The Best Laid Plans Up In Hur.

chat chat Let’s have a chat. Buckle up because it’s going to be a rambly ride.


That Norovirus must have knocked a little bit of sense into me. Weird because I didn’t think I had anything left inside of me after that. Now you know…

A few weeks back I wasn’t feeling like the best mom out der. I wallowed. You listened. And now I’m back to give you more. This one is better though, I promise?

The only reason I have for this clarity of thought is that the stomach flu from HELL must have cleansed my brain of all fog along with 10 pounds I didn’t know I had to give.

But my healthy mind decided something:

Maybe it’s not that I’m a crappy mom. Maybe it’s that I have anxiety. And instead of feeling sorry for myself, I can do something about it. So, I’m going to start right here by rambling about it to you…

This is where it gets foggy again.

Before I had kids, and before I got into an (minorrrr) accident (maybe I should write about that one day?), I didn’t have anxiety like this. I wanted to be a personal trainer and nutritionist. I worked out. I used to be a gym rat, you guys. Would you believe it? I hit the gym 7.days.a.week. I had arm and leg days. Who was I??? I trained for a marathon. I felt good.  I want to go back there-ish.

And, because I am a listmaker, list-make I must. I decided on 10 things that would make me feel more of who I feel that I am: the person I was before kids, except this time, WITH kids. Do you know what I’m trying to say? Should I have scrapped this post the first time I tried? The list. Right:

  1. Eat Well
  2. Exercise
  3. Take a Probiotic
  4. Reduce Sugar Intake
  5. Use Essential Oils More
  6. Replace Anxious Habits
  7. Go to Chiro
  8. Take a Blood Booster
  9. Stop Yelling
  10. Daily Prayer

I have plans for these things. Big plans. Plans with all kinds of details that I will certainly follow through on. But, I don’t want to steal all of the spotlight with my grand and foolproof plans. No no.

Instead, why don’t you load me up with all of the motivation and advice and products I need. That would certainly be helpful, you know, if I didn’t already have big plans…


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  1. says

    I have to suggest making daily prayer your first priority. I just recently did so and it really motivates my whole day. I’m a list maker too, it clears my mind of all the mumble jumble haha :)

  2. Kathryn H says

    That’s why I really enjoy eating Paleo (trying, not 100%…we can’t all be perfect right lol) and I LOVE doing my bodyrock. The challenge I am on right now is 12 minutes a day. crazy right? I know. High Intensity Surge Training. it’s awesome, it’s free, I do it in my living room with my kids all around me. if you want to take a little look YouTube Catching Fire 30day challenge
    I think if I prayed more daily I would yell a lot less and be less anxious! so maybe the same thing will happen for you as well, like a twofer! I really need to pray more.

    We go to Smith Chiropractic in Chelsea (same plaza as Jet’s Pizza by the clock tower) we love him, so do the kids. It’s just him in his small office but I like that because he makes the visits personal! Just in case you wanted a reference :)

  3. says

    I totally get it! I see other moms all the time and think to myself, they look and act exactly the same as they used to, but now they have kids. How did they do this? I look TOTALLY different, I act totally different. Usually I’m fine with it (minus the fat!) but sometimes I sit back and am like…. bummer! I’m so excited to hear if your efforts pay off, I have yet to figure out a solution that doesn’t involve 4 months in the Bahamas with no kids ;)

  4. says

    I am totally with you on the pre-Mom (…and pre-accident too, actually.) awesome life vs. the anxious crap-tastic times in the trenches now. My solutions have been:

    1. REALLY REALLY try to get enough sleep. Make yourself a bedtime, or insist on going to bed at the same time as your husband or something. Sleep deprivation = anxiety and depression. Sleep is restorative.

    2. Also, I’m in the midst of my first Whole30 (extreme Paleo for a month) program. I found out about it via ModernMrsDarcy. If you look into it, I totally recommend reading the book.

    3. I think daily prayer is probably another secret key, but I haven’t mastered that one yet. I thought your popsicle stick idea was great…but still haven’t followed through! I have a couple daily emails (Gospel for a Year and Proverbs 31 Ministries) that help inject some thoughtfulness and prayer into my day (wee wee doses, but it’s there!)

    You are doing a great job, Jenna, really and truly.

  5. says

    I don’t really have much advice although I’m rooting you on! The Chiro has done wonders for me, my son and my family. It’s amazing what being out of whack can do to your body immunity and functionality wise.

    I’m just getting on the essential oil bandwagon and so far it’s been great. I’ve mostly used it for cleaning purposes but I’m starting to use it for more therapeutic purposes now.

    And the probiotic, I swear by those. We’ve added probiotic foods to our diets as well.

  6. says

    I feel ya! Pre-marriage and baby my degree in Kinesiology had me in the fitness world…and I’ve been trying to make plans to get back to that kind of feeling healthy, too. I actually just made some plans this week, too! My simple starters were to establish a consistent wake time (hard witha teething baby who wakes up 2-7 times a night!) And to set aside time to read before bed each night. Mentally these things help me so I can get more motivated for the actual working out. :) Good luck with your plans!

  7. says

    I recently made a small change by adding the post it notes app to my computer screen. I line them up on the left side of my screen and minimize my window slightly so that I can always see them. I keep an ever-changing to-do list there, from small things like “do the dishes” or “fold laundry” to bigger goals and dreams. It’s a good enforcement for me when I start wasting too much time getting lost in the internet. :)

  8. says

    I have been working hard on curtailing my anxiety this year and am happy to share some of the things that have been helping (although everyone is different, so perhaps they will or will not work the same for you).

    Rereading the book “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Naht Hahn has been extremely beneficial for me. It is really short and easy to read, with lots of meditation exercises and helpful metaphors.

    Second, I discovered this site: and have put some easy, simple yoga back into my life. My favorite video is her 20 minute morning routine – essentially easy stretching and breathing that helps me to start the day on the right foot. Now, I don’t know if you have 20 minutes to yourself in the morning, but if you do it is soooo worth it! I have been waking up at 5:30 every morning to squeeze it in. It is that good :)

    Lastly, I started to see a counselor a few months ago to help with my anxiety. At first, I was skeptical because I thought, I am not “crazy” and I don’t know if I really “need” this, I just have anxiety (per usual) and it will eventually go away like it always does. However, deciding to go has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has been such a transformative experience and I have learned so much in only a short time! Through this experience, I have also started journaling, but online. In the past I have always tried to hand write in a journal because I enjoy writing and it is all romantic and cute to have a dedicated journal. However, I found that just keeping a google doc is waaaay easier. The emphasis is on observing my behavior/thought patterns and writing them down as quickly and efficiently as possible. This practice has helped me to rewire some of my anxious thinking habits!

    So, there you go. It sounds like you are going to have a very productive time with your list. Good for you! You can do it! :)

  9. says

    I’m going to turn the tables and ask for your input instead :) Why a chiro? Honestly asking here. My family has never used them so I have zero experience with them, but with my hub’s fibromyalgia finally diagnosed, we’ve had a couple friends recommend seeing one. We’re willing to try anything, but I just don’t know what to expect if we go. Thanks Jenna!

  10. says

    I definitely understand alllll this. It feels like a lot and sometimes its just hard to figure out how to deal with anxiety after life throws such big things at you. And I think there just is a certain level of anxiety in being a mom, maybe I’m just nuts, but I think it’s something you can’t avoid to a degree but have to figure out how to deal with it somehow. I should exercise….sometime too!

  11. says

    Get out of my head. Seriously. I am a list maker, and have that (just about) exact list of goals and super detailed plans for all of them….
    I was never a gym rat per-se– but I was sorta athletic and would love to be athletic again- and nutritionally well-balanced.
    I dont think I have written about these plans of mine in great detail- perhaps I shall now. You have inspired me to stop being so lazy!

  12. says

    This is great! I love it when I see others motivated…it helps me to be motivated too ;) It’s so easy in this life (in this vocation) to get down on ourselves. To see a mountain when we look at our lists. I think the best thing for me has been to take ONE thing at a time and really focus on “perfecting” that. Which, in reality, will never be perfect…but to accept THAT and try anyway.

    I had a priest tell me once that if we focus on one thing at a time, such as forming a habitual prayer life, then much like pulling a string of rosary beads, other habits will follow and fall into place. I think for me, allowing God to direct my sense of healing has been best. What is He asking of you? What do you think you are asking of yourself? Are these two wants the same thing? Which is the most important and what can just be a bead that follows all the others?

    For a year or two now, I’ve been so obsessed with eating well (no!sugar! no!gluten! no!dairy! no!processed foods!) that I’ve become a little anxious in another way, youknowwhatI’msayin? But that’s me. I’ve had to find my healing…and it wasn’t with sugar/gluten…it was the way I dealt with food in general. It was with my feelings. It was with not being able to address overwhelming issues unless I had a piece of candy near by. It was with retreating. It was with exhaustion. It was without trusting Our Lord.

    Oh my goodness…this has become a novel. All this to say that motivation is great. Lists are great. But I’ve found that growth is a process you can’t rush or “take care of” in one fell swoop. Start somewhere…but most importantly…just start. And the rest will follow where it needs to. Love your blog, lady. Best of luck to you.

  13. says

    I love this and your attitude of being specific, not just “I gotta try harder.” . . . I really love the Magnificat magazine. Subscription includes a smartphone app. Abbreviated morning and evening prayer plus daily meditations. Nice for me, whose mind wanders about 2.5 seconds of free form prayers.

  14. Jen P says

    Hey Jenna, Jen from St. Cyril’s here. Hadn’t read your blog for awhile but just checked in. I can tell you that cutting sugar and even going to a gym with child care 2-3x per week is a definite boost to the energy. Even so, there are so many storms we are called to get through that we have no control over (cold, cold, snow, strep, puking, toddlers) and that’s where enough sleep AND MOSTLY deep relationship with Christ through a daily prayer life with a focus and on gratitude and his mercy bring us through the trials. Even after six kids and some things getting much easier, I still struggle with being a joyful, giving Catholic mom(just crying last night about it). But when my prayer life and frequent Mass attendance are right, my focus on the true reason we are here is tangible to me. I would also put on your list a day or even a weekend of spiritual retreat/refreshment. I know you have littles, but you need it!

  15. says

    Here’s what works for me. I have to eat reasonably well and by that I mean that I don’t get all crazy with the details. If I eat 3 meals a day, one snack, 3-4 servings of veggies/fruits, and good protein in at least two of the meals, it serves me well. I don’t go overboard with the sugar but I found that cutting it out entirely did absolutely nothing for me. I did this for months and months a couple years ago and it didn’t seem to make any difference. So I grudgingly added the sugar back in :P and I also take a probiotic and vitamin D3 every day. The D3 was per my doctor as blood tests came back satisfactory in everything except vitamin D levels which was what was making me fatigued and tired all the time. I am not consistent with exercise but I try to do as much movement throughout my day as I can. And very, very important: pray! Even if the most I can muster in the morning is to drag myself out of bed, sit on the pot while looking heavenward and plead earnestly with God – “Lord, let me cling to you today!” And consciously turn my thoughts toward him whether with words or not, it really helps me keep my connection to God.