This Week’s Fiver:
Live Smarter, Not Harder
While motherhood is a blessing and full of interesting life plot twists and turns, the every day can be maddening. It’s important to live smarter, not harder. The quality of your life, your relationships, and what you build for yourself should take center stage.
Social media feeds (aka Instagram) give the illusion of care-free luminous moms with perfect nails and complexions, accompanied by equally beautiful (well-behaved) children in matching outfits. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes.
Here’s this week’s Top 5 list dedicated to badass moms everywhere.
1) Get moving in comfortable shoes
While chunky heels and stilettos look fantastic on date night, start a healthy habit and keep your feet happy. Whether you work at the office or are a busy SAHM with a million errands, invest in a good pair of sneaks or loafers.
Allbirds have become the darling in NorCal, and for good reason. For in/out of the gym, you can traverse around in Allbirds wool runners or their new tree runners. And for everyday footwear, the wool loungers are equally comfortable. Marketed as the “world’s most comfortable shoes,” they may not be far off from the truth.
If you’re looking for a bit of panache and want something unique, then check out Sevilla Smith for some earthy sounding “handlasted shoes.” These handcrafted beauties come in care worn colors and can give you some street style cred.
2) Invest in a backpack
That’s right. You can relive your youthful days carrying a brightly colored Jansport backpack. Backpacks provide a lot more room and pockets for ease and accesibility. For moms with babies and toddlers, I highly recommend the black quilted Skiphop forma backpack. It comes with a diaper changing pad (also doubles as a laptop compartment), pockets for bottles, bottle brushes, wipes, and even your S’well water bottle for the gym.
If you want something a bit more utilitarian with color options, then Herschel backpacks are a great alternative. You can go basic black with the classic backpack, or explore the different laptop friendly styles, designs and colors.
If you’re loving the backpack but want something smaller and splurge-worthy with long slouchy handles, there’s the Rag & Bone Pilot backpack. This basic black looker projects elegance and quality. But, it can set you back $650.
Either way, don’t overload your backpack. Be mindful of your back and posture.
3) Make a 5-minute breakfast
I can’t start my day without breakfast, and I like to find healthy-ish options for my family. A quick, satisfying breakfast is none other than a breakfast bagel. As my partner in crime has gluten sensitivities, I’m always on the lookout for delicious, gluten free options. I recommend Brattleboro, Vermont-based Against the Grain bread products. You can find Against the Grain bagels in the freezer section of Whole Foods and many health food stores. Quickly defrost the bagel in the microwave, slice it in half, and pop into the toaster at a low setting.
Make it fun for the kids by dressing up the bagels
- Avocado toasted bagel. Slice (or smear) half an avocado onto toasted bagel slices, sprinkle some TJ Seasoning Salt and fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle one tsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Strawberry preserves & Daiya cream cheese bagel. Spread Daiya (vegan) cream cheese onto toasted bagel slices. Then spoon out some strawberry preserves. I’ve been loving locally produced Strawberry-Rhubarb preserves.
- Banana and crunchy almond butter bagel. Spread crunchy (unsalted) Almond butter onto toasted bagel slices. Then lay out generously cut banana slices over the top.
4) Stick with a regular routine
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re all over the map. Choose a regular routine and stick with it. You can have a weekday and a weekend routine. That way, you can focus on balancing the best bits of yourself on your loved ones, and feel like you’re living each day productively and with purpose.
Take time throughout the day to take intermittent mental and physical breaks. Successful, productive people benefit from focused work interspersed with solid breaks. There’s plenty of literature and studies that highlight the importance of work-life balance to avoid burnout.
In a bestselling book High Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success co-authored by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, they provide insights into the habits of successful people (including world-class athletes). Stulberg and Magness extol the benefits of designing your day around optimal routines, living with purpose, and steps to avoid burnout. The simple winning formula put forth is that of stress + rest = growth.
5) Audiobooks for self-growth
When your plate is full chasing after kids and working throughout the day, you resign yourself to the fact that your time is no longer your own. Reading is on the back burner and your Kindle seems permanently powered down. It’s time to enliven your morning drives. Or while at home or at the gym, listen to a couple chapters of an audiobook.
As someone who used to read for hours with a flashlight under her blanket at night, I no longer have the waking hours and attention to read through large bodies of work.
New Audible (US) subscribers can get 2 free books (hit trial link below)
A great hack is to subscribe to Audible, so you can enjoy the latest bestsellers and go on a journey of self-discovery and improvement. My audiobook wish list is full of self-help literature, fiction and history books. If you’ve never tried Audible, you can check out a free trial to give it a go.
Whatever you do for reading material, keep your mental game sharp and motivate yourself through the power of positive thinking.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s fiver.