OK, so here is my situation. Let’s get real, here. As the Calm Mommy I want to show you what my life is like right now.
My husband is away for the week for work. I am pregnant and big and limited in the amount of physical activity I can comfortably do in a day. I still have half a large house to clean. And with only three mornings left of quiet (aka kids still in school) this morning, woke up to three kids not feeling well and one whose classes were cancelled. Hmm. Down to two quiet days before all-out vacation starts for all of them. And the Passover shopping had not yet been done.
Reasons to be stressed? Yup, a list yea long if I wanted to start one.
But I don’t.
Because I AM the Calm Mommy. It really is something I live by.
How? By knowing what it feels like to be the Stressed Mom - seeing what it did to me, my family, my home, and deciding things needed to change.
So, instead of stressing out, I go into “flow” mode. Someone asked me exactly what that is this morning. That is the state of making no commitments more that 24 hours in advance, not even in my mind. It means no long-term set-in-stone planning while hubby is away. It means I will take each moment as it is. It means I am flexible with what needs to get done and when it needs to get done.
And so, I am calm.
And after discovering that 4/6 were staying home today, I made sure they all had what they needed, and climbed back into bed. And slept for 2 ½ more hours in blissful quiet (miracle there :).
Then I got up, ate, cleaned up a bit around the house, exercised, showered, prayed, wrote down most of the cleaning jobs left do be done that are kid-friendly and had one of my kids arrange the post it notes on a white board so they could all choose what they want to clean with a reward consequence built-in, ran an errand, schmoozed with a friend, and took my daughter to do our big Passover shopping. G-d bless her, she did all the lifting, pushing the cart, loading the car, unloading. You name it.
Came home, instructed the kids re storing the groceries, and sat outside with my youngest as we enjoyed a snack – she had a zatar pita while I enjoyed an ice coffee and a cookie.
After some more instructing of kids toward dinner and showers etc, I showered my youngest, did more laundry, and watched an episode of my favorite show while folding laundry.
And when I am done writing this, I will go pile up a huge plate of dinner (leftovers :) and watch a movie.
Why am I telling you all this? To show you my strategies.
#1 Taking care of myself. That has to come first for me. Not just because I am pregnant and have another being to think about. But because if I am stressed, so will everyone else be. And what did we learn a few weeks ago? That being stressed eats up our time and efficiency, while being calm builds time and efficiency.
#2 Along the same lines – I have build in lots of ME time. See how often I did little things and big things to rejuice myself? Coffee outside with my cutie, schmoozing with a friend, a show, exercising. A NAP. These things are vital. For my health – physical, emotional, mental – and for my family. My husband needs to know things are calm here so he can focus on his work. It isn’t easy for him to be away, especially right before Passover with all that needs to get done. Me being calm helps him do his job better. And my kids. I am taking Passover prep easy, and so so will they. And when I help, so will they.
#3 I am not making any room for overwhelm. Remember when we talked about Calm States not just having to do with all the happy thoughts and positive energy we have? It has as much to do with the negative thoughts and energy we have. If we are full of positive and the negative thoughts are still there, oh…it is so much harder to work in the positive. Not making room for the negative though, keeping her out by filling up with positive, that keeps us happy, healthy, calm. So, no overwhelm for me. Just a staying in touch with my quiet place and that deep inner knowledge that ALL WILL GET DONE.
#4 I did get what I could done throughout my day. Laundries, dishes, shopping, showering the little one. Quality time with eldest, bedtime snuggling with the younger ones. I just didn’t stress about it or try to figure out how to get it all into my day. I simply did it. By LIVING IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. By knowing overall what I wanted to get done, what my priorities are – family and house – and then doing it. That is life after Elm. (Check out my FB post today for more on that www.facebook.com/beitroga.)
And with that, I am going to send this out, and go watch my movie.
Come join me and put your feet up.
With love and serenity,
My Friend Elm
For more Pre-Pesach De-Stress tips, check out my free e-guide here.
Or, hop onto Facebook, and check out some helpful posts here.
You can also read the past few weeks' blogs here.
Happy Passover preparations!
I'd love to hear your comments and feedback, so share with us below, if you are called to. :) xo Devorah