Meet your Newest Craft Guru + 3 Tips of Encouragement

You can now call me the master of crafts and circle time! This has been a crazy time with changing up schedules and losing childcare options. I have now stepped into full time teacher, entertainer, craft guru, while still managing the normal workflow. I know that I am not alone in this as I have been getting calls, texts and seeing many posts all over social media with the same “new schedule”.

Before I move on, I would like you to admire my craft wall my kids and I have created.

OK, thank you for that moment! Now I will give myself a pat on the back, continue to take deep breaths every other hour and navigate another week of creativity. (Thank goodness for google and good friends. What did mothers do before the internet??)

With all that said, I wanted to show up today to continue to encourage all of you, both mothers and fathers, who are navigating home and work life balance during this uncertain time. First, know you are not alone and know that there is no such thing as perfect parents. So, if you are seeing all the well curated posts with pictures displaying the perfect home-school room, well behaved kids and beautiful well thought out activities – PLEASE do not compare yourself to those pictures. I guarantee you on the other side of that perfect picture is a mama getting impatient with her kiddos not posing exactly how she wants, or better yet, a pile of clutter sitting behind her that accumulated 5 seconds before the picture so she could have the room look beautifully organized.

OR maybe not, but I am going to go with yes – the picture is not displaying the whole story, so stop comparing and know your children love you no matter if you make a noodle necklace, draw stick figures on a paper or run in circles all day. THEY STILL LOVE YOU.

We are all perfectly imperfect, so embrace that and know you are doing great!

Now, before I waddle (34 weeks pregnant here) to my kiddos, I have 3 tips to leave you with today in the midst of this pandemic.

1. See the good
We can choose to be inundated by the bad and negative especially in regard to everything going on around us, but strive to see the silver lining and see the good of today. You have an intentional choice to make. You can find the negative and heartache of the world and continue to complain about the new routines or see the good in the midst of it all. Find gratitude and learn to welcome it into your heart.

2. Give yourself Grace
This is a time that is not our normal and we have to start to give ourselves a lot of grace in every little moment. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and not to just push them away. I have found that many of my friends are on a roller coaster with their emotions. One moment they are feeling great and in an instant, they feel overwhelmed with what is actually happening in the world. Let your emotions go, and know again, you are not in this alone. Trust me on this one.

3. Love Deeply
This is a time where we can show up as mother, wife (father, husband), friend, and neighbor. Although we have to be at a distant and we are all navigating this new, temporary way of living – let us still show up for one another.
We are in this together.

From one mama to another – taking it one day at a time,

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,