This post is sponsored by Baby Jogger, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I remember laying in bed one night with Josh, 8 months pregnant with David, and thinking, “I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss just him and me, the freedom, doing what we want when want.”
Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic for the baby we made to join our family, but every pregnant mama has those feelings before a new baby comes.
Around that time, I resolved that we weren’t going to let having a baby keep us from doing the things we loved. I mean, why should it have to be either/or? Why can’t we bring the ones we love with us to do the things we love?
Today, every time I open my phone, I’m reading about something to add to our self-care routine, friends deleting social media apps because they need a detox, videos of influencers crying because they’ve been masking mental health issues for far too long.
While, of course, none of these things are bad, it gives me the picture that we’re in a constant ebb and flow between overwhelm & burnout and self-indulgence. And, most of the time, each of those things is making up for too much of the other.
This, my friends, it not balance. It’s a roller coaster.
Instead of coming out of inconsistent periods of “self-love” and burnout, why don’t we all work a little harder to create a lifestyle that brings us joy that we can realistically maintain?
In this blog post, I want to give a few tips to do just that. Tips that will, hopefully, inspire you to have a productive and joy-filled routine that will leave you feeling accomplished and fulfilled at the end of the day.
First things first – I would be nowhere without my Baby Jogger City Mini GT2
Ever heard the phrase, “A parent is only as good as their stroller?” Me neither, but trust me – it’s a thing.
All of the things I’m about to list below and made doable by my Baby Jogger. This stroller is lightweight, compact, and moves effortlessly! Honestly, what’s more frustrating than taking babies and toddlers out to run errands? Not being able to ACTUALLY get around with them!
The baby jogger makes those problems melt away. It’s honestly the best stroller Josh and I have ever used. Not to mention the kids love it too and are cozy with their memory foam seat. I can check on them with the peekaboo window and store extra nicknacks or even my bag below so my hands are free. If you’re in the market for a new stroller, don’t make another move until you’ve checked out the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2.
1 | Do one thing that’s good for you
At first, the thought of adding something into your routine that’s good for you might feel overwhelming because it feels like “one more thing.” However, our entire concept here is about new habits and routines, not one-off quick fixes.
Doing something good for you might look like exercising for a half hour to an hour every morning or making adjustments to your eating habits. It could mean spending extra time in prayer or quietness, even when the laundry pile is begging you to put it away.
By doing something that will help you improve each day, you’ll avoid feeling like you’re in a rut or losing sight of yourself.
2 | Do one thing that’s good for the kids
Mom-guilt get’s to all of us. There are days when I can feel so busy with work that, by the end of the day, I can barely think of anything that I did solely for the kids’ sake. Some days, it might be all I can do to simply keep the kids dressed and fed (and even that can come as a challenge).
But on the days when I’ve spent some time reading through a preschool workbook with David for 10 minutes or singing songs with Evy before bed, or maybe even got them to eat a few carrots, those are the days when I feel like I’ve done something good for them. Something that will help them grow into the adults that Josh and I hope they become some day.
3 | Do one thing that’s fun for you
Back when the kids were younger and I was home with them full time, our routine looked like this:
- Drive-through coffee stand
- Downtime/naptime at home
- Playground/walk with the kids.
- Afternoon at home or time to run errands
- Cook dinner
- Dad’s home!
Now, that drive-through coffee stand might seem like a weird minor detail to include, but back then to me, it was HUGE. We can debate whether my caffein addiction is healthy or not, but that was my way of rewarding myself for getting a toddler and a baby fed and out the door and getting my butt to the gym. And if our morning was productive, chances are it would set the momentum for the rest of the day as well.
Although it was a huge challenge learning how to get both kids out the door in the morning, I eventually began to love our routine and really felt as though I was thriving in it.
Today, I work full time from home as well as through my blog and Instagram. Needless to say our routine looks fairly different. However, we’re great at getting out in the afternoons and going on pretty walks here in town.
Whatever your routine looks like, make sure there are things in there that you really enjoy.
4 | Do one thing that’s fun for the kids
In the routine I mentioned above, I talked about going to the park and on walks a lot. This was something I did for the kids and for me. Obviously, the kids love getting out and being active, but I also love knowing that I made that happen for them.
For you, doing something for the kids might not mean getting them out of the house, but I do think that if couped up in the house for too long, kids turn into destructive little puppies that really just need to get some energy out. When Josh or I put the extra effort into giving them something fun to do, we all end up feeling way more amiable
5 | Plan for downtime
I get it. Taking a nap every day while the kids nap or are in school isn’t always realistic. But even if it’s a half hour in the morning or an hour in the evening, try to have a small amount of time each day where you let go of expectations for yourself.
Same goes for the kids. Kids need downtime (that’s not replaced with screens) in order to practice creativity or simply relax. Kids can get overwhelmed too and a set time where there’s nothing planned can do a lot of good in their routine.
6 | Maintain an aesthetic you enjoy
Raise your hand if you’ve ever angry-cleaned 🙋. I have too. It’s in those moments when I’m really seeing just how much my environment affects my mood.
It probably took me way too long to realize that I can create for myself an aesthetic that’s tranquil, inspiring, and easy to maintain. It really just takes a little planning and then a few minutes of maintenance each day. Not to mention, as the kids get older, they become a lot more able to clean up after themselves 🙌
Have you worked towards creating a routine that you love? How have you seen it bring balance and joy to your life, even in the midst of running errands, transporting kids, or making it to the gym?