“Everyday could be wonderful” started out as an outlet for my healing journey. Healing from self doubt and healing from grief. writing motivated me to change my circumstances and gave me a way to fulfill my passion of inspiring young women. I’ve come so far, I have a few years of trial, error, and accomplishment under my belt, I am a new mother with new goals and even more obstacles to overcome. As I continue to follow the template for success that I curated in the beginning stages of this blog I look forward to the personal growth that this exciting journey will bring me.
Last month I went on a series of trips out of state for work. The Mini 3-4 day vacations were well needed. Since then I’ve realized that I don’t take any time out of my day to dedicate to self care. It’s very hard finding hours in a day that aren’t spent running after twins but it isn’t impossible. I was making excuses for why I can’t complete certain task when the reality is I’m not stern in my decisions. If I say ” I will relax and paint my nails when the girls take a nap” that’s what needs to be done. Instead I end up cleaning the house. It’s important to reflect and have a self assessment. I’ve been thinking about what has worked for me this past week. Motherhood is a full time job but you have the luxury to make your own schedule. Clock in, clock out, take lunch breaks, & only work overtime if NEED be! You have to take time out for yourself. It will only help you become a Better mother and woman. It’s not selfish to let your kids know that you’re off duty right now so call Jesus don’t call me lol. Seriously, spend quality time with your kids and spend quality time with yourself. Your family doesn’t want you to be tired and cranky because you can’t seem to get alone time. You will be no fun to be around. My twins are a little over a year old so they don’t understand exactly why I make them take a nap or play in the crib for an hour. Yes they cry at first but eventually get over it. I’m sure they would rather be stuck in the crib verses being yelled at all day by a frustrated mom because they are tearing up the house.
During the week, after I get home from work I feed the girls and play with them until about 7:30-8:00pm that’s their quality mommy time. After that they take a bath, get in bed, and I’m clocking out. They don’t fall asleep right away but that is their business not mine. I’m off duty until the morning. I do of course check on them if I hear any distress cries or if they start wrestling with each other but they don’t come back out of the crib. I need my time to prepare for the next work day, eat if I haven’t already, or just relax and take a breather.
During the weekends when I’m off from work and home with the girls I take lunch breaks. I give myself an hour of me time. It’s not always uninterrupted but for the most part it’s kid free. I put them down for a nap, let them know I’m on lunch break, and go about my business. 9 times out of 10 they don’t fall asleep but they don’t come out the crib. It’s necessary to be stern in your intentions and allow yourself to recharge. For me it’s almost impossible to hear myself think with the girls around. I’m so interested in how how they are learning and how they play with each other. That’s not a bad thing but you need balance. It’s very important to communicate that to your kids regardless of age. They may not understand your words but they feel your energy. Negative and positive. So moms make time for yourself! See how much it makes a difference.
My greatest accomplishments are my girls. I am mindful of every decision I make for myself and their well being. I didn’t have much control during my high risk pregnancy or in the first few months of their lives as preemies in the NICU; those memories fuel me to be hands on in every aspect of their lives. Nutrition is a major part of that. I have not decided whether or not I am going to raise them fully vegan but I have started them off on a non dairy heavy fruit and veggie diet. I choose fresh or homemade as much as my time and energy allows. Lord knows my eating habits can be questionable. Trying to juggle a full time job and mothering twins while transitioning to a vegan diet is tiresome. I no longer buy meat for myself and I don’t have much processed food in the house so it’s either cook real meals or eat cereal lol. My grandmother has been a big help in meal prepping for the girls, but she doesn’t really get the idea of eating vegan. ” They need protein from meat, a vegetable, and a starch in every meal!” Those are her words every time she cooks and brings me containers full of ham, mashed potatoes, chicken all the grandma favorites. I have all this food but don’t really want the girls to eat it BUT it will make my daily routines and my wallet stress free. What would you do in a situation like that? I tend to sink to these low points where I feel like a failure if I cant stay on routine, or if I’m not feeding the girls as healthy as I can because I’m not prepared for the day. As I self reflect I realize that doesn’t make me a bad mother. I am not a hypocrite for trying to live a plant based lifestyle with cheat days here and there. It makes me Human. I just turned 26 and my new motto is “I’m not perfect nor do I strive to be” I will never be perfect with the many hats that I wear. What I WILL do is push through the exhaustion and try my best. In regards to my girls, as long as I’m not putting them in immediate danger I won’t beat myself up over certain things. My decisions with food and other aspects of their well being will be intentional. Will they always be aligned with my standard of living? No, but if I need to sacrifice in order to take 10 steps forward I will happily take a step back.
A good way to sample brands and learn about different companies that make non toxic cosmetics is to sign up for subscription boxes. You pay a small monthly fee in exchange for a curated box or bag of products tailored to your liking. I am a subscriber to Ipsy bags. For only $10 a month I receive 5 products in a cute makeup bag based on my favorites profile. The questionnaire is super easy, just let ipsy know what type of beauty products and color schemes you prefer and what brands you already use or want to explore. Out of the list of companies you get to choose from I picked all the ones that make natural and non toxic products. I am very pleased with the 3 bags I’ve gotten so far. I love the Trial size products. I can try them out see how I like it before I buy a full size.
I wouldn’t call myself a new mom because my twins are over a year old now but I still get a small dose of anxiety when it comes to traveling to new places with both of my girls. Part of it is me. I’m a planner by nature. I need to know how to get there, what the place looks like, will I be comfortable etc. Now throw in a double stroller and two 18 month olds and you have a crisis. I think most moms of multiples new and seasoned know the feeling I’m talking about.
I didn’t start experiencing this until I went through a period of being a single mom. Being the only parent in the house 24/7 was an eye opener. No more waiting for their dad to get off work to go run errands. The girls went where I went which changed the way I did everything. Simple tasks like having to get gas had to be done differently. I always use cash. I prefer not to swipe my card but with twins in the back seat I wasn’t going to leave them in the car in order to go pay inside. I had to start using my card. Getting groceries was a big challenge. How should I bring them in the store? Will both their carriers fit in a cart? I can just push the stroller but how am I going to fit all my items in the bottom of the basket. WTF, this isn’t going to work. That’s a normal conversation I would have with myself while trying to figure out how I’m going to run my errands. I am a very independent person who likes things done on their own time. The only way to figure it all out is to just do it. Trial and error. That’s what I did, it’s really not as complicated as I made it out to be. Returning home after every successful day out with the girls gave me so much confidence as a mom and as a woman in general. I can do anything and everything I want to do. Now a year and a half in the girls go just about everywhere with me. The bank, mall, grocery store, car wash, everywhere. One thing I have learned is to never underestimate the kindness of others. People help me before I even ask. When you put forth effort you are rewarded in the simplest ways.
When I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breast feed the girls. I was determined to raise them on the healthiest food possible, especially with them being preemies. When that time came I wasn’t be able to breastfeed until they learned how to suck but I was able to pump and bring the milk to the hospital for them get through a feeding tube. Unfortunately I was only able to do that for the first 2 months postpartum. I was devastated. I couldn’t keep up with pumping every 3 hours while working my full time job. When you’re not consistent your body assumes you don’t need the milk and stops producing it. That’s One of the worst feelings I had as a mother. Luckily they were able to receive donor milk but eventually were put on formula during their last month or so in the hospital. If I couldn’t provide milk for them I at least wanted the best alternative when it was time to transition off of formula. Through research and common sense I knew whole milk wasn’t it. Their dad and I are both lactose intolerant. If I won’t eat or drink something I’m definitely not going to give it to them. They already had slight stomach troubles with the milk based formula so I knew whole milk wasn’t going to be an option. So I searched for the best alternatives. They need something high in calories and nutritious. There are multiple nut milks on the market. Almond is the most popular, but doesn’t have many health benefits. I started to see hemp milk come up in most of my research. Hemp seeds are high in protein and are a good source of omega-3’s vitamin A, E, b and essential fatty acid’s. Hemp milk also has more calories per serving than almond milk. As preemies the girls need to continue to gain weight and build their strength. I started them on that and they loved it. They started pooping regularly with less discomfort as well. I knew I made a good decision.
I recently discovered pea milk. My twin mom friend put me up on game. The Ripple brand makes a milk alternative from split peas. It has 8x the protein of almond milk and half the sugar of dairy milk. It’s high in bioavailable calcium (50% more than milk), potassium and provides a good source of omega-3s. It also has more calories per serving than all the other non dairy options I’ve seen in the stores. I’m very pleased with the health benefits and girls like it so I stick between the two. I do want to try to make my own hemp milk. The process is simple. I look forward to the peace of mind knowing I’m the one really controlling what the girls are consuming. Fresh and homemade is the way to go. 👍🏾
” I been gone for a minute now I’m back with the jump off.” – LIL KIM
More specifically, I’ve been gone since February 9th 2016. That is the date of my last blog post. I can’t help but to laugh as I read it now. It seems as though I had it all figured out. I was confident that I could stay on a structured path of ” I got my shit together”. Little did I know there would be a roller coaster of events in the coming months that would teach me the power of adapting to what life throws your way. Nothing went according to plan. I fell in love, got pregnant with twins, high risk twins, and had an emergency C-section. I mothered my babies from the outside an incubator for their 3 month stay in the hospital’s NICU. I fell out of love, my body told me to stop eating meat, I randomly started getting eczema, I lowkey turned vegan, and eventually got my family back together. That traitorous journey has brought me back to the path I started on. I now have a new understanding of how I can truly live holistically. All while broke, tired, and with no time to spare. So come, take your jacket off and stay awhile. I have plenty to share, join the conversation.