Guest Feature: Helping Kids Learn Self-Care

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We here at earnestmom.com are honored to once again have, Leslie Campos of https://wellparents.com to share some helpful tips on helping our children to learn some self-care – perfect for summer down times! Image via Pexels.

Practicing self-care is an important life skill that too few people are actively taught. In our society, the pressure is on us to always be the best. But if you don’t take time out to care for yourself, that becomes impossible. That’s why it’s a good idea to teach your children to practice self-care on a regular basis, as it will help set them up for happiness and success in the future. 

Encouraging Self-care

It’s easy to tell your children that taking care of themselves is important. What’s more difficult is being a role model and showing them how you take care of yourself. Let your kids see you taking time to practice self-care. Explain to them what you are doing and why. They will see the difference that taking care of yourself makes and be encouraged.

One important element of teaching this skill to your children is prioritizing them in your life. The day can get so busy, especially when life is busy. Actively plan when you will have quality time with your children and make sure you honor that commitment. Having a routine will make keeping the habit much simpler. That includes things like having a special bedtime routine together or having a Friday movie night.

Even if you have things to get done, you can involve your children. When you’re working in the kitchen, let them help or complete other simple chores in the area. If you have work to do from home, maybe they can read a book or color at your desk while you type.

Self-care Activities

Self-care falls into four categories: emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual. The activities are used to promote health in these areas and to eliminate stress. Some examples of self-care practices appropriate for kids are:

Emotional

  • Family time. Spending time around people who you care about and who care about you meets emotional needs.
  • Positive affirmations. Telling yourself positive things helps you build confidence and develop the relationship you have with yourself.

Physical

  • Eating healthy. Beyond just feeding your kids healthy foods, teach them about foods and help them have a positive attitude about what they eat.
  • Exercise. Even if it’s just going on a walk, teach your kids to get active. Some exercise on a daily basis is the best for most kids.
  • Reduce screen time. Not only does excessive screen time damage vision and prompt headaches, but it also promotes a sedentary lifestyle that is not good for your physical health.

Psychological

  • Journaling. Take time each day to reflect on events and write them down.
  • Creating. Whether it’s a drawing, a craft, a story, music, or something else, creative work exercises the brain and develops the mind.

Spiritual

  • Meditation and prayer. This gives you a chance to reflect and connect to a higher power or simply tune in to the world around you. 
  • Volunteer. Making connections in your community and serving others is powerful.

Self-care Is Important

Self-care is more than just basic hygiene and having a hobby. It is really slowing down, focusing on yourself, and taking care of your mental health. To see how one family manages it all, check out the earnestmom.com.

How We Plan Our Summer as a Homeschool Family

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Anyone else hit summer and look for ways to have some structure but not over-structure? Me. I am anyone else. Homeschool ends, and then I feel overwhelmed – “What do I do for summer?!” I want my children to feel like they are more relaxed, and to be able to differentiate from homeschool. We will not do any formal full lessons and I will give them time to be bored because boredom is not a bad thing. I do not want the summer to pass and also feel like we have done nothing.

I have three children, 12, 7 and 4. I included them in the planning and set specific goals for each day. Now these goals will not rule our whole schedule as vacations, summer camps and other events will definitely happen but we will have a loose plan for each day. I am not sure about you but by breakfast each day my kids are asking “what are we doing today?” and they are typically not satisfied with “nothing.”

Here is what our summer schedule looks like for the months of July and August. Mondays are zoo mornings (we get a membership to the local one each year), Tuesdays are pool afternoons (we have a small pop up one otherwise it would be dedicated water play outside). Wednesdays are mornings the the museum (again we have a membership to the local children’s museum but we will also explore our other museums as well). Thursdays we will visit the library and a park nearby hosts picnics in the park with family entertainment for free. Fridays are our adventure day, we will be checking a new local park or two (we will also blog and rate our experience for those local to Erie County Pennsylvania).

Using the Notability app on my iPhone I created these fun color coded calendars (I also use similar ones for our homeschool year), I then took advantage of the $0.99 magnet deal on the Shutterfly app to create magnets as a reminder for the fridge.

This helps us have an intentional and focused summer not being limited by what we plan, but if we feel like we have nothing to do it helps to have a plan already! Let me know your tricks to keep summer fun and easy for your kiddos.

x. earnest mom

Rate My Park – Summer Series

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An Earnest Experience in Erie County Pennsylvania

All summer long, Fridays will be designated to exploring parks in Erie County PA and rating them!  The Earnest Littles and I are having a blast park hopping and seeing what is out there!  Each post will give a final rating out of 10 for the overall park and then we will break down the categories.  For each park we are looking at equipment, cleanliness, bathroom options, parent spots and picnic facilities.

Please note, the opinions given in this post/rating are our opinions alone and do not speak for the parks, the townships or anyone else.  Our intent is to give a glimpse of our experience and how much we, as a family liked the park.

McKean Community Recreational Park, 8798 Main St, McKean PA 16426

Overall Rating 8/10.  This park is large, it has a nice sized parking lot, baseball diamonds, other large sporting fields and a walking track.  It is a lovely, open green space with a nice breeze and a lovely Veteran Memorial.  All in all, we really liked this park, while we were there the kids were quick to make friends with a family who frequents, and they were so kind to invite us back to play.  We recommend checking out this park for some free fun in Erie County PA this summer!

Equipment:  The playground has a decent size climber complete with three slides, monkey bars, a crawl tube, bridge, a sliding pole and fun climbing options.  The ground cover appears to be older mulch so there was a complaint from the seven-year-old (and contributed to her rating of one thumb up and one thumb down) that she kept getting dirt in her crocs.  There is a swing section that has both belt swings and full bucket baby swings.  Ground cover also appeared to be older wooden mulch. The equipment is slightly dated in our opinion, but that did not stop is from being a fun place to play.

Cleanliness:  The park was very clean.  There was a little bit of litter from recent visitors who left their trash Juice boxes and napkins) after it got blown away from them, however there are plenty of trash cans located all over the park that allows for easy access and helps to keep it clean.  The equipment itself is kept up well, with natural wear from use it was pleasantly clean as well.

Bathrooms:  There is a decent bathroom building available for use (it was open when we were at the park).  It was fully stocked with toilet paper and soap at the sinks.  They appear to have at least two toilets per restroom (Men’s or Women’s) both equipped with a handicap option. 

Parent Spots: There are PLENTY of benches located right by the playground, a few even had shade from some nearby trees.  The benches were located all around the playground equipment as well, lots of options!

Picnic Facilities: There are so many picnic options here.  Two large pavilions (one with kitchen facilities and a ton of seating) with many wooden picnic tables fully shaded and had grills (both decently close enough to the playground) and one small one that has one wooden picnic table with handicap access.

Stay tuned for our next review.  Live in Erie County?  Have you been to this park?  What are your thoughts?

We Mix the Play Dough.

I will admit. I was not the mixing of the play dough colors kind of girl. I like things just so. Order, proper places, and keeping things neat and tidy. I like to know that when I go looking for something in it’s rightful place, it will be there. Then I had kids.

Keeping up the house, having dinner on time, kids in line, making all my own “homemade” everything, keeping all the crayons sorted and NOT mixing the play dough colors. That is how my parenting style looked, before I had actual real, brilliant, wild, breathing, crying, incredibly full of life children. I could leave a list here of all the things my imaginary kids were NOT going to do, then give the perfect counter as to how my real life children have done or are currently doing all those things.

Rigidity in motherhood for me was a fallacy. It took a while to learn that being flexible, honest with my emotions and not ‘keeping everything together always,’ was what would be best. Early on as a mom to one, I was one of the few in my group of friends and family to have children. My son was adored by my siblings, grandparents, parents, and friends; he was so loved. He grew up enjoying one on one with his father and I, and excelled in language skills holding conversations with adults by the time he was 4. He was amazing, and he is still a rock star at 11, in my honest and totally unbiased opinion but I digress. Then we had our daughter. Life changed, for the better but not in ease.

Overnight, our daughter was born and I went from a full-time working mom of one to a stay at home mom of two. Talk about learning a new way of life, I am not afraid to admit that I was wholly unprepared for the challenges as a stay at home mom but we survived. In the midst of recovery and getting settled with a new little person, we moved states. A move that took me away from my family, friends, and village; then opened wounds and showed vulnerabilities I did not know I had. Relocating is not easy, reestablishing and making a home somewhere other than the only home I knew was a bit traumatic. It was tear-filled, fear-filled and over all a learning experience. Did I mention that I like things to be just so?

Then there were three. Three years of getting settled into a new state, we were a family of five. I always heard how three changes everything, and much to my chagrin it proved to be true. Our loveable, strong, honest, loud, happy, snuggly, kind-hearted Wreck-it-Ralph came barreling into our lives. Our family dynamic changed. Breakables were placed high, but when climbing began most were eventually stored for safety. Church service is exhausting as I chase, play, distract and feed our busy little man. He is so full of life it literally bursts over everyone we come into contact with. He mixes the play dough, he mixes all the colors; then he mixes it with sand, water, food, or anything else that brings playful joy to his big old heart. Toys are dumped and thoroughly played with; passion roars from him like a lion and love comes out gentle as a bunny. He is the wild to my quiet, the chaos to my perfection, the love and life that my heart never knew it needed.

After three kids, homeschooling, a pandemic and the change to rules/opinions daily we find refuge in our home. Here it is safe, here we have order among the wild things, and we are learning to love deeper, respect more and most of all, learning to become the people God has designed us to be. When I started out in motherhood I would cry in frustration when things were not just so, when my plans would get muddled and mixed and I felt like things were out of control. Now, the phrase I often heard “blessed are the flexible for they shall not break” rings true every single day. Here, we mix the play dough colors; which is still hard for my first born as he was raised with more of a rigid mom who taught him we had to keep things the ‘right’ way, a mom who was quick to react and slow to listen. Now he has a more flexible, albeit less stressed (well sort of) mom and we are learning the power bending and not breaking together in life. In the flexibility we have found happiness, we have found resilience and now we are growing together. It is not always easy and there are fractures from past rigid moments that can make things stressful, but slowly the as we stretch old wounds they begin to flex and not hurt so much.

“When the milk is splattered all over the floor, and those little eyes are looking at your for your reaction, remember what really matters. It takes 5 minutes to clean up spilled milk. It takes much longer to clean up a broken spirit.”

Rebecca Eanes, The Gift of a Happy Mother.

I saw this truth just this week. My children love balloons, and I love to have them for fun occasions. Recently we surprised them with 22 inch balloons for a homeschool celebration. I made the rules clear, the balloons are for floating and leaving alone today and tomorrow they could have at them. Half way through the day, my youngest wild one who is 4, was sprawled out facedown on the floor crying, I sat down next to him and said “It sounds like you are feeling upset. Did something happen you want to share?” As he sobbed he cried out “I popped one of the balloons!” Immediately my heart broke, I thought ‘Oh no, is he crying because he is afraid of getting in trouble?’ So I responded, “Ok, the balloon broke. Can you tell me why you are crying?” He responded “I broke the rules and I am so sorry. Do you forgive me?” Could I have disciplined him? Sure, he did not listen and the balloon broke, but I realized his heart was already sore because he chose to break the rules and he knew it was wrong. Lesson learned.

Talk about unpacking some personal trauma – I decided to be the adult I needed when I was too scared to tell my parents my mistakes, and I often hid from them. I asked him for a hug, and as we sat on the floor, cheek to cheek, heart to heart I thanked him for his honesty, and even though he knew it was wrong he chose truth, and told him that I forgave him. I reminded him (even though he is only 4) that I am always here for him and no matter what I love him. This child who has ran naked through the middle aisle of the church, who mixes all the play dough colors has caused a great work to come upon my heart.

I am not perfect, no way do I get this parenting thing right every time but moments like that remind me how far I have grown. A decade ago, when I preferred things ‘just so’ I subconsciously placed unfair expectations on my children. I judged my mothering success by their behaviors, but slowly as we have mixed the crayons, spilled the milk, been too loud, ran too hard and broke the mold that I was placing us in – I have taken that unfair pressure off of all of us and started enjoying the ‘new’ that we create when we mix the play dough. To this day, I organize the kids books in my living room according to color. Yep. I place them in order ROYGBIV and when I sit down to relax after a stay at home/homeschool day, that sight relaxes me. No one sees it but me, and a few days later I am left to sort them again – the way I like it because I like the way it feels. In this small way, my ‘just so’ attitude gets satiated. I was not one to mix the playdough colors but I love how motherhood is molding me into something new, different and dare I say…better.

An Earnest Attitude of Gratitude.

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It is November. We have Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving that we host every year and so quickly I can get distracted by the planning (I like to really plan with a lot of care and thought our Friendsgiving to create an intimate time for the group of us that have been celebrating for the past 3 years). I am seeing on social media, people posting thankful anecdotes daily, which is so refreshing to read when I decide to scroll – especially when I haven’t been online for a few days and all the thankful posts pile up! Some have been known to cause a few tears in my own eyes.

I feel like while I am mama, teacher, cook, tidy-upper, help mate and all the other hats that I juggle through my days I miss being thankful for my life, abilities and the little things!

Someone once told me it could simply be a matter of switching up the narrative in my head. when my days get busy (especially lately when home inspection calls are non stop some days), I get caught up in the stress of what I have to get done. Earnest dad will come home after a long day of inspecting and maybe hunting, and he wants to relax. All I can see is what we have to do and I quickly get overwhelmed. There are days he comes home early and the moment I see him, I immediately think of my have to list and I don’t stop to even greet him. (I feel awful saying it but it is true).

The word of God says,

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100: 1-5

Be thankful to him, for the Lord is good and his mercy is everlasting. These words were life to me this week.

We use a curriculum that we print monthly – and it is a lot of printing! Well we start a new unit TODAY and because of the busyness and time spread everywhere, I started printing last night. And last night, nothing was going right. With lack of sleep (thanks daylight savings), homeschooling, business phone calls and energetic kids I was done. I felt, as Bilbo Baggins so eloquently put it, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” My patience, calm and thankful tanks were on empty. I went to bed and as I fell asleep I remembered the words, attitude of gratitude.

As I got up this morning feeling resting, my youngest little laid on the ground with his little fingers reaching under the door and began singing one of my favorite hymns. In my head I hear, attitude of gratitude. I go to get my morning vitamins and breaks and my little guy climbs up to sit on the counter with me (I was with him the whole time) and brewed me my k-cup (again with my support). Again, I am reminded attitude of gratitude. I need to change my narrative.

Here I sit, with my printer trying to print our workbooks we should already be working out of and there is a paper jam. Then mid print job, it cancels itself. No error information, no reason that I can see. Attitude of gratitude. So I changed the narrative. Today for homeschool we will read stories together, we will clean up the house together, we will do our supplemental subjects already printed and ready to go. We will go outside and get some vitamin D and watch our favorite squirrel at the park as he buries his acorns in planning for his winter survival. Today we will do what we can with what we have. That is all that we ever have.

Instead of telling myself I have to, today I will remind myself that I get to. I get to school my children in my home because my husband works hard and the Lord blesses us. I get to clean up with my children because all of us are healthy and able. We get to go the to park because we have an amazing set up less than a block away in our quiet neighborhood. I get to work with my technology because we have the ability to own the necessities to do so.

I sit here, printer in error state, some kids not clothed running about the house with more screen time than I would like. But we get to do all of this because of the blessings that we have in our lives. This earnest home, family and life we have is such a privilege and honor, I am working daily to keep in an attitude of gratitude and to not let the sideways, caught off guard messes throw me off. Let November be the month you work to gain gratitude, then keep it all year long. Not because you have to, but because you earnestly get to.

x. earnest mom.

Hey Mama…

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This is a reminder.

Mama, you are so loved. Even in the moments of overwhelming and complete failure, you are still the best mom your children have had. None of us has this mom-gig worked out, and that’s ok! Your children love you so much. Let them see you fail, cry, pick up your pieces and try, try, try again. Resilience is learned from example and motherhood is the perfect opportunity to show your children that we can make mistakes and still keep going.

You are not perfect, but your are the perfect mom for you children. I heard this quote and felt that the word “perfect” made me feel anxious. Let’s drop perfection all together. The only perfect person that there was will make all things new again, until then, let’s stop setting an impossible bar for ourselves and other moms. There is beauty in our idiosyncrasies, our imperfections and our quirks. Let’s revel in them, celebrate them and the ones we don’t like, slowly work to focus on the good ones. Each mama has their own motherhood journey, let’s celebrate that instead of comparing, measuring and weighing ourselves (and each other).

Nothing is as it seems. Two words, social media. If scrolling is depressing you more than inspiring you, it is ok to log off. Instagram perfect shots, Facebook perfect posts and trendy TikTok clips may seem harmless but filtered, spotless, crisp, clean snippets are not how things always are. We cannot compare our 24 hours to 24 seconds of edited snap shots. Let’s put down our phones and appreciate what is around us. Real life lives in real homes filled with life and with tiny little humans who love us so much they rather enjoy watching us poo!

None of us are getting it right 100% of the time. Life is full of mistakes, that is who we are. Things crumble and because we have emotions, we will not get things on point every time. I err daily. Daily. I am quick to speak and slow to listen, I give too much advice instead of being a listening ear, I have a hard time with silence so I feel like I need to make conversation all the time. I rewind my conversations with my children, husband, friends and family every night and make edits on how I could have said things better. Maybe I am the only one, but I am so thankful that I wake every morning with a chance to try again.

Lastly, mama taking some time for you is a good thing. I am the first one when I am away from my children to immediately feel that pang of guilt that I could walk away and enjoy time “sans children.” Mom time is needed time, not just a spa mask on Sunday nights either (though keep doing this too!). You cannot fill from an empty cup, since I cannot often just get away I find my mom time in small moments. When my husband gets home, some nights I need a twenty minuter, alone in my room. Other times (currently I have put in a formal request) I need a 24-48 hour break, alone – just myself to recenter, reconnect and refresh. We moms are integral to our homes, and when we are worn, the whole ship can start to tumble. It is okay to get away.

We are in this together, you are not alone. Please know, asking for help is a good thing too. Reach out if you need, there is no shame if you cannot do it all. Doing everything is just too much, a weight that can be shared. Lean in to those who love and support you. Be encouraged to find some fellow moms you can talk to, visit with and simply fellowship. A little MOPS plug here – find a local MOPS! You never know where your next BFF is waiting! You are doing a good job, you are wonderfully made and so loved.

x. earnest mom.

I Am THAT Mom.

I am also human, and working on myself one step at a time.

As I prepare to write this, I earnestly feel gutted. Today, I was THAT mom. The mom that I have seen a million times; trying to keep it together as she can feel the entire façade of “everything is perfect” start to crumble and slip away. At first it was hard, but as I realized that I am human I was forced to give myself some grace.

Let’s set the stage for you. Thunderstorms kept us indoors. So movie and popcorn it is, until the popcorn maker got knocked over spilling popcorn every where and cracking the side panel. It was an accident, stay chill mama – accidents happen and its just a popcorn machine. Then children kept climbing the counter, literally I was taking children down from the countertops. Things started to calm until the hall closet upstairs was completely dissected from its contents while I was cleaning the popcorn machine. By then, the window to prepare dinner was closed, my oldest needed to go to karate and this mama was waving her white flag. It was enough.

My vehicle was parked across the street at my mother in laws and since my youngest two usually refuse pants and shoes, I needed to move the car to my driveway to save them from crossing the street shoeless (I have learned to pick my battles, shoes make it to the car in case they’re needed but I do not fight them on – in these cases I prefer peace to the fight). I called all three to the kitchen and said “get your shoes ready and stay RIGHT HERE, I am bring the car over.” They get busy putting their shoes on and I hot footed it across the street. All of the sudden, as I open the driver door there is my middle little. She startled me, then I realized she had ran across the street unassisted and that her 3 year old brother is likely right behind her. In my fear, my frustration I yelled at her. Ouch, it hurts my heart to even write that as I have been really working on my volume and tone with my children, but I was scared. Scared she could have been hurt, scared my youngest would soon be doing the same or is elsewhere outside completely unsupervised. I yelled, right at her “you scared me, and what about brother?! IS he safe?! I told you to stay in the house as I ran across the street!! Why didn’t you stay???” Ugh. We ran back to the house, and my oldest and youngest were standing right where I had asked them to stay only three minutes before.

Now I tell you, I have seen this mom around, so many times. Tired, worried, stressed, overwhelmed, scared, angry, frustrated, and yelling at her kid. Until this moment, I had always viewed the “yelling” mom as such a villain – and to all the moms I have judged before, I earnestly apologize. This is so HARD. Not that I condone yelling at children, however when I was scared, overwhelmed and worried for the safety of my children, that panic kicked in and naturally my voice elevated.

As soon as I saw all three of my children safe (my oldest is 11, so legally he can stay 3 minutes with his siblings as I drive up to get them, in case you are worried lol); I knelt down, cried and apologized instantly for yelling. I asked for my middle little’s forgiveness, I explained how scared I was but that yelling was not appropriate and I am working hard not to yell anymore. Then something surprising happened, she apologized for not listening and saw how scary that was for me. I was taken aback. I did not expect her to mirror my actions, to recognize and acknowledge her mistake and my feelings. It was messy, it was hard, but even in my mama-meltdown epic failure moments, these brilliant amazing little humans are still learning forgiveness, empathy and owning their own mistakes.

Yes, I am THAT mom. I am the mom that struggles with keeping my temper, sometimes doesn’t get food to the table on time (by the way we ordered in tonight), allows too much screen time, gives in to some demands to avoid the fight, and yells when I do not mean to. I am also THAT mom who forgives quickly, loves fully, asks for forgiveness and apologizes to show them I make mistakes too, and would protect my children at all costs. I cry in the bathroom, laugh at the dinner table and hug with everything I have got. I am 100% that mom and proud.

x. earnest mom.

An Earnest Goodbye.

I would like to take a moment and let you all know. In this wild and wonderful journey in the blog-o-sphere that and I have grown as much as I feel I can in this space. I am so thankful for all of my earnest readers over the years. I am honored that you took time to read the words that have come from my heart and so grateful for all of the support I have received.

This will be my final post as Earnest Mom, for now. My heart is full of emotions as I write this and even though it is hard to say goodbye, it is also the best for me and my earnest family. Thank you for being a part of my online village and I hope and pray you can find or maybe start your own villages where you are, keep strong mamas – together we rise.

May God bless and keep you all.

Earnestly yours,

Rebecca, earnest mom.

NOLEO, An Earnest Review + Instagram Giveaway.

I recently had the privilege of sampling the NOLEO Baby Box (pictured above) on my littlest Earnest kiddo. Inside the Baby Box (which can be purchased one time or as a monthly subscription) includes one bag of NOLEO 150 Disposable Organic Cotton Pads,one 8 fluid ounce pump bottle of NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer and one NOLEO travel bottle.  https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/babybox-diaper-cleanser-moisturizer-organic-cotton-pads-travel-size-refill-bottle

The NOLEO Disposable Cotton Pads are large rectangles of buttery soft organic cotton. To test softness before applying to my earnest little’s bottom I used them on my face. Used with an organic rose water toner, the cotton pads cover a large area and are still usable when folded in half (great for wiping messes on bottoms). Their organic cotton pads are produced without insecticides or pesticides and free from all allergenic, carcinogenic and toxic chemical residue. When it comes to my littles’ skin – these factors are extremely important to me.  https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/organic-cotton-pads-150-count

The NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer comes in an easy and convenient pump bottle, making application a breeze. To use (with the cotton pads or dry reusable wipes, non-woven gauze, dry wash cloth) shake well before use (organic oils naturally separate), apply a pump or two to cotton pad and use to clean baby’s diaper area. Gentle and natural enough to use at each diaper change for optimal benefits and protection. The Cleanser and moisturizer does not require rinsing as it cleanses, moisturizes and protects by remaining on skin. One 8 ounce bottle of NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer on average lasts 4 weeks. Each bottle eliminates up to 150 non-biodegradable baby wipes and the countless other products (baby lotions, diaper rash creams, baby powders, corn starch, etc) manufactured for the diaper change. *love this* The cleanser has a light scent, it smells like oil – the smell is mild and I did not mind it at all. https://www.noleocare.com/collections/noleo-organic-3-in-1-diaper-care-best-sellers/products/diaper-cleanser-moisturizer-8-oz

The last item included in the NOLEO Baby Box is the NOLEO travel bottle. The travel bottle is meant to be filled for convenient on the go use. I love that they have included an easy way to make the NOLEO Cleanser & Moisturizer portable. It helps me to have my diaper bag prepped and ready to go and before NOLEO I would have an extra pack of wipes designated for the diaper bag so I would not go with out. I like having the travel bottle and 6-10 cotton pads in a reusable bag for quick on the go use. Trying to be more eco- friendly does not mean it has to be more work. https://www.noleocare.com/pages/how-noleo-works

If you are wanting to try NOLEO for yourself, check them out at http://noleo.refr.cc/rebeccaw and get $5 off of your first order.

Interested in our giveaway? Head on over to https://www.instagram.com/earnestmomblog/ and look for the NOLEO x earnestmomblog Giveaway Post and enter there.

x. earnest mom

It is Okay Not to Know How to Feel Right Now. We Are in This Together.

Today marks six weeks since the earnest kids’ school announced a two week closure. Three days later our entire state was in total lock down and under stay at home orders. Three days later earnest dad was informed his home inspection business was non-essential and since we have gone without any income. Six weeks ago, the world as I knew it changed; as it did for many. Since then I have not known what to write, what to say, or even what to feel.

Yesterday for the first time in a few weeks I went to the grocery store. Gloves, mask, hand sanitizer, paper list and trying to get out of the store as fast as possible. There were taped off line markers on the floors, safety “MUST WEAR A MASK” signs, one way aisles, one way only entrance and exit, Plexiglas separators, empty shelves and an unfriendly silence. It took me a few moments to process grocery shopping once I was done. I sat in my car, removing my mask, sanitizing my hands and feeling the relief of going home then, I cried. I cried because I felt this new “normal” to be so foreign, to be overwhelming uncomfortable.

I am one who enjoys smiling, saying hi and complementing the people I see at the grocery store, I would try to be a light in their day. Instead we are all just rushing to get out, to take of our masks and feel safe at home. I tried to be kind and thank every grocery worker that I passed for working, but I found myself trying to yell through my mask just so they could hear me.

I do not know about you, but there are days where I feel like things are okay and that we can handle corona-schooling our earnest littles, our favorite places (parks, church, libraries, zoos and museums) being closed, staying home as much as possible, and being limited to shopping for essentials. Then there is a sudden moment, a realization that we are in a stay home order, there is a constant threat of an invisible virus and I am overwhelmed.

When I hop on video calls with my mom groups and church groups or friends and they ask how I am, there are times where the honest answer is ‘I do not know.’ I am all things at once sometimes. I am happy to be safe, sad to feel stuck, frustrated for being overwhelmed and tired from keeping my house up, children fed, children schooled and children entertained. Sometimes I simply do not how to feel, and I have come to recognize that feeling unsure in these strange and unfamiliar times is an okay feeling to have.

I am writing this for all of us out there, when we feel those moments of laughing, crying and screaming all at the same time. It is okay to be there, and it is okay to not be there. I have found so much freedom from these confusing emotions by telling someone how I am feeling. Oftentimes they respond to me that they feel the same way. It is not an understatement to say “we are in this together, separate but together.” Whether we are working from home or showing up on the front lines everyday; together we are all going through this. Moms and dads, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles; to your family and friends you are totally life-essential. You are not alone even when you feel alone, reach out, call out and even cry out if you need. Just as much as we are in this together, be encouraged – we will get through this together.

Sincerely yours from quarantine,

earnest mom.