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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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#christmastime #christmassy #christmasinspiration #holidayinspiration #christmascountdown #letitsnow #happyholidays #giftgiving #holidaycheer #alliwantforchristmas #deckthehalls #blogmas2018 #newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #mommybloggers

Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

The Art of Achieving Balance In Motherhood

The Art of Achieving Balance In Motherhood | MainelyKeating.com

Haaaaappy Wednesday everyone! How is everyone’s day going? This morning is a bit slower of a morning compared to recent mornings around here, but it’s been sooo nice and so very much needed. This isn’t the post I originally had planned for today (I’ll be honest, I failed to complete that post on time. So it’ll be up tomorrow!), but after taking a step back from life this morning, I came across a realization that I really wanted to talk to you all about.

If you know me, you know that I tend to take on A LOT in my everyday life. Currently I’m balancing my marriage, mom life, my blog (along with MANY blog projects), a YouTube channel, earning my graduate degree, my health, our home and so much more every. single. day. And while that sounds like a lot (it is), I’m finally feeling happy and balanced in our every day life. I’m not feeling overwhelmed by my to do list and I can honestly say I’m thriving.

It’s my first semester back at my graduate program and I’m so happy to have an A in my course. I’m back to consistently pumping out new content on this blog and on my social media channels for you all. I have a few big projects in the works for my blog and the future of my career along with some amazing collaborations coming up with various brands. Our home is feeling 10x neater and more organized since purchasing the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Allie is happy and healthy and doing amazing. We have some super fun activities planned for the summer and during our last 4 months here in San Diego. And all in all, we’re all doing fantastic.

Related12 Lessons I Learned In 12 Months of Motherhood

It’s a very freeing feeling to feel happy and balanced these days. As a mom, we tend to try to take on anything and everything completely on our own and then we get stressed when we can’t achieve our vision of the “perfect” wife and mom. We all do it and it’s so incredibly unhealthy.

I’m not perfect by any means. Zack doesn’t come home to a delicious home cooked meal every day. I’m not always wearing a full face of makeup and high heels. Allie isn’t always dressed in pretty dresses and bows. Our home is clean but far from spotless. We don’t always eat a perfectly balanced meal and I don’t always make it to the gym on my busy days. Sometimes I skip a blogging day or I submit a homework assignment a day late. And that’s okay. Really, it is! We’ve had a few days here and there where we’ve even forgotten to feed the dog breakfast. It happens.

It wasn’t until I started to re-work my idea of perfection that I finally started to feel better. I let go of the idea that I had to be doing anything and everything ALL the time. I still do A LOT, but the difference is that I’m now not trying to do it all on a daily basis. Yesterday, for example was 100% spent deep cleaning our home. I woke up wanting to declutter and make our home a less stressful environment so that was my focus. Today, my focus is a mix of being a mom and getting my blog life a bit more organized for the rest of the week. Tomorrow will probably be spent doing a mix of tasks to start prepping for the weekend. Rather than trying to fit in every single obligation every single day, I’m breaking it down into more manageable individual tasks. Make sense? I hope so!

Related: 5 Simple Ways To Focus On Self-Care As A New Mom

Every night before bed, I set my “schedule” and to do list for the following day. I choose an area of my life that will be my main focus for that day and then everything else comes second to that main focus. So as mentioned before, my two focus areas today are my blog and my daughter. So it’s not a big deal to me at all if the dishes don’t get done. It doesn’t matter to me if the laundry is put away or is the living is vacuumed. Our home is not my focus today. If at the end of the day, our daughter is happy and healthy and I got a bit of blog work done, then I consider this a successful day.

This is what I do each and every day. If I have the time to straighten up then great! But it’s not the end of the world for me if it doesn’t happen. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself. And not only that, but it’s important to ask for help and team up with your partner as well. It’s okay if I don’t cook dinner one night because if I don’t, Zack will. He’ll come home from work and do the dishes or care for Allie or cook dinner, or whatever it may be. So that contributes to why I don’t get upset with myself if I don’t get to something one day. That teamwork is so important and you need to know that you are not solely responsible for everything in your home.

Let go of the thought that as a wife and mom, you’re the one who is responsible for your home. The more you add to your own plate, the more stressed you’re going to be. So I simply just remove things from my own plate and pass them onto Zack’s plate or I’ll save it for another day. And that’s been so unbelievably helpful for me. It allows me to go about my day without feeling like I’m drowning in obligations and responsibilities.

RelatedOur Every Day Morning Routine With A Toddler

The last thing I really want to talk about here is self-care. I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself each and every day. If you are happy and healthy then you’ll be better able to be the best mom and wife you can be. Your family needs you to be happy and healthy. And that’s part of why I’m feeling so good lately.

I’d love to be a bit more consistent in my workouts but currently, my go to self-care activity has been binge watching YouTube at the end of the day. For real. After I put Allie to bed at night, I get comfortable on the couch, plug in my ear buds and watch YouTube until Zack is ready to go up to bed. No cell phone, no work, no social media. Just me and my YouTube. And this small action helps me so much!

How do you achieve balance in motherhood? Did it take you time to find that perfect balance?

XOXO
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