Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

laurawatkinsyogaheadshotMany thanks to Laura Watkins for today’s post! Laura Watkins is a marketing manager who moonlights as a yoga instructor. She has developed programs for individuals with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury and has taught individuals from a wide range of demographics. She is also the former editor for the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. Laura is passionate about helping others lead healthy, active and independent lifestyles. She is currently training for her first half-marathon since giving birth to her daughter Ava Grace.

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The other day I was listening to a friend share how her life has gotten so stressful that she’s had to increase her anxiety medication so that she can focus on her demanding job. Although she is going to therapy, has hired a maid and is exercising consistently, she’s completely overwhelmed. This woman is smart and successful. She has a darling family and a beautiful home in a nice part of town, and yet she can barely get through her day without having a stress-induced meltdown.

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Parental Paradox: Understanding our Love/Hate Relationship with Motherhood

Parental Paradox: Understanding our Love/Hate Relationship with Motherhood

Thanks to the talented Emily Pardy for today’s blog post! Emily is a counselor and founder of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, TN. Ready Nest Counseling helps couples prepare for parenthood by caring for their relational wellness as they transition through conception, pregnancy, post-partum, and infertility. Emily has written for multiple parenting publications including Thriving Family magazine and ParentLife magazine. She has her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy from Lipscomb University and is the author of For All Maternity, a humorous memoir of her own journey into motherhood. Emily resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and three rambunctious daughters.

 

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Parenthood comes with many paradoxes. You may have tried and tried to conceive, only to instantly sense deep doubts or dread once the pregnancy test turned positive. You can pray all evening for your screaming baby to fall asleep and then miss them desperately a mere minute after they are tucked in bed. You might plan a getaway with your spouse in an effort to escape the humdrum of domestic daily life, only to find yourself filled with worries and anxiety steering your heart back home.

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Mom Love is the Best Love

Mom Love is the Best Love

There are so many thoughts expressed every day on the web, TV, podcasts, and in the news about the challenges, the pros, the cons, the benefits, and the drawbacks of being a working mom vs. a full-time, dedicated to your little one, stay-at-home mom. Emotions run super high supporting both viewpoints.

I just finished this book, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte. It was chock full of thought-provoking discussions about motherhood and the challenges of being a mom in today’s culture. Likely, it’s due to my season of life as a mom of a two-year-old with one on the way, but I feel like I’m forever tripping over the thoughts and opinions of others about the “right way” to do things.

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Begin Again (Again): January Resolutions

Begin Again (Again): January Resolutions

By Laura Watkins

 

Welcome to the second half of January where all your pie-in-the-sky resolutions have already plummeted into a highly caloric – albeit scrumptious – assorted box of 100-layer donuts. Or, perhaps you’re one of those people who has managed to find success and are just catching your stride. Good for you.

To all the rest of us, I have great news:  There’s nothing magical about January 1st.  You can begin living a more healthy, more active lifestyle today. The most important thing is that you begin, and when you mess up, you wipe the dust off your face and try again.

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Pregnancy and the Working Mom

Pregnancy and the Working Mom

While I try as often as possible to keep these posts generally helpful to as wide an audience as possible, sometimes I’m compelled to share from real life mom lessons I’m learning. And these days, it’s real, pregnant, working mom life lessons. Aside from myself, I can think of 6 dear friends who are in my same boat. Pregnant, working moms who in most cases are already chasing around at least one little one.

 

Let me start by saying, y’all this is hard. This season is exhausting and challenging in ways I never could have imagined. Having survived the first trimester of this 2nd pregnancy season, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve learned from this time. I’m making an effort to take note, both for myself, but also for others to learn from my mistakes and my experiences. Here are some takeaways.

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All About Those Arms

All About Those Arms

By Laura Watkins

 

Being a mom means that you hold your family’s world in your arms. Perhaps like me, you believe it would make more sense to have eight rather than merely two. That way you could hold the baby while you push the grocery cart, pay bills, fold laundry, pack lunches, check homework, hold Downward Facing Dog and edit your company’s marketing plan.

But alas, octopi you and I are not, so it’s essential we keep the two arms we’ve been given strong and healthy.

In this month’s wellness post, I’ve teamed up with Exercise Physiologist (and mom) Kelly Bonner to provide you with a strengthening practice that will work all the major muscles in your upper limbs. This workout can be done at home while your bitties are napping or at the gym, on the off-chance you’re able to get away for 20 minutes. All you need is two free weights—5, 8 or 10 lbs. weights work.

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Simplicity in the Christmas Season

Simplicity in the Christmas Season

I’m bringing back a post from last Christmas because the message still rings true, so it bears repeating. Included are minor updates to reflect the current year…

Having a two-year-old at Christmas brings a new and unexpected perspective to the season. All the flurry and busy of this time of year is slowed and reconsidered through the eyes of my little one. He brings a simplicity to the wonders I’ve come to take for granted. I know his view on Christmas will change as he ages and so I want to capture a few lessons from this time, documenting what he’s teaching me as he experiences Christmas for the first time.

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Wanderlust and the Working Mother

Wanderlust and the Working Mother

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Born and raised in Southern California, Rachel Clark never thought she’d leave the Best Coast. After her husband was offered a job in Brentwood in August of 2014, they packed up their house, pup, and Rachel’s 8-month pregnant belly, and traded their beloved Long Beach, CA for East Nashville. As if a cross-country move and new baby Holden (born in September 2014) wasn’t enough, Rachel started her dream business, launching leather goods line, H. & Clark, in January of 2015 (a far cry from her background in non-profit development and management). Rachel has also spent several years as a freelance writer, in everything from grant proposals to fashion editorials. She loves to read, eat, write, and eat some more…and does some (though not enough) yoga to counteract all of the eating. We met this lovely lady just a few weeks ago and felt an instant connection! Here are her thoughts on that familiar feeling of wanderlust we all feel, and how it mingles with motherhood. 


Wanderlust. It’s never been a word that I would use when describing myself. Homebody, for sure. I lived in the same 30-mile radius for the first 28 years of my life and then upturned everything. I packed up and moved across the country with my husband, dog, and 8-month pregnant belly. I launched a business when my son was 3 months old, bought a house right after he turned one, and work part time while also running the above-mentioned business, and chasing around said son, who is now 2.

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Q&A With Spotify’s Mia Hopkey

Q&A With Spotify’s Mia Hopkey

Mia-HopkeyMia Hopkey lives in Los Angeles CA. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and lover of Hello Kitty. When the baby goes down and she’s not “second shifting” her day job, she enjoys melting into her couch and watching Keeping Up with the Kardashian (Big Brother if it’s the summer), trolling Instagram for fashion inspiration, and group texting with her best friends. She eats paleo, loves SoulCycle, and believes a little dirt and germs is good for the soul. She’s one of Ink & Well’s most inspiring mommy friends and we can’t wait to share her secrets with you!

Job Title
Account Director, West Coast Sales at Spotify


Describe your professional background and education

I create, sell and execute digital media campaigns on the worlds largest music streaming platform, Spotify.  I work mainly with entertainment clients, like movie studios and broadcast television networks- so I am based in Los Angeles, CA.  I have been in media sales for 6 years.  My career started in radio sales, and moved into digital sales.  I (like most people) am incredibly passionate about music and have been fortunate to build a sales career in that specific industry.  But I wasn’t always in sales- I started my career in radio programming and on air hosting- at the top college radio station in the country, WERS in Boston, MA.  I started writing in the newsroom as credentials for a Journalism class (I was a Broadcast Journalism major at Emerson College) and within 6 months of my first shift, I was running the station as the Program Director and a host on the afternoon drive show.

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Ink + Well to Offer Major Support for Working Moms

Ink + Well to Offer Major Support for Working Moms

Today started with Maddy waking up at 5:30, which is never fun, but I stayed up late last night to spend a few minutes with Jimi before bed, so those first yells of, “MOMMYYYYY,” stung like little bees. Jimi got up and shuffled into Maddy’s room, and as baby #2 wiggled in my belly, I heard him in the monitor talking to her, urging her to go back to sleep just for a little while. She was having none of it, and minutes later, he was making coffee, and she was crumbled in a ball sobbing outside my door because she wasn’t able to carry 14 stuffed animals and she wanted help. I peeled myself out of bed, opened the door, knelt down, and opened my arms. She fell into me, and together we carried all 14 of her stuffed animals into my room so we could all watch a movie together. It wasn’t long before she had spilled juice on my sheets and spread cereal crumbs everywhere before asking for pancakes. . .which she fed to the dog.

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