January edition: tending to the body
Mamas, whenever we undergo a life changing event—from starting a new job, to having a new baby, to moving into a new home— daily life can shift dramatically and send us into Survival Mode.
As we begin to find our bearings in the unknown, it becomes clear that some things cannot be done the same way as before—because life is not the same as before. And that is okay! When a big change happens in your life, it’s okay to take your time to adjust, to slow down, to take one day at a time and to let some things slide.
But sometimes, we can get stuck there in Survival Mode, and after a while it can feel like we’re drowning. And that’s where we here at Everyday Mamas want to help.
In 2020, we’ll be running a monthly series on things you can do to combat Survival Mode. We believe that it’s truly possible to not just “survive”—but thrive—as we navigate change in our lives as mothers. Sometimes we just need a little outside inspiration to revitalize us and get us moving forward with fresh perspective.
So if you feel ready to find a new “normal”, this series is for you.
This month’s collection of tips center around tending to our bodies. Tending to our bodily appearance and physical wellness can be just as important as tending to the mind and the soul. We are both, after all! How we feel physically affects how we feel mentally, and that in turn affects how we act in the world.
In short, our bodies are worthy of care, and sometimes even just a little attention can help you feel more like yourself. We’ve asked a few mamas for advice on what works best for them, and from makeup and style to nutrition and pain management, we hope these tips and words of encouragement will help you thrive in all the changing seasons of motherhood.
When my oldest started Kindergarten this year, I found it so difficult to get all three kids and myself ready to leave the house by 7am. Since I no longer had time in the morning to look as put together as I would have liked to for the day, I started to keep a small bag of five makeup products (concealer, mascara, highlighter, lipstick, and an eyebrow pencil) in the car at all times.
Knowing that I always have everything I need in the car to feel put together for whatever the day may bring helps alleviate the feeling that I’m just barely “surviving” on early school mornings (or any other day I can’t dedicate time to makeup before leaving the house). Now I stress less about getting ready, and feel and look more put together in less time.
I use these five items to create three simple, universally flattering looks that can all be done in 60 seconds or less from the front seat of your car. Bonus: no brushes necessary!
Look 1: Morning drop-off
Dot concealer in the inner corner, the center, and the outer corner of the eye and around the nose. Pat with fingers to blend. Fill in sparse parts of the eyebrow. Dot lipstick on the bottom lip and blot.
Look 2: Daytime
Apply highlighter to the highpoints of the face. Dot lipstick on the cheeks, and blend out with fingers. Use remaining lipstick to reapply on lips, and on the bridge of the nose. Apply one coat of mascara on the upper lashes.
Look 3: Nighttime
Reapply concealer, eyebrow pencil, and highlighter as needed. Apply lipstick directly to lip. Blot with your finger, and tap what remains on the outer crease of the eyelid. Apply highlighter to center of lid. Use eyebrow pencil as eyeliner on outer corners of eyelid. Finish with a second coat of mascara and coat bottom lashes.
by Janet Easter (@everthrift), mom of three:
Style and beauty are incredibly powerful tools of communicating who we are and who we want to be. The care we give to how we dress really does affect our hearts and minds.
When I was a new mom, I knew that truth, BUT the shock of motherhood sent me spinning into “survival mode” in many ways. Looking back, it affected the clothes I’d chose to wear and colored my perspective of my own self-worth.
When you’re sleep deprived or sick, or the kids are sick, or you don’t feel like you’re the “right size” yet, or you can’t imagine putting on your favorite dress because you don’t want it smeared in peanut butter or spit up or worse – that’s when it’s the most difficult to put thought into what you want to wear. After three kids in less than three years, I’ve felt all these things and more (still do!). There were times I didn’t feel like it was worth the effort to care or it was too painful for me to try to fit into my “old style and size.”
But, over the past year I’m learning to embrace and give thanks for who I am in the moment, size, chaos and all, to have a little more fun when it comes to getting dressed. Whether it’s wearing vintage midi’s and dresses or simply throwing on a button down shirt with a great pair of jeans, it’s amazing how something as simple as that has helped me tackle the day with a smile. It has forced me to realize that I am worth the effort.
Sure, there are days when sweats and a hoodie calls from my closet. But, the more I’ve tried to have fun and a bit of intention with fashion in this crazy stage of life, the better I am for it and so are my children.
From the words of a wise friend, “BUY a pair of jeans that fit you right now.” My all-time favorite go-to mom outfit is a classic button down oxford or chambray shirt tucked into high-waist modern denim and statement earrings. Oversized button-down tops are perfect for nursing moms and compliment any shape, dangly statement earrings never fail to bring smiles, and jeans are just comfy.
Check out Janet’s online store Ever Thrift for unique vintage finds! Her latest collection of thrifted and vintage goods drops on 1/30/20 (and there’s a whole host of awesome statement earrings to help curate the perfect go-to momma look)!
Pain Management and Bodily Wellness
by Andrea Jasper (@studioApilatesandyoga), mom of three:
Everyday living for many mommas is repetitive motion. We ‘perform’ in everyday tasks (picking up babies, putting them in carseats, hauling diaper bags, groceries, etc.), which can bring compression to the neck and lower back.
Left unaddressed, it forms what we call ‘stuck stress’ that tends to accumulate in the shoulder girdle (hello neck and upper back pain, shoulder pain), the diaphragm (causing low back pain, rib cage immobility and stiffness) and the pelvis (pelvic pain, hip, knee, leg and ankle pain).
We live with hours of built up stress that can cause us pain. This can make us feel like we’re just barely surviving the day, and most moms don’t have hours to spend at the gym or studio to combat it!
The MELT Method helps alleviate that pain and stress at home by rehydrating the connective tissue in the body. A well-hydrated connective tissue system allows the joints in your body to essentially ‘float’ and function without pain-causing compression. It can be used as a preemptive treatment (before you have pain or chronic pain) and as a reparative treatment (faster recovery after an illness or an especially stressful day).
The MELT Method is especially great for those mommas who may have only a few minutes a day to dedicate to bodily wellness. Hand and Foot treatments using the resistance balls help create a global fluid exchange in minutes!
When your connective tissue system is well hydrated, the source of pain can be treated and the rest of your bodily systems work much more efficiently, including stress regulators and sleep patterns. Tending to the body in this way supports overall physical wellness, and helps us thrive!
You can visit the MELT Method website and YouTube page for helpful information and videos. If you have more specific and in depth pain, sleep, or stress issues and would like to enjoy the full benefits of the method from home, the MELT On Demand program might be for you!
Nutrient Dense Fuel
by Skye LeFevre (@healthy.kids.living), mom of three:
A lot of the food we eat in the standard American diet is either junk food or just not very nutrient dense. The problem is that when we don’t feed our bodies the nutrients that they need, they can’t properly function.
Over time, we may start to feel more tired than usual or notice small aches in our bodies. When we feel this way it is almost harder to eat healthy because we don’t have the energy to make such a change. It can be a vicious cycle.
This is why I love smoothies. They are so easy to make and can really be a great jump start to including more nutrient dense foods in your day. It is really miraculous how when we focus on healthy and nutrient dense food, the body can thrive and a lot of our aliments go away.
If I want a smoothie that is more healing and nutrient dense, for breakfast for example, I usually think to add leafy greens, cucumbers, pineapple (that helps to sweeten the bitter taste of leafy greens) and then I either add coconut water or herbal tea that has cooled down.
Our favorite nutrient dense smoothie:
1 Cup Pineapple
1 Frozen Banana
1/2 Fresh Cucumber
1/2 Cup Fresh Spinach
8 oz Lemon Balm Herbal Tea, Chilled
If I’m looking for a dessert, I like to put in a banana and juice for sweetness and then usually some frozen berries or maybe coconut milk if I want that flavor. We have the best smoothie desserts at our house! And it really helps to not always have desserts with a ton of refined sugar.
Our favorite dessert smoothie:
2 Cups Frozen Mixed Berries
2 Cups Frozen Bananas (this is the secret to thick, ice cream-like smoothies)
+/- 4 oz Apple Juice (you can add more or less depending on how thick of a texture you want it)
+/- 4 oz Coconut Milk (full fat from the can)
A tip for those who are new to smoothies is to start with more dessert like recipes and slowly start to add in more vegetables and whole fruit and less fruit juice. My kids now love their green smoothies, but I’m not sure they would have in the beginning! Happy smoothie creating!