For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.
Today we talk to mom of two, Lauren Baker of Balancing Imbalance.
What does your perfect day look like?
My perfect days go in an arc- slow morning, active and productive afternoon, calm evening. I love to wake up slowly with coffee, journaling and quiet Mama time. Then I always feel best when my afternoons are spent doing something fun and/or educational with my girls, or doing some cleaning and organizing in my house. And finally, my favorite evenings always have my husband, our girls and I spending time together. We love to take walks around our neighborhood, going to the book store, and snuggling together in bed at the end of the night.
Do you have any daily rituals you use to centre yourself?
I do! I try my best to write affirmations in the morning. I open my journal and write at least five positive things to myself. Things like "you are enough, you are loved or you are a good mom." These little pep talks encourage me to start my day feeling good about myself.
How do you balance the different facets of your life?
I'm still working on that! I've only been a mom for three years, and I still struggle with balance. I do try to make sure I have alone time every day, even if it's just half an hour or so, to do yoga and meditate. Our routine usually consists of Dad giving the girls their evening bubble bath while mom spends time in the office. I also rely heavily on family and friends. I'm finishing my graduate degree this semester, so Grandparents and two days a week at a small, in-home daycare have been so wonderful. I miss the girls during the day, but I also truly cherish my education and work. Simply put- I ask for help!
Do you have any special family rituals?
Our bedtime routine has become something we all look forward to. It gives each girl alone time with Mom, and with Dad. It includes lots of snuggles, books, and goodnight kisses. It is easily the best part of my day, and the girls certainly seem to struggle when it's interrupted!
What is the best advice you have ever given or received about motherhood?
Put your pride aside and ask for help. Motherhood is so demanding. Wonderful! But demanding. Asking for help when you need it is not only essential for you, but for your children as well. If Mama isn't taking care of herself, she can't take the best care of her children. It is hard for me to ask for help, but I have never regretted it. There is no shame in needing a nap, or a shower, or help with the laundry. Give yourself the gift of asking for support.
Also, use a red light bulb when tending to your newborn in the middle of the night, and resist the urge to look at your phone! You will go to sleep faster and feel SO much more rested. I wish I had known this with my first born! I was much more rested while my second was still tiny.
What is your favorite part of motherhood?
The snuggles! They're the best in this world!