Everyone has a morning routine. Even if you don’t realize it if you look closer there are probably a small list of things you accomplish for the day before heading to work, getting your kids to school or if you’re like me both! I find that the morning routine can make or break my day.
I enjoy a sense of feeling like I’m in control. Even though I know I cannot control quite a bit in my life it gives me comfort knowing that at least I can start the day in the right direction. Then I’ve learned to bend and sway with the day especially since I’ve had kids. If the morning routine goes smooth-ish I feel confident my day is going to be a-okay. This isn’t always true but it’s probably a 80/20 split so the odds are good.
Here in NY it is winter time. Literally the sky just takes a snow crap whenever it wants and our roads and cars are typically covered in an ice snow mixture it’s really just magical. 🙄 Since it’s like this I’ve gotta be at the top of my game in the morning or else I’m going to be one late mama to work and that’s sort of frowned upon so it’s up to me to make it work no matter the season.
My mornings typically look like this
6am alarm goes off, I hit snooze 99% of the time (I’m human) and eventually get up by 6:20am. Then I shower and after I wake up both kids. Usually this is around 6:40. I make sure both kids get dressed and my husband makes them breakfast. I finish getting ready and then I pack kids lunches and my lunch and at 7:15 I start getting the kids ready to head to daycare.
Now…my youngest daughter while I love her with every fiber of my being she is my wild flower. I don’t have to leave my house until 7:25 but I start the process 10mins before because that’s how long it takes my t-rex to get her ish together so we can get out the door. After many mini meltdowns both on her part and mine about needing to go and even threats of leaving her home I finally realized that this was something I could actually control. Sure, reigning her in is like trying to catch the wind but if I adjust my morning routine I could make it less stressful for her and me. It made the difference. There’s less yelling, less frustration, our mornings are more yoga-esk class than the chaos we were previously used to.
So if you feel like your mornings are chaotic and that it’s bleeding into the rest of your day try to take a look at your normal “routine” and see if there are things you can do to make it smoother.
Some things you might be able to “prep” to be ready for the morning
1) Lunch prep. My son always looks to the cafeteria menu the night so he can decide if he wants to buy or bring. My daughter is in Pre-K so she eats when she gets back to daycare so she brings everyday but it helps the night before to know if I’m prepping one lunch or two. I typically have lunch thoughts in my head at night and sometimes anything that doesn’t require refrigeration goes in the lunchboxes the night before
2) Pick out clothes the night before. Who wants to argue at 6am about what shirt or pants your kid is going to wear to school? Let them help you pick out their clothes the night before to make the morning smoother.
3) Check the classroom calendar. Teachers put time and energy into creating a calendar so we as parents have somewhat of an idea of what our kids will be doing. At least what special they’ll have like gym, music, library, etc. Check the calendar so you don’t get blindsided and have to frantically look for that library book right before you leave that your son swears he thought he already took back but low and behold you find it under his bed. Can you tell I’ve been there? These calendars are also helpful if you’ve signed up to bring snack, or a treat for the holiday party.
Whether it’s meal prepping the night before, picking out clothes or packing up backpacks I can almost guarantee if you find a few things you can adjust you’ll feel more in control and less likely to have tears or frustration from you or your kids.
Final thoughts. Make your bed everyday. Every.Single.Day. It helps to set the notion that your day has officially started and even though you want to so desperately you are not going to crawl back into bed. Also when you get up and make bed try to think one positive thought about the day. I absolutely agree that a positive mindset can set up the day. Try telling yourself the day will be good and you will not let negative events or people effect your mood. Or if you like a laugh do what I do and tell yourself you will not lose your shit like a crazy person today. A little laughter definitely never hurts. Until next time!
So today is my 32nd birthday. It’s been another busy 365 days around the sun and here I am another year older, maybe a small smidge wiser and I mean like end of the cereal box crumb smidge and I’m sure there’s a few extra gray hairs covered by hair dye. The more important thing is that I’ve had another year to learn and grow both personally and professionally. I figured what better day to share things I’ve learned over the past year than to make it a blog post for today.
So what to my goals look like for next year? I’m still thinking about them. They for sure will include budgets and finances, more family time and (hopefully) less internal non stop worrying but will also include travel and more self discovery. It’s what this life is all about. Growing and learning and I never want it to end. Until next time!
Ever since I had my first born almost 6 years ago around this time of the year every year (lucky me) I develop severe working mom guilt. I’m writing this post as much to myself as well as all of you out there in hopes you’ll be a little kinder to yourself and know in your heart we are all doing the best we can. All my best, Kare.
When I first thought about having children I knew I’d more than likely never be in a financial place to stay at home. To be totally honest I never even thought about taking steps to try and make it happen either because I like what I do and I wanted to have a career outside the home. What I was not prepared for was the mom guilt I would inflict on myself for missing things my kids have going on and it gets worse as they get older.
I think to myself “isn’t that something, I don’t even need other moms to shame me like what goes on in the many social media groups I’ve seen I take care of the shaming all on my own!” Seriously though the struggle is real. Let’s chat about it.
Whether you work outside the home or within the home it is almost impossible to take care of everyone’s needs and wants. We already know that most days mom’s needs are in a whitewater raft tumbling and tossing through rapids until eventually they are tossed over the waterfall. Even I can live with my needs being on the garage grill side burner that’s never been lit but my heart just crumbles when I can’t be there for my kids.
We can start with the fact that both of my kids go to daycare. Yep you heard me right and they have since they were 8 weeks old. I feel lucky because even though they’ve switched daycares a few times to do sitters retiring and moving school districts all of the lovely people who have watched my kids have loved them as if they were their own. My son’s babysitter didn’t even tell me that he’d taken his first steps at her house 3 days before I witnessed it for myself because she wanted me to have that moment. Ugh, incredible. Find the right daycare and it feels like family. They do say it takes a village right??
Really I think most people would think I am one of the lucky mom’s which they’re definitely right in some aspects. I do work a m-f typical day job and I’m home every night for dinner and school activities that happen in the evening. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I miss. I’m talking about the Christmas concerts, daytime field trips, holiday classroom parties, gingerbread decorating, my kids school birthday celebrations, you get the point. While I would love to make every one of these special events the teachers create it’s just not possible for me to take off 2 hours right in the middle of my day to go and then bring my child home because what kid wants to ride the bus after making a Sistine chapel gingerbread house?
You might be thinking maybe I could send my husband but he works outside the home too and drives many miles away from home so it’s impossible for him to know where exactly he’ll be at that time too. He handles it with grace as many dad’s do and lovingly tells me that there’s nothing I can do about it and the kids will understand. And to be fair they’ve always been so amazing about it but why do I always feel the weight on the shoulders? Even when I give in and call my mother to see if she can go I’m relieved that they’ll have someone but it still isn’t me.
Maybe it’s the weight of the pen when I write on my daughter’s slip that unfortunately I don’t have anyone to send into school to help her with her gingerbread house. All I picture is my 4 year old with a sad expression on her face just trying to get her house to stick with no success! Or the way the teacher is silent on the phone when they ask if I’ll be coming in to deliver my child’s birthday treat for the class and I say no I’ll be sending it with them on the bus. It’s like I can feel the judgement burning through the phone cable.
Do you know what the reality is though? None of these nightmare scenarios are actually happening. I know my daughter won’t be alone building her gingerbread house because she’s got an amazing school and teachers who I know will help her. Maybe there will be a mom in there who wouldn’t mind giving her a hand or encourage her to stop eating all the toppings so some make it to the actual house. And I know that during field trips and holiday parties the kids are having so much fun and building their social skills that most times they probably hardly notice I couldn’t be there. They’re always so excited to come home and tell me all about their day and everything that happened and whenever I apologize because I couldn’t be there they always say “it’s okay mom!” Finally then it feels like then I can give myself permission to move on.
As parents we are all doing the best we can to provide the best upbringing we can for our kids. We want to raise good mannered, loving, respectful kids and we want to make sure they look back on their childhood with fond memories of laughter and fun. And these things are still possible even if you can’t make every little thing happen with and for your kids. It’s good for kids to see their parents working hard and dedicated to whatever they have going on that’s important to keep the family smooth running. You’re still a good mom even if no matter how you try you feel like you can’t get it right. Your children still love you and think you are the most amazing person in the whole world. I know this is true because I see it every night in the eyes of my kids. This of course being after a 45min argument over why they have to eat their vegetables even though all they really want is ice cream.
At the end of they day none of it matters. They just want to give you their purest love and all the snuggles (take them!). And now it’s your turn to give yourself some forgiveness and self love. Take time to realize what a great mom you are and everything you bring to your family and every other relationship you have. Parenthood doesn’t come with a guide. You learn as you go. Try not to get sucked into all the teeny tiny details because if you allow yourself to go there you’ll end up missing so much and from what other parenthood survivors tell me the the time goes by really fast. Whatever mom guilt you have do your best to let that shit go so your mom flow can be strong because you are doing the hardest job out there and I think you’re awesome!
Take it all in and give yourself love and appreciation because you are doing the a phenomenal job and your family is lucky to have you.
My husband and I used to be really really bad with money. Like addicting to shopping bad. Whenever we wanted something, we went out and bought it. We didn’t really discuss our financial situation when we moved in together so he wasn’t aware that I had nearly 10K in credit card debt while in nursing school and I didn’t know that he had credit card debt enough to match mine. After we moved in we just went about our business and since our bank accounts remained separate we both paid the minimum amount on our cards and just keep everything the same…except we kept on charging. When we got married the debt got even worse due to the cost of the wedding. Even though our parents helped we still had many things that needed to be purchased and our wonderful line of credit was there when we needed it most. Isn’t that always the way it is? When you feel like you’ve hit a financial hard spot tons of credit card ads appear offering zero interest for 6 months or triple points, etc.
So fast forward after our wedding we had sold our previous home and moved into our official “starter” home that we purchased together. Still in credit card debt, on top of my student loan debt since I’d graduated nursing school. I was not interested in combining bank accounts because we both made similar incomes and liked handling our money separately. The issue I’ve learned about this over the past 9 years is that while we kept things separate we never discussed money, hardly ever. Now if you’re anything like me initially this sounds like the dream. It’s been proven that couples fight about money and subsequently it can lead to divorce. So I thought we were ahead of the game. I thought if our bank accounts are separate than I can’t tell him what to do with his money and he can’t tell me what to do with mine. This was the dumbest mistake ever. Because it meant we weren’t talking about money period. Our debt was climbing and neither one of us knew because even though we were married we focused just on ourselves.
In 2017 my husband made a big job change. Like huge. He had decided that he wanted to leave his business where he was self-employed and take a more regular job like your average 8—4. Now initially I was excited about this because it was going to mean he’d be home more and at this point we had 2 children under 3. Then we realized our finances were about to change in a major way. We then decided that it was time to join our bank accounts together.
Now I would like to rewind just a bit in this story because I don’t want to make it seem like we NEVER talked about our credit card issues previously because we did finally have a discussion and we were both working hard to pay off our individual debts that we had. However now we were facing a big financial change which meant we really had to get serious about eliminating credit card debt and putting our family on a budget. Let me be honest with you…it sucked in the beginning.
You see I liked being able to buy whatever I wanted when I wanted. I had this thought in my head that I worked hard in nursing school and I was going to enjoy the benefits of a good paying job after all the hard work I put in. However I also knew that we as a family had big goals including purchasing a new home.
I realized now everything had to change. We sat down and discussed our finances. I started following AMAZING budget/financial experts which I’ll tag down below. I listened to Dave Ramsey and read his books. Yes it was a lot of information at first but one we sat down and dissected it all we decided to implement some big changes.
Things we did immediately:
We stopped eating out. This was costing us nearly $300 or more a month. We always had plenty of food at home but like most people we enjoyed the social aspect of eating out and HELLO having someone cook for you and do the cleanup I mean it’s a mother’s dream not going to lie,
We stopped buying things at our every whim. Even now we are in our new home that we moved into in September and there are a few things we would like to do with it but we pay cash. And if we can’t pay cash at the time due to other financial obligations then the project goes on the back burner until we can. We started thinking about things in categories including want vs. need. We basically started treating our budget like it was an completely out of control toddler that needed a time out asap.
When we started tackling our debt we brought our savings down to $1000. This was hard for me. But I’d learned from reading financial books that money in the bank when you have debt is like adding sand to water. You never build up any true savings.
We got rid of direct tv. Hello Netflix, spectrum streaming and Hulu. Much cheaper and we don’t even miss it.
We switched to straight talk. We went from paying nearly $250 every month to under $100 and the service has been the same. When we want to get a new phone we wait until it becomes a need and then we save for it.
I got a second per diem (as needed) job as a registered nurse for extra income. I worked that job for over a year and now I am back to working just my one Job but I don’t rule out going back because I am Still working on my student loans.
We sat down and starting talking about our financial goals and each week since then we still continue to discuss where we are at and where we are headed. I find my anxiety regarding finances is better when both me and my husband are in the know about what’s going on.
We stopped charging. At least, we stopped carrying a balance. We realized that for us as a couple carrying a balance on a credit card is a slippery slope. So we went down to just keeping one credit card that we use for all our purchases for points reasons but we always look at our budget binder to ensure we aren’t doing any unnecessary charging.
We save for the things we know are coming up. I have a Christmas club account and a vacation savings account because for many years we charged vacations and they can add up very quickly and can be overwhelming when you get back from that dream vacation and see that looming bill. we also watch our family calendar very closely to be sure we aren’t caught off guard by a special event like a birthday, wedding, baby shower, etc.
I created a family budget binder. I am naturally type “A” so this was fun for me. I used Instagram and pinterest a great deal when setting it up because I wanted templates for writing down our monthly budget, tracking any debt we have and making a monthly meal plan. We aren’t always perfect and we don’t always stick to the meal plan 100% but by writing the plans out and having monthly spending goals as a family it keeps us both accountable.
One of the things I was most worried about when this all started was that my husband and I would fight more about money by going to one joint bank account. I wouldn’t necessarily say we had huge “fights” about it but we definitely had our share of disagreements about how money should be spent. It was rough adjusting especially because not only were we combining accounts but we were also starting on actual budget which meant decreased “fun” spending for both of us. But we’ve made it. We have made excellent progress and now just have my student loans left as well as our cars and our goal for 2020 is to put as much money to them as we can with the goal of eliminating my student loan debt by the end of next year.
If you’re unsure where to start my recommendation to you is to sit down and write down all your bills. Don’t forget to include any monthly subscriptions you have including hulu, Netflix, Disney+, ipsy, fabfitfun, any monthly thing you pay so you can see the big picture. Track your spending accurately for one month. Every receipt for everything you pay cash for our swipe your bank card or credit card. You want to see the real picture the good, bad and the ugly.
One you get a month of data Then look at your income and see what the difference is once you subtract all the debts. Then, if you’re wanting to change your situation look at the things you can live without. Maybe suspend your subscriptions for a bit until your financial picture looks better. Stop eating out. Pack your lunches. Reign in your Ulta spending (I know it’s so hard!!!). Watch your amazon prime spending. This is a big one. Amazon has a grip on us all but part of what makes them successful is living on the impulse buy. Everyone knows it is so easy to add something to your amazon cart and just click “buy now.” It’s instant gratification.
I promise you a little pain for the greater gain is worth it. Write down your financial goals. It makes them more tangible. And if you are married or have a significant other you share money with make sure they are on the same page with you. Working together makes it so much easier because you have each other when times get tough and they will. Don’t be naive. Sometimes too much restriction can lead to binge spending and you definitely don’t want that either but we are all human. If you find you had a rough month and fell off the a bit don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off and keep pressing on. You’ll thank yourself in the end when you get to where you want to be with your financial goals whatever that looks like for you and your family. I know you can do this because I did it.
All my best,
Below are some of the financial Bloggers and experts I have followed in my journey to becoming a better budgeter
I’m going heavy for my first ever blog post. Why? Because every year around this time I find myself stuck with insecurity. That bitch just will not leave me alone. So, I’m writing this to you as much to me because I need reminders just like everyone else that I am amazing just the way I am. I hope these words resonate with you and give your something to takeaway.
All my best,
We root, we bloom& we grow. It all sounds so good doesn’t it? Well my friends, I’m here to tell you I know just how hard it is. I know what it’s like to look at yourself in the mirror and hate what you see, secretly wishing certain physical traits you have would disappear. I know what it’s like to see where other people are in life and start letting in thoughts of disappointment. I know what it’s like to be comparing yourself to other people. Comparison is the thief of all joy but yet we do it to ourselves every day. We look at other people’s lives and assume that they’ve got it all together, the total package and we start rooting more insecurities into our own life. It’s a toxic cycle and even though we can post pictures and inspirational quotes like the ones you see above it’s easier to speak it then to truly truly live it.
So how do we fix it? How do we begin to love ourselves? How do we bloom within ourselves and stop allowing other’s seemingly perfect lives destroy our spark and joy? There’s no perfect solution and no quick fix. I know, I wish I had something more to tell you that would point you in the path to absolute resolution. But I do not. I myself have been guilty of losing my joy and allowing negative self talk control my life. But friends all hope is not lost. There are many things we can do every day to bring us closer to loving who we are and where we are in our own journey through life.
The first thing you need to let sink in is that there is no one like you in this entire world. You are and should be the most important person in your universe. It’s through your own eyes that you will develop relationships, experience live changing events and manage through life. The less you listen to yourself and allow negativity to creep into your life the worse you are going to feel. Allowing yourself to be caught up in it will impact the love you have for yourself and those traits just trickle down to the relationships we have with others and our own individual successes in life.
Do what makes you happy and proud of yourself. For some people that may mean getting up and going to the gym, volunteering, mentoring, applying makeup and dressing up, whatever it is. It may even be the passion you feel in your line of work. This is your life and you are meant to live it the way that brings you the most happiness.
Have you ever gotten ready for the day and seen yourself in the mirror and thought DAMN I feel good about myself today? It’s an incredible feeling, like nothing can stop you, you’re the phoenix on the path to blow shit up. Personally I myself get that feeling when I put my makeup on in the morning including my drawn on eyebrows (where my 90’s girls at you know we over tweezed the shit out of them!). It’s just one of those things I do for self care that makes me feel good. That’s what it’s all about, the journey to feeling good about yourself.
Show up for yourself. Think so many good thoughts about yourself that any negative self talk has no room in your brain. Discover your life story and love it through all the mistakes, lessons, growth and everything life is meant to be. Treat yourself like you treat your friends, significant other, family and children. We all want the best for all of them so why shouldn’t we also want the best for ourselves?
So here’s my assignment for you, and for me really because as I’ve mentioned before I am no expert and I need just as much help reminding myself to love myself for all that I am and stop comparing myself to others and their journeys. The next time you look in the mirror or find yourself thinking about your “failures” just remember when we hit a rough spot we have two different paths we can take. We can let the down times seep into our souls and take permanent residency inevitably creating more self doubt or we can really look into ourselves and figure out what we can do to grow from those moments. Progress and growth happen when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and step out of our comfort level. Allow yourself to feel good. You deserve it. You are amazing just as you are and no one can take your inner shine away from you. You are one in a billion and there’s no one that will ever be like you in this lifetime. Shine on and inspire yourself to bloom and grow.
Just for fun this is the link to the eyebrow pencil I use in case anyone is in need of a recommendation. If there’s one thing I damn sure know it’s that I’m not an expert in doing my makeup. Before this product I’d just buy whatever could find at Walmart but this brow pencil is life!
Thanks for taking a few minutes to check out my blog. My goal in this is to share in my journey of “adulting” thus far while including all the good, bad and ugly. Truth be told it’s definitely been all three, sometimes all in the same day.
My name is Kare and I’m a 31 year old Registered Nurse living in New York. No, not the city. Not even technically in “Upstate” NY, more like central New York. Salt city we tend to call it. Why? Because for 7-8 months out of the year we are plagued by snow and the subsequent salt from plow trucks on the road. That or because we have a deep love for salt potatoes. Actually insider news, I HATE salt potatoes so maybe it’s the latter.
Anyways, when I’m not working as a nurse in radiation oncology I am a busy mom to my 2 kids Carson who’ll be 6 in March and Brynleigh whom turned 4 in October. My level of chaos varies from day to day and even though my kids are my greatest blessing and they give me so much love my heart could implode most days damn is this motherhood S#!* hard.
I married young for this new generation at the bright eyed age of 23 to my high school sweetheart Bob, who was actually Robert when I first met him but I’m sure at some point I’ll get into that. We’ve had some serious highs and lows which I like to believe happens in every marriage but we work hard to keep on the right path and we laugh….a lot. I’m not sure if we laugh more at each other or with each other but seriously it works so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
In my spare time I love to read. My husband will tell you “smut” books but I prefer the term “Romance.” I also love to clean which is weird and I love going to the gym. Also weird. More on those hobbies later.
By the time you read this I’ll probably have a few blog posts already authored. If I’m being honest I’m nervous about starting this blog because I am an expert in nothing. Nada. Zilch. I am always learning while I go but a co-worker of mine sparked a fire inside me when she mentioned I give good advice (Disclaimer those are her words not mine))with a sprinkle of humor and that I should put my thoughts out there for the world to read. So, if this bombs I’ll eat ice cream & blame her. Good coping mechanisms right?
I plan on covering so much in this blog. My brain is so inspired as I type this introduction I want to just keep typing all night which is clearly not a good idea.
If you want me to discuss a certain topic or have any questions for me please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I promise to keep you anonymous and also promise to give you my non-biased, non-judgmental views on whatever it is you’re facing because in life, we are all in this together. I mean seriously- has anyone gotten a manual for having the smoothest, most successful, non-stressful life? If you’re nodding yes to this then I expect said manual overnighted to me. I’ll email you my mailing address. SERIOUSLY.
At the end of this I hope you’ll decide keep reading and I hope you find something to take with you out of this blog. Life is messy but together we can manage through all the things. Including life, love & chaos.