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My perfect summer day involves cleaning out our closets—no, really

For me, self-care means a guilt-free day to purge my head + home and make room for summer

My perfect summer day involves cleaning out our closets—no, really

Coffee in hand, it's very early in the morning. My husband's just left with the kids for the day. And. I. Am. All. Alone. 😃 You'd think I'd have planned a girls' day or taken this opportunity to pamper myself, go shopping, go out with friends, or go back to bed.

Nope.

I am cleaning out closets and drawers and cabinets and cupboards.

It's not just a physical purge, either. While I work, it is a mental sweeping of half-baked thoughts and hunches, all of which need time to ferment and process, and none of which get their chance with the constant interruptions that come along with minding a household and three littles.

Don't get me wrong: I am not complaining. But I'll tell you this: I am relishing.

What I really love (and need) is this guilt-free day…

… to clean out a few closets so the doors can shut.

... to tackle the things that have been taking up space in my mind for months, always creeping in to tap me on the shoulder and remind me that I have unfinished business, not letting me relax and be in the moment.

... to carve out some mental space, where I can complete a thought and assess where I am right now.

… to rejig priorities, set things up and put things in motion, so I can enjoy the summer with my muffins without the uninvited gremlin of nag shadowing every step and stealing my presence and joy.

I am doing this chore for myself. And. I. Am. LOVING. It.

I can work in my head, and I can rest in my head. Just being able to put two thoughts together satisfies a hint of the old me that is always there, waiting to be noticed and fulfilled.

This isn't about not loving my life and kids. This is about loving myself.

When I clear out the junk—in my house and in my head—I can focus more on what really matters most to me. Everything is in a better light. And it's okay if what matters to me at this moment is a little organization that helps me manage the constant "need-to-do" list that crowds out the present and prevents me from setting my full attention upon the little loves who mean the most to me in the whole world.

So, I look forward to a day like this. When my husband says he wants to take the kids—without me—I say, "Absolutely!"

That's how I find myself... knee deep in abandoned stuffed animals, broken or unused toys, worn out t-shirts and singleton socks.

That's how I find myself... reorganizing the bookshelf, adjusting books by size and titles to appeal to the ages my kids are now, and getting rid of the rest.

That's how I find myself... cleaning out my pantry of rejects and past-dues so I can see better what ingredients are available for dinner.

That's how I find myself... rooting through the bathroom drawers, eliminating used dental floss and cotton swabs (ew), empty toothpaste tubes and broken hair-ties.

I know it sounds silly. But, that's how I find myself.

At the end of the day, I am spent from tossing things and laid flat by decision fatigue. I have not snapped at anyone, no one's gotten into their "special box" to undo all that I've done, and I feel like I've run my course.

I'm ready for bed and the full night's sleep that I've so earned. And I sleep well, knowing that the rest of these days of summer can be met with an eager heart, a patient soul, and a manageable task set that won't crowd out what summer is really all about—fun, connection and memories.

Some mamas are much better than me at prioritizing, focusing or changing gears. They can manage all that their lives hold for them, every day and in every way. But this is what works for me. Acknowledging that and accepting it as my reality also works for me.

Self-care is as individual as each mama, and every mama needs to find what works for her.

We put others ahead of ourselves all the time. And in doing so, we can lose a little of ourselves each day that we don't carve out space to remember we are someone, too. We are worthy and important—we deserve to do what it takes to be our best self, and our children deserve it, too.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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