My baby is starting kindergarten. Am I ready for this?

I need the outside world to go away for a while. I need the noise to quiet down. I need to live in a bubble of peace.

You see, my boy is headed off to kindergarten, and my focus is there. In my little family, this is a transition worthy of shutting down the outside world. It feels like a rite of passage that needs acknowledgment—space to breath, room to grow, the softness to feel. This house should be sacred space—Retreat space for all of us.

For my kindergartner, retreat space means home is a place of simplicity, of heart, of unconditional love. The five year old headed off to the larger world of big kid school is the same child who told me last year that he “sometimes has feelings, I don’t know what they are really, but I feel them all over my body then they have to come out my eyes sometimes like tears.” He asked me if I knew that feeling.

Yes. Yes, buddy, I know that feeling. He went on during that bedtime last autumn, to tell me he isn’t sure all people have the same feeling. He didn’t think everyone had feelings “squirt out of their eyes” quite as much.

He’s right. I have a household of eye-squirters. And we eye-squirters must figure out our way in a world that doesn’t always understand how intensely some people feel. I’ve learned through the years that emotions take space, time, and care. People like us don’t weather the stress of the world well. We need to retreat. We need home. We revel in the cozy. My three year old, Grace, recently told me “our family is a cozy family. We like cozy.” I have since derived from her commentary that cozy is equivalent to present. They like presence. We shine when residing in presence.

For our home to feel present, my children and I have to make extra room for our emotions. “The feels” take a lot of space in our home. Seemingly simple or normal activities – birthday parties, trips to the store, all of it – take both prep time and decompressing time. It’s exhausting. Each adventure out into the world can become overwhelming to my little beings who feel everything. The overwhelm only intensifies when I’m not present – when they must walk out into the world as a solo individuals.

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With that, I can safely say that transitioning to a new school with new teachers and new classmates, for six plus hours of his day, is going to be a challenge. There are going to be tears emoting from our bodies often. I need to leave space for the tears, the fears, the successes, the endless stream of observations.

As I wrap my brain around the imminent changes of this fall, I keep feeling my need for simplicity, for a peaceful foundation, for the home as sacred space. I cannot allow the outside stresses to enter the doors of this home. It will be warm, grounded, inviting, and safe.

My number one priority these days will be to help my little guy to feel strong in body, mind, and spirit while he navigates his new world.

That’s a feat that requires enough—without me adding on other expectations. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being overextended, and my children certainly don’t like over extended mom. My goal this fall is to underextend. To release expectation for achievement of anything but for each day to be present, accepting, and filled with heart.

This fall I’m going to be going inward a bit. Listening to my own inner silence to lead me. I’m going to need to turn off constant stream of information the world bombards us with every day so that I can hear my own voice. I can’t allow my energy to wander too deeply elsewhere—my home needs me first and foremost. This transition needs space, it doesn’t need me running in a hundred directions.

To friends who’s phone calls I have yet to return, to the plans I may break, I apologize. To other parts of my life, other responsibilities and commitments, I’m sorry if I let you down in the next couple of months. I simply don’t have the space to hold it all. I’ll be tending to the feelings that are squirting out of my eyes.

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Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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