Why Connecting to your Pre-Baby Self is the Key to Being a Fulfilled Mom

Connecting to your Pre-Mom Self

Let me ask you a question: how do you feel in your everyday life?

Right now, much of my life is consumed by being a stay at home mom. If I’m honest with myself, most days I feel really happy and fulfilled, but I also feel tired, overwhelmed, and frumpy at times. But I think I’m figuring out the key to changing that…

Last night, I was on the way to a family party. My husband was driving and our daughter was asleep in the backseat. We started listening to a playlist of songs from 2008 when we first started dating. We were having so much fun singing and reminiscing, and by the time we got to the party, I was feeling fun, carefree, and sexy… I almost forgot that I had a sleeping toddler in the backseat.

I don’t always feel fun, carefree, and sexy in my everyday life. I tend to get caught up in all of the responsibilities of motherhood and its constant demands, and forget about connecting to those parts of myself. But listening to this music brought me back to a time when those feelings were the norm. Music has the power to transform us and lets us travel back to specific eras in our lives.

Why connecting to your pre-mom self is the key to being a more fulfilled mom

This experience made me remember the importance of staying connected to ALL parts of myself. It helped me realize my desire to stay connected to the young and carefree part of myself; the part of me that liked to go out dancing instead of going to sleep by 10pm, the part of me that stayed up all night talking to friends on the phone, the part of me that was more concerned with having fun in the moment than in worrying about the future.

This pre-baby part of me is still with me underneath all of my daily routines and responsibilities. And she wants to be acknowledged too.

What parts of your pre-mom life do you miss? How can you acknowledge the old parts of you that want to come out and play?

If you were an avid runner, you can go for a jog around the block.

If you loved going clubbing with your girlfriends, you can plan a girls’ night out.

If you liked fashion, you can buy yourself a new outfit.

If you enjoyed romantic dinners, you can get a babysitter and plan a special evening with your husband.

If you loved traveling, you can plan a day trip and go on an adventure.

As mothers of young children, it can be really easy to get caught up in the daily routine and forget to make an effort to nurture these parts of ourselves. But it is so important to remember that although mothering may be the major focus of our lives in this season, it is not all that we are.

connect to your pre-baby self

Connecting with our pre-mom selves reminds us that we are WHOLE people with individual needs, wants, and desires. It is easy to forget that amidst all of the responsibilities of motherhood. But when we start to check in with ourselves and acknowledge ALL parts of our unique selves, life becomes a lot more fun.

Is this something that you struggle with? What parts of your pre-mom self do you miss most? What small steps can you take to bring them back into your life? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of fun and fulfillment!

Be well,
Ambar

 

8 Ways to Love Your Beach Body (Regardless of What it Looks Like)

How to Love your Beach Body

Hi friends! I have a little bit of a personal and somewhat vulnerable topic this week. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may know that I live in a beach town and I ADORE the beach; it is my happy place. Now that summer is getting into swing, my little beach town is livening up and my family and I have a lot of beach days on the agenda. One of the perks of living in a beach town is that we often get visitors dropping by during the summertime to get together with us and go to the beach.

Recently, I noticed that whenever friends would reach out wanting to get together at the beach, I wasn’t as excited about it as I usually I am. I started to get curious about this… clearly I love going to the beach, so what was the problem? I realized that my hesitation was because I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about being out and about in my bathing suit.

I felt really disturbed to discover that I felt this way. You see, when I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, I started to really love my body and feel more empowered in it than I ever had before. I was in amazement that my body had been able to create my beautiful, healthy baby girl and continue to provide nourishment for her. I recognized my body’s true purpose and all of the feelings of self consciousness that I had carried with me for much of my adult life simply fell away. It was great!

At this time, I also vowed to myself that now that I was raising a daughter, I would never let her hear me speaking poorly about my body, or mistreating it in anyway, because I know that she will learn how to treat her own body by witnessing how I treat mine.

So, I was surprised to see that some of these old feelings have recently resurfaced. And I quickly decided to do something about it.

I am willing to bet that I am not the only woman who feels uncomfortable in their bathing suit, so I want to share the steps that I’m taking to learn to love my beach body, in hopes that it is helpful to you too!

How to Love your Beach Body

Prep Work

There are many things that we can do on a daily basis to start feeling more comfortable in our bodies. If you have a beach day planned, you can start using the following tips to build up your body love.

1. Take Good Care of Yourself

I find that when I am feeling the most self conscious about my body, it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of it. Treat your body well by drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and making time to move your body in ways that feel good to you, each and everyday.

2. Thank your Body

Think about all of the things your body does for you and begin to thank it for it. For example: “Thank you arms for being strong enough to hold my daughter. Thank you legs for allowing me to enjoy walks to the beach everyday. Thank you hands for letting me cook, write, type, and hold hands with my loved ones. Thank you body for sustaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding my baby. Thank you for letting me taste delicious foods. Thank you for letting me smell my husband’s cologne. Thank you for keeping me alive. I am grateful and I love you.” You can do this in a journal, in your head, or for an extra powerful exercise, try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying these words out loud.

3. Sleep Naked

There is something about sleeping naked that makes us feel more sensual and connected to our bodies and more at home in our skin. If you are not ready to sleep naked, invest in a silky or soft nightgown that feels luxurious on your skin. I promise this will be a gamechanger!

4. Treat Yourself

Treat yourself by getting a manicure and pedicure, a bikini wax, or a massage! These small treats feel great and pampering ourselves goes a long way to making us feel well cared for and relaxed.

5. Buy a Bathing Suit + Cover-up that you Love

There are tons of cute bathing suits for every level of modesty. I always liked wearing two piece bathing suits, but always felt like I had to be walking around sucking my stomach in! Once I made the switch to a one piece I haven’t looked back! I have so many nice cover-ups and cute strapless bathing suits in bright colors that make me feel happy and cover up the areas I’m most self conscious about. I suggest that you do the same! If you are feeling frumpy or like you need to hide in your bathing suit, that is not going to help you love your body! So buy a suit and cover-up that makes you feel good!

Bonus: Accessorize!  A fun hat and big sunglasses can show off your style and add a boost of confidence!

How to Love your Beach Body Now

The Day Of

Now that you have done your prep work it’s time to head to the beach! The following tips will help you enjoy your beach day without being consumed by what you look like.

6. Indulge in your Senses

When you get to the beach, take some time to really take it all in. Being surrounded by nature has been proven to decrease stress so make sure that you take time to appreciate your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the waves crashing and the sounds of children playing. Taste the saltwater on your lips. Feel the sand underneath your toes and look at the beauty of the ocean. Admire it all and soak it in with all of your senses.

7. Smile

A smile makes everything better. By having a joyful attitude, laughing, and smiling, you ensure that people will remember you as the happy woman enjoying herself instead of as the unhappy weirdo hiding underneath the beach umbrella! And let’s get honest… we are each our own worst critic, and no one is paying that much attention to you anyway!

8. Focus on Having Fun

Focus on having fun instead of on what you look like. When we are having good experiences, we get lost in the moment and don’t have time to feel self conscious! So make sure to have fun! Go swimming, play with your kids, make sand castles and toss Frisbees! A beach day is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy it and make some happy memories!

How to Love your Beach Body regardless of How it LooksI hope that you find these tips useful and helpful! I have started using them myself and can already feel my self consciousness starting to slip away.

There are so many women struggling with their body image and letting their self consciousness stop them from enjoying themselves as much as they could be. This is is such an important topic to talk openly about so that we can join together and know that we are not alone, and that we are committed to ending our body struggles.

Which of these tips will you be trying for your next beach day? I would love to know in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of body love.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. Do you want more help learning to love your beach body? Sign up below to get the free Body Love Daily Planner!

Legacy of a Mother

legacy of a mother
My mother and grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I have been thinking a lot about the legacy that a mother leaves behind. My own mother passed away nearly 16 years ago, but the lessons that I learned from her are still very much alive. I am blessed to still have my maternal grandmother to learn from, and am always aware of the many lessons she has taught me, and continues to teach me. This will be my second year celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother myself, and I have been reflecting on what type of legacy I want to leave behind for my own daughter.

I come from a lineage of very strong and devoted women. My mother and grandmother both were hardworking women who believed in sacrificing themselves in service to their families. They poured their whole heart, body, and souls into motherhood.

My grandmother was always a very strong matriarch. She has not had an easy life, but she has always stayed strong, and maintained an attitude of “I can do it myself”, never asking for help, even now that she is almost 90 years old. She is a kind, loving, and affectionate woman who has demonstrated love and devotion to me her entire life. Her strength has carried her through life and allowed her to be the glue that holds our family together.

Me and my mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother was also a very strong and loving person. She was the kindest person I have ever known, and she made sure that my sister and I grew up knowing just how much we were loved. She went out of her way to care for us and was always the epitome of grace, elegance, and compassion. She was truly the most beautiful person, both inside and out. Unfortunately, my mother did not have the best health. She had juvenile diabetes from the age of 5, and this disease continued to wreak havoc on her body as she got older. As I watched my mother get more and more sick, I was always amazed by the positive outlook that she was able to maintain throughout. She was always happy and smiling, and continued to give of herself until the very end.

legacy of a mother
Me and my daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have learned how to mother from watching my mother and grandmother and I have immense gratitude for their beautiful examples of motherhood. I have adopted many of their traits that I am hoping to pass down to my own daughter. I hope that my daughter grows up watching me be a strong, loving mom. I want her to know how much I adore her and that my devotion to her runs deep.

I have also been thinking about the shadow side of motherhood. In motherhood, as in life, everything is not 100% good all the time. I am very much aware that we are always teaching our children, not only by our strengths, but by our weaknesses. Think about it… as much as we grow up learning to follow our family’s examples in some ways, in other ways we very much learn what NOT to do. These are also valuable lessons that need to be learned.

The women in my family have always sacrificed their own needs for the sake of their families. And while this can be viewed as an act of devotion, I have learned that there is a better way.

We do not have to give up on ourselves for the sake of our families.

There is a difference between sacrificing our own well being, and being of service.

I want to be of service to my daughter, and to my family. What I mean by this, is that I want to be able to help and provide for her to the best of my ability. I want to show her an example of a strong, confident woman who knows how to take care of herself, because this is what I want her to grow up learning about her own self.

I know that the only way to be of service, is by serving myself first.

And that is why I make self care a priority. Every day, I do my best to make sure that I am feeling happy and well, and that I am well taken care of in mind, body, and spirit. Only from this place of fullness, am I able to show up as the mother and woman that I desire to be in this world, not just for myself, but for my daughter, for the legacy that I want to leave behind.

When we are well cared for, everyone wins. We are best able to nurture our children by learning to nurture ourselves first. We can only teach our children to have positive relationships by having healthy relationships ourselves. We teach emotional health by doing whatever we need to do to cope with our own feelings and emotions. We teach our children to feel good by doing the things that make us feel good.

Our children are always watching. They learn from our actions more than they do from our words.

By putting our family’s needs above our own, our children are learning to put other’s needs above their own.

If instead, they grow up watching us filling ourselves up first, and serving them from a place of fullness and fulfillment, they learn to do the same.

This is the legacy I hope to leave my daughter with: Love yourself first. Take care of yourself. Make yourself happy first. This is the truest act of service. It may sound selfish, but it is truly the most selfless gift you can give to your loved ones.

What have you learned from the women in your own life? What lessons have been instilled in you by growing up witnessing their strengths and challenges? What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

Please share in the comments below. Let’s honor our family’s legacies and start to get intentional about the legacies we are creating with our own lives.

I honor you, your mother, your mother’s mother, and all of the mothers who came before them. We are all learning from the generation before us, and are each doing our very best in this crazy world of motherhood. I raise my glass to you, your strengths, and your imperfections. They are all learning opportunities, are all welcome, and are all needed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Be well,
Ambar

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Mother’s Day Gifts for your Mind, Body, + Spirit

Mother's Day Gifts for your Mind, Body, and Spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My goal at Mama Bird Well Nest is to help you design a life of holistic health and happiness. To me, that means making sure that your mind, body, and spirit are all well taken care of. I’ve learned that when one of these areas is out of balance, it makes it much harder for us to feel fully joyful in our lives. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I am excited to share a guide to my favorite gifts for nurturing your mind, body, and spirit.

For the Mind:

Journaling is one of my favorite ways to clear out my mental clutter. One of my secrets for staying consistent with my journaling practice, is to buy a gorgeous journal that I love looking at! These are two of my favorites!


“The Whole Brain Child” is a wonderful parenting book full of helpful ways to promote our children’s emotional intelligence and help them be calmer and happier. I truly believe in the parenting approaches in this book and think all parents should read it.

Practicing mindfulness has been life changing for me! Learning to quiet our minds and be in the present moment is essential in today’s busy world. The Aranyani Mindfulness Kit is artfully designed to make mindfulness meditation easy! It includes the book, “How to Sit” by Thich Nhat Hanh, a soy candle, amethyst stone, and meditation chime. This is the perfect bundle to get you started with your mindfulness practice.

For the Body:

My friend Michelle is an amazing artist and a beautiful mama to a little girl. She has recently released her new book, The Art of Moga, which details a lovely movement practice to help you de-stress and unwind. Moga is a 10-15 minute stretch routine for beginners, a place to start. The book is a compilation of this sweet routine, motivational stories from her own life, and her personal tips and tricks for being happy and healthy. I would highly recommend this beautiful book!

I just completed the Nourish to Flourish Society’s 14 Day Spring Reset and loved it! I experienced 14 days of nourishing, delicious meals, along with journaling prompts and exercises designed to help me create a healthier relationship with food. This was a really eye opening experience for me. What I love most about this cleanse is that it’s not just about food; it really helps teach you to nourish your mind, body, and spirit, which you know is what I am all about! If you are looking to reset your eating patterns and lighten up for Spring, this cleanse is perfect for you!

 

The Little Flower Yoga Card Deck is perfect to use to practice yoga with your little ones! They demonstrate 50 yoga poses, breathing exercises, and mindfulness activities in simple to understand ways, and make it a fun way to encourage your little ones to practice yoga with you!

For the Spirit:

Sage has been used for centuries as a way to clear out old energies and clear your space. These sage smudge sticks are super easy and convenient to use and come with a premium Abalone shell to catch any falling ashes. I love to open up all of our windows and smudge our home at least once a season. This is one of my favorite rituals for letting go of the old, and making space for the new.

The Mother’s Wisdom Card Deck is one of my favorite ways to tune in to my mother’s intuition. I like to pull a card each Monday and make it my theme for the week. These beautiful cards are a lovely gift for any mother who wants to feel more spiritually connected to mother’s wisdom.

I find the act of rolling out my yoga mat and creating some sacred space every morning to be a spiritual practice. The Jade yoga mat is my absolute favorite yoga mat! It has a great grip and the perfect amount of cushioning. I have been using the same mat for 5 years and it is still good as new! I love this mat and recommend it to every yogi.
I hope that you enjoy this collection of gifts designed to keep your mind, body, and spirit happy and healthy!

Happy shopping!

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

*Mama Bird Well Nest is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Don’t Make things happen, Let them happen

Don't Make things Happen, Let them Happen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the last couple of weeks, as I launched my program for new moms, I was reminded of a really valuable lesson that I’m now applying to all areas of my life. It is a total game-changer, so I wanted to share it with you!

I had never publicly launched a program in this way before. Sure, I have been leading groups like this, but I have worked mainly by referrals and direct connections. This was my first time really advertising my program and putting myself out there publicly.

Launching a program in this way is kind of a crazy thing. It requires you to keep talking about your services over and over again without really knowing if anyone is listening, or if it will resonate with the people who need you. I went into my launch with an idea of a certain number of new moms that I wanted to join my program. The first few days, I was really anxious wondering if what I was sharing would attract the right people into my program. As the week progressed, I knew that I had to let go of my anxiety. I realized that all I could do was continue to share about my program and trust that the right women would be led to it at the right time for them. As soon as I was able to let go of my need to control the outcome, I felt peaceful. I was able to enjoy interacting with the women reading my posts, and feel the encouragement of the many friends and acquaintances who supported me throughout this process. It felt good! And, I now have a wonderful group of women in this program! It all worked out, in the right way, at the right time.

This got me realizing, that this wasn’t the first time in my life that I experienced the power of surrendering. When I got pregnant with my daughter, at first I was really anxious. I worried as to whether my body would be able to sustain a healthy pregnancy and I really stressed myself out about it. As my pregnancy progressed, I slowly started to trust in the process more. I started meditating and journaling daily, and focused on formed a connection with the baby that was growing inside me. I let go of my need to know that everything would work out a certain way, and instead surrendered to the process. As a result, I was able to experience a really peaceful and joyful pregnancy, and I know that I will always remember that sacred time when I learned to trust in the process.

I can continue applying this to every area of my life today.

We are currently in the beginning stages of potty training our daughter. I know that there is no way that I can make her potty train. All that I can do is continue offering the opportunity and trust that she will figure it out when the time is right for her. I can’t force it, I have to let it happen.

This also applies to my marriage. I am fortunate to have a really great husband, and we have a really solid connection…. most of the time. At times, we get caught up in the daily routine and there are days where I feel a little disconnected. But again, I know that there is no way that I can make my husband act a certain way towards me. All that I can do is treat him in the way that I want to be treated, let go of the outcome, and let him respond accordingly.

I am also using this concept with my health. I would really like to lose 10lbs in order to be at the weight where I feel my best. But, I know that I cannot force my body to lose 10lbs. All I can do is nourish myself with healthy food and make time each day to be more active. Then, I have to trust the process and let the weight come off on its own.

As you can see, the idea of letting things happen, rather than making them happen, applies in all areas of life: from motherhood, to marriage, to health and career. All that we can do is put forth some effort, and do our part in reaching our goals. We can keep showing up day after day taking small steps in the direction that we want to go, and towards feeling the ways that we want to feel. But, there comes a point where we have to just let go, trust, and allow.

What have you been trying to force in your own life? How can you start to let it happen, instead of making it happen? Let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of trust + surrender.

Be well,
Ambar

3 Keys to Being a Happy Mama

How to Be a Happy Mama

 

For as long as I can remember, if you asked me what I wanted most out of life, my answer would be “to be happy”. After struggling with anxiety and depression for most of my adolescence and young adulthood, happiness became my ultimate goal. I worked hard to achieve happiness, and I am proud to say that I figured out how to become one of the happiest people I know.

Motherhood has brought a new level of joy to my life. It has filled me with a sense of purpose; an inner knowing that being a mother is what I was brought here to do. But learning to be a happy mother, also took some work. With my program for new moms, New Mama Bird Circle, starting this week, I’ve been reflecting on my experience as a mother thus far. I’ve realized that I can sum up what it takes to be a happy mama in 3 words: Contemplation, Connection, & Contribution.

Contemplation

Contemplation refers to time spent alone in stillness. Time spent in contemplation can include prayer and/or meditation. The most important part, is that it is time spent by ourselves, with our own inner wisdom. As mothers, our lives are noisy and busy. There is a constant hustle and bustle to our days. In order for us to be in balance, we need to make a commitment to having quiet time in our lives. This gives us an opportunity to get in touch with our own desires, hopes, and dreams. It gives us space to reflect on what’s working for us, and on what’s not. It helps us relieve stress, and have time to be alone with our thoughts, without thinking about anyone else’s expectations of us. Time spent in quiet stillness and contemplation is important for everyone, and it is especially vital to us mothers.

Connection

As much as alone time is important for us, so is Connection. As humans, we desire deep connection. We all want to feel loved, supported, and cared for. As mothers, we are natural givers. We need to feel loving connection in our lives, and experience relationships that go both ways, where there is an equal give and take. Since we are always giving our energy away, we need to also be able to receive love from those around us. In order to feel our best, we need strong connections with our families and communities. We experience connection by finding our tribes; the friends who become family and will love us and encourage us through any challenges. We also experience connection by being fully present with our families, by putting our phones away, being in the moment, and allowing ourselves to feel the love we have for these special people in our lives. By being with the people we love, who also love us, and accept us exactly as we are, we experience fulfilling connection in our lives.

Contribution

Contribution is the final key to happiness for us mamas. In order to feel happy and fulfilled, we need to feel that we are contributing something of value to the world. We all want to know that our lives have made an impact, whether that be by the specific ways in which we raise our children, the work we do in the world, or a combination of both. We need to be doing meaningful work with our lives, contributing to the things and people that matter to us, and being intentional about the legacies that we will leave behind.

Contemplation, connection, and contribution are the keys to a happy life as a mama. Once these 3 values are met, joy comes naturally. The great thing about this, is that these 3 things are all within our control. How we spend our days, is how we spend our lives. By taking small steps each day to spend time in contemplation, value our connections, and contribute to what matters to us, we will be well on our way to being happy, fulfilled moms.

We will be discussing these topics at length, and creating our own daily self care routines to make sure that these values are being met, in New Mama Bird Circle, my virtual program for new moms. If you are a new mama who could use some extra support in this area, I invite you to join us! We would love to connect with you and help you feel like the happy and healthy mama that you deserve to be.

 

It Takes a Village to Raise a Mother

It takes a Village to raise a Mother
My very first mama village, at my Mommy + Baby Retreat, Sacred Beginnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the phrase that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” This refers to the idea that children are brought up not only by their immediate family, but by the many different caretakers in the community which make an impact on their lives. Children that grow up to be adaptable and resilient are often a result of developing healthy attachment to their parents, having close ties to their community, and knowing that there are people out there who are vested in their wellbeing.

The same can be said about mothers.

As mothers, we thrive on community. Child rearing is hard. It can be isolating and challenging. Having the support of a group of women who understand motherhood and all of its innate challenges can make all of the difference.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I thought that I was ready for motherhood. My husband and I had been together for 6 years. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time as newlyweds and felt ready for our next life phase. I had experienced a blissful pregnancy where I meditated daily and felt connected to my daughter already. I had designed my perfect baby nursery. We had read “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” I thought I was all set.

And I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When my daughter was born, I was completely taken aback by how much she required of me. I had never really been around a baby that young before and I was quite honestly shocked at how demanding it was to care for her needs. As a newborn, my daughter wanted to be held and nursed constantly. I had naively thought that I would be able to put my baby down and carry on with my life, aside from diaper changes and feeding times. (Ha!) That was not at all my experience. I was blessed with a baby that despised being put down and wanted to nurse 24/7! I quickly started to feel trapped. I worried that I was doing something wrong, or that there was something wrong with my baby.

In those early months with my daughter, we quickly fell into a phase that I now call “the newborn bubble”. Everything from that time is a complete haze to me. My daughter was colicky, which basically meant that she was cranky and fussy for a large portion of the day. I quickly learned that the only way to calm her down was to feed her, so it started to feel like I was nursing for hours on end.

Before having a baby, I had worked really hard to create a quiet and peaceful home life, and I found the sound of my baby’s constant crying extremely jarring. I felt like a horrible mother for feeling this way and hated hearing her in distress. I also started feeling really anxious about leaving the house, because I wasn’t yet comfortable breastfeeding in public, and I worried that if we went out, and she freaked out, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. We spent a lot of time home on the couch, because that was the only place where I felt confident that I could care for her needs. This was not what I had imagined life with my precious baby girl would be like.

Around this time, I was invited to go on a Mommy + Baby retreat. I was hesitant to go because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it would be worth it to leave the comfort and safety of my couch to go spend a weekend with a group of women that I didn’t really even know. But something inside me urged me to go on this retreat, and thankfully, I listened, because it ended up changing my whole experience of motherhood!

Being surrounded by a group of mothers who understood what I was going through was extremely comforting. I was reassured that I was doing a great job, and that there was nothing wrong with me or my baby. I learned that it is completely normal for newborns to want to be attached to their mothers, cry a lot, and nurse for extended periods of time. (Who knew?!) By surrounding myself with other mothers, I instantly felt seen, heard, and understood. This loving group of amazing women had a tremendous impact on me. I gained confidence in myself as a mother, and was able to return home and be the peaceful and happy mama that I had always wanted to be.

My daughter will be 2 in June, and as she has grown, so has my village of mamas. I am extremely grateful for my mom friends. Having the support of other mothers is invaluable. So much of parenting is trial and error. What works for one child, may not work for another. Because of this, it is extremely helpful to have other mothers to talk to, to bounce ideas off of, and to get different viewpoints for managing whatever challenges you may be facing. As mothers, we can all relate to each other. We all want the best for our children and we all want to be the best moms possible. In my experience, the best way to do this, is by surrounding myself with other mothers. It truly takes a village to raise a mother, especially a happy and confident mother. 🙂

Enrollment for my program for new moms, New Mama Bird Circle, is now open. If you are a new mother looking to find your own village of mamas, we would love to have you join us! It would be my honor to support you on your motherhood journey.

 

How Yoga Makes Me a Better Mom

How Yoga Makes Me a Better Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga has been my saving grace as a mother. I started practicing yoga with my daughter when she was just a few months old, and it quickly became a vital part of our morning routine. Yoga was my entryway to self care as a new mom. It allowed me to move my body, decrease stress, and share something that I love with my baby. My daughter is almost 2 years old now, and my yoga practice is more important to me than ever. Here are 3 ways in which yoga has made me a better mom:

1) Self Care – My yoga practice has become a non negotiable part of my life. I try to start most of my days with a short 10-15 minute yoga practice. Taking just a few moments a day for myself makes a tremendous impact on my mood. It allows me to make myself a priority and do something special for myself everyday. As a mom of a young child, this is extremely important. I spend so much of my days caring for my little one and doing things for our family, that it is extra important to make sure that my own needs are being met first. As a result, I am better able to take care of all of the people that rely on me, especially my daughter.

2) Slows Reaction Time – Practicing yoga consistently creates an inner peace that stays with me throughout my days. Since I am feeling more calm and at ease, I am able to be more intentional with my actions, rather than being so reactive. When stressful situations arise, I am better equipped to stop and take a deep breath before I react. In situations where I may have immediately screamed or lost my temper, I am now able to slow down and take deliberate actions. This is a handy tool to have in my back pocket with an energetic little toddler who is always exploring and pushing limits. Thanks to my yoga practice, I am able to be more intentional in how I react to her, and that makes me a better mom.

3) Sets a Good Example – My daughter has grown up watching me practice yoga everyday. It is simply part of our routine and something that she is very aware of. I believe that by having this experience of yoga ingrained in her so early on, it will always be something that she can come back to as she grows up. I also believe that by watching me practice yoga and meditate, my daughter is learning the importance of self care from a young age. She is learning valuable lessons about the importance of physical fitness and the mind-body connection. By watching me take good care of myself, she is learning to take care of herself too. There is no better lesson that we can teach our children.

Do you practice yoga? In what ways has it made a difference in your life? Please share in the comments below!

I am so excited to share that I’ve created a FREE 5 day Mommy & Me Yoga Challenge! It’s the perfect starting point for any mom who is interested in learning to take better care of herself by incorporating a little bit of yoga into her daily routine and sharing this gift with her little ones. Click here to sign up for the challenge!  Enjoy, and please share with any other moms who you think might benefit from this! 🙂

Join the Yoga With Littles Challenge!

mommy and me yoga challenge

 

 

 

 

 

Have a beautiful week and make sure to take some time for yourself!

Be well,
Ambar

How to Make Every Moment of Your Life Feel Special

How to Make Every Moment Special

Lately I’ve been playing a lot with the idea of making everyday moments feel more special. It’s easy to think about the big moments in life as special and sacred… our wedding day, our babies being born, birthdays and holidays; these days and moments all have a celebratory feel to them. But, what if we could make everyday a reason to celebrate? We are so blessed to be alive. Every moment of this life is a miracle, why not start to treat them as such?

Celebrating the little moments throughout my day is something I’m always working towards. I think the best way to start is by creating small rituals and routines throughout your day that anchor you in the intention of celebrating each moment, even the ordinary ones. Here is an example of what an ideal day in my life would look like:

Morning Ritual:
Wake up before my daughter, June. Roll out my yoga mat, light a candle, and do a short yoga and meditation practice.

June wakes up. Go get her from her room, take a few minutes to snuggle and play before getting her dressed for the day.

Breakfast Ritual:
Light a candle while making breakfast for the two of us. Listen to some upbeat music while making a green smoothie for us to share. Sit together and enjoy my smoothie, really taking the time to notice how it tastes, while welcoming this sweet morning moment with my daughter.

Blow out breakfast candle to transition out of breakfast time. Put some uplifting essential oils in the diffuser and have June play and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Sesame Street while I clean up the kitchen and get ready to start our day. Listen to one of my favorite motivational podcasts while getting ready.

Take June out to play. Depending on the weather, maybe we walk to the park or beach, go to an indoor play place, run some errands, or meet up with friends. I stay off my phone and take the time to connect with my daughter.

Lunchtime Ritual:
We go back home and start getting ready for lunch. Again, I light a candle while I make lunch. I make a pitcher of fruit infused water to sip throughout the day, and it feels like a treat. June and I enjoy our lunch together before she gets ready for her nap.

Naptime Ritual:
Diffuse lavender essential oil in June’s room and rock her in her rocking chair. I put her down for her nap, go downstairs, and make myself a cup of tea. Depending on my mood, I may take this hour to read a magazine or fiction book, catch up on my TV shows, or work on my blog.

June wakes up from her nap. We go for an afternoon walk around the block. We point out all of the birds, leaves, and flowers and enjoy our little nature walk.

Dinner Prep Ritual:
I set June up in her playroom while I get ready to start dinner. I light a candle, choose a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks (Right now, I’m loving The Happy Cook, by Daphne Oz), and get to work.

My husband, Angelo gets home from work and plays with June while I set the table with fresh flowers and a candle. Angelo puts some mellow music on and we have a family dance party before we get ready to transition to dinnertime.

Dinner Ritual:
We light our mealtime candle and say a sweet poem before starting our family dinner. Lately we’ve been using: “Thank you for the food before us, the family beside us, and the love between us.”  We enjoy some family time together while eating dinner.

Angelo gives June a bath while I go take a shower. I put on some relaxing music, put on a face mask and use my favorite sugar scrub in the shower. I feel relaxed and refreshed after taking this short time to myself. I fight the urge to put on my worn out Christmas pajama pants, and instead put on a soft nightgown.

June’s Bedtime Ritual:
Again, we diffuse lavender essential oil in June’s room. She knows that this is part of her cue to wind down to go to sleep. Angelo reads her a couple of books after her bath. I snuggle and rock her in her chair until she falls asleep.

Evening Ritual:
Light a candle and enjoy some alone time with my husband. We might watch one of our favorite shows, read together, or try one of the at-home date night ideas from last week’s post.

Bedtime Ritual:
I put on my favorite moisturizer, dim the lights, and read a chapter of my favorite book before going to bed. Angelo and I take turns telling each other 3 things we are grateful for from the day.

And that’s it. There’s nothing glamourous about the day I just described, there are just simple, intentional actions spread out throughout the day. These small actions anchor me in the present moment and give me ammunition to get through the rest of the day, even in moments where I feel exhausted, or my daughter is being challenging. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to light a candle, buy fresh flowers, or choose a nightgown over old sweatpants. It just takes intention. This commitment to enjoying life and treating every moment as special is key to creating a happy and fulfilled life.

What are your favorite ways to treat the ordinary moments as special? Please share in the comments below!

Wishing you a special week.

Be well,
Ambar

 

 

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How to Keep your Love Alive through the Seasons of Life

How to Keep Your Love Alive

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the different seasons of relationships. I’m blessed to be married to an incredible, hard-working man who I love very much. But that doesn’t mean that things are always perfect for us. Marriage is a commitment and relationships take work. In order to make your love last, you have to put in the time and effort to establish a strong foundation to help you weather the different seasons of life.

Every relationship starts out in Summer. This is the beginning of the relationship, when you are first starting out on your journey together. Things are hot, sexy, and fun. My husband Angelo and I were lucky to have a long season of summer early on in our relationship. We were together for 4 years before getting married, and then enjoyed being newlyweds for 2 years before I became pregnant. We truly took the time to get to know one another, to travel, and to have adventures. This helped us set the foundation for the next season: Autumn.

I think of the time in which I was pregnant as Autumn. It was a time of shedding and letting go of our old personas and identities as we prepared to welcome our baby into the world. We knew that our lives were about to change drastically, and it was a time of releasing all of the habits and routines that would no longer serve us once we were parents. There is a big identity shift that happens when you become parents. During autumn, we started preparing for the inevitable change that was on the way.

When our daughter June was born, Angelo and I entered the season of Winter in our relationship. During this time, our romance took a backseat as the priority shifted to nurturing our beautiful baby girl. It was a time of quiet hibernation and our relationship entered survival mode. We were doing all we could to keep ourselves and our baby alive during this huge life adjustment. Winter can be cold and brutal, but it has its own unique beauty that can be found when you take the time to look for it. It also helps to know that this is a season, and that Spring is coming.

Angelo and I are currently in the Springtime. Our daughter is now 19 months old, and we have adjusted to life as a family of 3. We love being parents, and now that our daughter is slightly more independent, we have more time to focus on our relationship. We are in a season of renewal and rebirth. We are figuring out a way to get to know each other again as the new people that we’ve become. We are spending more time alone together and starting to re-prioritize our relationship. This is not always easy, but we are making an effort to allow our love to bloom.

As you can see, things are not always perfect in my marriage. But we are committed to navigating life together and maintaining a strong love for one another. I am very much aware that my relationship with my husband will be the model for my daughter’s future relationships. I want her to grow up in a home with two loving parents who have a healthy relationship. I think that there are 3 key things that create a solid foundation for any relationship:

1) Be besties.
Your partner should be your best friend. This is the person you have chosen to share your life with, so it is important that you share your life with them! Be open with each other. Share your hopes, dreams and secrets with one another. Confide in each other. Spend quality time together. Go on adventures. Have fun. Laugh.

2) Be intimate.
A relationship requires intimacy. Your partner should be your best friend, but not be ONLY your best friend. Being intimate is what crosses you over from being friends to being a couple. Keep that in mind. Be lovers. Even if you’re too tired, or not in the mood. Make an effort. At the very least, be affectionate. Cuddle together. Hold hands. Kiss. Hug. Make out. We all want to feel desired. A little physical touch can go a long way in sustaining a healthy relationship.

3) Be supportive.
You and your partner should be each other’s biggest cheerleaders in life. Encourage each other to have outside interests. Take an interest in one another’s hobbies. Allow your partner to be a happy, fulfilled individual, and do whatever you have to do to make sure that you are one as well! Praise your significant other. Acknowledge when they do something right, not just when they do something wrong. Cheer them on and do whatever you can to help them achieve their goals. Encourage one another. Cheer for each other. When one of you wins, you both win.

In my 9 year relationship, I’ve found that these 3 things are vital to making sure that my marriage is headed in the right direction. When I notice that Angelo and I are arguing a lot, or that things are a little off, I check in with these 3 ground rules, and usually notice that at least one of them is not being met. Having these guidelines gives me a great reference for knowing what I need to do to maintain a strong marriage no matter which season of life we happen to find ourselves in.

The media leads us to believe that a good relationship is one in which you are in an endless summer, but that’s just not true or realistic. Your seasons may look different from mine, depending on your life circumstances, but make no mistake, every relationship has its seasons. Create a strong foundation and you will find that you have what it takes to shelter you through any kind of weather.

Happy Valentine’s week my beautiful friends! Wishing you a beautiful week full of LOVE!

Be well,
Ambar

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