Thursday, August 23, 2012

Filling the Stay At Home Mom Void

This past spring, when I finally left my job to stay home with my son full time, I felt an immediate void. I was pretty surprised, since it was only part time, that I felt like something was missing. Work has always been my thing, and somehow it had become my way to get in my "me-time," (which is surprisingly counter-intuitive, since I spent it giving so much of myself.)

My void seemed to manifest itself in few ways:

1. Time 

I was now spending full days with my son and had to come up with something to do. Sitting in the house everyday, was just not working for me.

2. Mental Stimulation

While I spent my work time speaking with high school students, the conversation was far more engaging then those with my toddler.

3. Purpose

While there is a lot of purpose in being their for my son, and I recognize the great value in that, I felt like I needed to be making an impact on something external to our family.

4. Community

Basically, even as little as I saw them, I missed my coworkers. I missed being apart of a team.

Trying to find something to fill the void was harder than I realized, in hindsight. This post might seem a little late, but its really only in the last month or so that have I really felt like I've filled the void. Only now, several months later, have I really been able to identify that it worked. These past few months, I posted about trying a lot of things to try to fill in these areas.

And to be completely honest, none of these things actually filled the void.

However, all of these activities and events truly had their place in helping to fill my void because I actually found myself referring back to these things now that I'm occupying my time with mentally stimulating, community-building, purpose.

Every mom will fill that void with something different, and in my next post I'm going to talk about what I actually filled my void with, but in the meantime, what I've found is that getting out, staying busy (even with things you completely make-up,) and trying new things really can help lead you to find a me-time activity that you find meaningful.


P.S. - Just me making up stuff to fill my void? I'd love to hear some of the things you've tried!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Action Item Update: Summer Success!

I've been crazy busy these past two months with running my new business but it's been simply amazing and I couldn't be happier with my decision to do it. However, in an effort to remain focused to my original mission, I'm going on posting about some of the things that I've committed to doing: specifically, my action items.

Here's a look back to my last post:

Now check out all the green I've added!

Here's the highlights of what I've been up to this month!

- I just got back from my first trip away from home without my son. I was invited to attend a convention for a women's organization that I volunteer for and the trip was fabulous! While Dad and son hung out for four days, I got a chance to network, learn, and get inspired. So yays for attending a networking event, taking a class, and having a night out!

- Working on my business as giving me plenty of opportunities to learn new (blog) skills: I've been using a software to create email marketing campaigns and I've got a ton better at using a social media scheduler like Gremln and HootSuite.

- I've only managed one book: Water for Elephants which I LOVED! However, I'm halfway through an awesome recommendation from Joanna: MWF Seeking BFF, that unbelievable hits home for me.

- This summer my husband and I decided to join a CSA (farm share program) that preps a box full of fresh local veggies for us each week. We've spent the past month making a real commitment to eating healthier and less processed and the box of veggies has really motivated us to eat a more diverse array of veggies. It's been a fun challenge to learn to prepare new veggies like: cabbage, kale, chard, Choi, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, and beets; (sadly some of these aren't even that rare but they are new to us!) So essentially, I've rocked out in the recipe department. Here's a few faves: Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad, Garlic Scape Pesto (with quinoa), Kale Slaw with Red Cabbage and Carrots, Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Grilled Salmon with Orange-Avocado Salsa, Sesame-Kale Crisps, and Red Lentil Soup. I picked a few faves to post here but this seriously isn't even a taste of all the new things we've this which I had a hard time talking my husband into because I wasn't even excited for it...but it seriously was pretty good. To be honest, this whole eating fresh thing kind of came about (for a number of reasons) but one being that we noticed a disconnect from what we were feeding our son and what we were feeding ourselves. It could seriously be a whole other post...but if your looking for resources we used a lot of the recipes from Whole Living's 2012 Action Plan Challenge.

- The home projects have been kind of lackluster...ideally we've been wanting to DIY redo our kitchen this summer but we've been really unmotivated in that department. We'll see...

- Lastly, I've been maxing out on the nights out - mostly because my awesome sister came into town and my husband and I capitalized on a free babysitter (we saw our first movie in a theater in over a year) but I've also managed to get out with the girls too which in some ways is equally as nice. I managed 5 nights, all of which were awesome: shopping date with my sissy, movie with husband, dinner with husband, dinner with the girls, and a happy hour!

I'm still not even halfway there but I've been busy and it feels good!


P.S. - Anyone else trying the CSA thing? (I love recipes!) Or planning a major home remodel? (I need guidance!) Or just getting some time out of the house with the one(s) you love? (Yay!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to The Future (Letter)

That whole Back to the Future hoax that just happened reminded me of a post that I've been meaning to write for some time now.

A few months back my life coach talked to me about writing a future letter. So, I wrote the letter a few months ago and since Jess suggests reflecting on it (infrequently) through out the year, I decided to pull it back out for a read. (Literally "back to the future" and back again! Haha...I crack myself up.) 

First, I've got to say, writing the letter - very cathartic. It helped me put into words what I wanted to do by picturing what I wanted to see. I don't think I can sum it up any better then that, so let me emphasize it again: it helped me put into words what I wanted to do by picturing what I wanted to see. 

When I pulled it out today, it was a refreshing reminder of how I picture my future life and it was easy to identify things that are coming to fruition and those that may not (which is fine.) Not only was it a fantastic visual goal report (better than any pie chart), it was incredibly motivational to see how much has happened in just a few short months and it left me...inspired.


P.S. - Anyone else go back to their future letter lately?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Action Item Update: Slow and Steady (Wins the Race?)

I'm sure posting these goal updates are more for me than for you, even though you don't realize it - you are holding me accountable and so I'm going to keep reporting out.

I'm slowly but surely accomplishing items, and while I'm not running through things incredibly fast - I've clipped up my pace by focusing on what is interesting me at the time.

In the past 2 months, I've completed 15 items! (AND May isn't even over yet, so hopefully I can eek out a few more!)

A couple of highlights:

- I made a printable (ie - figured out how to post a pdf of my blog and enable it to be downloaded.)

- I read (and memorized) my study guide to take my ACE Group Fitness Instructor Exam - (AND I passed!)

- I've been reading a lot - for fun! I downed Mockingjay (super surprised by the ending - but liked it), The Accidental Tourist (a little sad and hard for me to read, but an interesting perspective), and The Lover's Dictionary (super fast read, but it was just ok.)

- I started taking Stroller Strides classes (workouts for me and a stroller ride and songs for baby) AND I took an online class about teaching pre/post-natal fitness so I can teach my own classes!

- Baby and I have been a ton of places, but the highlights would have to be the Zoo and our local pet store! The zoo was a planned trip (for Mother's Day,) however the pet store was a sporadic trip for dog food that turned into a long tour. My son LOVES animals and it's been so fun to see him see new things. If you can't make it to a zoo or just need to kill a little time, check it out, (aquarium displays are equally entertaining.)

- I went through my closet and started getting rid of all my work clothes.

- I had two fantastic nights out - one wine night with the girls and one date night with the husband! Yay!

Overall, it's good to see my progress moving and I think it was helped a lot by changing my perspective about my goals.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Baby!

Today's my son's first birthday! The saying, "the days are long but the years are short," true in my book. This year just flew by!

We were so blessed to be able to have a little one year celebration this past weekend with family and friends. Little man had a blast attacking his first cupcake! We put together a real simple celebration (mainly with ideas from my One pinboard!)

We also had a first birthday photoshoot with the lovely Kari from Karianna Photography, who got some fantastic shots! Below are a few of my faves but you can check out a bunch more via this post on her blog. She was super nice and was great to work with; we totally recommend her if your looking for someone! A lot of the ideas for props, the cake and icing recipe, and such I also got via pinterest and you can check that out on my One Board too!

First Birthday and Cake Smash Photo Shoot







P.S. - Cake Smash Birthday photos via Karianna Photography. Check her out!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finally Feeling Some Tangible (EMPLOYABLE) Results

When I started The Employable Mom, I wanted a space to organize my experiences of staying employable while on my "extended maternity leave": and so I began doing some talking (actually a lot of talking), plus some research and more research, and self-exploration and now I'm doing a lot of "doing!" To be honest it's keeping me really busy but a lot of where I am now is due to the things I was doing back then, like: goal setting, finding ways to get out of the house and be social, getting CPR and First Aid certified (which has surprisingly come in very handy,) and a ton of other things. I've loved all the self discovery but I'm even more excited to be doing something that makes me feel productive because I've finally found the mommy project I've been so desperately looking for!

Let me give you some context: a few posts back, I shared some potential BIG NEWS and now I can almost certify that it's official BIG NEWS because next week I'm going to finalize the paperwork for my purchase of a pre/post-postnatal fitness franchise! I'm really excited, I think that this will enable me to gain a lot of marketable skills in addition to trying a whole realm of new things!

Now buying a franchise isn't for everyone, and I still plan on peeking into other employable opportunities for SAHMs, because one of my goals for EM is to really flush out all of the options out there. However, EM will see a few changes, mostly in posting regularity, but possibly in content. And once I get over the newness hump of running my own business, I'll most certainly re-evaluate my plans for EM.

I guess what I'm trying to do here is give a little update on my project's progress and renew my commitment to my Employable Mom community. I don't want you to think I've forgotten about you as my posts move to being more far and few between. I'm anticipating that I will maintain this speed, but don't anticipate that I stop all-together. I've still got a journey to document; plus I've got big things planned and I'm excited to share them with you!