Good Day

5 Tips for a Good Day

So it’s February.  And the newness of 2017, the feelgood promise of new beginnings, affirmations and resolutions have faded.

I’m in a rut ya’ll.

Call it seasonal depression. Maybe I need two cups of coffee to jumpstart my mood.

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It’s a tot potty, in front of a real potty with a potty seat on top. We got it covered from all angles.

Maybe its that one toddler is potty-training but now uses the darn thing every 15-minutes. I’d put a diaper on him if I could find one that fits a 40lb three-year-old. And baby #2 is teething and leaves puddles of drool EVERYWHERE. Not to mention she screams and cries at the drop of a hat now.

I’m overwhelmed by mommyhood. I’m trying to balance a freelance career and deadlines with being a stay-at-home mom. I’m trying to stay crazy in love (and not just, you know, crazy and married).

I’m trying to be the Bestest Mommy Ever. (It’s as impractical as it is ungrammatical folks. See what I did there… a little sexy syntax and wordplay for ya Thursday!)

But I’m determined not to stay in this rut.

I’ve been collecting great quotes and positive words on Pinterest lately and I recently came across a great set of daily affirmations from the Levo League, a life hack and style website. The post was from 2015 but still feels timely to me. I shrunk my list and adapted it for my daily life. It’s pretty short, which means if I can master these changes and make lifestyle adjustments, hopefully they will last longer.

1. Wake up early.

Cus opening your eyes just as the first kid starts crying in the crib, which wakes up the other kid, ain’t working out. I start out frazzled and end up playing catch up all day.

2. Read something positive and meditate on how to include it in your life.

Holla. Seriously though, this can set you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. I’ve been reading the book of Ecclesiastes and meditating on Solomon’s wisdom about purpose in life and using our time on Earth wisely. If that don’t set ya straight….

3. Take a shower.

Mandatory self-care. Daily.

4. Text or call two people to say good morning and wish them a good day.

For me, this is about passing on good vibes to other folks. And this keeps me from getting bogged down and drowning in my own muck. Reach out and call, or at least text somebody and let them know you thinking about them. It feels good too.

5. Make a to-do list with five tasks to tackle.

This has been helping me prioritize my tasks and get stuff done.  I keep it short so I don’t overwhelm myself. And if I’m having a slow day, I put in stuff like Eat. Feed the kids. Brush my teeth. And check’em off when I’m done. By the end of the day, I have a record of productivity (at least they ate food, right?)

Short and sweet. Five changes to get you in the mode and the mood to have a good day.

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Enjoying a warm winter day in January.

Life is getting better.

I’d like to incorporate a nap or daily exercise too, but I’m pacing myself.

What are your tips for having a good day?  Feel free to share yours in the comments below; it’s always encouraging to hear how other mommies are keeping it together.

Thanks for reading! Love and Peace!

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The War on Vegetables

The War on Vegetables

At my son’s 36-month appointment (that’s what his Dr called it, can we just say he’s 3!), I got a lecture about how he needs to eat more vegetables.

MORE vegetables? Can you get him to eat ONE vegetable? 

Girl, bye.

There’s a war on vegetables in my house and my toddler is winning. He went from being the adventurous avocado eating, sweet potato-slurping, pureed peas-pooping 18-month-old to the two-year-old who wouldn’t eat anything but cheerios. And chicken nuggets.

Add a year and the war is still on. He’ll slurp the Catalina dressing off a spinach leaf but he ain’t gonna swallow it. I seasoned the green beans with minced garlic and onions like he used to eat them as a baby and he straight up told me “I don’t like it.”

I got really frustrated the other day and tried to force a spoon of honey-soaked sweet potatoes in his mouth. It was a small spoon. Still a bad idea. He immediately gagged and vomited all his food on the dinner table.

Bestest.Mommy.Ever.

I had forgotten my secret weapon. Veggie smoothies! Yes. YAAAASSS.

Ingredients for a simple, healthy toddler smoothie.
Ingredients for a simple, healthy toddler smoothie.

Two handfuls of washed spinach. Some frozen fruit. A cup of milk. Half a cucumber. A banana to sweeten things up. And a tablespoon of honey. Blend it all up.

Green goodness. I put a lid on it the first time so the green hue wouldn’t turn him off.

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Everyday he gets a smoothie now.

He gets his veggies. And I win the war. At least, this war.

Learning to banish negative self-talk

Learning to banish negative self-talk

Refuse to give in to the negative self-talk that happens in our heads. Banish it.

I felt myself retreating into a corner this week, more like a hole. I felt like my creativity was getting choked, like an editor was hovered over me criticizing my work, deleting my articles and replacing type with question marks.

But none of that was real. It was all anxiety, smoke shoveled into my mind to shutdown my work. And I was doing it to myself.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever shutdown a dream, an idea, a vision, with negative self talk and scenarios that haven’t even happened?

Well it has happened to me. Alot. And the reason is fear. Fear of failure. Sometimes it’s masked as procrastination, or mommy brain (I hate that phrase) or fatigue or I-just-don’t-have-time-to-do-it-all.

But I do. I do the things I want to do. Don’t we all? We make time for the things we really want to do.

But if I start, maybe I’ll stop in the middle, and an incomplete project seems worse than never having the idea leave my mind. 

And there it is, an imagined failure over a unrealized plan never set in motion in the first place. Fake fears shoveling smoke and masking fruition.

So I didn’t blog all week. Because I kept looking at my wordpress stats and thinking no one is reading this and I don’t have anything unique to say and those two blog views from China were probably hackers anyway.

But I kept jotting down ideas for new posts, like how my son put himself in a time out after drinking my coffee.


Or how my baby girl, who spent the first week of her life in intensive care, is now wrestling her 40lb brother to the ground.

Or how I spent an hour this week speaking to a refugee family about hope. In Swahili. Yes, I had a productive conversation in Swahili, a language I’ve been trying to grasp for more than five years now.
There is inspiration all round me.  How can I not write about that or share it with someone in the hopes it will inspire them?

But everyone is a mommy blogger nowadays. It doesn’t matter if there are already a thousand mom blogs. Didn’t Seinfeld conceive and write an entire show about nothing? For nine seasons? Is that even a helpful example?

Negative self talk is real and it can feed fears that make you immobile and paralyzed, unable to progress or move forward. I have to banish it as soon as it starts and replace it with positive, encouraging talk. Even speaking it out loud helps to drown out the negative noise.

Tavia you really do have a track record of finishing projects. Remember, you have been a published author and journalist for more than 15 years now. And you just set up this blog last week boo, so it’s a bit unrealistic to expect 20k followers but give it time. 

Yea! Yes! Yaaaaasssss! Take that fear!

Keep it up and I’ll give it to you in Swahili too.