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In this second part of our interview with Jo, she chats more about the simple choices she makes to honor herself and her marriage amongst the chaos of Motherhood and owning a small business. She has some really great advice for Moms that may struggle with reclaiming themselves during the early years of parenthood, too!
How has the role of being a Mother changed you?
I can’t think of any aspect of me that hasn’t changed from becoming a mother. My limits have definitely been “stretched”. I can love deeper, handle more stress, and can cram more in one day than I did in a week before having kids. I’ve become more patient and compassionate, but at the same time, won’t put up with stupid B.S. and I'm tough as nails if it comes to defending my family. And this is just the beginning! My sons are still young (3 years old and just under 6 months) so I can’t even imagine how I’ll change in the future.
Each of us has our own set of principles that can help us create more balance. For a lot of us, that is merely a goal and not a reality right now! Do you have systems in your life that help you balance it all?
In order for me to stay really balanced, I try to give 100% of my attention to what I’m doing. If I’m working, I’ll try to set aside a chunk of time so I’m uninterrupted. If I’m with my kids, I’ll shut down my work brain (or try to). It’s the only way I can enjoy the moment. With my first son, I would do emails on my phone while I nursed, but then felt like I was only half way present. This second time around, I don’t want to miss anything to its fullest!
In what ways do you create time for yourself? Do you have any self-care rituals?
I definitely make time in my schedule to hang out with my mommy friends. Even if its for only 30 minutes, and the kids are going nuts, my stress levels immediately dissipate when I get to “talk shop” with my girls because they get it. Self-care also means time with my hubby. Date nights are hard so we try to make time for day dates. It could range from a leisurely breakfast at Starling Diner or grabbing a breakfast burrito on our way to Costco with the baby in tow. As long as we try to make time to really connect at least once a week, it feels more like a team effort than two ships sailing in the night if that makes sense. And its small, but a priority of mine is to always have my toes painted. It’s a reminder that I’m still “me” under all this chaos and it lasts longer than a manicure in this stage of life.
Sometimes putting aside everything to take care of you or put on a new coat of nail polish is absolutely the right thing to do. Thank you for that reminder, Jo!