Category Archives: planet parenthood

Becoming A Mama Bliss Coach

This quote captures the essence of creating Mama Bliss and sharing your passion with your family and beyond...

This quote captures why/how creating Mama Bliss for ourselves inspires our children and beyond.

I can hardly believe that I haven’t written about becoming a Mama Bliss Coach on this blog (I was honestly too busy with coaching school/practice). In June I completed a 12-week course that taught me all about becoming a life coach. The training reinforced the path I’ve been on as a Simplicity Parenting Coach (check out my debut interview with OMamas). It also taught me specific new coaching tools to work with Mamas on their path to creating more bliss. Mama Bliss Coaching delves into four personal areas of your life:

  • Self-care
  • Simplicity
  • Values
  • Creativity

I like to think of them as a hierarchy of needs, only it’s all about creating your unique version of Mama Bliss. Creating genuine Mama Bliss is about going deep within to get honest with yourself to ask where you are your life now, and where you want your family be…and then bridging that gap. Asking yourself who you are now, and who you know you can become. It’s a delicate balance of dealing with the chaos of your daily life, and persistently working toward your longer term vision. Finding ways to cherish the moment, express yourself creatively and discover what truly brings you bliss.

It’s about not getting trapped in the modern day “Busy Mama Syndrome” of doing everything for everyone else but yourself…since that gerbil wheel will only take you so far really. It’s about creating a clear vision of what you most desire and finding ways to fulfill your purpose. While I talk all about “Mamas,” it’s really about your whole self who happens to be a Mama.

Mama Bliss Coaching is a collaborative process where we work together to look at the areas of your life that currently cause you stress and gradually bring more and more bliss into your life. It’s a process, not a magic pill. But let me tell you, once you’ve begun the path toward Mama Bliss, it’s hard to turn back to the grind.

Now that I’ve found my calling, my work brings me joy. Rather than feeling like work, I’ve felt elated after each and every coaching session. Yes, I’ve felt overwhelmed at times by the amount of effort it takes to launch a business and keep my family running, I have a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that I am ready, willing and able to serve fellow mamas on their own paths of professional and personal self-discovery. I’ve attracted some amazing working professionals as clients, and am excited about supporting them as they reach their higher vision for themselves and their families.

Lastly, I want to share two exciting updates.

One, my very first podcast interview with my coaching school teacher, Ms. Kathy Stowell from Bliss Beyond Naptime. I feel eternally grateful to have found this coaching program when I did (last winter I was feeling pretty disappointed by the fact that leading Simplicity Parenting classes was just not the right model for the clients I want to reach…plus that I wanted to help transform the whole mama, not just the “parenting mama”). And thank you to my inspiring cohort of fellow Mama Bliss Coaches, a truly inspiring and impressive bunch of colleagues.

Second, I’ve just posted info about my very first Mama Bliss Beach Retreat, November 14-16. I’ve been hyping this up in my mind for sooooo long, envisioning the whole beautiful experience and can hardly wait to make this part of my dream come true…hopefully with you!

Wishing you Mama Bliss!

Darcy

Cloth Diapering System…3rd Time’s a Charm!

Cloth diapers are not as difficult as our society makes it out to be. Sure, disposable diapers can be convenient, and I use them myself about 10-15% of the time. But once you’ve set up a convenient system, using cloth only really adds a load of laundry every 5-7 days. With all the laundry my family requires, I hardly notice the extra effort.

There is a bit of a learning curve to get a system that works for you. Using cloth diapers has become a lost art and parents need to find resources in order to demystify things. 


I was actually talked out of using cloth with my Big Guy, by a friend who works in the environmental field. I ended up using G-Diapers as a middle ground, but had mixed results. Here’s my Diaper Duty story for #1 and #2. 


Now that Miel has recently had her first child in June, I’ve been asked to reflect once again on my diapering experience.


Here are the three steps to setting up a diapering system:

  1. Start cloth diapers at about 12 pounds (which obviously depends on baby’s size)
  2. Buy a mix of “all-in-one” diapers for mostly night time and wraps for the days
  3. You need a few more supplies to set up your system (see list below)

1. This third time around using cloth diapers has felt like second nature. I started when Sweetie had grown out of of size 1 disposables, at about 12 pounds. Almost all of my diapers are made to grow with her and can expand with snaps. Starting at just after the newborn stage will save you money on diapers that you would only use for a month. Plus, it also gives you a chance to settle into parenthood with the new little person you’ve just created. 

2. In an effort find the “right diaper” I ended up buying several different brands. This made it more complicated than necessary, since each diaper has it’s own nuances. Take my advice, and just buy the one brand that works, I really like the
Thirsties Duo Wrap and BumGenius works great too. 

3. You’ll need more than just cloth diapers. The good news is that some of the items you can repurpose once you are done diapering. Here’s my list:

  • Air tight 5 Gallon Eco Bucket with a lid
  • Two smaller Airtight Containers With a Handle (I used these to transport diapers to/from daycare, but at home they are handy to have for changing diapers on different floors)
  • Flushable BioLiners diaper liners make dumping poop much easier. You don’t need to start using until you introduce solids and their poop firms up. These were a game changer for cloth diapering! (It is doable to go without, but it sure is messier…)
  • Oxygen bleach and essential oils to add to wash loads
  • A dedicated laundry basket for fresh diapers

Once you have your supplies set up, the system is really easy…catching your toddler for a diaper change is the real challenge! 

What does your diaper system consist of?

Darcy

Keeping Some Fun in a Parent’s Schedule

It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the worlds of work and family that you lose touch with the hobbies and activities that used to make you tick. Though life gets busy as a parent, and this drastically reduces your free time, the reason for neglecting these hobbies altogether is usually forgetfulness — we forget to make room for the things we love.

Though the effects of going a long time without these favorite activities may not be noticeable on the surface, there is a certain kind of healthy fulfillment they bring that we may be missing without them. So how do we reclaim these hobbies when our schedules aren’t getting any easier?
Begin by accepting that making time for these activities is deserved and worthwhile. Parents of young children often feel that their own interests have to be put on hold, and while this may be true in a general sense, it does not mean that they can never make time for the things they enjoy doing.
There are two ways to go about including these activities in your schedule. The first is to determine whether you can involve your children in any of them. If you love gardening, for instance, consider making time for you and your children to establish a garden in the spring. The second way is to hire a babysitter from time to time, or plan to go to the ballgame when family will be in town and can take care of your kids for an evening.
There are many ways to ensure that you maintain some hobbies when you have kids, even if you only indulge in them sporadically. It’s an important way to keep some fun and relaxation in your life, even when times are getting hectic, and it shouldn’t be hard to keep the occasional indulgence within budget.

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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Maybe Baby…

It may seem strange, but after the initial shock of my father’s passing softened, I suddenly had the urge to have another baby. It wasn’t in sorrow, but in tears of joy. I felt like my heart had been broken open and I needed a place to give my extra love. Suddenly, deciding to only have two children based on environmental ethics felt like I was limiting myself.


Admittedly, the logistics of it had to do with money. Knowing that I would be passed down family money, I contemplated what I could do to satisfy a legacy. My grandmother would have loved for me to have more children…she always joked, “You know, they are cheaper by the dozen!” She had three children herself, but came from a well-off family with seven children. My grandmother was proud of me for going to college and getting Master’s (and she always pushed that in this day/age that I should be able to support myself, just in case), but she also thought I work too long of hours. She worked long hours herself until she had a family (and remembered her hourly wage for every job she worked until she passed away at 94), but she  lived in a different era, and shook her head at the idea of getting two little ones dressed and out the door by 7 every morning. 


So, back to the baby decision…


Well, when I brought up the idea to Hubby he was less than enthusiastic. While he had pressed me for a third just a year earlier (which I thought was way too soon), he suddenly felt he was too old (he just turned 42). Or maybe he thought I was just making an emotional decision (which I was…). At any rate, we’ve come to a place of peace with our equally balanced household.


But I still can’t help but think that if I lived in different economic era that I would be quite happy with more kids. Finances simply does play into our family planning these days, whether families want to admit it or not. Even if we had decided to have a third, we had only ever talked about the possibility in the context of having at least our older in grade school so we could afford expensive child care.I know an acquaintance, whose husband owns a small bike shop, who decided to not have another child based on the fact that they felt they couldn’t afford it while his shop was getting off the ground and she was staying home to take care of their son and assist on the business. 


How much has your family finances played a role in your family planning?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Fridays “Free”

I wrote a while ago about our Flex Friday schedule and how it saves us both time and money. It means long days (7:30-5), but it gives us every other Friday off.


So, when I started considering how money could improve my life, my first thought was more free time. During the fall I reduced my schedule to 36 hours per week, which is still technically full time, but means that I now have every Friday off. It’s meant that I now drop off and pick up our Big Guy on Fridays (Hubby does so almost all the time otherwise.) I’m also able to get some exercise, and a hodge podge of family tasks and errands.


I couldn’t agree more with Huffington Post editor Laura Rowley, “The company that can create jobs where a woman can work from 8:30 to 2:30 is going to win and win really big.” The Huffington Post article also discussed a study finds that being happy at work becomes less important to women’s overall well-being when they have pre-school children, possibly because this changes working mothers’ priorities.”

While I enjoy my current position and am committed to my career, I also feel like creating more of an equal balance for my family is essential. Now that I have a 4 days on and 3 days off I feel like I’m really able to make the most of my time in both places and give more of myself.


Do you have a flexible schedule?
Is it worth it?



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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.