Favorite Tools For Being a Present and Calm-ish Mom

These are the tools I use to be a present and calm-ish mom in a time when we’re surrounded by chaos, schedules, and craziness.

Avoid getting sucked into chaos, by pulling back. A lot. It’s far too stressful making it to every event you’ve been invited to, dragging your kids to every place creating more stress, volunteering for every school signup slot, baking 57 dozen cookies for some function, cleaning every nook and cranny of your house, and driving yourself into financial ruin just to buy all the gifts. When we do that, we can’t really enjoy it.

Even people who look like they have it all together, do not have it all together, all the time.

look like I’ve got it together in public, but I do not. If you follow me here and on social media, you’ll know I do not. These secrets aren’t particularly Earth shattering, but they are lesser known facts.

  • I am at the bus stop in a variation of sweats, paint clothes, jammies, sweatshirt, unbrushed teeth and hair under my hood, a coat to conceal whether or not there’s a bra on, always with coffee, 5 minutes late.
  • The youngest typically will not wear a coat, until she chooses to put it on halfway to the bus stop. Someone will notify me of my poor parenting skills, I’m certain.
  • I am always hurrying kids out the door, usually hollering down the street for the kids to go to the bus stop while I’m making a last cup of coffee, and a cup for our bus driver.
  • I always compare myself at my worst, to other people at their best.

Let that sink in for a second.

We all currently or have in the past have compared ourselves when we’re at our worst, to other people when they’re at their best.

We subconsciously put pressure on ourselves in hard moments to live up to the moments other people share on their social media feeds, and they turn into expectations. All these expectations we subconsciously set for ourselves are in the stratosphere, thus are completely unattainable.

Friends, I am choosing to participate in the things I want to give my time to, allowing me to be fully present and dedicated to that thing. Keeping things simple, focused, and present has been a real life saver for me, and there are a few specific things have helped get me going.

For this Fast Fix Friday, I’m changing your vibes from overwhelm to calm-ish, with these favorite things.  Lisa and Sarah have the most fantastic Fast Fixes for you too, go see what they’ve got!

Sarah @ 1915 House: Homemade Vanilla Extract (literally am hoping I am not the only one who had no idea how to make this, because I’m gonna make it all the time now!)
Lisa @ The Purple Hydrangea: Diamond in the Rough Side Table Makeover (she makes me want to paint all my furniture)

These are my favorite things that help me be a present and calm-ish mom

Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

The Purpose Show

Allie Casazza’s podcast, The Purpose Show, has become my go-to resource when I need to refocus, get a kick in the pants, and/or some encouragement. She inspires moms to live with purpose and intention, and be present…all while being minimalist. Allie has lit the fire under my feet to set out on my path to minimalism, done in a purposeful and intentional way, and it truly brings a massive sense of calm.

The Purpose Show
Cozy Minimalist Home

Myquillyn Smith is “a cozy minimalist,” also, my spirit animal. She encourages having lots of style with the least amount of stuff, and that you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. This is life! I kid you not, 3 pages into Cozy Minimalist Home, I was doing all the praise hands. She took me to church, and it is fabulous if you’re looking for a way to decorate your home with a lot of your personal style but with just a few items, and feel like you have a HomeGoods hidden in your basement.

The Nesting Place

Cozy Minimalist Home
The Purpose Show episode with Allie Casazza & Myquillyn – it’s so so good!!
Girl, Wash Your Face

This book, her facebook group, and Rise/Rise Together podcasts are a swift kick in the personal growth pants. This book is so uplifting, and affirming, and just…  great. It’s what got me refreshed in blogging, and motherhood, and marriage, and doing what I love. I may not have told myself every lie she wrote about, but there were many I did. Once I read GWYF, I set off on a small personal growth journey, soaking up different podcasts, and am finding my way. The #Last90Days challenge began in October, and I am so excited that I’ll already hit the new year running with my new habits, and don’t have the mindset of starting fresh in January.  Why not start right now? I didn’t have a good answer either, so here I am.

The Hollis Co
Rise podcast
Rise Together podcast
Facebook Page & IG (where I go for livestreams M-F)
Bullet Journaling and Daily Gratitude

In terms of bullet journaling, I’m an ultra beginner. I love day planners, and organizers, and the idea of a gratitude journal. In my minimalist journey of personal growth, having 4 different booklets to organize my life was about 3 too many. My journal is so basic. Is there a basic-er basic? Because that’s mine. I bought a journal like this, a set of pens, and washi tape. Once I had my supplies, I let them sit for about a month because when you google things like bullet journaling, you’re instantly overwhelmed. My friends talked me off the ledge, and I decided to just start. There’s a #Last90Days section, weight loss tracker, a weekly planner, monthly calendar, and daily gratitude and goal sections.

The daily gratitude is the best part of the entire thing! Well, the washi tape is great too, but when I write out ten simple things in a day that I am most grateful for, the day is spent looking for the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. Even in times when I lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes to regroup, I’m grateful for my bathroom door, the lock on it, the candle in it, and the fluffy rug my feet are on.

Less Social Media

For someone who is in the social media arena for work, I am a hermit on social media. I use it sparingly for personal things, and mostly use it for work things. So very many negative nellies and pot stirrers! I found a handful of groups on FB, and stick to those uplifting and positive areas, and don’t stray. Social media and screen time makes people less social, depressed, anxious, and rewires your brain, so I just… don’t unless it’s positive and productive. My social media here is always positive and encouraging; ain’t nobody got time to be dragged down.

The more focused I am on having less stuff to take care of, being a better version of myself each day, finding positivity and being grateful, the more present and calm I am.

There may come a day when I’ll be able to get to the bus stop with coffee on time. If not, I’m grateful for an amazing bus driver, the hot coffee I give her, and these 3 kids who have a mind of their own.

Even if they don’t have coats on.

Pin for later:

Cozy farmhouse bed, coffee, journaling supplies


  1. Thank you so much for reminding us we all just need to calm down! Why do we constantly compare ourselves anyway? These are burning questions I have this morning.

    I’m planning to step up my Bullet Journaling game this year.

    Happy Fast Fix Friday

  2. YES to everything you said! I have to check out that podcast, I am slowly…ever so slowly getting back to myself. It has been one heck of a year. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone 🙂

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