Being a mom is hard work, so once you find something that makes the whole enterprise of running a family a little easier, you want everyone to know about it. That’s why we’ve started a new feature, Things I Can’t Mom Without, to shout out the things that make momming easier.
We asked Jessica Lipscomb, the 31-year-old graphic designer and media consultant living in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, what she uses to help raise her two sons, Jackson (3) and Miles (1), and her daughter-on-the-way Simone. Here’s what she had to say.
I work from home so having someone come to my house to watch my kids or allow me the chance to go somewhere to work is CRUCIAL. Even if I wasn’t working, I can admit that I’m the type of mom who just can’t be with my kids 24/7. Doesn’t mean I love them any less; I just know my mental state needs a break so I can be the best version of myself for them. I also understand having some form of childcare is a privilege so it’s something that was discussed and understood when my husband and I decided to expand our family.
2. Calendars and Bullet Journals
Between Jackson’s therapies, Matt’s shift work, my telecommuting conference calls, and just general socializing, schedules are a necessity. Jackson was diagnosed with autism in November of 2018. He receives ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), OT (Occupational Therapy) and speech therapy multiple times a week. The ABA is the most intense because it’s with a team of therapists sometimes twice a day and the locations range from in home to their clinic.
I have a big dry erase calendar in my office at home where I write out the entire next month in the last week of the current month so I’m prepared for what’s to come. Matt and I also have a joint Google calendar on our phones. If we aren’t together and need to add something to the calendar, we can add it digitally; the other one gets a notification to approve or deny it, and it’s set.
I also have been bullet journaling for three years now and it assists in my day-to-day functioning. I’ve been using small Moleskines with no lines so I can fill & write things as I wish. I write down what needs to ge done that day and I have a logging system on where I am in completing it.
3. Running Shoes
Physical activity helps center me and get my mind right for nearly everything and running is in my bones. Having access to my running shoes allows me to step outside, get some fresh air, and get some endorphins pumping. My husband even lets me know when he thinks I need to go for a run because I tend to get snippy, lol.
I’ve been running for over a decade and Nike is the brand I go for 90% of the time. My current obsession is the Nike FlyKnit in bright ass pink haha. They’re the comfiest shoes I’ve ever run in and extremely light.
It’s not a physical thing you can purchase but a habit to create. My night-time routine is CRUCIAL to starting my mornings with the boys off smoothly. I’m weird because cleaning is like a safe haven for me. I have to vacuum all the floors downstairs, wipe down all counters, empty the sink (I hand wash everything), clean the playroom, etc. before going to bed.
I’ve had this routine in place for nearly three years. While I’m doing my routine, Matt takes the boys upstairs to do their nighttime routine. A form of balance if you will. Even if I’m exhausted, I still do it. That way, in the morning, everything is ready to be destroyed again, my house never gets overwhelming and I can flow right into my morning routine of vitamins, breakfast, outfit changes, and coffee without being stressed.
For vitamins, I take SmartyPants Prenatal, BestNest Wellness Probiotic, and Olly Vitamin B for myself; for J Sundown Naturals Multivitamin, Zoo Friends Omega, and Yuve Probiotic; and for Miles NovaFerrum Multivitamin Drops and Mommy’s Bliss probiotic drops.
When we bought our house here in SC, it was a requirement to have a therapy / playroom. After receiving Jackson’s diagnosis and understanding he’d be receiving therapies in home, we knew we had to have a space that was specific to him and his therapists rather than the living room. Turns out, the space also doubles as a playroom and it’s BEYOND crucial to my sanity.
I’m also low-key a neat freak and like to have certain areas look like kids don’t even live in the house (weird concept, but I love it) so the playroom is where the kids’ things stay. It’s gated to prevent the dogs from getting in and letting kids out. We also have a TV in there for lessons, movies or when Matt and I want to join them in there to hangout! Also, whenever we have other families with kids over, it’s the perfect space to entertain multiple kids with a decent peace of mind that they won’t be scattered throughout the house.
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