Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Mommy Time

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:30 PM 0 comments
For those of you who are not a fan of the early morning hours or who have children who wake up at the crack of dawn or have to be at work too early to make these hours viable, don't give up hope! There are always ways to find Mommy Time. If your children are young enough, nap time is always a good time. Even if they don't all nap, this may be the time to stick the slightly older ones in front of a video (I'm not a huge fan of tv, but it comes in handy the 1-2 hours my kids are allotted a day.) While often our inclination during this time is to start working on the never-ending chore list (as I'm doing at this moment), sometimes it's best to use this time to rest, recharge, and regroup. A 30 minute to hour rest may make you more efficient in your work the rest of the time that you have.

Another option (one I am a huge fan of) is play dates. While everyone doesn't have convenient play dates you would actually want you children hanging out with, we are fortunate in this area. There are also friends we have to schedule and make time for. But it's worth it! This is one of the many areas moms can trade off in. I take your child(ren) today, you take mine tomorrow. Now, granted, with four children and them all being so small, it is a rarity when their all not at home. The one-year-old never gets play dates, the three-year-old seldom. But I know that time will come and I do what I can to create a quiet atmosphere and send as many on play dates at the same time as possible. Sometimes it ends up that I have an extra child and have one of my own out, but it all works out eventually. Well, kind of. I have to be very intentional about creating this haven of time in my chaotic mother-of-four-under-eight-homeschooling-etc-life.

The important thing is to recognize your need for quiet time, to be intentional creating it, and using it wisely (this is not the time to "browse" the computer or fold 6 loads of laundry.) Remember, you need rest. You can pick how you rest, but make sure it's recharging to you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time for Mom

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:10 PM 0 comments
I'll start off my recommendations for finding Mommy Time that is the least popular. But, especially for moms like me that are home full time and homeschool several small children, it is often the only time I get. That is: early mornings. Don't stop reading! Just because I mentioned the worst way many moms could imagine to get time. I used to be just like you. I was the college student who was in bed by ten and usually slept until about seven, later if I didn't have an early class or have to be at work early. I really loved my sleep. I never realized before becoming a mom how much children would impact that one aspect of my life.

When my first child was about three months old when I remember lay in bed crying because I was exhausted. Not only was I exhausted though, I was tired of being exhausted. And that was only three months in. (I was not one of those fortunate women who got a baby who was sleeping eight to ten hours by two months old. EVER! None of my children slept more than five to seven hour stretches until they were eleven months old.) When my second was about six months old, I was going through it again. Of course, this time I was also at home full time and was watching three other children (making a total of five, with four of them being two and under.) Needless to say, I was not getting any Mommy Time. And I was not getting enough sleep. In my desperate prayers to get more sleep, God provided a slightly different answer: He brought me to Proverbs 20:13. Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Wow. That socked me right in the chest. I was loving sleep. Not loving motherhood. And I was seeking the wrong thing to become a better friend with motherhood.

I stopped counting hour many hours of sleep I lost and began to focus more on other things. I also got invited to a Bible Study (that'll be another day's post.) I did sleep through the night again, I did have two more babies and go through two more years of interrupted sleep, but through it all, I began to cherish the early morning hours I ended up awake. Whether it was in the middle of the night and the baby was back to sleep, or the early morning just as the sun was coming up, these times became precious. I don't always get these times. I try to listen to my body and make sure I'm getting enough rest to function at full throttle all day long, but when I get them, they are golden. No other time is the house silent for hours. No other time is there not some distraction of the computer or phone to steal my attention. No other time am I fairly safe from interruption for more than ten minutes. No other time am I not fully engaged in listening for what's going on in the other rooms. No other time can I read and study my Bible and talk to God in the unique way quiet brings.

On those mornings I'm woken up by one child or the other calling me or climbing into my bed, I miss my quiet time. I love those moments, too, it's all about balance. But getting spend some time alone with myself, my God, my exercise video, and sometimes my cup of coffee, is like starting the day with a full tank of gas and a freshly washed windshield. I don't get it every day, but when I do, I can tell the difference.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mommy Time

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:35 PM 0 comments
I have found that one of the most challening things as a mom is to find Mommy Time (okay, I'll admit that my list of challenging things as a mom is fairly long, but this is definitely on it.) Especially having four children under eight. Especially homeschooling. My children, all four of the precious darlings, are home with me all day every day. I've been home full time on and off during my motherhood years, but when I worked it was only one or two days a week, and no, I did NOT see it as a break. For me, for my introverted 50%, I need complete down, uninterrupted time for me to count it as Mommy Time. For the 50% extroverted part of me, I need times where I can be with other adults and talk about, well adult things.

First, let me be clear on one point: I love being a mother. I would not trade it for anything else in the world. That doesn't mean that I don't plan on doing anything else in the world, even while they're little (after all, here I am blogging), but that doesn't mean I don't love being a mother. Even given it's far more demanding than I ever dreamed. Even though it's far more work than I ever imagined. Even though I have more negative emotions than I ever thought possible. I love being around my children, laughing with them, playing with them, teaching them, and guiding them. But, I also love my Mommy Time. It's what recharges me to be a better mom to my children.

I have found, in my years of being a mom, part-time employee, wife, housekeeper, writer, speaker, and women's ministry leader, that Mommy Time doesn't just happen, it has to be created. And, there are almost innumerable ways to create it.

We all have different challenges in creating Mommy Time that affect us: some moms don't have family around, some moms are married to military men who are gone months at a time and/or move frequently, some moms have families they don't trust to watch their children, some moms feel guilty about leaving their children, some moms work part-time or full-time and don't feel they need other time without their children, some moms don't have money to pay a babysitter, some moms live in isolated places, some moms live in dangerous places. Regardless of what your challenges are, there is a way to overcome them. As with anything else, once you recognize a need (and Mommy Time, in one form or another, is a need - it helps us to be better mothers. I can't overstate it's importance) and the challenges to meeting that need, you come to a crossroad: you can either walk away from the hurdle in front of you, or you can choose to back up, examine the hurdle, and figure out the best way to sail over it. It may be more work initially, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Second, I want be clear on something else. Some moms take Mommy Time to extremes. Everything is about them, getting their needs met, being pampered, and not letting their children inconvenience their lives. That is not the kind of time I'm talking about. My children are a huge inconvenience to my life (if by inconvenience you mean interrupting my ideas of doing what I want when I want how I want,) but they are the most blessed inconveniences I've ever been graced with. From the moment I became pregnant with my first child, my main focus for her and the others to come behind her, was to do the job of mothering to my utmost ability. Mommy Time works in that scheme by helping me stay balanced and healthy, not to stroke my ego, make life easy, or reduce my responsibilities as a mom. It is the emotional equivelant to sleep. When we sleep (whether a full night's sleep or a nap to make up for months of interrupted sleep), it recharges our bodies. That is the goal of Mommy Time: to recharge you so you can not just be a good mother, but to be the best mother you can be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recharging

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:48 PM 0 comments
Do you need a recharge? Is life crazy? Busy? Draining you instead of reviving you? Can you believe the school year starts back up in a month and a half? Why don't you schedule in a retreat for yourself in the fall, in between school starting and the business of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season? Just 24 hours can recharge you and fill you with life-changing encouragement.

The Abundant Life Conference for Women is being held November 12-13, 2010 in beautiful Williamsburg, VA. The $75 registration fee includes all sessions, 2 meals, and a snack. Get a hotel room at the Holiday Inn Patriot for $79 (for up to 4 people) and breakfast will also be included. Early registration ends August 31, so click here to print your registration form and send it in today! We look forward to a special time of drawing closer together as women, moms, sisters, friends, and, most importantly, daughters of God!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel & Relationships

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:40 PM 0 comments
Once again, I am so inconsistent! But, I have a somewhat legitimate excuse. I've spent 13 out of the last 18 days not at home. I'm not usually a traveler, but things came into play that allowed me some greta opportunities to spend time with friends and family that I don't get to see often. While this may seem completely off topic of health, building and maintaining relationships are a part of being healthy - and not just a part of our emotional health, but also a part of our physical health. As science continues to progress, there is a undeniable connection between our minds, bodies, and spirits, which includes relationships, that has become more clear.

There are some relationships that we are able to maintain regularly - friends we see weekly or more frequently - and some relationships that we are only able to give face time to occasionally - monthly, annually, or less frequently - but all these relationships inpact our lives. In today's age of information and being able to reach out to someone at our fingertips, we can easily take relationships for granted. An email or text can only say so much. If it's true that 85% of communication occurs nonverbally, then it's important to at least once in a while see someone or at least talk to them on the phone to retain good relationships. I love having the easy access to people who are far away, but nothing compares to hearing a loved one's voice or getting to see them with my own eyes and wrap them up in a hug that says, "I love you and am so glad you're a part of my life."

These are the moments that help recharge me and put the sprinkles of the ice cream cone of life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sharing a Give-Away

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:57 AM 0 comments
Coupon Mom is giving away a copy of: "The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half."

Click here to go to her entry page.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What we do to be Healthy - Part 3

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 12:08 PM 0 comments
That brings us to portions. I have to say that this has probably been one of the most lifestyle changing revelations I’ve had when it comes to eating better. What Americans often tend to think of as portions are what we get when we go out to eat. And because we look for ‘more for less,’ our perceptions of what portions are are greatly distorted. Proper portions are:
· One carbohydrate serving is 15 grams. This equals to ½ cup of potatoes or pasta and 1/3 cup of rice. It’s often one slice of bread and ½ cup of fruits (although most melons and berries have larger servings, 1 – 1&1/2 cup.)
· One vegetable serving is one cup raw or ½ cup cooked.
· One meat serving is 3 oz (that’s 1 oz. smaller than a quarter pounder!)
While this list doesn’t include everything, it’s a good start. Once you see what appropriate portions are, you will be able to better balance what you eat. But that’s not the end of it. Knowledge is only part of what it takes to be healthy. The other parts of this puzzle are a decision to make healthy choices and following through on that decision. Sometimes there’s a fourth piece of the puzzle: accountability tools.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What we do to be Healthy - Part 2

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:04 PM 0 comments
The second major change is to start reading labels. That is, reading the nutritional information and the ingredients on the prepackaged items you do buy. You will be amazed at how eye-opening this is. I first began reading labels when I started watching my carb intake. First you look at the contents: calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and carbohydrates. Then you look at the serving size. This is where much of the shock comes in. And often the knowledge you need to make healthy eating changes.
I’ve caught myself, more times than I care to count, saying, ‘There’s that many (insert: calories, carbs, fat) in that!’ It almost seems impossible that there could be that much shoved into such a small serving size. But, once you start reading labels, you will understand much more about why many of us are so unhealthy. You can even do this when it comes to eating out. Most fast food restaurants and many other restaurants have their nutritional information on line (although once you read it, it will almost seem ironic that it’s called ‘nutritional’ information.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Mommy Time

For those of you who are not a fan of the early morning hours or who have children who wake up at the crack of dawn or have to be at work too early to make these hours viable, don't give up hope! There are always ways to find Mommy Time. If your children are young enough, nap time is always a good time. Even if they don't all nap, this may be the time to stick the slightly older ones in front of a video (I'm not a huge fan of tv, but it comes in handy the 1-2 hours my kids are allotted a day.) While often our inclination during this time is to start working on the never-ending chore list (as I'm doing at this moment), sometimes it's best to use this time to rest, recharge, and regroup. A 30 minute to hour rest may make you more efficient in your work the rest of the time that you have.

Another option (one I am a huge fan of) is play dates. While everyone doesn't have convenient play dates you would actually want you children hanging out with, we are fortunate in this area. There are also friends we have to schedule and make time for. But it's worth it! This is one of the many areas moms can trade off in. I take your child(ren) today, you take mine tomorrow. Now, granted, with four children and them all being so small, it is a rarity when their all not at home. The one-year-old never gets play dates, the three-year-old seldom. But I know that time will come and I do what I can to create a quiet atmosphere and send as many on play dates at the same time as possible. Sometimes it ends up that I have an extra child and have one of my own out, but it all works out eventually. Well, kind of. I have to be very intentional about creating this haven of time in my chaotic mother-of-four-under-eight-homeschooling-etc-life.

The important thing is to recognize your need for quiet time, to be intentional creating it, and using it wisely (this is not the time to "browse" the computer or fold 6 loads of laundry.) Remember, you need rest. You can pick how you rest, but make sure it's recharging to you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time for Mom

I'll start off my recommendations for finding Mommy Time that is the least popular. But, especially for moms like me that are home full time and homeschool several small children, it is often the only time I get. That is: early mornings. Don't stop reading! Just because I mentioned the worst way many moms could imagine to get time. I used to be just like you. I was the college student who was in bed by ten and usually slept until about seven, later if I didn't have an early class or have to be at work early. I really loved my sleep. I never realized before becoming a mom how much children would impact that one aspect of my life.

When my first child was about three months old when I remember lay in bed crying because I was exhausted. Not only was I exhausted though, I was tired of being exhausted. And that was only three months in. (I was not one of those fortunate women who got a baby who was sleeping eight to ten hours by two months old. EVER! None of my children slept more than five to seven hour stretches until they were eleven months old.) When my second was about six months old, I was going through it again. Of course, this time I was also at home full time and was watching three other children (making a total of five, with four of them being two and under.) Needless to say, I was not getting any Mommy Time. And I was not getting enough sleep. In my desperate prayers to get more sleep, God provided a slightly different answer: He brought me to Proverbs 20:13. Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Wow. That socked me right in the chest. I was loving sleep. Not loving motherhood. And I was seeking the wrong thing to become a better friend with motherhood.

I stopped counting hour many hours of sleep I lost and began to focus more on other things. I also got invited to a Bible Study (that'll be another day's post.) I did sleep through the night again, I did have two more babies and go through two more years of interrupted sleep, but through it all, I began to cherish the early morning hours I ended up awake. Whether it was in the middle of the night and the baby was back to sleep, or the early morning just as the sun was coming up, these times became precious. I don't always get these times. I try to listen to my body and make sure I'm getting enough rest to function at full throttle all day long, but when I get them, they are golden. No other time is the house silent for hours. No other time is there not some distraction of the computer or phone to steal my attention. No other time am I fairly safe from interruption for more than ten minutes. No other time am I not fully engaged in listening for what's going on in the other rooms. No other time can I read and study my Bible and talk to God in the unique way quiet brings.

On those mornings I'm woken up by one child or the other calling me or climbing into my bed, I miss my quiet time. I love those moments, too, it's all about balance. But getting spend some time alone with myself, my God, my exercise video, and sometimes my cup of coffee, is like starting the day with a full tank of gas and a freshly washed windshield. I don't get it every day, but when I do, I can tell the difference.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mommy Time

I have found that one of the most challening things as a mom is to find Mommy Time (okay, I'll admit that my list of challenging things as a mom is fairly long, but this is definitely on it.) Especially having four children under eight. Especially homeschooling. My children, all four of the precious darlings, are home with me all day every day. I've been home full time on and off during my motherhood years, but when I worked it was only one or two days a week, and no, I did NOT see it as a break. For me, for my introverted 50%, I need complete down, uninterrupted time for me to count it as Mommy Time. For the 50% extroverted part of me, I need times where I can be with other adults and talk about, well adult things.

First, let me be clear on one point: I love being a mother. I would not trade it for anything else in the world. That doesn't mean that I don't plan on doing anything else in the world, even while they're little (after all, here I am blogging), but that doesn't mean I don't love being a mother. Even given it's far more demanding than I ever dreamed. Even though it's far more work than I ever imagined. Even though I have more negative emotions than I ever thought possible. I love being around my children, laughing with them, playing with them, teaching them, and guiding them. But, I also love my Mommy Time. It's what recharges me to be a better mom to my children.

I have found, in my years of being a mom, part-time employee, wife, housekeeper, writer, speaker, and women's ministry leader, that Mommy Time doesn't just happen, it has to be created. And, there are almost innumerable ways to create it.

We all have different challenges in creating Mommy Time that affect us: some moms don't have family around, some moms are married to military men who are gone months at a time and/or move frequently, some moms have families they don't trust to watch their children, some moms feel guilty about leaving their children, some moms work part-time or full-time and don't feel they need other time without their children, some moms don't have money to pay a babysitter, some moms live in isolated places, some moms live in dangerous places. Regardless of what your challenges are, there is a way to overcome them. As with anything else, once you recognize a need (and Mommy Time, in one form or another, is a need - it helps us to be better mothers. I can't overstate it's importance) and the challenges to meeting that need, you come to a crossroad: you can either walk away from the hurdle in front of you, or you can choose to back up, examine the hurdle, and figure out the best way to sail over it. It may be more work initially, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Second, I want be clear on something else. Some moms take Mommy Time to extremes. Everything is about them, getting their needs met, being pampered, and not letting their children inconvenience their lives. That is not the kind of time I'm talking about. My children are a huge inconvenience to my life (if by inconvenience you mean interrupting my ideas of doing what I want when I want how I want,) but they are the most blessed inconveniences I've ever been graced with. From the moment I became pregnant with my first child, my main focus for her and the others to come behind her, was to do the job of mothering to my utmost ability. Mommy Time works in that scheme by helping me stay balanced and healthy, not to stroke my ego, make life easy, or reduce my responsibilities as a mom. It is the emotional equivelant to sleep. When we sleep (whether a full night's sleep or a nap to make up for months of interrupted sleep), it recharges our bodies. That is the goal of Mommy Time: to recharge you so you can not just be a good mother, but to be the best mother you can be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recharging

Do you need a recharge? Is life crazy? Busy? Draining you instead of reviving you? Can you believe the school year starts back up in a month and a half? Why don't you schedule in a retreat for yourself in the fall, in between school starting and the business of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season? Just 24 hours can recharge you and fill you with life-changing encouragement.

The Abundant Life Conference for Women is being held November 12-13, 2010 in beautiful Williamsburg, VA. The $75 registration fee includes all sessions, 2 meals, and a snack. Get a hotel room at the Holiday Inn Patriot for $79 (for up to 4 people) and breakfast will also be included. Early registration ends August 31, so click here to print your registration form and send it in today! We look forward to a special time of drawing closer together as women, moms, sisters, friends, and, most importantly, daughters of God!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel & Relationships

Once again, I am so inconsistent! But, I have a somewhat legitimate excuse. I've spent 13 out of the last 18 days not at home. I'm not usually a traveler, but things came into play that allowed me some greta opportunities to spend time with friends and family that I don't get to see often. While this may seem completely off topic of health, building and maintaining relationships are a part of being healthy - and not just a part of our emotional health, but also a part of our physical health. As science continues to progress, there is a undeniable connection between our minds, bodies, and spirits, which includes relationships, that has become more clear.

There are some relationships that we are able to maintain regularly - friends we see weekly or more frequently - and some relationships that we are only able to give face time to occasionally - monthly, annually, or less frequently - but all these relationships inpact our lives. In today's age of information and being able to reach out to someone at our fingertips, we can easily take relationships for granted. An email or text can only say so much. If it's true that 85% of communication occurs nonverbally, then it's important to at least once in a while see someone or at least talk to them on the phone to retain good relationships. I love having the easy access to people who are far away, but nothing compares to hearing a loved one's voice or getting to see them with my own eyes and wrap them up in a hug that says, "I love you and am so glad you're a part of my life."

These are the moments that help recharge me and put the sprinkles of the ice cream cone of life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sharing a Give-Away

Coupon Mom is giving away a copy of: "The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half."

Click here to go to her entry page.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What we do to be Healthy - Part 3

That brings us to portions. I have to say that this has probably been one of the most lifestyle changing revelations I’ve had when it comes to eating better. What Americans often tend to think of as portions are what we get when we go out to eat. And because we look for ‘more for less,’ our perceptions of what portions are are greatly distorted. Proper portions are:
· One carbohydrate serving is 15 grams. This equals to ½ cup of potatoes or pasta and 1/3 cup of rice. It’s often one slice of bread and ½ cup of fruits (although most melons and berries have larger servings, 1 – 1&1/2 cup.)
· One vegetable serving is one cup raw or ½ cup cooked.
· One meat serving is 3 oz (that’s 1 oz. smaller than a quarter pounder!)
While this list doesn’t include everything, it’s a good start. Once you see what appropriate portions are, you will be able to better balance what you eat. But that’s not the end of it. Knowledge is only part of what it takes to be healthy. The other parts of this puzzle are a decision to make healthy choices and following through on that decision. Sometimes there’s a fourth piece of the puzzle: accountability tools.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What we do to be Healthy - Part 2

The second major change is to start reading labels. That is, reading the nutritional information and the ingredients on the prepackaged items you do buy. You will be amazed at how eye-opening this is. I first began reading labels when I started watching my carb intake. First you look at the contents: calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and carbohydrates. Then you look at the serving size. This is where much of the shock comes in. And often the knowledge you need to make healthy eating changes.
I’ve caught myself, more times than I care to count, saying, ‘There’s that many (insert: calories, carbs, fat) in that!’ It almost seems impossible that there could be that much shoved into such a small serving size. But, once you start reading labels, you will understand much more about why many of us are so unhealthy. You can even do this when it comes to eating out. Most fast food restaurants and many other restaurants have their nutritional information on line (although once you read it, it will almost seem ironic that it’s called ‘nutritional’ information.)
 

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