My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

June 23, 2020
by mymommyology

My “New Baby”

No! I am not pregnant.

Haha. Nor am I referring to the three guinea pigs that live in my home.

Aren’t they cute though?

I’ve been working on it for a couple of months now, and realized I haven’t publicly “declared” it to the social media world, so here we go. πŸ™‚

I’ve established my Strategic Marketing and Branding Consultancy here in California! Ta-dah!

Credit of this logo goes to my cousin! Check out her work on Instagram at @brandsbybella

As some of you might know, Your Brand Story goes a long way back , and is very near and dear to my heart. I had put it off for a while, for many reasons, and a part of me thinks I may have put it off for too long.

And then again not, because I think it’s come at the right time in my life. Isn’t it funny how life works out that way.

So here’s what’s been keeping me busy: (and I thank the clients who have stuck with me as I establish this process as well!)

Setting up my website was one, but also ensuring that what I can offer is clear. Have a look!

… This picture has actually served a good purpose!

Speaking of courses and masterminds, there’s one coming out this Friday at 2pm on Social Media.

I’d like to know who’s coming, so send me an email!

I chose this topic because my current clients have identified it as a pain point in their current business situations.

I’ve run it three times, and it’s gotten some good reviews so far too. It’s a great way to share and learn from different business owners and connect.

Please forward this info to any small business owner you know who needs help simplifying their social media marketing. I’d love to make the process easier and simpler for them!

I am also building other masterminds for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Here’s a screen-selfie of me teaching branding. Yes, I can teach! πŸ™‚

And of course, I would love love LOVE to collaborate. My website has a page for entrepreneurs from different parts of the world! We aren’t limited by physical geography anymore!

I’d love to grow my network, and collaborate with various businesses and various owners. Come join me!

At the moment they are moms (I launched last Mother’s Day!), but I am looking to expand that to other entrepreneurs too.

Connect with me please — let’s grow together and help each other out!

Together we can tell your Brand’s story. πŸ™‚

May 10, 2020
by mymommyology

The Casualties of Quarantine

Happy Mother’s Day folks!

I hope this quarantine mother’s day is filled with your heart’s desires — despite all forms of social distancing that is happening around the world.

As for me, my wish today was not to cook and clean. Just that simple… It’s also because I’ve been cooking and cleaning constantly over the last two months. It’s almost been 8 weeks since our quarantine started and our lives are changed forever.

The cooking as you might have seen in my last post, isn’t so bad. We are eating healthy and eating well. But it just feels like I spend all my time in front of the stove or the oven.

So today, I requested to stay away from it. And my me-time today involved writing. πŸ™‚

Our last 8 weeks in this home together has really changed a WHOLE LOT. I told my best friend in Vancouver how I don’t recognize myself anymore.

To start… our family grew. In the furry department.

They came home one Saturday while I was working, and I came down to this.

Yes… we got guinea pigs. And not just one, either — three! *faint*

Jamie has been asking for a pet since forever. And my husband made this deal with her to get it for her 10th birthday, which is technically next year.

But we talked about it, and realized that with all of us home with nowhere to go, we said that maybe now would be a good time to get the girls their pets, and teach them some responsibility.

So, I took a deep breath (and of course had multiple deep breaths thereafter), and said hello to our new furry babies.

Clockwise from the top, meet Sansa, Vanilla, and baby Nutmeg.

Within a week’s time we quickly realized that they need their own space. And so… I also said goodbye to my guest room.

We got rid of the carpet, the bed, and the girls moved their work spaces downstairs to accommodate the “piggie suite“.

But that wasn’t all we said “goodbye” to, because as we were moving furniture and re-arranging the house, Jamie’s gymnastics equipment came in.

Let me backtrack for a little bit… when the lockdown happened and the gymnastics gym closed, the girls stayed “fit” through their Zoom conditioning sessions 3x a week.

But then Jamie said to me, “mom, most of my teammates have gym equipment at home that they practice some of the skills. I’m worried that when I go back, I’ll be so far off from them.”

Now while I am not one to keep up with the Jones’ just for the sake of doing so, I saw and felt her worry. We also didn’t know when they’d be back at the gym.

It forced my husband and myself to look at our space and ask, “how can we accommodate Jamie’s needs today?

Oh… parenting.

For the love of my child — I said goodbye to my loft as well.

Well. It is a family area. So I suppose it is what the family needs at the moment…

All the furniture-moving probably took it’s toll on my husband and his back, because a few days later, his back gave way.

It’s that… or all the expenses took its toll… πŸ˜‰

And for about three days in between handling the children, the business AND the new furry babies, I ended up with another patient.

Thankfully, in a few days’ time, he was able to move a little bit better. But I suppose my fatigue gave way, and my iPhone felt it.

He put packing tape on it so I wouldn’t get glass in my fingers.

Has it been crazy? Yes. I’m sure crazy looks a little different in each of our households. But hang in there, and take stock of how far you’ve come!

A lot has happened and changed for us in the last 8 weeks. Some of it still makes my head spin! All-in-all though, I keep going back to the girls. If they are happy, healthy and we’re all surviving this quarantine okay… then we’ll take it all in stride.

March 31, 2020
by mymommyology
1 Comment

Changing Habits

It is self-quarantine day number……. mmmm. What day is it again?

Somehow, it is all a blur.

We must’ve gotten past 3 days already… right?

I woke up one morning forgetting what day it was. Literally. My kids used to want me to put them to bed on weeknights and sleep in on weekends… why do I feel like it’s just been one long extended weekend?

So like most of you, we’ve been doing our part and staying home — except for the unique moments when my husband or myself have to run to the grocery store.

And we’ve been chugging along as best as we can, half wondering if our lives will go back to some semblance of normalcy — or really what this “new normal” will look like?

I’ve talked to a couple of people these last few days who have transitioned or have somehow made strides in moving their business to a more remote set-up. It’s a struggle for some, and a huge transition for others, and so life does somehow seem busier for a lot of us.

I know that my day’s schedule has to blend in all the meals, the preps, and my brain shifts back and forth constantly from work-to-home-to-kids-to-work-to-laundry…. it’s exhausting! And yet of course — we make do with the situation as best as we can. We have no choice.

But really — we are resilient. We adapt, in more ways than we think. And while I used to think about what it is we were missing out on, we started to think about what this lockdown has made possible for us.

Over these last three weeks (yes, I just checked the calendar), some of our habits have changed. Our lifestyle has definitely changed. And contrary to pre-coronavirus beliefs that I had to be at the grocery every other day, it does seem like we can stock our home and have enough food for a good week and a half.

Well… we also have refrained from food deliveries and eating out — whereas that used to be a weekend habit of ours.

So now, I cook.

Clockwise from top: Tuna cakes and asparagus, Banana Nutella French Toast, and Greek Lemon Chicken.

Much to my husband’s delight too — because these are recipes “never before seen or tried in my house.”

Left: Thai shrimp curry on broccoli. Right: Garlic porkchops with cauli rice.

On our family’s previous schedule — we would never have tried these recipes. And yet — we are definitely eating better, and healthier too. We see it and we feel it!

We’re also exploring new ways to stay entertained. Gifts and items that were once locked away and never played with before are suddenly getting some attention.

The puzzles have come out of the closet.

My long-time friends and I got on a Zoom call, and that was the most we’ve ever been “together” in such a long time. We realized that we’d never have thought of doing this under normal circumstances.

Lovely lovely people.

Ahhh, the Zoom life. What can I say.

We’re also exercising a lot more.

The treadmill is now in use! And Jamie and her team are conditioning together!

The treadmill that was once a glorified “shelf”, has actually been moving more now than ever. And I do believe that it’s so much better from my husband who’s so used to sitting down all day.

Jamie and I both miss our respective gyms. It’s definitely not the same. But we try to make the best of it with home workouts for me, and Zoom conditioning sessions with her team.

I think the biggest upside to all this is our increased family time together.

Dinner al fresco.

The girls are loving the sit down dinners, movie nights, and the fact that they’re seeing us more regularly.

We have no choice but to be together all the time — because we really can’t physically be with anyone else! Thankfully we like each other enough ey. πŸ˜‰

I can’t say it’s been easy. But as the days go by, I can’t kid myself into thinking that this will soon be over. I hope that it will — and there can be some semblance of what life was like before. But somewhere deep down I know it won’t ever be the same.

I just have to keep going back to accepting this new reality, and looking at what this is making possible for myself and my family.

March 24, 2020
by mymommyology
1 Comment

Hey Mommas…What Does “Me-Time” Look Like for You These Days?

I am checking in with my fellow moms out there.

I used to define “me-time” as time alone, time with my own thoughts, and time when I can just… exhale and not have to worry about anyone else for a little bit. Time to sleep.

Well! Given our current situation these days where social distancing is happening everywhere else except in your own home… I find that “me-time” feels hard to come by. Anyone?

Let’s agree — it is a lot to deal with these days. A LOT! As it is the nature of motherhood, we give of ourselves on a regular basis. But lately, does it feel like we need to give so much more these days too?

Which leads me to ask — What does “me-time” look like these days?

We can only give what we have, so we definitely need to fill our emotional cup. And I’m not talking about a Mom’s night out, a massage or a day trip away (besides, I don’t think those are options nowadays).

We can’t add hours in our day to make time for ourselves. There isn’t much physical space left (if it’s not in the bathroom). So maybe, we just have to make it happen in our minds.

Is this a familiar sight?

The mind is a powerful thing, isn’t it?

A shift in perspective of what “me- time” can look like in a time like this, could fill our emotional cup without trying so hard. It may just help us get through each day with a little bit more of a smile.

Here are some ideas of shifts we can make, to find our “me-time” and peace amidst the chaos.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be everything. Just ONE little thing a day.

A repetitive pattern of four short inhales, and four quick exhales. When done at the beginning of the day for about five minutes before anything else, it can help invigorate you and get you going with more energy.

Getting in sync with the kids’ study time and breaks. Okay — so it may not be all “at my own time”, because there are other people home all the time. So I’ve had to re-frame my day such that I time distance learning, recess and lunch breaks with them as well. P.E. time is also when we work out.

Mandatory “quiet time” for everyone at home. While your kids are reading, take a nap! Or read a book too. Join their quiet time and make it yours as well. This may be the most obvious “me-time” switch there is, and it’s an easy one too. Besides, what could possibly happen in the 30 minutes that you power nap or bury yourself in a good book? πŸ˜‰

I had to use a meme for this one! πŸ˜‰

Work! Doing productive work (paid, volunteer and otherwise) that isn’t a chore. Ideally, this is work that you love or like though, so remember that!

A Salt Bath. Of course — the bathroom is always a place to retreat when all else fails. But this is my favorite part. After a stressful day, or a day that was just “too much”, a warm soak for 15 minutes does the trick. When you sit in the bath, think of all the things that stressed you out, and see it wash away — literally down the drain — when you rinse and end your bath with a scrub. Trust me, you will feel lighter.

Practice Daily Gratitude. For some, it’s a meditative prayer. Others, it’s a journal. Sometimes it’s really also only just the thoughts.

Gratefulness is a habit.

I can’t handle too much negativity. I’m always out for the positive spin. And just finding the good is sometimes enough.

Sometimes, I do it alone. But these days I see it as a chance to connect with my kids without the hustle and bustle of our typical day. We do it at night, before bed — as a reflection of another day safe, at home, together.

And we always always say a special prayer for the doctors, nurses, and frontliners out there who are risking their lives to save ours. They are parents too, who are parenting the world these days. Now THAT is truly a lot to carry.

When I shift my perspective to that… I find I have no reason to complain about the loss of my alone time.

With everyone at home together 24/7, it purposely makes us slow down and have more me-time — together.

March 19, 2020
by mymommyology

Work from Home

So it has begun.

Emergency Distance Learning (or EDL as it is called) curriculum was issued today. Our city is on lockdown, so that means even my husband is on work-from-home mode –all of us trying to do our part and flatten the curve, and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

I am completely on board with this principle. I think being proactive is the best way to get out of this self-quarantine sooner than later. If everyone just cooperates, it will work out for us all in the long run.

But for now… Everyone is home *faint*.

Yesterday — we were a hot mess. On top of the fact that it was my daughter’s birthday (more on that soon), it was a flurry of excitement and nrevousness over this “new normal”. Just getting everyone through breakfast, set-up and where they needed to be.

We talked about physical space.

6th grader needs the privacy. So into the guest room she goes.

I gave everyone theirs, and as the morning went on they all got into their routine, of checking homework and doing their collaboration calls.

The husband of course gets the official office — he says he really needs to be “at work”.
And Jamie got the official study area (with the growing pile of pre-edl activities around her).

I got the room with a view — and the explosion of the morning.

Central to the chaos.

Mine is also the most public room in the house, because apart from trying to work on my own to-do list, I need to be accessible (lest we have the yelling of “Mooom!” during periods of serious work and study). For some strange reason (you tell me), MOM seems to be the solution for everything.

I have to facilitate food, clean-up and schedules across three other people. ALL. DAY. LONG.

Typically when they all leave for work and school, there is quiet. I settle into my own routine for the day, depending on what needs to be done… but I get it done.

Yesterday the quiet didn’t last very long (on top of the fact that I now have clients too who need my attention)… thanks to “recess”, “PE” and the mere intermingling of everyone as they came to get a drink or a snack. It was also the need to connect with MOM to tell me what just happened and share stories… Yes. Constant interruption — ALL. DAY. LONG.

It was very hard to be productive. Sometimes close to impossible. It took forever to check off items on my to do list, to the point that I was a little panicked that it would just get longer as this self-quarantine went on.

Fight the overwhelm. FIGHT.

Are you laughing — or do you sympathize?

Then I think — this is all new to everyone now working from home. And I need to call on some patience, and give us all some grace. There is a learning curve, an adjustment period… it will get better.

The world outside is already chaotic, crazy and scary — I really cannot bring that into my house and into my now very public work space.

I posted this on my Instagram account the other night because I think it’s what’s going to get me through this “new normal”. What can I control?

I need to focus and take deep breaths. It’s really all I can do at this point.

I’m finding so many more people very understanding of our current situation. I was on a webinar earlier (not on mute) and somehow my kids’ interruptions of my discussion became comedic and a light reprieve. I suppose it is finding the good in the little things.

We just have to roll with the punches and take everything in stride. And hopefully sooner than later — if we all do our part, we can all breathe a little easier, and exhale a little bit more.

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