What burner are you on?

What burner are you on? I have a love-hate relationship with this question.

Being a momma of a newly 8 year old and a soon to be 4 year old, I will admit I often find myself on the back burner. Let’s face it. There’s a bit of a shift when you birth beings into this world. You kinda have to take the back seat for a little bit, don’t you?

Yes…and no.

Yes, our kids, our partners and our families are going to be a priority for all of us. It’s natural to be on the backburner when you’ve got kids and a household to manage. But, when the scales tip too far or for too long, the imbalance can have an effect on everyone’s health and happiness.

And no, being on the front burner all the time isn’t where it’s at either. Ever been around someone who only cares for them? It gets a little old after awhile.

The key is balance.

We all struggle with this from time to time. But the key to keeping it sane amidst all of the action is really in finding the middle road. The place where you’re feeling satisfied and you’re able to dole out some TLC.

two way arrow
two way arrow

Here are my 5 quick tips for finding the middle burner:

1. Schedule “ME” time Yep, you got it. Whip out your week’s calendar and make a date for yourself. Block off a little time for a quick walk, a gentle bath, or a date with your best friend. Do something once a week just for you.

2. Practice saying no Everyone’s life gets wonky from time to time. Saying “no” is a true art form. You don’t need to be ugly or aggressive. Just be honest. The best part about saying no to something is that you’re really saying yes to what you really need. When saying no gets hard for me (because it can), I focus more of my energy on what I’m really saying yes to.

3. Turn off the technology Technology can soak up all sorts of time. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in a week to grant yourself some “ME” time, then try and cut back on your screen time. Those minutes add up pretty darn quick and soon you’ll find yourself getting back to a few things that you really love.

4. Make lists, (and realize that you don’t have to complete ‘em!) Lists seriously up my productivity, but they can also make me a little anxious. There’s nothing like looking at a piece of paper with a whole lot of to-do’s to get my heart racing. So now I make lists, but I’m totally ok with not finishing them. My lists just roll from one week to the next and I don’t have any expectations as to when my to-do’s need to be done.

5. Plan only 40% of your time. If you’re feeling over scheduled and over committed, think long and hard on this one. There really is no need to jam-pack your day. Believe me, the time is going to get filled one way or another. Might as well have a little “cushion” for some spontaneity or even a little solitude. You’ll feel better by the end of your day, and more relaxed by your weekend.

Tell me, how do you get back on track? When things are getting all loopy and crazy, and you can tell you’re giving a whole lot more than receiving, how do you find the middle road? Leave a comment here. You never know who you might inspire.

~ Kristin

Are Your Kids Driving You CRAZY?

I bet you can relate to this scene. It's 5:00 and you've had a fun day playing with your kiddos. Every one is a little tired and a lot hungry- and that's when it happens. Suddenly- the whole scene falls apart. Kids are crying, toys are flying, and mama bear is ready to pull her hair out.

Yikes! We've all had moments like this, but what does it have to do with hormones?

When we're talking about our own hormonal health, these times can really take the wind out of our sails. You see, hormones like the easy road. Hormones are just like ocean tides. They like to flow in and flow out- with their own smooth rhythm. These upsets- tend to put a damper on our day, and they also put a little wrench into our hormonal cycles.

Now I am no parenting expert, and with two rambunctious kiddos in my life, I have picked up on a few tips that help make my day run smoother.

Happy Mother's Day!
Happy Mother's Day!

1. Have Pillow Fights....(every day!)

We all need to blow off steam. Kids- in particular- are holding a heck of a lot in between their parents expectations and school. Unfortunately, when the pressure builds for kids, they tend to let off steam by crying, kicking, screaming, and/or hitting. All the things that we (their parents) just love. Regular pillow fights have been the saving grace for my family. Set the timer for 10-15 minutes, make sure everyone plays safe and have fun! The pillow fight stops when the timer goes off- and yes, I usually have to help with the transition.

2. Be Quiet

When kids get all riled up, words tend to add to the confusion. Stay connected, send them love, and quiet. They just need to discharge some emotions. If someone is getting hurt, tend to the hurt child. Refrain from lecturing the child who is triggered. Hard to do, but it helps. And you can always talk to the triggered child when their emotions blow over.

3. Listen More

Every family I know is busy. Kids have a lot of important things going on in their lives too. And they really want us- their parents- to listen. This doesn't have to happen 24 hours a day- and it needs to happen enough that your child feels heard and respected. So when they come home from school and they want to tell you a story, turn off your phone, get away from your computer- and look them straight in the eyes and have a conversation with them. They will love you forever for this.

These are 3 tips have helped me be a more balanced momma. And when I feel balanced, I feel strong and healthy- and I'm way more in the flow. I'm less stressed- and less stress is just good medicine for any body.

Now it's your turn. Momma's need all the help that we can get on our parenting journey. What is your best parenting tip to handle situations like this? Tell us what's worked or what's left you feel high and dry.

~ Kristin