Tips

  • Wanna Survive the Daytime? You Better Get a Bedtime Routine

    bedtime routine mommyrandr valerie pierre

    There was a time where I couldn’t make it to noon without needing a nap. As hard as tried I just could not keep my eyes open. The onslaught of exhaustion became the bane of my existence. And while I love a good nap, I can’t always be sleeping cause I got shit to fucking do during the day.

    Then one night at 3 a.m. it hit me as I lay awake trolling Twitter. This right was my problem and why I couldn’t function in the daylight hours. You woulda thought I would’ve figured it out sooner. Better late than never, right? The problem was when it was time for bed I got up from my desk from being on the internet and hopped my ass in the bed and got right back on the internet. *buzzer sound* This is not the proper way to go to bed. While I was physically shutting down my body, I wasn’t shutting down my brain.

    Enter my new bedtime routine.

    Y’all should already know what a bedtime routine is, but if you don’t, it’s a series of wind down activities you do just before you go to bed to help you go right to sleep. Now keep in mind no one bedtime routine is the same. My routine has 7 steps but yours might only have 4. My routine takes an hour and starts at 11 p.m. and in this order or I’m not gonna be able to sleep.

    Take my vitamins (multi & hair, nail, and skin)

    bedtime routine mommyrandr valerie pierre

    I always take my vitamins at night before sleep. Why? They take hours to break down in my system. What sense would it make for me to take them at 8 a.m. and finally kicking in at 3 p.m. when I need the energy before then. So I take them at night so when I wake up my struggle level isn’t 10 and I can hit the ground running with energy that will carry me through the afternoon. Also, if you wanna grow your nails get these Vitafusion vitamins. They are the business.

    Take a shower and brush my teeth

    Next, I go take a shower. I’m usually in there about 15 minutes. I alternate between hot and cold water. I let the hot run on me and I stand there as it rinses off the drama and stress of the day. Then as I bathe and rinse I use cooler water. After my shower, I’ll floss and brush my teeth.

    Brew a pot of tea

    bedtime routine valerie pierre mommyrandr

    As soon as I leave the bathroom I brew a pot a tea. I’m a huge fan of T2 teas. So I’ll make a mug of relax or lemongrass and ginger. My tea doesn’t take too long since I don’t let the water boil. It’s hot just enough. I also won’t add too much sugar since I just brushed and cause I need to go to sleep, or I’ll add a small amount of honey.

    I will drink my tea as I go through the rest of my routine.

    Moisturize my skin

    I’ll add a light lotion to my skin. My dresser is loaded with lotion. I put on whatever my hand lands on. I don’t want anything too oily or too heavy as I want to feel my skin breathing. I’ll also put on my Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream, cause I’m a woman of a certain age.

    Mist and massage my scalp

    bedtime routine valerie pierre mommyrandr

    My hair needs moisture or it’ll be hard and dry. So, with my water bottle, I’ll spritz my hair with a water and oil and water combination and add a little leave-in conditioner. I’ll rub and massage it in then put my satin lined Grace Eleyae cap on. In the morning my hair will be soft and shiny. I like this cap cause it’s got an elastic band that won’t slip off.

    Lower the air temperature

    I need the room to be cold, and I mean cold. I sleep with blankets year-round so I set the air conditioner to 67 degrees on the highest cooling level. The room gets brick quick, and no matter how cold the room may get I won’t feel it as I’m snug as a bug under all my blankets.

    Get in bed with Calm app

    I know, I know I’m not supposed to have electronics in the bed, but, I’m not actually looking at it, I’m listening. Calm app is the last step that really brings everything together. Now that I’m covered up to my neck I put my headphones in and set the app to relaxing sounds. I usually choose some sort of water sounds like rain or a waterfall. I turn the volume down low and turn over. It’s lights out in less than five minutes. Thankfully there’s a timer on the music that it cuts off after an hour.

    When I wake up the next day, yeah I’m dreading getting up, that’s never going to change but at least I’m refreshed having received almost eight hours of sleep. And that’s the key to it all – getting the proper amount of rest. By getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night you won’t have to worry about trying to survive the next day.

    Do you have a bedtime routine? What does it consist of? 

     

  • 7 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You a Happier Mom

    happier mom valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Motherhood is hard as fuck. Like, seriously hard. There are days we love it, and then there the days we wanna run away. Does that equate to us not loving our children? Nah. We love them to the moon and back, but there are days when our kids’ antics causes us to want to wanna scream bloody murder.

    You know those days, when the hitting, lack of sharing, yelling, and so on that just won’t stop. I know it’s just not my house. It had better not be just my house. But seriously, it’s in these moments when our happiness tank starts to deplete, along with our patience, we think about those kid-free days and how we wish we could go back to that for five minutes. Oh, let me just point out that it’s perfectly okay to admit that you think this way sometimes. We’re human. There’s nothing wrong with reminiscing about the life and freedoms you once had. It’s completely normal.

    Now the question is when we feel less than our usual selves what do we need to do to make sure our happiness meter is set somewhere between “kids are finally sleeping” and “it’s wine time!”?

    Stop trying to be the “perfect” mom

    Let me state this out the gate – there is no such thing as a perfect mom. I don’t care what the media, celebrities or that sanctimonious mom at your kids PTA tries to sell you, don’t buy it. It’s not true. There is no rulebook for parenting. We’re all out here trying to do the best we can for our families with what we have. Which is why I hate the term “perfect” mom because it’s wielded in such a way to make moms feel inadequate and self-conscious. No one should ever feel that way about themselves. That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves as often as possible that we’re fine just the way we are.

    Stop comparing yourself to other moms

    A lot of women will look at other moms who they think have it together, and wish they could be like them. When the truth of the matter is, they don’t have their shit together either. They’re struggling just like the rest of us, but they don’t let you know that. It’s all about perception. But know, that’s all it is. This all reverts back to the need some moms feel like they have to be perfect to be considered a good parent to those on the outside looking in. Just enjoy being you without the pressures of trying to be someone else.

    Ask for help

    If you need your partner to get the kids ready for bath time bed so that you can watch the last few moments of your favorite show, finish a blog post or something that’s for you, ask them. They won’t know you need it unless you do so. And please, don’t judge their methods over yours. Let your partner do it their way. And if you have family and friends in your corner, ask them as well. Now should you have no one to turn to for help, look into a hiring a part-time sitter. Someone whom your kids can hang with every now and then so you can take a breath. No mom should ever feel like she’s alone.

    Slow down

    Ask yourself, is it really necessary for you to have a full schedule for yourself and your family? Do you even like these activities? Is anyone fully committed to them? If you answered yes to one of those last two questions, or both, then why are you doing them? Cut back on things that you have little interest in. This way you can make the time for things you really like and always wanted to do, or maybe to do nothing at all. Running at 100mph every day is no good for anyone, and the effects of it will take a toll on your physical and mental health. Pace yourself before your wear yourself so thin your body slows down for you.

    Get as much rest as you can

    Getting enough sleep is crucial for anyone to survive. You can’t function at the level you need to complete a 15+ hour day when you’re running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep from the night before or worse from several nights in a row. Staying up well after the kids have gone to sleep is tempting because the house is quiet but it can backfire on you if you do it constantly. So how do you get more sleep? Give yourself two hours after the kids have gone to bed then call it a night. And you can also alternate who sleeps in on the weekend. Saturday is my day to sleep in and Sunday belongs to the man. And here’s another tip, if you’re kids are still in the napping stage, when they sleep you should be sleeping too. Why are you up moving around? Get on the couch and chill out. If your kids are out of that stage, like mine, then make them go in their room for “chill out” time. This is the time where everyone retreats to their room for one hour. Sometimes kids will nap (yes!) other times they won’t (boo!) but hey, at least you were able to rest yourself for a bit of time.

    Let it go

    This will be hard for some, but stop getting worked up over shit that’s out of your control. You can’t do anything about it so instead of walking around aggravated about it be like Elsa and let it go. Take a breath and know that things will be okay and continue on with your day. If things aren’t going to be okay, phone a friend to talk about it. Sometimes just talking to a friend and hearing their reassurances are enough to get us through those dark times.

    Have all of the sex

    Everyone knows the longer you go without the sex the angrier you become. So do tha do as often as you can. And if you don’t have anyone to have sex with, have sex with yourself. Now if you and your partner are going through a stale period in your bedroom here are some tips to help you out.

    Do you have any tips that have helped you become a happier mom? Share in the comments below.
  • HOW I BALANCE HOME, WORK & ME TIME

    me timeWhen I decided to take on the role of full time event coordinator and blogger in early 2014 I thought the work wouldn’t be too difficult. I thought I’d spend a couple of hours out of the week organizing events and blogging. Easy, right? Wrong. Very wrong assumption. This is the most demanding career I’ve ever had. Yes, I said career as I have decided that I will not return anyone’s cubicle. I enjoy what I do so much that I’m dedicating myself to it full time. There is so much more underneath the surface of the blogging world that I can’t even begin to explain it all. Coupled with the long grueling hours and a workload that piles up quicker than the laundry its important that I share myself equally with those who are around me.

    How do I do that? I set scheduled times to help me balance my life so no one thing or person gets more attention than the other. When I first started blogging I’d be up til the wee hours of the morning and while my supportive husband would be okay with it, after a while it took its toll. He missed us getting in the bed together. Instead of us in bed him on his PSP and me on my phone, he would be left talking to my back while I sat at my desk and me replying without breaking keystroke stride. He was getting frustrated and so were the kids. They wanted to play but I would send them to him because I always needed 5 more minutes which would turn into another hour. My new found situation was not looking good, at all. I was flourishing but my home life and my me time were crapper.

    So, I decided before my husband took up residency on the couch I would set schedules for everything. I would work smarter not harder. I would work in blocks of time. I would spend the mornings with the kids, lunch time and midday I would work, have family time when my husband got home and after we put the kids to sleep I would go back to work. But work for the night would stop at 10pm, the latest 11pm. And thanks to my trusty new whiteboard I’m able to keep to my schedule a lot better than how I was previously working before I had one.

    In addition to working in blocks of time, I also bring my daughter to any children’s events that I’m invited to. So even though I’m at a work related function it still allows us to have fun mommy and daughter time. It’s simple effective multitasking at its best.

    And now that I’m getting to bed earlier, my husband and I are able to spend quality time together without the distractions. We will lay in the bed and watch a movie and talk, or we might not talk at all. Sometimes silence is truly golden. And with the help of my mom we have date weekends once a month letting us be totally alone.

    But, on those days where I want to be alone. I will go to my favorite stores and browse, sit in a quiet corner of Barnes and Noble and get lost in book or I will travel to New Jersey to hang with my girlfriends. Meeting with my friends is a treat as our schedules are everywhere. We’ll meet at our favorite restaurant and catch up. Those hook-ups are so important because these are women who I’ve known since high school. There’s a judgement free zone for us to vent our frustrations about what happening in our lives. We leave each other feeling 20 pounds emotionally lighter and our patience clock is reset allowing us to tackle anything without having that dreaded mommy rage.

    Making sure that I properly schedule my life to make time for the 3 things that are most important to me is paramount. It gives me clarity and allows me to function at a level where I don’t feel as bogged down, overwhelmed or too tired. If you’re feeling like you’re taking on too much and don’t have enough hours in the day then try blocking times for certain things. Start with a few small things to test the waters and work your way up to multiple items. After the first couple of days of this new routine you will see how less stressed, overworked and tired you feel.

    What are areas of your life do you need to schedule?