making some new habits.

Going through pregnancy with a toddler in tow feels a lot like you’re drowning. And someone hands you a small drunk person. Don’t get me wrong! Toddlers are fun as crap, hilarious, and so sweet. At least mine is. But she can also be super moody and irrational, she’s learning how to use her free will, and she moves way faster than I can keep up with a lot of days. Ya know, the normal toddler-hood stuff! And adding a pregnancy on top of it is surely a challenge no matter who you are. A HUGE blessing, but a challenge.

The Negativity Struggle

Throughout this entire pregnancy (we only have 3-4 weeks left, holy…) I have been struggling to find a way to keep myself calm when parenting Quinn and dealing with temper tantrums. I have been trying to figure out how to keep myself rested or at least feeling somewhat rested when Quinn wakes up at super early no matter when she goes to bed. (She’s just an early bird I guess. I wish I had that super power but alas.) I have also had a hard time balancing normal life and I don’t really know why. Basic tasks like laundry that seems to never end, groceries, cooking, cleaning, preparing for baby, working on my blog/ growing my business, time with Quinn, time with husband, trying to make community and friends….etc. And our second child hasn’t even come yet! I’ve been super down on myself this week especially about how incompetent I feel I am. Totally in a rut.

Negative thoughts have creeped up like “You can’t even handle normal life as it is right now, what makes you think you’re going to be able to handle it when a second kid comes into your life?” Thoughts that make me feel like the worst mom and wife ever. Like I’m just missing the mark in all areas. Our life is NOT hard, we are blessed with so many things including a roof over our heads, our health, and friends/family that love us…. why do I feel like I can’t keep up?? Lame rut, right?

I realized that I need to really work on how to create balance in my life because the chaos isn’t going to go away. I’m the one who needs to learn to manage it well. ESPECIALLY before baby 2 gets here. I realized that if I want to start some healthier habits and get out of this rut, it’s time to change the way I’m managing my time and the way I prioritize. So we have been implementing a few changes. And even though we are still practicing these and working on consistency, I think they have already made a big difference in how I feel and parent every day and how we as a family interact together.

Creating new habits

  1. Teaching my toddler some age-appropriate independence and responsibility. I don’t think I realized how much I was still treating Quinn like a baby until I read this post by keeperofthehome. She talks about age appropriate chores for littles. And while Quinn is only 3 (in August), I realized how much I haven’t taught or encouraged her to do that she is totally capable of doing! It’s so much easier in the moment to just do everything for them because taking the time and patience to teach it requires effort and patient and can just be plain challenging. So we’ve started working on little tasks that she “gets to” do with mommy.

    And to my surprise, she feels SO grown up and she feels useful! It’s not perfect of course. But she does her best, so I don’t nit-pick at her about it. We started saying “this is your special house too, so we work together to take good care it!

    Each day we work a little bit on picking up dishes and trash around the house, loading and unloading dishes, requiring her to put away toys before she starts playing with new ones, and playing “laundry game” by sorting dirty and clean ones together. Y’all, it’s a work in progress. And it’s for short amounts of time here and there because HI their attention spans at this age are capable of only so much. I myself am a work in progress as her teacher and her patient guider of tasks haha. But it’s already helped a TON. I’m a little nervous about how things will go once the baby comes, but she’s already made leaps in her ability to do things for herself. I’m so glad we started planting these seeds of independence in her now instead of waiting until he comes along. We also potty trained her a few months back which is an AMAZING feeling. But it’s only been recently that she started to get better at doing the whole thing herself, wiping and getting up and down etc. (Just in time to start over with diapers again ha.)

  2. Getting my a$$ up early so I can start my day off right.This one is SO hard for me to do because 1) I’m not a morning person to begin with and 2) I’m not sleeping well at night and I’m so overly exhausted that I could cry at the drop of a hat. (And I do, God bless my husband haha). But we decided to start setting our alarms for 45 minutes before Quinn gets up now, and have been doing it for about 2-3 weeks. We have totally failed a few of the days. But we’re trying to make it a habit.I noticed that when I was being woken up by shouts from Quinn’s room in the mornings, it immediately put my attitude in the wrong spot. She wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sweet as pie and ready to PLAY. So it’s not that she wakes up grumpy or mad or anything. It’s just that she wakes up and immediately needs a million things, attention, etc. That isn’t a very calm or intentional way of starting my day. Starting the day by immediately tending to everyone else’s needs is just not how I want to begin.

    {I know this will change once a newborn is added to the mix, but that’s a whole different thing.}

    Anyways. Waking up to have alone/quiet time has helped immensely. What I was doing before doesn’t align my heart or mind with Jesus, it doesn’t help me feel ready to be patient, and it doesn’t help me choose a grateful and joyful attitude for the day. It certainly doesn’t make me feel rested when my wake up call is a toddler yelling out my name or poking my face at my bedside haha! Since we started getting up and having some quiet time, hot coffee, and just starting the day having time to ourselves, I’ve noticed that my day goes soooo much better. I feel strangely more rested forcing myself get up earlier and starting off in a good headspace than I felt when I was sleeping until the last possible second.

    {Disclaimer: I may snooze for a few minutes while she naps haha! But hey. I’m pregnant and I will allow it for now ;)}

  3. Spreading myself deep, not wide.

    Uh, I really didn’t know what else to call this one haha. All that came to mind was Andy Stanley talking about this (on a much more serious level than I’m applying it here). But basically, when I’m looking at my To-Do List or making plans for what I want to do with Quinn, my instinct is to want to accomplish them ALL in one day. When that might not be realistic at all. I’ll spread myself so thin throughout my day/week trying to do small bits and pieces of ALL the things ALL the time, that when the day/week is over and I’m evaluating what we’ve actually done it’s sometimes nothing like I hoped! Because instead of choosing to concentrate 100% on just one task, one fun mommy/Quinn activity, or one intentional and meaningful friend to hang with, I’ve been trying to dabble in lots of stuff all at once. And when I do that, nothing is done completely or done very well. Then I feel SUPER defeated because it all looks fragmented, half-assed. and rushed. So I’m starting to address that asap by starting small. Choosing to finish one task in completion before trying to start others. Making my goals way smaller and easier to achieve so that I have the confidence and motivation I need to start moving onto the larger ones.

So right now those 3 things are what I’m mostly trying to change in my world right now. They are completely personal to us, to our family, and to what our convictions are! So, they may not appeal to you or connect to you whatsoever, and that’s totally cool. Everyone’s personality is different, and what works for us will be different. But I still wanted to share in case anyone else was feeling the same ways I have been! Of course, as always, I would LOVE to hear what kind of things keep YOU sane and centered in your life lately. So please share with me!!

xo. Ansley

10 thoughts on “making some new habits.

  1. Favorite quotes “Tiny drunk person” HELLO!!! SO TRUE!

    and you nailed it –

    “Spreading myself deep not wide” – excellent and so very true!! Saying yes to the most important thing instead everything is such a hard thing to learn the art of. It’s so easy to feel like everything in life is ‘urgent’ but its not – its definitely a prayerful place to find out what is an immediate need versus non immediate. You are doing so great! Keep it up – life is a constant balancing act and you are walking that rope with grace!

    1. Oh girl I fail so much all the time haha! It’s easy to say but harder to implement, sometimes it feels like I only see what I should’ve done after the fact ha. I guess I should really be praying for some better in-the-moment sight 😉

  2. Hi Ansley,
    Your post is very timely. I was just talking to Lawrence (my husband) about feeling overwhelmed with some things. I do not quite know why, but it is so easy to feel like “you” are the only one that has these feelings. Your post was a good reminder to me that others share the same feelings/struggles. I needed this reminder tonight. Thank you:)

    1. Thanks for reading Brooke! It’s so true, I definitely think one of the greatest tools of the enemy is convincing us that we are alone in our struggles or feelings! But so not true 🙂 I’m glad you found this helpful to you as well. <3

  3. This was fantastic. It was great to know I’m not the only one feeling that way! The first part of your post ‘negativity struggle’ was definitely hitting home. I have a 4 yr old girl and 9 month old boy. While the age gap has helped a lot with her being very helpful as mommy’s assistant, there are many a times she just isn’t in the mood and the biggest tantrums happen. So big we both end up in tears in the end. But then there are times are is so sweet with her brother. We breastfeed too so time is taken away from her during those sessions. I try to read to her or talk/play while it’s happening but it’s a struggle. The days of quiet and peaceful bfing sessions are few and far between. But there is much joy with two… Especially watching them start to interact! Holding hands. Laughing and smiling at each other. The transition to two kids is not the easiest and I’m happy to have read your post to remind me I am not alone in my thoughts and struggles.

    I’m going to try and employ habit number 3! 1 is pretty good for us now and 2 is not even happening for awhile a bc baby who still wakes up 1-2 times a night and wakes up hella early so I take him back to bed at the last wakeup to nurse and hopefully get him back to sleep for another hour before his sister gets up. But as you embark on this journey of newborn and toddler/little girl…. Just know you are not alone!!!

    1. Wow thank you SO much for this comment! It really does help to hear from you since you’re already going through what I’m about to go through. And I’m also so glad that anything I said helped at all. It’s sooo easy as moms to think we are the only ones dealing with the frustration and mess! But we aren’t alone 🙂

      1. For sure, chica! Just let all the venting out when you need to. Moms will respond and it may help the stress. Looking forward to your future posts too!

  4. You are so right Ansley – starting your day in the right frame of mind is what it’s all about. For me, working out helps a ton – with my stress and just overall mental (any physical) health. I need structure and a routine for it to work so I go to pure barre classes and walk in my neighborhood with a friend. Accountability helps when I start thinking about slacking off. 🙂

    1. So true!! I can’t wait to start doing an actual exercise routine, I think that will help my frame of mind a lot as well

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