Household Mag.

Hailey Andresen

#togetherwemother Series

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This month we're talking about "what motherhood has made you grateful for" in our #togetherwemother series. Don't forget to visit the rest of the bloggers in this series at the end of this post to read their unique experiences, and thanks for taking the time to read mine.


Normally I would go on one long rant about what I’m grateful for, especially since Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that in itself has me feeling all sorts of sappy and thankful, but in order to keep myself organized and sane, I’m going to stick to a light hearted list style here. Here are the five things motherhood has made me grateful for.

1. Showers. I wish someone would have told me when I was pregnant to take long, luxurious showers - honestly. Shampoo your hair twice, sing, daydream - whatever it is you do in there. Why doesn’t anyone tell you that a shower without interruption will soon be a vacation? I will never take another shower in peace for granted again, and I will always use being a mother as an excuse to shave my legs as infrequently as I’d like, because if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, right?!

2. Sleep. Ever since daylight savings the majority of the country set their clocks back, but Owen didn’t seem to get the memo. He is now waking up an hour earlier and it’s dark and I feel like a teenager before school in the morning. So needless to say,  I wish that I would have listened to everyone who told me to rest when I was pregnant. And more than anything else, I want to grab all my pals without kids and shake them like this when they say they’re tired. “Cherish it!”

3. Health. I was so lucky to have had a healthy pregnancy and to have given birth to a healthy baby, and I try to remind myself of this each and every time Owen catches any bit of sickness. He tends to run high fevers that send me into overdrive with worry anytime he is slightly under the weather, but they also make me realize that I am so lucky that it’s this and not something else. I am so unbelievably thankful.

4. Mothers. Before I had kids I seriously didn’t get it. I know I was that bitchy twenty something that was judgmental about mothers and their struggles - their sweatpants and their kids clutching iPads and smartphones in restaurants. While I try to combat those same challenges daily, I really understand just how tough it is to get yourself and your kiddo out the door. Sometimes sweatpants are the only option and well, fresh air and conversation are far more memorable in my opinion than the perfect outfit. So mothers, I admire you all, because I know if you're anything like me you are simply doing your best and loving you kids the best way you know how. 

5. Family. There’s nothing quite like building your own family. The idea that Zack and I chose each other twice (yes twice, if you haven’t read the full story do so here) and then made Owen is still insane to me. There is so much to say here, but ultimately I love that we are establishing our own traditions with each holiday that passes and that we are forming memories that Owen will carry with him as he gets older. Being a family isn’t always easy, but this year I am especially thankful to call Zack and Owen my teammates. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Photo by Amy Frances

Sometimes Sweet | Bluebird Kisses | Lucky Penny | Kikhaly

Above Harrison | Chels and Co. | Petite Biet

Chrissy Powers | Mom Crush Monday | Bonjour Ava

Five Tips for Resetting

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I’m heading out of town today for a retreat, and while I’m looking forward to resetting with a weekend away, I’ve been trying to find other ways to stay balanced day to day. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’ve really felt the weight of not having enough hours in the day lately. I’m beyond grateful to work from home and do what I love, but balancing work, motherhood, marriage, friendships and myself can be quite the struggle. I can’t tell you how many days I don’t shower until after bedtime, don’t eat nearly as well as I should, or burst out in tears when nap time is ceasing to exist. A couple weeks ago I began to feel the stress of this more and more and decided that enough was enough. I realize there’s plenty in life that I can’t control and that there will never really be enough hours in the day, but I decided it was time to put together a small cheat sheet of breakaway tasks that help me reset. Today I’m partnering with Pure Leaf to share the activities that give me a moment to take a breath and come back to whatever I was doing or working on feeling refreshed and better because of it.

1. Set a timer to disconnect. Sometimes all I need is ten to twenty minutes to really unplug and connect with myself, Owen, Zack or all three of us. It’s so easy to get caught up with work emails, social media notifications or even conversations with friends when your cell phone is constantly in your hand. Forcing myself to take a small chunk of time (no matter how big or small) to unplug is always beneficial. Simply set a timer on your phone and put it up high or in the other room - works like a charm!

2. Make it a point to get out the door before noon. Regardless of my work from home set up, I’ve never been one of those people who can just lounge around all day. Working from home with a toddler makes it particularly difficult to actually get out throughout my workday but it’s in my best interest to get some fresh air. In just 30 minutes or so I’ll take Owen for a walk, grab coffee or tea and spend sometime at the playground. Even if our morning got off to a rocky start, there’s no doubt that I’ll come back home feeling refreshed and ready to restart.

3. Make one healthy, tasty meal a day. For me this is lunch. It doesn’t happen every day, but I try to make a conscious effort to put together something healthy that I can take the time to enjoy each and every day. It’s obviously beneficial when I’m able to plan ahead and make meals over the weekend, but when this doesn’t happen it provides me with a task that allows me to jump out of work to tackle. With writing as my primary job sometimes stepping away from the computer is the best thing for me mentally and creatively.

4. Put together the perfect playlist. I know it’s not the case for everyone, but I like to have background noise almost always. I listen to a fair share of podcasts, but more often than not I’m running through countless playlists on Spotify. It’s really helpful to have the right kind of music on at home so having a handful of playlists saved really helps me stay productive and relaxed.

5. Make an afternoon cup of tea. Our apartment is small, but our kitchen is tucked away and it’s the perfect place to escape and have an afternoon pick-me-up. I’ve been a fan of Chai tea since high school, but my current favorite is from Pure Leaf. Their teas are made with single-source origin tea leaves from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates in India, Kenya, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Their tea leaves are kept long, then simply picked, rolled and expertly crafted to provide the most genuine tea experience. Pure Leaf’s Chai is sweet and spicy and helps me get through those final hours before bedtime without over stimulating.

This post was sponsored by Pure Leaf.

Pure Leaf bagged and loose teas are now available nationwide.

Visit Amazon.com or head to your local grocery store to try all 10 hot and iced varieties.

And be sure to enter their giveaway hosted by The FeedFeed on November 17th.

Photography by Amy Frances.

 

Mom and Dad Made a Podcast - Episode 3

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With the election right around the corner we've decided to focus our next episode of Mom and Dad Made a Podcast on breaking down where each candidate stands on the issues that could and probably should matter to parents. In reality, we realize every issue should matter to parents because ultimately we are shaping the world our kids are going to grow up in, but for the sake of the episode we are focusing on child care, paid family leave and education. And we would like to take this opportunity not to sway any voters, but to share that we are firmly "with her". More on the podcast. Listen, download and subscribe here. Anddddd, VOTE! Please. 

Photo by Amy Frances