**disclaimer: I do not, in any way shape or form want this blog post to contribute to the Mommy Wars going on around us. I do not think that being a stay-at-home-mom makes you a better mom than a working mom, nor do I think being a working mom makes you a better mom than a stay-at-home-mom – we ALL love our kids and are doing what is best for OUR families, so let’s try not to judge other mamas, ok? This is just my attempt to share our story and what the Lord has been teaching me.**
This blog post has been a long time coming…and I have re-written it 6 times now! I have been excited to share this new journey for our family, but the time hasn’t been right, so I am so happy that now it is. Before Elliot was born I swore I would never be a stay-at-home-mom. I said I could do it all and that staying home was boring and not something I was interested in any way, shape, or form. I wanted my daughter to grow up seeing a mom who could do it all, juggle a full time career, owning a business (2 actually!), a strong business woman, and still doing all of the fun mom things, easy right?! As soon as Elliot was born I jumped back into work – I didn’t really take a real maternity leave. Mind you, I love my job and loved what I was doing (and am excited that as owner of such an amazing company I still get to be a part of it!!!), so responding to emails from the hospital bed and working during her naps was what I wanted to do…I also realize (now) that I was absolutely trying to prove to myself (and everyone around me) that I COULD in fact “do it all. ” It just seemed natural to try to get back into the normal swing of things as quickly as possible, then back in August I wrote a “day in the life” post proving yet again how together I have everything and that I could do it all…my goodness, that is so, so not the case. If only you could see my guest room and bedroom right now. :/
But here’s the part I haven’t been so open about. Since Elliot was about 6 month olds I have had this deep longing inside of me to be able to focus my time and attention on her and really wanting to have TIME for her. For my birthday by sister gave me a wooden sign for my house with Nehemiah 6:3 on it – that verse says “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” (read a blog post on that here) This sign sits in my office and I look at it probably hundreds of times a day, and for awhile there was a quiet stirring in my heart that I was not living this verse how the Lord was calling me to. There have been so many days that Elliot has come up to me with a book asking me to read to her and I say (to a 17 month old!) that I am too busy and mama is working, yes, I am am HOME with her, but I am rarely present…and I feel like I am doing nothing well – from parenting, work, marriage, church planting – everything is getting a tired, worn out, stretched-too-thin version of me, and that’s not fair to anyone! I am so thankful that my job has allowed me to be home and not have to have a full time nanny or put her in full-time daycare, but I am still not here…I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you, but it sure does to me!
The Lord has been stirring and stirring in my heart since Elliot was born – showing me that this is what He is calling me to, and I simply didn’t want to hear it. As the months progressed I realized more and more this was the decision I needed to make – but I was SO scared. How would we do it financially? Am I going to be SO bored? What will I DO all day? So many questions and doubts rolled through my mind. I constantly had it as a prayer request and one day a friend (and mentor) of mind said quite simply: “Leah, would you rather act now in obedience to God’s call on your life, or would you rather face his discipline for not listening?” ummmm…I take option 1 please!!! Chris and I had always said I would likely quit working once our 2nd child came along, but it seemed like God was telling me NOW is the time – even though there was just 1 child in the picture. So after a lot (more) conversations with Chris (of which he always said it would be totally fine whatever I decided), I officially made the decision to resign….and the next day (no joke!!!) I found out I was pregnant. I love that God so clearly honored and confirmed the act of obedience I was so scared to make with that positive pregnancy test!
So here we are about 4 months after making that decision and I am officially a “stay-at-home-mom”…whoa! We have been working with a financial counselor to get our finances in order and I have spent a little more time focusing on a business I have pushed to the side for the past 4 years (I am a coach with the company Beachbody) that provides in amazing ways for our family without a lot of time away from them. I am SO thankful that the Lord has allowed that business to thrive and flourish and provide financially in ways I could have NEVER imagined. I remember setting a goal for myself when I first started this business: “I want to be able to stay home with my kids and be active and present in their lives.” welp…check that off the goal list!
So we move forward. I have officially left my full time position and am now my own boss (yikes) and a stay at home mom….that is so weird! I am SO thrilled that I still get to play an active role in the strategic growth at (once like a spark) and have my hands in the amazing things happening there (thank you for not kicking me out completely, girls!! ), but it’s just going to look a little bit different than it has for the past 4 (amazing, incredible, growing) years.
Here we go….on to new adventures! I am excited, thrilled…and terrified! Stay tuned for (hopefully) a lot more posts from me in the coming months!
In October I posted my personal results with the Ultimate Reset on my Facebook Page and got a TON of response asking how I did it and TONS of questions about the program, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a little post about the Reset, how it can fit into a normal, busy life, and how I feel after!
First of all, I want to tell you what the reset is NOT
- It is NOT a starvation diet – you eat 3 meals a day AND a snack
- It is not a crazy cleanse (like the Master Cleanse, etc where you drink a crazy concoction all day instead of eating…that is bad news, folks!)
- It is not a quick fix – yes, you will see killer weight loss results, but if you go right back to your old habits you WILL gain it all back!
- It is not a laxative or diet pill – yes, you will take supplements, but they are to enhance your body and not harmful in ANY way
What does it consist of?
The Reset comes with a VERY detailed instruction manual/book that lays out exactly what each supplement is, a detailed meal plan for each day, shopping lists, supplements, and access to support groups. As I said above, you will eat 3 meals and 1 snack every day…this is not about starvation! The first week you will work on eliminating meal, dairy, eggs and all animal byproducts from your diet, while weeks 2 and 3 are strictly vegan. Yes, it is a restricted diet (in the sense that it’s likely quite different than your normal diet!), but I’m telling you, I have NEVER felt better in my life!
Is it hard to stick to?
That’s a hard one to answer! For me it was not hard – I looked at the purchase of it as an investment and I wanted to make it worth it. I also kept reminding myself that it is only 21-days and I can do anything for 21-days…especially for something with such long term results! So really, if you are ready for a change and want to see some serious results in the health and state of your body, then I would say the results will keep you motivated to stick to it!
What kind of results did I see?
- the 3rd day I could FEEL my sinuses and ears draining – that was an odd sensation. I think it was from eliminating dairy from my diet.
- My sleep was more restful. Mind you, I am an EXCELLENT sleeper, but I always woke up feeling TIRED, even after 10 hours of sleep! During (and after the reset) I have been waking up feeling rested and not feeling like I have to drag myself out of bed.
- I had been experiencing some pain in my knee and hips for a few months and (as crazy as it sounds), I haven’t experienced those aches in my joints that I had been feeling.
- Increased energy – I don’t feel like I need caffeine to get myself going in the morning
- And last, I lost 14 pounds in the 21-day reset. I have been off of the program for about a month now and I have gained 4 of those back (which I expected!), but I feel like I am able to maintain this new weight and am LOVING how I feel with that extra weight off of my body and the extra “fluff” I felt like I couldn’t shake from pregnancy! And…bonus! I am 10 lbs lighter than I have ever been in my adult life!
Being a work-at-home mom and business owner, I really need to keep an organized space that is MY OWN for really cranking out my work during my power hours…aka – nap times! In our little house (we have a 1920′s bungalow!) we don’t have a separate room for an office, but my desk is a little built-in nook in our laundry room/mudroom. It sounds strange, but it’s actually PERFECT. I am not secluded away from Elliot or Chris, but I can still get focused when need be. BUT, over the past few months it has gotten out. of control…and I had to take back my space! So here are a few before and afters for you!
The full mess:
Organizer and printer…
Messy shelves…and yep, that’s a pink 8-Ball Jesus. Chris’ first present to me!
one last shot of the mess…
the after…I added a little mail organizer on the wall (had to get that OFF the desk), a few cork boards, a smaller pencil/stuff organizer…
added an organizer for my notebooks (business notebook, goals notebook, general notes, etc), hung my dry erase calendar (right side), straightened the mess of magazines on the shelves
So, that’s my $30 office makeover. MUCH better space for cranking it out….I am so excited to get to work tomorrow!
I just read this post yesterday on Plywood People and was SUPER convicted by it! He talks about how in our culture lately it seems like whenever people ask “how are you doing?” the answer is usually something like, “so busy!” “things are great, but just so, so busy right now!!!” and I realized I am SO guilty of this! I don’t know why I answer this question like this – is it to make people think I am important? (which I am CLEARLY not) or that I have way more cool stuff going on in my life than they do theirs? I mean…honestly, I have no idea what triggers the response.
I was telling my small group a few weeks ago that I have felt really strongly that I need to throw the brakes on things BIG time in my life- I HATE having things going every night and feeling like there is never time to slow down and enjoy my family and my friends – and that in slowing things down I felt so much better about things, so much less…busy. Imagine that. Yes – when it comes down to it, I am busy – I work full time, do consulting on the side, teach fitness classes and have a lot more going on – but that shouldn’t define who I am or how I define my life – those ARE things I do, but they are not who I am- and I don’t want to be defined by those things.
So I got home from hanging out with friends tonight and immediately sat down to get some work done. Why the heck did I do this?! I already worked 9 hours today and got A LOT of focused work done – what’s wrong with sitting on the couch watching TV or reading without feeling guilty or like I should be getting things done? Am I doing this so tomorrow I can tell my co-workers that I worked until midnight, or tell some rando this weekend how awesome I am for working all the time. Honestly, I want to get to the point where if I tell someone I worked all evening I want them to call me out on it – I deserve a break, my husband deserves my attention, and the baby that is soon-to-be will definitely deserve my focus as well!
Ok, I need to gather my thoughts here. My challenge to you (and me!) is to redefine how you are prioritizing your life and looking at things. We are ALL busy…whether you work 4 jobs, 1 job or…anything. We all have a lot going for us…no one really cares how busy you are! (are you offended by that?) So next time someone asks you how you are doing, try actually telling them how you are doing and feeling – not how busy you are…it doesn’t make you look cool! And another challenge…try shutting down work/computer/iPhone/email when you get home and ENJOY the fact that you had an incredibly productive day and that all of those emails will still be there at 8 am, and hey… maybe it will help your co-workers find some balance too if you aren’t emailing them every 5 minutes of their life!
So, are you getting an iPad 2? I am dreaming of one. I didn’t pull the trigger when the first one came out – but for the past few months I have been jonesin’ for the anticipated keynote launching the 2nd generation. I am a gadget junkie, I will admit that. However, I am excited about this gadget! Now when I travel I will just carry this – no laptop, no reader, no books…just this and my phone – that will make my back so much lighter! I am NOT about to say I NEED an iPad, no no, this is definitely a want…but a want I am excited about. So, here’s to you March 11, I have my debit card ready.
So, I already know which size I want and that I think I am going to spring for the 3G (for traveling, etc – not to pay for monthly!)…but what color?! White or black? I am torn.
image via www.apple.com