You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are.

I was at the grocery store yesterday when an older woman came up to Michaela and me and said, “May I?” asking if she could talk to Michaela. The woman lightly tickled Michaela’s cheeks and grabbed her hand (which usually heightens all of my senses and sends my stranger danger protection into over drive … but this woman was a gentle exception) and said to her, “You have no idea how lucky you are.”

The inflection in the woman’s voice and the sad-ish look in her eyes made me want to pull my shopping cart over and get her story, right then and there next to the packages of frozen Texas Toast and Italian breadsticks … but I had just met the woman twelve seconds ago, so instead we made small-chat about how old Michaela was and how nice the weather was.

Before parting ways she locked eyes with Michaela and once again said, “You have no idea how lucky you are,” then smiled and nodded warmly at me before continuing down towards the frozen veggies.

Something told me that this woman carried a sad story in her heart. Did her birth mother give her up for adoption? Or did she die during labor? Did she lose a baby of her own?

Or maybe I just wasn’t used to a stranger saying more than “Ohhhh you’re so cuuuuuute!” or “Look at her hair, it’s sticking straight up!” to Michaela … but this woman’s words reminded me that 1. We all carry our own stories that make us who we are and reflect a great deal in how we talk to and treat others and 2. We all have things in our lives that make us incredibly lucky.

Things that I’m feeling especially lucky for lately:

A hardworking husband who allows me to stay at home with our babe
A father who is still here to be Michaela’s grandfather
A family that is beautifully flawed but incredibly loyal
A sweet daughter who has made my heart much kinder

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What are you feeling lucky about today?

xoxo,
Kym

Real Talk: Scheduling “Me Time” To Combat Baby Burn Out

This #ArtisanFlavors post has been compensated by #CollectiveBias Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

When I flew to Ohio with Michaela a few weeks back the stewardess made it a point to come over to me and explain that in the event that the plane lost cabin pressure to make sure that I put my oxygen mask on first before putting Michaela’s on her.

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“Yeah, okay,” I thought… nodding dutifully while thinking to myself that I’d obviously help Michaela before helping myself. I mean, she’s a baby!

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I think it’s safe to say that most parent’s first reactions would be to protect and assist their child with oxygen first … but now, thinking logically in retrospect – if Michaela had fainted due to lack of oxygen, I most certainly could still get the mask on her after putting on my own … but could she put my mask on if I passed out while trying to get hers on? No. We’d both lose.

It’s an interesting decision that I hopefully will never have to face  … but sometimes, in normal every day life, it can feel like we’re stuck on an airplane with slowly depleting oxygen. AMIRIGHT?

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So much of being a mom is fun and exciting, but so much of it is exhausting … and since “the first step is admitting that you have a problem” – I hereby proclaim: I AM SUFFERING FROM BABY BURN OUT.

I vaguely remember my pre-baby days. I was more social, had time to search for recipes and spend hours in the kitchen, loved scouring the racks at TJ Maxx, got lost in thrift stores, read books and napped by the pool, could go for a run whenever I wanted to (which, let’s be real … this wasn’t all that often, but it’s the thought that counts!), and would routinely complete the first four out of twelve steps of DIY projects before remembering for the umpteenth time that I am in fact not a crafty person at all.

Of course I love being a mother … but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s hard. And I-Am-So-Tired.

So I need to start taking breaks – real breaks – not cleaning and folding laundry and putting the dishes away while the baby sleeps – and start doing things just for myself.

I need to start remembering to put my oxygen mask on first each day.

As women, we’re programmed to be people pleasers. To say “yes” before “no”. To put other’s happiness before our own. This, combined with other every day obligations, buys a one way ticket to BurnOutVille … so today, if you feel like you’re on your way there, I challenge you to put your oxygen mask on. Right now. And turn yourself right around.

Simply put – don’t be scared to schedule some solo “Me Time” … to take an unapologetic break that helps you to regroup and rejuvenate.

Häagen Dazs #ArtisanFlavors Contest

My ultimate recharge looks a little like this: Changing out of my yoga pants, grabbing a hot latte that I don’t have to microwave three times, losing myself in a quiet chapter or two at my local book store, treating myself to some fresh flowers, then coming home to soak in a hot tub with fancy bubble bath, my favorite beverage and a few bites from Nestlé® Häagen Dazs Artisan Collection. These “indulgences” probably sound modest to anyone without children – but for a mom whose time is at a premium, even the smallest escape can go a long way in helping me get through another day!

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Have you heard of the NEW Häagen Dazs Artisan Collection? Available in the ice cream freezer section at your local Walmart, The Artisan Collection is the FIRST ever direct collaboration between smaller independent artisans and a large national brand. Each unique ice cream flavor is crafted with the finest ingredients and inspired by a talented food artisan working side-by-side with Häagen-Dazs to recreate their specialties in Haagen-Dazs ice creams.

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I want to know – what do YOU do to put your oxygen mask on?

xoxo,
Kym