How to Become SUPERBETTER

I’m reading this book called SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient – Powered by the Science of Games- by Jane McGonigal. It’s about how to become the best version of yourself through living life with a gameful mindset.

Think about it: when we play games, we actively seek out challenges. If we fail those challenges, we try again, and keep trying because that’s the point of the game! Why can’t we go through life that way?

Starting on Sunday, I decided to take the lessons I am learning in this book to heart. If I want to feel great, be fit, and be surrounded by great people; I have to put myself into that position and start that challenge. I started a plant based diet where I eat little to no animal products to keep me from feeling so sluggish all the time. I’ve started studying for my license again. Almost half of the people who take it for the first time fail, including myself. I failed when I took it last year. Now I am preparing to take it again. This time I have a better mindset about it. This time I am trying to take a gameful approach to it. Treating each study session like a challenge to unlock a new level of knowledge.

What about relationships? Why should I spend so much time in relationships with family or friends or social media comments that don’t make me happy? Why am I wasting time on these games that do not give me joy or fulfillment? Why should I give energy where it doesn’t reciprocate? I don’t owe anyone anything. I owe myself to live to my full potential and that’s what I intend to do. Starting this week, I am choosing me. I am doing small challenges each day that will add up to help me reach my goal.

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One of the quests in the Superbetter book was to discover what/who my “bad guys are”. Bad Guys are my “inner demons”, the things that keep me from reaching my goals by consuming my mind and distracting me from why I’m really here.  My top Super Bad Guys are:

  1. LAZY SCRUB BUM (characteristics: sloth, laziness, procrastination)
  2. PURPOSELESS CONSUMER (characteristics: eating just because food is there, senselessly scrolling through social media, engaging in conversations that aren’t beneficial, watching TV all day)
  3. SAD REIGNA ((named after Blood Reigna from The 100)(characteristics: mom guilt, feeling like a bad partner, feelings of not being good enough, feeling like a failure, feeling like I’m wasting time when I do things I enjoy, feeling like others are against me, feeling guilty when one of the other bad guys wins a round))

~ We had to come up with silly names for them because that’s what would make it more gameful. In order to beat them, I have to avoid them, resist them, adapt to them, challenge them, convert them, or some combination.

Another quest was to fill in the blank, “I want to be someone who spends time and energy each day on…”. 

The quest asked, if I had an extra 3 hours in each day, what (from a long list of items) would I spend my extra time on. I picked:

  1. Physical self-care
  2. Education/training/learning
  3. Social life

After reflecting on my top 3, I immediately felt bad. Why didn’t I choose parenting or family or spending more time with my partner? Am I selfish because I want to spend more time on myself? I was down about this for a while. Then I realized that SAD REIGNA was trying to get at me!! How am I being bad mom and partner because I have goals for myself??? How am I a bad mom because I am showing my daughter that she can do everything she puts her mind to?? How am I a bad partner because I want time to myself to reach my goals??? I stopped SAD REIGNA right in her tracks! I give my family plenty of time and the question was if I had 3 EXTRA hours in a day, not to take hours away from my day. So TAKE THAT SAD REIGNA !!

These Bad Guys really could give my values and goals a run for their money. But now that I am fully aware of all this and the things that I want to peruse, I can clearly make at least one or 2 hours a day dedicated to my values and fulfilling those goals.

BTW, if anyone would like to be my ally during my journey of becoming super better, just message me! The more, the merrier!

I hope you check out this book. No, I am not getting paid to talk about this book. I got it for free from a coworker. Plus, I am not important enough yet to review/advertise things for my own personal gain. I just want to share this book because I want it to make a difference to someone like it is making a difference to me. I’m not even finished with the book and I am already becoming SUPERBETTER!!

Anyway, they have many quests and challenges to teach you how to deal with stress- like breathing techniques, diverting your attention from what is hurting you (mentally or physically). This book is for people who are cancer patients, people who have traumatic injuries, depression, PTSD, and for other people who just want to be the best version of themselves.

I haven’t been this excited about a novel since I was in middle school and I really think it is making a difference in my attitude about dealing with stress and other things. Let me know if you’ve read this book/if you decide to. I’d love to discuss it with you!

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**champagne and confetti**
Jalynn

Do Not Harm

Who do we call when the very people who have sworn to protect and serve also tend to escalate terror and destruction?

There are more good people than bad. However, if the good people do not stand up against the bad people, there are no good people. If the good people are treated the same way as the bad people, there is no justice. If the people who do bad are not punished, there is no justice. If there is no justice, how can there be peace?

There are more good officers than bad. However, if the good officers do not hold those who do wrong accountable, there are no good officers. If the officers who do bad are not punished, there is no justice. If there is no justice, how can there be peace?

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Those who are sworn in the police force should take some type of test or questionnaire about their stance on things. Are you biased against a certain party? Are you mentally equipped to deal with people different from you and deescalate problems? Can you make the right decisions for the greater good while under pressure? Do you have the intention of protecting ALL CITIZENS in mind?

If those who chose to take an oath to uphold the law do not also abide by the law, how can there be justice?

As I was trying to articulate my thoughts through research – trying to come up with possible ways to help bridge the gap between police and the community; I came across this blog post from the National Police Foundation – Hippocratic Oath for Policing by Sgt. Jeremiah P. Johnson of Darien (CT) Police Department.

This post very beautifully articulated the message I was struggling to convey . Police Officers are NECESSARY. I think the mission of the Police Force should be reiterated and updated on a yearly basis through training and workshops. The Hippocratic Oath for Policing could be a small step in the right direction, in addition to more mental and temperament training.

Like Sgt. Johnson said, the calling to be a police officer is an honorable one… yet officers are still a member of the public and share the same obligation to comply with the laws they are sworn to uphold.

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Thank you to the officers who serve with love in their hearts. Thank you to the officers who have the good of the whole community in mind. Thank you to the officers who treat all people with dignity- especially those with disabilities. Thank you to the officers who have sacrificed their lives. Thank you to the officers who have made this career path into a service mission to better help the community.

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***champagne and confetti***

Jalynn

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Cover Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

Sleep When Baby Sleeps

“Sleep when baby sleeps”… Yeah, I’ll sleep when my baby sleeps during our 15 minute car ride to the store; in church; in the waiting room at the doctor’s office; while grocery shopping; during our afternoon walks; and at night.

10 reasons why I rarely sleep when baby sleeps during the day:

  1. I am hungry or I would like to cook a quick meal.
  2. I would like to get ready for the next day.
  3. I haven’t showered yet.
  4. The dishes need to be washed.
  5. I need a few minutes to my self.
  6. I want to get a quick workout in.
  7. I need to do some quick cleaning.
  8. I’m not tired at that exact moment.
  9. I want to spend time with my partner.
  10. I have to go to work.

There are many times that I choose to sleep over doing other things. When I do, it usually comes back to haunt me because then I end up on the negative side of the things I listed above, i.e. scrambling to get everything together in the morning, not having clean dishes or clothes, not having dinner.

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We prioritize self care but its not always so cut and dry. Yes I need sleep, but I also need these other things to be done. There is no happy medium sometimes. We constantly stress over trying to do it all; but that is not possible every day. Sometimes we can check off everything on our list, sometimes we barely make it through the day, sometimes all we do is hold our baby and sleep.

Life is all about having to make choices. Life is a big game of “Would You Rather”. Sometimes we can do it all, sometimes we can only do one thing. I have to constantly remind myself that its okay to not check off anything on my list. Ask for help from loved ones, prioritize your day, accept that you can’t do it all every day, and forgive yourself.

Check out my previous post about How to PROPERLY Complete Your TO-DO List.

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***champagne and confetti***

Jalynn

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Cover Photo by Garrett Jackson on Unsplash

My Granddaddy

My grandfather was a veteran that died on Veteran’s Day in 2019. He was sick for a while. We knew his time was coming. But even when you know the Angel of Death is near, it’s still a shock when he arrives.

There is no amount of mental preparation you can do to anticipate the void you feel after the death of a loved one. Luckily for us, we always say what is on our minds, so I had no feelings of regret or longing for one more visit or one more conversation with him. However, I wish I could talk to him about what is going on in life now AND hear his response.

I wonder what his theories and conspiracies would be about COVID. I wonder what he would say about the home improvements we’ve made on our house. I wonder how he would feel about not being able to go to the buffet for 3 months. I wonder what’s on his mind right now. I wonder, I wonder.

I know he would be so proud of our babies. He would be so proud of us.

I wish I could get more of his annoying texts and phone calls lol. I wish I could see his smile and watch him playing with my daughter. He loved us so much and he loved that baby girl. He came to visit us almost every day until he physically couldn’t anymore. He was always there for us, no matter what, no matter how far he had to drive. He never missed an event for us. He was always ready to reward us or celebrate with us. He always gave us everything he had.  

If my grandfather didn’t like doing anything else, he loved to eat. Eat at the buffet, eat boiled crawfish, eat at a steakhouse, eat boiled crabs, eat BBQ, just eat out in general. Every year for Veteran’s Day, he would go around to all the restaurants that let veterans eat free and get the food (and take some home).

I guess when Veteran’s Day came and he couldn’t do his yearly tradition, he was like, “Man, I guess it’s time for me to head out,” lol.  I know he stayed with us as long as he could. He is the one person that we can say who gave everything he had while he was here.

He was my first best friend and one of my greatest cheerleaders. How do you carry on when someone who has been there for your life for your whole life suddenly isn’t there? How do you just resume life when someone who was such a big part of it is no longer there? How do you experience a big event/big accomplishment without the first person you want to see in the audience or the first person you want to call to tell about it?

I know he is always with me in spirit and I see him in the little things each day. Things like the cardinals (red birds) that fly around my home, in my baby daughter’s snide looks, in my mom’s attitude and actions. It’s crazy how all of his  energy dissipated into the world around us. I’ve come to the realization that I’ll always miss him. And I’ll probably always feel this void. It just makes me sad that my daughter won’t get to share the same memories of him first hand. I will make sure she knows of his spirit and that we are here because of him.

My Grandaddy was a great man. He was the meanest, the loudest, the grumpiest, the happiest, the coolest, the silliest, the most caring, the most loving, the wisest, the most supportive, the most determined, the hardest working, the most selfless, and the strongest man I will ever know. I am so grateful for the life he has given me.

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Happy Birthday, Da! I miss you and I hope you are having a good time watching over us and eating all the crawfish and steaks they have. We’ll keep doing our best and making you proud. We will never forget you! Love, Jalynn and baby JP

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Thanks for reading this special post, everyone.

*champagne and confetti*

Jalynn

How to PROPERLY Complete Your TO-DO List

As moms, we have a MILLION things to do and we have to miraculously stay on top of it all. We have to raise productive members of society, take care of our family, go to work, have hobbies, spend time with family and friends, cook, clean, take care of ourselves, pay the bills, perform home improvements, run errands, practice self-care, etc. The list never ends.

How is it possible to remember it all AND get everything done??????
The answer : YOU DON’T. Sorry, not sorry. It is hard. YOU ARE SUPERWOMAN, but even Superwoman can miss a few things here and there.

I’ve always been a “list lady”. For as long as I remember, I’ve always kept at least one little notebook with me so I can write down a good point or a quick list to look at later.

I am very goal oriented. I also sometimes struggle with balancing all of my thoughts and goals/expectations for myself. I find that seeing everything in writing helps me prioritize tasks and determine what is most important for me and what makes the most sense for right now.

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My many notebooks. Next week I will have to do a post about what’s in all of these 😉

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When I got pregnant, one of the first things I did (after feeling sorry for myself) was make a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish before the baby was born. I knew that I would have doctor’s appointments and other dates to keep track of, so I went to buy a planner. From my huge “to-do” list, I decided what order I needed everything done in. I wrote down what I wanted to accomplish each month, then what I wanted to accomplish each day.

Once January came, I did my 2020 goals list. From there I broke the goals down into each month. Each month that we enter, I add on to the monthly list, and finally break the goals down into days. I regularly write everything I want to do each day. I feel so good when I can scratch something off on a list!!!!

Truth be told, it took me a while to get into a good system to keep track of my lists and thoughts. Here are some things I do to stay on top of everything in life (in no particular order):

1. Have a great support system.

Having an involved partner, a family member, a close friend, or even hired help to share the workload or watch the kid while you do what you have to do is a very big help. Any time you can delegate a task to another person, do it! The more they are willing to do, the better! If someone offers to do something, consider letting them! In my home, we have “assigned chores” so that everything is not left for one person to do. Also, if I have an easy errand or grocery run, I will call my partner or another family member to see if they can help if they are in the area or when they are doing their own errands.

2. Take advantage of any second you can.

Snack time AND nap time!!!! When baby can feed self- use that opportunity to wash dishes, tidy up kitchen and dining area, do some quick homework, quickly prepare a meal, fix something for yourself to eat, workout – whatever you can get done (while keeping a watchful eye)! A little bit done is better than nothing done. Plus, you could always finish later (during the next second you get).

3. TV time.

My daughter watches TV, but some shows she takes more interest in than others. When one of her favorite shows is on, I get some quick work done where I don’t have to make too much noise that would take her attention away from the TV, i.e. fold laundry, have a snack, run to the bathroom, whatever else I can do.

4. Get up super early in the morning (or stay up late).

I get up at 4-4:30AM to workout, clean up, have some personal time, or whatever else I want to do without distractions. Sometimes we could use a little alone time to hear our own thoughts without interruption (and it is well worth it).

5. Do things when you think about it (if you can).

Don’t keep putting it off. Get up and do it because, most likely, it won’t take as long as you think. If you can’t do it right then, add it to your list.

6. Keep lists/goals in a notebook and/or planner. Handwritten or in your phone.

Like I was talking about earlier: write down your daily tasks/goals. Whatever I don’t complete on time, I just push it to the next day. If you have everything written in one place, it’s easy to keep track of and you won’t forget the important things. Mom brain is real, trust me.

7. Ask for help.

See #1. Don’t be too proud. I know you want to do it all, but make it a little easier on yourself. If your mom, partner, whoever can run to the store for you, let them. Especially if they offer.

8. Prioritize your day.

I normally rank my daily lists in order of importance. What NEEDS to be done today? What bills are due today? What do we need to do today for a successful tomorrow? For me, life is a constant game of “Would You Rather”. I always ask myself, “Would you rather fix dinner or sit here and relax? Would you rather get up early or stay up late?

9. Ask yourself, would it be okay if this task goes undone? The answer should be yes, but I will try my best to do it.

Sometimes we are unrealistic. Sometimes the store is out of milk and you will have to put off until tomorrow. Sometimes you have to work late and you can’t make it to your gym class. Even the things you REALLY want to get done today, go undone. It is OKAY. We just have to make adjustments and substitutions. Do a quick at-home workout if you can’t make it to the gym. Order take-out if you don’t have time to make dinner before bedtime. It’s okay for the kids to have oatmeal for dinner sometimes.

10. Pick at least one self-care thing to do a month.

Hair dresser, massage, nail shop, etc. Whatever self-care means to you- try to do it at least once a month. I usually get a massage every month and my hair done every other month.

11. Prioritize meal prep and workouts (at least 2 a week).

Your own health should be the most important thing on your list. Workouts keep you healthy. filling your body with nutrient rich foods gives you the energy to make it through the day. Prioritize yourself. Some weeks we will skip out on this. For the majority of the time, try to make YOU a priority so you can be your best self for everyone and everything else.

12. Socialize.

Sometimes its nice to have other things to think about besides your family and lists to complete. A break from your routine can be a refresher, leaving you more energized.

13. Forgive yourself AND OTHERS.

Life sucks, things go undone, you will mess up, you will feel unworthy and not good enough, you will cry yourself to sleep. People will mess you over and make you angry. You have to remember your purpose and don’t dwell in the negative for TOO long. Trust me, I am the Queen of Self-Pity… You are a victor, not a victim. #blessed 

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Please let me know how these steps have helped you or if you want to know more about my routines! I look forward to interacting with you!

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**champagne and confetti**


Jalynn

Postpartum Workouts, Postpartum Bod.

“The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.”

– Unknown

In lieu of the current “Stay at Home” order, I have been working out at home again.

It reminds me of my first few months of workouts at home postpartum… Starting at about 9 or 10 weeks postpartum, I did bodyweight and dumbbell exercises.

Those  workouts were hard. I was out of shape because 8 weeks was the longest I’ve ever gone without touching a weight. I felt soft, weak, yet determined to get the body that I wanted. I hated my body. I hated how weak I was. I woke up every morning at 4AM to do my 30 minute workout before getting ready for work. Something I typically go by is, “Self hate is the greatest form of motivation” – Jalynn Moll.

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My first day back at the gym after a few weeks of at home workouts was very intimidating. Of course I was excited, but I was afraid. I didn’t look like I used to. I didn’t want people to think that I just let myself go.  I wasn’t as toned as I used to be. I was weaker. I felt lost. Is this what people feel like when they go to the gym for the first time ever??

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When I started the workout on that day, I wasn’t as weak as I thought I would be. I took it slow and I did a squat, bench, and deadlift workout. When I was finished, I felt good. I was overall happy, once it was over! I recorded my thoughts on my personal Instagram so I can remember and be proud:

Today, as I reflect on that time, I can’t help but feel the same way, despite how far I’ve come.

There were times where I’d cry because I felt so discouraged that I will never be the way I was and that I am starting over. What’s the point of even trying to compete again? I hate struggling with weights that used to be easy for me. It makes me want to quit lifting completely.

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I can’t quit because I want my daughter to see her mother as a winner. I want her to see me as a strong woman, both mentally and physically. I want her to see me lifting on that competition platform and be proud of my hard work and dedication. So she can see herself winning.

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Why do we focus so much on what we can’t do and not what we’ve done?

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Now at 10 months postpartum, I’m actually lighter than I was before I was pregnant (by accident, honestly; I just wanted my old weight), I still don’t feel toned enough. The stretch marks, the loose belly skin, the lack of strength that I once had… it’s hard to get pass.

How is that, as women, our bodies do so many great things, yet we only focus on what we can’t do, our size, and our body fat percentage. I just gave birth naturally and all I’m  worried about is looking weak and fat. What’s up with that?

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I’m learning to love myself for where I am now, not where I was before. I’m better now than I ever was and maybe one day I’ll truly believe it.

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**champagne and confetti**

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Jalynn

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P.S.: I’m sorry for slacking on my posts. I will be better.

Featured image… Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Uncut photo of me working while sitting on the sofa.

I can’t help but feeling guilty when I have to ignore my baby to try to work at home. It’s a crippling guilt because she looks at me with so much happiness in her eyes and the biggest smile. It’s hard to focus. I love her so much and luckily for me, she plays well by herself most of the time.

Sometimes she tries to come and see what I’m doing. She’ll crawl to me on the sofa and try to look at me from around the back of my laptop; her little fingers trying to touch my screen to see what’s going on.  I just glance up, smile and turn my eyes back to my computer screen. Does she think that I am ignoring her? Does she understand that I am working?

I get jealous when I hear of how others are so much more productive at home. I can’t relate. I try to get up early to get a head start on the day, but I hate having to miss my early morning snuggles. How can I miss someone so much when they’re just in the other room? I can’t focus because I want to play with my daughter, and I can’t enjoy playing with my daughter because I need to be working. Whats up with that?

I’ve slowly learned to prioritize my time. I dedicate a certain number of hours to work, to baby, housework, and to fitness. I miss being at work- in the building, but I don’t miss being at work (haha). Its easier to get things done when I am away, but its also harder to do the things that matter to me the most because I spend so much energy elsewhere.

According to my Fitbit, my resting heart rate has gone down 5 bpm since this quarantine thing started last month. My theory is that it went down so much because I don’t stress about not spending enough time with my family and I’m not constantly thinking of all the things I need to do when I get home. I can pretty much get things done at my own leisure verses trying to do it all during the weekend or during the 4 hours I have after work.

Honestly, being at home is just as hard as being at work. It’s just a different hard. At work I have all the things I need to do around the house on my mind. At home, I have all the work I need to do on my mind. I’m glad that I got to have a taste of both worlds and see that the grass is NOT greener on the other side. Its just the same.

I wonder how other people are handling this work from home situation; especially those with multiple young children. It’s hard out here for a mom!

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*champagne and confetti*

Jalynn

Working from Home Guilt

The First and the Best

Hey everyone! This is my FIRST REAL BLOG POST, and I am super nervous.

Since the moment I launched my site last week, I thought, “Oh shoot, now I really have to come up with something every week.” All through the weekend I was brainstorming about what I could post…. I felt like I have to prove myself… but really, I don’t have to prove anything.

Too often we hold ourselves to impossible expectations. We want to be the “BEST” at something that we have never done before.

I did so much research on how to be a great mom. I knew that it would be hard but I held myself to a standard. Once my baby was born, if something didn’t go according to plan, I felt like I failed my daughter and my partner.

The simplest things would happen and I’d panic or get upset. I was in a toxic cycle of “IF this didn’t go my way, I am a bad mom and I’m not good enough.”

For example:

  • During the first few weeks – If she didn’t latch easily (during breastfeeding), I’d think: something must be wrong with me. This is supposed to be an instinct – or something – why am I struggling??
  • If I can’t  put her to sleep within a “reasonable” amount of time, I stress out. I think: WHY CAN’T I PUT HER TO SLEEP?? CAN SHE SENSE THAT I AM STRESSED OUT? SHE ISN’T COMFORTABLE WITH ME. SHE LOVES HER DAD MORE THAN SHE LOVES ME!
  • Baby won’t eat the food that I make for her, I think: WHY CAN’T I FIGURE OUT WHAT SHE LIKES? WHY WONT SHE EAT FOR ME? WILL THIS EVER WORK??

There are times when I just sit and cry. I hold my baby and cry. Take a shower and cry. Cry on my drive to work or on my way home. There is always this dull feeling in the back of my mind that I am  not good enough and will never amount to my potential.

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When I came off of maternity leave, I thought I would be able to jump back into the swing of things… In reality, I couldn’t focus on anything. I felt scatterbrained. Actually, I was/am scatterbrained. I was glad to have a little break from home but it was too long. I missed my baby. I was not comfortable in my own skin (not my normal size). I constantly felt like I had this image to uphold. I constantly tortured myself with these all these questions and accusations, as if it would make anything any better:  Why aren’t I a good mom? Why can’t I focus at work? Why do I want a break from my family? Why do I want alone time? Does my baby miss me? Does she even care that I am gone? Will she forget me? Why am I struggling so much?

No matter how many motivational posts I read, no matter what kind words my friends and fiancé told me… I could never get any of it through my head.

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I am starting to realize now  that as long as my baby is healthy and happy, I am a good mom. As long as I am healthy and happy, I am a good mom. Even when I am not healthy and happy, I am a good mom.

After a few months, when I started to prioritize my workouts and healthy eating, I started to cut myself a little slack. The better my body felt, the better my heart felt – to an extent. Once I realized that everyone is struggling (even those who I thought had everything perfect), I started to cut myself a little bit more slack.

I have to be nicer to myself. I have to talk to myself like I would talk to a friend. I have to be kind, encouraging, and forgiving to myself too.

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Now I tell myself every day that I am a good mom. I am the best because I am trying my best. My daughter sees me and smiles because I am her mommy. I am good enough. I am doing my best with what I have and I am definitely fortunate to have so much.

I am MY best because this the first time I am doing this mom thing and trying to balance it all.

This first post is MY best because I put myself out there and I will keep getting better and better.

Don’t compare your best to the fictional character in your head. I am here to say that we are good enough. We are doing our best. That person in our head doesn’t exist and never will exist. Even if we don’t believe that right now, I hope we will soon.

**champagne and confetti**

Jalynn

Hey Yall!

It’s Jalynn.

I’m just trying to live up to my potential and be the best example for my daughter that I can be.

Every Wednesday, I will give you a peek into my thought bubble. I will share my weekly PM Reflection.

Each post will vary and I will share my trials and triumphs of motherhood; I may also include my reviews/experiences with different products and methods.

My triumphs include raising the most beautiful little girl. My trials include fighting between who I was before motherhood, who I am now as a new mom, and who I want to be.

I hope you take this journey with me. I hope my reflection is comforting to you in some way.

My goal for this blog/site is to have a creative outlet. I am open to going in the direction it takes me…

So lets try to get our lives together; one week at a time, piece by piece. Read my reflection through your tears as I write through mine.

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*champagne and confetti*

Jalynn