Surviving third-trimester pregnancy while chasing two kiddos around

This may be a shocker, but I am blogging about something other than the reality that surrounds us. In the midst of everything, life still goes on and for my “normal” reality, I am 33 weeks pregnant, daily getting more tired and still chasing around two kiddos. There is a lot that I am processing in regard to decisions that have to be made for Imani Collective and our staff, but more importantly, I am first a mother.

That brings me to the topic of the day, surviving being pregnant while still being a present mother to a soon to be four-year-old and toddler! That is right, while everyone is giving you survival tips of how to stock up properly, I am here to give you day to day mama survival tips.

1. Give yourself Grace.
This is probably what I have to daily work on the most is giving myself grace through every circumstance. Every day looks different and I know that as I get closer to meeting my third baby, I am more tired than normal. I desire to be able to keep up with my kiddos or sit down on the ground with them for long durations of time and at this point, my body is denying me all that. It is still strong, but it is increasingly tired and sore lately, so I have to remind myself to display grace, always.

2. Rest – nap when they do.
For all my mamas who are used to being workhorses and super productive (me!), this piece advice can be hard, but truly start to listen to your body and rest. There will come a time when baby comes, body heals, and energy is restored. Until then, rest when you can and play hard when your soul allows.

3. Get outside (or in this time – open a window).
Not sure where you are in the world during this time that this might be limited, so if you can’t get outside then open a window and let the breeze hit your face. Get some good vitamins from the sun and remember that sun was created for our enjoyment. See the beauty in the little things – sun, breeze, pitter patter of feet and laughter. Instead of seeing the clutter of toys, see the happiness of a house lived in well. Being pregnant, while still mothering littles can be hard, but do not forget to find the joy in their silliness, and little smiles.

4. Take it Easy.
You are literally growing another baby inside of you, so take it easy. Pregnancy is a lot. (I am preaching to myself right now) If there is laundry that needs attending to and you just do not have the energy, it is okay. If you decide to make grilled cheeses for dinner instead of a gourmet meal, guess what? It is okay, your kids actually might like it better (oops, did I say that?) Overall, do not be afraid to give yourself a break, aka “grace”, and take it easy mama.

5. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
We are in this together and as your body goes through changes, do not be afraid to ask for help. Whether that is watching the kids for a couple of hours to get some extra sleep or maybe it is picking the kids from school. There are people around you, in your community waiting to come alongside and step in. We just have to ask.

You got this mama. We all got this. Just take it one day at a time.

From the tired, swollen feet mama – sending love,

Motherhood in the midst of Global Chaos

These last couple of weeks have been hard to explain and I bet many of you are in the same boat. For us, living in Kenya, we now just have been hit with government regulations of schools being shut down, no public gatherings, and many events being cancelled. I have been watching all of this unfold from afar and felt like I was living in an alternate universe as we were still going through our normal day to day. All I was seeing was updates and concerns about COVID-19, but nothing was happening here, and no cases were reported.

We now have cases In Kenya and all over Africa. We have officially joined the curve of this global epidemic. This has been an interesting challenge in not just the business world for Imani Collective and navigating our workshop safety precautions and overall loss of sales due to events cancelling, but also juggling the day to day life as a mother.

I know there are many of you – all over the world, who have been required to work from home, so now you not only work full time, but are navigating kids running around you full time as well. MAN, I FEEL YOU. THIS IS HARD.

This throws off routine, mental sanity and overall focus. I feel that in the past 48 hours I have gotten extremely behind on everything because I have consumed my mind, feeds, and conversations around the COVID-19 epidemic.

So, how do we live in normality when our whole world is consumed with the reality of the highly contagious spread of COVID-19? AND more importantly, how can we still be present mothers (/parents) in the midst of all of this?

WELP. I do not have a clear answer to this, but I what I do know is we need to be extremely adaptable, flexible and in the interim create new routines. Here is my simple advice to you:

1. Take deep breaths and know this time will pass. AND together we will get through this.

2. Prepare as much as you can, but please do not panic. We got this and will get through it, together. Promise.

3. Start a new routine. Completely throw away what you knew as normal and create a new normal for the time being. This will be less frustrating then getting frustrated with what has been taken away from you.

4. Embrace the extra moments with your kids. These next couple of weeks will be challenging and as mothers, more exhausting – but let us embrace the little moments we have with our kids. Be creative with being stuck inside and become a kid again (remember, it is okay to have fun even in the midst of all of this.)

5. Let us use our imaginations, bake some more, color some more, binge on too many tv shows we have always wanted to watch, and snuggle with our littles. Since we are social distancing – get all the hugs and love from our little ones.

Overall, be you and know it is okay to talk about other things beside COVID-19. My friend Amanda started the movement #keepsocialmediasocial, so let us do that together. In the midst of our distancing with one another, let us come together and grow with one another.

Together – we got this.

Sending my love to all my overstimulated and overworked mamas. Know, I feel you.