Time flies. Anyone else use a daily journal?
I'm on my second five-year journal. I haven't been perfect about keeping them up. I've actually been going back to fill in most of 2019. (Thank goodness for Google Photos and IG story archives.)
Coming back to journaling after a break has helped me to realize that stopping to record the little things makes me feel more relaxed and confident. I think it's because I take the pressure off myself to try to remember everything.
Jotting a few notes down just takes a minute or two. I seriously treasure my journal so much I actually store it in a fireproof bag.
Journal notes from this zoo trip: Nouarie kept kissing me and telling me she loved me when I picked her up.
Happy. Happy. Happy.
Our brains are wired to focus on the negative—another one of ways our brains help us to avoid getting eaten by lions.
Tried all the obvious things and still not feeling happy? Here are some things to consider:
•What are you learning? Geek out on something.
•What is your brain consuming? Turn off the news and delete social media accounts that makes you feel bad.
•How are you processing your thoughts? Find some quiet unplugged time to just think.
•What are you creating? Make something.
All of these things are working for me. Try one.
Friends, I hope you have a happy, happy week! Thank you for making my IG feed happy!
I just realized I have developed a strong attachment to my attachment parenting tool.
I love my ErgoBaby so much. I bought it at a baby resale shop before Nouarie was born. It’s traveled everywhere with us and been used in our home more days than I can count. Today was Noutin’s first day in it without the baby insert.
I seriously just cried real tears thinking about how much I love it. Swipe to even see Nouarie in it a few nights ago while I was cooking dinner.
Friends, to be honest, I didn’t know how much of an attachment parent I am! How have I never read Dr. Sears?!? I tend to stick to brain-based baby books.
Look at this list of his “7 Baby B’s”:
•Bedding close to baby
•Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry
•Beware of baby trainers
This is so me! Right? I just ordered his The Attachment Parenting Book.
Please tell me you’ve read it. And then, explain to me why you haven’t told me to read it!
I am so exited! I have so many things to be excited about, right now. Hope you do, too!
Go buy some plants.
Seriously. You can buy like 10 plants or 10 seed packets for the price of one bouquet.
Don't stress out. Don't read all the gardening blogs---unless you need something to really geek out on.
Watch a YouTube video or two OR chat up someone who works in the garden section of your gardening center.
Buy the plants, a bag of soil, and maybe a pot and some gloves.
Just stick the plants in the dirt, water, and make sure they get the right amount of sun.
They will grow or just get eaten by killer rolly-pollies. It doesn't matter. Do it anyway.
PS If you live in the snow instead of sunny Southern California, maybe wait a few weeks to defrost first.
I want to work from home.
We’ve got this schedule down. Noutin nurses and naps. Nouarie plays (normally downstairs with our babysitter). I get stuff done.
Here’s what’s working:
•Setting daily time limits (about 10 hours a week)
•Following to-do lists
•Dumping all the other off-task ideas that pop into my head into Google Keep
•Blasting instrumentals in my headphones
•Setting my phone behind my laptop
•Thinking of inspirational work-from-home mamas
And just in case you’re curious, here’s what I’m working on:
•Preparing material for my current cohort in my You Before School course
•Getting social media teacher leaders to the Spring CUE conference
•Planning a TBA collab course
What work do you do from home? How do you focus? Share your tips with me!
Educators, it gets my goat when...
schools expect us to work for free AND we do it.
My maternity leave time is giving me plenty of space to read, reflect, reread, process, and just think.
Teachers, we volunteer too much. We donate too much. We take too much work home. We give education too much space in our heads.
I’m so done with all the “work harder” messages. They make us feel guilty for having a life outside of school.
These voices screaming at us to work harder should be yelling at admin, our unions, and the state to pay us more, give us more prep time, pay quality coaches, and or purchase resources instead of implying that we’re not doing a good enough job.
If you are a lazy teacher who doesn’t actually teach and/or treats your students poorly, yes you need to work harder and admin should be helping you.
If you’re reading this, I know you’re not a lazy teacher.
You are probably already doing more than enough.
Friends, we all see and sometimes share the “do more”messages.
Try to filter them and keep these things in mind:
•Teaching is a career, not volunteering
•You deserve time be paid for your time and expertise
•Just because it seems like everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean you have to
•Question and filter the messages you are consuming
•You deserve to have a life outside of school
And feel free to just stick your tongue out at the next person who asks you to do one more thing without offering to pay you.
I almost didn’t post this.
My flannel looks funky. It’s hanging in an unflattering way. But, who cares? It’s just unflattering.
Know what’s awesome? I have this picture of tiny Noutin in front of the gorilla that I can take again and again take as he grows. Even better? His sister is in it, too.
I’ve read the blog posts about how moms are never in the picture. Most blame the dads for not taking the pictures.
I think the blame is actually on us, moms. We worry more about our appearance, especially our post-baby bodies, than capturing a memory.
I’m always working on it. You know I hate it when Nishantha catches me pre-coffee in his home movies. I even refused to let him use quite a bit of footage of me on an outing on the only day I’ve wore jeans since I had Noutin.
I say this knowing I have an easier time losing baby weight than most women. I’m also better at gaining weight than most women. I ate my way to gain more than 50lbs with Nouarie! I just stopped looking with Noutin.
Anyway, mama friends, this is another reminder to be in the pictures, with your whole, baby-creating body and gorgeous, tired, unfiltered face showing! Thank you for the reminder today, @littleskye .
They’re so happy. I’m so tired.
We walked almost the entire Safari Park today. I wore, carried, and/or pushed both babies by myself. I’m exhausted.
I’m pretty sure Noutin’s teething. He fell asleep at midnight last night.
I know sleep is essential. We all need those 8 hours. But most moms don’t get to sleep in and toddler play dates don’t pause for naps.
Thanks for the fun day, @dluvsemma . I missed you and your muscles @raquelly87
I’ve extended my maternity leave twice now.
I was supposed to go back at the end of October. I planned to go back today, the first day back from winter break. Not yet. I’m actually going back at the beginning of March.
This time is considered bonding time. Noutin gets to spend most of his day in my arms or very close by.
Know who else gets extra bonding time? Nouarie!
We saved our money for this time, and I am letting go of the guilt for taking time for our family.
I’ve heard so many of you tell me that you wished you had taken more time and/or that you’re grateful for the time you took. Thank you for leading me and encouraging me to take all the time I can.
Know what’s also awesome? Even after I go back, it’s just a few months until we return to family-filled summer days.
Being a teacher is great.
What? You survived months of neglect?!?
Know what makes a great hobby? Something that will die if you forget about it! My mandarins didn’t die, but plenty of plants did.
My poor garden had a rough 2019. Rolly pollies, tomato worms, rabbits, and our dogs ate more than we did. Remember the mountains of rolly pollies that even started climbing up the exterior walls of our house?!?
It was so gross!
Oh, and then I tired to garden during my third trimester even though we live in a hotter part of Southern California, where it’s over 100 degrees for most of summer.
Yeah, the garden ended up just be left to Mother Nature while I mothered newborn Noutin.
But we’re back in business now! Nouarie and I have cleared out the dead plants and already begun planting a few new ones. One of the bright sides of living in a super sunny area!
Our mandarin tree, lemon tree, leeks, a pepper plant, and one stubborn cabbage survived the neglect.
This weekend, we made an unplanned trip to Lowe’s to pick up the new plants. I knew buying them would make me get outside and get the garden back under control. I spent most of today digging, raking, pruning, weeding, picking, and planting in the sunshine. It felt so good.
Know what else feels good? Giving my brain something new to plan, research, and do.
Hobbies are the best!
Anyway, what’s your hobby? Don’t tell me it’s anything related to your job or your kids—unless you do the hobby with your kids. Work stuff doesn’t count. Neither do pastimes that involve staring at a screen.
🍊🍋 PS We’ll share our mandarins and lemons with you, local friends!
I'm a teacher, mama, and mentor. I created the You Before School e-course and more. I'm here to encourage and share self-efficacy skills for women.