Archive: May 2018

10 Tips on Surviving Two Under Two
I am officially a "two under two" survivor!
6 Natural Hair Tips for Busy Moms
You are just as important as everyone else. Take the time to take care of you too!

self care tips for busy moms
Image via CreateHerStock
Self care is extremely important. Its more than just stealing an hour a way to get your nails done. Self care is about focusing on your physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health because trust me - it all takes a bit of a hit once you add the role "mommy" to the equation.

As a busy mom and wife, I know first hand how easy it is to lose yourself in fulfilling these roles. Motherhood is the constant giving of yourself for the tiny humans you've created, but don't forget to show yourself a little love too. Here are some of my self-care tips for busy moms.

1.   Saying “No” // Learning to say no to taking on more than I can or want to handle – without guilt— is something that’s been a little hard for me. There's so much I want to do, and there's thing I'd like to get back to doing that I did B.K. (before kids), but right now, I can't. As parents of two little ones who also work full time, our time is extremely limited and to be honest, I'm tired yall! My life and schedule are literally full. I also can get overwhelmed rather easily sometimes when I take on way too much, so I'm not up for balancing 15 different things if I know that in this season of my life, I don't have the capacity to do so.

      Trying to do too much, something will lack, and I don't want lack to show up when it comes to quality time with my husband or my children because our time is already so limited due to our schedules. Taking on more than I can handle or more than I want to with the very limited time I have in the name of pleasing others isn’t an option. If I can’t do it, or I don’t feel up to it, I’m learning to say no and not feel guilty about it for my own sanity. I'm in a different season in my life now with two children, and we try and manage what we can when we can as best as we can. My family is my ministry, and making sure I serve my husband and my children the best way I can by being present is my top priority.
2.    Ask for Help // I must admit— asking for help is not something I’m used to doing. I’d rather just do things myself, especially when it comes to my children since 5 days out of the week, I don’t get much time with them. I try to involve myself in everything, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I want my children to know that mommy is present no matter what - I mean well in that area. On the other hands, everything leads to exhaustion and overworking yourself. Ladies, ask for help when needed, even if it’s as simple as a diaper change.

3.   Eat Heatlhy // Since my schedule can be pretty busy, I'm tired....like, all the time! I try to make an effort to eat healthy to help keep my energy up, and because it's just better for my body overall.  

4.   Laugh // Since becoming a mom, I’ve become a bit more serious. I’m learning to lighten up a little and really just not take life so serious all the time. Live and laugh more, ya know? Stop being stuck on a schedule and how things should go, but being a bit more relaxed. If things don't go as planned, that's okay! Laughter is the best medicine. Laugh mamas! 

self care tips for busy moms
Image via CreateHerStock
5.   Unplug // I can’t tell you how important unplugging is. It’s so easy to get lost in just everything— the busyness of life, social media, etc…. For a while, I felt like I didn’t know who I was because I was just lost in everything. Mommas, do yourself a favor and take time to unplug and unwind. Turn off the TV, set the phone aside, crack open the Word, and just unplug! You'll be refreshed afterwards.

self care tips for busy moms
Image via CreateHerStock
6.   Schedule time for yourself // If you don’t schedule time, it’ll never happen. Literally. You're just as important as everyone else, so make time to do something you like to do. Recently, I've figured out how to squeeze in some time to blog, and fit in working out into my busy days. Make time for the things you care about!

7.   Rest // You can’t give what you need to others if you’re running on empty. Mamas’ make time to get some rest. Even if it means dropping the baby off for a few hours on your day off, or asking your husband to take the morning shift while you get in an extra hour of sleep. Get some rest so you can be better for your family and for yourself.

Remember mamas: You are just as important as everyone else. Take the time to take care of you too! It's better for everyone in the long run because you'll be less tired, overwhelmed, impatient, and just overall moody.
So tell me, what are you doing to practice self care??
shifting + becoming

Since I've added "mommy of two" to my life, I've been thinking more and more about the calling on my life as their mother, as LJ's wife, and as an individual.

I've also been thinking about how to live a meaningful life these days while also walking in my purpose. In the last four years, I have become a wife, a college graduate, a mother, been in ministry, and dabbled in different areas creatively like writing, photography, and graphic design.

There's been this constant ongoing process and change in my life, and with the daily hustle and bustle of motherhood, wifedom, and being a full time employee while also making strides toward entrepreneurship, its easy to just let life pass you by without actually enjoying and making the most of the life God has given you.

I want to make sure I'm walking in my purpose in all areas of my life.

You see, it's easier to just settle - being okay with the way life is and being afraid to strive for better.
It’s comfortable to stay where you are.

And in that comfortable place, I began to realize that I was at a place in life where I wasn't necessarily happy...wasn't necessarily unhappy...but just existing. 

Going through the motions.

Stuck...And I was tired of being in that place.

I had to refocus and ask God to help me get out of that place and help me change the things about myself that needed to be changed so I can be better in all areas of my life and begin to walk in my purpose and live a meaningful life.

Definitely not easy, and the change won’t come overnight.

I want everything that God has for me, and I’m realizing that won’t happen if you’re stuck in the same old habits and mindsets, or just going through the motions.

I don't want to get so caught up in the busyness of life that I forget to enjoy life's most beautiful parts.

So, I've been working on this, and I’m still a work in progress of becoming.

Becoming the woman I want to be.

Becoming the woman God has called me to be.

Becoming the woman I need to be. 

With that comes a shift. Shifting your mindset, and focusing full force on what lies ahead of you through becoming.

Here are some of the ways I’m shifting:
  1. Pursue Christ // Life without Christ is meaningless. In Him, you will find the ultimate fulfillment. There's a reason why the Word says "In Your Presence, there is fullness of joy, and at your right hand, there are pleasures forever more" (Psalm 16:11). His way isn't just right, it's better. Being a busy wife and mom, it feels there isn’t a whole lot of time during the day to get it all done. While I don’t have the time I’d like to sit and indulge in the Word, I try to make the most of the little moments I do have. On the train ride home or to work. In the shower. While the kids play. Anything! And I believe God will honor that.
  2. Prioritize what's important to you // Since becoming a mother, I've put myself and the things I like to do on the backburner. It's easy to get lost in motherhood. I don't want to get so caught up in motherhood that I forget how to be a wife, a sister, a friend, and even Danyelle. So that means figuring out how to spend more time with my husband, finding the time to catch up with family and friends, or finding time for the things I like to do, like writing, or working on getting this snapback together post baby.
  3. Live more out of intent and less out of habit // This comes with prioritizing what's important to you. It's easy to get caught up in going by your day to day routine. You know, wake up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, take care of the kids, and then do it all again the next day. Be intentional about not sticking to the day to day routine.
  4. Pursue your passion // It's important to pursue the things that you're interested in. I’m glad that I have this creative outlet here where I can just share, be myself, and do something outside of being “mommy.” I just pray that wherever the Lord leads me, He gets glorfied in the end.
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."
Philippians 3:12-14
Natural Hair & Postpartum Shedding

So it happened. Again. I'm okay. I'm breathing. I'm not spazzing, but good Lord, that was lot of hair!

It's been 9 months since I had my son, and I think it's finally safe to say that my postpartum shedding has finally stopped.

I've read and heard much about the dreadful postpartum shedding, and honestly became a little anxious about having to deal with it a second time around. After all, I did just have my daughter a year prior to having my son. And, my edges took a hit. Both times! 

You can imagine the level of disrespect I felt when doing something as simple as running my fingers through my hair and seeing strands upon strands between my fingers (insert serious side eye).  

Here's a few tips on how to deal with postpartum shedding post baby:
  1. Accept it // There's really no other way around it but to accept it. You may not like it, but shedding is something that our hair naturally does once it enters the resting phase. Remember that luscious, full head of hair you had while pregnant? That's because hair that was in the resting phase gets pushed back into the growth cycle, so your hair doesn't shed as much. Hair becomes thicker, grows longer, and even looks shinier during pregnancy. After pregnancy, it all comes to an end, unfortunately as your hormone levels plummet and return back to normal. Hair goes back into the resting phases and falls out. It's part of life, and it's something that you can't stop from happening. Accept it, and try not to become too emotional over it.
  2. Low Manipulation/Protective Styles // I'm a protective styler by default since it's the easiest thing for me and fits my busy lifestyle best (although I do love me a good flat twist out every now and then). Opt for styles that don't require you to pull or tug on your hair too much.  
  3. Keep Taking Your Prenatals // While doctors say taking your prenatal vitamins don't stop or decrease postpartum shedding, I have read a few stories of women who noticed more shedding when they didn't take their prenatal. I'm not brave enough to put it to the test, since I'm still 
  4. Moisture, Moisture, Moisture! // I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your hair moisturized. After giving birth, my hair was soooo dry, drier than it's ever been. Even after a normal wash day with my regular deep treatments, my hair still felt dry. Dryness lead to breakage, and I just could not! Moisturize your hair as often as you need to. Whether it be once a day, twice a day (if it's that critical), or every other day, keeping your hair moisturized to prevent excessive breakage. You want to hold on to the hair that you have left! 
  5. Scalp Massages: This may be something you can leave for bae to do, but doing nightly scalp massages can help stimulate hair growth. Not to mention, it's a great way to relax and unwind after a long day.
  6. Treat Your Body Good // Being home with baby, it's easy to just pig out and eat what you want without necessarily thinking twice about what you're putting into your body. Boredom sets in, and next thing you know you're eating any and everything (trust me, I've been there).Beauty comes from within, so drink lots of water and feed your body the proper foods so your hair can thrive. 
  7. Exercise // Working out consistently has always been a struggle of mine, but I am getting better! I just started back working out in February two-three times a week for 20-30 minutes a day, changed my eating habits, and lost about 10 pounds (yay me!) Try to fit in at least 30 minutes a day to exercise. It'll help give you that extra boost you need to take care of a little one all day, and it'll help promote blood circulation to the scalp. 
  8. Don't Put off Wash Day // You may be tempted to put off wash days so you don't have to deal with how much hair is coming out of your head. Trust me, the more you put it off, the more hair you'll see. Washing your hair weekly helps to remove shed hair and prevent them from tangling and possibly knotting up. Get the dirty work done right away and try to keep your wash day regimen simple.
  9. Keep Calm and Have Patience // After all, it's just hair. This too shall pass. 
TV Free Ways to Get Your Toddler Learning

There are tons of TV programs out there to both entertain and teach your children. However, nothing takes the place of the bond that's formed with one on one interaction. You are your child's first and best teacher - they're watching you and you know what methods work best when it comes to helping them learn.

Here are 6 TV Free Ways that helped me teach my toddler:

Puzzles // Leilani L O V E S puzzles. She's a visual learner, so puzzles have helped her tremendously. She has animal puzzles, number puzzles, alphabet puzzles, and word puzzles to reinforce letter sounds and eventually help with teaching her to blend sounds and soon read.

TV Free Ways to Get Your Toddler Learning

Books // We got a few storybooks from Leilani's baby shower, but I also made sure to buy her some educational books. Karen Katz was a favorite of mine when it came to teaching Leilani her colors, shapes, and body parts. Reading also helps with their language development, so make sure you're reading to your toddler a few times during the day.
TV Free Ways to Get Your Toddler Learning

Flash cards // Flashcards were kind of a hit or miss. She mainly wanted to take the flashcards and bend them. What did work was putting things up on the wall. Her grandmother actually implemented this with her numbers: She'd put the numbers 1-10 up on the walls in different spots and out of order. That way, she'd recognize the numbers no matter which order they were in.

Coloring // Once Leilani turned one years old, I started giving her crayons and paper to start scribbling on. I printed out pictures of animals, numbers, and shapes and went over those with her while she colored.

Bath Time // For bathtime, we have letters, numbers, and shapes. I ask Leilani to identify the letters and numbers, and since they also come in different colors, I ask her to identify the colors as well.
TV Free Ways to Get Your Toddler Learning

Alphabet Magnets // When I was teaching Leilani her alphabet sounds, I got this Leap Frog Fridge Phonics just to reinforce what I was teaching her through reading her alphabet books. You push the letter button, and it sings the letter and alphabet sound.

Toddlers (and babies) are literally like sponges - they absorb everything they learn. I did a culmination of these activities with Leilani to help get her learning. When Leilani does watch TV, she only watches educational cartoons from BabyFirstTV, like ABC Galaxy, Color Crew, and Harry the Bunny, so the material is literally always in her face no matter what she's doing.

By the time Leilani was a year and a half, she knew all of her numbers, most of her shapes, recognized all of her alphabets and knew the sounds of her alphabets. Now, for the most part, she's a talking two year old using phrases and sentences.

The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent, and make it fun, no matter what your toddler does. Toddler learning doesn't have to be structured like a school setting because let's face it - toddlers have a short attention span and they're not going to sit still for a long period of time while you try and teach them.

If they wander off in the middle of you reading them a story to go play with other toys, pointing out specific objects while they're playing helps them learn as well. Saying things like "Ooooh, look at the red ball? Can you say red ball? What color is the ball?" will stick with them.

We're almost always hopping around from activity to activity, but I find a way to make each moment  a learning moment by constantly asking her questions and showing her new things.

What are some activities you do with your toddler/baby to get them learning?

I was in a bit of a funk for a long time. And I found myself asking God why I found myself in the same situations all the time. Like, dang, why can't I get this right? I'm slowly getting myself together and in these "aha" moments, I realized there's things I need to stop doing that's stunting my growth:

Overthinking // My husband will be the first to tell you that I'm an over-thinker. I think way too much and can sometimes be indecisive. I second guess myself all the time. Always wondering if something is good enough, is it "not" enough, well what if I do it this way. UGH! Too much noise, and sometimes I literally have to tell myself to just shut up and slow down. Your own thoughts can become overwhelming.

Procrastination // Procrastination was never really an issue for me...until my last year of college. Honestly, I was really just tired! College is no joke, especially being in an English honors program. So I procrastinated. A lot! Now, I think I procrastinate so much because I overthink! See how one affects the other? Less thinking, and more doing.

Lack of Discipline & Consistency // I've realized that if you want to succeed in anything, you need to plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I've struggled for a long time staying consistent because I never had a plan. I was just winging it. While you can go about winging it with some things, I'm learning the importance of planning to set yourself up for success.

Comparing Yourself to Others // Comparison is the thief of joy. Literally. You hold yourself back so much spending time focusing on why you're not like others. Look, just throw the whole phone away! All the endless scrolling through social media gives you so much more to look at...which then leads to envy and wondering "Well God, why can't that be me?" First, remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Second, believe that what God has for you is for you! That's their story! Just start with what you have.

Not Believing in Your Own Gifts and Abilities // Ultimately, all of the points made thus far stem from a lack of confidence in myself. I believe we all have a purpose. God has birthed something in each of us. Believe that what you have to offer is good enough. Believe that you CAN do great things.

Lack of Clarity // Submitting my ideas and desires to the Lord and really just asking God for clarity has helped me tremendously.You can't get to your destination if you don't know where you're going. It feels like once I did that, I got an automatic download of so much more. And while I won't always know exactly where God is taking me, the best I can do is believe in the vision he's given me, use what he's given me,  and continue to work towards it to see the manifestation.

Growing Weary // It's no big secret we live in a microwave society where everyone wants things now. Not just now, but right now! I definitely struggle with wanting things to go my and at the exact moment I want. I guess you can add lack of patience to this one too then, huh?

Sometimes when things don't happen how or when I want it to, I get pretty bummed out about it. Let's be real, who wouldn't? The problem with that? I find myself back at square one: overthinking, procrastinating, not believing in myself, etc... Learning and understanding that His timing is perfect and to just keep moving forward is what's been keeping me.

"Let us not become weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up"
Galatians 6:9

If you ever feel like you're stuck or in a rut, take a step back and do a self examination. I'm staring to do this in all areas of my life: spiritually, personally, financially, and professionally, etc... There's more that I want to work on personally, but these are just a few things I thought might be helpful to some of you because they're real things we all struggle with at some point in time.

The goal here isn't to be perfect. Perfection is not attainable. The goal is to really just be better... in all areas.
So, what are some things you feel have stunted your personal growth, and how do you plan to overcome?

I am officially a "two under two" survivor! After experiencing the highs and lows of two under two, all I can say is, thank God we survived!

I mean let’s be real. The thought of having a newborn and a toddler is scary stuff.

When Josiah was born, Leilani was 17 months old. There were a number of concerns and fears I had just before Josiah was born:

*Will Leilani like her new baby brother?

*How will I manage by myself once my husband has to return to work in two weeks?

*How will the dynamic be between me and my husband now that we have two children?

*Co-sleeping with two babies…where are they doing that?

By the grace of God, we’ve worked through it!  Children are happy and healthy. Mom and Dad are a little tired, but hey, such is life!

Now that my son is 8 months old, and my daughter is now two, things have gotten a little easier managing and parenting the both of them.

Here’s some survival tips on how we managed (and still manage) life with two littles:

1.      Take Advantage of Your Tribe // Literally. Take all the help you can get— it literally takes a village, especially with two kids. Once my husband went back to work, things were a little tough. Josiah, like most newborns, always wanted to be held, which is a bit hard to do when you have to care and run after a very active toddler. I was grateful for my mother-in-law. Before Josiah was born, she watched Leilani for us while my husband and I were at work, and I was so grateful that she offered to watch Leilani a couple of days out of the week so I can get the baby situated. I even asked a few times! Whenever my family came over, I gladly gave the babies up. Felt good not to have someone attached to you all the time. Baby needs a diaper change, or Leilani needed to eat? My mom or my sisters were on duty. Take as many hands as you can get!  

2.      Baby Wearing // My moby wrap was a life saver on days where Josiah was extra clingy or just wouldn’t stay down for his naps. Not only was I able to keep up with my toddler, but I was able to get stuff done – cooking, cleaning, play time with Leilani.

3.      Nap Time // One of the key things for surviving two under two, that sort of just happened naturally without much training, was to get the kiddos on the same nap schedule. Obviously, your toddler isn’t napping as often as your newborn, but I made sure to get both kids down for their afternoon nap at the same time. That way, I was able to get a nap in, time to myself, steal a quick shower (it’s real in these mommy streets!), or straighten up a bit. Trust me, you don’t want to be on the move all day, especially after being up multiple times a night for night feeds.

4.     Independent Play // Thankfully, Leilani has always been great when it came to play time. She was able to play by herself without requiring much attention, and it carried over into toddler life. Because she’s content by herself, whether that be watching Harry the Bunny on TV, playing with her puzzles, coloring, or reading herself a book, I was able to tend to the baby or get things done around the house, or just take a moment to myself and just chill out for a minute.

5.      There’s Only So Much You Can Do // It’s important to keep this in mind. Think about it: You’re outnumbered! Don’t get me wrong – there are days where I feel like supermom because of my ability to multitask and think/act fast with them—like that time I figured out how to nurse a newborn and change his diaper at the same time so he’ll stay sleep. Or getting both kids fed at the same time. Seriously, I impress myself on those days where things are golden and run smoothly. Other times, you’ll have to handle the greater needs first….even if that means one kid has to wail for a minute while you tend to the other.

6.      Divvy Up the Duties // Because there’s only so much you can do and you cannot do everything, create a game-plan with your spouse so things can get done. When my husband came home from work, sometimes I’d need help giving both kids a bath, or he’d feed Leilani her dinner while I tended to Josiah. We’d each take a child, and get things done. Try not to put too much on yourself. I’m constantly learning this!

7.      Include Your Toddler // Include your toddler in things you do with the baby so they don’t feel left out. Diaper time for the baby? Ask your toddler to grab the diapers and wipes. Tummy time? Get your toddler to show baby how it’s done. Putting baby to sleep? Give your toddler a quiet activity to do next to you.

8.      Carve Out Time to Spend With Each Child // A lot of me and Leilani’s time together came whenever Josiah would nap. We’d work on learning activities, nursery rhymes, you name it. For Josiah, he joined the catnap band wagon, and wouldn’t sleep long during their afternoon nap. Our time came while Leilani still slept. Let’s face it, somebody is gonna want mommy all to themselves at some point, so I make sure to give them that one on one time.

9.      Let go of Perfection // There’s no such thing as a perfect mom. I’ve learned that now. Instead, mirror grace. There’s no way to take care of everyone’s needs at the same time. You just do the best you can with the Lord’s help, ya know?

10.   Remember, it Gets Easier // Parenting two under two can be difficult. As your baby (and toddler) become more independent, things do get easier. Leilani is pretty self-sufficient and can be left alone without me physically being in the room to watch her (we do have a baby cam to peek in and make sure she’s not doing anything she isn’t supposed to). Josiah, he has his days where I can leave him in his play pen to roll around, or put him in his walker to zoom around the house and chase after his sister. Other days he’s really whiny for whatever reason – teething, nap time, or he just wants attention! You figure it out and learn how to work around things.
It can be done! I promise!

As a busy mom, I know how easy it is to forget to take care of yourself. Whether it be taking a couple hours to go get a mani + pedi, or just finding some alone time to just de-stress and think, or even finding the time to do a quick wash day. Finding the time to do these things in between diaper changes, feedings, and running after little ones can be what seems close to impossible.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your crown while being a busy mom:

1.    Don’t Procrastinate: The longer you procrastinate, the more likely you WON'T get to do your hair. Don’t wait until the very end of the day when you’re already tired and burnt out to wash your hair—try to wash your hair much earlier if you can help it. Ask the hubs to take care of the kids for a bit while you take care of you. 

2.     Schedule Wash Day: Quite frankly, if you don’t schedule it, it’ll never happen. Trust me, I know. I’ve gone a whole month without washing my hair simply by getting caught up in the busyness of life. Treat wash day like an appointment you MUST make.  If need be, talk to your spouse about him taking over responsibilities while you tend to your hair. Set a specific day to wash your hair and do your best to stick to it.(because , hey, life happens)

3.      Co-Washing: Don’t have time for a full on wash day, but your hair is screaming for moisture? Find yourself a moisturizing co-wash to hold you over until the next wash day and save yourself a couple of hours.

4.      Wear Low Manipulation Styles: As a full time working mom, I don’t have time to prep my hair for a twist out the night before. I’m usually either falling asleep while getting my littles to sleep, or dozing off in the middle of a TV show with my husband. I also don’t have time to fool with my hair in the morning since I’m usually getting up at the very last minute, scrambling to get myself together for work. That’s why I generally stick to the same style: two halo twists, or a roll tuck and pin. It’s simple, easy to do, and my hair is tucked away, leaving no fuss for me. I just moisturize every couple of nights to keep it looking fresh, and I’m ready to go.

5.     Find the Right Products: You may be wondering how this can help you as a busy mom. Trust me, finding products that keep your hair moisturized throughout the week is super important. For one, you won’t have to worry about moisturizing your hair every single day— if you’re able to find a moisturizer that keeps your hair moisturized for days at a time, it’ll be a huge time saver. It can also possibly extend your wash day to every other week instead of every two weeks—if you’re adding product to your hair every single day, you’re likely to get more product buildup.

6.     Don’t Skip Deep Conditioning:  As tempted as you may be to skip deep conditioning all in the name of saving yourself time and energy, do not skip this step! Your hair will be much more manageable if it’s soft and moisturized from deep conditioning so you’re not in a constant battle with your hair and the comb.

You are just as important as everyone else. Take the time to take care of you too!

Navigating through life with two little ones is quite the challenge.

Life got real when I got married almost three years ago, got a little more real when my two year old Leilani came along, then got real legit once we found out we were expecting baby #2 so soon.

Motherhood changed everything!

Being a mother is like nothing I've ever experienced. It's literally non-stop. No jokes. There's always something to do, think about, etc...

I thought because I saw how my mom raised me and my siblings, and babysitting all my cousins whenever they came to stay for the weekend. I figured, "Hey, being a mom isn't that bad!".

WRONG! Well, not totally wrong.

There are great moments. Like the moment your toddler starts using new phrases and sentences. Or when your 8 month old figures out how to stand and pull himself up. Or just hearing their giggles as they making each other laugh. Those are the moments I love and live for.

And then there's really tough moments. Like when your toddler keeps spitting out everything you put in front of them. Or your 8 month old refuses to take a nap, even though he's tired as all get out. Or both kids throw a temper tantrum at the same time. Never mind having to manage this all after you've come home from a long 9 hours at your day job.

There's no way to prepare for motherhood than actually being in it. There's so many ups and downs. It's extremely hard, and sometimes makes you wanna crawl into the closet and hide. But its also one of the most beautiful experiences ever. It's amazing how you can love your first child so much, and then God just opens up your heart, giving you room to love a whole other tiny human just as much!

It's humbling to know God has entrusted you with the gift of motherhood. Raising this child up in the way he/she should go, but it's also frustrating when things don't necessarily go as you expect. After all, babies don't come with a manual, so there's a lot of trial and error in this parenting thing.

You doubt yourself all the time because you really just don't know sometimes. But at the same time, you realize how strong you are and all that you're capable of with all that you go through trying to be the best mom and the best example to this little one.

One of the things I've struggled with the most is not having enough free time to do things I enjoy whether it be something as simple as squeezing in 30 minutes for prayer and time with the Lord, simple self care routines, reading a book or watching my favorite TV show, or even contributing to this online space.

Living more out of intention and less out of habit or your normal day to day routine has been a game changer. I'm learning to make time for me. Making time for some of the things I like to do. Making time for the things that made me Danyelle instead of just mommy.

Do I always get to do what I want? No. Sometimes I don't get any free time. Does it suck? Heck yea! But I wouldn't trade being a mom and wife for the world.

Being a full time working mama is no joke! Finding a balance and trying to stay afloat in being a wife, mom to two kids, maintaining a full time job, stepping out into entrepreneurship, and squeezing in a bit of self care (and sleep!) is quite the challenge.

This is my new normal. This is what Modern Motherhood looks like.

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