Life As A Freelancing Mom | My Mompreneur Morning Routine

Guys! I just created two new things for you to check out!

I made an Instagram @littlemomlosesit where you can follow my fitness and wellness journey! 🙂

In the same vein, I created my OWN FB “Group Moms Losing It”, for other bad ass mamas who are living or transitioning into healthier lifestyles after baby. 

I figured it would be a really nice place for all of us to share our goals, experiences, recipes, fav exercises(all that BS) and keep each other motivated. So if you think that’d be fun, I’d love you to join.

Okay, let’s get on to the blog…


Hi Gang,

It’s been a little over a week before I weaned Jake off of breastmilk (I’ll get into those details in another post) and to be honest…

I feel really good.

I’m starting to not even feel guilty for admitting that, too.

Even in just this first week without pumping, my emotional and physical wellness have improved. Even though it was hard, with tears and a lot of meditation involved, it was still the best choice for my family.

That being said, today’s post will talk about my morning routine as a freelance copywriter and first-time mom.

It’s taken me 7 months, but I finally feel like I have a decent grip on how I plan my day to be productive as a business owner and as a loving mommy. I wanted to share my mompreneur morning routine in case someone might find it helpful or interesting.

Make My Bed

You’ve heard this one a trillion times before, and so did I.

But it does work. Every morning, regardless of what’s going on (short of an emergency, of course), I make my bed.

It isn’t always perfect, but at least I make it presentable.

I first heard the phrase: “Done is better than perfect” a few years ago.

And it actually really changed the way I view handling tasks like these. That added dose of productivity adds up and helps start my day off with a little “win”.

A small accomplishment that I can “check off” my to-do list.

Workout

So this is a new one since I stopped breastfeeding. My energy is a bit low, so I’ve been just trying to fit it into my day and not necessarily first thing in the AM.

However, in my defense(*excuse*), I’ve worked lots of late nights this week, so I plan to head to bed earlier in an attempt to be a morning person.

*blegh* Self-care is much harder than people say it is.

Anyway, I’m trying to lose some post-baby pudge, but I’m not gonna go nuts. I’m mainly focusing on changing my diet, and only working out for 30 mins 5-days a week. I actually love working out, but it’s one of those habits that I can easily fall in and out of. I’m excited to have the time to do it again.

Meditate

I’ve been meditating at least once a day (usually before I start my “workday”) for about three weeks.

I really love it. I really recommend it. Especially in these 2020-ass times, it’s been an enormous help in keeping me grounded, cope with any anxiety, and learn how to focus.

I only practice my meditation for 10 minutes at a time, but it’s an essential part of my day.

Get Dressed

*slow clap*

Listen, when you work from home… and have spent the last 5 fucking months in quarantine because POS grown adults are too selfish and stupid to wear a fucking mask

Getting dressed is actually something that requires effort. Especially by me, as I lack style.

I heard one of my idols, Tarzan Kay, talk about how, even though she works from home, she always gets dressed like she’s going somewhere.

She said it built her confidence and made her feel good, and I really thought that was a great idea.

Since I have a messy 8-month-old, I’m not wearing anything “cute” right now, but I always make sure to change out of my PJs and into something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to go out in public in.

It’s another one of those “self-care” things that help these abnormal days feel a little normal-er.

Plan Out My Work Day

I use Trello to help me organize what my workday will be like. I create a board/card for each day of the week, then create a “check-list” inside each card.

Each entry on the list is a project and an estimated time-block I devote to it. It doesn’t always match up, being that I’ve got a precious little bean to love and care for, but it’s helpful for sure.

Just having everything organized and easy to “check-off” alleviates my anxiety and helps me focus.

I use a free online app called “Toggl” to track my time and stay accountable. It lets me get a realistic idea of how long a particular project will take and make sure I set a boundary for when to stop.

My current schedule usually consists of a 6-hour workday, 4- 5 days a week. But I really try to stick to 4-days because I want to devote the other days to Jake and other hobbies.

Taking that break is CRUCIAL for me to do my job effectively.

Don’t get me wrong, running my own business means that I’ll work my fair share of late nights.

However, setting a plan for the day lets me say: “I’m done” without stressing that I forgot something.

Drink 40 Oz Of Water

I have a 32 Oz Contigo (I only mention the brand because it’s my favorite) water bottle that I fill up and finish before lunchtime. I don’t allow myself a cup of coffee until I drink at least 32 oz of water. I don’t worry about those last 8 oz, because I know between lunch and dinner I’ll drink that and then some.

Drinking enough water is a hard habit to form, but it really makes me feel better and will help with my weight-loss goals.

Look In A Mirror & Compliment Myself

Old Kenz would’ve found this lame… new Kenz still kinda does. But that’s all the more reason I make myself do it. 

Once a day, I force myself to stand in front of a mirror (which has always been a struggle in itself) and tell myself one or two things I did well that day.

I’ve always been self-deprecating (as most of us are), but I realized how unhelpful that was in every aspect of my life.

Most importantly, I don’t want Jake to imitate that behavior. So, to teach him to love himself, I am learning to love myself.

It’s a rocky relationship, it’s gonna take time, but I’m not gonna give up.

Follow A Strict-ish Waking And Feeding Schedule

I work hard to keep Jake on a predictable sleeping and eating schedule. Jake wakes up between 7:45 AM and 8:15 AM, and we immediately change his diaper and eat our breakfast.

Then, Jake plays with his toys and watches Disney Jr. while I start my workday until it’s time for his nap around 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM.

He’ll usually sleep until 12-12:30 PM, giving me a substantial chunk of time to focus on my work.

We immediately eat lunch (I also break my fast because I am doing Intermittent Fasting). 

Afterward, Jake plays and enjoys Puppy Dog Pals while I work.

His second nap is up in the air, but he usually goes back down between 2:30 PM -3:00 PM and will sleep anywhere from an hour or more.

My husband is usually home before Jake wakes up, so they’ll enjoy some QT while I finish any work I have left.

I try to be done by 3-3:30 PM, but that doesn’t always work out.

Now, this schedule came with effort and age. The older Jake got, the easier it was. In his early months, I could barely put him down (obviously), so don’t stress yourself out if you have less time than you like. 

What’s important is that you be a mommy and enjoy all of that good stuff.

The rest will work itself out.

That’s Pretty Much It

Yeah, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but I’m a routine girl, and having this schedule works great for Jake and me. 

Sleep-training is the only way I made this work

If you’re considering sleep-training and want some insight into my own experience and little-to-no-cry sleep-training techniques, you can check them out here.

I also have blogs about 5 Survival Tips For Mompreneurs and Work-From-Home Moms and 12 baby products that helped me survive Jake’s first 6 months. So check those out if you want!

I send you a plethora of good vibes in this trying time. 

And remember:

Black Lives Matter

Wear A Mask

Vote

Stay Safe, stay sassy

-Kenz

5 Survival Tips For Mompreneurs and Work-From-Home Moms

If you’re just here for the ice cream, click here for the recipe.

There has been nothing more rewarding (excluding motherhood, obviously) than the life-change I’ve made to start my own business as a Full-Time copywriter.

While scary, it has allowed me to be fully present with my son every day. I can be there for all of his firsts, and I never forget how privileged I am to be able to do that.

On a personal (Kenz-level), I’ve been able to find the value in what I have to offer professionally. Finding my path has had such an incredible impact on my self-esteem and mental health. I’m so grateful for everything that has allowed me to do that.

And yeah, I’m even learning how to include myself in that gratitude. I’m learning how to appreciate my courage and work ethic that helps me pursue my goals each day.

It is true, though, trying to juggle a career and motherhood can be a bit overwhelming. 

I totally feel the anxiety and worry that I’m not “doing enough”. I’m not working enough. I’m not mothering enough.

But, a huge part of my journey is learning to cope with my anxiety-driven tendencies. To live in the moment. To appreciate what I have right now without worrying about ‘the bad thing’ that could be coming up to destroy it.

That isn’t easy. 

At all. 

But it’s possible.

I wanted to share the daily steps I take to grow my emotional strength and practice self-care. And, no, I’m not talking about the “treat yo’ self and bath bombs” kind of self-care.

-Not that I don’t whole-heartedly support and partake in that, as well.

But in this post, I’m talking about the ‘hard, emotional work’ version of self-care. The uncomfortable and adventurous self-care that we need to grow.

The “You’re responsible for your own happiness” self-care.

So, make sure to save that bath bomb for the end, my guy.

Meditation | How I Am Learning To Focus On The Moment

Meditation is actually very difficult. If you’ve never done it, it might seem like you just sit there with your eyes closed and do nothing.

And you know what, that’s precisely what you are supposed to do.

But you’d be surprised how incredibly difficult it is to focus on your meditation.

Before I know it- despite my best effort- my mind starts wandering.

“I have to do X.”

“what if I mess this up?”

“WHY DO I SUCK SO MUCH AT MEDITATING?”

Even so, I try my best to implement meditation at least once a day. I usually get up around 6AM, which gives me 1-2 hours before Jakey wakes up. (He is now sleeping through the night, so YAYAY!)

I watched Sarah Turner’s Youtube Video on how she structured her day for productivity and started following her lead with meditation.

  1. I get up
  1. I make some coffee
  1. I meditate for ten minutes
  1. … and breast pump(still hating it). 

I use a few different meditation sessions based on my needs/intentions for the day:

Practicing meditation has really helped me function better. I may not be very good at it, but learning to meditate helps me be a productive business owner, mother, and person.

Time Limits | How I Set Work/Life Boundaries As A Mompreneur

This really came with time, and Jake’s ability to grow in independence, but sleep-training was a huge help.

(Eventually I’ll be posting a blog on how I sleep-trained, and I’ll try to remember to back-link it in this post)

Before I started setting limits, I would obviously work whenever I had a free moment. That included working until 1AM.

Now, there will be occasions where a late-nighter will be necessary, but I started to realize I was burning myself out. And that actually made me LESS productive.

Now, I set myself up for a 6-hour workday, starting at 6:30 am and ending at 2:00pm. I sprinkle breaks Jake breaks throughout, and try to be done no later than 3:00PM when my husband gets home.

Setting these time limits REALLY help me focus, and it shows me just how much I CAN get done in that time-frame. I also decided to work 4 days a week, and take 3 days to spend with Jake unapologetically.

This was really hard in the beginning. I was struggling with a lot of guilty thoughts: 

Wow, guess you really don’t want to be successful at your business if you can’t handle late nights

Wow, what a privileged little bitch to be able to just ‘decide’ she only wants to work 4 days a week

And ya know what, I realized how fucking stupid those thoughts were. I realized that I was so worried about OTHER PEOPLE judging me that it was driving me crazy. For fuck’s sake… what better reason do we start our own businesses if not for the flexibility- if not because I wanted to make more money and work less?

And when I started embracing this mentality, I remembered my reasons for making the career leap. I wanted to make more money and be with Jake. Fuck… I just wanted to be a happier person than I had been for a long time. Longer than I genuinely care to admit in hindsight.

I have busted my ass harder than I ever had- EVER- to make this work. I’ve spent more time sans comfort-zone in the past 6 months than I have in my ENTIRE LIFE.

If there are people in my life who don’t recognize that, it isn’t my problem. I have no control over their thoughts. I only can control the narrative I tell about myself.

And so, I’m learning not to give a single fuck about silly stuff like that.

So, please don’t let that voice in your head punish you for needing a break.

Or- God-fucking-forbid, enjoying more of your life…

Especially if you’re in a creative field. That mental break is crucial for you to be able to do your job well.

Burning the midnight oil 7-days a week WILL happen sometimes… but just remember to make it a ‘sometimes’.

Mentality | How Shifting My Professional Mentality Made Me A Better Business Owner

The biggest challenge you’ll face in starting a business is your mindset.

Most of us, before starting our businesses, came from another company. We had a boss. We were an employee who was accountable to someone else.

You MUST get out of the “employee” mindset to succeed. You have to stop thinking, “oh man, I have to find people that want to work with me/buy my products”.

You must start thinking: “I must find people I WANT to work with/buy my products

Your mission is to grow your business. That’s it. That’s why you’re doing what you’re doing. You CANNOT maintain a servitude/fearful attitude.

It will kill ya.

If you find a client that gives you red flags, then walk away. There are always more.

If you find a client who tries to haggle your prices, show them the door. There are plenty of people willing to pay what you’re worth.

If a client doesn’t value your time, or treats you like their employee, YOU fire THEM.

You’re nobody’s bitch anymore, my love. You’re a skilled professional here to bring your expertise. Act like it. Show YOURSELF respect.

Don’t let anyone convince you that you need to eat shit to be successful. It took me a long time to learn that. 

And don’t work for free. There are ways to provide services without a $$ amount exchanged that benefit you, but you CAN always find “experience” that will pay $$.

I was a doormat for most of my life. I bowed down in the face of conflict whenever I smelled it on the wind. I’d do WHATEVER I had to do to please someone else. Because ‘pleasing someone‘ = self-validation. I had tied my self-worth tightly to other people’s perception of my value.

It was wholly selfish and wholly toxic. And it never worked how I wanted it to.

I know… a ground-breaking realization, isn’t it? *eye-roll*

I spent many years working with people who, no matter what I did, were never satisfied. It almost destroyed me. Perhaps it did destroy me, because I really felt myself on the edge of: “this is just how life is. I am not good enough to achieve my goals.”

Now that I run KBK(Kopy By Kenz), I don’t put up with that. I’ve learned that I don’t have to work with anyone I don’t want to… because there are plenty of people who will value and appreciate what I do.

Those people exist for you too.

If you take nothing else from my post, mama, take that.

Don’t just drink coffee out of your “#GirlBoss” cup. Fucking embody it. People won’t respect you if you don’t respect yourself.

You need to work on believing in your own worth if you want clients/customers to believe in you too.

Routines | Why Sleep-Training Had A Massive Impact On My Productivity

It goes without saying that we need to sleep. 

And when ya got a behbeh, sleep is hard to come by in the beginning.

It will genuinely impress you when you realize how well you function with as little rest as you’ll get during those early months.

If you’re a mom running their own business, then you’re juggling far more than people might realize- more than you realize. You’re now a stay-at-home-mom and a full-time-career-woman.

To make it easier on yourself. Sleep-train your kid.

Like, seriously.

There are many options out there, and you’ll find one that works for your family. Sleep training doesn’t only benefit YOU, it also helps the babe. Giving them the tools to sleep on their own helps them grow and be happier babies.

And when you sleep-train, you open the door to routine.

You know.. routine. A (mostly) predictable timeline to keep you from feeling like the world is on fast-forward, and you can’t find the remote to pause it.

Sleep-training my son has made other aspects of my business easier to manage. I can only get up at 6AM and do what I do because I’ve had a good night’s sleep. I only have the confidence that I can get shit done because I’ve trained Jake to sleep in until a specified time.

Sleep-training improves their naps, as well. Which means I have a few hours throughout my morning/afternoon to work on projects.

And because he’s getting enough sleep, he’s in a much better mood while he IS awake.

This all compounds onto itself and will make both of your lives more manageable.

Rewards | How Ice Cream Makes Me A Better Woman

Yup. It’s true. Every night before bed, I make myself an “ice cream shake” in my Ninja blender.

After Jake is asleep.

After my work for the day is done…

After I pumped for the last time that day…

I sit my ass down on the couch and eat ice cream—every night.

Why? 

Well, I’m like a dog, I guess. I’m food-driven, lol. I love food. I love routine. I love sitting with myself and enjoying a delicious treat as a reward for all of my hard work.

(here’s my shitty recipe I made up if you’re curious… though I’ve been told it’s addicting… so be warned)

My nightly ice cream helps me decompress from the day. It’s almost like a trigger. I know ice cream time = relaxation time.

It’s my ritual. 

It’s my personal “treat yo’ self” moment. It helps me wind down and relax. All that sugar and chocolate gets my endorphins goin’, and it just helps me end my day on a high note.

Yes, there are healthier alternatives. But this is my selfish thing. This is what I do purely for satisfaction. And I’m not sorry lol.

So no matter what you find joy in, maybe set aside some time at the end of each day to enjoy it. Whether that be a snack, or a bath, or yoga, or video games.

Whatever lets you be wholly irresponsible and unfettered. It’s for the sake of BALANCE, my guy.

That’s All Folks

Thanks for reading the blog, gang. I hope it gave you some tips to try out. Everyone is different, but I think all of the stuff I’ve mentioned is worth a try. Some of it is uncomfortable. Emotional work that you might be reluctant to do, but it’s worth it.

It’s so worth it.

Let me know what you guys do to help you “slay” your day. I’m always looking out for ways to be the best mompreneur I can be!

If you haven’t heard it yet today: I’m so fucking proud of you. You are doing SUCH a good fucking job juggling all of this.

XOXOXOXO

Kenz’s Ice Cream Shake Recipe

  • 4 Pieces Of An XL Hershey Chocolate Bar
  • 1-1 ½ Cups of Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor(I STRONGLY recommend Hagan Daaz)
  • About 4 TBSP CRUSHED Ice
  • JU-U-UST enough milk to help the ingredients blend (usually about ¼- ½ cup)

___________________________________________________________________________

  1. Layer Ice Cream
  1. Then Chocolate Bar
  1. Then Crushed Ice
  1. Then Your Milk 
  1. (in that order) into your blender.
  1. Blend that sucker.
  1. Leave In Freezer for AT LEAST 20 mins, but no more than 45 mins

DO NOT OVERBLEND. This is VERY IMPORTANT.

You want to make sure the ice has broken down and there are no chunks left. It will look a lot like chunky wet sand.

That’s what you want.

When you don’t over blend, you get to enjoy a really refreshing texture, and at the bottom of your shake you’ll find some larger bits of chocolate bar and it’s HEAVEN.

This will take some time to “get right”, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different measurements of any of the ingredients.

TBH, I don’t measure, I just kind of eye-ball everything.

How I Came Up With The Recipe (for those 2 people that might give a shit)

I made this recipe up almost ten years ago. I was trying to recreate a Starbucks Frappuccino. I know… how “Live, Laugh, Love” of me.

But in my defense, I was 18, and this was before all of the Pinterest and Youtube videos showing you how to recreate recipes.

I love my ice cream shake 10 TRILLION times more than anything at Starbucks.

I hope it is something that will bring you joy too… just be careful… It’s addictive AF. 😉

TTYL

12 More Baby Products That Helped Me Survive My First 6 Months As A Mom

Hi everyone,

I know it’s been a MINUTE since I last checked in, but I’ve been quite the busy bee, and I’ve been total shit at setting aside time to work on my OWN blog.

Jakey has continued to grow into a more incredible little person day-by-day. He’ll be 6 months old on the 10th of May, and he’s currently able to roll all over the place and is just about to start crawling.

Pray for me.

Anyway, since it’s been 4 months since my first post with my favorite baby products for new moms, I am ready to update my list and share with you the products that have been a HUGE help to me in the past six months. Hopefully, they’ll be useful to you!

So let’s get started because even though we’re all stuck in quarantine, we’re still pretty short on free-time.

Real quick: any Amazon links are affiliate links- which means that if you purchase something using one of these links, I’ll get a small commission.

One: Zipadee-zip Sleep Sack

I’ll go into detail about Jakey dealing with the 4-month sleep-regression and sleep-training in an upcoming post. But, for the sake of time, here is a quick run-down of why I bought this sleep sack.

While trying to sleep-train Jake, the biggest hurdle was weaning him off the pacifier and out of a swaddle. Our biggest problem is that Jake’s other soothing mechanism is that he rubs and scratches viciously at his head and face. Like, horrible.

He also has eczema, which doesn’t help at all.

Aside from the obvious, another massive problem with this “soothing technique” was that he would continuously wake himself up because he’s constantly irritating his skin with scratching. So, he would be right on the cusp of sleep without the pacifier, start rubbing his face and start screaming again because he was in pain.

So I needed to find something that could let him move safely in his crib and keep him from scratching his face.

I had heard of the Zipadee-Zip Sleep Sack and decided to give it a shot because… well… they make your baby look like little potato-sack starfish, and they’re adorable.

I’m equally happy to say that, just like how much I love the Love to Dream Swaddle, I am now in love with the Zipadee-Zip.

The material is durable and very soft. It’s perfect for year-round wear, and it comes in sizes up to 3-years-old.

They come in super cute designs, and they’re pretty reasonably-priced. The two swaddles(one in 4-8 month size and one 6-12 month size) have shipped and arrived within a week of ordering. 

They have been awesome in helping Jakey enjoy the security of swaddling, the freedom to safely move around, and keep him from scratching too hard on his face.

10/10

Two: Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream

Like I mentioned earlier, Jake has eczema, and it’s been pretty traumatic on me because he gets some HORRIBLE break-outs. While I suffered from sensitive skin, I never had eczema, so I had little idea what to do.

His Pediatrician prescribed steroid cream, but that didn’t seem to make much difference. I felt so bad watching him struggle with welts and rashes I couldn’t get to go away.

I tried bath treatments and every lotion under the sun I could find.

I happened across the Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream at my local grocery store, and I was like, “why not”.

I was shocked at the results. After ONE day after using it, Jake’s skin cleared up by about 50%. I almost cried because I was so happy.

(As you can see, he likes it too)

It was so gentle on his skin and super moisturizing. It just works wonderfully. If your little one has eczema and you haven’t tried this baby lotion, I super recommend you give it a try.

Three: Food Ice Cube Trays

So, full-stop, these are kind of stupid, and there are a ton alternatives you could use to accomplish the same thing- but I like them a lot and at least want to mention them.

Once Jakey was able to start eating solids, I’ve much enjoyed making his baby food at home. I wanted some kind of storage tray that was clearly measured to 1 ounce so that I could keep track of how much he was eating.

Obviously, I could’ve found a basic ice cube tray, but I just… I just wanted what I wanted instead of having to test out ice cube trays that may not have been the right measurement.

(Again, I already stated that I recognize this really wasn’t a ‘necessity’ and more just out of convenience)

Well, I found these baby food trays that were not only the accurate measurement but also silicon- so they were super easy to pop the food in and out.

They’re great. I love them, and even though the trays are a little on the pricey side, they store a LOT of food, they’re very well-made, BPA-free, etc.

I am glad that I bought them.

Four: Mommy’s Bliss Little Gums

Another big issue we’ve encountered with sleep-training is poor Jake’s teething discomfort. He’s been teething since he was 2-months old, and they have been driving him crazy ever since. Most nights, I have to give him Tylenol, or he just can’t sleep- especially since we took his pacifier away.

To be honest, I feel a bit lost on this and am unsure what to do.

He also has trouble taking naps because of his teeth. I do everything possible to avoid giving him Tylenol during the day because he’s usually okay(it’s just when he’s falling asleep he doesn’t have anything to distract him from the discomfort) I was looking for something to help relieve his sore gums and teach him how to teeth.

Also, since Jake started teething so early, he didn’t have the motor skills to learn how to use teethers of any kind, even if I held them for him, he really just didn’t quite get it. I also needed something safe for babies to use younger than 3 months. It was a whole thing.

Well, I tried a ton of teething gels, and Mommy’s Bliss Little Gums is by far my favorite. It’s natural and works pretty much immediately.

I pretty much have decided to buy stocks, that’s how often I use it.

Five: Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water Night Time

Thankfully, in recent months, Jake’s gas issues have subsided. He’s pretty good at burping and farting on his own, and he isn’t taking in as much air while drinking from a bottle. Even so, I always keep Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water Night Time on hand because it saved us so many times.

I had a mommy friend tell me to try and mix it with the milk in his bottle, and that was a huge game-changer.

Another great, all-natural thing to keep in the cabinet.

Six: Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula

More skin stuff time. Aside from Eczema, Jake just has general sensitive skin (he gets it from me). Taking baths was lovely, but I was worried about the effect it was having on his skin because he suffered from “dry-ass forehead skin”.

I found this baby body wash after it was recommended by one of my husband’s coworkers, and it’s magical.

It smells lovely, it’s so gentle and moisturizing on his skin, and his skin doesn’t have any adverse reactions to it.

Seven: Baby Teething Tube

This was something I saw all over social media. I was really reluctant to buy this thing because Jakey just didn’t like to use teethers. It was pretty expensive(to me) for being just a silicon tube.

I decided to give the Baby Teething Tube a try when I noticed Jake liked to chew on my finger to relieve his sore gums, and since the teething tube was the same basic shape and pretty easy to hold, I ordered it.

It’s the only teething toy that he uses. And he figured it out immediately. I think that it was worth every penny. 

Even though it’s simple, it’s very well made and soft. Jake’s adorably clumsy hands can hold it easily, and it has some lovely texture along one end that provides comfort when he is in the mood to chew.

Eight: Old Keyboard

This one is more of a “LOL” shitpost type entry, but it’s been a big help in my house. If it isn’t obvious, I spend a LOT of time on the computer working (and playing videogames when I can). My husband is also an avid computer-user, so Jakey naturally wants to play with the fun clicky board.

I had an old wireless keyboard, and he loves it. It’s also adorable to watch him smack and smash the keys because he gets so hype.

Nine: Amazon Echo/Google Home

This is going to go hand-in-hand with another product on the list, but we’ll start with these guys.

I was never really into these digital assistant AIs. I just didn’t need them… until my hands were always filled with an adorable baby.

Being able to ask a very polite assistant to do things like “remind me I have a meeting with X client” or “set a timer for 5 mins(so I can remember Jake’s bottle)” or “turn on/off the lights/tv” has been… so helpful.

Am I lazy?

Yes.

 Could I use my phone for a timer, or use a remote?

Yes, and yes.

But when I’m elbow-deep in a shit-filled diaper or trying to soothe a sleepy baby, being able to just “ask for help” from Alexa or Google has been a pleasant investment for me as a lazy tech-lover.

I don’t mind mentioning these on this list because Echo Dots go on sale often, and I’ve been able to get mine for around $30. While I don’t think it is a parenting necessity… I think anything that makes life a little easier- especially if you’re a work from home mom like me-e-e-e- is worth it.

Ten: GoSund Smart Plug

I mentioned how the Amazon Echo and Google Home went hand in hand with another product, and this is it.

Obviously, Alexa or Google can’t just turn off the lights or the TV, you need some added “smart” hardware to be able to connect them.

These GoSund Smart Plugs not only work GREAT and are easy as hell to set up… but they’re super cheap.

You can 4 of them for $20 on Amazon (I recently just bought a second set)

LOVE LOVE LOVE These.

Eleven: Avent Bottle Warmer

***Quick Note while getting a link for this product, it’s coming up at over $60. I don’t know why, but when I ordered one it was only around the $20 mark***

I almost forgot to include this on my list until I was writing the “Amazon Echo/Google Home”. I’m so glad I remembered.

I originally bought another bottle warmer by Dr. Brown, and I fucking HATED IT. It was $60, and when the store I bought it from told me they couldn’t take it back without a receipt, and I threw it in the trash right then and there.

(I over-reacted)

It just… it just wasn’t pleasant to use at all- and I was desperate for an alternative. I happened across the Avent Bottle Warmer on Amazon, saw the reviews, and since it was only $20, I ordered.

It’s a great bottle warmer. It’s simple, it works, it’s never given me an error message or a problem.

It lacks a timer setting- BUT that’s where Alexa comes in! Whenever I start the warmer, I just ask Alexa to set a timer for me, and I have no problems.

If you’re looking for a reliable, sturdy, cost-effective bottle warmer, this is it. It works so well that it only makes me angrier that I spent so much money on the other bottle warmer.

Twelve: Dragon Fit High-Waist Yoga Leggings

Just like in my last post, I wanted to include something specifically for mom. Mom-bod has been tough to deal with. I’m struggling with it, but I’m also accepting where I am now and that once I fully heal from my C-section, I can get back to working out the way I like.

In the meantime, I just wanted a pair of comfortable leggings with pockets. 

I’m happy to report that these leggings not only have MULTIPLE deep pockets but are also comfy and flattering. These leggings are available in tons of different colors, and I would say the sizing is pretty accurate.

They’re also very opaque, so I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing my underwear.

Hope You Found Something New To Try…

Thanks for popping by this post, I hope some of the products I have shared will be helpful to you. If you’ve used any of these items, or have a recommendation of your own for other moms, please definitely share it.

If you aren’t already, make sure to subscribe because I’ll be talking about sleep-training.

I’ll also be posting a follow-up with my thoughts about the Willow Breast Pump. Since I’ve had it for a few months and think I have a pretty good grip on how to use it.

Until then, stay safe and sane, fellow mommas!

The Truth and Tips For Supporting A New Dad I Wish I Knew About

So, there’s, like… another person in this equation aside from you and your baby. And, like… that person is kind of important.

This guy is called “dad”.

Yeah, don’t get me wrong, compared to what mommy goes through during pregnancy and labor, it’s easy and understandable that dads are told to shut up and go get her the ice cream with pickles like she asked (and they damn well better).

But, in all honesty… daddies are going through some emotional stresses and pressures of their own, and they try, and are expected to be, pillars of absolute strength regardless of their own fears.

Watching my husband’s adventure as a support system through my pregnancy and labor, and then as a new and incredible daddy, I wanted to write a little something in honor of all of the great daddies out there. Because even though they may not be going through what we go through physically and hormonally as moms… they still deserve some compassion and support.

I am so grateful for the strength, love, and support that my husband showed me. I mean, he sat there holding my vomit bags, encouraging me, and feeding me water and ice chips and still made me feel like a superstar.

That may not seem like a lot, but when you’ve been in labor for hours… that was as good as gold.

The strength, love, and support he showed in the face of my C-Section (even though that was the thing he was most afraid of happening), all while always wearing his goofy, way-too-cocky smile, helped keep me calm.

During these, now, almost five months as parents, my guy has been an amazing daddy and an amazing husband. In honor of him, I wanted to write this post in order to give some insight into how I have been working to show him the same support that he has shown me!

As new moms, we’re super tired, and super stressed, and super emotional, and all of the above. It’s easy to forget sometimes that our dopey dudes are feeling the same way, and might be in as much need of our validation as we are of theirs.

Tips For New Moms On How To Support Their Partner

tips for new moms

Patience

Daddy isn’t always going to understand the physical and emotional whirlwind your hormones are putting you through. Especially in those early week, when you’re both dog-tired and all of the learning curves you’re trying to navigate are in full swing. It might be easy to get a bit frustrated with your guy if you catch him snoring when you’re waking up every single time the new baby moves- believe me, I’ve been there, and it’s okay to feel frustrated– just try not to kill them if you can.

Perhaps the most important gift you can give to a new dad is patience. Don’t feel guilty for getting frustrated, lol… I mean, no one can push our buttons like our significant others, but just bear in mind that they have no idea what they’re doing either. They’re as scared as we are, and they ARE trying.

Communication

As with any relationship, clear communication is key to its health and prosperity. Don’t be afraid to be very clear about what you need your spouse to do. They couldn’t read your mind before- and now it’s even more impossible (we know that WE hardly know what the hell is going on thanks to sleep-deprivation, ourselves).

Tell your new dad/support person EXACTLY what they can do to help make things easier on you. Sit down after you put the baby to bed and work up a plan.


For example, my husband and I decided that, since I would be working from home, and he would continue to work outside of the home(for the time being) that I would handle the “overnight” shift (as well as the time he was at work), and once he got home we would swap. I would go to my office and work, and he would put Jakey to bed and respond to his needs until it was time for OUR bedtime.

And on his day’s off, we switch roles so that I can get some MUCH- MUCH- MUCH needed sleep.

Compassion

Like I said, your new dad/support person suddenly has all of this pressure to be a good daddy/parent just like you are. They might feel powerless if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, and they can feel as overwhelmed trying to figure out how to be a rock for their new mommy and baby.

Honestly, they’ll NEVER be as tired as you are. With everything that your body went through during and after pregnancy and due to the amount of energy and stress that goes into producing breast milk… it is definitely hard to compare…

But it’s STILL important to ask them once in a while how they’re feeling and reinforce how proud you are of them. They very well might be struggling with something (stuff from their past, issues with their own parental stuff- believe me, shit comes up when that perfect little human is put in your arms), but they’re too afraid to burden you with their emotions.

Be sure to tell them that they’re doing a good job. You’ll be amazed at how much that will mean to them. 

Confidence

As a new mommy, it’s easy to just say “let me do it” or “I’ve got it” when it comes to caring for our babies. Our protective instincts are in overdrive, and it’s absolutely INCREDIBLE how someone can literally shit and throw up on you all day long, and you still love every minute of it.

Even so, give dad/support person the chance to build their confidence and bond with the baby. Pump some breast milk so that they can have that special time of feeding.

As mentioned above, designate responsibilities between the two of you. New dad/parent needs to have that confidence as much as you do, and whether you want to admit it or not… you need a break, girl. You’re still just a human. You’ll need rest, you’ll need food- you’ll need a shower.

Give your partner the opportunity to say “I can do it”.

Honesty

Honesty goes hand in hand with communication but in a slightly different way. There ARE going to be times when your support person is just… getting under your skin- or you might be feeling like you need more help than you want to admit.

You need to be frank about it. If your partner is doing something that is making you frustrated (unintentionally or not) tell them quickly so that it doesn’t build into resentment. You two are a team, and sometimes we do things that we don’t realize annoy the other person.

Give your partner the respect of expressing your issues in a clear and mature way. It’s easiest to do this BEFORE you start to get angry. Sit them down, explain what you’re feeling, and they will hear you.

Remember, you’re BOTH sleep-deprived and stressed. It doesn’t mean that you need to shut up and deal… it just means that you both need to take a deep breath and exhibit the maturity to address any frustrations before they bubble over into resentment.

All in all, the journey that is parenthood will be the most awesome thing you will ever experience.

… and watching your partner blossom as a parent will make you fall in love with them in ways you didn’t think were possible.

Your love created the life you both now take responsibility for, and your love will be the foundation for your baby’s health and happiness.

You both are doing amazing. YOU are being an amazing mommy even if you DO snap at your partner once in a while… cuz you’re gonna.

But, hopefully, you’ll keep this post in the back of your mind, and it can help you when things might get a bit frustrating… cuz they’re gonna.

After all, due to good old Corona, you two might be spending WA-A-AY more time together in the house than usual, so it’s good to try and keep things in perspective. If nothing else, this “social distancing” and “self-quarantining” is a great way to spend some quality time together and grow.

Please, please- please stay safe.

Don’t be a dick and hoard all the toilet paper and other necessities.

And wash yo damn hands.

Love ya all!

What A New Mom REALLY Wants For Valentines Day

Alright, this post is actually for the life partners of new mommies. That’s right, so fellow noob moms, go ahead forward this post to your partner and skedaddle out of the room.

I dunno… go watch Netflix or something…

Alright… is she gone?

Are you sure?

Alright, good.

Now that your new mom is out of the way- let’s get down to business, my dear support person.

Firstly: how are you? Are you doing alright? 

I know that sometimes you get lost in the fray when the baby comes, so I just wanted to take a second and let YOU know that you’re ALSO doing a great job, and your new mom appreciates everything you do. 

With Valentines Day approaching, I know it might be hard to find a spare moment to yourselves to celebrate, so I wanted to create this helpful little post as a means of sharing with you precisely what your new mom really wants for Valentine’s Day.

Sure, by all means, grab her some flowers, chocolates, anything she might like- but if you really want to put a huge smile on her face, then stay tuned, because this post is going to tell you precisely how to do it. 

So let’s talk about…

What A New Mom REALLY Wants For Valentine’s Day.

Sleep

I’m going to make this easy. I’m putting THE top gift as our first entry- emphatic order be damned. If you want to give your precious new mom the best Valentine’s Day ever, then give her a full night’s sleep– hell, if you’re feeling spicy, give her a few!

There’s nothing she wants- or needs– more right now than a solid night’s sleep. So, if you can help her out as much as possible, then do so. 

It might be tough if your new mom is choosing to breastfeed exclusively, but even if you sit with her during the feedings, or see if she’s willing to do a bit of extra pumping throughout the day if she can that could cover the night feedings!

But even if you just sit up with her during those lonely hours of the wee morning, rub her back, tell her how great of a job she’s doing- those are the types of gestures that will be the greatest gift.

An Empty Sink

Nothing gets neglected like housework when a new baby comes. Even though a baby takes up a ton of her attention, it doesn’t mean that the sink full of dishes, or the unmade bed, aren’t driving your new mom absolutely crazy.

If you want a sure-fire way to make her Valentine’s Day rock, see if you can find the time to tidy up! Maybe even convince her to take a nap once the baby goes down(again, sleep is king), and you can have a lovely clean house ready for her when she wakes up.

Clean Hands

You both probably have never handled so much shit in your lives… literally

It’s no joke how often such a tiny body can produce so many dirty diapers. Do your special new mom a solid, take on diaper duty for the day. Taking on diapers for the day is ESPECIALLY helpful if your new mom is exclusively breastfeeding, as all of the baby’s feedings are most likely on her to perform.

To her, just knowing she has those few extra minutes of free time afforded to her can make a HUGE difference. 

Not to mention, diaper changes can be a pretty fun way to get that extra bonding time in with your little one!

To FINALLY Finish That One Episode of That ONE Show On Netflix

Sometimes the best gift can just be getting through one episode of her favorite show without having to pause it to tend to a crying baby, so give mamma a break, leave her with a gift basket of her favorite snacks to binge-watch her favorite show, and hang with the little one for a few hours.

At-Home Spa Day

Even though mommy might normally enjoy visiting the spa, early motherhood means she might lack the energy, and maybe even a bit of the desire to be away from the baby so long.

So, why not bring a spa day to her?

Buy her a little basket of bath soaps, bath bombs, lotions- you get the idea…  Light some candles and throw a few rose petals around that freshly cleaned bathroom, and let the love of your life enjoy a little homemade R&R while you and baby are right down the hall where she can get her fill of baby cuddles whenever she wants.

Hell, if you want to go all-out, have a massage therapist make a house call, and you can either give her a private massage in the living room; or have a friend or family member pay a visit so they can care for the baby while you both enjoy a couple’s massage.

Hell… there comes the point when, if mommy could just sneak in a hot shower, it could feel like a spa day in itself.

Hopefully, it’s easy to see that the undercurrent of all of these gift ideas is quite simple… 

Your new mom needs a bit of relaxation. Sometimes she won’t even realize she needs the break, but that’s where you come in, ever-so-important support partner. You can be that safety net that catches her when she’s running on E. 

Your role is so important, and support and love is truly the greatest gift you can give a new mom. Even something as seemingly simple as: “you’re doing a great job” can mean the world to her.

But that doesn’t mean your new mom might not enjoy a trip to the spa.

It couldn’t hurt.

You know what…? Go ahead and get her the gift card to the spa to be safe…

Alright, friends, no matter how you choose to celebrate, may you have a pretty stellar Valentine’s Day!

Yeah, I know it’s a corporate construct developed to sell needless merchandise and overly expensive cards… but hey, think of it as an excellent excuse for some tasty takeout, if nothing else.

Take it easy!

8 Organizing Tips For New Moms

Hello There!

You’re friendly neighborhood noob mom here! I hope that your start of 2020 has been fantastic, and with a budding new year, we’re all rearing to improve some aspect of our lives for the better.

Some of us want to drop that last ten pounds, or clear out the clutter we’ve been compiling in our basement!

Well, if you’re a new mom in a new decade (like myself), doing any kind of spring cleaning feels overwhelming. When you bring home a new baby, you’re often desperate just to make sure you have all of the necessities in arms reach.

If you’re anything like me, my first week or two was baby supplies everywhere, dirty baby clothes in a pile, and far too many dishes in the sink.

Frankly, I’ve mentioned previously that clutter and a lack of organization can actually cause me more anxiety than not. I tend to be someone who finds peace and relaxation in cleaning- and especially in knowing there’s a place for everything. Clutter, almost literally, makes it impossible for me to relax.

This post is for those of you who, like me, need a bit of organization in your life, but could use a few quick tips to get you started.

Welp, I’m here to try and lend a hand, fellow noob mom, and so I would like to share with you my…

8 Organizing Tips For New Moms

We’ll talk about products and tactics that have helped me keep my house(and my mind) neat and tidy(almost- I am still a new mom with very little time lol).

Anyway, let’s get it started!

Set Up Multiple Stations

So, one of the most significant contributors to an organized lifestyle is convenience. It’s much easier to stay neat when you make it easy on yourself. When it comes to baby stuff, for example, you’re much less likely to put baby clothes in a hamper if it’s close by, instead of only upstairs in the baby’s room.

With that in mind, my first suggestion is to set up at least two “baby stations” in your home. Like, one upstairs, and one downstairs, for example.

Personally, I have all baby-related necessities in:

  1. Jake’s room
  2. My Room Under His Bassinet
  3. Family Room

In the Family Room, I simply purchased one set of 3-tier plastic drawers from Target, and I stored diapers and wipes in one drawer, extra outfits, and accessories in the second; and finally supplies like pacifiers, gas relief drops, diaper rash cream, etc… in the last.

Just the stuff I know I am most likely to be using often enough that running up to Jake’s room would be inconvenient to do 20 times a day.

By having these drawers, I’m able to use my supplies and put them right back in the drawer without having to put in too much extra effort.

I also have a hamper for dirty clothes, and a diaper genie in my family room and my bedroom, too.

Define A Specific Area In Your Kitchen For All Baby-Related Feeding Products

I mentioned the wire countertop storage drawers I ordered in my “C-Section” blog, and they were PERFECT for storing all of Jake’s eating accessories.

However, I also made sure that the area I set these drawers up had enough room to make sure I had a bit of extra room for any additional products that wouldn’t fit in the drawers like distilled water and formula.

I also emptied out a specific drawer close by that I store my extra breastfeeding accessories.

Having all of my baby’s feeding accessories in one place makes the, incredibly convenient and easy to reach, while also stored in a spot that doesn’t make my eye twitch from an over-cluttered countertop.

Make A Breastfeeding Basket

I actually need to take my own advice on this one a bit better than I have been. Regardless of whether you’re pumping, breastfeeding, or both, it’s an excellent idea to set yourself up with a little breastfeeding basket that you can keep all of the things you need to have in easy reach.

For example:

  • Water Bottle
  • Easy-To-Eat Snacks
  • Tissues
  • Burp Rags
  • Daily Vitamins(to help you remember to take them)
  • Phone Charger
  • More snacks(I get super hungry from pumping)

Basically, yet again, just anything that you would like to have on-hand when you’re hands are full with a baby, or you’re tied down to a breast pump.

You can get yourself a nice bag or basket that you can store closeby without having to have all of your supplies lying around.

You can also make sure that you “restock and replenish” your basket right before bed each night; that way, you don’t have to worry about trying to get all of your supplies together with a hungry, angry little baby wiggling around in your arms.

Take That Extra Step

I know pretty much all of my previous organizing tips were entirely about helping you avoid any extra effort, but this one is a bit different.

Think of this tip as a “why do tomorrow what you can do today”. If you finish a bowl of cereal, do your best to get up and bring it to the sink- because, eventually, your coffee table could be a smorgasbord of all of your snacks and meals.

If you’re getting dressed, take the extra minute just to tidy up your bed. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, I once heard the phrase: “done is better than perfect,” and it really resonated with me. I find myself repeating it in those moments when I’m tempted to neglect a small task that is inconvenient but not impossible.

Hence: even if you don’t have the time or energy to wash the cereal bowl right then and there… at least it’s in the sink and not on the coffee table.

Keep 2 Diaper Bags

Excessive, maybe… but there’s nothing more ass-clenching than being a new mom and realizing you’ve forgotten the diaper bag as your baby has shit all over themselves in the middle of the mall.

A really great way to always be prepared is to create two diaper bags, and keeping one in your car, and one in your support person’s car.

I even have a diaper bag for long trips and one for quick trips!

Keep A Journal

Now, I’ve never personally been a big journaler; and that’s mostly because I choose to paint or draw instead. Even so, I think journaling is an incredible way to relieve stress and help you work through any sticky shit in your soul!

But, if journaling isn’t your thing, then my advice on this tip is just to find something to help you declutter your brain.

It may seem impossible to find a moment to yourself, and when you DO finally get the baby down for a nap, you’re compelled to either scramble around trying to tidy up or get that well-deserved nap.

By all means, take that nap… HOWEVER, I truly recommend you make more of an effort to set aside some of the baby’s naptime for your emotional organization over home organization. 

Even if it’s just fifteen minutes of journaling, or painting, or meditation – HELL, even if you just feel like sitting down and watching youtube… just make an effort to do something that helps you decompress.

HELL, find a NEW hobby like journaling or painting! Being a new mom means a lifetime of new things- why not take a chance to take on something just for mom?

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Journaling, and how to get started, then I emphatically recommend you visit my friend over at Paper Thoughts

They are an incredible resource for anyone who would love to express themselves in a creative and therapeutic capacity.

But their work is especially beneficial and geared toward educating children about healthy coping skills!

paperthoughtsprogram.com is full of resources and prompts to get you inspired to write!

Create A Cleaning Routine With Your Partner

Considering the fact that you’re reading this blog, it is very likely that you like things in order. There are very few ways of maintaining an orderly day that is more reliable than creating a routine.

When you create an easy-to-follow cleaning routine, your household can be ahead of any messes each day. After all, it’s better to tidy as you go, than to be faced with a day’s worth of dishes(back to the cereal bowl idea).

If you want an easy sheet to introduce to your family organizing routine, check out my… 

FREE

Easy Organization Schedule Sheet

With this easy to use printable, you and your partner can set up a concise and successful cleaning routine that won’t make anyone feel frustrated or unappreciated.

Just plug your email below, and you’ll receive the FREE print out in your inbox!

    Donate

    With the new decade in full swing, a cleanse can sometimes be the best medicine. Not to mention, you itty bitty baby is going to grow far too quickly! 

    A great way to keep organized is to get rid of as much unnecessary clutter as possible. Take a few hours throughout the day(as you have them) to go through your closet during nap time, or when the baby is relaxing, and sort through your old clothes to figure what you really need to keep.

    via GIPHY

    This not only lets your air out your environment but do some good by donating your quality items that others might need.

    It’s a win-win, guys!

    Goodness knows we need a lot of goodwill to be spread around in these turbulent times.

    I hope that this list of organizing tips have been helpful. If you have any cool organizing advice for your fellow moms, mention it in a comment below!

    L 2 Mom is all about supporting each other, so don’t be afraid to chime in if you think of a super cool tip to share!

    Anyway, have an awesome rest of your day, and if you have been enjoying the L 2 Mom blog, then please be sure to share it with your friends!

    Talk To Ya Soon!