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Mother’s Day: what mom really wants

Yesterday, prompted by my husband, our five year old asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day.  At a loss for any ideas, I realized that by this time in years past, my inbox and FB feed would be flush with retailers pushing their goods on me and yet this year things feel eerily quiet.  I googled “Mother’s Day 2020” for the obligatory Top 10 gifts for Mom lists. . . and in light of the current pandemic, nothing on those lists feels relevant. 

My guess is most moms feel the same way.  If we are among the blessed to have our family in good health, for most of us that is enough.  But since the family is asking, what DO we moms want this year for Mother’s Day? 

 

A Break.  We just want a few hours to catch our breath and not have to constantly be thinking about what’s next. If for one day (or ok lets be real, a couple hours) we could be free of these things, I know I personally would feel mentally and physically rejuvenated.  And to all the single mamas out there, my hat is off to you. I truly hope you have a network of extended family and friends to help you celebrate the amazing mother you are.

Decision Making

The minute our brains are conscious in the morning, moms are making decisions constantly.  What’s for breakfast?  Who’s doing what call from where?  What are the summer plans? Where is it safe to venture outside? What can kids do to burn off energy? “Yup, that’s right. We love our kids. We love our partners. But dammit, we are all in 364 days of the year, so for one day, we want to be out,” amen Andrea Rhoades creator of Selfies to Selfess and contributor at Scary Mommy!

The list is endless.  Please, don’t ask me what I want to eat or do on Mother’s Day.  I actually don’t really care what it is. . . as long as it’s with you and I don’t have to plan or execute it, I will love it.

Running Interference

With everyone home all day, everyday, it’s all too easy to step on each others’ toes and ruffle each other’s feathers.  And if like me you have more than one child, at least once an hour you are being made aware of a grave injustice or acting as referee. Let your partner and kids know that for this day, you are neither judge nor referee and all complaints must be submitted in writing for review on the next business day!  Producer David Kestenbaum from This American Life explained how teachers at his sons’ preschool installed a “tattle phone” where kids could register their complaints about each other. David rigged it up to record those complaints and document the unfairnesses of preschool. For young kids, I loved this idea of a tattle phone.

Family

Ok, usually us moms want more quality family time, and Mother’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for that…but in light of the current shelter at home, we have been seeing a lot of our kids. So maybe this year, we take a mini escape to the spa (aka bathroom) and treat ourselves to a long soak and read more than the same one page of our bookclub book.

Chores

You know what’s more gratifying than having your family do their chores?  Having them do their chores without being reminded. This one might require a prompt the night before, but it will be worth it to see the trash cans emptied, the dishwasher running and the bedrooms tidied without uttering a word.

An early/good night’s sleep

Moms, this one is crucial to feel the day was a success  and to feel fueled for the week ahead. Even if nothing else happens according to plan, put the kiddos to bed early and then proceed to tuck yourself in. Spend a moment reflecting on gratitude and all you are thankful for. My friend Jen reminded me that “when the children are squabbling, be thankful you have children to love.“ 

I wish you all a wonderfully joyous Mother’s Day.

We would love to hear your thoughts about how to make great Mother’s Day. Tag us on @TryVerima with your list

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“Doing unto others”

Years ago when we were living in New York City, I was tasked with buying strawberries for my son’s pre-school class.  This was still a few years before WholeFoods moved into the neighborhood or any of the produce delivery companies were delivering consistently good quality.  It was the middle of winter and the majority of available produce was of course imported.  At the neighborhood grocery, I made my way to the usual organic section and my jaw dropped at the $9.99 price tag for one box of organic strawberries. Knowing that strawberries topped the “Dirty Dozen” list for produce, it was one of those items I always purchased organic when feeding my family. 

But, now multiplied by 10 boxes and I wasn’t prepared to spend that much on a pre-school snack.  I glanced at the conventional strawberries for $5.99/box and I headed over and started to load the boxes into my cart.  And then I stopped.  I felt a deep sense of guilt as to why was it ok for me to purchase conventional for other people’s children when I only purchased organic for my own?  I slowly removed the berries from my cart back onto the shelf and turned back to the organic produce and proceeded to put the $10 boxes into my cart, $100 worth.

Similarly, when I started the formulations for Verima, I sat with Nathan my chemist and started the work.  By the time I had formulated my ideal product with my imperative “must haves” (Organically grown and processed CBD, essential oils, glass containers) and “absolutely nots” (NO perfumes, dyes, parabans, sulfates, garbage) my price per ounce was so outrageous my business partners automatically scoffed at the numbers.  “Forget the essential oils! “ They told me, “use the ‘natural fragrance’ that is still considered. . . erm not artificial. “ 

But in my heart and in my head I knew I couldn’t sell a product that I wouldn’t use for myself or my family. And so with Nathan’s help I started back at square one and was able to maintain quality, while bringing costs down. 

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Marcia Kilgore founder of 
Bliss Spa, Soap and Glory and Fit Flop and she imparted her wisdom to “Never, ever sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself.” Well said Marcia and I agree wholeheartedly. 

http://www.tryverima.com

 

 

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Math Doesn’t Matter When its Your Kids

I don’t consider myself a panicker. In fact, I sway the other way in that after the first few moments of alarm, I become (some would say eerily) calm. In the past couple days with the CDC preparing communities to respond to a possible spread of Covid-19 in communities, I receive multiple alerts daily how my kids’ schools and communities are preparing themselves. The stock market is in correction territory, airlines no longer fly to parts of the globe. . . the world changed in a couple short months.

Scientists are giving us the math: 80,0000 cases in 40 countries which makes it 0.0001% of the world population, not hugely significant if you think about seasonal outbreaks of influenza that prompts 3 to 5 million people seek treatment. Tell that to a mom however and it doesn’t register as she kicks into Mama-Bear mode and every instinct to protect her family fuels her to take action.

Our brains are wired with Negative Bias which basically means a negative incident will impact us emotionally much more than positive incident of the same magnitude. This helped us stay alive back in the day when predators and other dangers lurked on a regular basis. Once a potential danger gets in our mommy brains, our instinct is to be vigilant and protective, it’s what makes us who we are. Chicken pox, measles, the regular flu; for thousands of years our mom brains have kicked into high gear, and with superhero strength forgoing sleep and meals, we have nursed our families back to health.

However, this latest development invokes more fear in people than usual especially considering the big unknowns regarding transmission, community spread and just when, where and how long we need to stay hyper vigilant. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the moment. Telling an upset or angry person to “calm down” usually will have the opposite effect.

What are we doing at Verima? In an abundance of caution, we have given our team the option to work from home and we have limited travel. Thankfully, because all of our production, CBD, packaging and business partners are all here in the States, we have not seen too much interruption in our day to day operations.

On the home-front, admittedly I did replenish our pantry with a few essentials but getting out of the Costco parking lot made we wish we had more storage in our basement. Unsurprisingly, our local Costco ran out of hand sanitizer, water and toilet paper. 

Mentally, I’ve tried in my life to observe my thoughts and not just automatically react to them. Turning on the news where the majority of stories (understandably) report on danger, causes an uptick in anxiety. So, instead I opt to check in directly with the CDC and WHO websites for updates and information.

Our minds can get pretty creative very quickly, expanding on our fears, so I try to balance that with gratitude. I remind myself that I am blessed to live in sanitary conditions and have world class health care in my city. I am thankful that even the act of going to Costco and *stocking up* is an option for my family. 

I am grateful for the technology that makes the access to vital information appear wherever I go. I am thankful that our friends, schools and neighbors, calmly waiting for updates, have chosen to band together and face this newest hurdle with compassion, level headedness and preparation. So for now, my kids will continue to go to school, ballet, gymnastics and taekwondo and we will face whatever may come together. Stay safe my friends.

http://www.tryverima.com

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The Power of “Yet”

My children were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to attend Bing Nursery School which is part of the School of Humanties and Sciences at Stanford University.  Esteemed Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindset is pervasive in Bing’s philosophy and my children have benefited enormously.  According to Professor Dweck, a growth mindset means children believe that “intelligence can be developed through practice, learning, good mentorship from others. “ 

Professor Dweck discusses how children with a fixed mindset believe that “their basic talents and abilities are just these fixed traits.  They have a certain amount of intelligence or talent and that’s that.”  She then explains that the danger in this is “The wrong mindset, can make them afraid of challenges, afraid of effort, afraid of setbacks.“  

At Bing, I observed my children’s skilled teachers masterfully engage with my frustrated then three year old using the power of “yet” to ensure that the task at hand was not simply something he couldn’t do, but rather something he wasn’t able to do. . . . yet.  I have taken this skill with me and use it to this day well into my eldest’s the middle school years.  

Last year he was introduced to solving for a variable in an equation.  He was frustrated and yelled, “I just can’t do it. “  I carefully replied back to him, “Of course you don’t have the skills to do it YET. . . that’s why you go to school. . .  to learn how! “  It was important for me to further explain to him that once he became frustrated, his brain would actually block itself off from learning new concepts.  Once he understood that he wasn’t expected to already know how to do these math problems and that he was capable of learning how to solve them; this changed his entire mindset and as a result, he is now open to new challenges.  In fact it was so life changing that math has become his favorite subject this year.  

I have to remind myself daily, sometimes hourly, of the power of yet.  This applies to myself personally as well as for my company. There’s so much I want to do to grow Verima and oftentimes I am told, “No. “  But to me, this just translates to, “Not yet. “  And then I proceed to plan how I can position Verima to be poised to jump when the opportunity presents itself.  

Personally speaking, I am in unchartered territory as a stay-at-home-mom turned entrepreneur/CEO of Verima, and the learning curve is exhilaratingly steep.  It would be easy to get overwhelmed at all the business acumen I need to acquire in a new and unregulated industry nonetheless.  But, I persevere and continue forward knowing that if something is new to me, I possess the intelligence to learn it and I simply haven’t been exposed to it yet.  

Be kind to yourself, and remember like our children we CAN learn and acquire new skills and knowledge so long as we believe we can and keep our minds open.  

http://www.tryverima.com

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5 Hilarious Truth Bombs from Moms That Will Make You Laugh

If you ever need a pick-me-up when you’re in the trenches of motherhood, just talk to a fellow mom about her experiences with her own children, and you will be reassured that you are not doing it all wrong, your children are not totally crazy, and you will survive this. By talking with other moms, we get to hear the wild, crazy, disgusting, laughable, tear-worthy moments that make parenting the roller-coaster ride that it is. And sometimes, we just need to know that what we’re going through is normal. So, the next time you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed, pick up the phone, call a fellow mom, and have a good vent and laugh about how absolutely chaotic parenting is. In the meantime, though, lock yourself in the bathroom with your favorite chocolate bar, and have a read through these hilarious truth bombs from fellow moms. If nothing else, it’ll give you a laugh, a moment of peace and quiet, and a chance to eat your chocolate bar (I won’t tell).

  1. Silence is golden. Unless you have children. Then silence is suspicious.

Remember those days when you could sit and enjoy peace and quiet, relishing the silence that surrounded you? I know, I don’t really remember either, but I like to pretend that I do. That golden silence does not exist when you’re a parent. When our son was a toddler, I was so proud of him for playing quietly in his room while I was putting his sister down for a nap. He was being so quiet and being a dear little soul entertaining himself while I was busy for a moment. When I finally made it out of his sister’s room and went to check on him, his entire room had been lovingly decorated in baby powder. A white sheen covered the entire room, and my son stood in the middle of it all, head to toe in white power, smiling proudly at his creation. Silence is never golden; don’t trust it.

  1. “Booty call” when you’re a parent: someone yelling from the bathroom for you to come and wipe their butt.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about parenting. We are knee deep in every type of grossness imaginable – from runny noses to vomit to poop. We’ve all heard it before, the call ringing out from the bathroom… “MOOOOOOMMMMYYY!! I went POOOOOOO!!” Unfortunately, unless you’re in the midst of potty training (#goodluck), your child isn’t really looking for any type of congratulations, they’re looking for a hand. Your hand. To wipe their butt. That’s the extent of booty calls when you’re a parent. Stock up on toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener – you’re going to need it.

  1. That awkward moment when you discipline your child for acting EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

They say that when you become a parent yourself, you really start to turn into your own parents. No one believes this crazy talk, until that magical day when it suddenly happens. And you’re left standing with your mouth open, aghast at what just came out of it. My parents always told stories about how I talked incessantly as a child, literally falling asleep mid-sentence, only to wake up and resume my chattering the following day. I always thought they were just exaggerating and being funny. Then my daughter learned to talk, and I realized they were neither exaggerating NOR being funny. They were relaying the sheer pain of having to listen to non-stop chatter all.day.long. Every time I ask my daughter to just stop talking for a moment so I can think (her talking is literally an all-day event), I can hear my mother chuckling in my mind. Well played, karma, well played.

  1. Never make eye contact with a child on the verge of sleep; they will sense your excitement and abort mission.

No one knows ninja moves better than a parent trying to sneak out of their child’s room without them waking up. If you’re one of those parents who are blessed with a kid who drops off to sleep without a hitch, and sleeps through any sound possible, then you are one of the lucky few. Most of us have mastered the art of slinking out of a chair while holding our slumbering babe, placing them in their crib with the delicacy of a bomb disarmer, and crawling out of the room with ninja-like stealth.

If you’ve ever been stuck hovering just below your baby’s crib, waiting for them to settle before you sneak out, only to come eye-to-eye with them peeking out at you, you know the immense sense of failure that I am referring to. You’re done, Momma, it’s over. That baby will sense your anticipated freedom and decide that life is just way to exciting to go to sleep.

  1. Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up.

Ok, I admit it, this final truth bomb isn’t necessarily a hilarious or witty one, but it is most definitely a truthful one. Nothing is more humbling than being a parent, and there is no one in the world who doubts themselves more than a mother. My mom always told me that parenting is the best and hardest job you’ve ever do, and she was bang-on with that statement. No matter how hard we try, and how much we love our children, we are forever second-guessing ourselves and our decisions.

But Moms, let’s start celebrating all that we do, recognizing how incredibly hard parenting is, and supporting one another through all of the trials and triumphs. Let’s chuckle in the chaos, hug in the hard times, and above all else, try to enjoy those precious little moments. You are doing a great job, trust in that.

http://www.tryverima.com

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Say “Yes!”

One of the most useful pieces of parenting advice I got when my eldest was a toddler was from my good friend Art who suggested I try and make the answer “Yes, “ whenever possible. If he asked for ice-cream 15 minutes before dinner, rather than, “No, you’ll spoil your dinner, “ the answer instead was, “Yes! That sounds like the perfect dessert for after dinner.  What flavor would you like?”

More than simply avoiding the meltdowns, this strategy helped my child feel heard and gave him a sense of ownership over how his day went. Simultaneously, it forced me to listen to my child’s request and evaluate what he was really asking. “Mommy, can we go to the park? “

“Yes, I want to spend time with you too, why don’t you help me with the chores so we can have fun together sooner than later?”

Of course, there were hard “no’s” such as “No, you can’t hit your sister with a wooden spoon over the head,” and “I understand you are upset, but No, you may not be disrespectful towards others.”

As we nurture and grow Verima, I find the same strategy to be useful.  Especially with a start-up when the “no’s” sometimes seem to dominate the conversation.

“No, we can’t afford that.”
“No, we don’t have the resources for that.”
“No, we can’t meet that deadline.”

Rather I evaluate what is really being asked, then, I determine how we can make it happen.

“No, we can’t afford that” becomes, “Yes, if this is important, let’s see how we can budget for it in the next six months.” And “No, we don’t have the man-power for that.” becomes, “Yes, this job needs to get done so let’s re-prioritize our schedules and make it happen.”

At times, it is difficult to determine the hard no’s when it comes to Verima.  But then, I just remind myself of the one consistent rule:  If it compromises the health and safety of my family, teammates or consumers, it’s a hard no.   For the things that help make our customer’s lives a little better, we find a path to say “yes, let’s go for it.”

Similar to life with kids, life at a start-up is all about exploring the possibilities.  So, taking a page from my parenting handbook I try to first find the yes, and then determine the if, when’s and how’s to make it happen.  Keep going and let’s find the a way to say “yes.”

http://www.tryverima.com

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Why Moms Put Themselves Last

mommy and baby sick

As Moms, we’ve all been there. First it starts with a cough, then a sneeze, then a “Moooooommmy” rings out in the night, confirming your fears. The flu has hit your home. You cross your fingers that it will pass by quickly and leave you unscathed, but that’s pretty hard when your little ones haven’t quite mastered the art of covering their sneezes or coughing into their sleeve rather than into your face. We care for our little ones with love and cuddles, comforting them in the night as they cough, sneeze, sniffle, or vomit, doing everything we can to make them feel better. As much as you try to protect yourself with getting extra sleep (Ha! Who actually achieves that?!), taking your multi-vitamins, and drinking lots of hot tea, sometimes it is inevitable. Moms get sick too.

This past week, it was my turn. Both kids had come down with a nasty flu bug, with fevers and a yucky chest cough that just left them feeling awful. They caught it first, and I did what I could to prevent myself from getting sick. But, despite holding my breath when they coughed on me, washing my hands a million times a day, and taking extra vitamin C, the flu finally caught up to me. I struggled to make it to work each day, I dragged myself out of bed to tend to the kids during the night when they needed me, I rescheduled conference calls and meetings that I just couldn’t make it to, and I fell into bed at night feeling absolutely horrible. And, do you know what? I was mad. I was frustrated. And I felt defeated. I wasn’t able to complete nearly as many things on my mile-long to-do list, and I felt that I was letting everyone down in the process.

Why is that?

Why is it so hard for us to look after ourselves with as much love and care as we do our children? Why is it so hard for us to tuck ourselves into bed with cozy pajamas and a warm drink when we’re feeling chilled and crappy? I’ll tell you why: Mom Guilt. We, as a population, have come to put so much pressure on ourselves to measure up and “be the best Mom you can be” that it has become almost impossible for us to allow ourselves to just step down and take a break when we’re not feeling well, and to realize that by taking care of ourselves, we are being the best Mom we can be.

When the kids are sick, they just want Mom; how do we balance it all?

But guess what? You can take a break, and you should take a break.

Moms, we have got to bring ourselves down from the Mom Pedestal that we have placed ourselves on, and realize that we are human. We get sick. We feel yucky some days. And it is perfectly fine to take a break, prioritize, and look after ourselves when we are sick. Not only is it ok, it is something that we need to do. Let’s face it, moms carry a lot of pressure and often bear the brunt of the mental load of parenting. If we allow ourselves to crash to rock bottom, then what good are we to our family? Let’s stop torturing ourselves and pushing ourselves to power through, when what we really need is some decent rest and time to get better.

This year, my New Year’s Resolution wasn’t to lose weight, quit a bad habit, or run a marathon. No, my New Year’s Resolution was to make myself a priority and to look after my own well-being as well as my family’s. There are countless articles out there that speak to how moms need a break and need to incorporate self-care into their routine. Well, self-care isn’t something that happens overnight, and it isn’t something that is solved with a bubble bath here and there. But we can take small steps towards making ourselves and our mental and physical well-being a priority again. For me, that means stopping when I’m sick and resting when I need to. It means calling in sick to work without feeling guilty. It means telling the children that I need some quiet time while I sit and do my paint-by-number (my new favorite hobby!) without feeling guilty about it.

We can do this, Moms. We’re all in it together, and this season of parenting can be hard when we’re raising little ones and trying to keep ourselves happy and healthy in the process. But, if we take small steps toward making ourselves a priority and letting the world continue turning while we take a break and rest, we will all be better off in the end. So, come down off the Mom Pedestal and join me in the trenches. I may not be a perfect Mom, but I am real, I love my kids, and I know in my heart that I’m doing my very best. That will always be enough. You will always be enough.

http://www.tryverima.com

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Mindfulness in a Hectic World

Elaine Mindful

In schools across the country, students are being taught the practice of mindfulness – how to slow their bodies and become more in-tuned with their thoughts, feelings, and breathing. In a world that seems to be racing along at an incomprehensible pace, mindfulness is coming about from a need for kids to learn how to “disconnect” from their world of technology and move away from the over-stimulation that surrounds them on a daily basis. This is a critical step for schools to be taking, as cases of depression, anxiety, and learning disorders like ADD and ADHD are on an exponential rise in children. Mindfulness is linked with positive emotions and better health, and it can be incorporated into daily life with minimal effort.

It is not just children who benefit from mindfulness, however. Incidents of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia are also on the rise in adults, making it equally important for adults to become more mindful as well. In this world we live in, with the constant barrage of technological stimulation, instant access to information, and increased pressures at home and at work, adults are increasingly unable to handle all of the pressures that modern adulthood demands. As a result, we are a population of unhealthy, stressed out, and unhappy individuals, and if we are not careful, we will be passing those traits on to our children.

Instead, let us all pause for a moment, and think about the benefits of mindfulness and how we can incorporate it into our lives. Now, some may be thinking, ‘here is yet another thing to add to my to-do list, when I’m already completely overwhelmed and exhausted.’ Not to worry, my friend, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. In fact, incorporating mindfulness into your daily life doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. There are a few simple steps that you can take each day to be more mindful, and to model for your children how they can be more mindful as well. 

Elisha Goldstein, of the popular Mindful website, explains how we can take a small moment in our day to simply S.T.O.P. when we are feeling stressed out. Here is what she recommends:

S = Stop: Stop what you’re doing; put things down for a moment
T = Take: Take a few deep breaths; focus directly on your breathing
O = Observe: Observe your experience as it is, taking in to account any thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Notice how your body is feeling and how it is responding to any stimuli.
P = Proceed. Proceed with something that will help you in the moment – have a cup of tea, talk with a friend, go for a walk, etc. 

Getting out into nature can help us to be more mindful: Photo via Pixabay

You can also use this strategy for moments when you’re not feeling stressed, instead use it to focus on yourself and simply calm your thoughts and have a moment of quiet. Taking time to do such things throughout your day, even if it’s just for a moment, can help tremendously in managing our emotions and maintaining a sense of calm. If you have more than a few minutes to spare, then getting out into nature is a wonderful (and easy) way to practice mindfulness as well. The peace and tranquility that one can experience in nature helps us to remove ourselves from the busyness of our lives; it gives us something to focus our attention on (listening to the wind rustling the leaves or the birds chirping, smelling the fresh grass, etc.), and it gives us a quiet place to focus on our breathing, soothing our minds and souls and creating a sense of calm. 

In this fast-paced world we live in, it is crucial that we take steps to protect and care for our mental health as well as our physical health. It is also important that we set the example for our children as well, so that they don’t grow up anxious, depressed, over-stimulated, and stressed. Practicing mindfulness each day is an excellent first step toward preventing that. Mindfulness can help to lower stress levels, improve attention, decrease negative feelings, and even combat chronic pain. Take a few moments every day to incorporate mindfulness activities, either on your own or with your children. Use the S.T.O.P. strategy when you’re feeling stressed, and teach your children how to do the same. As Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, explains, “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

http://www.tryverima.com

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Bedtime Routines That Work

women in bed sleeping

When we hear the words ‘bedtime routine’, we often think of young children and the process parents go through to get their children ready for bed each night. If you are a parent to babies or young children, you also know how incredibly important these bedtime routines are. It helps your child’s body calm down after a busy day, it relaxes their muscles and their minds, and prepares their body for sleep. We usually give our kids a nice, warm bath, rub soothing lotion on them that smells of lavender fields, read them a story or two, have a cuddle, sing a lullaby, and send them off to their dreamland feeling happy, relaxed, and safe. What a wonderful way to end each day!

But, where’s OUR bedtime routine? Do we take the same time and care every evening to ensure that our trip into dreamland is as peaceful and loving as theirs? Likely not. If you’re anything like most parents of little children, you lovingly get your own kids off to bed, tackle the dirty dishes in the sink, throw on another load of laundry, tidy up the day’s mess, maybe grab an hour to yourself to watch some TV or catch up on social media, and then fall into bed exhausted, likely still feeling stressed, and perhaps even still in your clothes from the day! 

In this ever-changing, busy world we live in, it is so important that we carve out a little time for self-care, as this is often something that gets neglected in our lives. We put all of our time, energy, love, and effort into caring for our families, rarely taking time to care for ourselves. But, adults need bedtime routines too! We need to create a routine that helps our own bodies to settle down after the busy day, calm our muscles and our minds, and prepare ourselves for sleep. So, how do we do that? It’s really rather simple.

Not everyone’s bedtime routine will look the same, as everyone prefers different things. Simply start by incorporating a few small self-care activities at the end of your day to help prepare yourself for sleep. It might be a nice, hot bath where you can soak and relax for a little while. Have some calming music playing quietly while you soak, and just enjoy the peaceful, quiet time to yourself. Let your mental to-do list pause for a while, and just relax your mind. 

Following your bath, indulge your skin with Verima’s Renewal Citrus Trio lotion. Infused with organic CBD oil, this lotion will not only leave your skin soft and smooth, but you will feel relaxed, worry-free, and ready for sleep. With the beautiful combination of white and red grapefruit, orange, and a touch of cedar oil, the calming scent will be perfect for your evening bedtime routine.

If you find it challenging to get that mental list to quiet down enough for you to sleep, try incorporating some guided meditation before bedtime. There are many different programs and apps on the market now, so it may take you a bit of time to find the meditation that is just right for you. But, once you do, take a few minutes to do a guided meditation session to help your mind quiet down and your body to relax. 

By this point, your body should be feeling nice and relaxed, and your mind should be settling down and feeling ready for some good quality, restful sleep. Some people find that it is the evening time when their anxiety tends to ramp up, and they find it very challenging to quiet their minds enough to sleep. If you are one of those people, and your mind is still racing despite the bedtime routine, try a few drops of Verima’s CBD tincture, either on its own or in a cup of your favorite herbal tea. Chamomile tea is a wonderful choice for an evening drink, and adding a few drops of CBD oil to it will help to calm your nerves, relax your mind, and prepare your body for sleep.

You may choose to incorporate this entire bedtime routine, or only a few parts of it, but whichever you choose, make it a point to set aside a bit of time for self-care every evening before you go to bed. Put that same love and effort into your own routine as you do your children’s, in order to make sure that you get the restful sleep you need and deserve, and that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to be the best you the following day. 

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Live Intentionally in 2020

Dawn Dana Point
Finding Balance
I never learned how to parent as a mother who works outside the home.  I was blessed with an loving and attentive mother who stayed home with the kids and poured all of her time and resources into raising us.  So, the balance between work and home life was never modeled for me.  After my own first child was born, I went back to teaching two ballet classes a week for one year before throwing in the towel because he was such a high needs baby who didn’t sleep more than 45 minutes a stretch for the first three years of his life.  For the next eleven years I stayed home with our three children.  So the things a mother learns to juggle with a job outside the home with first one child, then the next and the next on a somewhat steady learning curve was never my trajectory. 
 
Mom and Entrepreneur
I went from being a full time stay-at-home-mom of three to a full-time-stay-at-home-mom-of-three-AND-entrepreneur.  I can assure you, before Verima, most days I already was scrambling to drop-off/pick-up three children in three different directions in addition to the endless cooking and piles of laundry and dishes.  
Now that I am a founder trying to run a company, the demands on my time are overwhelming.  Even more problematic is that as a founder, I have yet to start paying myself. . . which means there is no income to pay for daycare or a nanny to make up for the hours I spend working on Verima.  
 
Trying to Make it All Work
So as I try to figure out how to make it all work, I have come to certain realizations that I must do which has shaped this year’s New Year’s resolutions.  Firstly, I plan to eat to maximize my energy levels.  I have always purchased organic, local whole foods.  But as I have aged my body has begun to reject certain foods that I love.  I still love them and when I indulge in them my energy levels come crashing down, or I wake up the next morning fatigued.  This lack of productivity is no longer an option and as it happens, I love the feeling of opening my eyes in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.  
 
Being Present
Secondly, I plan to spend focused time with each child.  These days I no longer have very much time to just *be* with my children.  And this perhaps makes me the saddest.  On the other hand, thankfully it has directed me to spend meaningful time focused on each child versus the old me half listening as I washed dishes since I was around all day. It should also be noted that while I did not possess the skills to parent as a working-outside-the-home mom; my children did not know how to be the kids of a working mom.  The learning curve to age appropriate independence was a steep one for them as well, but I have only seen positive outcomes as they have flourished in the past year.  
being intentional with child
 
“Me-Time”
Lastly I plan to carve out more “me-time” or as my friend Rochelle calls it, “Defensive Calendering” because if I don’t, I end up short of patience and stamina and not the mom or business woman I aspire to be.  Me-time is anything that feeds my soul and gives me a physical, mental or emotional break from the daily grind.  For me, this includes taking ballet classes, watching live performances (in any form), nights out with my core group of women who make me laugh until I cry, and help me cry until I laugh.  And lastly, but certainly not least, time with my husband.  

moms night out

 
I realize these three resolutions (and thus this blog post) can be watered down to the generic 1) eat better 2) spend quality time with kids 3) take more time for myself.  But I hope with the intention and the explanations behind them, the resolutions will take hold for longer than a few weeks.  I guess one could say resolution #4 is: Stick to resolutions numbers 1 to 3!  
 
Let’s make 2020 the best year yet!