Tag: wellness

Help for Common Food Allergies? My Ready, Set, Food! Review

Go to any birthday party, school lunch, or neighborhood picnic and it’s obvious… With allergies to nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, gluten, and more, we have a food allergy epidemic going on. It’s affecting our kids on a large scale, and many parents are left wondering why… and what to do about it. This is why …

Continue reading Help for Common Food Allergies? My Ready, Set, Food! Review

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/422602/ready-set-food/

You Absolutely Can Tackle the Big Things You’ve Been Avoiding

By Leo Babauta

What big task, project, chore, conversation have you been avoiding facing?

It’s one of the biggest problems in many people’s lives — procrastination is one word for it, but I’ve found that “avoiding” is more accurate. We have something we don’t want to tackle or face, and so we keep ourselves busy and distracted so we can avoid it.

Avoidance, of course, leads to a host of problems, including:

  • If we avoid self-care, exercise, meditation, healthy eating, flossing … it leads to long-term health problems (including mental health stress).
  • Things piling up can cause us to feel stress.
  • Things not being taken care of can cause lots of difficulties as problems get worse.
  • People might start to feel that we’re unreliable.
  • We lose trust in ourselves, and we can often criticize ourselves and be harsh on ourselves.

The last problem, by the way, is something we can address with the practice of trying to always be kind to ourselves. Harshness on ourselves is not useful, and we can transform our relationship to ourselves by practicing kindness as consistently as we can.

But most of the problems above would be best address by getting good at facing and diving into what we’re avoiding.

Imagine Being Good at Tackling What You’re Avoiding

Let’s imagine that you spend 6 months really working on this skill of taking on what you’re avoiding.

You work every day to pick at least one thing you’re avoiding, and you face it head on. You learn to even relish this tackling of hard things. You develop a fearlessness to be with whatever you fear.

What would it be like? If you’re like most people, you’d completely transform the way you operate in the world.

You’d take on the hard tasks. You’d plow through the hard projects. You would be good at habits and taking care of yourself. You might get a lot healthier, a lot more productive, a lot bolder and more confident.

For most people, this would be incredibly powerful. All it takes is daily practice.

The Daily Practice of Taking on What You’re Avoiding

The first thing to do is to make a list. Let’s call it the Crap I’m Avoiding List.

Put everything you’ve been avoiding on the list. A big project, an email you haven’t responded to, your taxes and other finances, going to the doctor to get that thing checked out, calling your mom, having a difficult conversation, catching up on messages, cleaning out the garage, meditating, going for a run.

Look at this list, the Crap I’m Avoiding List. How does each item make you feel? What do they trigger in you? A big part of why we avoid things is because we don’t want to feel the fear and overwhelm these items trigger in us. Not anymore — we’re going to feel it all!

So once you’ve done that, here’s the daily practice:

  1. Pick one thing on the list for today. Ideally, it’s the biggest thing that you’ve been avoiding — the most important thing. However, if that is absolutely too hard right now, and there’s no way you’ll do it … then pick the biggest thing that you will actually do. Even a small thing, like an errand. The key is to pick something you’ll actually be able to do. I recommend choosing this item the evening before, actually, so you’ll be ready to do it the next day.
  2. Tackle it as early as possible. Ideally, you’ll block off a chunk of time to do it — let’s say 8-8:30 am. But if not, just do it as early in the day as you possibly can. For example, when you wake up, maybe you use the bathroom, get ready, check your email and messages. Well, right after all of that, tackle the item you chose. Resist the urge to delay starting.
  3. Let yourself feel the fear for a moment. Pause at the beginning and feel the uncertainty, fear, overwhelm from this task. Let yourself feel it in your body, as a sensation. With practice, we can become intimate with our fear, open to being with it, instead of needing to run from it. We can courageously allow ourselves to feel the fear, rather than avoiding feeling.
  4. Now dive in. After feeling, it’s time for action. Remember why you’re doing this — is it to make your life better? To serve people? To reduce stress? To make someone happier? To survive? Remember the bigger Why, and then take the first step. Write one sentence of that email response you’ve been putting off. Put away one item from the cluttered garage you want to clear out. Take one small action, then another.
  5. Notice that your world hasn’t collapsed. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, even panicky, when we face a task we’ve been avoiding. But as you do it, notice that you’re completely fine. You’re still alive, the world hasn’t crumbled, you aren’t in mortal danger. You’re tackling the task and you’re OK. You might be still feeling the fear or overwhelm, but it’s nothing to panic about. You can feel the fear, do the action, and nothing bad happens. You’re being courageous, and you should celebrate that!

Keep at it, for at least a few minutes. Maybe 5-10 minutes. Maybe 20-30 minutes. See if you can do it for a little longer than you think you can — if you feel like stopping, let yourself do it a little longer than that. Maybe do that twice — you feel like quitting, but you keep going — before allowing yourself to stop on the third time you have the urge to quit. This trains you to push into discomfort a little more than you think you can, without it being too crazy.

Practice this at least once a day. If you feel like you have extra energy and courage, practice it 2-3 times in a day. But once a day, at the least. With this kind of practice, you’ll get so good at facing what you’re avoiding, that your entire life will start to transform.

from Health & Wellness http://zenhabits.net/avoidance/

Things I’m Loving Friday #310: Your 2019 Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends! I hope you had a good week and are stopping by the blog today feeling excited for the weekend ahead. We don’t have any big plans on the agenda which is more than fine by me! I’m sure we’ll get out and about with the boys at some point but a clear calendar is suiting me well right now.

Before I unplug for the weekend ahead, I wanted to share my usual Thing I’m Loving Friday post with you guys… but with a twist! A few days ago, I took some time to look through my affiliate link analytics for the first time in for-ev-errr and I found it really interesting to see what you guys liked the most in 2019. I am notoriously horrible at looking at the analytics behind my blog as well as my affiliate link analytics but checking out some of the bestselling items from my blog last year reminded me of so many of my favorite things! A bunch of 2019’s bestsellers were past Things I’m Loving Friday favs and, not surprising at all, most of them came from Amazon. Haha! Clearly we share a love for easy Amazon orders!

So now, without further ado, here is YOUR Things I’m Loving Friday roundup of Top 10 2019 favorites divided into three categories: Fashion, Extras and Kid Stuff! (Note: Some of the bestsellers are no longer in stock, so this is the list of bestselling items that are still available!)

Things I’m Loving Friday: Your 2019 Favorites  

  • Favorite Fashion Finds from 2019

Basic Seamless V-Neck Bralette: I discovered this bralette at a boutique in Park City so imagine my surprise when I went to order more online and I found them on Amazon! The pricepoint is fantastic and I wear these almost every day. They’re incredibly comfortable and the v-neck style makes them versatile enough to wear under sweaters, tees and tanks. They’re a wardrobe staple for me! (One caveat: I have a small chest, so if you need tons of support, these might not be the best for you.)

Daily Ritual Mock Neck Sweater: This sweater was one of my favorite Amazon finds earlier this fall! I saw a fashion blogger rave about the quality and for only $29 it’s a steal! It comes in a bunch of colors and I love wearing this one with everything from distress jeans and high-waisted skirts to cozy joggers. (For sizing reference, I’d size up. I ordered a medium.)

Ruffle Sleep Shorts: I blogged about these inexpensive sleep shorts over the summer when I finally got around to refreshing my warm-weather pajamas. I had been sleeping in sleep shorts with a worn-out elastic band for years (WHY!?) and these felt like a soft and cozy breath of fresh air! (For sizing reference, I sized up and ordered a large.)

Hair BarrettesI ordered these barrettes because my postpartum baby hairs were OUT OF CONTROL and barrettes are back in style so it felt like a match made in heaven. As someone who wears her hair up almost every day, something about using one of these barrettes in my hair when I have it pulled back makes me feel a little more pulled together so I consider that a win.

Leopard Pullover SweaterAnother awesome Amazon sweater find! I have the coffee color and think it fits true to size.

Ruffle Neck Dress: This was a casual, breezy dress I bought last summer (I have the Y-Red one — important to note since the styles all look so different) and it was a dress I found myself reaching for on repeat because it was so comfortable. Bonus: It looks great with everything from wedges and sandals to sneakers!

Madewell Low Top SneakersAfter several months of looking for a pair of casual low top sneakers that didn’t look too athletic, I found these Madewell sneakers and wear them constantly!

Nylon BackpackThis was a $15 find that I raved about last summer! It’s great for anyone looking to haul a few diapers, snacks and kid-essentials around who doesn’t want to deal with a gigantic diaper bag.

Softspun JoggersI think these joggers may have been my best loungewear discovery in years. The fabric is lightweight but still incredibly soft and cozy. They’re comfortable enough to sleep in but look pulled together enough to wear around town.

Sherpa Bootie SlippersThese were an online Target impulse buy and a GREAT one at that! They’re so warm and comfy and I’ve been wearing them around the house non-stop since they found their way in my online cart.

  • Favorite “Extras” from 2019

Hexagon Initial NecklaceThis necklace was a gift guide item that you guys clearly loved as much as I did! I love the unique take on a traditional initial necklace.

Collapsible ToteI’ve been raving about this tote for YEARS and I’m so glad you guys seem to love this one as much as I do! It’s so darn handy and it’s a travel favorite for us for long road trips. It is ideal for storing all of the boys’ toys and books in an easy-to-access bin and it’s also the perfect toy staging area during vacations. This is one of my favorite unexpected baby shower gifts to give because everyone always loves it since it’s incredibly useful!

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip BalmI added this lip balm to one of my diapering bundles and was an instant fan! It’s moisturizing and offers the perfect pop of natural-looking color.

Cook Once, Eat All Week CookbookThis cookbook made it onto my list of all-time favorite cookbooks last year and for good reason! The recipes are wonderful and the cookbook does a great job of simplifying meal prep if you’re looking to get into that in 2020!

Vitamin C Facial CleanserThis has been my go-to facial cleanser for more than two years! It’s the cleanser I found after looking for a product that was free of many common harsh ingredients that also contained vitamin C. I feel like it’s very gentle while still cleansing my skin of makeup, dirt and all that jazz.

Stasher BagsWe love our Stasher Bags for everything from food storage to corralling the boys’ on-the-go snacks in one easy-to-see clear bag.

Daily Page NotepadThis was another gift guide feature that apparently appealed to you guys as much as it did to me! I ended up receiving this one for Christmas from my sister and have been using it daily ever since the start of the new year. It’s perfect for those who prefer lists and writing down daily to dos to help with productivity.

SHISEIDO Eyelash CurlerThe SHISEIDO eyelash curler is, without a doubt, the best eyelash curler I’ve ever used! I finally upgraded my eyelash curler from college last year and clearly should’ve done this way sooner because I was blown away by this find! It curls my eyelashes in a way that actually helps them maintain their curl for much longer than other curlers I’ve tried.

Refrigerator Organization BinsI got oddly excited about these bins during a giant refrigerator clean out/organization spree last year. Big fan!!

TAO Electric Toothbrush: I was suckered into ordering the TAO toothbrush after an influencer I follow on Instagram said she swears by it and loves the “whitening” mode on this electric toothbrush. What really sold me, however, is the docking station of this toothbrush because it uses ultraviolet-c rays to kill 99.9% of germs when your toothbrush is not in use.

  • Kid Favorites from 2019

6-in-1 Fun Pack of Kid Card GamesThese card games continue to be a huge hit with Chase! Apparently card games can be great for developing skills like matching, counting, making pairs, taking turns, recognition, etc. which is an added benefit but Chase just loves playing them and they’ve been fun for me and Ryan to play with him too!

Walkie TalkiesOne of my favorite gifts to give to little ones for their birthdays because they’re always a hit!

Beach Tent: We bought this beach tent based on your awesome recommendations and were SO happy with it last summer!

12-Ounce Thermos Water BottleMy favorite non-plastic water bottle for the boys! It seals well and doesn’t leak and I love that it’s made of stainless steel.

Badger SunscreenThe most affordable super-clean kids sunscreen I’ve found. Our favorite for the boys.

ChooMe Pouch ToppersA GAME CHANGER when it comes to feeding pouches to little ones and preventing messes! Hands down my favorite new baby product discovery after Ryder was born.

Da Bomb AmazeBalls Bath BombsThese are our “special” bath bombs for Chase. They each come with a little toy hidden inside and he thinks they’re the coolest!

JuJuBe Legacy Diaper Bag WristletI continue to use this every single day! Perfect for keeping diapering essentials in one place so I can easily transport them from one bag to the next without feeling the need to completely unload one of my bags every time I want to use a different one.

Magic Tree House BooksThank you guys for recommending these chapter books to me! They have been the BIGGEST hit with Chase and we’ve already made our way through the entire series. We’re onto the Merlin Missions books by the same author now and loving them, too!

Hatch Baby Rest Noise Machine, Night Light + Time-to-Rise AlarmWe now have one of these in both boys’ rooms because it’s the best! It’s a noise machine that you will use for your kids for years because it is also a night light, time-to-rise alarm that’s controllable from your phone.

  • Around the Internet

Food: Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos / Extra Vegetable Fried Rice / Turkey Bacon and Cheese Egg Muffins / Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Fitness: 20 Minute Upper Body Tabata Workout / 30 Minute Power Barre Workout

  • Friday Flashbacks

Crustless Vegetable Quiche (This recipe is SO ridiculously good! A great breakfast-for-dinner option or a wonderful crowd-pleasing brunch dish.)

Decreasing Reps Bodyweight Workout (To complete this bodyweight workout, you will make your way through five different blocks, each with a different theme.)

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile today? 

 

The post Things I’m Loving Friday #310: Your 2019 Favorites appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/things-im-loving-friday-310-your-2019-favorites/

How to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha

Our family has been making kombucha for years and this health-boosting drink is a favorite in our house. Many of my friends and family have been gifted a “baby kombucha” as my kids call the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). What is Kombucha? From a previous article: Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea that …

Continue reading How to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/8638/continuous-brew-kombucha/

305: A Day in the Life: Wellness Mama Health Routines

With over 1300 posts on Wellness Mama, I think I’ve tried just about every diet, supplement, workout, and health tool out there! Today I thought I’d do something a little different and share how I’ve filtered through all that to settle on my personal health non-negotiables. My views have definitely changed on many things, while …

Continue reading 305: A Day in the Life: Wellness Mama Health Routines

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/day-in-the-life/

Marriage After Kids

Today’s blog post is a reader request and, if I’m being honest, it was one I struggled a bit with how to begin. I had a few people ask me to write a blog post about marriage after kids and it’s something I immediately knew I wanted to address because it’s a blog post I would personally LOVE to read on another blog. Why isn’t this something we talk about more often!? After children enter the picture, so much of the focus is on our little ones but talking about our marriages after kids seems to fall to the wayside.

I figured I would approach this post like I do most of my blog posts — as if I’m sitting down to have a conversation with a friend. In this instance, I wanted today’s post to incorporate a few things: A few specific struggles we faced in our marriage after children, certain things we’ve implemented in our marriage since becoming parents that have worked really well for us and and the underlying understanding that it’s totally natural for a marriage and relationship to change after kids.

Fagan family

Once we become parents for the first time, I think it’s next to impossible not to focus on our babies, worry about our children and feel totally immersed in our new roles as parents but I also think it’s incredibly important to talk about and work through changes in our marriages, especially those relating to our wants and needs from our spouse as our married relationships and family dynamics shift.

So let’s dive into the meat of this post, shall we? I feel like this blog post is a little all over the place but I also think that’s representative for how I feel about motherhood and marriage after kids in general. It’s messy and all over the place and really awesome, too… Even if some days you feel more ragey toward your spouse than you ever thought possible.

I’m not married to the perfect man and Ryan is definitely not married to the perfect woman so please read this post with that understanding. Some things may not resonate with you and others may and that’s okay! Every marriage and relationship is different and ours certainly is no better than others but it is a happy, loving relationship I am grateful to be in every single day.

In no particular order, here are a few things that came up in our marriage after kids that felt worth mentioning in this space. I’d absolutely love to hear more about your experiences in your relationships after kids — what changes you noticed, certain things you implemented that helped your marriage move forward, etc. I always learn so much from all of you and would love it if you took the time to weigh in, too!

Marriage After Kids

  • Having the “Default Parent” Conversation

This may sound like I’m giving dads a bad wrap but I also think it’s important to be honest about the roles of a mother after a baby is born. So often (not always, I realize), moms end up becoming what feels like the “default” parent. As someone who nursed my babies until they were nearly 14 and 15 months old (neither of whom took a bottle well), I often felt like I was the go-to parent for our boys for months on end because often nursing = food, comfort, etc. (This is also largely to blame for what I’ll call the “nursing rage” I mentioned in this post.) Whether a mom stays home or works full-time it seems like moms are often the parent who knows more about their child’s wants, needs, preferences, routines, etc.  This often translates into me being the parent who packs up the diaper bag for the kids, makes their meals, shops for whatever they need for the week, stays on top of school commitments, etc. I truly didn’t even realize how much this was weighing on me until I found myself snapping at Ryan when we were about to leave the house with the kids one weekend. When he asked if I was about ready, I said, “NO. It takes me longer since I have to worry about more than just grabbing my phone and wallet.” Ooph. TRUTH BOMB. It was right then and there that I realized resentment was building up and we clearly needed to have a conversation.

Once I told Ryan I was feeling like it was ME who was in charge of most of the things related to the boys, I could tell he felt awful. He’s a wonderful father and a helpful father but I found myself doing more and more because it felt easier to just do it myself than ask for his help. Ryan is always willing to happily help and once I told him that I felt like I was the one in charge of everything related to the boys, we knew something had to change. I am now a LOT more upfront in asking Ryan to do x, y, z related to the boys and he now takes more initiative to help with things that I’d usually be scrambling to do before we head out the door. I think so often I hope he’ll just know what I want and need as a mother and wife but time and time again I’m learning to speak up and be direct with my wants and needs because it always makes a big difference. Communication, as always, is KEY.

  • Give a Head’s Up When You’re Feeling Off

This is one of those things Ryan and I started doing before kids that became even more important once we had little ones in the mix. You know those days when you wake up and you just feel off? Or those evenings you have when you feel increasingly irritable for no real reason? Or when every little thing is making you upset and cranky? We ALL have those days and Ryan and I try our best to give the other person a head’s up when we’re feeling this way. It’s a simple way of saying, “hey, listen, it’s not you, it’s me” and since these moments seem to happen more often after kids enter the picture and you’re absolutely exhausted, it helps the other person know you might need a little space or, on the flip side, a little more love and patience that day.

I also remember a friend telling me to ask myself, “Are you just feeling tired?” during the newborn days when I was feeling all the things about everything and all too often my answer to this simple question was YES. When we’re tired, we’re not the best versions of ourselves and recognizing my feelings were likely stemming from an ongoing state of exhaustion was oddly eye-opening.

  • No Phones in Bed Rule

I know this is going to sound dramatic, but this rule changed our relationship post-kids. So often, we’d both crawl into bed completely exhausted at the end of the day and then scroll through our phones for a while, read and then fall asleep. Most of our evening conversations took place as we scrolled away. Talk about a horrible way to connect with your spouse! I think smart phones have been horribly distracting for in-person connection and am very aware of being off my phone when I’m around friends and family so why wasn’t I applying this to my husband, too!?

Once Ryan and I recognized that our phones were getting more of our attention before bed than our relationship we knew something had to change. We quickly adopted a “no phones in bed” rule and it’s been HUGE. We now talk and listen and laugh and connect before we read at the end of the day and I go to bed nearly every night feeling like I got some much-needed quality time with my husband. Neither of us watch much TV and we both wake up really early so most nights after we put the kids to bed, we head to bed ourselves to talk before we read and go to sleep and it’s an evening routine I LOVE.

  • Recognizing the Newborns Days are Just a Phase

I can still remember turning to Ryan months after Ryder was born and saying, “I miss you.” With two children to care for, our evenings felt chaotic and I was often attached to our newborn while Ryan took over our toddler’s bedtime routine. By the time we made it to bed ourselves, we were too tired to make much of an effort to connect. During one evening conversation when we actually stayed awake long enough to really talk, I remember both of us saying that even though we felt like we were passing ships in the night, being second-time parents gave us a really helpful perspective and the innate knowledge that what we were going through was a phase that would eventually end… and it did.

Some of my favorite memories from the newborn days with Chase were the moments he would fall asleep in one of our arms on the couch and we would have time to talk and connect. Those sweet, quiet sleepy baby moments were a LOT harder to come by with two children in the mix, but at least while we were in the thick of things, we had the knowledge that the craziness and sleeplessness wouldn’t go on forever. We didn’t use this as an excuse to put our marriage on the back-burner, however recognizing the baby phase was something that would pass and we’d have our evenings back to spend quality time as a couple again soon was really helpful. We had firsthand knowledge that there was light at the end of the newborn baby tunnel.

  • Let Go of Perfection… And Just Let Them Do It

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist at all and yet I definitely fell into the trap many mothers fall into where we’re more likely to “just do it ourselves” than ask our spouse for help because we feel like we do it better, faster, more thoroughly, etc. I began to find myself taking over so many tasks that eventually I felt incredibly overwhelmed. I married a smart, strong, capable man who wants to help and I needed to let go of my desire to do it “better” and let him do it his way. Now when he vacuums I try to just be grateful he vacuumed rather than notice the spot under the cabinet he missed. When he gets the boys dressed, I try not to notice their mismatched outfits and just be glad they’re clothed.

  • Check in with Each Other (Not Just About the Kids)

It’s hard not to talk about the kids non-stop when so much of my day revolves around our boys but when Ryan and I take the time to ask each other about each other it’s something that makes both of us feel cared for beyond our roles as Mom and Dad. Genuinely listening to how your spouse is feeling about work, day-to-day life, their struggles and goals outside of parenting is incredibly helpful. Yes, often my feelings and stories involve our boys but I’m also more than just Mom. When Ryan sees this side of me, recognizes Julie beyond “Mom” and supports me unconditionally, it feels incredibly important not only to me but to our relationship as a couple as well.

  • Find the Humor

There is a lot to laugh about when it comes to parenting. Parenting can be overwhelming and exhausting… and hysterical. And no one finds your kids funnier than you and your spouse so taking the time to really laugh with Ryan and share ridiculous stories about our boys is something we do often. Oh and believe me some days there’s a fine line between laughing because yet another thing went wrong and crying or lashing out at your spouse because yet another thing went wrong. If at all possible, opt for laughter.

  • Give Each Other Time Away

Ryan and I both respect our need for time away from our children and our family. We both feel our outside interests and our friends are important so when one of us approaches the other about and occasional weekend away with friends or a weeknight dinner with a friend, it’s met with encouragement rather than an eye-roll. One of the best parts about time away from parenting is the way it can breathe life back into motherhood, fatherhood and marriage. I miss my family like crazy after a weekend away and a weeknight dinner with my friends with uninterrupted conversation rejuvenates me and makes me feel more like me. It’s important and something Ryan and I both recognize and embrace.

  • Be Proactive with Offering Help

I once read a piece of advice that encouraged couples to look for ways to serve and help each other on a daily basis. It talked about doing this without expectation of reciprocation but I’ve found that when Ryan and I go out of our way to look for ways to help each other, the other person naturally begins doing the same. Ryan is fully aware that “Acts of Service” have jumped up several rungs on my Love Languages ladder ever since we had kids and cleaning the house or offering to take over bath time solo so I can get some work done means a million times more to me than a bouquet of flowers.

  • Divide Up Jobs Based on Preferences… and Don’t Keep Score

This is something that we began before kids but now that we have children and more household jobs and must-dos are on our plate (with less time to do them!), it’s become all the more important. In a relationship, it seems like there are certain jobs relating to household chores and caring for kids that one partner might detest but the other partner doesn’t mind nearly as much. For example, I hate doing dishes but Ryan doesn’t mind doing dishes, so most nights, after dinner, he’s in charge of the dishes. Ryan gags at the thought of cleaning toilets but for some reason it doesn’t bother me, so that’s something I tackle.

I also think it’s incredibly important for our boys to see both of us chipping in and doing things around the house regularly because I want to raise men who are helpful, take initiative and don’t expect a woman to do everything related to housework and cleaning for them. (I truly cringe at the thought.) Another important note: Don’t keep score. I think sometimes it’s hard not to feel like we “do more” than our spouse because we know and can rattle off everything we do in a day but that’s not helpful for anyone, let alone a loving relationship. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t voice your feelings if you feel like the scale is off balance but if, for the most part, things in your home feel fair, I think it’s important to do housework and chores without adding whatever task you just completed to a mental tally against your spouse.

  • Remember “It’s Caught, Not Taught”

This phrase is one that applies to SO many aspects of parenting and raising children and it’s something I think about constantly. We can tell our boys it’s important to respect others but if they don’t see us speaking respectfully, it means nothing. We can tell our boys it’s important to pick up after ourselves but if they don’t see us doing the same, why should they feel it’s important? If they don’t see a marriage that is built on support, kindness, compassion and love, how much harder will it be for them to learn to model this behavior in their own relationships in the future? Thinking about this is such an incredible motivator for me and Ryan to work on our relationship both privately and in front of our children.

Question of the Day

  • What is one thing you wish you knew about marriage after kids before your children were born? 
  • What is one thing you implemented in your marriage after kids that made a big difference in your relationship for the better? 
  • What is one thing that surprised you about your marriage after kids? 

The post Marriage After Kids appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/marriage-after-kids/

A Guide to Dealing with Uncertainty About What Path to Take

By Leo Babauta

 The amount of time we spend fretting over what path to take, when we’re feeling uncertain, can sometimes be staggering.

We’re entering into unknown territory, and we don’t know how to proceed. It happens all the time for many of us: we start a new job, launch a new venture, change careers, have to deal with incredible change, decide to write a book or create something online, put ourselves in a new social situation.

Some of the things we do in response to this uncertainty:

  • Extensive research, often to the point of very diminishing returns, sometimes to the point of being overwhelmed by how much information we’ve found.
  • Buy books, courses, programs, other materials that we think will guide us — this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but in truth, none of this will give us certainty.
  • Try to find teachers or other people who will guide us, who have been there before — again, hoping that they’ll give us certainty, but often this isn’t a magic pill either.
  • Delay making a decision, putting it off over and over because it’s too hard to decide. Avoid, avoid. This might be the most common option, actually.
  • Give up because you don’t know if you can do it, don’t know what to do, don’t know what the hell you’re doing. This is pretty common too — in fact, most people give up before they even start.

These are very common reactions to entering into uncertainty, but usually not very helpful. They get in the way of doing the work and living the life we’d like.

So how do we deal with the uncertain path that we’d like to embark upon?

It’s not always easy, but I’ve found there to be a set of practices that can help tremendously.

The Mindset Shift

The first mindset shift to consider is that uncertainty is not bad, or something to be avoided. It’s a natural part of doing anything meaningful. In fact, feeling uncertainty is a great sign that you’re doing something challenging and meaningful.

Uncertainty can be embraced, opened up to, even loved. We can learn to cherish the uncertainty in our lives, if we shift our mindset and practice with it.

The second mindset shift is to see an uncertain path as a practice opportunity. It’s not something to run from, but a place to stay, so that we can grow, learn, and create.

Every time we feel uncertainty, it can be seen as a calling to open up and practice. To turn towards and try a new way of doing things, rather than indulging in old, unhelpful patterns.

The Uncertainty Practices

So let’s say you’re about to head down an uncertain path — starting a new job, moving into a new phase of your life, writing a book, launching a business or product …

How do you open to the uncertainty and practice with it?

Here’s what I’ve found to be useful, in writing books and launching programs, along with dealing with huge life changes:

  1. Stay in the uncertainty as a practice, and with devotion. You are staying in this place of uncertainty to practice with it, but also to serve those you care deeply about. They are worth it. Remind yourself of them, and that doing this for them is more important than your discomfort with uncertainty. Let yourself feel uncertainty in your body, staying with the sensations in the moment — and learn that it’s not a big deal to feel that uncertainty. With practice, this becomes easier and easier.
  2. Go with the gut (or the heart). If you’re unsure of what path to take (need to make some decisions), it’s easy to get frozen in indecision, because there’s not clear answer. You can ask a hundred people, and not get a clear way to make a decision. You can read a million articles and books, talk to experts, but there’s no right answer. And so, you have to learn to trust your gut. Or your heart. When I’m at a crossroads, what I try to do is sit still for a little while, contemplating the question. I feel into my heart, and decide what feels right. I don’t have any certainty, because there’s no right answer. Instead, I have to trust my gut or heart, and just go with it … the real trust is that even if it’s the wrong answer, I’ll be perfectly fine. More on that bit below.
  3. Embrace the not knowing. So you’ve used your heart to make an uncertain choice … but you don’t know exactly how it will go. That’s OK. In fact, you can embrace this not knowing … it’s like reading a book or watching a movie without knowing how things will unfold. That’s part of the fun! Not knowing is a beautiful thing, even though most of the time we really want to know. Can you take the next step without knowing, being completely open to how things might turn out? Being curious to find out more, without having a fixed idea of how it should be? Letting things be fluid and fresh? Try it and see!
  4. Let things unfold as you walk the path. As you move along this uncertain path, see how things turn out. Notice what you can notice, learn from this new information. For example, if I’m going to launch a new product, I don’t know how people will respond. I can launch it without knowing, and see how they respond, listen to their reactions, talk to them and find out more. If I’m dealing with a health issue, I can try different solutions, noticing how they affect things. I don’t know how things will unfold, but I can walk the path and find out.
  5. Get information, adjust the path. As you let things unfold, you’ll be gathering new information. You’ll learn whether things turned out as you expected or not. You’ll be open to all of this, but it might turn out that you need to make adjustments. For example, when I launched my Fearless Training Program, I didn’t know exactly what people would need in the program, or how they’d respond to the training. Listening to them has helped me to understand better, and I’ve adjusted the program a lot in the past 18 months. Over and over, I listen and learn and adjust. It’s good to build in regular reviews so you can make adjustments as you walk the uncertain path — weekly reviews are great.
  6. Learn to trust you’ll be fine. You might flop on your face — but what’s the worst-case scenario (of all likely outcomes)? Probably nothing too bad. You won’t die, in most cases. What I’ve learned is to trust that things will turn out fine. Not as I expect, but fine. I might fail, but I learn to deal with the failure. A failure is just a way to grow, learn, get better. It’s not the end of the world. Walking the uncertain path, let yourself develop trust in yourself to respond resiliently to whatever happens. With this trust, you’ll learn that you don’t need to avoid the uncertainty.
  7. Create rituals to support the uncertainty. All of this is great in an ideal world — but in reality, we’re likely to go to our old patterns. The way to work with this is through rituals designed to support these practices. For example, you might start your day with meditation, letting yourself feel the uncertainty in your body. You might set a focus session for first thing in your work day, where you let yourself push into uncertainty every day, at least once a day. You might set up a weekly review, where you make adjustments based on how things are unfolding. In that review, you might notice how things are going just fine, and let that cultivate trust in the process and in yourself to handle things. You might get a group of advisors and check in with them once a month, talking to them about your uncertainty. Figure out what rituals you need to support your practice with uncertainty, and set them up.

This path of uncertainty isn’t anything you can’t handle. Many people have walked similar uncertain paths in the past, and are doing so now. You can do it just as well as anyone.

Our paths must contain uncertainty, because no one knows what the hell they’re doing. We’re making it up as we go along, learning as we go, and if we’re conscious about it, we can dance with the uncertainty with a smile on our face.

from Health & Wellness http://zenhabits.net/uncertainty-guide/