Self-care tips for moms.

self-care guide for mothers

Yes, you are a mom.
Yes, you are a partner to your other half.
Yes, you are a career woman
Yes, you are the woman of the house…
But YOUR “ME” needs to be taken care of too. That girl without kids, without stress and so many balls in the air… She is still in there! And she needs your love and attention!

Most moms put their family’s health before their own.  And I am such a mom on occasion. Self-sacrifice is a natural parenting/mom thing that happens instinctively. But Putting Your Family ALLWAYS First at expense of yourself Doesn’t Make You a Better Mom. Actually… It will make you a tired, grumpy, exhausted and stressed mother if you neglect yourself for a longer period. 

We as moms (have to) take on so many tasks, so many roles, so many faces, so many responsibilities that we tend to bury ourselves in it and carry on way too long.

And we can take a lot. We are strong woman, and we can carry on for a long time. But we all have our limits. so before hitting a wall and end us completely exhausted and burned up. Maybe try and find, no, MAKE space for your needs. so you can be the best mom they deserve! A lot of the times the other partner/parent does succeed in taking care of themselves. And that’s wonderful! Take note. Now you!

Some misbelieves that may hold you down:

  • You are NOT selfish for taking care of your mental needs first once in a while.
  • The world won’t crash and burn if you leave others with some responsibilities for a few hours.
  • It does’n have to cost a lot of money.
  • It doesnt have to cost a lot of time.
  • Self-care is not an indulgence, its necessity to stay balanced!
  • You are not neglecting your kids or work. You are actually taking up the responsibility for your own helath!

What is self-care?
The better question is: What is self-care to YOU? All the little things you do that will take your stress away, give you a more emotionally balanced, centered feeling and generally makes you feel happier and give you a more positive outlook on life will count as Self-care.

What makes you happy that you do just for YOU!?
Take a pen and paper and write down what kind of little fun of relaxing activities you would like to do if you had no responsibilities or stress in the world? (maybe even think back to the time you didn’t have children) There is no right or wrong answer here. Are there little things that need to be resolved that are bugging you? make a list. write down what you need to do to take care of your needs.

For some that may be taking a long hot bath and read a book or listen to music.
For others It would be doing Sports, Yoga, painting, or meeting up with your friends and talk, going on a date with your partner, sauna, massage, swimming, writing in a journal, painting your nails! Or maybe all the above! Whatever you can think of that will make you happy, that will make you re-charge. That will get you to exhale for a few seconds and stop rushing.

For moms of tiny little babies making time for self-care will mean relaxing while having your baby near you but in the care of another person. That way you will be “able” to relax without feeling anxious about leaving your baby or checking your phone every 3 minutes.
Never let anyone tell you “you need to be away from your baby to relax” if you feel in your heart and stomach that you just don’t want to leave him/her.

 

It is hard to create space for self-care as a mom

How to find/create the time

  • The little things
    Small little routines like journaling before going to sleep or cooking a fresh meal in peace. Making up your bed every day.
  • Ask for help.
    What do you need to make it happen? A lot of the times someone will need to take care of the kids for a little while! Your partner will need to pitch in! The other parent in your family can hold the fort while you exhale for a couple of hours. For single parents (SO much respect) that will mean you will have to look for help elsewhere. Your Parents, friends, neighbors, parents of your kid’s friends, anyone you may trust and dare to ask for help! Please, people may surprise you! Lovely mama…Take a deep breath… and just. ask. for. help.
  • Reserve a date and time
    Block a space in your agenda for your self-care moment… now block the 2 hours before that time as a buffer. Better yet, plan at least one moment every week as me-time! It will become easier if this turns in to a little weekly/bi-weekly routine.
  • No Bailing on yourself!
    Take away your biggest stress factors, distractions & excuses to bail on yourself in advanced. Make sure that whatever happens. you will take time for yourself!
    Clear the road!
  • Pick it up again!
    And if you fail to take the time for yourself anyway… no worries! Don’t stress about it. That’s actually the very thing we want to prevent! Life happens. Kids can get sick, plans can change. I fail at it all the time! Whatever. The important thing to remember is… just pick it up again as soon as possible. Re-schedule. You deserve to be happy! And your family deserves a happy mom! You matter!

Set the right example!

Want the best for your kids… And how would you like your kids treating themselves as adults later in life!? Lead by example! By showing them that self-care is an important part of life and demonstrating that we all should help each other create space for individual needs they will learn how to take care of themselves and others in a balanced way later in life. And be happier people for it.

 

Love,
Jolanda, Michiel
Miley, Haley & Quinn

33 Self care inspiration list ideas

  1. Go to yoga class once a week
  2. Take 40 minutes every day to journal and reflect.
  3. Go and have lunch with your best friend!
  4. Take a hot long bath and read a book every week!
  5. Take a nap without an alarm clock
  6. take a walk through nature
  7. Craft something
  8. Go swim for fun
  9. Make art
  10. Sing and Dance like nobody is watching!
  11. Go online and learn a new skill using tutorials!
  12. Listen to a podcast
  13. Go to the gym
  14. De-clutter and re-organise your wardrobe or beauty products
  15. Unplug from social media for a day (or at least a few hours).
  16. Go to the spa
  17. Feeling overwhelmed? Create a plan to create order in the chaos! Start with all the small things so the list gets shorter. Then order the tasks from most-pressing to least-pressing.
  18. Pick flowers
  19. Bake something
  20. Cook something delicious 
  21. Learn 4-8-7 breathing
  22. do some mindfulness exersizes
  23. Write down your life goals and dreams and create an inspirational collage to hang on the toilet! (“toilet” a.k.a. safe space for moms…the only place you can run to for some peace and quiet when the kids are around)Get a massage.
  24. Go hiking, camping, or backpacking and spend some time in nature
  25. Go S.U.B-ing (stand up paddle)
  26. Go on a date with your partner
  27. Sleep in
  28. Do some gardening
  29. Take care of your houseplants.
  30. Restyle a room in the house! Change some pillows rugs, blankets, wallhangings and plants. A little bit of styling can make a big change! (search on Instagram or pintrest for inspiration)
  31. Meditate
  32. Spend 1 on 1 time with one of your kids for some quality time!
  33. Plann your next vacation!

Bathtime goals

We don’t wash our kids…

Our bathtime ritual.
We made a video about our thoughts on getting our Baby and kids “clean”.

When you explore, you tend to get dirty! But that doesn’t mean we necessarily want to get cleanBecauseouse whenever we get a bit crunchy of all the playing, we just play some more in the tub!

It you think we take a bath to get clean… think again.
Kids don’t care about getting clean!
Kids just want to have more adventures!
Climbing mountains of foam, You can be a superhero with superpowers,
You can make it snow, Play hide and seek, Explore, 
You can be a hairdresser or make high fashion

And the getting clean part… oh, that just happens. Just like the getting dirty again thing. But who has time to think of those kinds of things, when there is so much having fun to do.

So do you wash your kids? or do you just let them PLAY some more!?  

We want to thank our partner Naïf baby for supporting us and making it possible for us to keep producing our video’s, vlogs and blogs. It’s because of these kind partnerships we get to do what we love most:
Being creative and sharing our stories and Images.

And Thank you for watching our adventures, blogs, and videos! Your interest in our adventures is what’s giving us the biggest motivation to keep on producing our content!
And we love you for it!
Love,

  Jolanda, Michiel,
Miley Haley & Quinn

Shoot us mom!

Never let children pose… let them be themselves!

From the moment Miley was born until she was 4,5 years old we had a big photo studio. She grew up surrounded by camera’s, lights, makeup, fashion, and set styling… She occasionally watched the models getting ready and saw me shooting them in our photo studio. She saw them “pose” naturally and make subtle changes in their pose with fluid movements. changing expressions, taking directions from me and all of that without looking forced or unnatural. And she loved it.

As it comes to photo shooting kids, I like them to be interactive. give them something to do, something to engage with, something to play with. Anything but posing! I don’t like kids posing, because most kids (Really, I mean 99%) look forced and unnatural. That kind of photo’s with kids smiling those fake (almost creepy) smiles makes my hairs stand up. Not cool. Just fake.

So whenever I’m shooting kids (my one or any kids for that matter)… I let them play.
I have a strict NO POSING rule.

But… Tiny baby girls turn in to big baby girls! And then that day came, the day when Miley (8yrs) Came up to me dressed a bit much over the top and  Asked me “Mom? Can you shoot me? I’ve made everything ready!”
I looked over and there was my living room turned in to a complete styled set. With 3 different concepts, she wanted to work on!  I was like “What the….!?!? uuuh… Ok!? I guess?”

So we could proceed in peace. After every Klik, Miley made a tiny adjustment in pose, expression or looking direction. I didn’t have to give her any directions. She was totally in control.  Like she understood exactly what it was she wanted to reflect, express and what story she wanted to tell. I felt a warm proud glow in my heart for her. What a great way to express yourself.  There goes my “NO posing rule” for her… She has got this down.

 

Turned out she had a school project where they had to take their favorite piece of clothing, make a photo of it, and write a little poem about it. She wanted to create a photo she had pictured in her mind. (Creative little creature) So who am I to refuse such a brilliant initiative from my 8-year-old.

I grabbed my camera gear and as she stepped in front of the camera. Wow! She is actually doing a really good job posing! Not one Photo where she looked unnatural or overly posed. I guess she intensively studied the professional models in our studio! My little baby copy-cat. Loving this…

After a few minutes, her little baby sisters decided they wanted attention too, and started to jump on top of Miley… So I had to promise them that I would shoot them too tf they waited their turn. And If they would go and play a bit more I would call them and take their picture.


As for her sisters… The rule still stands. No posing! PLAY! Once I called them for their turn to shoot, I gave them something to keep busy! Singing a song,  playing peekaboo, giving them a ukelele or a watering can to play with. And as usual, that way I had a fun and playful shoot with my two babies. And my no posing strategy still worked out worked perfectly fine with them! Scroll all the way down to see the rest of all the photo’s we took!


How do you take pictures of your kids? I’m thinking of making a series of DIY video’s in photography toppics like “kids photography” .
Would you think that’s something you would like to see? Anny requests on specivic photography toppics!?


Love,

  Jolanda, Michiel,
Miley Haley & Quinn

VLOG: June 2018 – sunshine and blackberries

Month VLOG june 2018 – Get ready for another monthly overview of 2018

This throwback monthly overview we look back at a month filled with sunshine and day’s in the garden. 

We are changing our vlog-concept for 2019.
So there will be a monthly overview for every month of 2018 but for 2019 we are doing it a bit diverently. I will tell you all about it at the end of this vlog!

 

Check a month in the live of our family and be sure to subscribe to be updated on all new uploaded video’s!

Getting my first tattoo

Yes!!! Finally! I Did it!

 

At first, it was a rather simple idea… a thin straight line from my elbow to my wrist within the middle the letters that spelled the name of my one and only baby girl. ____Miley____
But. I was still breastfeeding. And everyone strongly advised against it back then. (this was 7 years ago) Fair enough I thought So after 3 years of breastfeeding It became clear there would be another baby sooner or later. Might as well wait a bit and make it a line with two names.

Patience.

My second baby girl was born and I remember doodling on every piece of paper their names in one long connected line.  ____Miley____&___Haley____  Trying to get the shape and caligraphy just right.

Like practicing an autograph, The line had to have the perfect flow and casual hand-drawn feel to it, styled and still be straight and readable. Not too curly not to dull, but just interesting enough. And certainly not some standard existing Font. Besides that, I still had to wait. Because…still breastfeeding.

Haley became 1,5 and I started searching for the right Tatoo artist. I was prepared to travel If I’d found one further away. As long as the artist could make clean thin lines and I felt “right” about the person behind the needle. As I would wair his or her “mark” for the rest of my days, I was making sure It would be a positive experience.

And then I became pregnant with baby nr.3 The most beautiful little-unexpected surprise of our lives.  And by now, you must know, I had been waiting for 5 years to get this thing on my arm…  So back to the drawing board to add one more name.  ___Miley___Haley___Quinn___   Sometimes I even took a pen and drew it on my arm and took a selfie to see how it would look! Now I’m typing this I realize that this may sound a bit obsessed. Well, maybe I was.

When Quinn was still a newborn we were in a nearby town when we passed by this awesome looking tattoo shop. It wasn’t like any tattoo shop I’d ever seen. It was light, fresh, with a gorgeous mandala-logo on the window. Inside there were plants and beautiful artwork. The whole shop looked welcoming, soft, friendly and creative. So we walked in and we met Manon from Le Nou Tattoo. Her artwork is just amazingly full of feminine shapes and figures, detailed mandalas, Botanics, and subtle shades and razor-sharp fine lines Check out her Instagram here.  She was so friendly, relaxed with a calm confidence that just made me trust her instantly! But Quinn was still a Tiny baby. So I waited just a bit longer.

“The line had to have the perfect flow and casual hand-drawn feel to it.”

When Quinn got one-year-old I became impatient. A few years back my eldest daughter still breastfed occasionally until she was 5 years old. That would mean that it would take another whole four years before I could have my ultimate “mommy Tattoo”.

 

Breastfeeding and getting a Tattoo?

But why isn’t it a good Idea to get a Tattoo while breastfeeding? Mainly, If your tattoo would get infected you maybe would need Antibiotics that don’t go well together with breastfeeding. Some say there is a slightly bigger chance of infection because of a lower immune system and a bit thinner blood. But let’s be honest, I think those last two reasons have as much to do with delivering a baby and recovering from that than breastfeeding. I guess having a tattoo within the first 9 months after having a baby/pregnancy maybe isn’t a good idea either. Anyway, This is What the breastfeeding experts at La Leche League had to say about it. 

 

“I’m Hearing myself say “Michiel, I really think you have to hold my hand””

“Shurley the pain is going to get so much worse. But it wasn’t…

“this is it!?” I asked.”

“I suddenly became really nervous!
There was something I didn’t think of beforehand…
Would this hurt much!?”

The time is now

After 1,5 years of breastfeeding my babies aren’t that dependent on breastfeeding anymore, Its just a nice bonus for all the antibodies and such. But if I would have to skip one week for what reason so ever. She would survive just fine! Besides that, I wasn’t going to let a Tiny little tattoo get infected. A good licensed tattoo shop,  healthy lifestyle, Hygiene and common sense are your friends.

So I decided it was time. I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait until I am 38 to do this thing!
It already had waited for ages (7 years). And then last Oktober Michiel and my Mom surprised me for my 34th birthday with a booked appointment at “Le Nou“. The earliest date available was February the 7th. Wich says something about how good she is I guess.

 

February 7th, 2019

Happy as can be, with my hand-drawn line design perfected over the past 7 years. (being a bit of a neurotic perfectionist about it, but it was done.)  I’d never been more ready for this than for anything in my life!  Even a pregnancy takes less freaking time than it takes me to get a tiny little tattoo! I mean really!?

Only until the very last moment when a sat down and with the sight of the surprisingly friendly looking tattoo machine I suddenly became really nervous! There was something I didn’t think of beforehand…  Would this hurt much!? I had been so busy thinking of the design, artist, timing… and now only seconds to go and my heard was pounding like crazy. I’m Hearing myself say “Michiel, I really think you have to hold my hand”

 

The sound of the buzzing needle and 3..2..1… 

I remember thinking the first 10 seconds, this isn’t IT yet, It can’t be. Shurley the pain is going to get so much worse. But it wasn’t… “this is it!?” I asked.  “Yes, that’s it! Its actually get easier as I move towards your wrist!” WOW, What a relief! Feels a bit like sharp scratching. This didn’t hurt at all! It took no more than 20 minutes and than it was all done. Not a drop of blood or wound fluid had spilled. It looked sharp and dry. Even the redness wasn’t so bad. And I never was happier with a birthday gift!

Now 2 days later I still find myself looking at it and being so completely content with it. So happy I had to wait because now I have all 3 names in it. If I hadn’t had to wait until my breastfeeding days where over I would probably have done just the first name and later two separate tattoos with every new baby name. What I like about this one now is that what I thought would be just a cool design turned out to be a timeline. One continuous line, their names all connected. It’s perfect! Everything came together and I’m loving it!

LOVE it!

Thanks, Michiel for making the reservation and tanks mom for sponsoring half of it for my B-day, and last but not least thanks to Manon from LeNou Tattoo for doing an awesome job!

And to my three baby girls, Miley, Haley & Quinn, I love you forever, just like this tattoo.
Want to see the end result!? scroll down to see the rest of the photo series.

Love,  Jolanda

 

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